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Mr. Speaker, I fear I have been too long in these particulars that are past, and am willing to offend you ; therefore in the rest I shall be shorter. And in that which concerns the impoverishing of the King, no other arguments will I use than such as all men grant.
The exchequer you know is empty, the reputation thereof gone! The ancient lands are sold, the jewels pawned, the plate engaged, the debt still great, and almost all charges, both ordinary and extraordinary, borne by projects ! What poverty can be greater? What necessity so great ? What perfect English heart is not almost dissolved into sorrow for the truth?
For the oppression of the subject, which, as I remember, is the next particular I proposed, it needs no demonstration. The whole kingdom is a proof. And for the exhausting of our treasures, that oppression speaks it. What waste of our provisions, what consumption of our ships, what destruction of our men, have been,—witness the journey to Algiers ! 9 Witness that with Mansfield! Witness that to Cadiz! Witness the next! Witness that to Rhée! Witness the last! (And I pray God we may never have more such witnesses.) Witness likewise the Palatinate ! Witness
Denmark! Witness the Turks! Witness the Dunkirkers ! Witness all ! What losses we have sustained! How we are impaired in munition, in ships, in men! It has no contradiction! We were never so much weakened, nor had less hope how to be restored !
These, Mr. Speaker, are our dangers; these are they do threaten us, and are like that Trojan horse brought in cunningly to surprise us! For in these do lurk the strongest of our enemies ready to issue on us; and if we do not now the more speedily expel them, these will be the sign and invitation to the others. They will prepare such entrance that we shall have no means left of refuge or defence; for if we have these enemies at home, how can we strive with those that are abroad? But if we be free from these, no others can impeach us! Our ancient English virtue, that old Spartan valor, cleared from these disorders; being in sincerity of religion once made friends with Heaven; having maturity of councils, sufficiency of generals, incorruption of officers, opulency in the king, liberty in the people, repletion in treasures, restitution of provisions, reparation of ships, preservation of men-our ancient English virtue, I say thus rectified, will secure us.
But unless there be a speedy reformation in
these, I know not what hope or expectation we
These things, sir, I shall desire to have taken into consideration. That as we are the great council of the kingdom, and have the apprehension of these dangers, we may truly represent them to the King; wherein I conceive we are bound by a treble obligation of duty unto God, of duty to his Majesty, and of duty to our country.
And therefore I wish it may so stand with the wisdom and judgment of the house, that they may be drawn into the body of a Remonstrance, and there with all humility expressed ; with a prayer unto his Majesty, that for the safety of himself, for the safety of the kingdom, for the safety of religion, he will be pleased to give us time to make perfect inquisition thereof; or to take them into his own wisdom and there give them such timely reformation as the necessity of the cause, and his justice do import. And thus, sir, with a large affection and loyalty to his Majesty, and with a firm duty and service to my country, I have suddenly, and it may be with some disorder, expressed the weak apprehensions I have, wherein if I have erred, I humbly crave your pardon, and so submit it to the censure of the House.
WHEN the English Parliament of 1628 came together, the King told them: “If you do not your duty, mine would then order me to use those other means which God has put into my hand.” Charles's notion of Parliamentary duty was simply that the members should vote necessary supplies, and then leave the expenditures to the royal will. Parliament, however, insisted upon some assurances that abuses would not be repeated. The Petition of Right, as we saw in our account of Eliot, was the result. Though the King was obliged to give his assent to the petition, it soon became evident that he had no intention to carry out its provisions either in the letter or in the spirit. The liberal supplies granted by Parliament after the signing of the petition were soon exhausted.
dient of economy was resorted to in order to avoid the necessity of calling another Parliament.
At first there was perhaps no clearly defined purpose to cause any positive breach of constitutional obligation, but gradually the government drifted into a policy of the most flagrant oppression. No Parliament was called for eleven years. The powers of the prerogative were strained at every point. Knighthood was forced on the gentry in order that large sums might be extorted as the price of composition. Enormous fines were levied for removing defects in title deeds. Large sums were exacted of landowners for encroachments on the crown lands. London, in consequence of its open sympathy with the Parliamentary cause, became a special object of royal dislike. An edict was issued prohibiting the enlargement of the metropolis; and large districts in the suburbs were saved from demolition only by the payment of three years' rental to the royal treasury. The powers of the Court of Star