« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
State towards Chelsea on Thursday afternoon, is accosted on the streets by a dusty individual, who declares himself bearer of this Letter from my Lord General; and imparts a rapid outline of the probable contents to Bulstrode's mind which naturally kindles with a certain slow solid satisfaction on receipt thereof.*
On Saturday the 6th comes a farther Letter from my Lord General; the effect whereof speaketh thus:'
For the Honorable William Lenthall, Speaker of the Parliament of
Worcester, 4th September, 1651.
I am not able yet to give you an exact account of the great things the Lord hath wrought for this Commonwealth and for His People and yet I am unwilling to be silent; but, according to my duty, shall represent it to you as it comes to hand.
This Battle was fought with various success for some hours, but still hopeful on your part; and in the end became an absolute Victory,-and so full an one as proved a total defeat and ruin of the Enemy's Army ; and a possession of the Town, our men entering at the Enemy's heels, and fighting with them in the streets with very great courage. We took all their baggage and artillery. What the slain are, I can give you no account, because we have not taken an exact view; but they are very many :—and must needs be so; because the dispute was long and very near at hand; and often at push of pike, and from one defence to another. There are about Six or Seven thousand prisoners taken here; and many Officers and Noblemen of quality: Duke Hamilton, the Earl of Rothes, and divers other Noblemen,-I hear, the Earl of Lauderdale; many Officers of great quality; and some that will be fit subjects for your justice.
We have sent very considerable parties after the flying Enemy; I hear they have taken considerable numbers of prisoners, and are very close in the pursuit. Indeed, I hear the country riseth upon them everywhere; and I believe the forces that lay, through Providence, at Bewdley, and in Shropshire and Staffordshire, and those with Colonel Lilburne, were in a condition, as if this had been foreseen, to intercept what should return.
A more particular account than this will be prepared for you as we
* Whitlocke (2d edition), in die.
are able. I heard they had not many more than a Thousand horse in their body that fled; I believe we have near Four-thousand forces following, and interposing between them and home. Their Army was about Sixteen-thousand strong; and fought ours on Worcester side of Severn almost with their whole, whilst we had engaged half our Army on the other side but with parties of theirs. Indeed it was a stiff business; yet I do not think we have lost Two-hundred men. Your new-raised forces did perform singular good service; for which they deserve a very high estimation and acknowledgment; as also for their willingness thereunto, -forasmuch as the same hath added so much to the reputation of your affairs. They are all despatched home again; which I hope will be much for the ease and satisfaction of the country; which is a great fruit of these successes.
The dimensions of this mercy are above my thoughts. It is, for aught I know, a crowning mercy. Surely, if it be not, such a one we shall have, if this provoke those that are concerned in it to thankfulness ; and the Parliament to do the will of Him who hath done His will for it, and for the Nation;—whose good pleasure is to establish the Nation and the Change of the Government, by making the People so willing to the defence thereof, and so signally blessing the endeavors of your servants in this late great work. I am bold humbly to beg, That all thoughts may tend to the promoting of His honor who hath wrought so great salvation; and that the fatness of these continued mercies may not occasion pride and wantonness, as formerly the like hath done to a chosen Nation; but that the fear of the Lord, even for His mercies, may keep an Authority and a People so prospered, and blessed, and witnessed unto, humble and faithful; and that justice and righteousness, mercy and truth may flow from you, as a thankful return to our gracious God. This shall be the prayer of,
Your most humble and obedient servant,
'On Lord's day next, by order of Parliament,' these Letters are read from all London Pulpits, amid the general thanksgiving of men. At Worcester, the while, thousands of Prisoners are getting ranked, 'penned up in the Cathedral,' with sad outlooks:
*But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked:-(and thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness): then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the rock of his salvation' (Deuteronomy xxxii., 15).
Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, pp. 113, 14).
carcasses of horses, corpses of men, frightful to sense and mind, encumber the streets of Worcester; we are plucking Lords, Knights, and Gentlemen from their lurking-holes,' into the unwelcome light. Lords very numerous; a Peerage sore slashed. The Duke of Hamilton has got his thigh broken; dies on the fourth day. The Earl of Derby, also wounded, is caught, and tried for Treason against the State; lays down his head at Bolton, where he had once carried it too high. Lauderdale and others are put in the Tower; have to lie there, in heavy dormancy, for long years, The Earls of Cleveland and Lauderdale
came to Town together, about a fortnight hence. passed along Cornhill in their coaches with a guard of horse, the Earl of Lauderdale's coach made a stand near the Conduit: where a Carman gave his Lordship a visit saying, "Oh, my Lord, you are welcome to London! I protest, off goes your head, as round as a hoop!" But his Lordship passed off the fatal compliment only with a laughter, and so fared along to the Tower. His Lordship's big red head has yet other work to do in this world. Having, at the ever-blessed Restoration, managed, not without difficulty, to get a new suit of clothes,' he knelt before his now triumphant Sacred Majesty on that glorious Thirtieth of May; learned from his Majesty, that "Presbytery was no religion for a gentleman;" gave it up, not without pangs; and resolutely set himself to introduce the exploded Tulchan Apparatus into Scotland again, by thumbikins, by bootikins, by any and every method, since it was the will of his Sacred Majesty ;-failed in the Tulchan Apparatus, as is well known: earned for himself new plentiful clothes-suits, Dukedoms and promotions, from the Sacred Majesty; and from the Scotch People deep-toned universal sound of curses, not yet become inaudible; and shall, in this place, and we hope elsewhere, concern
us no more.
On Friday, the 12th of September, the Lord General arrived in Town. Four dignified Members, of whom Bulstrode was one, specially missioned by vote of Parliament,‡ had met him the day
King's Pamphlets, small 4to., no. 507, § 18.
† Roger Coke's Detection of the Court and State of England. Commons Journals, vii., 13 (9 Sept., 1651).
before with congratulations, on the other side Aylesbury; 'whom he received with all kindness and respect; and after ceremonies and salutations passed, he rode with them across the fields;— where Mr. Winwood the Member for Windsor's hawks met them; and the Lord General, with the other Gentlemen, went a little out of the way a-hawking. They came that night to Aylesbury; where they had much discourse; especially my Lord Chief Justice St. John,' the dark Shipmoney Lawyer, as they supped together.' To me Bulstrode, and to each of the others, he gave a horse and two Scotch prisoners: the horse I kept for carrying me; the two Scots, unlucky gentlemen of that country, I handsomely sent home again without any ransom whatever.* And so on Friday we arrive in Town, in very great solemnity and triumph; Speaker and Parliament, Lord President and Council of State, Sheriffs, Mayors, and an innumerable multitude, of quality and not of quality, eagerly attending us; once more splitting the welkin with their human shoutings and volleys of great shot and small in the midst of which my Lord General 'carried himself with much affability; and now and afterwards, in all his discourses about Worcester, would seldom mention anything of himself; mentioned others only ; and gave, as was due, the glory of the Action unto God.'†-Hugh Peters, however, being of loosespoken, somewhat sibylline turn of mind, discerns a certain inward exultation and irrepressible irradiation in my Lord General, and whispers to himself, "This man will be King of England, yet." Which, unless Kings are entirely superfluous in England, I should think very possible, O Peters! To wooden Ludlow Mr. Peters confessed so much, long afterwards; and the wooden head drew its inferences therefrom.‡
This, then, is the last of my Lord General's Battles and Victories, technically so called. Of course his Life, to the very end of it, continues, as from the beginning it had always been, a battle, and a dangerous and strenuous one, with due modicum of victory assigned now and then; but it will be with other than the steel weapons henceforth. He here sheathes his war-sword;
* Whitlocke, p. 484; see also 2d edit. in die. † Whitlocke, p. 485.
with that, it is not his Order from the Great Captain that he fight any more.
The distracted Scheme of the Scotch Governors to accomplish their Covenant by this Charles-Stuart method has here ended. By and by they shall have their Charles-Stuart back, as a general Nell-Gwynn Defender of the Faith to us all ;—and shall see how they will like him! But as a Covenanted King he is off upon his travels, and will never return more. Worcester Battle has cut the heart of that affair in two: and Monk, an assiduous Lieutenant to the Lord General in his Scotch affairs, is busy suppressing the details.
On Monday, the 1st of September, two days before the Battle of Worcester, Lieutenant-General Monk had stormed Dundee, the last stronghold of Scotland; where much wealth, as in a place of safety, had been laid up. Governor Lumsden would not yield on Summons: Lieutenant-General Monk stormed him; the Town took fire in the business; there was once more a grim scene, of flame and blood, and rage and despair, transacted in this Earth; and taciturn General Monk, his choler all up, was become surly as the Russian Bear; nothing but negatory growls to be got out of him: nay, to one clerical dignitary of the place he not only gave his "No!" but audibly threatened a slap with the fist to back it,' ordered him, Not to speak one word, or he would scobe his mouth for him!'*
Ten days before, some Shadow of a new Committee of Estates attempting to sit at Alyth on the border of Angus, with intent to concert some measures for the relief of the same Dundee, had been, by a swift Colonel of Monk's, laid hold of; and the members were now all shipped to the Tower. It was a snuffing-out of the Government-light in Scotland. Except some triumph come from Worcester to rekindle it :—and, alas, no triumph came from Worcester, as we see; nothing but ruin and defeat from Worcester! The Government-light of Scotland remains snuffed out.— Active Colonel Alured, a swift devout man, somewhat given to Anabaptist notions, of whom we shall hear again, was he that did this feat at Alyth; a kind of feather in his cap. Among the
* Balfour, iv., 316.