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Oblivious of their recent obligations, and of their present distractions, dependency, and helplessness, they resolved to wrest the command from the officers who had reseated them, and insisted that new commissions should be taken out from themselves or their Council of State, and that the whole army should be immediately placed in a proper dependency on the civil power--i. e., on the Rump, who had no other right to be a parliament or council than that which the army had given them. As might have been foreseen, the men of the sword and of action, instead of submitting to be turned out themselves, turned out the men of the pen and of speeches and theories. The rough, blunt Desborough explained, in a very few words, the whole logic of the army. "Because," said he, "the parliament intended to dismiss us, we had a right to dismiss the parliament." This was, in effect, the death sentence of the Commonwealth.

Sidney was absent upon his mission when the restoration of Charles II. took place. In a letter written to him by his father shortly after the Restoration, and published in Familiar Letters, written by John late Earl of Rochester, and several other Persons of Honour,' 8vo., London, 1697, the Earl mentions a report which he had heard, that when the university of Copenhagen brought Sidney their album, and desired him to write something in it, he wrote,

"... Manus hæc inimica tyrannis

Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem,"

and signed the verses with his name. This anecdote is confirmed by Lord Molesworth, who, in the Preface to his Account of Denmark' (first published in 1694), tells us, that even while Sidney was still at the Danish court, "M. Terlon, the French ambassador, had the confidence to tear out of the Book of Mottoes in the king's library" the above lines, "which Mr. Sidney, according to the liberty allowed to all noble strangers, had written in it." "Though M. Terlon," adds Lord Molesworth, "understood not a word of Latin, he was told by others the meaning of that sentence, which he considered as a

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libel upon the French government, and upon such as was then setting up in Denmark by French assistance or example."* His father intimates, that this and some other things he had heard of him made him hesitate about speaking to the king in his behalf, as he had intended to do. "It is also said," continues the Earl, "that a minister who hath married a Lady Laurence here at Chelsea, but now dwelling at Copenhagen, being there in company with you, said, I think you were none of the late king's judges, nor guilty of his death,' meaning our king. Guilty!' said you. 'Do you call that a fault? Why, it was the justest and bravest action that ever was done in England, or anywhere else;' with other words to the same effect. It is said also that, you having heard of a design to seize upon you, or to cause you to be taken prisoner, you took notice of it to the King of Denmark himself, and said, I hear there is a design to seize upon me; but who is it that hath that design? Est ce notre bandit?' by which you are understood to mean the king. Besides this, it is reported that you have been heard to say many scornful and contemptuous things of the king's person and family, which, unless you can justify yourself, will hardly be forgiven or forgotten; for such personal offences make deeper impressions than public actions, either of war or treaty."

It is probable that none of these reports were to be gainsayed. Sidney, in his answer to his father, says, That which I am reported to have written in the book at Copenhagen is true; and, never having heard that any sort of men were so worthily the objects of enmity as those I mentioned, I did never in the least scruple avowing myself to be an enemy unto them." Accordingly, instead of coming home, he proceeded first to Hamburg, whence he went to Frankfort, and from thence

By a strange and sudden revolution, the burghers of Copenhagen, in 1660, overthrew the old Danish constitution, which had left the powers of the state in the hands of the proud tyrannical nobles. In seeking refuge from an oligarchical tyranny the Danes erected a kingly despotism.

to Rome, where he proposed to take up his residence. About the middle of the year 1661, however, he was forced to remove to Frascati; and he is afterwards traced to various places in Germany, France, and the Low Countries. At Rome he was remarked as a brave, freespeaking man, an admirable horseman, and an accomplished Italian scholar. In 1665 he was at the Hague, actively employed, along with other English exiles of the same political principles, in urging the States of Holland to invade England. During the disastrous, and, to the English government, disgraceful year 1667, some of the most fanatic of these exiles came over with De Ruyter and his Dutch fleet to the Thames and the Medway, and assisted in burning our men-of-war at Chatham. Algernon was at this time in Paris, urging Louis XIV. to declare war against Charles II., and endeavouring to impress upon that ultra-absolute monarch the inestimable advantage he and France would derive from the establishment of a republic in England. In a memorial to Louis, he engaged to procure a rising in England, if his Most Christian Majesty would only allow him a grant of 100,000 crowns. While the republican Sidney was begging for this money, Charles II., unknown to him, was making himself the pensioner of France, and was obtaining large sums from Louis XIV., for the avowed purpose of doing away with parliaments, and making the power of the crown absolute in England! With such republicans and such a king, the liberties of the English people were well nigh put in jeopardy. After long and fruitless solicitations to Louis, and intrigues with his ministers or their employés, Algernon withdrew, irritated, despondent, and very poor, into Gascony. There he appears to have remained until, in 1677, a pardon for his part in the late king's trial, &c., and permission for him to return home, were obtained from Charles II., on his own plea that he was anxiously desirous to see his aged and infirm father, the Earl of Leicester, once more before he died.

It is commonly stated that Sidney's pardon was obtained through the interest of the Earl of Sunderland,


who was the son of his sister Dorothy (Waller's 'Sacharissa'); but he himself, in a letter to the Hon. Henry Savile, then the English ambassador at the court of France, appears to attribute it to that gentleman's exertions. My obligation unto you," he says, "I so far acknowledge... to be the greatest that I have in a long time received from any man, as not to value the leave you have obtained for me to return into my country, after so long an absence, at a lower rate than the saving of my life."

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The Earl died that same year (1677), and, although he had never approved of the course his son Algernon had taken, left him a legacy of 51007., with which, he says, in his Apology,' dated on the day of his death, he would have immediately returned to Gascony, if he had not been detained by a long and tedious suit in Chancery, in which he was involved by his elder brother, now Earl of Leicester, choosing to dispute his father's will. Before this, Sidney appears to have been only assisted by his father with irregular and scanty remittances; and during his wanderings on the Continent he was often in great straits.

It was impossible that Sidney should long remain quiet in England. The misgovernment of the country, the vices of Charles II., the fanatical and tyrannical temper of his brother the Duke of York, the next in succession to the throne, excited the heads and hearts of cool, dispassionate men, and drove those of a less happy temperament into a frenzy. Many even of those who were attached to monarchy and the old institutions of the country foresaw the inevitableness of some great change-a change afterwards realized by the revolution of 1688, which put the crown upon the head of the politic, wise, and truly great William Prince of Orange.

In 1678, the year after his return, and the year which witnessed the most disgraceful, abominable parts of the Parliamentary proceedings against the so-called "Popish Plot," Sidney was a candidate for the representation of Guildford. Being defeated in that election, he stood in 1679 for Bramber. Being again defeated by a court

candidate, he petitioned against the return of his opponent, and was only unseated after a double return. He had thus openly taken his stand as the opponent of the king who had granted him his free pardon; and he was generally looked upon as leagued with the Earl of Shaftesbury (the Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper of former days), William Lord Russell, Lord Essex, Mr. Hampden, Trenchard, and the other popular leaders, who differed widely among themselves in their principles and views, but the designs of the most moderate of whom certainly extended to such a change of government as would have amounted to a revolution. At this moment Algernon Sidney, together with a score more of the patriots, received money from France; for Louis XIV., having little reliance on the steadiness or good faith of his pensioner Charles, was very desirous of strengthening our Parliamentary opposition, in order that they might bring about the reduction of the English army, and so bind their king to a neutrality, which must greatly favour that career of aggression and conquest the French had commenced on the continent of Europe. Though far, indeed, from being so rich as that nobleman, Sidney was no more a mean and mercenary man than William Lord Russell; and if he really took money from the French court, we may conclude that it was only to distribute it among others. As we have already said,—in our memoir of Lord Russell,-the papers discovered by Sir John Dalrymple, in the Archives at Versailles, are still open to doubt and rational controversy.* M. Barillon, the French minister at London, whose reputation is none of the best, may have charged his court with sums of money he never disbursed. Sidney was not in parliament, but he was closely united with those who were, and he was considered as the head of a small, disaffected party.

In a despatch dated 5th December, 1680, Barillon *For various remarks on this mysterious subject, we refer the reader to Mr. Hallam's 'Constitutional History,' vol. ii. p. 274, of 4to. edition of 1827; and to the 'Pictorial History of England,' vol. iii. p. 727.

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