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having formerly been in his family ; to be made first captain of the guards, and vicar-general of the kingdom. All this he would have deserved, if he had restored peace and security to the nation by re-establishing the monarchy with those just limitations, the propriety of which was seen and acknowledged by the king himself. But if Cromwell desired to do this, which may reasonably be presumed, the power which he then possessed was not sufficient for it. It was a revolutionary power, not transferable to the better cause without great diminution. In the movements of the revolutionary sphere his star was rising, but it was not yet lord of the ascendant; and in raising himself to his present station, he had, like the unlucky magician in romance, conjured up stronger spirits than he was yet master enough of the black art to control. Under his management, the moral discipline of the army was as perfect as that of the Swedes under the great Gustavus, whom it is not improbable that Cromwell in this point took for his model. He had been most strict and severe in chastising all irregularities, “insomuch," says Clarendon, “ that sure there was never any such body of men, so without rapine, swearing, drinking, or any other debauchery--but the wickedness of their hearts." He had brought them to this state by means of religious enthusiasm, the most powerful and the most perilous of all principles
which an ambitious man can call into action. When the parliamentary army first took the field, every regiment had its preacher, who beat the drum ecclesiastic, and detorted scripture to serve the purposes of rebellion. The battle of Edgehill (October 23, 1642) sickened them of service in the field ; almost all of them went home after that action: and when the tide of success set in against the king, they had little inclination to return to their posts, because the other sectaries with whom the army swarmed beat them at their own weap
Baxter says it was the ministers that lost all, by forsaking the army and betaking themselves to an easier and quieter way of life ; and he especially repented that he had not accepted the chaplainship of that famous troop with which Cromwell began his army; persuading himself that if he had been among them, he might have prevented the spreading of that fire which was then in one spark. Baxter is one of those men whose lives exemplify the strength and the weakness of the human mind. He fancied that the bellows which had been used for kindling the fire, could blow it out when the house was in flames! He might as well have supposed that he could put out Etna with an extinguisher, or have stilled an earthquake by setting his foot upon the ground.
In the anarchy which the war produced, some of the preachers acted as officers ; and, on the other hand, officers, with at least as much propriety, acted as preachers. Cromwell himself edified the army by his discourses ; and every common soldier who carried a voluble tongue, and either was or pretended to be a fanatic, held forth from a pulpit or a tub. The land was overrun with
a various rout Of petulant capricious sects,
The maggots of corrupted texts". but they bred in the army ; and this license of things spiritual led by a sure process to the wildest notions of political liberty, to which also the constitution of the army was favorable : a mercenary army, Hollis calls it, “ all of them, from the general (except what he may have in expectation after his father's death) to the meanest sentinel, not able to make a thousand pounds a year lands, most of the colonels and officers, mean tradesmen, brewers, tailors, goldsmiths, shoemakers, and the like-a notable dunghill, if one would rake into it to find out their several pedigrees.” According to him, these “ bloodsuckers had conceived a mortal hatred” against his party," and, in truth, against all gentlemen, as those who had too great an interest and too large a stake of their own in the kingdom, to engage with them in their design of perpetuating the war to an absolute confusion." It was by such instruments that Cromwell had made himself, ostensibly the second person in the army, really the first : but he was not yet their master, and was compelled to court them still by professing a fellowship in opinions which he had ceased to hold. Had he espoused the king's cause heartily and honestly, which probably he desired to do, the very men upon whom his power rested would have turned against him, and have pursued him with as murderous a hatred as that which Pym had avowed against Strafford, and had gratified in his blood. Both in and out of the army he needed the co-operation of men some of whom were his equals in cunning, others in audacity: Vane and perhaps St. John were as crafty; Ludlow, Hazlerigg, and many others, were as bold. But these men were bent upon trying the experiment of a republic, to which the king's destruction was a necessary prelude. And he who afterward controlled three nations, is said himself to have stood in some awe of his son-in-law Ireton, a man of great talents and inflexible character, and sincere in those political opinions which Cromwell held only while they were instrumental to his advancement.
Ludlow, who knew Ireton well, and was the more likely to understand the motives of his conduct, because he entirely coincided with him in his political desires, believed that it was never his intention to come to any agreement with the king, but only to delude the loyalists while the army
were contesting with the presbyterian interest in parliament: and he relates that Ireton once said to the king, “ Sir, you have an intention to be arbitrator between the parliament and us, and we mean to be so between you and the parliament.” Cromwell, on the other hand, is said to have declared that the interview between Charles and his children, when they were first allowed to visit him, was “the tenderest sight that ever his eyes beheld;" to have wept plentifully when he spoke of it (which he might well have done without hypocrisy, for in private life he was a man of kind feelings and of a generous nature); to have confessed that “never man was so abused as he in his sinister opinion of the king, who, he thought, was the most upright and conscientious of his kingdom ;" and to have imprecated that “God would be pleased to look upon him according to the sincerity of his heart toward the king." 'There are men so habitually insincere that they seem to delight in acts of gratuitous duplicity, as if their vanity was gratified by the easy triumph over those who are too upright to suspect deceit. Cromwell was a hypocrite, then, only when hypocrisy was useful; there are anecdotes enough which prove that he was well pleased when he could lay aside the mask. In his conduct toward Charles, while that poor persecuted king was with the army, there is no reason to suspect him of any sinister