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A.D. 1657. to be an absurd boast.42 For this assertion the
bishop does not quote any authority; and it is surprising that neither Mr. Locke nor Mr. Stringer (who have both left some account of Lord Shaftesbury) should have taken the least notice of so extraordinary a circumstance, especially if what the bishop says of him be true, viz. “ that he had such an extravagant vanity in setting himself out, as made him very disagreeable:” which observation, likewise, does not seem consistent with the
other parts of his character. A.D. 1658. On the 3rd of September 1658, Oliver Cromwell death weds died, and soon after him died that power which
his vigour alone had supported. He had an active courage, an extensive mind, and an unbounded ambition. He was sagacious in forming, artful in conducting, and steady in executing his schemes. To a profound dissimulation, he added an extraordinary knowledge of mankind. He was zealous
42 It does appear that Burnet has drawn the character of Shaftesbury somewhat unfairly. The bishop for some time enjoyed his intimacy; and the earl, who was ambitious of shining in conversation, often made remarks which were rather brilliant than judicious. From these light sallies of an unguarded moment Burnet seems to have sketched those darker features which predominate in his portrait of his former friend.
for the honour of England abroad, where he raised A.D. 1658. it to a great height; but an enemy to her liberties at home, where he entirely depressed them. He sought out and employed men of abilities, as the sinews of his government. Having acquired this by art and by the sword, he maintained it by the same means, and broke through the laws wherever they interfered with his will. To his power all his views were directed, all his principles were sacrificed, all his passions were subservient; and to this were the three kingdoms, at length, entirely subjected
The conduct of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper in public affairs
from the death of Oliver Cromwell to the Restoration ; and a particular account of the concern which he had in bringing about that event.
succeeds his father.
Sir An. thony's views.
A.D. 1658. Oliver Cromwell left the protectorship to his Cromwell son Richard, who, being destitute of his father's
bis abilities, could not long support it. The conse
quence of this was, that the government fell into great confusions, and in a short time underwent a variety of changes. In the midst of these, every man who was a wellwisher to the royal family conceived hopes of the Restoration; and Sir Anthony, always watchful for advantages, and ever active to improve them, was in many consultations with those who had the greatest power and interest to bring it about: and, as he had always kept this in his view, it will appear that he was the principal person by whom it was effected. He thought that to divide the counsels of the government in being would be the surest method of destroying it, and of opening the door to a
restoration; and, therefore, he soon paved the A.D. 1658. way for this division.
Richard Cromwell, upon his father's death, was Flattering in a very solemn manner proclaimed protector in Richard's London and Westminster, and afterwards in most of the chief cities and towns in England: the city of London appeared very zealous; the army and navy congratulated him, and assured him of their fidelity; addresses were brought up from most of the counties in England; and compliments of condolence and congratulations were sent to him from several foreign princes, with offers of renewing their alliances. These things flattered Richard with an opinion of his security in his high station, and gave a melancholy prospect to the friends of the royal family. He called New para parliament, which met January the 27th, 1658-9, the upper house consisting of the same persons whom his father had constituted his house of lords. Sir Anthony, being chosen a member of this parliament, raised and fomented, by his address, a disunion among the members in the lower house, a contempt of the upper house, and a repugnance to the protectorate; which made it impracticable to settle Richard's government by their means. The house of commons fell into
house call ed in question.
A.D. 1658. great heats upon the establishing of the house of Authority peers. Lord Clarendon says, that “upon this of the upper all- argument they exercised themselves with great
licence, as well upon the creator of those peers, and power of the late protector, as upon his creatures the peers; of whose dignity they were not tender, but handled them according to the quality they had been of, not that which they were now grown to. They put the house in mind how grievous it had been to the kingdom that the bishops had sate in the house of peers, because they were looked upon as so many votes for the king ; which was a reason much stronger against these persons, who were all the work of the protector's own hand, and therefore could not but be entirely addicted and devoted to his
interest." Remark Lord Clarendon probably made this remark in of Sir An- consequence of the following excellent speech of
Sir Anthony's, which is here inserted at length, as it discovers the vivacity of his wit and the freedom of his spirit, and was attended with extraordinary consequences. The reader will observe, by some little inaccuracies, and the repetition of the words “to conclude,” that it was not a studied speech; and that Sir Anthony was carried