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Tm: New MODEL ARMY AND “rut: PRESBYTERIANS.
nu New Model Army had been accepted by both
no help towards the settlement of the nation on any basis that their narrow minds could recognise as acceptable, and if the war was to be continued, what prospect was there of success under the old conditions? Nevertheless, the creation of the New Model was, in the main, CromwelI’s work. Men are led by their passions more than
by their reason, and if Cromwell had continued his invectives against Manchester, he would have roused an opposition which would have left little hope of the realisation of the hopes which he cherished most deeply in his heart. All through the discussion he had shown not only a readiness to sacrifice his own personal interests, but a determination to avoid even criticism of the actions of his opponents in all matters of less importance, provided that he had his way in the one thing most important of all. Without a word of censure he had left the Presbyterians not only to negotiate with Charles, but to pass votes for the establishment of intolerant Presbyterianism in England. The skill with which he avoided friction by keeping himself in the background, whilst he allowed others to work for him, doubtless contributed much to his success. It revealed the highest qualities of statesmanship on the hypothesis that he was acting with a single eye to the public good. It revealed the lowest arts of the trickster, on the hypothesis that he was scheming for his own ultimate advantage. As human nature is constituted, it was certain that there would be many to convince themselves that the lower interpretation of his conduct was the true one.
At all events, the New Model Army was being brought into shape in the spring of I6’i5. It was composed partly of men pressed into the service, partly of soldiers who had served in former armies. That the Puritan, and even the Independent element, was well represented‘ amongst the cavalry of which Cromwell’s troops formed the nucleus, there can be little doubt; and even amongst the infantry, the fact that it could only be recruited from those parts of England which at that time acknowledged the authority of the Houses, and that in those counties Puritanism was especially rife, would naturally introduce Ointo the ranks a considerable number of Puritans, whether Independent or not. The army, however, was certainly not formed on the principles which had guided Cromwell in the selection of his first troopers, and indeed it was impossible to select 30,000 men on the exclusive plan which had been found possible in the selection of a single troop or a single regiment. \Vhat chiefly
so far as the rank and file were concerned—distinguished the New Model
The higher the state of discipline is, the more important is the selection
For the present the services of the new army were required solely in the field. On April 20 Cromwell, who was permitted to retain his commission forty days after the ordinance had passed, and whose allotted term had not yet expired, was sent with his cavalry to sweep round the King’s headquarters at Oxford and to break up his arrangements for moving the artillery
needed to enable Rupert to again take the field. Cromwell’s movement