its resolution and strengthened its Ordinance by constituting its new Commission a High Court of Justice, and found time summarily to reject a piteous appeal from the Queen to be allowed to visit her husband in his affliction.
On the 4th it voted three other resolutions to the effect that all just power originated from the people, and that the Commons of England--signifying themselves, whom they had the face to describe as representing the people--were invested with full sovereign authority to pass any laws they chose without consent of either King or Lords.
Having thus formally abolished every rival authority and established single chamber government as the law of the land, the Rump was in a position to turn its Ordinances into Acts, and this it did two days later by an Act not only setting up the Court for trying the King, but also bearing a preamble couched in the most venomous and vituperative rhetoric in which the prisoner's guilt is taken for granted and "his exemplary and condign punishment" explicitly provided for.
The Act that was, in everything but name, the King of England's death warrant, was passed by a majority of "6-26 votes against 20.* Thus in a House whose original and proper strength was approximately 500, less than a tenth of the Members voted at all, and less than one in every nineteen could be found who would have part or lot in this cynical travesty of all that has ever passed in England for law or justice or elementary decency.
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
THE new Court did not waste time in formalities. We can realize the speed at which the whole operation was performed when we consider that the Act setting up this most unprecedented of all juridical innovations was passed on the 6th of January, and that the High Court not only got itself constituted, but had its victim tried, sentenced, and executed before the end of the month. Good____________________