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A.D. 1656. left them but what is put into the balance, and
equalled by the power of a few retainers of tyranny, who are so far from being the people's choice, that the most part of them are only known to the nation by the mischiefs they have committed in it.
“ In the next place, sir, you may please to consider that the persons invested with that power are all of them nominated by the lord protector, (for to say by him and his council, has in effect no more distinction than if one should say by Oliver and Cromwell). By that means, the protector himself, by his own and by his peers' negative, may become in effect two of the three estates; and, by consequence, is possessed of two parts of the legislative power. I think this can be a doubt to no one who will but take the pains to read over the catalogue of those noble lords; for certainly no man who reads their names can possibly fancy for what virtues or good qualities such a composition should be made choice of, but only the certainty of their compliance with whatsoever shall be enjoined them by their creator. Pardon, sir, that name, for it is properly applicable where things are made out of nothing. If, in the former government, increase of nobility
was a grievance, because the new nobility, having A.D. 1658. fresh obligations to the crown, were more easily led into compliance with it; and if one of the main reasons for exclusion of bishops out of the house of lords was because they were of the king's making, and were, in effect, so many certain votes for whatever he had a mind to carry in the house; how much more assured will that inconvenience now be, when the protector, who wants nothing of the king but in every sense) the title, shall not only make and nominate a part, but of bimself constitute the whole? In a word, sir, if our liberty was endangered by the former house, we may give it up for lost in the other house: and it is in all respects as secure and advantageous for the liberty of the nation, which we come hither to redeem, to allow this power to his highness's officers and chaplains, as to his other creatures and partisans in this other
“Now, having considered, sir, their author, power, and constitution, give me leave to make some few observations (though but in general) on the persons themselves who are designed to be our lords and masters; and let us see what either the extraordinary quality or qualifications are of
A.D. 1658. these egregious legislators, which may justify
their choice, and prevail with the people to admit them at least into equal authority with the whole representative body of themselves. But what I shall speak of their quality, or anything else concerning them, I would be thought to speak with distinction, and to intend only of the major part ; for I acknowledge, Mr. Speaker, the mixture of the other house to be like the composition of apothecaries, who mix something grateful to the taste to qualify their bitter drugs, which else, perhaps, would be immediately spit out and never swallowed. So, sir, his highness, of deplorable memory to this nation, to countenance as well the want of quality as honesty in the rest, has nominated some against whom there lies no other reproach but only that nomination ; but not out of any respect to their quality or regard to their virtues, but out of regard to the no quality, the no virtues of the rest; which truly, Mr. Speaker, if he had not done, we could easily have given a more express name to this other house than he hath been pleased to do; for we know a house designed for beggars and malefactors is a house of correction, and so termed by our law: þut, Mr. Speaker, setting those few persons aside, who (I hope) think the nomination a disgrace, A.D. 1658. and their ever coming to sit there a much greater, can we without indignation think of the rest? He who is first in their roll, a condemned coward; one that out of fear and baseness did once what he could to betray our liberties, and now does the same for gain. The second, a person of as little sense as honesty ;. preferred for no other reason but his no worth, his no conscience; except cheating his father of all he had was thought a virtue by him, who, by sad experience we find, hath done as much for his mother,-his country. The third, a cavalier, a presbyterian, an independent; for the republic, for a protector, for everything, for nothing, but only that one thing, money. It were endless, sir, to run through them all; to tell you of the lordships of seventeen pounds a-year land of inheritance; of the farmer lordships, draymen lordships, cobbler lordships, without one foot of land but what the blood of Englishmen have been the price of. These, sir, are to be our rulers, these the judges of our lives and fortunes ; to these we are to stand bare whilst their pageant lordships deign to give us a conference on their breeches. Mr. Speaker, we have already had too much experience how insup
A.D. 1658. portable servants are when they become our mas
ters. All kinds of slavery are miserable in the account of generous minds; but that which comes accompanied with scorn and contempt stirs up every man's indignation, and is endured by none whom nature does not intend for slaves, as well as fortune.
“ I say not this, Mr. Speaker, to revile any man with his meanness; for I never thought either the malignity or indulgence of fortune to be (with wise or just men) the grounds either of their good or ill opinion. Mr. Speaker, I blame not in these men the faults of their fortune any otherwise than as they make them their own: I object to you their poverty, because it is accompanied with ambition ; I remind you of their quality, because they themselves forget it: it is not the men I am angry with, but their lordships. Sir, though we easily grant poverty and necessity to be no faults, yet we must allow them to be great impediments in the way of honour, and such as nothing but extraordinary merit and virtue can remove. The scripture reckons it amongst Jeroboam's great faults, “that he made priests of the meanest of the people:' and sure it was none of the virtues of our Jeroboam (who hath set up his