not to exempt any man from payments to the public, but for securing every man from such as abused the King’s power, by surreptitiously obtaining the King’s warrants, to the oppressing of those against whom he had any suit in law. But it was conducing to the ends of some rebellious spirits in this Parliament, to have it interpreted in the wrong sense, and suitable enough to the understanding of the rest, or most part of them, to let it pass.
B. You make the members of that Parliament very simple men; and yet the people chose them for the wisest of the land.
A. If craft be wisdom, they were wise enough. But wise, as I define it, is he that knows how to bring his business to pass (without the assistance of knavery and ignoble shifts) by the sole strength of his good contrivance. A fool may win from a better gamester, by the advantage of false dice, and packing of cards.
B. According to your definition, there be few wise men now-a-days. Such wisdom is a kind of gallantry, that few are brought up to, and most think folly. Fine clothes, great feathers, civility towards men that will not swallow injuries, and injury towards them that will, is the present gallantry. But when the Parliament afterwards, having gotten the power into their hands, levied money for their own use; what said the people to that?
A. What else, but that it was legal and to be paid, as being imposed by consent of Parliament?
B. I have heard often that they ought to pay what was imposed by consent of Parliament to the use of the King, but to their own use never before. I see by this, it is easier to gull the multitude, than any one man amongst them. For what one man, that has not his natural judgment depraved by accident, could be so easily cozened in a matter that concerns his purse, had he not been passionately carried away by the rest to change of government, or rather to a liberty of every one to govern himself?
A. Judge then, what kind of men such a multitude of