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Cromwell and e its sitting d the Rum ise political to et. It had be of its old

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covered much political ability and were formed on a wide view of the public interest. The famous navigation act, which has contributed so essentially to our present naval pre-eminence, was the offspring of its wisdom; and in the field and the cabinet its talents for government were alike attested by success. By its prudent management of the revenues of the state, it possessed the means not only of paying its army and the servants of its civil establishment with punctuality, but of liberally rewarding their merits. If it were intitled, however, to the respect, it was either unable or not solicitous to conciliate the affection of the nation. Many of its measures had, in a high degree, been reprehensible and offensive. Besides the murder of the king, which its vote had ostensibly induced and of which it offered the pretended sanction, its frequent appointment of High Courts of Justice, and its consequent disuse of Juries, for the trial of statecriminals, could not fail to excite the popular odium, whoever were the victims of these irregular tribunals; while the shameless vivaciousness with which it refused to remit its grasp of political existence, without any reference to its just source of being in the people, laid its private ambition open to the most common observation, and exposed the

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futility of its pretensions to public virtue. The execution of Mr. Love, a leading presbyterian clergyman, who, till the ascendancy of the Independents and the death of the king, had actively promoted and had suffered in the republican cause, largely contributed to the unpopularity of this exhausted and selfdependent parliament. The crime, of which he stood convicted, was that of corresponding with the exiled king and of conspiring against the commonwealth: but so great had been his merits to the parliamentary party, and so strong was the interest now exerted to save him, that the unrelenting severity, which conducted him to the block, was the subject of general reprobation.

While it was thus declining in the favour of the nation, this usurping assembly beheld with increasing apprehension the power of its army, and the ascendancy of its victorious -general:


However open to censure may have been the measures of the parliament, those of the army were fully as culpable and far more extraordinary. Its conduct, indeed, seems to be without precedent or consequent, standing insulated and alone in the annals of the world. Well paid, highly disciplined, enthusiastic in the cause of liberty, under the strong controll of religious principle, it aban

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dons its principle, betrays its cause,—revolts
against the power for whom it had assumed
arms, by whose able management it had been
cherished, and by whose superior counsels it
had been directed to victory. But the in-
tolerance of the Presbyterians was become
the leading object of resentment and of terror
to the sectarists, who formed the body of
army; and the religious phrenzy of these
heated spirits was insusceptible of any long
views of policy, or of any violent and self-aban-
doning system of patriotism. If the influence
of such enlightened and liberal politicians as
Selden and Whitelocke had prevailed in the
Parliament over that of the Assembly of Di-
vines, the concession of an unlimited tolera-
tion would have preserved the army from
those alarms, which alone shook it from its
duty and, converting it immediately to the
overthrow of the government, made it even-
tually subservient to its own ruin.

Aware of the advantages, which would probably result from it to his own cause, Cromwell carefully watched and fomented the general agitation. In the diminished popularity of the Parliament, in the mutual jealousies of that assembly and the army, in the prevailing lassitude and discontent of the harrassed people he saw and welcomed the means of his own personal aggrandise

ment. He had now reached a situation con-
tiguous to that greatness which, only a short.
time before, had perhaps been removed from
his most sanguine and visionary expectation.
Unlike to the first Cæsar, who, aspiring to
empire from the commencement of his poli
tical career, seems to have advanced by re-
gular and measured steps to the possession
of his object, Cromwell, floating loosely on
the tide of events, was brought near to a
throne, which he had the boldness to seize
and the ability to retain. Enthusiasm, which,
at first, was the great moving spring of his
conduct, became, in the succeeding stages of
his progress, the instrument with which he
worked; and, from being the dupe of his own
feelings, he
grew to be the controller of those
of other men. He never entirely, indeed,
ceased to be the enthusiast; but, ambition,
for a time, obtaining the ascendancy, in his
bosom, over the religious passion, he united
in himself, at last, with an inconsistency
not uncommon in our poor nature, the op-
posite characters of the zealot and the im-
postor. When he performed his devotions
with the common soldiers, and, thus conci-
liating their affections, essentially promoted
his own purposes and influence, he was not,
as I am satisfied, wholly insincere; but had
ersuaded himself that he could thus allow

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By the resignation of Fairfax, averse from marching against the Presbyterians in Scotland, he was now advanced to the head of the army, and, being freed by the death of Ireton from the stern and inflexible republicanism of that popular and potent leader, but he saw no insuperable obstacle between his hand and the sceptre of England. When he returned from the scenes of his triumph at Dunbar and Worcester, the sovereign power was in fact in his possession; and the nation looked up to the Captain General, for with this high title he was now decorated, as to

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ably convert an act of religious duty into a
mean of worldly interest. No man, per-
haps, ever possessed in a higher degree that
rapid and searching glance which can pene-
trate, and that dexterity which can shape to
their proper uses human character and its
multiform varieties. For the attainment of
ends far different from those proposed to him-
self by the holy Apostle, Cromwell was
" all
things to all men;" and could act, with equal
facility, on the demand of the immediate oc-
casion, the commander or the buffoon.

thus all

Ireton died of the plague at Limerick, on the 27th of nov. 1651. This seems to be the accurate date: -but some writers have placed his death on the 26th of the preceding september. Bishop Burnet resembles Ireton, for his steady republicanism, to Cassius.

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