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on the Reparation of St. Paul's; to the King on his Navy; the Panegyric on the Queen Mother; the two Poems to the Earl of Northumberland; and, perhaps, others, of which the time cannot be discovered.”
When he had lost all hopes of Sacharissa, he looked round him for an easier conquest, and gained a lady of the family of Bresse, or Breaux, by whom he had five sons and eight daughters.
At the time the parliament was called, in 1640, it appeared that his political character had not been mistaken, the courtiers imagining him hostite to them from his being considered as the kinsman of Hampden. The King's demand of a supply induced Waller to deliver a most vehement speech, the great position of which was that grievances ought to be redressed before supplies are granted.
In the long parliament which, unhappily for the nation, met Nov. 3, 1640, he represented Agmon- ' desham the third time. Although a supporter of the discontented party, he did not, however, adopt all their opinions. When the great question, whe- . ther episcopacy ought to be abolished, was debated, he spoke against the innovation so coolly, so reasonably, and so firmly, that we are sorry our narrow limits will not permit us to insert the speech.
It cannot but be wished that he, who could speak so well, had been able to act with spirit and uniformity.
When the Commons began to set the royal authority at open defiance, Waller is said to have
withdrawn from the house, and to have returned with the King's permission; and when the King set up his standard, he sent him a thousand broad pieces. He continued, however, to sit in the rebellious conventicle, but spoke with great freedom against the sense and spirit of the house.
The engagement known by the name of Waller's plot was now discovered, when he, together with his brother-in-law Tonikyns, was apprehended. Waller, it is said, was so confounded with fear that he made a humiliating confession of all he knew of the business; accused the Earl of Portland, and Lord Conway as co-operating in the transaction; and testified, that the Earl of Northunberland had declared himself disposed in favour of any attempt that might check the violence of the parliament, and reconcile them to the King.
The Earl of Portland and Lord Conway denied the charge, and, no testimony but Waller's appearing against them, were, after a long imprisonment, admitted to bail. Tomkyns was hanged at his own door. The Earl of Northumberland being “ too great for prosecution,” as Johnson terms it, was only once examined before the lords.
6 Waller, though confessedly,” says Clarendon, " the most guilty, with incredible dissimulation affected such a remorse of conscience that his trial was put off, out of christian compassion, till he might recover his understanding.” When brought before the house, he confessed and lamented, and submitted, and implored – He was, however, expelled the Commons, and afterwards tried by a council of war, condemned, and reprieved by Essex; but after a year's imprisonment, in which time resentment grew less acrimonious, paying a fine of 10,000l. he was permitted to recollect himself in another country.
For the place of his exile he chose France, and staid some time at Rouen, where his daughter Margaret was born, who was afterwards his favourite and his amanuensis. He then removed to Paris, where he lived with great splendour and hospitality; and from time to time amused himself with poetry, in which he sometimes speaks of the rebels and their usurpation, in the natural language of an honest man. · At last it became necessary for his support to sell his wife's jewels; and being reduced, as he said, at last to the rump-jewel, he solicited, from Cromwell, permission to return, and obtained it by the interest of Colonel Scroop to whom his sister was married. Upon the remains of his for tune he lived at Hall Barn, a house built by himself very near to Beaconsfield where his mother resided. His mother, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and used to reproach Cromwell whenever he visited her; he in return would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt; but finding, in time, that she acted for the King as well as talked, he made her a prisoner to her own daughter in her own house.
Cromwell, now Protector, received Waller as
his kinsnian to familiar conversation. Waller, as he used to relate, found him sufficiently versed in ancient history; and when any of his enthusiastic friends came to advise or consult him, he could sometimes overhear him discoursing in the cant of the times; but when he returned he would say, " Cousin Waller, I must talk to these men in their own way;” and renewed the common style of conversation.
He repaid the Protector for his favours (1654) by the famous Panegyric which has always been considered as the first of his poetical productions. In the poem on the war with Spain are some passages at least equal to the best parts of the Panegyric, and in the conclusion the poet ventures yet a higher flight of flattery by recommending royalty to Cromwell and the nation. Cromwell, although very desirous of adding the title to the power of monarchy, was still afraid of realizing his wishes. When, therefore, a deputation was solemnly sent to invite him to the crown, he, after a long conference, refused it; but he is said to have fainted in his coach when he parted from them.
The poem on the death of the Protector seems to have been dictated by real veneration for his memory. Soon after, the Restoration supplied him with another subject; and he exerted his imagination, his elegance, and his melody, with equal alacrity for Charles the Second. It is not possible to read, without some contempt and indignation, poems of the same author ascribing the highest
degree of power and piety to Charles the First, then transferring the same power and piety to Oliver Cromwell; now inviting Oliver to take the crown, and then congratulating Charles the Second on his recovered right. Neither Cromwell nor Charles could value his testimony as the effect of conviction, or receive his praises as effusions of reverence; they could consider them but as the labour of invention, and the tribute of dependance.
The Congratulation was considered as inferior, in poetical merit, to the Panegyric ; and it is reported that, when the King told Waller of the disparity, he answered, “ Poets succeed better in fiction than in truth.”
In the first parliament summoned by Charles the Second ( March 8, 1661 ) Waller sat for Hastings in Sussex, and served, for different places, in all the parliaments of that reign. His wit led him into the best company, and although he drank water he was enabled, by his fertility of mind, to brighten the mirth of Bacchanalian assemblies; and Mr. Saville said, that no inan in England should keep him company without drink but Ned Waller.
« In parliament he was,” says Burnet,“ the delight of the house, and, though old, said the liveliest things of any among them.” His abilities displayed rather sallies of gaiety than cogency of argument.
He was of such consideration that his remarks were circulated and recorded. When the Duke of York's influence was high, both in Scotland aad England, " it drew,” says Burnet, “ a lively