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Great complaints were made of violences exercised on the garrison, contrary to the capitulation. An apology was made by the royalists, as if these were a retaliation for some violences committed on their friends at the surrender of Reading. And under pretence of like retaliations, but really from the extreme animosity of the parties, were such irregularities continued during the whole course of the war.*
The loss sustained by the royalists in the assault of Bristol was considerable. Five hundred excellent soldiers perished. Among those of condition were Grandison, Slanning, Trevannion, and Moyle; Bellasis, Ashley, and Sir. John Owen were wounded; yet was the success upon the whole so consideraple, as mightily raised the courage of the one party and depressed that of the other. The king, to show that he was not intoxicated with good fortune, nor aspired to a total victory over the parliament, published a manifesto, in which he renewed the protestation formerly taken, with great solemnity, at the head of his army, and expressed his firm intention of making peace upon the reëstablishment of the constitution. Having joined the camp at Bristol, and sent Prince Maurice with a detachment into Devonshire, he deliberated how to employ the remaining forces in an enterprise of moment. Some proposed, and seemingly with reason, to march directly to London, where every thing was in confusion, where the army of the parliament was baffled, weakened, and dismayed, and where, it was hoped, either by an insurrection of the citizens, by victory, or by treaty, a speedy end might be put to the civil disorders. But this undertaking, by reason of the great number and force of the London militia, was thought boy many to be attended with considerable difficulties. Glouces. ter, lying within twenty miles, presented an easier, yet a very important conquest. It was the only remaining garrison pos sessed by the parliament in those parts. Could that city be red iced, the king held the whole course of the Severn under his command; the rich and malecontent counties of the west, having lost all protection from their friends, might be forced to pay high contributions as an atonement for their disaffec. tion; an open communication could be preserved between Wales and these new conquests; and half of the kingdom being entirely freed from the enemy, and thus united into one firm body, might be employed in reëstablishing the king's
*Clarendon, vol. üi. p. 297
authority throughout the remainder. These were the reasong for embracing that resolution, fatal, as it was ever esteemed to the royal party.*
The governor of Gloucester was one Massey, a soldier of fortune, who, before he engaged with the parliament, had offered his service to the king ; and as he was free from the fumes of enthusiasm, by which most of the officers on that side were intoxicated, he would lend an ear, it was presumed, to proposals for accommodation. But Massey was resolute to preserve an entire fidelity to his masters; and though no enthusiast himself, he well knew how to employ to advantage that enthusiastic spirit so prevalent in his city and garrison. 'The summons to surrender allowed two hours for an answer; but before that time expired, there appeared before the king two citizens, with lean, pale, sharp, and dismal visages; faces so strange and uncouth, according to Clarendon, figures so habited and accoutred, as at once moved the most severe countenance to mirth, and the most cheerful heart to sadness; it seemed impossible that such messengers could bring less than a defiance. The men, without any circumstance of duty or good manners, in a pert, shrill, undismayed accent, said that they brought an answer from the godly city of Glo''cester; and extremely ready were they, according to the histrian, to give insolent and seditious replies to any question ; as it their business were chiefly, by provoking the king, to mabe him violate his own safe-conduct. The answer from the city was in these words: “We, the inhabitants, magistrates, officers, and soldiers within the garrison of Gloucester, unto his majesty's gracious message, return this humble answer: that we do keep this city, according to our oaths and allegiance, to and for the use of his majesty and his royal posterity; and do accordingly conceive ourselves wholly bound to obey the commands of his majesty, signified by both houses of parliament, and are resolved, by God's help, to keep this city accordingly.” † After these preliminaries, the siege was resolutely undertaken by the army, and as resolutely sustained by the citizens and garrison.
When intelligence of the siege of Gloucester arrived in London, the consternation among the inhabitants was as great as if the enemy were already at their gates. The rapid progress
* Whitlocke, p. 69. May, book iii. p. 91. + Rush. vol. vi. p. 287. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 315. May, book iii.
of the royalists threatened the parliament with immediate subjection; the factions and discontents among themselves in the city, and throughout the neighboring counties, prognosticated some dangerous division or insurrection. Those parliamentary leaders, it must be owned, who had introduced such mighty innovations into the English constitution, and who had projected so much greater, had not engaged in an enterprise which exceeded their courage and capacity. Great vigor, from the beginning, as well as wisdom, they had displayed in all their counsels; and a furious, headstrong body, broken loose from the restraint of law, had hitherto been retained in subjection under their authority, and firmly united by zeal and passion, as by the most legal and established government. A small committee, on whom the two houses devolved their power, had directed all their military operations, and had preserved a secrecy in deliberation, and a promptitude in execution, beyond what the king, notwithstanding the advantages possessed by a single leader, had ever been able to attain, Sensible that no jealousy was by their partisans entertained against them, they had on all occasions exerted an authority much more despotic than the royalists, even during the pressing exigencies of war, could with patience endure in their sovereign. Whoever incurred their displeasure, or was exposed to their suspicions, was committed to prison, and prosecuted under the notion of delinquency: after all the old jails were full, many new ones were erected ; and even the ships were crowded with the royalists, both gentry and clergy, who languished below decks, and perished in those unhealthy confinements: they imposed taxes, the heaviest and of the most unusual nature, by an ordinance of the two houses; they voted a commission for sequestrations; and they seized, wherever they had power, the revenues of all the king's party ; * and knowing that themselves, and all their adherents, were, by resisting the prince, exposed to the penalties of law, they resolved, by a severe administration, to overcome these terrors, and to retain the people in obedience by penal. ties of a more immediate execution. In the beginning of this summer, a combination, formed against them in London, had obliged them to exert the plenitude of their authority.
Edward Waller, the first refiner of English versification, was a member of the lower house ; a man of considerable for tune, and not more distinguished by his poetical genius than by his parliamentary talents, and by the politeness and elegance of his manners. · As full of keen satire and invective in his eloquence, as of tenderness and panegyric in his poetry, he caught the attention of his hearers, and exerted the utmost boldness in blaming those violent counsels by which the corn. mons were governed. Finding all opposition within doors to be fruitless, he endeavored to form a party without, which might oblige the parliament to accept of reasonable conditions, and restore peace to the nation. The charms of his conversation, joined to his character of courage and integrity, 'had procured him the entire confidence of Northumberland, Conway, and every eminent person of either sex who resided in London. They opened their breasts to him without reserve, and expressed their disapprobation of the furious measures pursued by the commons, and their wishes that some expedient could be found for stopping so impetuous a career. Tomkins, Waller's brother-in-law, and Chaloner, the intimate friend of Tomkins, had entertained like sentiments: and as the connections of these two gentlemen lay chiefly in the city, they informed Waller that the same abhorrence of war prevailed there among all men of reason and moderation. Upon reflection, it seemed not impracticable that a combination might be formed between the lords and citizens; and, by mutual concert, the illegal taxes be refused, which the parliament, without the royal assent, imposed on the people. While this affair was in agitation, and lists were making of such as they conceived to be well affected to their design, a servant of Tomkins, who had overheard their discourse, immediately carried intelligence to Pym. Waller, Tomkins, and Chaloner were seized, and tried by a court martial.* They were all three condemned, and the two latter executed on gibbets erected before their own doors. A covenant, as a test, was taken by the lords and commons, and imposed on their army, and on all who lived within their quarters. Besides resolving to amend and reform their lives, the covenanters there vow, that they will never lay down their arms so long as the Papists, now in open war against the parliament, shall by force of arms be protected from justice; they express their abhorrence of the late conspiracy, and they promise to assist to the utmost the
* The king afterwards copied from this example ; but, as the far greater part of the nobility and landed gentry were his friends, he meaped much less profit from this measure.
forces raised by both houses, against the forces levied by the
Waller, as soon as imprisoned, sensible of the great danger into which he had fallen, was so seized with the dread of death, that all his former spirit deserted him; and he confessea whatever he knew, without sparing his most intimate friends, without regard to the confidence reposed in him, without disa tinguishing between the negligence of familiar conversation and the schemes of a regular conspiracy. With the most profound dissimulation, he counterfeited such remorse of conscience, that his execution was put off, out of mere Christian compassion, till he might recover the use of his understanding. He invited visits from the ruling clergy of all sects
and while he expressed his own penitence, he received their devout exhortations with humility and reverence, as conveying clearer conviction and information than in his life he had ever before attained. Presents too, of which, as well as of flattery, these holy men were not insensible, were distributed among them, as a small retribution for their prayers and ghostly counsel. And by all these artifices, more than from any regard to the beauty of his genius, of which, during that time of furious cant and faction, small account would be made, he prevailed so far as to have his life spared, and a fine of ten thousand pounds accepted in lieu of it.*
The severity exercised against the conspiracy, or rather project of Waller, increased the authority of the parliament, and seemed to insure them against like attempts for the future. But by the progress of the king's arms, the defeat of Sir William Waller, the taking of Bristol, the siege of Gloucester, a cry for peace was renewed, and with more violence than ever. Crowds of women, with a petition for that purpose, flocked about the house, and were so clamorous and importunate, that orders were given for dispersing them; and some of the females were killed in the fray. Bedford, Holland, and Conway had deserted the parliament, and had gone to Oxford; Clare and Lovelace had followed them.3 Northumberland had retired to his country seat: Essex himself showed extreme dissatisfaction, and exhorted the parliament to make peace.|| The upper
* Rush. vol. vi. p. 325. Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 255.
* Whitlocke, p. 66. Rush. vol. vi. p. 330. Clarendon, vol. iji P. 253, 254, etc. Rush. vol. vi. p. 357.
iş Whitlocke, p. 67. | Rush. vol. vi. p. 290. VOL. V 22