In four Sections.


  • I. The inconsistency of a Free-state with the scituation of this Coun­trey, and constitution of the people.
  • II. Mischiefs incident to the continuance of their endeavours that act in order thereunto.
  • III. The advantages probably attending a composure with the King of Scots.
  • IV. Resolves to the Grand Objections that seeme to obstruct it.

By a moderate and serious Pen.

Bono servire Principi optima libertas.

London, Printed for G. Bedell and T. Collins, and are to be sold at their shop at the middle-Temple-gate in Fleetstreet. 1660.

To Sir A.H. and those spirits that pretend to Liberty in Democracy.


I Design Liberty; not the name, but the thing; I assert not that which some Divines call Monarchy, but Kingship, as it relates to the Law of England, not that of the Jews; not in order to the Greatnesse of a single per­son, but to the happinesse of the whole peo­ple; That Regal Politick Government, to whose protection I am entitled by my birth, for the preservation of my freedome in per­son and estate, and that, with more assurance than possibly can be secur'd under the go­vernment of the many who often call that justice, and without remedy, which in truth is Faction.

Next, I abhorre bloodshed, and deeme one party in all warres guilty of murder; a crime [Page]which as it cries high for vengeance, so it cries loud for peaee, which he only endeavours that that acts no injury; I recommend this to bal­lance you in the way to Peace, lest you bal­lot us into the field of blood; perhaps your own as well as ours; for though you Vote at ease upon the hazard of our bodies, yet pos­sibly in time, the evil may happen upon the Artist. If but one of you I convert, I have a full reward; for perhaps I may save a soule; however as the text speaks, I shall hide a mul­titude of sins.

Yours in the way of Truth and Peace, W. C.

THE Introduction.

OUR affairs labouring under variety of facti­ons, nothing seems more rational to effect a due Composure, than the advice of the whole People; for that which binds all, ought by all to be debated.

Now, though the Parliament upon Con­vention is not so regular as may admit of no exception, yet since the whole people are not capable to be personally in Counsel, and that with respect to our fundamentals this way of Election has the repute to be the Representative of the Com­mons, and that with respect to the present, it is not possible to have an Assembly nearer the foundation, and more passable to give forth the sence of the people; Therefore as it were an high insolence in any few to impose a Government upon the whole; so will it argue a strange inquietude of spirit, if single persons shall not acquiesce in the free major Vote of their judgements that shall be so assembled; for though in truth the major Vote may be the worse, yet becomes it not a single person so to judge; for thereof the consequence will be, that every mans single judgement shall be the rule of his obedience, which needs must engage us as to confusion upon the variety of judgements that will happen, so to war for the last decision of the matters controverted, persons of such opinions being not capable to be over-rul'd by any other judicature.

Though therefore it becomes sober men to acquiesce in their determinations, yet may it become all men that are concerned in the Result, to contribute their assistance in the way; That things being at full discust, and laid open according to truth, thereof they might be enabled to give a more sound judgment. Upon this account, have I presum'd to the publick, without the least reflection upon past miscarriages, to enquire consider­ing the present state of our affairs, What settlement may best conduce to our happinesse in the future; wherein I know not how I can design to my self any other interest than Peace, for though I have hapned to displease one party, yet I never actually oblig'd the other, and do secure my self no lasting comfort upon earth but in the Union of Both.

Now after a sad revolve I find my self confined in this sence. That,

SECT. I. That which we call a Free-state, is inconsistent with the scitu­ation of this Countrey, and constitution of the people.

I Design only to inforce, plain, sensible and modern arguments, as a word in season, applicable to the present, and leave the notional to our book-men; whose volumes calculated for all cli­mates swell big against the Evils of the Rule of Many or De­mocracy.

Mine shall be appropriate to this Island, which indeed is a large Continent, abundantly populous, and govern'd by the influ­ence of a sort of people that live plentifully and at ease upon their rents, extracted from the toyl of their Tenants and servants; In Law-phrase they are instil'd the minor Nobility, in English Gen­try, each of whom within the bounds of his own estate acts the Prince; he is purely absolute; his servants and labourers are in the nature of his Vassals; his Tenants indeed are free, but in the [Page 3]nature of Subjects, whom he orders in his Courts, draws supplies from by his Fines, and awes by his power and Oaths of fealty to infinite submission. The more his Mannors are, and the more indulgent he behaves himself, like a good Prince, the larger is his Territory, and the more awful his commands. A Neigh­bour more rich and potent, gives check to his inferiour Neigh­bour, and brings his petty Prince-ship into awe; and perhaps he again is awed by a greater and more powerful in estate or friends. But none of these with respect to his quality and estate will admit a parity with his inferiour Neighbours, much less his Tenant or Dependant.

Into this Ranck do our Commanders, Citizens, and Burghers aspire to be inroll'd; so that no sooner by Arms, Office, or Trade, do they acquire a competent stock, but forthwith for Land it is disposed; and then disowning the Title of Souldiers, Citizens, or Burghers, they take to themselves the degree and name of Gentlemen, with Armes not improper; for England within it self has been so often shuffled from high to low, that scarce any Artificer but may find his name in the Heralds book, though not his Pedegree, which ingenuity and goodwill may easily supply: And thus being aequipt with a Title and Estate, they set up sutably the dominion within their Territories, which none can dispute, because they have no right to intermeddle with what whosoever has or does within himself: For by Gen­try, I intend not only such as are so in blood, but so in quality; such as live easefully, and like Princes upon the labours of the dependants.

Now that this sort of people have by influence and in effect the Command of this Nation, at this instant appears evident, in this, That they sit at the Helm in the Supreme Council; they command in chief at Sea and Land; they impose Taxes, and levy it by Commissioners of the same quality: Out of this ranck felect we Sheriffs, Justices of Peace, and all that execute the authority of a Judge; By the influence of which powers, they so order all elections to Parliament or otherwise, that the whole Counties follow their respective factions, and the Commonalty in the Votes are manag'd by them, as the horse by his Rider.

So that as the Agrarian or interest of land is principally in [Page 4]this rank, so is the consequence thereof, Dominion and Com­mand, which imboldens them to such a height of spirit, natu­ral to our Gentry, as they are too apt to undervalue persons of inferiour quality, Burgesses, and Mechanicks, with whom to inter-marry by our old Law, it was a disparagement for a Ward; and this spirit of generosity cannot be supprest, 'tis so rivited in their nature, but by the eradication of their persons, or at least, their qualities; to which barbarous effect, I have known some Grandees have pleased to vent a sence.

For indeed the establishing of a Free-state is otherwise despe­rate; and therefore it was the course that the prevailing Me­chanicks amongst the Swisses, were inforc't to take: How else shall we be levell'd to a parity, which is of the very essence of a Free-state? For as Titles and Honour are incident to a King­ship; so equality in place, degree, and b [...]rth, are to Democra­cy; unless where in case of Office, for the time only they are intitled to precedency. Reduc'd must the Gentry be to the Condition of the Vulgar; Commons already are they in Title, which is but a fallacy of the name, and deludes our Statists; for indeed they are so only Representatively, being rather the Tri­bunes and leaders of the peoples strength, and the governors of their purse, than purely Commons. Nor will it suffice to obtain this parity, unless with it also we establish our Supreme Power in a body corporate, compacted, and permanent; such as is that of London, where possibly the Grandeur of that City, had it spirit and design, might erect it self into a Free-state, and might by that great Magazin of treasure and men there imbo­died, give Law to the whole people scattered as they are in a large continent. Having first reduced some meet Cities, Forts, and Castles, which being Garisoned from the Head Colony, will awe the Countryes, and order them into a vassalage competent to make up a Free-state: But we of the Gentry, shall neither have the honour of the name, nor benefit of the thing. 'Twill be instiled the Common-wealth of London, not of England; and our pay must be as they impose, and our liberty as they vouchsafe it; only in this it will be the less agreeable, that we are subject to our Inferiours. This Discourse, though it seems Drollery, yet has not bin without its jealousie among the wise, when in time that great City shall be compelled by our confu­sions [Page 5]to know its own strength, and by that its interest, when necessity to preserve it self, will imbolden them to lay hands on others, and so inforce Ord [...]r upon them that can give none unto themselves.

From this Embrio have issued those Common-wealths which are so fam'd in notions; as those of Rome, Carthage, Athens, Lacedemon, Corinth, Thebes, &c. Great Cities of that name, which have subdued their adjacent Territories, and denominated the dominion, wherein only those of the freedome, Citizens and Denizens had vote or power; The Gentlemen, as we of the Countyes, being purely tributary to the Grand City; unless we transplant our selves, renounce our Titles, and so by degrees advance into the honour of a Burgess, as we now do exercise our junior issue. And such are at this day the fam'd Common­wealths of Ʋenice, the United Provinces, the Swisses, not to instance in those petty States of Genoa, Rugasa, Geneva, &c. All Common-wealths, most denominated from those principal Ci­tyes which give the Law to the adjacent Provinces. Those in­deed of the Hollanders and Swisses, though they derive not so directly their Title from one City, yet are they in substance of the same composure, being only an united Body of corporated Ci­tyes, combin'd in one for mutual defence against invaders; but of an equal power to impose upon the adjacent Territories, sci­tuate under the awe of each respective City, or Town-Ga­rison.

It falls not within my memory that there ever was, or at this day is a Free-State in the world, that's managed by the Gen­try inhabiting at large, or by any people not combin'd with­in the Jurisdiction of their Walls, except the Grisons, who are a scattered people, of a mean quality, having long since disown'd their Gentry, without walled Town or Garison; 'Tis a small Territory, possibly of extent to an inland County; Upon Emer­gencies, the whole people at a set day meet in the open ayre, where the major vote, as we Knights of the shire, cryes up the Magistrates, and determines War. Their confusion makes them easie for conquest, were their Country worth it, and not secured by the united Cantons.

Now to apply the premises; Can we suppose the Gentry that are now in power, will admit a parity, will level their degree [Page 6]and dominion to a proportion with their Copy-holder? Nay, will renounce the wearing of a Sword, and learn to make one? will submit to become tributary to the Neighbour Colony? Then possibly may we aspire from the state of Kingship to a free-state in Clownship; or at best from the free-giving of sudsidies to the Majesty of a Scepter, to the forc'd-payment of excise to the High-mighty Burgher; Such as was that High and mighty But­cher, who of late was Commissionated by the Swisses as one of the Chiefs to be Godfather to the French Kings son.

But 'twill be said, as Plato fancyed his Community, and Sir Thomas Moor his Utopia, so may we a Rotation, thereby to ga­ther up a new Model of a Common-wealth out of the scattered Gentry in the nature of a House of Commons. Truly my friends, if you will try new experiments, I wish you had other subjects to practice upon, than the Estates, and Lives, nay, the very Souls of Christians: We have run the loss of those, and the hazard of these too long upon the hopes of a Chimera in the braines of some. The word Liberty has deluded us into patience, and patience since 48. has brought forth not less payments, but more servitude.

We are obstructed, you'l say, so that we are not permitted to foster up our Babe to full perfection: And still are you like to be; for the wise foresee the Evil of such a State, and contrive with as much design to prevent it, as the unadvised to bring it on: Yet from 48. to 53. you had it from the Nurse, and might in five years have set it upon its Feet, but that you found the sweet of ingrossing Power to your selves: No indeed, could it stand without you, which might be evident from the high dis­gust and the great scorne you were reproach't with, when it was dissolv'd; Not one bloody nose in the defence of that High and Mighty State; Nor scarce a good thought since of any of the persons: For your late twice advancement, I suppose, e're this you are sensible, that it was only to serve a turn, as a thing fit to be made a property: Do'nt you believe that it was desire of your Rule, but of a farther change, that inspirited the people against the Army, when you possibly as next at hand, moun­ted the empty Saddle, but you were not warm in the seat, be­fore with a publick leave you were unhorst, witness the Bonfires that might have lighted you to the Lands end, if you had dared to come among them.

Now, though I disown those irregular transactions, yet they strongly tye me in this sence, that as this Government was ori­ginally founded in a single person, so the Genius of the people still adheres to the same foundation. Examine we the various revolutions that have hapned, Britans, Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans; or more neerly the changes in their descendents from the direct line to the Collateral; or neerer, the times of insurrection, deposing Kings, Edward and Richard both the seconds of the Name, and we shall find Kingship still in fashion: Nay, that of King John is more notorious; for when the peo­ple had in a sort dethroned that King, and sworne allegeance to Lewis of France, yet when John dyed, the people not only expell'd the forraigner, but having power in their own hands, they Crowned his Sonne an infant, without power or adherents: And not one syllable in all our Chronicles, of a design or endeavour to erect a Free-state; No not when Wat Tiler, or Jack Straw revell'd it with their Clownes. Is our Genius changed? you will find it, No. Did you not observe it in the last Protector, who in a single person bearing up but the shadow of Kingship, was so seconded by a full Representa­tive, that had he not bin betrayed by his own pusillanimity, and the power of a corrupted Army, he had bin sufficiently secured a­gainst the State Zelots.

'Tis not the sence or interest of a few, that can long sway a Nation. If the publick spirit be averse, at the long runne it will prevaile. The more dispute there is with that spirit, the more imbitter'd it will be found; for whatever we dream, even when the multitude have the power, the command is in a Few. The active spirits lead the herd, and ingross the place, the pro­fit, and the sway: This in a generous mind begers disdain, and that faction; for when all are equal, thousands think themselves as deserving Rule, as those that carry it. To satisfie all, it is impossible; to please few, displeases the most. Our transacti­ons since 48, have made this as sensible, as we have made our selves despicable. To conclude, The English Gentry have Spi­rits pure, naturally just, and Generous; like fire aspiring as a Pyramide, from low to high, and it will never rest, till it con­tracts it self unto a Unity at top: So God is One, or he were not God, nor could he rule the world. He that likes not [Page 8]that president, but delights in the Rule of many, let him begin a President in his family, and he may there possibly have enough to do.

SECT. II. Mischiefs incident to our endeavours for a Free-State.

THough we cannot fix a settlement of a State, yet possibly by Artifice and Contrivance some may continue a Rotation in disorder: As Boys at Foot-ball, now one, then another trip­ping up the heels, and carrying away the Ball: Some perhaps that out-run their fellows, may hit the mark, and suck the sweet, till being full-gorg'd, they grow Lazy; and some em­pty ones that are more active, mount their Roomes. In the mean time, we their tributaries are attacht with these mis­chiefs.

1. We shall constantly live under the affrights of an invasion from abroad; for while any of that Royal Line survive, we may well judge that they contrive a Restauration: And our States­men have bin so kind to Him, as not to give his Home-party a full oblivion; but against true policy and president, do conti­nue them disabled, and so in discontent. Hence is it, that we must be alwayes jealous not assured of our next Neigh­bour, till an equal sufferance begets an equal sence.

2. While we groan under this fear, 'tis of necessity that we continue a considerable Force at Land and Sea; which lying idle, will corrupt as standing water in a Pool, and endanger a new combustion, as they are blown up by their present Master: However like our old Lord-Danes, they will be burthensome to the Country by their Quartering, and consequently odious: Or otherwise to keep the Souldiery in action, we must either affright them, upon the discovery of a new-fain'd-plot, or engage them in a forraign War; To this are the united Provinces in­forc't, to prevent Kingship in the Prince of Orange; though their scituation secures their Burgher ships much stronglier than [Page 9]can ours; for their Dominion consists chiefly in strong Carisons, Fortified Townes, and those in a small circuit; should one or more of them be surprized by a busie Army, the rest will take the Alarm, and prevent their progress by the force of Walls and Bulwarks, not to be mastered but by Seiges tedious, and more expensive, than ten such Princes can advance: But in England an open continent, he that Commands the field, Rules the purse; for London is too rich to have courage, and will more readily submit to the will of the Commander, than to the modesty of his Army.

3. While we have such fears, and such an Army, we must continue contribution, besides those great Customes and Excise, which impoverish us, though not so sensibly, yet more bitterly than the Tax; for the commodity being charged, the price is raised, and the buyer even almost in every thing that he eats, drinks, or wears, payes the account. I remember when Mr. Pym that grand Patriot, upon necessity but mentioning the word Excise in the House of Commons, was by a young spirit, and not without applause, called to the Barre. What then we esteemed Poyson, we take now as Physick; but in that Age it seem'd impossible that a free-born English-man could have swal­lowed it. 'Twas begot in the Low-Countries with their State which makes them Free; that is, in Purse, not in Priviledge: for no English King dar'd ever demand, what they are inforc't to pay. Now consider we what benevolences, Sequestrati­ons, five and twentieth parts, a Tax of fifty subsidies at once, Fines and Compositions, Sales of Kings, Bishops, Deans and Chapters, and Delinquents Lands, the two parts of Papists, nay a share of our very charities to the distressed, besides con­stant contributions that have been levied: How has it all been devoured by the Armies, whose belly indeed has no bottome! yet what Arrears to them do we owe? what a Debt have we contracted? 'tis judged not less than Three Millions! Lessen the Army we dare not; then must we supply it in proportion, or permit free-quarter which is worse; for the Souldier must live, and he cannot by the aire. Whence shall we acquire this vast Sum? not less certainly can our constant charge be, than two millions by the year, besides the interest of the great debt which swells dayly; we have the ill luck that none will Rebel, that [Page 10]we may have Lands to Sequester, none to fell; Customs sink, and so will the Excise. All for the future (if the Army conti­nue) must be extorted by contribution from the starveling Coun­tries. But I doubt, as there is little Will to it, so there is less ability; Their patience has bin exercised to the height; Take heed; Nescit plebs jejunatimere, as ambition has no bounds, so ne­cessity has no Barre.

4. Pay; How is it possible they should, if Trade fails; Our subsistence in the Country, hangs sensibly on commerce in the City. Observe it in one commodity; How can the Gentle­man expect his Rent, when his Tenant cannot sell his Wool? If wool be not sold, how can the poor (millions of poor) be set on work? If the poor be not set on work, they must steal, or starve; If the Cloathyer can vent no Cloth, how can he buy the Wool? If the Merchant have not a free and well-orde­red Trade, how can he buy cloth? The miscarriages of these times has spoyled the Trade of our Cloth beyond the seas; so that unless we return into order, and awe our Neighbours to a sutable correspondence, 'tis not recoverable. For other trades how they sink, may be evident from the dayly ruptures that are spoken of; and more fully from the 2000. sail that we have lost fince the Spanish War. Now, the commodities we have thence we take in upon retaile from our Officious Neighbour, who knows handsomly to foment the difference, and reap the ad­vantage. Our gold walks beyond Sea more freely than in Eng­land. Forraign Trade we pay for dear; Home-commodities we sell cheap. 'Tis not possible but the wealth of England sinks in value considerably every year: No Trade can be, till there be a settlement; No settlement, while we dance every day to a new Whistle. There are ten models in proposal, and every faction is with blood ready to avow his way the best. While we thus stagger, we may shortly expect to be accosted with the same dilemna, that a poor labourer put upon my Tenant the other day, from whose fold, week after week he had stoln a sheep; he freely confest the Theft, and told him, work he had none, nor could get any, though he offered to labour at less value than he was wont; worth he was no more than his earthen pot; steal he must; hang him he might, but he his wife and five children would not starve, while they had hands to take.

5. Were it possible to keep down the spirit of the English, which has been so imbitter'd by the violent instruments of our Statists, what shall we think of Ireland, who already Act in a sence altogether averse to our new model? Nay, what of Scot­land, a free people, no way in Vassalage to us, unless upon the account of our late Conquest: Can we think those two Kingdomes will truckle under this? Certainly, they wait but opportunity, and when it comes, 'twil cost us dear: Their in­terest undoubtedly is Kingship, whereby they may possibly hope to have an influence upon the sweets of our Court. While thus we are imbroyl'd with fears and Wars to subdue our tribu­taries, our purses and blood must be at the expense, and our enemies abroad will work their interests.

6. Was not the maintenance of our fundamental Laws, the pretence of our quarrel? Found we not the spirit of the Nation rowz'd up upon the found of the Trumpet? Popery, was it not decry'd? and Religion, Protestant Religion adjudg'd to be in danger? were we not call'd up to the Battel upon the account of Zeale with a Curse ye Meroz? Now if we truck on in the search for a Free-state; as for Religion, so much of it as we may call Protestant, must of necessity turn to Wantonness; for our divisions are so great already, that we dare not exaspe­rate by advancing Discipline. Nay, indeed we cannot if we dar'd; for the most active of our Statists (if they have any Re­ligion) 'tis that of the Sectary, which they own as the maine supporter of their Model, whose interest it is, to give Licenti­ousnesse to all. As for Laws, those which we adored for the excellency and antiquity, must of necessity be alter'd in our Freedomes of person and estate, wherein true liberty is princi­pally concern'd: Thus, if we have a free-state in the way of a House of Commons alwayes, or a Council in the interval; that Soveraign Court will take power to impose Taxes, and to imprison persons: Now by the Law of England no free-man could be taxed or imprest, but by Act of Parliament solemn­ly and regularly past by the three estates, and he intrusted the elected to consent only so far as by Common Council of the three estates should be agreed: In passing whereof, the Commons were as the Tribunes of the people, as their Bulwark against high payments and impressures demanded by the Prince; To [Page 12]whose occasions they would not contribute, unless well satisfi­ed of the necessity and disbursement; which granted, they had the same concernment therein with the whole people, that is, To pay, and to be imprest. Now when the Commons are grown So­veraign, who shall we call upon to be our Tribunes? for the same persons that have the power to raise, have in effect the priviledge to disburse. And how little will they value those small shares which they pay in their Rents, when they shall assuredly receive large salaries by their imployments? For believe it, though eve­ry Statesman has not preferment, yet the most considerable will be in pay, and those are leaders to the rest. Upon this account it is, that while a Parliament sits, we shall be in constant pay; for the leaders will strain for a design, rather than want a preferment; And we the people may perhaps complain of the Reiterated bur­then; but to whom shall we appeal? As for our persons, by our known Lawes, we could not be imprison'd, but by a regular pro­ceeding in a course of justice, or a full Act of Parliament. An ar­rest there ought to be, and thereupon a Bayl, unless the cause ap­pear'd not baylable by the Warrant; when the accused had free­dome to make defence upon perusal of his charge; if injustice or malice appear'd in that prosecution, his reparation was ready and usual. Otherwise than thus, could not a House of Commons ori­ginally proceed, unless possibly upon their own members, which is disputable; but an impeachment must be drawn, and a trial had before the Lords as a Court of Justice. Should the King, or the Council commit an English man, it was upbraided as an Act of Tyranny. What becomes of this eminent freedom under a free­state, when upon slight suggestions of a spightful Neighbor that is in power, the Serjeant at Armes seizes us with his exorbitant fees! No bayl, no Habeas Corpus, no regular way of justice to do us right. And there possibly, after a twelvemonth, if we have good friends, and can humble our selves to our potent Adversary, may we get discharg'd, but without amends or knowing of our Crime: And this course must be continued upon Reason of State. Lo thus while we cajol our selves with the name of Freedom, we lose the thing, and become free only to be made slaves.

SECT. III. The happinesse of a composure with the right Heir of the Crown.

INstance I might more, but these being plainly and sensibly mischievous, may suffice. Enquire we now into the way of cure; And things certainly are reduc'd to that ill temper, that tis far more easie to demonstrate what may be evil, than what will be good; but comparing times with things, I doubt not to evidence but that a closure with the way of Kingship is much ra­ther to be embrac'd as that which may be good, than that confu­sion, which certainly will be evil; And dream we not of closing the difference by erecting a single person of a new line; for that will lessen the party, in that it makes the quarrel personal, and will the more disgust the spirits of this generous people, in that they are subjected to their Equal, who to retain his usurpation, will be enforc'd to accumulate those violences whereof we had sad experience under the old Protector; otherwise he shall soon be made the object of our contempt, as was his son with his easie and gentle way of acting; Nor will the afore-recited mis­chiefs be at all prevented; for our fears will be the same, and consequently our charge. It rests only that we close with the right Heir of the Crown upon termes conducible to assurance; And yet not such as may so much abridge the just rights of the Crown as to advance a licentiousness in the people; for with so­ber men, who weigh the reason of things, a Negative in the Prince, is a most secure preservative of Peace to the people; and the people have as much comfort under the Protection of his just Prerogative, as they have benefit by their own priviledges; Nor will unreasonable terms that are imposed be farther continued than they are inforc'd; only therefore securing against revenge, let the old Laws be the standard between both, and those duly executed, will sufficiently, and without entrenchment secure both; From such a closure probably will result these advan­tages.

1. Peace ensues, and thence Plenty; No jealousie of a pre­tender to invade us from abroad; Ireland, yea and Scotland will acquiesce by way of subordination to the Crown; the Roy­al party must submit to the termes agreed; For if the Head be satisfied, the body hath neither power nor title to dispute it far­ther.

2. Parties reconcil'd, what necessity is there of a Land-Army? the Militias without charge in every County being secur'd in hands of confidence, so that such of the souldiery who make war their trad, may have leasure to be imployed at Sea, where need­ful it will be that we continue a considerable Fleet, as the Walls of England; and to preserve that Soveraignty at Sea which is our ancient right; the rest being paid their arrears, may chearfully retire to their wives and friends.

3. This horrid Tax, yea and the Excise may shortly cease; for I shall anon evidence that a Revenew may be advanc'd with­out either of these, fully competent to support the Court-expence, and the necessities of the Publick; only at present it will be needful that we impose one great Tax, suppose we a twelve­months contribution to be paid at once, therewith to pay the arrears of the Army, and disband them honourably; These ar­rears must at last be paid, if we intend justice to those that are in power to command it; nor can there be any way but this closure to get them paid; otherwise, as their pay grows, so will their ar­rears, and increase dayly; better were it that at once we take a strong purge, than live contributing till we consume beyond the cure of physick.

4. A Peace with forraign Princes is a certain consequent of this closure, having a Prince so related in blood, nay of the high­est extraction in the Christian world, and he grown formidable in the conjunction of all interests; for he rules a people that have been disciplin'd in war, which on both sides have given such evidence of a courage, that will be the terror of the world, were we drawn off from worrying our own bowels; were we all uni­ted in love, as in subjection; which possibly by time and a di­screet receding on each side may be accomplish'd; as then we shall be awful, so shall we be courted to alliances, which may be accepted, as may conduce to the interest of the Gospel: From hence flows Trade, and thence wealth to an Island; that Com­merce [Page 15]which we hold now by retaile, and run with high hazards, may enrich us at the first hand, and without danger; nay, possi­bly we may turn the ballance, and our greedy neighbour may take his turn in the lighter scale.

5. We may attain to a condition wherein we may dare to own Religion, sutable to those of the Reformed party beyond the Seas; and thereby beget a confidence in them of our reality and adherence to the interest of the true Protestant Cause, when upon account of the Grandure of our State, and our opportune scituation we may become the head of that Party to enlarge the Territories of the Gospel, and awe in a Toleration in our ways of worship, where they are most exploded; Let the Gospel have free passage, and it will make its own way; for I disown the promo­tion of it by the Sword, as totally unchristian, and bequeath it to the Turk.

6. This closure will in some sort clear the integrity of such as first engaged in the war; what was in pretence, but the defence of Liberty and Religion, which was afterwards model'd into words by a Solemn League and Covenant, which if any, was the Good Old Cause, wherein the Covenanters swore to persist, and not to suffer themselves directy or indirectly, by whatsoever combi­nation, perswasion or terror, to be divided or withdrawn, whe­ther to make defection to the contrary party, or to give them­selves to a detestable indifferency or neutrality in the Cause which was then judged so much to concern the glory of God, the good of the Kingdoms, and honour of the King, but that all the dayes of their lives zealously and constantly they would con­tinue therein against all opposition, and promote the same ac­cording to their power against all lets and impediments what­soever; which Covenant they then declared to make in the pre­sence of Almighty God, the searcher of all hearts, with a true intent to perform the same, as they should answer it at the great day when the secrets of all hearts should be disclosed; which Co­venant though possibly at first upon account of taking it without the Kings consent, might not satisfie some, as to the manner of imposing, yet since the matter of it may in substance be appro­ved, and that the now King of Scots has there freely engaged therein, and may possibly consent to an Act to that effect; will it not seem high perjury, and that we have juggled with the [Page 16] world and our own souls, if we acquiesce not in the enjoyment thereof, which indeed comprehends all that reasonable men can design; how shall we answer it to the great God, in whose pre­sence it was so solemnly entred with hands advanc'd? How scan­dalous is it to the Protestant Cause? as if our Religion were on­ly fit to be made a property to serve a turn; nay, how glorious will it be to those brave supporters thereof, that maugre the arti­fices of head-strong Statists, the Enthusiasmes of deluded Secta­ries, the violences of a tumultuous souldiery, they vindicate their first principles, and abandoning the suggestions of a private inte­rest, to intend the Publick; That the world might bear wit­nesse (for so they covenanted it should) with their own consci­ences of their loyalty, and that they had no thoughts or inten­tions to diminish his Majesties just power and greatness.

SECT. IV. Resolves to the grand Objections that seeme to obstruct it.

GRand Objections I expect to be thrown in against this clo­sure; I shall offer at some solutions, which possibly improv'd, may manifest that the difficulties are not so considerable, as those that argue with a prejudice, pretend.

Object. I. Purchasers of Bishops and Deans and Chapters lands are persons many and of quality, and being in hazard to forgo their purchases, they will become discontented, and charge the State with falshood, upon whose credit they disburst their moneys.

Answ. To discourse soberly, and with respect to the state of our af­fairs, I shall wave a dispute, what Discipline in the Church, or whether any prefixt form by a Divine right? when the four grand pretenders, Papal, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Indepen­dent shall reconcile the same texts, which all of them quote to a contrary tenent, possibly the world may be satisfied to close with [Page 17]that which is approved. In the mean time it becomes discreet Rulers so to manage that interest, that there may be Order in the Church without Confusion to the State.

Now as to us, if we inquire throughly, find we shall, that (whether it were the Innovations of the Prelacy, or their scorn­ful expressions of the Gentry, or sharp prosecutions of some more popular of the Ministry, or their intrusions upon the rights of the Common-Law, that gave the occasion) The extirpation of that Hierarchy had a strong influence in fomenting the first War, not therefore improperly instil'd Bellum Episcopale. If this were so, and that the power is gain'd by strange providence, even to a miracle without blood, into those hands that first di­sputed it, that have engag'd by Covenant to extirpate it, I can­not but judge the restauration of the Hierarchy either in title or estate to be desperate; much the rather since the King of Scots has so eminently bin drawn to declare his sence that way, by engaging in that Covenant. And indeed since by an Act with the Kings Fiat, they are disabled Votes in Parliament, the High Commission, nay, all coercive power (to abrogate which Law, will be of huge difficulty among the Commons) they have lit­tle left them but the Name, to support which, so vast a Revenew is not expedient. And their persons, most of them being now dead, and none succeeding to the estate, a Purchaser may enjoy his Bargaine with less reproach, than Delinquents Lands, where the Heire disinherited, will lie always in the check.

Not that the Purchaser should only pamper himself by the miseries of the times, and reap the full benefit of his fat b [...]r­gain, but should contribute a sum considerable for the securing of his Title. Thus, let him pay in to the publick use six years purchase of the full value, and then let his Title be confirm'd by a full Parliament. Intending this for Fee-simple, where there are less interests, there may be a proportionable pay. The result of this will be; A vast sum raised to the Publick, without damage to the Purchaser; for in substance he makes a new pur­chase: His Fee-estate with respect to the crazy Title, is not va­luable above 12. or 13. years purchase, and so it passes from man to man. Now when by this new disbursement he has his Title secur'd, his Fee-estate will be valuable 18. or 20. yeares [Page 18]purchase, and so to be sold from man to man; so that what he payes in mony, is repaid him in the value of his estate. This or the like expedient, considering how low they paid at first, what monyes they have rais'd since by Woods and perquisits; what sufferers we have bin in general throughout the Nation; may satisfie with reason the most greedy of those Purchasers. The un­reasonable must be over-rul'd; for the private must be ballanc't by the publick.

With this, that the Purchasers of Deans and Chapters Lands coming under the Act only of one House, may be perswaded to advance a higher proportion, to secure their Titles: And the monys by them paid, ought in justice to be disburst for the ad­vance of the Church in buying in Impropriations, being at first design'd for that end, to encourage learning. A lean mainte­nance will in time produce a contemptible Ministry, even the meanest of the people, to the infamy of our Church.

Object. II. 'Tis farther argued, That if Kingship be restor'd, there must be a revenew sutable to the splendour of the Court, and to support his great alliance, when a Free-state occasions no such expence; and the Kings revenew being now disposed, he will become a vast burthen to the State.

Answ. Nothing more demonstrative than that upon the foot of the account we shall find Kingship a great ease to the publick charge. We allotted the old Protector no less than a constant Revenew of 1900000. l. to support the Government; yet that sum at the yeares end clear'd not the account: Much more I a­ver is now collected year by year out of the bowels of the peo­ple; and more we must, while we maintain an Army, or con­tinue in feare, or engage in forraign War, which our active spirits will be too too apt to imbroyle us in from time to time, thereby some to feed ambition, others their purses. And such a spirit we reade of working in all Free-states, Ancient, and Modern.

Compare we it with the expences of our old Courts; when the Kings Revenew in Lands, Perquisits, and Customs, exceed­ed not 700000. l. a year, it adorn'd it with a glorious Court, a [Page 19] noble aequipage for the honour of the Nation, and yet paid off a considerable Fleet, which has not bin much improv'd by our vast payments.

Sensible it is, that were the Crown-Lands restored, and the Customes moderately setled, though not so inhanced as they now are to the ruine of Trade, thence might arise a sufficient Reve­new to secure the Seas, and supply the Court: With this, that upon Emergencies if a Free Parliament saw cause, they might add a supply by the old way of Subsidie, or Contribution, if it seem more equal; which being but once paid, and in a mode­rate proportion and assent by a Free Parliament, and when Trade is free, and excise banisht, would be rather a sport, than a burthen, in comparison of the monthly Tax.

Now for the Crown-Lands, I can instance several Parlia­ments wherein they have in re-assum'd, as not alienable, when a profuse Prince has bin misled by his Court-Parasites, and find­ing his mistake, has given them up to the fury of the people; for indeed those Lands are in the Kings hands by way of trust, wherein his Subjects have a kind of interest; as well for safety, as for honour; which may intimate the weakness of their Title who purchased the same from the remainders only of the House of Commons. Yet for the sake of peace, why may they not come to a discount? and being re-imburst their real purchase­money, with damages, discounting the mean profits, willing­ly yield up that broken inheritance, wherein I and all true En­glishmen may pretend some interest. Something of the like na­ture may be offer'd for the recovery of those we call Delinquents Lands. The late Treaty between France and Spaine, gives a fair president, where the contrary parties whose estates were Sequestred and sold, were re-instated in the just condition as the Lands then were at the promulgation of the peace, without a­ny account for the mean profits.

These Crown-Lands being thus re-assumed, will supply the Court and those dependances; and for their re-purchase, why may not the monyes raised from the purchasers of Bishops Lands be imploy'd that way; or part of it, which will suffice? When the King wants more, let him be endear'd to his people for a supply; and that indeed was the good old way to redress our grievances, when we bought it by our purses; and the bargain was no burthen.

Object. III. 'Tis argued, That Religion will be in hazard upon a closure with the King; His Mother is of the Romish party; He is now trained up amongst them; nor can he do lesse than gratifie the Popish with a toleration.

Answ. Nothing (doubtless) is of more concernment than the se­curity of Religion; and for that part of it which is Protestant, this closure seems the only way to secure it: But we are not to hearken to such as cry up Religion, and design Faction; that cry out Zeale for the Lord of Hosts, when they intend self-interest: To keep up a party, or an affected way, or to be the ipse dixit of a Country; Religion has not at all prosper'd by undue pra­ctices to advance it. 'Tis piety, meeknesse, patience, humility, and those graces of the Spirit that convince and convert, when rigidness, censuring, and the sword exasperate, and harden. But have we not a Parliament of Protestants, and the Militia in their hands to secure their Religion? Has not Gods power or truth evidence to secure it self?

Certainly, the education of this Prince among that party, is not of choice; and shall our compulsion be term'd his crime? How averse he has bin to the documents of his Mother, fame has sufficiently made clear. Inquisitions there have bin, and by him that was most concern'd, and kept intelligence abundant, as well into his Counsels, as his life; and never was he yet re­proach't with debauchery in Religion or converse. Nay, to a mi­racle, as if design'd by God for some great work, has he bin preserv'd in person, and kept uncorrupt in Opinion, against the sword on the one hand, and temptation on the other. A change of his Religion, would doubtless have engag'd him a powerful assistance from the Romish interest; which hitherto has seem'd rather to tyre out his constancy by sufferance, than to resent his misery. The Jesuite neither speaks, nor acts indifferently as to his person; and you finde not many of the Romish way, that give him much applause, which argues a strong fear in them of not much complacency in Him: It has bin their project, to crumble our Religion into Sects; upon hopes, that men finding no steddiness in those sandy foundations which are built on the [Page 21]giddiness of busie spirits, and false lights, may at last fall off to their way of Popery, which seems more United upon account of their severe discipline.

And now that God after so many years contrivance, should blowe off on a sudden their whole designes, and restore things by strange providence to their first principles, and some likelihood of good Order in the Church, and peace in the State, they seem confounded; and 'tis thought, will endeavour nothing more than the confusion of the Prince, whose conjunction will se­cure it to posterity. For well they know how he has bin le­ctured by his Royal Father, as well as tutoured by expe­rience; which may enable him as to be the wisest, so the most Religious Prince. You may read it thus,

I do require and entreat you as your Father, and your King, that you never suffer your heart to receive the least check a­gainst, or disaffection from the true Religion establish't in the Church of England; I tell you, I have tryed it; and after much search and many disputes, have concluded it to be the best in the world; not only in the community, Christian; but also in the special notion as reformed; keeping the middle-way between the pomp of superstitious Tyranny, and the meanness of fantastick Anarchie: Not but that some lines as in very good figures may happily need some sweetning and polishing, which might here have easily bin done by a safe and gentle hand, &c. To this sence spake he, when he had no more to speak. Now how in matters of consequence this King has pursued elsewhere His Fa­thers documents, is sensible to him that reads and observes: And here in this is as manifest as the Sun, and he that disputes it has more prejudice than reason; and such singular Opinionists are not worth that satisfaction. As for his Mother, she has had too much experience of the English spirits, and their averse­ness to her way, as to engage her Son upon that account to his ruine. If that way she cannot now manage Him, how can she, nay, how dare she here? Nor indeed have her Relations in France, bin so propitious to Him, as to endear Him to Her: Witness His expulsion thence.

Object. IV. 'Tis argued, That the Royal Family and that party have bin so highly disoblig'd, that no Act of Oblivion can se­cure the opposites against revenge: What refuge is there a­gainst the anger of an inrag'd Prince, when he is once in power?

Answ. I grant that there have bin provocations to the height: shall we therefore continue to provoke, because we have begun? 'Tis a Rule indeed, That he that does wrong, never forgives, but he that has wrong, may. The interest of revenge is passio­nate, but the interest of profit arises from a passion that prevails more. He's foolish that anteposes rumour and empty passion, when it stands in competition with his safety; and this Prince under the tutourage of affliction, has bin educated in an Acade­my of Wisdome: He has eat hitherto as it were at the Almes of Charity, having not a Title of assurance to the Bed, he sleeps on: A course of living abominated by a Royal Spirit, were not Necessity a Commander of all Laws: A Prince that has not personally bin disgusted as his father; not knows he the face of many, that have bin instrumental to his hardships.

Now when a Prince from so low a depressure shall be ad­vanc't to the warmth of Soveraignty, he will be so sensible of that great and sudden change, as to judge such as have assisted in his restauration, have fully obliterated the unkindness of their former oppositions; which perhaps too and not without rea­son, may be attributed to the prevalency or the falshood of some Grandees now in the earth; or perhaps to, a mistake of the true state of things; for who is he that is not subject unto Errour? And if all mistakes should be corrected, I know not what man might pass blameless. Much certainly of the mis­chiefs were contriv'd and driven up by a secret under-working of men, whom God in mercy has remov'd from being obstacles to our peace.

To speak home, Interest rules the whole world; and Prin­ces as others, design more the security of their own greatness, than a petty revenge that may hazard it; especially upon a Quarrel of their Ancestorus, who being in Graves, can make no [Page 23]address to move the passion. With us it is not, as in the case of Amaziah, who slew those servants of his, that had slain his Father: There was only a conspiracy of some few, amongst us there is engag'd a grand Body of the three Nations. Should the Act of Oblivion (for that I presume) be violated in the example of one person, upon that account all concern'd, would apprehend themselves ready for the fetters; and what with fear, what with hate, such a storm would hazard to be rais'd, as might shake foundations. And Majesty has felt so much the fury of the people, that it will hardly give occasion to encounter it a­gaine.

But for this, search we the experiences of the past Ages, and for presidents we shall find two apt ones in the Histories of the two Grand-fathers of the present King, Henry the great of France was opposed in his just Title by the Holy League; much the greater part of his Nobles were ingag'd to dethrone him: The City Paris, Roan, and the chief Citadels conspir'd to his ruine; No less than ten set Battles were fought against his per­son; Pasquils and reproaches dayly gaul'd him: Observe the issue; After a long contest, they were both so wise, as to think a closure best: They consent to Crown him, to deliver that high, puissant, and spirited Prince the power of the Militia: All subject themselves by way of Allegiance, and he soders all by a full Act of indempnity and Oblivion. Now being thus re-esta­blish't, and in full Soveraignty, he was so far from adventuring it upon a second hazard by any violation, that he imploy'd those very persons that were his main opposites in his Armies, in his Offices, in his Councils: Nor do we reade of one of those Lea­guers, that ever suffer'd affront or indignity by any reflection from that Prince: Nay, in his deep wisdome he so indulg'd his Adversaries, that his own party began to Quarrel him as un­kind to them, whom notwithstanding he honourably protected, yet not so eminently, as to raise jealousies.

Certainly, there is no remark in our Histories that so taints the memory of our great Queen, as the death of the Queen of Scots, who flying Mutiny, came hither as a distressed Princess, and was ingag'd Protection: But no sooner was she in our cu­stody, than she had restraints upon her, being denyed the Roy­al presence, which was so often promised her: Being thus a­gainst [Page 24]the Law of Nations, neither protected, nor set free to seek relief elsewhere, she conceiv'd her self authoriz'd by the Law of Nature to endeavour her escape; in contrivance whereof she was discover'd, call'd to judgement being a lawful Princess, and no Subject, and by certain Lords prepared for that design, she was in a private way condemned, and inforced to subject her Princely neck to the bloody Headsman. This her Son then King of Scots, seems highly to resent, menaces revenge, sends mes­sages, makes vows, and all to prevent that fatal st [...]ak, but to no effect. Observe the issue; Shortly Queen Elizabeth dyes, and those very Lords that Act [...]d personally in the M [...]thers Death, Court the Son to the Crown, invest him in it, and he becomes established with all prerogatives incident to the English S [...]epter, What? Acts he in the way of revenge? No; He like a wise Prince feeling the warmth of so rich a climate, is so passionate to establish his own greatness, that he not only forgets the inju­ry of His Mother, but manages his great affairs by the hands of those very persons that were contrivers of it: Yet through her blood did he derive his Title. Nor do we reade of one of those Nobles or their progeny, that suffer'd diminution by any resent­ment upon that account. If then those wise Princes that were verst in the Art of Soveraignty, and invested with strong pow­er, thought fit notwithstanding to lay aside all animosities for the preserving their own Peace. What can we imagine of a young innocent Prince, who never yet felt the power of Soveraignty, who has bin trained up in succ [...]ssive sufferances, who comes in singly, and as it were at the devotion of His Opponents. Is it possible that he should so much oversee his own interest, as to endeavour a violation of Oblivion; an Act that his most busie enemies would study to engage him in, to colour up a new Quarrel; an Act that would yield him in the issue at best, the satisfaction of an empty and unprofitable passion, but by the miscarriage might endanger Him from a Crown to nothing.

His wise Father that had bin beaten into the knowledge of the English spirit, and foreseeing this Objection, Lectures his. Son thus, Let no passion (my Son) betray you to any study of revenge upon those, whose own sin and folly will sufficiently pu­nish them in due time; but as soon as the forked arrow of fa­ctious [Page 25]emulation is drawn out, use all Princely arts and cle­mency to heal the wounds, that the smart of the cure may not equal the anguish of the hurt; Let Oblivion be granted not only as an act of State-policy, but of Christian charity and choyce. It is all that I have left me, a power to forgive those that have depriv'd me of all; and I thank God (writes the King) that I have a heart to do it, and joy as much in this grace which God has given me, as in all my former enjoyments, for to me it is a greater argument of Gods love, than my pr [...]spe­rity; Be confident (continues he) that the most of all sides that have done amisse, have done so not out of malice, but misin­f [...]rmation, or misapprehension of things; None will be more loy­all to me or you, than those subjects, who sensible of their er­rors, and our injuries will feel in their own souls most vehe­ment motives to repentance, and earnest desires to make some reparations for their former defects: You may read more in the advise to his Son, which truly I cannot transcribe without a high compassion and resentment; The like said he at his last hour. But why doubt we? Is not the Militia in our hands, the dispo­sal of Commands and Offices? Is not the Council at our recom­mendation? Who dares resist? nay, who can? If we shall ad­mit a crime, and so fear revenge, I doubt, Compounders and free Contributers, that have strengthned the arme of the adversarie, are in strict justice not altogether to be excused; Certainly we have been so shaken upon all interests by the late war, that no­thing but apparent ruine can engage us to it again; And better is it that all factions rest satisfied with what they have suffered, as the [...]ate of the times, than quarrelling upon old accounts to im­broyl our selves into a new sufferance. He has a confidence much beyond mine, that either acting or looking on in these transactions can acquit himself of all guilt; such a mask has been cast over the face of things, such temptations, such force has assaulted men during these dark contextures of affairs, that it is past man to glide through all without a tincture of injustice; As it is beastly and unchristian passionately to persevere in Error, so is it noble and Prince-like to forgive where there is the ac­knowledgment of an Error: If we cannot trust the nobleness of a Prince, nor the policy of government, nor the security of Laws, what fence can we raise against a fear; shall we consume on, as incapable of a cure?

Truth is, while we live with men we shall be subject to that, which is the effect of their nature, Sin; nor is it possible to reap the more general fruit of the best established policie, unlesse by compact we submit our selves to some possible inconveniences; As men we can erect nothing perfect; fix we must to that which seems most probable, and leave amendments to the experiences of time; yet this I dare aver, that this Government by Mag­na Charta, and since, hath been so fortified with Laws as bul­warks to prevent the inundation of Soveraignty: and that con­stitution is so regular and adequate to that design, that as under the due execution thereof, the English man is born to the great­est freedom of the Christian world, so no Prince ever attempt­ed any violation thereof, but at the long run, he suffer'd in that point of his Prerogative, which let in the opportunity; Hence is it, that the rights of the people have from age to age grown stronger against the Prince, and sometimes have hurried his per­son to be a sacrifice, alwayes his instruments; whereof few in our Histories can we read, that contriving against the Law, have died in peaece; If possibly one Prince, as King Harry by his high spi­rit sweeps all before him, yet his Infant successor was inforc'd to make amends for his violations; more easily may we dispute our rights with a single Prince, and his trembling Agents, than a knot of Soveraigns that are backt with the sword.

Infinite hopes may we entertain that this Prince has been school'd to understand his true interest; He has had glorious, though unhappy pesidents; He truly is most potent that is so in his subjects, not over his subjects; that is great in his people, not over his people; the one makes him contemned abroad, and abhor­red at home; the other makes him feared abroad, and beloved at home; Forraign enemies can rejoyce in nothing more than our self-combustions, while we consume that glorious spirit in con­quering our own bowels, which otherwise imploy'd, might be a terror to the world; Such exploits suit to the ancient glory of the English; this self-murthering suites a temper that neither fears God, nor loves man.

For Conclusion

'TIs not possible so to acquit my self of every Objection, as to leave all men satisfied, especially such as carry a Bi­asse of preferment, profit, or faction; Men that have in design exorbitancies of power or wealth, will hardly with arguments be reclaim'd; and some have I known that have so long possest their heads with strong notions, that they are not capable to take in Reason against them, and thereupon run on frantick in error till there be a Rotation in their brains; such there are that with confidence so often have told a lie, that at length themselves believe it to be truth; but with respect to the state of our affairs, we are not in a posture to resent the interest or wilfulnesse of a few, but the safety of the major part; let not the greedinesse or ambition of some, hazard a destruction to all. It may suffice that the main obstructors are the very persons that have most ad­vanc'd themselves; If they retain double, to what they were pos­sest of, 'tis much better, then with the generality, who would re­joyce in the quiet enjoyment of their own; where one has been improv'd by the times, one hundred have been impoverish'd: For be it known, that such as have been eminently active, and sweld in power and purchases are in number few in comparison with the multitude, that have been either misled, driven on, or not engag'd; Nay I may aver, that even upon this quarrel the spirit of the people has been so tir'd, that upon a just compute there is scarce one to one hundred against a Closure.

  • Now then, Suppose we, all composition with the King de­cry'd; Suppose we him in armes, bickt with a forraign force.
  • Suppose in Ireland, Scotland: Nay, with us, there are com­bustions upon that account.
  • Suppose upon termes of power we are aw'd to receive our Prince.
  • Suppose the many for the sake of peace deliver up the few as a sacrifice to the injur'd, and to ease the Publick. What then?—I have done.

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