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came together. During the cleven years that had elapsed since the dismi rlia
ment of 1629, many of the old-leaders-had passed away. Sir Edward Coke and Sir Robert #. dead, and Eliot had perished as a martyr in prison. But in the meantime a new leader had appeared. By the consent of all, that distinction was now held by John Pym. This gentleman, now fifty-four years of age, had been the companion of Eliot in the third Parliament of ChâTCŞāText to Eliot and Wentworth, had been acknowledged the most effective speaker in that body. But in the course of the past eleven years his talents and his energy had caused him everywhere to be hailed as the popular leader. He was a gentleman of good family, a graduate of Oxford, and an Episcopalian in religion. His influence was probably all the greater because he did not belong to the extreme party. We are told that he was no fanatic, that he was genial and even convivial in his nature. He has been called by Mr. Forster the first great popular organizer in English politics. In company with Hampden he rode through several of the English counties, as Anthony Wood states, “with a view of promoting elections of the puritanical brethren.” He urged the people to meet and send petitions to Parliament, and by him the custom of petitioning was first organized into a system. When the new House of Commons was called to order every one looked to Pym as by a common instinct for guidance. The speech with which Pym responded to this expectation is doubtless one of the most remarkable in the history of British eloquence.
It abounds in passages. Whitch, for Weight of
argument and closeness of reasoning, remind
one of the compositions of Lord Bacon. Throughout the whole there is a precision of statement, and a gravity of manner that show plainly enough that he was not unconscious of the responsibility that rested upon him. The speech has been a matter of general comment
with all the historians of the period, for there is abundant evidence of its extraordinary influ--T
ence on Parliament and on the people of Eng
land`And yet, until within a few years, no TComplete copy of it was known to be in existence. Several mutilated versions were published in the seventeenth century, but these conveyed a very imperfect impression of its power. Mr. May, the historian of the Long Parliament says that “Mr. Pym, a grave and religious gentleman, in a long speech of almost two hours, recited a catalogue of grievances which at that time lay heavy on the commonwealth, of which many abbreviated copies, as extracting the heads only, were with great greediness taken by gentleman and others throughout the kingdom, for it was not then the fashion to print speeches in Parliament.” These “abbreviated copies” “ of heads only,” were until recently supposed to be the only reports of the speech in existence. But Mr. Forster, when writing his Life of Pym, was led to institute a careful search among the world of papers in the British Museum; and his effort was rewarded with success. He discovered a report of the speech with corrections by Pym's own hand. This version, corrected by the orator himself, is the one here reproduced. It is somewhat abridged by Mr. Forster; and the report given in the third person is preserved. In unabbreviated form it has never been published. JOHN PYM.
ON THE SUBJECT OF GRIEVANCES IN THE REIGN OF
After an interval of eleven years since the dissolution of the Third Parliament of Charles I., the Fourth or Short Parliament was opened by the King on the 3d of April, 1640. In his opening speech, Charles simply said: “My Lords and Gentlemen: There never was a king that had a more great and weighty cause to call his people together than myself: I will not trouble you with the particulars. I have informed my Lord Keeper, and command him to speak, and desire your attention.” After this short and ungracious declaration, the Lord Keeper proceeded to speak in a very lofty and absurd strain in regard to the Royal Prerogative, and ending with the admonition, “that his Majesty did not expect advice from them, much less that they should interfere in any office of mediation, which would not be grateful to him : but that they should, as soon as might be, give his Majesty a supply, and that he would give them time enough afterwards to represent grievances to him.”
Two days later, as soon as Parliament assembled, a number of petitions were presented, “complaining of shipmoney projects and monopolies, the star-chamber and highcommission courts and other grievances.” Between the con