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trade suffered, and the army became both exOctober, pensive and oppressive. The conseT
1673. quence was, that when parliament met, and the king asked for fresh grants of money, a long debate took place; a cry of grievances came from every side of the House; the iniquity of the war, the sufferings of commerce, the danger of religion, were ably urged; and the supplies were finally refused. Shortly after, the Commons addressed the King, for the second time, to put a stop to the Duke of York's marriage, which had not yet been consummated, voted the standing army a grievance, and were going to attack the Duke of Lauderdale, and other evil counsellors, when the King suddenly prorogued them. • .
It is not uncharitable to suppose, that the recess, which lasted about two months, may have been employed in attempting to gain the Commons by private means. A negotiation with Holland was undertaken, probably with the view of satisfying the public mind, and with no farther design than an order, which was given about the same time, for excluding all Papists from St. James's palace and park. The Chancellor, Shaftesbury, was dismissed.
Lord Shaftesbury has obtained a character both in history and in poetry for the possession and the abuse of great talents; and it is but fair to add, that there never was a statesman/ against whom more unfounded charges had; been brought. When not more than twentyone years of age, he offered to Charles I. a plan of pacification with his people, and his proposition being accepted, he tried it with success at Weymouth, of which place he obtained possession, and was appointed governor. But Prince Maurice having broken the terms agreed upon, he joined the parliament, and continued a zealous republican till the Restoration, in which he had an important share. He had gone all lengths with Charles, except being a party to the secret French treaty; but observing that the King, notwithstanding his advice, was not resolute in maintaining the declaration,, and that in case of an enquiry he should be an obvious mark for the parliament, and an easy sacrifice for the King, he suddenly changed his tone, and embraced the popular side.
His remarkable sagacity, his readiness in counsel, his boldness in action, and his peculiar skill in adapting his language to the character of those with whom he conversed, gave him an influence with the party that he joined which cannot be sufficiently lamented. His talents, undoubtedly, added weight to the scale in which he threw them, but his hot and restless temper betrayed hts associates into measures -which prudence cannot justify. And the splendid abilities of Shaftesbury were not able to supply the want of consistency, sincerity, and honesty, without which no public man can obtain in England the confidence of the people either for his party or for himself. His connection with Lord Southampton, (being married to his niece,) which first brought him into the ministry, now served to draw closer the ties of political union with Lord Russell.
It is to be remarked, to the honour of Shaftesbury, that though in the secret of every party, he never betrayed any one; and that the purity ©f his administration of justice is allowed even •by Iris enemies.
The parliament met on the 7th January, 1674, and no time was lost in making it resound with the grievances of the nation. On the 22d it was resolved to proceed to the redress of grievances, and to the removal of evil counsellors. An address to the King was also voted, desiring the militia might be ready to be, called out in twenty-four hours to protect -the country from popery, to which request His Majesty graciously acceded. On this day Lord Russell * made his first speech. From the
* He was at this time properly Mr. Russell. But as he was virtually the eldest son, owing to the indisposition of short notes of it which have been preserved; it appears that he complained of the shutting up of the Exchequer, and the attack on the Smyrna fleet. He accused the ministers of receiving pensions from France, but declared that he wished not their ruin but our security. The Commons next resumed the affairs of the Duke of Lauderdale; and it having been attested by four members that he had declared that the King's edicts were equal with the laws, and ought to be obeyed in the the first place, an address was carried to remove him from His Majesty's presence and counsels for ever. After a long debate, in which Lord Russell took a part, a similar address was voted against the Duke of Buckingham, who had proposed the second alliance with France, and had obtained a pension from France for the Countess of Shrewsbury. On this occasion the Duke made two speeches in the Commons, one of which he concluded with these words: "If I am a grievance, I am the cheapest grievance the Commons ever had." In the course of his examination, Buckingham accused Lord Arlington of having advised the attack on the
his brother, and as he is commonly known by the title of Lord Russell, I shall venture to call him so from the time of his first entrance into public life.
Smyrna fleet, and other odious measures. On this account articles of impeachment were drawn up against Arlington, and he was brought into the Commons and questioned, as Buckingham had been, if he knew of any design against the liberties of the people, who advised raising an army, declaring war without consulting parliament, attacking the Smyrna fleet, &c. But his cautious answers, or rather the personal influence of Lord Ossory, saved him from the vengeance of the House, and all farther proceedings were dropped.
The King now found it was hopeless to attempt the continuance of the war. He was fully aware that the French alliance was unpopular with the nation: he had form,ed it with the knowledge that he and the Duke were the only persons in the kingdom who were friendly to Lewis; and he had in vain attempted, by prosecuting for seditious language, and controlling the course of justice, to suppress public opinion. He had even issued a proclamation to shut up coffee-houses, which the judges declared to be legal, on the ground that the act for settling the excise, in which coffee was not included, gave a power of refusing licences to those who could not find security for the payment of the duties. A sufficient proof, if any were wanting, that judges dependent on the