« 上一頁繼續 »
permiffion to return, and obtained it by the interest of colonel Scroop, to whom his sister was married. Upon the remains of a fortune, which the danger of his life had very much diminished, he lived at Hillburn, a house built by himself, very near to Beconsfield, where his mother refided. His mo. ther, though related to Cromwell and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell visited her used to reproach him; he, in return, would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt; but finding in time that she acted for the king, as well as talked, he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her
own house. If he would do any thing, he could not do less.
Cromwell, now protector, received Waner, as his kinsman, to familiar conversation. Waller, as he used to relate, found him sufficiently versed in ancient history; and when any of his enthusiastick friends came to advise or confult him, could sometimes overhear him discourfing in the cant of the times . but, when he returned, he would say, “ Cousin Waller, I must talk to “ these men in their own way;" and refumed the common stile of conversation.
He repaid the Protector for his favours (1654), by the famous panegyrick, which has been always confidered as the first of his poetical proArctions. His choice of encomiastiek topicks is very judicious ; for he confiders Cromwel in his exaltation, with out enquiring how he attained it; there is consequently, no mention of the rebel or the regicide: - All the former-part-of his hero's life is veiled with shades, and nothing is brought to view but the chief, the governor, tho defender of England's honour, and the enlarger of her dominion. The act of violence-by which he obtained the suis preme power is lightly treated, and decently justified. It was certainly to be defired that the deteftable band fhould be diffolved, which had destroyed the church, murdered the kings and filled - the nation with tumult and op
6.416 pression;, preffion; yet Cromwel had not the right of diffolving them, for all that he had before done, could be justified only by suppofing them invefted with lawful authority. But combinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long the practised perfidy, grow faithless to each a other.
In the poem on the war with Spain, are some passages at least equal to the best parts of the panegyrick; and in s the conclusion, the poet ventures yet a kilen higher fight of flattery, by recome to mending royalty to Cromwel and the nation. Cromwel was very desirous, as in appears. from his conversation, related
by Whitlock, of adding the title to the power of monarchy, and is fupposed to have been with-held from it partly by fear of the army, and partly by fear of the laws, which, when he hould govern by the name of king, would have restrained his authority, When therefore a: deputation was folemnly sent to invite him to the Crown, he, after a long conference, refused it; but is said to have fainted in his coach, when he parted from them.. · The poem on the death of the Pro-tector seems to have been dictated by real veneration for his memory. Dry-den and Sprat wrote on the same occa-fion ; but they were young men, struggling into notice, and hoping for some