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V. 485-6-7-8. For so it is, howe'er you mince it
As e'er we part, I shall evince it;
You will or no, your stubborn leather.) This is a close imitation of a similar passage between Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, “How now, opprobious rascal, (says Don Quixote, Vol. iv. Chap. 35,) stinking garlic-eater; Sirrah, I will take you, and tie your dog-ship to a tree, as naked as your mother bore you; and there I will not only give you three thousand three hundred lashes, but sis thousand six hundred lashes, you varlet; and so smartly, that you shall feel it still, though you rub your backside three thousand times; answer me a word you rogue, and I'll tear out
V. 491-2. To higgle thus for a few blows,
To gain thy Knight an op'lent spouse.] Don Quixote complains of Saucho Panza exactly in the same manner. “ Oh, obdurate heart! oh, impious squire! oh, nourishment and favours ill bestowed! Is this my reward for having got thee a government, and my good intentions to get thee an earldom, or an equivalent at least.”
V. 497.-curmurdgin.] A covetoas hunks, a niggard, a close-fisted fellow.
V. 500.--pull a crow.] A common saying, and which signifies that the two contending parties must have a trial of skill which is the best man, or which will overcome.
V. 502.-have a care o' the main chance.] That is, have a care of what most concerns your own person.
" Ralpho (Dr. Grey says) is almost as fruitful in proverbs as Sancho Panza. In this and the whipping debates both the Squires appear snperior in sense to their masters.” V. 535-6. And were y' as good as George a Green,
I shall make bold to turn again.] George a Green was the famous Pindar of Wakefield, who fought with Robin Hood and Little John both together, and got the better of them.
V. 510. To whip the saints like Bishop Bonner.] Bonner, the furious and bigoted bishop of London in the reign of Queen Mary, scourged several Protestants with bis own hand, for their faithful adherence to the reformed religion.
V. 519. Remember how in arms.) For a long time the Presbyterians and Independents acted in perfect concert together against the king ; but towards the conclusion of the war their mutual animosity began to appear. Oliver Cromwell, who possessed indefatigable resolution, unbounded ambition, and impenetrable dissimulation, influenced the whole conduct of the Independents. He gained a surprising ascendency over the spirit of Gene. ral Fairfax, and filled the army with officers devoted to his interest, such as Rainsborough, Fleetwood, Lambert, and Harrison. The majority of the members of parliament were Presbyterians, supported by the city of London: they dreaded the general officers, and wanted to disband the army. As it was necessary to send forces into Ireland, they formed a plan of enlisting private men for the service, and transporting them to that kingdom, under new officers in whom they could confide. Cromwell, knowing their design, opposed it with all his power; and found this task the more easy, as the Earl of Essex died in the preceding year. He seemed to approve the scheme of the Communs, feigned himself a rigid Presbyterian, talked in the language of Scripture, and persuaded Fairfax that he had nothing in view but the glory of God, and the establishment of the true religion. At the same time he set his emissaries at work tú excite a spirit of mutiny among the troops. The inferior officers had been so long accustomed to military license, that they could not bear the prospect of returning to their former occu. pations. The Commons understood they had prepared a petition to their general, for the perusal of the House, demanding an act of indemnity, the payment of their arrears, and an exemption from serving in Ireland against their own consent, Two colonels and two lieutenant colonels, being examined at the bar of the House
touching the nature of the petition, were commanded to suppress it and all other such addresses as might be drawn ap for the future. At the same time the general was directed to give orders that a declaration should be read at the head of each regiment, importing that the petition tended to excite discontents in the army ; to impede the reduction of Ireland; and that the House would proceed against the authors of it as perturbators of the public peace. This expedient served only to inflame the resentment of the soldiers, who loudly complained that after they had shed their blood in defence of the liberties of the nation, they were now, by the most unsupportable tyranny, debarred the privilege of presenting a petition to their general; a right to which they were certainly entitled as free-born subjects of England. When the commissioners appointed by the parliament repaired to the army, aad caused the votes to be read aloud for new modelling the regiments, Colonel Lambert, in the name of all the officers, demanded the act of indemnity, the payment of arrears, security for their subsistence while in Ireland, and the names of generals ander whom they should serve in that kingdom. They exclaimed aloud, they were ready to march under Fairfax, Cromwell, and Skippon : some of the general officers presented a declaration to the parliament, justifying their former petition, and insisting upon the same articles. The Commons voted that the army should be disbanded, and the soldiers receive six weeks pay at their dismission. Then Skippon produced a petition from several regiments, specifying their reasons for not serving in Ireland, and complaining of the ill treatment they had received from the parliament. The Commons, alarmed at these signs of discontent, passed divers votes for giving satisfaction to the army; and ordered Cromwell, Skippon, Ireton, and Fleetwood, to signify their favourable intentions to the soldiery. It was on this occasion that the common soldiers elected agitators or deputies to discuss their affairs, and communicate their resolutions to a council composed of generals, field officers, and captains. These were the instruments by which Cromwell and his associates managed the whole military machine. They were chosen from the private soldiers, or the lowest class of officers, for their reputed knowledge, and their spiritual gift of preaching and praying. The two Houses still persisting in their resolution to disband all the troops, except those destined for Ireland, ordained, that security should be given to the troops for their arrears; that the soldiers should not be compelled to serve in Ireland; and that provision should be made for the widows and orphans of those maimed in the service. Then they regulated the manner in which the regiments were to be disbanded, at different times and places. When the general, in a council of war, produced the votes of Commons, the officers said they did not believe the soldiers would be satisfied, because they would neither receive their full pay, nor security for their arrears; and, without an act of amnesty, they might be prosecuted at law after their dismission. The soldiers themselves, in a petition to the general, complained of these hardships, and desired that the army should be assembled in one place, where they might consider of means to redress their grievances, before they should be disbanded; otherwise they should be obliged to take such measures as might be prevented by a compliance with their demands. The general, with the advice of the council of war, immediately contracted his quarters; and in a letter to the two Houses, begged they would concert measures for ap. peasing the army, and preventing a very dangerous rupture. The parliament, intimidated by this intelligence, resolved, if possible, to divide the forces. They offered a month's pay to those who should quit their regiments and engage in the Irish expedition. For the satisfaction of the army, they voted, that the subaltern officers and soldiers should receive the whole of their arrears, and a month's pay over and above: that the declaration of the two llouses against their petition, should be erased from their Journals; and that an act of indemnity should be passed in their favour. But all
these concessions could not satisfy the army. The di. rectors of it were resolved that it should not be disbanded, but kept up as a balance to the Presbyterian interest. It was, by this time, converted to a kind of republic, in which the vote of a common soldier was equivalent to that of his colonel; and each separate brigade thought they had a right to take resolutions, which were executed in the name of the army; so that very little discipline or subordination remained.
V. 529. Capoch'd your rabbins of the synod.) Dr. Grey says, that capoched signifies hooded or blind-folded : perhaps it is a phrase drawn from the game of picquet, where to capot signifies for one player to gain the advantage of forty tricks over his adversary, before the latter has gained one, which nearly decides the game; and in that case the losing player is said to be capotted. V. 535-6. And drown'd their discipline like a kitten,
On which th' had been so long a sitting.) This was the church discipline, which the Assembly of Divines had been almost five years in framing, and which was laid aside as soon as the Independents got
V. 539. And all the saints of the first grass.] The Presbyterians, because they were the first movers and fomenters of the rebellion.
V. 511. At this the Knight grew high in chafe.] One of the anonymous commentators upon Butler, observes on this passage, that “whenever the Squire is provoked by the Knight, he is sure to retaliate the affront by a very satirical harangue upon the Knight's party: thus, when he was put in the stocks with the Knight, he makes synods (for which the Knight had a profound veneration) the subject of his satire; and his revenge at this time, when the Knight would impose a whipping upon him, is grounded upon the Indepen.' dents trepanning the Presbyterians."
V. 548. Have been exchang'd, &c.] The Knight was kept prisoner at Exeter, and after several exchanges proposed, but none accepted of, was at last released