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Lord Saville assured them, he spake to them in the name of the most considerable men in England; and he shewed them an engagement under their hands to join with them, if they would come into England, and refuse any treaty but what should be confirmed by a parliament of England. They desired leave to send this paper into Scotland; to which, after much seeming difficulty, he consented: 28 so a cane was hollowed, and this was put within it; and one Frost, afterwards secretary to the committee of both kingdoms, was sent down with it as a poor traveller. It was to be communicated only to three persons, the earls of Rothes and Argile, and to Waristoun, the three chief confidents of the covenanters. The earl of Rothes was a man of plea- The chamc
i ^ i i« • . • gv > tors of the
sure, but of a most obliging temper: his affairs were chief of the low: Spotswood had once made the bargain between ^aten. the king and him before the troubles, but the earl of Traquair broke it, seeing he was to be raised above himself. The earl of Rothes had all the arts of making himself popular; only there was too much levity in his temper, and too much liberty in his course of life. The earl of Argile was a more solemn sort of a man, grave and sober, free of all scandalous vices *, of an invincible calmness of temper, and a pretender to high degrees of piety: [but he was a deep dissembler, and great oppressor in all his private dealings, and he was noted for a defect in his courage on all occasions where danger met him. This had one of its usual effects on him, for he was cruel in cold blood:] he was much set on raising his own family to be a sort of king in the highlands.
y As a man is free of a corporation, he means. S.
Waristoun was my own uncle: [but I will not be more tender in giving his character, for all that nearness in blood:] he was a man of great application, could seldom sleep above three hours in the twenty-four: he had studied the law carefully, and had a great quickness of thought, with an extraordinary memory. He went into very high notions of lengthened devotions, in which he continued many hours a day. He would often pray in his family two hours at a time, and had an unexhausted copiousness that way. [He was a deep enthusiast, for] what thought soever struck his fancy during those effusions, he looked on it as an answer of prayer, and was wholly determined by it. He looked on the covenant as the setting Christ on his throne, and so was out of measure zealous in it; [and he had an unrelenting severity of temper against all that opposed it.] He had no regard to the raising himself or his family, though he had thirteen children: but presbytery was to him more than all the world. He had a readiness and vehemence of speaking, that made him very considerable in public assemblies; [but he had no clear nor settled judgment, yet that was supplied by a fruitful inventionz]; so that he was at all times furnished with expedients. [And though he was a very honest man in his private dealings, yet he could make stretches, when the cause seemed to require it.] To these three only this paper was to be shewed upon an oath of secrecy y:and it was to be deposited in Waristoun's hands. They were only allowed to
z In the printed copy was 'See my note in my printed substituted: And he had a fruit- copy of Oldmixon's history of ful invention. the Stuarts, page 145. O.
publish to the nation, that they were sure of a very great and unexpected assistance, which, though it was to be kept secret, would appear in due time. This they published: and it was looked on as an artifice to draw in the nation: but it was afterwards found to be a cheat indeed, but a cheat of lord Saville's, who had forged all these subscriptions.
The Scots marched with a very sorry equipage:The Scots
J ^ 1 0 came into
every soldier carried a week's provision of oatmeal;England, and they had a drove of cattle with them for their food. They had also an invention of guns of white 29 iron, tinned and done about with leather, and corded so that they could serve for two or three discharges. These were light, and were carried on horses: and when they came to Newburn, the English army that defended the ford was surprised with a discharge of artillery: some thought it magic; and all were put in such disorder, that the whole army did run with so great precipitation, that sir Thomas Fairfax, who had a command in it, did not stick to own, that till he passed the Tees his legs trembled under him. This struck many of the enthusiasts of the king's side, as much as it exalted the Scots; who were next day possessed of Newcastle, and so were masters, not only of Northumberland and the bishopric of Duresme, but of the coalries; by which, if they had not been in a good understanding with the city of London, they could have distressed them extremely: but all the use the city made of this was, to raise a great outcry, and to complain of the war, since it was now in the power of the Scots to starve them. Upon that, petitions were sent from the city Great dUand from some counties to the king, praying a treaty England." with the Scots. The lord Wharton and the lord VOL. 1. E „
Howard of Escrick undertook to deliver some of these; which they did, and were clapt up upon ita. A council of war was held; and it was resolved on, as the lord Wharton told me, to shoot them at the head of the army, as movers of sedition. This was chiefly pressed by the earl of Strafford. Duke Hamilton spoke nothing till the council rose; and then he asked Strafford, if he was sure of the army, who seemed surprised at the question: but he upon inquiry understood that very probably a general mutiny, if not a total revolt, would have followed, if any such execution had been attempted. This success of the Scots ruined the king's affairs. And by it the necessity of the union of the two kingdoms may appear very evident: for nothing but a superior army, able to beat the Scots, can hinder their doing this at any time: and the seizing the coalries must immediately bring the city of London into great distress. Two armies were now in the north as a load on the king, besides all the other grievances. The lord Saville's forgery came to be discovered. The king knew it; and yet he was brought afterwards to trust him, and to advance him to be earl of Sussex. The king pressed my uncle to deliver him the letter b, who excused himself upon his oath; and not knowing what use might be made of it, he cut out every subscription, and sent it to the person for whom it was forged. The imitation was so exact, that every man, as soon as he saw his hand simply by itself, acknowledged that he could not have denied it. 30 The king was now in great straits: he had laid
"Dignity of expression. S.
b See my note as aforesaid with regard to this letter. O.
up seven hundred thousand pounds, before the trou-The m bles in Scotland began; and yet had raised no guards king's afnor force in England, but trusted a very illegal ad-fairs' ministration to a legal execution. His treasure was now exhausted; his subjects were highly irritated; the ministry were all frighted, being exposed to the anger and justice of the parliament: so that he had brought himself into great distress, but had not the dexterity to extricate himself out of it. He loved high and rough methods, but had neither the skill to conduct them, nor the height of genius to manage them. He hated all that offered prudent and moderate counsels: he thought it flowed from a meanness of spirit, and a care to preserve themselves by sacrificing his authority, or from republican principles: and even when he saw it was necessary to follow such advices, yet he hated those that gave themc. His heart was wholly turned to the gaining the two armies. In order to that, he gained the earl of Rothes entirely, who hoped by the king's mediation to have married the countess of Devonshire, a rich and magnificent lady, that lived long in the greatest state of any in that age: he also gained the earl of Montrose, who was a young man well learned, who had travelled, but had taken upon him the port of a hero too much, [and lived as in a romance; for his whole manner was stately to affectation.] When he was beyond sea, he travelled with the earl of Denbigh; and they consulted all the astrologers they could hear of. I plainly saw the earl of Denbigh relied on what had been told him to his dying day; and the rather because the earl of Montrose
c Not one good quality named. S.