صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

province; and he, who had instruments at work in the army quartered in and about London, and knew that must be the place of most business and management, and where the turn of affairs would be, had chosen that.

Lambert, who was one of the rulers at Wallingfordhouse, happened to be away when he was there, and came not in till he was gone: when they told him that sir A. Ashley had been there, and what had passed, he blamed Fleetwood for letting him go, and told him they should have secured him, for that certainly there was something in it that they were deceived in, and they should not have parted so easily with so busy and dangerous a man as he was. Lambert was of a quicker sight, and a deeper reach than Fleetwood, and the rest of that gang; and knowing of what moment it was to their security to frustrate the contrivances of that working and able head, was resolved, if possibly he could, to get him into his clutches.


Sir. A. A. coming home to his house in in Covent-Garden one evening, found a man knocking at his door. He asked his business; the man answered, it was with him, and fell a discoursing with him. Sir A. A. heard him out, and gave him such an answer as he thought proper, and so they parted; the stranger out of the entry where they stood into the street, and sir A. A. along the entry into the house but guessing by the story the other told him, that the business was but a pretence, and that his real errand he came about was something else; when he parted from the fellow he went inwards, as if he intended to go into the house; but as soon as the fellow was gone, turned short, and went out, and went to his barber's, which was but just by; where he was no sooner got in, and got up stairs into a chamber, but his door was beset with musketeers, and the officer went in too with others to seize him: but not finding him, they searched every corner and cranny of the house diligently, the officer declaring he was sure he was in the house, for he had left him there just now; as was true, for he had gone no farther than the corner of the Halfmoon tavern, which was just by, to fetch a file of soldiers that he had left there in the Strand out of sight,

whilst he went to discover whether the gentleman he sought were within or no; where doubting not to find him safely lodged, he returned with his myrmidons to his house, sure, as he thought, of his prey; but sir A. A. saw through his made story, and gave him the slip. After this, he was fain to get out of the way, and conceal himself under a disguise; but he hid himself not lazily in a hole; he made war upon them at Wallingfordhouse, incognito as he was, and made them feel him, though he kept out of sight.




* Several companies of their soldiers drew up in Lincoln's-inn-fields without their officers, and there put themselves under the command of such officers as he appointed them. The city began to rouse itself, and to show manifest signs of little regard to Wallingford-house; and he never left working till he had raised a spirit and strength enough to declare openly for the old parliament, as the only legal authority then in England, which had any pretence to claim and take on them the government. For Portsmouth being put into the hands of sir Arthur Haselrig, and the city showing their inclination; the counties readily took it, and by their concurrent weight re-instated the excluded members in their former administration. This was the first open step he made towards wresting the civil power out of the hands of the army; who, having thought Richard, Oliver's son, unworthy of it, had taken it to themselves, executed by a committee of their own officers, where Lambert, who had the chief command and influence in the army, had placed it, till he had modelled things among them, so as might make way for his taking the sole administration into his own hands; but sir A. A. found a way to strip him of that as soon as the parliament was restored.

The first thing he did, was to get from them a commission to himself, and two or three more of the most weighty and popular members of the house, to have the power of general of all the forces in England, which they were to execute jointly. This was no sooner done but he got them together, where he had provided abundance of clerks, who were immediately

set to work to transcribe a great many copies of the form of a letter, wherein they reciting, that it pleased God to restore the parliament to the exercise of their power, and that the parliament had given to them a commission to command the army, they therefore commanded him (viz. the officer to whom the letter was directed) immediately with his troop, company, or regiment, as it happened, to march to N. These letters were directed to the chief officer of any part of the army who had their quarters together in any part of England. These letters were despatched away by particular messengers that very night, and coming to the several officers so peremptorily to march immediately, they had not time to assemble and debate te among themselve what to do; and having no other intelligence but that the parliament was restored, and that the city and Portsmouth, and other parts of England, had declared for them; the officers durst not disobey, but all, according to their several orders, marched, some one way and some another; so that this army, which was the great strength of the gentlemen of Wallingford-house, was by this means quite scattered, and rendered perfectly useless to the committee of safety, who were hereby perfectly reduced under the power of the parliament, as so many disarmed men to be disposed of as they thought fit.

It is known, that, whilst the long parliament remained entire, Mr. Denzil Hollis was the man of the greatest sway in it, and might have continued it on, if he would have followed sir A. A.'s advice. But he was a haughty stiff man, and so by straining it a little too much, lost all.

From the time of their reconcilement, already mentioned, they had been very hearty friends: it happened one morning, that sir A. A. calling upon Mr. Hollis in his way to the house, as he often did; he found him. in a great heat against Cromwell, who had then the command of the army, and a great interest in it. The provocation may be read at large in the pamphlets of that time, for which Mr. Hollis was resolved, he said, to bring him to punishment. Sir A. A. dissuaded him

all he could from any such attempt, showing him the danger of it, and told him it would be sufficient to remove him out of the way, by sending him with a command into Ireland. This Cromwell, as things stood, would be glad to accept; but this would not satisfy Mr. Hollis. When he came to the house the matter was brought into debate, and it was moved, that Cromwell, and those guilty with him, should be punished. Cromwell, who was in the house, no sooner heard this, but he stole out, took horse, and rode immediately to the army, which, as I remember, was at Triplowheath; there he acquainted them what the presbyterian party was a doing in the house, and made such use of it to them, that they, who were before in the power of the parliament, now united together under Cromwell, who immediately led them away to London, giving out menaces against Hollis and his party as they march, who, with Stapleton and some others, were fain to fly; and thereby the independent party becoming the stronger, they, as they called it, purged the house, and turned out all the presbyterian party. Cromwell, some time after, meeting sir A. A. told him, I am beholden to you for your kindness to me; for you, I hear, were for letting me go without punishment; but your friend, God be thanked, was not wise enough to take your advice.

Monk, after the death of Oliver Cromwell, and the removal of Richard, marching with the army he had with him into England, gave fair promises all along in his way to London to the Rump that were then sitting, who had sent commissioners to him that accompanied him. When he was come to town, though he had promised fair to the Rump and commonwealth party on one hand, and gave hopes to the royalists on the other; yet at last agreed with the French ambassador to take the government on himself, by whom he had promise from Mazarine of assistance from France to support him in his undertaking. This bargain was struck up between them late at night, but not so secretly but that his wife, who had posted herself conveniently behind the hangings, where she could hear all that passed,

finding what was resolved, sent her brother Clarges away immediately with notice of it to sir A. A. She was zealous for the restoration of the king, and had therefore promised sir A. to watch her husband, and inform him from time to time how matters went. Upon this notice sir A. caused the council of state, whereof he was one, to be summoned; and when they were met, he desired the clerks might withdraw, he having matter of great importance to communicate to them. The doors of the council-chamber being locked, and the keys laid upon the table, he began to charge Monk, not in a direct and open accusation, but in obscure intimations, and doubtful expressions, giving ground of suspicion, that he was playing false with them, and not doing as he promised. This he did so skilfully and intelligibly to Monk, that he perceived he was discovered, and therefore in his answer to him fumbled and seemed out of order; so that the rest of the council perceived there was something in it, though they knew not what the matter was; and the general at last averring that what had been suggested was upon groundless suspicions, and that he was true to his principles, and stood firm to what he had professed to them, and had no secret designs that ought to disturb them, and that he was ready to give them all manner of satisfaction whereupon sir A. A. closing with him, and making a farther use of what he had said than he intended: for he meant no more than so far as to get away from them upon this assurance which he gave them. But sir A. A. told him, that if he was sincere in what he had said, he might presently remove all scruples, if he would ta away their commissions from such and such officers in his army, and give them to those whom he named; and that presently before he went out of the room. Monk was in himself no quick man; he was guilty alone among a company of men who he knew not what they would do with him; for they all struck in with sir A. A. and plainly perceived that Monk had designed some foul play. In these straits being thus close pressed, and knowing not how else to extricate himself, he consented to what was proposed; and so immediately, before he stirred, a great


« السابقةمتابعة »