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Carlyle, and even some older works, such as the Memoirs of the Protector and his Sons, Illustrated by Family Papers (1820), Oliver Cromwell and his Times (1821), and Dr. Vaughan's Protectorate (1839), ought to produce some sensation on the Continent. Mr. Carlyle complains of the errors of most of the writers who have preceded him, and with reference to two of the ablest he speaks as follows: “Our French friends ought to be informed that M. Villemain's book on Cromwell is, unluckily, a rather ignorant and shallow one. -Of M. Guizot, on the other hand, we are to say that his two volumes, so far as they go, are the fruit of real ability and solid study applied to those transactions."* Although

agree in the homage paid by Mr. Carlyle to the most profound of our historians, we think that M. Guizot's Cromwell ought also to be recast; and that the idea of the Protector given by this great writer, not only in his History of the English Revolution, but also in a more recent work, his Essay on Washington, is contrary to reality. M. Guizot is a native of Nismes, and on this ground alone there are reasons why he should be, to say the least, impartial towards Cromwell. But he is now so busily engaged as one of the actors of contemporaneous annals, that it will be long before we shall dare call upon him to complete that other history, which has become one of the masterpieces of the French language. With regard to M. Villemain, it is desirable that he should devote his leisure, his impartiality, and his great talents in reconstructing a work by which he has made himself known with great advantage to the friends of literature. I will not speak of Viscount Chateaubriand's work on the Four Stuarts : it is characterized by the great talent of the first writer of our age, and often by an honorable frankness; but not less by the prepossessions and prejudices of the author of Buonaparte and the Bourbons. The imperfect work now submitted to the reader has no pretensions to be a more perfect biography of the Protector: its sole aim is to indicate, especially

Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, i. 236; 2d edit., Lond. 1846.

to continental Protestants, that it is a page of history which ought to be written anew.

My first idea was simply to publish in French some of Cromwell's most Christian letters, with a running commentary on the whole. But I have gradually been led farther than I originally intended. I asked myself, what is the worth of all the fine phrases used by this great ruler, if they are contradicted by facts? In consequence of this I was compelled to take his actions also into account, to weigh them impartially, to distinguish between good and evil, and above all to examine deeply into his mind in order to find out the law,

,-a law that easily escapes the observation of the inattentiye eye,—which, by an invisible bond, unites great errors with great piety. I have endeavored to ascertain his character as a whole: it was my wish to reconstruct an entire existence, and not offer merely a few fragments and startling contradictions of his life. The majority of historians, indeed, have also sought for this unity, and have easily discovered it: according to their views, it is found in his deep hypocrisy. But the documents now before us are a striking contradiction to this hypothesis ; and no writer who possesses the smallest portion of good faith, will ever venture to put it forward again. There is no man in history who has a better title than Cromwell to say with Saint Paul :-as deceivers and yet true. We must therefore seek for some other explanation. To this task I applied myself; and in the chapter on the death of the king I have more fully set forth the result of my inquiries.

Of the authors who have treated of Cromwell, some justify not only his principles, but even the worst of his actions : this is going too far. Others, on the contrary, censure not only all his acts, but his character: and in this they commit a serious injustice. These are summary ways of rendering a man’s life consistent. By adopting such methods the historian's task is soon ended; but I could not have recourse to them. I was compelled to blame some of the actions of this great man, and to rescue his Christian morality. This I have done. The solution I have given seems to me to be correct: I do not know whether it will produce the same effect on others.

May I be allowed to direct attention to a circumstance of which I had not thought when I began this work, but which may in some measure be its justification ? Cromwell, during the season of his power, was really the Protector of European, and, in particular, of French Protestantism. As I am myself descended from Huguenot refugees, it seemed to me that I had a debt to pay to this illustrious man. There were, perhaps, some of

my
forefathers among

those inhabitants of Nismes, whom the powerful intervention of the English chief rescued from the vengeance of the soldiers of Louis XIV., already marching against that city to execute the orders of the court to the last extremity.* “Nobody can wonder,” said Clarendon, a man who, it is well known, had no great love for the Protector, and who wrote shortly after the event, " that Cromwell's memory still remains in those parts and with those people in great veneration.” Gratitude is a debt that no lapse of time should cancel. : I hope that no person, in the nineteenth century, will feel that wonder from which the prime minister of Charles II. was exempt: and what he considered very natural then, in the midst of party feelings, will doubtless be thought so still by an unimpassioned posterity.

The vindication, or rather the restoration, of the Protector's memory, has already begun; and perhaps no one can do more for it than Mr. Carlyle has accomplished. I think, however, that there is room for some improvement. Oliver has been presented as a hero to the world ; I present him as a Christian to Christians—to Protestant Christians; and I claim boldly on his behalf the benefit of that passage of Scripture: Every one that loveth God that begat, loveth him

* One of the Author's ancestors quitted Nismes a few years after Cromwell's intervention, and found a refuge at Geneva.

also that is begotten of Him. Although these pages will bear no comparison with the work of the writer I have just named, they may, notwithstanding, advance the same object in some degree, particularly when considered under a religious point of view. Others, I hope, will hereafter throw a still greater light on one of the most astonishing problems that time has handed down to us. It is only gradually and by slow degrees that darkness is scattered in history, as well as in the natural world.

I am well aware that the task I have undertaken is a difficult one. We have so deeply imbibed in our early youth the falsehoods maintained by the Stuart party, and by some of Cromwell's republican rivals-among others the narrowminded Ludlow and the prejudiced Holles—that these falsehoods have become in our eyes indisputable truths. I know it by my own experience, by the lengthened resistance I made to the light that has recently sprung up, and illuminated, as with a new day, the obscure image of one of the greatest men of modern times. It was only after deep consideration that I submitted to the evidence of irresistible facts.

I have no desire to write a literary work, but to perform an act of justice. I do not forget the maxim of pagan antiquity, that we should render to every person his due ; I feel that among all the good things a man may possess, there is one which, according to the saying of the wisest of Eastern kings, surpasses all the rest, a good name is better than precious ointment ; and above all, I remember, that if a Christian ought to confess the Lord upon earth in order that he may be one day confessed before the angels in heaven, it is also his duty to confess the disciples of the Lord, particularly when they are disowned, calumniated, and despised by the multitude. Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

CHAPTER I.

CROMWELL'S PRIVATE LIFE.

Tendency of the Stuarts—The Protestant Interest-Letter from a Coun

try Gentleman-A Family on the Banks of the Ouse-The Earl of Essex-Oliver-His Birth and Parentage-A Hunting Match-James 1.Oliver at the University, and in London-His Morality–His Marriage-His Conversion-His Connections—Pleasantry_Charles I.His Marriage, and the Twelve Capuchin Friars — Influence of the Queen-Oliver's Conscientiousness.

The Tudors, and particularly Elizabeth, had exalted England by maintaining the cause of the Reformation ; but subsequently to the year 1603, and especially after 1625, the Stuarts, and principally Charles the First, had weakened it by inclining anew towards Catholicism. Not only did they desert their stations as the chiefs of European Protestantism; not only did they cease to withstand fanatic Spain; but a Romish princess, Henrietta of France, was placed upon the throne. That, however, was of little moment: another power than theirs prevented this mighty country from being placed by its monarchs under the yoke of the Italian pontiff. The people no longer walked with their princes. The cause of the Reformation was dear to them; and they were ready to abandon their Kings rather than the Gospel. This unhappy family, by wishing to exalt a traditional power in the Church, destroyed their own. While the monarchical authority was increasing everywhere on the Continent, it gradually declined in England; and a new force, the Commons, the middle classes, daily acquired greater strength, liberty, and courage.

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