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direction to the late action, whose wounds are yetentable experience. It hath made an absolute bleeding, I mean the expedition to Rhé, of which breach between that state and us, and so enterthere is yet so sad a memory in all men ? What tains us against France, and France in preparadesign for us, or advantage to our state, could tion against us, that we have nothing to promise that impart?
to our neighbors, nay, hardly to ourselves. Next, You know the wisdom of your ancestors, and observe the time in which it was attempted, and the practice of their times, how they preserved you shall find it not only varying from those printheir safeties. We all know, and have as much ciples, but directly contrary and opposite to those cause to doubt [i. e., distrust or guard against] ends; and such, as from the issue and success, as they had, the greatness and ambition of that rather might be thought a conception of Spain kingdom, which the Old World could not satisfy.' than begotten here with us. Against this greatness and ambition, we like- (Here there was an interruption made by Sir wise know the proceedings of that princess, that Humphrey May, Chancellor of the Duchy and never-to-be- forgotten, excellent Queen Eliza- of the Privy Council, expressing a dislike; but the beth, whose name, without admiration, falls not House ordered Sir John Eliot to go on, whereinto mention even with her enemies. You know upon he proceeded thus :/ how she advanced herself, and how she advanced Mr. Speaker, I am sorry for this interruption, the nation in glory and in state ; how she de- but much more sorry if there hath been occasion pressed her enemies, and how she upheld her on my part. And, as I shall submit myself whol. friends; how she enjoyed a full security, and made ly to your judgment; to receive what censure you those our scorn who now are made our terror. may give me, if I have offended, so, in the integ
Some of the principles she built on were these; rity of my intentions and the clearness of my and if I mistake, let reason and our statesmen thoughts, I must still retain this confidence, that contradict me.
no greatness shall deter me from the duties I owe First, to maintain, in what she might, a uni- to the service of my king and country; but that, ty in France, that the kingdom, being at peace with a true English heart, I shall discharge mywithin itself, might be a bulwark to keep back self as faithfully and as really, to the extent of the power of Spain by land.
my poor power, as any man whose honors or whose Next, to preserve an amity and league be- offices most strictly oblige him. tween that state and us, that so we might come in You know the dangers of Denmark, and how aid of the Low Countries (Holland), and by that much they concern us; what in respect of our means receive their ships, and help them by sea. alliance and the country; what in the import
This triple cord, so working between France, ance of the Sound; what an advantage to our the States (Holland), and England, might enable enemies the gain thereof would be! What loss, us, as occasion should require, to give assistance what prejudice to us by this disunion; we breakunto others. And by this means, as the experi- ing in upon France, France enraged by us, and ence of that time doth tell us, we were not only the Netherlands at amazement between both !6 free from those fears that now possess and trouble Neither could we intend to aid that luckless king us, but then our names were fearful to our ene- Christian IV., of Denmark), whose loss is our mies. See now what correspondency our action disaster. had with this. Try our conduct by these rules. Can those (the King's ministers] that express It did induce, as necessary consequence, a di- their trouble at the hearing of these things, and vision in France between the Protestants and have so often told us in this place of their knowltheir king, of which there is too woful and lam- edge in the conjunctures and disjunctures of af. Protestant Christendom was indignant at these fairs—can they say they advised in this? Was wrongs; and the King of England was expected to this an act of council, Mr. Speaker ? I have more sustain the injured Elector on the double ground of 4 This refers to the expedition against the Isle of family alliance and a community of religion. These Rhé, respecting which see note 8. expectations had all been disappointed by the weak, 5 Christian IV., King of Denmark, as a leading indecisive, and fluctuating counsels of Buckingham. Protestant prince, and uncle to Elizabeth, wife of Twelve thousand English troops were indeed sent Frederick, the Elector Palatine, had entered warmto assist Frederick, ander Count Mansfeldt, but nearly into their cause, and marched with a large army ly all of them perished on the way, from mere want to reinstate them in the Palatinate. After some of foresight and preparation on the part of the En- partial successes, however, he was repulsed by the glish government. This wanton sacrifice of life is Austrians, driven back into his own dominions, and alladed to at the close of the speech in a single word reduced to imminent danger of being stripped of all
—“ Mansfeldt!"-a name which at that time smote his possessions. The English trade through the on the heart of the whole English nation. The ex- Sound into the Baltic, which was of great value, was pedition to the Isle of Rhé, mentioned in the next thus on the point of being entirely cut off by the essentence, will be explained hereafter.
tablishment of a hostile power on the ruins of Den3 To understand the force and beauty of this allu- mark. Yet England had done nothing to sustain her sion to Spain, we must go back to the time when ally, or to protect her rights and interests in that all Europe was filled with dismay at the power of quarter; and the English people were justly inthe Spanish arms on both continents. Few things censed against Buckingham for this neglect. in English eloquence, as Forster remarks, are finer 6 Here, as above, allusion is made to the disgrace. in expression or purpose, than this allusion and the ful expedition against the Isle of Rhé, by which subsequent train of thought, as addressed to English France was enraged, and no diversion in favor of men of that day.
Denmark either made or intended.
charity than to think it; and unless they make trouble you much; only this, in short. Was not confession of it themselves, I can not believe it. that whole action carried against the judgment
III. For the next, the insufficiency and un- and opinion of those officers that were of the faithfulness of our generals (that great disorder council ? Was not the first, was not the last, abroad), what shall I say? I wish there were was not all in the landing—in the intrenchingnot cause to mention it; and, but for the appre- in the continuance there—in the assault—in the bension of the danger that is to come, if the like retreat—without their assent? Did any advice choice hereafter be not prevented, I could will take place of such as were of the council? If ingly be silent. But my duty to my sovereign, there should be made a particular inquisition my service to this House, and the safety and hon- thereof, these things will be manifest and more. or of my country, are above all respects; and I will not instance the manifesto that was made, what so nearly trenches to the prejudice of these, giving the reason of these arms; nor by whom, must not, shall not be forborne.
nor in what manner, nor on what grounds it At Cadiz,' then, in that first expedition we was published, nor what effects it hath wrought, made, when we arrived and found a conquest drawing, as it were, almost the whole world ready—the Spanish ships, I mean, fit for the sat- into league against us. Nor will I mention the isfaction of a voyage, and of which some of the leaving of the wines, the leaving of the salt, chiefest then there, themselves have since as- which were in our possession, and of a value, as sured me, that the satisfaction would have been it is said, to answer much of our expense. Nor sufficient, either in point of honor or in point of will I dwell on that great wonder (which no Alprofit—why was it neglected? Why was it not exander or Cæsaro ever did), the enriching of the achieved, it being granted on all hands how seas- enemy by courtesies when our soldiers wanted ible it was?
help; nor the private intercourse and parleys Afterward, when, with the destruction of some with the fort, which were continually held. What of our men and the exposure of others, who they intended may be read in the success; and (though their fortune since has not been such), upon due examination thereof, they would not by chance, came off safe—wben, I say, with the want their proofs. loss of our serviceable men, that unserviceable For the last voyage to Rochelle, there need fort was gained, and the whole army landed, why no observations, it is so fresh in memory; nor was there nothing done? Why was there noth- will I make an inference or corollary on all. ing attempted ? If nothing was intended, where- Your own knowledge shall judge what truth or fore did they land ? If there was a service, where- what sufficiency they express. fore were they shipped again? Mr. Speaker, it IV. For the next, the ignorance and corrupsatisfies me too much si. e., I am over-satisfied] tion of our ministers; where can you miss of inin this case—when I think of their dry and hun- stances ? If you survey the court
, if you survey gry march into that drunken quarter (for so the the country; if the church, if the city be examsoldiers termed it), which was the period (term
open arms. But the Rochellers, having no previ. ination) of their journey—that divers of our men
ous arrangement with him on the subject, and prob. being left as a sacrifice to the enemy, that labor ably distrusting his intentions, refused to admit him was at an end.
into the town, and advised him to take possession For the next undertaking, at Rhé, I will not of the Isle of Rhé, in the neighborhood. This he
did, and immediately issued a manifesto, inciting the * Backingham, at the close of 1625, had fitted out Protestants throughout France to rebel against their a fleet of eighty sail
, to intercept the Spanish treas- government. Great indignation was awakened in ore-ships from America, to scour the coasts of Spain, Europe by this attempt to rekindle the flames of and destroy the shipping in her ports. Owing to the civil war in that country. His appeal was, unfor. atter incompetency of the commander, there was no tanately, successful. The Protestants in the south concert or subordination in the fleet. The treasure- of France rose almost to a man. A bloody conflict ships were not intercepted; but seven other large ensued, in which they were completely crushed, and and rich Spanish ships, which would bave repaid all their condition rendered far more wretched than be. the expenses of the expedition, were suffered to es- fore. Buckingham, in the mean time, conducted ev. cape, when they might easily have been taken. At ery thing wildly and at random. In October, a relength a landing was effected in the neighborhood enforcement of fifteen hundred men was sent out, of Cadiz, and the paltry fort of Puntal was taken. mentioned in the speech as “the last voyage to RoThe English soldiers broke open the wine-cellars chelle;" but the Duke was still repulsed, with loss of the country around, and became drunk and un- at every point, till he was compelled to return in manageable ; so that the Spanish troops, if they had disgrace, with the loss of one third of his troops, in known their condition, might easily have cut the the month of November, 1627. This speech was de. whole army to pieces. Their commander, as the livered in June of the next year, while the nation only course left him, retreated to the ships, leaving was still smarting under the sense of the disasters some bandreds of his men to perish under the knives and disgraces of this mad expedition. of the enraged peasantry.
9 This sneer at the generalship of Buckingham Backingham, from motives of personal resent. was keenly felt, and derived its peculiar force from ment against the French king, undertook, in June, the lofty pretensions and high-sounding titles he as. 1627, to aid the Huguenots at Rochelle, who were sumed. He had also made himself ridiculous, and in a state of open rebellion. He therefore sailed even suspected of treachery, by bis affectation of with a fleet of one hundred ships and seven thou- courtesy in the interchange of civilities with the sand land forces, taking the command of the expe- French commanders. To this Eliot alludes with dition himself, and expecting to be received with stinging effect in the remaining part of the sentence.
ined; if you observe the bar, if the bench, if the in the people, repletion in treasure, plenty of proports, if the shipping, if the land, if the seas—all visions, reparation of ships, preservation of men ihese will render you variety of proofs; and that our ancient English virtue, I say, thus rectified, in such measure and proportion as shows the will secure us; and unless there be a speedy regreatness of our disease to be such that, if there formation in these, I know not what hopes or exbe not some speedy application for remedy, our pectations we can have. case is almost desperate.
These are the things, sir, I shall desire to V. Mr. Speaker, I fear I have been too long in have taken into consideration ; that as we are these particulars that are past, and am unwilling the great council of the kingdom, and have the to offend you : therefore in the rest I shall be apprehension of these dangers, we may truly shorter; and as to that which concerns the im- represent them unto the King; which I conceive poverishing of the King, no other arguments will we are bound to do by a triple obligation-of I use than such as all men grant.
duty to God, of duty to his Majesty, and of duty The exchequer, you know, is empty, and the to our country. reputation thereof gone; the ancient lands are And therefore I wish it may so stand with the sold; the jewels pawned; the plate engaged ;wisdom and judgment of the House, that these the debts still great; almost all charges, both or- things may be drawn into the body of a REMONdinary and extraordinary, borne up by projects ! STRANCE, and in all humility expressed, with a What poverty can be greater? What necessity prayer to his Majesty that, for the safety of himso great ? What perfect English heart is not self
, for the safety of the kingdom, and for the almost dissolved into sorrow for this truth? safety of religion, he will be pleased to give us
VI. For the oppression of the subject, which, time to make perfect inquisition thereof, or to as I remember, is the next particular I proposed, take them into his own wisdom, and there give it needs no demonstration. The whole kingdom them such timely reformation as the necessity is a proof; and for the exhausting of our treas- and justice of the case doth import. ures, that very oppression speaks it. What waste And thus, sir, with a large affection and loyof our provisions, what consumption of our ships, alty to his Majesty, and with a firm duty and what destruction of our men there hath been; service to my country, I have suddenly (and it witness that expedition to Algiers'' — witness may be with some disorder) expressed the weak that with Mansfeldt—witness that to Cadiz, apprehensions I have ; wherein if I have erred, I witness the next-witness that to Rhé-witness humbly crave your pardon, and so submit mythe last (I pray God we may never have more self to the censure of the House. such witnesses)—witness, likewise, the Palatinate—witness Denmark-witness the Turks- The King, finding, after the delivery of this witness the Dunkirkers—WITNESS ALL! What speech, that he could no longer resist the delosses we have sustained! How we are im- mands of the Commons, gave his public assent paired in munitions, in ships, in men!
to the Petition of Right, on the 7th of June, 1628. It is beyond contradiction that we were nev- But he never forgave Sir John Eliot for his freeer so much weakened, nor ever had less hope dom of speech. At the expiration of nine months how to be restored.
he dissolved Parliament, determining to rule from These, Mr. Speaker, are our dangers, these that time without their aid or interference; and, are they who do threaten us; and these are, like two days after, committed Sir John Eliot and the Trojan horse, brought in cunningly to sur- other members to the Tower for words spoken prise us. In these do lurk the strongest of our during the sitting of Parliament. In this flagrant enemies, ready to issue on us; and if we do not breach of privilege, and violation of the Petition speedily expel them, these are the signs, these of Right, he was sustained by servile courts; and the invitations to others! These will so prepare Eliot, as "the greatest offender and ringleader,' their entrance, that we shall have no means left was sentenced to pay a fine of £2000, and be of resuge or defense ; for if we have these ene- imprisoned in the Tower of London. mies at home, how can we strive with those that After two years his health gave way under the are abroad? If we be free from these, no oth- rigor of his confinement. He then petitioned the er can impeach us. Our ancient English virtue King for a temporary release, that he might re(like the old Spartan valor), cleared from these cover strength; but this was denied him, unless disorders-our being in sincerity of religion and he made the most humbling concessions. He reonce made friends with heaven; having matu- fused, and sunk, at last, under the weight of his rity of councils, sufficiency of generals, incor- sufferings, at the end of three years, in Noveniruption of officers, opulency in the King, liberty ber, 1632, "the most illustrious confessor in the
cause of liberty,” says Hallam, "whom the times 10 Buckingham had taken the crown jewels and produced.” One of his sons petitioned for liberplate to Holland, and pawned them for £300,000. 11 Buckingham, some years before, had sent out his native soil, and received for answer these in
ty to remove his body to Cornwall for burial in an expedition for the capture of Algiers. It result. ed in a total failure, and so incensed the Algerines, sulting words, written at the bottom of his petithat the commerce of England suffered ten-fold loss tion: “Let him be buried in the parish where in consequence; thirty-five ships, engaged in the he died;" that is, in the Tower, the place of his Mediterranean trade, having been captured within imprisonment. No wonder that such a spirit a few months, and their crews sold for slaves. brought Charles to the block !
THE EARL OF STRAFFORD.
THAS WENTWORTH, first Earl of Strafford, was descended from an ancient family in Yorkshire, and was born at the house of his maternal grandfather, in London, on the 13th of April, 1593. At St. John's College, Cambridge, where he received his education, he was distinguished not only for the strength and versatility of his genius, but for his unwearied efforts to improve his mind by the severest discipline, and especially to prepare himself for the duties of public life, as an orator and a statesman. The leading features of his character were strongly marked. He had an ardor of temperament, a fixedness of will, a native impetuosity of feeling, and a correspondent energy of action, which united to make him one of the most daring and determined men of the age. To those who rendered him the deference he expected, who were ready to co-operate in his plans or become subservient to his purposes, he was kind and liberal. But he was quick and resentful when his will was crossed ; and even Clarendon admits that "he manifested a nature excessively imperious."
He was trained from childhood, to a belief in those extravagant doctrines respecting the royal prerogative, which were so generally prevalent at that day. It was therefore natural that Wentworth, in entering on public life, should seek employment at Court. The King seems, from the first, to have regarded him with favor ; but Buckingham, who was then in power, was secretly jealous and hostile. Hence he was treated at times with great confidence, and raised to important offices, and again stripped suddenly of his employments, and subjected to the most mortifying rebuffs. Under these circumstances, he came out for a time as patriot,” and joined the popular party. That he did so, however, only in opposition to Buckingham, as the most effectual means of putting down a rival—that there was no change in his principles, no real sympathy between him and the illustrious men who were resisting the tyranny of Charles, is obvious from his subsequent conduct, and from the whole tenor of his private correspondence, as afterward given to the world. But such was the strength of his passions, and the force of imagination (s0 characteristic of the highest class of orators) with which he could lay hold of, and for the time being, appropriate to himself, all the principles and feelings which became his new character, that he appeared to the world, and perhaps even to himself, to have become a genuine convert to the cause of popular liberty. In the Parliament of 1627–8, during the great discussion on the public grievances, he came forth in all his strength, " amid the delighted cheers of the House, and with a startling effect on the Court.” After entering upon the subject with a calm and solemn tone befitting the greatness of the occasion, he rose in power as he advanced, until, when he came to speak of forced loans, and the billeting of soldiers upon families, he broke forth suddenly, with that kind of dramatic effect which he always studied, in a rapid and keen invective, which may be quoted as a specimen of his early eloquence. “ They have rent from us the light of our eyes ! enforced companies of guests, worse than the ordinances of France ! vitiated our wives and children before our eyes ! brought the Crown to greater want than ever it was in, by anticipa
· This is shown at large by Mr. Forster in his Life of Strafford, which forms part of Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia.
ting the revenue! and can the shepherd be thus smitten, and the sheep not scattered? They have introduced a Privy Council, ravishing at once the spheres of all ancient government ! imprisoning without bail or bond! They have taken from us —what shall I say? Indeed, what have they left us? They have taken from us all means of supplying the King, and ingratiating ourselves with him, by tearing up the roots of all property; which if they be not seasonably set again into the ground by his Majesty's hand, we shall have, instead of beauty, baldness!"
He next, in the boldest language, proposes his remedy. “By one and the same thing hath the King and the people been hurt, and by the same must they be cured: to vindicate—What? New things ? No! Our ancient, lawful, and vital liberties, by re-enforcing the ancient laws, made by our ancestors; by setting such a stamp upon them, that no licentious spirit shall dare hereafter to enter upon them. And shall we think this a way to break a Parliament ? No! our desires are modest and just. I speak truly for the interests of the King and the people. If we enjoy not these, it will be impossible to relieve him.” Let no man,” said he, in conclusion, “judge this way'a break-neck' of Parliaments ; but a way of honor to the King, nay, of profit; for, besides the supply we shall readily give him, suitable to his occasions, we give him our hearts—our hearts, Mr. Speaker ; a gift that God calls for, and fit for a King."
In the same spirit, he united with Eliot in urging forward the PETITION OF Right; and when the Lords proposed an additional clause, that it was designed “ to leave entire that sovereign power with which his Majesty is intrusted,” he resisted its insertion, declaring, “ If we admit of the addition, we leave the subject worse than we found him. These laws are not acquainted with Sovereign Power!
The Court were now thoroughly alarmed. But they knew the man. There is evidence from his own papers, that within ten days from this time, he was in negotiation with the speaker, Finch ; and “almost before the burning words which have just been transcribed, had cooled from off the lips of the speaker, a transfer of his services to the Court was decided on.” In a few days Parliament was prorogued ; and shortly after, Sir Thomas Wentworth was created Baron Wentworth, and appointed a member of that same Privy Council which he had just before denounced, as "ravishing at once the spheres of all ancient government !" The death of Buckingham about a month after, placed him, in effect, at the head of affairs. He was made a Viscount, and Lord President of the North; and at a subsequent period, Lord Deputy, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Earl of Strafford.
The twelve years that followed, during which Charles undertook to reign with. out the aid of Parliaments, were filled up with arbitrary exactions, destructive monopolies, illegal imprisonments, and inhuman corporal punishments, which Strafford was known to have recommended or approved; while his presidency in the North was marked by numerous acts of high-handed injustice, and his government of Ireland carried on with such violence and oppression as “gave men warning," in the words of Clarendon, “ how they trusted themselves in the territories where he commanded.”
In 1640 Charles was compelled by his necessities to convene another Parliament. The day of retribution had at length arrived. The voice of three kingdoms called for vengeance on the author of their calamities ; and not a man was found, except Charles and Laud, to justify or excuse his conduct. Even Digby, who sought only to save his life, speaks of Strafford, as a name of hatred in the present age by his practices, and fit to be made a name of terror to future ages by his punishment.' At the moment when, governed by his accustomed policy, he was preparing to
Alluding to the threats of the Parliament being dissolved for their freedom of speech.