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well's partisans, to magnify his reputation, gave out that certain troops of horse, picked men, all Irish and all papists, had been appointed by Prince Rupert, to charge in that part where he was stationed. And reports as slanderous as those which charged him with want of courage, were spread abroad to give him the whole credit of the day: it was said that he had stopped the commanderin-chief, Manchester, in the act of flight, saying to him, “ You are mistaken, my lord : the enemy is not there !" The earl of Manchester was as brave as Cromwell himself; no man who engaged in the rebellion demeaned himself throughout its course so honorably and so humanely (Colonel Hutchinson, in his station, perhaps alone excepted), and no man repented more sincerely, nor more frankly avowed his repentance for the part he had taken, when he saw the extent of the misery which he had largely contributed to bring upon his country.
Cromwell was now becoming an object of dislike or jealousy to those leaders of the rebellion whose reputation waned as his increased, or who had insanely supposed, when they let the waters loose, that it would at any time be in their power to restrain them again within their proper bounds. The open declaration which he made against the king at the commencement of hostilities, they had perhaps regarded with complacency, taking credit to themselves for comparative moderation. Because they could manage a party, they fancied themselves capable of managing a rebellion, not remembering, or not knowing, that
“ When evil strives, the worst have greatest names :" and not perceiving that when Cromwell, in opposition to the impudent hypocrisy of the parliament's language respecting the king, spoke boldly out like one who was resolved to go all lengths, by that declaration he became the head of that party which, in all such convulsions, is sure to obtain the ascendency. From the known opinions of Ireton, and the probable ones of Hampden, the two men whom he seems to have regarded with most deference, it is most likely that he entered into the war as a republican ; and now he scrupled not to let his principles be known, saying he hoped soon to see the time when there would not be a single lord in England, and when Lord Manchester would be called nothing more than Mr. Montague. But in his political as in his puritanical professions, Cromwell, who began in sincerity, was now acting a part. Experience was not lost upon so sagacious
The more he saw of others, the higher he was led to rate himself; and Hobbes seems to have taken the just view of his motives when he says that his main policy was always to serve the strongest party well, and to proceed as far as that and fortune would carry him.
But Cromwell, who seldom mistook the characters of men, deceived himself when he supposed that he could make Manchester his instrument, as he afterward duped Fairfax. For this must have been his secret object when discoursing with him freely upon the state of the kingdom, and proposing something to which the earl replied that the parliament would never approve it, he made answer, “ My lord, if you will stick firm to honest men, you shall find yourself in the head of an army that shall give the law to king and parliament.” This startled Manchester, who already knew him to be a man of deep designs : and the manner in which the speech was received made Cromwell perceive that the earl must be set aside, as a person who was altogether unfit for his views. Their mutual dislike broke out after the second battle of Newbury.* Cromwell would have attempted to bring that doubtful conflict to a decided issue, by charging the king's army in their retreat ; and from the excellent discipline of his brigade, and his skill and intrepidity in action, it is probable he might have inflicted a severe blow upon troops who, it is acknowledged on their own part, were well enough pleased to be rid of an enemy that had handled them so ill. But Manchester thought the hazard too great in that season, being the
[* 27th October, 1644. The first battle was fought 20th Sept. 1643.]
winter, and that the ill consequences of a defeat would be far greater than the advantage to be gained by a victory; for, he said, if they should be routed before Essex's army were reinforced, there would be an end of their pretences; and they should be all rebels and traitors, and executed as such by law. Cromwell repeated this to the house of commons, and accused him of having betrayed the parliament out of cowardice: Manchester justified himself, and in return charged Cromwell with the advice which he had offered him, to overawe both king and parliament by means of the army. This open rupture occasioned much debate and animosity, and much alarm. “ What," it was said, “ shall we continue bandying one against another? See what a wide gap and door of reproach we open unto the enemy! A plot from Oxford could have done no more than work a distance between our best resolved spirits.” The parliament, though indignant at first at what the earl had said concerning the course of law in case of their overthrow, were on the other hand alarmed at the discovery of a danger from their own army, which, if it had been apprehended by far-sighted men, had never before been declared. Inquiry was called for, more on account of Cromwell's designs than the earl's error of judgment; and the independents, as Cromwell's party now began to be called, chose rather to abandon their charge against Manchester, than risk the consequences of further investigation.
Manchester, on his part, made no further stir, contented with as much repose as a mind not altogether satisfied with itself would allow him to enjoy. But Essex, the lord-general, who had acted less from mistaken principles than from weakness and vanity and pride, which made him the easy instrument of designing men, gave on this occasion the only instance of political foresight which he ever displayed. He perceived that Cromwell was a dangerous man; and taking council with Hollis and Stapleton, leading men among the presbyterians, and with the Scotch commissioners, resolved, if it were possible, to disable one whose designs were so justly to be apprehended. In serving with the Scotch, Cromwell had contracted some dislike and some contempt for them ; which they were not slow in perceiving, as indeed he took little pains to disguise it; and Essex was in hopes that the Scotch might be brought forward to overthrow a man whom he now considered a formidable rival, as by their means the plans for rebellion had first been ripened, and the superiority afterward obtained for the parliamentary forces. A meeting was held at his house to deliberate upon the best mode of proceeding, and Whitelock and Maynard were sent for at a very late hour, to give their opinions as