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Cant. Not without cause, good Mr. Doctor, fór I find myself diseased in all parts, insomuch that, without some speedy remedy, I cannot long continue; I have a great desire to take physick, in case the time of the year be seasonable.
Doct. Yes, the time of the year may be seasonable, but we must have a care of the constitution of your lordship's body, the nature of the disease, and the quality of the medicine. Our cordials, potions, electuaries, syrups, plaisters, unguents, clysters, vomits, baths, suppositories, and the like, must be duly regarded, with a due care what planet is predominant.
Cant. I approve your learned skill, good Mr. Doctor, in having respect to the constellations, for I am of opinion, which the brethren, forsooth, call superstition, if I be let blood in the neck, when the sign is in Taurus, I shall certainly bleed to death.
Doct. That may very well be, unless your surgeon have a more saving skill than my lord deputy's had: but I pray, my Lord, let me see your
rGrace's water, for by it I shall easily perceive the state of your body?
Cant. Reach that urinal there: look you, Mr. Doctor, this water I made last night, after my first sleep; what do you think by it?
Doct. My Lord, your water is a most thick, dense, solid, heavy, almost ragged, putrid, stinking, and rotten urine; your Grace hath kept a very bad diet; there are certain raw crudities, that lie heavy and undigested upon your stomach, which will, without remedy, and that speedily, ascend so high, until it stifle and suffocate your Grace.
Cant. I pray, good Mr. Doctor, use your skill, in removing them; I must confess I owe a death, which I would be loth to pay, before it be due; wherefore, if it be within your power to prolong my life, spare no cost for the effecting it.
Doct. My Lord, it is within the power of my art to prolong your life, in case it be not cut off untimely. I have here prepared a vomit for your Grace, which, I doubt not, but will have a speedy operation; down with it, my Lord, fear not, it will bring something up by and by, and see, it begins to work already.
Cant. Hold my head, good Mr. Doctor, oh! oh!
Doct. Well done, up with it, my Lord: what is here? A great piece of parchment, with a yellow seal to it, the writing is obscure, I cannot read it: but what is this that comes next? A root of tobacco; I protest it is pure Spanish; how comes this to pass, had
Grace any hand in the tobacco patent?
Cant. Yes, it hath stuck on my stomach these four years at least, and I could never digest it before. Hold the bason.
Doct. What is this ? A book, Whosoever hath been at church may exercise lawful recreations on the Sunday; what is the meaning of this?
Cant. It is the book for pastimes on the Sunday, which I caused to be made: but bold, here comes something, what is it?
Doct. It is another book, the title is, Sunday no Sabbath; Did you cause this to be made also!
Cant. No, Dr. Pocklington made it, but I licensed it.
Doct. What, he that looks so like a necromancer; he that was, for his pains, preferred besides his benefices ? But what is this ? A paper, It is, if I be not mistaken, a Star-chamber order against Mr. Prynne, Mr. Burton, and Dr. Bastwicke; had you any hand in that?
Cant. I had, I had, all England knoweth it: but, oh! here comes something that makes my very back ach; oh! that it were up once; now it is up, I thank Heaven ? What is it?
Doct. It is a great bundle of papers, of presentations, and suspenşions; these were the instruments, my Lord, wherewith you created the tongue-tied Doctors, and gave them great benefices in the country, to preach some twice a year at the least, and, in their place, to hire some journeyman curate, who will only read a sermon in the forenoon, and in the afternoon be drunk with his parishioners for company; and, with others, you silenced the long-winded ministers.
Cant. I must confess, it is true: but here is something that pains me extremely; oh! that it were up, this troubles me more than all the rest; see what it is, good Doctor, for it is up.
Doct. Why, my Lord, the book of canons, charged with the horrible monster.
Cant. Now I am pretty well at ease: but I pray, Ms. Doctor, what was this made of?
Doct. Why, my Lord, three ounces of tobacco, three scruples of pillory-powder, one scruple of his brains that looked over London-bridge, and three bandfuls of the herbs gathered by the apprentices, wrapped up in a high commission roll, and boiled in a pottle of holy-water, to the third part, and strained through a pair of lawn sleeves.
Cant. Nay, if this be your physick, I will take no more of it: oh! there comes something else; I protest, the mitre; alas! I had almost broke my lungs.
Doct. Nay, if the mitre be come, the devil is not far off: farewell, good my Lord.
SPOKEN IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
The Reverend Father in God,
ROBERT, LORD BISHOP OF COVENTRY AND LITCHFIELD.
Being brought to the Bar to answer for himself.
Loudon, printed by R. B. for Richard Lownds, and are to be sold at his Shop
without Ludgate, 1641. Quarto, containing six Pages.
to endeavour, at the least, to give satisfaction to every man, ever to the meanest, that hath had any sinister conceptions of ine, be it scandalum datum, or acceptum ; so hath it been my ambition, and I have sought it with affection (as to all men) so much more to this honourable assembly, especially concerning the late petition and protestation exhibited unto his sacred Majesty, and the lords and peers in parliament. But, in the first place, Master Speaker, I am, as it becomes mé, to give most hearty and condign thanks to the noble knights, citizens, and burgesses, of this honourable house of commons, for that they have been pleased, by a general vote, and, I hope, unanimous, to give me leave to speak for myself, and to lay open the trath of my cause, concerning the said petition and protestation before them.
And now, Master Speaker, to address myself to the business, whereof I shall not speak as a lawyer, for I have no head for law, neither shall I need to touch upon any point thereof; nor as a flourishing orator, as desirous to hear himself speak, I have long since laid aside my books of rhethorick: my desire is, Master Speaker, to tread in the steps of an old divine, of whom Sozomen writes in his ecclesiastical history, who, groaning under the like heavy burthen and accusation as I do, chose rather to vent his own sense, and express the truth of his cause in plain language, than to colour or cloak falshood, and to extenuate his offence, by forced, trapped, and new varnished eloquence: and to that purpose, my conceptions and narration shall stand only upon two feet, negation and affirmation. There are some things that I must deny, and, yet justly, somewhat I must affirm, and that I shall do ingenuously and fully. First, for the negative: I never framed, made, nor contrived,
compiled, or preferred, any such petition or protestation; I never was at any meeting, consultation, or conference, about any such business ; nay, I never heard of any intention, much less execution of any such thing, until it was the Wednesday in Christmas, being the 29th of December, at which time it was brought unto my house in Coventgarden, being betwixt six or seven at night (subscribed by eleven of my brethren) with a request, that I would subscribe suddenly also. And for the affirmation, presuming that so many learned, grave, and wise men, well versed in matters of that nature, would not have attempted any such thing, without good counsel, to the endangering of themselves, and their brethren, and to the distaste of the lords, and that all the rest of the bishops, in or about the cities of London or Westminster, should subscribe thereunto, and that it should not be preferred, without the approbation, and mature deliberation of good counsel, and of us all: I made the twelfth, and set to my hand, which I do now acknowledge, and never denied ; nay, the first time that I came to the bar in the Lords house, I acknowledged that my hand was to it, and divers of this honourable presence heard it so read unto them, out of the journal of the lords house.
Now, Master Speaker, if these my deceived and deceiving thoughts (to use St. Bernard's phrase) have led me into an error, the error is either Ex ignorantia juris, an unskilfulness in the law, or Debilitate judicii, a weakness of my apprehension, or else Ex nimia credulitate, out of the too much confidence in others, not of any prepensed malice, or out of a spirit of contradiction, as the Lord knoweth. The schoolmen tell me, that Duo sunt in omni peccato, there is actio, et malitia actionis ; I own the action, the subscription is mine; but, that there was any malice in the action (to cross any vote, at which I was not present, nor never heard of) I utterly disavow.
And, therefore, Master Speaker, I shall become an humble suitor, that I may recommend three inost humble requests, or motions, to this honourable house. · The first motion is, that you would be pleased to tread in the steps of Constantine, the Christian emperor, who had ever this resolution, that, if he should see Sacerdotem peccantem, an offending divine, he would rather cast his purple garment upon him, than reveal the offence, for the gospel's sake of Christ.
My second motion is, that, if my subscription shall make me a delinquent and worthy of any censure, then the censure may not exceed, but, at the highest, be proportionable to the offence.
The tbird and last motion is, that that of Plautus (after my fifty-eight years painful, constant, and successsful preaching of the gospel of Christ in the kingdom of England, and in foreign parts) may not be verified of me: Si quid bene feceris, levior pluma gratia est ; si quid mali feceris, plumbeas iras gerunt. And now, Master Speaker, I might here tender divers motions to the consideration of this honourable house, for favourable construction of my rash subscription; I may say commiseration, but all without ostentation, that is far from me; but rather for the consolation of my perplexed soul, for the great affliction, restraint, and disgrace, which I have long sustained (which is far greater, than
ever I endured before, and transcends the dangers and jeopardies of the seas, and the miseries of the wars, whereof I have had my share) and partly for the vindication of my former reputation, calling, and profession, which is now so clouded, eclipsed, and blacked in the eyes of the world, and scandalised in the mouths of the vulgar multitude, that, without reparation, and restoration to my former esteem, I shall never have heart.to shew my face in a pulpit any more, wherein I have wished to end my days. But I wave them all, because I will not detain you from other occasions of greater importance, and desire my ways may be made known unto you rather by inquisition, than my own relation : only I shall appeal to the noble knights, citizens, and burgesses of the diocese where I now live, and of the other, wherein formerly I did live, as, namely, the honourable city of Bristol; which I can never name without that title, not only in respect of their piety, unity, and conformity, but also in respect of their love, kindness, and extraordinary bounty unto me: I appeal to them for their testimonies, and knowledge of my courses amongst them ; nay, I appeal to the records of the honourable house, where, I am confident, after sixteen months sitting, there is nothing found, that can trench upon me; neither, I hope, will, or may be.
And therefore my humble suit is for expedition, if you intend accusation; or rather for your mediation, that I may speedily return to my own home and cure, to redeem the time, because the days are evil, as the apostle speaks, and to regain the esteem and reputation, which I was long in getting, and long enjoyed, but lost in a moment; for, if I should out-live (I say not my bishoprick, but) my credit, my grey hairs and many years would soon be brought with sorrow to the grave.
I have done, Master Speaker, and there remains nothing now, but that I become a petitioner unto Almighty God, that he will be pleased to bestow upon you all the patriarch's blessing, even the dew of heaven, and fatness of the earth ; and I end with that of St. Jude, • Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied unto you;' I say again, with a religious and affectionate heart, “Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied unto you."