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more than the late monstrous iniquities which you dispute for, and patronise in England: but would you infer from thence, that the power of the devil is a just and lawful one; and that all men ought, as well as most men do, obey him i God is the fountain of all powers; but some flow from the right hand (as it were) of his goodness, and others from the left hand of his justice; and the world, like an island between these two rivers, is sometimes refreshed and nourished by the one, and sometimes over-run and ruined by the other; and (to continue a little farther the allegory) we are never overwhelmed with the latter, till, either by our malice or negligence, we have stopped and dammed up the former.
"But to come a little closer to your argument, or rather the image of an argument, your similitude. If Cromwell had come to command in Ireland, in the place of the late lord Strafford, I should have yielded obedience, not for the equipage, and the strength, and the guards which he brought with him, but for the commission which he should first have shewed me from our common sovereign that sent him; and, if he could have done that from God Almighty, I would have obeyed him too in England: but that he was so far from being able to do, that, on the contrary, I read nothing but commands, and even public proclamations, from God Almighty, not to admit him.
"Your second argument is, that he had the same
right for his authority, that is the foundation of all others, even the right of conquest. Are we then so unhappy as to be conquered by the person whom we hired at a daily rate, like a labourer, to conquer others for us i Did we furnish him with arms, only to draw and try upon our enemies (as we, it seems falsely thought them), and keep them for ever sheathed in the bowels of his friends? Did we fight for liberty against our prince, that we might become slaves to our servant? This is such an impudent pretence, as neither he nor any of his flatterers for him had ever the face to mention. Though it can hardly be spoken or thought of without passion, yet I shall, if you please, argue it more calmly than the case deserves.
"The right, certainly, of conquest can only be exercised upon those against whom the war is declared, and the victory obtained. So that no whole nation can be said to be conquered, but by foreign force. In all civil wars, men are so far from stating the quarrel against their country, that they do it only against a person, or party, which they really believe, or at least pretend, to be pernicious to it; neither can there be any just cause for the destruction of a part of the hody, but when it is done for the preservation and safety of the whole. It is our country that raises men in the quarrel, our country that arms, our country that pays them, our country that authorises the undertaking, and by that distinguishes it from rapine and murder; lastly, it is our country that directs and commands the army, and is indeed their general. So that to say, in civil wars, that the prevailing party conquers their country, is to say, the country conquers itself. And, if the general only of that party be the conqueror, the army, by which he is made so, is no less conquered than the army which is beaten, and have as little reason to triumph in that victory, by which they lose both their honour and liberty. So that, if Cromwell conquered any party, it was only that against which he was sent; and what that was, must appear by his commission. It was (says that) against a company of evil counsellors, and disaffected persons, who kept the king from a good intelligence and conjunction with his people. It was not then against the people. It is so far from being so, that even of that party which was beaten, the conquest did not belong to Cromwell, but to the parliament which employed him in their service, or rather indeed to the king and parliament, for whose service (if there had been any faith in men's vows and protestations) the wars were undertaken. Merciful God! did the right of this miserable conquest remain then in his majesty; and didst thou suffer him to be destroyed, with more barbarity than if he had been conquered even by savages and canibals! Was it for king and parliament that we fought; and has it fared with them just as with the army which we fought against, the one part being slain, and the other fled i It appears therefore plainly, that Cromwell was not a conqueror, but a thief and robber of the rights of the king and parliament, and an usurper upon those of the people. I do not here deny conquest to be sometimes (though it be very rarely) a true title; but I deny this to be a true conquest. Sure I am, that the race of our princes came not in by such a one. One nation may conquer another sometimes justly; and if it be unjustly, yet still it is a true conquest, and they are to answer for the injustice only to God Almighty (having nothing else in authority above them), and not as particular rebels to their country, which is, and ought always to be, their superior and their lord. Jf perhaps we find usurpation instead of conquest in the original titles of some royal families abroad (as no doubt there have been many usurpers before ours, though none in so impudent and execrable a manner), all I can say for them is, that their title was very weak, till, by length of time, and the death of all juster pretenders, it became to be the true, because it was the only one.
"Your third defence of his highness (as your highness pleases to call him) enters in most seasonably after his pretence of conquest; for then a man may say any thing. The government was broken; who broke it? It was dissolved; who dissolved it? It was extinguished; who was it, but Cromwell, who not only put out the light, but cast away even the very snuff of it? As if a man should murder a whole family, and then.possess himself of the house, because it is better that he, than that only rats, should live there. Jesus God! (said I, and at that word I perceived my pretended angel to give a start and trembled, but I took no notice of it, and went on) this were a wicked pretension, even though the whole family were destroyed ; but the heirs (blessed be God!) are yet surviving, and likely to outlive all heirs of their dispossessors, besides their infamy. 'Rode, caper, vitem, &c." There will be yet wine enough left for the sacrifice of those wild beasts, that have made so much spoil in the vineyard. But did Cromwell think, like Nero, to set the city on fire, only that he might have the honour of being founder of a new and more beautiful one ? He could not have such a shadow of virtue in his wickedness; he meant only to rob more securely and more richly in midst of the combustion; he little thought then that he should ever have been able to make himself master of the palace, as well as plunder the goods of the commonwealth. He was glad to see the public vessel (the sovereign of the seas) in as der sperate a condition as his own little canoe, and thought only, with some scattered planks of that great shipwreck, to make a better fisher-boat for himself. But when he saw that, by the drowning of the master (whom he himself treacherously knocked on the head, as he was swimming for his life), by the flight and dispersion of others, and cowardly patience of the remaining company, that all was abandoned to his pleasure; with the old