Behemoth/Dialogue IV

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Behemoth by Thomas Hobbes
Dialogue IV


A. You have seen the Rump in possession (as they believed) of the supreme power over the two nations England and Ireland, and the army their servant; though Cromwell thought otherwise, serving them diligently for the advancement of his own purposes. I am now therefore to show you their proceedings.

B. Tell me first, how this kind of government under the Rump or relic of a House of Commons is to be called?

A. It is doubtless an oligarchy. For the supreme authority must needs be in one man or in more. If in one, it is monarchy; the Rump therefore was no Monarch.[1] If the authority were in more than one, it was in all, or in fewer than all. When in all, it is democracy; for every man may enter into the assembly which makes the Sovereign Court; which they could not do here. It is therefore manifest, that the authority was in a few, and consequently the state was an oligarchy.

B. Is it not impossible for a people to be well governed, that are to obey more masters than one?

A. Both the Rump and all other sovereign assemblies, if they have but one voice, though they be many men, yet are they but one person. For contrary commands cannot consist in one and the same voice, which is the voice of the greatest part; and therefore they might govern well enough, if they had honesty and wit enough.

The first act of the Rump, was the exclusion of those members of the House of Commons, which had been formerly kept out by violence for the procuring of an ordinance for the King’s trial; for these men had appeared against the ordinance of non-addresses, and therefore to be excluded, because they might else be an impediment to their future designs.

B. Was it not rather, because in the authority of few they thought the fewer the better, both in respect of their shares and also of a nearer approach in every one of them to the dignity of a King?

A. Yes, certainly, that was their principal end.

B. When these were put out, why did not the counties and boroughs choose others in their places?

A. They could not do that without order from the House.

After this they constituted a council of forty persons, which they termed a Council of State, whose office was to execute what the Rump should command.

B. When there was neither King nor House of Lords, they could not call themselves a Parliament; for a Parliament is a meeting of the King, Lords, and Commons, to confer together about the businesses of the commonwealth. With whom did the Rump confer?

A. Men may give to their assembly what name they please, what signification soever such name might formerly have had; and the Rump took the name of Parliament, as most suitable to their purpose, and such a name, as being venerable amongst the people, had for many hundred years countenanced and sweetened subsidies and other levies of money, otherwise very unpleasant to the subject. They took also afterwards another name, which was Custodes Libertatis Angliæ, which title they used only in their writs issuing out of the courts of justice.

B. I do not see how a subject that is tied to the laws, can have more liberty in one form of government than in another.

A. Howsoever, to the people that understand by liberty nothing but leave to do what they list, it was a title not ingrateful.

Their next work was to set forth a public declaration, that they were fully resolved to maintain the fundamental laws of the nation, as to the preservation of the lives, liberties, and proprieties of he people.

B. What did they mean by the fundamental laws of the nation?

A. Nothing but to abuse the people. For the only fundamental law in every commonwealth is to obey the laws from time to time, which he shall make to whom the people have given the supreme power. How likely then are they to uphold the fundamental laws, that had murdered him who was by themselves so often acknowledged for their lawful sovereign? Besides, at the same time that this declaration came forth, they were erecting that High Court of Justice which took away the lives of Duke Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, and the Lord Capel. Whatsoever they meant by a fundamental law, the erecting of this court was a breach of it, as being warranted by no former law or example in England.

At the same time also they levied taxes by soldiers, and to soldiers permitted free quarter, and did many other actions, which if the King had done, they would have said had been done against the liberty and propriety of the subject.

B. What silly things are the common sort of people, to be cozened as they were so grossly!

A. What sort of people, as to this matter, are not of the common sort? The craftiest knaves of all the Rump were no wiser than the rest whom they cozened. For the most of them did believe that the same things which they imposed upon the generality, were just and reasonable; and especially the great haranguers, and such as pretended to learning. For who can be a good subject to monarchy, whose principles are taken from the enemies of monarchy, such as were Cicero, Seneca, Cato, and other politicians of Rome, and Aristotle of Athens, who seldom speak of kings but as of wolves and other ravenous beasts? You may perhaps think a man has need of nothing else to know the duty he owes to his governor, and what right he has to order him, but a good natural wit; but it is otherwise. For it is a science, and built upon sure and clear principles, and to be learned by deep and careful study, or from masters that have deeply studied it. And who was there in the Parliament or in the nation, that could find out those evident principles, and derive from them the necessary rules of justice, and the necessary connexion of justice and peace? The people have one day in seven the leisure to hear instruction, and there are ministers appointed to teach them their duty. But how have those ministers performed their office? A great part of them, namely, the Presbyterian ministers, throughout the whole war, instigated the people against the King; so did also independent and other fanatic ministers. The rest, contented with their livings, preached in their parishes points of controversy, to religion impertinent, but to the breach of charity amongst themselves very effectual; or else elegant things,[2] which the people either understood not, or thought themselves not concerned in. But this sort of preachers, as they did little good, so they did little hurt. The mischief proceeded wholly from the Presbyterian preachers, who, by a long practised histrionic faculty, preached up the rebellion powerfully.

B. To what end?

A. To the end that the State becoming popular, the Church might be so too, and governed by an Assembly; and by consequence (as they thought) seeing politics are subservient to religion, they might govern, and thereby satisfy not only their covetous humour with riches, but also their malice with power to undo all men that admired not their wisdom. Your calling the people silly things, obliged me by this digression to show you, that it is not want of wit, but want of the science of justice, that brought them into these troubles. Persuade, if you can that man that has made his fortune, or made it greater, or an eloquent orator, or a ravishing poet, or a subtle lawyer, or but a good hunter or a cunning gamester, that he has not a good wit; and yet there were of all these a great many so silly, as to be deceived by the Rump and *yet were* members of the same Rump. They wanted not wit, but the knowledge of the causes and grounds upon which one person has a right to govern, and the rest an obligation to obey; which grounds are necessary to be taught the people, who without them cannot live long in peace amongst themselves.

B. Let us return, if you please, to the proceedings of the Rump.

A. In the rest of this year they voted a new stamp for the coin of this nation. They considered also of agents to be sent to foreign states; and having lately received applause from the army for their work done by the High Court of Justice, and encouragement to extend the same further, they created another High Court[3] of Justice, in which were tried Duke Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, Lord Capel, the Earl of Norwich, and Sir John Owen; whereof, as I mentioned before, the three first were beheaded. This affrighted divers of the King’s party out of the land; for not only they, but all that had borne arms for the King, were at that time in very great danger of their lives. For it was put to the question by the army at a council of war, whether they should be all massacred or no; where the noes carried it but by two voices. Lastly, March the 24th, they put the Mayor of London out of his office, fined him 2,000l., disfranchised him, and condemned him to two months’ imprisonment in the Tower, for refusing to proclaim the act for abolishing the kingly power. And thus ended the year 1648 and the monthly fast; God having granted that which they fasted *and prayed* for, the death of the King and the possession of his inheritance. By these their proceedings they had already lost the hearts of the generality of the people, and had nothing to trust to but the army; which was not in their power, but in Cromwell’s; who never failed, when there was occasion, to put them upon all exploits that might make them odious to the people, in order to his future dissolving them whensoever it should conduce to his ends.

In the beginning of 1649 the Scots, discontented with the proceedings of the Rump against the late King, began to levy soldiers in order to a new invasion of England. The Irish rebels, for want of timely resistance from England, were grown terrible; and the English army at home, infected by the adjutators, were casting how to share the land amongst the godly, meaning themselves and such others as they pleased, who were therefore called Levellers. Also the Rump for the present were not very well provided of money, and, therefore, the first thing they did, was the laying of a tax upon the people of 90,000l. a month for the maintenance of the army.

B. Was it not one of their quarrels with the King, that he had levied money without the consent of the people in Parliament?

A. You may see by this, what reason the Rump had to call itself a Parliament. For the taxes imposed by Parliament were always understood to be by the people’s consent, and consequently legal.—To appease the Scots, they sent messengers with flattering letters to keep them from engaging for the present King; but in vain. For they would hear nothing from a House of Commons (as they called it) at Westminster, without a King and Lords. But they sent commissioners to the King, to let him know what they were doing for him: for they had resolved to raise an army of 17,000 foot and 6,000 horse (for themselves).

To relieve Ireland, the Rump had resolved to send eleven regiments thither out of the army in England. This happened well for Cromwell. For the levelling soldiers, which were in every regiment many, and in some the major part, finding that instead of dividing the land at home they were to venture their lives in Ireland, flatly denied to go; and one regiment, having cashiered their colonel, about Salisbury, was marching to join with three regiments more of the same resolution; but both the general and Cromwell falling upon them at Burford, utterly defeated them, and soon after reduced the whole army to their obedience. And thus another of the impediments to Cromwell’s advancement was soon removed. This done, they came to Oxford, and thence to London. At Oxford, both the general and Cromwell were made doctors of the civil law; and at London, feasted and presented by the city.

B. Were they not first made masters, and then doctors?

A. They made themselves already masters, both of the laws and Parliament. The army now being obedient, the Rump sent over those eleven regiments into Ireland, under the command of Dr. Cromwell, intituled governor of that kingdom, the Lord Fairfax being still general of all the forces, both here and there.

The Marquis (now Duke) of Ormond was the King’s lieutenant of Ireland; and the rebels had made a confederacy amongst themselves; and these confederates had made a kind of league with the lieutenant, wherein they agreed, upon liberty given them in the exercise of their religion, to be faithful to and assist the King. To these also were joined some forces raised by the Earls of Castlehaven and Clanricarde and my Lord Inchiquin; so that they were the greatest united strength in the island. But there were amongst them a great many other Papists, that would by no means subject themselves to Protestants; and these were called the Nuntio’s party, as the others were called the confederate party. These parties not agreeing, and the confederate party having broken their articles, the lord-lieutenant seeing them ready to besiege him in Dublin, and not able to defend it, did, to preserve the place for the Protestants, surrender it to the Parliament of England; and came over to the King, at that time when he was carried from place to place by the army. From England he went over to the Prince (now King), residing then at Paris.

But the confederates, affrighted with the news that the Rump was sending over an army thither, desired the Prince by letters, to send back my Lord of Ormond, engaging themselves to submit absolutely to the King’s authority, and to obey my Lord of Ormond as his lieutenant. And hereupon he was sent back. This was about a year before the going over of Cromwell.

In which time, by the dissension in Ireland between the confederate party and the Nuntio’s party, and discontents about command, this otherwise sufficient power effected nothing; and was at last defeated, August the 2nd, by a sally out of Dublin, which they were besieging. Within a few days after arrived Cromwell, who with extraordinary diligence and horrid executions, in less than a twelvemonth that he stayed there, subdued in a manner the whole nation; having killed or exterminated a great part of them, and leaving his son-in-law Ireton to subdue the rest. But Ireton died there (before the business was quite done) of the plague. This was one step more towards Cromwell’s exaltation to the throne.

B. What a miserable condition was Ireland reduced to by the learning of the Roman, as well as England was by the learning of the Presbyterian clergy!

A. In the latter end of the preceding year the King was come from Paris to the Hague; and shortly after came thither from the Rump their agent Dorislaus, doctor of civil law, who had been employed in the drawing up of the charge against the late King. But the first night he came, as he was at supper, a company of cavaliers, near a dozen, entered his chamber, killed him, and got away. Not long after also their agent at Madrid, one Ascham, one that had written in defence of his masters, was killed in the same manner. About this time came out two books, one written by Salmasius, a Presbyterian, against the murder of the King; another written by Milton, an English Independent, in answer to it.

B. I have seen them both. They are very good Latin both, and hardly to be judged which is better; and both very ill reasoning, hardly to be judged which is worse; like two declamations, pro and con, made for exercise only in a rhetoric school by one and the same man. So like is a Presbyterian to an Independent.

A. In this year the Rump did not much at home; save that in the beginning they made England a Free-State by an act which runs thus: “Be it enacted and declared by this present Parliament, and by the authority thereof, that the people of England, and all the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, are, and shall be, and are hereby constituted, made, and declared a Commonwealth and Free-State, &c.

B. What did they mean by a Free-State and commonwealth? Were the people no longer to be subject to laws? They could not mean that: for the Parliament meant to govern them by their own laws, and punish such as broke them. Did they mean that England should not be subject to any foreign kingdom or commonwealth? That needed not be enacted, seeing there was no king nor people pretended to be their masters. What did they mean then?

A. They meant that neither this king, nor any king, nor any single person, but only that they themselves would be the people’s masters, and would have set it down in those plain words, if the people could have been cozened with words intelligible, as easily as with words not intelligible.

After this they gave one another money and estates, out of the lands and goods of the loyal party. They enacted also an engagement to be taken by every man, in these words: You shall promise to be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now established, without King or House of Lords.

They banished also from within twenty miles of London all the royal party, forbidding also every one of them to depart more than five miles from his dwelling-house.

B. They meant perhaps to have them ready, if need were, for a massacre. But what did the Scots in this time?

A. They were considering the army which they were levying for the King, how they might exclude from command all such as had loyally served his father, and all Independents, and all such as had command in Duke Hamilton’s army; and these were the main things that passed this year.

The Marquis of Montrose, that in the year 1645 had with a few men, and in little time, done things almost incredible against the late King’s enemies in Scotland, landed now again, in the beginning of the year 1650, in the north of Scotland, with commission from the present King, hoping to do him as good service as he had formerly done his father. But the case was altered; for the Scotch forces were then in England in the service of the Parliament; whereas now they were in Scotland, and many more (for their intended invasion) newly raised. Besides, the soldiers which the Marquis brought over were few, and foreigners; nor did the Highlanders come in to him, as he expected; insomuch as he was soon defeated, and shortly after taken, and (with more spiteful usage than revenge required) executed by the Covenanters of Edinburgh, May the 2nd.

B. What good could the King expect from joining with these men, who during the treaty discovered so much malice to him in one of his best servants?

A. No doubt (their churchmen being then prevalent) they would have done as much to this King as the English Parliament had done to his father, if they could have gotten by it that which they foolishly aspired to, the government of the nation. Do not believe that the Independents were worse than the Presbyterians: both the one and the other were resolved to destroy whatsoever should stand in the way to their ambition. But necessity made the King pass over both this and many other indignities from them, rather than suffer the pursuit of his right in England to cool, and be little better than extinguished.

B. Indeed I believe, a kingdom, if suffered to become an old debt, will hardly ever be recovered. Besides, the King was sure, wheresoever the victory lighted, he could lose nothing in the war but enemies.

A. About the time of Montrose’s death, which was in May, Cromwell was yet in Ireland, and his work unfinished. But finding, or by his friends advertised, that his presence in the expedition now preparing against the Scots would be necessary to his design, he sent to the Rump to know their pleasure concerning his return. But for all that, he knew, or thought it was not necessary to stay for their answer, but came away, and arrived at London the 6th of June following, and was welcomed by the Rump. Now General Fairfax, who was truly what he pretended to be, a Presbyterian, had been so catechised by the Presbyterian ministers here, that he refused to fight against the brethren in Scotland; nor did the Rump nor Cromwell go about to rectify his conscience in that point. And thus Fairfax laying down his commission, Cromwell was now made general of all the forces in England and Ireland; which was another step to the sovereign power. *And there appeared but one more, which was the mastering of Scotland. Towards which he began to march June the 12th, and came to Barwick July the 21st, his army being, horse and foot, 16,000.*

B. Where was the King?

A. In Scotland, newly come over. He landed in the north, and was honourably conducted to Edinburgh, though all things were not yet well agreed on between the Scots and him. For though he had yielded to as hard conditions as the late King had yielded to in the Isle of Wight, yet they had still somewhat to add, till the King, enduring no more, departed from them towards the north again. But they sent messengers after him to pray him to return, but they furnished these messengers with strength enough to bring him back, if he should have refused. In fine they agreed; but *they* would not suffer either the King, or any royalist, to have command in the army.

B. The sum of all is, the King was there a prisoner.

A. Cromwell from Barwick sends a declaration to the Scots, telling them he had no quarrel against the people of Scotland, but against a malignant party that had brought in the King, to the disturbance of the peace between the two nations; and that he was willing, either by conference to give and receive satisfaction, or to decide the justice of the cause by battle. To which the Scots answering, declare: that they will not prosecute the King’s interest before and and without his acknowledgment of the sins of his house, and his former ways, and satisfaction given to God’s people in both kingdoms. Judge by this whether the present King were not in as bad a condition here, as his father was in the hands of the Presbyterians of England.

B. Presbyterians are everywhere the same: they would fain be absolute governors of all they converse with, having nothing to plead for it, but that where they reign, it is God that reigns, and nowhere else. But I observe one strange demand, that the King should acknowledge the sins of his house; for I thought it had been certainly held by all divines, that no man was bound to acknowledge any man’s sins but his own.

A. The King having yielded to all that the Church required, the Scots proceeded in their intended war. Cromwell marched on to Edinburgh, provoking them all he could to battle; which they declining, and provisions growing scarce in the English army, Cromwell retired to Dunbar, despairing of success; and intending by sea or land to get back into England. And such was the condition which this General (Cromwell), so much magnified for conduct, had brought his army to, that all his glories had ended in shame and punishment, if fortune and the faults of his enemies had not relieved him. For as he retired, the Scots followed him close all the way till within a mile of Dunbar. There is a ridge of hills, that from beyond Edinburgh goes winding to the sea, and crosses the highway between Dunbar and Berwick, at a village called Copperspeith, where the passage is so difficult, that had the Scots sent timely thither a very few men to guard it, the English could never have gotten home. For the Scots kept the hills, and needed not have fought but upon great advantage, and were almost two to one. Cromwell’s army was at the foot of those hills, on the north side; and there was a great ditch or channel of a torrent between the hills and it; so that he could never have got home by land, nor without utter ruin of the army attempted to ship it; nor have stayed where he was, for want of provisions. Now Cromwell knowing the pass was free, and commanding a good party of horse and foot to possess it, it was necessary for the Scots to let them go, whom they bragged they had impounded, or else to fight; and therefore with the best of their horse charged the English, and made them at first to shrink a little. But the English foot coming on, the Scots were put to flight; and the flight of the horse hindered the foot from engaging; who therefore fled, as did also the rest of their horse. Thus the folly of the Scottish commanders brought all their odds to an even lay between two small and equal parties; wherein fortune gave the victory to the English, who were not many more in number than those that were killed and taken prisoners of the Scots; and the Church lost their cannon, bag and baggage, with 10,000 arms, and almost their whole army. The rest were got together by Lesley to Stirling.

B. This victory happened well for the King. For had the Scots been victors, the Presbyterians, both there and here, would have domineered again, and the King been in the same condition his father was in at Newcastle, in the hands of the Scottish army. For in pursuit of this victory, the English at last brought the Scots to a pretty good habit of obedience for the King, whensoever he should recover his right.

A. In pursuit of this victory the English marched to Edinburgh (quitted by the Scots), fortified Leith, and took in all the strength and castles they thought fit on this side the Frith, which now was become the bound betwixt the two nations. And the Scotch ecclesiastics began to know themselves better; and resolved in their new army, which they meant to raise, to admit some of the royalists into command. Cromwell from Edinburgh marched towards Stirling, to provoke the enemy to fight, but finding danger in it returned to Edinburgh, and besieged the castle. In the meantime he sent a party into the west of Scotland to suppress Strachan and Kerr, two great Presbyterians that were there levying of forces for their new army. And in the same time the Scots crowned the King at Scone.

The rest of this year was spent in Scotland, on Cromwell’s part, in taking of Edinburgh Castle and in attempts to pass the Frith, or any other ways to get over to the Scottish forces; and on the Scots’ part, in hastening their levies from the North.

B. What did the Rump at home during this time?

A. They voted liberty of conscience to the sectaries; that is, they plucked out the sting of Presbytery, which consisted in a severe imposing of odd opinions upon the people, impertinent to religion, but conducing to the advancement of the power of the Presbyterian ministers. Also they levied more soldiers, and gave the command of them to Harrison, now made major-general, a Fifth-monarchy-man; and of these soldiers two regiments of horse and one of foot were raised by the Fifth-monarchy-men and other sectaries, in thankfulness for this their liberty from the Presbyterian tyranny. Also they pulled down the late King’s statue in the Exchange, and in the niche where it stood, caused to be written these words: Exit tyrannus, Regum ultimus, etc.

B. What good did that do them, and why did they not pull down the statues of all the rest of the Kings?

A. What account can be given of actions that proceed not from reason, but spite and such-like passions? Besides this, they received ambassadors from Portugal and from Spain, acknowledging their power. And in the very end of the year they prepared ambassadors to the Netherlands to offer them friendship. All they did besides, was persecuting and executing of royalists.

In the beginning of the year 1651 General Dean arrived in Scotland; and on the 11th of April the Scottish Parliament assembled, and made certain acts in order to a better uniting of themselves, and better obedience to the King, who was now at Stirling with the Scottish forces he had, expecting more now in levying. Cromwell from Edinburgh went divers times towards Stirling to provoke the Scots to fight. There was no ford there to pass over his men; at last boats being come from London and Newcastle, Colonel Overton (though it were long first, for it was now July) transported 1,400 foot of his own, besides another regiment of foot and four troops of horse, and entrenched himself at Northferry on the other side; and before any help could come from Stirling, Major-General Lambert also was got over with as many more. By this time Sir John Browne was come to oppose them with 4,500 men, whom the English there defeated, killing about 2,000 and taking prisoners 1,600. This done, and as much more of the army transported as was thought fit, Cromwell comes before St. Johnstone’s (from whence the Scottish Parliament, upon the news of his passing the Frith, was removed to Dundee) and summons it; and the same day had news brought him, that the King was marching from Stirling towards England; which was true. But notwithstanding the King was three days’ march before him, he resolved to have the town before he followed him; and accordingly had it the next day by surrender.

B. What hopes had the King in coming into England, having before and behind him none, at least none armed, but his enemies?

A. Yes; there was before him the city of London, which generally hated the Rump, and might reasonably be reckoned for 20,000 well-armed soldiers; and most men believed they would take his part, had he come near to the city.

B. What probability was there of that? Do you think the Rump was not sure of the service of the mayor, and those that had command of the city militia? And if they had been really the King’s friends, what need had they to stay for his coming up to London? They might have seized the Rump, if they had pleased, which had no possibility of defending themselves; at least they might have turned them out of the House.

A. This they did not; but, on the contrary, permitted the recruiting of Cromwell’s army, and the raising of men to keep the country from coming in to the King. The King began his march from Stirling the last of July, and August the 22nd came to Worcester by way of Carlisle with a weary army of about 13,000, whom Cromwell followed, and joining with the new levies environed Worcester with 40,000, and on the 3rd of September utterly defeated the King’s army. Here Duke Hamilton, brother of him that was beheaded, was slain.

B. What became of the King?

A. Night coming on, before the city was quite taken he left it; it being dark, and none of the enemy’s horse within the town to follow him, the plundering foot having kept the gates shut, lest the horse should enter and have a share of the booty. The King before morning got into Warwickshire, twenty-five miles from Worcester, and there lay disguised awhile, and afterwards went up and down in great danger of being discovered, till at last he got over into France, from Bright-Hempsted in Sussex.

B. When Cromwell was gone, what was further done in Scotland?

A. Lieutenant-General Monk, whom Cromwell left there with 7,000, took Stirling August 14th by surrender, and Dundee the 3rd of September, by storm, because it resisted. This the soldiers plundered, and had good booty, because the Scots for safety had sent thither their most precious goods from Edinburgh and St. Johnstone’s. He took likewise by surrender Aberdeen and (the place where the Scottish ministers first learned to play the fools) St. Andrew’s. Also in the Highlands, Colonel Alured took a knot of lords and gentlemen, viz., four earls and four lords and above twenty knights and gentlemen, whom he sent prisoners into England. So that there was nothing more to be feared from Scotland: all the trouble of the Rump being to resolve what they should do with it. At last they resolved to unite and incorporate it into one commonwealth with England and Ireland. And to that end sent thither St. Johns, Vane, and other commissioners, to offer them this union by public declaration, and to warn them to choose their deputies of shires and burgesses of towns, and send them to Westminster.

B. This was a very great favour.

A. I think so: and yet it was by many of the Scots, especially by the ministers and other Presbyterians, refused. The ministers had given way to the levying of money for the payment of the English soldiers; but to comply with the declaration of the English commissioners they absolutely forbad.

B. Methinks, this contributing to the pay of their conquerors was some mark of servitude; whereas entering into the union made them free, and gave them equal privilege with the English.

A. The cause why they refused the union, rendered by the Presbyterian *ministers* themselves, was this: that it drew with it a subordination of the Church to the civil state in the things of Christ.

B. This is a downright declaration to all kings and commonwealths in general: that a Presbyterian minister will be a true subject to none of them in the things of Christ; which things what they are, they will be judges themselves. What have we then gotten by our deliverance from the Pope’s tyranny, if these petty men succeed in the place of it, that have nothing in them that can be beneficial to the public, except their silence? For their learning, it amounts to no more than an imperfect knowledge of Greek and Latin, and an acquired readiness in the Scripture language, with a gesture and tone suitable thereunto; but of justice and charity (the marrow of religion[4]) they have neither knowledge nor practice, as is manifest by the stories I have already told you. Nor do they distinguish between the godly and the ungodly but by conformity of design in men of judgment, or by repetition of their sermons in the common sort of people.

A. But this sullenness of the Scots was to no purpose. For they at Westminster enacted the union of the two nations and the abolition of monarchy in Scotland, and ordained punishment for those that should transgress that act.

B. What other business did the Rump this year?

A. They sent St. Johns and Strickland ambassadors to the Hague, to offer league to the United Provinces; who had audience March the 3rd; St. Johns in a speech showed those states what advantage they might have by this league in their trade and navigations, by the use of the English ports and harbours. The Dutch, though they showed no great forwardness in the business, yet appointed commissioners to treat with them about it. But the people were generally against it, calling the ambassadors and their followers (as they were) traitors and murderers, and made such tumults about their house that their followers durst not go abroad till the States had quieted them. The Rump advertised hereof, presently recalled them. The compliment which St. Johns gave to the commissioners at their taking leave, is worth your hearing. You have, said he, an eye upon the event of the affairs of Scotland, and therefore do refuse the friendship we have offered. Now I can assure you, many in the Parliament were of opinion that we should not have sent any ambassadors to you till we had separated those matters between them and that king, and then expected your ambassadors to us. I now perceive our error, and that those gentlemen were in the right. In a short time you shall see that business ended; and then you will come and seek what we have freely offered, when it shall perplex you that you have refused our proffer.

B. St. Johns was not sure that the Scottish business would end as it did. For though the Scots were beaten at Dunbar, he could not be sure of the event of their entering England, which happened afterward.

A. But he guessed well: for within a month after the battle at Worcester, an act passed forbidding the importing of merchandize in other than English ships. The English also molested their fishing upon our coast. They also many times searched their ships (upon occasion of our war with France), and made some of them prize. And then the Dutch sent their ambassadors hither to desire what they before refused; but partly also to inform themselves what naval forces the English had ready, and how the people here were contented with the government.

B. How sped they?

A. The Rump showed now as little desire of agreement as the Dutch did then; standing upon terms never likely to be granted. First, for the fishing on the English coast, that they should not have it without paying for it. Secondly, that the English should have free trade from Middleburgh to Antwerp, as they had before their rebellion against the King of Spain. Thirdly, they demanded amends for the old (but never to be forgotten) business of Amboyna. So that the war was already certain, though the season kept them from action till the spring following. The true quarrel, on the English part, was that their proffered friendship was scorned, and their ambassadors affronted; on the Dutch part, was the greediness to engross all traffic, and a false estimate of our and their own strength.

Whilst these things were doing, the relics of the war, both in Ireland and Scotland, were not neglected, though those nations were not fully pacified till two years after. The persecution also of royalists was continued, amongst whom was beheaded one Mr. Love, for holding correspondence with the King.

B. I had thought a Presbyterian minister, whilst he was such, could not be a royalist, because they think their assembly have the supreme power in the things of Christ; and by consequence they are in England (by a statute) traitors.

A. You may think so still: for though I called Mr. Love a royalist, I meant it only for that one act for which he was condemned. It was he who during the treaty at Uxbridge, preaching before the commissioners there, said: it was as possible for heaven and hell, as for the King and Parliament, to agree. Both he and the rest of the Presbyterians are and were enemies to the King’s enemies, Cromwell and his fanatics, for their own, not for the King’s sake. Their loyalty was like that of Sir John Hotham’s, that kept the King out of Hull, and afterwards would have betrayed the same to the Marquis of Newcastle. These Presbyterians therefore cannot be rightly called loyal, but rather doubly perfidious, unless you think that as two negatives make an affirmative, so two treasons make loyalty.

This year also were reduced to the obedience of the Rump the islands of Scilly and Man, and the Barbadoes, and St. Christopher’s. One thing fell out that they liked not, which was, that Cromwell gave them warning to determine their sitting, according to the bill for triennial Parliaments.

B. That I think indeed was harsh.

A. In the year 1652, May the 14th, began the Dutch war, in this manner. Three Dutch men-of-war, with divers merchants from the straights, being discovered by one Captain Young, who commanded some English frigates, the said Young sent to their admiral to bid him strike his flag (a thing usually done in acknowledgment of the English dominion in the narrow seas); which accordingly he did. Then came up the vice-admiral, and being called to (as the other was) to take down his flag, he answered plainly he would not: but after the exchange of four or five broadsides, and mischief done on either part, he took it down. But Captain Young demanded also, either the vice-admiral himself, or his ship, to make good the damage already sustained; to which the vice-admiral answered that he had taken in his flag, but would defend himself and his ship. Whereupon Captain Young consulting with the captains of his other ships, lest the beginning of the war in this time of treaty should be charged upon himself, and night also coming on, thought fit to proceed no further.

B. The war certainly began at this time. But who began it?

A. The dominion of the seas belonging to the English, there can be no question but the Dutch began it: and that the said dominion belonged to the English, it was confessed, at first by the admiral himself peaceably, and at last by the vice-admiral, taking in their flags.

About a fortnight after there happened another fight, upon the like occasion. Van Tromp, with forty-two men-of-war, came to the back of Goodwin Sands (Major Bourne being then with a few of the Parliaments ships in the Downs, and Blake with the rest further westward), and sent two captains of his to Bourne, to excuse his coming thither. To whom Bourne returned this answer, that the message was civil, but that it might appear real, he ought to depart. So Tromp departed, meaning (now Bourne was satisfied) to sail towards Blake, and he did so; but so did also Bourne, for fear of the worst. When Tromp and Blake were near one another, Blake made a shot over Tromp’s ship, as a warning to him to take in his flag. This he did thrice, and then Tromp gave him a broadside; and so began the fight (at the beginning whereof Bourne came in), and lasted from two o’clock till night, the English having the better, and the flag, as before, making the quarrel.

B. What needs there, when both nations were heartily resolved to fight, to stand so much upon this compliment of who should begin? For as to the gaining of friends and confederates thereby, I think it was in vain; seeing princes and states in such occasions look not much upon the justice of their neighbours, but upon their own concernment in the event.

A. It is commonly so; but in this case, the Dutch knowing the dominion of the narrow seas to be a gallant title, and envied by all the nations that reach the shore, and consequently that they were likely to oppose it, did wisely enough in making this point the state of the quarrel.—After this fight the Dutch ambassadors residing in England sent a paper to the council of state, wherein they styled this last encounter a rash action, and affirmed it was done without the knowledge and against the will of their lords the States-general, and desired them that nothing might be done upon it in heat, which might become irreparable. The Parliament hereupon voted: 1. That the States-general should pay the charges they were at, and for the damages they sustained upon this occasion. 2. That this being paid, there should be a cessation of all acts of hostility, and a mutual restitution of all ships and goods taken. 3. And both these agreed to, that there should be made a league between the two commonwealths. These votes were sent to the Dutch ambassadors in answer of their said paper; but with a preamble setting forth the former kindnesses of England to the Netherlands, and taking notice of their new fleet of 150 men-of-war, without any other apparent design than the destruction of the English fleet.

B. What answer made the Dutch to this?

A. None. Tromp sailed presently to Zealand, and Blake with seventy men-of-war to the Orkney Islands, to seize their busses, and to wait for five Dutch ships from the East Indies. And Sir George Askew, newly returned from the Barbadoes, came into the Downs with fifteen men-of-war, where he was commanded to stay for a recruit out of the Thames.

Van Tromp being recruited now to 120 sail, made account to get in between Sir George Askew and the mouth of the river, but was hindered so long by contrary winds, that the merchants calling for his convoy he could stay no longer; and so he went back into Holland, and thence to Orkney, where he met with the said five East India ships and sent them home. And then he endeavoured to engage with Blake, but a sudden storm forced him to sea, and so dissipated his fleet that only forty-two came home in body, the rest singly as well as they could. Blake also came home, but went first to the coast of Holland with 900 prisoners and six men-of-war taken, which were part of twelve which he found and took guarding their busses. This was the first bout after the war declared.

In August following there happened a fight between De Ruyter, the admiral of Zealand with fifty men-of-war, and Sir George Askew, near Plymouth, with forty, wherein Sir George had the better, and might have got an entire victory had the whole fleet engaged. Whatsoever was the matter, the Rump (though they rewarded him), never more employed him after his return in their service at sea: but voted for the year to come three generals, Blake that was one already, and Dean, and Monk.

About this time the Archduke Leopold besieging Dunkirk, and the French sending a fleet to relieve it, General Blake lighting on the French at Calais, and taking seven of their ships, was cause of the town’s surrender.

In September they fought again, De Witt and De Ruyter commanding the Dutch, and Blake the English; and the Dutch were again worsted.

Again, in the end of November, Van Tromp with eighty men-of-war showed himself at the back of Goodwin Sands; where Blake, though he had with him but forty, adventured to fight with him, and had much the worst, and (night parting the fray) retired into the river of Thames; whilst Van Tromp keeping the sea, took some inconsiderable vessels from the English, and thereupon (as it was said) with a childish vanity hung out a broom from his main-top-mast, signifying he meant to sweep the seas of all English shipping.

After this, in February, the Dutch with Van Tromp were encountered by the English under Blake and Dean near Portsmouth, and had the worst. And these were all the encounters between them in this year in the narrow seas. They fought also once at Leghorn, where the Dutch had the better.

B. I see no great odds yet on either side; if there were any, the English had it.

A. Nor did either of them ere the more incline to peace. For the Hollanders, after they had sent ambassadors into Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and the Hanse Towns (whence tar and cordage are usually had), to signify the declaration of the war, and to get them to their party, recalled their ambassadors from England. And the Rump without delay gave them their parting audience, without abating a syllable of their former severe propositions; and presently, to maintain the war for the next year, laid a tax upon the people of 120,000l. per mensem.

B. What was done in the mean time at home?

A. Cromwell was now quarrelling (the last and greatest obstacle to his design) the Rump. And to that end there came out daily from the army petitions, addresses, remonstrances, and other such papers; some of them urging the Rump to dissolve themselves and make way for another Parliament. To which the Rump, unwilling to yield and not daring to refuse, determined for the end of their sitting the 5th of November 1654. But Cromwell meant not to stay so long.

In the meantime the army in Ireland was taking submissions, and granting transportations of the Irish, and condemning whom they pleased in a High Court of Justice erected there for that purpose. Amongst those that were executed, was hanged Sir Phelim O’Neale, who first began the rebellion. In Scotland the English built some citadels for the bridling that stubborn nation. And thus ended the year 1652.

B. Come we then to the year 1653.

A. Cromwell wanted now but one step to the end of his ambition, and that was to set his foot upon the neck of this Long Parliament; which he did April the 23rd of this present year 1653, a time very seasonable. For though the Dutch were not mastered yet, they were much weakened; and what with prizes from the enemy and squeezing the royal party, the treasury was pretty full, and the tax of 120,000l. a month began *now* to come in; all which was his own in right of the army.

Therefore, without more ado, attended by the Major-Generals Lambert and Harrison, and some other officers, and as many soldiers as he thought fit, he went to the Parliament House, and dissolved them, turning them out, and locked up the doors. And for this action he was more applauded by the people than for any of his victories in the war, and the Parliament men as much scorned and derided.

B. Now that there was no Parliament, who had the supreme power?

A. If by power you mean the right to govern, nobody *here* had it. If you mean the supreme strength, it was clearly in Cromwell, who was obeyed as general of all the forces in England, Scotland, and Ireland.

B. Did he pretend that for title?

A. No: but presently after he invented a title, which was this: that he was necessitated for the defence of the cause, for which at first the Parliament had taken up arms (that is to say, rebelled), to have recourse to extraordinary actions. You know the pretence of the Long Parliament’s rebellion was salus populi, the safety of the nation against a dangerous conspiracy of Papists and a malignant party at home; and that every man is bound, as far as his power extends, to procure the safety of the whole nation (which none but the army were able to do, and the Parliament had hitherto neglected); was it not then the general’s duty to do it? Had he not therefore right? For that law of salus populi is directed only to those that have power enough to defend the people; that is, to them that have the supreme power.

B. Yes, certainly, he had as good a title as the Long Parliament. But the Long Parliament did represent the people; and it seems to me that the sovereign power is essentially annexed to the representative of the people.

A. Yes, if he that makes a representative, that is (in the present case) the King, do call them together to receive the sovereign power, and he divest himself thereof; otherwise not. Nor was ever the Lower House of Parliament the representative of the whole nation, but of the commons only; nor had that House the power to oblige, by their acts or ordinances, any lord or any priest.

B. Did Cromwell come in upon the only title of salus populi?

A. No. For this is a title that very few men understand. His way was to get the supreme power conferred upon him by Parliament. Therefore he called a Parliament, and gave it the supreme power, with condition that they should give it to him.[5] Was not this witty? First, therefore, he published a declaration of the causes why he dissolved the Parliament. The sum whereof was: that instead of endeavouring to promote the good of God’s people, they endeavoured, by a bill then ready to pass, to recruit the House and perpetuate their own power. Next he constituted a council of state of his own creatures, to be the supreme authority of England; but no longer than till the next Parliament should be called and met. Thirdly, he summoned 142 persons, such as he himself or his trusty officers made choice of; the greatest part of whom were instructed what to do; obscure persons, and most of them fanatics, though styled by Cromwell men of approved fidelity and honesty. To these the council of state surrendered the supreme authority, and not long after these men surrendered it to Cromwell. July the 4th this Parliament met, and chose for their Speaker one Mr. Rous, and called themselves from that time forward the Parliament of England. But Cromwell, for the more surety, constituted also a council of state: not of such petty fellows as most of these were, but of himself and his principal officers. These did all the business, both public and private; making ordinances, and giving audiences to foreign ambassadors. But he had now more enemies than before. Harrison, who was the head of the Fifth-monarchy-men, laying down his commission, did nothing but animate his party against him; for which afterwards he was imprisoned. This little Parliament in the meantime were making of acts so ridiculous and displeasing to the people, that it was thought he chose them on purpose to bring all ruling Parliaments into contempt, and monarchy again into credit.

B. What acts were those?

A. One of them was, that all marriages should be made by a justice of peace, and the banns asked three several days in the next market: none were forbidden to be married by a minister, but without a justice of peace the marriage was to be void: so that divers wary couples (to be sure of one another, howsoever they might repent it afterwards) were married both ways. Also they abrogated the engagement, whereby no man was admitted to sue in any court of law that had not taken it, that is, that had not acknowledged the late Rump.

B. Neither of these did any hurt to Cromwell.

A. They were also in hand with an act to cancel all the present laws and law-books, and to make a new code more suitable to the humour of the Fifth-monarchy-men; of whom there were many in this Parliament. Their tenet being, that there ought none to be sovereign but King Jesus, nor any to govern under him but the saints. But their authority ended before the act passed.

B. What was this to Cromwell?

A. Nothing yet. But they were likewise upon an act, now almost ready for the question, that Parliaments henceforward, one upon the end of another, should be perpetual.

B. I understand not this; unless Parliaments can beget one another like animals, or like the phœnix.

A. Why not like the phœnix? Cannot a Parliament at the day of their expiration send out writs for a new one?

B. Do you think they would not rather summon themselves anew; and to save the labour of coming again to Westminster, sit still where they were? Or if they summon the country to make new elections, and then dissolve themselves, by what authority shall the people meet in their county courts, there being no supreme authority standing?

A. All they did was absurd, though they knew not that; no nor *that this would offend Cromwell,* whose design upon the sovereignty[6] the contriver of this act (it seems) perceived not, but Cromwell’s party in the House saw it well enough. And therefore (as it was laid) there stood up one of the members and made a motion, that since the commonwealth was like to receive little benefit by their sitting, they should dissolve themselves. Harrison and they of his sect were troubled hereat, and made speeches against it; but Cromwell’s party, of whom the speaker was one, left the House, and with the mace before them went to Whitehall, and surrendered their power to Cromwell that had given it to them. And so he got the sovereignty by an act of Parliament; and within four days after, December the 16th, was installed Protector of the three nations, and took his oath to observe certain rules of governing, engrossed in parchment and read before him. This writing was called the instrument.

B. What were the rules which he swore to?

A. One was, to call a Parliament every third year, of which the first was to begin September the 3rd following.

B. I believe he was a little superstitious in the choice of September the 3rd, because it was lucky to him in 1650 and 1651, at Dunbar and Worcester.

A. But he knew not how lucky the same would be to the whole nation in 1658 at Whitehall.

Another was, that no Parliament should be dissolved till it had sitten five months; and that those bills which they presented to him, should be passed by him within twenty days, or else they should pass without him.

A third, that he should have a council of state of not above twenty-one, nor under thirteen; and that upon the Protector’s death this council should meet, and before they parted choose a new Protector. There were many more besides, but not necessary to be inserted.

B. How went on the war against the Dutch?

A. The generals for the English were Blake, and Dean, and Monk; and Van Tromp for the Dutch; between whom was a battle fought the 2nd of June (which was a month before the beginning of this little Parliament), wherein the English had the victory, and drove the enemies into their harbours, but with the loss of General Dean, slain by a cannon-shot. This victory was great enough to make the Dutch send over ambassadors into England, in order to a treaty; but in the meantime they prepared and put to sea another fleet, which likewise, in the end of July, was defeated by General Monk, who got now a greater victory than before; and this made the Dutch descend so far as to buy their peace with the payment of the charge of the war, and with the acknowledgment, amongst other articles, that the English had the right of the flag.

This peace was concluded in March, being the end of this year, but not proclaimed till April; the money, it seems, being not paid till then.

The Dutch war being now ended, the Protector sent his youngest son Henry into Ireland, whom also some time after he made lieutenant there; and sent Monk lieutenant-general into Scotland, to keep those nations in obedience. Nothing else worth remembering was done this year at home; saving the discovery of a plot of royalists, as was said, upon the life of the Protector, who all this while had intelligence of the King’s designs from a traitor in his court, who afterwards was taken in the manner and killed.

B. How came he into so much trust with the King?

A. He was the son of a colonel that was slain in the wars on the late King’s side. Besides, he pretended employment from the King’s loyal and loving subjects here, to convey to his Majesty such moneys as they from time to time should send him; and to make this credible, Cromwell himself caused money to be sent him.

The following year, 1654, had nothing *in it* of war, but was spent in civil ordinances, in appointing of judges, preventing of plots (for usurpers are jealous), and in executing the King’s friends and selling their lands. The 3rd of September, according to the instrument, the Parliament met; in which there was no House of Lords, and the House of Commons was made, as formerly, of knights and burgesses; but not as formerly, of two burgesses for a borough and two knights for a county; for boroughs for the most part had but one burgess, and some counties six or seven knights. Besides, there were twenty members for Scotland, and as many for Ireland. So that Cromwell had now nothing else to do but to show his art of government upon six coach-horses newly presented him, which, being as rebellious as himself, threw him out of the coach-box and almost killed him.

B. This Parliament, which had seen how Cromwell had handled the two former, the long one and the short one, had surely learned the wit to behave themselves better to him than those had done?

A. Yes, especially now that Cromwell in his speech at their first meeting had expressly forbidden them to meddle either with the government by a single person and Parliament, or with the militia, or with perpetuating of Parliaments, or taking away liberty of conscience; and told them also that every member of the House, before they sat, must take a recognition of his power in divers points. Whereupon, of above 400 there appeared not above 200 at first; though afterwards (some relenting) there sat above 300. Again, just at their sitting down he published some ordinances of his own, bearing date before their meeting; that they might see he took his own acts to be as valid as theirs. But all this could not make them know themselves. They proceeded to the debate of every article of the recognition.

B. They should have debated that before they had taken it.

A. But then they had never been suffered to sit. Cromwell being informed of their stubborn proceedings, and out of hope of any supply from them, dissolved them.

All that passed besides in this year was the exercise of the High Court of Justice upon some royalists for plots.

In the year 1655 the English, to the number of near 10,000, landed in Hispaniola, in hope of the plunder of the gold and silver, whereof they thought there was great abundance in the town of Santo Domingo; but were well beaten by a few Spaniards, and with the loss of near 1,000 men, went off to Jamaica and possessed it.

This year also the royal party made another attempt in the west; and proclaimed there King Charles the Second; but few joining with them, and some falling off, they were soon suppressed, and many of the principal persons executed.

B. In these many insurrections, the royalists, though they meant well, yet they did but disservice to the King by their impatience. What hope had they to prevail against so great an army as the Protector had ready? What cause was there to despair of seeing the King’s business done better by the dissension and ambition of the great commanders in that army, whereof many had the favour to be as well esteemed amongst them as Cromwell himself?

A. That was somewhat uncertain. The Protector, being frustrated of his hope of money at Santo Domingo, resolved to take from the royalists the tenth part yearly of their estates. And to this end chiefly, he divided England into eleven major-generalships, with commission to every major-general to make a roll of the names of all suspected persons of the King’s party,[7] and of their estates within his precinct; as also to take caution from them, not to act against the state, and to reveal all plots that should come to their knowledge; and to make them engage the like for their servants. They had commission also to forbid horse-races and concourse of people, and to receive and account for *the money rising from* this decimation.

B. By this the usurper might easily inform himself of the value of all the estates in England, and of the behaviour and affection of every person of quality; which has heretofore been taken for very great tyranny.

A. The year 1656 was a Parliament-year by the instrument. Between the beginning of this year and the day of the Parliament’s sitting, which was September 17, these major-generals, resided in several provinces, behaving themselves most tyrannically. Amongst other of their tyrannies was the awing of elections, and making themselves and whom they pleased to be returned members for the Parliament; which was also thought a part of Cromwell’s design in their constitution: for he had need of a giving Parliament, having lately, upon a peace made with the French, drawn upon himself a war with Spain.

This year it was that Captain Stainer set upon the Spanish Plate-fleet, being eight in number, near Cadiz; whereof he sunk two, and took two, there being in one of them two millions of pieces of eight, which amounts to 400,000l. sterling.

This year also it was that James Naylor appeared at Bristol, and would be taken for Jesus Christ. He wore his beard forked, and his hair composed to the likeness of that in the Volto Santo; and being questioned, would sometimes answer, Thou sayest it. He had also his disciples, that would go by his horse side, to the mid-leg in dirt. Being sent for by the Parliament he was sentenced to stand on the pillory, to have his tongue bored through, and to be marked on the forehead with the letter B, for blasphemy, and to remain in Bridewell. Lambert, a great favourite of the army, endeavoured to save him, partly because he had been his soldier, and partly to curry favour with the sectaries of the army; for he was now no more in the Protector’s favour, but meditating how he might succeed him in his power.

About two years before this, there appeared in Cornwall a prophetess, much famed for her dreams and visions, and hearkened to by many, whereof some were eminent officers. But she and some of her accomplices being imprisoned, we heard no more of her.

B. I have heard of another, one Lilly, that prophesied all the time of the Long Parliament. What did they to him?

A. His prophecies were of another kind; he was a writer of almanacs, and a pretender to a pretended art of judicial astrology; a mere cozener, to get maintenance from a multitude of ignorant people; and no doubt had been called in question, if his prophecies had been any way disadvantageous to that Parliament.

B. I understand not how the dreams and prognostications of madmen (for such I take to be all those that foretell future contingencies) can be of any great disadvantage to the commonwealth.

A. Yes. You know[8] there is nothing that renders human counsels difficult, but the uncertainty of future time; nor that so well directs men in their deliberations, as the foresight of the sequels of their actions; prophecy being many times the principal cause of the event foretold. If, upon some prediction, the people should have been made confident that Oliver Cromwell and his army should be, upon a day to come, utterly defeated; would not every one have endeavoured to assist, and to deserve well of the party that should give him that defeat? Upon this account it was that fortune-tellers and astrologers were so often banished out of Rome.

The last memorable thing this year, was a motion made by a member of the House, an alderman of London, that the Protector might be petitioned and advised by the House to leave the title of Protector, and take upon him that of King.

B. That was indeed a bold motion, and which would, if prosperous, have put an end to *a great* many men’s ambition, and to the licentiousness of the whole army. I think the motion was made on purpose to ruin both the Protector himself and his ambitious officers.

A. It may be so. In the year 1657 the first thing the Parliament did, was the drawing up of this petition to the Protector, to take upon him the government of the three nations, with the title of King. As of other former Parliaments, so of this, the greatest part had been either kept out of the House by force, or else themselves had forborne to sit and become guilty of setting up this King Oliver. But those few that sat, presented their petition to the Protector, April the 9th, in the Banqueting-house at Whitehall; where Sir Thomas Widdrington, the Speaker, used the first arguments, and the Protector desired some time to seek God, the business being weighty. The next day they sent a committee to him to receive his answer; which answer being not very clear, they pressed him again for a resolution; to which he made answer in a long speech, that ended in a peremptory refusal. And so retaining still the title of Protector, he took upon him the government according to certain articles contained in the said petition.

B. What made him refuse the title of King?

A. Because he durst not take it at that time; the army being addicted to their great officers, and amongst their great officers many hoping to succeed him, and, the succession having been promised to Major-General Lambert, would have mutinied against him. He was therefore forced to stay for a more propitious conjuncture.

B. What were those articles?

A. The most important of them were: 1. That he would exercise the office of chief-magistrate of England, Scotland, and Ireland, under the title of Protector, and govern the same according to the said petition and advice: and that he would in his life-time name his successor.

B. I believe the Scots, when they first rebelled, never thought of being governed absolutely, as they were by Oliver Cromwell.

A. 2. That he should call a Parliament every three years at farthest. 3. That those persons which were legally chosen members, should not be secluded without consent of the House. In allowing this clause, the Protector observed not that the secluded members of this same Parliament, are thereby re-admitted. 4. The members were qualified. 5. The power of the Other House was defined. 6. That no law should be made but by Act of Parliament. 7. That a constant yearly revenue of a million of pounds should be settled for the maintenance of the army and navy; and 300,000l. for the support of the government, besides other temporary supplies as the House of Commons should think fit. 8. That all the officers of state should be chosen by the Parliament. 9. That the Protector should encourage the ministry. Lastly, that he should cause a profession of religion to be agreed on and published. There are divers others of less importance. Having signed the articles, he was presently with great ceremony installed anew.

B. What needed that, seeing he was still but Protector?

A. But the articles of this petition were not all the same with those of his former instrument. For now there was to be another House; and whereas before, his council was to name his successor, he had power now to do it himself; so that he was an absolute monarch, and might leave the succession to his son if he would, and so successively, or transfer it to whom he pleased.

The ceremony being ended, the Parliament adjourned to the 20th of January following; and then the Other House also sat; *and the secluded members according to an article of the petition sat* with their fellows.

The House of Commons being now full, took little notice of the Other House, wherein there were not of sixty persons above nine lords; but fell a questioning all that their fellows had done, during the time of their seclusion; whence had followed the avoidance of the power newly placed in the Protector. Therefore, going to the House, he made a speech to them, ending in these words: By the living God, I must, and do dissolve you.

In this year, the English gave the Spaniard another great blow at Santa Cruz, not much less than that they had given him the year before in the bay of Cadiz.

About the time of the dissolving of this Parliament, the royalists had another design against the Protector; which was, to make an insurrection in England, the King being *then* in Flanders ready to second them with an army thence. But this also was discovered by treachery, and came to nothing but the ruin of those who were engaged in it; whereof many in the beginning of the next year were by a High Court of Justice imprisoned, and some executed.

This year also was Major-General Lambert put out of all employment, a man second to none but Oliver in the favour of the army. But because he expected by that favour, or by promise from the Protector, to be his successor in the supreme power, it would have been dangerous to let him have command in the army; the Protector having designed for his successor his eldest son Richard.

In the year 1658, September the 3rd, the Protector died at Whitehall; having ever since his last establishment been perplexed with fears of being killed by some desperate attempt of the royalists.

Being importuned in his sickness by his privy-council to name his successor, he named his son Richard; who, encouraged thereunto, not by his own ambition, but by Fleetwood, Desborough, Thurlow, and other of his council, was content to take it upon him; and presently addresses were made to him from the armies in England, Scotland, and Ireland. His first business was the chargeable and splendid funeral of his father.

Thus was Richard Cromwell seated on the imperial throne of England, Ireland, and Scotland, successor to his father; lifted up to it by the officers of the army then in town, and congratulated by all the parts of the army throughout the three nations; scarce any garrison omitting their particular flattering addresses to him.

B. Seeing the army approved of him, how came he so soon cast off?

A. The army was inconstant; he himself irresolute, and without any military glory. And though the two principal officers had a near relation to him; yet neither of them, but Lambert, was the great favourite of the army; and by courting Fleetwood to take upon him the Protectorship, and by tampering with the soldiers, had gotten again to be a colonel. He and the rest of the officers had a council at Wallingford House (where Fleetwood dwelt) for the dispossessing of Richard; though they had not yet considered how the nations should be governed afterwards. For from the beginning of the rebellion, the method of ambition was constantly this: first to destroy, and then to consider what they should set up.

B. Could not the Protector, who kept his court at Whitehall, discover what the business of the officers was at Wallingford House, so near him?

A. Yes, he was by divers of his friends informed of it; and counselled by some of them, who would have done it, to kill the chief of them; but he had not courage enough to give them such a commission. He took, therefore, the counsel of some milder persons, which was to call a Parliament. Whereupon writs were presently sent to those, that in the last Parliament were the Other House, and other writs to the sheriffs for the election of knights and burgesses, to assemble on the 27th of January following. Elections were made according to the ancient manner, and a House of Commons now of the right English temper, and about four hundred in number, including twenty for Scotland, and as many for Ireland. Being met, they take themselves, without the Protector and Other House, to be a Parlialiament, and to have the supreme power of the three nations.

For their first business, they intended *to question* the power of that Other House: but because the Protector had recommended to them for their first business an act (already drawn up) for the recognition of his Protectoral power, they began with that; and voted (after a fortnight’s deliberation) that an act should be made whereof this act of recognition should be part; and that another part should be for the bounding of the Protector’s power, and for the securing the privileges of Parliament and liberties of the subject; and that all should pass together.

B. Why did these men obey the Protector at first, in meeting upon his only summons? Was not that as full a recognition of his power as was needful? Why by this example did they teach the people that he was to be obeyed, and then by putting laws upon him, teach them the contrary? Was it not the Protector that made the Parliament? Why did they not acknowledge their maker?

A. I believe it is the desire of most men to bear rule; but few of them know what title one has to it more than another, besides the right of the sword.

B. If they acknowledged the right of the sword, they were neither just nor wise to oppose the present government, set up and approved by all the forces of the three kingdoms. The principles of this House of Commons were, no doubt, the very same with theirs who began the rebellion; and would, if they could have raised a sufficient army, have done the same against the Protector; and the general of their army would, in like manner, have reduced them to a Rump. For they that keep an army, and cannot master it, must be subject to it as much as he that keeps a lion in his house. The temper of all the Parliaments, since the time of Queen Elizabeth, has been the same with the temper of this Parliament; and shall always be such, as long as the Presbyterians and men of democratical principles have the like influence upon the elections.

A. After *this* they resolved concerning the Other House, that during this Parliament they would transact with it, but without intrenching upon the right of the peers, to have writs sent to them in all future Parliaments. These votes being passed, they proceed to another, wherein they assume to themselves the power of the militia. Also to show their supreme power, they delivered out of prison some of those that had been (they said) illegally committed by the former Protector. Other points concerning civil rights and concerning religion, very pleasing to the people, were now also under their consideration. So that in the end of this year the Protector was no less jealous of the Parliament, than of the council of officers at Wallingford House.

B. Thus it is when ignorant men will undertake reformation. Here are three parties, the Protector, the Parliament, and the Army. The Protector against Parliament and army, the Parliament against army and Protector, and the army against Protector and Parliament.

A. In the beginning of 1659 the Parliament passed divers other acts. One was, to forbid the meetings in council of the army-officers without order from the Protector and both the Houses; another, that no man shall have any command or *place of* trust in the army, who did not first, under his hand, engage himself never to interrupt any of the members, but that they might freely meet and debate in the House. And to please the soldiers, they voted to take presently into consideration the means of paying them their arrears. But whilst they were considering this, the Protector (according to the first of those acts) forbad the meeting of officers at Wallingford House. This made the government, which by the disagreement of the Protector and army was already loose, to fall in pieces. For the officers from Wallingford House, with soldiers enough, came over to Whitehall, and brought with them a commission ready drawn (giving power to Desborough to dissolve the Parliament) for the Protector to sign; which also, his heart and his party failing him, he signed. The Parliament nevertheless continued sitting; but at the end of the week the House adjourned till the Monday after, being April the 25th. At their coming on Monday morning, they found the door of the House shut up, and the passages to it filled with soldiers, who plainly told them they must sit no longer. Richard’s authority and business in town being thus at an end, he retired into the country; where within a few days (upon promise of the payment of his debts, which his father’s funeral had made great) he signed a resignation of his Protectorship.

B. To whom?

A. To nobody. But after ten days’ cessation of the sovereign, power, some of the Rumpers that were in town, together with the old Speaker, Mr. William Lenthal, resolved amongst themselves, and with Lambert, Hazlerig, and other officers, who were also Rumpers, in all forty-two, to go into the House; which they did, and were by the army declared to be the Parliament.

There were also in Westminster Hall at that time, about their private business, some few of those whom the army had secluded in 1648, and were called the secluded members. These knowing themselves to have been elected by the same authority, and to have the same right to sit, attempted to get into the House, but were kept out by the soldiers. The first vote of the Rump reseated was, that such persons as, heretofore members of this Parliament, have not sitten in this Parliament, since the year 1648, shall not sit in this House till further order of the Parliament. And thus the Rump recovered their authority May the 7th 1659, which they lost in April 1653.

B. Seeing there had been so many shiftings of the supreme authority, I pray you, for memory’s sake, repeat them briefly in times and order.

A. First, from 1640 to 1648, when the King was murdered, the sovereignty was disputed between King Charles I. and the Presbyterian Parliament. Secondly, from 1648 to 1653, the power was in that part of the Parliament which voted the trial of the King, and declared themselves, without King or House of Lords, to have the first and supreme authority of England and Ireland. For there were in the Long Parliament two factions, Presbyterian and Independent; the former whereof sought only the subjection of the King, not his destruction directly; the latter sought directly his destruction; and this part is it, which is called the Rump. Thirdly, from April the 20th to July the 4th, the supreme power was in the hands of a council of state constituted by Cromwell. Fourthly, from July the 4th to December the 12th of the same year, it was in the hands of men called unto it by Cromwell, whom he termed men of fidelity and integrity, and made them a Parliament; which was called, in contempt of one of the members, Barebone’s Parliament. Fifthly, from December the 12th 1653 to September the 3rd 1658, it was in the hands of Oliver Cromwell, with the title of Protector. Sixthly, from September the 3rd 1658 to April the 25th 1659, Richard Cromwell had it as successor to his father. Seventhly, from April the 25th 1659 to May the 7th of the same year, it was nowhere. Eighthly, from May the 7th 1659, the Rump, which was turned out of doors in 1653, recovered it again; and shall lose it again to a committee of safety, and again recover it, and again lose it to the right owner.

B. By whom, and by what art, came the Rump to be turned out the second time?

A. One would think them safe enough. The army in Scotland, which when it was in London had helped Oliver to put down the Rump, submitted now, begged pardon, and promised obedience. The soldiers in town had their pay mended, and the commanders everywhere took the old engagement, whereby they had acknowledged their authority heretofore. They also received their commissions in the House itself from the speaker, who was generalissimo. Fleetwood was made lieutenant-general, with such and so many limitations as were thought necessary by the Rump, that remembered how they had been served by the general, Oliver. Also Henry Cromwell, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, having resigned his commission by command, returned into England.

But Lambert, to whom (as was said) Oliver had promised the succession, and who as well as the Rump knew the way to the Protectorship by Oliver’s own footsteps, was resolved to proceed in it upon the first opportunity; which presented itself presently after. Besides some plots of royalists, whom after the old fashion they again persecuted, there was an insurrection made against them by Presbyterians in Cheshire, headed by Sir George Booth, one of the secluded members. They were in number about 3,000, and their pretence was for a free Parliament. There was a great talk of another rising, or endeavour to rise, in Devonshire and Cornwall at the same time. To suppress Sir George Booth, the Rump sent down more than a sufficient army under Lambert; which quickly defeated the Cheshire party, and recovered Chester, Liverpool, and all the other places they had seized. Divers also of their commanders in and after the battle were taken prisoners, whereof Sir George Booth himself was one.

This exploit done, Lambert, before his return, caressed his soldiers with an entertainment at his own house in Yorkshire, and got their consent to a petition to be made to the House, that a general might be set up in the army; as being unfit that the army should be judged by any power extrinsic to itself.

B. I do not see that unfitness.

A. Nor I. But it was (as I have heard) an axiom of Sir Henry Vane’s. But it so much displeased the Rump, that they voted, that the having of more generals in the army than were already settled, was unnecessary, burthensome, and dangerous to the commonwealth.

B. This was not Oliver’s method; for though this Cheshire victory had been as glorious as that of Oliver at Dunbar, yet it was not the victory that made Oliver general, but the resignation of Fairfax, and the proffer of it to Cromwell by the Parliament.

A. But Lambert thought so well of himself, as to expect it. Therefore, at his return to London, he and other of the officers assembling at Wallingford House, drew their petition into form, and called it a representation; wherein the chief point was to have a general, but many others of less importance were added; and this they represented to the House, October the 4th, by Major-General Desborough. And this so far forth awed them, as to teach them so much good manners as to promise to take it presently into debate. Which they did; and October the 12th, having recovered their spirits, voted: that the commissions of Lambert, Desborough, and others of the council at Wallingford House, should be void: item, that the army should be governed by a commission to Fleetwood, Monk, Hazlerig, Walton, Morley, and Overton, till February the 12th following. And to make this good against the force they expected from Lambert, they ordered Hazlerig and Morley to issue warrants to such officers as they could trust, to bring their soldiers next morning into Westminster; which was done somewhat too late. For Lambert had first brought his soldiers thither, and beset the House, and turned back the Speaker, which was then coming to it; but Hazlerig’s forces marching about St. James’s park-wall, came into St. Margaret’s churchyard; and so both parties looked all day one upon another, like enemies, but offered not to fight: whereby the Rump was put out of possession of the House; and the officers continued their meeting as before, at Wallingford House.

There they chose from among themselves, with some few of the city, a committee, which they called the committee of safety, whereof the chief were Lambert and Vane; who, with the advice of a general council of officers, had power to call delinquents to trial, to suppress rebellions, to treat with foreign states, &c. You see now the Rump cut off, and the supreme power (which is charged with salus populi) transferred to a Council of Officers. And yet Lambert hopes for it in the end. But one of their limitations was, that they should within six weeks present to the army a new model of the government. If they had done so, do you think they would have preferred Lambert or any other to the supreme authority therein, rather than themselves?

B. I think not. When the Rump had put into commission, amongst a few others, for the government of the army, that is to say, for the government of the three nations, General Monk, already commander-in-chief of the army in Scotland, and that had done much greater things in this war than Lambert, how durst they leave him out of this committee of safety? Or how could Lambert think that General Monk would forgive it, and not endeavour to fasten the Rump again?

A. They thought not of him; his gallantry had been shown on remote stages, Ireland and Scotland. His ambition had not appeared here in their contentions for the government, but he had complied both with Richard and the Rump. After General Monk had signified by letter his dislike of the proceedings of Lambert and his fellows, they were much surprised, and began to think him more considerable than they had done; but it was too late.

B. Why? His army was very small for so great an enterprise.

A. The general knew very well his own and their forces, both what they were then, and how they might be augmented, and what generally city and country wished for, which was the restitution of the King: which to bring about, there needed no more but to come with his army (though not very great) to London; to the doing whereof, there was no obstacle but the army with Lambert. What could he do in this case? If he had declared presently for the King or for a free Parliament, all the armies in England would have joined against him, and assuming the title of a Parliament would have furnished themselves with money.

General Monk, after he had thus quarrelled by his letter with the Council of Officers, secured first those officers of his own army which were Anabaptists and therefore not to be trusted, and put others into their places; then drawing his forces together, marched to Berwick. Being there, he indicted a convention of the Scots, of whom he desired that they would take order for the security of that nation in his absence, and raise some maintenance for his army in their march. The convention promised for the security of the nation their best endeavour, and raised him a sum of money, not great, but enough for this purpose, excusing themselves upon their present wants. On the other side, the committee of safety with the greatest and best part of their army sent Lambert to oppose him; but at the same time, by divers messages and mediators urged him to a treaty; which he consented to, and sent three officers to London to treat with as many of theirs. These six suddenly concluded (without power from the general) upon these articles: that the King be excluded; a free state settled; the ministry and universities encouraged; with divers others. Which the general liked not, and imprisoned one of his commissioners for exceeding his commission. Whereupon another treaty was agreed on, of five to five. But whilst these treaties were in hand, Hazlerig, a member of the Rump, seized on Portsmouth, and the soldiers sent by the committee of safety to reduce it, instead of that, entered into the town and joined with Hazlerig. Secondly, the city renewed their tumults for a free Parliament. Thirdly, the Lord Fairfax, a member also of the Rump, and greatly favoured in Yorkshire, was raising forces there behind Lambert, who being now between two armies, his enemies would gladly have fought with the general. Fourthly, there came news that Devonshire and Cornwall were listing of soldiers. Lastly, Lambert’s army wanting money, and sure they should not be furnished from the Council of Officers, which had neither authority nor strength to levy money, grew discontented, and (for their free quarter) were odious to the northern countries.

B. I wonder why the Scots were so ready to furnish General Monk with money; for they were no friends to the Rump.

A. I know not; but I believe the Scots would have parted with a greater sum, rather than the English should not have gone together by the ears amongst themselves. The Council of Officers being now beset with so many enemies, produced speedily their model of government; which was to have a free Parliament, which should meet December the 15th, but with such qualifications of no King, no House of Lords, as made the city more angry than before. To send soldiers into the west to suppress those that were rising there, they durst not, for fear of the city; nor could they raise another for want of money. There remained nothing but to break, and quitting Wallingford House to shift for themselves. This coming to the knowledge of their army in the north, they deserted Lambert; and the Rump, the 26th of December, re-possessed the House.

B. Seeing the Rump was now reseated, the business pretended by General Monk for his marching to London, was at an end.

A. The Rump, though seated, was not well settled, but (in the midst of so many tumults for a free Parliament) had as much need of the general’s coming up now as before. He therefore sent them word, that because he thought them not yet secure enough, he would come up to London with his army; which they not only accepted, but also intreated him to do, and voted him for his services 1,000l. a year.

The general marching towards London, the country everywhere petitioned him for a free Parliament. The Rump, to make room in London for his army, dislodged their own. The general for all that, had not let fall a word in all this time that could be taken for a declaration of his final design.

B. How did the Rump revenge themselves on Lambert?

A. They never troubled him; nor do I know any cause of so gentle dealing with him: but certainly Lambert was the ablest of any officer they had to do them service, when they should have means and need to employ him. After the general was come to London, the Rump sent to the city for their part of a tax of 100,000l. a month, for six months, according to an act which the Rump had made formerly before their {{wikt:disseisin|disseisin}} by the committee of safety. But the city, who were adverse to the Rump, and keen upon a free Parliament, could not be brought to give their money to their enemies and to purposes repugnant to their own. Hereupon the Rump sent order to the general to break down the city gates and their portcullises, and to imprison certain obstinate citizens. This he performed, and it was the last service he did them.

About this time the commission, by which General Monk with others had the government of the army put into their hands by the Rump before the usurpation of the Council of Officers, came to expire; which the present Rump renewed.

B. He was thereby the sixth part of the general of the whole forces of the commonwealth. If I had been as the Rump, he should have been sole general. In such cases as this, there cannot be a greater vice than pinching. Ambition should be liberal.

A. After the pulling down of the city gates, the general sent a letter to the Rump, to let them know that that service was *very* much against his nature, and to put them in mind how well the city had served the Parliament throughout the whole war.

B. Yes. But for the city the Parliament never could have made the war, nor the Rump ever have murdered the King.

A. The Rump considered not the merit of the city, nor the good-nature of the general. They were busy. They were giving out commissions, making of acts for abjuration of the King and his line, and for the old engagement, and conferring with the city to get money. The general also desired to hear conference between some of the Rump and some of the secluded members, concerning the justice of their seclusion, and of the hurt that could follow from their readmission: and it was granted. After long conference, the general finding the Rump’s pretences unreasonable and ambitious, declared himself (with the city) for a free Parliament, and came to Westminster with the secluded members (whom he had appointed to meet and stay for him at Whitehall), and replaced them in the House amongst the Rumpers; so that now the same cattle that were in the House of Commons 1640, except those that were dead, and those that went from them to the late King at Oxford, are all there again.

B. But this (methinks) was no good service to the King, unless they had learned better principles.

A. They had learned nothing. The major part was now again Presbyterian. It is true they were so grateful to General Monk as to make him general of all the forces in the three nations. They did well also to make void the engagement; but it was because those acts were made to the prejudice of their party; but recalled nothing of their own rebellious ordinances, nor did anything in order to the good of the present King; but on the contrary, they declared by a vote: that the late King began the war against his two Houses.

B. The two Houses considered as two persons, were they not two of the King’s subjects? If a king raise an army against his subject, is it lawful for that subject to resist with force, when (as in this case) he might have had peace upon his submission?

A. They knew they had acted vilely and sottishly; but because they had always pretended to greater than ordinary wisdom and godliness, they were loath to confess it. The Presbyterians now saw their time to make a Confession of their Faith, and presented it to the House of Commons;[9] which the Commons, to show they had not changed their principles (after six readings in the House) voted to be printed, and once a year to be read publicly in every church.

B. I say again, this re-establishing of the Long Parliament was no good service to the King.

A. Have a little patience. They were re-established with two conditions, one: to determine their sitting before the end of March, another: to send out writs before their rising for new elections.

B. That qualifies.

A. That brought in the King: for few of this Long Parliament (the country having felt the smart of their former service) could get themselves chosen again. This New Parliament began to sit April the 25th 1660. How soon these called in the King; with what joy and triumph he was received; how earnestly his Majesty pressed the Parliament for the act of oblivion, and how few were excepted out of it; you know as well as I.

B. But I have not yet observed in the Presbyterians any oblivion of their former principles. We are but returned to the state we were in at the beginning of the sedition.

A. Not so: for before that time, though the Kings of England had the right of the militia in virtue of the sovereignty, and without dispute, and without any particular act of Parliament directly to that purpose; yet now, after this bloody dispute, the next (which is the present) Parliament, in proper and express terms hath declared the same to be the right of the King only, without either of his Houses of Parliament; which act is more instructive to the people, than any arguments drawn from the title of sovereign, and consequently fitter to disarm the ambition of all seditious haranguers for the time to come.

B. I pray God it prove so. Howsoever, I must confess that this Parliament has done all that a Parliament can do for the security of our peace: which I think also would be enough, if preachers would take heed of instilling evil principles into their auditory. I have seen in this revolution a circular motion of the sovereign power through two usurpers, *father and son*, from the late King to this his son. For (leaving out the power of the Council of Officers, which was but temporary, and no otherwise owned by them but in trust) it moved from King Charles I. to the Long Parliament; from thence to the Rump; from the Rump to Oliver Cromwell; and then back again from Richard Cromwell to the Rump; thence to the Long Parliament; and thence to King Charles II., where long may it remain.

A. Amen. And may he have as often as there shall be need such a general.

B. You have told me little of the general till now in the end: but truly, I think the bringing of his little army entire out of Scotland up to London, was the greatest stratagem that is extant in history.


  1. was no monarchy.
  2. eloquent things.
  3. they perfected the said High Court.
  4. and charity, the manners of religion.
  5. power, to the end … to him again.
  6. No, nor this, whose design was upon the sovereignty.
  7. party, and to receive the tenth part of.
  8. Yes, yes: know.
  9. … House of Commons, to show … principles; which, after … House, was voted to be, &c.