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“ neither you
the king was not less received with marked applause. The same sort of discussion commenced, and with equal obstinacy on both sides. Sir,” at length exclaimed Bradshaw,
other person, shall be permitted to question the jurisdiction of this court, It sits by authority of the Commons of England ; an authority to which both you and your predecessors are to be held responsible.”
The King. I deny that. Show me a single precedent!
BRADSHAW rose up in passion :- Sir, we do not sit here to reply to your questions.
Plead to the accusation, guilty, or not guilty !”
The King. You have not yet heard my reasons.
BRADSHAW. Sir, no reason can be advanced against the highest of all jurisdictions.
The King. Point out to me this jurisdiction, or you refuse to hear reason.
BRADSHAW. Sir, we show it you here : here are the Commons of England. Sergeant, remove the prisoner!
The king, on this, turned suddenly round towards the people. Bear in mind,” he said, " that the king of England has been condemned without being permitted to state his
reasons in support of the people's liberty!"
These words were followed by an almost general cry of “God save the King !” On the 27th at noon, after two hours conference in the painted chamber, the court opened, as usual, by calling a list of the names. At the name of Fairfax, a woman's voice, from the bottom of the gallery, was heard to exclaim -“ He has too much sense to be here !"
After some moments surprise and hesitation, the names were called over, and sixty-seven members were present. When the king entered the hall, there was a general outcry—“Execution !-Justice !- Execution !” The soldiers became very insolent : some officers, in particular Axtell, commander of the
guard, excited them to this uproar; and groups, spread about through the hall, as busily seconded them. The people, struck with consternation, were silent.
“Sir,” said the king, addressing Bradshaw, before he sat down, “I demand, to speak a word : I hope that I shall give you no cause to interrupt me.
BRADSHAW. You will be heard in your turn; listen first to the court.
The King. Sir, if you please, I wish to be heard. It is only a word—an immediate decision.
BRADSHAW. Sir, you shall be heard at the proper time : first, you must listen to the court.
The King. Sir, I desire- -what I have to say, applies to what the court is, I believe, about to pronounce ; and it is difficult, Sir, to recall a precipitate verdict.
BRADSHAW. We shall hear you, Sir, before judg. ment is pronounced ; until then, you ought to abstain from speaking Upon this assurance, the king became more calm ; he sat down, and Bradshaw
proceeded : Gentlemen, it is well known that the prisoner at your bar has now been many times brought before this court, to reply to a charge of high treason, and other high crimes, exhibited against him in the name of the English people.
“Not half the people!” exclaimed the same voice that had spoken on hearing the name of Fairfax ; “ Where is the people ?—where is its consent ? Oliver Cromwell is a traitor !” • The whole assemlly seemed electrified : all eyes turned towards the gallery. “ Down with that strumpet !” cried Axtell ; fire upon
them!” It was Lady Fairfax. A general confusion now arose : the soldiers, though everywhere fierce and active, could with difficulty repress it. Order being at length a little restored, Bradshaw again insisted on the king's obstinate refusal to reply to the charges, upon the notoriety of the crimes imputed to him; and declared that the
court, though unanimous in its sentence, had, nevertheless, consented to hear the prisoner's defence, provided that he would cease to question its jurisdiction.
“I demand,” said the king, “to be heard in the painted chamber, by both Lords and Commons, upon a proposition which concerns the peace of the kingdom, and the liberty of my subjects, much more nearly than my own preservation.”
A violent tumult now spread throughout the court and the whole assembly. Friends and enemies were all eager to divine for what purpose the king had demanded this conference with the two houses, and what it was his intention to propose to them.
Colonel Downs, a member of the court, expressed a wish that the king's proposition should be heard. “ Since one of the members desires it,” said Bradshaw, gravely, “ the court must retire ;” and they immediately passed into a neighbouring hall. In about half an hour the court returned, and Bradshaw informed the king that his proposition was rejected. Charles appeared to be subdued, and no longer insisted with any degree of vigour.
* If you have nothing to add,” said Bradshaw, “ the court will proceed to give sentence.”
“ I shall add nothing, Sir,” said the king; "and only request what I have said
be recorded.' Without replying to this, Bradshaw informed him he was about to hear his sentence; but before he ordered it to be read, he addressed to the king a long discourse, as a solemn apology for the proceedings of parliament; enumerating all the evil deeds of the king, and imputing to him alone all the misfortunes of the civil war, since it was his tyranny that had made resistance as much a matter of duty as of necessity. The orator's language was harsh and bitter, but grave, pious, free from insult, and stamped with profound conviction, though with a slight mixture of vindictive feeling. The king heard him without any interruption, and with equal gravity. In proportion, however, as the discourse drew towards
a close, he became visibly troubled ; and as soon as Bradshaw was silent, he endeavoured to speak. Bradshaw prevented him, and commanded the clerk to read the sentence. This being done, he said, “This is the act, opinion, and unanimous judgment of the court;" and the whole court rose up in token of assent.
Sir,” said the king, abruptly, “will you hear one word ?"
BRADSHAW. You cannot be heard after sentence has been passed.
The King. No, Sir ?
No, Sir. With your permission, Sir. Guards, remove the prisoner!
The King. I can speak after sentence. permission, Sir, I have still a right to speak after sentence! With your permission !-Stay !—The sentence, Sir!-I say, Sir, that I am not permitted to speak ! Think what justice others are to expect !
At this moment he was surrounded by soldiers, and removed from the bar.-Guizot.
With your PART V.
DRAMATIC AND ORATORICAL.
HAMLET ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
To be—or not to be ?—that is the question.-
To die—to sleep