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any such kind, though justice were required, but would send away the plaintiffs, as you would have done the Warwickshire gentry, had they not been so many, and so earnest, as that you feared the revolt of that country, with threats bedaubing them with the notions of malignancy, and desires to divide you amongst themselves : For whereas there was a great subsidy granted about November, 1642, for the then present affairs of this kingdom, and of Ireland; the one moiety of the said subsidy paid, at least in most places, by the several counties, to commissioners, according as the same act appointed : nevertheless, there bave since war. rants issued forth, which are kept safe to be produced, if time once serve, for such accusations, signed with the proper hands of some of your members, amongst the other your committees, for the re-collecting of the said money paid before, and inuch more by colour of the said act: And whereas you made an ordinance, bearing date, October the sixteenth, 1644, for the supply of the British army in Ireland, ordering a weekly pay, to last for the space of a year, and the one moiety of ihe assessment to be in corn, at least in many places so, the other in money; the same ordinance was not put in execution, I could tell you where, according to the tenor thereof: But about July, 1645, warrants were sent out by some of your members, then in the countries and councils of war, for the raising of divers great sums of money, amounting to more than twice as much, as was limited by the said ordinance; and immediately, upon the former collections, new warrants sent abroad, for vast sums to be paid weekly, without any orders from you, and yet you neither can find any law for your taxations ; and in default of payment, our goods and chattels by violence, as well to the person, as goods of the party, have been distrained, detained, and sold without speedy payment, according to the collectors demands, with a command to the high-sheriff, delegated by him to the under-sheriff, not to grant any replevin for our goods and chattels so violently taken away, contrary to the liberty of the subject, and the known laws and customs of this kingdom.
You talked of calling for accounts, and seemed to do so ; but we are certain, that the revenues of delinquents estates would have defrayed all, or the greatest part of the charge of the war, without any so great hurthens to the country, as have been laid upon it, had they been faithfully and really disposed of, to the best advantage, and benefit of the publick ; but you have all made up your accounts honestly, it must needs be so; and indeed where one thief must account before another, who thinks any great discoveries will be made ? But let me tell you, and I will tell you truly, how accounts were made; you nominated committees for examination, men as much in fault as the accountants, who put their hands to all reckonings, as they were presented, without looking, if they were just and straight, or no; met thus you tried accounts; who may think that those broken fortuned and beggarly knaves, of which sort of people, for the most part, your officers consisted, would compass such estates, as they have done in so short a time, and bring in just and true accounts? I trow not man: Nay, your own accounts, if they were examined, as they should be, would prove no juster than the others; else, how come you by all that
money, you have, from time to time, seut beyond sea? We remember, how vehemently you startled and exclaimed, when some of our city would have had an account of the proposition-plate.
You made an ordinance, that your sequestrators, and their under of. ficers, the collectors and prizers, should occupy no sequestered farms; but the most of them did hold very good demesns of two or three-hundred per annum, and paid not a penny rent to the use of the publick for them, neither wanted they their pay from other levies.
You likewise made an ordinance, that they should sell malignants goods, at the best rate, for the advantage of the publick; but they have been suffered to take what they pleased to themselves, and the rest they have sold to their favourites, many times, for less than half so much, as others would have given for them.
You made an ordinance, that they should take no bribes, and yet neither they, nor you, would ever do any courtesy, or act of distributive justice, without a bribe.
There were in many cities and towns taken in) booties seized, worth better than two-hundred thousand pounds, in money and plate, and jewels, and houshold furniture; I could tell you where; and yet your committees, your appraisers, and men that sold them, have not been ashamed to say, they made but thirteen-thousand pounds of such vast booties, though it hath been publickly known they have had above nineteen-thousand pounds, in money and plate, out of one house, and fifteen thousand pounds-worth of one man's goods out of another. But truly, how they should put things to the best, I cannot see, running the way they did; for they would first proclaim a day of sale, to fetch in the country chapmen, and, when they were come, put the day off again, to weary them out of the towns with expence; and the non-fighting officers would take the best and most of the prey unto themselves, besides selling Robin Hood's pennyworths for bribes : This was the deportment of many of them. Ye should have summoned in the country, and the cavaliers, to have shewed what money, and goods, and provision was fetched from them from time to time, and by whom, and have compared their notes with your accountants; ye should have examined the musters of your men, and so ye might have found out receipts, and guessed whatdisbursements might have been; and this would soon have been done by many officers, and many divisions of the counties; and who, but such as are altogether void of honesty and shame, would carry themselves thus unrighteously, or bear with it? These things ye could not chuse but know (for those of you, that were abroad in the wars, were eye-witnesses of the same) and yet ye never minded to redress them.
After this manner have you ever looked to the publick welfare, and no otherwise : Besides, it was usual for your independent faction (though no fighters) at taking of towns, to get orders from committees (by scraping legs and crouching) for cavaliers houses, and then take goods and all for their own use, without payment of a penny for them. to the publick. This is not unknown to many; and, as if you would leave no tricks unpractised, by which you might beguile and abuse the country, yedevised another trick to get more of their monies; your com
mittees must lend you, but what? The monies they have gathered from the country by loans and mizes, and the country must pay eight per cent. interest for loan of the same. Thus do ye daily only consult how to delude and abuse the country; thus do ye continue your sitting for no other end, but that ye may suck up the fat of the kingdom; but ye shall see, now it hath found your knavery, it will shortly turn you over another leaf; it hath provided a trap to catch your toxes; Ye cried out upon the King for heavy taxes, which nevertheless, by your own com. putation, amounted but to s. ven-hundred thousand pounds per annum in the whole, throughout the city and kingdom; which was no great sum to build and maintain so many ships and soldiers, as his Majesty then had for the defence of his kingilons; and ye quarrelled at the rane ner of his levying such monies, forsooth, because there was no statutelaw for the same; as if the pater patriæ might not, where the letter of the law falls too short, make use of his own and his council's discretion for his people's preservation. Oh! but, had he made you the collectors, that you might have licked your fingers, as ye have done since ye put yourselves into offices, all had been well enough; but, for the mass of money levied, if your proposition money, your fifths and twentieth parts, your continual loans and mizes, and your other innumerable taxations, your sequestrations of goods and lands, your plunder and pillage, your soldiers free-quarter, and provisions for your stores were, or could be cast up, they would be found valuable to buy twenty times seven-hundred thousand pounds per annum. Thus have yourgood state physicians medicined your diseases ; yet we cannot deny you to becunning doctors, ye have kept our purses so long in physick. And I pray you, had ye any precedent in the law to imprison men unconvicted of vice, and make them ransom themselves with great sums of money, as ye did (when ye sent the propositions through the country) those that refused to furnish you according to your demand? I trow not. Ye know it is a breach of the law, and an infringement of the Magna Charta, both which ye forsworu wretches swore to maintain. Ye accuse the King of neglecting Ireland, and lo! since the war was ended here, what care have ye taken to relieve it? Ye have sent sometimes handfuls of men over, to be cut off as soon as they came there; ye might as good have hanged them here, before they had gone, as sent them thither by such inconsiderable companies. This is the great care ye take of those plantations, and of this people of England. O, but now you will mend in that point; ye are beating drums all over the countries for soldiers for Ireland, but the truth is, it is to recruit your army here; ye mean to send them into the west to fight (you will tell them, when they come there) with Irish rebels newly landed; ye have not men enough to spare hence; and, ' If we should (says Cromwell) draw our army off this city, it would follow us in the rear, and, being but such a handful, as we now are, they would cut us all off.' We are in a pitiful case now; to stay or go we know not; stay, and the Scots and the Lord Inchiquin come in upon us; go, and the city follows us. I smell a rat; the blazing comets are going out with a filthy stink; an ordinance of parliament to pass four great ships without search, laden with money, and now at Gravesend, or newly put to sea. Nay, but your soldiers a raising are for Ireland;
ye have a while ago made an ordinance for the levying of twenty-thou sand pounds per month for their maintenance; so ye made out before in August, 1644, for the promotion of that service, but the cavaliers took sixty-thousand pounds of that money at Leicester: Dublin ye had not then: I pray you, was that the way to Cork and Kinsale, or Youghall? Ye blame the cavaliers of Cheshire for stopping some clothes bound for Ireland, and yet the apparel, given by those of the city for those soldiers use, was all (which was worth any thing) sold to the brokers in Long-lane; only a few rags, that would not make money here, were sent away. A man might here go far enough to put you out of your own practice; who, if we had not so much honesty, as to forbear ca. lumniating your enemies, should have had so much discretion, as not to accuse another of that which, had ye had that good sign of a bad cause in you, blushing, might ashame you, being by recrimination retorted upon yourselves. We have heard much of your outcries against the whore of Babylon, and your charging, with much bitterness and vehemency, of her vices upon the see of Rome, and its disciples, whose footsteps ye trace in your seditious courses; but, if ye would look a little into the signification of the word, and into yourselves and your proceedings; what towers of Babel ye are erecting; what imaginations, what anarchy and consusion ye are setting up; what missionaries ye send abroad to broach all sorts of damned heresies,those locusts of the bottomless pit, your gifted men, as ye call them; your suppression of godly and learned divines and their writings; and your countenancing and licensing any ibing that savours of the Stygian lake, ye would find something reflecting upon yourselves. The word Babel signifies confusion; and that, which is chiefly observable of a whore, is her prostitution of herself to all, her wiles, by which she inticeth her lovers, and wherewith inticed she retains them to her: Now, whether ye have not prostituted yourselves unto all, let England judge. In the beginning ye sollicited, by five or six several letters, Sir Arthur Aston, a known papist, before his Majesty entertained him; and yet you cried out against the King for accepting his service. Ye sent five hundred Jews (enemies unto the Christian faith) in your army to Newberry; there were an hundred of them slain upon the ground, known by the mark of circumsision ; ye have pleased, and run on with the rude multitude, the frothy scum of the people, in their worst and wickedest humours. Ye have suffered them to deface the earthly beauty of God's earthly houses ; to rend and tear in pieces our common-prayer-bouk, and the priest's surplice, a badge of innocency; to pull down crosses, the proper cognisance, by which the world might know to what master this kingdom did belong; and now at last ye invite men to deny the master too. Ye countenance atheists and hereticks, and frown on them that desire to quell them; nay, ye fight with them, and kill them. Ye have continually, during the whole time of the war (and since too, now ye might better have restrained them) suffered every rapscallion, that bore arms amongst you, to abuse and trample on, as be pleased, the freeholders of the country; to lord it over them; to beat and command them and their houses, where they quartered, or passed by. Rogues, that before niended pots and kettles, or begged with butter-milk canns about the country, must now call for rost,
and beat all the house, if it be not to be had: neither, when such grievances were made known unto you, did ye curb or check the sauciness of your soldiers herein, but rather deride the plaintiffs. How stood, think ye, such abusiugs with the freedoms of the English farmers, and with the national covenant and protestation i And, as a whore hath ever her sleights, by which she inveigles her lovers, so have ye had yours: as the Venetian courtesans, at their first coming to the city to serve their duke, send out a crier through the streets, to proclaim ibeir beauties, and the price thereof; so ye, in the beginning of your ses. sions, sent abroad your declarations in the specious notions of liberty, property, and privilege; and the price, some proposition-money, or some place; and, even as whores, when they have drawn in silly shallowlings, will ever find some trick to retain thein, till they have brought them to a morsel of bread, especially if they doubt their starting; so have
you still drawn our apprehensions off your perfidious actions, and kept our brains busied and deluded with your diurnals and your ordinances, which you have ever studied for, and set forth to this very end, not that which you express in the front of them, the satisfaction and right information of the kingdom. When you had discovered your cloven feet in August, and saw the people's grumblings, you thought an ordinance for making up accounts would be a piece of satisfaction for the present; and you knew the vulgar's brains retain not long the phantasms of things : but what perforniance was of that, I have before in some part, as I could, shewed.
You have moved rumours likewise oftentimes, and tell us again so every day, of sending for the King, and settling the kingdom, only to keep the people in suspence; and, by vain hops of you, to retard our endeavours for our own relief: by that you may still, by disarming towns, get more power to continue your tyranny, now growing towards an end. For you never intend it, you are such notorious abominable traitors, you have so much abused his Majesty, his late royal mother, and his royal spouse, his children, and us his people, that you dare not do it. How often, of late, have we heard, that Hampton-court hath been making ready, and that Cromwell hath been gone to fetch him this day, and that, and the other; and it nothing so.
Your diurnals buzzed us in the ears with much good news of many victories (lest we should have set from Dan 10 Bethel towards the temple) even the first year oi the war, when our armies went to wreck every where; and we had soon found it, had not our brethren of Scotland come in to our assistance; yet you send them, you say, to prevent mis-information : but when they began to speak against you (as after your taking away the militia of this city of London, a thing I never heard nor read before, that any parliament had to do withal) they must be silenced till the people's thoughts were drawn aside. We have been often fattored in the country with casc'ment of our taxes and free quarter, if we would pay one small weekly payment, and quarter but a little longer ; and, lo! presently you have sent (I am sure to many places of the kingdom) for whole multitudes of vast sums, one in the neck of another, that we have almost nothing left. Thus have you, in your consultations, even from the beginning of your sessions,