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glittering bauble for which he had perilled so much, and yet dared not affect to see it; but would stand gazing on his Barbary horse, or talk of a toy, or sneer about a rattle, or laugh at a feather in a man's cap, or do anything to cover the fever of that imbecile passion, incapable of its own desire, which raged in his heart. So to the last he trifled; and at the last, the republican officers, taking courage from his cowardice, ventured one bold step and dashed down his hopes for ever."

Between such conflicting views of the great Protector's character the reader must decide; if he adhere to the latter, he may well exclaim how mean and despicable a passion must ambition be, that could sink so great a man to such a depth of degradation.

While this war of words had been going on at Westminster, and the people’s representatives had been derising for them, with sore debatings, this grand panacea of a NAME, Admiral Blake had fought his last fight, and won his final victory; annihilating the Spanish Plate-fleet; silencing their forts and castles at Santa Cruz; sinking and burning their war-ships, though moored under the bristling cannon of what they had deemed impregnable forts, and manned and armed with more powerful equipments than his own fleet. The brave and gallant Blake had smitten the Spaniard a deadly blow. Worn out with toil and sickness, he turned his prow homeward, -received on the voyage the congratulations, the thanks, and the valued token of appreciation of his noble service,a jewel valued at L.500,--sent him by the Protector; reached even in siglit of his native land, and then died, in his fifty.ninch year, his life spent on behalf of his country. Noble men laid him,—whom a grateful country might well style, as Spain did the great Genoese, The Admiral ]-amid England's mighty dead, in Westminster Abbey, there to rest, as it seemed, till summoned by the trumpet whose voice shall awake the dead: but to the

eternal infamy of the restoration-government, the remains of the bravest of England's admirals, who had won for her the sovereignty of the ocean, were flung out with infamy from their recent grave, to gratify the pitiful revenge of a sycophant court against men who, while living, they had trembled to look upon.

CHAPTER XIX.

CROMWELL'S PEERAGE.

CROMWELL'S second parliament closed its session with every mark of cordial sympathy and co-operation with the Protector. They could not get him crowned King as they had desired, but instead thereof he was installed anew in his Protectorship with the most solemn and fitting ceremonials, emblematic at once of the character of his sovereign office, and of the popular recognition of him as their head. The Lord Protector standing on the dais in Westminster Hall, under the cloth of state, received from the Speaker, in the name of the parliament, a robe of purple velvet, which the Speaker, with the assistance of some of the chief officers of state, put upon him. The Speaker then delivered to him the Bible, richly bound, girt the sword of state upon his Highness, and delivered into his hand the sceptre of massive gold, after which he addressed him in name of the parliament, setting forth the significance of these several symbols of authority and obligation ; which were further enforced by his administering to the Lord Protector the oath of office. The officiating minister then solemnly commended by prayer his Highness, the parliament, the council, the forces by land and sea, and the whole government and people of the three nations, to the blessing and protection Go The ambassadors from the chief courts of Europe, the chief dignitaries of the state, with the members of the parliament, and a vast concourse of the people, crowded the hall, and gave countenance to this renewal of the mutual bond between the Protector and the protected, the chief magistrate and the people. At its close the trumpets sounded, and the hall rang with the acclamations of the people. What more could the golden crown have been to this mighty ruler than a feather in his cap?

The death of the great sea king, Admiral Blake, did not stay the terrors of England's name to the Spaniards. She had other sons capable of achieving victories. Dunkirk was wrested from their hands, as much by the policy of Cromwell as by the valour of his captains, though only that his legitimate successor, Charles Stuart, might win national disgrace and personal infamy by its barter for a paltry sum to waste on his own pleasures !

All things indicated an approach to something like a settlement of the government on a safe and permanent basis. The relations with foreign courts were such as England had rarely before enjoyed : the intercourse with the people's representatives seemed no less promising. But Cromwell's warfare was to end only with his life. On the 28th of January, 1658, the parliament re-assembled, for its second session. When the “petition and advice” was presented by this parliament to the Protector during its first session, it was distinctly stipulated that he should accept or reject the whole. It formed the carefully digested scheme of government by which these legislators hoped to put an end to all the grievances and sufferings of England; and it was only by its acceptance in a perfect and unmutilated form, that they could anticipate the realization of so desirable an end.

The first article of this grand constitutional scheme for remodelling the English government was that which invited the Protector of the Commonwealth to take on him the supreme government, with the title of King. This article, as we have seen, Cromwell rejected, after long deliberation. Nevertheless, the new scheme for constitutional government was not abandoned. Cromwell, with whom, his biographers assure us, the idea of kingship originated, was far more bent on the establishment of the Commonwealth on a permanent footing, than on any personal aggrandizement, or increase of absolute power. He longed to share the duties and responsibilities of government with the free representatives of the people ; but he knew too well the fickleness of popular favour to throw to them the reins of government, and leave to fiery demagogues, fanatical enthusiasts, and the interested or hired agents of royalty to turn back the English nation into the very sloughs and quicksands from which he had so hardly rescued it. The prorogued parliament re-assembled reinforced, according to the terms of the petition and advice, by upwards of a hundred members, including the great body of intractable republicans whom Cromwell had excluded from its first session, as the only means by which to enable the remaining members to proceed with the or. dinary business of parliament. To counteract this dangerous leaven, however, the petition and advice of the parliament had stipulated, in its second and third articles, that a parliament should assemble once in three years, farthest, to consist of two houses, and that no member legally chosen to represent the people in parliament, should be excluded from his seat by any authority except by the judgment and consent of that house of which he was a member. By another article of the same scheme, the nomination of the members of this new House of Peers was vested in the chief magistrate, with the approval of parliament; with the further condition that its members were not to be less than forty, or more than seventy, and that no vacancy caused by the death of its original members,

ould be filled up but by the consent of this Upper House.

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This novel House of Peers, as constituted by the nominations of Cromwell, consisted of sixty-one members, selected by the Protector with such wisdom as could be brought to bear on so delicate a task, and from the materials that were available for him. That seventeenth century, however, presented no more difficult problem for its ablest man to work out, than the re-construction of a House of Peers, which, without the prestige of ancestral glory and hereditary rights, should undertake the invidious task of forming a counterpoise and check to the representatives of the people, so soon after they had refused to acknowledge the rights of the old peerage of England, with all the imposing associations of high descent and historic memories. In new states or recently enfranchised colonies, such things may be possible. The greatest men among them are the peers of their age, and the founders of an illustrious descent, but in an old country such as England, and in an age in which faith in the divinity of hereditary kingship retained such a hold that the restored monarchy brought back with it the miraculous power of touching for the king's evil, in such an age the attempt to re-construct a new House of Peers was nearly as chimerical as to try to call into existence from a fresh hoard of acorns the forests wherewith to build armaments like those in which Blake had sustained the honour of England and the glory of the Commonwealth's flag.

Cromwell summoned to his Upper House, in addition to eight of the ancient peers, his two sons, Richard and Henry, sundry baronets and gentlemen of old family and fortune, several of the leading members of his council, and the chief officers of his army; some of the old members of the long parliament, with a few distinguished lawyers and civilians. The selection was probably as good as it was possible to make under the circumstances; but England, which so soon after saw without complaint

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