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The marquis of Worcester, a man past eighty-four, was the last in England that submitted to the authority uf the parliament. He defended Raglan castle to extremity; and opened not its gates till the middle of August. Four years, a few days excepted, were now elapsed, since the king first erected his standard at Nottingham.60 So long had the British nations, by civil and religious quarrels, been occupied in shedding their own blood, and laying waste their native country. The parliament and the Scots laid their proposals before the king. They were such as a captive, entirely at mercy, could expect from the most inexorable victor: yet were they little worse than what were insisted on before the battle of Naseby. The power of the sword, instead of ten, which the king now offered, was demanded for twenty years, together with a right to levy whatever money the parliament should think proper for the support of their armies. The other conditions were, in the main, the same with those which had formerly been offered to the king.61 Charles said, that proposals which introduced such important innovations in the constitution, demanded time for deliberation: the commissioners replied, that he must give his answer in ten days.64 He desired to reason about the meaning and import of some terms: they informed him, that they had no power of debate; and peremptorily required his consent or refusal. He requested a personal treaty with the parliament: they threatened, that, if he delayed compliance, the parliament would, by their own authority, settle the nation. What the parliament was most intent upon, was not their treaty with the king, to whom they paid little regard; but that with the Scots. Two important points remained to be settled with that nation; their delivery of the king, and the estimation of their arrears. The Scots might pretend, that as Charles was king of Scotland as well as of England, they were entitled to an equal vote in the disposal of his person: and that, in such a case, where the titles are equal, and the subject indivisible, the preference was due to the present possessor. The English maintained, that the king being in England, was comprehended within the jurisdiction of that kingdom, and could not be disposed of by any foreign nation. A delicate question this, and what surely could not be decided by precedent; since such a situation is not, any where, to be found m history.63
As the Scots concurred with the English, in imposing such severe conditions on the king, that, notwithstanding his unfortunate situation, he still refused to accept of them; it is certain that they did not desire his freedom: nor could they ever intend to join lenity and rigour together, in so inconsistent a manner. Before the settlement of terms, the administration must be possessed entirely by the parliaments of both kingdoms; and how incompatible that scheme with the liberty of the king, is easily imagined. To carry him a prisoner into Scotland, where few forces could be supported to guard him, was a measure so full of inconvenience and danger, that, even if the English had consented to it, must have appeared to the Scots themselves altogether uneligible: and how could such a plan be supported in opposition to England, possessed of such numerous and victorious armies, which were, at that time, at least seemed to be, in entire union with the parliament? The only expedient, it is obvious, which the Scots could embrace, if they scrupled wholly to abandon the king, was immediately to return, fully and cordially, to their allegiance; and, uniting themselves with the royalists in both kingdoms, endeavour, by force of arms, to reduce the English parliament to more moderate conditions: but besides that this measure was full of extreme hazard; what was it but instantly to combine with their old enemies against their old friends; and, in a fit of romantic generosity, overturn what, with so much expence of blood and treasure, they had, during the course of so many years, been so carefully erecting?
But, though all these reflections occurred to the Scottish commissioners, they resolved to prolong the dispute, and to keep the king as a pledge for those arrears which they s
Gh. LVIII. CHARLES I. 1625—1649. / 115 claimed from England, and which they were not likely, in the present disposition of that nation, to obtain by any other expedient. The sum, by their account, amounted to near two millions: for they had received little regular pay since they had entered England. And though the contributions which they had levied, as well as the price of their living at free-quarters, must be deducted; yet still the sum which they insisted on was very considerable. After many discussions, it was, at last, agreed, that, in lieu of all demands, they should accept of 400,000 pounds, one half to be paid instantly, another in two subsequent payments.64
Great pains were taken by the Scots (and the English complied with their pretended delicacy) to make this estimation and payment of arrears appear a quite different transaction from that for the delivery of the king's person: but common sense requires, that they should be regarded as one and the same. The English, it is evident, had they not been previously assured of receiving the king, would never have parted with so considerable a sum; and, while they weakened themselves, by the same measure have strengthened a people, with whom they must afterwards have so material an interest to discuss. Thus the Scottish nation underwent, and still undergo (for such grievous stains are not easily wiped off), the reproach of selling their king, and betraying their prince for money. In vain did they maintain, that this money was, on account of former services, undoubtedly their due; that in their present situation, no other measure, without the utmost indiscretion, or even their apparent xuin, could be embraced; and that, though they delivered their king into the hands of his open enemies, they were themselves as much his open enemies as those to whom they surrendered him, and their common hatred against him had long united the two parties in strict alliance with each other. They were still answered, that they made use of this scandalous expedient for obtaining their wages; and that, after taking arms, without any provocation, against their sovereign, who had ever loved and "
116 HISTORY OF GREAT BRITAIN. Ch. LVIII.
cherished them, they had deservedly fallen into a situation, from which they could not extricate themselves, without either infamy or imprudence. The infamy of this bargain had such an influence on the Scottish parliament, that they once voted, that the king should be protected, and his liberty insisted on. But the general assembly interposed, and pronounced, that, as he had refused to take the covenant, which was pressed on him, it became not the godly to concern themselves about his fortunes. After this declaration, it behoved the parliament to retract their vote.65
Intelligence concerning the final resolution of the Scottish nation to surrender him, was brought to the king; and he happened, at that very time, to be playing at chess.66 Such command of temper did he possess, that he continued his game without interruption; and none of the by-standers could perceive, that the letter, which he perused, had brought him news of any consequence. The English commissioners, who, some days after, came to take liimunm .' their custody, were admitted to kiss his hands; and he received them with the same grace and cheerfulness, as if they had travelled on no other errand than to pay court to him. The old earl of Pembroke in particular, who was one of them, he congratulated on his strength and vigour, that he was still able, during such a season, to perform so long a journey, in company with so many young people. KING DELIVERED UP BY THE SCOTS. 1647.
The king being delivered over by the Scots to the English commissioners, was conducted, under a guard, to Holdenby, in the county of Northampton. On his journey, the whole country flocked to behold him, moved partly by curiosity, partly by compassion and affection. If auy still retained rancour against him, in his present condition, they passed in silence; while his well-wishers, more generous than prudent, accompanied his march with tears, with acclamations, and with prayers for his safety.67 That ancient superstition likewise, of desiring the king's touch in scrophulous distempers, seemed to acquire fresh credit among the people, from the general tenderness which began to prevail for this virtuous and unhappy monarch. The commissioners rendered his confinement at Holdenby very rigorous; dismissing his ancient servants, deharring him from visits, and cutting off all communication with his friends or family. The parliament, though earnestly applied to by the king, refused to allow his chaplains to attend him, because they had not taken the covenant. The king refused to assist at the service exercised according to the directory; because he had not as yet given his consent to that mode of worship.88 Such religious zeal prevailed on both sides! And such was the unhappy and distracted condition to which it had reduced king and people!During the time that the king remained in the Scottish army at Newcastle, died the earl of Essex, the discarded, but still powerful and popular, general of the parliament. His death, in this conjuncture, was a public misfortune. Fully sensible of the excesses to which affairs had been carried, and of the worse consequences which were still to be apprehended, he had resolved to conciliate a peace, and to remedy, as far as possible, all those ills to which, from mistake rather than any bad intentions, he had himself so much contributed. The presbyterian, or the moderate party among the commons, found themselves considerably weakened by his death: and the small remains of authority which still adhered to the house of peers, were in a manner wholly extinguished.68