Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

OLIVER CROMWELL

AND

THE PROTECTORATE.

BY DANIEL WILSON, F.S.A. Scor.

England! the time is come when thou should'st wean
Thy heart from its emasculating food;
The truth should now be better understood;
old things have been unsettled; we have seen
Fair seed-time, better harvest might have been
But for thy trespasses."

WORDSWORTA.

LONDON: THOMAS NELSON, PATERNOSTER ROW;

AND

EDINBURGH.

MDCCCXLVIIL

LIST OF PLATES,

PLATE I.

FRONTISPIECE.-Cromwell dictating to his secretary Milton.

[blocks in formation]

PREFACE.

THE period appears to have arrived when the principles of their first Revolution are to become generally understood by Englishmen, and when the characters of those great men who were the leaders of the people during that struggle for our rights, shall be drawn anew, with a juster appreciation of them than heretofore;it has arrived, or is arriving. That such justice, however, is still no unchallenged fact, becomes sufficiently apparent, when we remember that a royal commission, composed of men most eminent for station, rank, or literary fame, and nominated for the fit adornment of her Majesty's Palace of Westminster, (as the New Houses of Parliament are styled,) still sits, and—weighing the claims of the noble dead, -has conceded to Hampden a niche among England's patriots, but has refused to Cromwell his place among her kings.

Cromwell can well afford to wait for the revision of that sentence, as of all others. His virtues are mostly so far above those of the great majority of England's hereditary kings, that the injustice, which excludes the greatest of all her rulers from that vacant niche between the two Charles Stuarts, is a wrong done far more to us than to him. The present century has witnessed several attempts to do justice to the memory of Cromwell. Dr. Vaughan's Essay on the Character of Cromwell and his Times, was published in 1838. It is an impartial, and, upon the whole, a just, though guarded estimate of Cromwell's character. It failed to produce any extensive change in the general appreciation of Cromwell, mainly because its appearance in the form of an essay, rendered it more an expression of opinion than an argument, and so left its effect—depending as it did on the value previously attached to its author's views,-to be developed chiefly

« ZurückWeiter »