A Venice Looking-Glasse: OR, A LETTER VVRITTEN very lately from LONDON to ROME, by a Venetian Clarissimo to Cardinal Barberino, Protector of the En­glish Nation, touching these present distempers.

Wherein, as in a true Mirrour, ENGLAND may behold her owne spots, wherein she may see, and fore-see, her Follies pass'd, her present Danger, and future Destruction.

Faithfully rendred out of the Jtalian into English.

Fas est, & ab hoste doceri.

Printed in the yeare, 1648.


O England, (specially thou besotted City of London) if thou bee'st not past cure, or grown carelesse and desperat of thy selfe, be warn'd by this Stranger, who, having felt thy pulse, and cast thy water very exactly, discovers in thee symptomes of inevitable ruine. Divers of thy owne Children have oftentimes admonish'd thee with teares in their eyes, and terror in their hearts, to recol­lect thy selfe, but they have been little regar­ded: Let a Forreiners advice then take place, and make some impressions in thee, to pre­vent thy utter destruction.

TO HIS EMINENCE, THE LORD FRANCISCO BARBERINI, Cardinal of the most holy Apostolick See, and Protector of the English Nation, at his Palaces in Rome.

MY last to your Eminence was but short, in regard I had been but a short time in this Countrey, I have now made a longer sojourn here, and taken a lei­surely information of all matters; therefore I shal give your Eminence an account proportionably: For by conversation with the most indifferent, and intelligenc'd men, and by communication with the Ambas­sadors here resident, I have taken some paines to pump out the truth of things.

I find, that angry star, which hath lowr'd so long upon Eu­rope [Page 2] in generall, hath been as predominant, and cast as direfull aspects upon this poor Iland, as upon any other part: Truly, my Lord, in all probability this people have pass'd the Meridi­an of their happinesse, and begin to decline extreamly, as well in Repute abroad, as also in the common notions of Religion, and indeed in the ordinary faculty of Reason: I think verily the Ill Spirit never reign'd so much in any corner of the earth by those inhumane and horid things that I have observ'd among them, Nor is it a petty Spirit, but one of the greatest Caco­daemons that thus drives them on, and makes them so active in the pursuance of their own perdition.

To deduce matters from their Originall, Your Eminency may please to understand, that this King at his accesse to the Crown had deep debts to pay, both of His Fathers, and his own, he was left ingaged in a fresh warre with Spain; and had another presently after with France, and both at one time, but he came off well enough of those: Afterwards never any Countrey flourished in that envied happinesse, and wanton kind of prospe­rity; This City of London was grown to be the greatest Mart, and mistresse of Trade, of any in the world, Insomuch, as I have been certainly inform'd, the King might have eaten meer­ly upon His customes 4000 crownes a day: Moreover, she had a vast bank of money being made the scale of conveying the King of Spaines treasure to Flanders: Insomuch that in a few yeers she had above ten millions of his moneys brought hither, which she might have remitted in specie or in marchandize, and for which this King had five in the hundred for coynage: Yet could he not get beforehand with the world, having a sister with so many Nephews and neeces, having a Queen with diverse children of His own, (at least 16 of the Blood-Royall) to main­taine, with divers profuse Courtiers besides, which made Him more parsimonious then ordinary. The Warres then growing more active 'twixt Spaine and France, as also 'twixt Holland and Spaine both by Land and Sea, and divers great Fleets of Men [Page 3] of War as well French (who were growne powerfull that way) as Dunkerkers, Spaniards, Hollanders, and Hamburgers, appea­ring daily in His narrow Seas, and sayling close by His Cham­bers, the world wondred this King had no greater strength at Sea, in case that any of the foresaid Nations should doe him an affront, as some of them had already done, by denying to dash their Colours to His Ships: Insomuch that in Holland and other places he was pasquill'd at, and pourtrayed lying in his cradle lullaby'd and rock'd asleep by the Spaniard: Hereupon being by advertisements from His Agents abroad, and frequent advice of His Privie Councell at home, made sensible of the danger, and a kind of dishonour he was falne into, and having intelligence that the French Cardinall began to question his title to the Do­minion of the Narrow Seas, considering He employed no visi­ble power to preserve it, He began to consult of meanes to set forth a Royall Fleet: but in regard the Purse of the Crowne was lightly ballasted, and that he had no mind to summon the three Estates, because of some indignities he had received in former Parliaments by the Puritan party, (a race of people averse to all Kingly Government, unlesse they may pare it as they please) his then Atturney Generall, a great cryed-up-Law­yer, put it in his Head to impose an old Tax called Ship-mony upon the Subject, which the said Lawyer did warrant upon his life to be Legall, for he could produce diverse Records how ma­ny of his Progenitors had done the like: The King not satis­fied with his single opinion, referred it to His Learned Councell, and they unanimously averred it to be agreeable to the Law of the Land; yet this would not fully satisfie the King, but He would have the Opinion of His twelve Judges, and they also affirmed by their severall vouches the said Tax to be warrantable; Hereupon it was imposed and leavied, but some refusing to pay it, there was a suite commenc'd, during which all the Judges were to re-deliver their opinions joyntly, and the businesse being maturely debated and canvased in open [Page 4] Court divers months, and all arguments produc'd pro & con, nine of the said twelve Judges concluded it Legal: Thereupon the King continued the imposition of the said Tax, and never was money imployed so much for the Honour and advantage of a Countrey, for he sent out every Summer a Royall fleet to scowre and secure the Seas; he caused a Galeon to be built, the greatest and gallantest that ever spread saile: Nor did he purse up, and dispose of one peny of this money to any other use, but added much of his own Revenues yeerly thereunto: So the world abroad cried up the King of England to be awake againe; Trade did wonderfully encrease, both Domestic and forrein in all the three Kingdomes; Ireland was reduced to an absolute Settlement, the Arreares of the Crown payed, and a conside­rable Revenue came thence cleerly to the Exchequer of England every year, the salaries of all Officers, with the pay of the stan­ding Army there, and all other Charges being defrayed by Ire­land her self, which was never done before. Yet for all this height of happinesse, and the glorious fruites of the said Ship-money, (which was but a kind of petty insensible Tax, & a thing of no­thing to what hath happened since) there were some foolish people in this Land which murmured at it, and cryed out no­thing else but a Parliament, a Parliament; and they have had one since with a vengeance.

But before this occasion, it was observed, that the seedes of disobedience, and a spirit of insurrection was a long time en­gendring in the hearts of some of this peace-pampred People, which is conceived to proceed from their conversation and comerce with three sorts of men, viz. the Scot, the Hollander and the French Huguenot. Now an advantage happened that much conduced to necessitate the convoking of a Parliament, which was an ill-favoured traverse that fell out in Scotland; For the King intending an Uniformity of Divine worship in all His three Kingdomes, sent thither the Lyturgie of this Church, but it found cold and coorse entertainment there, for the whole [Page 5] Nation, men, women and children rise up against them: Here­upon the King absolutely revoked it by Proclamation, wherein He declared 'twas never His purpose to presse the practice there­of upon the Consciences of any; therefore commanded that all things should be in statu quo prius, but this would not serve the turn, the Scot took advantage hereby to destroy Hierarchy, and pull down Bishops to get their demeanes: To which purpose they came with an Army in open Field against their own Native King, who not disgesting this indignity, Mustred another Eng­lish Army; which being upon the confines of both Kingdomes, a kind of Pacification was plaistred over for the present. The King returning to London, and consulting His second thoughts, resented that insolency of the Scots more then formerly: Here­upon He summons a Parliament, and desires aid to Vindicat that Affront of the Scot. The Scot had strong Intelligence with the Puritan Faction in the English Parliament, who seemed to abet his quarell, rather then to be sensible of any nationall disho­nour received from him; which caused that short-lived Parlia­ment to dissolve in discontent, and the King was forced to finde other meanes to raise and support an Army by private Loanes of His Nobler sort of Subjects and Servants: The Scot having punctuall Advertisments of every thing that passed, yea, in the Kings Cabinet Councell was not idle all this while, but rallies what was left of the former Army (which by the articles of Pa­cification should have been absolutely dismissed) and boldly in­vades England, which he durst never have done, if he had not well known that this Puritan Party which was now grown very powerfull here, and indeed had invited him to this expedi­tion, would stand to him. This forrein Army being, by the per­nicious close machinations of some mongrell Englishmen afore­mentioned, entred into the Bowels of the Country, the King was forced to call this present Parliament, with whom he com­plied in every thing, so far as to sacrifice unto them both Judge, Bishop, Councellor and Courtier; yea, He yeilded to the tum­bling down of many tribunalls of Justice, which were an ad­vantage [Page 6] to his Prerogative; He assented that the Prelates, who were the most Ancient and Prime Members of the upper House, and had priority of all others, since the first constitution of Parliament in the enrollment of all Acts, He assented I say that these, who were the greatest prop of His Crown should be quite outed from among the Peers; He granted them also a Trienniall Parliament, and after that, this Perpetuall; which words, to the apprehension of any rationall man, carry with them a grosse absurdity in the very sense of the thing: And touching this last Grant, I had it from a good hand, that the Queen was a friend to this Parliament, and your Eminence knowes how they have requited Her since, but the maine open Councellor to this fatall Act was a Scot.

Now the reason which they alledged for this everlasting Parliament was one of the baldest that ever I heard of, it was, that they might have time enough to pay the Scots Army, whereas in one morning they might have dispatched that, by passing so many Subsidies for that use, and upon the credit of those, they might have raised what money they would.

The Parliament finding the King so pliable, and His pulse to beat so gently, like ill-natur'd men they fall from inches to ells in seeking their advantages: They grew so peremptory as to demand all the military strength of the Kingdom, the Tower of London, with the whole Royall Navy, which they found in an excellent equipage, gramercy shipmony; so that the bene­fit of Ship-mony, which they so clamoured at, turned most to their advantage of any thing afterwards.

The Scot being Fidler-like returned to his Country with meat, drink, and mony, the King went a while after to keep a Parliament there, wherein he filled every blank, they did but ask and have, for He granted them what possibly they could propound, both for their Kirk and State, many received Ho­nour, and they divided Bishops Lands amongst them: for all which unparallel'd Concessions of Princely grace, they caused an Act already in force to be published, viZ. that it should be [Page 7] damnable Treason in the highest degree that could be, for any of the Scots Nation conjunctly or singly to levy armes, or any mi­litary Forces, upon any pretext whatsoever, without His Maje­sties royall Commission; and this they caus'd to be don by way of gratitude, but how they perform'd it afterwards the world knowes too well.

The King returning to London, in lieu of a wellcom to his two Houses of Parliament (to whom also before his departure he had passed more Acts of Grace then all his Progenitors, take them all in a lump) they had patch'd up a kind of Remonstrance, which was voted in the dead of night, wherein they expos'd to the world the least moat in former government, and aggravated to the very height every grievance, all which the King had redressed before; and this Remonstrance, which breath'd nothing but a base kind of malice, they presented as a nosegay to their Soverain Prince, to congratulate his safe return from a forren Countrey; which they caus'd to be printed & publish'd before he could give any answer thereunto. The King finding such a viru­lent spirit still raign in the House, and knowing who were chiefly possess'd with it (whom he had impeach'd before, but saw he could get no justice against them) in such an extremity, he did an act like a generous Prince, for taking the Palsgrave with him, he took the first coach he met withall at his Court gate, and went to his House of Commons in person to demand five Mem­bers, which he wold prove to be Traitors in the highest degree, and to be the Authors of all these distempers, protesting upon the word of a King, that they shold have as fair & legall a tryall as ever men had; in the interim he only desir'd that their persons might be secur'd: The walls of both Houses, and the very stones in London street did seem to ring of this high cariage of the Kings, and the sound went thence to the Countrey, whence the silly Plebeians came presently in whole heards to this City, and strowting up and down the streets, had nothing in their mouths, but that the priviledg of Parlement, the priviledg of Parlement was broken, though it be the known cleer Law of the Land, that the Parlement cannot supersede or shelter any treason.

The King finding how violently the pulse of the gr [...]sly sedu­ced people did beat, and there having been formerly divers rio­tous [Page 8] crues of base Mechaniques and Mariners, who had affron­ted both his own Court, and the two Houses besides, which the Commons, to their eternall reproach, conniv'd at, notwithstan­ding that divers motions were made by the Lords to suppresse them, the King also having private intelligence that there was a mischievous plot to surprize his person, remov'd his Court to the Countrey.

The King departing, or rather being driven away thus from his two Houses, by this mutinous City, he might well at his go­ing away have obraided her in the same words as Henry the 3. did upbraid Paris, who being by such another tumultuous rabble driven out of her in the time of the Ligue, as he was losing sight of her, he turn'd his face back, and sayed, Farewell ingratefull Cittie, I will never see thee again till I make my way into thee through thy Walls: Yet, though the King absented himself in person thus from the two Houses, he sent them frequent messages, that they wold draw into Acts what he had already assented unto, and if any thing was left yet undon by him, he wold do it; ther­fore he will'd them to leave off those groundles feares and jea­lousies wherwith they had amus'd both Cittie and Countrey; and he was ready to return at all times to his Palace in West­minster, provided that his Person might be secur'd from the for­mer barbarisms & outrages: But in lieu of a dutifull compliance with their Prince, the thoughts of the two Houses ran upon no­thing but war: The King then retiring into the North, & think­ing with a few of his servants only to go visit a Town of his, he was denied entrance by a fatall unlucky wretch, who afterwards was shamefully executed, with his eldest son, by command of his new Masters of the Parlement: The King being thus shut out of his own town (which open'd the first dore to a bloudy war) put forth a Declaration, wherein he warn'd all his people that they should look to their proprieties, for if Hee was thus barr'd of his owne, how could any private Subject be sure to be Master of any thing he had, and herein he was as much Pro­phet as Prince; For the Parlement-men afterwards made them­selfs Land-Lords of the whole Kingdome, it hath been usuall for them to thrust any out of his freehold, to take his bed from under him, and his shirt from off his very back. The King being [Page 9] kept thus out of one of his townes, might well suspect that he might be driven out of another, therefore 'twas time for him to look to the preservation of his Person, and the Countrey came in voluntarily unto him by thousands to that purpose, but hee made choice of a few only to be his gard, as the Parlement­teers had don a good while before for themselfs: But now they went otherwise to worke, for they fell a levying, listing, and arming men by whole Regiments and Brigades till they had a verie considerable Army a foot, before the King had one Mus­queteer or Trooper on his side: yet these men are so notorious­ly impudent, as to make the King the first Aggressor of the war, and to lay upon Him all the blood that was spilt to this day, wherein the Devill himself cannot be more shameles. The Parliamenteers having an army of foot and horse thus in per­fect Equipage, 'twas high time for the King to look to him­selfe, therefore he was forced to display his royall Standard, and draw his sword quite out: Thus a cruell and most cruentous civill war began which lasted neer upon foure yeers without intermission, wherin there happen'd more battailes, sieges and skirmishes, then passed in the Netherlands in fourescore yeers, and herein the Englishmen may be said to get som credit abroad in the world, that they have the same blood running in their veines (though not the same braines in their sculls) which their Ancestors had, who were observed to be the acti­vest peeple in the field, impatient of delay, and most desirous of battaile then any Nation.

But it was one of the greatest miracles that ever happen'd in this Land how the King was able to subsist so long against the Parlamenteers, considering the multiplicity of infinite advanta­tages they had of him by water and land: for they had the Scot, the Sea and the City on their side; touching the first, he rushed in as an Auxiliary, with above 20000. Horse and Foot compleatly furnish'd both with small and great ammunition and arms, well cloth'd and money'd: For the second, they had all the Kings Ships well appointed, which are held to be the greatest security of the Island both for defence and offence, for every one of them is accounted one of the moving Castles of the Kingdome: besides they had all the other standing stone-Castles, [Page 10] Forts, and tenable places to boot: Concerning the last, (viz. the City) therein they had all the wealth, bravery, and prime ammunition of England, this being the onely Maga­zin of men and money: Now if the King had had but one of these on his side, he had in all probability crush'd them to no­thing: yet did he bear up strangely against them a long time, and might have don longer, had he kept the campane, and not spent the spirits of his men before Townes; had he not made a disadvantagious election of som Commanders in chief, and lastly, had he not had close Traitors within dores, as well as o­pen Rebells without; for his very Cabinet Councell, and Bed-Chamber were not free of such vermin, and herein the Parle­menteers spent unknown sums and were very prodigall of the Kingdomes money.

The King, after many traverses of war, being reduced to a great streight by crosse successes and Counsells, rather then to fall in­to the hands of the Parlementeers, withdrew himselfe in a Ser­vingmans disguise to the Scors army, as his last randevous, and this plott was manag'd by the French Agent then residing here; A man wold think that that Nation wol'd have deem'd it an e­ternall honor unto them to have their own King and Countrey­man throw himself thus into their armes, and to repose such a singular trust in them upon such an Extremity: but they corre­sponded not so well with him as he expected, for though at first when the Parlamenteers sollicited their deer Brethren for a deli­very of the Kings person unto them, their note was then, if any forren petty Prince had so put himself upon them, they could not with honor deliver him, much lesse their own Native King; yet they made a sacrifice of him at last for 800000. Crownes; whereupon Bellieure the French Ambassador being convoyed by a Troop of horse from the King towards London, to such a stand, in lieu of larges to the souldiers, he drew out an halfe crown peece, and asked them how many pence that was, they answered 30. He replied, for so much did Judas betray his Master, and so he departed

And now, that in the cours of this Historicall Narration I have touch'd upon France, your Eminence may please to under­stand, that nothing allmost could tend more to the advantage of [Page 11] that King, then these commotions in England, considering that he was embark'd in an actuall war with the House of Austria and that this Iland did do Spain som good offices; among other, by transport of his treasure to Dunkerk in English bottomes, wherunto this King gave way, and somtimes in his own Gale­ons, which sav'd the Spainard neer upon 20. in the hundred, then if he had sent it by way of Genoa; so that som think, though France made semblance to resent the sad condition of her Neighbour, and thereupon sent the Prince of Harcour, and the foresaid Monsieur Bellieure to compose matters, yet she never really intended it, as being against her present interest and en­gagements: yet the world thinks it much that she shold pub­liquely receive an Agent from these Parlamenteers, and that the French Nobility who were us'd to be the gallantest men in the world to vindicate the quarrels of distressed Ladies, are not more sensible of the outrages that have bin offer'd a daughter of France, specially of Henry the great's.

But to resume the threed of my Narration, the King (and with him, one may say, England also) being thus bought and sold, the Parlamenteers insteed of bringing him to Westminster, which had put a Period to all distempers toss'd him up and downe to private houses, and kept the former Army still a foot: And truly I think there was never Prince so abus'd, or poor pee­ple so baffled, and no peeple but a purblind besotted peeple wold have suffred themselfs to be so baffled: for notwithstand­ing that no Enemy appeer'd in any corner of the Kingdom, yet above 20000. Tagaroons have bin kept together ever since to grind the faces of the poore, and exhaust the very vitall spirits of town and Countrey, and keep them all in a perfect slavery: Had the Parlement-men, when the Scots were gone, brought their King in a generous and frank way (as had well becom'd Englishmen) to sitt among them, and trusted to him (which of necessity they must do at last) as they had gain'd more honor far in the world abroad, so they had gain'd more upon his af­fections then I beleeve they will ever do hereafter.

But to proceed, the King having bin a good while prisoner to the Parlement, the Army snatch'd him away from them, and som of the chiefest Commanders having pawn'd their soules un­to [Page 12] him to restore him speedily, in lieu thereof they tumbled him up and down to sundry places, till they juggled him at last to that small Ile where now he is surrounded with a gard of strange faces and if happly he beginns to take delight in any of those faces, he is quickly taken out of his sight. These harsh usages hath made him becom all gray and oregrown with hair, so that he lookes rather like som Silvan Satyr then a Soverain Prince: And truly my Lord the meanest slave in St. Marks gallies or the abiect's Captif in Algier bannier is not so miserable as he in di­vers kinds, for they have the comfort of their wifes, children and frends, they can convey and receive Letters, send Messeng­gers upon their errands, and have privat discours with any; all which is denied to the King of great Britain, nay the young Princes his children are not permitted as much as to ask him blessing in a letter. In so much that if he were not a great King of his passions, and had a heart cast in an extraordinary Mould, these pressures & those base aspersions that have bin publiquely cast upon him by the Parlement it self, had bin enough to have sent him out of the world e're this, and indeed 'tis the main thing they drive at, to torture his brain, and tear his very heartstrings if they could: so that wheras this foolish ignorant peeple speak such horrid things of our Inquisition, truly my Lord 'tis a most gentle way of proceeding being compar'd to this Kings persecu­tions.

As the King himselfe is thus in quality of a captif, so are all his Subjects becom perfect slaves, they have fool'd themselfs into a worse slavery then Jew or Greek under the Ottomans, for they know the bottom of their servitude by paying so many Sultanesses for every head; but here, peeple are put to endles, unknowne, tyrannicall Taxes, besides plundring and AcciZe, which two words, and the practise of them (with storming of Townes) they have learnt of their pure brethren of Holland: and for plundrings, these Parlementeer Saints think they may robb any that adheres not to them as lawfully as the Iewes did the Egiptians: 'Tis an unsommable masse of money these Re­formers have squandred in few yeers, whereof they have often promis'd and solemnly voted a publike account to satisfie the Kingdome: but as in a hundred things more, so in this pre­cious [Page 13] particular they have dispens'd with their Votes: they have consumed more treasure with pretence to purge one Kingdome, then might have served to have purchas'd two; more (as I am credibly told) then all the Kings of England spent of the public stock since the Saxon Conquest: Thus have they not only beg­ger'd the whole Iland, but they have hurld it into the most fear­full'st Chaos of confusion that ever poore Countrey was in; they have torne in pieces the reines of all Government, trampled upon all Lawes of heaven and earth, and violated the very Dictamens of nature, by making mothers to betray their sonnes, and the sonnes their fathers, but specially that great Charter, which is the Pandect of all the Lawes and Liberties of the free­born Subject, which at their admission to the House they are solemnly sworn to maintaine, is torn in flitters: besides those severall Oaths they forg'd themselfs, as the Protestation and Co­venant, where they voluntarily sweare to maintain the Kings Honor and Rights, together with the established Lawes of the Land, &c. Now I am told, that all Acts of Parlement here are Lawes, and they carry that Majestie with them, that no power can suspend or repeale them, but the same power that made them, which is the King sitting in full Parlement; these mon­grell Polititians have bin so notoriously impudent as to make an inferior Ordinance of theirs to do it, which is point-blank a­gainst the very fundamentalls of this Government, and their owne Oaths, which makes me think that there was never such a perjur'd pack of wretches upon earth, never such Monsters of mankind.

Yet this simple infatuated peeple have a Saint-like opinion of these Monsters, this foolish Citie gards them daily with Horse and Foot, whereby she may be sayd to kisse the very stones that are thrown at her, and the hand whence they came, which a dogg wold not do: But she falls to recollect her felf now that she begins to be pinch'd in Trade, that that her Mint is starv'd, and that the Prince commands both Sea and River: yet the leading'st men in her Common-Councell care not much for it, in regard most of them have left traffiqueing abroad, finding it a more easie and gainefull way of trading at home, by purchasing Church-lands, plunder'd goods, and debts upon [Page 14] the Public Faith; thus the Saints of this Iland turn godlinesse into gaine.

Truly my Lord, I give the English for a lost Nation, never was there a more palpable oblaesion of the brain, and a more visible decay of reason in any race of men: it is a strange judge­ment from heaven, that a peeple shold not be more sensible how they are becom slaves to Rebells, and those most of them the scumm of the Nation, which is the basest of mise­ries: how they suffer them to tyrannize by a meer arbitrary ex­trajudiciall power o're their very soules and bodies, o're their very lifes and livelihoods; how their former freedom is turn'd to fetters, Molehills into Mountaines of grievances, Ship-mo­ney into Accize, Justice into Tyranny: For nothing hath bin and is daily so common amongst them as imprisonment with­out charge, and a charge without an accuser, condemnation with­out apparance, and forfaitures without conviction.

To speak a little more of the King, if all the infernall fiends had ligu'd against him, they could not have designd & disgorg'd more malice: they wold have laid to his charge his fathers death, as arrand a lie as ever was hatch'd in hell: they wold make him fore-know the insurrection in Ireland, whereas the Spanish Ambassador here, & his Confessor who is a very reverend Irish man, told me, that he knew no more of it then the grand Mogor did: they charge him with all the bloud of this civill warre, wheras they and their instruments were the first kindlers of it, and that first prohibited trade: they intercepted and prin­ted his privat letters to his Queen, and hers to him, (Oh barba­rous basenesse!) but therin they did him a pleasure, though the intent was malitious, their aym in all things being to imbitter and envenom the hearts of his peeple towards him; and this was to render him a glorious and well-belov'd Prince, and for making him rich, all which they had vow'd to do upon passing the Act of Continuance, they have made him poorer then the meanest of all his vassalls, they have made him to have no propriety in house, goods, or Lands, or as one may say, in his wife and children: 'Twas usuall for the father to hunt in his Park while the son hunted for his life in the field, for the wife to lye in his bedds, while the husband layed wait to [Page 15] murther him abroad; they have seiz'd upon and sold his pri­vat Hangings and Plate, yea his very Cabinets, Jewells and Pictures.

Nor are they the honorablest sort of peeple, and men nobly extracted (as in Scotland) that do all this, (for then it were not so much to be wondred at) but they are the meanest sort of Sub­jects, many of them Mechaniques, whereof the lower House is full; specially the subordinate Committees, who domineer more ore Nobles and Gentry, then the Parliament-Members themselfs their Masters.

Touching those few Peers that sit now voting in the upper House, they may be sayed to be but mee [...] Cyphers, they are grown so degenerate as to suffer the Commons to give them the Law, to ride upon their backs, and do most things without them: There be many thousand Petitions that have been recommended by these Lords to the lower House, which are scornfully thrown into corners and never read; their Messengers have us'd to dance attendance divers houres and dayes afore they were vouchsafed to be let in or heard, to the eternall dishonor of those Peers, and yet poor spirited things they resent it not: The Commons now command all, and though, as I am inform'd, they are sum­mon'd thither by the Kings Originall Writt but to consent to what the King and his great Counsell of Peers (which is the true Court of Parlement) shall resolve upon; They are now from Consenters becom the chiefest Counsellors yea Controw­lers of all; nay som of this lower House fly so high as to term themselfs Conquerors, and though in all conferences with the Lords [...]hey stand bare before them, yet by a new way of mix'd Committees they cary themselfs as Collegues: These are the men that now have the vogue, and they have made their Priviledges so big swoln, that they seem to have quite swal­lowed up both the Kings Prerogatives, and that of the Lords: These are the Grandees, and Sages of the times, though most of them have but crack'd braines and crazy fortunes; Nay som of them are such arrand Knaves and coxcombs, that 'tis questiona­ble whither they more want common honesty, or common sense; nor know no more what belongs to true policy then the left legg of a joint-stoole: They are grown so high a tiptoes, [Page 16] that they seem to scorn an Act of Amnestia [...], or any grace from their King, wheras som of them deserve to be hang'd as oft as they have haires upon their heads; nor have they any more care of the common good of England then they have of Lapland, so they may secure their persons, and continue their Power and Authority, is sweet, though it be in Hell. Thus, my Lord, is England now govern'd, so that 'tis an easy thing to take a pro­spect of her ruine; The Scot is now the rising man, who is the third time struck into her bowells with a numerous Army: They say he hath vow'd never to return till he hath put the Crown on the Kings head, the Scepter in his hand, and the sword by his side; if he do so, it will be the best thing that ever he did, though som think that he will never be able to do Eng­land as much good as he hath don her hurt; He hath extremely outwitted the English of late yeers: And they who were the cau­sers of his first and last coming in, I hold to be the most pernici­ous Enemies that ever this Nation had; for 'tis probable that Germany will be sooner free of the Swed, then England of the Scot, who will stick close unto him like a burr, that he cannot shake him off; He is becom allready Master of the Englishmans soul, by imposing a religion upon him, and he may hereafter be master of his body.

Your Eminence knowes there is a periodicall fate hangs o­ver all Kingdoms after such a revolution of time, and rotation of fortunes wheele; the cours of the world hath bin, for one Nation, like so many nailes, to thrust out another; But for this Nation, I observe by conference with divers of the saddest and best weighdst men among them, that the same presages foretell their ruine as did the Israelites of old, which was a murmuring against their Governors; It is a long time that both Judges Bishops, and privy Counsellors have bin mutter'd at, wherof the first shold be the oracles of the Law, the other of the Gospell, the last of State-affaires, and that our judgments shold acquiesce upon theirs; Here as I am inform'd; 'twas common for evry ignorant client to arraign his Judg; for evry puny Clerk to cen­sure the Bishop; for evry shallow-brain home-bred fellow to descant upon the results of the Councell Table: and this spirit of contradiction and contumacy hath bin a long time foment­ing [Page 17] in the minds of this peeple, infus'd into them principally, by the Puritanicall Faction. Touching the second of these (I mean Bishops) they are grown so odious (principally for their large demeanes) among this peeple, as Monks were of old, and one may say it is a just judgment fallen upon them, for they were most busy in demolishing Convents and Monasteries, as these are in destroying Cathedralls and Ministers; But above all, it hath bin observ'd that this peeple hath bin a long time rotten-hearted towards the splendor of the Court, the very glory of their King, and the old establish'd Government of the land: 'Tis true there were a few small leakes sprung in the great ves­sell of the State, (and what vessell was ever so tite but was sub­ject to leakes?) but these wiseakers in stopping of one have made a hundred: Yet if this Kings raign were parallell'd to that of Queen EliZabeth's, who was the greatest Minion of a peeple that ever was, one will find that she stretch'd the Prerogative as much: In her time as I have read in the Latin Legend of her life, som had their hands cut off for writing against her matching with the Duke of Aniou, others were hang'd at Tyburn for tra­ducing her government; she pardon'd thrice as many Roman Priests as this King did she pass'd divers Monopolies, she kept an Agent at Rome, she sent her Sargeant at Armes to pluck out a Member then sitting in the House of Commons by the eares, and clap'd him in prison; she call'd them sawcy fellowes to meddle with her Prerogative, or with the government of her houshold, she mannag'd all forren affaires, specially the warrs with Ireland soly by her privy Counsell; yet there was no mur­muring at her raign, and the reason I conceave to be, that there was neither Scot or Puritan had then any stroke in England.

Yet, for all their disobedience and grumblings against their Liege Lord the King, this peeple are exactly obedient to their new Masters of the House of Commons, though they sit there but as their Servants and entitle themselfs so; and also though in lieu of the small scratches which England might happily have receiv'd before (all which the King had cur'd) these new Masters have made such deep gashes in her, and given her such deadly wounds, that I believe are incurable.

My Lord, I find by my researches, that there are two great [Page 18] Idolls in this Kingdome the greatest that ever were, they are the Parliament and the Pulpit; 'tis held a kind of blasphemy, if not a sin against the Holy Ghost to speak against the one, and the whole body of Religion is nailed unto the other, for there is no devotion here at all but preaching, which God wot is little better then prating. The abuse of these two hath bin the source of all the distempers which now raign: touching the latter, it hath serv'd as a subservient Engin to prop up the pow­er and popularity of the first; these malicious Pulpit-men breath out nothing thence but either sedition, schisme or blas­phemy: poor shallow brain'd Sciolists, they wold question ma­ny things in the old Testament, and find Apocrypha in the New: And such is the violence wherewith the minds of men and women are transported towards these Preachmen, and no o­ther part of devotion besides, that in all probability they will in time take a surfet of them: so that give this giddy peeple line enough there will be no need of Ca [...]holique Arms to reduce them to the Apostolic Church, they will in time pave the way to it themselves, and be glad to return to Rome to find out a Religion again.

There was here before, as I am informed, a kind of a face of a Church, there were some solemnities, venerations and decen­cies us'd that a man might discover some piety in this peeple; there was a publick Liturgie that in pithy Patheticall prayers reach'd all occasions; the Sacraments were administred with some reverence, their Churches were kept neat and comly; but this [...]sty race of miscreants have nothing at all of sweetnesse, of piety and devotion in them; 'tis all turn'd to a fatuous kind of more zeal after learning, as if Christianity had no sobriety, consi­stence, or end of knowledg at all: These silly things, to imitate the Apostles time, wold have the same form of discipline to go­vern whole Nations, as it did a chamberfull of men in the in­fancy of the Church▪ they wold make the same coat serve our Saviour at 30. yeers, which fitted him at three: Tis incredible how many ugly sorts of heresies they daily hatch, but they are most of them old ones newly furbish'd; they all relate to Aeri­us, a perfect hater of Bishops, because he could not be one himself. The two Sectaries which sway most, are the Pres­byterians [Page 19] and Independents, the Presbyterian is a spawn of a Puri­tan, and the Independent a spawn of the Presbyterian: there's but one hop 'twixt the first and a Iew, and but half a hop 'twixt the other and an Infidell; they are both opposite to Mo­narchy and Hierarchy; and the latter would have no Go­vernment at all, but a parity and promiscuous confusion, a race of creatures fit only to inhabit Hell: and one of the fruits of this blessed Parlement, and of these two Sectaries is that they have made more Jewes and Athiests then I think there is in all Europe besides; but truly my Lord I think the judgments of Heaven were never so visible in any part of the Earth, as they are now here, for there is Rebell against Rebell, House against House, Cittie against Army, Parlement against Scot, but these two Sectaries, I mean the Presbyterian and Independent, who were the fire-brands that put this poor Iland first in a flame, are now in most deadly feud one against the other (though they both concur in this to destroy government:) And if the King had time enough to look only upon them, they would quickly hang, draw, and destroy one another.

But indeed all Christian Princes shold observe the motions & successes of these two unlucky Incendiaries, for if they shold ligue together againe (as they have often plaid fast and loose one with another) and prevail here, this Iland wold not terminate their de­signes, they wold puzzle all the world besides. Their Preachmen ordinarily cry out in the Pulpit, there is a great work to be done upon earth, for the reforming all mankind, and they are appoint­ed by Heaven to be the chief Instruments of bringing it about: They have already bin so busie abroad, that (with vast sommes of money) they brought the Swed upon the Dane, and the very Savages upon the English Cavalier in Virginia; and could they confederat with Turk, or Tartar, or Hell it self against them, they wold do it: they are monstrously puff'd up with pride, that they stick not to call themselfs Conquerors; and one of the chief ring-leaders of them, an ignorant home-bred kind of Brewer, was not ashamed to vaunt it publiquely in the Commons House, that if he had but 20000. men, he wold undertake to march to Constan­tinople, and pull the Ottoman Emperour out of his throne.

Touching the other grand Idoll the Parlement, 'tis true that [Page 20] the primitive constitution of Parlement in this Iland was a wholsome peece of policy, because it kept a good correspon­dence, and clos'd all ruptures 'twixt the King and his people, but this thing they call Parlement now, may rather be term'd but a cantle of one, or indeed a Conventicle of Schismatiques, rather then a great Counsell; 'tis like a kind of headlesse Monster, or som ectropiated carkas; for there is neither King nor Prelate, nor scarce the seventh part of Peers and Commons, no not the twelfth part fairely elected; neverthelesse they draw the peeple, specially this City, like so many stupid animalls, to adore them.

Yet though this institution of Parlement be a wholsom thing in it self, there is in my judgment a great incongruity in one par­ticular; and I believe it hath bin the cause of most distempers; It is, That the Burgesses are more in number then the Knights of Shires; for the Knights of the Shires are commonly Gentlemen well born, and bred, and vers'd in the Lawes of the Land, as well as forren governments, divers of them; but the Burgesses of Townes are commonly Tradesmen, and being bred in Corpo­rations, they are most of them inclining to Puritamism, and consequently to popular government; these, exceeding the Knights in number, carry all before them by plurality of Voices, and so puzzle all: And now that I have mentioned Corporations, I must tell your Lordship, that the greatest soloecism in the policy of this Kingdom, is the number of them; especially this mon­strous City, which is compos'd of nothing els but of Corpora­tions; and the greatest errors that this King, specially his Fa­ther committed, was to suffer this town to spread her wings so wide; for she bears no proportion with the bi [...]nesse of the Iland, but may fit a Kingdom thrice as spacious; she engrosseth and dreines all the wealth and strength of the Kingdom; so that I cannot compa [...]e England more properly then to one of our Cre­mona geese, where the custom is, to fatten onely the heart, but in doing so the whole body growes lank.

To draw to a conclusion, This Nation is in a most sad and desperate condition, that they deserved to be pittied, and pre­served from sinking, and having cast the present state of things and all interests into an equall balance, I find, my Lord there be three waies to do it, one good, and two bad:

[Page 21]1. The first of the bad ones is the Sword, which is one of the scourges of heaven, especially the Civill sword.

2. The second bad one is the Treaty, which they now offer the King in that small Iland where he hath bin kept Captif so long, (in which quality the world will account him still while he is detain'd there) and by that Treaty to bind him as fast as they can, and not trust him at all.

3. The good way is, in a free confiding brave way (English­men-like to send for their King to London, where City, and Countrey shold petition him to summon a new and free full Parlement, which he may do as justly as ever he did thing in his life, these men having infring'd as well all the essentiall Privi­ledges of Parlement, as ev'ry puntillio of it, for they have often risen up in a confusion without adjournment, they had two Speakers at once, they have most perjuriously and beyond all imagination betrayed the trust both King and Countrey repos'd in them, subverted the very fundamentalls of all Law, and plung'd the whole Kingdom in this bottomlesse gulf of calami­ties: another Parlement may happly do som good to this lan­guishing Iland, and cure her convulsions, but for these men that arrogat to themselfes the name of Parlement (by a locall puntil­lio only because they never stirr'd from the place where they have bin kept together by meer force) I find them by their a­ctions to be so pervers, so irrational and refractory, so far given over to a reprobat sense, so fraught with rancor, with an irrecon­cileable malice and thirst of bloud, that England may well de­spaire to be heal'd by such Phlebotomists, or Quacksalvers; besides they are so full of scruples, apprehensions, and jealou­sies proceeding from black guilty soules, and gawl'd conscien­ces, that they will do nothing but chop Logic with their King, and spin out time to continu their power, and evade punish­ment, which they think is unavoydable if there should be a free Parlement.

Touching the King he comports himself with an admired temper'd equanimity, he invades and o'remasters them more and more in all his answers by strength of reason, though he have no soul breathing to consult withall, but his owne Genius: he gaines wonderfully upon the hearts and opinion of his peeple, [Page 22] and as the Sun useth to appear bigger in winter, and at his de­clension in regard of the interposition of certain meteors 'twixt the eye of the beholder and the object, so this King being thus o'reclouded and declined shines far more glorious in the eyes of his peeple; and certainly these high morall vertues of constancy, courage and wisdom com from above; and no won­der, for Kings as they are elevated above all other peeple and stand upon higher ground, they sooner receave the inspirations of heaven; nor doth he only by strength of reason outwit them, but he wooes them by gentlenes and mansuetude; as the Gen­tleman of Paris who having an Ape in his house that had taken his only child out of the cradle, and dragged him up to the ridge of the house, the parent with ruthfull heart charmed the Ape by faire words and other blandishments to bring him softly down, which he did; England may be said to be now just upon such a precipice, ready to have her braines dasht out, and I hope these men will not be worse natur'd then that brute animal, but will save her.

Thus have I given your Eminence a rough account of the state of this poor and pittifully deluded peeple, which I wil perfect when I shall com to your presence, which I hope will be before this Autumnall Equinox; I thought to have sojourn'd here longer, but that I am growne weary of the clime, for I feare there s the other two scourge of heaven that menace this I­land, I mean the famin and pestilence, especially this City, for their prophanenes, rebellion and sacriledge: it hath bin a talk a great while whether Anti-Christ be com to the world or no, I am sure Anti-Jesus, which is worse, is among this peeple, for they hold all veneration though voluntary proceeding from the inward motions of a sweet devoted soule, and causing an out­ward genuflexion, to be superstitious, insomuch that one of the Synodicall Saints here printed and published a Book entitling it against Iesu Worship.

So in the profundest posture of reverence I kisse your vest, being My Lord,
Your Eminences most humbly devoted, J. B. [...].

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