« PoprzedniaDalej »
They fived long upon horse-flesh, hides, leather, dogs and cats, hardly leaving an horse alive."Coke Detec. p. 78.
"He laid the foundation of an unhappy reign, not only in his dissimulation in the treaty of marriage, but much more by engaging to assist the French king with a fleet against the reformed in France; which he did, though the French broke their faith, in denying Mansfield to land his army, raised by England for the recovery of the Palatinate, at Calais."-Coke Det. p. 195.
But king Charles shortly after, upon a private pique of Buckingham his favourite, "without any kind of provocation Lord Clarendon owns, and upon a particular passion very unwarrantable."-Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 38,-was violently hurried into a war with France: "To satiate Buckingham's spite and revenge against Richlieu, for crossing him in his lust," as Coke avers, Coke Det. p. 5, 44. and will by and by appear. The protestants were allured by solemn promises from his majesty to depend upon his support. "He solicited the duke of Rohan to take up arms, and wrote a letter to the mayor, sheriffs, peers, burghers, &c. of Rochelle, encouraging them to hold out to the last; for I am resolved, he says, that all my fleet shall perish, rather than you shall not be relieved.-Be assured, I will never abandon you; and that I will employ all the force of my kingdom for your deliverance, until it please God to bless me with giving you an assured peace."- Echard, p. 440. Welwood, p. 72.
But that which followed ill suited these fine promises. "The English fleet under the command of the earl of Denbigh sailed to Rochelle, and finding there some French ships, would not assault thein, though fewer and weaker than themselves by many degrees; but after shewing them
selves only they returned and left Rochelle unrelieved."-Whitelock's Mem. p. 10. "Cardinal Richlieu, who was at the siege in person, was well informed that the fleet would not do him any great hurt, nor the city much good. For what the deputics (sent by the protestants to solicit succours at the English court) built in the day time with the king, the queen overthrew in the night; and kept the king her brother from receiving any damage."-Hist. Stu. p. 100. "The French were so alarmed at the invasion of the English under Buckingham at first, that their king offered the duke of Rohan and the Rochellers any terms, if they would join against the English; which they both (bravely) refusing, it occasioned both their ruin."-Coke Det. p. 48. For the ungenerous English monarch quickly makes peace with France; in which he sacrifices the poor Rochellers; "though they sent to implore his assistance with this pathetic expression, that what they now wrote was with their tears, and with their blood."-Echard, p. 440.
"The war against France was not more inconsiderately begun, than the peace made with it was secret. The first time it was made known was when the French king besieged Privas; he proclaimed the peace with his good brother of England. The reformed were astonished and confounded that the king of England, who had brought them into the war, should leave them out of the peace. Hereupon Provas surrendered, so does Castres and Nimes: the great Rohan is forced to submit and disband: the power of the reformed, in France, was thus rooted up."Coke Det. p. 90.
The particular passion, very unwarrantable, by which, Lord Clarendon says, the king was drawn into the war with France, his lordship and
Bishop Burnet thus relate. "The duke of Buckingham, in his embassy at that court, where his person and presence were wonderfully admired, had the assurance to dedicate his most violent affection to the queen of France, and to pursue it with most importunate addresses, and had a secret conversation with her. A jealousy of this arising, he was ordered immediately to leave the court.' In his return to England under this affront," he swore that he would see and speak with that lady, in spight of the strength and power of France. He thenceforward omitted no opportunity to incense the king against France, and to dispose him to assist the Hugonots, whom he likewise encouraged to give their king some trouble. King Charles sent one to treat with the duke of Rohan, their chief, about it; and promised them powerful assistance. So a war was resolved on. But the infamous part was, that Richlieu got the king of France to make his queen write an obliging letter to the duke of Buckingham, assuring him, that if he would let Rochelle fall without assisting it, he should have leave to come over, and settle the whole matter of the religion according to their edicts. Upon this, the duke made that shameful campaign of the Isle of Rhee. But finding next winter that he was not to be suffered to go over to France, and that he was abused into a false hope, he resolved to have followed that matter with more vigor, when he was stabbed by Felton at Portsmouth."-Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 38. Burnet's Hist. Vol. 1. p. 51. So that here we see the peace of the nation, and the lives of thousands of Britons, as well as of brave protestants in France, sacrificed by this weak prince to the guilty passion of "uckingham, his lewd audacious favourite.
"From this period of time," archdeacon Echard observes, "historians justly date the entire, though encreasing greatness of France, both as to her land and naval power. The great inconveniencies of which gave sufficient occasion for the complaints of the king's enemies at home and the protestant sufferers abroad.-His majesty had before been told in council, that it was less prejudicial to England to lose the kingdom of IRELAND, than to suffer the reduction of RoCHELLE, and the ruin of the protestant religion in France."-Echard, p. 440. So that this desertion of these brave protestants was as contrary to sound policy, as it was unspeakably dishonourable and infamous in the English court.
CHARLES designs to overthrow the CONSTITUTION, and to render himself absolute.
THAT it was the avowed design of this prince to overthrow the ancient constitution and government of this kingdom, and to make himself absolute and independent of parliaments, his whole history puts beyond all rational doubt.
"It was under the reign of Charles I. says the judicious Rapin, that the project to render the king absolute and independant of the laws was pushed with vigour, and every sail set to go on the faster. Buckingham his favourite filled his head with maxims contrary to the established government, and so was the cause of his ruin. That lord being assassinated, the king pursued
the design. He had taken it into his head that the nation might be governed without parliaments; or at least, that they were only the tools of the sovereign to furnish him with money. He had dissolved three in the four first years of his reign; and even signified his intention of calling no more. Twelve years passed without one parliament summoned; during which the king levied taxes upon his subjects at pleasure; and by his conduct discovered a design of reigning in an arbitrary manner. Unhappily for him, he took too near his person and council two men seasoned with the same maxims, who pushed him still further down the precipice, Laud archbishop of Canterbury, and Wentworth earl of Strafford."-Rapin, Vol. XIV. p. 406.
"He not only refused to redress such grievances as had crept in during his father's reign, but increased their number, by adding others more intolerable. He affected to let his subjects see, not only that he was not moved with their grievances, but that it was an offence to pray him to redress them. He gave to understand very plainly, both by his speeches and conduct, that he looked upon parliaments only assemblies appointed purely to supply him with money, and that in case of a refusal he might proceed without their assistance.”—Rapin, Vol. x. p. 9.
"In the first fifteen years of his reign continual breaches were made in the constitution, and the nation's liberties invaded. Within the space of a year two parliaments are summoned and dissolved in displeasure, for presuming to meddle with grievances, and call the king's ministers to account. In the fourth year of this reign, another parliament is also for the same reason dismissed, with a reproachful and threatening speech,