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can expect, that the present protector, or single person pretending to government, should be more honest, righteous, and just, than his deceased father was?
But more particularly upon the arguments.
1. I would query, first, Whether the late protector did not work over his council to some things illegal?
2. Whether Kings formerly, and the protector lately, did not wax wanton, and, providing for some few of their creatures, neglect the commonalty?
3. Whether our late experience of a single person cannot testify, that, though for a small time he seemed to favour honest men and things, yet, when he thought himself seated, whether, I say, he did not then slight both them and it, and become a favourer of the contrary? And whether our late court did not shew more growth and increase of rogues, bawds, and whores, than all the time of our government by a commonwealth?
4. Whether a confederacy has not been made abroad, with our secret enemies at home, that so a single person might the better suppress those that see the wickedness of his designs?
5. Whether the single person now pretending to government, though the son of a subtle man, be a wise man, lit to dispose of commonwealth treasure?
. 6, Whether the good people of this nation be not very sensible of the expensiveness extraordinary of a single person, more than of a commonwealth? And whether they do not find a want of that vast treasure expended upon baubles, toys, and trifling geugaws? Such as we of late have had too much cause to speak of. And whether the cause of the people's poverty has not been by means of purchasing lands to the family of the late protector, as well as High-Spaniola business?
7. Whether the late person set up did not judge himself above law? And whether he did not tyrannise over men's persons, restraining both them and their liberty? And whether the mercy he has pretended to, in the execujion thereof, has not been very cruelty?
8. Whether the late single person, to uphold his and his courtiers voluptuousness, has not been ready to uphold what monopolies he found on foot, and likewise to devise new ways to the same purpose? Andwhetherthecitizen hasnothad experience of court-payment, and the countryman, though sad, of the spoiling of his fences, and destroying of his crop, by them that belong to the court? And that they please to call their game. And, if these be the beginnings, What will the end be? And therefore, for a closure, I must say, What shall we say, or do, more than the King Protector has said and done?
Now to conclude: 1 humbly present to consideration, Whether, upon a diligent, serious weighing of the present action, and past management of state-affairs, of some, being lawyers, &c. raised from a low estate to sit in council, and become great favourites at court, it may not be found, and clearly seen, that they have a design to bring in Charles Stuart? For, if first they bring in a sinple person, and grant that, tha next dispute will be, Whether the one family, or the other, has most right? And who has most interest, Charles, or Richard, I think, asketh no long time to answer. Farther, I would add, Whether it be not more likely to attain to the practice of that golden rule, 'Do as you would be done to,' under the government of a commonwealth, in which, law-makers are liable to be judged by the law made, rather than under a monarchical government, where or in which one, if settled, is above law, and accountable to none? Who, though never so wicked and unjust, cannot be removed, but by an extraordinary providence, as was the case of the late King and protector.
Now, whereas it is endeavoured, by some court-parasites, to insinuate into the people, That that, which the commonwealth party aims at, is an involving of the nations in blood and confusion, I would meekly tender, Whether their deportment and behaviour, under the almost insupportable burden of the tyranny of late times, in which their rights and liberties have lain bleeding, hath given any just cause of such suspicion? Or rather, Whether their patience has not manifested, theirhope hath been and still is in God, from whom, by the means of a lawful free parliament, they only expect deliverance? be not a vindication sufficient, not only from what is now suggested against them, but also from that old brand, that the late protector, in a letter to the late King, while at Hampton-court, gave them, viz. Levellers; and that their work be to kill the King, and levy all men's estates; by which means he effected his end, viz. an incensing of the people and the other part of the army against them. Which, when he had done, he easily carried on his wicked designs, which since have cometo publick view; for a deliverance from which are the hearty prayers of all true Englishmen.
CROMWELL'S COMPLAINT OF INJUSTICE:
His Dispute with Pope Alexander the Sixth, for precedency in Hell. Folio, containing two pages.
Oliver. "Yy"HAT pretence hast thou to take place of me? What vast gigantick crimes hast thou committed, that thou shouldst dare to think, thou deservest to be greater than I? Have not I transgressed al the laws of God and man ? Did not I subvert a state? Change its religion and government, murder its prince, and set whole rivers of his
VOL. VI, 1 1
best subjects'blood a flowing? Did not I do all this, and hast thou the impudence to pretend to merit more, and have a greater share in the infernal empire, than 1?
Popt. All this thou didst, I do confess it; but, if thou wouldst have but the patience to hear me, I do hot question but to make appear, that I and my predecessors have done much more meritorious things, for our great lord and master the Devil, than ever thou didst, or couldst do.
Oliver. Hell and furies! What didst thou ever do more, than whore thy own daughter, and help thy son, Ca?sar Borgia, to poison, and make away, all the opposers and obstacles to his greatness?
Pope. Well, that is something; it shewed how willing, and ready, I was to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors, and give a good example to all my flock; but be patient, and I will tell thee the right, I and my brother popes have to be viceroys here below. Thou, alas! valuest thyself, for having been the ruin of one prince and state: But, how many emperors have we forced to come, and lay their necks under our feet? How many Kings have we caused to be assassinated? How many princes to be murthered? How many kingdoms and states to be ruined by civil wars and dissensions? Have not we caused princes to rebel against, and murther the Kings their fathers? Subjects to depose their lawful sovereigns, and set up tyrants in their rooms? And, in fine, Did we not bring anarchy and confusion into all nations, when our interest required it, or when those at the helm did not regulate themselves as we would have had them? All this thou knowest, we did, and must confess it, there being millions of instruments here whom we employed to those ends, to confirm and testify it.
Oliver. I grant all you popes together have been fruitfully and bravely wicked: But hath any one of you, attempted, performed, and compleatod, such great, noble, and numerous crimes as I have done? Did not I, and my companions, under the pretext of religion, subvert both it and the government, and crying out against the ill management of the state, the treachery, and want of conduct in ministers, and, by pretending to reform the helm, bring the nation into such a combustion, that we gained our point: which was, that we might have the liberty to act those wickedness s, that the others, who were there before us, were accused of, but which indeed never came into their thoughts, not having the sense or courage to perform, or, at least were restrained by their consciences; the liberty of which we cried out mightily for, because we knew ours would allow us all that we could desire.
Pope. All this I know, and how successful you were in it, but you were only the executioners of the Roman contrivances; we drew the model, and set you to work; your King's death, that you brag so much of, was first resolved on at Bome, before it came into your noddles, and, so far, you were only the blind ministers of our resolutions.
Olivtr. I am sure that is false; for none of us all, but aimed chiefly at him, though we seemed to look, and squinted another way. You m^ghtt perhaps, have the same design, but you ought not therefore to arrogate to yourself all the honour, seeing we thought on it, and designed it, as soon as there was any probability of doing it; and even performed it as soon as it lay in our power. Indeed we found it a difficult task, and, without your help, perhaps, we should not have been able to have compassed it. We were forced to raise fears and jealousies of an arbitrary government; and in that, I must confess, we found your party extremely useful to us, and very skilful to infuse the poison into people's minds; and* by these means, we arrived at what we so much had railed against, and seemed to abhor; that is to say, an unlimited power. We trampled all laws down under our feet, and made such new ones, as were fit for our purpose and interests. The truth is, to bring this to pass, we made it cost the nations whole seas of blood. Trade was destroyed, maidens were ravished, mothers had their infants rip'd out of their wombs, the father stabbed his son, and the son his father; and nothing was more common, than to see brother drink his brother's blood to the health of our cause, when he called him an enemy, and traitor to his country.
Pope. I laugh at all these flourishes, they are but the common and usual effects of our conspiracies. Had but our late plot succeeded in England, you would have seen them bravely acted, and repeated even to a degree above admiration; they would have surpassed your envy, and even have caused, in you yourself, a dread and terror.
Oliver. But must you not confess, that your instruments were but pitiful, base creatures, and ashamed of their tdsk, since they denied it at their executions? Whereas, you see, my brood in Scotland, not only begun bravely by their rebellion, and murthering the archbishop of Saint Andrews, but acknowledged the fact at their trials and deaths; and not only maintained the lawfulness of it, but also died martyrs for the doctrine of King-killing; whereas, your chicken-hearted heroes were both ashamed of what they would have done, and disowned what the brave doctors of your church have taught.
Pope. Come, do not reproach us, they had been fools if they had owned it; nay, and we had taken care to persuade them they should have been damned too; besides, people's opinion of an action is generally regulated by its success, which we being disappointed of, all our interests and reputation in the world would have been lost and ruined, had they not stiffly denied it. Therefore, I say, do not reproach us; for can you or your brood, as you call them, ever pretend to match our treacheries, treasons, plots, conspiracies, massacres, otc. Do you think you ever can?
Oliver. Perhaps we may; but, ofthat, I will tell you more hereafter*
For Letter to Parliament, See Vol. I, p. 28*
A SEASONABLE SPEECH,
Made by a morthy Member of Parliament w the House of Commons, con* cerning the ot/ier House, March 1659.*
THIS day's debate is but too clear a proof, that we Englishmen are right Islanders, variable and mutable like the air we live in. For (Sir) if that were not our temper, we should not be now disputing, whether, after all those hazards we have run, that blood we have spilt, that treasure we have exhausted, we should not now sit down, just where we did begin; and of our own accords, submit ourselves to that slavery, which we have not only ventured our estates and lives, but I wish I could not say, our souls and consciences, to throw off. What others, Sir, think of this levity, I cannot tell, I mean those that steer their consciences by occasions, and cannot lose the honour they never had. But truly, Sir, for my own part, I dare as little not declare it to be my opinion, as others more prudential dare avow it to be theirs; that we are this day making good all the reproaches of our enemies, owning of ourselves oppressors, murderers, regicides, subverters of that, which now we do not only acknowledge to have been a lawful government, but, by recalling it, confess it now to be the best. Which, Sir, if it be true, and that we now begin to see aright, I heartily wish, our eyes had been sooner open; and for three nations sake, that we had purchased our conviction at a cheaper rate. We might, Sir, in Fortytwo, have been what we thus contend to be in Fifty-nine; and our consciences have had much less to answer for to God, and our reputations to the world.
But Mr. Speaker, I wish with all my soul, I did state our case to you amiss, and that it were thequestion only, whether we would voluntarily relapse into the disease we were formerly possessed with, and of our own accords take up our old yoke, that we, with wearing and custom, had made habitual and easy, and which, it may be, it was more onr wantonness than our pressure, that made us throw it off. But this Sir, is not now the question; that which we deliberate, is not, whether we will say we do not care to be free, we like our old masters, and will now be content to have our ears bored at the door-posts of their house, and so serve them for ever. But, Sir, as if we were contending for shame, as well as servitude, we are carrying our ears to be bored at the doors of another house. A house, Sir, without name, and therefore, it is but congruous it should consist of membeis without a family: A house that inverts the order of slavery, and subjects it to our servants;
• Containing sight pages, quarto, without date, or printer's name.