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by a fudden and defperate effort, imprifoned colonel CHAP. John Jones with two of his colleagues, and declared for a free parliament; while Coote, fecuring Galway, and furprizing Athlone, marched thence to the capital, and impeached of high treafon Ludlow and the commiflioners. At the fame time alfo other parties of royalifts made themfelves mafters of Youghal, Clonmel, Carlow, Limerick, and Drogheda; fo that in one week almoft the whole kingdom fell into the hands of thofe who aimed at the restoration of the kingly power and title.
A council of officers, affuming the temporary government, fummoned a convention of the estates of Ireland at the requifition of the magistracy of Dublin. This convention, in defiance of the council of state in England, which pronounced its diffolution, proceeded to fecure the army in its favour, and to declare its deteftation of the late king's murder, and the neceffity of a free parliament. Ludlow, who had failed into the harbour of Dublin, but ventured not on fhore, as the council of officers wifhed to feize his person, endeavoured by letters from Duncannon to enflame the feveral garrifons against the present plan of the leading men. This defperate republican was recalled to England; but in Dublin Sir Hardrefs Waller had formed a fcheme, which was frustrated, to feize the council of officers : he however feized the caftle, and declared his refolution to punish the officers. In this alarming crifis,
CHAP. crifis, Coote and Sir Theophilus Jones rode XXVII. through the streets exclaiming for a free parlia
ment, and were followed by multitudes who re echoed the exclamation. The caftle was, reduced in a fiege of five days, and Waller fent prisoner to England.
English affairs and reflexions on revolution-Restoration of Charles the fecond-Violent diffenfions-Declaration of fettlement-Restoration of epifcopacy-Difcontents —A parliament—Debates in London on Irish affairs —Act of fettlement-Discontents from the execution of the act of fettlement-Confpiracies- ·Defeat of the confpiracies-Bill of explanation--Conceffions of different parties-Detection of abuses-Defalcation from the claims of adventurers and foldiers-Nominees -Discontents of the catholics-Paffing of the act of explanation-Difficulties attending it.
ENGLAND had for near eighteen years experienc- CHAP.
ed the effects of popular revolution. As the end of XXVIII. government is to curb the violence and injuftice of English the people, the laws are wifely filent with respect to the right of refiftance against undue or tyrannical stretches of power by established authority. Speculative reafoners ought in public difquifitions to obferve the fame caution, or to inculcate only the doctrine of obedience, fince, when a cafe of exception to this doctrine occurs, it must be so forcibly felt as to leave no ambiguity. The occurrence of fuch a cafe is a great misfortune, as the means of reparation are attended with certain calamity, and their fuccefs doubtful.
CHAP doubtful. The great body of the people can feldom XXVIII. gain by even a fuccessful revolution, fince to main. tain a new establishment, a greater expence, and a more jealous and fevere adminiftration, is required, than was necessary for the old. Charles the first had so far stretched the regal prerogative as to have threatened the total annihilation of the liberties and privileges of his fubjects. This was prevented by the resistance of the presbyterians, who, by the profeffion of uncommon fanctity, and other arts, raised a fuccefsful war against the king and his adherents, In the moment when this party had acquired the fupreme power, it was wrested from their hands by the independents, who, under the appearance of still greater fanctity, gained the command of the army. Thefe, in their turn, when arrived at their object of dominion, were fubverted by their own fervants, the military officers, and reduced to fubjection. Unfortunately by whatever grievances the people are excited to rise against government, the progrefs of this unwieldy machine cannot be stopped by the redress of thefe, but is driven by new impulfes, if not obftructed by force or art, far beyond the bounds in. tended by its original movers. Subjects, who had by open war moft grievously offended a fovereign, on whofe moft folemn engagements they placed no reliance, thought themselves unfafe, until they fhould have him divested, not only of all power, but of all chance of ever again recovering any. The prefbyterians would have been fatisfied with fuch depriyation of his prerogative as would completely fecure them against his refentment; but the military
officers, who had ufurped an uncontroled domini- CHAP. on, could be fatisfied only by the deprivation of his life.
All government quite military, which had become the cafe in England, fluctuates perpetually, as is well obferved by a philofophic hiftorian, between a defe potic monarchy, and a defpotic ariftocracy, according as the authority of the chief commander prevails, or that of the officers next him in dignity. Oliver Cromwel, who was as clear, prompt, and decifive in action, as embarraffed and obfcure in fpeech, avail. ed himself of circumftances to feize the monarchal defpotifm, a step feemingly expedient for the preservation of the public peace. The British ilands had never been fo completely in fubjection to any legitimate monarch as to this ufurper; for Scotland had been totally fubdued, and Charles the fecond, who had hoped by the forces of that kingdom to recover the English throne, had with difficulty escaped in difguife to France. Richard Cromwel, eldest fon of Oliver, who fucceeded to his father's title of pro-. tector in 1658, was in lefs than eight months obliged to refign by a cabal of officers, who held their meet. ings at Wallingford house, the mansion of Fleetwood, and who afterwards attempted to govern the nation in the name of a council of twenty-one perfous, whom they elected, and ftyled a committee of fafety. Harraffed by convulfions, diforders, and oppreffions, men wifhed ardently in general for the restoration of quiet under their ancient government, a legitimate monarchy and George Monk, who