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valuable curiosity. I may observe, that, to preserve the style and character of the Latin original, I found it necessary to give a new translation. The translation by the Rev. Dr. Fellowes is considered the best; but it is full of omissions and errors, and is rather a paraphrase than a translation. It gives the English reader no idea of the terseness and vigour of Milton's style. I have adhered closely to the original, and endeavoured to convey its spirit. I may add, that Milton's literary character suffers injury from the loose and inaccurate translations we have of these great prose works, which in his life-time raised him to the highest pitch of fame at home and abroad.
“Oliver Cromwell sprung from a noble and illustrious family. The name was formerly famous under the monarchy in the good administration of government, and still more famous in the restoration, or establishment, then for the first time, of true religion among us. He grew up quietly at home to maturity and vigour of manhood, which he spent in privacy ; remarked for nothing more, than for his rigid observance of pure religion, and his integrity of life : and he silently cherished in his breast a confident reliance on the Deity, and a greatness of soul, to meet the most critical emergencies. Elected by the suffrages of his native borough, he obtained the senatorian office, in the last parliament convoked by the king. There he soon became eminent for the surpassing justness of his opinions, and firmness of his counsels. When the appeal was made to arms, he offers his services, and is appointed to a troop of horse. Then, having obtained a great accession to his forces by a concourse of the good flocking from all quarters to his standard, he surpassed in a short time almost the greatest generals by the magnitude of his operations, and the rapidity of his execution. Nor was this surprising; for he was a soldier thoroughly disciplined in a knowledge of himself; and had previously extinguished, or held in subjection, whatever internal enemies he may have had—vain hopes — fears—desires. First, the commander of himself—of himself the conqueror, he had learned over himself to obtain the most signal triumph: therefore, on the
* He alludes chiefly to the celebrated Cromwell, earl of Essex, (the ancestor of the Protector,) in the reign of Henry VIII.
very day he first appeared in the camp, he grew a veteran, consummately skilled in all the science of war. It is impossible for me, adequately with the dignity of the subject, to detail, within the limits of this discourse, the many cities that he took, the battles-even the great ones, that he won. Never defeated or discomfited, he swept over the whole surface of Britain in one career of continued victories. These require the great work of a perfect history—a new field, as it were, of elocution ; and a scope of narrative coextensive with the deeds. This alone is sufficient proof of his singular and almost godlike merit--that there was active within him such vigour, whether of soul and genius, or of discipline moulded not alone to the rules of warfare, but to the rules and holiness of Christianity, that he attracted from all quarters to his camp, as to the best school, not merely of military science, but of religion and of piety, the good and the brave; or, mainly by his example, made his followers such ; and that during the whole war, and sometimes during the periods of intervening peace, under all the vicissitudes of public opinion and events—under many oppositions, he kept, and still keeps them to their duty-not by largesses and military indulgence—but by his sole authority and his mere pay.
Greater praise than this is not bestowed on Cyrus, Epaminondas, or any of the greatest generals of antiquity. Hence no other general, in a shorter time, collected an army more numerous and better equipped than his—an army obedient to his word in all things—beloved and cherished by their fellow-citizens ; formidable indeed to the enemy in arms; but entitled to the admiration of those who wished for peace, in whose lands and under whose roofs they lived without oppression or barm; so that when the people reflected on the outrage, the drunkenness, the impiety, and the debauchery of the Royalists, they, in their delight at their altered condition, looked on them not as enemies, but as friends—a safeguard to the good-a terror to the bad, and the promoters of all piety and virtue.
“Nor is it right to omit thee, Fairfax, in whom nature, and the bounty of Heaven, have united with the greatest bravery, the greatest moderation, and sanctity of life. Justly and deservedly indeed ought you be summoned to receive your meed of praise,
though you have as far as possible now kept aloof in your retirement, like the great Scipio Africanus at Liternum.
Nor was it the external enemy alone you subdued; but you subdued ambition, and that which subdues the greatest of men - the love of glory. And now you enjoy the fruits of your virtues and illustrious deeds in your charming and glorious ease, which is the end of all human toils and actions, even of the greatest--such ease as that, which when the heroes of antiquity enjoyed, after a career of war and glory not greater than yours, the poets, who endeavoured to extol them, despairing of adequately describing it, feigned that they were received into heaven, and reclined at the banquets of the gods. But, whether it be your state of health, which I principally believe, or any other cause, that induced you to retire ; of this am I entirely persuaded, that nothing could tear you from the service of your country, had you not seen what a powerful protector of liberty-what a firm and faithful pillar and bulwarkof the state of England, you were leaving behind in your successor!
"For while you, O Cromwell, are preserved among us, he shows but little confidence in the Deity, who fears for the safety of England; when he sees you so evidently the object of the Divine favour and assistance. But there was another field of the war in which you were to act the champion alone. In short, I shall, if possible, detail your most memorable achievements, with the same rapidity that you performed them. All Ireland being lost, except one city, you conveyed your army across; and quickly in a single battle crushed the Irish forces. There you were day by day engaged in the completion of your labours, when you are suddenly recalled to the war in Scotland. Thence you proceed with energies untired against the Scotch, then making an irruption into England, with the monarch at their head; and in about a year you completely subdued, and added that kingdom to the dominion of England; what for 800 years our monarchs were unable to effect. The remainder of their forces—powerful and well equipped, who in a fit of desperation had made a sudden incursion into England—then almost naked of garrisons, and had proceeded as far as Worcester, you overtook by forced marches, and in a single
battle annihilated, making almost the entire nobility of the nation captive. Thence there followed profound peace at home. Thenyet not then for the first time—did we find you not less powerful in council, than in the arts of war. Day by day it was your occupation in the senate, to provide that the faith plighted with the enemy be maintained, or that measures beneficial to the public weal be maturely decided on. But when you saw delays artfully spun out, and every member intent more on his own than on the public interest, (the people complaining of baffled hopes, and of being circumvented by the power of a few,) then what they themselves, though often advised, would not do-you put an end to their domination. A new parliament is summoned, the elective franchise being granted to those only who ought to enjoy it. The members meet. They do nothing. After having wearied themselves with mutual dissensions and recriminations; and finding, most of them, that they were inadequate and unfit for the discharge of such high functions, they dissolve themselves. Then, O Cromwell! we are left abandoned—you alone remain-on you alone devolves the chief administration of affairs—in you alone it centres. To your insuperable virtue we all yield-all of us without one dissentient voice, except the man who seeks for honours which he is unequal to sustain ; or grudges the honours conferred upon the more worthy; or does not know that in human society nothing is more grateful to God, or more consonant with reason—nothing more just or useful in a state, than that the most meritorious should wield the sovereign powers.
Such a man, O Cromwell! all acknowledge you to be ; such the services you have performed, as the greatest and most glorious of our citizens—the leader of our public councils—the general of our bravest armies—the father of our courftry! Thus are you hailed by the spontaneous voice of all the good, and from the
Other titles * worthy of your deeds, you neither recognise nor tolerate; and those proud ones, however great in the opinion of the vulgar, you deservedly reject. For what is a
He alludes to his reje of the title of King, which, a few years before this, it was contemplated by some of his council to offer him. He was content with that of Protector.
title, but a certain definite measure of dignity? Your achievements surpass
the bounds not only of our admiration, but of our titles ; and, like the points of pyramids that hide themselves in heaven, rise above the popular puff of titles. But since, though unworthy, it is yet expedient, that the highest merits should be defined and determined by some human dignity, you, by assuming a title most closely resembling that of father of your country, felt and endured, not that you were exalted, but were descending from your elevation, and sinking to the level of ordinary men, for the public good-spurning the appellation of King with a majesty far greater than that of king—and deservedly spurning it: for if you, who are become so glorious by your deeds, were captivated by a name, that as a private man you led beneath the yoke and reduced to nothing, you would be doing the same as if after you vanquished some idolatrous nation by the help of the true God, you worshipped the gods you conquered. Success! then, O Cromwell, in that greatness of soul; for it well becomes thee : you, the liberator of your country—the founderthe guardian, and preserver too of its liberty, can sustain no other character more dignified or august-you who have surpassed by your deeds not only the achievements of our kings, but the fables of our heroes.
“Consider again and again, how dear a pledge, and from how dear a parent, you hold deposited—liberty commended and entrusted by your country to your care. That which she lately expected from the choicest spirits of all the nation, she now expects from you alone-through you alone hopes to obtain. Revere such high expectations-the main hope which your country entertains of you. Revere the looks and wounds of so many gal. lant heroes, who under your command combated so valiantly for freedom. Revere the shades of those who perished in the conflict. Revere too the opinions and conversations of foreign nations about us-what great results they promise to themselves from our liberty so bravely acquired, and from our commonwealth so gloriously founded; which, if it perish abortively so soon, will reflect matchless disgrace and shame upon this nation. Last of all-revere yourself; and suffer not that liberty, for the attainment