Imágenes de páginas

Though this sudden, unusual, and dreadful ob- | tempt, and the happiness to succeed in, so imject might have quelled a greater courage than | probable a design, as the destruction of one of mine ; yet so it pleased God (for there is nothing the most ancient and most solidly-founded mobolder than a man in a vision) that I was not at | narchies upon the Earth ? that he should have all daunted, but asked him resolutely and the power or boldness to put his prince and briedy “ What art thou?" And he said, “I master to an open and infamous death; to baam called the north-west principality, his high- | nish that numerous and strongly-allied family: ness, the protector of the commonwealth of to do all this under the name and wages of a England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the domi- | parliament; to trample upon them too as he nions belonging thereto; for I am that angel, | pleased, and to spurn them out of dcors when he to whom the Almighty has committed the go I grew weary of them; to raise up a new and unvernment of those three kingdoms; which thon | beard-of monster out of their ashes ; to stifle seest from this place.” And I answered and that in the very infancy, and set himself above said, “ If it be so, sir, it seems to me that for all things that ever were called sovereign in Engalmost these twenty years past, your highness

3 past, your highness | land ; to oppress all his enemies by arms, and has been absent from your charge: for not only all his friends afterwards by artifice; to serve if any angel, but if any wise and honest man, had all parties patiently for a while, and to command since that time been our governor, we should them victoriously at last; to over-run each not have wandered thus long in these laborious | corner of the three nations, and overcome with and endless labyrinths of confusion, but either | equal facility both the riches of the south and not have entered at all into them, or at least the poverty of the north; to be feared and have returned back ere we had absulutely lost courted by all foreign princes, and adopted a our way; but, instead of your highness, we have brother to the gods of the Earth; to call tohad since such a protector, as was his prede- / gether parliaments with a word of his pen, and cessor Richard the third to the king his nephew; | scatter them again with the breath of his mouth: for he presently slew the commonwealth, which to be humbly and daily petitioned that he would he pretended to protect, and set up himself in please to be hired, at the rate of two millions a the place of it: a little less guilty indeed in one | year, to be the master of those who had hired respect, because the other slew an innocent, and him before to be their servant; to have the esthis man did but murder a murderer. Such a pro tates and lives of three kingdoms as much at his tector we have had, as we would have been glad disposal, as was the little inheritance of his fa. to have changed for an enemy, and rather ther, and to be as noble and liberal in the spendhave received a constant Turk, than this every ing of them; and lastly (for there is no end of month's apostate; such a protector, as man is all the particulars of his glory) to bequeath all to bis flocks which he shears, and sells, ordevours this with one word to his posterity; to die with himself, and I would fain know what the wolf, which peace at home, and triumph abroad ; to be buhe protects him from, could do more. Such a ried among kings, and with more than regal soprotector-”andas I was proceeding, methoughts lemnity; and to leave a nane behind him, not his highness began to put on a displeased and to be extinguished, but with the whole world; threatening countenance, as men use to do when which, as it is now too little for his praises, sa their dearest friends happen to be traduced in might have been too for his conquests, if the their company; which gave me the first rise of short line of his human life could have been jealousy against him, for I did not believe that stretched out to the extent of his immortal des Cromwell among all his foreign correspondences signs ? » had ever held any with angels. However I was By this speech, I began to understand per. not hardened enough vetto venture a quarrel with

vetto venture a quarrel with | fectly well what kind of angel his pretended him then: and therefore (as if I had spoken to highness was; and having fortified myself pria the protector himself in Whitehall) I desired him vately with a short mental prayer, and with the “that his highness would please to pardon me, sign of the cross (not out of any superstition to if I had unwittingly spoken any thing to the dis the sign, but as a recognition of my baptism in paragement of a person, whose relations to his Christ), I grew a little bolder, and replied in this highness I had not the honour to know."

manner : “ I should not venture to oppose what At which he told me “that he had no other | you are pleased to say in commendation of the concernment for bis late highness, than as he took late great, and (I confess) extraordinary person, him to be the greatest man that ever was of the but that I remember Christ forbids us io give English nation, if not (said he) of the wbole world; assent to any other doctrine but what himself which gives me a just title to the defence of his has taught us, even though it should be de, reputation, since I now account myself, as it livered by an angel; and if such you be, sir, it were, a naturalised English angel, by having may be you have spoken all this rather to try had so long the management of the affairs of that than to tempt my frailty : for sure I am, that country. And pray, countryman, (said he, very we must renounce or forget all the laws of the kindly and very flatteringly) for I would not | New and Old Testament, and those which are the have you fall into the general error of the world, foundation of both, even the laws of moral and that detests and decries so extraordinary a natural honesty, if we approve of the actions of virtue, What can be more extraordinary than that a person of mean birth, no fortune, no emi. 1 Mr. Hume has inserted this character of nent qualities of body, which have sometimes, Cromwell, but altered, as he says, in some paror of mind, which have often, raised men to the ticulars from the original, in his History of Great highest dignities, should have the courage to at- Britain. HURD,

that man whom I suppose you commend by that he should have broke into a violent passion irony.

in behalf of his favourite : but he on the contrary “There would be no end to instance in the par- very calmly, and with the dove-like innocency ticulars of all his wickedness; but, to sum up a of a serpent that was not yet warmed enough to part of it briefly, What can be more extraordina sting, thus replied to me; rily wicked, than for a person, such as yourself, " It is not so much out of my affection to that qualify him rightly, to endeavour not only to person whom we discourse of, (whose greatness is exalt himself above, but to trample upon, all his too solid to be shaken by the breath of an oratory) equals and betters ? to pretend freedom for all as for your own sake (honest countryman) men, and under the help of that pretence to make whom I conceive to err, rather by mistake than all men his servants? to take arms against taxes as out of malice, that I shall endeavour to reform scarce two hundred thousand pounds a year and to your uncharitable and unjust opinion. And, in raise them himself to above two millions ? to quar the first place, I must needs put you in mind of rel for the loss of three or four ears, and to strike a sentence of the most ancient of the heathen dioff three or four hundred heads ? to fight against vines, that you men are acquainted withal, an imaginary suspicion of I know not what? two thousand guards to be fetched for the king, I know Ούχ' όσιαν καλαμένοισιν επ' ανδράσιν εύχείαάσθαι. not from whence,and to keep up for himself no less than forty thousand ? to pretend the defence of 'Tis wicked with insulting feet to tread parliaments, and violently to dissolve all, even of Upon the monuments of the dead. his own calling, and almost choosing? to undertake the reformation of religion, and to rob it even | And the intention of the reproof there, is no less to the very skin, and then to expose it naked to the proper for this subject; for it is spoken to a perrage of all sects and heresies ? to set up counsels | son who was proud and insolent against those of rapine, and courts of murder ? to fight against dead men, to whom he had been humble and the king under a commission for him; to take obedient whilst they lived." him forcibly out of the hands of those for whom “Your highness may please (said I) to add he had conquered him; to draw him into his | the verse that follows, as no less proper for this net, with protestations and vows of fidelity, and subject : when he had caught him in it, to butcher him, with as little shame, as conscience or humanity, Whom God's just doom and their own sins hare in the open face of the whole world ? to receive

Sent a commission for the king and parliament, to Already to their punishment. murder (as I said) the one, and destroy no less impudently the other? to fight against monar “But I take this to be the rule in the case, that, chy when he declared for it, and declare against when we fix any infamy upon deceased persons, it it when he contrived for it in his own person to should pot be done out of hatred to the dead, but abase perfidiously and supplant ingratefully his out of love and charity to the living: that the own generala first, and afterwards most of those curses, which only remain in men's thoughts. officers, who, with the loss of their honour, and and dare not come forth against tyrants (because hazard of their souls, had lifted hiin up to the top | they are tyrants) whilst they are so, may at of his unreasonable ambitions ? to break his faith | least be for ever settled and engraven upon their with all enemies and with all friends equally ; and memories, to deter all others from the like wickto make no less frequent use of the most solemnedness; which else, in the time of their foolish perjuries, than the looser sort of people do of prosperity, the flattery of their own hearts, and customary oaths to usurp three kingdoms with- of other men's tongies, would not suffer them to out any shadow of the least pretensions, and to perceive. Ambition is so subtile a templer, and govern them as unjustly as he got them ? to set the corruption of human nature so susceptible of himself up as an idol (which we know, as St. | the temptation, that a man can hardly resist it, Paul says, in itself is nothing), and make the be he never so much forewarned of the evil consevery streets of London like the valley of Hinnon, quences; much less if ke find not only the conby burning the bowels of inen as a sacrifice to his currence of the present, but the approbation too Molochship? to seek to entail this usurpation of following ages, which have the liberty to judge upon his posterity, and with it an endless war more freely. The mischief of tyranny is too great upon the nation ? and lastly, by the severest even in the shortest time that it can continue : it judgment of Almighty God, to die hardened, and is endless and insupportable, if the example be mad, and unrepeutant, with the curses of the to reign too; and if a Lambert must be invited to present age, and the detestation of all to suc follow the steps of a Cromwell, as well by the ceed?"

voice of honour, as by the sight of power and Though I had much more to say, (for the life riches. Though it may seein to some fantastiof man is so short, that it allows not time enough cally, yet was it wisely, done of the Syracusans. to speak against a tyrant) yet, because I had to implead with the forms of their ordinary jusa mind to hear how my strange adversary would | tice, to condemn and destroy, even the statues behave himself upon this subject, and to give of all their tyrants : if it were possible to cut them even the devil (as they say) his right and fair out of all history, and to extinguish their very play in a disputation, I stopped here, and ex names, I am of opinion that it ought to be done; pected (not without the frailty of a little fear) but, since they have left behind them tov deep

wounds to be ever .closed up without a scar, at a Sir Thumas Fairfax.

least let us set such a mark upon their memory, finat men of the same wicked inclinations may be How has it snatch'd our flocks and herds away! 20 less affrighted with their lasting ignominy, And made even of our sons a prey ! than enticed by their momentary glories. And, What croaking sects and vermin has it sent, that your highness may perceive, that I speak The restless nation to torment! not all this out of any private animosity against What greedy troops, what armed power the person of the late protector, I assure you, Of flies and locusts, to devour upon my faith, that I bear no more hatred to his The land, which every where they fill! name, than I do to that of Marius or Sylla, who Nor fly they, Lord! away; no, they devour never did me, or any friend of mine, the least

it still. injury;" and with that, transported by a holy fury, I fell into this sudden rapture:

Come the eleventh plague, rather than this

should be ; Curst be the man (what do I wish ? as though Come sink us rather in the sea. The wretch already were not so ;

Come rather pestilence, and reap us down; But curst on let him be) who thinks it brave Come God's sword rather than our own. And great, his countrey' to enslave;

Let rather Roman come again, Who seeks to overpoise alone

Or Saxon, Norman, or the Dane: The balance of a nation;

In all the bonds we ever bore, Against the whole but naked state,

We griev'd, we sigh’d, we wept; we neved Who in his own light scale makes up with arms

blush'd before. the weight:

If by our sins the divine justice be Who of his nation loves to be the first,

CalPd to this last extremity, Though at tbe rate of being worst;

Let some denouncing Jonas first be sent, Who would be rather a great monster, than

To try, if England can repent. A well-proportion'd man.

Methinks, at least, some prodigy, The son of Earth with hundred hand

Some dreadful comet from on high, Upon his three-pild mountain stands,

Should terribly forewar the Earth, Till thunder strikes him from the sky;

As of good princes death, so of a tyrant's birth." The son of Earth again in his Earth's womb does lie.

Here, the spirit of verse beginning a little to

fail, I stopt: and his highness, smiling, said, What bloud, confusion, ruin, to obtain “ I was glad to see you engaged in the enclosure A short and miserable reign!

of metre; for, if you had staid in the open plain In what oblique and humble creeping wise of declaiming against the word tyrant, I must Does the mischievous serpent rise !

have had patience for half a dozen hours, till But even his forked tongue strikes dead: you had tired yourself as well as me. But pray, When he has rear'd up his wicked head, countryman, to avoid this sciomacy, or imagiHe murders with his mortal frown;

nary combat with words, let me know, sir, what A basilisk he grows, if once he get a crown. you mean by the name of tyrant, for I remember

that, among your ancient authors, not only all Bat no guards can oppose assaulting fears, kings, but even Jupiter himself (your jutans Or undermining tears,

pater) is so termed; and perhaps, as it was used No more than doors or close-drawn curtains formerly in a good sense, so we shall find it, keep

upon better consideration, to be still a good thing The swarming dreams out, when we sleep. for the benefit and peace of mankind; at least, it That bloody conscience, too, of his

will appear whether your interpretation of it may (For, oh, a rebel red-coat'tis)

be justly applied to the person, who is now the Does here bis early Hell begin,

subject of our discourse." He sees his slaves without, his tyrant feels I call him (said I) a tyrant, who either inwithin.

trudes himself forcibly into the goverrment of

his fellow-citizens without any legal authority Let, gracious God! let never more thine hand over them; or wbo, having a just title to the goLift up this rod against our land!

vernment of a people, abuses it to the desiruction A tyrant is a rod, and serpent too,

or tormenting of them. So that all tyrants are And brings worse plagues than Egypt knew. ) at the same time usurpers, either of the whole, What rivers stain'd with blood have been! or at least of a part, of that power which they What store and hail-shot have we seen! assume to themselves; and no less are they to be

What sores deform'd the ulcerous state! | accounted rebels, since no man can usurp auWhat darkness, to be felt, has buried us of thority over others, but by rebelling against them late!

who had it before, or at least against those laws

which were his superiors: and in all these senses · Countrey.) This word,'in the sense of patria, no history can afford us a more evident example a as including in it the idea of a civil constitution, of tyranny, or more out of all possibility of excuse is always spelt by Mr. Cowley, I observe, with or palliation, than that of the person whom you an e before y,-countrey ;-in the sense of rus, are pleased to defend; whether we consider his Witbout an e,-country, and this distinction, for reiterated rebellions against all his superiors, or the sake of perspicuity, may be worth preserving. his usurpation of the supreme power to himself, Hued.

or his tyranny in the exercise of it: and, if lam. VOL. VII.

ful princes have been esteemed tyrants, by not serves, no doubt, to have the command of her containing themselves within the bounds of those (even as his highness had) by the desire of the laws which have been left them, as the sphere of seamen and passengers themselves. And do but their authority, by their fure-fathers, what shall consider, lastly,(for I omit a multitude of weighty we say of that man, who, having by right no things, that might be spoken upon this noble are power at all in this nation, could not content him- gwnent) do but consider seriously and impartiself with that which bad satisfied the most ambi- / ally with yourself, what admirable parts of wit tious of our princes ? nay, not with those vastly and prudence, what indefatigable diligence and extended limits of sovereignty, which he (dis- invincible courage, must of necessity have condaining all which had been prescribed and obser: curred in the person of that man, who, from so ved before) was pleased (out of great modesty) contemptible beginnings (as I observed before) tu set to himself; not abstaining from rebellion and through so many thousand difficulties, was and usurpation even against his own laws, as well able not only to make himself the greatest and as those of the nation?"

most absolute monarch of this nation, but to add " Hold, friend, said his highness, pulling me to it the entire conquest of Ireland and Scotland by my arm) for I see your zeal is transporting (which the whole force of the world, joined with you again ; whether the protector were a tyrant the Roman virtue, could never attain to); and in the exorbitant exercise of his power, we shall to crown all this with illustrious and see anon; it is requisite to examine, first, undertakings and successes upon all our foreign whether he were so in the usurpation of it. And enemies: do but (I say again) consider this, and I say, that not only he, but no man else, ever you will confess, that his prodigious merits were was, or can be so; and that for these reasons. a better title to imperial dignity, than the blood First, because all power belongs only to God, who of an hundred royal progenitors; and will rather is the source and fountain of it, as kings are of lament that he lived not to overcome more nations all honours in their dominions. Princes are but than envy him the conquest and dominion of his viceroys in the little provinces of this world ; these.and to some he gives their places for a few years, “Whoever you are," said I, (my indignation to some for their lives, and to others (upon ends making me somewhat bolder) “ your discourse, or deserts best known to himself, or merely for methinks, becomes as little the person of a tutelar his undisputable good pleasure) he bestows, as angel, as Cromwell's actions did that of a protecit were, Icases upon them, and their posterity, tor. It is upon these principles, that all the great for such a date of time as is prefixed in that pa- crimes of the world have been committed, and tent of their destiny, which is not legible to you most particularly those which I have had the mismen below. Neither is it more unlawful for fortune to see in my own time, and in my own Oliver to succeed Charles in the kingdom of Eng-country. If these be to be allowed, we must land, when God so disposes of it, than it had break up human society, retire into the woods, been for him to have succeeded the lord Strafford and equally there stand upon our guards against in the lieutenancy of Ireland, if he had been ap our brethren mankind, and our rebels the wild pointed to it by the king then reigning. Men beasts. For, if there can be no usurpation upon are in both the cases obliged to obey him whom the rights of a whole nation, there can be none they see actually invested with the authority, by most certainly upon those of a private person; that sovereign from whom he ought to derive it, and, if the robbers of countries be God's vicegewithout disputing or examining the causes, either rents, there is no doubt but the thieves and lanof the removal of the one, or the preferment of ditos, and murderers, are his under-officers. It the other. Secondly, because all power is at. | is true which you say, that God is the source and tained, either by the election and consent of the fountain of all power; and it is no less true, that people (and that takes away your objection of he is the creator of serpents, as well as angels; forcible intrusion); or else by a conquest of them | nor does his goodness fail of its ends, even in the (and that gives such a legal authority as you malice of his own creatures. What power he mention to be wanting in the usurpation of a sufiers the Devil to exercise in this world, is two tyrant); so that either this title is right, and then apparent by our daily experience; and by nothere are no usurpers, or else it is a wrong one, thing more than the late monstrous iniquities and then there are none else but usurpers, if / which you dispute for, and patronize in England: you examine the original pretences of the princes but would you infer from thence, that the power of the world. Thirdly, (which, quitting the dis- | of the Devil is a just and lawful one; and that all pute in general, is a particular justification of his inen onght, as well as most men do, obey him? highness) the government of England was totally God is the fountain of all powers; but some flow broken and dissolved, and extinguished by the from the right hand (as it were) of his goodness, confusions of a civil war; so that his highness | and others from the left hand of his justice; and could not be accused to have possessed himself the world, like an island between these two rivers, violently of the ancient building of the common is sometimes refreshed and nourished by the one wealth, but to have prudently and peaceably and sometimes over-run and ruined by the other; built up a new one out of the ruins and ashes of | | and to continue a little farther the allegory) the former; and he, who after a deplorable ship. we are never overwhelmed with the latter, till, wreck, can with extraordinary industry gather either by our malice or negligence, we have together the dispersed and broken planks and stopped and dammed up the former. pieces of it, and with no less wonderful art and “ But to come a little closer to your argument felicity so rejoin them, as to make a new vessel or rather the image of an argument, your similimore tight and beautiful than the old one, de- tude. If Cromwell bad come to courmand in Irela

Jand, in the place of the late lord Strafford, I miserable conquest remain then in his majesty ; should have yielded obedience, not for the equi- / and didst thou sutter him to be destroyed, with page, and the strength, and the guards which he | more barbarity than if he had been conquered brought with him, but for the commission which even by savages and canibals? Was it for king he should first have showed me from our common | and parliament that we fought ; and has it fared sovereign that sent him; and, if he could have with them just as with the army which we fought done that from God Almighty, I would have obey - against, the one part being slain, and the other ed him tov in England; but that he was so far fed? It appears therefore plainly, that Cromwell from being able to do, that, on the contrary, I was not a conqueror, but a thief and robber of read nothing but commands, and even public the rights of the king and parliament, and an proclamations, from God Almighty, not to admit usurper upon those of the people. I do not here him.

deny conquest to be sometimes (though it be “Your second argument is, that he had the very rarely) a true title; but I deny this to be a same right for his authority, that is the foundation true conquest. Sure I am, that the race of our of all others, even the right of conquest. Are princes came not in by such a one. One nation we then so unhappy as to be conquered by the may conquer another sometimes justly; and if person whom we hired at a daily rate, like a it be unjustly, yet still it is a true conquest, and labourer, to conquer others for us? Did we fur- they are to answer for the injustice only to God nish him with arms, only to draw and try upon Almighty (having nothing else in authority above our enemies (as we, it seems, falsely thought them) and not as particular rebels to their counthem) and keep them for ever sheathed in the try, which is, and ought always to be, their supe. bowels of his friends? Did we fight for liberty | rior and their lord. If perhaps we find usurpaagainst our prince, that we might become slaves tion instead of conquest in the original titles of to our servant? This is such an impudent pre some royal families abroad, (as no roubt there tence, as neither he nor any of his flatterers for have been many usurpers, before ours, though him had ever the face to mention. Though it none in so impudent and execrable a manner) can hardly be spoken or thought of without pas all I can say for them is, that their title was very sion, yet I shall, if you please, argue it more weak, till, by length of time, and the death of all calmly than the case deserves.

juster pretenders, it became to be the true, be“The right, certainly, of conquest can only be cause it was the only one. exercised upon those against whom the war is de “ Your third defence of his highness (as your clared, and the victory obtained. So that no highness pleases to call him) enters in most seaFhole nation can be said to be conquered, but by sonably after his pretence of conquest ; for then foreign force. In all civil wars, men are so far a man may say any thing. The government was from stating the quarrel against their country, broken ; who broke it? It was dissolved; who that they do it only against a person or party, dissolved it? It was extinguished; who was it, which they really believe, or at least pretend, to but Cromwell, who not only put out the light, but be pernicious to it; neither can there be any cast away even the very snuff of it? As if a man just cause for the destruction of a part of the should murder a whole family, and then possess body, but when it is done for the preservation and himself of the house, because it is better that he, safety of the whole. It is our country that raises than that only rats, should live there. Jesus men in the quarrel, our country that arms, our God! (said I, and at that word I perceived my country that pays, them, our country that autho- | pretended angel to give a start and trembled, but rizes the undertaking, and by that distinguishes | I took no notice of it, and went on) this were a it from rapine and murder ; lastly it is our coun wicked pretension, even though the whole fatry that directs and commands the army, and is mily were destroyed; but the heirs (blessed be indeed their general. So that to say, in civil God !) are yet surviving, and likely to out-live Fars, that the prevailing party conquers their all heirs of their dispossessors, besides their infaCountry, is to say, the country conquers itself. my. Rode, caper, vitem, &c. There will And, if the general only of that party be the con- be yet wine enough left for the sacrifice of those queror, the arms, by which he is made so, is wild beasts, that bave made so much spoil in the Do less conquered than the army which is beaten, vineyard. But did Cromwell think, like Nero, and have as little reason to triumph in that vic | to set the city on fire, only that he might have tory, by which they lose both their honour and the honour of being founder of a new and more liberty. So that, if Cromwell conquered any | beautiful one? He could not have such a shadow party, it was only that against which he was of virtue in his wickedness; he meant only to rob senit; and what that was inust appear by his more securely and more richly in midst of the commission. It was (says that) against a com- combustion; he little thought then that he should pany of evil counsellors, and disaffected persons, ever have been able to make himself master of who kept the king from a good intelligence and the palace, as well as plunder the goods of the conjunction with his people. It was not then commonwealth. He was glad to see the public against the people. It is so far from being so, vessel (the sovereign of the seas) in as desperate that even of that party which was beaten, the a condition as his own little canoe, and thought conquest did not belong to Cromwell, but to the only, with some scattered planks of that great parliament which employed bim in their service, shipwreck, to make a better fisherboat for himor rather indeed to the king and parliament, for self. But when he saw that, by the drowning of whose service (if there had been any faith'in the master, (whom he himself treacherously men's vows and protestations) the wars were un knocked on the head, as he was swiinming for dertaken. Merciful God! did the right of this his life) by the flight and dispersion of others,

« AnteriorContinuar »