Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/139

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at that time, thought nothing lawful for the King to do, for which there was not some statute made by Parliament. For the lawyers, I mean the judges of the courts at Westminster, and some few others, though but advocates, yet of great reputation for their skill in the common-laws and statutes of England, had infected most of the gentry of England with their maxims and cases prejudged, which they call precedents; and made them think so well of their own knowledge in the law, that they were very glad of this occasion to show it against the King, and thereby to gain a reputation with the Parliament of being good patriots and wise statesmen.

B. What was this commission of array?

A. King William the Conqueror had gotten into his hands by victory all the land in England, of which he disposed, some part as forests and chases for his recreation, and some part to lords and gentlemen that had assisted him or were to assist him in the wars. Upon which he laid a charge of service in his wars, some with more men and some with less, according to the lands he had given them: whereby, when the King sent men unto them with commission to make use of their service, they were obliged to appear with arms, and accompany the King to the wars for a certain time at their own charges: and such were the commissions by which this King did then make his levies.

B. Why then was it not legal?

A. No doubt but it was legal. But what did that amount to, with men that were already resolved to acknowledge for law nothing that was against their design of abolishing monarchy, and placing a sovereign and absolute arbitrary power in the House of Commons?

B. To destroy monarchy, and set up the House of Commons, are two businesses.

A. They found it so at last, but did not think it so then.

B. Let us come now to the military part.

A. I intended only the story of their injustice, impudence, and hypocrisy; therefore, for the proceeding of the