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strange (a hundred and forty poll-men as we thought last night considered) does not move thee. Thou, as thy friends, hast a conscientious regard for England; and to be put aside by such base ways is really a suffering for righteousness. Thou hast emparked thyself with them that seek, and love, and choose the best things; and number is not weight with thee. 'Tis late, I am weary, and hope to see thee quickly. Farewell.'
A petition on behalf of Sydney was sent to the House of Commons. Terror of the Popish plot had spread, and seldom before had England returned so implacable and intolerant a parliament. Another crisis soon came on. Monmouth had been sent into banishment, and his mother branded as a wanton. These acts of the Catholic party added fuel to the flame :-and the Houses met in a most threatening mood. Their rage was prompt. Danby was committed to the Tower. The Duke of York was banished the realm. The Whigs—the party led by Shaftsbury and Russell-were on the eve of a decisive victory-when Charles again dissolved.
Sydney prepared to stand again, but not for Guildford. Penn, after riding much about the southern counties, testing the feeling of constituencies, urged him to try the rape of Bramber, where the name of Sydney bore with it assurance of success. The rape of Bramber lay within five miles of Worminghurst, where the Penns had strong connexions; Springetts, Ellwoods, Faggs, Temples; and on all of whom they felt that they might count. Penn fell to work with zeal, and in a few days all these families were in Sydney's camp. He tried to enlist the Pelhams in the same cause, though in a recent county election he bad opposed that family in favour of Sir John Fagg. As soon as the writs were out, Penn rode to Bramber. Quick and ardent he communicated his own zeal to others, and with Sir John Fagg and Sir John Temple as his helpers, he commenced an active canvass. When he spoke of Sydney's virtues things looked well; but when his partners in the canvass treated the men to beer in Sydney's name, they looked much better. As the rape of Bramber had scarcely a hundred inhabitants, it was not difficult to treat them all. Captain Goring the Court candidate, broached his ale and tossed his cakes. Parsons, the second liberal candidate, treated for himself and Sydney also; meaning, if he saw no chance of carrying both seats, to yield in Sydney's favour at the poll. Both Fagg and Temple thought their friend's election sure.
In this emergency, the Court resorted to the vilest arts. Knowing the influence which the name of Sydney exercised, Lord Sunderland, whose genius now directed every movement at the palace, formed the plan of opposing brother to brother -arraying one Sydney against another Sydney. Sunderland, being Sydney's nephew, was aware of the divisions in his family. He knew that Henry Sydney, weak by nature, would do anything to please the King. Henry had received some proofs of royal favour, and had reason given him to hope for more. He had been graciously allowed to buy Godolphin's place of Master of the Robes for six thousand pounds. He had been sent to Holland as envoy extraordinary to the Prince of Orange. He could not quarrel with Whitehall; and so he let his name be put up by his brother's foes.
When this design was whispered in the rape of Bramber, Penn would not believe it. But he knew the danger, should report prove true; for the first effect of it would be to carry the Pelham interest to the other side. Penn felt that no time should be lost, and urged on Sydney the importance of his coming down at once :
• Dear Friend, I am now at Sir John Fagg's, where I and my relations dined. I have pressed the point with what diligence and force I could ; and, to say true, Sir John Fagg has been a most zealous, and, he believes, a successful friend to thee. But, upon a serious consideration of the matter, it is agreed that thou comest down with all speed, but that thou takest Hall-Land in thy way, and bringest Sir John Pelham with thee,which he ought less to scruple, because his having no interest can be no objection to his appearing with thee; the commonest civility that can be is all desired. The borough has kindled at thy name, and takes it well. If Sir John Temple may be credited, he assures me it is very likely. He is at work daily. Another, one Parsons, treats to-day, but for thee as well as himself, and mostly makes his men for thee, and perhaps will be persuaded, if you two carry it not, to bequeath his interest to thee, and then Captain Goring is thy colleague; and this I wish, both to make the thing easier and to prevent offence. Sir John Pelham sent me word, he heard that thy brother Henry Sydney would be proposed to that borough, or already was, and till he was sure of the contrary, it would not be decent for him to appear. Of that thou canst best inform him. That day you come to Bramber, Sir John Fagg will meet you both; and that night you may lie at Wiston, and then, when thou pleasest, with us at Worminghurst.'
Penn wrote a second letter to Pelham to pro
test against the scandal of Henry's name being used in his absence to the prejudice of Algernon; expressing his fears that this ungenerous act would lead to greater feuds in the Sydney family. Sunderland moved the wires at will; and what with feasting and drinking—the Pelhams contributing half a fat buck-the men of Bramber were divided at the poll. Henry obtained as many votes as his brother. Algernon got the casting voice, and was declared duly returned. Penn now considered his friend about to take his seat, where his counsels and bis example might be of service to his country. But as soon as the Houses met, his return was cancelled by a court intrigue.
This second disappointment made a deep im. pression on the mind of Penn. It drove the rage of Guildford from his thoughts. That Dalmahoy should be willing to take advantage of an honest adversary, that a petty official, whom the court could make or mar at pleasure, should be ready to stain his fame, were things conceivable to him. But that a nephew and a brother-members of an illustrious house, and men whom he had known for years—-should serve the purpose of a base cabal, to the dishonour of their blood, these things were inconceivable to him. If the nearest relatives of Sydney would not pause at such an act of baseness, what was left for virtue but to flee away from a corrupt society and court?
A New COUNTRY (1680). Turning from the rape of Bramber and the gal. lery of Whitehall, Penn looked in mind across the ocean. He had made another effort; he had failed; but though he never sank in hope, he felt that there was hardly room in England for a new experiment in freedom to be made. The people were too much divided; some too rich and some too poor; some too learned, some too ignorant; for a frame of government in which every man ought to be the equal of every other man. On finding that a trial could not well be made in England, Penn adopted the romantic scheme of giving up his fortune and his future life to trying this experiment in lands beyond the sea.
In place of the great sums of money due to his deceased father-not a penny of which had yet been paid–he offered to accept a stretch of desert, lying backwards towards the unknown west, beyond the Delaware. This tract was then a wil. derness, with here and there a house of wood and thatch, in which some Dutch or Swedish farmer lived. To this wild country he proposed to lead out a colony of citizens, to seek those fortunes and enjoy those liberties in the New World which the evil passions of the older world denied them. There was poetry and chivalry in such a thought. The soldier of Kinsale, with the adventurous genius of his race, would be in modern times a hero of romance. To be a leader of adventurers was not bis highest aim. He wished to found in that wilderness a Free Colony for all na