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Fairfax and Cromwell narrowly escaped from being killed by the same ball. The latter declared none but an atheist could deny that their success was the work of the Lord. In his official letter he said, “ It may be thought some praises are due to these gallant men of whose valor so much mention is made ; their humble suit to you and all that have an interest in this blessing, is, that in remembrance of God's praises they may be forgotten. It's their joy that they are instruments to God's glory and their country's good. It's their honor that God vouchsafes to use them. Sir, they that have been employed in this service know that faith and prayer obtained this city for you." The faith and prayers of William Dell and Hugh Peters, chaplains to the besieging forces, were assisted by the experience of Skippon in military operations, by the fear of a disaffected party within the city, and by the sample which the besiegers had given of their intention to put their enemies to the sword if they took the place by storm. Cromwell next took Devizes (September, 1645), and disarmed and dispersed the clubmen in Hampshire, who having originally associated to protect themselves against the excesses of both parties, contributed to the miseries of the country by making a third party as oppressive as either. Winchester surrendered to him (October 5, 1645), and on that occasion he gave an honorable example of fidelity

to his engagements : six of his men being detected in plundering, in violation of the terms of capitulation, he hung one of them,* and sent the other five to the king's governor at Oxford, to be punished at his discretion. Basing House, which had been so long and bravely defended, yielded (Tuesday, October 14, 1645) to this fortunate general, who never failed in any enterprise which he undertook. He then rejoined Fairfax in the west, to complete the destruction of a gallant army which had been ruined by worthless and wicked commanders. Lord Hopton, one of those men whose virtues redeem the age, had taken the command of it in a manner more honorable to himself than the most glorious of those achievements in which he had formerly been successful : there was no possibility of averting or even delaying a total de. feat. When Prince Charles entreated him to take upon himself the forlorn charge of commanding it, Lord Hopton replied that it was the custom now, when men were not willing to submit to what they were enjoined, to say it was against their honor ; for himself he could not obey in this instance without resolving to lose his honor : but since his highness thought it necessary so to command him, even at that cost he was ready to obey. He made so gallant a resistance at Torrington, though great

[* They first cast lots for their lives. Rushworth, fol. 1701, [t Against Fairfax, February, 1645_'46.]

p. 92.]

part of his men behaved basely, that the parliamentary forces suffered greater loss than at any other storm in which they were engaged; and when his army was finally broken up, as much by the license and mutinous temper of the men and officers, as hy the enemy's overpowering force, he disdained to make terms for himself, and retired with the ammunition, and those who remained faithful, into Pendennis castle. The last possibility which remained to the king of collecting an army in the field was destroyed when Lord Astley was defeated by superior numbers and taken.* At the beginning of the war, this gallant soldier, before he charged in the battle of Edgehill, made a prayer, of which Hume says, there were certainly much longer ones said in the parliamentary army, but it may be doubted whether there were so good a one. It was simply this : “ O Lord! thou knowest how busy I must be this day! If I forget thee, do not thou forget me.” He now concluded his brave and irreproachable career, by a saying not less to be remembered by the enemy's officers :

You have done your work, and may now go to play, unless you choose to fall out among yourselves."

Even before the loss of Bristol,f Charles, whose

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{Near Stow in the Wold in Gloucestershire, 21st March, 1645–46.]

[t Prince Rupert surrendered Bristol to Sir Thomas Fair. fax, 11th September, 1645.)

judgment seldom deceived him, had seen that the worst was to be expected, and made up his mind to endure it as became him. In reply to a letter from Prince Rupert, who had advised him again to propose a treaty after that at Uxbridge had failed, he pointed out the certainty that no terms would be granted which it would not be criminal in him to accept; and at the same time fairly acknowledged the hopelessness of his affairs, save only for his trust in God. “I confess," he said, " that speaking either as to mere soldier or statesman, I must say there is no probability but of my ruin : but as to Christian, I must tell you

that God will not suffer rebels to prosper, or his cause to be overthrown: and whatsoever personal punishment it shall please him to inflict upon me, must not make me repine, much less to give over the quarrel. Indeed, I can not flatter myself with expectation of good success more than this, to end my days with honor and a good conscience ; which obliges me to continue my endeavors, as not despairing that God may in due time avenge his own cause. Though I must avow to all my friends that he that will stay with me at this time must expect and resolve, either to die for a good cause, or, which is worse, to live as miserable in the maintaining it, as the violence of insulting rebels can make him.” The prospect of dying in the field, which it appears from these expressions the king contemplated with a complacent resignation, and perhaps with hope, was at an end when Lord Astley was defeated : in expectation of this he had already consulted for the safety of the prince of Wales, and it was now to be determined whither he should betake himself. He offered to put himself in the hands of two commanders who at some distance were blockading Oxford, if they would

pass their words that they would immediately conduct him to the parliament; for in battle or in debate Charles was always ready to face his enemies, and in debate with the advantage of a collected mind, a sound judgment, a ready utterance, and a thorough knowledge of the points in dispute. He knew also that, throughout this fatal contest, the hearts of a great majority of the people were with him ; and though the strength of the rebellious party lay in London, yet even there he thought so much loyalty was lest, and so much regard for his person, that he would willingly have been in it at this time. But the parliamentary generals, whose purpose it always was to prevent the possibility of any accommodation which would have restored even a nominal authority to the sovereign, refused to enter into


engagement; and the avenues of the city were strictly watched, lest he should enter secretly. Another and better hope was to join Montrose, who was then in his career of victory. The representations of M. Mon

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