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mutation, the sanctified style was utterly unknown CHAP. to him, and he never could mould his deportment into that starched grimace which the covenanters Imi. required as an infallible mark of conversion. The duke of Buckingham was the only English courtier allowed to attend him; and, by his ingenious talent for ridicule, he had rendered himself extremely agreeable to his master. While so many objects of derision surrounded them, it was difficult to be altogether insensible to the temptation, and wholly to suppress the laugh. Obliged to attend from morning to night at prayers and sermons, they betrayed evident symptoms of weariness or contempt. The clergy never could esteem the king sufficiently regenerated: And by continual exhortations, remonstrances, and reprimands, they still endeavoured to bring him to a juster sense of his spiritual duty.
The king's passion for the fair could not altogether be restrained. He had once been observed using some familiarities with a young woman; and a committee of ministers was appointed to reprove him for a behaviour so unbecoming a covenanted monarch. The spokesman of the committee, one Douglas, began with a severe aspect, informed the king that great scandal had been given to the godly, enlarged on the heinous nature of sin, and concluded with exhorting his majesty, whenever he was disposed to amuse himself, to be more careful, for the future, in shutting the windows. This delicacy, so unusual to the place and to the character of the man, was remarked by the king, and he never forgot the obligation.
The king, shocked at all the indignities,- and, . perhaps, still more tired with all the formalities, to which he was obliged to submit, made an attempt to regain his liberty. General Middleton, at the head of some royalists, being proscribed by the covenanters, kept in the mountains, expecting some opportunity of serving his master. The king re
Vot. vu. o solved
Chap. solved to join this body. He secretly made hit ^Jfj escape from Argyle, and fled towards the High'1651. lands. Colonel Montgomery, with a troop of horse, was sent in pursuit of him. He overtook the king, and persuaded him to return. The royalists being too weak to support him, Charles was the more easily induced to comply. This incident procured him afterwards better treatment and more authority; the covenanters being afraid of driving him, by their rigours, to some desperate resolution. Argyle re- .newed his courtship to the king, and the king, with equal dissimulation, pretended to repose great confidence in Argyle. He even went so far as to drop hints of his intention to marry that nobleman's daughter: But he had to do with a man too wise to be seduced by such gross artifices.
As soon as the season would permit, the Scottish army was assembled under Hamilton and Lesley; and the king was allowed to join the camp. The forces of the western counties, notwithstanding the imminent danger which threatened their country, were resolute not to unite their cause with that of an army which admitted any engagers or malignants among them; and they kept in a body apart under Ker. They called themselves the Protesters; and their frantic clergy declaimed equally against the king and against Cromwel. The other party were denominated Resolulioners; and these distinctions continued long after to divide and agitate the kingdom.
Charles encamped at the Torwood; and his generals resolved to conduct themselves by the same cautious maxims which, so long as they were embraced, had been successful during the former campaign. The town of Stirling lay at his back, and the whole north supplied him with provisions. Strong entrenchments defended his front; and it was in vain that Cromwel made every attempt to bring him to an engagement. After losing much time, the English general sent Lambert over the frith into Fife, with an intention of cutting off the CHAP, provisions of the enemy. Lambert fell upon Hoi- v^Ji^y borne and Brown, who commanded a party of the i«5». Scots, and put them to rout with great slaughter. Cromwel also passed over with his whole army; and lying at the back of the king, made it impossible for him to keep his post any longer.
Charles, reduced to despair, embraced a resolution worthy of a young prince contending for empire. Having the way open, he resolved immediately to march into England; where he expected that all his friends, and all those who were discontented with the present government, would flock to his standard. He persuaded the generals to enter into the same views; and with one consent the army, to the number of 14,000 men, rose from their camp, and advanced by great journeys towards the south.
Cromwel was surprised at this movement of the royal army. Wholly intent on offending his enemy, he had exposed his friends to imminent danger, and saw the king with numerous forces marching into England; where his presence, from the general hatred which prevailed against the parliament, was capable of producing some great revolution. But if this conduct was an oversight in Cromwel, he quickly repaired it by his vigilance and activity. He dispatched letters to the parliament, exhorting them not to be dismayed at the approach of the Scots: He sent orders every where for assembling forces to oppose the king: He ordered Lambert with a body of cavalry to hang upon the rear of the royal army, and infest their march: And he himself, leaving Monk with 7000 men to complete the reduction of Scotland, followed the kjng with all the expedition possible.
Charles found himself disappointed in his expectations of increasing his army. The Scots, terrified at the prospect of so hazardous an enterprise,
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CHAP. fell off in great numbers. The English presbytev^^/ rians, having no warning given them of the king's lest. approach, were not prepared to join him. To the • •royalists, this measure was equally unexpected; and they were farther deterred from joining the Scottish army, by the orders which the committee of ministers had issued, not to admit any, even in this desperate extremity, who would not subscribe the covenant. The earl of Derby leaving the Isle of Man, where he had hitherto maintained his independence, was employed in levying forces in Cheshire and Lancashire; but was soon suppressed by a party of the parliamentary army. And the king, when he arrived at Worcester, found that his forces, extremely harassed by a hasty and fatiguing march, were not more numerous than when he rose from his camp in the Torwood.
Such is the influence of established government, that the commonwealth, though founded in usurpation the most unjust and unpopular, had authority sufficient to raise every where the militia of the counties; and these, united with the regular forces, bent 3d Sept. all their efforts against the king. With an army of about 30,000 men, Cromwel fell upon Worcester; and attacking it on all sides, and, meeting with little resistance, except from duke Hamilton and general Middleton, broke in upon the disordered
Worcester rova^sts- The streets of the city were strewed with dead. Hamilton, a nobleman of bravery and honour, was mortally wounded; Massey wounded and taken prisoner; the king himself, having given many proofs of personal valour, was obliged to fly. The whole Scottish army was either killed or taken prisoner. The country people, inflamed with national antipathy, put to death the few that escaped from the field of battle. The kin • ^h E kin§ ^ Worcester at six o'clock in the escape?8' afternoon, and, without halting, travelled about twenty-six miles, in company with fifty or sixty of his friends. To provide for his safety he thought c it best to separate himself from his companions; and he left them without communicating his intentions to any of them. By the earl of Derby's directions, he went to Boscobel, a lone house in the borders of Staffordshire, inhabited by one Penderell, a farmer. To this man Charles entrusted himself. The man had dignity of sentiments much above his condition; and though death was denounced against all who concealed the king, and a great reward promised to any one who should betray him, he professed and maintained unshaken fidelity. He took the assistance of his four brothers, equally honourable with himself; and, having clothed the king in a garb like their own, they led him into the neighbouring wood, put a bill into his hand, and pretended to employ themselves in cutting faggots. Some nights he lay upon straw in the house, and fed on such homely fare as it afforded. For a better concealment, he mounted upon an oak, where he sheltered himself among the leaves and branches for twenty-four hours. He saw several soldiers pass by. All of them were intent in search of the king; and some expressed, in his hearing, their earnest wishes of seizing him. This tree was afterwards denominated the Royal Oak; and for many years was regarded by the neighbourhood with great veneration.
Charles was in the middle of the kingdom, and could neither stay in his retreat, nor stir a step from it, without the most imminent danger. Fear, hopes, and party zeal, interested multitudes to discover him; and even the smallest indiscretion of his friends might prove fatal. Having joined lord Wilmot, who was skulking in the neighbourhood, they agreed to put themselves into the hands of colonel Lane, a zealous royalist, who lived at Bentley, not many miles distant. The king's feet were so hurt by walking about in heavy boots or countrymen's