Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/184

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two declamations, pro and con, made for exercise only in a rhetoric school by one and the same man. So like is a Presbyterian to an Independent.

A. In this year the Rump did not much at home; save that in the beginning they made England a Free-State by an act which runs thus: “Be it enacted and declared by this present Parliament, and by the authority thereof, that the people of England, and all the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, are, and shall be, and are hereby constituted, made, and declared a Commonwealth and Free-State, &c.

B. What did they mean by a Free-State and commonwealth? Were the people no longer to be subject to laws? They could not mean that: for the Parliament meant to govern them by their own laws, and punish such as broke them. Did they mean that England should not be subject to any foreign kingdom or commonwealth? That needed not be enacted, seeing there was no king nor people pretended to be their masters. What did they mean then?

A. They meant that neither this king, nor any king, nor any single person, but only that they themselves would be the people’s masters, and would have set it down in those plain words, if the people could have been cozened with words intelligible, as easily as with words not intelligible.

After this they gave one another money and estates, out of the lands and goods of the loyal party. They enacted also an engagement to be taken by every man, in these words: You shall promise to be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now established, without King or House of Lords.

They banished also from within twenty miles of London all the royal party, forbidding also every one of them to depart more than five miles from his dwelling-house.

B. They meant perhaps to have them ready, if need were, for a massacre. But what did the Scots in this time?

A. They were considering the army which they were levying for the King, how they might exclude from com-