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was exacted more rigorously than ever; and the mayor and sheriffs of London were prosecuted before the Star-Chamber for slackness in levying it. Wentworth, it is said, observed, with characteristic insolence and cruelty, that things would never go right till the aldermen were hanged. Large sums were raised by force on those counties in which the troops were quartered. All the wretched shifts of a beggared exchequer were tried. Forced loans were raised. Great quantities of goods were bought on long credit and sold for ready money. A scheme for debasing the currency was under consideration. At length, in August, the king again marched northward.
were presented. Strafferd was for shooting those who presented them by martial law; bat the king could not trust the soldiers. A great council of Peers was called at York, but the king could not trust even the Peers. He struggled, he evaded, he hesitated, he tried every shift rather than again face the representatives of his injured people. At length no shift was left. He made a truce with the Scots, and summoned a Parliament.
The leaders of the popular party had, after the late dissolution, remained in London for the purpose of organizing a scheme of opposition to the court. They now exerted themselves to the utmost. Hampden, in particular, rode from county to county exhorting the electors to give their votes to men worthy of their confidence. The great majority of the returns was on the side of the Opposition. Hampden was himself chosen member for both Wendover and for Buckinghamshire. He made his election to serve for the county.
The Scots advanced into England to meet him. It is by no means improbable that this bold step was taken by the advice of Hampden, and of those with whom he acted; and this has been made matter of grave accusation against the English Opposition. To call in the aid of foreigners in a domestic quarrel, it is said, is the worst of treasons; and that the Puritan On the 3d of November, 1640-a day to be leaders, by taking this course, showed that they long remembered—met that great Parliament, were regardless of the honour and independ-destined to every extreme of fortune-to emence of the nation, and anxious only for the success of their own faction. We are utterly unable to see any distinction between the case of the Scotch invasion in 1640 and the case of the Dutch invasion in 1688, or rather we see distinctions which are to the advantage of Hampden and his friends. We believe Charles to have been, beyond all comparison, a worse and more dangerous king than his son. The Dutch were strangers to us; the Scots a kindred people, speaking the same language, subjects of the same crown, not aliens in the eye of the law. If, indeed, it had been possible that a Dutch army or a Scotch army could have enslaved England, those who persuaded Lesley to cross the Tweed, and those who signed the invitation to the Prince of Orange, would have been traitors to their country. But such a result was out of the question. All that either a Scotch or a Dutch invasion could do was to give the public feeling of England an opportunity to show itself. Both expeditions would have ended in complete and ludicrous discomfiture had Charles and James been supported by their soldiers and their people. In neither case, therefore, was the independence of England endangered; in neither case was her honour compromised: in both cases her liberties were preserved.
The second campaign of Charles against the Scots was short and ignominious. His soldiers, as soon as they saw the enemy, ran away as English soldiers have never run either before or since. It can scarcely be doubted that their flight was the effect, not of cowardice, but of disaffection. The four northern counties of England were occupied by the Scotch army. The king retired to York.
pire and to servitude, to glory and to con tempt;-at one time the sovereign of its sovereign, at another time the servant of its servants, and the tool of its tools From the first day of its meeting the attendance was great, and the aspect of the members was that of men not disposed to do the work negligently. The dissolution of the late Parliament had convinced most of them that half measures would no longer suffice. Clarendon tells us that "the same men who, six months before, were observed to be of very moderate tempers, and to wish that gentle remedies might be ap plied, talked now in another dialect both of kings and persons; and said that they must now be of another temper than they were the last Parliament." The debt of vengeance was swollen by all the usury which had been accumulating during many years; and payment was made to the full.
This memorable crisis called forth parlia mentary abilities, such as England had never before seen. Among the most distinguished members of the House of Commons were Falkland, Hyde, Digby, Young, Harry Vane, Oliver St. John, Denzil Hollis, Nathaniel Fiennes. But two men exercised a paramount influence over the legislature and the country -Pym and Hampden; and, by the universal consent of friends and enemies, the first place belonged to Hampden.
On occasions which required set speeches Pym generally took the lead. Hampden very seldom rose till late in a debate. His speaking was of that kind which has, in every age, been held in the highest estimation by English Parliaments-ready, weighty, perspicuous, condensed. His perception of the feeling of the The game of tyranny was now up. Charles House was exquisite, his temper unalterably had risked and lost his last stake. It is im- placid, his manner eminently courteous and possible to retrace the mortifications and humi- gentlemanlike. "Even with those," says Clalations which this bad man now had to endure rendon, "who were able to preserve themwithout a feeling of vindictive pleasure. His selves from his infusions, and who discerned. army was mutinous; his treasury was empty; these opinions to be fixed in him with which his people clamoured for a Parliament; ad- they could not comply, he always left the chadresses and petitions against the government|racter of an ingenuous and conscientious per
son." His talents for business were as remarkable as his talents for debate. He was," says Clarendon," of an industry and vigilance not to be tired out or wearied by the most laborious, and of parts not to be imposed upon by the most subtle and sharp." Yet it was rather to his moral than to his intellectual qualities that he was indebted for the vast influence which he possessed. "When this Parliament began," we again quote Clarendon, "the eyes of all men were fixed upon him, as their patria pater, and the pilot that must steer the vessel through the tempests and rocks which threatened it. And I am persuaded his power and interest at that time were greater to do good or hurt than any man's in the kingdom, or than any man of his rank hath had in any time; for his reputation of honesty was universal, and his affections seemed so publicly guided, that no corrupt or private ends could bias them. He was, indeed, a very wise man and of great parts, and possessed with the most absolute spirit of popularity, and the most absolute faculties to govern the people, of any man I ever knew."
so called, of Lord Sudley, in the blessed reign of Edward the Sixth. None of the great re formers of our church doubted for a moment of the propriety of passing an act of Parlia ment for cutting off Lord Sudley's head without a legal conviction. The pious Cranmer voted for that act; the pious Latimer preached for it; the pious Edward returned thanks for it; and all the pious Lords of the Council together exhorted their victim in what they were pleased facetiously to call "the quiet and patient suffering of justice."
But it is not necessary to defend the proceedings against Strafford by any such compa rison. They are justified, in our opinion, by that which alone justifies capital punishment, or any punishment, by that which alone justifies war-by the public danger. That there is a certain amount of public danger, which will justify a legislature in sentencing a man to death by an ex post facto law, few people, we suppose, will deny. Few people, for example, will deny that the French Convention was perfectly justified in declaring Robespierre, St. Just, and Couthon, hors la loi, without a trial. It is sufficient to recapitulate shortly the acts This proceeding differed from the proceeding of the Long Parliament during its first session. against Strafford, only in being much more Straford and Laud were impeached and im- rapid and violent. Strafford was fully heard. prisoned. Strafford was afterwards attainted Robespierre was not suffered to defend himby bill, and executed. Lord Keeper Finch fled self. Was there, then, in the case of Strafford, to Holland, Secretary Windebank to France. a danger sufficient to justify an act of attainAll those whom the king had, during the last der? We believe that there was. We believe twelve years, employed for the oppression of that the contest in which the Parliament was his people-from the servile judges who had engaged against the king, was a contest for pronounced in favour of the crown against the security of our property, for the liberty of Hampden, down to the sheriffs who had dis-our persons, for every thing which makes us trained for ship-money and the custom-house to differ from the subjects of Don Miguel. We officers who had levied tonnage and poundage -were summoned to answer for their conduct. The Star-Chamber, the High Commission Court. the Council of York, were abolished. Those unfortunate victims of Laud, who, after undergoing ignominious exposure and cruel manglings, had been sent to languish in distant prisons, were set at liberty, and conducted through London in triumphant procession. The king was compelled to give to the judges patents for life, or during good behaviour. He was deprived of those oppressive powers which were the last relics of the old feudal tenures. The Forest Courts and the Stannary Courts were reformed. It was provided that the Parliament then sitting should not be prorogued or dissolved without its own consent; and that a Parliament should be held at least once every three years.
Many of these measures Lord Clarendon allows to have been most salutary; and few persons will, in our times, deny that, in the laws passed during this session, the good greatly preponderated over the evil. The abolition of those three hateful courts-the Northern Council, the Star-Chamber, and the High Commission-would alone entitle the Long Parliament to the lasting gratitude of Englishmen.
believe that the cause of the Commons was such as justified them in resisting the king, in raising an army, in sending thousands of brave men to kill and to be killed. An act of attain der is surely not more a departure from the ordinary course of law than a civil war. An act of attainder produces much less suffering than a civil war; and we are, therefore, unable to discover on what principle it can be maintained that a cause which justifies a civil war, will not justify an act of attainder.
Many specious arguments have been urged against the ex post facto law by which Strafford was condemned to death. But all these arguments proceed on the supposition that the crisis was an ordinary crisis. The attainder was, in truth, a revolutionary measure. It was part of a system of resistance which oppression had rendered necessary. It is as unjust to judge of the conduct pursued by the Long Parliament towards Strafford on ordinary principles, as it would have been to indict Fairfax for murder, because he cut down a cornet at Naseby. From the day on which the Houses met, there was a war waged by them against the king-a war for all that they held dear-a war carried on at first by means of parliamentary forms, at last by physical force, and, as in the second stage of that war, so in the first, they were entitled to do many things which, in quiet times, would have been culpable.
The proceedings against Strafford undoubtedly seem hard to people living in our days; and would probably have seemed merciful and moderate to people living in the sixteenth We must not omit to mention, that those century. It is curious to compare the trial of men who were afterwards the most distin Charles's minister with the trial, if it can be guished ornaments of the king's party, sup
ported the bill of attainder. It is almost certain that Hyde voted for it. It is quite certain that Falkland both voted and spoke for it. The opinion of Hampden, as far as it can be collected from a very obscure note of one of his speeches, seems to have been, that the proceeding by bill was unnecessary, and that it would be a better course to obtain judgment on the impeachment.
During this year the court opened a negotiation with the leaders of the Opposition. The Earl of Bedford was invited to form an administration on popular principles. St. John was made solicitor-general. Hollis was to have been secretary of state, and Pym chancellor of the exchequer. The post of tutor to the Prince of Wales was designed for Hampden. The death of the Earl of Bedford prevented this arrangement from being carried into effect; and it may be doubted whether, even if that nobleman's life had been prolonged, Charles would ever have consented to surround himself with counsellors whom he could not but hate and fear.
Lord Clarendon admits that the conduct of Hampden during this year was mild and temperate; that he seemed disposed rather to Soothe than to excite the public mind; and that, when violent and unreasonable motions were made by his followers, he generally left the House before the division, lest he should seem to give countenance to their extravagance. His temper was moderate. He sincerely loved peace. He felt also great fear lest too precipitate a movement should produce a reaction. The events which took place early in the next session clearly showed that this fear was not unfounded.
During the autumn the Parliament adjourned for a few weeks. Before the recess, Hampden was despatched to Scotland by the House of Commons, nominally as a commissioner, to obtain security for a debt which the Scots had contracted during the late invasion; but in truth that he might keep watch over the king, who had now repaired to Edinburgh, for the purpose of finally adjusting the points of difference which remained between him and his northern subjects. It was the business of Hampden to dissuade the Covenanters from making their peace with the court at the expense of the popular party in England.
While the king was in Scotland, the Irish rebellion broke out. The suddenness and violence of this terrible explosion excited a strange suspicion in the public mind. The queen was a professed Papist. The king and the Archbishop of Canterbury had not indeed been reconciled to the See of Rome; but they had, while acting towards the Puritan party with the utmost rigour, and speaking of that party with the utmost contempt, shown great tenderness and respect towards the Catholic religion and its professors. In spite of the wishes of successive Parliaments, the Protestant separatists had been cruelly persecuted. And at the same time, in spite of the wishes of those very Parliaments, the laws-the unjust and wicked laws-which were in force against the Papists, had not been carried into execution. The Protestant nonconformists had not yet learned
toleration in the school of suffering. They reprobated the partial lenity which the govern, ment showed towards idolaters; and, with some show of reason, ascribed to bad motives conduct which, in such a king as Charles, and such a prelate as Laud, could not possibly be ascribed to humanity or to liberality of senti ment. The violent Arminianism of the archbishop, his childish attachment to ceremonies, his superstitious veneration for altars, vestments, and painted windows, his bigoted zeal for the constitution and the privileges of his order, his known opinions respecting the celibacy of the clergy, had excited great disgust throughout that large party which was every day be coming more and more hostile to Rome, and more and more inclined to the doctrines and the discipline of Geneva. It was believed by many, that the Irish rebellion had been se cretly encouraged by the court; and when the Parliament met again in November, after a short recess, the Puritans were more intractable than ever.
But that which Hampden had feared had come to pass. A reaction had taken place. A large body of moderate and well-meaning men, who had heartily concurred in the strong mea sures adopted during the preceding year, were inclined to pause. Their opinion was, that during many years, the country had been grievously misgoverned, and that a great reform had been necessary; but, that a great reform had been made, that the grievances of the uation had been fully redressed, that sufficient vengeance had been exacted for the past, and sufficient security provided for the future; that it would, therefore, be both ungrateful and unwise to make any further attacks on the royal prerogative. In support of this opinion many plausible arguments have been used. But to all these arguments there is one short answer: the king could not be trusted.
At the head of those who may be called the Constitutional Royalists, were Falkland, Hyde, and Culpeper. All these eminent men had, during the former year, been in very decided opposition to the court. In some of those very proceedings with which their admirers reproach Hampden, they had taken at least as great a part as Hampden. They had all been concerned in the impeachment of Strafford. They had all, there is reason to believe, voted for the Bill of Attainder. Certainly none of them voted against it. They had all agreed to the act which made the consent of the Parlia ment necessary to its own dissolution or prorogation. Hyde had been among the most active of those who attacked the Council of York. Falkland had voted for the exclusion of the bishops from the Upper House. They were now inclined to halt in the path of reform; perhaps to retrace a few of their steps.
A direct collision soon took place between the two parties, into which the House of Commons, lately at almost perfect unity with itself, was now divided. The opponents of the govern ment moved that celebrated address to the king which is known by the name of the Grand Remonstrance. In this address all the oppressive acts of the preceding fifteen years were set forth with great energy of language
and, in conclusion, the king was entreated to | peper chancellor of the exchequer. He de employ no ministers in whom the Parliament clared his intention of conferring in a short could not confide.
time some important office on Hyde. He as sured these three persons that he would do nothing relating to the House of Commons without their joint advice; and that he would communicate all his designs to them in the most unreserved manner. This resolution, had he adhered to it, would have averted many years of blood and mourning. But "in a very few days," says Clarendon, "he did fatally swerve from it."
The debate on the Remonstrance was long and stormy. It commenced at nine in the morning of the twenty-first of November, and asted till after midnight. The division showed that a great change had taken place in the temper of the House. Though many members had retired from exhaustion, three hundred voted, and the remonstrance was carried by a majority of only nine. A violent debate followed on the question whether the minority On the 3d of January, 1642, without giving the should be allowed to protest against this deci- slightest hint of his intention to those advisers sion. The excitement was so great that seve- whom he had solemnly promised to consult, ral members were on the point of proceeding he sent down the attorney-general to impeach to personal violence. "We had sheathed our Lord Kimbolton, Hampden, Pym, Hollis, and swords in each other's bowels," says an eye- two other members of the House of Commons, witness, "had not the sagacity and great calm- at the bar of the Lords, on a charge of high ness of Mr. Hampden, by a short speech, pre-treason. It is difficult to find in the whole hisvented it." The House did not rise till two in tory of England such an instance of tyranny, the morning. perfidy, and folly. The most precious and ancient rights of the subjects were violated by this act. The only way in which Hampden and Pym could legally be tried for treason at the suit of the king, was by a petty jury on a bill found by a grand jury. The attorney-general had no right to impeach them. The House of Lords had no right to try them.
The situation of the Puritan leaders was now difficult and full of peril. The small majority which they still had, might soon become a minority. Out of doors their supporters in the higher and middle classes were beginning to fall off. There was a growing opinion that the king had been hardly used. The English are always inclined to side with a weak party which is in the wrong, rather than with a strong party which is in the right. Even the idlers in the street will not suffer a man to be struck when he is down. And as it is with a boxing-match, so it is with a political contest. Thus it was that a violent reaction took place in favour of Charles the Second, against the Whigs, in 1681. Thus it was that an equally violent reaction took place in favour of George the Third, against the coalition, in 1784. A similar reaction was beginning to take place during the second year of the Long Parliament. Some members of the Opposition "had resumed," says Clarendon, “their old resolution of leaving the kingdom." Oliver Cromwell openly declared that he and many others would have emigrated, if they had been left in a minority on the question of the Remonstrance.
The Commons refused to surrender their members. The Peers showed no inclination to usurp the unconstitutional jurisdiction, which the king attempted to force on them. A contest began, in which violence and weakness were on the one side, law and resolution on the other. Charles sent an officer to seal up the lodgings and trunks of the accused members. The Commons sent their sergeant to break the seals. The tyrant resolved to fol low up one outrage by another. In making the charge, he had struck at the institution of juries. In executing the arrest, he struck at the privileges of Parliament. He resolved to go to the House in person, with an armed force, and there to seize the leaders of the Opposition, while engaged in the discharge of their parliamentary duties.
to believe, that he went merely for the purpose of making himself a laughing-stock; that he intended, if he had found the accused members, and if they had refused, as it was their right and duty to refuse, the submission which he illegally demanded, to leave the House without bringing them away? If we reject both these suppositions, we must believe-and we certainly do believe-that he went fully determined to carry his unlawful design into effect by violence; and, if necessary, to shed the blood of the chiefs of the Opposition on the very floor of the Parliament House.
What was his purpose? Is it possible to Charles had now a last cnance of regaining believe that he had no definite purpose-that the affection of his people. If he could have he took the most important step of his whole resolved to give his confidence to the leaders reign without having for one moment consiof the moderate party in the House of Com-dered what might be its effects? Is it possible mons, and to regulate his proceedings by their advice, he might have been, not, indeed as he had been, a despot, but the powerful and respected king of a free people. The nation might have enjoyed liberty and repose under a government, with Falkland at its head, checked by a constitutional Opposition, under the conduct of Hampden. It was not necessary that, in order to accomplish this happy end, the king should sacrifice any part of his lawful prerogative, or submit to any conditions inconsistent with his dignity. It was necessary only that he should abstain from treachery, from violence, from gross breaches of the law. This was all that the nation was then disposed to require of him. And even this was too much. For a short time he seemed inclined to take | a wise and temperate course. He resolved to make Falkland secretary of state; and Cul
Lady Carlisle conveyed intelligence of the design to Pym. The five members had time to withdraw before the arrival of Charles. They left the House as he was entering New Palace Yard. He was accompanied by about two hundred halberdiers of his guard, and by
something ludicrous in the idea of battalions composed of apprentices and shopkeepers, and officered by aldermen. But, in the early part of the seventeenth century, there was no standing
tropolis was not inferior in training to the militia of other places. A city which could furnish many thousands of armed men, abound. ing in natural courage, and not absolutely untinctured with military discipline, was a formidable auxiliary in times of internal dissension. On several occasions during the civil war, the trainbands of London distinguished themselves
ticular, they repelled the onset of fiery Rupert, and saved the army of the Parliament from destruction.
many gentlemen of the court armed with swords. He walked up Westminster Hall. At the southern door of that vast building, his attendants divided to the right and left, and formed a lane to the door of the House of Com-army in the island; and the militia of the memons. He knocked, entered, darted a look towards the place which Pym usually occupied; and seeing it empty, walked up to the table. The speaker fell on his knee. The members rose and uncovered their heads in profound silence, and the king took his seat in the chair. He looked round the house. But the five members were nowhere to be seen. He interrogated the speaker. The speaker answer-highly; and at the battle of Newbury, in pared, that he was merely the organ of the House, and had neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak, but according to their direction. The baffled tyrant muttered a few feeble sentences The people of this great city had long been about his respect for the laws of the realm thoroughly devoted to the national cause. Great and the privileges of Parliament, and retired numbers of them had signed a protestation, in As he passed along the benches, several resc- which they declared their resolution to defend lute voices called out audibly, Privilege!" the privileges of Parliament. Their enthuHe returned to Whitehall with his company siasm had of late begun to cool. The imof bravoes, who, while he was in the house, peachment of the five members, and the insult had been impatiently waiting in the lobby for offered to the House of Commons, inflamed it the word, cocking their pistols, and crying, to fury. Their houses, their purses, their "Fall on.' 19 That night he put forth a procla-pikes, were at the command of the Commons. mation, directing that the posts should be stop-London was in arms all night. The next day ped, and that no person should, at his peril, the shops were closed; the streets were filled venture to harbour the accused members. with immense crowds. The multitude pressed Hampden and his friends had taken refuge round the king's coach, and insulted him with in Coleman street. The city of London was opprobrious cries. The House of Commons, indeed the fastness of public liberty; and was, in the mean time, appointed a committee to in those times, a place of at least as much im- sit in the city, for the purpose of inquiring into portance as Paris during the French revolution. the circumstances of the late outrage. The The city, properly so called, now consists in a members of the committee were welcomed by great measure of immense warehouses and a deputation of the common council. Mercounting-houses, which are frequented by tra- chant Tailors' Hall, Goldsmiths' Hall, and ders and their clerks during the day, and left in Grocers' Hall were fitted up for their sittings. almost total solitude during the night. It was A guard of respectable citizens, duly relieved then closely inhabited by three hundred thou-twice a day, was posted at their doors. The sand persons, to whom it was not merely a place of business, but a place of constant residence This great body had as complete a civil and military organization as if it had been an independent republic. Each citizen A violent and sudden revulsion of feeling, had his company; and the companies, which both in the House and out of it, was the effect now seem to exist only for the delectation of of the late proceedings of the king. The Opepicures and of antiquaries, were then for-position regained in a few hours all the asmidable brotherhoods; the members of which cendency which it had lost. The constitutional were almost as closely bound together as the royalists were filled with shame and sorrow. members of a Highland clan. How strong They felt that they had been cruelly deceived these artificial ties were, the numerous and by Charles. They saw that they were unjustly, valuable legacies anciently bequeathed by citi- but not unreasonably, suspected by the nation. zens to their corporations abundantly prove. Clarendon distinctly says, that they perfectly The municipal offices were filled by the most detested the councils by which the king had opulent and respectable merchants of the king- been guided, and were so much displeased and dom. The pomp of the magistracy of the dejected at the unfair manner in which he had capital was second only to that which sur-treated them, that they were inclined to retire rounded the person of the sovereign. The Londoners loved their city with that patriotic Love which is found only in small communities, like those of ancient Greece, or like those which arose in Italy during the middle ages. The numbers, the intelligence, the wealth of the citizens, the democratic form of their local government, and their vicinity to the court and and to the Parliament, made them one of the most formidable bodies in the kingdom. Even as soldiers, they were not to be despised. In an age in which war is a profession, there is
sheriffs were charged to watch over the safety of the accused members, and to escort them to and from the committee with every mark of honour.
from his service. During the debates on this subject, they preserved a melancholy silence. To this day, the advocates of Charles take care to say as little as they can about his visit to the House of Commons; and, when they cannot avoid mention of it, attribute to infatuation an act, which, on any other supposition, they must admit to have been a frightful crime.
The Commons, in a few days, openly defied the king, and ordered the accused members to attend in their places at Westminster, and to resume their parliamentary duties. The