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As to Slingsby and Hewit, the Protector‘was inexorable. Hewit has already taken a very high line: let him persevere in it! Slingsby was the Lord Fauconberg’s Uncle, married to his Aunt Bellasis ; but that could not stead him,--perhaps that was but a new monition to be strict with him. The Commonwealth of England, and its Peace, are not Nothing! These Royalist Plots every winter, deliveries of garrisons to Charles Stuart, and reckless ‘ usherings of us into blood,’ shall end! Hewit and Slingsby suffered on Tower Hill, on Monday, 8th June; amid the manifold rumor and emotion of men. Of the City Insurrectionists six were condemned; three of whom Were eXecuted, three pardoned. And so the High Court of Justice dissolved itself; and at this and not at more expense of blood, the huge Insurrectionary movement ended, and lay silent within its caves again.
Whether in any future year it would have tried another rising against such a Lord Protector, one does not know,—one guesses rather in the negative. The Royalist Cause, after so many failures, after such a sort of enterprises ‘on the word of a Christian King,’ had naturally sunk very low. Some twelvemonth hence, with a Commonwealth not now under Cromwell, but only under the impulse of Cromwell, a Christian King hastening down to the Treaty of the Pyrenees, where France and Spain were making Peace, found one of the coldest receptions. Cardinal Mazarin ‘sent his coaches and guards a day’s journey to meet Lockhart the Commonwealth Ambassador ;’ but refused to meet the Christian King at all ; would not even meet Ormond, except as if by accident ‘ on the public road,’ to say that there was no hope. The Spanish Minister, Don Luis de Haro, was civiller in manner; but as to Spanish Charles-Stuart Invasions or the like, he also decisively shook his head.* The Royalist Cause was as good as desperate in England; a melancholy Reminiscence, fast fading away into the realm of shadows. Not till Puritanism sank of its own accord, could Royalism rise again. But Puritanism, the King of it once away, fell loose very naturally in every fibre,— fell into Kinglessness, what we call Anarchy; crumbled down, over faster, for Sixteen Months, in mad suicide, and universal
clashing and collision ; proved by trial after trial, that there lay not in it either Government or so much as Self-government any more; that a Government of England by it was henceforth an impossibility. Amid the general wreck of things, all Government threatening now to be impossible, the Reminiscence of Royalty rose again, “Let us take refuge in the Past, the Future is not possible !”—and Major-General Monk crossed the Tweed at Coldstream, with results which‘are well known.
Results which we will not quarrel with, very mournf'ul as they have been I If it please Heaven, these Two Hundred Years of universal Cant in Speech, with so much of Cotton-spinning, Coalboring, Commercing, and other valuable Sincerity of Work going on the while, shall not be quite lost to us! Our Cant will vanish, our Whole baleful cunningly-compacted Universe of Cant, as does a heavy Nightmare Dream. We shall awaken; and find ourselves in a world greatly widened.-—-Why Puritanism could not continue? My friend, Puritanism was not the Complete Theory of this immense Universe; no, only a part thereof! To me it seems, in my hours of hope, as if the Destinies meant something grander with England than even Oliver Protector did ! We will not quarrel with the Destinies ; we will work as we can towards fulfilment of them.
But in these same June days of the year 1658, while Hewit and Slingsby lay down their heads on Tower Hill, and the English Hydra finds that its Master is still here, there arrive the news of Dunkirk alluded to above: Dunkirk gloriously taken, Spaniards gloriously beaten : victories and successes abroad, which are a new illumination to the Lord Protector in the eyes of England. Splendid Nephews of the Cardinal, Manzinis, Ducs de Crequi, come across the Channel to congratulate ‘the most invincible of Sovereigns ;’ young Louis Fourteenth himself would have come, had not the attack of small-pox prevented.* With whom the elegant Lord F auconberg and others busy themselves: their pageantry and gilt coaches, much gazed at by the idler multitudes, need not detain us here.
The Lord Protector, his, Parliament having been dismissed with such brevity, is somewhat embarrassed in his finances. But otherwise his afiairs stand well ; visibly in an improved condition. Once more he has saved Puritan England ; once more approved himself invincible abroad and at home. He looks with confidence towards summoning a new Parliament, of juster disposition towards Puritan England ‘and him.* With a Parliament, or if extremity of need arrive, without a. Parliament and in spite of Parliaments, the Puritan Gospel Cause, sanctioned by a Higher than Parliaments, shall not sink while life remains in this Man. Not till Oliver Cromwell‘s head lie low, shall English Puritanism bend its head to any created thing. Erect, with its foot on the neck of Hydra Babylon, with its open Bible and drawn Sword, shall Puritanism stand, and with pious all-defiance Victoriously front the world. That was Oliver Cromwell’s appointed function in this piece of sublunary Space, in this section of swift-flowing Time; that noble, perilous, painful function: and he has manfully done it,—and is now near ending it, and getting honorably relieved from it.
' Thurloe, vii., s4, 99, 128, an (April, May, 1658)
THERE remain no more Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell for us; the above is the last of them of either kind. 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 5 these Were his last public words.
Other Speeches, in that crisis of' Oliver’s afi‘airs, 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 subject: but they have not been reported, or the report of them has not come down to us. There were do_ mestic 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 Son-iu-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 has 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 was much lamented. Oliver condoled with the Grandfather ‘ in seasonable and sympathizing Letters ; ’ for which the brave old Earl rallies himself to make some grate. fullest Reply :T—“ Cannot enough confess my obligation, much less discharge it, for your seasonable and sympathizing Letters ; which, besides the value they derive from so worthy a hand, express such faithful affections, and administer such Christian advices
' 16 Feb., 1657-8 (Newspapers in Cromwelliana, p. 1'10).
as renders them beyond measure dear to me.” Blessings, and noble eulogies, the outpouring of a brave old heart, conclude this Letter of VVarwick’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 \Var. wicks, 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.
Oliver’s look was yet strong ; and young for his years,1' 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 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 so, it was to be otherwise. Oliver’s health, as we might observe, was but uncertain in late times; often ‘ indisposed' the spring before last. His course of life had not been favorable to health ! “ A burden too heavy for man i” as he himself, with al- sigh, would sometimes say. Incessant toil ; inconceivable labor, of head and heart and hand ; toil, peril, and sorrow manifold, continued for near Twenty years now, had done their part: these robust life-energies, it afterwards appeared,i had been gradually eaten out. Like 9. Tower strong to the eye, but with its foundation undermined; which has not long to stand ; the fall of which, on any shock, may be sudden.—
The Manzinis and Duos de Crequi, with their splendors, and congratulations about Dunkirk, interesting to the street-populations and general public, had not yet withdrawn, when at Hampton