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came to the rescue. In a passage almost miraculous when we consider that the author was a fighting man, and a Puritan addressing Puritans, he confesses that there are times when he had rather been unjust to a Believer than to an Unbeliever. "Oh, if God fill your hearts with such a spirit as Moses had, and as Paul had-which was not a spirit for believers only, but for the whole people! Moses he could die for them; wish himself blotted out of God's book: Paul could wish himself accursed for his countrymen forever."
Truly, though Oliver would not accept a crown, his heart yearned towards his Englishmen with a fatherly affection to which Charles Stuart had been a stranger. He desired, from the depth of his soul, to find some arrangement under which honest men of every opinion could live and work harmoniously together for the common cause. "Therefore I beseech you-but I think I need not-have a care of the whole flock! Love the sheep, love the lambs; love all, tender all, cherish and countenance all, in all things that are good. And if the poorest Christian, the most mistaken Christian, shall desire to live peaceably and quietly under you—I say if any shall desire but to lead a life of godliness and honesty, let him be protected."
It is idle to ask whether patriotism or religion was uppermost in his mind. He could see no difference between them. England was the chosen land of God, which was to spread the reformed religion throughout the world. "I will make the name of Englishman as dreaded as that of Roman," was the traditional boast of the Protector. It is a note that runs all through his speeches. It rises to a height in his fifth speech, in which he justifies the war with Spain. If Englishmen were the elect people in Oliver's eyes, the Spanish were the Canaanites, Philistines, friends of the Devil and the Pope. Memories of Gondomar and Cadiz rankled worse than those of
Amboina, and demanded an even heavier reckoning. 'The Papists in England," says Oliver, speaking for all Puritans," they have been accounted ever since I was born Spaniolized," and again, "All honest interests, yea, all the interests of the Protestants, are the same as yours." "Why, truly, your great enemy is the Spaniard. He is naturally so; he is naturally so throughout-by reason of that enmity that is in him against whatever is of God."
No Englishman worthy the name can read, without a thrill, the words that follow, culled from one of his last speeches. "I am persuaded that you are all, I apprehend that you are all, honest and worthy good men; and that there is not a man of you would not desire to be found a good patriot. I know you would! But we are apt to boast sometimes that we are Englishmen; and truly it is no shame for us that we are Englishmen; but it is a motive for us to do like Englishmen, and to seek the real good of this nation and the interest of it." Can any one still harbour doubts as to the sincerity of this man?
A certain type of detractor would fain bring Oliver to earth, by proving that such men are wont to pursue their objects by severely practical means. The hero must not soil his white hands, he must never condescend to the laws of nature and man, or such drudge work as the adjustment of means to ends. Oliver certainly was never such a hero as this, he had to fight through a tangle such as never confronted any hero of fiction. It does not need all the resources of modern research to show that often he did not see his way clear, that sometimes, in sheer despair of untying the knot, he snatched his sword and cut it. A man who has all the threads of government in his hands, must necessarily take into account a thousand troublesome and disconnected things, which the ordinary man, at his distance, cannot perceive. Above all, he had to keep the Government going. He had no sympathy with
the will of the people, if that will tended to evil; he was first of all a Puritan. He knew, or felt he knew, what part England ought to play among the nations, and the destinies of England were in his hands. Thus he had no hesitation in governing the country by his major-generals, or turning away members from the doors of Parliament.
It is a charge brought against Drake and his peers, that their object in harrying the Spanish Main was to get loot, and the same sort of talk is indulged in about Oliver's motives in making war with Spain. In an age when the foreign policy of other nations equalled in unscrupulousness, and exceeded in cynicism, that of our own day, when trade interests were an integral factor of policy, and when one nation insolently claimed to exercise sovereign rights over the New World, who shall blame the patriot statesman because he took into account the temporal, as well as the spiritual, interests of the nation whose leader and servant he was? Besides, his policy gave rise to bitter and economically sound complaints, that the interests of trade were being neglected, and that our real foe was Holland. For, if Spain offered rich spoils, she was also one of our best customers, and the stoppage of the Spanish trade did much to foment the unpopularity which swept away the Cromwellian system after its founder's death.
Spain was, to Oliver, the quintessence of all things evil; war with her was a natural and necessary part of his policy, and the Dutch War was not so. Indeed, at the end of that war he had received with cordiality the Dutch ambassadors, and even renewed his suggestions for an alliance. His policy was throughout Protestant. His arms were directed against Spain, his diplomacy against Austria. He intervened on behalf of the Huguenots of France and the Protestants of Savoy. In this latter case, of the poor Vaudois, we know, from Milton's sonnet, how intense and pure was the sympathy excited in this
country, and the nation and its Protector never appeared in a nobler light than in the championship of these remote mountaineers, who could do nothing to repay us, and whose interests in no way affected our own. There is little truth, in such cases, in talking of patriotism being set aside for religion, as if it were better for a nation to be a miser and a bully with an eye to nothing but the main chance, than that she should stand for some noble cause, and defend it, even at the risk of life and pocket. Bound up with the same policy were Oliver's efforts to preserve unity among the Protestant nations of Northern Europe.
He has been blamed for taking the side of rising France against declining Spain. But this is to judge an unfinished work as if it were completed. His policy was cut short by his death, and it was Charles II who suffered Louis XIV to become the terror of Europe. Besides, France was, in her dealings with other nations, a champion of the Protestant cause. Not only was it Turenne who had turned the scale in the Thirty Years' War, but France had been, though in a sense more apparent than real, the champion of the Vaudois.
Above all, Oliver had made England, for the first time since the days of Elizabeth, a great international power. Turenne watched, with a soldier's admiration, Lockhart's red pikemen sweep the flower of the Spanish infantry out of almost impregnable redoubt, and even the English princes, who were fighting on the Spanish side, felt a pride in their countrymen. The war with Spain was conducted, despite the ill-fated attempt on San Domingo, with a clean-cut efficiency which had been beyond the reach of Elizabeth's statesmen, though certainly the Spain of Philip IV was not that of Philip II. Besides the fact that we gained one of the most valuable of the West Indies, we crippled our enemy by cutting him off from his supply of treasure, and made use of our
command of the sea by a rigid blockade, which did not except even neutrals from its operation. It is one of the most striking triumphs of sea power that without landing a man, we paralysed and well-nigh dispersed the Spanish army which bade fair to have conquered Portugal. Not without reason did Dryden write of the Protector : "He made us freemen of the Continent
Whom nature did like captives treat before." Sprat spoke of him as having roused the British Lion from his slumbers, Dryden as having taught him to roar. From the Puritan statesman we return to the thinker and poet whose career was so nearly complementary to his own. We need not follow each step of Milton's career, for the principles which we have already examined continued substantially unaltered to the day of his death. He devoted himself to the cause with a fearful and almost superhuman energy, dwelling with equal complacency on the loss of his own eyesight, and on the rumour that he had driven Salmasius into the grave by his invective. With true imaginative insight, he fixed on the King's book as the most dangerous asset of the Royalist cause, and essayed, in a treatise which it is painful to read, to kill every spark of pity for the royal victim. His effort baffled its own success by its very thoroughness, for it was calculated to shock the susceptibilities, and kindle the resentment of those who were not already converted. For this reason, though Milton's prose at its best rises to heights scarcely attained elsewhere, he cannot be called a good pamphleteer. Violence such as that of his two defences of the English people, which knocks down an opponent and rends him as he lies, violence which gesticulates and foams at the mouth, may be admirable as a tour de force, it may cause intense pain in those against whom it is directed, but it does not win men to its side. The spiritual pride, the lack of charity, which is Milton's besetting sin, went far to nullify the results of his