Page images
PDF

Palaceyard and London generally, is all a-tiptoe, out of doors. Within doors, Speaker Widdrington and the Master of the Ceremonies have done their best: the Judges, the Aldermen, the Parliament, the Council, the foreign Ambassadors, and domestic Dignitaries without end; chairs of state, cloths of state, trumpet-peals, and acclamations of the people — Let the reader conceive it; or read in old Pamphlets the "exact relation" of it with all the speeches and phenomena, worthier than such things usually are of being read. *

" His Highness standing under the Cloth of State," says Bulstrode, whose fine feelings are evidently touched by it, “the Speaker in the name of the Parliament presented to him: "First, a Robe of purple velvet; which the Speaker, assisted "by Whitlocke and others, put upon his Highness. Then he," the Speaker, “delivered to him the Bible richly gilt and bossed," an affecting symbolic Gift: “ After that, the Speaker girt the “ Sword about his Highness; and delivered into his hand the “Sceptre of massy gold. And then, this done, he made a "Speech to him on these several things presented;" eloquent mellifluous Speech, setting forth the high and true significance of these several Symbols, Speech still worth reading; to which his Highness answered in silence by dignified gesture only. "Then Mr.Speaker gave him the Oath;' and so ended, really in a solemn manner. “And Mr. Manton, by prayer, recom"mended 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 pro"tection of God." - And then “the people gave several great shouts;" and "the trumpets sounded; and the Protector "sat in his chair of state, holding the Sceptre in his hand:" a remarkable sight to see. “On his right sat the Ambassador Hof France," on his left some other Ambassador; and all round, standing or sitting, were Dignitaries of the highest quality;, "and near the Earl of Warwick, stood the Lord “Viscount Lisle, stood General Montague and Whitlocke,

* An exact Relation of the Manner of the solemn Investiture, &c. (Re. printed in Parliamentary History, xxi. 152-160.

"each of them having a drawn sword in his hand," a sublime sight to some of us ! *

And so this Solemnity transacts itself; - which at the moment was solemn enough; and is not yet, at this or any hollowest moment of Human History, intrinsically altogether other. A really dignified and veritable piece of Symbolism; perhaps the last we hitherto, in these quack-ridden histrionic pages, have been privileged to see on suchan occasion. - The Parliament is prorogued till the 20th of January next; the new House of Lords, and much else, shall be got ready in the interim.

LETTER CCXIX. SEA GENERAL MONTAGUE, whom we saw standing with drawn sword beside the chair of state, is now about proceeding to co-operate with Land-General Reynolds, on the despatch of real business.

For General Montague, on board the Naseby, in the Downs. SIR,

Whitehall, 11th August 1657. You having desired by several Letters to know our mind concerning your weighing anchor and sailing with the Fleet out of the Downs, we have thought fit to let you know, That we do very well approve thereof, and that you do cruise up and down in the Channel, in such places as you shall judge most convenient, taking care of the safety, interest and honour of the Commonwealth. . i to 1. i.

I remain. .
1. Your very loving friend,

'OLIVER P.'S * Whitelocke, p. 661.

& Cromwelliana, p. 168: “Original Letter, in the possession of Thomas Lister Parker, Esq.," - is now (1846) in the British Museum (Additional Ayscough MSS. no. 12,098). Only the Signature is Oliver's, - tragically physiognomic: - in letters.long, thin, singularly straight in direction, but all notched and tremulous.

Under the wax of the Commonwealth Seal, Montague has written, His Highness's letter, Augsl. 11, 1657, to comand mee to sayle.

LETTER CCXX.
For my loving Friend John Dunch, Esquire.
"Sir,

“Hampton Court, 27th August 1657. I desire to speak with you; and hearing a report : from Hursley that you were going to your Father's in Berkshire, I send this express to you, desiring you to come to me at Hampton Court. With my respects to your Father, * - I rest, Your loving friend,

ivan .OLIVER P. This is the John Dunch of Pusey; married, as we saw, to Mayor's younger Daughter, the Sister-in-law to Richard Cromwell: the Collector for us of those Seventeen Pusey Letters; of which we have here read the last. He is of the present Parliament, was of the former; seems to be enjoying his recess, travelling about in the Autumn Sun of those old days, - and vanishes from History at this point, in the private apartments of Hampton Court...

LETTER CCXXI. . so.'' GENERAL MONTAGUE, after a fortnight's cruising, has touched at the Downs again, “28th August, wind at S. S.W.," being in want of some instruction on a matter that has risen.** “A Flushinger," namely, “has come into St. Maloes; said to have twenty-five ton of silver in her; "a Flushinger there, and fsix other Dutch Ships" hovering in the distance; which are thought to be carrying silver and stores for the Spaniards. Montague has sent Frigates to search them, to seize the very bullion if it be Spanish; but wishes fresh authority, in case of accident.

* Father-in-law, Mayor. . . - $ Harris, p. 515.** His Letter to Secretary) Thurloe Thurloe, vi. 489).

"For General Montague, on board the Naseby, in the Downs.' .. SIR,

Hampton Court, 30th August 1657. The Secretary hath communicated to us your Letter of the 28th instant; by which you acquaint him with the directions you have given for the searching a Flushinger and other Dutch Ships which, as you are informed, have bullion and other goods aboard them belonging to the Spaniard, the declared Enemy of this State.

There is no question to be made but what you have directed therein is agreeable both to the Laws of Nations and 'to' the particular Treaties which are between this Commonwealth and the United Provinces. And therefore we desire you to continue the said direction, and to require the Captains to be careful in doing their duty therein. Your very loving friend,

OLIVER P.&

LETTER CCXXII. By the new and closer Treaty signed with France in March last, * for assaulting the Spanish Power in the Netherlands, it was stipulated that the French King should contribute Twenty-thousand men, and the Lord Protector Six-thousand, with a sufficient Fleet; which combined forces were straightway to set about reducing the three Coast Towns, Gravelines, Mardike and Dunkirk; the former when reduced to belong to France, the two latter to England; if the former should chance to be the first reduced, it was then to be given up to England, and held as cautionary till the other two were got. Mardike and Dunkirk, these were what Oliver expected to gain by this adventure. One or both of which strong Haven. towns would naturally be very useful to him, connected with

& Thurloe, vi. 489.
# 230 March 1656-7: Authorities in Godwin (iv. 540-3).

the Continent as he was, - continually menaced with Royalist Invasion from that quarter; and struggling, as the aim of his whole Foreign Policy was, to unite Protestant Europe with England in one great effectual league. * Such was the French Treaty of the 23d of March last.

Oliver's part of the bargain was promptly and faithfully fulfilled. Six-thousand well-appointed men, under Commissary-General Reynolds, were landed, "in new red coats," "near Boulogne, on the 13th and 14th days of May" last; and a Fleet under Montague, as we observe, sufficient to command those seas, and prevent all relief by ships in any Siege, is actually cruising there. · Young Louis Fourteenth came down to the Coast to see the English Troops reviewed; expressed his joy and admiration over them; - and has set them, the Cardinal and he have set them, to assault the Spanish Power in the Netherlands by a plan of their own! To reduce not “Gravelines, Mardike and Dunkirk," on the Coast, as the Treaty has it, but Montmédi, Cambray, and I know not what in the Interior; – the Cardinal doubling and shuffling, and by all means putting off the attack of any place whatever on the Coast! With which arrangement Oliver Protector's dissatisfaction has at length reached a crisis; and he now writes, twice on the same day, to his Ambassador, To signify peremptorily that the same must terminate.

Of “Sir William Lockhart, our Ambassador in France" in these years, there were much more to be said than we have room for here. A man of distinguished qualities, of manifold adventures and employments; whose Biography, if he could find any Biographer with real industry instead of sham industry, and above all things with human eyes instead of pedant spectacles, might still be worth writing in brief compass**. He is Scotch; of the "Lockharts of Lee” in Lanark

* Foreign Affairs in the Protector's Time (in Somers Tracts, vi. 329-89), by some ancient anonymous man of sense, is worth reading.

** Noble (ii. 233-73) has reproduced, probably with new errors, certain M8. "Family Memoirs" of this Lockhart, which are everywhere very vague, and in passages (that of Dunkirk, for example) quite mythological. Lock

« PreviousContinue »