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stand that they were preparing a bill for 1200,0001. The King, however, said this sum was too little, and that he could not comply with their desires with less than 600,0001. The Commons did not choose to grant so large a sumin the. absence of a great part of their members, and asked for an adjournment, which was immediately complied with. On the same day the King gave his consent to several acts, amongst which was one for abolishing the writ dc hwretico comburendo. Lord Russell was absent during the last-mentioned debates. The following extract of a letter from Lady Vaughan, inclosing a copy of the King’s message, shows with what zeal she laboured to satisfy his wish for political news.

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this, for all my endes and designes in this world are to be as useful and acceptable to my Mr. Russell as I can, to deserve better if I could the deare and real kindnesse, I faithfully believe his goodnesse suffers me to enjoy. My cousin Spencer is just come; the enclosed paper I copied from one Lord Alinton gave me last night; ’tis the King’s message to the House yesterday: this day the debate held till

' 4 o’clock, and the result of it is, you have or

dered a second addresse to thank His Majesty for taking into consideration your first, andto desire he would, if he please, pursue what in that they desired; and that they might not be wanting, they have added a clause (if the King accepts of it) to the money bill, that gives credit to use two hundred thousand of that money towards new alliances, promising, if he doe'see cause to lay it out, to repair .it to him againe: this, as Sir Hugh Cholmondeley says, is not pleasing at court: expectations were much higher: the Lords have not agreed with. the Commons, they desire to have it put in the bill, they should receive an account as well as the Commons; that House was in a way of agreeing, and the Speaker pressed it, till after three hours debate, he told them suddenly he had mistook the thing, that he knew the House nice upon money matters, and the Lords had


only a negative in money concerns, and this seemed an afiirmative ; so put it to the question, .but would not divide the House, tho’ if they - had, the. ayes would have carried it. I believe to-morrow at? is a conference with the Lords.”

When the Commons met again, after an adjournment of near five weeks, it was expected that the King had made some alliances to ' save .Flanders; but instead of this he again asked them for " money, and gave them‘ his royal word, that they should not repent any trust they would put in him for the safety of his kingdom. Whilst he was using this language to his Commons, he was busy in nego- . ciating for more money with the French ambassador;‘ and the higher the passions of the ‘ Parliament for war, the greater the price that 4 he asked from Lewis for his neutrality. His ' pledging his royal word in Parliament was evidently only an artifice to procure money, and ‘ has been justly styled by Mr. Hume, “ one of . l the most dishonourable and scandalous acts that i a


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ever proceeded from a throne.” *

The Commons, suspicious of the

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'‘ y King’s sincerity, and observing that

* Hume, vol. viii. p. 32.


he spoke always in general terms, at length requested him to‘ make an alliance, offensive and defensive, with Holland, for the preservation of the Netherlands: but Charles gave a very angry answer; declared their address to be an interference with his prerogative of making peace and war ; and put an end to the session.

Those who watched with jealousy the be. haviour of the King, might easily perceive that he was still in his heart attached to France. He had entered into the wars against Holland without any assurance of support from his Parliament, and he had much more reason to expect it in a war undertaken entirely in compliance with the inclinations of his people. As for the charge against the Commons, of invad

ing the prerogative, it was utterly groundless. I

They had not declared war, or put any force upon the King to oblige him to do it: they had only given their advice; and to refuse them this power, were to deny to the great council that right which is the basis of our free government.

This doctrine has scarcely been called in question in later times; and it seems to be allowed that the Commons may freely offer their advice upon the exercise of any part of the prerogative.

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THE minister, who had succeeded to the power of the Cabal, was Sir Thomas Osborne, afterWards Earl of Danby. He had got the Treasurer’s staff upon the resignation of Clifi'ord, and soon eclipsed Arlington in the royal favour. He was himself of the old Cavalier party, had been foremost in the prosecution of Lord Clarendon, and now made it-the chief object of his administration to raise and strengthen the prerogative. The projects for enlarging the King’s authority had hitherto failed of success. The Dutch war and the N on-resisting Test Bill had been arrested in their progress by the op.‘ position raised in Parliament. Charles was too sagacious not to perceive, that the suspicions of his religion and of the French alliance had been the chief causes of his failure; and there

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