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the campaign with consummate skill, keeping aloof from the constitutional question, and throwing all his strength into the argument—which the rudest soldier could understand—that the army had not rejected one king in order to set up another. When he won over Fleetwood and Desborough, the son-in-law and brother-in-law of the Protector, to his side, he had practically won the game, especially as he was able to back a petition against a revival of the Royal title by the subscription of a hundred officers. Oliver kept up the negotiation with Parliament as long as he could, but in the end he refused the crown offered to him rather than alienate the army. The remaining articles of the Humble Petition and Advice were then agreed to, and on June 26 Oliver was solemnly installed as Protector, under a Parliamentary title, with all but Royal pomp at Westminster Hall.
Too much has been made by some modern writers of Oliver's defeat on the question of the Kingship. The title, as he himself truly said, would have been but a feather in his cap. It is doubtful whether its acceptance would have disarmed a single enemy. The rocks upon which the Protector was running were of a far too substantial character to be removed by the assumption of an ill-fitting symbol. Whether he wore a crown or not, no one could have regarded Oliver as Charles I. had been regarded ; or even as William III., who in some sort
continued the Protector's work, came afterwards to be regarded.
Apart from the really unimportant question of the crown, the military party had for the time been beaten all along the line. Not only had the Major-Generals disappeared, and Lambert himself, driven to surrender all his offices, military or civil, retired to the cultivation of tulips at Wimbledon ; but the Humble Petition and Advice, that is to say, a Parliamentary constitution, had entirely displaced the Instrument of government as the fundamental law of the three nations. The more important of the stipulations of the new constitution were necessarily of the nature of a compromise. In return for the establishment of a second House composed of his own nominees, the Protector was able to abandon the claim of the Council to exclude members of what must now be regarded as the House of Commons—seeing that a vote with which he was dissatisfied would be of no avail if it was no more than the vote of a single House. Nor was it only an occasional check on the old House that he had gained. The new House, nominated by himself in the first place, was endowed with the right in the future of excluding from its benches any new member nominated by himself or by a future Protector. As he took care to name none who were not strong Puritans and devoted to the Protectorate, he expected that the new House would be able, for all time, to reject legislation contrary to the interests of Puritanism or to the Protectoral constitution. The question of finance, which had wrecked the last Parliament, was settled in a way equally satisfactory to the Protector. The number of soldiers to be kept on foot was passed over in silence, whilst the same sum, £1,800,000, which had been approved by the first Protectorate Parliament as needful for the wants of the army and navy together with those of the domestic government, was now granted, not for five years as had been proposed by the former Parliament, but till the Protector and the two Houses agreed to alter it. The scheme by which the Instrument had fixed the strength of the army at 30,000 men, and had then left the Protector and Council free to levy whatever supplies they thought needful for its support, was deliberately left out of account. On paper, the terms of agreement showed fairly enough. England had at last got a constitution which was no production of a military coterie. Protector and Parliament were at last at one. Unfortunately, those who had welcomed this fair concord took little account of the forces which were likely to govern events in the not far distant future—the force of the army, whose handiwork had been set at nought—the force of the Parliamentary tradition strengthened by the work of the Long Parliament—and, above all, the force of discontent with the shifting sands on which the new Government was built, a discontent which might easily show itself in a national call for the restoration of the Stuart King—not because his person was loved, but because he would bring with him what appeared to be the strong basis of old use and wont.
Oliver was not wholly absorbed in constitutional struggles or in foreign conflicts. In administration his Government stands supreme above all which had preceded it, because no other ruler united so wide a
tolerance of divergencies of opinion with so keen an eye 1 for individual merit. He could gather round him the
enthusiastic Milton to pen those dignified State Papers in which he announced his resolutions to the Powers of Europe; Andrew Marvell, the most transparently honest of men, who, with all his admiration for Oliver, had mingled in the verses written by him as a panegyric on his patron those lines recording Charles's dignified appearance on the scaffold, which will be remembered when all his other writings in prose or verse are forgotten. In Oliver's Council sat Bulstrode Whitelocke, the somewhat stolid lawyer, who, too cautious to give a precedent approval to Oliver's revolutionary acts, was always ready to accept the situation created by them, and yet sufficiently inspired by professional feeling to resign his post as Commissioner of the Great Seal rather than accept the Protector's reforms in the Court of Chancery. There too sat Nathaniel Fiennes, the second son of Lord
Saye and Sele, not indeed a statesman with broad views, but ready at any moment to pen State papers in defence of a Government which had rescued him from the neglect into which he had fallen-probably undeservedly-in consequence of his hasty surrender of Bristol in the Civil War. Amongst Oliver's diplomatists were Morland and Lockhart. Amongst his admirals, the honoured Blake and the ever-faithful Montague. Amongst those who at one time or another were his chaplains were Owen, the ecclesiastical statesman, and Howe, whose exemplary piety led him to doubt whether the Protector's household was sufficiently religious, and whose broad-minded charity prepared him to abandon the Church of the Restoration, not because it was un-Puritan, but because it was exclusive.
Yet, after all is said, the list of ancient allies driven by the Protector from public life, and in some cases actually deprived of liberty, was even more noteworthy. The most placable of men could hardly have avoided a quarrel with John Lilburne, of whom it was said that if he alone were left alive in the world, John would dispute with Lilburne and Lilburne with John; but it is at least remarkable that under Oliver's sway Vane, whom he had long dealt with as a brother ; Harrison, who had fought under him from the very beginning of the Civil War, and who had stood by his side when the members of the Long Parliament were