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sword of the Spirit; which is alone powerful and able for the setting up
To the Lord President of the Council of State: These.
Dunbar, 4th September, 1650. MY LORD,
I have sent the Major-General, with six regiments of horse, and one of foot, towards Edinburgh; purposing (God willing) to follow after, to-morrow, with what convenience I may.
We are put to exceeding trouble, though it be an effect of abundant mercy, with the numerousness of our Prisoners ; having so few hands, so many of our men sick; so little conveniency of disposing of them ;t and not, by attendance thereupon, to omit the seasonableness of the prosecution of this mercy as Providence shall direct. We have been constrained, even out of Christianity, humanity, and the beforementioned necessity, to dismiss between four and five thousand Prisoners, almost starved, sick and wounded : the remainder, which are the like, or a greater number, I am fain to send by a convoy of four troops of Colonel Hacker's, to Berwick, and so on to Newcastle southwards.[
I think fit to acquaint your Lordship with two or three observations. Some of the honestest in the Army amongst the Scots did profess before
Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, pp. 87-91). † The Prisoners :-sentence ungrammatical, but intelligible.
† A frightful account of what became of them southwards ;' how, for sheer hunger, they ate raw cabbages in the 'walled garden at Morpeth,' and lay in unspeakable imprisonment in Durham Cathedral, and died as of swift pestilence there: In Sir Arthur Haselrig's Letter to the Council of Ştate (reprinted from the old Pamphlets, in Parliamentary History, xix., 417).
the fight, That they did not believe their King in his Declaration ;* and it's most evident he did sign it with as much reluctancy, and so much against his heart as could be : and yet they venture their lives for him upon this account; and publish this · Declaration to the world, to be believed as the act of a person converted, when in their hearts they know he abhorred the doing of it, and meant it not.
I hear when the Enemy marched last up to us, the Ministers pressed their Army to interpose between us and home; the chief Officers desiring rather that we might have way made, though it were by a golden bridge. But the Clergy's counsel prevailed to their no great comfort, through the goodness of God.
The Enemy took a gentleman of Major Brown's troop prisoner, that night we came to Haddington ; and he had quarter through LieutenantGeneral David Leslie's means; who, finding him a man of courage and parts, labored with him to take up arms. But the man expressing constancy and resolution to this side, the Lieutenant-General caused him to be mounted, and with two troopers to ride about to view their gallant Army; using that as an argument to persuade him to their side; and, when this was done, dismissed him to us in a bravery. And indeed the day before we fought, they did express so much insolency and contempt of us to some soldiers they took, as was beyond apprehension.
Your Lordship’s most humble servant,
Which high officialities being ended, here are two glad domestic
For my beloved Wife, Elizabeth Cromwell, at the Cockpit : These.
Dunbar, 4th September, 1650. MY DEAREST,
I have not leisure to write much. But I could chide thee that in many of thy letters thou writest to me, That I should not be unmindful of thee and thy little ones. Truly, if I love you not too well, I think I err not on the other hand much. Thou art dearer to me than any creature ; let that suffice.
The Lord hath showed us an exceeding mercy:-who can tell how
great it is! My weak faith hath been upheld. I have been in my inward man marvellously supported ;-though I assure thee, I grow an old man, and feel infirmities of age marvellously stealing upon me. Would my corruptions did as fast decrease! Pray on my behalf in the latter respect. The particulars of our late success Harry Vane or Gilbert Pickering will impart to thee. My love to all dear friends. I rest thine,
For my loving Brother, Richard Mayor, Esquire, at Hursley:
Dunbar, 4th September, 1650. DEAR BROTHER,
Having so good an occasion as the imparting so great a mercy as the Lord has vouchsafed us in Scotland, I would not omit the imparting thereof to you, though I be full of business.
Upon Wednesday † we fought the Scottish Armies. They were in number, according to all computation, above Twenty-thousand; we hardly Eleven-thousand, having great sickness upon our Army. After much appealing to God, the Fight lasted above an hour. We killed (as most think) Three-thousand ; took near Ten-thousand prisoners, all their train, about thirty guns great and small, besides bullet, match and powder, very considerable Officers, about two-hundred colors, above tenthousand arms ;--lost not thirty men. This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes. Good Sir, give God all the glory; stir up all yours, and all about you, to do so. Pray for
Your affectionate brother,
I desire my love may be presented to my dear Sister, and to all your
* Copied from the Original by John Hare, Esq., Rosemount Cottage, Clifton. Collated with the old Copy in British Museum, 5834, p. 38. 'The Original was purchased at Strawberry-Hill Sale' (Horace Walpole's), “30th April, 1842, for Twenty-one guineas.'
t.Wedensd.' in the Original. A curious' proof of the haste and confusion Cromwell was in. The Battle was on Tuesday,—yesterday, 3d September, 1650 ; indisputably Tuesday; and he is now writing on Wednes
Family. I pray tell Doll I do not forget her nor her little Brat. She writes very cunningly and complimentary to me; I expect a Letter of plain dealing from her. She is too modest to tell me whether she breeds or not. I wish a blessing upon her and her Husband. The Lord make them fruitful in all that's good. They are at leisure to write often ;-but indeed they are both idle, and worthy of blame.*
Harris, p. 513; one of the Pusey stock, the last now but three.
Of these Letters, the first Two, with their Replies and Adjuncts, Six Missives in all, form a Pamphlet published at Edinburgh in 1650, with the Title : Several Letters and Passages between his Excellency the Lord General Cromwell and the Governor of Edinburgh Castle. They have been reprinted in various quarters : we copy the Cromwell part of them from Thurloe ; and fancy they will not much need any preface. Here are some words, written elsewhere on the occasion, some time ago.
• These Letters of Cromwell to the Edinburgh Clergy, treating of obsolete theologies and politics, are very dull to modern men: but they deserve a steady perusal by all such as will understand the strange meaning (for the present, alas, as good as obsolete in all forms of it) that possessed the mind of Cromwell in these ha. zardous operations of his. Dryasdust, carrying his learned eye over these and the like Letters, finds them, of course, full of " hy. pocrisy,” &c., &c.—Unfortunate Dryasdust, they are coruscations, terrible as lightning, and beautiful as lightning, from the innermost temple of the Human Soul ;-intimations, still credible, of what a Human Soul does mean when it believes in the Highest; a thing poor Dryasdust never did nor will do. The hapless gene. ration that now reads these words ought to hold its peace when it has read them, and sink into unutterable reflection,-not unmixed with tears, and some substitute for “ sackcloth and ashes,” if it liked. In its poor canting sniffing flimsy vocabulary there is no word that can make any response to them. This man has a living god-inspired soul in him, not an enchanted artificial “substitute for salt,” as our fashion is. They that have human eyes can look upon him; they that have only owl-eyes need not.'
Here also are some sentences on a favorite topic, lightning and light. As lightning is to light, so is a Cromwell to a Shakspeare. The light is beautifuller. Ah, yes; but until, by lightning and