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the Time of Parliament, and the Lords dispose of such Laws as they shall propose.
2. The next Thing that is required is Liberty of Speech, without which, Parliaments have little Force or Power : Speech begets Doubes, and refolves them, and Doubts in Schools gets Understanding; he that doubts much asketh often, and learns much, and he that fears the worst, soonest prevents a Mischief.
This Privilege of Speech is anciently granted by the Testimony of Philip. Comines, a Stranger, who prefers our Parliaments, and the Freedom of the Subject in them, above all other Affemblies, which, if it be broke or diminished, is negligently lost since the Days of Comines.
If Freedom of Speech should be prohibited, when Men with Modesty make Repetition of the Grievances and Enormities of the Kingdom, when
shall desire Reformation of Wrongs and Injuries committed, and have no Relation of evil Thought to his Majesty ; but with open Heart and Zeal express their dutiful and reverent Respect to him and his Service ; I say, if this kind of Liberty of Speech be not allowed in Time of Parliament, they will extend no further than to a Quarter-Sessions, and their Meetings and Assemblies will be unnecessary; so all Means of Disorder now crept in, and all Remedies and Redresses, will be quite taken away.
As it is no Manners to contest with the King in his Election of Counsellors and Servants (for Kings obey no Men, but their Laws) so were it a great Negligence, and Part of Treason, for a Subject not to be free in Speech, against the Abufes, Wrongs and Offences, that may be occasioned by Persons in Authority, what Remedy can be expected from a Prince to the Subject, if the Enormities of his Kingdom be concealed from him, or what King so religious or just, in his own Nature, that may not hazard the Loss of his Subjects, without this Liberty of Speech in Parliament? For such is the Misfortunes of most Princes, and such is the Unhappiness of Subjects, where King's Affections are settled, and their Loves so far transported to promote Servants, as they only trust and credit what they shall inform.
In this Case, what Subject dares complain, or what Subject dares contradict the Words or Actions of such a Servant, if it be not warranted by Freedom of a Parliament, they speaking with Humility? For nothing obtaineth Favour so much with a King as diligent Obedience. The third furest, and safest Way betwixt the King and his People, and least Scandal of Partiality, is, with Indifference, with Integrity and Sincerity, to examine the Grievances of the Kingdom, without touching upon the Person of
any Man, further than the Cause giveth Occasion; for otherwise, you shall contest with him that hath the Prince's Ears open to hearken to his enchanted Tongue ; he informs fecretly when you shall not be admitted to Excuse; he will caft your deserved Malice against him to your Contempt against the King, and seeking to lessen his Authority, he will make the Prince the Shield of his Revenge.
• These are the finister Practices of such Servants to deceive their Sovereigns. When these Grievances shall be authentically proved and made manifest to the World, by your Pains to examine, and Freedom to speak, no Prince can be fo affectionate to a Servant, or such an Enemy to himself, as not to admit of this indifferent Proceeding; if his Services be allowable and good, they will appear with Glory; if bad, your Labours shall deserve Thanks, both of Prince and Country. When Justice shall thus shine, People will be animated to serve their King with Integrity, for they are naturally inclined to imitate Princes, in good or bad ; the Words of Cicero will then appear, That malicious and evil Men make Princes poor, and one perfect good Man is able to make a Realm rich.
One Case I will instance that is common in the Mouths of all People, and generally (Vox Populi, Vox Dei eft) if one of Quality, in the last Expedition to the Ine of Rbee, endeavoured to conceal the Number of Men Toft in the last Encounter, and confidently affirmed their Number not to exceed three or four Hundred, until a Doctor of Physick, out of Tenderness of Conscience, and Duty to his Majesty, could not diffemble the vulgar and true Report, but acquainted his Majesty of two Thousand of his Subjects there lost. This was fo contrary to the first Information, and so displeasing to the Informer and his Designs, that he caused the Physician's Remove from his Highness's Pretence, who, yet remains in Kind of á banished Man.
The Truth of these two Reports is easily determined by the Clerks of the Bands of each Company, and is worthy to be discovered for Truth-Sake; Truth being so noble of itself, as it will make him honourable that pronounceth it; Lies may shadow it, but not darken it; they may blame, but never shame it.
By this small Precedent his Majesty shall see himself abused, and it may be a Mears for him to reflect both upon Men and Matter. The Men Nain are no less injured by concealing their Names, whose Lives were lost for King and Country.
The Romans would have held it the highest Honour for their Friends and Posterity so to die. And the Parliament may fear that those that stick not fo palpably to wrong a King, may as unjustly cast Aspersions upon the House, and other his loving Subjects.
There is no Remedy left for these Mif-reports but a Freedom of Speech in Parliament; for there is no wise Man that speaks, but knows what and when to speak, and how to hold his Peace, whilst Subjects Tongues are ty'd, for Fear they may reach him a Rap whose Conscience cries guilty: The King and his People are kept from Understanding one another, the Enemy is heartened Abroad, and the malignant Humours of Discontent nourished at Home ; and all for one who is like a Dragon, that bites the Ear of the Elephant, because he knows the Elephant cannot reach him with his Trunk ; and Princes are abused by false Reports whispered in their Ears by Syco-. phants and Flatterers. Diogenes being asked what Beast bit forest, anįwered, Of wild Beasts the Backbiter's, of Tame the Flatterer's.
Now to descend to Grievances, which are of two kinds, some concerning the Kingdom in general, some in particular, which have Relation to the general.
The grievances in General are so many in Number, as will serve for every Member of your House to present two a Piece to your Views; and because I cannot be admitted among you myself, yet in Regard I have been a Member of you, I will presume so far, as to rank myself with you, and to tender the Number of two to your Consideration.
My first Complaint is of Titles of Honour, and that in two kinds: First, in respect of the Parties themselves, their Estates and Parentage: Secondly, in respect of the Manner of their obtaining thereunto, which is mercenary, base, and corrupt, which in Reason should not hold, for, by Law, the Con. fideration is unlawful.
Trajan commends Plutarch for his Precepts in School, when he taught that Men should Labour to deserve Honours, but to avoid the getting of it basely; for if it were Reputation to have it by Desert, it was Infamy to buy it for Money ; in that Age where Rich Men were honoured, good Men were despised.
Honour is not to be valued, according to the vulgar Opinion of Men, but priz'd and esteemed, as the Sur-name of Virtue, ingendered in the Mind; and such Honour no King can give, or Money can purchase. He that will strive to be more honourable than others, ought to abandon Passion, Pride and Arrogancy, that so his Virtue may shine above others; for Honour confifts not in the Title of a Lord, but in the Opinion People have of his Virtue ; for it is much more Honour to deserve and not to have it, than to have it and not deserve it.
There is one of three Things that commonly causeth a Man's Advancement, Desert, Favour and Power: The first makes a Man worthy of it, the other two are but Abuses ; for Favour is but a blind Fortune, an Ounce of which at Court is better than a Pound of Wisdom; Fortune never favoureth, but flatcereth ; she never promiseth, but in the End she deceiveth ; she never raiseth, but she casteth down again, this Advancement is meeter to be called Luck chan Merit; thai Honour that is compaffed by Power, takes unto itself Liberty, and desires not to be govern'd by Wisdom but Force; it knows not what it Desires, nor hath a Feeling of any Injury; it is neither moved with sweet Words nor pitiful Tears; such Men live not to do Evil, because they have no Desire to it; but when their Power faileth to do it, the true Honour amongst the Honourable is, where Fortune casts down, where there is no Fault, but it is Infamy, when Fortune raiseth, where there is no Merit.
Examine the State and Condition of Men raised to Honour these 25 Years past, and whether it be Desert, Honour or Power that hath preferred them, enter into the Mischiefs the Kingdom hath suffered, and doth suffer by it; and the Cause of his Majesty's great Wants will soon appear; recollect with yourselves how many poor, base, and needy Companions have been raised to
the highest Top of Honour, yea, how many Will's, Jack's, Fockies, Georgies and James's have attained to the Degrees of Dukes, Earls, Viscounts and Barons, then will it appear, whether Desert, Favour or Power advanced them ; after this, examine their princely Expences in these 25 Years, their Estates in present, and what is requisite to maintain their future Degrees of Honour to themselves and their Posterity, and you shall find his Majesty's annual Revenues consumed and spent upon those unworthy Persons. Besides the impairing and impoverishing of the State, it brings with it the Contenipt of Greatnefs and Authority; it breeds an inward Malice in Gentlemen beiter deserving of their Country, better able to maintain the Degree of Honour, without Charge to King or Kingdom, and whose Houses and Alliances may better challenge than the best of them.
It breeds Discontent in the meaner Sort of Subjects, to see his Majesty's Wealth and Revenues of the Kingdom thus wasted and consumed, whereby his Majesty is inforced to exact from them, who would otherwise be able to help himself.
The antient and great Nobility of the Land cannot choose but inwardly fret, to see themselves ranked, yea overtopp'd by these Men, that once would have thought it an Honour to be a Follower of theirs.
The second Abuse of Honour is the base and mercenary buying of it ; observe commonly what these People are by Birth, and mark the Manner of their and their Fathers getting of Wealth to compafs this Title, and find them People most hateful, most odious to the Common-wealth by their Extortion, Usury, and other ungodly Kind of Getting, as you may instance in Roberts, Craven, Sanderson, and many others.
Can there be a greater Grievance to a noble Mind, than to see these upstart Families by their unsufferable Misery, Penury and Extortion, grown to Wealth, to precede the best of you in Rank, Degree and Calling, whose Ancestors have lost their Lives for King and Country; and yourselves in many Respects more able and capable of serving your Prince and CommonWealth than they, and every way better deserving.
The Character of a covetous Man, is that he getteth his Goods with Care and Envy of his Neighbours, with Sorrow to his Enemies, with Travel to his Body, with Grief to his Spirit, with Scruple to his Conscience, with Danger to his Soul, with Suit to his Children, and Curse to his Heirs, his Desire is to live poor, to die rich; but as these Vices are made Virtues, even so is he Honoured for them, with Title of Nobility.
It is a strange Ambition of some of them to purchase the Degrees of Earls, Viscounts and Barons of other Countries, as of Scotland and Ireland, only for the Name of a Lord, for no other Privilege they can challenge in England; if they commit any criminal Offences they shall be try'd by an ordinary Jury and hanged, if they stand in Danger of Arreft (as I think they are not much inrich'd by their Title) they are subject to Catch-poles, and a Dungeon in the Counter may be their Sanctuary.
And since their Pride makes them covet to divide themselves from you, and to become Scots and Irish, you can do no less in Requital, but make an Act, that so long as they hold the Title of Foreigners, they be made uncapable to set in the House of Parliament, or to enjoy any Freedom more than His Majesty's Subjects of Scotland or Ireland.
Few of you are there, that have not seen Nobility highly prised in England, and much esteemed Abroad; and none of you now liveth but do fee it abused, and Liberty with too great Familiarity in Use. The State of the Court, and Reputation of Lords, are much decay'd, and Bonednes with Contempt crept in and no Way to be redressed, but by a free and gentle Speech in Parliament, that so his Majesty may see the Mischief of it, and reform it, for it refts only in his Power, who only hath Power to create Honour.
When Philip the second, King of Spain, entered with Arms upon the Kingdom of Portugal, and that with his Sword he might have any fitting Laws, yet were there four Privileges, which the Portugals besought they might enjoy ; one whereof was, that the King would make no unworthy Person, Noble, or without their Approbation ; which was granted them, and to this Day they hold that Freedom which keeps that Kingdom in the antient State, Honour and Dignity, that is to say, two Dukes, one Marquis, and eighteen-Earls; and thus much for the Point of Honour.
The second Grievance I will recommend to your Views is the Carriage of our Wars, the excessive Charges vainly spent therein, the Unworthiness of the People imployed, the grave Experience neglected, the Designs not warranted by Reason and Discretion, and the Executions worse performed, with many other Circumstances that depend upon it.
But before I proceed herein, I must crave Leave to speak to two Points ; the one, to declare the Property and Condition of Impostors and Deceivers of Princes; in the other, I must clear the House of Parliament of an Imputation caft upon it.
Abusers of Princes are they, that perswade him to War, to become poor, when they may live in Peace, and become rich, when they may be loved, cause them to be hated, when they may enjoy their Lives securely, put thein in Hazard of cross Fortune ralhly, and lastly, having Necessity to use their Subjects, puts them into that Neceffity as they refuse to do for him; all this is Pride of the Perswader, as Socrates faith.
In the second, I will clear the Parliament (in which I was a Member) of an ungrateful Aspersion caft upon it, that is to say, that the Parliament was a Cause to draw his Majesty into War, and failed on their Parts to contribute towards it.
This has been often repeated, and the Parliament accused; the Contrary has been as often reiterated, and the Truth expressed how far the Parliament proceeded therein ; but to stop the Mouths of such false Reports, and to free the Parliament of much Calumniation, I must use this Argument.
At the Asembly of Oxford, the Parliament being prorogued thither, Money was required of us towards furnishing his Majesty's Fleet, then preVOL. III.