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who were in the house or in town, might be sent to their quarters to assist him in that good work.
On the very day that Cromwell joined the army, the king was carried from Holmby by Joyce (3d June, 1647). That gray discrowned head, as he himself beautifully calls it, the sight of which drew tears from his friends, and moved many even of his enemies to compunction as well as pity, excited no feeling or respect in this hard and vulgar ruffian, who had formerly been a tailor and afterward a menial servant in Hollis's family. He produced a pistol as the authority which the king was to obey, and Charles believed that the intention in carrying him away was to murder him. Whether Joyce was employed by the agitators, of whose body he was one, or whether, as Hollis* asserts and as is generally believed, Cromwell sent him, is of no consequence in Cromwell's character (though his descendant strenuously endeavors to show that he had no concern in the transaction), for it is only a question whether he was mediately or immediately the author. The insolence with which the act was performed is imputable to the agent; and there is some reason to believe that, whatever may have been the intention of Ireton, St. John, Vane, and other men of that stamp, Cromwell himself was at that time very far from having determined upon the death of the king. It
[* Hollis, in Maseres' tracts, vol. i., p. 246.]
was plain that the parliament had no intention of making any terms with the king, except such as would have left him less real power than the oligarchs of Venice intrusted to their doge ; and it was not less obvious that, as Charles might expect more equitable conditions from the army, who would treat with him as a part of the nation, not as a body contending for sovereignty, so on his side he would come to the treaty with better hope and a kindlier disposition. Indeed, at this time he looked
upon them with the feelings of a British king. “ Though they have fought against me,” said he, "yet I can not but so far esteem that valor and gallantry they have sometimes showed, as to wish I may never want such men to maintain myself, my laws, and my kingdom, in such a peace as wherein they may enjoy their share and proportion as much as any men.” He had changed his keepers and his prison, but not his captive condition ; only there was this hope of bettering, that they who were such professed patrons of the people’s liberty, could not be utterly against the liberty of the king. “What they demanded for their own conscience,” said he, “they can not in reason deny to mine ;” and it consoled him to believe that the world would now see a king could not be so low as not to be considerable, adding right to that party where he appeared.
So far he was right; it is the lively expression
of Hollis that the army made that use of the king which the Philistines would have made of the ark, and that and their power together made them prevail. The description which he gives of the parliament at this crisis holds forth an awful warning to those who fancy that it is as easy to direct the commotions of a state as to excite them; it is a faithful picture drawn by a leading member of that faction which had raised and hitherto guided the rebellion : “ They now thunder upon us,” he says, “ with remonstrances, declarations, letters, and messages every day, commanding one day one thing, the next day another, making us vote and unvote, do and undo ; and when they had made us do some ugly thing, jeer us, and say our doing justifies their desiring it."* _“ We feel as low as dirt,” he says ; s take all our ordinances in pieces, change and alter them according to their minds, and (which is worst of all) expunge our declaration against their mutinous petition, cry peccavimus to save a whipping : but all would not do!-All was dashed" (it is still Hollis the parliamentarian who speaks): " instead of a generous resistance to the insolencies of perfidious servants, vindicating the honor of the parliament, discharging the trust that lay upon them to preserve a poor people from being ruined and enslaved to a rebellious army, they deliver up themselves and king
[* Hollis, in Maseres' tracts, vol. i., p. 254.]
dom to the will of their enemies ; prostitute all to the lust of heady and violent men; and suffer Mr. Cromwell to saddle, ride, switch, and spur them at his pleasure.” Ride them indeed he did with a martingale ; and it was not all the wincing of the galled jade that could shake the practised horseman in his seat. Poor Hollis complains that "presbyterians were trumps no longer.” Clubs were trumps now, and the knave in that suit, as in the former, was the best card in the pack. When the parliament had done whatever the army required,“ prostituting their honors, renouncing whatever would be of strength or safety to them, casting themselves down naked, helpless, and hopeless, at the proud feet of their domineering masters, it is all to no purpose ; it does but encourage those merciless men to trample the more upon
This was the reward of the presbyterian party for
" For letting rapine loose and murther
To rage just so far and no further,
And cut the throats of church and state." This they had done ; and instead of being, as they had calculated upon being,
" Allowed the fittest men To take the charge of both again,"
they were now
Out-gifted, out-impulsed, outdone,
As the question stood between the parliament and the army, the army was in the right. Whatever arguments held good for resisting the king, availed à fortiori for resisting the parliament; its little finger was heavier than his loins; and where the old authorities had used a whip, the parliament had scourged the nation with scorpions. The change in ecclesiastical affairs was of the same kind. New presbyter was old priest written large—and in blacker characters. Cromwell had force of reason as well as force of arms on his side ; and if he had possessed a legitimate weight in the country, like Essex, it is likely that he would now have used it to the best purpose, and have done honorably for himself and beneficially for the kingdom, what was afterward effected by Monk, with too little regard to any interest except his own. It is said that he required for himself, as the reward of this service to his sovereign, the garter, the title of the earl of Essex, vacant by the death of the late general (September 14, 1646), and a proper object of ambition to Cromwell, as