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[formidable Ireton torn from their graves,
and as nigh the spot as could be guessed, where the heat of the action was, viz. in the field at Naseby, county of Northampton; which accordingly was thus performed: at midnight (soon after his death) being first embalmed, and wrapped in a leaden coffin, he was, in a hearse, conveyed to the same field, the said Mr. Barkstead, by order of his father, attending close to the hearse; and being come to the field, there found, about the midst of it, a grave, dug about nine feet deep, with the green sod carefully laid on one side, and the mould on the other; in which the coffin being soon put, the grave was instantly filled up, and the green sod laid exactly flat upon it, care being taken that the surplus mould was clean taken away.
Soon after, like care was taken, that the said field was entirely ploughed up, and sown three or four years successively with wheat.
Several other material circumstances, relating to the said interment, the said Mr. Barkstead relates (too long to be here inserted) and, particularly, after the restoration, his conference with the late (witty) duke of Buckingham, &c.
Talking over this account of Barkstead's, with the Rev. Mr. Sm—, of Q———————, whose father had long resided in Florence, as a merchant, and afterwards as minister from King Charles the Second, and had been well acquainted with the fugitives after the restoration; he assured me, he had often heard the said account by other hands: those miscreants always boasting, that they had wrecked their revenge against the father, as far as human foresight could carry it, by beheading him, whilst living, and making his best friends the executioners of the utmost ig nominies upon him, when dead. Asking him the particular meaning of the last sentence, he said, that Oliver, and his friends, apprehending the restoration of the Stuart family; and that all imaginable disgrace, on that turn, would be put upon his body, as well as memory; he contrived his own burial, as averred by Barkstead, having all the theatrical honours of a pompous funeral paid to an empty coffin, into which, afterwards, was removed the corpse of the martyr (which, by Lord
and made the sul
Clarendon's own account,
and triumph of that crew gallows, amidst an infinite with the noisomeness of amongst that abandoned f the people, but the bodie were said to be; had no them nearer to the tree, a countenance they littl tying the cord, there wa which the head had been decollation, fastened agai about, and the numbers increasing, notice was in the attending officer, wh acquaint them with the reading or examining the bodies were immedia to prevent any infection a in prudence, for that pected; as well as in jus tion for their crimes, and could inflict upon them. truth there is in it, is not the surmise not altogeth to the last moments of the
from King Chri with the figs Aten heard the to always besty it the father of ding him, whi ners of the g him the
that Ofire, He Stuart fam would be
d his own trical bos
and made the subject of idle punishment,
Clarendon's own account, had never truly, or certainly, been interred; and, after the restoration, when most diligently sought after, by the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, at the command of King Charles the Second, in order to a solemn removal, could no where, in the church where he was said to have been buried, be found) that, if any sentence should be pronounced, as upon his body, it might effectually fall upon that of the King. That, on that order of the Commons, in King Charles the Second's time, the tomb was broken down, and the body, taken out of a coffin so inscribed, as mentioned in the Serjeant's report, was from thence conveyed to Tyburn, and, to the utmost joy and triumph of that crew of miscreants, hung publickly on the gallows, amidst an infinite crowd of spectators, almost infected with the noisomeness of the stench. The secret being only amongst that abandoned few, there was no doubt in the rest of the people, but the bodies, so exposed, were the bodies they were said to be; had not some, whose curiosity had brought them nearer to the tree, observed, with horror, the remains of a countenance they little had expected there; and that, on tying the cord, there was a strong seam about the neck, by which the head had been, as supposed, immediately after the decollation, fastened again to the body. This being whispered about, and the numbers that came to the dismal sight hourly increasing, notice was immediately given of the suspicion to the attending officer, who dispatched a messenger to court, to acquaint them with the rumour, and the ill consequences the spreading or examining into it further might have. On which the bodies were immediately ordered down, to be buried again, to prevent any infection. Certain is it, they were not burnt, as in prudence, for that pretended reason, might have been expected; as well as in justice, to have shewn the utmost detestation for their crimes, and the most lasting mark of infamy they could inflict upon them. This was the account he gave. What truth there is in it, is not so certain. Many circumstances make the surmise not altogether improbable: as all those enthusiasts, to the last moments of their lives, ever gloried in the truth of it."
we are less disposed to wonder than to smile at the cowardly and pitiful insult: but when we see, subjected to similar indignities, the mouldering remains of the noble-minded Blake," of the mild and the amiable Claypole, one of whom had strenuously opposed all the crimes of her father's ambition, and the other had carried the thunder, and the fame of his country to the extremities of the world, we are shocked by the infamy of the deed, and are tempted, in the bitterness of
n Respecting the great Blake, whose name occupies the first place in our naval annals, and who for integrity, and a truly patriotic spirit, is unquestionably one of the first characters in our history, the reader can require no information. Mrs. Claypole was the Protector's favourite daughter; and she had been uniform in her opposition to all the violences of his ambition. Her intercession for the life of the royalist, Doctor Hewett, had been so earnest, that her disappointment on its failure is supposed to have hastened the crisis of her death. The Protector's mother, whose relics were exposed to the same unworthy treatment, was equally adverse to his elevation and ambitious excesses. She was an excellent and amiable woman, and with her granddaughter, whom we have just mentioned, was entitled to the respect of all parties. Among the bodies torn on this occasion, by brutal revenge, from the sanctuary of the tomb, was that of May, the continuator and translator of Lucan, and that of the celebrated Pym. The bodies, which were thus dug up, and thrown together into a common pit, were more than twenty; and this detestable violation of the grave was stopped only by the popular indignation, which it justly excited, and which the prudence of the government judged it proper to respect.
our hearts, to vent a curse upon the savage
ness of the perpetrators.
Freed from immediate danger, Milton had now leisure to reflect on all these revengeful and dishonourable violences of the government; and the impression made on his mind by the sufferings of his party may be distinctly traced in some pathetic and animated strains in the Samson Agonistes.
"God of our fathers! what is man!
That thou towards him with hand so various,
Or might I say contrarious,
Temper'st thy providence through his short course
The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute,
Nor do I name of men the common rout,
Grow up and perish, as the summer fly,
To some great work, thy glory,
And people's safety, which in part they effect:
Changest thy countenance, and thy hand, with no regard
From thee on them, or them to thee of service.
Not only dost degrade them, or remit
To life obscured, which were a fair dismission,
But throw'st them lower than thou didst exalt them high;
Unseemly falls in human eye,
Too grievous for the trespass or omission:
Oft leavest them to the hostile sword
Of heathen and profane, their carcasses
To dogs and fowls a prey, or else captived;
If these they 'scape, perhaps in poverty,
With sickness and disease thou bow'st them down,
In crude old
Though not disordinate, yet causeless suffering
Just or unjust alike seem miserable,
Scarcely had Milton left his concealment when he was taken into custody, in consequence, as we may conclude, of the order for his apprehension which had been issued by the House of Commons on the 16th of june: but all our acquaintance with the transaction is derived from the following minutes in the Journals of that House. Saturday 15th decem. 1660. "Ordered, that Mr. Milton now in cus