Obrazy na stronie

the battle of Naseby that was drawn upon his breast. His eyes were like burning brass; and there were three crowns of the same metal (as I guessed), and that looked as red-hot too, upon his head. He held in his right hand a sword, that was yet bloody, and nevertheless the motto of it was "Pax quaeritur bello;" and in his left hand a thick book, upon the back of which was written in letters of gold, Acts, Ordinances, Protestations, Covenants, Engagements, Declarations, Remonstrances, &c.

Though this sudden, unusual, and dreadful object might have quelled a greater courage than mine; yet so it pleased God (for there is nothing bolder than a man in a vision) that I was not at all daunted, but asked him resolutely and briefly, " What art thou ?"- And he said, "I am called the northwest principality, his highness, the protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions belonging thereto; for I am that angel, to whom the Almighty has committed the government of those three kingdoms, which thou seest from this place." And I answered and said, "If it be so, Sir, it seems to me that for almost these twenty years past your highness has been absent from your charge: for not only if any angel, but if any wise and honest man, had since that time been our governor, we should not have wandered thus long in these laborious and endless labyrinths of confusion, but either not have entered at all into them, or at least have returned back ere we had ab

solutely lost our way; but, instead of your highness, we have had since such a protector, as was his predecessor Richard the third to the king his nephew; for he presently slew the commonwealth, which he pretended to protect, and set up himself in the place of it: a little less guilty indeed in one respect, because the other slew an innocent, and this man did but murder a murderer. Such a protector we have had, as we would have been glad to have changed for an enemy, and rather received a constant Tu.-Tc, than this every month's apostate; such a protector, as man is to his flocks which he sheers, and sells, or devours himself; and I would fain know, what the wolf, which he protects him from, could do more. Such a protector—" and as I was proceeding, methought, his highness began to put on a displeased and threatening countenance, as men use to do when their dearest friends happen to be traduced in their company; which gave me the first rise of jealousy against him, for I did not believe that Cromwell among all his foreign correspondences had ever held any with angels. However, I was not hardened enough yet to venture a quarrel with him then: and therefore (as if I had spoken to the protector himself in Whitehall) I desired him " that his highness would please to pardon me, if I had unwittingly spoken any thing to the disparagement of a person, whose relations to his highness I had not the honour to know."

At which he told me " that he had no other con« Vol. m. a

By this speech, I began to understand perfectly well what kind of angel his pretended highness was; and having fortified myself privately with a short mental prayer, and with the sign of the cross (not out of any superstition to the sign, but as a recognition of my baptism in Christ), I grew a little bolder, and replied in this manner: " I should not venture to oppose what you are pleased to say in commendation of the late great and (I confess) extraordinary person, but that I remember Christ forbids us to give assent to any other doctrine but what himself has taught us, even though it should be delivered by an angel; and if such you be, Sir, it may be you have spoken all this rather to try than to tempt my frailty: for sure I am, that we must renounce or forget all the laws of the New and Old Testament, and those which are the foundation of both, even the laws of moral and natural honesty, if we approve of the actions of 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 of scarce two hundred thousand pounds a-year, and to raise them himself to above two millions? to quarrel for the loss of three or four ears, and to strike off three or four hundred heads i to fight against an imaginary suspicion of I know not what i two thousand guards to be fetched for the king, I know not from whence, and to keep up for himself no less than forty thousand? to pretend the defence of parliaments, and violently to dissolve all, even of his own calling, and almost choosing? to undertake the reformation of religion, 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 councils 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? 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? to abase perfidiously and supplant ingratefully 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 un

* Sir Thomas Fairfax.

reasonable ambitions? 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? 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) 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 it too

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