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fordshire for the purposes of his trade as a malster; and from this circumstance, was derived the name of the Rye-house Plot. Conscious of having done some acts, which the law, if even fairly interpreted, and equitably administered, might deem criminal, and certain that many which he had not done, would be both sworn, and believed against him, he made his es
escape, and passed the remainder of Charles's reign in exile and obscurity ; nor is his name, as far as I can learn, ever mentioned, from the time of the Rye-house plot to that of which we are now treating.
It is not to be understood that there were no other Other exiles. names upon the list of those who fled from the tyranny of the British government, or thought themselves unsafe in their native country, on account of its violence, besides those of the persons above mentioned, and of such as joined in their bold and hazardous enterprize. Another class of emigrants, not less sensible probably to the wrongs of their country, but less sanguine in their hopes of immediate redress, is ennobled by the names of Burnet the historian, 'and Mr. Locke. It is difficult Burnet's opito accede to the opinion, which the first of these seems to entertain, that though particular injustices had been committed, the misgovernment had not been of such a nature as to justify resistance by arms.* But the pr
pruSilly 111231 vijo, IPHYLLT:*07 D * Burnet, II. 309.
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CHAPTER dential reasons against resistance at that time were ex.
ceedingly strong ; and there is no point in human concerns, wherein the dictates of virtue, and worldly prudence, are so identified, as in this great question of resistance by force to established government. Success, it has been invidiously remarked, constitutes, in most
instances, the sole difference between the traitor and Observations on the deliverer of his country. A rational probability of
it may be truly said, distinguishes the well considered enterprize of the patriot, from the rash schemes of the disturber of the publick peace. To command success, is not in the power of man ; but to deserve success, by choosing a proper time, as well as a proper object, by the prudence of his means, no less than by the purity of his views, by a cause not only intrinsically just, but likely to ensure general support, is the indis
pensible duty of him, who engages in an insurrection Lidlowscopice against an existing government. Upon this subject, the
opinion of Ludlow, who though often misled, appears to have been an honest and enlightened man, is striking and forcibly expressed. “ We ought,” says he,“ to be
very careful and circumspect in that particular, and • at least be assured of very probable grounds, to be“ lieve the power under which we engage, to be suf
ficiently able to protect us in our undertaking; otherwise, I should account myself not only guilty of my
own blood, but also, in some measure, of the ruin and 56 destruction of all those that I should induce to en
gage with me, though the cause were never so just."* Reasons of this nature, mixed more or less with considerations of personal caution, and in some, perhaps, with dislike and distrust of their leaders, induced many, who could not but abhor the British government, to wait for better opportunities, and to prefer either submission at home, or exile, to an undertaking, which, if not hopeless, must have been deemed by all, hazardous in the extreme.
In the situations in which these two noblemen, Argyle Monmouth'steand Monmouth, were placed, it is not to be wondered tempt an invaat, if they were naturally willing to enter into any plan, by which they might restore themselves to their country; nor can it be doubted, but they honestly conceived their success to be intimately connected with the welfare, and especially with the liberty, of the several kingdoms to which they respectively belonged. Monmouth, whether because he had begun at this time, as he bimself said, to wean his mind from ambition,+ or from the observations he had made upon the apparently rapid turn which had taken place in the minds of the English people, seenis to have been very averse to rash counsels, and to have thought that all attempts against James
* Ludlow's Memoirs, p. 235.
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CHAITER ought at least to be deferred till some more favourable op
portunity should present itself. So far from esteeming his chance of success the better, on account of there being, in James's parliament, many members who had voted for the Exclusion Bill, he considered that circumstance as unfavourable. These men, of whom however he seems to have over-rated the number, would, in his opinion, be more eager than others, to recover the ground they had lost, by an extraordinary show of zeal and attachment to the Crown. But if Monmouth was inclined to dilatory counsels, far different were the views and designs of other exiles, who had been obliged to leave their country on account of their having engaged, if not with him personally, at least in the same cause with him, and who were naturally enough his advisers. Among these were Lord Grey of Wark and Ferguson; though the latter afterwards denied his haying had much intercourse with the Duke, and the former, in his Narrative,* insinuates that he rather dissuaded than pressed the invasion.
But if Monmouth was inclined to delay, Argyle
* It is however notorious that he did press Monmouth very much; and this circumstance, if any were wanting, would sufficiently prove that his Narrative is very little to be relied upon, in any point where he conceived the falsification of a fact might serve him with the King, upon whose mercy his life at that time depended.
seems, on the other hand, to have been impatient in CHAPTER the extreme to bring matters to a crisis, and was, of course, anxious that the attempt upon England should be made in co-operation with his upon Scotland. Ralph, an historian of great acuteness, as well as diligence, but who falls sometimes into the common error of judging too much from the event, seems to think this iinpatience wholly unaccountable; but Argyle may have had many motives, which are now unknown to us. He may not improbably have foreseen, that the friendly terms upon which James and the Prince of Orange affected at least to be, one with the other, might make his stay in the United Provinces impracticable, and that, if obliged to seek another asylum, not only he might have been deprived, in some measure, of the resources which he derived from his connections at Amsterdam, but that the very circumstance of his having been publickly discountenanced by the Prince of Orange and the States General, might discredit his enterprize. His eagerness for action may possibly have proceeded from the most laudable motives, his sensibility to the horrours which his countrymen were daily and hourly suffering, and his ardour to relieve them. The dreadful state of Scotland, while it affords so honourable an explanation of his impatience, seems to account also, in a great measure, for his acting against the common notions of prudence, in making his attack without any previous concert with those whom he expected to join