Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/181

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

failed, when there was occasion, to put them upon all exploits that might make them odious to the people, in order to his future dissolving them whensoever it should conduce to his ends.

In the beginning of 1649 the Scots, discontented with the proceedings of the Rump against the late King, began to levy soldiers in order to a new invasion of England. The Irish rebels, for want of timely resistance from England, were grown terrible; and the English army at home, infected by the adjutators, were casting how to share the land amongst the godly, meaning themselves and such others as they pleased, who were therefore called Levellers. Also the Rump for the present were not very well provided of money, and, therefore, the first thing they did, was the laying of a tax upon the people of 90,000l. a month for the maintenance of the army.

B. Was it not one of their quarrels with the King, that he had levied money without the consent of the people in Parliament?

A. You may see by this, what reason the Rump had to call itself a Parliament. For the taxes imposed by Parliament were always understood to be by the people’s consent, and consequently legal.—To appease the Scots, they sent messengers with flattering letters to keep them from engaging for the present King; but in vain. For they would hear nothing from a House of Commons (as they called it) at Westminster, without a King and Lords. But they sent commissioners to the King, to let him know what they were doing for him: for they had resolved to raise an army of 17,000 foot and 6,000 horse (for themselves).

To relieve Ireland, the Rump had resolved to send eleven regiments thither out of the army in England. This happened well for Cromwell. For the levelling soldiers, which were in every regiment many, and in some the major part, finding that instead of dividing the land at home they were to venture their lives in Ireland, flatly denied to go; and one regiment, having cashiered their colonel, about Salisbury,