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treaties signed and broken, both parties once more had recourse to arms, and nothing but blood could satiate the contenders. War being thus resolved on, the king took every method, as before, for raising money to support it. Shipmoney was levied as usual; some other arbitrary taxes were exacted from the reluctant people with great severity; but one method of raising the supplies reflects immortal honour on those who contributed. The counsellors and servants of the crown lent the king whatever sums they could spare, and distressed their private fortunes to gratify their sovereign. These were the resources of the crown to prepare an army; but they were far from being sufficient; and there now remained only . one method more, the long-neglected method of parliamentary supply. It was now about eleven years since the king A. D. had called a parliament. The fierce and ungo- 1640. vernable spirit of the last had taught him to hate and to fear such an assembly; but all resources being exhausted, and great debts contracted, he was obliged to call another parliament, from which he had no great reason to expect any favour. The many illegal and the numerous imprudent steps of the crown, the hardships which several persons had suffered, and their constancy in undergoing punishment, had as much alienated the affections of the king's English as of his Scotish subjects. Instead of supplies the king was harassed with murmurs and complaints. The zealous in religion were pleased with the distresses of the crown, in its attempts against their brethren in opinion; and the real friends of the liberties of mankind saw, with their usual penetration, that the time was approaching when the royal authority must fall into a total dependence on popular
assemblies, when public freedom must acquire a full ascendant. The house of commons could not be induced to treat the Scots, who were of the same principles with themselves, and contended against the same ceremonies, as enemies to the state. They regarded them as friends and brothers, who first rose to teach them a duty which it was incumbent on all virtuous minds to imitate. The king, therefore, could reap no other fruits from this assembly than murmurings and complaints. Every method he had taken to supply himself with money was declared an abuse, and a breach of the constitution. Tonnage and poundage, ship-money, the sale of monopolies, the billeting soldiers upon refractory citizens, were all condemned as stretches of arbitrary power. The king, finding no hopes of redress, from the commons had recourse to the house of peers; but this was equally ineffectual with the former application. The king finding no hopes of a compliance with his request, but recrimination instead of redress, dissolved the parliament, to try more feasible methods of removing his necessities. The king having now made enemies of his Scotish subjects by controling them in their mode of worship, and of the commons by dissolving them, it remained to exasperate the city of London against him by some new imprudence. Upon their refusing to lend money to. carry on the war against the Scots, he sued the citizens in the Star-chamber for some lands in Ireland, and made them pay a considerable fine. He continued also to exact all the taxes against which every former parliament had remonstrated; but all was insufficient. A loan of forty thousand pounds was extorted from the Spanish merchants, who had bullion in the Tower, exposed to the attempts of the king. Coat and conduct money for the soldiers was levied on the counties; an ancient practice, but supposed to be abolished by the petition of right. All the pepper was bought from the East India company upon trust, and sold at a great discount for ready money. A scheme was proposed for coining two or three hundred thousand pounds of base money; and yet all these methods were far from being effectual. The Scots, therefore, sensible of the extremities to which he was reduced, led on an army of twenty thousand men as far as Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to lay their grievances before their sovereign, as they were pleased to term their rebellion. One of the most disgusting strokes in the puritanical character of the times, was this gentle language, and humble cant, in the midst of treason, and their flattery to their prince while they were attempting to dethrone and destroy him. To these troops, inspired by religion, flushed with some slight victories obtained over straggling parties of the royalists, and encouraged by the English themselves, among whom they continued, the king was able only to oppose a smaller force, new-levied, undisciplined, seditious, and ill paid. Being, therefore, in despair of stemming the torrent, he at last yielded to it. He first summoned a great council of peers to York; and, as he foresaw that they would advise him to call a parliament, he told them in his first speech that he had already taken that resolution. Having thus prepared for his misfortunes, he a short time after called that Nov. 3, long parliament which did not discontinue sit- 1640. ting till his ruin had been accomplished.
THE ardent expectations of men with regard to a parliament, at such a critical juncture, and during such general discontent, might naturally engage the attendance of the members on their duty. The house of commons was never, from its first institution, observed to be so numerous, or the assiduity of its members greater. Without any interval, therefore, they entered upon business; and, by unanimous consent, they struck a blow that might be regarded as decisive. Instead of granting the demanded subsidies, they impeached the earl of Strafford, the king's first minister, of high-treason. Pym, a tedious but sensible speaker, who at first opened the accusation against him in the house of commons, was sent up to defend it at the bar of the house of lords; and most of the house accompanied their member on so agreeable an errand. A. D. To bestow the greatest solemnity on this im1641. portant trial, scaffolds were erected in Westminster-Hall, where both houses sat, the one as judges, the other as accusers. Beside the chair of state, a close gallery was prepared for the king and queen, who attended during the whole trial. The articles of impeachment against him were twenty-eight in number; the substance of which was, that he had attempted to extend the king's authority at home, and had been guilty of several exactions in Ireland. But though four months were employed by the managers in framing the accusation, yet there appears very little just cause of blame in him, since the stretches of the king's power were made before he came into authority. However, the managers of the house of commons pleaded against him with vehemence stronger than their reasons, and summed up their arguments by insisting, that though each article, taken separately, did not amount to a proof, yet the whole taken together might be fairly concluded to carry conviction. This is a method of arguing frequently used in the English courts of justice even to this day; and perhaps none can be more erroneous; for almost every falsehood may be found to have a multiplicity of weak reasons to support it. In this tumult of aggravation and clamour, the earl himself, whose parts and wisdom had been long respectable, stood unmoved and undaunted. He defended his cause with all the presence of mind, judgement, and sagacity, that could be expected from innocence and ability. His children were placed beside him, as he was thus defending his life and the cause of his master. After he had, in a long and eloquent speech, delivered without premeditation, confuted all the accusations of his enemies; after he had endeavoured to show that, during his government in Ireland, he had introduced the arts of peace among the savage part of the people, and that, if his measures in England were harsh, he had been driven into them by necessity; after he had clearly refuted the argument upon the accumulated force of his guilt, he thus drew to a conclusion; “But, my lords, I have troubled you too long; longer than I should have done, but for the sake of these dear pledges, which a saint in heaven has left me.”—Upon this he paused, dropped a tear, looked upon his children, and proceeded:—“What I forfeit for myself is a trifle; that my indiscretions should reach my posterity, wounds me to the heart.—Pardon my infirmity—Something I should have added, but am not