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had fled to York. Above forty peers of the first rank attend. ed the king,* whilst the house of lords seldom consisted of more than sixteen members. Near the moiety, too, of the lower house absented themselves from counsels which they deemed so full of danger. The commons sent up an impeachment against nine peers, for deserting their duty in parliament. Their own members, also, who should return to them, they voted not to admit till satisfied concerning the reason of their absence.
Charles made a declaration to the peers who attended him, that he expected from them no obedience to any commands which were not warranted by the laws of the land. The peers answered this declaration by a protest, in which they declared their resolution to obey no commands but such as were warranted by that authority. By these deliberate engagements, so worthy of an English prince and English nobility, they meant to confound the furious and tumultuary resolutions taken by the parliament.
The queen, disposing of the crown jewels in Holland, had been enabled to purchase a cargo of arms and ammunition. Part of these, after escaping many perils, arrived safely to the king. His preparations were not near so forward as those of the parliament. In order to remove all jealousy, he had resolved that their usurpations and illegal pretensions should be apparent to the whole world; and thought that to recover the confidence of the people was a point much more material to his interest, than the collecting of any magazines, stores, or armies which might breed apprehensions of violent or illegal counsels. But the urgent necessity of his situation no longer admitted of delay. He now prepared himself for defence. With a spirit, activity, and address, which neither the one party apprehended nor the other expected, he employed all the advantages which remained to him, and roused up his adherents to arms. The resources of this prince's genius increased in proportion to his difficulties, and he never appeared greater than when plunged into the deepest perils and distresses. From the mixed character, indeed, of Charles, arose in part the misfortunes in which England was at this time involved. His political errors, or rather weaknesses, had
* May, book ii. p. 59. + Rush. vol. y. p. 626, 627. May, book ü. p. 86, Warwick, p. 210
raised him inveterate enemies : his eminent moral virtues had procured him zealous partisans, and between the hatred of the one, and the affections of the other, was the nation agitat ed with the most violent convulsions.
That the king might despair of all composition, the parlia ment sent him the conditions on which they were willing to come to an agreement. Their demands, contained in nineteen propositions, amounted to a total abolition of monarchical authority. They required that no man should remain in the council who was not agreeable to parliament; that no deed of the king's should have validity unless it passed the council, and was attested under their hand ; that all the officers of state and principal judges should be chosen with consent of parliament, and enjoy their offices for life; that none of the royal family should marry without consent of parliament or council ; that the laws should be executed against Catholics ; that the votes of Popish lords should be excluded; that the reformation of the liturgy and church government should have place according to advice of parliament; that the ordinance with regard to the militia be submitted to; thạt the justice of parliament pass upon all delinquents; that a general pardon be granted, with such exceptions as should be advised by parliament; that the forts and castles be disposed of by consent of parliament; and that no peer be made but with consent of both houses. *
“Should I grant these demands," said the king in reply, “ I may be waited on bareheaded; I may have my hand kissed; the title of majesty may be continued to me ; and the king's authority, signified by both houses,' may still be the style of your commands; I may have swords and maces carried before me, and please myself with the sight of a crown and sceptre, (though even these twigs would not long flourish when the stock upon which they grew was dead ;) but as to true and real power, I should remain but the outside, but the picture, but the sign of a king.". † War on any terms was esteemed, by the king and all his counsellors, preferable to so ignominious a peace. Charles accordingly resolved to support his authority by arms. 66 His towns," he said, “ were taken from him, his ships, his arms, his money
* Rush. vol. v. p. 722. May, book ii. p. 54. † Rush. vol. v. p. 728. Warwick, p. 189
but there still remained to him a good cause, and the hearts of his loyal subjects, which, with God's blessing, he doubted not would recover all the rest." Collecting, therefore, some forces, he advanced southwards; and at Nottingham he erected his royal standard, the open signal of discord and c vil war throughout the kingdom
[1642.] WHEN two names so sacred in the English consti. tution as those of king and parliament were placed in opposition, no wonder the people were divided in their choice, and were agitated with the most violent animosities and factions.
The nobility and more considerable gentry, dreading a total confusion of rank from the fury of the populace, enlisted themselves in defence of the monarch, from whom they received and to whom they communicated their lustre. Ani. mated with the spirit of loyalty derived from their ancestors they adhered to the ancient principles of the constitution, and valued themselves on exerting the maxims, as well as inheriting the possessions of the old English families. And while they passed their time mostly at their country seats, they were surprised to hear of opinions prevailing with which they had ever been unacquainted, and which implied not a limitation, but an abolition almost total of monarchical authority.
The city of London, on the other hand, and most of the great corporations, took part with the parliament, and adopted with zeal those democratical principles, on which the pretensions of that assembly were founded. The government of cities, which even under absolute monarchies is commonly republican, inclined them to this party: the small hereditary influence which can be retained over the industrious inhabit. ants of towns, the natural independence of citizens, and the force of popular currents over those more numerous associations of mankind; all these causes gave their authority to the new principles propagated throughout the nation. Many familles, too, which had lately been enriched by commerce, saw with indignation that, notwithstanding their opulence, they could not raise themselves to a level with the ancient gentry : they therefore adhered to a power by whose success they hoped to acquire rank and consideration. *
And the new
* Clarendon, vol. üi. p. 4.
splendor and glory of the Dutch commonwealth, where liberty so happily supported industry, made the commercial part of the nation desire to see a like form of government established in England.
The genius of the two religions, so closely at this time interwoven with politics, corresponded exactly to these divis
The Presbyterian religion was new, republican, and suited to the genius of the populace: the other had an air of greater show and ornament, was established on ancient authority, and bore an affinity to the kingly and aristocratical parts of the constitution. The devotees of Presbytery became of course zealous partisans of the parliament: the friends of the Episcopal church valued themselves on defending the rights of monarchy.
Some men also there were of liberal education, who, being either careless or ignorant of those disputes bandied about by the clergy of both sides, aspired to nothing but an easy enjoyment of life, amidst the jovial entertainment and social intercourse of their companions. All these flocked to the king's standard, where they breathed a freer air, and were exempted from that rigid preciseness and melancholy austerity which reigned among the parliamentary party.
Never was a quarrel more unequal than seemed at first that between the contending parties : almost every advantage lay against the royal cause. The king's revenue had been seized from the beginning by the parliament, who issued out to him from time to time small sums for his present subsistence; and as soon as he withdrew to York, they totally stopped all payments. London, and all the seaports, except Newcastle, being in their hands, the customs yielded them a certain and considerable supply of money ; and all contributions, loans, and impositions were more easily raised from the cities, which possessed the ready money, and where men lived under their inspection, than they could be levied by the king in those open countries which after some time declared for him.
The seamen naturally followed the disposition of the seaports to which they belonged : and the earl of Northumber land, lord admiral, having embraced the party of the parliament, had appointed, at their desire, the earl of Warwick to be his lieutenant; who at once established his authority in the fleet, and kept the entire dominion of the sea in the hands of that assembly
All the magazines of arms and ammunition were from the