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A Speech of King Charles II.
to his Parliament in 1665, about War with the Dutch.
My Lords and Gentlemen,
not been absolutely necessary to consult with you, I would not have called you together at this time, when the Contagion hath so spread itself over so many parts of the Kingdom. I take it for a good Ommen to fee so good an Appearance this Day, and I doubt not every Day will add to your number; and I give you all my Thanks for your compli. ance so far with
Desires. The truth is, as I entred upon this War by your Advice and Encouragement, fo I do des sire that you may as frequently as is possible, receive Information of the Conduct and Ef fects of it; and that I may have the Continuance of your chearful Supply for the carrying
I will not deny to you, that it hath proved more chargable than I could imagine it would have been: The addition they still made to their Fleets, beyond their first purpose, made it unavoidably necessary for me ta make proportionable Preparations, which God hath hitherto bless'd with Success in all'Encounters. And as the Enemy have used their
utmost Endeavours, by Calumnies and False Suggestions, to make themselves Friends, and to perswade others to aslist them against us; fo I have not been wanting to encourage those ? Prinçes who have been wronged by the Dutch, to recover their own by Force; and in order 'thereunto have aslisted the Bishop of Munster with a very great Sum of ready Money, and am to continue a Supply to him, who is now in the Bowels of their Country with a Powerful Army.
These Issues, which I may tell you, have been made with very good conduct and Hufbandry, ( 110r indeed do I know that any thing hath been spent that could have been well and safely saved,) I say, this Expence will not suffer you to wonder, that the great Supply which you gave me for this War, in so bountiful a Proportion, is upon the Matter already spent: Șo that I must not only expect an Afliftance from you to carry on this War, but such an Assistance as may enable me to defend myself and you against a more Powerful Neighbour, if he shall prefer the Friendship of the Dutch before mine.
I told you, when I entred upon this war, that I had not such a Brutal Appetite as to make War for War fake; I am still of the fame Mind: I have been ready to receive any Propofitions that France hath thought fit to offer to that End; but hitherto nothing ha:h been offered worthy my Acceptance; nor is
the Dutch less Infolent, tho I know no Advantage they have had, but the continuance of the Contagion: God Almighty, I hope, will shortly deprive them of that Encourage
A Speech in the House of Peers, by the
late Lord Lucas, Feb. 12. 1690. Upon occahon of a Bill for His Majesty's present Supply sent up from the Com
ty, this Nation recalld His Majesty to the exercise of his Regal Power, it was the Hope of all good Men that we should not only be restor'd to His Majesty's Royal Presence and to our Laws, but also that we should be free from those heavy Burthens under which he had lain so long opprest
. We did believe that from thenceforth every Man should fit under his own Vine, enjoy thie Fruits of Peace and Plenty, and Astréa herself, long since, for the Sins of Men, fled up to Heaven, should have been invited by His Majesty's most
gracious and happy Reign, to return hither and dwell with us, and converse with Mortals 2
gain. But alas! we are fallen very short of our Expectations, and our Burthens are so far from being made lighter to us, that they are heavier than ever they were: and as our Burthens are not eas'd, so our Strength also is diminish'd, and we are less able to support them. For in the time of the late Usurping Powers, tho' great Taxes were exacted from us, yet we had the Means to pay them; we could Let our Lands, and Sell our Corn and Cattel, and there was plenty of Money through the Nation : Now there is nothing of this, Brick is required of us, and no Straw allow'd to make it. That our Lands are thrown into our hands, and Corn and Cattel of little value, is nototious to all the World; and 'tis evident there is a scarcity of Money, for all the Parliament's Money, callid Breeches, (a fit Stamp for the Coin of the Rump) is wholly vanish'd, the King's Proclamation and the Dutch have swept it away: And of His Majesty's new Money there appears but very little ; so that, in effect, we have none left for common Use, but a Little old lean Coin, of the late three former Princes : And what Supply is preparing for it, My Lords, I hear of none, unless it be of Copper Farthings. This is the Metal that is to vindicate, according to the Inscription of it, the Dominion of the Four Seas: And yet, if amidst the present Scarcity, the vast Sums given were all employ'd for the advantage of the King and
Kingdom, it wou'd not much trouble us : But we cannot, without \infinite regret of Heart,
great part of it hoarded up in the Purses of Private Men, and behold them flourish with our Estates. , How many, at the time of His Majesty's most Happy Restauration were worth very little or nothing, and now the same Men purchase Lands, keep their Coaches and Six Horses, their Pages and Lacqueys, and live in all Affluence and Plenty ; while, in the meani time, those that have serv'd the King, are in Penury and Want, and have scarce sufficient to buy them Bread: And is this, My Lords, the Reward of our Services ? Haye we for this born the Heat of the Day, been Imprifond, Sequeftred, Ventured our Lives, our Families, our Estates, and our Fortunes; and must we; after all this, facrifice so much of our poor Remainder, to the Will of a few particular Men, and to the Maintainance of their Vanities ? But suppose all the Money given were employ'd for the Use of His Majesty, and His Majesty were not cheated, as without doubt he is, is there no Bound or Moderation in Giving? Will you say yet, If we shall not plentifully supply His Majesty, he will not be able to defend us, or to maintain the Triple League, and we shall thereby run the hazard of being conquered ? 'Tis true, My Lords, that this perhaps may be a Reason for giving something, but it is so far from being an Argument for giving so much, that it may be