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A PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUTION.
Saye and Sele, not indeed a statesman with bro
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 diplo
matists 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 1
Restoration, not because it was un-Puritan, but because u it was exclusive. 9 '
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 LillQn.r.ne, of whom it was said that if he alone were left alive in the world, John would dispute with Lilburne and Lilburne with ]ohn; but it is at least remarkable that under Oliver’s sway
yang, whom he had long dealt with as a brother;
Harrison, who had fought under him from the very
side when the members of the Long Parliament were
thrust out of doors; Hazlerigg, who had kept guard over the English border in the crisis of Dunbar; Okey, who had led the dragoons at Naseby ; Overton, the trusted Governor of Hull, next to London the most important military post in England ; Lambert, who had taken a foremost part in the preparation of the Instrument of Government ; Cooper, who had been one of his most trusted councillors—to say nothing of confidants of less conspicuous note—were either in prison or in disgrace. When the second Protectorate, as it is sometimes called, was launched on its course, the only man not connected with the family of the Protector, who still occupied anything like an independent position, was Monk, the Governor and Commander-in-Chief in Scotland, and it is probable that he owed his authority to the distance which kept him from interfering in English politics. The true explanation appears to be that the men from whom Oliver parted were men not merelyof definite principles, but of definite ideas. Each one had made up his mind that England was to be served by the establishment of some particular form of government, or some particular course of action. Oliver’s mind was certainly not without the guidance of definite principles. He could not conceive it to be right to abandon religion to men who, whether Episcopalian or Presbyterian, would impose fetters on the freedom of ‘the people of God ’. He could not admit the ‘claim of an hereditary
monarch or of an elected Parliament to decide against the best interests of the country. Within these limits, however, his mind was more elastic than those of his opponents. Steadied by his high aims, he could vary the methods with which he combated each evil of the day as it arose. Those who attached themselves to him in his struggle against the King or against the
different Parliaments of his time, or against the military ~
power, were as incapable as he was capable of facing round to confront each new danger as it arose. From the moment that each partial victory was won, the old
friends had to be reasoned with, then discarded, and .
at last restrained from doing mischief. As years went on, Oliver, in spite of the abilities of those still serving under him, became increasingly an isolated man. Not only did his strong sense of religion in its Puritan form alienateqthose who were not Puritans or not religious, but his frequent changes of attitude bewildered that easy-going mass of mankind which sticks to its own theory, more especially if its own interests are embodied in it, and regards all change of political method as a veil intended to conceal moral turpitude. Oliver had decidedly lost adherents since the establishment of the Protectorate.
It was probably the increasing sense of the untrustworthiness of political support, rather than nepotism in its ordinary sense, which led the Protector to rely more and more on the services of
members of his own family. His younger son, Henry Cromwell, was now Lord Deputy of Ireland. His son-in-law, Fleetwood, was not only a member of the Council, but, now that Lambert was in disgrace, the most influential officer in the army, marked out for its command if Oliver were to pass away. His brother-in-law, Desborough, occupied a position hardly inferior. Two other brothers-in-law, Colonel John Jones and Colonel Valentine Wauton, were members of the Council in England or Ireland. Lockhart, one of the few Scotchmen who had rallied to the Protectorate, and who was engaged as a diplomatist in riveting the bonds between France and England, took to wife the Protector’s niece. A son-in-law, John Claypole, was now Master of the Horse. In the army, Whalley and Ingoldsby were his cousins. Not one of these, however, failed to occupy with credit the position he had acquired, whilst Oliver’s reluctance to push forward Richard, the elder of his surviving sons, may be taken as evidence that his affection for his family did not override his devotion to the State. Richard’s tastes lay in the direction of dogs and horses. He had recently broken his leg, hunting in the New Forest, and, upon his recovery, was brought up to Westminster to assume his place, on the establishment of the second Protectorate. Before that time, only two of the Councillors not holding other offce, Lambert and Strickland, had received the title of “ Lord,” probably having it verbally conferred upon them, and certainly not, as has been sometimes said, in connection with any Household appointment. Officials of high rank had—like the Lord Deputy and the Lord Keeper of the old monarchy—been entitled Lords, as in the case of Whitelocke, now Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, and Fiennes, Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal. Gradually usage, quickly sanctioned by official notice, gave the title of Lord to the Protector’s sons and sons-in-law, and of Lady to his daughters. The Lord Richard was only admitted to the Council on the last day of 1657, and was treated with some of the observances due to the heir, but till the last his father held back from exercising that power of nominating a successor which had been conferred on him by the latest constitution.
So far as in him lay, Oliver took care that his family should be an example to all the families in the land. Strict as he was in banishing not merely vice, but the folly that leads to vice, he was no more opposed to reasonable amusement than other more sober Puritans of the day. Music and song had a special charm for him, and amongst his soldiers he showed his appreciation of a healthy jest, laughing heartily, for instance, on his way to the campaign of Dunbar, when one of them slammed an overturned cream-tub on the head of another. After the victory at Worcester he was heard of in a hawking party near Aylesbury,