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eloquence; a speech so highly applauded, that 20,000 copies of it were sold in one day. Yet did it not effe& its purpose, as no punishment was inflicted on Crawley, a Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and one of the twelve Judges, and whose crime was that of subscribing to an opinion that the King had a right to levy hip-money.
Matters having now come to an extremity betwixt the King and his parliament, Charles, on the 22d of August 1642, erected the royal standard at Notting* ham, and on this occasion our Author sent his Majesty a thousand broad pieces; a pretty convincing proof that he wished not ill to the royal cause; at the same time corresponding with those more immediately employed about the King's person; by their means he obtained the royal leave for returning to his duty in parliament, where it was expected he would be of singular service to his prince by the force of his eloquence.
Soon after the battleof Edge-hill, which was fought on the 23d O&. 1642, Charles retired to Oxford, where Waller was one of the Commissionersappointed by the parliament to prefent their propositions of peace. The Commissioners were received by his Majefty in the garden of Christ-Church, and Waller, as the lowest in rank, was presented last. After having kified the royal hand, Charles looking on hinz with complacency, said, “ Though you are the lat,
yet you are not the worst, nor the least in my favour.”
As Whitelocke, who was also one of the Commiffoners deputed by the parliament gives testimony to the above anecdote, we can hardly question its authenticity; and though that author's veracity ought not to be disputed in narrating a fact, of which himself was witness, yet ought we not wholly to rely on the conclusions which he deduces from it. He more than once afferts, that the favourable reception conferred upon Waller by the King at Oxford, was in consequence of the plot then forming by him for his Majesty's interest, and which was detected in a short time after the return of the Commiflioners to London. But it is hardly probable that Charles should commit a solecifin in politicks so extremely flagrant, if he really knew that Waller had associated against his foes, as thus to take publick and particular notice of him on that account, and consequentiy mark him a victim of the parliament's wrath, should his concert miscarry.
This plot was formed and discovered in the 1643, and was of so mild a nature, that Mr. Hur;e says, " it might with more juflice be fiyled a project than "a plot." Mr. Whitelocke has given the following account of this aifair *.
"June 16,43,” says he,“ began the arraignment of # Memorials of Engliih affairs, p. 70. edit. 1732.
“ Waller, Tomkins, Challoner, and others, confpi“ring to surprise the City militia, and some members “of parliament, and to let in the King's forces to • surprise the City, and dissolve the parliament. Wal“ler, a very ingenious man, was the principal actor “ and contriver of this plot, which was in design “ when he and the other Commissioners were at Ox“ ford with the parliament's propofitions; and that “ being then known the Kiog, occasioned him to “ speak these words to Waller, Though you are the last,
get you are not the worf, nor the least in favour. When "he was examined touching this plot, he was asked " whether Selden, Pierpcint, Whitelocke, and others “ by name, were acquainted with it. He answered, “ That they were not; but that he did come one “evening to Selden's study, where Pierpoint and " Whitelocke then were with Selden, on purpose to “impart it to them all; and speaking of such a
thing in general terms, these gentlemen did fo in“ veigh against any such thing astreachery and basea “ness, and that which might be the occasion of shed“ding much blood, that he faid he durft not, for the "awe and respect which he had for Belden and the “reft, communicate any of the particulars to them, “ bat was almost disheartened himfelf to proceed in “ it. They were all upon their trials condemned. “ Tomkins and Challoner only were hanged. Wal" ler had a reprieve from General Essex; and, after Volume 1.
“ a year's imprisonment, paid a fine of 10,cccl. and was pardoned.”
That the reader may be enabled to judge of this matter with the greater precision, to this account by Whitelocke we shall subjoin that of Lord Clarendon, Hifury, printed at Oxford, 1727, vol. II. part I. p. 247.
“ There was of the House of Commons,” says the noble historian, one Mr. Waller, a gentleman of a
very good fortune and eftate,and of admirable parts " and faculties of wit and eloquence, and of an in“timate conversation and familiaritywith those who “had that reputation. He had, from the beginning “of the parliament, been looked upon by all men as " a person of very entire affections to the King's fer“ vice, and to the established government of church " and state; and by having no manner of relation to “ the court, had the more credit and interest to pro
mote the rights of it. When the ruptures grew so great between the King and the two Houses, that
very many of the members withdrew from those "counsels, he, among the rest, with equal dislike, ab“ sented himself; but at the time the standard was “set up, having intimacy and friendship with some “persons now of nearness about the King, with the \ King's approbation he returned again to London, “where he spoke, upon all occasions, with great “ Mharpness and freedom, which (now there were so “few there that used it, and there was no danger of
s being over-voted)was not restrained and therefore “used as an argument against those who were gone
upon pretence“ that they were not suffered to dea “ clare their opinion freely in the House, which could "not be believed, when all men knew what liberty “ Mr. Waller took, and spoke every day with impu“nityagainst the sense and proceedings of the House." “ This won him a great reputation with all people “who wished well to the King, and he was looked
upon as the boldest champion the crown had in “both Houses; so that such Lords and Commons as “really desired to prevent the ruin of the kingdom, "willingly complied in a great familiarity with him,
as a man resolute in their ends, and best able to "promote them: and it may be they believed his “reputation at court so good, that he would be no "ill evidence there of other mens zealand affection; “ and so all men spoke their minds freely to him, “ both of the general distemper, and of the passions “and ambition of particular persons; all men know
ing him to be of too good a fortune, and too wary
a nature, to engage himself in designs of danger or " hazard.
" Mr. Waller had a brother-in-law,one Mr.Tom “kins, who had married his fifter, and was Clerk of “the Queen's Council, of very good fame for ho“nesty and ability. This gentleman had good inte“rest and reputation in the City,andconversed much