i00bost.

Favorite authors in prose and poetry online

. (page 49 of 66)
Online Libraryi00bostFavorite authors in prose and poetry → online text (page 49 of 66)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


coaches and guards a day's journey to meet Lockhart, the
Commonwealth Ambassador."; but refused to meet the
Christian King at all ; would not even meet Ormond except
as if by accident, " on the public road," to say that there was
no hope. The Spanish Minister, Don Louis de Haro, was
civiller in manner ; but as to Spanish Charles-Stuart Inva-
sions or the like, he also decisively shook his head. The
Royalist cause was as good as desperate in England ; a mel-
ancholy Reminiscence, fast fading away into the realm of
shadows. Not till Puritanism sank of its own accord, could
Royalism rise again. But Puritanism, the King of it once
away, fell loose very naturally in every fibre, fell into
Kinglessness, what we call Anarchy ; crumbled down, ever
faster, for Sixteen Months, in mad suicide, and universal
clashing and collision ; proved, by trial after trial, that there
lay not in it either Government or so much as Self- Govern-
ment any more ; that a Government of England by it was
henceforth an impossibility. Amid the general wreck of
things, all Government threatening now to be impossible,
the Reminiscence of Royalty rose again, u Let us take
refuge in the Past, the Future is not possible ! " and Major-
General Monk crossed the Tweed at Coldstream, with
results which are well known.

Results which we will not quarrel with, very mournful as
they have been ! If it please Heaven, these Two Hundred
Years of universal Cant in Speech, with so much of Cotton-
spimiing, Coal-boring, Commercing, and other valuable Sin-
cerity of Work going on the while, shall not be quite lost to



78 THOMAS CARLYLE.

us! Our Cant will vanish, our whole baleful cunningly
compacted Universe of Cant, as does a heavy Nightmare
Dream. We shall awaken ; and find ourselves in a world
greatly widened. Why Puritanism could not continue ?
My friend, Puritanism was not the Complete Theory of this
immense Universe ; no, only a part thereof! To me it
seems, in my hours of hope, as if the Destinies meant some-
thing grander with England than even Oliver Protector did !
We will not quarrel with the Destinies ; we will work as
we can towards fulfilment of them.



DEATH OF THE PROTECTOR.

OLIVER'S look was yet strong ; and young for his years,
which were Fifty-nine last April [1658]. The "Three-
score and ten years," the Psalmist's limit, which probably
was often in Oliver's thoughts and in those of others there,
might have been anticipated for him : Ten years more of
Life ; which, we may compute, would have given another
History to all the Centuries of England. But it was not to
be so, it was to be otherwise. Oliver's health, as we might
observe, was but uncertain in late times ; often " indisposed "
the spring before last. His course of life had not been
favorable to health ! " A burden too heavy for man ! " as
he himself, with a sigh, would sometimes say. Incessant
toil ; inconceivable labor, of head and heart and hand ; toil,
peril, and sorrow manifold, continued for near Twenty years
now, had done their part : those robust life-energies, it after-
ward appeared, had been gradually eaten out. Like a Tow-
er strong to the eye, but with its foundations undermined ;
which has not lofi g to stand ; the fall of which, on any shock,
may be sudden.

The Manzinis and Dues de Crequi, with their splendors,



CROMWELL. 79

and congratulations about Dunkirk, interesting to the street
populations and general public, had not yet withdrawn, when
at Hampton Court there had begun a private scene, of
much deeper and quite opposite interest there. The Lady
Claypole, Oliver's favorite Daughter, a favorite of all the
world, had fallen sick we know not when ; lay sick now,
to death, as it proved. Her disease was of internal female
nature; the painfullest and most harassing to mind and
sense, it is understood, that falls to the lot of a human crea-
ture. Hampton Court we can fancy once more, in those
July days, a house of sorrow ; pale Death knocking there,
as at the door of the meanest hut. " She had great suffer-
ings, great exercises of spirit ! " Yes : and in the depths
of the old Centuries, we see a pale anxious Mother, anxious
Husband, anxious weeping Sisters, a poor young Frances
weeping anew in her weeds. " For the last fourteen days "
his Highness has been by her bedside at Hampton Court,
unable to attend to any public business whatever. Be still,
my Child ; trust thou yet in God : in the waves of the Dark
River, there too is He a God of help ! On the 6th day of
August she lay dead ; at rest forever. My young, my beau-
tiful, my brave ! She is taken from me ; I am left bereaved
of her. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away,
blessed be the Name of the Lord ! . . . .

In the same dark days occurred George Fox's third
and last interview with Oliver George dates noth-
ing; and his facts everywhere lie round him like the leather-
parings of his old shop : but we judge it may have been
about the time when the Manzinis and Dues de Craaii
were parading in their gilt coaches, That George and two
Friends " going out of Town," on a summer day, " two of
Hacker's men " had met them, taken them, brought them
to the Mews. " Prisoners there a while " : but the Lord's
power was over Hacker's men; they had to let us go.
"Whereupon :



80 THOMAS CARLYLE.

" The same day, taking boat I went down " (up) " to
Kingston, and from 'thence to Hampton Court, to speak
with the Protector about the Sufferings of Friends. I met
him riding into Hampton-Court Park ; and before I came to
him as he rode at the head of his Lifeguard, I saw and felt

a waft " (whiff) " of death go forth against him." Or

in favor of him, George ? His life, if thou knew it, has not
been a merry thing for this man, now or heretofore ! I fancy
he has been looking, this long while, to give it up, when-
ever the Commander-in-chief required. To quit his labori-
ous sentry -post ; honorably lay up his arms, and be gone to
his rest: all Eternity to rest in, O George! Was thy
own life merry, for example, in the hollow of the tree ; clad
permanently in leather ? And does kingly purple, and gov-
erning refractory worlds instead of stitching coarse shoes,
make it merrier ? The waft of death is not against him I
think, perhaps against thee, and me, and others,
George, when the Nell-Gwyn Defender and Two Centuries
of all-victorious Cant have come in upon us ! My unfortu-
nate George, "a waft of death go forth against him;

and when I came to him, he looked like a dead man.
After I had laid the Sufferings of Friends before him, and
had warned him accordingly as I was moved to speak to
him, he bade me come to his house. So I returned to
Kingston ; and, the next day, went up to Hampton Court
to speak farther with him. But when I came, Harvey, who
was one that waited on him, told me the Doctors were not
willing that I should speak with him. So I passed away,
and never saw him more."

Friday, the 20th of August, 1658, this was probably the
day on which George Fox saw Oliver riding into Hampton
Park with his Guards for the last time. That Friday, as
we find, his Highness seemed much better : but on the mor-
row a sad change had taken place ; feverish symptoms, for
which the Doctors vigorously prescribed quiet. Saturday



CROMWELL. 81

to Tuesday the symptoms continued ever worsening : a kind
of tertian ague, " bastard tertian " as the old Doctors name
it ; for which it was ordered that his Highness should return
to Whitehall, as to a more favorable air in that complaint.
On Tuesday, accordingly, he quitted Hampton Court;
never to see it more.

" His time was come," says Harvey, " and neither prayers
nor tears could prevail with God to lengthen out his life,
and continue him longer to us. Prayers abundantly and
incessantly poured out on his behalf, both publicly and pri-
vately, as was observed, in a more than ordinary way. Be-
sides many a secret sigh, secret and unheard by men, yel
like the cry of Moses, more loud, and strongly laying hold
on God, than many spoken supplications. All which, the
hearts of God's People being thus mightily stirred up,
did seem to beget confidence in some, and hopes in all ; ye*>
some thoughts in himself, that God would restore him."

** Prayers public and private " : they are worth imagining
to ourselves. Meetings of Preachers, Chaplains, and Godly
Persons; "Owen, Goodwin, Sterry, with a company of
others in an adjoining room " ; in Whitehall, and elsewhere
over religious London and England, fervent outpourings of
many a loyal heart. For there were hearts to whom the
nobleness of this man was known ; and his worth to the
Puritan Cause was evident. Prayers, strange enough to
us ; in a dialect fallen obsolete, forgotten now. Authentic
wrestlings of ancient Human Souls, who were alive then,
with their affections, awe-struck pieties ; with their Human
Wishes, risen to be transcendent, hoping to prevail with the
Inexorable. All swallowed now in the depths of dark
Time ; which is full of such, since the beginning ! Truly it
is a great scene of World-History, this in old Whitehall:
Oliver Cromwell drawing nigh to his end. The exit of
Oliver Cromwell, and of English Puritanism; a great
Light, one of our few authentic Solar Luminaries, going
4* v



82 THOMAS CARLYLE.

down now amid the clouds of Death. Like the setting of a
great victorious summer Sun its course now finished.
" So stirbt ein Held," says Schiller ; " So dies a Hero ! Sight
worthy to be worshipped ! " He died, this Hero Oliver, in
Resignation to God, as the Brave have all done. " We could
not be more desirous he should abide," says the pious
Harvey, "than he was content and willing to be gone." The
struggle lasted, amid hope and fear, for ten days

On Monday, August 30th, there roared and howled all
day a mighty storm of wind. Ludlow, coming up to Town
from Essex, could not start in the morning for wind ; tried
it in the afternoon ; still could not get along, in his coach,
for head- wind; had to stop at Epping. On the morrow,
Fleetwood came to him in the Protector's name, to ask,
What he wanted here? Nothing of public concernment,
only to see my mother-in-law ! answered the solid man. For
indeed he did not know that Oliver was dying ; that the glo-
rious hour of Disenthralment, and immortal " Liberty " to
plunge over precipices with one's self and one's Cause, was
so nigh! It came; and he took the precipices, like a
strongboned resolute blind ginhorse, rejoicing in the break-
age of its halter, in a very gallant constitutional manner.
Adieu, my solid friend ; if I go to Vevay, I will read thy
Monument there, perhaps not without emotion, after all !

It was on this stormy Monday, while rocking-winds, heard
in the sick-room and everywhere, were piping aloud, that
Thurloe and an Official person entered to inquire, Who, in
case of the worst, was to be his Highness's Successor ? The
Successor is named in a sealed Paper already drawn up,
above a year ago, at Hampton Court; now lying in such
and such a place. The Paper was sent for, searched for;
it could never be found. Richard's is the name understood
to have been written in that Paper : not a good name ; but
in fact one does not know. In ten years' time, had ten
years more been granted, Richard might have become a



CROMWELL. 83

fitter man; might have been cancelled, if palpably unfit.
Or perhaps it was Fleetwood's name, and the Paper by
certain parties was stolen ? None knows. On the Thurs-
day night following, " and not till then," his Highness is
understood to have formally named " Richard ! " or per-
haps it might only be some heavy-laden " Yes, yes ! " spoken
out of the thick death-slumbers, in answer to Thurloe's ques-
tion " Richard ? " The thing is a little uncertain. It was,
once more, a matter of much moment ; giving color prob-
ably to all the subsequent Centuries of England, this an-
swer! ....

Thursday night the writer of our old Pamphlet was him-
self in attendance on his Highness ; and has preserved a
trait or two ; with which let us hasten to conclude. To-mor-
row is September Third, always kept as a Thanksgiving-
day, since the Victories of Dunbar and Worcester. The
wearied one, " that very night before the Lord took him to
his everlasting rest," was heard thus, with oppressed voice,
speaking :

" * Truly God is good ; indeed, He is ; He will not '
then his speech failed him, but, as I apprehended, it was,
4 He will not leave me.' This saying, ' God is good,' he fre-
quently used all along; and would speak it with much
cheerfulness, and fervor of spirit, in the midst of his pains.
Again he said: 'I would be willing to live to be farther
serviceable to God and His People : but my work is done.
Yet God will be with His People.'

" He was very restless most part of the night, speaking
often to himself. And there being something to drkk
offered him, he was desired to take the same, and endeavor
to sleep. Unto which he answered : ' It is not my desire
to drink or sleep ; but my design is, to make what haste I
can to be gone.'

" Afterwards, towards morning, he used divers holy ex-
pressions, implying much inward consolation and peace;



84 THOMAS CARLYLE.

among the rest he spake some exceeding self-debasing
words, annihilating and judging himself. And truly it was
observed, that a public spirit to God's Cause did breathe in
him, as in his lifetime so now to his very last."

When the morrow's sun rose, Oliver was speechlf -ss ; be-
tween three and four in the afternoon, he lay dead. Friday,
3d September, 1658. "The consternation and astonishment
3f all people," writes Fauconberg, " are inexpressible ; their
hearts seem as if sunk within them. My poor Wife, I
know not what on earth to do with her. When seemingly
quieted, she bursts out again into a passion that tears her
very heart to pieces." Husht, poor weeping Mary ! Here
is a Life-battle right nobly done. Seest thou not,

The storm is changed into a calm,

At His command and will ;
So that the waves which raged before,

Now quiet are and still !

Then are they glad, because at rest

And quiet now they be :
So to the haven He them brings

Which they desired to see.

" Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord " ; blessed are
the valiant that have lived in the Lord. " Amen, saith the
Spirit," Amen. " They do rest from their labors, and their
works follow them."

" Their works follow them." As, I think, this Oliver
Cromwell's works have done, and are still doing ? We have
had our " Revolutions of Eighty-eight," officially called " glo-
rious " ; and other Revolutions not yet called glorious, and
somewhat has been gained for poor Mankind. Men's ears
are not now slit off by rash Officially ; Officiality will, for
long henceforth, be more cautious about men's ears. The
tyrannous Star-chambers, branding-irons, chimerical Kings
and Surplices at All-hallowtide, they are gone, or with im-



CROMWELL. 85

mense velocity going, Oliver's works do follow him ! The
works of a man, bury them under what guano-mountains and
obscene owl-droppings you will, do not perish, cannot perish.
What of Heroism, what of Eternal Light was in a Man
and his Life, is with very great exactness added to the Eter-
nities, remains forever a new divine portion of the Sum of
Things ; and no owl's voice, this way or that, in the least,
avails in the matter. But we have to end here.

Oliver is gone ; and with him England's Puritanism,
laboriously built together by this man, and made a thing
far-shining miraculous to its own Century, and memorable
to all the Centuries, soon goes. Puritanism, without its
King, is h'ngless, anarchic; falls into dislocation, self-col-
lision ; staggers, plunges into ever deeper anarchy ; King,
Defender of the Puritan Faith there can none now be
found ; and nothing is left but to recall the old disowned
Defender with the remnants of his Four Surplices, and
Two Centuries of ffypocrisis (or Play-acting not so called),
and put up with all that, the best we may. The Genius of
England no longer soars Sunward, world-defiant like an
Eagle through the storms, " mewing her mighty youth," as
John Milton saw her do: the Genius of England, much
more like a greedy Ostrich intent on provender and a
whole skin mainly, stands with its other extremity Sunward
with its Ostrich-head stuck into the readiest bush of old
Church-tippets, King-cloaks, or what other ** sheltering Fal-
lacy " there may be, and so awaits the issue. The issue has
been slow ; but it is now seen to have been inevitable.
No Ostrich, intent on gross terrene provender, and sticking
its head into Fallacies, but will be awakened one day,

in a terrible a posteriori manner, if not otherwise !

Awake before it come to that ! God and man bid us awake !
The Voices of our Fathers, with thousand-fold stern moni-
tion to one and all, bid us awake.



LITTLE BELL.

BY T. WESTWOOD.

" He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast."

THE ANCIENT MARINER.

PIPED the Blackbird, on the beech wood spray,
" Pretty inaid, slow wandering this way,

What 's your name ? " quoth he.
" What's your name ? Oh ! stop and straight unfold,
Pretty inaid, with showery curls of gold."
" Little Bell," said she.

Little Bell sat down beneath the rocks,
Tossed aside her gleaming, golden locks,

" Bonny bird ! " quoth she,
" Sing me your best song, before I go."
" Here 's the very finest song, I know,
Little Bell," said he.

And the Blackbird piped you never heard
Half so gay a song from any bird ;

Full of quips and wiles,
Now so round and rich, now soft and slow,
All for love of that sweet face below,

Dimpled o'er with smiles.

And the while that bonny bird did pour

His full heart out, freely, o'er and o'er,

'Neath the morning skies,



LITTLE BELL. 87

In the little childish heart below,

All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow,

And shine forth in happy overflow

From the brown, bright eyes.

Down the dell she tripped, and through the glade
Peeped the squirrel from the hazel shade,

And, from out the tree,

Swung and leaped and frolicked, void of fear,
While bold Blackbird piped, that all might hear,

" Little Bell ! " piped he.

Little Bell sat down amid the fern :

" Squirrel, Squirrel ! to your task return ;

Bring me nuts ! " quoth she.
Up, away ! the frisky Squirrel hies,
Golden wood-lights glancing in his eyes,

And adown the tree,

Great ripe nuts, kissed brown by July sun,
In the little lap drop, one by one
Hark ! how Blackbird pipes, to see the fun !

" Happy Bell ! " pipes he.

Little Bell looked up and down the glade :
" Squirrel, Squirrel, from the nut-tree shade,
Bonny Blackbird, if you 're not afraid,

Come and share with me ! "
Down came Squirrel, eager for his fare,
Down came bonny Blackbird, I declare ;
Little Bell gave each his honest share

Ah ! the merry three !

And the while those frolic playmates twain
Piped and frisked from bough to bough again,
'Neath the morning skies,



88 T. WESTWOOD.

In the little childish heart below,

All the sweetness seemed to grow and grow,

And shine out in happy overflow,

From her brown, bright eyes.

By her snow-white cot, at close of day,
Knelt sweet Bell, with folded palms, to pray.

Very calm and clear

Rose the praying voice, to where, unseen,
In blue heaven, an angel shape serene

Paused awhile to hear.

44 What good child is this," the angel said,
" That, with happy heart, beside her bed,

Prays so lovingly ? "
Low and soft, oh ! very low and soft,
Crooned the Blackbird in the orchard croft,

" Bell, dear Bell ! " crooned he.

" Whom God's creatures love," the angel fair
Murmured, " God doth bless with angels' care ;

Child, thy bed shall be

Folded safe from harm ; love, deep and kind,
Shall watch round and leave good gifts behind,

Little Bell, for thee."



THE MORMON'S WIFE.

BY ROSE TEERY.

" ' Woe to that man/ his warning voice replied
To all who questioned, or in silence sighed
Woe to that man who ventures truth to win,
And seeks his object by the path of sin ! ' "

SCHILLER.

DON'T think much, my young friend, of those Mor*
mons ! I have had some reasons of my own for dislik-
ing them ! " said Parson Field to me, as we sat together, one
August noon, in the porch of his red house at Plainfield.

" Do tell me, sir," said I, settling myself in an easy atti-
tude to hear his story for a story from Parson Field was
not to be despised his quaint simplicity bringing out, in
old-time and expressive phrases, whatever he describes with
the clear fidelity of an interior by Aliens. " Do tell me,"
said I again, with a deeper emphasis ; whereat the old gen-
tleman looked at me over his spectacles, and, smiling benig-
nantly into my eager face, began.

" When I first came to Plainfield," said he, " more than
thirty years ago, I had been a minister of the Lord only tec
years, and I had been settled for that period of time in a
large city, where I served acceptably to a worthy congre-
gation ; but certain reasons of my own induced me ..o leave
that situation, and come here to live, where also I found
acceptance, and not many months after I came there was a
considerable reviving of the work in this place, and many
believed. Of these was a certain Joseph Frazer, a young



90 ROSE TERRY.

Scotchman, concerning whom I felt much misgiving, lest he
should take the wrong path ; but he, in due season, joined
himself to the church, and edified the brethren in walk and
conversation ; so that, when he left Plainfield and settled in
the West Indies, we were loth to have him go.

" Some years afterwards we heard he was married there
to a lady of Spanish extraction, and a Catholic ; and, after
ten years elapsed, she died, leaving him one child, a daugh-
ter, eight years of age, and with her he came to Plainfield,
desiring that the child, whom he had named Adeline, after
his own mother, should have a New England training.

" But, wonderful are the ways of Providence ! On his re-
turn to Cuba, he perished in the vessel, which went down
in a heavy gale off Cape Hatteras ; and when the news
came to his mother, old Mrs. Frazer, she sent for me that I
should tell the child Adeline, for she had given proofs of a
singular nature, ardent and self-confident in the extreme.
I took my hat, and went over to Mrs. Frazer's, with a very
heavy heart, for the grief of a child is a fearful thing to me,
and to be the bringer of evil tidings, that shall stain the
pureness and calm of a child's thoughts with the irreparable
shadow of death, is no light thing, nor easily to be done. I
entered into the house one day in June : it was a very sweet
day, and, as I walked quietly into the low kitchen, I saw
Adeline, with her head resting on her hands, and her large
eyes eagerly gazing out of the window at the gambols of a
scarlet-throated humming-bird. I went close to her, and
thought to myself that I would speak, but I did not, for I
saw that, in her little pale face, which made me more sad
than before ; and I had it on my lips to say, ' Adeline, are
you homesick?' (which was the thing of all others I should
not say) when suddenly she turned about, and answered the
question before I spoke it.

" ' Sir,' said she, ' I wish I was in Cuba. I had just such
a humming-bird at home ; and I fed it with orange boughs



THE MORMON'S WIFE. 91

full of white flowers, every day ; but you have no orange
trees here, and I have no papa ! '

" It seemed to me that the child's angel had thus opened
the way for me to speak, and I began to say some things
about the love of our universal Father, when she laid her
little hand on my arm with a fearfully strong pressure.
* Mr. Field,' said she, l is my papa dead ! ' I never shall
forget the eyes that looked that question into mine. I felt
like an unveiled spirit before their eager, piercing stare. I
did not answer except by a strong quiver of feeling that
would run over my features, for I loved her father even as
a kinsman, and I needed to say nothing more, for the child
fell at my feet quite rigid, and I called Mrs. Frazer, who
tried all her nurse-arts to restore little Adeline; but was
forced, at last, to send for a physician, who bled the child,
and brought her round.

" In the mean time I had gone home to prepare my ser-
mon, for it was not yet finished, and the day was Friday ;
but I kept seeing that little lifeless face, all orphaned as it
.was, and the Scripture, ' As one whom his mother comfort-
eth,' was so borne in upon my mind, that, although I had
previously fixed upon one adapted to a setting forth of the
doctrine of election, I was wrought upon to make the other
the subject of my discourse: and truly the people wept;



Online Libraryi00bostFavorite authors in prose and poetry → online text (page 49 of 66)