Page:Behemoth 1889.djvu/89

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


all that’s done; ’tis the goddess of rhetoric, and carries proof with it. For what ordinary man will not, from so great boldness of affirmation, conclude there is great probability in the thing affirmed? Upon this accusation he was brought to his trial in Westminster Hall before the House of Lords, and found guilty, and presently after declared traitor by a bill of attainder, that is, by Act of Parliament.

B. It is a strange thing that the Lords should be induced, upon so light grounds, to give a sentence, or give their assent to a bill, so prejudicial to themselves and their posterity.

A. It was not well done, and yet, as it seems, not ignorantly; for there is a clause in the bill, that it should not be taken hereafter for an example, that is for a prejudice, in the like case hereafter.

B. That is worse than the bill itself, and is a plain confession that their sentence was unjust. For what harm is there in the examples of just sentences? Besides, if hereafter the like case should happen, the sentence is not at all made weaker by such a provision.

A. Indeed I believe that the Lords, most of them, *following the principles of warlike and savage natures, envied his greatness, but yet* were not of themselves willing to condemn him of treason. They were awed to it by the clamour of common people that came to Westminster, crying out, “Justice, Justice against the Earl of Strafford!” The which were caused to flock thither by some of the House of Commons, that were well assured, after the triumphant welcome of Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick, to put the people into tumult upon any occasion they desired. They were awed unto it partly also by the House of Commons itself, which if it desired to undo a Lord, had no more to do but to vote him a Delinquent.

B. A delinquent; what is that? A sinner, is it not? Did they mean to undo all sinners?

A. By delinquent they meant only a man to whom they would do all the hurt they could. But the Lords did not