« PreviousContinue »
· with the Ambassadors of those very People, in the year
1592, by the Constable of Lesdiguières; which Accord is registered in the Parliament of Dauphiné; and whereof you have an authentic Copy in your own hands. Whereby the Kings of France oblige themselves and their Successors To maintain and preserve their ancient privileges and concessions. — Besides that the gaining to himself the hearts of that People, by so gracious and remarkable a protection and deliverance, might be of no little use another day, in relation to Pignerol and the other adjacent places under his Dominions.
One of the most effectual remedies, which we conceive the fittest to be applied at present is, That the King of France would be pleased to make an Exchange with the Duke of Savoy for those Valleys; fresigning over to him some other part of his Dominions in lieu thereof, as, in the reign of Henry the Fourth, the Marquisate of Saluces was exchanged with the Duke for La Bresse.* Which certainly could not but be of great advantage to his Majesty, as well for the safety of Pignerol, as for the opening of a Passage for his Forces into Italy, — which 'Passage,' if under the dominion, and in the hands of so powerful a Prince, joined with the natural strength of these places by reason of their situation,, must needs be rendered im- pregnable.
By what we have already said, you see our intentions; and therefore we leave all other particulars to your special care and conduct; and rest, . Your friend,'
Lockhart, both General and Ambassador in these months, is, as we hinted, infinitely busy with his share in the Siege of Dunkirk, now just in its agony; and before this Letter can well arrive, has done his famous feat of Fighting, which brings Turenne and him their victory, among the sandhills there. * Much to the joy of Cardinal and King; who will not readily refuse him in any reasonable point at present. There came no new Massacre upon the poor People of the Valleys; their grievances were again "settled,” scared away for a season, by negotiation.
DEATH OF THE PROTECTOR. THERE remain no more Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell for us; the above is the last of them of either kind. As a Speaker to men, he takes his leave of the world, in these final words addressed to his Second Parliament, on the 4th of February 1657-8: “God be judge between you and me!" — So was it appointed by the Destinies and the Oblivions; these were his last public words.
Other Speeches, in that crisis of Oliver's affairs, we have already heard of; “Speech of two hours” to his Officers in Whitehall; Speech to the Lord Mayor and Common Council, in the same place, on the same subjeet: but they have not been reported, or the report of them has not come down to us. There were domestic Letters also, as we still find, written in those same tumultuous weeks; Letters to the Earl of Warwick, on occasion of the death of his Grandson, the Protector's Sonin-law. For poor young Mr. Rich, whom we saw wedded in November last, is dead, ** He died on the twelfth day after that Dissolution of the Parliament; while Oliver and the Commonwealth are wrestling against boundless Anarchies, Oliver's own Household bas its visitations and dark days. Poor little Frances Cromwell, in the fourth month of her marriage, still only about seventeen, she finds herself suddenly a widow; and Hampton Court has become a house of mourning. Young Rich
Thursday, 30 June 1658 (Thurloe, vii. 155-6). ** 16th Feb. 1657-8 (Newspapers in Cromwelliana, p. 170).
was much lamented. Oliver condoled with the Grandfather "in seasonable and sympathising Letters;" for which the brave old Earl rallies himself to make some gratefullest Reply;* *-“Cannot enough' confess my obligation, much less discharge “it, for your seasonable and sympathising Letters; which, "besides the value they derive from so worthy'a hand, express "such faithful' affections, and administer such Christian ad. “vices as renders them beyond measure dear to me." Blessings, and noble eulogies, the outpouring of a brave old heart, conclude this Letter of Warwick's. He himself died shortly after ; ** 'a 'new grief to the Protector. - The Protector was delivering the Commonwealth from Hydras and fighting a world-wide battle, while he wrote those Letters on the death of young' Rich. If by chance they still lie hidden in the archives of some kinsman of the Warwicks, they may yet be disimprisoned and made audible. Most probably they too are lost. And so we have now nothing more; - and Oliver has nothing more. His Speakings, and also his Actings, all his manifold Strugglings, more or less victorious, to utter the great God's-Message that was in him,-- have here what we call ended. This Summer of 1658, likewise victorious after struggle, is his last in our World of Time. Thenceforth he enters the Eternities; and rests upon his arms there. ..
. ... Pro ..Oliver's look was yet strong; and young for his years, ***
which were Fifty-nine last April. The "Three-score and ten years," the Psalmist's limit, which probably was often in Oliver's thoughts and in those of others, there, might have been anticipated for him: Ten Years more of Life; -- which, we may compute, would have given another History to all the Centuries of England. But it was not to be 80, it was to be otherwise. Oliver's health, as we might observe, was but uncertain in late times; often “indisposed" the spring before
* Earl of Warwick to the Lord Protector, date 11th March 1857-81 printed in Godwin, iv. 528. a.
*** 19th April 1658 (Thurloe, vii. 85). P r i tem ;
ląst. His course of life had not been favourable to health!
A burden too heavy for map!" as he himself, with a sigh, would sometimes say. Incessant toil; inconceivable labour, of head and heart and hand; toil, peril, and sorrow manifold, continued for near Twenty years now, had done their part: those robust life-energies, it afterwards appeared, * had been gradually eaten out. Like a Tower strong to the eye, but with its foundations, undermined; which has not long to stand; the fall of which, on any shock, may be sudden. —
The Manzinis and Ducs the Crequi, with their splendours, and congratulations acout Dunkirk, interesting to the streetpopulations and general public, had not yet.withdrawn, when at Hampton Court there had begun a private scene, of much deeper and quite opposite interest there. The Lady Claypole, Oliver's favourite Daughter, a favourite of all the world, had fallen sick we know not when; lay sick now,- to-death, as it proved. Her disease was of internal female nature; the painfullest and most harassing to mind and sense, it is understood, that falls to the lot of a human creature. Hampton Court we can fancy once more, in those July days, a house of sorrow; pale Death knocking there, as at the door of the meanest hut. “She had great sufferings, great exercises of spirit.” Yes: and in the depths of the old Centuries, we see a pale anxious Mother, anxious Husband, anxious weeping Sisters, a poor young Frances weeping anew in her weeds. “For the last fourteen days' his Highness has been by her bedside at Hampton Court, unable to attend to any public business whatever. ** Be still, my Child; trust thou yet in God: in the waves of the Dark River, there too is He a God of help! On the 6th day of August she lay dead; at rest forever. My young, my beautiful, my brave! She is taken from me; I am left bereaved of her. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord!
"His Highness," says Harvey, ***/"being at Hampton Court,
* Doctor Bates, on examination post mortem. that mir * Thurloe,' vil. 295 (27th July 1658). '.
*** A Collection of several Passages concerning his late Highness Oliver Cromwell, in the Time of his Sickness; wherein is related many of
"sickened a little before the Lady Elizabeth died. Her decease “ was on Friday 6th August 1658; she having lain long under “great extremity of bodily pain, which, with frequent and 66 violent convulsion-fits, brought her end. But as to his “Highness, it was observed that his sense of her outward "misery, in the pains she endured, took deep impression upon “him; who indeed was ever a most indulgent and tender "Father; - his affections "too" being regulated and bounded “by such Christian wisdom and prudence, as did eminently
shine in filling up not only that relation of a Father, but “also all other relations; wherein he was a most rare and "singular example. And no doubt but the sympathy of his "spirit with his sorely afflicted and dying Daughter" did break him down at this time; " considering also," — innumerable other considerations of sufferings and toils, “which made “me often wonder he was able to hold-up so long; except" indeed “that he was borne up by a Supernatural Power at a “more than ordinary rate. As a mercy to the truly Christian “World, and to us of these Nations, had we been worthy of " him!”
The same authority, who unhappily is not chronological, adds elsewhere this little picture, which we must take with us: “At Hampton Court, a few days after the death of the Lady “Elizabeth, which touched him nearly, – being then himself "under bodily distempers, forerunners of that Sickness which " was to death, and in his bedchamber, -- he called for his “Bible, and desired an honourable and godly person there, "with others, present, To read unto him that passage in “Philippians Fourth; "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I “have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. “I know both how to be abased, and I Inow how to abound. Every
where, and by all things, I am instructed; both to be full and to “ be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need, I can do all things,
his Expressions upon his Deathbed , together with his Prayer within two or three Days before his Death. Written by one that was then Groom of his Bedchamber. (King's Pamphlets, sm. 4to, no. 792, art. 22; London, 9th June 1659.)