Изображения страниц


In such spirit goes Oliver Cromwell to the Wars. A god. intoxicated man,' as Novalis elsewhere phrases it. I have asked myself, If anywhere in Modern European History, or even in Ancient Asiatic, there was found a man practising this mean World's affairs with a heart more filled by the Idea of the Highest? Bathed in the Eternal Splendors, it is so he walks our dim Earth this man is one of few. He is projected with a terrible force out of the Eternities, and in the Times and their arenas there is nothing that can withstand him. It is great;to us it is tragic; a thing that should strike us dumb! My brave one, thy old noble Prophecy is divine; older than Hebrew David; old as the Origin of Man ;-and shall, though in wider ways than thou supposest, be fulfilled !—

On Extinal




ON Wednesday, 26th June, 1650, the Act appointing ‹ That Oliver Cromwell, Esquire, be constituted Captain-General and Commander-in-chief of all the Forces raised or to be raised by authority of Parliament within the Commonwealth of England ** was passed. 'Whereupon,' says Whitlocke, 'great ceremonies and congratulations of the new General were made to him from all sorts of people; and he went on roundly with his business.' Roundly, rapidly; for in three days more, on Saturday, the 29th, 'the Lord General Cromwell went out of London towards the North and the news of him marching northward much startled the Scots.'+

He has Lambert for Major-General, Cousin Whalley for Commissary-General; and among his Colonels are Overton whom we knew at Hull, Pride whom we have seen in Westminster Hall; and a taciturn man, much given to chewing tobacco, whom we have transiently seen in various places, Colonel George Monk by name. An excellent officer; listens to what you say, answers often by a splash of brown juice merely, but punctually does what is doable of it. Puddingheaded Hodgson the Yorkshire Captain is also there; from whom perhaps we may glean a rough lucent-point or two. The Army, as my Lord General attracts it gradually from the right and left on his march northward, amounts at Tweedside to some Sixteen-thousand horse and foot.§ Rushworth goes with him as Secretary; historical John; having now done with Fairfax :-but, alas, his Papers for this Period are all lost to us: it was not safe to print them with the others; and they are lost! The Historical Collections, with their infinite rub

† Whitlocke, pp. 446, 7.

* Commons Journals, in die.

Life of Monk, by Gumble, his Chaplain.

§ Train, 690; horse, 5,415; foot, 10,249; in toto, 16,354 (Cromwelliana, p. 85).

bish and their modicum of jewels, cease at the Trial of the King; leaving us, fallen into far worse hands, to repent of our impatience, and regret the useful John!

The following Letters, without commentary, which stingy space will not permit, must note the Lord General's progress for us as they can; and illuminate with here and there a rude gleam of direct light at first-hand, an old scene very obsolete, confused unexplored and dim for us.


DOROTHY CROMWELL, we are happy to find, has a 'little brat ;' -but the poor little thing must have died soon: in Noble's inexact lists there is no trace of its ever having lived. The Lord General has got into Northumberland. He has a good excuse for being silent this way,'-the way of Letters.

[ocr errors]

For my very loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire, at his
House at Hursley: These.

Alnwick, 17th July, 1650.


The exceeding crowd of business I had at London is the best excuse I can make for my silence this way. Indeed, Sir, my heart beareth me witness I want no affection to you or yours; you are all often in my poor prayers.

I should be glad to hear how the little Brat doth. I could chide both Father and Mother for their neglects of me: I know my Son is idle, but I had better thoughts of Doll. I doubt now her Husband hath spoiled her; pray tell her so from me. If I had as good leisure as they, I should write sometimes. If my Daughter be breeding, I will excuse her; but not for her nursery! The Lord bless them. I hope you give my Son good counsel; I believe he needs it. ous time of his age, and it's a very vain world. O how good it is to close with Christ betimes; there is nothing else worth the looking after. I beseech you call upon him,—I hope you will discharge my duty and your own love: you see how I am employed. I need pity. I know what I feel. Great place and business in the world is not worth the looking after; I should have no comfort in mine but that my hope is in

He is in the danger

[ocr errors]

the Lord's presence. I have not sought these things; truly I have been called unto them by the Lord; and therefore am not without some assurance that He will enable His poor worm and weak servant to do His will, and to fulfil my generation. In this I desire your prayers. Desiring to be lovingly remembered to my dear Sister, to our Son and Daughter, to my Cousin Ann and the good Family, I rest, Your very affectionate Brother, OLIVER CROMWELL.*

On Monday, 22d July, the Army, after due rendezvousing and reviewing, passed through Berwick; and encamped at Mordington across the Border, where a fresh stay of two days is still necessary. Scotland is bare of resources for us. That night, 'the Scotch beacons were all set on fire; the men fled, and drove away their cattle.' Mr. Bret his Excellency's Trumpeter returns from Edinburgh without symptoms of pacification. The Clergy represent us to the people as if we were monsters of the world.' "Army of Sectaries and Blasphemers," is the received term for us among the Scots.†



Already on the march hitherward, and now by Mr. Bret in an official way, have due manifestoes been promulgated : Declaration To all that are Saints and Partakers of the Faith of God's Elect in Scotland, and Proclamation To the People of Scotland in general. Asking of the mistaken People, in mild terms, Did you not see us, and try us, what kind of men we were, when we came among you two years ago? Did you find us plunderers, murderers, monsters of the world? Whose ox have we stolen ?' To the mistaken Saints of God in Scotland, again, the Declaration testifies and argues, in a grand earnest way, That in Charles Stuart and his party there can be no salvation; that we seek the real substance of the Covenant, which it is perilous to desert for the mere outer form thereof;—on the whole that we are not sectaries and blasphemers; and that it goes against our heart to hurt a hair of any sincere servant of God.-Very earnest Documents; signed by John Rushworth in the name of General and Officers; often printed and reprinted. They bear Oliver's sense in every

* Harris, 513: one of the Pusey stock.

† Balfour, iv., 97, 100, &c.: Cromwell the Blasphemer' (ib., 88). Newspapers (in Parliamentary History, xix., 298, 310); Commons Journals, 19 July, 1650.

feature of them; but are not distinctly of his composition : wherefore, as space grows more and more precious, and Oliver's sense will elsewhere sufficiently appear, we omit them.

'The Scots,' says Whitlocke,* are all gone with their goods towards Edinburgh, by command of the Estates of Scotland, upon penalty if they did not remove; so that mostly all the men are gone. But the wives stay behind; and some of them do bake and brew, to provide bread and drink for the English Army.' The public functionaries 'have told the people, “That the English Army intends to put all the men to the sword, and to thrust hot irons through the women's breasts;"—which much terrified them, till once the General's Proclamations were published.' And now the wives do stay behind, and brew and bake, poor wives!

That Monday night while we lay at Mordington, with hard accommodation out of doors and in,—my puddingheaded friend informs me of a thing. The General has made a large Discourse to the Officers and Army, now that we are across; speaks to them "as a Christian and a Soldier, To be doubly and trebly diligent, to be wary and worthy, for sure enough we have work before us! But have we not had God's blessing hitherto? Let us go on faithfully, and hope for the like still!" The Army answered, with acclamations,' still audible to me.-Yorkshire Hodgson continues:


Well; that night we pitched at Mordington, about the House. Our Officers,' General and Staff Officers, hearing a great shout among the soldiers, looked out of window. They spied a soldier with a Scotch kirn' (churn)' on his head. Some of them had been purveying abroad, and had found a vessel filled with Scotch cream: bringing the reversion of it to their tents, some got dishfuls, and some hatfuls; and the cream being now low in the vessel, one fellow would have a modest drink, and so lifts the kirn to his mouth: but another canting it up, it falls over his head; and the man is lost in it, all the cream trickles down his apparel, and his head fast in the tub! This was a merriment to the Officers; as Oliver loved an innocent jest.'

* p. 450.

† Hodgson, p. 130; Whitlocke, p. 450.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »