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Some ran to the gates, believing the king was already at them :-others mounted the walls, and mistaking those who had gone forth in the morning, to Beverley, for the hostile force, cried out “he is coming !-he is coming !" A few sent up shouts of joy at the intelligence—but the many, ran about tumultuously, demanding that the bridges should be drawn up, the gates shut, and the walls manned.
Sir John, terrified at the position in which he now found himself, and better qualified, at all times, to act upon deliberation than upon any sudden emergency, resolved to consult with the Mayor and principal townsmen, whom he hastily summoned into his presence. Among them was Mr. Pelham, one of the aldermen and a member of the House of CommonsThere was not leisure for deliberation. The simple questions were, “ should the King be admitted when he came ?” or “ should the bold and daring, nay, the traitorous, step be hazarded, of denying him entrance ?" The blood forsook the cheeks of some, as Sir John, with a pale cheek himself, put the matter in this shape. It was an overt act of treason ; flagrant rebellion ; open civil war; and if the Parliament either would not or could not see them safely through so perilous a beginning, what could they expect from an incensed monarch but total ruin? As yet, both parties—the King and the Parliament—had stood at gaze as it were; and why should they court the dangerous distinctiou of being the first to grapple with the impending mischief ?
These, and similar reasons, were hurriedly urged by some. By others, (and especially by young Hotham and Pelham,) it was vehemently
. contended that Sir Jolin, as governor, appointed to that office by the Parliament for the sole purpose of preserving the garrison from falling into the King's hands, except by the authority of Lords and Commons, was bound, by every obligation of honor and duty, to resist the King's entrance. His son concluded a furious speech in these words—
“ Do you hear those cries ?" (The townsmen were running to and fro, calling out to the walls ! to the walls !) The Parliament derive their authority from the people—we, ours from the Parliament and the people now teach us our duty.' Why sit we here talking? To the walls ! It is the voice of our masters. Their voice whose servants we, and all honest public men, are. But you are to do as you will :-each of you according to your conscience. Well : I can look into no man's conscience but my own, and there I see it enjoined me to obey the Parliament in all things; therefore I say, the King SHALL NOT PASS OUR GATES! Is it your will, Sir," he continued, turning to his father, “ that we act under, or without, you ?"
One resolved spirit shewing itself boldly, can at any time, almost, oversway timid or hesitating councils. It was so now. Sir John, though secretly offended with the peremptory tone of his son, saw that it prevailed with the rest; besides which, the temper of the townspeople was evidently for the popular cause. So it was forthwith determined to close the gates against the King, and to repel force by force, if force should be employed. But, in the hope of averting such an extremity, and possibly of inducing the King to forego his intentions altogether, Sir Lewis Dives was despatched with a message, beseeching His Majesty to forbear coming, since he, Sir John, could not, without betraying his trust to the Parliament, grant him entrance.
The moment Sir Lewis had quitted the garrison with this letter, the drums beat to arms, the bridges were drawn up, the gates closed, and the soldiers ordered to man the walls. These preparations were scarcely made, when Captain Lowinger, tied to an enormous basket-hilt sword, and looking unutterable amazement, strode into the room where Sir John was surrounded by an anxious circle of persons discoursing of this sad business.
“ Mein Godt and the Teufel !" exclaimed the Captain. “The Teufel and mein Godt!"
“What now Captain !" cried young Hotham.
“ The King !" ejaculated Lowinger, expanding his eyes, arms, hands and fingers, with a true Teutonic horror of but thinking resistance to authority, and above all regal authority.
“ What of the King ?" inquired Sir John, stepping out of the circle, and advancing hastily towards the Captain.
“ He is arrived he is at the Beverley gate,
Five or six affrighted messengers, treading on each others heels almost, burst into the room, confirming Lowinger's statement, and announcing that the King demanded to speak with Sir John immediately.
The Knight went forth to obey the summons, followed by the mayor, aldermen, and a large number of the principal inhabitants. He spoke not; but the distraction of his countenance, and his trembling step, betrayed what he felt. His son, who walked close by his side, said to him, “Remember, Sir—there is no safety in retreat now, even were there no dishonor. The thing you have done, recoils upon yourself, unless you build a wall behind it." His father made no reply.
When he ascended the walls, the scene that met his eye might well have quailed the stoutest heart. He stood face to face with his Sovereign, to answer for an act which all his feelings disavowed; which, even in that moment of pertubation, he saw in all its magnitude of future consequence ; and which he was constrained to justify by the will of others rather than from the dictates of any principles of his own.
The King, mounted on a fiery steed, which he managed with singular grace and skill, was not more than ten or fifteen yards from the gate thus traitorously closed against him. He wore a falling band, which gave to his intensely melancholy countenance an air of greater majesty than when, (as had been his custom till then), it was partly buried in the fantastic ruff. His short doublet of purple, was wide and slashed toward the shoulder, and turned up at the cuffs with richly worked lace ruffles. His green hose, which were very long and large, were tied far below knee with yellow ribbands; between which and the loose, though small, Spanish leather boots armed at the heels with enormous spurs, appeared his scarlet stockings. Over all, was fastened his red mantle, lined with blue, with a star on the shoulder. In his hand he held a small staff or truncheon. He was surrounded by a body of from three to four hundred gentlemen, most of them peers, peer's sons, baronets, or other wealthy individuals of the county, who had formed themselves into a guard for his person; and their appearance, in all the variety of picturesque attire which the costume of the age permitted, added to the rich furniture of their horses, whose caparisons glittered in the sun, presented a display of the most imposing character. Contrasting with this scene, and by the contrast heightening it, was the warlike aspect of the place; the bridges drawn up, the gates closed and barricadoed, the walls lined with soldiers, who stood to their arms in profound silence; while at intervals between them, groups of anxious faces, peering over the parapet,-men, women and even children-were gazing in silence equally profound, upon the assembled chivalry below.
Sir John, and those who had ascended to the parley with him, dropped upon their knee, uncovered, the instant they found themselves in the royal presence. The King, acknowledging the salutation, motioned them to rise. Sir Lewis Dives then spurred his horse a few paces in advance of his Majesty, and addressing Sir John, in a loud voice,
« The King," said he, “ desires that the gates of his good town of Hull may be opened, and himself admitted.”
There was a pause! And then Sir John, with a faint, stammering voice, replied
*" The Parliament hath entrusted to me the securing of this garrison for his Majesty's honor, and the Kingdom's use. By God's help I intend to discharge my duty faithfully; and I do humbly beseech his Majesty not to wrong my firm loyalty and unshaken affection towards him, when I return
for answer to this summons, that I dare not open the gates, without their authority from whom I have received my trust.”
“ By your leave, Sir," said the King, riding close under the walls, “ I must question that you say. I do not believe you have any order from the Parliament, commanding you to shut these gates against me. If you have such order, shew it; if you have it not, you do seditiously put upon the Parliament your own traitorous designs."
“ I do implore your Majesty," replied Sir John, “not to require at my hands what I must refuse, or betray my duty.”
“ I think otherwise, Sir, and on this ground," answered the King, in the same mild tone of expostulation: “I would fain be told what title
subject of my Kingdom hath to his house and land, that I have not equally to this town; or what right any subject hath to his money, plate, or jewels, that I possess not equally to this magazine and munition? Then, Sir, what becomes of that duty which cannot be discharged without doing injustice ? But most of all, I would have you sadly reflect upon a duty which cannot shew itself but in the garb of flat rebellion.”
“ Your Majesty's train is so great,” replied Sir John, " that were I to admit it, I might not be able to give a good account of the town afterwards."
“ Sir," answered the King, “ I will content you upon that head. I will enter with twenty horse only, and all the rest shall stay without.”
“ But it must be upon condition—"
“ Sir !” exclaimed the King warmly; then suddenly checking himself, though there was a visible disdain in his countenance, he added in a gentler tone, “ what conditions can be betwixt the eagle and the wren-or the roused lion and the timorous hare? This repulse is one of so rude disloyalty, that my greatest enemies will not abet or own it. So consider well what it is
Sir John made no reply; and those about the King beginning to break out into loud murmurs, he said to them, “ Be patient, gentlemen. God knows I am more affected with shame and sorrow for others in this business, than with anger for myself.”
Meanwhile Sir Lewis Dives, who was nearer to Sir John than His Majesty, adjured him, in an under voice, as he valued his life, his honor, every thing that was dear to a just man and a loyal subject, not to persist in his disobedience. The Knight seemed for a moment irresolute; at least there was a relenting expression in his eyes which looked like the good omen of a struggle where honesty was gaining the advantage; when his son whispered something to him, and immediately rousing himself, he exclaimed with more energy than he had yet shewn, “ It is impossible! I must obey my instructions.”
These words caught the King's ear, (as he was returning to the spot he had quitted, for an instant, to address his followers), and he answered them by inviting Sir John to come forth, that they might confer together; giving him his princely word of safety that he should have liberty to return. This bowever, he excused himself from; and then, the King began to shew symptoms of much irritation. Still, he deigned to renew the invitation, and to urge him afresh to open the gates, giving at the same time his solemn assurances that every thing already done should be wholly and absolutely pardoned. At length, when be found he could not sway him from his resolution, and feeling how much it derogated from his dignity and authority, to stand there a suppliant for rights which he lacked the means to enforce, he broke off the conference with these words :
“Sir, this unparalleled act of yours, is but the hand, I fear, of a cloud which will ere long overspread the whole kingdom, casting all into disorder and darkness ! It is not possible I should sit me down tamely under such indignity. Once more, therefore, I charge you, on your allegiance, to perform the duty of a good subject; nay, I conjure you as your friend,
think sadly of your condition, what it is you do, and what heavy calamities must flow from your disloyalty ; all of which will lie a fearful burthen on your conscience. Finally, if you still persist, I will on the instant have you proclaimed a traitor, and proceed against you as such.”
A faint acclamation burst from the King's followers at the conclusion of this address, which was delivered by the offended monarch with no violence or passion, but in a calm, dignified, persuasive tone, and without any of that hesitation in his utterrance which was habitual in him when not moved to great earnestness of manner. The color fled from Sir John's cheeks as he listened to it ; while the closing menace seemed to fill him with distraction, for dropping suddenly upon his knees, and stammering out some confused sentences about the Parliament, and the trust reposed in him, he clasped his hands together and exclaimed,“ May the just God of Heaven bring utier ruin upon me and mine, if I speak not truth in saying I am a loyal and faithful subject to your Majesty!
“ Then be your deeds like your words!”-Open the gates!” cried several voices from below; but the Knight only shook his head, as he rose slowly from his knees.
The King immediately gave orders for a pursuivant at arms to advance, who rode up to his Majesty on a white charger, bare-headed. He sounded his trumpet thrice, with an interval of nearly a minute between each flourish. At the end of the third one, every head was uncovered, save of those who stood upon the walls surveying, in breathless silence, this solemn ceremony; and some of them even, either from the contagion of example, or the secret influence of feelings they dared not express, removed their hats. Then, in due form, and with the accustomed words, the pursuivant in a loud voice proclaimed Sir John Hotham, Knight, a false, disloyal traitor to his liege Lord and Sovereign: after which, the King rode away from the walls, followed by his train, and halted at about a furlong's distance.
( To be concluded in our next.)
THE DISSENTERS 'AND THE CHURCH,
A plain man, who believes himself to be a Christian, and that he has not read the Scriptures without acquiring some knowledge of what they contain, would fain learn from sincere, pious, and conscientious dissenters, where they find their authority for resisting the form of Church government, as established in these realms? They say, were it not against their conscience, they would submit; but they dare not, for fear of displeasing God, whose Holy Word forbids them.
In answer to this, I call upon them to shew me in his Holy Word, any one clear sentence against any one ceremony commanded in our Church. For my part, I cannot find a single condemnatory sentence in the whole of the sacred volume. But the dissenters (some of them at least), will tell me, they have the spirit of God enlightening them, which I want. By this rule, however, they may affirm anything as out of Scripture, and I should be as mad to dispute the matter with them, as they are in affirming it. A blind man, (and such they conceive all who are not so enlightened, to be), cannot argue about colors. They who are so unreasonable, as to expect that their bare assertion of having this light, ought to convince all gainsayers, put themselves out of the condition to be reasoned with. I address myself, therefore, to a more sober, and less fanatical description of dissenters, who maintain that the Scriptures alone are their authority for what they do, and I ask them to shew me any one text as clearly authorising what they do, as the following which inculcate the contrary of what they do :-"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake; whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him; for so is the
will of God.” (Peter I. ch. ii. v. 13, 14, 15.) Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.” (Hebrews, xiii. 17.)
Now, if the text or texts, brought by the dissenters, be not like the above, (which is as clear as the sun that they ought to obey,) but are doubtful and ambiguous, I would have them tell me why their conscience should be so bold and stubborn against what is clear, and so timorous and yielding in what is doubtful? Is this either religion or reason? Does it not rather resemble faction and a perverse heart? I could wish them to take heed of thus dissembling with God and the world; or, if it be not dissembling, then to take heed of giving themselves up to the delusions of a mistaken spirit. Humility and obedience, be it remembered, are evident marks of the spirit. “Learn of me," saith Christ, (Matthew xi. 29.) “ for I am meek and lowly in heart.”—“God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” Í would therefore exhort them to put on the Lord Jesus, with all humility, that he may give them the grace of his holy spirit to discern undoubted truths, from conceited, fanatical errors; also, to consider whether it be not safer to err in the way of humility, than in the way of pride. A soul clothed with humility cannot easily be displeasing to our humble Saviour. And if, out of mere humility and obedience, they were even guilty of some error, my soul for theirs, that guilt will never be laid to their charge by our most gracious Saviour.
A SKETCH FROM THE LIFE.
My Kentish Cure of fifty pounds a year,
Poor thing! balf-stung, half-humbled, she returns,
A husband, mended of a broken leg,
“ Hey-day! a paper ! Goody, what to say ?