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The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649 by David Masson

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1645.] As if to call attention to _Comus_ as the longest and chief of the
poems, it has a separate title-page, thus, "_A Mask of the same Author,
presented at Ludlow Castle, 1634, before the Earl of Bridgewater, then
President of Wales, Anno Dom. 1645;_" but, though there is this break of
a new title-page, the paging runs on without interruption, _Lycidas_
ending p. 65, and _Comus_ taking up the rest to p. 120. Here, however,
there is a _complete_ break, as if it were intended that the English
Poems, there ending, might be bound by themselves. The LATIN POEMS follow
as a separate collection, paged separately from p. 1 to p. 88, and with
this new title-page prefixed to them: "_Joannis Miltoni Londinensis
Poemata: quorum pleraque intra annum oetatis vigesimum conscripsit: nunc
primum edita. Londini, Typis R.R., Prostant ad Insignia Principis, in
Coemeterio D. Pauli, apud Humphredum Moseley, 1645._" There is, however,
a double arrangement of the Latin Poems, or a distribution of them into
two classes. First come those which constitute the so-called ELEGIARUM
LIBER; viz., the "Elegies" proper, numbered from I. to VII., as they now
stand in all editions of Milton, together with the eight little scraps in
the same elegiac verse (five of them on the subject of the Gunpowder
Plot, and three on the Italian singer Leonora) which some modern editors
have preferred to detach from the Elegies, and put under the separate
heading of "Epigrams." This is contrary to Milton's intention; for the
phrase "Elegiarum Finis" _follows_ those scraps in the volume, showing
that he meant them to go with the Elegies, and that, in fact, he thought
it permissible to call anything an Elegy that was written in the ordinary
elegiac verse of alternate Hexameter and Pentameter. Accordingly, all his
Latin poems in that kind of verse having been included in the _Elegiarum
Liber_, all his other Latin poems, not in that kind of verse, but either
in Hexameter pure or in rarer metres, together with two fragments of
Greek verse, are regarded as "Sylvæ," and constitute the distinct
SYLVARUM LIBER which ends the volume. First among the "Sylvæ" come the
six Latin poems of the Cambridge period--_In obitum Procancellarii
Medici, In Quintum Novembris, In obitum Præsulis Eliensis, Naturam non
pati Senium, De Ideâ Platonicâ quemadmodum Aristoteles intellexit, and Ad
Patrem_; then, by way of typographic interruption, come the two scraps of
Greek verse--viz. _Psalm LXIV_. and the scrap entitled _Philosophus ad
Regem Quendam_, &c.; after which are the two Latin pieces, _Ad Salsillum_
and _Mansus_, written in Italy, and the _Epitaphium Damonis_, written
immediately after the return to England. This last stands a little apart
from the body of the "Sylvæ," as if Milton attached a peculiar sacredness
to it.

Such is a general description of the First or 1645 Edition of Milton's
Miscellaneous Poems. The volume, however, presents some points of
additional interest:----Has the reader noticed the motto on the title-
page from Virgil's seventh Eclogue? It is peculiarly significant of the
mood in which the volume was published. Milton, who had called himself
Thyrsis in the _Epitaphium Damonis_, here adopts in the happiest
manner the words of the young poet-shepherd Thyrsis in Virgil's pastoral.
Thyrsis there, contending with Corydon for the prize in poetry, begs from
his brother shepherds, if not the ivy of perfectly approved excellence,
at least

"Some green thing round the brow,
Lest ill tongues hurt the poet yet to be."

Could anything more gracefully express Milton's intention in the volume?
This collection of his Poems, written between his sixteenth year and his
thirty-eighth, was a smaller collection by much, he seems to own, than he
had once hoped to have ready by that point in his manhood; but it might
at least correct the impression of him common among those who knew him
only as a prose pamphleteer. Something green round his brow for the
present, were it only the sweet field-spikenard, would attest that he had
given his youth to Poesy, and would re-announce, amid the clamour of evil
tongues which his polemical writings had raised, that he meant to return
to Poesy before all was done, and to die, when he did die, a great Poet
of England.

This feeling, which is the motive of the publication, appears curiously
in all the details of its arrangement. The order in which the poems are
printed, within each division or class, is, as nearly as possible, the
order in which they were written; the deviations being only such as
proper editorial art required. To almost every juvenile piece, too,
whether in English or in Latin, there is prefixed some indication of the
exact date of its composition; and the title-page of the Latin Poems
distinctly solicits attention to the fact that most of them were composed
before the author was twenty. Even more remarkable than this care in the
dating is the introduction into the volume of all the eulogiums which
Milton had already received from private friends on account of the Poems,
or of any portion of them. To the _Comus_ there is prefixed Henry
Lawes's eulogistic Dedication of it, in the edition of 1637, to Viscount
Brackley, and also Sir Henry Wotton's cordial letter to Milton, with its
praise of the poem in that edition, when Milton was on the start for his
continental tour in the spring of 1638. To the Latin Poems as a whole
there is even a more formal vestibule of encomiums. First of all, there
is a little preface by Milton in Latin apologizing to the reader for
troubling him with them. "Though these following testimonies concerning
the Author," he says, "were understood by himself to be pronounced not so
much _about_ him as _over_ him, by way of subject or occasion--
it being the general habit of men of brilliant genius, if they are at the
same time one's friends, to fashion their praises too eagerly rather by
the standard of their own excellencies than by truth--yet he was
unwilling that the singular goodwill of such persons towards him should
remain unknown, and the rather because others advised him strongly to the
step he is now taking. While therefore he puts from him with all his
strength the imputation of desiring overpraise, and would rather not have
attributed to him more than is due, he cannot deny but he considers the
opinion of him meantime by wise and celebrated men a very high honour."
Accordingly there here follow the encomiums of his various Italian
friends, known to us long ago, and which had been carefully preserved by
him till now among his papers--the Latin distich by the famous Marquis
Manso of Naples; the outrageously complimentary Latin verses of the two
Romans, Salzilli and Selvaggi; and the more interesting Italian ode of
compliment and Latin Dedication by the two Florentines, Francini and
Carlo Dati. (See Vol. I. pp. 732-4, 753-4, and 768.) One has to remember
that the insertion of such commendatory verses in new volumes of poetry
was a fashion of the day. But, besides, there was really the anxiety for
"something green round the brow." In short, it is as if Milton said to
his countrymen--"Here is plenty of greenery, and to spare, with florid
stuff intermixed, of which I am rather ashamed: pick out as much or as
little of it as you like; only, at this date in my life, to prevent
mistake, let me have _some_ kind of garland."

The publisher, Humphrey Moseley, for one, was most willing to oblige
Milton. Prefixed to the volume, on the blank space before the poems
themselves begin, is this most interesting preface in Moseley's own


"It is not any private respect of gain, gentle Reader--for the slightest
Pamphlet is nowadays more vendible than the works of learnedest men--but
it is the love I have to our own language, that hath made me diligent to
collect and set forth such pieces, both in prose and verse, as may renew
the wonted honour and esteem of our English tongue; and it's the worth of
these both English and Latin Poems, not the flourish of any prefixed
encomions, that can invite thee to buy them--though these are not without
the highest commendations and applause of the learnedest Academicks, both
domestick and foreign, and amongst those of our own country the
unparalleled attestation of that renowned Provost of Eton, Sir Henry
Wootton. I know not thy palate, how it relishes such dainties, nor how
harmonious thy soul is: perhaps more trivial Airs may please thee better.
But, howsoever thy opinion is spent upon these, that encouragement I have
already received from the most ingenious men, in their clear and
courteous entertainment of Mr. Waller's late choice pieces, hath once
more made me adventure into the world, presenting it with these ever-
green and not to be blasted laurels. The Author's more peculiar
excellency in these studies was too well known to conceal his papers or
to keep me from attempting to solicit them from him. Let the event guide
itself which way it will, I shall deserve of the age by bringing into the
light as true a birth as the Muses have brought forth since our famous
Spenser wrote; whose poems in these English ones are as rarely imitated
as sweetly excelled. Reader, if thou art eagle-eyed to censure their
worth, I am not fearful to expose them to thy exactest perusal.

"Thine to command, HUMPH. MOSELEY."

This is most creditable to Moseley, and confirms the impression of him
which is to be derived from all the known facts of his publishing life.
One notices, with real respect, his introductory statement about himself,
that, in an age when only pamphlets were thought vendible, he was
resolved, from his own liking for good literature, to keep to a finer
line of business; one observes with interest the admission that it was
Moseley who had solicited the copy from Milton, and not Milton who had
offered the copy; and one is struck with the justness of taste shown in
the hint that, however choice Mr. Waller's late Pieces might be, here was
a poet of "more peculiar excellency." Above all, nothing could be
critically truer than the assertion that since Spenser's death there had
been no English poetry of Spenser's kind equal to that contained in this

Another feature of the volume, for which Moseley, without doubt, is also
responsible, is a prefixed portrait of the Author. There was then living
in London a certain William Marshall, an engraver and sketcher of designs
for books. He had been some fourteen or fifteen years in this employment;
and among the many heads he had done, separately, or as frontispieces to
books, ere those of Richard Brathwayte the Poet, Dr. Donne, Archbishop
Abbot, Laud, and Dr. Daniel Featley. Very probably Moseley had already
had dealings with Marshall, as he had certainly had with the more
celebrated engraver Hollar, who had done a frontispiece for him for
Howell's "Instructions for Foreign Travel." At all events, Hollar being
now out of the way and in trouble (he and Inigo Jones were in the Marquis
of Winchester's house at Basing when it was taken by Cromwell), it was
Marshall that came in for most such pieces of engraving work as Moseley
and other London publishers required. The connexion between him and
Moseley became, indeed, a permanent one, so that Marshall is perhaps best
remembered now by Horace Walpole's description of him as "the graver of
heads for Moseley's books of poetry." If the first head he did for
Moseley was this for the edition of Milton's Poems in 1645, it was an
unlucky beginning of the connexion. It turned out, at all events, to be
an unfortunate piece of work for Marshall's own memory with posterity:--
Moseley, we are to suppose, insisted on a portrait of Milton as a proper
ornament to be prefixed to such a volume, chose Marshall to do it, and
sent him to Milton. Now Milton, as we know, had some recollection of
Marshall, and not a very respectful one. It was Marshall that had done
not only Dr. Featley's portrait, but also the caricature of the different
sorts of Anabaptists and Sectaries, including a river-scene with bathers
of both sexes, which had been inserted in the Doctor's treatise entitled
_The Dippers Dipt_. Milton, as we have seen (_antè_, p. 311), while
administering punishment to Dr. Featley in his _Tetrachordon_ on account
of a passage in this treatise, had not allowed the vulgarity of the
engraving in Featley's book to escape. "For which I do not commend his
_marshalling_" had been Milton's punning notice of it in a parenthesis of
the punishment. When, therefore, Mr. Marshall came to Milton from
Moseley, Milton must have remembered him as the caricaturist for Dr.
Featley's book. Nevertheless, he seems to have given him every facility
for the portrait wanted. Marshall's habit, in such cases, was to take a
sketch from the life when he could get it, but to assist himself with
whatever was at hand in the shape of a picture or former engraving.
Milton, therefore, may have given him a sitting or two, but perhaps
avoided unnecessary trouble by referring to that portrait of himself at
the age of 21, now celebrated as "the Onslow Portrait," which then hung
in some room in the house in Barbican. As the forthcoming volume
consisted largely of Milton's juvenile Poems, an engraving from that
portrait, touched up a little, would be the very thing. And so Marshall
set to work. His dilatoriness over the plate may have been the cause of
the unusual delay in the publication of the volume after it had been
registered. In due time, however, the result was presented to Moseley and
to Milton. And what a result! How they must have both stared! The general
design of the plate was, indeed, pretty enough--an oval containing the
portrait, with a background partly of curtain and low wall or window-
sill, partly of an Arcadian scene of trees and meadow beyond, in which a
shepherd is piping under one of the trees, and a shepherd and shepherdess
are dancing; and then, outside the oval, in the four corners, the Muses
Melpomene, Erato, Urania, and Clio, with their names. All this was
passable; it was the portrait within the oval that gave the shock. The
face is that of a grim, gaunt, stolid gentleman of middle age, looking
like anybody or nobody, with long hair parted in the middle and falling
down on both sides to the lace collar round the neck; one shoulder is
cloaked, and the other shown tight in the buttoned tunic or coat; and the
arms meet clumsily across the breast, the left arm uppermost. Round the
oval was the legend, "_Joannis Miltoni Angli Effigies, anno ætatis
vigess: pri. W. M. Sculp._"--i.e. "Portrait of John Milton, Englishman,
in the 2lst year of his age: W. M. Sculp." The legend _said_ twenty-one
years of age; the portrait _looked_ somewhere about fifty. What was to be
done? What _ought_ to have been done was to cancel the plate and print
the book without it. Perhaps not to vex Moseley, Milton did not insist on
this, but allowed the engraving, just as it was, to be prefixed to the
volume. But he took his revenge in one of the most malicious practical
jokes ever perpetrated. "Mr. Marshall," he must have said to the
unfortunate engraver, "here are a few lines of Greek which I should like
to have carefully engraved on the plate under the portrait," at the same
time handing him the following:--

[Greek: Amathei gegraphthai cheiri tænde men eikona
Phaiæs tach an, pras eidos autophues blepon.
Ton d'ektupoton ouk epignontes, philoi,
Gelate phaulou dusmimæma xographou.]

Away went Mr. Marshall, and duly, and with some pains, engraved these
letters on the plate, utterly ignorant of their meaning. Accordingly,
when the volume appeared (Jan. 2, 1645-6), purchasers of it did indeed
find Marshall's portrait of Milton in it, but those among them who knew
Greek could read, underneath it, inscribed by Marshall's own graving
tool, this damning criticism of his handiwork:--

"That an unskilful hand had carved this print
You'd say at once, seeing the living face;
But, finding here no jot of me, my friends,
Laugh at the botching artist's mis-attempt."

[Footnote: This was very savage in Milton; but really, as it turned out,
it was a prudent precaution. For, till 1670, Marshall's botch prefixed to
the Poems was the only published portrait of Milton-the only guide to any
idea of his personal appearance for those, whether friends or foes,
whether in Britain or abroad, who were not acquainted with himself.
Especially among enemies on the Continent, as we shall find, both
Marshall's portrait and Milton's sarcastic disavowal of it were eagerly
scanned and interpreted for the worst. As late as 1655, Milton, in his
_Pro se Defendio contra Alexandrum Morion_, had to refer to both
portrait and disavowal as follows:--"Now I am a Narcissus with you,
because I would not be the Cyclops you paint me from your sight of the
most unlike portrait of me prefixed to my Poems. Really, if, in
consequence of the persuasion and importunity of my publisher, I allowed
myself to be clumsily engraved by an unskilful engraver, because there
was not another in the city in that time of war, this argued rather my
entire indifference in the affair than the too great care with which you
upbraid me." The passage quite confirms the view taken in the text of the
way in which the portrait came to be published. In justice to Marshall,
it is right to say that he had done much better things, and did better
things afterwards for Moseley, than this head of Milton. "Marshall," says
Bliss (Wood's Ath. III. 518, Note), "though in general a coarse and hasty
performer, is not to be despised, since his heads, though often very
rough sketches, bear evident marks of authenticity and resemblance to the
originals. The best head he ever engraved, in my opinion, is one of Dr.
Donne when young." I can confirm this by saying that his head of Featley
really gives one an idea of that obstinate and consequential old divine.
I only wish he had done Milton half as well. About Marshall's engraving
of Milton see Mr. J. F. Marsh's tract on the _Engraved and Pretended
Portraits of Milton_ (Liverpool, 1860). Mr. Marsh thinks, with me,
that Marshall based his engraving partly on the Onslow picture, and that
that picture suggested the date, _ætat_. 21, so absurdly given to
the engraving.]


Moseley's precious little volume, with the engraver Marshall thus grimly
immortalized in it, brings Milton to the beginning of 1646, or twelve
months beyond his _Tetrachordon_ and _Colasterion_. His wife having been
for some months back with him, for better or worse, in the house at
Barbican, he had dropped the Divorce argument, or at least its public
prosecution. That he did so with a certain reluctance, and in no spirit
of recantation, appears from two of his Sonnets, which must have been
written about the time of the publication of his volume of Poems (Oct.
1645--Jan. 1645-6), but which are not included in that volume, either
because they were too late to come in their places after the Ten Sonnets
contained in it, or because Milton thought it better not then to print
them. "_On the Detraction which followed upon my writing certain
Treatises_" is the title given by Milton himself in MS. to the two
Sonnets together; but they may have been written separately.


I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs,
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me
Of Owls and Cuckoos, Asses, Apes, and Dogs;
As when those hinds that were transformed to frogs
Railed at Latona's twin-born progeny,
Which after held the sun and moon in fee.
But this is got by casting pearl to hogs,
That bawl for freedom in their senseless mood,
And still revolt when Truth would set them free.
Licence they mean when they cry Liberty;
For who loves that must first be wise and good:
But from that mark how far they rove we see,
For all this waste of wealth and loss of blood.


A book was writ of late called _Tetrachordon_,
And woven close, both matter, form, and style;
The subject new. It walked the town a while
Numbering good intellects; now seldom pored on.
Cries the stall-reader "Bless us! what a word on
A title-page is this!" and some in file
Stand spelling false while one might walk to Mile-
End Green. Why is it harder, Sirs, than _Gordon_,
_Colkitto_, or _Macdonnell_, or _Galasp_?
Those rugged names to our like mouths grow sleek,
That would have made Quintilian stare and gasp.
Thy age, like ours, O soul of Sir John Cheke,
Hated not learning worse than toad or asp,
When thou taught'st Cambridge and King Edward Greek.

The second of these Sonnets is printed first in all the editions of
Milton, but there is proof that it was written second. [Footnote: It
stands first in the Second or 1673 Edition of Milton's Poems; but in the
Cambridge MSS, it comes second in Milton's own hand.] And, while the two
together form what may be called Milton's poetical farewell to the
Divorce subject, the mood in the second, it may be noted, is more
humorous than in the first. In the first Milton, still angry, clenches
his fist in the face of his generation, as a generation of mere hogs and
dogs, unable to appreciate any real form of the liberty for which they
are howling and grunting; in the second the spleen is less, and he is
content with a rigmarole of rhyme about the queer effects among the
illiterate of the Greek title of his last Divorce Pamphlet. And here what
is chiefly interesting in the rigmarole is the evidence that Milton had
been recently attending to the news from Scotland. The "_Colkitto_, or
_Macdonnell_, or _Galasp_" of the Sonnet is no other than our friend
Alexander MacDonnell, _alias_ MacColkitto, _alias_ MacGillespie,
Montrose's gigantic Major-general; and the "Gordon" is either Lord
Aboyne, the eldest son of the Marquis of Huntly, who adhered to Montrose
till Philiphaugh, or it is a general name for the many Gordons who were
with him (see _antè_, pp. 348, 358, 367). The odd Scottish and Gaelic
names had amused Milton's delicate ear; _Gordon_ rhymed aptly to
_Tetrachordon_; and hence the notion of the Sonnet. [Footnote: Those
annotators on Milton who have tried to identify _Galasp_ at all have
supposed him to be the Mr. George Gillespie who was one of the Scottish
Divines in the Westminster Assembly. There _may_ be a side-reference to
him, for Milton must have heard much of him; but the primary reference is
not to the Presbyterian minister, but to the huge Colonsay Highlander,
recently heard of everywhere as Montrose's comrade in arms, and who was
_Colkitto_, _MacDonnell_, and _Galasp_, all in one.]

A third Sonnet, written about the same time, shows even more distinctly
the calming effect on Milton's mind produced by his changed mode of life
in the house in Barbican, after his wife's return and the publication of
his little Volume of Poems. It is the well-known Sonnet to his friend
Henry Lawes, the musician.

So far as the two artists, William and Henry Lawes, concerned themselves
in the politics of the time, they were, of course, Royalists. Officially
attached to his Majesty's household and service, what else could they be?
The elder of the two, indeed, William Lawes, had gone into the Royalist
army, taken captain's rank there, and been slain quite recently at the
siege of Chester (October 1645), much regretted by the King, who is said
to have put on private mourning for him. Henry, the younger, and much the
more celebrated as a composer, had remained in London, exercising his art
as much as might be at such a time, and kept by it in acquaintance with
many who, differing in other things, were at one in their love of music.
Everybody liked and admired the gentle Harry Lawes, and he was welcome
everywhere. But there was still no family with which he was on more
intimate terms than with his old patrons of the accomplished Bridgewater
group, and there can have been no house where his visits were more
frequent than at their house in Barbican. True, the family was greatly
reduced from what it had been in the old days of the _Arcades_ and
_Comus_, when Lawes was teacher of music to its budding girls and
boys, and the master and stage-director of their tasteful masques and
private concerts. The Countess had been ten years dead; Lord Brackley,
the heir of the house, and the elder of the boy-brothers in _Comus_,
had wedded, in July 1642, when only nineteen years of age, the Lady
Elizabeth Cavendish, daughter of the powerful Royalist Earl, afterwards
Marquis and Duke, of Newcastle; and one or two of his sisters, unmarried
in the _Comus_ year, had since found husbands. With the widower
Earl, however, inhabiting now his town-house in Barbican, and visiting
but seldom his country mansion at Ashridge, Herts, there still remained
his youngest daughter, the Lady Alice of _Comus_, verging on her
twenty-fifth year, and Mr. Thomas Egerton, the younger of the boy-
brothers in _Comus_, now a youth of about twenty. Probably elder and
married members of the family gave the Earl their occasional company; for
he was now about sixty-five years of age, in an infirm state of health,
sorely impoverished, and in the unfortunate condition of a Peer who would
have been with the King if he could, and whom the King had expected to be
with him, but who was obliged to plead his infirm health and his poverty
for a kind of semi-submission to Parliament. He had reluctantly taken the
Covenant (_antè_, pp. 39,40), and there are entries in the Lords
Journals proving that his excuses for non-attendance in the House were
barely allowed to pass. Music and books were among the invalid Earl's
chief recreations; and some of his happiest moments in his old age may
have been in listening to the Lady Alice, or another of his daughters,
singing one of Lawes's songs, with Lawes, now the privileged artist-
friend rather than the professional tutor, standing by or accompanying.
What if it were the Lady Alice, and the song were that well-remembered
one of _Comus_ which she had sung, when a young girl, eleven years
before, in the Hall of Ludlow Castle, before the assembled guests of her
father's Welsh Presidency, her proud mother then among the listeners,--

"Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph that liv'st unseen
Within thy airy shell"?

If so, the sound of her voice might have almost reached Milton in
_his_ house close by in the same street. At all events, here, in the
street called Barbican, by a strange chance, were assembled, within a few
yards of each other, at the very time when _Comus_ was first
published by Milton himself, and acknowledged among his other poems, at
least five of the persons chiefly concerned in the masque on its first
production--the Earl in whose honour it had been composed; the Lady
Alice, and Mr. Thomas Egerton, two of the chief actors: the musician
Lawes, who had directed all, composed the music, and sustained the parts
of Thyrsis and the Attendant Spirit in the, performance; and the poet who
had written the words.

When Lawes was in Barbican of an evening, it was but a step for him from
the Earl's house to Milton's. And then would there not be more music,
mingled with talk perhaps about the Bridgewater family, while Mrs. Milton
sat by and listened? And would not the old Scrivener come down from his
room to see Mr. Lawes, and bring out his choicest old music-books, and
almost set aside his son in managing the visit for musical delight? So
one fancies, and therefore keeps to the interrogative form as the safest;
but the fancy here is really the most exact possible apprehension of the
facts as they are on record. Lawes's friendship with Milton had been
uninterrupted since 1634; but it so chances that the third point in
Milton's life at which his intimacy with Lawes emerges into positive
record is precisely the winter of 1645-6, when Milton was the Earl of
Bridgewater's neighbour in Barbican, and his Volume of Poems was going
through the press. Not only was there reprinted in this volume Lawes's
Dedication of the _Comus_ in 1637, "To the Right Honourable John,
Lord Brackley, son and heir-apparent to the Earl of Bridgewater;" but in
the very title-page of the volume, as arranged by Moseley, Lawes's name
is associated with Milton's. "_The Songs were set in musick by Mr.
Henry Lawes, &c._," says the title-page; and this may mean that not
only the songs in _Arcades_ and _Comus_, but other lyrical pieces in the
volume, had been set to music by Lawes. If so, a good deal more of
Lawes's music to Milton's words may have been in existence about 1645
than his settings of the five songs in _Comus_, which are all that have
come down to us in his own hand. Songs of Milton set by Lawes may have
been in circulation in MS. copies, and may have been as well known in
musical families as the numerous songs by Carew, Herrick, Waller and
others, which had been set by the same composer; and it may be to this
that Moseley alludes by the prominent mention of Lawes in the title-page
of the collected Poems. And, if Lawes had done so much for Milton's
verse, it was fitting that Milton should make some return in kind. He had
indeed introduced skilful compliments to Lawes personally in his _Comus_;
but something more express might be now appropriate. Accordingly, on the
9th of February, 1645-6, or five weeks after the publication of the
Poems, Milton wrote the following:--


"Harry, whose tuneful and well-measured song
First taught our English music how to span
Words with just note and accent, not to scan
With Midas ears, committing short and long,
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
With praise enough for Envy to look wan:
To after-age thou shalt be writ the man
That with smooth air could humour best our tongue.
Thou honour'st Verse, and Verse must lend her wing
To honour thee, the priest of Phoebus' quire,
That tun'st their happiest lines in hymn or story.
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing,
Met in the milder shades of Purgatory."

The original draft of this Sonnet, entitled as above, and with the date
"Feb. 9, 1645," attached, and a corrected transcript underneath, both in
Milton's own hand, are in the Cambridge volume of Milton MSS. The Sonnet
was prefixed by Lawes, with the same title, in 1648 to a publication of
some of his own and his deceased brother's compositions, entitled
_Choice Psalmes put into Musick for Three Voices_; but in the Second
or 1673 Edition of Milton's Poems it reappeared with the title which it
has retained in all subsequent editions: viz. "To Mr. Henry Lawes on his
Airs." For biographical purposes it is well to remember the first title
and the dating. The Sonnet is, in fact, a memorial of a time when Milton
and Lawes must have been much together. [Footnote: The details about the
state of the Bridge water family in the text are partly from Todd's Note
prefixed to _Comus_ (Todd's Milton, ed. 1852, IV 38-44), partly from
entries in the _Lords Journals_ already referred to in this volume.
Todd has also (_ibid._ 45-54) an elaborate, though ill-digested,
note on Lawes, with particulars of his continued connexion, to 1653 and
beyond, with various members of the Bridgewater family. In the
Stationers' Registers there is this entry:--"Nov. 16, 1647, Rich.
Woodnoth entered for his copy under the hands of Mr. Downham and Mr.
Bellamy, warden, a book called 'Compositions of Three Parts,' by Henry
and William Lawes, servants to his Majesty." I suppose this was the book
published in 1648 with the title "_Choice Psalmes_," &c.]


Altogether it was beginning to be a more placid time with Milton. With
his book out, his wife restored to him, the Divorce argument dropped, and
his pupils to teach, he might look about him quietly on the state of
public affairs, and expect what should be the next call on him. There did
not seem to be any immediate call. In the month when his volume of Poems
appeared Presbyterianism was at its fullest tide in Parliament; but in
the succeeding months, what with the increase of Recruiters in the
Commons, what with the tramp of Independency in the field growing louder
and nearer as the New Model ended its work, he could see the political
power of the Presbyterians gradually waning, until, in April 1646, when
Cromwell reappeared in London, Anti-Toleration was abashed and the
Westminster Assembly itself under control. The spectacle must have been
quite to Milton's mind; but, as he had already expressed himself
sufficiently on the main question between the Independents and the
Presbyterians, and as nobody doubted on which side he was to be ranked,
he was disposed to take his ease on this subject too, and to leave the
issue to the Parliament and the Army. He was too marked a man, however,
to be quite let alone. The Presbyterian writers, true to their policy of
publicly naming all prominent heretics and sectaries, and painting their
opinions in the most glaring colours, with a view to disgust people with
the idea of a Toleration, could not part with Milton and his Divorce
Doctrine. After he and his wife were in the Barbican house together, he
was still pursued by the hue and cry. Here are two specimens:--

_Mr. Baillie on Milton._--"Mr. Milton permits any man to put away his
wife upon his mere pleasure without any fault, and without the cognisance
of any judge," writes Baillie in the Table of Contents to the First Part
of his _Dissuasive_, published in November 1645; and in the text of the
work (p. 116) the statement is amplified as follows:--"Concerning
Divorces, some of them [the Independents] go far beyond any of the
Brownists; not to speak of Mr. Milton, who in a large treatise hath
pleaded for a full liberty for any man to put away his wife, whenever he
pleaseth, without any fault in her at all, but for any dislike or
dyssympathy of humour. For I do not certainly know whether this man
professeth Independency, albeit all the heretics here whereof ever I
heard avow themselves Independents. Whatever therefore may be said of Mr.
Milton, yet Mr. Gorting and his company were men of renown among the New
English Independents before Mistress Hutchinson's disgrace; and all of
them do maintain that it is lawful for every woman to desert her husband
when he is not willing to follow her in her church-way." In other words,
Baillie is not sure that it is fair to charge Milton's extreme opinion
upon Independency as such, inasmuch as it may be the crotchet of a
solitary heretic; but he is inclined to think that Milton _is_ an
Independent, and he knows at least that Mr. Gorting and other
Independents have broached a milder form of the same heresy. In his Notes
(pp. 144,145) he quotes sentences to the amount of a page from Milton's
_Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce_ to prove that he does not
misrepresent him.--The "Gorting" here mentioned by Baillie is the "Samuel
Gorton" who had been such a sore trouble to the New Englanders, and even
to Roger Williams at Providence, by his anarchical opinions and conduct
(Vol. II. 601). He had returned or been ejected from America, and was
making himself notorious in London. "This I am assured of from various
hands," wrote Edwards (_Gangr._ Part II. p. 144), "that Gorton is here in
London, and hath been for the space of some months; and I am told also
that he vents his opinions, and exercises in some of the meetings of the
sectaries, as that he hath exercised lately at Lamb's Church, and is very
great at one Sister Stagg's, exercising there too sometimes." This will
explain Baillie's allusion to Gorton in connexion with Milton's Divorce
Doctrine. Strange that Gorton should be cited as holding a _milder_ form
of the heresy than Milton's!

_Mr. Edwards on Milton._--Of course, Milton got into the _Gangræna._
Everybody that deviated in anything, to the right or left, from the path
of Presbyterian orthodoxy, got into that register of scandals; and we
have already availed ourselves of information incidentally supplied in
the Second and Third Parts of it as to the horror caused by Milton's
Divorce Doctrine among the Presbyterians (_antè_, pp. 189-192). We have
still to present, however, Edwards's direct notice of Milton in the First
Part of his scandalous medley. It was published in January or February
1645-6; so that, at the very time when Milton's volume of Poems was out,
and he was writing his Sonnet to Lawes, he found himself pilloried again
in the new book which all London was reading greedily. A leading portion
of the book, as we know (_antè_, pp. 143-5), consisted of a catalogue of
176 "Errors, Heresies, and Blasphemies" that had been vented by divers
Sectaries and were then distracting and corrupting the soul of England.
Well, the 154th Error, Heresy, and Blasphemy in this catalogue is this:--
"That 'tis lawful for a man to put away his wife upon indisposition,
unfitness, or contrariety of mind, arising from a cause in nature
unchangeable; and for disproportion and deadness of spirit, or something
distasteful and averse in the immutable bent of nature; and man, in
regard of the freedom and eminency of his creation, is a law to himself
in this matter, being head of the other sex, which was made for him;
neither need he hear any judge therein above himself." To this summary by
Edwards of Milton's Doctrine, partly in Milton's own words, the reference
is appended in the margin: "_Vide Milton's Doctrine of Divorce._"
(_Gangræna_, Part I. p. 29.) And so for the moment Edwards dismisses
Milton, very much as Baillie had done, to return to him again in the
Second and Third Parts of his _Gangræna_, as Baillie was to do in the
Second Part of his _Dissuasive_.

Milton was provoked. It was not in his nature to let any attack upon him,
from whatever quarter, pass without notice; and attacks by persons of
such popular celebrity as Baillie and Edwards could hardly be ignored.
But, as he had given up the public prosecution of the Divorce argument,
his punishment for Edwards and Baillie came in a different form from that
which he had administered in the _Tetrachordon_ and _Colasterion_ to
Herbert Palmer, Dr. Featley, Mr. Caryl, Mr. Prynne, and the anonymous
attorney. It came in verse, thus--


"Because you have thrown off your Prelate lord,
And with stiff vows renounced his Liturgy,
To seize the widowed whore Plurality
From them whose sin ye envied, not abhorred,
Dare ye for this adjure the civil sword
To force our consciences that Christ set free,
And ride us with a Classic Hierarchy,
Taught ye by mere _A. S._ and _Rutherford?_
Men whose life, learning, faith, and pure intent
Would have been held in high esteem with Paul,
Must now be named and printed heretics
By _shallow Edwards_ and _Scotch What d'ye call._
But we do hope to find out all your tricks,
Your plots and packing, worse than those of Trent,
That so the Parliament
May, with their wholesome and preventive shears,
Clip your phylacteries, though baulk your ears,
And succour our just fears,
When they shall read this clearly in your charge--
New PRESBYTER is but old PRIEST writ large."

Milton, we are to suppose, having already written two Divorce Sonnets,
did not care to write a third, but preferred to punish Edwards and
Baillie in a general Anti-Presbyterian Sonnet. It turned out, however,
not a Sonnet proper, but a _Sonetto con coda_, as the Italians call
it, or "Sonnet with a tail"--the Anti-Presbyterian rhythm prolonging
itself beyond the fourteen lines that would have completed the normal
Sonnet, and demanding the scorpion addition of six lines more. Into this
peculiar "tailed Sonnet" Milton condenses metrically all the rage against
Presbytery, the Westminster Assembly, and the Anti-Tolerationists, which
had already broken forth at large in his later prose pamphlets. The piece
is unusually full of historical allusions. It breathes throughout his
acquired hatred of the Presbyterians for their opposition to Liberty of
Conscience, and their determination that the "Classic Hierarchy," or
system of Presbyterian _classes_ which they were establishing in
England, should be as compulsory on all as the Prelacy they had thrown
off; and there is a palpable side-hit at the recent acquisition by some
of the leading Presbyterian Divines in the Assembly of University posts
and the like in addition to their previous livings, notwithstanding their
outcries against Pluralities in the time of Episcopacy. In this side-hit
not a few known Divines are slashed; and among them, I fear, Milton's old
tutor Thomas Young, now Master of Jesus College, Cambridge, as well as
Vicar of Stowmarket. But the open personal references are four. The "A.
S." selected as one prominent expounder of Presbytery is the Scotchman,
Dr. Adam Steuart, who, under his initials "A. S.," had been one of the
first to rush into print in behalf of strict Presbytery and Anti-
Toleration against the _Apologetical Narrative_ of the Independents
of the Assembly, and who had been replied to by John Good win, but had
since gone into Holland (_antè_, p. 25). The "Rutherford" coupled
with him is the celebrated Scottish divine, and Commissioner to the
Assembly, Samuel Rutherford, who had set forth several expositions of
strict Scottish Presbytery for the enlightenment of the English. "Shallow
Edwards" is obvious enough: he is Mr. Edwards of the _Gangræna_, once far
from a nobody in London, but who will now, through Milton's mention of
him, be "Shallow Edwards" to the world's end. In Milton's draft of the
Sonnet he was "hair-brained Edwards;" but "hair-brained" was erased, and
"shallow" substituted. The "Scotch What d'ye call" has cost the
commentators more trouble. Most of them have identified him with George
Gillespie, whom they also, though erroneously, suppose to be the "Galasp"
of one of the Divorce Sonnets. There can be little doubt now, I think,
that I have detected the real "What d'ye call" in Gillespie's fellow-
Commissioner from Scotland, our good friend Baillie, whose _Dissuasive_,
with its reference to Milton as one of the heretics of the time, had just
preceded Edwards's _Gangræna_. I am sorry for this, but it cannot be
helped. There was, I ought to add, in the original draft of the Sonnet, a
fifth personal allusion, which Milton saw fit, on second thoughts, to
omit. Line 17, which now stands "_Clip your phylacteries, though baulk
your ears_" (_i.e._" though pass over your ears and leave them
undipped"), was originally "_Crop ye as close as marginal P--'s ears_."
As Milton had already, in his _Colasterion_, said enough about Prynne and
the heavy margins of his many pamphlets, and as the circumstances in
which Prynne had lost his ears made the subject hardly a proper one for a
public joke, it was but good taste in Milton to make the change.

It is from internal evidence that I assign this famous Anti-Presbyterian
outburst of Milton to some early month of the year 1646. [Footnote: The
lines were first published in the Second or 1673 Edition of Milton's
Poems, and not there among the Sonnets, but as a piece apart, with the
title, since always given to it, _On the New Forcers of Conscience
under the Long Parliament_. The draft of it among the Milton MSS. at
Cambridge has the simpler title _On the Forcers of Conscience_. This
draft, however, is not in Milton's own hand, but is a transcript by an
amanuensis. Hence we have not the means of determining the date so
exactly as if Milton's own draft had been preserved. I am pretty
confident that the date cannot be later than 1646, and I fancy copies may
have been in private circulation in that year.] It fits in exactly with
the state of public affairs and of Milton himself at that time; all the
motives to it, public and private, were in existence by the March of that
year; and it is difficult to suppose that the composition was of much
later date. Or, if it was a little later, the lines fairly represent
Milton's feeling at the time to which I assign them. In March, April, and
May, 1646, Milton was one of those Englishmen who had done for ever with
Presbyterianism, who rejoiced over the curb imposed at length upon the
Westminster Assembly by the Independents and Erastians of the Parliament,
and who longed to see that conclave dismissed, and the Scots sent packing


That the Scots should be sent packing home, but that they should leave
the King behind them in English custody, was the result for which all the
Independents were anxious. Through May and June 1646, it was for Milton,
among the rest, to watch the progress of the negotiations with the Scots
at Newcastle round the person of the King, and at the same time to
observe the surrender of one after another of the few remaining Royalist
garrisons, including the great Royalist capital of Oxford. The siege of
this city by Fairfax, begun May 1, a week after the King had left it, and
continued for seven or eight weeks with the help of Cromwell and Skippon,
must have been a matter of considerable personal interest to Milton, and
of more interest to his wife. She was now in a state of health requiring
as much freedom from anxiety as possible; but, while the siege was going
on, there was good reason for anxiety in the fact that her father and
mother, with the rest of her family, or some of them, were in the
besieged city and undergoing its dangers. They had taken refuge there on
the approach of the Parliamentarian troops into Oxfordshire, leaving
their house at Forest-hill to take its chance. What might that chance be,
and what worse chances might come of the siege itself? It was a relief
when the news came of the actual surrender of the city (June 24), on
terms exceedingly liberal to the garrison, the citizens, and all the
resident Royalists. The terms, indeed, were thought far too liberal by
the Presbyterians. "The scurvy base propositions which Cromwell has given
to the Malignants at Oxford has offended many," writes Baillie, June 26;
[Footnote: Baillie, II. 376] the reason for the offence being that it was
but too clear that the Independents had been in haste to obtain Oxford on
any terms whatever, in order that the army might be free to act, if
necessary, against the Scots in the north. Anyhow the surrender had taken
place. The Princes Rupert and Maurice had left the city with a retinue
and promise of liberty to go abroad; the garrison, to the number of 7,000
men, had marched out honourably, with arms and baggage; security for the
property of the citizens and the colleges had been guaranteed; and all
the miscellaneous crowd of Royalists of various ranks that had been
cooped up so long in Oxford were at liberty to disperse themselves on
certain stipulated conditions. To one of the Articles of the Treaty of
Surrender I must ask special attention, as it came to be of much domestic
consequence to Milton in future years:--

"XI. That all lords, gentlemen, clergymen, officers, soldiers, and all
other persons in Oxford, or comprised in this capitulation, who have
estates real or personal under or liable to sequestrations according to
the Ordinance of Parliament, and shall desire to compound for them
(except persons by name excepted by Ordinance of Parliament from pardon),
shall at any time within six months after the rendering of the garrison
of Oxford be admitted to compound for their estates; which composition
shall not exceed two years' revenue for estates of inheritance, and for
estates for lives, years, and other real and personal estates, shall not
exceed the proportion aforesaid for inheritances, according to the value
of them: And that all persons aforesaid whose dwelling-houses are
sequestered (except before-excepted) may after the rendering of the
garrison repair to them, and there abide, convenient time being allowed
to such as are placed there under the sequestrations for their removal.
And it is agreed that all the profits and revenues arising out of their
estates after the day of entering their names as Compounders shall remain
in the hands of the tenants or occupiers, to be answered to the
Compounders when they have perfected their agreements for their
compositions; And that they shall have liberty, and the General's pass
and protection, for their peaceable repair to and abode at their several
houses or friends, and to go to London to attend their compositions, or
elsewhere upon their necessary occasions, with freedom of their persons
from oaths, engagements, and molestations during the space of six months,
and after so long as they prosecute their compositions without wilful
default or neglect on their part, except an engagement by promise not to
bear arms against the Parliament, nor wilfully to do any act prejudicial
to their [Parliament's] affairs so long as they remain in their quarters.
And it is further agreed that, from and after their compositions made,
they shall be forthwith restored to and enjoy their estates, and all
other immunities, as other subjects, together with the rents and profits,
from the time of entering their names, discharged from sequestrations,
and from fifths and twentieth parts, and other payments and impositions,
except such as shall be general and common to them with others."
[Footnote: Whitlocke (ed. 1853), II. 38; also in Rushworth, VI. 282,

Some hundreds of persons in Oxford at the time of its surrender must have
had their movements for the next few months determined by this article.
Among these was Milton's father-in-law, Mr. Richard Powell.

The view we arrived at as to the condition of the Powell family before
the Civil War was (Vol. II. p. 499) that they were then "an Oxfordshire
family of good standing, keeping up appearances with the neighbour-
gentry, and probably more than solvent if all their property had been put
against their debts, but still rather deeply in debt, and their property
heavily mortgaged." During the war, we have now to record, on the faith
of a statement afterwards made by Mr. Powell himself, the losses of the
family in one way or another had amounted to at least 3,000_l_.
Remembering this heavy item, I will try to present in figures the state
of Mr. Powell's affairs while he was shut up in Oxford:--


1. Lease, till 1672, of the Forest-hill mansion and £
estate, worth about . . . . . . . . 270 a year.
2. Furniture, household-stuff, and corn in the Forest-
hill mansion and appurtenances, valued at . 500
3. Wood and timber stacked about the Forest-hill
premises, worth . . . . . . . . . 400
4. Property in land and cottages at Wheatley,
valued at . . . . . . . . . . . 40 a year.
5. Debts owing to Mr. Powell . . . . . . . . 100


1. Due to Mr. John Milton, by recognisance since
1627, as unpaid part of an original debt of
£500 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
2. Promised to the said Mr. Milton, when he married
Mr. Powell's eldest daughter, a
marriage portion of. . . . . . . . . 1,000
3. Due to Mr. Edward Ashworth, or his representatives,
in redemption of a mortgage on the
Wheatley property since 1631, a capital sum
(besides arrears of interest) of . . . . 400
4. Due to Sir Robert Pye, in redemption of a mortgage
on the Forest-hill mansion and property
since 1640, a capital sum (besides arrears of
interest) of . . . . . . . . . . . 1,400
5. Other debts, as estimated by Mr. Powell . . . 1,200

It is difficult to square this ragged account (which, however, is the
best one can produce); [Footnote: My authorities for it are--(1) My own
previous accounts of the state of Mr. Powell's affairs before the ware,
Vol. II. pp. 492-9, based on authorities there cited. (2) "A Particular
of the Real and Personal Estate of Richard Powell of Forest-hill," after
the surrender of Oxford, attested by himself Nov. 21, 1646, and given in
the Appendix to Hamilton's _Milton's Papers_. (3) Other papers in the
same Appendix, especially an attestation of Milton himself at p. 95. (4)
The documents relative to Milton's Nuncupative Will printed by Todd and
others.] but the general effect is that Mr. Powell's affairs were in a
woful condition. It was almost mockery now to style him Mr. Powell of
Forest-hill and Wheatley; for, before he could call these Oxfordshire
properties his own, with their joint revenue of 310_l._ a year, he had to
clear off a debt of 1,400_l._ to Sir Robert Pye, and another of 400_l._
to one Ashworth, each with heavy arrears of interest. Actually, in
furniture, goods, corn, and timber in the house at Forest-hill and its
premises, and in debts owing to him, he fancied himself worth 1,000_l._;
but his debts, apart from those to Pye and Ashworth, and apart also from
the 300_l_. legally owing to his son-in-law Milton (which, with the
promised marriage-portion of 1,000_l._, might stand over to a convenient
time), amounted to 1,200_l._ Nay, this is too favourable a view; for,
while the siege of Oxford had been going on, incidents had happened which
much increased Mr. Powell's difficulties:--(l) The terms of the mortgage
of the Forest-hill mansion and estate to Sir Robert Pye had been that
the mortgage was to be void if Mr. Powell should pay Sir Robert a sum of
1,510_l._ by the 1st of July, 1641. This not having been done, Sir Robert
had had, ever since that date, a legal right to eject Mr. Powell from the
mansion and lands and take possession of them for his debt. A friendly
compromise appears to have been arranged on the subject in May, 1642, by
the payment to Sir Robert of l10_l._, being the difference between the
original debt and the higher sum which was to void the mortgage.
Nevertheless the right to take possession remained with Sir Robert; and
that he had not exercised it may have been as much owing to the fact that
Oxford was difficult of access to a Parliamentarian creditor during the
war as to neighbourly forbearance. But, now that Parliament was at the
gates of Oxford, and its troops quartered in and about Forest-hill, it
was but common prudence in Sir Robert to use the only method left of
saving himself from the loss of his 1,400_l._ with the unpaid interest.
Some time in May, accordingly, or early in June, while the siege of
Oxford was in progress, he caused his servant, or agent, Laurence Farre,
to take formal possession of the Forest-hill premises. At the date of the
surrender of Oxford, therefore, Mr. Powell was no longer owner of the
Forest-hill manor and mansion; they belonged to his neighbour, Sir Robert
Pye. There was, perhaps, a temporary convenience in this for Mr. Powell.
If he had lost the property, his debt to Sir Robert was cancelled by the
loss in the meantime; and, if at any future time he or his heirs should
be in a position to re-acknowledge the debt with arrears, arrangements
for the redemption of the property would be easier with the Pye family
than with strangers. Besides, Sir Robert had taken possession of the
property just in time to anticipate its sequestration by Parliament as
part of the estate of a Delinquent; and in this too there may have been
some intention of neighbourly service, or saving of future trouble, to
Mr. Powell. Still it was a hard thing for the Powells to know that their
lease of their family residence and estate was gone, and they were no
longer the Powells of Forest-hill. [Footnote: The vouchers for the
statements in the text about the transfer of Forest-hill to Sir Robert
Pye in May or June, 1646, are in various documents printed in Mr.
Hamilton's _Milton Papers_. See especially p. 56 and Documents xxii.,
xli., xlii., and xlv. in the Appendix. The Forest-hill property, we shall
find, did eventually come back to the Powell family; but it is worthy of
remark that in Mr. Powell's own "Particular" of the state of his property
in 1646 the Forest-hill lease is not mentioned, but only the goods and
household stuff on the premises. On the other hand, of course, the
1,400_l_. and arrears of interest due to Sir Robert Pye are omitted from
the list of debts, as cancelled by the loss of the property.] (2). But
not only was the lease of the family house and lands gone. There had come
a sequestration, and worse than a sequestration, upon the goods,
household stuff, and timber on the Forest-hill premises, which formed now
the best part of Mr. Powell's worldly all. The order for the
sequestration was issued by the Committee of Parliamentary Sequestrations
for the County of Oxford just after Sir Robert Pye had possessed himself
of the premises; and, on the 16th of June, while Mr. Powell and his
family were in Oxford with the rest of the besieged, three of the
sequestrators, John Webb, Richard Vivers, and John King, with assistants
and spectators, were rummaging the rooms and offices at Forest-hill, and
taking an inventory and valuation of all the furniture, goods, and stock
of every kind contained in them. The inventory still exists, and has been
used in our description of the house when Milton went to fetch his bride
from it (Vol. II. pp. 500, 501). Now, however, it comes in more sadly. _A
copy of the Inventory, with the prices of the goods as they were
appraysed the 16th of June 1646_, is the title of the document; and, as
we read it, we see the sequestrators, with their pens behind their ears,
going round the house, and through the house, and in among the wood-
yards, attended by gaping country-people, and jotting down particulars. A
trunk of linen first attracts them, and they set down its contents,
including "1 pair of sheets, 3 napkins, 6 yards of broad tiffany," at
16_s._ Next is a heavier entry--to wit, "240 pieces of tymber, 200 loades
of firewood, 4 carts, 1 wain, 2 old coaches, 1 mare colt, 3 sows, 1 boar,
2 ewes, 3 parcels of boards," valued in the aggregate at 156_l_. l2_s_.
And so on they go, pell-mell, putting down "hops in the wool-house" at
2_l_., "a bull" at 1_l._ 10_s._, "14 quarters of mastline" at l4_l._, "5
quarters of malt" at 5_l._, "6 bushels of wheat" at 1_l._ 2_s._, two more
parcels of wood at 100_l._ and 60_l._ respectively, a piece of growing
corn at 42_l._, a piece of growing wheat at 6_l._ l3_s._ 4_d._, and even
two fields of meadow, which they leave unappraised for the good reason
that they had been "eaten up by the souldiers." At this point also are
mentioned, as also unappraised, some bit of land at Forest-hill,
apparently not included in the lease that had gone to Sir Robert Pye, and
also Mr. Powell's property at Wheatley. Then, having concluded the outer
survey, and brought the total, so far as appraised, up to 400_l._ or a
little more, the sequestrators proceed to a separate and special
inventory of the household goods. "In the hall" they find furniture which
they value at 1_l._ 4_s._; "in the great parlour" 7_l._; "in the little
parlour" 3_l._; "in the study or boys' chamber" 2_l._ l3_s._; and so on
through the other rooms--"Mrs. Powell's chamber," as the best furnished
of all, counting for 8_l._ 4_s._, while "Mr. Powell's study" goes for
only 1_l._ l4_s._ Altogether the household stuff amounts in their
estimate to a little over 70_l._ It was a monstrously good bargain to any
one who would give that sum for it. Nor, in fact, had the sequestrators
been taking all the trouble of the inventory without inducement. Going
about with them all the while, and possibly haggling with them over the
values, was an intending purchaser in the person of a certain Matthew
Appletree from London--one of those dealers who followed in the wake of
the Parliamentary forces as they advanced into Royalist districts, with a
view to pick up good bargains for ready money in the confiscated property
of Delinquents. To this Appletree the aforesaid sequestrators, Webb,
Vivers, and King, did sell all the household stuff they had inventoried,
together with the best part of the out-of-door-stock, including the
carts, wain, and old coaches, the mare, the bull, and other animals, and
all of the timber except 100%, worth in keeping of a Mr. Eldridge. The
sum which Appletree was to give for the whole was 335_l._, whereas the
real value may have been about 800_l._ or 900_l._; and no sooner had he
concluded his bargain than he began to cart some of the lighter things
away. We can tell what went off in the first cart. They were: "1 arras
work chayre, 6 thrum chayres, 6 wrought stooles, 2 old greene carpetts, 1
tapestry carpett, 1 wrought carpett, 1 carpett greene with fringe, 3
window curtaines." [Footnote: Document xxvi. in Appendix to Hamilton's
_Milton Papers_, with references to other Documents in same Appendix.]
All this took place on the 16th of June, 1646, eight days before the
surrender of Oxford. On the preceding day, June 15, Cromwell had been at
Halton, close to Forest-hill, seeing his daughter Bridget married to

The reader now understands the state of Mr. Powell's affairs, when he was
released from Oxford, as well as he did himself, if not better. It was
all very well that the Articles of Capitulation had provided for the
liberty of all persons among the besieged to return to their several
places of abode and resume their estates and callings, subject only to
composition with Parliament within six months according to the fixed
rates of fine for Delinquency. This may have been a privilege for many;
but it was poor comfort for the Powells. In the first place, they had now
no home of their own to go to. Forest-hill was in possession of their old
friend, Sir Robert Pye, who was preparing to fit up the mansion afresh
for himself or some of his family, its redemption by Mr. Powell being now
out of the question. But what remained was worse. Though the house and
manor of Forest-hill were gone, Mr. Powell, by the terms of the Treaty,
might still hope to compound for the wreck of his other property which
lay under sequestration--viz. the small Wheatley estate; the goods,
furniture, timber, &c., which he had left on the Forest-hill premises;
and also, it appears, some odd bits of land about Forest-hill not
included in the mortgage to Sir Robert Pye. With what grief and anger,
then, must the family, on the surrender of Oxford, have learnt that even
this poor remainder of their property was for the most part
irrecoverable--that not only had it been sequestrated by the County
Commissioners, but most of it sold and some actually dispersed. There
appears, indeed, to have been some very harsh, if not unfair and
underhand, dealing on the part of the sequestrating Commissioners in this
matter of the hurried sale of Mr. Powell's goods to Matthew Appletree. It
became afterwards, as we shall find, the subject of legal complaint by
the Powells, and of a long and tedious litigation on their behalf. Only
two facts need at present be noted. One is the significant fact that
among the members of the County Committee who issued the order for the
sequestration was a "Thomas Appletree," clearly a relative of the
"Matthew Appletree" who purchased the goods, while a third Appletree,
named Richard, was also concerned somehow in the transaction. [Footnote:
Hamilton's _Milton Papers_: Appendix, Documents xlv. and xlvii.] One
suspects some collusion between the public sequestrators and the private
purchaser. Then again, when the transaction came to be litigated, one
observes a discrepancy between the two parties as to its alleged date.
The preserved copy of the inventory and valuation, signed by the
sequestrators, Webb, Vivers, and King, is distinctly dated "the 16 of
June 1646," and as distinctly declares that day to have been the date of
the sale to Appletree. [Footnote: _Ibid._ Document xxvi.] If this is
correct, the sale had occurred while the Treaty for the surrender of
Oxford was in progress, but exactly four days before it was completed and
the Articles of Surrender signed (June 20). On the other hand, the
Powells afterwards invariably represented the sale as a violation of the
Articles; they quoted June 17, and not June 16, as the date of the order
for sequestration issued by "the Committee for the County of Oxford
sitting at Woodstock;" and they laid stress on the fact that the
sequestrators Webb, Vivers, and King had sold the goods to Appletree
"within few days after the granting of the said Articles." [Footnote:
Hamilton's Milton Papers: Appendix, Documents xxviii. and xiv.] How the
discrepancy is to be accounted for one does not very well see; but one
again suspects over-eagerness to injure Powell by obliging Appletree. Can
the sequestrators possibly have inventoried and sold the goods, as they
themselves declared, on the 16th, though the sequestrating Order was not
formally issued till the 17th? If so, they were evidently in a hurry to
push through the business before the Treaty for the Surrender of Oxford
was signed, so as to deprive Mr. Powell, if possible, of any advantage
from it. Or, after all, can there have been any contrivance of ante-
dating, to disguise the fact that the sale, though intended on the 16th,
was really pushed through between Saturday the 20th of June, when the
Articles were signed, and Wednesday the 24th, when the surrender took
place? In either case it must have been a sore sight to Mr. Powell, when,
on this latter day, or the day after, he was free to walk over to Forest-
hill, to find some of his goods already gone and Mr. Matthew Appletree
superintending the carting away of the rest-all except the timber, which
remained upon the premises till its removal should be convenient.
[Footnote: This appears from an extract from "the Certificate of the
Solicitor for Sequestration in the County of Oxford," not given in Mr.
Hamilton's Milton Papers, but in Hunter's Milton Gleanings, pp. 31, 32.]


What was to be done? Only one thing was possible. Mr. Powell must go to
London to compound for what shreds of his sequestrated property survived
the sale to Appletree, and at the same time to see whether he could have
any redress at head-quarters against the Oxfordshire Committee of
Sequestrations. On other grounds, too, a removal to London was advisable
or necessary. There, in Mr. Milton's house, the family would have a roof
over their heads until some new arrangement could be made and while Mr.
Powell prosecuted the composition business. Accordingly, on the 27th of
June, or three days after the surrender of Oxford, Mr. Powell obtained
Fairfax's pass, as follows:-"Suffer the bearer hereof, Mr. Richard
Powell, of Forest-hill in the county Oxon., who was in the city and
garrison of Oxford at the surrender thereof, and is to have the full
benefit of the Articles agreed unto upon the surrender, quietly and
without let or interruption to pass your guards, with his servants,
horses, arms, goods, and all other necessaries, and to repair unto London
or elsewhere upon his necessary occasions: And in all places where he
shall reside, or whereto he shall remove, to be protected from any
violence to his person, goods, or estate, according to the said Articles,
and to have full liberty, at any time within six months, to go to any
convenient port and to transport himself, with his servants, goods, and
necessaries, beyond the seas: And in all other things to enjoy the
benefit of the said Articles. Hereunto due obedience is to be given by
all persons whom it may concern, as they will answer the contrary. Given
under my hand and seal the 27th day of June, 1646. (Signed) T. FAIRFAX."
[Footnote: From the Composition Papers: Document i. in Hamilton's
Appendix VOL. III.] Provided with this pass, Mr. Powell and Mrs. Powell,
with some of their sons and daughters, arrived in London some time early
in July, and took up their abode for the while at their son-in-law
Milton's in the Barbican. That they were there, and a pretty large party
of them too, we learn from Phillips. "In no very long time after her [the
wife's] coming [back to Milton] she had a great resort of her kindred
with her in the house: viz. her father and mother and several of her
brothers and sisters, which were in all pretty numerous." The surrender
of Oxford and the loss of Forest-hill were the immediate causes of this
crowding of the Barbican house with the Powell kindred, unless we are to
suppose that some of them had preceded Mr. Powell thither.

Poor Mr. Powell's perplexities were never to have an end. He cannot have
been more than a fortnight in London when he became aware not only that
he had small chance of redress at head-quarters against the injury
already done him by the Oxfordshire sequestrators, but that
Parliamentarian public opinion in Oxfordshire was pursuing him to London
with fell intent of farther damage. July 15, 1646, we read in the
_Lords Journals_, "A Petition of the inhabitants of Banbury was
read, complaining that the one half of the town is burnt down, and part
of the church and steeple pulled down; and, there being some timber and
boards at one Mr. Powell's house, a Malignant, near Oxford, they desire
they may have these materials assigned them for the repair of their
church and town. It is Ordered, that this House thinks fit to grant this
Petition, and to desire the concurrence of the House of Commons therein,
and that an Ordinance may be drawn up to that purpose." The Commons
concurred readily; for, in the _Commons Journals_ of the very next
day, July 16, we read, "The humble Petition of the inhabitants of Banbury
was read; and it is thereupon Ordered: That the Timber and Boards cut
down by one Mr. Powell, a Malignant, out of Forest Wood near Oxford, and
sequestered, being not above the value of 300%., be bestowed upon the
inhabitants of the town of Banbury, to be employed for the repair of the
Church and Steeple, and rebuilding of the Vicarage House and Common Gaol
there; and that such of the said Timber and Boards as shall remain of the
uses aforesaid shall be disposed, by the members of both Houses which are
of the Committee for Oxfordshire, to such of the well-affected persons of
the said town, for the rebuilding of their houses, as to the said
members, or major part of them, shall seem meet." Here was a confiscation
by Parliament itself of every moveable thing belonging to Mr. Powell that
had been left at Forest-hill after the sale to Appletree. All the
precious timber, including that bought by the harpy Appletree, but not
yet removed by him, was voted to these cormorants of the town of Banbury:
Mr. Powell's condition was to be that of Job at his worst. He had come to
London to plead the benefit of the Articles of Surrender; and behold,
enemies in Oxfordshire and Parliament in London had conspired to strip
him totally bare!

One sees the poor gentleman in his son-in-law's house utterly broken down
with the accumulation of his misfortunes, hanging his head in a corner of
the room where they all met, letting his wife and daughters come round
him and talk to him, but refusing to be comforted. What mattered it to
him to be told of better times that might be coming, or even of the new
little creature of his own blood that was then daily expected into the
world? To Mrs. Powell, however, this expected event was of more
consequence. She was a person of some temper and spirit; and, even in her
troubles, there was some spur upon her in her present motherly duty. And
so, when, on the 29th of July, 1646, being Wednesday, and the day of the
monthly Fast, Milton's first-born child saw the light, at about half-past
six in the morning, and was reported to be a daughter, what could they do
but agree to name the little thing ANNE in honour of her grandmother?
[Footnote: Pedigree of the Milton Family by Sir Charles Young, Garter
King at Arms, prefixed to Pickering's edition of Milton's Works, 1851.
But the original authority was an inscription in Milton's own hand on a
blank leaf of his wife's Bible:--"Anne, my daughter, was born July the
29th, the day of the monthly Fast, between six and seven, or about half
an hour after six in the morning, 1646." This, with subsequent entries on
the same leaf, was copied by Birch, Jan. 6, 1749-50, when the Bible was
shown him by Mrs. Foster, granddaughter to Milton (daughter to his
youngest daughter Deborah), then keeping a chandler's shop in Cock Lane,
near Shoreditch Church. It was the Bible in which Milton had written the
dates of his children's births. It was, however, his wife's book: "I am
the book of Mary Milton" was written on it in her hand.--The fact that
the 29th of July, 1846, on which Milton's first child was born, was
Wednesday and a day of public Fast, is verified by a reference to the
_Commons Journals_. The Commons had but a brief sitting that day
after hearing Fast-day sermons by Mr. Caryl and Mr. Whittaker; and their
chief business was to pass thanks to these two preachers for the same.]
It was the name also of Milton's sister, once Mrs. Phillips, now Mrs.
Agar; but there is little doubt that this can have been thought of only
incidentally, and that the real compliment was to Mrs. Powell. The babe
was, of course, shown to Mr. Powell in his sadness, and also to its other
grandfather, then in the house, who could be cheerier over it, as having
less reason for melancholy. "A brave girl," is Phillips's description of
the new-born infant; "though, whether by ill constitution, or want of
care, she grew up more and more decrepit." The poor girl, in fact, turned
out a kind of cripple. This, however, was not foreseen, and for the
present there was nothing but the misfortunes of the Powells to mar the
joy in the Barbican household over the appearance of this little pledge
of the reconciliation of Milton and his wife about a year before.

After the little girl was born, they did rouse Mr. Powell to take the
necessary steps for the recovery of what could be recovered of his
property, if that should prove to be anything whatsoever. The first of
these steps consisted in appearing personally, or by petition, before a
certain Committee at Goldsmiths' Hall, in Foster-lane, Cheapside, to whom
had been entrusted by Parliament the whole business of arranging the
compositions with Delinquents whose estates had been sequestrated. To
this Committee, which must have had a very busy time of it at the end of
the war, when would-be compounders were flocking in from north, south,
and west, Mr. Powell, among others, addressed his petition on the 6th of
August, 1646, in these terms: "To the Honourable the Committee sitting at
Goldsmiths' Hall for Compositions, the humble Petition of Richard Powell,
of Forest-hill, in the County of Oxon., Esq., sheweth--That your
Petitioner's estate for the most part lying in the King's quarters, he
did adhere to his Majesty's party against the forces raised by Parliament
in this unnatural war; for which his Delinquency his estate lieth under
sequestration. He is comprised within those Articles at the surrender of
Oxford; and humbly prays to be admitted to his composition according to
the said Articles. And he shall pray, &c.--RICHARD POWELL." [Footnote:
Hamilton's Milton Papers Appendix, Document ii.] This was all he could do
in the meantime. As soon as the Committee should have leisure to attend
to his case, he could take the other necessary steps. Among these would
be the preparation of the most perfect schedule of his estate, real and
personal, which he could draw up, the verification of every item of the
same, and (which would be the most difficult part of the business) his
argument with the Committee that, by the Articles of Oxford, he ought to
be reinstated both in the goods and furniture which had been sold, at an
under value, by the Oxford sequestrators to Appletree, and in the
300_l._, worth of his timber which had been hastily bestowed by
Parliament on the people of Banbury. To these matters it would be time
enough to attend when the Committee at Goldsmiths' Hall had returned
their answer to his Petition. Not till then either need he go through the
formality of subscribing the Covenant in the presence of a parish-
minister or other authorized person. That was, indeed, an indispensable
formality for any Delinquent who would sue out his composition, or
otherwise signify his submission to Parliament. But it was a formality
which a Delinquent in Mr. Powell's circumstances would willingly put off
to the last moment.

Milton's father-in-law was not the only one of his relatives who were
engaged about this time in the disagreeable business of compounding for
their Delinquency. His younger brother, Christopher Milton, was in the
same predicament. Our last glimpse of this gentleman was after the
surrender of Reading to the Parliamentarian Army under Essex, in April
1643. He was then, we found (Vol. II. pp. 488-490), a householder in
Reading, and decidedly a Royalist; and, after the siege, when his father
came from Reading to London, to reside with his Parliamentarian brother,
he himself remained at Reading, a Royalist still. In the interim he had
even been rather active as a Royalist, having been "a Commissioner for
the King, under the great seal of Oxford, for sequestering the
Parliament's friends of three Counties." Latterly, in some such capacity,
he had gone to Exeter; and he had been residing in that city, if not in
1644, when Queen Henrietta Maria was there, at least some time before its
siege by the New Model Army. On the surrender of Exeter (April 10, 1646),
on Articles similar to those afterwards given to Oxford, he had come to
London on very much the same errand as that on which Mr. Powell came
three months later. More forward in one respect than Mr. Powell, he had
at once begun his submission to Parliament by taking the Covenant. He did
so before William Barton, minister of John Zachary, in Alders-gate Ward,
on the 20th of April, or almost immediately on his arrival in London.
That preliminary over, he had been residing, most probably, in the house
of his mother-in-law. Widow Webber, in St. Clement's Churchyard, Strand,
where Milton had boarded his wife while the house in Barbican was getting
ready. Not till August 7, the day after Mr. Powell had sent in his
Petition for compounding to the Goldsmiths' Hall Committee, did
Christopher Milton send in _his_ petition to the same body. Then,
still styling himself "Christopher Milton, of Reading, in the county of
Berks, Esq., a Councillor at Law," he acknowledged his Delinquency in
having served as a Commissioner of Sequestrations for the King, but
prayed that he might have the benefit of the Exeter Articles of
Surrender, so as to be allowed to compound for his little property now
sequestered in turn. "I am seized in fee, to me and to my heirs," he said
in his accompanying statement, "in possession of and in a certain
messuage or tenement situate, standing, and being within St. Martin's
parish, Ludgate, called the sign of the Cross Keys, and was of the yearly
value, before these troubles, 40_l._ Personal estate I have none but
what hath been seized and taken from me and converted to the use of the
State. This is a true particular of all my estate, real and personal, for
which I only desire to compound to free it out of sequestration, and do
submit unto and undertake to satisfy and pay such fine as by this
Committee for Compositions with Delinquents shall be imposed and set to
pay for the same in order to the freedom and discharge of my person and
estate." Two years' value of an estate was about the ordinary fine for
Delinquency; but different grades of Delinquency were recognised, and the
fines for very pronounced Delinquency were heavier. [Footnote:
Particulars about Christopher Milton and his Delinquency are from
Hamilton's _Milton Papers_, pp. 62-64, and from Documents lxii. and
lxiii. in Appendix.]

We have arrived, biographically as well as historically, at August 1646.
In this month, while Mr. Powell and Christopher Milton had begun
severally to sue out their compositions for Delinquency, it is on a
rather crowded domestic tableau round Milton in Barbican that the curtain
drops. On one side of him was his own old father, on the other was his
father-in-law; the mother-in-law, Mrs. Powell, was there, with her
married daughter Mrs. Milton, and the little baby Anne; how many of Mrs.
Milton's brothers and sisters were in the group can hardly be guessed;
the two boys Phillips, and one knows not how many other pupils, fill up
the interstices between the larger people in front; and one sees
Christopher Milton, his wife Thomasine, their children, and perhaps the
Widow Webber, as visitors in the background. Of the whole company, I
should say, the mother-in law, Mrs. Powell, was, for the time being, and
whether to Milton's private satisfaction or not, the chief in command.


AUGUST 1646--JANUARY 1648-9.










Charles himself becomes now the central object. For now, one may say, he
was left to think and act wholly for himself, and to work out by his own
cogitations and conduct the rest of the long problem between him and his
subjects. From this point, therefore, one follows him with a more
sympathetic interest than can be accorded to any part of his previous
career. When his captivity began (which may be said to have been when the
Scots withdrew with him to Newcastle, May 1646) he was forty-five years
and six months old. His hair was slightly grizzled; but otherwise he was
in the perfect strength and health of a man of spare and middle-sized
frame, whose habits had been always careful and temperate.

Henrietta-Maria was nine years younger than her husband. For two years
they had not seen each other, her co-operation during that time having
been given from her residence at or near Paris. There her effort had been
to induce the French Queen Regent and Cardinal Mazarin to interfere
actively for Charles, with or without the help of the Pope; and, when she
had not succeeded in that, she had contented herself with sending to
Charles from time to time her criticisms of his procedure and her notions
of the kind of arrangement he ought to try to make with his subjects in
the last extremity. The influence she had acquired over him was so great
that these missives were perfectly efficient substitutes for her black
eyes and French-English tongue when she had been with him. Unfortunately,
however, the co-agency with his absent Queen to which he thus felt
himself obliged, and to which indeed he had solemnly pledged himself, had
become the more perplexing because, in the particular of greatest
practical moment to both, he and she tended different ways. Of the two
main concessions involved in any possible treaty with the Parliament,
that of the abandonment of Episcopacy and that of the surrender of the
Militia, Charles was most tenaciously predetermined against the first. It
was a matter of conscience with him. Next to the death of Strafford, the
thing in his past life which caused him the most continued private
remorse was his assent, in Feb. 1641-2, to the Bill excluding Bishops
from Parliament: whatever happened, he would sin no more in that
direction. He would consent to any restriction of his kingly power in the
Militia and other matters, rather than do more in repudiation of
Episcopacy. Nay, he had reasoned himself into a belief that the course
thus most to his conscience would be also the most expedient. Buoying
himself up with a hope that, though Parliament demanded both concessions,
they might let him off with one, he was of opinion that kingly power in
the Militia and other matters might be more easily fetched back by a
retained Episcopacy than a lost Episcopacy could be restored by any
remnant of his power in the Militia. With Queen Henrietta-Maria the
reasoning was different. To her, a Roman Catholic, back now among her co-
religionists, what were all the disputes of British Episcopalians,
Presbyterians, and Independents, but battles of kites and crows? If her
husband's kind of Protestant Church could have been retained, that of
course would have been well; but, as things were, she had no patience
with those scruples of conscience for which he would sacrifice the most
substantial interests of himself and his family. His main object ought to
be to retain as much of real kingly power as possible, to be enjoyed by
himself and her, and transmitted to their descendants; and might not this
be attained by a frank concession to the English of the Presbyterian
settlement, only with a personal dispensation to the King if he desired
it very much, a reservation of liberty for the Roman Catholics of Ireland
and England, and, of course, a toleration for the Queen herself in her
private Roman Catholic worship?

Actually, with all the King's firmness within himself on the Episcopacy
question, the Queen's influence had so far prevailed as to bring him into
a position where her views rather than his had chances in their favour.
That he was now a captive at all, that he was still in Great Britain to
maintain passively the struggle in which he had failed actively, was very
much the Queen's doing. Again and again since the blow of Naseby, or at
least since Montrose's ruin at Philiphaugh, it had been in the King's
mind to abandon the struggle for the time, and withdraw to Holland,
Denmark, or some other part of the Continent. That he had not, while the
sea was open to him, adopted this course, was owing in part to his own
irresolution, but very considerably to his dread of the Queen's
displeasure. She did not want him to be on the Continent with her, a
dependent on her relatives of the French Court or on the Dutch
Stadtholder; she wanted him to remain in Britain and struggle on,
somehow, anyhow. Nay, she had devised a particular way for him, and
almost compelled him to it. A flight to the Scots and a pact with them on
the basis of some acceptance of their Presbyterianism even for England:
this was the course which she had urged on him ever since his defeat by
Parliament had become certain; this was the course she had arranged for
him by causing the French Court to send over Montreuil to negotiate for
his reception among the Scots; and, though things had not turned out
quite as she expected, and the Scots had shown no disposition to save
Charles from the tremendous Nineteen Propositions of the English
Parliament, still she did not regret that the course had been taken. It
was for the King now to extricate himself from the Nineteen Propositions
by his utmost ingenuity, and she did not doubt that this would be most
easily done by adhering to the Scots, humouring them in all those parts
of the Propositions that related to Presbytery, and evading or refusing
the rest. [Footnote: For this and last paragraph see _Charles I. in_
1646, Introduction by Mr. Bruce, and the King's own Letters
_passim_; Clar. 591-600 (Hist.) and 961 (Life); Hallam's Const.
Hist. (10th ed.), II. 182-188, with notes.]

Irritating as the Queen's conduct in the main had been to Hyde, Hopton,
and others of the Royalist exiles, there were particulars of selfishness
in it which positively disgusted them. Having persisted in her
determination that the Prince of Wales should reside with herself, and
nowhere else, she had carried that point, as she did every other, with
Charles; and since July the Prince, as well as his infant sister, the
Princess Henrietta-Maria, had been under her charge. Rather than
accompany the Prince to Paris, and undertake the responsibility of
advising him in matters in which it would be necessary to detach him from
his mother, Hyde, Hopton, and Lord Capel had remained in Jersey, happy
for a time in their mutual society, and Hyde, as he tells us, passing the
pleasantest hours of his life in the composition of parts of his History.
Others of the King's late counsellors, such as Cottington, the Earl of
Bristol, and Secretary Nicholas, had domiciled themselves in Rouen, Caen,
or elsewhere in France, away from Paris. But round the Queen, in Paris or
at St. Germains, there _had_ gathered not a few of the exiles,
gratifying the King more, as it proved, by this compliance than the
others did by their prudery. Among these were Lord Jermyn, Lord Digby,
Lord Percy, Lord Wilmot, and even Lord Colepepper, though he had at first
agreed with Hyde in opposing the removal of the Prince from Jersey.
Conspicuous in the same group of refugees was the veteran Thomas Hobbes,
Not that he had gone to Paris at that time, as the others had done, in
the mere course of Royalist duty. He had been there for several years on
his own account, that he might be out of the turmoil of affairs at home,
and free to pursue his speculations in quiet, with the relaxation of
walks about Notre Dame and the Sorbonne, and much of the agreeable
company of M. Gassendi. But the Prince could not be without a tutor, and
Hobbes was chosen to instruct him in mathematics and whatever could be
brought under that head. If what Clarendon says is true, the philosopher
must have had curious remarks to make on the relations between his royal
pupil and his mother, and on that lady's own behaviour. Though the Prince
was sixteen years of age, she governed him with a high hand. "He never
put his hat on before the Queen," says Clarendon; "nor was it desired
he should meddle in any business, or be sensible of the unhappy condition
the royal family was in. The assignation which was made by the Court of
France for the better support of the Prince was annexed to the monthly
allowance given to the Queen, and received by her and distributed as she
thought fit; such clothes and other things provided for his Highness as
were necessary; her Majesty desiring to have it thought that the Prince
lived entirely upon her, and that it would not consist with the dignity
of the Prince of Wales to be a pensioner to the King of France. Hereby
none of his Highness's servants had any pretence to ask money, but they
were contented with what should be allowed them; which was dispensed with
a very sparing hand; nor was the Prince himself ever master of ten
pistoles to dispose as he liked. The Lord Jermyn was the Queen's chief
officer, and governed all her receipts; and he loved plenty so well that
he would not be without it, whatever others suffered who had been more
acquainted with it." In this last sentence there is an insinuation of
more than meets the eye. Henry Jermyn, originally one of the members for
Bury St. Edmunds in the Long Parliament, and created Baron Jermyn by
Charles (Sept. 8, 1643) for his conspicuous Royalism, had long been the
special favourite of the Queen and the chief of her household; after
Charles's death he became the Queen's second husband by a secret
marriage; and so cautious a writer as Hallam does not hesitate to
countenance the belief that his relations to the Queen were those of a
husband while Charles was yet alive. [Footnote: Clar. 594-602 and 640;
Hallam, Const. Hist. (10th ed.), II. 183 and 188, with footnotes; and
Letters of the King, to the Queen, numbered xxvii., xxviii., xxxii.,
xxxv., and xxxviii. in Brace's _Charles I. in_ 1646. In the last of
these letters, dated Newcastle, July 23, Charles writes:--"Tell Jermyn,
from me, that I will make him know the eminent service he hath done me
concerning Pr. Charles his coming to thee, as soon as it shall please God
to enable me to reward honest men. Likewise thank heartily, in my name,
Colepepper, for his part in that business; but, above all, thou must make
my acknowledgments to the Queen of England (for none else can do it), it
being her love that maintains my life, her kindness that upholds my
courage; which makes me eternally hers, CHARLES R."]

Such were Charles's circumstances, such was his real isolation, when his
captivity began. It was to last all the rest of his life, or for more
than two years and a half. The form and place of his captivity were
indeed to be varied. There were to be four stages of it in all, the first
only being his detention among the Scots at Newcastle. At the point which
we have reached in our narrative, viz. the conclusion of the Civil War,
three months of this first stage of the long captivity (May-August 1646)
had already elapsed. We have now, therefore, to follow the King, with an
eye also for the course of events round him, through the remainder of
this stage of his captivity, and through the three stages which succeeded

1646--JAN. 1646-7.

Balancings of Charles between the Presbyterians and the Independents--His
Negotiations in the Presbyterian direction: The Hamiltons his Agents
among the Scots--His Attempt to negotiate with the Independents: Will
Murray in London--Interferences of the Queen from France: Davenant's
Mission to Newcastle--The Nineteen Propositions unanswered: A Personal
Treaty offered--Difficulties between the Scots and the English
Parliament--Their Adjustment: Departure of the Scots from England, and
Cession of Charles to the English--Westminster Assembly Business, and
Progress of the Presbyterian Settlement.

Three months of Scottish entreaty and argumentation had failed to move
Charles. He would not take the Covenant; he would not promise a pure and
simple acceptance of Presbytery; and to the Nineteen Propositions of the
English Parliament he had returned only the vaguest and most dilatory

The English Parliamentarians, as a body, were furious, and the milder of
them, with the Scots, were in despair. "We are here, by the King's
madness, in a terrible plunge," Baillie writes from London, Aug. 18; "the
powerful faction desires nothing so much as any colour to call the King
and all his race away." In another letter on the same day he says, "We
[the Scots in London] strive every day to keep the House of Commons from
falling on the King's answer. We know not what hour they will close
their doors and declare the King fallen from his throne; which if they
once do, we put no doubt but all England would concur, and, if any should
mutter against it, they would be quickly suppressed." And again and again
in subsequent letters, through August, September, and October, the honest
Presbyterian writes in the same strain, breaking his heart with the
thought of the King's continued obstinacy. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 389
_et seq._]

It must not be supposed that Charles was merely idle or inert in his
obstinacy. In the wretched phrase of those who regard politics as a kind
of game, he was "playing his cards" as well as he could. What was
constantly present to his mind was the fact that his opponents were a
composite body distracted by animosities among themselves. He saw the
Presbyterians on the one wing and the Independents on the other wing of
the English or main mass, and he saw this main mass variously disposed to
the smaller and very sensitive Scottish mass, to whose keeping he had
meanwhile entrusted himself. Hence he had not even yet given up the hope,
which he had been cherishing and expressing only a month before his
flight to the Scots, that he "should be able so to draw the Presbyterians
or the Independents to side with him for extirpating one the other, that
he should really be King again." [Footnote: From a letter to Lord Digby,
dated March 26, 1646, quoted by Godwin (II. 132-3) from Carte.] He could
not now, of course, pursue that policy in a direct manner or with the
expectation of immediate success. But he could pursue it indirectly. He
could extract from the Nineteen Propositions the two main sets of
concessions which they demanded--the concession of Presbytery and what
went along with that, and the concession of the Militia and what went
along with that; and, holding the two sets of concessions in different
hands, he could alternate between that division of his opponents which
preferred the one set and that which preferred the other, so as to find
out with which he could make the best arrangement. By a good deal of
yielding on the Episcopacy question, coupled with a promise to suppress
Sects and Heresy, might he not bribe the Scots and Presbyterians to join
him against the Independents? By a good deal of yielding on the Militia
question, coupled with a promise of Toleration for the Sects, might he
not bribe the Independents to join him against the Presbyterians, and
perhaps even save Episcopacy? Which course would be the best? Might not
that be found out most easily by trying both?

In accordance so far with the advices from France, Charles had begun with
the Presbyterian "card," and had played it first among the Scots. We have
seen the classification he had made of the Scots, from his observation of
them at Newcastle, into the four parties of the Montroses, the Neutrals,
the Hamiltons, and the Campbells. The Montroses, or absolute Royalists,
were now nowhere. After having lurked on in his Highland retreat, with
the hope of still performing some feat of Hannibal in the service of his
captive Majesty, Montrose had reluctantly obeyed the orders to capitulate
and disband which had been sent to him as well as to all the Royalist
commanders of garrisons in England, and, without having been permitted
the consolation of going to Newcastle to kiss his Majesty's hand, had
embarked, with a few of his adherents, at Stonehaven, Sept. 3, in a ship
bound to Norway. The first of the four parties of Scots in the King's
reckoning of them being thus extinct, and the second or Neutrals making
now no separate appearance, the real division, if any, was into the
Hamiltons and the Campbells. The division was not for the present very
apparent, for Hamilton and his brother Lanark had not been ostensibly
less urgent than Argyle and Loudoun that his Majesty would accept the
Nineteen Propositions. But underneath this apparent accord his Majesty
had discerned the slumbering rivalry, and the possibility of turning it
to account. He had regained the Hamiltons. When the Duke, indeed, came to
Newcastle in July to kiss the hand of his royal kinsman from whom he had
been estranged, and by whose orders he had been in prison for more than
two years, the meeting had been rather awkward. Both had "blushed at
once." But forgiveness had passed between them; and, though the King in
his letters to the Queen continued to speak of the "bragging" of the
Hamiltons, and of his "little belief" in them, the two black-haired
brothers did not know that, but were glad to hear themselves again
addressed familiarly by the King as "Cousin James" and "Lanark." Through
these Hamiltons might not a party among the Scots be formed that should
be less stiff than Argyle, Loudoun, and the others were for concurrence
with the English in all the Nineteen Propositions? The experiment was
worth trying, and in the course of September the King did try it in a
very curious manner.

The Duke of Hamilton, who had meanwhile paid a visit to Scotland, had
then returned to Newcastle at the head of a new deputation from the
Committee of the Scottish Estates, charged with the duty of reasoning
with his Majesty. Besides the Duke, there were in the deputation the
Earls of Crawford and Cassilis, Lords Lindsay and Balmerino, three lesser
barons, and three burgesses. They had had an interview with the King, and
had pressed upon him the Covenant and the Nineteen Propositions by all
sorts of new arguments, but without effect. The next day, however, they
received a communication from his Majesty in writing. After expressing
his regret that his conversation with them the day before had not been
satisfactory, he explains more fully an arrangement which he had then
proposed. Whatever might be his own opinion of the Covenant, he by no
means desired from the Scots anything contrary to their Covenant. But was
it not the main end of the Covenant that Presbyterial Government should
be legally settled in England? Well, he was willing to consent to this
after a particular scheme. "Whereas I mentioned that the Church-
government should be left to my conscience and those of my opinion, I
shall be content to restrict it to some few dioceses, as Oxford,
Winchester, Bristol, Bath and Wells, and Exeter, leaving all the rest of
England fully under the Presbyterian Government, with the strictest
clauses you shall think upon against Papists and Independents." In other
words, Charles offered a scheme by which Presbytery and Episcopacy should
share England between them on a strict principle of non-toleration of
anything else, Presbytery taking about four-fifths, and Episcopacy about
one-fifth. He argues eagerly for this scheme, and points out its
advantages. "It is true," he says, "I desire that my own conscience and
those that are of the same opinion with me might be preserved; which I
confess doth not as yet totally take away Episcopal Government: but then
consider withal that this [scheme] will take away all the superstitious
sects and heresies of the Papists and Independents; to which you are no
less obliged by your Covenant than the taking away of Episcopacy." How
far this scheme of the King was discussed or even published does not
appear. It was one which the Scottish Commissioners collectively could
not even profess to entertain; and, however well disposed Hamilton may
have been privately to abet it, he dared not give it any countenance
openly. [Footnote: Authorities for this and the last paragraph are--
Napier's Montrose, 631 _et seq._; Burnet's Lives of the Hamiltons
(ed. 1852), 359-375; Rushworth, VI. 232, and 327-329; King's Letters l.
and lxiii. in _Brace's Charles I_, in 1646. The remarkable Paper of
the King proposing a compromise between Episcopacy and Presbytery is
given entire both by Rushworth and by Burnet It is not dated, but is one
of several letters given by both these authorities as written by the King
in September 1646. Burnet, who had a copy before him in Lanark's hand,
notes the absence of the date. In a postscript to the letter, however, as
given in Rushworth, the King says: "I require you to give a particular
and full account hereof to the General Assembly in Scotland;" and in
Burnet's copy the words are "to the General Assembly _now sitting in
Scotland_." This phrase would refer the Paper to some time between
June 3 and June 18 when the Assembly was last in session, its next
meeting not being till August 4, 1647. In that case the Paper must have
been delivered not to the deputation mentioned in the text, but to the
prior deputation from Scotland. of which Lanark was one (_antè_, pp.
412-418), This is possible; but it does not lessen the significance of
the document in connexion with the King's dealings with the Hamiltons in
September, The extant copy of the Paper seen by Burnet was in Lanark's
hand; it must therefore have been mainly through the Hamiltons that
Charles wanted to feel the pulse of Scotland respecting his proposal; and
the proposal, if first made in June, must have been a topic between the
King and the Hamiltons in subsequent months. Altogether, however, I
suspect, the proposal did not go far beyond the King and the Hamiltons, I
have found no distinct cognisance of it in Baillie or in the Acts of the
Assembly of 1646.]

And so, with a heavy heart, Hamilton, in the end of September, returned
to Scotland. Foreseeing the King's ruin, he had resolved to withdraw
altogether from the coil of affairs, and retire to some place on the
Continent. In vain did his brother Lanark fight against this resolution;
and not till he had received several affectionate letters from the King
did he consent to remain in Britain on some last chance of being useful.
Actually, from this time onwards, Hamilton and Lanark, though not yet
daring a decidedly separate policy from that of Argyle and his party in
Scotland, did work for the King as much as they could within limits. He
continued to correspond with both, but chiefly with Lanark.

Not the less, while the King was trying to bargain with the Presbyterians
through the Hamiltons, was he intriguing in the opposite direction. His
agent here was a certain Mr. William Murray, son of the parish-minister
of Dysart in Scotland, and known familiarly as Will Murray. He had been
page or "whipping-boy" to Charles in his boyhood, had been in his service
ever since, had been recently in France, but had returned early in 1646.
His connexions with the King being so close, and his wiliness notorious,
he had been arrested by Parliament and committed to the Tower as a spy;
and it had cost the Scottish Commissioners some trouble--Baillie for one,
but especially Gillespie, who was related to Murray by marriage--to
procure his release on bail. This having been accomplished in August, he
had been allowed to go to his master in Newcastle, the Scottish
Commissioners vouching that he would use all his influence to bring the
King into the right path. He had been well instructed by Baillie as to
all the particulars of the duty so expected from him, not the least of
which, in Baillie's judgment, was that he should get the King to dismiss
Hobbes from the tutorship of the Prince at Paris. Once with the King,
however, Murray had forgotten Baillie's lectures, and relapsed into his
wily self. "Will Murray is let loose upon me from London," the King
writes to the Queen Sept. 7; but on the 14th he writes that Murray has
turned out very reasonable, and that, though he will not absolutely trust
him, the rather because he is not a client of the Hamiltons, but "plainly
inclines more to Argyle," yet he hopes to make good use of him. On the
2lst we hear of "a private treaty" he has made with Murray; and the
result was that, in October, Murray, created Earl of Dysart in prospect,
was back in London on a secret mission, the general aim of which was the
conciliation of the Independents. On the condition that the King should
surrender on the Militia question, give up the Militia even for his whole
life, would the Parliamentary leaders consent to the restoration of a
Limited Episcopacy after three or five years? It was a dangerous mission
for Murray, "so displeasing that it served only to put his neck to a new
hazard;" and he was obliged to keep himself and his proposals as much
within doors as he could. [Footnote: Baillie, II. 391-396, and Appendix
to same vol., 509, 510; Burnet's Hamiltons, 378; and Hallam, II. 187-8,
and Notes.] To the Queen at Paris her husband's continued hesitation on
the Episcopacy question seemed positively fatuous. Her letters, as well
as Jermyn's and Colepepper's, had not ceased to urge bold concession on
that question, and a paction with the Scots for Presbytery. Now,
accordingly, their counsels to this effect became more emphatic. The
Queen thought the King perfectly right in refusing his personal signature
to the Covenant, and advised him to remain steady to that refusal, and
also to his resolution not to let the Covenant be imposed upon others;
she was moreover sure that he ought not to abandon Ireland or the English
Roman Catholics to the mercies of Parliament; but, with these exceptions,
she would close with the Scots and Presbyterians in the matter of Church-
government, if by that means she could save the Militia and the real
substance of kingly prerogative. "We must let them have their way in what
relates to the Bishops," she wrote to Charles, Oct. 9/19; "which thing I
know goes quite against your heart, and, I swear to you, against mine
too, if I saw any one way left of saving them and not destroying you.
But, if you are lost, they are without resource; whereas, if you should
be able again to head an army, we shall restore them. Keep the Militia,
and never give it up, and by that all will come back--(_Conservez-vous
la Militia, et n'abandonnez jamais, et par cela tout reviendra_)."
Colepepper, always rough-speaking, used more decided language. Nothing
remained for the King, he wrote, but a union with the Scottish nation and
the English Presbyterians against the Independents and Anti-monarchists;
and to secure such a union Episcopacy must go overboard. His Majesty's
conscience! Did his Majesty really believe that Episcopacy only was
_jure divino_, and that there could be no true Church without
Bishops? If so, Colepepper personally did not agree with him, and doubted
whether there were six Protestants in the world that did. "Come," he
breaks out at last, "the question in short is whether you will choose to
be a King of Presbytery, or no King and yet Presbytery or perfect
Independency to be." [Footnote: Baillie, II. 389 _et seq._;
Rushworth VI. 327 _et seq._; Clarendon, 605; Hallam, II. 185-6; and
Queen's Letter in the original French in Appendix to Mr. _Bruce's
Charles I. in_ 1646.]

It was not only by letter that such counsels from France reached Charles.
Bellievre, who had succeeded Montreuil as French ambassador in England,
and had been much with the King at Newcastle, plying him with the same
counsels, had reported to Mazarin that some person of credit among the
English exiles should be sent over, expressly to reason with Charles on
the all-important point. They seem to have had some difficulty at Paris
in finding a proper person for the mission. To have sent Hobbes, even if
he would have gone, would have been too absurd. Hobbes a successor of
Alexander Henderson in the task of persuading the King to accept
Presbytery! The person sent, however, was the one next to Hobbes in
literary repute among the Royalist exiles, the one most liked by Hobbes,
and oftenest in his company. He was no other than the laureate and
dramatist Will Davenant, known on the London boards by that name for a
good many years before the war, but now Sir William Davenant, knighted by
the King in Sept. 1643 for his Army-plotting and his gallant soldiering.
He was over forty years of age, and had just turned, or was turning, a
Roman Catholic in Paris, or perhaps rather a Roman Catholic Hobbist.
Clarendon, with a sneer at Davenant's profession of play-writer, makes
merry over the choice of such an agent by the Queen, Jermyn, and
Colepepper, and relates the result with some malice. Arrived at Newcastle
late in September, or early in October, Davenant had delivered his
letters to the King, and proceeded to argue according to his
instructions. Charles had heard him for a while with some patience, but
in a manner to show that he did not like the subject of his discourse.
Determined, however, to do his work thoroughly, Davenant had gone on,
becoming more fluent and confidential, It was the advice of all his
Majesty's friends that he should yield on the question of Episcopacy!
"What friends?" said the King. "My Lord Jermyn," replied Davenant. His
Majesty was not aware that Lord Jermyn had given his attention to Church
questions. "My Lord Colepepper," said Davenant, trying to mend his
answer. "Colepepper has no religion," said the King, bluntly; and then he
asked whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer (_i.e._ Clarendon himself,
then Sir Edward Hyde) agreed with Colepepper and Jermyn. Davenant could
not say he did, for Sir Edward was not in Paris with the Prince, as he
ought to have been, but in Jersey: and he proceeded to convey from the
Queen some insinuations to Hyde's discredit. The King, Clarendon is glad
to tell, had defended him, and said he had perfect trust in him, and was
sure _he_ would never desert the Church. Something of the wit, or of the
Roman Catholic Hobbist and freethinker, had then flashed out in the
speech of the distressed envoy. He "offered some reasons of his own in
which he mentioned the Church slightingly." On this the King had blazed
into proper indignation, given poor Davenant "a sharper reprehension than
he ever did to any other man," told him never to show his face again, and
frowned him to the door. And so, says Clarendon, "the poor man, who had
indeed very good affections," returned to Paris crestfallen. [Footnote:
Clar. 606, and Wood's Ath. III. 801, 805. The King's Letters mention
Davenant's presence at Newcastle and the purport of his argument, but
without tolling of any such _scene_ between him and Davenant as Clarendon
describes. Davenant had not arrived at Newcastle Sept. 26, but was there
Oct. 3. He was back in Paris in November.]

Perturbed by the Queen's difference from him on the matter he had most at
heart, and saddened by the failure of his own schemings in opposite
directions, Charles appears to have sunk for a time into a state of
sullen passiveness, varied by thoughts of abdication or escape. By
December, however, he had again roused himself. By that time, Will Murray
having returned to him with fresh suggestions from London, he had made up
his mind to send to the English Parliament an Answer to their Nineteen
Propositions in detail. He had prepared such an Answer, and on the 4th of
December he sent a draft of it to the Earl of Lanark in Edinburgh. In
this draft he goes over the Propositions one by one, signifying his
agreement where it is complete, or the amount of his agreement where it
is only partial. In such matters as the management of Ireland, laws
against the Roman Catholics, &c., he will yield to Parliament; but he
would like an act of general oblivion for Delinquents. In the matter of
the Militia his offer is to resign all power for ten years. In the matter
of the Church he offers his consent to Presbytery for three years, as had
been settled by Parliament, with these provisions--(l) that there be
"such forbearance to those who through scruple of conscience cannot in
everything practise according to the said rules as may consist with the
rule of the Word of God and the peace of the kingdom;" (2) "that his
Majesty and his household be not hindered from that form of God's service
which they have formerly done;" and (3) that he be allowed to add twenty
persons of his own nomination to the Westminster Assembly, to aid that
body and Parliament in considering what Church-government shall be
finally adjusted after the three years' trial of Presbytery. Altogether,
the concessions were the largest he had yet offered, and an elated
consciousness of this appears in the letter which conveyed the Draft to
Lanark for the consideration of him and his friends in Scotland. Only on
one point is he dubious. The clause promising a toleration for scrupulous
consciences may not please the Scots! He explains, however, that that
clause had been inserted "purposely," to make the whole "relish the
better" with the English Independents, and adds, "If my native subjects
[the Scots] will so countenance this Answer that I may be sure they will
stick to me in what concerns my temporal power, I will not only expunge
that clause, but likewise make what declarations I shall be desired
against the Independents, and that really without any reserve or
equivocation." This was Charles all over!--Alas! Lanark's reply was
unfavourable. The Toleration clause, he wrote, was but one of the
stumbling-blocks. As far as he could ascertain Scottish opinion, he dared
not "promise the least countenance" to the King's proposals about the
Church, omitting as they did all mention of the Covenant, and
contemplating an entire re-opening of the debate on Presbytery. Nor was
it from Lanark only that the Draft met discouragement. From the Queen, to
whom also a copy had been sent, the comments that came, though from a
point of view different from Lanark's, were far more cutting. The
surrender of the Militia for ten years amazed her. "By that you have also
confirmed them the Parliament for ten years; which is as much as to say
that we shall never see an end to our misfortunes. For while the
Parliament lasts you are not King; and, for me, I shall never again set
foot in England. And with this shift of your granting the Militia you
have cut your own throat (_Et avec le biais que vous avez accordé la
Milice, vous vous este coupé la gorge_)." On the promised concession
with respect to Ireland she remarks: "I am astonished that the Irish do
not give themselves to some foreign king; you will force them to it at
last, seeing themselves made a sacrifice."--The result was that, though
the terms of Charles's draft Answer got about, and he was in a manner
committed to them, the message which he did formally send to Parliament,
on the 20th of December, was quite different from the Draft. It explained
that, though he had bent all his thoughts on the preparation of a written
Answer to the Nineteen Propositions, "the more he endeavoured it he more
plainly saw that any answer he could make would be subject to
misinformations and misconstructions." He repeats, therefore, his earnest
desire for a personal treaty in London. [Footnote: Burnet's Hamiltons,
381-389 (for the interesting correspondence between the King and Lanark);
King's Letters, liii.-lxii. in Bruce's _Charles I. in_ 1646, and
Queen's Letters in Appendix to the same: Rushworth, VI. 393; and Parl.
Hist. III. 537.]

Meanwhile, quite independently of the King, his messages, or his wishes,
matters had been creeping on to a definite issue. For four months now
there had been a most intricate debate between the Scots and the English
Parliament on the distinct and yet inseparable questions of the Disposal
of the King's Person and the Settlement of Money Accounts. Though the
reasoning on both sides on the first question was from Law and Logic, it
was heated by international animosity. Lord Loudoun was the chief speaker
for the Scottish Commissioners in the London conferences; the great
speech on the English side was thought to be that of Mr. Thomas
Challoner, a Recruiter for Richmond in Yorkshire; but the speeches,
published and unpublished, were innumerable, and a mere abstract of them
fills forty pages in Rushworth. Not represented by so much printed matter
now, but as prolix then, was the dispute on the question of Accounts. The
claim of the Scots for army-arrears and indemnity was for a much vaster
sum than the English would acknowledge. This item and that item were
contested, and the Accounts of the two nations could not be brought to
correspond. Not even when the Scots consented to a composition for a
slump sum roughly calculated was there an approach to agreement. The
Scots thought 500,000_l_. little enough; the English thought the sum
exorbitant. Equally on this question as on the other it was the
Independents that were fiercest against the Scots and the most careless
of their feelings; and again and again the Presbyterians had to deprecate
the rudeness shown to their "Scottish brethren." And so on and on the
double dispute had wound its slow length between the two sets of
Commissioners, the English Parliament looking on and interfering, and the
Scottish Parliament, after its meeting on the 3rd of November,
contributing its opinions and votes from Edinburgh. [Footnote: Rushworth,
VI. 322-372.]

To Charles in Newcastle all this had been inexpressibly interesting. A
rupture between the English and the Scots, such as would occasion the
retreat of the Scots into their own country, carrying him with them, was
the very greatest of his chances; and it was in the fond dream of such a
chance that he had procrastinated his direct dealings with the English
Parliament. But from this dream there was to be a rude awakening. It came
in December, precisely at the time when he was corresponding with the
Queen and Lanark over his proposed compromises on all the Nineteen
Propositions. Already, indeed, there had been signs that the dispute
between the two nations was working itself to an end. By laying entirely
aside the question of the Disposal of the King's person, and prosecuting
the question of Accounts by itself, difficulties had been removed and
progress made. It had been agreed that the sum to be paid to the Scots
should be 400,000_l._ in all, one-half to be paid before they left
England, and the rest in subsequent instalments; and actually on the 16th
of December the first moiety of 200,000_l._ was off from London in
chests and bags, packed in thirty-six carts, to be under the charge of
Skippon in the North till it should be delivered to the Scots. Yes! but
would it ever be delivered to the Scots? Not a word was in writing as to
the surrender of the King by the Scots, but only about their surrender of
the English towns and garrisons held by them; and, so far as appeared,
the money was to be theirs even if they kept the King. Here, however, lay
the very skill of the policy that had been adopted. Instead of persisting
in the theoretical question of the relative rights of the two nations in
the matter of the custody of the King, and wrangling over that question
in its unfortunate conjunction with a purely pecuniary question, it had
been resolved to close the pecuniary question by putting down the money
in sight of the Scots as undisputedly theirs on other grounds, and
allowing them to decide for themselves, under a sense of their duty to
all the three kingdoms, whether they would let Charles go to Scotland
with them or would leave him in England. Precisely in this way was the
issue reached. But oh! with what trembling among the Scots, what wavering
of the balance to the very last! Dec. 16, the very day when the money
left London, there was a debate in the Scottish Parliament or Convention
of Estates in Edinburgh, the result of which was a vote that the Scottish
Commissioners in London should be instructed to "press his Majesty's
coming to London with honour, safety, and freedom," for a personal
treaty, and that resolutions should go forth from the Scottish nation "to
maintain monarchical government in his Majesty's person and posterity,
and his just title to the crown of England." This vote, passing over
altogether the question of the surrender of the King, and pledging the
Scots to his interests generally, was a stroke in his favour by the
Hamilton party in the Convention, carried by their momentary
preponderance. But the flash was brief. There was in Edinburgh another
organ of Scottish opinion, more powerful at that instant than even the
Convention of Estates. This was the Commission of the General Assembly of
the Kirk, or that Committee of the last General Assembly whose business
it was to look after all affairs of importance to the Kirk till the next
General Assembly should meet. The Commission then in power, by
appointment of the Assembly of June 1646, consisted of eighty-nine
ministers and about as many lay-elders; and among these latter were the
Marquis of Argyle, the Earls of Crawford, Marischal, Glencairn, Cassilis,
Dunfermline, Tullibardine, Buccleuch, Lothian, and Lanark, besides many
other lords and lairds. It was in fact a kind of ecclesiastical
Parliament by the side of the nominal Parliament, and with most of the
Parliamentary leaders in it, but these so encompassed by the clergy that
the Hamilton influence was slight in it and the Argyle policy all-
prevailing. Now, on the very day after that of the Hamilton resolutions
in Parliament for the King (Dec. 17), and when Parliament was again in
debate, the Commission spoke out. In "A Solemn and Seasonable Warning to
all Estates and Degrees of Persons throughout the Land" they proclaimed
their view of the national duty. Nothing could be more dangerous, they
said, than that his Majesty should be allowed to come into Scotland, "he
not having as yet subscribed the League and Covenant, nor satisfied the
lawful desires of his loyal subjects in both nations;" and they therefore
prayed that this might be prevented, and that, in justice to the English,
to whom the Scots were bound by the Covenant, the King should not be
withdrawn at that moment from English influence and surroundings. This
opinion of the Commission at once turned the balance in the Convention.
The resolutions of the previous day were rescinded; and on that and the
few following days it was agreed, Hamilton and Lanark protesting, that
nothing less than the King's absolute consent to the Nineteen
Propositions would be satisfactory, and that, unless he made his peace
with the English, he could not be received in Scotland. When the letters
with this news reached Charles at Newcastle, he was playing a game of
chess. He read them, it is said, and went on playing. He had a plan of
escape on hand about the time, and the very ship was at Tynemouth. But it
could not be managed. [Footnote: Rushworth, VI. 389-393; Burnet's
Hamiltons, 389-393; Baillie, III. 4, 5; Parl. Hist. III. 533-536.]

January 1646-7 was an eventful month. On the 1st it was settled by the
two Houses that Holdenby House, usually called Holmby House, in
Northamptonshire, should be the King's residence during farther treaty
with him; and on the 6th the Commissioners were appointed who should
receive him from the Scots, and conduct him to Holmby. The Commissioners
for the Lords were the Earls of Pembroke and Denbigh and Lord Montague;
those for the Commons were Sir William Armyn (for whom Sir James
Harrington was substituted), Sir John Holland, Sir Walter Earle, Sir John
Coke, Mr. John Crewe, and General Browne. On the 13th these Commissioners
set out from London, with two Assembly Divines, Mr. Stephen Marshall and
Mr. Caryl, in their train, besides a physician and other appointed
persons. On the 23rd they were at Newcastle. On the whole, the King
seemed perfectly content. When the English Commissioners first waited on
him and informed him that they were to convey him to Holmby, he "inquired
how the ways were." On Saturday, Jan. 30, the Scots marched out of
Newcastle, leaving the King with the English Commissioners, and Skippon
marched in. Within a few days more, the 200,000_l._ having been
punctually paid, and receipts taken in most formal fashion, as prescribed
by a Treaty signed at London Dec. 23, the Scots were out of England. The
Scottish political Commissioners (Loudoun, Lauderdale, and Messrs.
Erskine, Kennedy, and Barclay) had left London immediately after the
conclusion of the Treaty. [Footnote: Commons Journals, Jan. 7 and 12,
1646-7; Rushworth, VI. 393-398; Parl. Hist. III. 533-536; Burnet's
Hamiltons, 393-397. Burnet has a curious blunder here, and founds a joke
on it. Before the Scottish Commissioners left London, he says, there was
a debate in the Commons as to the form of the thanks to be tendered to
them. It was proposed, he says, to thank them for their _civilities and
good offices_, but the Independents carried it by 24 votes to strike out
the words _good offices_ and thank them for their _civilities_ only. "And
so all those noble characters they were wont to give the Scottish
Commissioners on every occasion concluded now in this, that they were
_well-bred gentlemen_." On turning to the Commons Journals for the day in
question (Dec. 24, 1646), one finds what really occurred. It was reported
that Loudoun, Lauderdale, and the other Scottish Commissioners, were
about to take their leave, and that they desired to know whether they
could do any service for the English Parliament with the Parliament of
Scotland. The vote was on the question whether thanks should be returned
to them _for all their civilities and for this their last kind offer_.
The Independents (Haselrig and Evelyn, tellers) wanted it to stand so;
the Presbyterians (Stapleton and Sir Roger North, tellers) wanted an
_addition_ to be made, _i.e._, I suppose, wanted some particular use to
be made of the offer of the Commissioners to convey a message to the
Scottish Parliament. Actually it was carried by 129 to 105 that the
question should stand as proposed by the Independents; and, the Lords
concurring next day, the Commissioners were thanked in those terms.]

With the Scottish lay Commissioners, there returned to Scotland at this
time a Scot who has been more familiar to us in these pages than any of
them. For a long time, and especially since Henderson had gone, Baillie
had been anxious to return home. Having now obtained the necessary
permission, he had packed up his books, had taken a formal farewell of
the Westminster Assembly, in which he had sat for more than three years,
had received the warmest thanks of that body and the gift of a silver
cup, and so, in the company of Loudoun and Lauderdale, had made his
journey northwards, first to Newcastle, thence to Edinburgh, and thence
to his family in Glasgow. On the whole, he had left the Londoners, and
the English people generally, at a moment when the state of things among
them was pleasing to his Presbyterian heart. For, both in the Parliament
and in the Westminster Assembly, notwithstanding the engrossing interest
of the negotiations with and concerning the King, there had been, in the
course of the last five months, a good deal of progress towards the
completion of the Presbyterian settlement. Thus, in Parliament, there had
been (Oct. 9) "An Ordinance for the abolishing of Archbishops and Bishops
within the Kingdom of England and the Dominion of Wales, and for settling
their lands and possessions upon Trustees for the use of the
Commonwealth." It was an Ordinance the first portion of which may seem
but the unnecessary execution of a long-dead corpse; but the second

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