In the mean time came Letters from the Commissioners before Newark of the surrender of that Town: and that the Scotish Army was drawn off, and retreated about four miles, and the King with them in their Army.
Then the House of Commons Vote for the demanding of his Majesties Person, which took up a weeks time and not a∣greed.
For Letters were read. That the Scotish Army and the King were marched further North towards their old Quarters, and the King sodainly expected at Newcastle, and a House there prepared for him.
But the Commons conclude.* They conceive it reasonable, that Page 902in England his Majesty be disposed by none but the Parliament of England. That the Scotish Armie in England is an Army of the Par∣liaments, and in Pay to them, and so theirs: besides, his Majestie is in open Hostility with the Parliament, and hath Towns and Forces abroad a∣gainst the Parliament, and yet he is with the Scotish Army without the approbation of the Parliament, &c. That the King is, or ought to be near his Parliament, whereby they may have recourse to him for the better correspondencie between both, and the obtaining the concurrence of his Majestie to such things as are most necessary for the Kingdom, in the doing whereof, it cannot but be of great prejudice and obstruction to have his Majesty some hundred of miles from his Parliament. Likewise, that by Covenant we are sw•rn to preserve the Rights and Priviledges of Parli∣ament, but to detain the King from his Parliament is altogether in∣consistent with the Covenant, but the Lords take time to consider hereof.
The King at leasure also to consider his unhappy condition, and now at Newcale the 13. of May, in his Soliloquie complains of his misfortune, and extremities which have forced him to seek relief any where, specially of the Scots.
Although God hath given me three Kingdoms,* yet in these he hath not now left me any place where I may with safety and honour rest my head: Shewing me that himself is the safest Refuge, and the strong∣est Tower of defence, in which I may put my trust.
In these extremities I look not to man so much, as to God; he will 〈◊〉 have it thus; that I may wholly cast my self, and my now distressed Affairs upon his mercie, who hath both the hearts and hands of all men in his dispose.
What providence denies to force, it may grant to prudence: necessitie is now my Counsellor, and commands me to studie my safetie by a dis∣guised withdrawing from my chiefest strength, and adventuring upon their Loyaltie, who first began my troubles. Haply God may make them a means honourably to compose them.
This my confidence of them, may disarm and overcome them: my rendering my person to them may engage their affections to me, who have oft professed, They fought not against me, but for me.
I must now resolve the Riddle of their Loyaltie; and give them op∣portunitie to let world see, they mean not what they doe, but what they say.
Yet must God be my chiefest Guard; and my conscience both my Councel∣lor and my Comforter: though I put my Bodie into their hands, yet I shall reserve my Soule to God, and my self: nor shall any necessities compel me to desert mine Honour, or swerve from my judgement.
What they sought to take by force, shall now be given them in such a waie of unusual confidence of them, as may make them ashamed not to be really such, as they ought, and professed to be.
Page 903God sees it not enough to deprive me of all Militarie power to de∣fend my self, but 〈…〉 upon using their power, who seem to fight against me, yet o•ght in dutie to defend me.
So various are all humane af•airs, and so necessitous may the state of Princes be, that their greatest danger may be in their supposed safetie, and their safetie in their supposed danger.
I must now leave those that have adhered to me, and apply to those that have opposed me; this method of Peace may be mor• prosperous then that of War, both to stop the effusion of blood, and to close those wounds alreadie made: and in it I am no less solicitous for my friends safetie, then mine own; chusing to venture my self upon further hazards, ra∣ther then expose their resolute Loyaltie to all extremities.
It is some skill in plaie to know when a game is lost; better fairlie to give over then to contest in vain.
I must now studie to re-inforce my judgement, and fortifie my minde with Reason and Religion; that I may not seem to offer up my Souls li∣bertie, or make my Conscience their Captive; who ought at first to have used Arguments, not Arms, to have perswaded my consent to their new demands.
I thank God, no success darkens, or disguises Truth to me; and I shall no less conform my words to my inward dictates now, then if they had been, as the words of a King ought to be among Loyal Subjects, full of power.
Reason is the divinest power. I shall never think my self weakned while I may make full and free use of that. No eclipse of outward fortune shall rob me of that light; what God hath denied of outward strength, his grace, I hope, will supplie with inward resolutions; not morosely to denie, what is fit to be granted; but not to grant anie thing, which Rea∣son and Religion bid me denie.
I shall never think my self less then my self while I am able thus to preserve the integritie of my conscience, the only jewel now left me, which is worth keeping.
But the Parliament in doubt how to be used by this advantage,* which the Scots had of the Kings person, they send again Letters to the Prince of Wales to invite him to come into the Parliaments Quarters, with offer of all due respect befitting his Highness, which Letter was sent to Colonel Russel their Governour of Garnsey, to convey to the Prince who was now at Iersey, increasing in power by addition of some of Hoptons scattered Forces out of Cornwal, and some landed out of Ireland, having also possessed himself of all the Vessels in Iersey, and others hired of the French for securing that Island, and as occasion may happen, to be able to attempt upon Garnsey, to which place the Parliament had sent six Ships and Am∣munition.
Page 904The King is caressed at Newcastle with Bone-fires and Bel-ringing, Drums and Trumpets, with peals of 〈◊〉 and Vollies of Shot, but guarded with three hundred of the 〈◊〉 Horse, those near him bare-headed,* and lodged at General Levens Quarters, who proclaims, That no Papists or Delinquents shall come near his pre∣sence.
And another Proclamation, That although his Majesties person was present, yet all men whatsoever should yield obedience to the Ordinance of Parliament.