Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/118

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his Majesty would be pleased to put forthwith, first, the Tower of London, secondly, all other forts, thirdly, the whole militia of the kingdom, into the hands of such persons as should be recommended to him by both the Houses of Parliament. And this they style a necessary petition.

B. Were there really any such fears and dangers generally conceived here, or did there appear any enemies at that time with such designs as are mentioned in the petition?

A. Yes. But no other fear of danger, than such as any discreet and honest man might justly have of the designs of the Parliament itself, who were the greatest enemies to the peace of the kingdom that could possibly be. It is also worth observing, that this petition began with these words, “Most gracious Sovereign”: so stupid they were as not to know, that he that is master of the militia, is master of the kingdom, and consequently is in possession of a most absolute sovereignty. The King was now at Windsor, to avoid the tumults of the common people before the gates of Whitehall, together with their clamours and affronts there. The 9th of February after, he came to Hampton Court, and thence he went to Dover with the Queen, and the Princess of Orange, his daughter; where the Queen with the Princess of Orange embarked for Holland, but the King returned to Greenwich, whence he sent for the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, and so went with them towards York.

B. Did the Lords join with the Commons in this petition for the militia?

A. It appears so by the title; but I believe they durst not but do it. The House of Commons took them but for a cypher; men of title only, without real power. Perhaps also the most of them thought, that the taking of the militia from the King would be an addition to their own power; but they were very much mistaken, for the House of Commons never intended them sharers in it.

B. What answer made the King to this petition?

A. “That when he shall know the extent of power which is