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any reasonable conditions of peace; which the Dutch BOOK appeared most solicitous to make upon any terms. e. But that which troubled him most, was the jealousy
1653. that his own party of independents, and other sectaries, f had contracted against him : that party, that had advanced him to the height he was at, and made him superior to all opposition, even his beloved Vane, thought his power and authority to be too great for a commonwealth, and that he and his army had not dependence enough upon, or submis. sion to, the parliament. So that he found those who had exalted him, now most solicitous to bring him lower; and he knew well enough what any diminution of his power and authority must quickly be attended with. He observed, that those his old friends very frankly united themselves with his and their old enemies, the presbyterians, for the prosecution of the war with Holland, and obstructing all the overtures towards peace; which must, in a short time, exhaust the stock, and consequently disturb any settlement in the kingdom.
In this perplexity he resorts to his old remedy, Cromwell his army; and again erects another council of offi- other councers, who, under the style, first, of petitions, and then of remonstrances, interposed in whatsoever expostulate had any relation to the army; used great impor- parliament tunity for “the arrears of their pay; that they arrears, and “ might not be compelled to take free quarter upon dissolution. “ their fellow subjects, who already paid so great “ contributions and taxes; which they were wel? “ assured, if well managed, would abundantly de“ fray all the charges of the war, and of the govern
cil of otficers; who
e terms.) conditions.
and other sectaries,] Not in MS.
BOOK “ ment.” The sharp answers the parliament gave
to their addresses, and the reprehensions for their 1653.
presumption in meddling with matters above them, gave the army new matter to reply to; and put them in mind of some former professions they had made, “ that they would be glad to be eased of “ the burden of their employment; and that there
might be successive parliaments to undergo the
same trouble they had done.” They therefore desired them, “ that they would remember how many “ years they had sat; and though they had done
great things, yet it was a great injury to the rest “ of the nation, to be utterly excluded from bearing
any part in the service of their country, by their
engrossing the whole power into their hands; and “ thereupon besought them, that they would settle “ a council for the administration of the govern“ ment during the interval, and then dissolve them“selves, and summon a new parliament; which,” they told them, “would be the most popular action “ they could perform.”
These addresses in the name of the army, being confidently delivered by some officers of it, and as confidently seconded by others who were members
of the house, it was thought necessary, that they liament dehate about should receive a solemn debate, to the end that tbe period
when the parliament had declared its resolution and sitting
determination, all persons might be obliged to acquiesce therein, and so there would be an end put to all addresses of that kind.
There were many members of the house, who, either from the justice and reason of the request, or seasonably to comply with the sense of the army, to which they foresaw they should be at last compelled
to submit, seemed to think it necessary, for abat- BOOK ing the great envy, which was confessedly against the parliament throughout the kingdom, that they 1653. . should be dissolved, to the end the people might make a new election of such persons as they thought fit to trust with their liberty and property, and whatsoever was dearest to them. But Mr. Martyn Harry
Martyn's told them, “ " that he thought they might find the application “ best advice from the scri»ture, what they were to of Messtory “ do in this particular : that when Moses was found to this pur
upon the river, and brought to Pharaoh's daugh“ter, she took care that the mother might be found “ out, to whose care he might be committed to be “ nursed; which succeeded very happily.” He said, “ their commonwealth was yet an infant, of a weak
growth, and a very tender constitution; and there“ fore his opinion was, that nobody could be so fit “ to nurse it, as the mother who brought it forth; “ and that they should not think of putting it under
any other hands, until it had obtained more years “ and vigour.” To which he added, " that they had “ another infant too under their hands, the war with “ Holland, which had thrived wonderfully under “ their conduct; but he much doubted that it would “ be quickly strangled, if it were taken out of their “ care who had hitherto governed it.”
These reasons prevailed so far, that, whatsoever The parwas said to the contrary, it was determined, that determined, the parliament would not yet think of dissolving, would not por would take it well, that any persons should yet think of
dissolving take the presumption any more to make overtures to them of that nature, which was not fit for private and particular persons to meddle with : and, to put a seasonable stop to any farther presumption of that
BOOK kind, they appointed a committee “ speedily to pre
“ pare an act of parliament for the filling up of their “ house; and 8 by which it should be declared to be
high treason, for any man to propose or contrive “ the changing ofh the present government settled " and established."
This bill being prepared by the committee, they resolved to pass it with all possible expedition. So Cromwell clearly discerned, that by this means they would never be persuaded to part with that authority and power, which was so profitable, and so pleasant to them: yet the army declared they were not satisfied with the determination, and continued their applications to the same purpose, or to others as unagreeable to the sense of the house; and did all they could to infuse the same spirit into all the parts of the kingdom, to make the parliament odious, as it was already very abundantly; and Cromwell was well pleased that the parliament should express as much prejudice against the army.
All things being thus prepared, Cromwell thought this a good season to expose these enemies of peace to the indignation of the nation; which, he knew i, was generally weary of the war, and hoped, if that were at an end, that they should be eased of the greatest part of their contributions, and other impositions: thereupon, having adjusted all things with
the chief officers of the army, who were at his devoCromwell tion, in the month of April, that was in the year officers dis. 1653, he came into the house of parliament in a parliament. morning when it was sitting, attended with the of
& for the filling up of their contrive the dissolution of this house; and] Not in MS. parliament, or to change
h contrive the changing of] knew] well knew
ficers, who were likewise members of the house, and BOOK
XIV. told them, “ that he came thither to put an end to
1653. “ their power and authority; which they had ma
naged so ill, that the nation could be no otherwise “ preserved than by their dissolution ; which he ad“ vised them, without farther debate, quietly to sub“ mit unto."
Thereupon another officer, with some files of musketeers, entered into the house, and stayed there till all the members walked out; Cromwell reproaching many of the members by name, as they went out of the house, with their vices and corruptions; and amongst the rest, sir Harry Vane with his breach of faith and corruption ; and having given the mace to an officer to be safely kept, he caused the doors to be locked up; and so dissolved that assembly, which had sat almost thirteen years, and under whose name he had wrought so much mischief, and reduced three kingdoms to his own entire obedience and subjection, without any example or precedent in the Christian world that could raise his ambition to such a presumptuous undertaking, and without any rational dependence upon the friendship of one man, who had any other interest to advance his designs, but what he had given him by preferring him in the war.
When he had thus prosperously passed this Rubicon, he lost no time in publishing a declaration of the grounds and reasons of his proceeding, for the satisfaction of the people : in which he put them in mind,“ how miraculously God had appeared for
them in reducing Ireland and Scotland to so great “ a degree of peace, and England to a perfect quiet;
whereby the parliament had opportunity to give