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venly Bodies, when three of them meet in Conjun&tion, do use to produce fome admirable effects in the Elementary World; So when these three States convene and allemble in one solemne great lunta, fome notable and extraordinary things are brought-forth, tending to the we!fare of the whole kingdom, our Microcosme.

He that is never fo little versed in the annals of this Isle, will find that it hath bin her fate to be four times conquered. I exclude the Scot: for the situation of his Country, and the Quality of the Clime, hath been such an advantage and security to him, that neither the Roman Eagles would fly thither for fear of freezing their wings, nor any other Nation attempt the work.

These, so many, Conquests must needs bring with them many tumblings and tossings, many disturbances and changes in Government; yet I have observed, that, notwithstanding these tumblings, it retained still the forme of a Monarchy, and something there was always that had an Analogy with the great Assembly of parlement.

The first Conquest I find was made by Claudius Cæfar: at which time (as some well observe) the Roman Enfignes and the Standard of Christ came-in together: It is well known what Lawes the Roman bad; He had his Comitia, which bore a resemblance with our Convention in parlement;

their place of their meeting was called prætorium, and the Laws which they enacted, Plebiscita.

The Saxon Conquest succeeded next, which were the English, there being no name in Welsh or Irish for an Englishman, but Saxon, to this day. These also governed by Parlement, though it were under other names, as Michela Sinoth, Michel Gemote, and Witena Gemote,"

* These words mean the Great Synod, the Great Meeting, and the Meeting of' wise men.


There are Records, above a thousand years old, of these Parlements in the Reigns of King Ina, Offa, Ethelbert, and the rest of the seven Kings during the Heptarcby. The British Kings also, who retain'd a great while some part of the Isle unconquered, governed and made Laws by a kind of Parlementary way; witnesse the famous Laws of Prince Howell, called Howell Dba, (the good Prince Howell) whereof there are yet extant some British Records. Parlements were also used after the Heptarchy. by King Kenulpbus, Alphred, and others : witnesse that renowned Parlement held at Grately by King Athelstan.

The third Conquest was by the Danes : and they govern'd also by fuch generall Affeinblies, (as they do to this day) witnesse that great and so much celebrated Parlement held by that mighty Monarch Canutus, who was King of England, Denmark, Norway, and other Regions 150 years before the compiling of Magna Charta; and this the learned in the Laws do hold to be one of the specialeft and most authentick peeces of antiquity we have extant. Ed. ward the Confeffor made all his Laws thus, (and he was

great Legis-lator,) which the Norman Conquerour (who, liking none of his sons, made God Almighty his heir by bequeathing unto him this Illand for a legacy) did ratifie and establish, and digested them into one entire methodical Systeme, which being violated by Rufus, (who came to such a disastrous end as to be shot to death in lieu of a Buck for his facriledges) were resor'd by Henry the first; and so they continued in force till King lohn ; whose Reign is renowned for first confirming Magna charta, the foundation of our Liberties ever Since; which may be compar'd to divers outlandish graffes set upon one English stock; or to a posie of sundry fragrant flowers; for the choicest of the British, the Roman, Saxon, Danish, and Norman Lawes being culld and pick’d-out and gathered, as it were, into one


power of

bundle, out of them the foresaid Grand Charter was extract. ed; and the establishment of this great Charter was the work of a Parliament.

Nor are the Lawes of this Island only, and the freedome of the Subject in it, conserved by a Parlement ; but all the best-policed Countries of Europe have the like. The Germanes have their Diets, the Danez and Swedes their Rijck Dachs ; the Spaniard calls his Parlement las Cortes; and the French have, (or should have, at least) their Assembly of three States, though it be growne now in a manner obsolete,

The origin because the authority thereof was (by accident) devolv’d to of the king

of France's the King. And very remarkable it is, how this happened ; for, when the English had taken such large footing in most imposing,

taxes on his parts of France, having advanced as far as Orleans and subjects

Paris and driven their then King Charles the seventh, to Bourges in the Isle of Berry, the Assembly of the three States in these pressures,


without the being not able to meet after the usual manner in full Par-consent of

the three lement because the Countrey was unpassable, the Enemy States of the having made such firme invasions up and down through

Clergy, the

Nobility, the very bowels of the Kingdom; that power which for- or Gentry, merly was inhærent in the Parlementary Asembly, of Third Esmaking Laws, of assessing the Subject with taxes, subsidiary Commonlevies, and other impositions, was transmitted to the King alty. during the war; which continuing many years, that entrustcd power by length of time grew, as it were, habitual in him, and could never after be re-aflumed and taken from him ; so that ever since, his Edi&ts countervaile Axts of Parle. ment. And that which made the busineffe more feasable for the King, was, that the burthen fell most upon the Communalty; the Clergy and Nobility not feeling the weight of it, and being willing to see the peasan pulliddown a little, because, not many years before, in that nota• ble Rebellion, callid la Jaquerie de Beauvoisn, which was suppressed by Charles the wise, the Common people put


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themselves boldly in Arms against the Nobility and Gentry, to leffen their power. Adde hereunto, as an advantage to the work, that the next succeeding King, Lewis the eleventh, was a close, cunning, Prince, and could well tell how to play his game, and draw water to his own mill; For, amongst all the reft, he was said to be the first that hut the Kings of France, Hors de page, out of their minority, or from being Pages any more, though thereby he brought the poor peafans to be worse than Lacquays, and they may thank tbemselves for it.

Neverthelesse, as that King hath an advantage hereby one way, to Monarchize more absolutely, and never to want money, but to ballast bis purse when he will; so there is another mighty inconvenience ariseth to him and his whole Kingdom another way; for this peeling of the Penfan hath so dejected him, and cowed his native courage

fo much by the sense of poverty (which brings along with it a narrownesje of foul) that he is little useful for the war: which puts the French King to make other Nations mercenary to him, to fill-up his Infantery: Infomuch, that the Kingdom of France may be not unfitly compared to a body that hath all it's bloud drawn-up into the arms, breaft, and back, and scarce any left from the girdle downwards, to cherish and bear-up the lower parts, and keep them from starving.

All this seriously considered, there cannot be a more pro. per and pregnant example than this of our next Neigblours to prove how infinitely necessary the Parlement is to affert, to prop-up, and preserve, the publick liberty, and nationa! rights of a people, with the incolumity and welfare of a Countrey.

Nor doth the Subject only reap penefit thus by Parlement, but the Prince, (if it be well consider'd) hath equal advanlage thereby. It rendreth him a King of free and able

men ;

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men; which is far more glorious than to be a King of Cowards, Beggars, and Bankrupts ; Men that, by their freedom and competency of wealth, are kept still in heart to do him service against any forrain force. And it is a true maxime in all States, that 'tis lesse danger and dishonour for the Prince to be poor, than his people: Rich Subjects can make their King rich when they please ; if he gain their hearts, he will quickly get their purses. Parlement encreaseth love and good intelligence 'twixt him and his people: it acquaints him with the reality of things, and with the true state and diseases of his Kingdom ; it brings him to the knowledge of his better fort of Subjects, and of their abili. ties, which he may employ accordingly upon all occasions ; It provides for his Royal iffue, pays his debts, finds means to fill his Coffers; and it is no ill observation, that parlement-moneys (the great Aid) have prospered best with the Kings of England : It exceedingly raiseth his repute abroad, and enableth him to keep his foes in fear, bis Subjects in awe, his Neighbours and Confederates in security, the three main things which go to aggrandize a Prince, and render him glorious. In summe, it is the Parlement that supports, and bears-up the honour of his Crown, and settles his throne in safety; which is the chief end of all their consultations : for whosoever is entrusted to be a Member of this High Court, carryeth with him a double capacity; he sits there as a Patriot, and as a Subject : as he is one, the Country is his object, his duty being to vindicate the publick liberty, to make wholesome Lawes; to put his hand to the pump, and stop the leaks of the great vessel of the State ; to pry into, and punith, corruption and opprefsion; to improve and advance trade; to have the grievances of the place he serves-for redressed, and to cast-about how to find something that may tend to the advantage of it. But he must not torget that he fits there also as a Subject :


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