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to rigour upon mens' consciences than under the Parliament. For I have of some, and those very many, had compassion; making a difference. Truly I have (and I may speak it with cheerfulness in the presence of God, who is a witness within me to the truth of what I affirm) made a difference; and as Jude speaks 'plucked many out of the fire,'--the raging fire of persecution, which did tyrannize over their consciences, and encroached by an arbitrariness of power upon their estates. And herein it is my purpose, as soon as I can remove impediments, and some weights that press me down, to make a farther progress, and discharge my promise to your Eminency in relation to that.
And now I shall come to return your Eminency thanks for your judicious choice of that Person to whom you have intrusted our weightiest affair; an affair wherein your Eminency is concerned, though not in an equal degree and measure with myself.
I must confess that I had some doubts of its success, till Providence cleared them to me by the effects. I was, truly, and to speak ingenuously, not without doubtings; and shall not be ashamed to give your Eminency the grounds I had for much doubting. I did fear that Berkley would not have been able to go through and carry on that work; and that either the Duke would have cooled in his suit, or condescend to his brother. I doubted also that those instructions which I sent over with 290 3 were not clear enough as to expressions; some affairs here denying me leisure at that time to be so particular as, in regard to some circumstances, I would.
If I am not mistaken in his 'the Duke's' character, as I received it from your Eminency, that fire which is kindled between them will not ask bellows to blow it and keep it burning. But what I think farther necessary in this matter I will send to your Eminency by Lockhart.
And now I shall boast to your Eminency my security upon a well-builded confidence in the Lord: for I distrust not but if this breach be widened a little more and this difference fomented, with a little caution in respect of the persons to be added to it,-I distrust not but that Party, which is already forsaken of God as to
1 Sir John Berkeley, the Duke of York's tutor.
2 Allusion to Charles Stuart and his brother, the Duke of York.
an outward dispensation of mercies, and noisome to their countrymen, will grow lower in the opinion of all the world. If I have troubled your Eminency too long in this, you may impute it to the resentment of joy which I have for the issue of this Affair ; and I will conclude with giving you assurance that I will never be backward in demonstrating, as becomes your brother and confederate, that I am
The drift of Cromwell's foreign policy was to bring about a vigorous coalition of Protestant Europe in alliance with England. A treaty which he made with France against Spain, in March 1657, contained a proviso that the English troops should combine with the French in attacking the three coast towns of Gravelines, Mardyke, aud Dunkirk; and, in the event of success, the two latter towns were to belong to England. When it was ascertained that the French King and the Cardinal were proposing to utilise our troops for another purpose, Cromwell soon brought Mazarin to a sense of his duty, by writing the two following letters to the English Ambassador. It was said in France that the Cardinal feared Oliver more than the devil; and Mr. Carlyle remarks, he ought indeed to fear the devil much more, but Oliver is the palpabler entity of the two!'
Oliver Cromwell to Sir William Lockhart, our Ambassador in France.
Whitehall: Aug. 31, 1657.
Sir, I have seen your last letter to Mr. Secretary, as also divers others and although I have no doubt either of your diligence or ability to serve us in so great a Business, yet I am deeply sensible that the French are very much short with us in ingenuousness and performance. And that which increaseth our sense of this is, The resolution we for our part had, rather to overdo than to be behindhand in anything of our Treaty. And although we never were so foolish as to apprehend that the French and their interests were the same with ours in all things; yet as to the Spaniards, who hath been known in all ages to be the most impla
The 'affair' is presumed to have reference to a dispute between the Duke of York and his brother on a question of Spanish policy.
cable enemy that France hath,—we never could doubt before we made our Treaty, that, going upon such grounds, we should have been failed towards as we are!
To talk of giving us Garrisons' which are inland, as Caution for future action; to talk of 'what will be done next Campaign,' -are but parcels of words for children. If they will give us Garrisons, let them give us Calais, Dieppe and Boulogne ;-which I think they will do as soon as be honest in their words in giving us any one Spanish Garrison upon the coast into our hands! I positively think, which I say to you, they are afraid we should have any footing on that side of the water, though Spanish.
I pray you tell the Cardinal, from me, That I think, if France desires to maintain its ground, much more to get ground upon the Spaniard, the performance of his Treaty with us will better do it than anything appears yet to me of any Design he hath !— Though we cannot so well pretend to soldiery as those that are with him; yet we think that, we being able by sea to strengthen and secure his Siege, and to reinforce it as we please by sea, and the Enemy being in capacity to do nothing to relieve it,―the best time to besiege that Place will be now. Especially if we consider that the French horse will be able so to ruin Flanders as that no succour can be brought to relieve the place; and that the French Army and our own will have constant relief, as far as England and France can give it, without any manner of impediment,especially considering the Dutch are now engaged so much to Southward as they are.
I desire you to let him know That Englishmen have had so good experience of Winter expeditions, they are confident, if the Spaniard shall keep the field, as he cannot impede this work, so neither will he be able to attack anything towards France with a possibility of retreat. And what do all delays signify but even this: The giving the Spaniard opportunity so much the more to reinforce himself; and the keeping our men another summer to serve the French, without any colour of a reciprocal, or any, advantage to ourselves!
And therefore if this will not be listened unto, I desire that things may be considered-of to give us satisfaction for the great expense we have been at with our Naval forces and otherwise; which out of an honourable and honest aim on our part hath been
incurred, thereby to answer the Engagements we had made. And, in fine, That consideration may be had how our Men may be put into a position to be returned to us;-whom we hope we shall employ to a better purpose than to have them continue where they are.
I desire we may know what France saith, and will do, upon this point. We shall be ready still, as the Lord shall assist us, to perform what can be reasonably expected on our part. And you may also let the Cardinal know farther, That our intentions, as they have been, will be to do all the good offices we can to promote the Interest common to us.
Apprehending it is of moment that this Business should come to you with speed and surety, we have sent it by an Express.
Oliver Cromwell to Sir William Lockhart, our Ambassador in
Whitehall: Aug. 31, 1657.
Sir, We desire, having written to you as we have, that the design be Dunkirk rather than Gravelines; and much more that it be-but one of them rather than fail. We shall not be wanting, To send over, at the French charge, Two of our old regiments, and Two-thousand foot more, if need be,-if Dunkirk be the design. Believing that if the Army be well entrenched, and if La Ferté's Foot be added to it, we shall be able to give liberty to the greatest part of the French Cavalry to have an eye to the Spaniard, leaving but convenient numbers to stand by the Foot.
And because this action will probably divert the Spaniard from assisting Charles Stuart in any attempt upon us, you may be assured that, if reality may with any reason be expected from the French, we shall do all reason on our part. But if indeed the French be so false to us as that they would not have us have any footing on that side the Water, then I desire, as in our other Letter to you, that all things may be done in order to the giving us satisfaction for our expense incurred, and to the drawing-off of our men. And truly, Sir, I desire you to take boldness and freedom to yourself in your dealing with the French on these