페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

66

read it, he hands it over in silence to his officers, without expressing so much as an opinion thereupon; but they fall into a rage at it, as a thing destructive not only of their interests but of those of the three nations. Next day the General, having returned to Edinburgh, comes into the public room, where he walks up and down very melancholy and dark, but says not a word all the while. One with whom he was always wont to be free and pleasant, in what humour soever he was, happening to enter the room, the General, who had not as yet spoken a word to any of his officers, cries out to him, "How now, what say you to this agreement?"-" Truly, sir," returns the other, I hear so well of it, that I am come to make a little request; even that you would sign me a pass to go into Holland; and, by good luck, yonder is a ship at Leith ready to sail.""What," demands the General, "will you leave me?"-" I know not," replies the other, "how you may shift for yourself, with your greatness, but I doubt they will never rest till they have torn from you your command; and what they will do with you then, it concerns yourself to consider. But as for me, poor though I am, I will not put myself in their power;-it will not be for my safety." To this the General answers hastily, Do you lay the blame on me? If the army will stick to me, I will stick to the army." Upon his saying which, all present gave him assurance, that they would live and die with him; and such was the joy among the officers, that some expressed it with tears in their eyes; for all had been ready to mutiny because of that agreement. For their honesty and gallantry herein, these officers (wheresoever they be) deserve his majesty's gracious favour; for had they tamely entertained this agreement, those, that now boast of having done his business without them, might not have worn so much as a head upon their shoulders.

66

And now there is another face on things-the General serene and cheerful-officers merry and jovial-being agreed, not indeed openly to refuse the agreement, but to demur upon some of the articles, as being vague or obscure, and by desiring explanation thereof to suspend the confirmation of the whole. To this politic suspension they owe their success; for time was thus given to many designs, which they knew to be on foot both in Ireland and England, to come to maturity. Before this time was Lambert come to Newcastle with all his forces, though ill provided with money; and his army itself a miscellany of confused interests jumbled together, some being fo the parliament, some creatures of Fleetwood's, who were not hearty in the cause, lest Lambert should prevail, and give their master a lift out of his command; others, again, entertaining a strong affection for General Monk, and some not knowing

whether most to fear Lambert's open ambition, or Monk's concealed intentions. Thus, though in appearance formidable, the English army was in reality weak; whereas the General's, being new-modelled, wholly depended upon himself and had but one mind.

The General now sets forth a second time from Edinburgh, and the Scots seem to part sadly with their old guests; and sure never soldiers left a country where they had been enemies, with such high testimonies of kindness. The head quarters being now at Berwick, the old course of scolding and expostulating is resumed; and the English officers press the General to renew the treaty, whilst he craves time to speak with his commissioners, who, as having debated the articles, could best explain them; and it might be that their explanation would spare the trouble of any further treating. treating. All this was, however, only to gain time which is always precious, but which, in this juncture, did save much blood; and artifices to avoid shedding blood are most justifiable, for he must be a cruel beast that delights in so savage an employment.

Some time before this, the General had sent letters to the Lord Mayor and common-council, in which he set forth that the authors of the violence done to Parliament had assumed a power, without consent of the people first had in Parliament, to raise money and make laws and repeal them; that if this were allowed, it was to no purpose that the people had expended their blood and treasure; that religion was not the subject of controversy, as "all were agreed for liberty of conscience;" that under an unlimited arbitrary power there was no certainty to them for their estates, liberties, or lives; and that if the General should miscarry for want of their timely aid, it would be too late for them then to attempt the recovery of their freedom, whilst, if he succeeded, it would be dishonourable for a City, so renowned, to have no share in asserting its own liberty. These incontrovertible statements did much awaken the City; and thus, though the General's sword had heretofore marked him with great honour, yet now his pen did win for him much more. And, as was said of Philip the Second of Spain, (though it be a bold allusion) that with a goose-quill he had ruled the old world and the new, so, with the same implement, did the General raise and arm three nations.*

About the sixth of December came intelligence, that a

* These compositions, which were to gain the General more fame than his sword, were, no doubt, written by the reverend author himself.

party of Lambert's, consisting of three regiments of horse and one of dragoons, with two drakes, were marched into Northumberland, and had possessed themselves of Chillingworth castle, intending, it was thought, to seize the rents of the Lord Gray of Wark; howbeit this treasure they of the Scottish army had been beforehand with them in securing, and did afterwards safely restore. Upon this the General gets on horseback, by two in the morning, to visit the fords down the Tweed; and it being dark, and the ways covered with ice, and all up hill and down hill, we might well say we were set in slippery places; for it was God's mercy that some of our necks were not broken, which, I fear me, the fanatics did heartily pray for. The General was so intent on his observations, that though we "entreated his great care," he would keep a good pace; acting herein like the Theban Captain, who said, it was for private men to take care of themselves, but not for those to whom was committed the care of others. At eleven o'clock, the General took up his quarters at Coldstream, where we found a regiment of foot already stationed: the honest red-coats bade us heartily welcome, but the knaves had eaten up all the meat, and drank all the drink of the town. The General being lodged, fell to his usual cheer-chewing tobacco, which he used highly to commend: but this not being cheer to satisfy younger stomachs, a party of us, finding nothing in Coldstream to buy or sell, speeded to a hill about half a mile from the town, to look out for some gentleman's house. There we got sight of the Lord of Hume's chimneys, who lived half a mile further on; and riding hard to overtake a dinner, we found this noble earl, by whom we were entertained. We had all the civilities of the house, and among them the grace-cup, which is a great dish or cogue, with two handles, that would hold a good pail-full; and yet, they told us, that several persons thereabout would empty it at a draught; so we concluded that these thirsty souls had been lately at Coldstream, and drunk it dry. On our return we found our General fasting devoutly, and, I hope, praying too. He told us he had sent to Berwick for provisions, and so pacified us, who were exclaiming against the place we were in, where was nothing to drink but water, and that covered with ice so thick as could scarcely be broken. Neither durst we cry Roast-meat," and tell our adventures, where we had been, for so envious is the world that men are forced to hide their happiness for quietness' sake.

66

Making what shift we could that night, a new confederacy of us, next day, resolve on a foot party to cross the Tweed upon the ice; an excursion not quite so safe, both by reason of the way, and Lambert's dragoons. But nothing could prevail on us to forbear treading on Euglish ground, which we all thought

was pleasanter and warmer, and the air sweeter, though on the Scottish side was much better land. So we resolved never more to laugh at the Highlander, who being at Edinburgh, and wishing the city was his, was asked what he would do with it? Do with it?" replied he, " I would buy land in the Hielands." Not far from the castle of Wark was a gentleman's house, a person of some six score pounds a year-and that is a rich laird in the North country, where, by favour of one of our company that was a relation, we found a hearty welcome, and a dinner that kept us alive for another day. But, by this time, Berwick had supplied our troops with provisions, and all was well, on our return in the evening. Here we remained for six weeks; and this is that famous leaguer, where the General, as it were, encamped and besieged England and Ireland, and brought them to yield to terms.

The commissioners, whom the council of officers had sent up to London to treat, were now returned. They had, doubtless, authority for concluding the agreement, but they ought not to have done it so quickly, but have temporized, and well informed themselves what assistance was likely to come into the General, as well as spoken with the discontented officers. But they were overawed by the officers at London, and continually attended upon by them under pretence of civility, but really in order to prevent their communicating with such as might spirit them into resistance. Certain it is, that great good came by this agreement; not, indeed, by the ratification of it, but by suspending the ratification; for thus were the English officers, who imagined that any blind would serve to cheat General Monk, themselves ensnared. And be it also remembered, that the English officers themselves could not have observed the terms of that agreement; for no new called parliament, (which was an article in it,) would have countenanced them in what was inconsistent with every kind of government but that in which they were the governors.

And though his commissioners omitted, or were unable, to give him intelligence, the General had many, both in England and Ireland, from whom he received it twice in the week at least; the letters, to avoid interception, being sometimes directed to merchants in Edinburgh, sometimes conveyed into Scotland by market people, who went the way of Chevy-chase out of the line of the soldiery; and sometimes concealed among bills of exchange and other letters of merchandise, that if inquisitive people chanced to search the packet, they might still find only mercantile business, and so make it up again, without being at the trouble to look through to the last. Messengers also he had, who came to him out of Yorkshire, not by the great road, but through by-ways; and to the credit of

66

the church be it said, that many clergymen, finding him zealous for the ministry as well as magistracy, did constantly bring him information from Newcastle, which they contrived to do, by riding northward, as on a visit to some neighbour parson, who went with the news to his next neighbour, and so on till it reached the General.

In full expectation of having many pieces of intelligence, that he had received, confirmed, General Monk remains still at Coldstream; where he appointed several days of public fasting and prayer, to implore God's blessing upon the means which he had used, and was about to use, for his country's weal. Religion, indeed, and virtue, the General did very much countenance at all times; swearing, drinking, and whoring were in his army only by their names known, and not by practice; or if any so monstrous action did appear, the offender was cashiered, lest, like a putrid member, he should corrupt others. Virtue hath always befriended courage, which is no modern opinion; for Godfrey of Boulogne, being asked, by a Saracen king, How he had hands so able to fight?" replied, "Because he had never defiled them with any notorious sin.' And Colonel Washington, who was as stout as any, and had been а wild slip in his younger days, used to say that a man of great courage must be either a religious or a desperately wicked man.

17

66

The General had chosen his position so well, that he kept Lambert at bay, who could not quarter near him without being under the necessity of dispersing his forces over no less a space than twenty miles, or so. Lambert's army, moreover, at first coming down, had but a month's pay, whereas the General could have subsisted his forces above twelve months, what with the credit of his officers and the money he had in hand. This town of Coldstream, because General Monk did it the honour to make it his head-quarters, hath given title to a small company of men, whom poor though they were God made the instrument of great things, by the no dishonourable name of "Coldstreamers;"* that is to say, such officers, as, when all others in England and Ireland were obstinate to perpetuate the tyranny under which the country lay, did hazard their commissions and their blood to restore to their rightful prince his native land and lawful authority. The town of Coldstream is seated upon the banks of the Tweed, and was called a market; but I dare bring all the English that were in it, in my time, to swear the contrary. The ground about is very moist, being flooded

Hence, perhaps, is derived the name of the 3rd, or Coldstream, regiment of Foot-guards.

« 이전계속 »