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is ' the uniquely best thing to be done for the good of the universe.' He
admits such duty to be indeterminable with precision. Mr. Bertrand
Russell follows in the same wake : ' The objectively right act is that one
of all acts that are possible which will probably produce the best
results ' [Philosophical Essays, p. 57).

2 ' Oportet perfectionem declarat ofhcii quo et semper utendum est
et omnibus : decere quasi aptum esse et porsonae '(Cicero, De Oral., 22).


idea of what a burden and a calamity they would be bringing
upon themselves by yielding to all that Jansenists taught
in the pride of their hearts about human perfection. ' Pure
as angels, but proud as demons,' was the description made
of the nuns at Port Royal. The extravagances of Jansen-
istic rigour are so utterly given up that they are nearly
forgotten : partisans praise in the lump the doctrines which
they would not for the world acknowledge in detail to be
binding, after realizing what they meant. Practically they
admit a large use of Probabilism and of the less perfect
courses as necessary for the on-going of the world according
to workable and enforcible principles. While we do not
recommend a less heroic and more self-indulgent course,
we can maintain that at least it is not positively wrong,
and so may be advantageously proposed to one who will
not do better and is ready to do positive evil if harder
terms are imposed. Always let us remember that a solid
reason is required by the Probabilist for declining an act
as not imperative on the conscience. Duty as prescribed
by those who are not rigoristic Jansenists, or preferentialists,
but ' Jesuits ' with or without disguise, remains a hard task
for the conscience, harder than most men are ready to
perform. Its morality is no narrow code, not ' la morale
de mesure ' : in some instances it rises to * la morale de
la folic et de I'amour et du desir infini,' Many a scorner
of Jesuit Probabilism would be astounded at the restric-
tions which it would place upon his customary liberty. A
plain comparison of its claim and of his would bring him
down from his stilts or from the high horse which he makes
pretence to ride with vast credit to himself.


In the preceding pages an attempt has been made to
include in the sketch a sufficient account of the theistic
element in ethics, and of the manner in which in a truly
natural system the Author of nature must inevitably find
a place of supreme dominance. It is not right at one
extreme to say, with Fichte, that man by his proper conduct
makes the moral order, and that this order is God, who can-


not be a substance, or a being apart, but only a moral order
in which man's love of God is God's love of Himself. Nor,
on the other hand, can we with Frederic Harrison call God
a metaphysical irrelevance in ethical practice.

Why need a Theist as such be one who has a rehgion ? All
that he does qua Theist is to answer certain cosmical problems
in a certain way — problems in metaphysics. Whereas the first
and last business of religion is to inspire men and women with a
desire to do their duty, and to hold out to them a common end
which harmonises and sanctifies their efforts.

Religion here simply means the morality of humanism
or of utility in furtherance of the greatest good of the race
on earth. To discuss this point and to make necessary
additions to what has already been said on the criteria of
morality, a further examination will have to be made upon
the question raised by the larger system of Utilitarianism.
At present it is enough to remark that while much of the
higher aspect of human utility enters as a constituent into
theistic ethics, we never can leave out, even in the smallest
instance, God and His Will — at least. His inviting when not
His commanding will. Kant thought that he had raised
to its true elevation the conception of human liberty in
morals by putting for God's precept the autonomous con-
sequence as sole law-giver ; but others still considered this
increase of liberty not enough because it left a stern com-
mandment, over against rebellious impulse of a sensuous
nature, which by reason of its wrong inclinations might be
said to be fallen and to need regeneration. Schiller sought,
as far as he could, admitting the insufficiency of the motive
in some cases to replace the constraint of externally un-
posed law, to put in place of law a sweet, harmonious, spon-
taneous working of the schdne Seele ; the beautiful soul, the
anima natiiraliter moralis, a soul going forth into virtuous
deeds by sheer goodness of inclination without external
compulsion. Certainly we should all try to cultivate a
fine disposition, but always so as to retain God as moral
law-giver. The freedom that comes of self-culture does not
suffice for the liberty proper to the sons of God who fear.


honour, and love their God in a happy combination of awe
and familiarity, suitable to a probationary state of exist-
ence. We cannot refine ourselves into self-sufficing saints.
The danger of exaggerating the side of personal initiative
in moral life, and of making inwardness to be all in all —
of setting Be this over Do this ; of saying with Abelard,
' Opera sunt indifferentia in se nee bona nee mala nisi
secondum radicem intentionis,'^ is lest a man come to justify
under plea of natural goodness and fine art all sort of wrong
conduct ; whereas good intention cannot justify anything
wrong and cannot be good intention where the object is
wrong, except in the case of invincible error which mistakes
evil for good. There exist an objective law and a Law-
giver prescribing what is obligatory, and we cannot free
ourselves from this constraint, which comes of a source
not identical with ourselves, however distasteful it may be
to certain temperaments which cannot bear the idea of
compulsion, but love the action of ' beautiful souls.' Rous-
seau was one of these, saying in his Sixth Reverie that
pleasure in good action is inconsistent with the restriction
of duty ; that his heart became dead under an imposed task
of morality and could not obey ; that for him what was not
agreeable to his feelings was an impossible command and an
outrage on natural goodness. Rousseau did not take the
step — but it was from his position an early step to take —
which would have placed him, with Nietzsche, ' beyond good
and evil,' where * thou ought ' is a dragon to be slain by
' I will,' the task assigned to the Uebermensch, for whom
his own Ego is creator of all new values and destroyer
of all old values — ^that is, the destroyer of aU excellence

1 Lib. ii. c. 5, In Ep. ad Rom., lib. i. c. 3. Cf. 5 : ' Moraliter bonum a
malo discernere non possumus, nisi quod Dei consentaneum est voluntati
et in placito ejus consistit. Unde ea quae per se videntur pessima, cum
fiant per praecepta Dominica, nullus culpare presumat. Constat itaque
totam boni et mali discretionem in divinae dispensationis placito con-
sistere.' Thus to call moral good a matter of free choice on God's part
opens the way to the denial of all absolute Good and to the claims made
by positivists in terms like these : ' Ce qu'est le bien en soi, s'il y a un,
je n'en sais rien : je sais seulement que je cherche le bonheur et que vous
le cherchez sous ce rapport — Notres consciences peuvent se conccvoir
mutuellement. Cherchons done ensemble sans que Ton pretend imposer
a I'autre ses modes de penser quand il y aura divergence,'


in submission to God's law as the limit on human caprice
or passion, and the creator of what is dictated by man's
claim to have an independent personality which must be
respected simply on its own rights. ' God is not an
acceptor of persons ' on their own valuation, as St. Paul
tells us in a place where he brings together three well-
contrived terms to signify ideals of conduct that are
immoral and utterly rejected by God : Trpoa-coTroXij-^ia,
regard for the mere person ; o^aXjioSovXeLa, eye-service which
has no heart in it ; and ddpcoTrapeo-Keia, man-pleasing, which
is human respect against respect due to God.^ All these
criteria of mere hum.anism must give way before the cal-
culation of conduct formed according to ^object, end, and
circumstances when these are considered in their con-
formity to man's rational nature, and to God who insists
on that conformity as His appointed law of morality.

John Rickaby.

1 Epli. vi. 6-9.

[ 479 ]


Carlyle and some Historians

IN a paper printed in this Review in July, 1911, entitled
' London Newsbooks on the Storm of Drogheda,' the
Rev. Thomas Gogarty, C.C., drew attention, in very
kind terms, to my discovery that all the licensed newsbooks
of London, that is, the whole newspaper press of the three
kingdoms, were suppressed directly the news of the fall of
Drogheda, on September 12, 1649, became known in London
on September 28. I, however, have only to thank my own
lack of precision and clearness in setting out my facts —
due, of course, to the gradual m.anner in which historical
data are collected and piece themselves together — in that
Father Gogarty has considerably underestimated the cause
of this suppression by thinking that the licensed press was
crushed out by the new and most oppressive licensing
' Act ' of September 20, that came into force on October i,

Therefore I hasten to point out that the suppression of
the press had absolutely nothing whatever to do with the
new ' Act,' but was caused simply and solely by the desire
to hide what it was that Cromwell had being doing at
Drogheda, to hush up Cromwell's treacherous butchery of
the inhabitants of the town, and to set before the public
his own despatches as containing the whole truth and all
the facts.

At the date of the ' Act ' of September 20, the licensers
of the press were Henry Whaley, Advocate-General of the
Army, who was too busy to act, and Theodore Jennings,
who was merely a messenger to the ' Council of State,'
and incompetent. The Act against ' unlicensed and scan-
dalous books and pamphlets,' therefore, provided that all
newsbooks were to be ' first approved of and licensed under
the hand of the clerk of the Parliament ' (Henry Scobell),
' or of such person as shall be authorized by the Council


of State for the time being, or (for so much as may concern
the affairs of the Army) under the hand of the Secretary
of the Army ' (Richard Hatter). Thus, instead of
suppressing the press, the ' Act ' actually provided for its
continuance, appointing no less than three persons for no
other purpose than to licence news. Under it all news-
books (except, of course, the hunted Royalist press, that
the ruling oligarchy were impotent to crush out until 1650)
were licensed right up to the return of Charles II. in 1660.
When, therefore, it is added that in face of this
' Act,' at a day's notice, and by dint of asserting that
Richard Hatter was not Secretary to the Army — a wilful
lie, which Hatter disputed by licensing for a whole fort-
night — the ' Council of State ' suppressed all the licensed
newsbooks while Cromwell was in Ireland, that is, up to July,
1650, and for no longer period ; substituting for them two
official newsbooks — Severall Proceedings (No. i, October 9),
written by Scobell, and A Brief Relation (No. i, October 2),
entirely from the pen of Walter Frost, the Council's own
Secretary, neither of whom had ever written a newsbook
before — it is evident that we are confronted with new facts
which, I venture to assert, are of first-rate importance in
Irish history. For these facts cut at the root of all the
modern apologies for, and explanations of, Cromwell's
conduct at Drogheda. There is no concealment without
something to hide.

And in ascertaining what it was that Cromwell kept
back from the public, the newsbooks licensed by Hatter
are of paramount imiportance to the Irish historian. They
contain a number of letters. Lingard quoted a passage
from one with telling effect ; but writers such as S. R.
Gardiner and Bagwell have been conspicuous by the manner
in which they have ignored them. Gardiner mentions
three and quotes none.

The art of a newsbook licenser was the art of making
the newsbooks publish only such matter as was agreeable
to those in power, suppressio veri and suggesiio falsi for this
purpose being condoned even when not counselled. Prac-
tical experience was necessary for the licenser's post, and,



above all, he had to be in touch with his masters. Hatter
was a novice, both to writing and to licensing, whom the
Council of State repudiated. It is important, therefore,
that the newsbooks to which his imprimatur is affixed
should be minutely examined side by side with the despatch
to the Speaker dated (falsely) by Cromwell, September 17,
1649. I have elsewhere attempted to do this, and the
object of the present paper is partly to urge the import-
ance of discarding all second-hand authorities in favour of
the well-nigh complete collection of pamphlets, etc. (news-
books were pamphlets), some 22,000 in number, extending
from 1641 to 1660, made by the contemporary bookseller
George Thomason. Only recently has this been made really
accessible. In 1908 the Trustees of the British Museum
printed a catalogue of this enormous mass of literature,
and the student of the times is now no longer liable to fall
into the mistakes that have been made.

Nor is it any longer necessary to trust to CromwelUana
and to Whitelocke's Memorials. The first-named collection
of newsbook cuttings is now fit only for the waste-paper
basket ; and the second, owing to its mistakes, omissions,
and the antecedents of its writer, is unreliable. No apology
is needed for thus summarily dismissing compilations of
the kind ; but it will, no doubt, be considered somewhat
rash to include Thomas Carlyle's Cromwell in the same
gallery of exploded books without assigning very strong
reasons for so doing.

Samuel Rawson Gardiner, in the preface to his history
of the Great Rebellion, which, in a clumsy attempt to revise
Clarendon, he terms a ' Great Civil War,' wrote : ' No writer
of the history of the Civil War can avoid the difficult task
of forming a judgment on the character and aims of Crom-
well. If this is to be done with even an approximation to
success, it is absolutely necessary to take Carlyle's monu-
mental work as a starting point.' And, in order to show
the result upon himself of the prescribed course, he sums
Cromwell up as ' a brave honourable man, striving, accord-
ing to his lights, to lead his countrymen into the paths of
peace and godliness,' adding that he ' was not a hypocrite.'
VOL. xxx. — 31


Perhaps the flattest possible contradiction of this estimate
was the old oft-repeated tale of Cromwell's atrocious deeds
at Drogheda ; passionately denied by Carlyle, and therefore
the subject of a scientific and, I am sorry that I must add,
not honest reconstruction by Gardiner, now restored in
its old traditional horror by the story of the suppression
of the press. ^ It is one of the crucial points in any estimate
of Cromwell. Gardiner's words were published in 1886 ;
it happened that that year saw also the beginning of a
proof of the ' monumental ' character of Carlyle's work, in
a sense quite other than that intended by Gardiner.

Two years after Carlyle had published his Cromwell he
received a letter from Yarmouth, written by one Squire,
and enclosing a number of copies of letters purporting to be
by Cromwell and others, together with extracts from a
manuscript diary of an ancestor which, so Squire asserted,
was in his possession. Some of the expressions used in
the supposed diary, such as that ' young Oliver got killed
to death,' were such as no seventeenth-century writer would

1 The Historical MSS. Commission discovered the following letter in
1879. Lest my accusation of want of honesty against Gardiner should be
thought too harsh, I subjoin to the letter his account of it. He suppresses
the letter itself : —

' Your brother and my dear friend, Sir Edmond Verney, who behaved
himself with the greatest gallantry that could be, he was slain at Drogheda
three days after quarter was given him, as he was walking with Cromwell by
way of protection. One Ropier, who is brother to the Lord Ropier, called
him aside in a pretence to speak with him being formerly of acquaintance,
and instead of some friendly office which Sir Edmond might expect from
him he barbarously ran him through with a tuck, but I am confident to
see this act once highly revenged. The next day after one Lt.-Col. Boyle,
who had quarter likewise given him, as he was at dinner with my lady
More, sister to the Earl of Sunderland, in the same town, one of Cromwell's
soldiers came and whispered him in the ear, to tell him he must presently
be put to death ; who, rising from the table, the lady asked him whither
he was going, he answered, " Madam, to die," who no sooner stepped out
of the room but he was shot to death. These are cruelties of these traitors ;
who, no doubt, will find the like mercj' when they are in need of it ' (James
Buck to Sir Ralph Verney of Claydon, Bucks. Sent from Caen, November
X8, 1649). I have modernized the spelling.

' Verney . . . was enticed, even from the presence of Cromwell by a
certain Roper ' (Gardiner's History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate,
ed. 1903, i. p. 121) ; and : ' For that which appears now to have been the
blackest part of his conduct, the killing of Verney and his companions in
cold blood twenty-four hours [!] after the general massacre was ended,
Cromwell made no excuse' (ibid. p. 125).

Verney was in command of the Mill Mount. Cromwell actually
asserted that he killed all the defenders there on the night of Tuesday, the
nth (i.e., on the day before Drogheda really surrendered).


have employed ; but perhaps the gems of the collection
were two letters prolessing to have been sent by Cavaliers
in answer to a summons to surrender. These were couched
in such foul language that they could not possibly have
deceived anyone but a blind partisan. ^ Carlyle, never-
theless, was much impressed, particularly by the * killed
to death ' remark. ' A strange old genius ' wrote he, of
Squire, to Fitzgerald, asking him to follow the matter up
for him. Carlyle ultimately saw Squire, had some docu-
ments produced to him (but not the diary) which, as Squire
had been guilty of similar hoaxes before, it is unnecessary
to state were forgeries, and at last published the ' Squire
Papers ' as a forty-page supplement in his Oliver Cromwell.
If it must be added that Carlyle had the grace to admit
that the documents were doubtful, it was only as a con-
cession to the criticisms they had received. Modern editors
of Carlyle's book have thought it best to omit the ' Squire

With this story before us, and reminiscent of Carlyle's
Grasco-Teutonic ' lingo ' (as Mr. Gosse calls it), we may
very justly apply to him the satirical exclamation of the
poet Cleiveland : ' A Scotch historian ! Now, a Scotch-
man's tongue runs high fullams [false dice]. There is a
cheat in his idiom, for the sense flows from his bold ex-
pression like a citizen's gallon, which the drawer interprets
half a pint.'*

There are plenty of other ' high fullams ' in Carlyle's
book. At the very beginning he growled in contemptuous
terms of ' carrion Heath ' and others who chronicled the
fact that Cromwell's cousin, Robert, was executed for
poisoning his master. In 1881 an unkind Historical Manu-
scripts Commission published its report on the manuscripts
of the College of Physicians, from which it appears that
the cousin was tried for poisoning his master, Mr. Lane,

1 The whole Carlyle, Squire, Fitzgerald correspondence was set out in
1886 in the English Historical Review, Vol. i. pp. 311-348. The amazing
thing is that a discussion followed in which an advocate for the genuineness
of documents that never were produced was found.

2 False dice were made at Fulham, near London, and called ' high '
or ' low fullams.' Shakespeare uses the e.xpression. The quotation is
from A Character of a Dinrnall Maker.


an attorney, in May, 1632, sentenced to death, reprieved
for the College to investigate the matter, and finally executed
at Tyburn. Father Gogarty has trounced Carlyle's char-
acteristically positive assertion that the garrison of Drogheda
were Englishmen ; but the coping stone of Carlyle's ' monu-
ment ' is contained in the last chapter of his book — the
chapter in which he describes his hero's end.

In the Thomason collection Carlyle hit upon a lengthy
pamphlet that gave an account of Cromwell's last hours,
with such a plentiful quotation of texts that it might have
been written by Cromwell himself. It professed to be
■\\ritten ' by one that was then groom of his chamber,' and
was published by Robert Ibbitson in 1659. The honne
bouche of the pamphlet was Cromwell's last prayer. I
do not wish to gibe at this prayer, more particularly as part
of it was genuine, but it was too long, too connected in
idea for a dying man, and contained one sentence which,
since it undoubtedly is false, I will quote : ' Pardon such
as would trample upon the dust of a poor worm, for they
are Thy people too.' ' So stirbt ein Held ! ' cried Carlyle
in delight, abandoning English and betaking himself to
Schiller, and the whole of his chapter, except, of course, a
quotation from Fox the Quaker, is based upon this tract.
Desirous of giving a name to the writer of the tract, and
noting that Fox had stated that Charles Harvey was a
groom of Cromwell's chamber, Carlyle then fathered the
tract upon ' the pious Harvey.'^

Carlyle's followers, one and all, have swallowed both
pamphlet and ascription, and in all good faith quoted it
(from Carlyle's book, of course) and set out the prayer.
It has been literally thrown in lumps at the heads of
their readers. It is the climax of his work. And
yet if any one of these writers had examined the
pamphlet in any other spirit than that of a blind, un-
reasoning partisan, they would have noticed that the old
collector dated it ' 9 June,' fully nine months after Crom-

1 For an analysis of this tract see the series of articles entitled ' Crom-
welliana,' in Notes and Queries for the present year.


well's death (it was entered into the Stationers' Register
on June 7), that it contained one bitter attack on the
Quakers and another on the Rump (restored in May), and
then, if they had noticed that the newsbooks of the previous
weeks record the facts that the Rump voted Cromwell a
tyrant and a traitor, and — a thing which writers still persist
in asserting was done at the Restoration — demolished his
very monument in the Abbey (thereby effectually trampling
upon the dust of the ' poor worm '), they might have had
their suspicions aroused, might have remembered that no
one had ever quoted the pamphlet before, and that the
late seventeenth-century writer, Neal, in his history of the
Puritans, had set out a much more exiguous prayer on the
authority of one who was present at Cromwell's death,
Major-General Butler.

The pamphlet was a fraud : an attack upon the Rump
by Henry Walker, the ironmonger, who was notorious for
his fraudulent productions from 1641 onwards, ^ and who,
according to Fox, was Oliver's ' priest,' ' newsmonger,' and
a ' forger of lies.' In sum, Carlyle's last chapter contains
' high fullams ' once more, and we certainly do not gain
from it the full measure of truth that is required. His
' monumental ' work is no more history than is his French

I now come to the second object of my paper. This
is to narrate the story of Colonel Hugh Peters' connexion
with Ireland. Peters sometimes signs himself ' your loving
friend ' in his letters to that unutterable scamp Walker,
and as a letter from Peters to this ' select preacher ' of
Cromwell's (Walker was the herald of Dunbar as well
as of Drogheda) was the cause of the suppression of the
newsbooks in 1649, it is important for Irish historians to
know who and what Peters was.

To Samuel Rawson Gardiner, Peters, as the constant
associate of Cromwell (Gardiner knew nothing about the
infinitely more important Walker), was the * prince of army

ipor the biography of Walker the reader is referred to the chapter

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