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to be wondered that this action was looked

upon

on the boldest things. Hence the danger of continuing a general long in supream command, in free states. Immediately after this important event, Cromwell seemed determined to give the law. He used, however, great precaution. Though he had all possible honours paid him by the parliament and the city of London, yet he carried himself with much affability and seeming humility, and in all his discourses about the business of Worcester, would seldom mention any thing of him• self, but of the gallantry of the officers and soldiers,

and gave (as was due) all the glory of the action un(n) Whit. s lock, p. 59.

... to God (n).'- But, if we may believe Ludlow, this was meer affectation. He was, in reality, so much

elevated with that success, that Mr. Hugh Peters, as "he fince told me, took so much notice of it, as to • say in confidence to a friend upon the road, in his re

turn from Worcester, that Cromwell would make him(6) Vol. ii. - self king ().' Indeed, very soon after his return to

London, he desired a meeting with divers members of • parliament, and fome chief officers of the army, at " the speaker's house; and a great many being there, he

proposed to them, that now the old King being dead, and his son being defeated, he held it neceffary to come to a settlement of the nation. And, in order thereunto, he had requested this meeting, that they together might confider and advise what was fit to be done,

and to be presented to the parliament. The quelcions at this meeting were, in what way this settlement was desired, whether of an absolute republick, or with any mixture of monarchy ? and, if the latter, in whom that power should be placed ? In this conference 6 the lawyers were generally for a mix'd monarchical • government, and many were for the Duke of Glou* cefter to be made King; but Cromwell still put off that • debate, and came off to some other point; and, in

conclusion, after a long debate, the company parted without coming to any result at all; only Cromwell

P. 447

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upon by the friends of the parliament as

base

(discovered by this meeting the inclinations of the per• fons that spake, for which he fished, and made use ( of what he then discerned (P). In November, 1652, () White Cromwell met IV hitlock in St. James's Park, and entered

ereh lock, p. 516. into a conference with him concerning the dangerous condition they were then in, and how to make good their station, as he expressed it. After taking notice of the factions and murmurings of the army, their diftafte against the parliament, whose actions he greatly censured, as well as many of their persons, and the impoflibility of keeping them within the bounds of jurtice, law, or reason, as they were the supream power of the nation, and liable to no account or controul; he added, that, unless there be some authority and power o so full and high, as to restrain and keep things in bet« ter order, and that may be a check to these exorbi( tances, it will be imposible in human reason to pre

vent our ruin. Whitlock spoke in vindication of the parliament, as much, I suppose, as he thought he might do with safety, and Oliver resting unsatisfied, he said, « We ourselves have acknowledged them the supream o power, and taken our commissions and authority in • the highest concernments from them, and how to re• strain and curb them after this, it will be hard to find ' out a way for it.' Hereupon Cromwell plainly asked, " What if a man should take upon him to be a king?" One may, I think, fairly conclude from hence, that he had, for some time, thought of such a thing, and was determined to be master. Whitlock gave him honestly his advice against carrying such a project into execution, and proposed his treating with the King of Sects as the fureft means to provide for his own and the nation's safety. Cromwell was not well pleased with the expedient, as I britlock judged from his countenance and carriage, and therefore broke off, and went to other company (9). Possibly he was not wrong in rejecting the (?)1d. p. propotal. The next month the scene began to open."

: The

base and ingrateful, though Oliver attempted

to

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« The parliament were very bufy in debate of several
« acts of parliament under confideration, but very little

being brought to effect by them, the soldiers grum

bled at their delays, and there began to be ill blood s between them ; the general and his officers pressed

• the putting a period to their fitting, which they pro{"? White 5 miled to do, but were Now in that business (r).' And

Cromwell, with the other grandees, now began to af

lume to themselves all the honour of the past actions, 6 and of the conquests by them atchieved ; scarce own. i ing the parliament and their assistance and provision 6 for them; but taxing and censuring the members of • parliament for injustice, and delay of business, and for * seeking to prolong their power, and promote their pri“ vate interest, and to satisfy their own ambition. With • these and many others the like censures (continues my 5 author) they endeavoured to calumniate the parlia• ment, and judge them guilty of those crimes whereof

themselves were faulty, not looking into their own 6 actions, nor perceiving their own defaults; yet cen• suring the actions and proceedings of the parliament s very opprobriously.— The drift of Cromwell and his < officers was to put an end to this parliament, which • many wondered at, and sought to dissuade him from it • upon all opportunities as far as it was thought conve• nient, and that they might not appear desirous to con6 tinue their own power, and fitting in parliament, • whereof they had cause to be sufficiently weary. Nei

ther could it be clearly foreseen, that their design was
' to rout the present power, and to set up themselves;

against the which they were advised, as pulling down
the foundation of their own interest and power, and

the way to weaken themselves, and hazard both their
< cause and persons. Yet still they seemed zealous
• upon their comnion pretences of right and justice
' and publick liberty, to put a period to this parliament,
• and that, if the parliament would not shortly do it them.

felves,

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• selves, that then the soldiers must do it (s)' AC- (s) Whitcordingly, on the 20th of April, 1653, the parliament lock, P. 552• not having put a period to themselves immediately, as Cromwell had desired, he was so enraged thereat, that he • commanded some of the officers of the army to fetch sa party of soldiers, with whom he marched to the • house, and led a file of musqueteers in with him; the

rest he placed at the door of the house, and in the

lobby before it. In this manner entering the house, • he, in a furious manner, bid the speaker leave his • chair, cold the house, that they had sat long enough, ' unless they had done more good ; that some of i hem were wbore-masters, looking then towards Mr. Henry Mar6 tyn and Sir Peter Wentworth. That others of them • were drunkards, and some corrupt and unjust men, < and scandalous to the profession of the Gospel, and " that it was not he they should sit as a parliament any • longer, and desired them to go away. The speaker ( not stirring from his seat, colonel Harrison, who fat • near the chair, rose up and took him by the arm to

remove him from his seat, which, when the speaker • saw, he left the chair. Some of the members rose • up to answer Cromweli's speech, but he would suffer Io none to speak but himself, which he did with so much

arrogance in himself, and reproach to his fellow• members, that some of his privadoes were ashamed • of it; but he and his officers and party would have • it so: and, among all the parliament men, of whom • many wore (words, and would sometimes brag high, • not one inan offered to draw his sword against Cromwell, or to make the least resistance against him; but

all of them camely departed the house. He bid one

of the soldiers to take away that fool's bauble, the « mace; and staid himself to see all the members out

of the house, himself the last of them, and then • caused the doors of the house to be Mut up. Thus I was this great parliament, which had done so great

things, wholly at this time routed by those whom • they had set up, and that took their commissions and

authority from them; nor could they, in the least, ' justify any action they had done, or one drop of

blood

all the parliamometimes brage crom

which had by cholecions and

hit

· blood they had spilt, but by this authority. Yet
“ now the servants rose against the masters, and most
• ingratefully, and disingenuously, as well as ralhly and
• imprudently, they dissolved that power by which them-
< selves were created officers and soldiers ; and now
• they took what they designed, all power into their own
• bands. All honeit and prudent indifferent men were
• highly diftarted at this unworthy action:- Thus it
• pleased God, that this assembly, famous through the
( world for its undertakings, actions and successes, have
• ing subdued all their enemies, were themselves over-

thrown and ruined by their servants; and those whom
" they had raised, now pulled down their masters. An

example never to be forgotten, and scarce to be pa

' ralleled in any story, by which all persons may be lock.p. 554. ' instructed how uncertain and subject to change all and Ludlow, ' worldly affairs are, how apt to fall when we think vol. il. p. them highest (t).' To the above account from Mr. 455.

Whitlock, who is universally allowed to write impartially, we must add that Cromwell, having interrupted the parliament in the morning, I came in the after• noon to the council of state (who were assembled to

do their duty at the usual place) accompanied with ( major-general Lambert and colonel Harrison, and told " them at his entrance, Gentlemen, if you are met ( here as private persons, you shall not be disturbed ; • but if as a council of state, this is no place for you; • and since you can't but know what was done at " the house in the morning, so take notice, that the

parliament is dissolved. To this ferjeant Bradņaw

answered ; Sir, we have heard what you did at the • house in the morning, and before many hours all * England will hear it: but, Sir, you are mistaken to ' think that the parliament is dissolved; for no power ' under heaven can dissolve them but themselves ; there• fore take you notice of that. Something more was " said to the fame purpose by Sir Arthur Halelrig, Mr.

Love, and Mr. Scot; and then the council of state, w h o perceiving themselves to be under the same violence, Dil D. departed (u).'- 7 here is no account of this re

markable day's traníactions in the Journals. There was

401.

an

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