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army, the disgust was intense, and Ireton now took the lead in calling for a purge of the House which would get rid of such members as supported this piece of misplaced diplomacy. To complete the dissatisfaction of the army, the demands of Parliament included the establishment of Presbyterianism without a shadow of toleration on either hand. It is unnecessary here to follow up this negotiation in detail. The objection taken to Charles's counter-proposals was less that they were themselves unjust, than that it was impossible to hinder him from slipping out of his promise whenever he felt strong enough to do so. Of this objection Ireton was the mouth-piece in Fairfax's army, and on or about November 10, he laid before the Council of officers the draft of a Remonstrance of the Army. It touched on many cons5tutional prop6saIs7"But the clause of the greatest practical interest asked 'that the capital and grand author of all our troubles, the person of the King, may be speedily brought to justice for the treason, blood and mischief he is therein guilty of. The suggestion was too much for Fairfax, and he carried his officers with him in favour of a proposal that the army should ask the King to assent to the heads of a constitutional plan which would have reduced the functions of the Crown to that influence which is so beneficially exercised at the present day.
This proposal made to the King on the 16th was, however, rejected at once. The feeling of the army being what it was, Charles virtually 'signed his own death-warrant by this action, and it might seem to a superficial observer, as if his sufferings were due to his refusal to anticipate two centuries of history, and to abandon all the claims which had been handed down to him by his predecessors. To the careful inquirer, it is evident that the causes of the army's demand lay far deeper. The men who made it were no constitutional pedants. It was the deep distrust with which Charles had inspired them that led to this drastic mode of setting him aside from the exercise of that authority which he had so constantly abused. It was his avoidance of open and honourable speech which brought Charles to the block. Those who imagine that he was brought to the scaffold because of his refusal to submit to the abolition of episcopacy, forget that it had been in his power to secure the retention of episcopacy when it was offered him in The Heads of the Proposals, if only he had consented to its being accompanied by a complete toleration.
The effect of the news which Cromwell from time to time received from the army in England may be traced in the letters written by him at this time. In one which he sent to Hammond on November 6 he justified his dealings with Argyle, suggesting that the example of Scotland, where one Parliament had been dissolved and another had been elected, might be followed in England. In a second letter, written on the 20th, after he had had time to consider the rejection by Charles of the proposal of the army, he replied bitterly to an order of the House to send up Sir John Owen, a prisoner taken in Wales, that he might be banished. Cromwell amgrily,wrote that those who brought in the Scots had been adjudged traitors by Parliament, 'this being a more prodigious treason than any that had been perfected before; because the former quarrel was that Englishmen might rule over one another, this to vassalise us to a foreign nation, and their fault who have appeared in this summer's business is certainly double theirs who were in the first, because it is the repetition of the same offence against all the witnesses that God has borne, by making and abetting a second war'. "To vassalise us to a foreign nation." Here, in political matters at least, was the head and front of Charles's offending. It was this that finally broke down Cromwell's reluctance to shake himself loose from constituted authority. "God," Hammond had written, "hath appointed authorities among the nations, to which active or passive obedience is to be yielded. This resides in England in the Parliament. Therefore active or passive resistance is forbidden." To this reasoning Cromwell replied, on the 25th, by various arguments, closing with the daring suggestion that the army might, after all, be 'a lawful power called by God to oppose and fight against the King upon some stated grounds; and, being in power to such ends,' might not they oppose 'one name of authority for these ends as well as another name'? Whatever might be the worth of these considerations, no good was to be expected from Charles. "Good," he protested, "by this man against whom the Lord hath witnessed, and whom thou knowest!"
Surely we have here laid bare before us Crorawellian opinion in the making. As in other men, the wish was father to the thought. The desire, whether for private or for public ends, shapes the thoughts, and in Cromwell's case, as the desires swept a wider compass than with most men, the thoughts took a larger scope and, to some extent, jostled with one another. The cloudy mixture would clear itself soon enough.
Meanwhile events followed quickly on one another in the south. Hammond, as too soft-hearted, was removed from Carisbrooke, and on December i emissaries from the army removed Charles to Hurst Castle, where he could be more easily isolated. The foremost men in the army talked openly of putting the King to death, and adopted Cromwell's suggestion that Parliament should be forcibly dissolved, and a new one elected in its place. In this sense a Declaration was issued on November 30, and on December 2 the army marched into London. The Commons showed themselves to be unaffected by threats of violence, and voted on the 5th that the King's offers were 'a ground for the House to proceed upon for the settlement of the peace of the kingdom'. The scheme of a dissolution favoured by the army was wrecked on the resistance of the Independent members of the House. There was to be a purge, not a dissolution followed by a general election. The plan thus agreed on was carried into practice on the morning of the 6th, when Colonel Pride stood with a military guard at the door of the House, turning back or arresting the members who had voted for a continuance of the negotiation with the King. When Cromwell returned to Westminster, on the evening of the same day, he declared that he had not 'been acquainted with the design; yet, since it was done, he was glad of it, and would endeavour to maintain it'. As 'Pride's purge' had not been resolved on before the previous night it was physically impossible that he should have been informed of the resolution taken. There can be little doubt that he had given his sanction to the other plan of a dissolution, and had also concurred in the language ascribed to Ireton and Harrison on the previous evening. "Where," they had said of the House, " have we either law, warrant, or commission to purge it, or can anything justify us in doing it but the height of necessity to save the kingdom from a new war that they, with the conjunction of the King, will presently vote and declare for, and to procure a new and free repre