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Notwithstanding the inconstancy of Victory during the civil war, she never deserted the banner of Cromwell. Even in undecided conflicts, the brigade, or wing, with which he fought, had always
the superiority. The royalists never once saw him Ay before them, during all the pitched battles in which he was engaged in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
10. It was anciently a popular notion, that the palm-tree throve best when pressed down with weights. An old scholiast defines
“ arbor nobilissima illa, quæ nulli cedit ponderi, sed contra assurgit et reluctatur.”—Fabri Thesaurus ad verbum palma.
St. XVI. p. 11. This odd simile is borrowed from a very singular, and somewhat dubious event, said to have happened during the siege of Bologna in 1512. A mine had been run by the Spanish besieging army under a part of the wall, on which was built a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Upon the explosion, the chapel and portion of the wall which formed its support were heaved into the air, so high, that (in spite of all the smoke and dust accompanying such an eruption) an elegant historian assures us, the besiegers could see, through the vacant space, the buildings of the town, and the defenders ready to man the breach. Nevertheless, the chapel and fragment of wall descended so exactly into the space they had formerly occupied, that the breach was completely and accurately repaired. The chapel acquired by this incident a great reputation for miraculous sanctity. The event is more fully narrated in the following passage of the original :
“ Finita in ultimo la mina, e stando l'esercito armato per dare incontinente la battaglia, la quale perchè si desse con maggiori forze, era stata richiamata s antiguardia, fece il Navarra dare il fuoco alla mina; la quale con grandissimo impeto, e romore gittd talmente in alto la cappella, che per quello spatio, che rimase tra 'l terreno, e'l muro gittato in alto, fu da quelli, ch'erano fuora, veduta apertamente la città dentro, et i soldati che stavano preparati per difenderla ; ma subito scendendo in giù ritornò il muro intero nel luogo medesimo, onde la violentia del fuoco l' aveva sbarrato, e si ricongiunse insieme, come se mai non fusse stato mosso : onde så non si potendo assaltare da quella parte, i capitani giudicarono non si dovere dare solamente dall'altra. Attribuirono questo caso i Bolognesi a miracolo, riputando impossibile, che, senza l'ajutorio divino, fusse potuto riconguignersi cosi appunto ne' medesimi fondamenti ; onde fu dipoi ampliata quella cappella, e frequentata con non piccola divotione del popolo." L'Istoria di Guicciardini, Libro Decimo.
Note VIII. Her safety rescued Ireland to him owes.-St. XVII. p. 11. The gallant Ormond, who commanded for the king in Ireland, had reduced the island almost entirely under the royal authority, excepting the cities of Dublin and Londonderry, when the arrival of Cromwell, appointed lord governor by the parliament, entirely changed the scene. In less than ten months, that fated general overran the whole kingdom. Tredagh he took by storm; and such terror was struck into the minds of the Irish, by the bloody execution attending and following that assault, that almost all the other garrisons surrendered without resistance, or revolted to the parliament.
Her land to civilize, as to subdue.-St. XVII. p. 11. Cromwell's wars in Scotland form a brilliant part of his history. After narrowly escaping the snares of the veteran Lesley, whose admirable maneuvres compelled him, with woeful anticipations of farther misfortune, to retreat towards Dunbar, he was enabled, by the rashness of the Scottish kirkmen, totally to defeat that fine army. Edinburgh castle next surrendered ; and the war being carried across the Forth, the Scots were again routed with slaugha ter at Inverkeithing. Then followed the irruption of the king into England, and the fatal defeat at Worcester, which Cromwell used to call his “ crowning mercy.'
Scotland is here called treacherous, because, having been the first to take up arms against King Charles I. she was the last to lay them down in behalf of his son; or rather, because the Presbyterian party in that country joined the young King against the Independants, as they had joined the Parliament against the Prelatists : for, the war, which in England related chiefly to dissentions concerning the civil government, was in Scotland entirely to be referred to religious controversy.
Cromwell certainly did much to civilize Scotland. Some of his benefits were intentionally conferred, others flowed indirectly from the measures he adopted for the consolidation of his own authority. The English judges, whom he appointed, introduced into the administration of justice a purity and vigour, with which
Scotland had been hitherto unacquainted.t By the impoverishment, exile, and annihilation of the principal baronial families, the chains of feudal bondage were lightened upon the peasantry; and the pay of 18,000 men, levied to maintain the constituted authorities, enriched the lower orders, amongst whom it was spent. The English soldiers also introduced into Scotland some of the arts of a more civilized country. We may, however, hesitate to believe, that they taught the citizens of Aberdeen to make shoes and plant kail; because Dr Johnson, upon whose authority the tradition is given, informs us, that the peasantry live upon that vegetable alone, and that, when they had not kail, they probably had nothing; in which case, the English military guests had better have learned from their Aberdonian hosts the art of living upon nothing, than taught them a branch of gardening which their habits of abstinence rendered totally superfluous. But the garrisons established by Cromwell upon the skirts, and in the passes of the Highlands, restrained the predatory clans, and taught them, in no gentle manner, that respect for the property of their Lowland neighbours, which their lawful monarchs had vainly endeavoured to inculcate. An officer of engineers, quartered at Inverness shortly after 1720, says, that the name of Oliver still struck terror through the Highlands; and one very ancient laird declared to him, the appearance of the Protector's colours were so strongly impressed on his memory, that he still thought he saw them before his eyes, spread out by the wind, and bearing, in great golden characters, the word Emanuel.-Letters from the North of Scotland, Vol. I. p. 274.
As wands of divination downward draw,
p. 11. The rod of divination, an admirable implement for a mineralogist, was a piece of forked hazel, which, being poised on the back of the hand, and so carried with great caution, inclined itself sympathetically to the earth, where mines or hidden treasures lay concealed beneath the surface. Derrick refers readers for further
A principal evil, amongst the native Scottish judges, was a predilection for their own allies and kinsmen. A judge, who lived within the eighteenth century, justified this partiality for “kith, kin, and ally,” by saying, " that, upon his conscience, he could never see any of his friends were in the wrong ; ;" and the upright conduct of Cromwell's English judges being objected to him, he answered, " it was not wonderful, since they were a set of kinless lours who had no family connections to bias them.”
information concerning the properties of this marvellous rod, and the way of using it, to La Physique Occultee, ou Traité de la Baguette Divinatoire, published at Amsterdam, 1613.
Our once bold rival of the British main ;
St. XXI. p. 12. The war betwixt the republics had been disastrous to the Dutch, and the peace of 1654 was degrading to the States, though not proportionaliy disadvantageous. They consented to desert the cause of the exiled Stuarts, and to punish the authors of the massacre at Amboyna; they yielded to the English the honour of the flag in the narrow seas; they agreed to pay to the East India Company eighty-five thousand pounds, in compensation of damage done to them; and they consented to the cession of the island of Polerone in the East Indies : lastly, by a secret article, the province of Holland guaranteed an assurance, that neither the young Prince of Orange, whose connection with the exiled family rendered him an object of the Protector's suspicion, nor any of his family, should be invested with the office of Stadtholder.
St. XXIII, p. 12. In 1655, Cromwell allied himself with the rising power of France against the declining monarchy of Spain; less guided, probably, by any general views of political expedience, than by the consideration, that the American and West India settlements of the latter power lay open to assault from the English fleet; while, had he embraced the other side, his own dominions were exposed to an invasion from the exiled king, with French auxiliaries. The splendid triumphs of Blake gave some ground for the poetical Aourishes in the text.
St. XXV. It was still fashionable, in the seventeenth century, to impute the distinguishing shades of human character to the influence of com.
plexion. The doctrine is concisely summed up in the following lines, which occur in an old MS. in the British Museum :
With a red man rede thy rede,
He made us freemen of the continent,
Whom nature did like captives treat before ;
St. XXIX. p. 13. The poet alludes to the exertions of the six thousand British auxiliaries, whom Cromwell sent to join Marshal Turenne in Flanders. These veterans, seasoned to the desperate and close mode of fighting, which the inveteracy of civil war had introduced, astonished the French by their audacity, and their contempt of the usual military precautions and calculations. There is a curious account, by Sir Thomas Morgan, of their exploits at Dunkirk and Ypres, which occurs in the third volume of the Harleian Miscellany,
The Duke of York was then with the Spanish army ; and Dryden, on the change of times, lived to celebrate him for his gallant opposition to that body, which he here personifies as the British Lion. See the Dedication of the “ Conquest of Granada,” Vol. IV. p. 11. The English were made “ free-men of the continent” by the cession of Dunkirk; and it is believed, that this was the first step towards giving England a share in the partition of Flanders, when that strange project was disconcerted by the death of Cromwell. There was no avoiding allusion to the British Lion. Sprat has also sent him forth, seeking whom he may de
Proud Rome, with dread the fate of Dunkirk heard ;
St. XXX. p.
13. The pope being called Alexander the Sixth, Dryden did not disdain to turn this stanza upon an allusion to the Macedonian