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on what was best to be done. In no party could he put his trust, not even the parliament: for, as he declared to Whitlocke, the members of the House offended God and Man by their "pride and ambition, and self-seeking; their engrossing all places of honor and profit to themselves and their friends, their daily breaking forth into new and violent parties and factions ; their delays of business, and design to perpetuate themselves and to continue the power in their own hands; their meddling in private matters between party and party, contrary to the institution of parliament; their injustice and partiality; and their scandalous lives.” In fact their conduct was so hateful to him, that he declared “ some course must be thought of to curb and restrain them;" which course he was not long in finding out and proceeding in, as we shall presently see. The Parliament, fearful of the influence of Cromwell, were very
esirous, as Oliver says, of "perpetuating themselves.” They would not be convinced that a dissolution of the present House and a new election could possibly be beneficial to the nation. The fact was, the members well knew that if they once separated, many a long day would elapse ere they could recover their position; and so they determined to sit in their seats at St. Stephen's as long as they could. But, more than this, to strengthen themselves, they formed a resolution to bring among them a number of Presbyterians, under the name of “ Neutrals ;” and this too in spite of the military members, who declared as the Presbyters had deserted their cause they certainly should have no voice in the legislative assembly. But the obstinate republicans paid no heed to the words of Cromwell and his officers, and proceeded with impolitic speed to pass this obnoxious measure. It was on the 20th of April, 1653, that Oliver was sitting with some of his fellow workers at his lodgings, debating “whether forty persons, or about that number of parliament men, and officers of the army should be nominated by the Parliament, and empowered for the managing the affairs of the commonwealth till a new parliament should meet, and so the present parliament to be forthwith dissolved.” In the midst of the deliberation there came Colonel Ingoldsby with the astounding intelligence that the Commons with great haste were taking advantage of Cromwell's absence, by hurriedly passing the objectionable bill. At this, Oliver was very wroth-ordered a troop of soldiers to attend him, and immediately started with them and his officers to the House, in the lobby of which they remained while he went in and took his seat. But the scene that followed let Carlyle describe in his own odd way. The Lord General sat still for about a quarter of an hour; but now the question being put
“ That this Bill do now pass, he beckons to Harrison, and says, “this is the time; I must do it!'”—and so rose up, put off his ‘hat, and spake. At first, and for a good while, he spake in com'mendation of the Parliament, for their pains and care of the public good; but afterwards he changed his style, told them of their injustice, self-interest, and other faults,'-rising higher and higher, into a very aggravated style indeed. An honourable Member, Sir Peter Wentworth by name, not known to my readers, and by me better known than trusted, rises to order, as we phrase it; says, “ It is a strange language this ; unusual within the walls of Parliament this ! And from a trusted servant too ; and one whom we have so highly honoured; and one' “Come, come!'” exclaims my Lord General, in a very high key, we have had enough of this,” and in fact my Lord General now blazing all up into clear conflagration, exclaims, “I will put an end to your prating,'” and steps forth into the floor of the house, and clapping on his hat and occasionally éstamping the floor with his feet' begins a discourse which no man can report ! He says—Heavens ! he is heard saying: “It is not fit that you should sit here any longer!'. You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately. You shall now give place to better men-call them in!”” adds he briefly to Harrison, in word of command: and some twenty or thirty' grim musketeers enter, with bullets in their snaphances; grimly prompt for orders; and stand in some attitude of Carry-arms there. Veteran men: men of might and men of war, their faces are as the faces of lions, and their feet are swift as the roes upon the mountains ;-not beautiful to honourable gentlemen at this moment!
“ You call yourselves a Parliament,” continues my Lord General in clear blaze of conflagration: «•You are no Parliament; I say you are no Parliament! some of you are drunkards,'” and his eye flashes on poor Mr. Chaloner, an official man of some value, addicted to the bottle ; 566 some of you are- ?" and he glares into Harry Marten, and the poor Sir Peter, who rose to order; lewd livers both; “ living in open contempt of God's Commandments. Following your own greedy appetites, and the Devil's Commandments.
• Corrupt unjust persons,”” and here I think he glanced at Sir Bulstrode · Whitlock, one of the Commissioners of the Great Seal, giving him
and others very sharp language, though he named them not ;' "corrupt unjust persons; scandalous to the profession of the gospel :' how can you be a Parliament for God's People ? Depart, I say ; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,-go!"
“ The House is of course all on its feet,-uncertain almost whether not on its head: such a scene as was never seen before in any House of Commons. History reports with a shudder that my Lord General, lifting the sacred Mace itself, said, “ What shall we do with this bauble? Take it away !”-and gave it to a musketeer. And now,-"Fetch him down !" says he to Harrison, flashing on the Speaker. Speaker Lenthall, more an ancient Roman than any. thing else, declares, He will not come till forced. “Sir," said Harrison, “ I will lend you a hand;” on which Speaker Lenthall came down, and gloomily vanished. They all vanished; flooding gloomily clamourously out, to their ulterior businesses, and respective places of abode : the Long Parliament is dissolved!“ • It's you that have forced me to this,' exclaims my Lord General : “ I have • sought the Lord night and day, that he would rather slay me than ‘put me upon the doing of this work.”” • At their going out, some say the Lord General said to young Sir Harry Vane, calling him by his name, That he might have prevented this ; but that he was a juggler, and had not common honesty.' “O Sir Harry Vane, thou
with thy subtle casuistries and abstruse hair splittings, thou art other 'than a good one, I think ! The Lord deliver me from thee, Sir Harry • Vane !"" * All being gone out, the door of the House was locked, . And the Key with the Mace, as I heard, was carried away by Colonel Otley; '-And it is all over, and the unspeakable Catastrophe has come, and remains.”
The result of this bold measure was, that in a few months Cromwell became the chief magistrate of the nation, under the title of “Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions and territories thereunto belonging.” And truly a greater protector never held sway in this land. Foreign powers feared him " as they feared the devil ;” and all men saw he had a most kingly nature, and
was therefore fit to wield a kingly power. Let us look with Thomas Carlyle through the mist of three centuries, and have a full view of his highness as he stands in his suit of “rich black velvet, with cloak of the same, and hat with band of gold." There he is—
“A man of five feet ten or more, of strong solid stature, and dignified, now partly military carriage: the expression of him valour and devout intelligence-energy and delicacy on a basis of simplicity. Fifty-four years old, gone April last; brown hair and moustache are getting grey A figure of sufficient impressiveness;—not lovely to the man-milliner species, nor pretending to be so. Massive stature; big massive head, of somewhat leonine aspect; - wart above the right eyebrow ; nose of considerable blunt aquiline proportions ; strict yet copious lips, full of all tremulous sensibilities, and also, if need were, of all fierceness and rigours ! deep loving eyes, call them grave, call them stern, looking from under those craggy brows as if in lifelong sorrow, and yet not thinking it sorrow, thinking it only labour and endeavour : on the whole, a right noble lion-face and hero-face; and to me royal enough.”
Three years of difficulty and danger pass away, many plots against the life of the Lord Protector have been discovered, and sensible men see that if they lose his highness, peace will fly from Albion's shores. Is there any way of securing tranquillity? is a question often asked without any definite answer being given thereto. At length an idea enters into the head of some daring Parliament man, in the early part of the year 1657, and
he ventures to propose somewhat that he considers will tend
very much to the preservation of his highness and the nation, and to the quieting of the designs of all their enemies," and that is “ that his highness will be pleased to take upon him the government according to the ancient constitution. the 23rd of February, Sir Christopher Pack plainly says he thinks that the best thing that can be done, is to make the Protector, KING! whereat honorable members rise in fury, and roughly handle Sir Christopher; but that worthy gentleman finds supporters, and in consequence much debating ensues, and in the course of a month, it is decided by a majority of 123 to 62, that a petition shall be presented to his highness, soliciting among other things, his assumption of a higher title than Protector. On the 4th of April this petition is presented, but Oliver does not now think it consonant with his duty to his God and his country to accede to the request, that he would be pleased to magnify himself with the title of King,” and that he desired time to reflect gravely on the matter. Then much discoursing of a didactic and argumentative nature follows, and much violent controversy ensues between Oliver's old friends as to the propriety of making him Rex. Cromwell's brother-in-law Desborough, his son-in-law. Fleetwood, old General Lambert, Colonel Pride, and a large number of influential military commanders, presented a petition to the House, in which they declare they “have hazarded their lives against monarchy, and are still ready to do so in defence of the liberties of the nation : that having observed in some men great endeavors to bring the nation again under their old seavitude, by pressing their General to take upon him the title and government of a King, in order to destroy him and weaken the hands of those who are faithful to the public; they therefore humbly desire that the honorable House will discountenace all such persons and endeavors.” The consquence is that Cromwell feeling he has the power of King, and seeing that it will be detrimental to the welfare of himself and the people he governs for him to wear a crown, (which naturally he would like to do,) at last returns “a distinct, though not emphatic, no' to those who wait upon him for his decision. And the Commons vote that he shall still continue to be called “Lord Protector," and that he shall have power to appoint during his lifetime, a successor. -And then, to crown all, it is ordered that the master of the ceremonies do give notice to all Foreign Ambassadors that the inauguration of the Protector will take place the next day.Thus he is now fully recognized by the Parliament itself as their sole master. Let our friend Thomas speak now
“ The Parliament and all the world are busy with this grand affair; the labours of the session being now complete, the last finish being now given to our new Instrument of Government, to our elaborate Petition and Advice, we will add this topstone to the work, and so, amid the shoutings of mankind, disperse for the recess. Friday at two o'clock, ‘ in a place prepared' duly prepared with all manner of 'platforms, cloths of state,' and 'seats raised one above
the other,' * at the upper end of Westminster Hall.' Palaceyard, and London generally, is all a-tiptoe, out of doors. Within doors, Speaker Widdrington and the Master of the Ceremonies have done their best : the Judges, the Aldermen, the Parliament, the Council, the foreign Ambassadors and domestic dignitaries without end ; chairs of state, cloths of state, trumpet peals, and acclamations of the people.--Let the reader conceive it; or read in old Pamphlets the exact relation of it, with all the speeches and phenomena, worthier than such things usually are of being read.
* His Highness standing under the Cloth of State,' says Bulstrode, whose fine feelings are evidently touched by it, the Speaker in the name of the Parliament presented to him : First, a Robe of purple velvet; which the Speaker, assisted by Whitlocke and others put upon his Highness. Then he,' the Speaker, delivered to him the • Bible richly gilt and bossed, an affecting symbolic Gift : “ After
that, the Speaker girt the Sword about his Highness; and deli• vered into his hand the Sceptre of massy gold. And then, this • done, he made a Speech to him on these several things presented;' eloquent mellifluous Speech, setting forth the high and true significance of these several Symbols, Speech still worth reading ; to which his Highness answered in silence by dignified gesture only. • Then Mr. Speaker gave him the Oath ;' and so ended, really in a solemn manner. • And Mr. Manton, by prayer, recommended his Highness, the Parliament, the Council, the Forces by land and sea, and the whole Government and People of the Three Nations, to the blessing and protection of God.'—And then the people gave several great shouts;' and the trumpets sounded; and the Protector sat in his chair of state, holding the sceptre in his hand :' a remarkable sight to see. On his right sat the Ambassador of France, on his left some other Ambassador; and all around standing or sitting, were Dignitaries of the highest quality; “and near the Earl of Warwick stood the Lord Viscount Lisle, stood General Montague and Whitlocke, each of them having a drawn sword in his hand,' a sublime sight to some of us.
“ And so this Solemnity transacts itself;—which at the moment was solemn enough; and is not yet, at this or any hollowest moment of Human History, intrinsically altogether other.
And now the great Hero has barely two short years to live. His court is a quiet and modest one, and he befits himself as a man should do, and makes those around him act likewise. Let us by the aid of the “Perfect Politician” records, learn somewhat of Cromwell in domestic life. By them we discover that