Obrazy na stronie

army, and

we; presbyterians, that inabled you to your impious illegal courses of slaughter, plunder, and sequestration, contrary to the known laws of this realm, yourselves know it very well, against the King and his servants, who, lan now persuaded in my conscience, being farther discerning than ourselves, aimed at nothing, but bringing you to the trial of the law for your treasons, that we might enjoy the benefit of the laws of our land, and the protestant religion, as it stood established by our law. God forgive us our amisnesses.

I pray you, if a man might ask your high and mightinesses a question, what meant your displacing of the Earl of Essex, and your after poisoning him ; (for it is certain you did so, many of us know it, deny it as much as you will) and your putting of your

scoundrel their mechanick captains, under the command of Fairfax and Cromwell, two atheistical independents ? What meart your late force done upon our city, and the eleven members, your displacing and imprisoning our lord mayor and aldermen? For it was you that went away to the army that set on them, though now you say, you knew nothing of the last plot. Had those that were cavalierish plaid us such tricks of leger-de-main, we would have cast in their teeth - What not }

But you, our dear brethren, are men of another stamp, yet it is hard to say, whether barrel better herring. I hope you did it out of simplicity, with a good, charitable, pure intent, to promote and set forward the holy cause. You would fain say something for yourselves, but I know not what: you meant well; but the ape hath discovered himself to be so, by cracking of nuts. Thus doth malice, ambition, and indiscreet zeal, make many men lose their wits they know not where. Indeed, such tricks befit well your independent cause, not to be promoted, but by collusion; but your transported saucy spirits may haply, in the end, be taught to be more submiss, and sparing in abusing them, trom whom you had your power. You would fain come off with us now, but stay a little, good Mr. Mufties; you thought it easy to inslave us English, to strangle in the birth our classical projects, our consistorial practices, and conventual designs of zealous brethren in the land ; such illuminates you counted us; you sure thought our brains made of the pap of an apple, and our hearts of aspen-leaves: religion, which should be the rule, must be only a result of policy, a stalking-horse to catch fools, and be pretended only to serve Babylonian turns. But go you, serve Baal and Ashtaroth, if ye like it; we will no popular cantonings of dismembered scripture ; none of your missives prophetical determin. ations in their heretical conventicles; we will not build our salvation upon the facing impudence of such light skirts, such hellish impostors; let the truth they twach, and your parliamentary proceeding, come to scanning, the Turkish Alcoran, and Cade's, and Ket's, and Piercy's, and Nevil's actions will be as warrantable, as suitable with the word of God, and law of this land. Though you have eclipsed the lamp of light, you must not think us as geese, which, when they are driven on by night, and a long staff held over them, will go without noise or reluctancy, bolding down their heads: we, protestants, are not so crest-fallen, as that we shall go on, as you independents would dispose us; if your gifted men, with their new learning, for old they have none, can teach us more than yet we know, or you, with your new policy, can contrive us better laws than those we have, we will yield, and thank them for such instructions, you for such legislations. I beseech you, will your wisdoms, or common sense, or understanding, or what you will call it, approve of nothing in our common-prayer book, that you present us with an inane nihil, a new Directory of a noddy synod, or find you so many deficiencies in monarchical government, that you should seek to introduce an ochlocracy, a people sway? You know the King can do no wrong, and we know, that by him we had redress, which very few could obtain from you or your officers, of wrongs, why then sought you to depose him, and to change the regal government? O, it was to crown yourselves, and undo us. But hear ye, sequitur superbos ultor a tergo Deus, if you believe there is one, pride will have a fall. Lo! even the very touching of the crown hath already crushed you, hath made the people every where forsake you, and all the wiles and flatteries in your bosoms will not regain them. Would you not give the Maker leave to dispose of his creature? Shall not he govern by what substitutes he pleases, but they must be supplanted by you? Behold, ye misborn elves of Lucifer, your impious actions; in this very thing ye join yourselves unto Apollyon, ye incamp against God that made you, and know .assuredly, that, though ye may escape punishment in this life, ye must die, and rise, and come to judgment; but we hope our brethren of Scotland will shew you the suburbs of hell in this world. Our people see enough now your jugglings, and how you turn cat in the pan, and shift off things from yourselves to your army. Yet, while ye seemed to look and run two several ways, and now ye do so again, but, likc Sampson's foxes, ye joined together in the tail. We observed, how that the army, when the kingdom murmured at the surprisal of the city, professed themselves your servants, and your carriage of those businesses, and that you, and the heads of your army, have since taken an oath, to live and die together; and that you shift off the imprisonment of our lord-mayor and aldermen from yourselves to Fairfax, and he to you again; but they must lie in prison howsoever, they must not be restored unto their places. I pray you, whose hands then will the militia and Tower be in, if they be restored, presbyterians or independents ? Take notice, my fellow citizens, of this slur; if we should assist them in another war, we should again be baffled and muffled by them.

We remember that ordinance of yours, in or about August last, wherein you threaten imprisonment, plunder, and slaughter, by Fairfax and his army, unto those that shall refuse to pay any of your illegal, and, now that the war is ended, unnecessary impositions, by way of excise, loan, inizes, weekly and monthly assessments; though, to go after the rest of levies, the advancement of yourselves and imple. ments, and your brals, not publick service of the kingdom. I pray you, may I ask your knaveships (neither better nor worse, but even so) how stands that ordinance with our liberties and properties, the two wonted sons of your former declarations ? And you have, the other week, stopped the payment of debentures, and pensions, to those that have lost their limbs and husbands in your service, to let us see which way our

monies must go, and your soldiers what they shall have at last from you.

We guess the reason of your sending away the King to the Isle of Wight; the people's hearts were tuo much hazarded, when he was near; yourselves, and your taxations, could not be long enough lived; you feared petitions and impeachments, if he should get power to call you to his bar, and that your accounts should be reviewed : You have carried yourselves well in your places the while, have you not? Or thought you to tutor him, with a bit and a bob, into observance of you, as men do apes? When you had him there, and mued up in a stinking newbuilt room, under seven locks, and made him his own scullion, when his fire wanted repair, and Haman bestowed some buffets on him, and all appearance of succour kept from him, you thought he would, for his enlargement, do any thing; but know you, we take notice what it was you would have had him done, and of these your subtle ways to bring it to pass; that, which you sollicited him for, was the signing of the four bills, which bad been, if you could have forced it from him, the utter ruin of us all, and of our posterity after us; you would have brought us into a worse condition than Turkish slaves; you would have had more power from the King to abuse (now you have a rascal army in readiness to inforce) than himself, or any of his predecessors, had to use over this free-born nation. What Mordecai's would not have bowed to you? Or whoever should impeach you of evil, should have been straightway made more miserable than Job; the Sabæans, your committees, should fall upon his oxen, his cows, and sheep; your sequestrators should fall upon his rents, and the Chaldeans should fall upon his camels; your troops should fall upon his horses, and you yourselves would starve him in prison; you would find some publick use for his private estate. We thank you heartily for your good projects; Are ihese they you have been these seven years in hatching? If the King had signed you those bills, how should any man make his will, and bar you from being his executors? But we hope God, in his due time, will release us, and pay you the wages of your wicked ways; our King's suffering for us shall for the future teach us our duty better towards him : We know what offers of gracious acts he hath from time to time proposed; but, because they were conducing to our good, not your ambition and avarice, therefore you refused them, and say they were not fit for you to receive.

We think yet upon your late declaration against him, when you had before-hand traduced him all over the countries, by your miscreant imps of the father of lyes, trooping independents, as guilty of his late father's death, and shut him up, not giving him leave to answer it, or so much as notice of it, but bidding Haman tell him you would try hfm for his life: This was an honest part in you, was it not? Yes, like as honest as your other dealings; you drew low upon the lees of malice, when you had nothing left but a recapitulation of former lyes and slanders; you shall have thanks for it, yes marry

Send again your petitions to Taunton-Deane, in Somersetshire, and Rumford, in Essex, or somewhere else, happily somebody may thank you now; Will you take my counsel, and thank one another: So shall you not go without thunks, You rake-shames, hot-burning coals be your portions,

shall ye.


you deal so basely and treacherously with your King; what jusé tice may yonr fellow subjects, a little while your slaves, look for from you? But what may men expect from impudence aud wickedness in the abstracts ; from men (do I say men) from devils, from things worse that devils, so often guilty of perjury, murder, robbery, oppression, and treason? You cursed caitiffs, how suits this with the law of God or of the land, with your protestation and your covenant? You would seem to alledge many reasons for that declaration, but those, that moved you thereto, were much otherwise than those you lay down; they were the final accomplishment of your first intended treasons, the extirpation of monarchical government, the coronation of yourselves, and our slavery; which to bring about, now that you had lost yourselves in our opinions, you devised this recapitulation of your pristine forgeries, with which you had formerly befooled us all; confiding, it would put out of our memories the late seals of your leger-de-main dealings, and reprint in us those jealousies and disaffections towards our gracious sovereign, which in several they did before: But stay, since he chuseth rather to endure your disconsolate prison, than pass you such bills as may be ours and our children's ruin ; you must (rake you hell for lyes, and skum the devils) never more look again to divide our hearts from bim; you have discovered yourselves tvo far, to regain any interest in our afe fections ; we would enjoy our religion and our laws, which we must not lonk to do, until we get you to the block and gallows. When we looked for a settlement of our King and kingdom, lo! you false your words, and break covenant with our brethren of Scotland; you provide arms and snap-snacks, and prepare for more wars. Never were rakehells, buffoons, rebels, vermin, so desperately set to undo their own native soil, and church in which they were baptized ; but we know the reason, ye live too well, ye fare too full, ye can have your feasts, each day, of all the dainty cates our city-cookery can devise; ye grow too fat in bag and body, by fishing in troubled waters, to desire peace; neither regard ye the empty purses, and hungry bellies, that ye have made in the city, especially since your lurching it out of the presbyterians command. Ye may see if ye would, but ye will not, multitudes of thousands, who formerly had trading and work enough for subsistence, now sit hungerstarved in chimney.corners, without employment to get them bread. Ye know, that, since ye took the Tower and militia from us, and sent away our King, the city hath had no trading, and yet ye send not for bim home; but ye can send for your taxations, as if our trade were good : Ye have made this famous city of London not only poor, but the very scorn and mock of all the world, by your force done upon it in August; and, as if ye had not then enough wronged our honour, ye must, the other day, triumph and lord it through our streets with a handful of your scummy army; and, in derision, as ye passed along, bid us go buy more swords for our apprentices. Had ye not meddled in the business, but made use of us, we could have ruled them without slaughter, and would ; but, so ye may peer it, ye weigh not our dishonour, nor their blood.

I may seem a new Britannicus for thus phrasing you, but it was ever held lawful to call a spade a spade; it is good to uncase such imps,

that they may be known what they be; it is good to discover such panthers, lest, when you have allured more with the sweet scent, and party-colouredness of skin (I mean your calumnies against our friends, and your sugared declarations) you, as these beasts, prey upon them with bloody tallons, as already you have done upon us. St. Paul gave not Elymas any gentle terms, nor did St. Peter speak butter and honey to Simon Magus; our Saviour himself, that man of meekness, called Herod a fox, and Judas a devil, when they deserved it. Since ye aim not at peace, but make it your whole endeavour, your special study, day and night, by all kind of iniquity, to keep faction and sedition on foot, and maintain opposition, even where it needs not, ye are to be curried in your kind, and rubbed as ye des re; not to be smoothed or sleeked over, lest ye please yourselves too well in your impiety, and our oppression never have redress. Ye talked much in the beginning of your sessions, that ye would open obstructions of law, not stop the course of justice and equity; but hear a little your own falshood, and go chew the cud, as when ye receive letters from Scotland.

Give us leave to let our neighbours understand the suits late in chan. çery, betwixt onc Wilkes, and one Dutton, of the neighbourhood of Nantwich in Cheshire, and two knaves, providers of your independent faction there, one Becket, and one Gellicorse: the business was thus : Wilkes and Dutton, good honest presbyterians, had much cattle and cheese taken from them in the time of the war, by Becket and Gellicorse, without any order from the council of war there; and the goods not converted to the use of the publick, as was pretended, but embezzled by the two providers; now since that the courts were opened, Wilkes and Dutton repair to the chancery, for relief, the exchequer at Chester being not as then open, or not daring to meddle with any of yours, for fear of a snub; and Becket, for himself and Gellicorse, hasteth to Sir William Brereton, goodly Sir William Brereton, who forthwith makes relation of the matter unto you, his brethren, of the two houses; and you (all of you apprehensive enough, of what might betide yourselves, and your honest committees, as well as the providers, if such suits had audience, presently dispatch a private ordinance unto all the courts, then open in the kingdom, commanding that no lawyer should plead, nor judge determine in any such cause; whereupon, the plaintiffs were sent home with double loss, cast thus unjustly in charges, and many threats for desiring justice; and their sollicitor forced to fly the court for looking after the business. Was this honest dealing? Was this an opening or obstructing of law? Tell now, and call yourselves knaves. Ye are brave men to steer a state, are ye not? The city and kingdom both have known enough of such like seizures; but we shall straight find a way to strip Æsop's magpy out of her plundered plumes.

You made out many ordinances, that your under officers should not wrong the publick, by vertue of any act, order, or ordinance of parliament, or without warrant; by taxing, levying, collecting, or receiving ; by seizing, selling, disbursing, or disposing any monies, goods, debts, rents, or profits of friends or others, or by setting or letting to farm delinquents lands and tythes. But you never held them to tħe observation of such your rules, nor punish any frauds or misdemeanors in

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