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have been better; but had the king shown courage it is
not likely that violence would have been used. Strafford
died with a dignity which embalmed his memory, and they
who, rejecting any plea for a milder course, said that stone-
dead had no fellow, failed to see that the memory and the
influence live.

Had Charles been a strong man he might have frankly


thrown himself into the arms of parliament, with good hope
of one day recovering part of his power. But if he had been
a strong man he would never have been where he was.
More than once in the course of the contest he or some
one at his side seems to have thought of calling the lead-
ers of the opposition into office and to have made overtures
of that sort. He created patriots titular privy council-
lors. He offered Pym the chancellorship of the exchequer.
But mutual confidence was fatally wanting. Feebly and
irresolutely Charles manoeuvred against a great tactician
thoroughly informed of all his moves. Allowance, how-
ever, must be made not only for his natural desire to
remain a real king, but for his natural belief that a real
king was indispensable to the nation. In the manifestoes

^ of all the patriot parliaments, in the speeches of all the pa-
triot leaders, he might have found warrants for that belief.
In political reform the patriots went together, dividing
only on the Bill of Attainder, and in that case not on party
lines. For ecclesiastical reform they went together up to
a certain mark, which was, in effect, that of a thoroughly
protestant church of England. They all concurred in

1641^ throwing Laud into prison, abolishing his court of high
commission, clipping his ecclesiastical jurisdiction, sweep-
ing away his ceremonial, and presently in carrying back
the communion table to the middle of the church, order-
ing the removal of images, crosses, candlesticks, and paint-
ings, condemning the Book of Sports, and restoring the
Puritan Sabbath, against which the Book of Sports was
directed. They all concurred in quashing the canons
which convocation made after the rising of parliament,
and practically suppressing convocation as an independent
legislature. They were all alike willing to reduce the


power of the bishops, and most of them were willing to
disable churchmen from holding secular office and to take
the bishops out of the House of Lords. Unhappily, they
were also unanimous in demanding the execution of the
penal laws against the popish priests, one of whom was put
to death, while another was with difficulty saved by the
king. But when it came to the abolition of episcopacy
and of the Prayer Book, which the Root-and-Branch party,
as it was called, demanded, the more conservative hung
back, a rift opened, discord broke out, and a royalist party
began to form itself on a religious line. There were re-
formers in the state who were not levellers, and who fore-
saw that, state and church being bound up together, a
" parity " in one would be apt to bring with it a " parity " in
the other. Liberals, such as Falkland, might shrink from
the domination of a popular ministry as much as from the
domination of the bishops. Conservatism was naturally
prevalent in the Lords, who showed themselves unwilling
to consent to the removal of the bishops from their House.
The reaction was all the stronger because, the depths of
opinion being stirred by revolutionary agitation, fanatical
sectarianism had raised its head and mechanics w^ere dar-
ing to preach. On the Root-and-Branch Bill, for the
total abolition of episcopacy, the open rupture took place.
Throughout this history and down to our own time we
have occasion to mark the evils and the confusion which
arise from a connection of the church with the state and
the entanglement of political progress with ecclesiastical
and theological disputes. The fallacy was natural, per-
haps inevitable, but it was profound and its effects were
deadly. At the root of all was the belief in dogma as
necessary to salvation.


Charles had succumbed, but he had not acquiesced. He
and his queen continue to negotiate for support in differ-
ent, indeed in opposite, quarters ; among the catholic lords
of Ireland, at Rome, at Madrid, and in Holland, whose
1641 Stadtholder's heir now marries their daughter Mary. The
1641 king declares his intention of going to Scotland, osten-
sibly for the purpose of settling it and of disbanding the
English army by the way, really to make himself a party
among the Scotch nobles, ever ready for cabal, and perhaps
at the same time to collect proofs of the treasonable corre-
spondence of the English leaders with the Scotch. Failing
to prevent his going, the leaders send a committee with
Hampden at its head to watch him, and the precaution was
soon justified by the bursting of a plot at Edinburgh against
Argyle and the Covenanting leaders quaintly designated
the Incident, in which figured the restless spirit of the
young Montrose.
1641 Then came like a thunder-clap the news of a great rebel-
lion of the catholics and a massacre of the protestants in
Ireland. The causes of the rebellion were race, religion,
and confiscation of land, especially the last, together with
the fear of a Puritan parliament and the contagion of politi-
cal excitement. By the persecution of the native religion,
the catholic nobles and clergy were driven to cast in their
lot with the rebel peasantry, who might otherwise have
been without leaders. That there was a terrible massacre
of protestants cannot be doubted. Nor can we at once
reject stories of special atrocity, however fiendish. Every-
one knows of what Celtic frenzy in Ireland or in Paris is
capable. It seems that besides those who were slain out-
right multitudes were driven from their homes to die of
cold and want. That the excited imagination of the sur-


vivors saw ghosts is no proof of the unreality of the mas-
sacre. There must have been something to excite their
imagination The shock in England was as that of a
Cawnpore on a large scale and close at home. Charles was
said to have used words importing that he regarded the
catastrophe as rather an opportune diversion. To know
whether he was himself entirely free from blame for the
outbreak we must be better informed as to his dealings
with the catholic nobles of Ireland.

P3^m and the leaders, apprised of the machinations in
Scotland, appalled by the news from Ireland, and probably
not unaware of the incessant intrigues of the queen, felt
that they were now standing on a mine. About this time
an attempt was made to assassinate Pym. A letter was
handed to him in the House from which, when it was
opened, dropped a rag taken from a plague-sore, and in-
tended to give him the plague. Violence was in the air^
Pym resolved on the momentous step of an appeal against
the crown to the people. It took the form of the Grand
Remonstrance, a manifesto rehearsing in two hundred 1641
and six clauses all the abuses, misdeeds, and usurpations
of Charles's government, civil and ecclesiastical, since
the beginning of the reign, magnifying the services and
achievements of parliament in obtaining redress and re-
form, and ending with a demand for more complete safe- '
guards, notably for the right of excluding from the king's
council all who had not the confidence of the Commons ; a
right which if conceded would have in effect given parlia-
ment the control of the executive government. There was,
of course, the ever-recurring and ever-hateful demand for
the execution of the penal laws against the catholics. To
reassure the timid on the religious question and prevent a


split, the reformers declared that it was far from their pur-
pose or desire to let loose the golden reins of discipline and
government in the church, leaving particular congregations
or private persons to take up what form of worship they
pleased, inasmuch as they held it requisite that there
should be throughout the whole realm a conformity to that
order which the laws enjoined according to the Word of
God. For church reformation a general synod which
would not be, like convocation, under the control of the
crown and the bishops, was to be convened. In the list of
royal misdeeds the slow murder of Sir John Eliot was not
forgotten ; Pym and Hampden no doubt remembered it
well, and took it as a warning against trusting themselves
to the hands of Charles. The final debate on the Grand
Remonstrance was a pitched battle between the two parties
of revolution and reaction, now distinctly separated from
each other. It was one of the great oratorical contests of
history. A debate was not then a series of speeches
addressed to the public outside with little thought of
influencing the vote ; it was a struggle for victory in an
assembly still deliberative. The speakers here were of the
highest order, the fight was for the life of the revolution,
and the excitement was intense. Unhappily, only the barest
outline of the speeches remains to us. After being fiercely
debated from early morning till midnight, the Remon-
1641 strance was carried by 159 to 148. So electric was the
atmosphere that the attempt of one of the minority to enter
a protest brought on a storm in which members not only
shouted and waved their hats wildly, but handled their
swords, and but for Hampden's presence of mind might have
sheathed them in each other's bowels. Cromwell said that
if the motion had been lost he would have gone to New



England. We may be sure that he would not have fled
from a shadow. In the impossibility, as the leaders deemed
it, of relying on the good faith of the king, and the conse-
quent insecurity of all that had been won, must be sought
the justification of a step beyond doubt revolutionary
and tending to civil war. The royalist historian ad-
mits that Charles had made concessions lightly because
he was advised that having been made under compul-
sion they might afterwards lawfully be withdrawn. That
the court was all along meditating a forcible resump-
tion of its power seems to have been sufficiently proved.
In the queen^s circle plottings for bringing up the army
to coerce parliament were always going on, negotiations
for foreign aid in different quarters were always on
foot, and applications were always being made for as-
sistance to the pope, whose terms were the king's con-

Charles returned from Scotland in a hopeful mood. He 1641
had made his peace with the Covenanting Earl of Argyle,
now master of that country. At the same time he had
seen the germ formed of a royalist party, foremost in
which, though lately so zealous for the Covenant, was
Montrose. He probably believed himself to have found
proofs of the correspondence of the English leaders with
the Scotch. In his absence events had been working in
his favour. The seething of the revolutionary cauldron
and the appearance of anarchic forces on the scene had
awakened a reaction among the wealthier classes. The
people were probably galled by the taxation which the
parliament had been compelled to impose in order to pro-
vide the Brotherly Aid demanded by the Scotch. The
fascinating queen had skilfully plied her arts. Charles


1641 was welcomed to London, and was splendidly feasted, at
Guildhall by a royalist who had been elected Lord
Mayor. He felt confident, and received the Remonstrance
with a light heart. Meantime the plot was thickening.
Disbanded soldiers and other violent partisans of the court
were gathered round the palace at Westminster. There
were affrays between them and the city apprentices. The
nicknames of Roundhead and Cavalier were heard. Mobs
surrounded the Houses. The bishops, being hustled and
insulted when they went to the House of Lords, withdrew,

1641 and in an unhappy moment protested that in their absence
the proceedings of parliament were void, for which ten of
them were, with the revolutionary violence which now
reigned, impeached and imprisoned. The appointment by

1641 the king of Lunsford, a desperate character, to the govern-
orship of the Tower naturally filled the Commons with
alarm. Charles, in his wiser mood, had called into his
councils Falkland, Hyde, and Culpepper, constitutional
royalists who, if he had listened to their advice, might
have guided him aright. But less wise counsellors, the
brilliant and restless Digby, a convert to royalism, and the
queen, turned his wavering mind to a less prudent course.

1642 jje ordered his attorney-general to proceed against five
members of the House of Commons, including Pym and
Hampden, and one member of the House of Lords, Kim-
bolton, afterwards Earl of Manchester, for high treason.
The House of Commons refused to give up the five mem-
bers. Charles, goaded on by his wife, who called him a
poltroon, and bade him pull out the rogues by the ears or
never see her again, went in person with an armed train to
arrest the members in the House. But the queen had
betrayed the plot to a faithless confidante. The birds had


flown. Speaker Lenthall, questioned by the king, could
neither see nor hear but as he was commanded by the
House. If Charles had ever meditated further violence,
which probably he had not, his resolution failed him, and
he departed with his train. But all hope of peace was
gone. The House took refuge in the sympathizing city,
whence it returned in triumph ; while a great body of free-
holders rode up from Buckinghamshire to tender their
support to Hampden. The king left Whitehall, whither he
was to return only to die. Hollow negotiations went on,
each party manoeuvring for the weather-gage of public
opinion. To the exclusion of the bishops from the House 1542
of Lords the king assented, probably at the instance of the
queen, who, as a catholic, cared little for heretic bishops,
and little for the heretic church altogether, so long as her
husband kept the sword. The ultimatum of the Commons
was the control of the king's council, in effect of the exec-
utive government, with the command of the military force ; i642
concessions which would practically have reduced the mon-
archy to a constitutional figurehead. Charles's answer
was decisive. To the suggestion that he might resign the
command of the military force for a time he replied, " By
God ! not for an hour ; you have asked that of me in this,
was never asked of a king, and with which I will not trust
my wife and children." Then came civil war.

The voice of the cannon was preceded by volleys of paper
missiles from both sides. A stately war of manifestoes
was waged between Pym for the Commons and Clarendon
for the king. Clarendon had the best of it, since it was
impossible to prove that revolution was constitutional.
Yet Pym was wise in doing his best to persuade a law-
loving people tliat the revolution had law on its side.
VOL. I вАФ 34


It was on a political issue that the parliament finally-
broke with the king. But the religious question between
Anglican and Puritan was the deepest after all. Loyalty
to the person of the king, however, had become a tenet of
the Anglican church, and apart from religion was strong
among the upper gentry. As a distinct principle of action
it is perhaps now avowed for the first time. " I have
eaten the king's bread, and served him near thirty years,
and I will not do so base a thing as to forsake him, and
choose rather to lose my life (which I am sure I shall do),
to preserve and defend those things which are against my
conscience to preserve and defend: for I will deal freely
with you, I have no reverence for the bishops for whom
this quarrel subsists." So spoke Sir Edmund Verney, the
king's standard-bearer, and there were many who though
they had not eaten the king's bread, thought themselves
like him bound, in whatever cause, to fight for the king.
Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir Bevil Grenville, and Sir Jacob
Astley were noble specimens of a worship of royalty which,
if the idol in its shrine is sometimes an ape, is still devotion
and not interest, at least not the interest of the individual
man, but the sublimated interest of his class.

All wars are evils, and a civil war is far the greatest.
But civil war, like international war, will remain a possi-
bility till political science, or something clear of passion
and self-interest, reigns. If socialism insists on confis-
cating property, and property is resolved to resist confis-
cation, there will be civil war; and it may be open to
doubt whether the arbitrament of force is morally much
worse than the arbitrament of factious strife, with the
malignity, the trickery, the lying, and the corruption which
it involves. That there must be a national religion, and


all must be required to conform, was the belief of both
the great parties at this time, the light of religious liberty
having as yet dawned but on few minds. To decide
whether the religion should be protestant or anti-protestant,
and at the same time whether the king or the parliament
should be supreme, was in that age hardly possible save by
the sword.

Sir William Waller writes to his friend and antagonist,
the royalist general. Sir Ralph Hopton, " My affections to
you are so unchangeable, that hostility itself cannot violate
my friendship to your person. But I must be true to the
cause wherein I serve. . . . That great God who is the
searcher of my heart knows with what a sad sense I go upon
this service, and with what a perfect hatred I detest this
war without an enemy. . . . The God of Heaven in His
good time send us the blessing of peace, and in the mean-
time fit us to receive it ! We are both upon the stage, and
must act such parts as are assigned us in this tragedy.
Let us do it in a way of honour and without personal ani-
mosities." It was not only friend against friend and
neighbour against neighbour, but father against son, son
against father, brother against brother, while women's
hearts were to be torn between the husband who fought
on one side, the father and brother who fought on the
other. Those who last Christmas had met round the
same festive board were before next Christmas to meet in

Yet this civil war of Englishmen was, on the whole,
carried on as Sir William Waller had prayed ; and,
if by no means without personal animosity, or without
cruelty, at least without the savage cruelty which has
marked the civil wars of some nations. It was waged, on


the whole, as a war of principle, the war of a self-controlled
and rtianly race. Atrocities there were on both sides, most
on that of the Cavaliers, whose leader, Rupert, had been
trained in savage German war. Towns were sacked ;
1645 Leicester, for instance, was cruelly sacked by the royalists.
There was plundering, chiefly on the side of the Cava-
liers, while the Roundhead armies subsisted more on regu-
lar exactions. There were cases of garrisons slaughtered
when resistance had ceased. But England was not wasted
as Germany was wasted by the armies of Mansfeld and
Wallenstein. The laws of war were generally observed,
and quarter was usually given. Only with the hapless
Irish, alien in race and in religion, who had set the ex-
ample of massacre, war was internecine. To them no
quarter was given ; even their female camp-followers were
put to the sword. The women of Lyme, finding an
Irishwoman left in the abandoned camp of the besiegers,
set upon her and tore her to pieces. There appears to
have been comparatively little interruption in the general
course of life and of law. The war was entered upon,
too, by the Commons at least, in the right spirit as a most
mournful necessity, with public humiliation and prayer.
The playhouses were closed by the ordinance of parlia-
ment, as in a time of national sorrow. These hypocrites,
say royalists, knelt down to pray, and rose up again to
shed innocent blood. Does not every religious soldier,
when he goes into battle, do the same?

Those who give the signal for civil war are bound to
have its object and the conditions of peace clearly in
view. To put out with the ship of state on a raging sea
without knowing for what port you are making would be
the height of folly and of crime. What did Pym and


Hampden mean to do with the church and commonwealth
when they had beaten the king? The church, of course,
they meant to make Puritan, probably with an episcopate
unmitred and reduced in power ; for neither of them was
in principle opposed, as were the Presbyterians and Inde-
pendents, to that form of church government. As to
the commonwealth, both of them were monarchists, though
they wished to put the monarch under parliamentary con-
trol. Yet they could never have set Charles again upon
his throne. That no faith could be placed in his pledges
and concessions, however solemn, was their motive and
justification for drawing the sword. Probably they would
have done what was done by their political heirs in 1688;
they would have kept the monarchy, but changed the
dynasty. Lewis, the young Elector Palatine, son of that
protestant idol, the Electress Elizabeth, had appeared in
England, and the eyes of the people had been turned to
him. It seems not unlikely that, had the party of Pym
and Hampden prevailed, he might have been called to the
constitutional throne to which the patriots of 1688 called
William of Orange.

Parliament levied war against the king in the king's
name, pretending that it sought to secure him from the
hands of bad advisers, Malignants, as they began to be
called, and that its commands to fight against him were
his commands transmitted through the two Houses as his
constitutional mouthpieces. But this fiction did not pre-
vent it from organizing itself as a revolutionary govern-
ment, with an executive committee of which Pj^m was the
chief; from raising an army; from supplying itself with
money by the exercise of the taxing power ; or, when the
keeper of the great seal had carried it away to the king, i644


1643 from making for itself a new great seal. It passed Acts,
calling them Ordinances. The king in time called a par-

1644 liament of his own at Oxford, widening the gulf between
him and Westminster. At Westminster the Commons were
practically the parliament. The Lords had for some time
been feeling the influences 'of their rank and wealth, and
falling behind the Commons in revolutionary zeal. They
had needed to be told that if they would not do their
part in saving the nation, the Commons must save it by
themselves. Secession soon reduced them to a handful,
and they sank by degrees into an appendage of the Com-
mons, preserved for the sake of the constitutional forms
to which with English tenacity the revolutionists clung.
London being the mainstay and the treasury of the cause,
its council had a share of power, and by Cavalier scof-
fers the revolutionary government was called the Common
Council, the Commons Council, and the Three Lords.

Ecclesiastical as well as political supremacy was grasped
by the revolutionary assembly. Episcopacy was swept
aside, and the bishops' lands, with those of the cathedral
chapters, w^ere presently thrown into the revolutionary
1643 treasury. To an assembly of one hundred and twenty-
one divines, sitting at Westminster, parliament entrusted
the arduous task of framing a national church, with its
creed and form of worship, after the Puritan model. Of
the divines, almost all, including the prolocutor, Dr.
Twisse, were Presbyterians bent upon imposing on the
nation that rule which they deemed of divine institution ;
but which, while it would have saved from priestcraft
and thaumaturgy, would have laid on free thought and
spiritual liberty a yoke hardly less heavy than was that
of Laud and would have cast a still darker shadow than


was cast by Laud's despotism over social life. A few of
the members, headed by Goodwin and Nye, and classed as
Independents, were for the Congregational system and.gen-
erally inclined towards that which these men called Chris-
tian liberty, and the Presbyterian abhorred as toleration.
A few Episcopalians had at first been nominated for
appearance' sake, but they at once dropped out. The
Erastian principle of state control over the church was
effectively represented by the learned Selden, with some
other lawyers, to the great annoyance of the theocratic
Presbyterians. All, Presbyterians and Congregationalists

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