صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

pute concerning the countries pouder, he was come to waite on his Lordship, to know his desires and intents concerning it. My Lord

N. The king's intents are only to borrow it, and if the country will not lend it, he will pay for it.

H. My Lord, 'tis not the vallue of the pouder we endeavour to preserve, but in times of danger, as these are, those things which serve for our defence, are not valluable at any price, should you give us as many barrells of gold as you take barrells of pouder. N. Upon my faith and honor, cousin, it shall be restored in ten dayes.

H. My Lord, such is the danger of the times, that for aught we know, we may in lesse than foure dayes be ruined for want of it; and I beseech your lordship to consider, how sad a thing it is, in these times of warre, to leave a poore country and the people in it, naked and open to the iniury of every passenger; for if you take our pouder, you may as well take our armes, without which we are unable to make use of them, and I hope your lordship will not disarme the country.

N. Why, who should the country feare? I am their lord lieftenant and engaged with my life and honor to defend them! what danger are they in?

H. Danger, yes, my lord, greate danger; there is a troope of horse now in the towne, and it hath often hap'ned so that they have committed greate outrages and insolencies, calling divers honest men puritanes and rogues, with divers other provoking termes and carriages; I myself was abused by some of them, as I passed on the roade: I chanced to meete some of these gentlemen, who, assoone as I was past, enquired my name, and being told it, gave me another, saying among themselves, that I was a puritane and a traitor; as two or three honest men that came behind told me. Besides your lordship may be farre of, and we ruin'd before you can come to us, being unarm'd and not able to defend ourselves from any body, and this country being a roade through which, under the name of souldiers, rude people dayly passe from the north to south and terrifie the country; which if they knew to be naked and unarmed, they would thereby be encouraged to greater insolencies and mischiefes.

N. The king's occasions are such and so urgent as I cannot dispence with it for any reasons, but must needs have it.

H. I hope your lordship will not denie that the country hath a right, interest, and propertie in it.

N. I do not denie it.

H. Then, my Lord, I hope his maiestie will not command it from them.

N. No, he doth but desire to borrow it.

H. Then, I hope, if he doe but desire to borrow it, his maiestie hath signified his request to those that have interest in it, under his hand.

answer'd him, that the king, having greate necessities, desir'd to borrow it of the country. Mr. Hutchinson ask'd my lord what com

[ocr errors]

N. Upon my honor he hath, but I left it behind.me.

H. I beseeche your lordship then, that you would not take it away, till you have acquainted the country with it, who only have power to lend it; and if your lordship be pleased to doe this, I will engage myselfe that by to-morrow at twelve of the clock, that part of the country who have interest in the pouder, shall all waite on your lordship and give you their resolutions.

N. The king's occasions cannot admitt of that delay.

H. I beseech of your lordship, yet be pleas'd to consider the dangerous consequence of taking it without the countries consent, and be pleased but to stay 'till they can come in.

N. That time is more than his maiesties necessities can dispence withall.

With that Mr. Hutchinson went downe staires, where by that time a good company of the country were gathered together, to whom Mr. Hutchinson told what my lord had say'd to him, and they desired him that he would but stand to them, and they would part with every drop of blood out of their bodies before he should have it; and say'd besides, that they would go up and breake my lord's neck and the sheriff's out of the windores; but Mr. Hutchinson desired them to stay below, till he had once more spoken to my lord, and then, taking only one or two more with him, went up and spoke to my lord.

H. My Lord, I am againe, at the request of the countrie, that are below, come to your lordship, and doe once more humbly beseeche you, to consider the businesse you are about, before you proceed further in it, for it may proove of dangerous consequence if you goe on.

N. Cousin, I am confident it cannot, for the countrie will not denie this to the king.

H. It's very probable they will not, if your lordship please to have patience, till they can be call'd in, that they may be acquainted with his maiesties desires.

N. His maiesty is very well assured of the willingnesse and cheerfulnesse of the greater part of the country to it.

H. My Lord, I doe not know what assurance his maiesty hath of it, but if you please to look out of this window, (pointing to the countrymen below in the streets), you will see no inconsiderable number gathered, who I feare will not be willing to part with it.

N. Those are but some few factious men, not to be considered.

H. My Lord, we have bene happy yet, in these unhappy differences, to have had

mission he had from his majestie. My lord told him he had one, but he had left it behind. Mr. Hutchinson replied, that my lord's

no blood shed, and I am confident your lordship is so noble and tender of your country, that it would very much trouble you, to have a hand in the first man's blood that should be spent in this quarrel.

N. Cousin, it cannot come to that, feare it not, (this was spoken very slightly and contemptuously), his maiesties occasions are urgent and must be serv'd.

(With that, the country came very fast up, which when the cavalier captaines saw, they slunk downe).

H. Why then, my lord, I must plainely tell you, not one here but will loose every drop of blood in his body, before he will part with one corne of it, without your lordship can shew either a command or a request for it under his maiesties hand and seale, or that the countrie be call'd together to give their free consent to it, for we have all propertie and interest in it, being members of this county, and it being bought with our money, for the particular defence and safetie of the same.

My lord desired to borrow part of it, but that being denied, he turned to Sr. John Digbie and took him to the window, where, after he had whispered with him a while, Sr. John Digbie laid downe his pen, inke, and paper, with which he had been taking an account of the pouder, match, and bullet. The countrymen desired my lord aloud, that he would not take away their pouder, out of the country; upon which, turning to them, he thus spoke

"Gentlemen, his maiesty was assured by some of the cheerfullnesse of this country's affections to him, which I am very sorry to see so much failing in, and that the countrie should come so much short of this towne, which hath cheerfully lent his maiestie one barrell of pouder, but it seems he can have none from you; 1 pray God you doe not repent this carriage of yours towards his maiestie, which he must be acquainted withall."

A countryman, standing forth, asked his lordship this question, "Whether, if he were to take a journey into a place where probably he might be set upon by thieves and robbers, and having a charge about him, if any friend should aske him to lend his sword, he would part with it and goe himself without?" My lord, the case is ours, our wives, children, and estates, all depend upon this countries safetie; and how can it be safe in these dangerous times, when soe many troopes and companies passe through and committ outrages and abuses among us, if we have not armes and pouder wherewith to defend us?

My Lord made no replie, but bade the men whom he had employ'd to weigh up the pouder desist; and soe went downe the staires. Mr. Hutchinson follow'd him, and

affirmation was satisfactory to him, but the country would not be willing to part with their pouder in so dangerous a time, without an

as he went, an auncient gentleman, who was with my lord, whose face and name were both unknowne to him, came to him and sayd these words:-" Stand to it, I'll warrand you, gentlemen, it is well done." And as they pass'd through a low roome, my lord tooke Mr. Hutchinson aside, and sayd,

N. Cousin, I must acquaint the king with this!

H. My Lord, it's very likely you must, being employ'd upon his maiesties service, give him an account.

N. Nay cousin, (smiling), I meane not soe, but I must acquaint him, and I am sorry I must, that you are the head and ringleader of a faction, whereby you hinder his maiesties service.

H. My Lord, I doe not conceive how this can be a faction, I speaking only, out of the noble respect and honor I beare your lordship, in private to you, to prevent a mischiefe, the sence of these men, who I perceiv'd were come to know by what authoritie, and why, their pouder, which is their proper goods, and only means of safetie, in these times of danger, should be taken from them; and if it were a faction, I am not the head of it, I, accidentally coming to towne from Sr. John Biron's last night, and neither knowing nor imagining any of this businesse, was this morning importun'd to waite on your lordship, at the town's hall, by many countrymen, who inform'd me you were taking away their pouder out of the country.

N. Cousin, if you can answer it, I shall be glad of it: but I'll assure you I must let his maiestie know.

H. If his maiestie must know it, I am very happy I spoke to none but your lordship; who, I am confident, is so noble that you will neither adde nor diminish aniething to my preiudice, and then I am confident the iustnesse and reasonableness of what I have say'd, with my own innocencie in speaking it, will beare me out.

N. I, cousin, but your name is up alreadie.

H. It may be soe, my lord; and I believe those that sett it up had no good wishes to me, and as it rose, soe, in the name of God, let it fall; for I know my owne clearenesse and innocencie in aniething that can be obiected against me.

N. Well, cousin, well; I am glad of your good resolution.

And so my lord left him. The gentlemen of the country that were there, upon consideration, what they should doe with their pouder, determin'd to returne my lord thanks for sparing it, and to lock it up with two locks, whereof the sheriffe should have one key, and the mayor another: which accordingly was done; but Mr. Hutchinson came no more at my lord.

absolute command: my lord urged that he would restore it in ten dayes, Mr. Hutchinson replied, they might have use of it sooner, and he hoped my lord would not disarme his country in such a time. of danger: my lord contemn'd the mention of danger, and ask'd what they could feare while he was their lord lieftenant and ready to serve them with his life: Mr. Hutchinson told him of some grounds to apprehend danger by reason of the dayly passing of armed men through the country, whereof there was now one troope in the towne, and that before they could repayre to my lord they might be destroy'd in his absence, and withall urg'd to him examples of their insolence; but my lord replied to all the urgency of the king's occasions for it, which were such that he could not dispence with it. It was in vaine to argue with him the property the country had in it, being bought with their money, and therefore not to be taken without their consent: my lord declar'd himselfe positively resolv'd to take it, whereupon Mr. Hutchinson left him. There were in the roome with him Sr. John Digby, the high sheriffe of the county, who was setting downe the weight of the pouder and match, and two or three captaines and others, that were busie weighing the pouder. By that time Mr. Hutchinson came downe, a good company of the country were gather'd together; whom Mr. Hutchinson acquainted what had pass'd betweene him and my lord, and they desir'd him that he would but please to stand to them, and they would part with all their blood before he should have a corne of it, and sayd moreover they would goe up and tumble my lord and the sheriffe out of the windores. Mr. Hutchinson seeing them so resolv'd, desir'd them to stay below while he went yet once againe up to my lord, which they did, and he told my lord some of the countrie were come in, at whose request he was againe come to beseech his lordship to desist from his designe, which pursued might be of dangerous consequence. My lord replied, it could not be, for the king was very well assured of the chearefull compliance of the greatest part of the country with


« السابقةمتابعة »