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ftice. Therefore, My Lords, you see how necessary it is, that our Principles be known: And how fatal to us all it is, that this Principle should be suffered to spread any further. My Lords, your Lordships have seen of.what Consequence this Matter is to you, that appointing a Day to consider, is no less than declaring ourselves doubtful, upon second and deliberate Thoughts; and that you put yourselves out of your own Hands into a more than Moral Probability of having this Session made a Precedent against you. You see your Duty to yourselves and the People, and that 'tis really not the Interest of the House of Commons, but may
be the Inclination of the Court, that you lose the Power of Appeals. But I beg that our House may not be Felo de fe, but that your Lordships would take, in this Affair, the only course to preserve yourselves, and appoint a day, this day three weeks, for the hearing Dr. Sbirley's Cause, which is my humble Motion.
A Speech by the Earl of Shaftsbury, con
cerning the Popish Plot, the Bill of Exclusion, &c. in the rear 1680.
great Debate concerning the King's Speech, the sad State and Condition we are in, and the Reinedies thereof, I have offered
you my Opinion, and many Lords have spoken
to King Saul, What means the bleating of this kind of Cattel? And I hope the King will make me the same Answer, That be preserves them for Sacrifice, and means to deliver them up to please bis People ; For there must be, in plain English, a Change; We must neither have Popish Wife, nor Popish Favourite, nor Popish Mistress, nor Popish Counsellor at Court, nor any New Convert. What I spoke was about another Lady that belongs not to the Court, but like Sempronia in Catiline's Conspiracy, does more Mischief than Cethegus. In this time of Distress I could humblyadvise our Prince would take the same course that the D.of Savoy did, to suffer neither Strangers nor Ambassadors to stay above fome few Weeks in this Country: For all the Strangers and Ambassadors here have served the Plot and Delign against us: I ain sure they have no tye to be for us. But, My Lords, what I rose up to speak to was, more especially to my Lord of the Earls Bench that spoke last, and sits behind me; who, as he has the greatest Influence in our prefent Councils, fo he hath let fall to you the very Root of the Matter, and the Hinges upon which all turns. He tells you, that the Haufe of Commons have lately made offers to the King, and he wonders we do not accept the King's Answer to them, before we enter into so hot and high Debates. He tells you, if the King be afsured of Supplies, we cannot doubt of his Compliance in this and all we can ask. For otherwise the King should fall into that, which is the
worst Condition of a Prince, to have his People have no Confidence in him. My Lords, This is that I know they would put the King upon; and this is that we must be ruin'd by, if we may not with Plainness and Freedom open our Case. My Lords, It is a very hard thing to say, that we cannot trust the King, and that we have already been deceiv'd fo often, that we fee plainly the apprehensions of Discontent in the People is no Argument at Court. And tho'our Prince be in himself an Excellent Person, that the People have the greatest Inclination imaginable to Love; yet we must say he is such a one as no Story affords us a Parallel of: How plain and how many are the Proofs of the Designs to murder him? How little is he apprehensive of it?
The Transactions between him and his Brother are Admirable and Incomprehensible: His Brother's Designs being early known to aim at the Crown before His Majesty's Restoration to this Kingdom. This Match with the Portugal Lady, not like to have Children, contrivd by the Duke's Father-in-Law, and no sooner effected, but the Duke and his Party make Proclamation to the World, that we are like to have no Children, but that he must be the certain Heir. He takes his Seat in Parliament as Prince of Wales, his Guards about him, the Prince's Lodgings at White-ball
, his Guards upon the fame Floor, without any Interposition between him and the King; so that the King was in his Hands, and in his Power every Night; all Offices and Pre
ferments being bestowed by him, not a Bishop made without him. This Prince changes his Religion to make himself a Party; and such a Party that his Brother must be sure to Die and be made away, to make room for him:
Nothing could preserve him, but that which I hope he will never do, give greater earnest to that wicked Party than his Brother could : And after all, this Plot breaks out plainly headed by the Duke, his Interest, and his Design. How the King has behav'd himself ever since the breaking out of it, the World knows; we have expected every Hour that the Court should join with the Duke against us: And it is evident inore has been done to make the Plot a Presbyterian Plot, than to discover it. The Prorogations, the Diffolutions, the cutting short of Parliaments, not suffering them to have time or opportunity to look into any thing, have shew'd what Reason we have to confide in this Court. Weare now come to a Parliament again, but by what Fate or Counsel, for my part, I cannot guess; neither do I understand the Riddle of it. The Duke is quitted and sent away: The House of Commons have brought up a Bill to disable him of the Crown, and I think they are so far extreamly in the right; but your Lordships are wiser than 1, and have rejected it: Yet you have thought fit, and the King himself hath made the Propofition, to make such Expedients as shall render him but a Nominal Prince. In the mean while where's this Duke that the King and Both Houses have