« PreviousContinue »
and will serve you; and your back [England), and hath raised it by is no sooner turned, but he tells going far in the ruin of another those about him you are a dog and [Ireland.) With a good natural a rascal. He goeth constantly to understanding, a great fluency prayers in the form of his place, speaking, and no ill taste of wit, he and will talk bawdy and blasphemy is generally the worst companion in at the chapel door. He is a pref- the world; his thoughts being byterian in politics, and an atheist wholly taken up between vice and in religion ; but he chuseth at pre- politics, so that bawdy, prophanesent to whore with a papist. In his ness, and business, fills up his whole commerce with mankind his gene- conversation. To gratify himself ral rule is, to endeavour to impose on in the two first, he maketh use of their understanding, for which he suitable favourites, whose talents hath but one receipt, a composition reach no higher than to entertain of lies and oaths : and this he ap- him with all the lewdness that paffplieth indifferently to a freeholder eth in town. As for business he is of forty shillings, and a privy coun- said to be very dexterous at that part sellor; by which the easy and the of it which turneth upon intrigue ; honeft are often either deceived or and he seemeth to have transferred amused, and either way he gaineth thole talents of his youth, for inhis point. He will openly take triguing with women, into public your employment away to-day, be affairs. For as fome vain young cause you are not of his party; to- fellows, to make a gallantry appear morrow he will meet or send for of consequence, ftill chuse to venyou, as if nothing at all had passed, ture their necks by climbing up a lay his hands with much friendship wall or window at midnight to a on your shoulders, and, with the common wench, where they might greatest ease and familiarity, tell as freely have gone in at the door, you that the faction are driving at and at noon-day; so his excellency, something in the house; that you either to keep himself in practice, must be sure to attend, and to speak or advance the fame of his politics, to all your friends to be there, al affects the most obscure, troublethough he knoweth at the same fome, and winding paths, even in time, that you and your friends the most common affairs, those are against him in the very point which would be brought about as he mentionezh : and, however ab. well in the ordinary terms, or would surd, ridiculous, and gross this may follow of course, whether he interappear, he hath often found it fuc- vened or not. cessful; some men having such an He bears the gallantries of his Rukward bashfulness, they know not lady with the indifference of a stoic, how to refuse on a sudden, and and thinks them well recompensed every man having something to hope by a return of children to support or fear, which often hinders them his family, without the fatigues of from driving things to extremes being a father. He has three prewith persons of power, whatever dominant passions, which you will provocations they may have receiv- seldom find united in the same man, ed. He hath sunk his fortune by 'as arising from different dispositions cadeavouring to ruin one kingdom of mind, and naturally thwarting
each other : these are, love of along as it were out of a rock i power, love of money, and love of his founding a military discipline pleasure: they ride him sometimes in these nations, such as is not to by turns, and fometimes all toge. be found in any example of precether. Since he went into Ireland, ding times; and whereby the noble he seemeth most disposed to the le foldiers of these nations may, withcond, and hath met with great suc. out flattery, be commended for cess, having gained by his govern- piety, moderation, and obedience, ment, of under two years, five and as a pattern to be imitated, but forty thousand pounds, by the most hardly to be equalled by succeeding favourable computation, half in the generations: his wisdom and piety regular way, and half in the pru- in things divine; his prudence in dential
management of civil affairs, and He was never yet known to refuse conduct in military, and admirable or keep a promise. But here I de- successes in all, made him a prince fire to distinguilh between a pro- indeed among the people of God; mise and a bargain"; for he will be by whose prayers being lifted up to sure to keep the latter when he has the supreme dignity, he became the fairelt offer.
more highly feared in their hearts, because in all his actings, it was
evident that the main design was to An account of the death of Oliver make his own interest one and the
Cromwell, and the fucceffion of his fame with theirs, that it might be Son Richard to the protectorship; fubservient to the great interest of as first published by authority. Jesus Christ.
And in the promo:ing of this, “Whitehall
, Sept. 3, 1658. his spirits knew no bounds; his ata IS most serene and renowned fection could not be confined ac
highness Oliver, lord protect- home, but broke forth into foreign or, being, after a fickness of about parts, where he was universally adfoarteen days (which appeared an mired by good men, as an extraague in the beginning) reduced to a ordinary person raised up of God; very low condition of body, be- and by them owned as the protector gan early this morning to draw and patron of the evangelical pro. near the gates of death; and it feffion. This being said, and the pleased God, about three o'clook world itself witness of it, we can in the afternoon, to put a period only add, that God gave him bleflto his life.
ings proportionable to all these vir. We would willingly express on tues, and made him a blefling to us : this sad occasion, the deep forrow by his wisdom and valour, to secure which hath pofleffed the minds of our peace and liberty, and to revive his most r.oblc son and successor, the ancient renown and reputation and other dearest relations, bad we of our native country. language sufficient : but all that After all this, it is remarkable we can use will fall short of the mea how it pleased the Lord, on this gits of that most excellent prince. day, to take him to relt, it having
His first undertakings for the pub- formerly been a day of labour to fic intereft, his working things all him; for which both himself and
the day (September 3) will be most according to law: which worthy rerenowned to pofterity; it having solution of theirs, as it speaks them been to him a day of triumphs and men of honour, prudence, and fidethanksgiving, for the memorable lity, mindful of the merits of their victories of Dunbar and Worcester*: late great leader and common faa day which, after so many strange ther, and of the grand interest ard revolutions of Providence, high con- establishment after all our shakings; tradictions, and wicked conspiracies so it is but answerable to the worth of unreasonable men, he lived once and nobleness of his son, who, in all again to see ; and then to die with respects, appears the lively image great assurances and serenity of mind, of his father, the true inheritor of peaceably in his bed.
all his christian virtues; a person, Thus, ithath proved to him to be who, by his piety, humanity, and a day of triumph, indeed, there other noble inclinations, hath obliged being much of Provideuce in it, the hearts of all, and thereby filled that, after fo glorious crowns of this people with the hopes of much victory, placed on his head by God, felicity, thro' God's bleffing upon on this day, having neglected an his government." earthly crown, he should now go to Then follows an account of the receive the crown of everlaking privy conncil's waiting on Richard, life.
his short speech to them, and the Being gone, to the unspeakable manner of his proclamation : all grief of all good men, the privy which, being in every respect the council-immediately assembled ; and fame as at the acceslion of every being fatisfied that the lord pro. king, is not worth transcribing, as tector was dead, and upon sure and there would be nothing new in it, certain knowledge that his late more especially at this juncture, highness did, in his life time, ac- when we had a recent example. cording to their humble petition and This panegyricon Oliver and his advice, declare, and appoint the son is closed with the following most noble aud illustrious lord, the prayer : “ May all the days of his lord Richard, eldest son of his said highness's life be crowned with the highness, to succeed him in the go- blessings of the most high God, vernment as lord protector, it was and the highest affections of his so resolved at the council; which people.” being made known to the officers Such was the language made use of the army, it was pleasant to be- of by the friends and partizans of hold with how much content and Oliver Cromwell, whose real chasatisfaction they received the notice racter, after such extravagant apof it, and unanimouly concurred plauses on one side, and detractions therewith; being resolved, to their che other, has been never better utmost, to maintain the succession or more truly presented, than by
* On the 3d of September, 1650, Cromwell totally defeated the Scots at Dunbar, under the the cominand of Lefley; and on the anniversary of this battle, in the succeeding year, was fought the great battle of Worcester, when Charles II. was totally defeated by Cromwell, and with great difficulty eXcaped from the field of battle, under the innumerable hardships which every one is acquainted with, and at iaf lafely arrived in Normandy.
the great earl of Clarendon, who in whose hands our breath is, and ftiles him, a great. wicked man. whose are all our ways, because of
his judgments) so as to acknow
ledge him in his goodness to these Remarkable Speech of Richard Crom- lands, in that he hath not added well to his Parliament. sorrow to sorrow, and made the pe
riod of his late highness's life, and AS S this fpeech is curious in itself, that of the nation's peace, to have
and not to be met with in any been in one day. of the common or general histories Peace was one of the bleffings of of England, we imagine the perusal my father's government ; a mercy of it will not be disagreeable. The after so long a civil war, and in the Aile is perfectly puritanical ; but, as midst of fo great division which that Richard was never accused of "hy- war bred, is not usually afforded pocrisy, had no fare in the crimes by God unto á people in fo great a of his facher, and ever led an inno- measure. cene life, the language appears not The Cause of God and these nain so ridiculous a light, as when tions, which the late protector was proceeding from the mouth of a engaged in, met, in all the parts man, the whole tenor of whose ac. of it, as you well know, with many" tions contradicted and belied his enemies and great opposition; the words. The terms in which he archers, privily and openly, forely fpeaks of his father, though it is grieved him, and shot at him; yet needless to mention they are in the his bow abode in strength, and the highest degree false and flattering, arms of his hands were made flrong. are no other than could be expected by the hands of the mighty God of from him on such an occasion, at Jacob. fuch a juncture, and to such an au- As to himself; he died full of dience. The oration was as fol days, spent in sore and great tra
vail ; yet his eyes were not waxed:
dím, neither was his natural strength My Lords and Gentlemer,
abated; as it was said of Mofes, he I believe there are scarce any was serviceable even to the last. of you here, who expected, some As to these nations, he left them months since, to have seen this in great honour abroad, and in full. great assembly, at this time, in this peace at home: all England, Scotplace, in peace; considering the land, and Ireland, dwelling fafely, great and unexpected change, which every man under his vine, and unit hath pleased the all-disposing der his fig-tree, from Dan even to hand of God to make in the midst Beersheba. of us : I can affure you, that if He is gone to rest, and we are things had been according to cur entered into his labours; and, if own fears, and the hopes of our the Lord hath ftill a blefing for enemies, it had not been thus with these lands, (as I trust he hath) us: and, therefore, it will become as our peace hacks been length both you and me, in the first place, ened out to this day, so Thall we fas to reverence and adore the great go on to reap the fruit, and gaGod, polic for of heaven and earth, iher che harvest, of what his late
highness hath fown and laid the answers I shall return to the advice foundation *
that mall be given me by you, for For my own part, being by the the good of these nations. Providence of God, and the dispofia . You are come up
fevetion of the law, my father's succes- ral countries, as the heads of ycur for, and bearing that place in the tribes, and with hearts (1 perfuade government that I do, I thought it myself) to consult together for their for the public good, to call a par- good : I can say, I meet you with liament of the three nations, now the same desires, having nothing united and conjoined together in in my design, but the maintenance one commonwealth, under one go- of the peace, laws, and liberties, vernment.
both civil and christian, of these na. It is agreeable, not only to my tions: which I hall always make truit, but to my principles, to go. the measure and rule of my govern vern these nations by the advice of ment, and be ready to spend my life my two houses of parliament: I for. find it inserted in the humble peti
We have summoned you up at tion and advice (which is the cor- this time, to let you know the state ner stone of this building, and that of our affairs, and to have your ad. which I shall adhere to) “That vice in them: and I believe a parparliaments are the great council of liament was never summoned upon a the chief magistrate, in whose advice more important occafion. both he and these nations may be It is true, as I told you, we are, both safe and happy.” I can assure through the goodness of God, at you, I have that esteem of them; this țime at peace; but it is not and, as I have made it the first act thus with us because we have no of my governmeat to call you to- enemies : no, there are enough gether, so I shall further let you see both within us and without us, who the value I have of you, by, the would foon put an end to our
* This puts one in mind of an anecdote related by M. de Voltaire. After Richard had quitted the protectorship he made a voyage to France, where being one day at Montpelier, the prince of Conti, brother of the great Condé, diša courling with him, without knowing who he was, observed, " That Oliver Cromwell was a great man, but that his fon Richard was a poor wretch, not to know how to enjoy the fruits of his father's crimes." This Richard, however, M. Voltaire remarks, lived contented, whereas his father had never known what happiness was. The genius of Richard was wholly different from that of Oliver ; he was possessed of all the meek virtues which make the good citizen, and had none of that brutal intrepidity, which sacrifices every thing to its own interests. He might have preserved the inheritance which his father had acquired by his labours, if he would have consented to have put to death three or tour of the principal officers of the army, who opposed his elevation ; but he chose rather to lay down the government, than to reign by assaffination ; and lived retired, and almoit unknown, till the age of ninety, in a country of which he had once been the lovereign; having, in his own person, exhibited a striking proof, tbat the fate of a kingdom frequently depends upon the character of one man. Translation of Voltaire's Works, by Dr. Smollett, and others, vol. iv. pag. 246.