Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/212

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House (where Fleetwood dwelt) for the dispossessing of Richard; though they had not yet considered how the nations should be governed afterwards. For from the beginning of the rebellion, the method of ambition was constantly this: first to destroy, and then to consider what they should set up.

B. Could not the Protector, who kept his court at Whitehall, discover what the business of the officers was at Wallingford House, so near him?

A. Yes, he was by divers of his friends informed of it; and counselled by some of them, who would have done it, to kill the chief of them; but he had not courage enough to give them such a commission. He took, therefore, the counsel of some milder persons, which was to call a Parliament. Whereupon writs were presently sent to those, that in the last Parliament were the Other House, and other writs to the sheriffs for the election of knights and burgesses, to assemble on the 27th of January following. Elections were made according to the ancient manner, and a House of Commons now of the right English temper, and about four hundred in number, including twenty for Scotland, and as many for Ireland. Being met, they take themselves, without the Protector and Other House, to be a Parlialiament, and to have the supreme power of the three nations.

For their first business, they intended *to question* the power of that Other House: but because the Protector had recommended to them for their first business an act (already drawn up) for the recognition of his Protectoral power, they began with that; and voted (after a fortnight’s deliberation) that an act should be made whereof this act of recognition should be part; and that another part should be for the bounding of the Protector’s power, and for the securing the privileges of Parliament and liberties of the subject; and that all should pass together.

B. Why did these men obey the Protector at first, in meeting upon his only summons? Was not that as full a recognition of his power as was needful? Why by this