« ForrigeFortsett »
ing her Majesty's affairs. She again mentioned her purpose of going to the Spa, and to go thither by land; she desired Whitelocke not to speak much of it; she said that perhaps she might yet see him at Stockholm, but, if she did not, that she would write a letter to the Protector, and send it thither to Whitelocke, upon the subject of which they had formerly spoken.
Whitelocke advised her, as he had done before, and promised to take care of her letter to the Protector, and to improve his interest the best he could for effecting what her Majesty desired, in case there should be occasion for it. She thanked Whitelocke for his advice, wherewith she seemed to be pleased, and resolved to observe it; and expressed very great respect and affection to the Protector and to Whitelocke, whom she desired to assure the Protector in her Majesty's name of the sincere affection and honour which she did bear him, and which she should continue, in whatsoever condition she should be. She wished Whitelocke a happy voyage, and with many compliments, full of great respect and civility, but not so cheerful as formerly; she twice gave him her hand to kiss, and so took leave of him.
From the Court Whitelocke went and visited the and the Chancellor, and delivered to him (what he had before promised and was put in mind to do) an engagement under his hand to procure a supply of the defect of power, which they excepted to in his commission. The engagement was thus:—
"Polliccor plenam mc mihi potentiam ac facultatcm procuraturum a sua Serenissima Celsitudine Domino meo, Domino Protectore Reipublicae Angliae, Scotise, et Hiberniae, intra trimestre spatium, ab appulsu meo in quemlibet portum Angliaa, ad supplendum qualemcunque defectum facultatis ac potentiae mihi antehac datae, ad tractandum cum Serenissima Majestate sua llegina Sueciae aut commissariis suis, et ad rata habenda omnia, quae inter Majestatem suam vel suos commissarios et me couclusa fuerint. Datum Upsalisa 18° Maii, anuo Domini 1654.
The Chancellor and Whitelocke fell into discourse
touching their Ricksdag; part whereof follows.
The Swe- Whitelocke. I received much satisfaction in the fadish Diet .
and Consti- vour of being admitted to see the manner of the meeting and proceedings of your Ricksdag, and shall be glad to be instructed by you touching some of the passages of it.
Chancellor. I shall be ready to inform you the best I can in these matters, and I have had some experience in them.
Wh. In that and all other matters touching the government of this kingdom, I believe no man's experience or judgement will be opposed to yours. I pray, Father, let me know the ground of proposals being made by the Queen to the Ricksdag, and whether it be as I have heard, that they consult of nothing but what is first proposed to them by the Queen.
Chan. That is very true, and is the ground of our quiet and of avoiding factions among us; for where a Council consists of seven or eight hundred men, as our Ricksdag doth, and they hold themselves to have an equal liberty and power, and are most of them active spirits; if every one amongst them might move and propound what he pleased according to his own fancy, there would never be an end of proposals and debates, and they would break out into several factions and the greater affairs of the kingdom be retarded, and many times thrust out to make way for lesser matters for the most part but of private interest. Therefore the wisdom of our Government hath so ordered it that nothing is to be consulted upon or debated by the Ricksdag, but what is first proposed to them in writing by the King, who hath the advice of the Senators therein; and such matters as are by them judged necessary for the good of the kingdom are by the King proposed to the Ricksdag for their counsel in them.
Wh. This may be a good way to preserve your quiet; but may it not be ill for the rights and liberty of the people? As to instance in particular, if it be requisite that a new law be made relating to the people's liberty, wherein the former laws may be defective, by this course it rests only in the power of the King and Senate whether this matter shall ever come to consideration or not; for, unless they will propound it, no consideration can be had of it; and though it may be necessary as to the people's rights, yet then probably it may be against the King's power, and in that case the King will never propose it to the Ricksdag, because it makes against his power and prerogative; and so the people are by this course debarred of the means of supplying any defect as to their rights and liberties, unless the King, to lessen his own power, will first propose it to them.
Chan. This were an inconvenience if the people's rights and liberties were not already settled; but, by our laws, the boundaries of the King's power and of the people's rights are sufficiently known and established, as the King can make no law nor alter or repeal any, nor impose any tax, nor compel men to go out of the kingdom without the assent of the Ricksdag; and in that Council, which is supreme in this kingdom, every man's vote and assent is included by the deputies of the Clergy, Boroughs, and Boors, which are respectively elected, and by the chiefs of the Nobility; so that all sorts of people have their share, either in person or by their deputies, in the Supreme Council of the kingdom, by whom only those great matters can be done; and this being certain and settled, any alteration in those points tends but to further uncertainty and mischief. And if debates might be had of additions to the King's power, or to the people's liberty, it would but occasion attempts of encroaching of one upon the other, and bring trouble and uncertainty to both; whereas they being already clearly defined and known, and that there is no means of altering either of them, both the King and people are content with what they have, and endeavour nothing of disquiet unto either.
Wh. But this further debars the people from having any new law at all made, except such only as the King shall think fit, for he only can propose them; and it is a necessary thing to supply defects in laws and to make new ones, according as times and circumstances varying shall minister occasion.
Chan. There is nothing more prejudicial to any government than multitude of laws, which is prevented by this course of ours; nor is there any necessity of new laws where both the public rights and private men's property are provided for by the laws in being, which in all nations is from the original of their civd settlement taken care of. And though time and variety of accidents may occasion some defects in old laws, yet it is better they should be borne with than an inundation of new laws to be let in, which causeth uncertainty, ignorance, different expositions, and repugnances in the laws, and are the parents of contention.
m. But I suppose your Ricksdag hath liberty to complain of maladministration and corruption in officers and judges, and to punish them and cause redress of grievances; else the people are remediless against those public crimes, without the grace and favour of the Prince to do it of himself, which every Prince in all times will not do.
Chan. The Ricksdag may complain to the King of any offence or misdemeanour committed by any great officer, and of any public grievance to the people; whereupon the King and Senate arc very ready (as it behoves them in justice and prudence) to give a remedy, which they are the more induced to do, because otherwise the people's Deputies, who have the power of the purse, may bo the more backward to supply the King's occasions with money or men; and this is a good tie upon the Court, to procure justice and redress of grievances.
Wh. Your laws are founded upon great reason and prudence, and in these and most other main parts and particulars of them, ours are the same in England; but a liberty of proposing anything in our Parliament belongs to every member of it.
Chan. That hath been a great occasion of all your troubles.
Wh. I expected to have heard my father, the RicksChancellor, to have made an harangue in the Ricks