Page:The house of Cecil.djvu/136

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112 THE CECILS

As soon as Perrot sat down, Cecil rose and said, " This declaration comes from Heaven. It will do more for us than if we had ten thousand soldiers on the march." The motion was unanimously agreed to amidst scenes of enthusiasm such as have rarely been witnessed in Parliament. 1

Cecil continued to advocate a war with Spain, in order to save the Palatinate, but James still relied on Spanish professions, and was eager for the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Infanta ; and it was not until the disastrous visit of the Prince and Buckingham to Madrid had destroyed all hope of that alliance that a breach between the two countries became inevitable. The death of James in March, 1625, g ave Charles and Bucking- ham a free hand, and remembering the success of the Cadiz expedition of 1596, the first adventure they decided upon was to send a large fleet with 10,000 men, under the supreme command of Buckingham himself, to raid the Spanish coast.

For the last few years Cecil had spent much of his time in the Low Countries, and had taken part in all the most important military operations. He had not omitted to press his claims to advance- ment, and his opportunity had now come. On May 4th, 1625, the Duke of Buckingham wrote, informing him of the proposed expedition, and appointing him second in command to him- self. " I will use no other expression to you/' his letter ends, " than that I have put into your hands the first infinite trust and pawn of my

1 Gardiner, IV. 128, 129.

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