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you go upon your death in an instant ?"* A cry ran through the troops that they should march to the right, in which direction the king's horse had been turned, and which, in the situation of the field, was bidding them shift for themselves. It was in vain that Charles, with great personal ex ertion and risk, endeavored to rally them. Neithet these troops nor Prince Rupert's, when he returned from his rash pursuit, could be brought to rally and form in order; a most important part of discipline, in which the soldiers under Fairfax and Cromwell were perfect, the latter having now modelled the army as he had from the beginning his own troop. The day was irrecoverably lost, and with it the king and the kingdom. The number of slain on the king's part did not exceed 700, but more than 5,000 prisoners were taken, being the whole of the infantry, with all the artillery and baggage. In the pursuit above a hundred women were killed (such was the temper of the conquerors !) some of whom were the wives of officers of quality. The king's cabinet fell into their hands, with the letters between him and the queen, "of which," says Clarendon, “ they made that barbarous use as was agreeable to their natures, and published them in print ; that is, so much of them as they thought would asperse either of their majesties, and improve the prejudice they had raised against them;
(* Clar. Hist., vol. v., p. 185, ed. 1826.]
and concealed other parts which would have vindicated them from many particulars with them which they had aspersed them."*
Upon this act of the parliament the king has ex. pressed his feelings in the Icon in that calm strain of dignity by which the book is distinguished and authenticated. “The taking of my letters," he says, " was an opportunity which, as the malice of mine enemies could hardly have expected, so they knew not how with honor and civility to use it. Nor do I think, with sober and worthy minds, any. thing in them could tend so much to my reproach as the odious divulging of them did to the infamy of the divulgers: the greatest experiments of virtụe and nobleness being discovered in the greatest advantages against an enemy; and the greatest obligations being those which are put upon us by them from whom we could least have expected them, And such I should have esteemed the concealing of my papers, the freedom and secresy of which command a civility from all men not wholly barbarous. Yet since Providence will have it so, I am content so much of my heart (which I study to approve to God's omniscience) should be dis. covered to the world, without any of those dresses or popular captations which some men use in their speecches and expresses. I wish my subjects had yet a clearer sight into my most retired thoughts ;
[* Clar. Hist., vol. v., p. 186, ed. 1826.]
where they might discover how they are divided between the love and care I have, not more to preserve my own rights than to preserve their peace and happiness; and that extreme grief to see them both deceived and destroyed. Nor can any men's malice be gratified farther by my letters than to see my constancy to my wife, the laws, and religion.” Then speaking of his enemies, he says, “ They think no victories so effectual to their designs as those that most rout and waste my credit with my people ; in whose hearts they seek by all means to smother and extinguish all sparks of love, respect, and loyalty to me, that they may never kindle again, so as to recover mine, the laws and the kingdom's liberties, which some men seek to overthrow. The taking away of my credit, is but a necessary preparation to the taking away of my life and my kingdom. First I must seem neither fit to live, nor worthy to reign. By exquisite methods of cunning and cruelty, I must be compelled first to follow the funerals of my honor, and then be destroyed.”
In another of these beautiful meditations, looking back upon the course of the war,
says, I never had any victory which was without my sor. row, because it was on mine own subjects, who, like Absalom, died many of them in their sin. And yet I never suffered
defeat which made me despair of God's mercy and defence. I never
desired such victories as might serve to conquer, but only restore the laws and liberties of my people, which I saw were extremely oppressed, together with my rights, by those men who were impatient of any just restraint. When Providence gave me or denied me victory, my desire was neither to boast of my power nor to charge God foolishly, who I believed at last would make all things to work together for my good. I wished no greater advantages by the war than to bring my enemies to moderation and my friends to peace. I was afraid of the temptation of an absolute conquest, and never prayed more for victory over others than over myself. When the first was denied, the second was granted me, which God saw best for me."
The influence of pure religion upon a sound understanding and a gentle heart has never been more finely exemplified than by Charles during the long course of his afflictions. Cromwell also was religious, but his religion at the time when it was most sincere was most alloyed, and it acted upon an intellect and disposition most unlike the king's. Clear as his head was in action, his apprehension ready, and his mind comprehensive as well as firm ; when out of the sphere of business and command, his notions were confused and muddy, and his language stifled the thoughts which it affected to bring forth ; producing, by its
curious infelicity, a more than oracular obscurity. The letter which he addressed to the speaker after the battle of Naseby is one of the most lucid specimens of his misty style. After saying that for three hours the fight had been very doubtful, and stating what were the results of the action, he proceeds ihus : “Sir, this is none other but the hand of God, and to him alone belongs the glory, wherein none are to share with him. The general has served you with all faithsulness and honor; and the best commendation I can give him is, that I dare,say he attributes all to God, and would rather perish than assume to himself, which is an *honest and a thriving way; and yet as much for bravery may be given to him in this action, as to
Honest men served you faithfully in this action. Sir, they are trusty. I beseech you in the name of God not to discourage them. I wish this action may beget thankfulness and humility in all that are concerned in it. He that ventures his life for the liberty of his country, I wish he trust God for the liberty of his conscience, and you for the liberty he fights for. In this he rests who is your most humble servant, OLIVER CROMWELL.
After the fatal defeat at Naseby (June 14, 1645), the royal cause soon became hopeless. Bristol was not better defended by Prince Rupert ihan it had been by Nathaniel Fiennes. During the siege,
[* Ellis's Letters, vol. iii., p. 305, first series.]