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a majority of a hundred and twenty-nine against eightythree, that his concessions were a foundation for the houses to proceed upon, in the settlement of the kingdom. This was the last attempt in his favour: for the next day colonel Pride, at the head of two regiments, blockaded the house, and seized in the passage fortyone members of the presbyterian party, and sent them to a low room belonging to the house, that passed by the denomination of Hell. Above a hundred and sixty members more were excluded; and none were allowed to enter but the most furious and determined of the independents, in all not exceeding sixty. This atrocious invasion of the parliamentary rights commonly passed by the name of Pride's Purge; and the remaining members were called the Rump. These soon voted, that the transactions of the house, a few days before, were entirely illegal, and that the conduct of their general was just and necessary. t Nothing now remained, after the constitution had been destroyed, after the parliament had been ejected, after the religion of the country had been abolished, after the bravest and the best of its subjects had been slain, but to murder the king ! This vile parliament, if it now deserves the name, was composed of a medley of the most obscure citizens, and the officers of the army. In this assembly, a committee was appointed to bring in a charge against the king; and, on their report, a vote passed, declaring it treason in a king to levy war against his parliament. It was therefore resolved, that a high court of justice should be appointed to try his majesty for this new-invented treason. For the sake of form, they desired the concurrence of the few remaining lords in the other house; but here there was virtue enough left unanimously to reject the horrid proposal.
A. D. But the commons were not to be stopped by 1649. so small an obstacle. They voted, that the concurrence of the house of lords was unnecessary; they voted that the people were the origin of all just power; a fact which, though true, they never could bring home to themselves. To add to their zeal, a woman of Hertfordshire, illuminated by prophetical visions, desired admittance, and communicated a revelation which she had received from heaven. She assured them that their measures were consecrated from above, and ratified by the sanction of the Holy Ghost. This intelligence gave them great comfort, and much confirmed them in their present resolutions. Colonel Harrison, the son of a butcher, was commanded to conduct the king from Hurst castle to Windsor, and thence to London. His afflicted subjects, who ran to have a sight of their sovereign, were greatly affected at the change that appeared in his face and person. He had allowed his beard to grow; his hair had become venerably grey, rather by the pressure of anxiety than the hand of time; while the rest of his apparel bore the marks of misfortune and decay. Thus he stood a solitary figure of majesty in distress, which even his adversaries could not behold without reverence and compassion. He had been long attended only by an old decrepit servant, whose name was sir Philip Warwick, who could only deplore his master's fate, without being able to revenge his cause. All the exterior symbols of sovereignty were now withdrawn; and his new attendants had orders to serve him without ceremony. The duke of Hamilton, who was reserved for the same punishment with his master, having leave to take a last farewell as he departed from Windsor, threw himself at the king's feet, crying out, “My dear
master!” The unhappy monarch raised him up, and, embracing him tenderly, replied, while the tears ran down his cheeks, “I have indeed been a dear master to you.” These were severe distresses: however, he could not be persuaded that his adversaries would bring him to a formal trial; but he every moment expected to be dispatched by private assassination. The interval, from the sixth to the twentieth of January, was spent in making preparations for this extraordinary trial. The court of justice consisted of a hundred and thirty-three persons named by the commons; but of these never above seventy met upon the trial. The members who attended were the chief officers of the army, most of them of very mean birth, together with some of the lower house, and a few citizens of London. Bradshaw, a lawyer, was chosen president; Coke was appointed solicitor for the people of England; Dorislaus, Steele, and Aske, were named assistants. The court sat in Westminster-hall. The King was now conducted from Windsor to St. James’s, and, the next day, was brought before the high court to take his trial. While the crier was calling over the names of the commissioners for trying him, nobody answering for Lord Fairfax, a female voice from the gallery was heard to cry out, “He has more wit than to be here.” When the impeachment was read in the name of the people of England, the same voice exclaimed, “No, nor a tenth part of them.” Axtel, the officer who guarded the court, giving orders to fire into the box from which the voice proceeded, it was discovered that these bold answers came from the lady Fairfax, who alone had courage to condemn their proceedings. When the king was brought before the court, he was conducted by the mace-bearer to a chair placed within the bar Though long detained a prisoner, and now produced as a criminal, he still sustained the dignity of a king; he surveyed the members of the court with an intrepid haughty air; and, without moving his hat, sat down, while the members also were covered. His charge was then read by the solicitor, accusing him of having been the cause of all the bloodshed which followed since the commencement of the war: at that part of the charge he could not suppress a smile of contempt and indignation. After the charge was finished, Bradshaw directed his discourse to the king, and told him that the court expected his answer. The king with great temper entered upon his defence, by declining the authority of the court. He represented, that having been engaged in treaty with his two houses of parliament, and having finished almost every article, he expected a different treatment from that which he now received. He perceived, he said, no appearance of an upper house, which was necessary to constitute a just tribunal; observed, that he was himself the king and fountain of law, and consequently could not be tried by laws to which he had never given his assent; that, having been intrusted with the liberties of the people, he would not now betray them, by recognising a power founded in usurpation; that he was willing before a proper tribunal to enter into the particulars of his defence; but that before them he must decline any apology for his innocence, lest he should be considered as the betrayer of, and not a martyr for, the constitution. Bradshaw, in order to support the authority of the court, insisted that they had received their power from the people, the source of all right. He pressed the prisoner not to decline the authority of a court that was delegated by the commons of England, and interrupted and over-ruled the king in his attempts to reply.
In this manner the king was three times produced before the court, and as often persisted in declining its jurisdiction. The fourth and last time he was brought before this self-created court, as he was proceeding thither he was insulted by the soldiers and the mob, who exclaimed, “Justice justices Execution! execution'." but he continued undaunted. His judges having now examined some witnesses, by whom it was proved that the king had appeared in arms against the forces commissioned by parliament, they pronounced sentence against him. He seemed very anxious at this time to be admitted to a conference with the two houses; and it was supposed that he intended to resign the crown to his son; but the court refused compliance, and considered his request as an artifice to delay justice. The conduct of the king, under all these instances of low-bred malice, was great, firm, and equal; in going through the hall from this execrable tribunal, the soldiers and rabble were again instigated to cry out Justice and Execution. They reviled him with the most bitter reproaches. Among other insults, one miscreant presumed to spit in the face of his sovereign. He patiently bore their insolence. “Poor souls,” cried he, “they would treat their generals in the same manner for sixpence.” Those of the populace, who still retained the feelings of humanity, expressed their sorrow in sighs and tears. A soldier, more compassionate than the rest, could not help imploring a blessing upon his royal head. An officer, overhearing him, struck the honest sentinel to the ground before the king, who could not help saying, that the punishment exceeded the offence. At his return to Whitehall, he desired the permission of the house to see his children, and to be attended in his private devotions by doctor Juxon, late bishop of London. These requests were granted, and also three