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favourites, and prejudicial to the people in general, though, at the expence of their substance, the acquests would have been made. For, had he met with so much success in the gaining those countries, and in them, that plenty of gold and silver as he vainly hoped for, we should have been as unhappy in them (in the depopu lating of our countries, by the loss of the multitude of people that must have been sent thither, and in impoverishing our nations by the vast charges of a continual war) as Spain is, and to no other end, than the making of him only rich, able to inslave the remain. ing people, and to make himself absolute over them; for the preventing of which, in such tyrants as Cromwell, surely Moses had an eye, when he said that they should not greatly multiply silver and gold. And thus, as Cromwell's designs must, to an impartial judgment, appear to have been laid, some dishonestly, others impolitickly, and all contrary to the interest of the kingdom, so the issue of them was damageable to the people of England: As,
First, in his sudden making a peace with Holland, so soon as he got the government, without those advantages for trade, as they who beat them did intend to have had, as their due, and just satisfaction for their charges in the war.
Secondly, in his war with Spain, by the loss of that beneficial trade to our nation, and giving it to the Hollanders, by whose hands we drove, during the war, the greatest part of that trade, which we had of it, with twenty-five in the hundred profit to them, and as much loss to us.
Thirdly, by our loss, in that war with Spain, of 1500 English ships, according as was reported to that assembly, called Richard's parliament.
Fourthly, in the disgracefullest defeat at Hispaniola, that ever this kingdom suffered in any age or time.
Fifthly and Lastly, in spending the great publick stock he found, and yet leaving a vast debt upon the kingdom, as appeared by the accounts brought into Richard's assembly; which had, I believe, been yet much higher, but that they, who under him managed the affairs, were a sort of people, who had been long disciplined, before his time, to a principle of frugality, and against cheating; though at cousening the poorer people, for their masters benefit, some of them were grown as dexterous, as if they had been bred in the court of Spain. For, besides imposing Richard upon the people, after his father's death, by a forged title, according to the very law they took to be in being, when, by his assembly, they were ordered to bring in an account of the receipts, and payments of the kingdom; they made above sixty-thousand pounds spent in intelligence, whereas it cost not above three or four-thousand at most; and, calculating the rest by these, it may well be concluded, that they were expert in their trades.
It is confessed, that Oliver's peace and league with France was upon honourable articles; but, as the tottering affairs of France then stood, much more could not have been sooner asked, than had. For Mazarin, being a man of a large and subtle wit, appre
hending the greatness of England at that time, which was then dreadful to the world, and the vast advantages France would have in pulling down, by their help, of Spain, granted him, not only any thing for the present that he demanded, but disregarded also even his party's making their boasts of the awe he had him under: considering, that when Cromwell had helped him to do his work, in bringing under the house of Austria, and therein casting the ba lance of Christendom on his side, he should afterwards have leisure to recover what then he seemed to part with. And though nothing is more ordinary, than to hear men brag, how Oliver vapoured over France, I do esteem Mazarin's complying with him, for his own ends, to be the chief piece of all his ministry; for, by that means only, and no other, is his master become so great at this day, that no factions at home can disturb his peace, nor powers abroad frighten him. Which is more than any king of France, since Charles the Great, could say: And, when his neighbour nations have, too late I fear, experienced his greatness, they will find cause to curse the ignorance of Oliver's politicks; and therefore, when a true measure is taken of Cromwell, the approbation, that he hath in the world, will not be found to have its foundation in sense, or reason, but proceeding from ignorance and atheism: From ignorance, in those that take all that was done by him, as a servant, and whilst under the direction of better heads than his own, to be done by him alone; and from atheism, in those that think every thing lawful that a man doth, if it succeed to his advancement. But they that shall take an impartial view of his actions, whilst he was a single person*, and at liberty to make use of his own parts without controul, will find nothing worthy commendations, but cause enough from thence to observe, that the wisdom of his masters, and not his own, must have been that by which he first moved; and to attribute his former performances, whilst a servant, as is truly due, to the judgment and subtlety of the long-parliament, under whose conduct and command he was. And now, from Cromwell's neglecting to live in peace, as, if he had pleased, he might have done with all the world, to the great inriching of this nation: The improvement of our victory over Holland in his peace with them; his being the cause of the loss of our Spanish trade, during all his time; of the loss of 1500 English ships in that war; besides, by it breaking the balance of Europe; of the expence of the publick stock and stores he found, with the contracting a debt of nineteen-hundred-thousand pounds, according to his own account (which, for aught I know, he left behind him, but am apt to think the debt was not altogether so great, though made so to his son Richard's assembly, as a means to get the more money from the poorer people:) And lastly, of the dishonourable overthrow we met with at Hispaniola. It may be well concluded, that he laid the foundation of our present want of trade, to what we formerly enjoyed; and that the reason, why
his miscarriages were not sooner under observation, is, because our stock of wealth and honour, at his coming to the government, being then unspeakably great, stifled their appearance, until, having since had some unhappy additional losses, they are now become discernible as first losses, to a merchant, who concealedly bears up under them, are afterwards discovered by the addition of second losses, that sink him. When I contemplate these great failings, I cannot but apprehend the sad condition any people are in, whose governor drives on a distinct contrary interest to theirs; for, doubtless, Cromwell's over-weening care to secure his parti cular interest, against his majesty, then abroad, and the long-parliament, whom he had turned out, with a prodigious ambition of acquiring a glorious name in the world, carried him on to all his mistakes and absurdities, to the irreparable loss and damage of this famous kingdom.
To prove the second assertion, that Oliver's time was full of oppression and injustice, I shall but instance in a few of many particulars, and begin with John Lilburne; not that I think him, in any kind, one that deserved favour or respect, but that equal justice is due to the worst as well as best men, and that he comes first in order of time.
1. John, in 1646, was, by order of the then Parliament, tried for his life, with an intent, I believe, of taking him away; but, the jury not finding him guilty, he was immediately, according to law, generously set at liberty by those, that had quarrel enough against him. This example in the parliament of keeping to the laws in the case of one, who was a professed implacable enemy to them, ought to have been copied by Cromwell; but, on the contrary, to shew that there was a difference betwixt him and his predecessors (the long-parliament's) principles, when the law had again, upon a second tryal, occasioned by Oliver, cleared Lilburne, the parliament's submitting to the law was no example to him: For, contrary to law, he kept him in prison, until he was so far spent in a consumption, that he only turned him out to die.
2dly, Mr. Coney's case is so notorious, that it needs little more than naming. He was a prisoner at Cromwell's suit, and being brought to the King's Bench bar, by a Habeas Corpus, had his council taken from the bar, and sent to the Tower, for no other reason, than the pleading of their client's cause; an act of violence, that, I believe, the whole story of England doth not parallel.
3dly, Sir Henry Vane, above any one person, was the author of Oliver's advancement, and did so long and cordially espouse his interest, that he prejudiced himself, in the opinion of some, by it; yet so ungrateful was this monster of ingratitude, that he studied to destroy him, both in life and estate; because he could not adhere to him in his perjury and falseness. The occasion he took was this; He, appointing a publick day of humiliation, and seeking of God for him, invited all God's people in his declaration, to offer him their advice in the weighty affairs then upon his shoul
ders. Sir Henry, taking a rise from hence, offered his advice by a treatise, called The Healing Question': But Cromwell, angry at being taken at his word, seized, imprisoned, and endeavoured to proceed further against him, for doing only what he had invited him to do; and some may think, that Sir Henry suffered justly, for having known him so long, and yet would trust to any thing he said.
4thly, In Richard's assembly, certain prisoners in the Tower, under the then lieutenant, and some sent thence to Jersey, and other places beyond the sea, complained of false imprisonment. The jailor was sent for. and being required to shew by what authority he kept those persons in hold, produceth a paper all under Oliver's own hand, as followeth: Sir, I pray you seize such and such persons, and all others, whom you shall judge dangerous men; do it quickly, and you shall have a warrant, after you have done.' The nature of this warrant was, by Richard's assembly, debated, and having first Richard's own council's opinion in the case, as serjeant Maynard, &c. they voted the commitment of the com. plaints to be illegal, unjust, and tyrannical; and that, first, because the warrant, by which they were committed, was under the hand of the then (as they called him) chief magistrate, who, by law, ought not to commit any by his own warrant. Secondly, because no cause was shewn in the warrant. And, Thirdly, in the case of those sent out of the reach of a Habeas Corpus, which in law is a banishment, because no Englishman ought to be banished by any less authority than an act of parliament. And therefore, for these reasons, they voted farther, that the prisoners should be set at liberty without paying any fees, or charges, but the turning out, and punishing the lieutenant by the assembly (for obeying so unjust a warrant) was prevented by their sudden dissolution.
5thly, The tyranny, in the decimating a party restored to common privileges with all others, and the publick faith given for it, by a law made to that end, by the then powers in being, is suffici ently shewed in the mentioning of it, only there is this aggravating circumstance in it: That Cromwell, who was the principal person in procuring that law, when he thought it for his advantage not to keep it, was the only man or breaking it. But to the honour of his first assembly, next following, it may be remembered, that they no sooner came together, than, like true Englishmen, who are always jealous of the rights and privileges of the people, they damned the act of decimation as an unjust and wicked breach of faith.
The third assertion of Cromwell's knowing no honesty, where he thought his particular interest was concerned, is made good; First, (tho' therein he mistook his interest) in his odious and unjust war with Spain, without the least provocations, meerly out of an ambitious and covetous design of robbing that prince of his silver and gold mines; and because he judged it for his credit to disguise his unlawful desires, he proceeded in it, by employing his creatures in the city, to draw the merchants to complain of inju
ries done them by Spain, and to petition for reparations; but, by a cross providence, his project had a contrary success; for, instead of answering his seekings, the merchants remonstrated to him the great prejudice that a war with Spain would be to England; and shewed, that that king had been so far from injuring us. that he had done more for compliance, and preventing á breach with England, than ever he had done in favour of any other nation. But, when Oliver saw his method would not take, he called the remonstrators, malignants, and begun the war of his own accord, in which he was highly ungrateful in designing the ruin of that prince, who all along had been most faithful to his party.
Secondly, His falseness and ingratitude appeared superlatively in turning out his masters, who had not only advanced him, but made themselves the more odious by their partial affection towards him; and in his doing it, with the breach of a positive negative oath, taken once a year, when made a counsellor of state, besides the breach of all other engagements, voluntary imprecations, protestations, and oaths, taken frequently upon all occasions in discourse and declarations; and yet further (when he had turned them out) and left them void of protection, and exposed them to the fury of the people, in pursuing them with false reproachful declarations, enough to have stirred up the rude multitude to have destroyed them, wherever they had met them.
Thirdly, His want of honour, as well as honesty, appeareth, yet further, in that having, by a long series of a seeming pious deportment, gained, by his dissimulation, good thoughts in his masters, the long-parliament, and, by his spiritual gifts, wound himself into so good an opinion with his soldiers (men, generally, of plain breeding, that knew little besides their military trade, and religious exercises) that he could impose, in matters of business, what belief he pleased upon them. He made use of the credit he had with each, to abuse both, by many vile practices, for making himself popular, and the parliament and army odious to one another; and, because the artifices he used are too many to enumerate, I shall but instance in some few: As his sly complaining insinuations against the army to the parliament, and against them to the army: His being the chief cause of the parliament's giving rewards to his creatures, and then, whispering complaints among his officers, of their ill husbandry: His obstructing the house in their business, by long drawling speeches, and other ways, and then complaining of them to his soldiers, that he could not get them to do any thing that was good: His giving fair words to every one, without keeping promise with any, except for his own advantage, and then excusing all with forgetfulness: And his deserting his major generals, in their decimations, crying out most against them himself, when he only had set them at work, because questioned by his assembly, is not to be forgotten, &c.
I would not be understood to remember any thing here, in fą.