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thee; and thirsted as the hart in dry places wherein no waters be? It was never a sorrow for thee that the eternal pole-star had gone out, veiled itself in dark clouds;—a sorrow only that this or the other noble Patron forgot thee when a living fell vacant t I have known Christians, Moslems, Methodists,—and, alas, also reverend irreverent Apes by the Dead Sea!
0 modern reader, dark as this Letter may seem, I will advise thee to make an attempt towards understanding it. There is in it a 'tradition of humanity' worth all the rest. Indisputable certificate that man once had a soul; that man once walked with God,—his little Life a sacred island girdled with Eternities and Godhoods. Was it not a time for heroes? Heroes were then possible. I say, thou shalt understand that Letter; thou also, looking out into a too brutish world, wilt then exclaim with Oliver Cromwell,—with Hebrew David, as old Mr. Rouse of Truro, and the Presbyterian populations, still sing him in tha Northern Kirks:
Wo's me that I in Meshec am
A sojourner so long,
To Kedar that belong!
Yes, there is a tone in the soul of this Oliver that holds of the Perennial. With a noble sorrow, with a noble patience, he longs towards the mark of the prize of the high calling. He, I think, has chosen the better part. The world and its wild tumults,—if they will but let him alone! Yet he too will venture, will do and suffer for God's cause, if the call come. What man with better reason? He hath had plentiful wages beforehand; snatched out of darkness into marvellous light: he will never earn the least mite. Annihilation of self; Selbstlddtimg, as Novalis calls it; casting yourself at the footstool of God's throne, "To live or to die for ever; as Thou wilt, not as I will." Brother, hadst thou never, in any form, such moments in thy history? Thou knowest them not, even by credible rumor? Well, thy earthly path was peaceabJer, I suppose. But the Highest was never in thee, the Highest will never come out of thee. Thou shalt at best abide by the stuff; as cherished housedog, guard the stuff,—perhaps with enormous gold-collars and provender: but the battle, and the hero-death, and victory's fire-chariot carrying men to the Immortals shall never be thine. I pity thee; brag not, or I shall have to despise thee.
Such is Oliver's one Letter from Ely. To guide us a little through the void gulf towards his next Letter, we will here intercalate the following small fractions of Chronology.
May—July. The Scots at their Glasgow Assembly* had rent their Tulchan Apparatus in so rough a way, and otherwise so ill comported themselves, his Majesty saw good, in the beginning of this year, immense negotiation and messaging to and fro having proved so futile, to chastise them with an Army. By unheardof exertions in the Extra-Parliamentary way, his Majesty got an Army ready; marched with it to Berwick,—is at Newcastle, 8th May, 1639.f But, alas, the Scots, with a much better Army, already lay encamped on Dunse Law; every nobleman with his tenants there, as a drilled regiment, round him; old Fieldmarshal Lesley for their generalissimo; at every. Colonel's tent this pennon flying, For Christ's Crown and Covenant: there was no fighting to be thought of.J Neither could the Pacification there patched up§ be of long continuance. The Scots disbanded their soldiers; but kept the best officers, mostly Gustavus-Adolphus men, still within sight.
His Majesty having burnt Scotch paper Declarations 'by the hands of the common hangman,' and almost cut the Scotch Chancellor Loudon's head off", and being again resolute to chastise the rebel Scots with an Army, decides on summoning a Parliament for that end, there being no money attainable otherwise. To the
• Nov., 1638; Baillie's Letters (Edinburgh, 1841), i., 118-176.
f Rushworth, iii., 930. J lb. iii., 926-49* Baillie, i., 214, 184-22!
5 King's Army ' dismissed,' 24th June (Rushworth, iii., 946)
great and glad astonishment of England; which, at one time, /thought never to have seen another Parliament! Oliver Crom'well sat in this Parliament for Cambridge ;* recommended by Hampden, say some; not needing any recommendation in those Fen-countries, think others. Oliver's Colleague was a Thomas Meautys, Esq. This Parliament met, 13th April, 1640: it was by no means prompt enough with supplies against the rebel Scots; the King dismissed it in a huff, 5th May; after a Session of three weeks: Historians call it the Short- Parliament. His Majesty decides on raising money and an Army ' by other methods:' to which end, Wentworth, now Earl Strafford and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, who had advised that course in the Council, did himself subscribe 20,0007. Archbishop Laud had long ago seen ' a cloud rising' against the Four surplices at Allhallowtide; and now it is covering the whole sky in a most dismal and really thundery-looking manner.
His Majesty by * other methods,' commission of array, benevolence, forced-loan, or how he could, got a kind of Army on foot,f and set it marching out of the several Counties in the South towards the Scotch Border: but it was a most hopeless Army. The soldiers called the affair a Bishops' War; they mutinied against their officers, shot some of their officers: in various Towns on their march, if the Clergyman were reputed Puritan, they went and gave him three cheers; if of Surplice-tendency, they sometimes threw his furniture out of the window.:): No fighting against poor Scotch Gospellers was to be hoped for from these men. Meanwhile the Scots, not to be behindhand, had raised a good Army of their own; and decided on going into England with it, this time, 'to present their grievances to the King's" Majesty.' On the 20th of August, 1640, they cross the Tweed at Coldstream; Montrose wading in the van of them all. They wore uniform of hodden grey,§ with blue caps; and each man had a moderate haversack of oatmeal on his back.
August 28th. The Scots force their way across the Tyne, at Newburn, some miles above Newcastle; the King's Army mak
* Browne Willis, p. 229, 30; Rushworth, iii., 1105. t Ib- ">•> 12*l J Vicare's Parliamentary Chronicle (Lond., 1644), p. 20. § Old Pamphlets.
ing small fight, most of them no fight; hurrying from Newcastle, and all town and country quarters, towards York again, where his Majesty and Strafford were.* The Bishops' War was at an end. The Scots, striving to be gentle as doves in their behavior, and publishing boundless brotherly Declarations to all the brethren that loved Christ's Gospel and God's Justice in England,—took possession of Newcastle next day; took possession gradually of all Northumberland and Durham,—and stayed there, in various towns and villages, about a year. The whole body of English Puritans looked upon them as their saviors; some months afterwards, Robert Baillie heard the London balladsingers, on the streets, singing copiously with strong lungs, " Gramercy, good Master Scot" by way of burden.f
His Majesty and Strafford, in a fine frenzy at this turn of affairs, found no refuge, except to summon a 'Council of Peers,' to enter upon a ' Treaty' with the Scots; and alas, at last, summon a New Parliament. Not to be helped in any way. Twelve chief Peers of the summoned ' Council' petitioned for a Parliament; the City of London petitioned for a Parliament, and would not lend money otherwise. A Parliament was appointed for the 3d of November next;—whereupon London cheerfully lent 200,000Z.; and the Treaty with the Scots at Ripon, 1st October, 16404 by and by transferred to London, went peaceably on at a very leisurely pace. The Scotch Army lay quartered at Newcastle, and over Northumberland and Durham, on an allowance of 850Z. a-day; an Army indispensable for Puritan objects; no haste in finishing its Treaty. The English army lay across in Yorkshire; without allowance except from the casualties of the King's Exchequer; in a dissatisfied manner, and occasionally getting into 'Army-Plots.' 1
^sThis Parliament, which met on the 3d of November, 1040, has become very celebrated in History by the name of the Long Parliament. It accomplished and suffered very singular destinies; suffered a Pride's Purge, a Cromwell's Ejectment; suffered Re-instatements, Re-ejectments; and the Rump or Fag-end
* Rushworth, iii., 1236, &c. f Baillie's Letters,
t Rushworth, iii., 1282.