Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 1, 1547-1629. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1802.
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Saturni, secundo Maii, 1607
UPON special Motion, Ordered, That Counsel in the Bill touching Cardinall and Delabroch, shall be heard on Monday next; and Delabroch himself shall be admitted to speak at the Bar, in his own Cause.
B. Touching Wherrymen and Watermen, &c. reported from the Committee by Mr. Fuller, with a Proviso agreed on by the Committee; the Proviso twice read; and the Bill, with the Proviso, upon Question, ordered to be ingrossed.
The King's Debts.
B. For the more speedy Payment of the King's Majesty's Debts, and to provide that the Debts of the Subjects shall be better paid unto them, secondly read, and committed to the King's learned Counsel, Mr. Recorder of London, Sir Francis Hastings, Sir Edward Mountague, all the Lawyers of the House, Mr. Alford. Sir Antho. Cope, Mr. Pembridge, Sir John Dormer, Sir Henry Poole, Sir Jerome Horsey, Sir Robert Johnson, Sir Francis Barrington, Sir Hugh Beeston, Sir William Burlacy, Sir Thomas Smyth, Sir Thomas Freak, Sir Rich. Bulkley, Mr. Whytson, Mr. Henry Fleetwood, Sir Robert Oxenbridge, Sir Nicholas Saunders, Mr. Trevor, Mr. James of Bristoll, Sir Herbert Crofts: - To meet on Thursday next, in the Middle Temple Hall.
L. 3a. B. For the Naturalizing of James Desmaistres, and Mary his Wife: - Upon the third Reading, and Question, passed.
L. 3a. An Act for Explanation of the Statute of 13 Eliz. intituled, An Act to reform certain Disorders touching Ministers of the Church, and concerning Subscription : - Thirdly read.
Some Particulars touching the Ministry, and the Communion Book, urged by Sir Antho. Cope and Mr. Duncombe : And the Bill, upon Question, passed.
The Counsel in the Bill touching the Abuses of the Marshalsea, &c. attending at the Door; it was moved, they might be heard ; and grew to a Question, whether to be heard now, or no.
Upon the Question, the House was divided :
With the Yea, 73.
the Noe, 81.
Not to be heard at this Time.
House attends the King.
At Two a Clock in the Afternoon, the House attended at Whytehall, according to Direction, as also the Lords and Bishops of the Upper House; and his Majesty there sitting in State, in the great Chamber (a Presence for that Day) spake unto them in the Manner following; viz.
King's Speech concerning the Union.
My Lords, and you Gentlemen of the Lower House of Parliament :
IT is the chiefest Comfort of the Sower, to sow his Seed in good Ground, where there is Hope it may yield Fruit. Since I last spake unto you, I have heard, by common Report, with what Applause and good Liking my Speech hath been received, and digested: I hope you continue in the same Liking still; and I wish, my Hope may not be deceived ; that my Seed hath not fallen into stony or sandy Hearts; whereby what I spake may be mistaken, prove barren by preconceived Opinions, the Growth be choaked, forgotten, or carried away by the Fowls of the Air, or perverted contrary to my Meaning. For my Part, I can find no Symptoms or Signs in the Lower House, by which I may misjudge them, but that they will proceed in the same Course of particular Preparation, that they began in: As for the Upper House, there hath been no Word spoken of the Matter since your last Meeting. I come not now therefore to persuade that which is already (having no Doubt in either of your Inclinations) but to facilitate, and make the Way fair for your going on. I shall do but the Part of a good Gardener, to prune, and dress, and take away the Weeds and Brambles, that may hinder the Springing and Budding of this good Plant. And because there are, and may be, divers Explications and Expositions of my Speech, I was desirous to explain myself unto you; for (as I said in my former Speech) ejus est explicare, cujus est condere. I have not hindered [c] any Speech; for it is not my Manner, neither have I Time to do it; only, for Order-sake, I will contain all I have to say, under Three Heads; viz.
I. To interpret mine own Meaning in my former Speech.
III. To endeavour to set before you some Course of Proceeding hereafter.
I. Upon my Speech some have builded Gold and Silver ; some, Hay and Stubble: I must be as a Fire to consume and burn up the Hay and Stubble, and to sift out, and preserve, the Gold and Silver. I understand, that some have interpreted my Words, as expressing a Desire and Proposition of a perfect Union. I have not studied (as I said) to give a full Answer to such Interpreters; but I know you can put a Difference between wise Men, and Fools: Fools handle Things either with Subtilty, or Ignorance; wise Men, with Substance, and solid Argument. I propounded ever, and so I crave at your Hands, an absolute and full Union, but not a perfect Union; such an Union, as must have that Preparation which is made: And, because I spake of an absolute
Union, to say, or think, I wished nothing in the mean Time, were absurd. But it is most true, I ever wished such an Union as there might be unus Rex, unus grex, una lex. These Men that thus interpret, mark them well; and you shall find, that they propound, and pray for that, they would most shun: Probate Spirites [a]; and see, if they give you not gilded Pills; whether they have not mel in ore, fel in corde.
Something must be done, you all confess ; the Devil himself cannot deny it: Then what Preparation can you have, or wish, other than hath been ? This is but as if a Surgeon should let Blood on the contrary Side, to let out the ill Humour.
You would have a Commission to prepare for this your perfect Union, when yourselves have, in the Beginning, propounded it, have enacted it, that Commissioners of both Nations should meet and treat; and these Commissioners, of your own Choice, for your Part, being met, have deliberately propounded, have maturely digested, and have advisedly brought forth something in that Form, whereupon it is fit you should proceed ; and now forsooth, you would have a Commission. I will never grant a Commission : It shall never have my Consent, or Allowance.
I remember a Speech in H. VIII. Time, in the Parliament-house : The King propounded something which came into the House; one in the House said, that he thought the King's Meaning was good, so as it were according to Law : I pray (my Masters) that I may hear no more of such foolish Diversions, and Aversions.
It is merely idle and frivolous, to conceive that any imperfect Union is desired, or can be granted : It is no more unperfect, as now it is projected, than a Child, that is born without a Beard. It is already a perfect Union in me, the Head. If you wanted a Head, that is me, your King over you all; or if you were of yourselves no Body; then you had Reason to say, it were unperfect; but it is now perfect in my Title and Descent, though it be not an accomplisht and full Union; for that Time must ripen and work.
When a Child is in the Mother's Womb, though it hath all the Lineaments and Parts of a Body, yet it is but an Embrio, and no Child; and shall be born in his due Time: When it is born, though it then be a perfect Child, yet it is no Man ; it must gather Strength and Perfection by Time : Even so is it in this Case of Union. The Union is perfect in me; that is, it is an Union in my Blood and Title ; yet but in embroine perfect. Upon the late Queen's Death, the Child was first brought to Light; but to make it a perfect Man, to bring it to an accompisht Union, it must have Time and Means ; and if it be not at the first, blame not me ; blame Time; blame the Order of Nature:
I remember, at the Beginning, when I first craved an Union, my Desire was to have a perfect Union: Then this whole Body drew back ; said, it could not be dispatched at once; it were fit it were entered into by little and little; devised all Restrictions they could, to tie it within Bounds; produced sundry Precedents of the like ; as ; and when I would have had a more full and liberal Commission, you bounded it yourselves.
But how would you have a perfect Union, but by this Preparation? By Bills, by Committee, by Argument? And yet, I say (using our Saviour's Words) hoc facite, aliud non omittite. Mary ! I would not have you think on that to be done Today, that is to be done Tomorrow.
II. The second Part of my Division is, to answer Objections.
1. One Objection is, What Gain shall we have by it ?
I thought I had expressed it sufficiently before. But do they ask, What Gain ? Is it not Gain, to add a Nation to this; to make it One great and glorious Empire; to have that People to join their Arms and Strength with you upon all Occasions ; to make of half a Land One intire ; to add to the Splendor of the King's Court; to turn Curses into Blessings; to turn Blood and Rapine into Peace and Plenty; remembering always, that you have the Blessing of the Seat here, and that this is the Center? But
I confess, it is good to be sometimes far from the Prince's Court: Procul a numine, procul a fulmine. But whether that be so here, or no, I appeal to be judged by the Children above Six Year old in London: I desire, that the Commissioners for these Parts would speak as they find : I desire no other Witnesses, than those that best know, But if you find that my Residence here doth Harm, I will make Two Offers: One, I will keep my Seat alternatim, in the several Countries ; I will stay One Year in Scotland, and another here; as some other Kings do, that have several Kingdoms : The other is, I will keep my Court nearer Scotland; at Yorke; at some Place thereabouts ; so as you and Scotland shall be both alike procul a fulmine: And I protest, I will do either of these, if you think it for your Good; and if I shall not see this Union likely to go forward, I will do it howsoever. Observe then the wandering Objections of these Men ; consider of the Substance of these Speeches; whether they offer you not gilded Pills. I fear me, they would neither be found wise, nor honest, if they be examined and ripped up : For if you mark it, they are nothing but Iterations of my Speeches, which I would be sorry to hear retorted against me.
2. Ob. The second Objection : There can be no Security for such Cautions as shall be agreed on. To this I cannot tell what to answer; because neither I am well versed nor skilled in your common Law, nor you will give Credit to the Judges in that which they can say in this Point. But I will bring it to this Dilemma; either I can give Security, or I cannot: If I can ; why do you not yourselves enter into Consideration of it, and accept it! If I cannot, then must you leave all to me, after the Parliament, to do what I will; and if any thing light upon you other than you looked for, you must take, and bear that, which your own Folly hath brought you unto, because you did not prevent it in Time, when it was in your Hands.
3. Objec. We must yield them now but a little, because we must keep them in Appetite: For, you say, turpius ejicitur, quam non admittitur hospes.
Answer. We are not now making Marriages with Spayne; this is no new Contract or Bargain, that requires precise Conditions, Res non est entegra. The Union and Bargain is already made; nothing now to be thought on, or dealt in, but the Means. It is an idle thing now to talk of Appetite, It is true, that the Lords commended a perfect Union; but I am sure they ever had Relation to the Instrument, and to the Course that was taken, for proceeding by the Degrees, therein propounded; neither did I ever hear, before now, of any Man that meant other than this Proceeding upon the first Instrument.
Now shall I come to some other Objections, more passionate and violent, but more idle, and of less Weight than the rest. It is affirmed, that the Taking away of hostile Laws is a Donative, a great Grace and Favour; where it is known, as now they stand, they do press yourselves, as well as them of Scotland; though, by the Union that is already made, they lose their Force and Vigour. It is true, that it is fittest to take them away by Parliament, because they were established by Parliament ; but all that can be said, is no more than as if you should say, it is fit to take hostile Laws away, because they are taken away.
It is said also, that if you deal by Bills, they are like to have a cold Effect; prejudging the good Disposition of the whole House. I am sorry to hear of such Speeches, against Duty, almost against Allegiance. I know not their Meaning, except they delight to sing with the Owl upon the Bush, &c: It is a strange and ominous Prophecy, for which I know no Answer, but that I shall pray that such Swallows bring but One Summer with them. It is no Marvel, if Men of that Coat have neither Hopes nor Fears from me; and fear I shall be well advised, what I do with them. I looked for no such Fruits at your Hands; such personal Discourses, and Speeches; which, of all other, I looked you should avoid, as not beseeming the Gravity of your Assembly. I am your King: I am placed to govern you, and shall answer for your Errors:
I am a Man of Flesh and Blood, and have my Passions and Affections as other Men: I pray you, do not too far move me to do that which my Power may tempt me unto. Now for the Course I would have you hold, the third Part of my Division ; let it be my Advice, that you do all Things with Reverence ; with Love; that it may seem, you have Duty, Respect, and Care to please him, that will, by all his best Endeavours, seek to give you Contentment. That Speech of, " Love me little, and love me long," was a damned Speech; for Love and Affection must be ardent, settled upon good Grounds, not removeable. Men die, Men grow cold; but daily increase, especially in Brethren, in Two Dugs of One Breast, in Children towards their Parents.
I would wish you proceed with Order, and with Diligence, and above all, with Love to your Sovereign : I say, with the more Diligence; because now the Sickness increasing, the Heat of the Year, yea your own Hay-harvest, do persuade you to make haste into the Country. Make no more Doubts than is needful; where every thing is made doubtful, there nothing will ever come to Perfection. If any Doubts do arise, make me acquainted with them; pour them into my Bosom ; I will strive to give you Satisfaction: If I cannot answer, or satisfy them, let the Blame rest upon me. And, to conclude, I desire, that your Travels may be such as you may procure Strangers to reverence us, our Enemies to fear us, our Friends to be glad, our Subjects to rejoice with you and me ; that the World may see, there is an Union still in working and proceeding : That you beware of all fanatical Spirits, all extraordinary, and colourable Speeches; that there be no Distractions, nor Distempers, among you; that you breed not Contempt to the great Work so well begun, and Discouragement to others that wish well; that you tempt not the Patience of your Prince ; and finally, that, with all Speed, you proceed with as much as can be done at this Time, and make not all you have done, frustrate.