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christening bowls, in order to assist members of the parliamentary party. him. But experience has fully proved He had borne arms on the Continent that the voluntary liberality of indivi- with credit, and, when the war began, duals, even in times of the greatest had as high a military reputation as excitement, is a poor financial resource any man in the country. But it soon when compared with severe and me- appeared that he was unfit for the post thodical taxation, which presses on the of Commander in Chief. He had little willing and unwilling alike.
energy and no originality. The methoCharles, however, had one advan-dical tactics which he had learned in tage, which, if he had used it well, the war of the Palatinate did not save would have more than compensated for him from the disgrace of being surprised the want of stores and money, and and baffled by such a Captain as Ruwhich, notwithstanding his mismanage-pert, who could claim no higher fame ment, gave him, during some months, than that of an enterprising partisan. a superiority in the war. His troops Nor were the officers who held the at first fought much better than those chief commissions under Essex qualified of the Parliament. Both armies, it is to supply what was wanting in him. true, were almost entirely composed of For this, indeed, the Houses are scarcely men who had never seen a field of to be blamed. In a country which had battle. Nevertheless, the difference not, within the memory of the oldest was great. The parliamentary ranks person living, made war on a great were filled with hirelings whom want scale by land, generals of tried skill and idleness had induced to enlist. and valour were not to be found. It Hampden's regiment was regarded as was necessary, therefore, in the first one of the best; and even Hampden's instance, to trust untried men; and the regiment was described by Cromwell preference was naturally given to men as a mere rabble of tapsters and serving distinguished either by their station, or men out of place. The royal army, on by the abilities which they had disthe other hand, consisted in great part played in Parliament. In scarcely a of gentlemen, high spirited, ardent, single instance, however, was the seaccustomed to consider dishonour as lection fortunate. Neither the grandees more terrible than death, accustomed nor the orators proved good soldiers. to fencing, to the use of fire arms, to The Earl of Stamford, one of the greatbold riding, and to manly and perilous est nobles of England, was routed by sport, which has been well called the the Royalists at Stratton. Nathaniel image of war. Such gentlemen, mounted Fiennes, inferior to none of his conon their favourite horses, and com- temporaries in talents for civil business, manding little bands, composed of their disgraced himself by the pusillanimous younger brothers, grooms, gamekeepers, surrender of Bristol. Indeed, of all the and huntsmen, were, from the very first statesmen who at this juncture accepted day on which they took the field, quali- high military commands, Hampden fied to play their part with credit in a alone appears to have carried into the skirmish. The steadiness, the prompt camp the capacity and strength of mind obedience, the mechanical precision of which had made him eminent in movement, which are characteristic of politics. the regular soldier, these gallant volun- When the war had lasted a year, the teers never attained. But they were advantage was decidedly with at first opposed to enemies as undisci- the Royalists. They were of the plined as themselves, and far less active, victorious, both in the western Royalists athletic, and darirg. For a time, and in the northern counties. They had therefore, the Cavaliers were successful wrested Bristol, the second city in the in almost every encounter,
kingdom, from the Parliament. They The Houses had also been unfortu-| had won several battles, and had not pate in the choice of a general. The sustained a single serious or ignorank and wealth of the Earl of Essex minious defeat. Among the Roundmade him one of the most important heads adversity had begun to produce
dissension and discontent. The Parlia- | branch men, or, to use the kindred ment was kept in alarm, sometimes by phrase of our own time, radicals. Not plots, and sometimes by riots. It was content with limiting the power of the thought necessary to fortify London monarch, they were desirous to erect a against the royal army, and to hang some commonwealth on the ruins of the old disaffected citizens at their own doors. English polity. At first they had been Several of the most distinguished peers inconsiderable, both in numbers and in who had hitherto remained at West-weight; but before the war had lasted minster fled to the court at Oxford; two years they became, not indeed the nor can it be doubted that, if the largest, but the most powerful faction operations of the Cavaliers had, at this in the country. Some of the old parseason, been directed by a sagacious liamentary leaders had been removed and powerful mind, Charles would soon by death; and others had forfeited have marched in triumph to Whitehall. the public confidence. Pym had been
But the King suffered the auspicious borne, with princely honours, to a grave moment to pass away; and it never among the Plantagenets. Hampden returned. In August 1643 he sate had fallen, as became him, while vainly down before the city of Gloucester. endeavouring, by his heroic example, That city was defended by the inha- to inspire his followers with courage bitants and by the garrison, with a to face the fiery cavalry of Rupert. determination such as had not, since Bedford had been untrue to the cause. the commencement of the war, been Northumberland was known to be lukeshown by the adherents of the Parlia- warm. Essex and his lieutenants had ment. The emulation of London was shown little vigour and ability in the excited. The trainbands of the city conduct of military operations. At volunteered to march wherever their such a conjuncture it was that the services might be required. A great Independent party, ardent, resolute, force was speedily collected, and began and uncompromising, began to raise to move westward. The siege of Glou- its head, both in the camp and in the cester was raised: the Royalists in House of Commons. every part of the kingdom were disheart- The soul of that party was Oliver ened: the spirit of the parliamentary Cromwell. Bred to peaceful Olive party revived; and the apostate Lords, occupations, he had, at more Cromwen. who had lately fled from Westminster than forty years of age, accepted a to Oxford, hastened back from Oxford commission in the parliamentary army. to Westminster.
No sooner had he become a soldier And now a new and alarming class than he discerned, with the keen glance
e of symptoms began to appear in of genius, what Essex and men like Rise of the Inde- the distempered body politic. Essex, with all their experience, were Pendents. There had been, from the first, unable to perceive. He saw precisely in the parliamentary party, some men where the strength of the Royalists lay, whose minds were set on objects from and by what means alone that strength which the majority of that party would could be overpowered. He saw that have shrunk with horror. These men it was necessary to reconstruct the were, in religion, Independents. They army of the Parliament. He saw also conceived that every Christian con- that there were abundant and excellent gregation had, under Christ, supreme materials for the purpose, materials less jurisdiction in things spiritual; that showy, indeed, but more solid, than appeals to provincial and national sy- those of which the gallant squadrons of nods were scarcely less unscriptural the King were composed. It was necesthan appeals to the Court of Arches, or sary to look for recruits who were not to the Vatican; and that Popery, Pre- mere mercenaries, for recruits of decent lacy, and Presbyterianism were merely station and grave character, fearing three forms of one great apostasy. In God and zealous for public liberty. politics the Independents were, to use With such men he filled his own regithe phrase of their time, root and ment, and, while he subjected them to
a discipline more rigid than had ever over the whole kingdom. Charles filed before been known in England, he to the Scots, and was by them, in a administered to their intellectual and manner which did not much exalt moral nature stimulants of fearful po- their national character, delivered up tency.
| to his English subjects. The events of the year 1644 fully! While the event of the war was still proved the superiority of his abilities. doubtful, the Houses had put the PriIn the south, where Essex held the mate to death, had interdicted, within command, the parliamentary forces un- the sphere of their authority, the use derwent a succession of shameful dis- of the Liturgy, and had required all asters; but in the north the victory of men to subscribe that renowned instruMarston Moor fully compensated for ment known by the name of the Solemn all that had been lost elsewhere. That League and Covenant Covenanting victory was not a more serious blow to work, as it was called, went on fast. the Royalists than to the party which Hundreds of thousands affixed their had hitherto been dominant at West- names to the rolls, and, with hands minster; for it was notorious that the lifted up towards heaven, swore to day, disgracefully lost by the Presby- endeavour, without respect of persons, terians, had been retrieved by the the extirpation of Popery and Prelacy, energy of Cromwell, and by the steady heresy and schism, and to bring to valour of the warriors whom he had public trial and condign punishment trained.
all who should hinder the reformation These events produced the Selfdeny- of religion. When the struggle was Self- ing Ordinance and the new over, the work of innovation and reoraying model of the army. Under de- venge was pushed on with increased Dance corous pretexts, and with every ardour. The ecclesiastical polity of mark of respect, Essex and most of the kingdom was remodelled. Most those who had held high posts under of the old clergy were ejected from him were removed; and the conduct of their benefices. Fines, often of ruinous the war was entrusted to very different amount, were laid on the Royalists, hands. Fairfax, a brave soldier, but already impoverished by large aids of mean understanding and irresolute furnished to the King. Many estates temper, was the nominal Lord General were confiscated. Many proscribed of the forces ; but Cromwell was their Cavaliers found it expedient to purreal head.
chase, at an enormous cost, the proCromwell made haste to organise the tection of eminent members of the vicwhole army on the same principles on torious party. Large domains, belongwhich he had organised his own regi- ing to the crown, to the bishops, and ment. As soon as this process was to the chapters, were seized, and either complete, the event of the war was granted away or put up to auction, decided." The Cavaliers had now to În consequence of these spoliations, a encounter natural courage equal to great part of the soil of England was their own, enthusiasm stronger than at once offered for sale. As money their own, and discipline such as was was scarce, as the market was glutted, utterly wanting to them. It soon be- as the title was insecure, and as the came a proverb that the soldiers of awe inspired by powerful bidders preFairfax and Cromwell were men of a vented free competition, the prices were different breed from the soldiers of Es- often merely nominal. Thus many old sex. At Naseby took place the first great and honourable families disappeared encounter between the Royalists and the and were heard of no more; and many
remodelled army of the Houses. new men rose rapidly to affluence. the Pat." The victory of the Roundheads But, while the Houses were employ
was complete and decisive. It ing their authority thus, it suddenly was followed by other triumphs in rapid passed out of their hands. It had succession. In a few months the authority been obtained by calling into existence of the Parliament was fully established a power which could not be controlled.
character of the
In the summer of 1647, about twelve right and duty it was to watch over months after the last fortress of the the welfare of the nation which they Cavaliers had submitted to the Parlia- had saved. ment, the Parliament was compelled to A force thus composed might, withsubmit to its own soldiers.
out injury to its efficiency, be indulged Thirteen years followed, during which in some liberties which, if allowed to
England was, under various any other troops, would have proved tion and names and forms, really go- subversive of all discipline. In general,
er verned by the sword. Never soldiers who should form themselves army. before that time, or since that into political clubs, elect delegates, and time, was the civil power in our country pass resolutions on high questions of subjected to military dictation. | state, would soon break loose from all
The army which now became su- control, would cease to form an army, preme in the state was an army very and would become the worst and most different from any that has since been dangerous of mobs. Nor would it be seen among us. At present the pay safe, in our time, to tolerate in any of the common soldier is not such as regiment religious meetings, at which can seduce any but the humblest class a corporal versed in Scripture should of English labourers from their calling. lead the devotions of his less gifted A barrier almost impassable separates colonel, and admonish a backsliding him from the commissioned officer. The major. But such was the intelligence, great majority of those who rise high in the gravity, and the selfcommand of the service rise by purchase. So nu- the warriors whom Cromwell had merous and extensive are the remote de trained, that in their camp a political pendencies of England, that every man organisation and a religious organisawho enlists in the line must expect to tion could exist without destroying milipass many years in exile, and some tary organisation. The same men, who, years in climates unfavourable to the off duty, were noted as demagogues health and vigour of the European and field preachers, were distinguished race. The army of the Long Parlia- by steadiness, by the spirit of order, ment was raised for home service. The and by prompt obedience on watch, on pay of the private soldier was much drill, and on the field of battle. above the wages earned by the great In war this strange force was irrebody of the people; and, if he distin-sistible. The stubborn courage characguished himself by intelligence and teristic of the English people was, by courage, he might hope to attain high the system of Cromwell, at once regucommands. The ranks were accord-lated and stimulated. Other leaders ingly composed of persons superior have maintained order as strict. Other in station and education to the mul- leaders have inspired their followers titude. These persons, sober, moral, with zeal as ardent. But in his camp diligent, and accustomed to reflect, had alone the most rigid discipline was been induced to take up arms, not by found in company with the fiercest enthe pressure of want, not by the love thusiasm. His troops moved to victory of novelty and license, not by the arts with the precision of machines, while of recruiting officers, but by religious burning with the wildest fanaticism of and political zeal,' mingled with the Crusaders. From the time when the desire of distinction and promotion. army was remodelled to the time when The boast of the soldiers, as we find it it was disbanded, it never found, either recorded in their solemn resolutions, in the British islands or on the Contiwas that they had not been forced into nent, an enemy who could stand its the service, nor had enlisted chiefly for onset. In England, Scotland, Ireland, the sake of lucre, that they were no Flanders, the Puritan warriors, often janissaries, but freeborn Englishmen, surrounded by difficulties, sometimes who had, of their own accord, put contending against threefold odds, not their lives in jeopardy for the liberties only never failed to conquer, but never and religion of England, and whose failed to destroy and break in pieces
whatever force was opposed to them. No sooner was the first pressure of miliThey at length came to regard the day tary tyranny felt, than the na- Risings of battle as the day of certain triumph, tion, unbroken to such servi- meinatt and marched against the most renowned tude, began to struggle fiercely. govern. battalions of Europe with disdainful Insurrections broke out even pressed. confidence. Turenne was startled by the in those counties which, during the reshout of stern exultation with which his cent war, had been the most submissive English allies advanced to the combat, to the Parliament. Indeed, the Parand expressed the delight of a true liament itself abhorred its old defenders soldier, when he learned that it was ever more than its old enemies, and was the fashion of Cromwell's pikemen to desirous to come to terms of accomrejoice greatly when they beheld the modation with Charles at the expense enemy; and the banished Cavaliers of the troops. In Scotland, at the felt an emotion of national pride, when same time, a coalition was formed bethey saw a brigade of their countrymen, tween the Royalists and a large body outnumbered by foes and abandoned of Presbyterians who regarded the doeby friends, drive before it in headlong trines of the Independents with detestarout the finest infantry of Spain, and tion. At length the storm burst. There force a passage into a counterscarp were risings in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, which had just been pronounced im- Kent, Wales. The fleet in the Thames pregnable by the ablest of the Marshals suddenly hoisted the royal colours, of France.
stood out to sea, and menaced the But that which chiefly distinguished southern coast. A great Scottish force the army of Cromwell from other armies | crossed the frontier and advanced into was the austere morality and the fear Lancashire. It might well be suspected of God which pervaded all ranks. It that these movements were contemplated is acknowledged by the most zealous with secret complacency by a majority Royalists that, in that singular camp, both of the Lords and of the Commons. no oath was heard, no drunkenness or But the yoke of the army was not to gambling was seen, and that, during be shaken off. While Fairfax supthe long dominion of the soldiery, the pressed the risings in the neighbourproperty of the peaceable citizen and hood of the capital, Oliver routed the the honour of woman were held sacred. Welsh insurgents, and, leaving their If outrages were committed, they were castles in ruins, marched against the outrages of a very different kind from Scots. His troops were few, when comthose of which a victorious army is pared with the invaders; but he was generally guilty. No servant girl com- little in the habit of courting his eneplained of the rough gallantry of the mies. The Scottish army was utterly redcoats. Not an ounce of plate was destroyed. A change in the Scottish taken from the shops of the goldsmiths.government followed. An administraBut a Pelagian sermon, or a window tion, hostile to the King, was formed on which the Virgin and Child were at Edinburgh; and Cromwell, more painted, produced in the Puritan ranks than ever the darling of his soldiers, an excitement which it required the returned in triumph to London. utmost exertions of the officers to quell. And now a design, to which, at the One of Cromwell's chief difficulties was commencement of the civil war, Proto restrain his musqueteers and dragoons no man would have dared to ceeding from invading by main force the pulpits allude, and which was not less the King. of ministers whose discourses, to use inconsistent with the Solemn League the language of that time, were not and Covenant than with the old law savoury; and too many of our cathe- of England, began to take a distinct drals still bear the marks of the hatred form. The austere warriors who ruled with which those stern spirits regarded the nation had, during some months, every vestige of Popery.
meditated a fearful vengeance on the To keep down the English people captive King. When and how the was no light task even for that army scheme originated; whether it spread