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LETTERS CXLIX. CLXVII.
THE Lord General is now settled at Edinburgh till the season for campaigning return. Tradition still reports him as lodged, as in 1648, in that same spacious and sumptuous Earl of Murrie's House in the Cannigate;' credibly enough; though Tradition does not in this instance produce any written voucher hitherto. The Lord General, as we shall find by and by, falls dangerously sick here; worn down by over-work and the rugged climate.
The Scots lie entrenched at Stirling, diligently raising new levies; parliamenting and committee-ing diligently at Perth;crown their King at Scone Kirk, on the First of January,' in token that they have now all complied' with him. The Lord General is virtually master of all Scotland south of the Forth ;fortifies, before long, a Garrison as far west as 'Newark,'2 which we now call Port Glasgow, on the Clyde. How his forces had to occupy themselves, reducing detached Castles; coercing Mosstroopers; and, in detail, bringing the Country to obedience, the old Books at great length say, and the reader here shall fancy in his mind. Take the following two little traits from Whitlocke, and spread them out to the due expansion and reduplication :
'February 3d, 1650. Letters that Colonel Fenwick sum'moned Hume Castle to be surrendered to General Cromwell. The Governor answered, "I know not Cromwell; and as for my Castle, it is built on a rock." Whereupon Colonel Fenwick ' played upon him' a little with the great guns.' But the Governor still would not yield; nay sent a Letter couched in these singular terms:
"I, William of the Wastle,
Am now in my Castle;
And aw the dogs in the town
1 Minute description of the ceremony, in Somers Tracts, vi. 117. 2 Milton State-Papers, p. 84. 3Shand garre' is Whitlocke's reading.
So that there remained nothing but opening the mortars upon this William of the Wastle; which did gar him gang down,more fool than he went up.
We also read how Colonel Hacker and others rooted out bodies of Mosstroopers from Strength after Strength; and 'took much oatmeal,' which must have been very useful there. But this little Entry, a few days subsequent to that of Willie Wastle, affected us most: Letters that the Scots in a Village called Ged'dard rose, and armed themselves; and set upon Captain Dawson ' as he returned from pursuing some Mosstroopers ;-killed his 'guide and trumpet; and took Dawson and eight of his party, ' and after having given them quarter, killed them all in cold 'blood." In which Village called Geddard,' do not some readers recognise a known place, Jeddart or Jedburgh, friendly enough to Mosstroopers; and in the transaction itself, a notable example of what is called 'Jeddart Justice,'-killing a man whom you have a pique at; killing him first, to make sure, and then judging him!—However there come Letters too, That the English soldiers married divers of the Scots women;' which was an excellent movement on their part:-and may serve as the concluding feature here.
THE 'Empson' of this Letter, who is now to have a Company in Hacker's regiment, was transiently visible to us once already, as 'Lieutenant Empson of my regiment,' in the Skirmish at Musselburgh, four months ago.2 Hacker is the well-known Colonel Francis Hacker, who attended the King on the scaffold; having a signed Warrant, which we have read, addressed to him and two other Officers to that effect. The most conspicuous, but by no means the most approved of his military services to this Country! For which one indeed, in overbalance to many others, he was rewarded with death after the Restoration. A Rutlandshire man;
14 Feb. 1650 (Whitlocke, p. 464). 2 Letter CXXII., antea, p. 183.
a Captain from the beginning of the War; and rather favourably visible, from time to time, all along. Of whom a kind of continuous Outline of a Biography, considerably different from Caulfield's and other inane Accounts of him,1 might still be gathered, did it much concern us here. To all appearance, a somewhat taciturn, somewhat indignant, very swift, resolute and valiant man. He died for his share in the Regicide; but did not profess to repent of it ;-intimated, in his taciturn way, that he was willing to accept the results of it, and answer for it in a much higher Court than the Westminster one. We are indeed to understand generally, in spite of the light phrase which Cromwell reprimands in this Letter, that Hacker was a religious man; and in his regicides and other operations did not act without some warrant that was very satisfactory to him. For the present he has much to do with Mosstroopers; very active upon them;—for which 'Peebles' is a good locality. He continues visible as a Republican to the last; is appointed to raise a regiment' for the expiring Cause in 1659,—in which, what a little concerns us, this same Hubbert' here in question is to be his Major.2
To the Honourable Colonel Hacker, at Peebles or else
'Edinburgh,' 25th December, 1650.
I have used' the best consideration I can, for the present, in this business; and although I believe Captain Hubbert is a worthy man, and hear so much, yet, as the case stands, I cannot, with satisfaction to myself and some others, revoke the Commission I had given to Captain Empson, without offence to them, and reflection upon my own judgment.
I pray let Captain Hubbert know I shall not be unmindful of him, and that no disrespect is intended to him.
1 Caulfield's High Court of Justice, pp. 83-7; Trials of the Regicides; &c.
2 Commons Journals, vii. 669, 675, 824.
But indeed I was not satisfied with your last speech to me about Empson, That he was a better preacher than fighter or soldier, or words to that effect. Truly I think he that prays and preaches best will fight best. I know nothing 'that' will give like courage and confidence as the knowledge of God in Christ will; and I bless God to see any in this Army able and willing to impart the knowledge they have, for the good of others. And I expect it be encouraged, by all the Chief Officers in this Army especially; and I hope you will do so. I pray receive Captain Empson lovingly; I dare assure you he is a good man and a good officer; I would we had no worse. I rest,
Your loving friend,
LETTER Hundred-and-fiftieth relates to the exchange of three Prisoners whom we saw taken in Dunbar Drove, and have had an occasional glimpse of since. Before reading it, let us read another Letter, which is quite unconnected with this; but which lies, as we may see, on the Lord General's table in Moray House in the Canongate while he writes this;-and indeed is a unique of its kind: A Letter from the Lord General's Wife.
'My Lord Chief Justice' is Oliver St. John, known to us this long while; 'President' is Bradshaw; Speaker' is Lenthall: better if the Lord Ge
high official persons; to whom it were
neral took his Wife's advice, and wrote occasionally.
* Harris, p. 516; Lansdowne мss., 1236, fol. 99, contains the address, which Harris has omitted.
"The Lady Elizabeth Cromwell to her Husband the Lord General at Edinburgh.
66 6 'Cockpit, London,' 27th December, 1650.
"MY DEAREST,-I wonder you should blame me for writing no oftener, when I have sent three for one : I cannot but think they are miscarried. Truly if I know my own heart, I should as soon neglect myself as to 'omit'1 the least thought towards "you, who in doing it, I must do it to myself. But when I do "write, my Dear, I seldom have any satisfactory answer; which "makes me think my writing is slighted; as well it may: but I "cannot but think your love covers my weakness and infirmities.
"I should rejoice to hear your desire in seeing me; but I "desire to submit to the Providence of God; hoping the Lord, "who hath separated us, and hath often brought us together "again, will in His good time bring us again, to the praise of His name. Truly my life is but half a life in your absence, did not "the Lord make it up in Himself, which I must acknowledge to "the praise of His grace.
"I would you would think to write sometimes to your dear friend, my Lord Chief Justice, of whom I have often put you "in mind. And truly, my Dear, if you would think of what "I put you in mind of some, it might be to as much purpose
as others;2 writing sometimes a Letter to the President, and "sometimes to the Speaker. Indeed, my Dear, you cannot think "the wrong you do yourself in the want of a Letter, though it 66 were but seldom. I pray think on ; and so rest,-yours in all "faithfulness,
This Letter, in the original, is frightfully spelt; but otherwise exactly as here: the only Letter extant of this Heroine; and not
1 Word torn out.
2 The grammar bad; the meaning evident or discoverable,—and the bad grammar a part of that!
3think of' is the Lady's old phrase.
+ Milton State-Papers, p. 40.