Obrazy na stronie

that man whom I suppose you commend by irony. “There would be no end to instance in the particulars of all his wickedness; but, to sum up a part of it briefly, What can be more extraordinarily wicked, than for a person, such as yourself, qualify him rightly, to endeavour not only to exalt himself above, but to trample upon, all his equals and betters? to pretend freedom for all men,and under the help of that pretence to make all men his servants? to take arms against taxes as scarce two hundred thousand poundsayear,and to raise them himself toabove two millions? to quarrel for the loss of three or four ears, and to strike off three or four hundred heads 2 to fight against an imaginary suspicion of I know not what? two thousand guards to befetched for the king, I know not from whence,and to keep up for himself no less than forty thousand 2 to pretend the defence of parliaments, and violently to dissolve all, even of his own calling, and almost choosing * to undertakethereformation of religion, and to rob it even to the very skin, and then to expose it naked to the rage of all sects and heresies? to set up counsels of rapine, and courts of murder? to fight against the king under a commission for him; to take him forcibly out of the hands of those for whom he had conquered him; to draw him into his net, with protestations and vows of fidelity, and when he had caught him in it, to butcher him, with as little shame, as conscience or humanity, in the open face of the whole world 2 to receive a commission for the king and parliament, to murder (as I said) the one, and destroy no less impudently the other? to fight against monarchy when he declared for it, and declare against it when he contrived for it in his own person 2 to abase perfidiously and supplantingratefully his own general’ first, and afterwards most of those officers, who, with the loss of their honour, and hazard of their souls, had lifted him up to the top of his unreasonable ambitions 2 to break his faith with all enemies and with all friends equally; and to make no less frequent use of the most solemn perjuries, than the looser sort of people do of customary oaths to usurp three kingdoms without any shadow of the least pretensions, and to govern them as unjustly as he got them to set himself up as an idol (which we know, as St. Paul says, in itself is nothing), and make the very streets of London like the valley of Hinnon, by burning the bowels of men as a sacrifice to his Molochship 2 to seek to entail this usurpation upon his posterity, and with it an endless war upon the nation ? and lastly, by the severest judgment of Almighty God, to die hardened, and mad, and unrepentant, with the curses of the present age, and the detestation of all to succeed :'' Though I had much more to say, (for the life of man is so short, that it allows not time enough to speak against a tyrant) yet, because I had a mind to hear how my strange adversary would behave himself upon this subject, and to give even the devil (as they say) his right and fair play in a disputation, I stopped here, and expected (not without the frailty of a little fear)

*Sir Thomas Fairfax,

that he should have broke into a violent passion in behalf of his favourite: but he on the contrary very calmly, and with the dove-like innocency of a serpent that was not yet warmed enough to sting, thus replied to me; “It is not so much out of my affection to that person whom we discourse of, (whose greatness is too solid to be shaken by the breath of an oratory) as for your own sake (honest countryman) whom I conceive to err, rather by mistake than out of malice, that I shall endeavour to reform your uncharitable and unjust opinion. And, in the first place, I must needs put you in mind of a sentence of the most ancient of the heathen divines, that you men are acquainted withal,

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“But I take this to be the rule in the case,that, when we fix any infamy upondeceased persons, it should not be done out of hatred to the dead, but out of love and charity to the living: that the curses, which only remain in men's thoughts, and dare not come forth against tyrants (because they are tyrants) whilst they are so, may at least be for ever settled and engraven upon their memories, to deter all others from the like wickedness; which else, in the time of their foolish prosperity, the flattery of their own hearts, and of other men's tongues, would not suffer them to perceive. Ambition is so subtile a tempter, and the corruption of human nature so susceptible of the temptation, that a man can hardly resist it, be he never so much forewarned of the evil consequences; much less if he find not only the concurrence of the present, but the approbation too offollowing ages, which have the liberty to judge more freely. The mischief of tyranny is too great even in the shortest time that it can continue; it is endless and insupportable, if the example be to reign too; and if a Lambert must be invited to follow the steps of a Cromwell, as well by the voice of honour, as by the sight of power and riches. Though it may seem to some fantastically, yet was it wisely, done of the Syracusans, to implead with the forms of their ordinary jus: tice, to condemn and destroy, even the statues of all their tyrants: if it were possible to cut them out of all history, and to extinguish their very names, I am of opinion that it ought to be done; but, since they have left, behind them too dep wounds to be ever closed up without a scar, at least let us set such a mark upon their memory, *hat men of the same wicked inclinations may be ho less affrighted with their lasting ignominy, than enticed by their momentary glories. And, that your highness may perceive, that I speak not all this out of any private animosity against the person of the late protector, I assure you, upon my faith, that I bear no more hatred to his name, than I do to that of Marius or Sylla, who never did me, or any friend of mine, the least injury;” and with that, transported by a holy fury, I fell into this sudden rapture:

Curst be the man (what do I wish as though
The wretch already were not so;

But curst on let him be) who thinks it brave
And great, his countrey to enslave;
who seeks to overpoise alone
The balance of a nation;
Against the whole but naked state,

Who in his own light scale makes up with arms

the weight:

Whn of his nation loves to be the first,
Though at the rate of being worst;

Who would be rather a great monster, than
A well-proportion'd man.
The son of Earth with hundred hand
Upon his three-pil'd mountain stands,
Till thunder strikes him from the sky;

The son of Earth again in his Earth's womb

does lie.

*What blood, confusion, ruin, to obtain
A short and miserable reign

in what oblique and humble creeping wise
Does the mischievous serpent rise !
But even his forked tongue strikes dead:
When he has rear'd up his wicked head,
He murders with his mortal frown;

A basilisk he grows, if once he get a crown.

But no guards can oppose assaulting fears,
Or undermining tears,
No more than doors or close-drawn curtains
keep -
The swarming dreams out, when we sleep.
That bloody conscience, too, of his
(For, oh, a rebel red-coat 'tis)
Does here his early Hell begin,
He sees his slaves without, his tyrant feels

Let, gracious God! let never more thine hand
Lift up this rod against our land!

A tyrant is a rod, and serpent too,
And brings worse plagues than Egypt knew.
What rivers stain'd with blood have been
What storm and hail-shot have we seen."
What sores deform'd the ulcerous state |

What darkness, to be felt, has buried us of


* Countrey.] This word, in the sense of patria, at as including in it the idea of a civil constitution, is always spelt by Mr. Cowley, I observe, with an e before y-countrey;-in the sense of rus, without an e, country; and this distinction, for thesake of perspicuity, may be worth preserving. Hon.

wo. Wit.

How has it snatch'd our flocks and herds away!
And made even of our sons a prey !

What croaking sects and vermin has it sent,
Therestless nation to torment!
What greedy troops, what armed power
Of flies and locusts, to devour
The land, which every where they fill !

Nor fly they, Lord! away; no, they devour

it still,

Come the eleventh plague, rather than this
should be ;
Come sink us rather in the sea.
Come rather pestilence, and reap us down;
Come God's sword rather than our own.
Let rather Roman come again,
Or Saxon, Norman, or the Dane:
In all the bonds we ever bore,
We griev'd, we sigh'd, we wept; we never
blush'd before.

If by our sins the divine justice be
Call'd to this last extremity,
Let some denouncing Jonas first be sent, .
To try, if England can repent.
Methinks, at least, some prodigy,
Some dreadful comet from on high,
should terribly forewarn the Earth,
As of good princes death, so of a tyrant's birth.”

Here, the spirit of verse beginning a little to fail, I stopt: and his highness, smiling, said, “I was glad to see you engaged in the enclosure of metre; for, if you had staid in the open plain of declaiming against the word tyrant, I must have had patience for half a dozen hours, till you had tired yourself as well as me. But pray, countryman, to avoid this sciomacy, or imagimary combat with words, let me know, sir, what you mean by the name of tyrant, for I remember that, among your ancient authors, not only all kings, but even Jupiter himself (your jutans pater) is so termed; and perhaps, as it was used formerly in a good sense, so we shall find it, upon better consideration, to be still a good thing for the benefit and peace of mankind; at least, it will appear whether your interpretation of it may be justly applied to the person, who is now the subject of our discourse.”

“I call him (said I) a tyrant, who either intrudes himself forcibly into the goverpment of his fellow-citizens without any legal authority over them; or who, having a just title to the government of a people, abuses it to the destruction or tormenting of them. So that all tyrants are at the same time usurpers, either of the whole, or at least of a part, of that power which they assume to themselves; and no less are they to be accounted rebels, since no man can usurp authority over others, but by rebelling against them who had it before, or at least against those laws which were his superiors; and in all these senses no history can afford us a more evident example of tyranny, or more out of all possibility of excuse or palliation, than that of the person whom you are pleased to defend; whether we consider his reiterated rebellions against all his superiors, or his usurpation of the supreme power to himself. or his tyranny in the exercise of it: and, if law


ful princes have been esteemed tyrants, by not serves, no doubt, to have the command of her containing themselves within the bounds of those (even as his highness had) by the desire of the laws which have been left them, as the sphere of and p gers th lves. And do but their authority, by their fore-fathers, what shall consider, lastly, (for I omit a multitude of weighty we say of that man, who, having by right no things, that might be spoken upon this noble arpower at all in this nation, could not content him- gument) do but consider seriously and impartiself with that which had satisfied the most ambi- ally with yourself, what admirable parts of wit tious of our princes? may, not with those vastly and prudence, what indefatigable diligence and extended limits of sovereignty, which he (dis- invincible courage, must of necessity have condaining all which had been prescribed and obser. curred in the person of that man, who, from so ved before) was pleased (out of great modesty) contemptible beginnings (as I observed before) to set to himself; not abstaining from rebellion and through so many thousand difficulties, was and usurpation even against his own laws, as well able not only to make himself the greatest and as those of the nation?” most absolute monarch of this nation, but to add “Hold, friend, (said his highness, pulling me to it the entire conquest of Ireland and Scotland by my arm) for I see your zeal is transporting (which the whole force of the world, joined with you again; whether the protector were a tyrant the Roman virtue, could never attain to); and in the exorbitant exercise of his power, we shall to crown all this with illustrious and heroical see anon; it is requisite to examine, first, undertakings and successes upon all our foreign whether he were so in the usurpation of it. And enemies: do but (I say again) consider this, and I say, that not only he, but no man else, ever you will confess, that his prodigious merits were was, or can be so; and that for these reasons. a better title to imperial dignity, than the blood First, because all power belongs only to God, who of an hundred royal progenitors; and will rather is the source and fountain of it, as kings are of lament that he lived not to overcome more nations all honours in their dominions. Princes are but than envy him the conquest and dominion of his viceroys in the little provinces of this world; these.” and to some he gives their places for a few years, “Whoever you are,” said I, (my indignation to some for their lives, and to others (upon ends making me somewhat bolder) “your discourse,

“or deserts best known to himself, or merely for his undisputable good pleasure) he bestows, as | it were, leases upon them, and their posterity, for such a date of time as is prefixed in that patent of their destiny, which is not legible to you men below. Neither is it more unlawful for

Oliver to succeed Charles in the kingdom of Eng

| methinks, becomes as little the person of a tutelar

angel, as Cromwell's actions did that of a protector. It is upon these principles, that all the great crimes of the world have been committed, and most particularly those which I have had the misfortune to see in my own time, and in my own country. If these be to be allowed, we must

land, when God so disposes of it, than it had break up human society, retire into the woods, been for him to have succeeded the lord Strafford and equally there stand upon our guards against in the lieutenancy of Ireland, if he had been ap- our brethren mankind, and our rebels the wild pointed to it by the king then reigning. Men beasts. For, if there can be no usurpation upon are in both the cases obliged to obey him whom the rights of a whole nation, there can be none they see actually invested with the authority, by most certainly upon those of a private person; that sovereign from whom he ought to derive it, and, if the robbers of countries be God's vicegewithout disputing or examining the causes, either rents, there is no doubt but the thieves and banof the removal of the one, or the preferment of ditos, and murderers, are his under-officers. It the other. Secondly, because all power. is at- is true which you say, that God is the source and tained, either by the election and consent of the fountain of all power; and it is no less true, that people (and that takes away your objection of he is the creator of serpents, as well as angels; forcible intrusion); or else by a conquest of them | nor does his goodness fail of its ends, even in the (and that gives such a legal authority as you malice of his own creatures. What power he mention to be wanting in the usurpation of a | suffers the Devil to exercise in this world, is to tyrant); so that either this title is right, and then apparent by our daily experience; and by nothere are no usurpers, or else it is a wrong one, thing more than the late monstrous iniquities and then there are none else but usurpers, if which you dispute for, and patronize in England: you examine the original pretences of the princes but would you infer from thence, that the power of the world. Thirdly, (which, quitting the dis- of the Devil is a just and lawful one; and that all pute in general, is a particular justification of his 'men ought, as well as most men do, obey him? highness) the government of England was totally God is the fountain of all powers; but some flow broken and dissolved, and extinguished by the from the right hand (as it were) of his goodness, confusions of a civil war; so that his highness and others from the left haud of his justice; and could not be accused to have possessed himself the world, like an island between these two rivers, violently of the ancient building of the common- is sometimes refreshed and nourished by the one wealth, but to have prudently and peaceably and sometimes over-run and ruined by the other; built up a new one out of the ruins and ashes of and (to continue a little farther the allegory) the former; and he, who after a deplorable ship- we are never overwhelmed with the latter, till, wreck, can with extraordinary industry gather either by our malice or negligence, we have together the dispersed and broken planks and stopped and dammed up the former. pieces of it, and with no less wonderful art and “But to come a little closer to your argument felicity so rejoin them, as to make a new vessel or rather the image of an argument, your similimore tight and beautiful than the old one, de- |tude. If Cromwell had come to command in Ire

land, in the place of the late lord Strafford, I miserable conquest remain then in his majesty;

should have yielded obedience, not for the equipage, and the strength, and the guards which he brought with him, but for the commission which he should first have showed me from our common sovereign that sent him; and, if he could have done that from God Almighty, I would have obey

ed him too in England; but that he was so far was not a conqueror, but a thief and robber of

the rights of the king and parliament, and an

from being able to do, that, on the contrary, I read nothing but commands, and even public proclamations, from God Almighty, not to admit him. “Your second argument is, that he had the same rightfor his authority, that is the foundation of all others, even the right of conquest. Are we then so unhappy as to be conquered by the person whom we hired at a daily rate, like a labourer, to conquer others for us? Did we furnish him with arms, only to draw and try upon our enemies (as we, it seems, falsely thought them) and keep them for ever sheathed in the bowels of his friends? Did we fight for liberty against our prince, that we might become slaves to our servant? This is such an impudent pretence, as neither he nor any of his flatterers for him had ever the face to mention. Though it can hardly be spoken or thought of without passion, yet Ishall, if you please, argue it more calmly than the case deserves. “The right, certainly, of conquest can only be exercised upon those against whom the war is declared, and the victory obtained. So that no whole nation can be said to be conquered, but by foreign force. In all civil wars, men are so far from stating the quarrel against their country, that they do it only against a person or party, which they really believe, or at least pretend, to be pernicious to it; neither can there be any just cause for the destruction of a part of the body, but when it is done for the preservation and safety of the whole. It is our country that raises men in the quarrel, our country that arms, our country that pays, them, our country that authorizes the undertaking, and by that distinguishes it from rapine and murder; lastly it is our country that directs and commands the army, and is indeed their general. So that to say, in civil wars, that the prevailing party conquers their country, is to say, the country conquers itself. And, if the general only of that party be the conqueror, the army, by which he is made so, is no less conquered than the army which is beaten, and have as little reason to triumph in that victory, by which they lose both their honour and liberty. So that, if Cromwell conquered any party, it was only that against which he was sent; and what that was must appear by his commission. It was (says that) against a company of evil counsellors, and disaffected persons, who kept the king from a good intelligence and conjunction with his people. It was not then against the people. It is so far from being so, that even of that party which was beaten, the conquest did not belong to Cromwell, but to the parliament which employed him in their service, or rather indeed to the king and parliament, for whose service (if there had been any faith in men's vows and protestations) the wars were undertaken. Merciful God! did the right of this

and didst thou suffer him to be destroyed, with more barbarity than if he had been conquered even by savages and canibals? Was it for king and parliament that we fought ; and has it fared with them just as with the army which we fought against, the one part being slain, and the other fled? It appears therefore plainly, that Cromwell

usurper upon those of the people. I do not here deny conquest to be sometimes (though it be very rarely) a true title; but I deny this to be a true conquest. Sure I am, that the race of our princes came not in by such a one. One nation may conquer another sometimes justly; and if it be unjustly, yet still it is a true conquest, and they are to answer for the injustice only to God Almighty (having nothing else in authority above them) and not as particular rebels to their country, which is, and ought always to be, their superior and their lord. If perhaps we find usurpation instead of conquest in the original titles of some royal families abroad, (as no doubt there have been many usurpers, before ours, though none in so impudent and execrable a manner) all I can say for them is, that their title was very weak, till, by length of time, and the death of all juster pretenders, it became to be the true, because it was the only one. “Your third defence of his highness (as your highness pleases to call him) enters in most seasonably after his pretence of conquest; for then a man may say any thing. The government was broken; who broke it? It was dissolved; who dissolved it? It was extinguished; who was it, but Cromwell, who not only put out the light, but castaway even the very snuff of it? As if a man should murder a whole family, and then possess himself of the house, because it is better that he, than that only rats, should live there. Jesus God 1 (said I, and at that word I perceived my pretended angel to give a start and trembled, but I took no notice of it, and went on) this were a wicked pretension, even though the whole fa

mily were destroyed; but the heirs (blessed be | God ) are yet surviving, and likely to out-live all heirs of their dispossessors, besides their infa

my. Rode, caper, vitem, &c. There will be yet wine enough left for the sacrifice of those wild beasts, that have made so much spoil in the vineyard. But did Cromwell think, like Nero, to set the city on fire, only that he might have the honour of being founder of a new and more beautiful one He could not have such a shadow of virtue in his wickedness; he meant only to rob more securely and more richly in midst of the combustion; he little thought then that he should ever have been able to make himself master of the palace, as well as plunder the goods of the commonwealth. He was glad to see the public vessel (the sovereign of the seas) in as desperate a condition as his own little canoe, and thought only, with some scattered planks of that great

shipwreck, to make a better fisherboat for him

self. But when he saw that, by the drowning of the master, (whom he himself treacherously knocked on the head, as he was swimming for his life) by the flight and dispersion of others,

and cowardly patience of the remaining company, all was abandoned to his pleasure; with the old hulk, and new mis-shapen and disagreeing pieces of his own, he made up, with much ado, that piratical vessel which we have seen him command, and which, how tight indeed it was, may best be judged by its perpetual leaking. “First then,(much more wicked than those foolish daughters in the fable, who cut their old father into pieces, in hope by charms and witchcraft to make him young and lusty again) this man endeavoured to destroy the building, before he could imagine in what manner, with what materials, by what workmen, or what architect, it was to be rebuilt. Secondly, if he had dreamt himself to be able to revive that body which he had killed, yet it had been but the insupportable insolence of an ignorant mountebank; and thirdly (which concerus us nearest), that very new thing, which he inade out of the ruins of the old, is no more like the original, either for beauty, use, or duration, than an artificial plant, raised by the fire of a chymist, is comparable to the true and natural one which he first burnt, that out of the ashes of it he might produce an imperfect similitude of his own making. “Your last argument is such (when reduced to syllogism, that the major proposition of it would make strange work in the world, if it were received for truth; to wit, that he who has the best parts in a nation, has the right of being king over it. We had enough to do here of old with the contention between two branches of the same family: what would become of us, when every man in England should lay his claim to the government? And truly, if Cromwell should have commenced his plea, when he seems to have begun his ambition, there were few persons besides, that might not at the same time have put in theirs too. But his deserts, I suppose, you will date from the same term that I do his great demerits, that is, from the beginning of our late calamities (for, as for his private faults before, I can only wish, and that with as much charity to him as to the public that he had continued in them till hisdeath, rather than changed them for those of his latter days); and therefore we must begin the consideration of his greatness from the unlucky era of our own misfortune; which puts me in mind of what was said less truly of Pompey the Great, Nostră miseriá magnus es. Rut, because the general ground of your augmentation consists in this, that all men who are effecters of extraordinary mutations in the world, must needs have extraordinary forces of nature, by which they are enabled to turn about, as they please, so great a wheel; I shall speak first a few words upon this universal proposition, which seems so reasonable, and is so popular, before I descend to the particular examination of the eminences of that person which is in question. “I have often observed (with all submission and resignation of spirit to the inscrutable mysteries of Eternal Providence) that when the fulness and maturity of time is come, that produces the great confusions and changes in the world, it usually pleases God to make it appear, by the manner of thqu, that they are not the effects of human

force or policy, but of the divine justice and predestination; and, though we see a man, like that which we call Jack of the clock-house, striking, as it were, the hour of that fulness of time, yet our reason must needs be convinced, that the hand is moved by some secret, and, to us who stand without, invisible direction. And the stream of the current is then so violent, that the strongest men in the world cannot draw up againstit; and nome are so weak, but they may sail down with it. These are the spring-tides of public affairs, which we see often happen, but seekin vain to discover any certain causes:

—Omnia fluminis Ritu feruntur, nunc medio alveo Cum pace delabentis Etruscum In mare, nunc lapides adesos, Stirpèsque raptas, & pecus & domos Wolventis unā, mon sine montium Clamore, vicinaeque sylvae; Cúm fera diluvies quietos Irritat amnes. Hor. 3 Carm. xxix.

“And one man them,by maliciously opening all the sluices that he can come at, can never be the sole author of all this (though he may be as guilty as if really he were, by intending and imagining to be so); but it is God that breaks up the flood-gates of so general a deluse, and all the art then and industry of mankind is not sufficient to raise up dikes and ramparts against it. In such a time it was as this, that not all the wisdom and power, of the Roman senate, nor the wit and eloquence of Cicero, nor the courage and virtue of Brutus, was ableto defend their country, or themselves, against the unexperienced rashness of a beardless boy, and the loose rage of a voluptuous madman. The valour and prudent counsels on the one side are made fruitless, and the errors and cowardice on the other harmless, by unexpected adoidents. The one general saves his life, and gains the whole world, by a very dream; and the other loses both at once, by a little mistake of the shortness of his sight. And though this be not always so, for we see that, in the translation of the great monarchies from one to another, it pleased God to make choice of the most eminent men in nature, as Cyrus, Alexander, Scipio, and his contemporaries, for his chief instruments and actors in so admirable a work (the end of this being, not only to destroy or punish one nation, which may be done by the worst of mankind, but to exalt and bless another, which is only to be effected by great and virtuous persons); yet, when God only intends the temporary chastisement of a people, he does not raise up his servant Cyrus (as he himself is pleased to call him), or an Alexander (who had as many virtues to do good, as vices to do harm); but he makes the Massanellos, and the Johns of Leyden, the instruments of his vengeance, that the power of the Almighty might be more evident by the weakness of the means which he chooses to demonstrate it. He did not assemble the serpents and the monsters of Africa, to correct the pride of the Egyptians; but called for his

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