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their sittings. A guard of respectable | royal residence. The tyrant could ng. citizens, duly relieved twice a day, was bear to see the triumph of those whore posted at their doors. The sheriffs he had destined to the gallows and the were charged to watch over the safety quartering-block. On the day preof the accused members, and to escort ceding that which was fixed for their them to and from the committee with return, he fled, with a few attendants, every mark of honour.
from that palace which he was never A violent and sudden revulsion of to see again till he was led through it feeling, both in the House and out of to the scaffold. it, was the effect of the late proceed- On the eleventh of January, the ings of the King. The Opposition re- Thames was covered with boats, and gained in a few hours all the ascend- its shores with the gazing multitude. ancy which it had lost. The constitu- Armed vessels decorated with streamtional royalists were filled with shame ers, were ranged in two lines from and sorrow. They saw that they had London Bridge to Westminster Hall. been cruelly deceived by Charles. They The members returned upon the river saw that they were, unjustly, but not in a ship manned by sailors who had unreasonably, suspected by the nation. volunteered their services. The trainClarendon distinctly says that they bands of the city, under the command perfectly detested the counsels by of the sheriffs, marched along the which the King had been guided, and Strand, attended by a vast crowd of were so much displeased and dejected spectators, to guard the avenues to the at the unfair manner in which he had House of Commons; and thus, with treated them that they were inclined shouts and loud discharges of ordnance, to retire from his service. During the the accused patriots were brought back debates on the breach of privilege, they by the people whom they had served preserved a melancholy silence. To and for whom they had suffered. The this day, the advocate of Charles take restored members, as soon as they had care to say as little as they can about entered the House, expressed, in the his visit to the House of Commons, and, warmest terms, their_gratitude to the when they cannot avoid mention of it, citizens of London. The sheriffs were attribute to infatuation an act which, warmly thanked by the Speaker in the on any other supposition, they must name of the Commons; and orders admit to have been a frightful crime. were given that a guard selected from
The Commons, in a few days, openly the trainbands of the city, should atdefied the King, and ordered the ac- tend daily to watch over the safety of cused members to attend in their places the Parliament. at Westminster and to resume their The excitement had not been conparliamentary duties. The citizens fined to London. When intelligence resolved to bring back the champions of the danger to which Hampden was of liberty in triumph before the win-exposed reached Buckinghamshire, it dows of Whitehall. Vast preparations excited the alarm and indignation of were made both by land and water for the people. Four thousand freeholders this great festival
of that county, each of them wearing The King had remained in his palace, in his hat a copy of the protestation in humbled, dismayed, and bewildered, favour of the privileges of Parliament, “feeling,” says Clarendon, “ the trouble rode up to London to defend the perand agony which usually attend gene- son of their beloved representative. rous and magnanimous minds upon They came in a body to assure Partheir having committed errors;” feel- liament of their full resolution to deing, we should say, the despicable re- fend its privileges. Their petition pentance which attends the man who, was couched in the strongest terms. having attempted to commit a crime, “ In respect,” said they, “of that latter finds that he has only committed a attempt upon the honourable House of folly. The populace hooted and Commons, we are now come to offer shonted all day before the gates of the our service to that end, and resolved. in their just defence, to live and, byterian army across the Tweed. On die."
what principle was Hampden to be atA great struggle was clearly at hand. tainted for advising what Leslie was Hampden had returned to Westminster ennobled for doing? In a court of much changed. His influence had law, of course, no Englishman could hitherto been exerted rather to restrain plead an amnesty granted to the Scots. than to animate the zeal of his party. But, though not an illegal, it was But the treachery, the contempt of law, surely an inconsistent and a most unthe thirst for blood, which the King kingly course, after pardoning and had now shown, left no hope of a promoting the heads of the rebellion peaceable adjustment. It was clear in one kingdom, to hang, draw, and that Charles must be either a puppet quarter their accomplices in another. or a tyrant, that no obligation of law The proceedings of the King against or of honour could bind him, and that the five members, or rather against the only way to make him harmless that Parliament which had concurred was to make him powerless.
in almost all the acts of the five memThe attack which the King had bers, was the cause of the civil war. made on the five members was not It was plain that either Charles or the merely irregular in manner. Even if House of Commons must be stripped the charges had been preferred legally, of all real power in the state. The if the Grand Jury of Middlesex had best course which the Commons could found a true bill, if the accused persons have taken would perhaps have been had been arrested under a proper to depose the King, as their ancestors warrant and at a proper time and had deposed Edward the Second and place, there would still have been in Richard the Second, and as their the proceeding enough of perfidy and children afterwards deposed James. injustice to vindicate the strongest Had they done this, had they placed measures which the Opposition could on the throne a prince whose chatake. To impeach Pym and Hampden racter and whose situation would have was to impeach the House of Com- been a pledge for his good conduct, mons. It was notoriously on account they might safely have left to that of what they had done as members of prince all the old constitutional prerothat House that they were selected as gatives of the Crown, the command of objects of vengeance; and in what the armies of the state, the power of they had done as members of that making peers, the power of appointing House the majority had concurred. ministers, a veto on bills passed by Most of the charges brought against the two Houses. Such a prince, reignthem were common between them and ing by their choice, would have been the Parliament. They were accused, under the necessity of acting in conindeed, and it may be with reason, of formity with their wishes. But the encouraging the Scotch army to in- public mind was not ripe for such a vade England. In doing this, they measure. There was no Dake of Lanhad committed what was, in strictness caster, no Prince of Orange, no great of law, a high offence, the same offence and eminent person, near in blood to which Devonshire and Shrewsbury the throne, yet attached to the cause committed in 1688. But the King of the people. Charles was then to had promised pardon and oblivion to remain King; and it was therefore nethose who had been the principals in cessary that he should be king only in the Scotch insurrection. Did it then name. A William the Third, or a consist with his honour to punish the George the First, whose title to the accessaries? He had bestowed marks crown was identical with the title of of his favour on the leading Cove- the people to their liberty, might safely nanters. He had given the great seal be trusted with extensive powers. But of Scotland to one chief of the rebels, new freedom could not exist in safety a marquisate to another, an earldom under the old tyrant. Since he was to Leslie, who had brought the Pres- not to be deprived of the name of
king, the only course which was left of the realm have been, under thest was to make him a mere trustee, no-circumstances, safely confided to the minally seised of prerogatives of which King? Would it not have been frenzy others had the use, a Grand Lama, a in the Parliament to raise and pay an Roi Fainéant, a phantom resembling army of fifteen or twenty thousand those Dagoberts and Childeberts who men for the Irish war, and to give to wore the badges of royalty, while Charles the absolute control of this Ebroin and Charles Martel held the army, and the power of selecting, proreal sovereignty of the state.
moting, and dismissing officers at his The conditions which the Parlia- pleasure? Was it not probablc that ment propounded were hard, but, we this army might become, what it is the are sure, not harder than those which nature of armies to become, what so even the Tories, in the Convention of many armies formed under much more 1689, would have imposed on James, favourable circumstances have become, if it had been resolved that James what the army of the Roman republic should continue to be king. The chief became, what the army of the French condition was that the command of republic became, an instrument of desthe militia and the conduct of the war potism? Was it not probable that the in Ireland should be left to the Par- soldiers might forget that they were liament. On this point was that great also citizens, and might be ready to serve issue joined, whereof the two parties their general against their country? put themselves on God and on the Was it not certain that, on the very sword.
first day on which Charles could venWe think, not only that the Com- ture to revoke his concessions, and to mons were justified in demanding for punish his opponents, he would esthemselves the power to dispose of the tablish an arbitrary government, and military force, but that it would have exact a bloody revenge? been absolute insanity in them to leave Our own times furnish a parallel that force at the disposal of the King. case. Suppose that a revolution should From the very beginning of his reign, take place in Spain, that the Constiit had evidently been his object to go-tution of Cadiz should be reestablished, vern by an army. His third Parlia- that the Cortes should meet again, ment had complained, in the Petition that the Spanish Prynnes and Burtons, of Right, of his fondness for martial who are now wandering in rags round law, and of the vexatious manner in Leicester Square, should be restored to which he billeted his soldiers on the their country. Ferdinand the Seventh people. The wish nearest the heart would, in that case, of course repeat of Strafford was, as his letters prove, all the oaths and promises which he that the revenue might be brought made in 1820, and broke in 1823. into such a state as would enable the But would it not be madness in the King to keep a standing military esta- Cortes, even if they were to leave him blishment. In 1640, Charles had sup- the name of King, to leave him more ported an army in the northern coun- than the name? Would not all Europe ties by lawless exactions. In 1641 he scoff at them, if they were to permit had engaged in an intrigue, the object him to assemble a large army for an of which was to bring that army to expedition to America, to model that London for the purpose of overawing army at his pleasure, to put it under the Parliament. His late conduct had the command of officers chosen by proved that, if he were suffered to re- himself ? Should we not say that every tain even a small body-guard of his member of the Constitutional party own creatures near his person, the who might concur in such a measure Commons would be in danger of out- would most richly deserve the fate rage, perhaps of massacre. The Houses which he would probably meet, the were still deliberating under the pro- fate of Riego and of the Empecinado? tection of the militia of London. Could We are not disposed to pay complithe command of the whole armed forcements to Ferdinand; nor do we con
vise that we pay him any compliment, and by their standard, which bore on when we say that, of all sovereigns in one side the watchword of the Parliahistory, he seems to us most to re- ment, “God with us," and on the other semble, in some very important points, the device of Hampden, “Vestigia King Charles the First. Like Charles, nulla retrorsum.” This motto well he is pious after a certain fashion; described the line of conduct which he like Charles, he has made large con- pursued. No member of his party had cessions to his people after a certain been 80 temperate, while there refashion. It is well for him that he mained a hope that legal and peacehas had to deal with men who bore able measures might save the country. very little resemblance to the English No member of his party showed so Puritans.
much energy and vigour when it beThe Commons would have the power came necessary to appeal to arms. He of the sword; the King would not made himself thoroughly master of his part with it; and nothing remained military duty, and“ performed it,” to but to try the chances of war. Charles use the words of Clarendon, "upon all still had a strong party in the country. occasions most punctually." The reHis august office, his dignified man- giment which he had raised and trained Ders, his solemn protestations that he was considered as one of the best in the would for the time to come respect the service of the Parliament. He exposed liberties of his subjects, pity for fallen his person in every action, with an ingreatness, fear of violent innovation, trepidity which made him conspicuous secured to him many adherents. He even among thousands of brave men had with him the Church, the Univer- “ He was,” says Clarendon, “ of a persities, a majority of the nobles and of sonal courage equal to his best parts ; the old landed gentry. The austerity so that he was an enemy not to be of the Puritan manners drove most of wished wherever he might have been the gay and dissolute youth of that age made a friend, and as much to be apto the royal standard. Many good, prehended where he was so, as any brave, and moderate men, who disliked man could deserve to be." Though his former conduct, and who enter- his military career was short, and his tained doubts touching his present military situation subordinate, he fully sincerity, espoused his cause unwil- proved that he possessed the talents of lingly and with many painful misgiv- a great general, as well as those of a ings, because, though they dreaded his great statesman. tyranny much, they dreaded democratic We shall not attempt to give a hisviolence more.
tory of the war. Lord Nugent's account On the other side was the great body of the military operations is very
aniof the middle orders of England, the mated and striking. Our abstract merchants, the shopkeepers, the yeo- would te dull, and probably unintellimanry, headed by a very large and gible. There was, in fact, for some formidable minority of the peerage and time no great and connected
system of of the landed gentry. The Earl of operations on either side. The war of Essex, a man of respectable abilities the two parties was like the war of and of some military experience, was Arimanes and Oromasdes, neither of appointed to the command of the par- whom, according to the Eastern theoliamentary army.
logians, has any exclusive domain, who Hampden spared neither his fortune are equally omnipresent, who equally nor his person in the cause. He sub- pervade all space, who carry on their scribed two thousand pounds to the eternal strife within every particle of public service. He took a colonel's matter. There was a petty war in alcommission in the army, and went into most every county. A town furnished Buckinghamshire to raise a regiment troops to the Parliament while the of infantry. His neighbours eagerly manor-house of the neighbouring peer enlisted under his command. His men was garrisoned for the King. were known by their green uniform, combatants were rarely disposed to
march far from their own homes. It perpetually passing and repassing bewas reserved for Fairfax and Cromwell tween the military station at Windsor to terminate this desultory warfare, by and the House of Commons at Westmoving one overwhelming force suc- minster, as overawing the general, and cessively against all the scattered frag- as giving law to that Parliament which ments of the royal party.
knew no other law. It was at this It is a remarkable circumstance that time that he organised that celebrated the officers who had studied tactics association of counties to which bis in what were considered as the best party was principally indebted for its schools, under Vere in the Netherlands, victory over the King. and under Gustavus Adolphus in Ger- In the early part of 1643, the shires many, displayed far less skill than those lying in the neighbourhood of London, commanders who had been bred to which were devoted to the cause of the peaceful employments, and who never Parliament, were incessantly annoyed saw even a skirmish till the civil war by Rupert and his cavalry. Essex had broke out. An unlearned person might extended his lines so far that almost hence be inclined to suspect that the every point was vulnerable. The young military art is no very profound mys- prince, who, though not a great general, tery, that its principles are the princi- was an active and enterprising partisan, ples of plain good sense, and that a frequently surprised posts, burned vilquick eye, a cool head, and a stout lages, swept away cattle, and was again heart, will do more to make a general at Oxford before a force sufficient to than all the diagrams of Jomini. This, encounter him could be assembled. however, is certain, that Hampden The languid proceedings of Essex showed himself a far better officer than were loudly condemned by the troops. Essex, and Cromwell than Leslie. All the ardent and daring spirits in the
The military errors of Essex were parliamentary party were eager to have probably in some degree produced by Hampden at their head. Had his life political timidity. He was honestly, been prolonged, there is every reason but not warmly, attached to the cause to believe that the supreme command of the Parliament; and next to a great would have been intrusted to him. But defeat he dreaded a great victory. it was decreed that, at this conjuncture, Hampden, on the other hand, was for England should lose the only man who vigorous and decisive measures. When united perfect disinterestedness to emihe drew the sword, as Clarendon has nent talents, the only man who, being well said, he threw away the scabbard. capable of gaining the victory for her, He had shown that he knew better was incapable of abusing that victory than any public man of his time how when gained. to value and how to practise modera- In the evening of the seventeenth of tion. But he knew that the essence of June, Rupert darted out of Oxford with war is violence, and that moderation his cavalry on a predatory expedition. in war is imbecility. On several occa- At three in the morning of the followsions, particularly during the operations ing day, he attacked and dispersed a in the neighbourhood of Brentford, he few parliamentary soldiers who lay at remonstrated earnestly with Essex. Postcombe. He then flew to Chinnor, Wherever he commanded separately, burned the village, killed or took all the the boldness and rapidity of his move- troops who were quartered there, and ments presented a striking contrast to prepared to hurry back with his booty the sluggishness of his superior. and his prisoners to Oxford.
In the Parliament he possessed Hampden had, on the preceding day, boundless influence. His employments strongly represented to Essex the towards the close of 1642 have been danger to which this part of the line described by Denham in some lines was exposed. As soon as he received which, though intended to be sarcastic, intelligence of Rupert's incursion, he convey in truth the highest eulogy sent off a horseman with a message to Hampden is described in this satire as the General. The cavaliers, he said,