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T.153 [1648.09.25] Anon., The Remonstrance or, Declaration, of Mr. Henry Martin (25 September, 1648).
Anon., The Remonstrance or, Declaration, of Mr. Henry Martin, and all the whole Society of Levellers; In which is expressed their desires and resolutions touching Liberty and Religion, with their Protestations and Resolutions concerning the same.
We would no God, no King no Order have.
And he that seekes the same we think a Knave:
Wee scorne obedience both to God and Man,
Wee hate all such, wee’ll slay them if we can,
Who thinkest them is homage due;
Wee are all free, I as well as you:
Let King and parliament doe what they will:
Wee’l have no men in power, we will them kill.
When we have thrust them out of doores
Wee’l have a piece a thousand Whores;
All things are common unto those
Which doe their God, their King oppose;
And such are Wee, and this wee’l have,
Or wee will lose our lives, and to the grave;
From thence to Hell, where Pluto wee’l controule,
And give to him both body and soule:
Wee have one God, no Christ, no holy Ghost;
Wee value them no more then a dull post.
Printed in the yeare 1648.
25 September, 1648.
TT1, p. 677; Thomason E. 464. (37.).
WEE the Levellers of this Nation, finding by wofull experience, that not only the Cavaliers, but also the Presbyters, are now in Armes against us, as also a company of Semy Independents, all which violently seeking our suppression and ruine, Doe declare to the whole world, the cause of this our conveening and meeting together; and wee shall shew what wee stand for, and doubt not but wee shall have the assistance of al Rebels, Arch-rebels, Theeves petty Theeves, Whoore-masters, Whoore-mongers, drunkards, tiplers, coveteous persons, greedy Epicures, as also the prayers of all women who have poysoned their husbands, murdred their children, baudy house keepers, Whoores, secret and publick, and all others who desire to live as they list: Wee first declare against God the Father, as being nothing to us, who never had, nor never shall have any thing to doe with us; if there be any such power as the ignorant speak and prate so much of: and wee doe stedfastly believe wee had our originall and first being in this world, as flies come in Butchers meat, only blowne there by bad and unseasonable weather, and so begott a generation from one to another, till this present time.
Next wee doe declare against a man they call Christ, who is stiled a Saviour, to be nothing a kin to us, and that he is preached in the wicked obedient fooles Pulpit, to set people a madding, and together by the eares: and wee doe much wonder why people should believe him whom they have not seene, and will not believe us they have seene.
Next wee doe declare against a thing they call the Holy Ghost, for Holinesse wee know not what belongs to it, as being a thing wee were never acquainted with: and for Ghost the Countrey people use to keepe fooles and Children in awe with it as a bugbeare, and therefore wee will not acknowledge any such trash or ridiculous things.
And for Religion wee know not of it, neither doe wee desire to know; what though it be much pratled on in steeple houses, when wee are confident a bawdy house is as much and more to be followed and imbraced? and for those black coats which count so holily of themselves, which indeed is of no more esteeme with us, nor halfe so much as Mrs. Dunce, or any other kinde soule in the City; these fellowes prate an houre together of they know not what, for no other end but to get money: and are not light honest women more to be valued then these fellowes? they feed us with themselves; nay they love us so well, that they will lay themselves downe under, and such is our Religion, and such wee must and will have.
And for a King, wee have too long knowne that man, and have been so abused by him, as if Hee were better then any of us; but now wee will make Him know Hee is our Prisoner, and in our custody, and if Hee will not mend His manners, and turne Leveller speedily, and renounce Religion, Honesty, and Discipline, and keepe as wee doe a thousand Whoores, and protest against Honour, Honesty, and Civility, and send for his woman speedily from beyond the Seas, that wee may have the use of her, as wee have of Mrs. Dunce, and the rest; wee will cause Major Rolph to send Him to the grave, as being not fit to carry guts to a beare.
And for the Prince, wee looke upon him as one of his Fathers Children, that will neither sweare, lye, Whore, nor be drunke, and therefore wee shall use our uttermost endeavours to bring him to condigne punishment with his Father; and for that end wee doe institute Major Rolph, poyson-master Generall of the King and his Brats; wee were in good hopes that the French would have made him a Leveller before now; being the French are men much given to laying women levell with the ground; and truely had any of wee lived so long in France, our notes should have spoken as good French as any Native, more perfect then Cromwels Nose speakes fire and terrour to the Scots.
As for Parliament, that word speakes too great power for any of us to owne; wee had better to have beene subject to one King in three Kingdomes, then five or six hundred Kings in one Kingdome: What though there be a great many in that House which wish and love us well, yer wee shall not take them to be our cordiall Friends till they appeare in our Campes, and renounce both order and rule, and doe as wee doe, which is whore, drinke, sweare, roare, deny God, Christ, Holy Ghost, King, and Religion? when they have done this, wee shall take them into our protection, and all their women though they bring thousands with them out of the City.
And for those dissembling Assembly of black-coats, wee will not have one of them in the world, as being worse then Bishops, nay worse then the Devill himselfe; surely if they were not worse, they would not set out Catechises to perplex us with questions, which neither they nor wee are bound to answer, as being both ridiculous and unnecessary, and not usefull to any end but to make people obedient to that which neither wee nor they knew, nor ever did, or ever will; what doe those fooles tell us of a God or a Christ, being they are nothing a kin or acquainted with us? Wee know the reasons why they are so busie, it is but to get the Tithes of the Kingdome into their hands, when indeed it were better bestowed to maintaine a Stewes for poore old decayed Whoores, who are past their labour, and cannot worke or trade any longer under us.
Next we do declare against those Lawyers who are worse then the Divells tenter-hookes, who are ready to trot to Westminster to plead against us for debt; if wee did but take up some Linnen of a Citizens wife, wee must presently be arested and clapt up in a bell upon earth, and constrained to comply with petty Divels as Lanthall, Booth, the Warden of the fleet, Master of the Marshall-seas, and there to spend our daies without any sport or recreation, unlesse it be with our Landrisses, or such who come to make clean our roomes, when if wee were at liberty we would not touch them with a paire of tonges; but you see the proverb verified in us, that hungry dogs eat durty puddings; and for the Lawyer we will have the two Temples, Lincolnes-Inne, Grays-Inne, and all the Innes of Chancery turned into bawdy-houses, and have all the bookes of Law to wipe their tailes with, and to light Tobacco for us at our comming thither.
Next we do declare against all Magistrates, as Justices of Assize, Justices of peace, high Constables, Constables, as the great and grand enemies to our Levelling, being the only enemies to our freedome and liberty; for we can no sooner get a pritty-Wench in the minde, and fall aboard with her, but presently these petty Knaves with painted staves, presently appeare and sease on us and our creatures, and transport us straight to a Justice of peace, with a company of foolish woodcock Citizens with long bills to guard us, and then Mr. Justice of peace after sends us to Justice Longes powdering Tub, or else puts us to the trouble to find Sureties, and withall binds us to appeare at Sessions, and let the world judge how wee are a free people, when wee are subject to such bonds; can there bee any freedome in bondage? who will not stand for us that either love wine or women?
Next wee do declare against all spirituall and bawdy Courts, which wee thinke were made and authorized from hell, and wee do looke upon all Judges of such Courts, all Doctours in that profession, all Pariters to be the Divells younger Brothers; for I pray how would they huspill and punnish us for using those creatures which they themselves say were made for the use of man? they will tell us old stories of Adam and Eve, and I know not who, people that wee never knew: and for all their talke that Adam kept him to one, God a mercy for nothing, if hee had lived amongst so many hansome women as wee do now, hee would have had more then one hundred; it is no president for them to urge Adams having but one, he must needs be contented with one where there was no more, and yet these men will tye us in a great plenty to a famine: and are not these worse then Pluto himselfe, I pray, who punnish us for using wenches, and poore wenches for using their owne; they make us stand in white sheetes, and aske forgivenesse of them wee never offended or saw with our eies; and is not this a time to declare against such Rogues who punnish us for using natures talents?
Now Gentlemen wee have given you a full narrative of what wee stand for, and what wee will fight against; and wee doubt not but wee shall have all Drunkards, Whore-masters, Prodigals, Swearers, Atheists, and Independents to come to us, and joyne with us in this worke of Deformation, which wee doubt not but to carry on with resolution and fortitude, inspite of Cromwells nose and Fairfaxes head.