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up, and the ladies were exceedingly on his side. It seemed a very pleasant object to see so many Sempronias, with pen, ink, and paper in their hands, noting the passages, and discoursing upon the grounds, of law and state. They were all of his side, whether moved by pity, proper to their sex, or by ambition of being able to judge of the parts of the prisoner. Even the chairman of the committee who prepared his impeachment observes, “Certainly never any man acted such a part, on such a theatre, with more wisdom, constancy, and eloquence, with greater reason, judgment, and temper, and with a better grace in all his words and gestures, than this great and excellent person did.”

[The trial ended in the Earl's condemnation; and in spite of his trust in the King, Charles left him to die.]

Strafford moved on to the scaffold with undisturbed composure. His body, so soon to be released, had given him a respite of its infirmities for that trying hour. Rushworth, the Clerk of the Parliament, was one of the spectators, and has minutely described the scene. “ When he arrived outside the Tower, the Lieutenant desired him to take coach at the gate, lest the enraged mob should tear him in pieces. “No,' said he, “ Mr. Lieutenant, I dare look death in the face, and the people too; have you a care I do not escape ; 'tis equal to me how I die, whether by the stroke of the executioner, or by the madness and fury of the people, if that may give them better content.' Not less than 100,000 persons, who had crowded in from all parts, were visible on Tower-hill, in a long and dark perspective. Strafford, in his walk, took off his hat frequently, and saluted them, and received not a word of insult or reproach. His step and manner are described by Rushworth to have been those of “a general marching at the head of an army, to breathe victory, rather than those of a condemned man, to

PART II.

I

afflictions upon him. Yet, though a generous sympathy was demanded on this score, and paid by not a few of his worst opponents, it availed little with the multitudes that were present. Much noise and confusion prevailed at all times through the hall ; there was always a great clamour near the doors; and we have it on the authority of Rushworth himself,4 that at those intervals when Strafford was busied in preparing his answers, the most distracting “hubbubs" broke out, lords walked about and chatted, and commoners were yet more offensively loud. This was unfavourable to the recollection, for disproof, of incidents long passed, and of conversations forgotten ! But conscious that he was not to be allowed in any case permission to retire, as soon as one of his opponent managers had closed his charge, the Earl calmly turned his back to his judges, and with uncomplaining composure, conferred with his secretaries and counsel.

As the trial proceeded, so extraordinary were the resources he manifested, that the managers of the commons failed in much of the effect of their evidence. Even the clergy who were present forgot the imprisonment of the weak and miserable Laud 5 (who now lay in prison, stripped of his power by this formidable parliament, which the very despotism of himself and Strafford had gifted with its potently operative force !) and thought of nothing but the “grand apostate" 6 before them.“ By this time," says May, “the people began to be a little divided in opinion. The clergy in general were so much fallen into love and admiration of this Earl, that the Archbishop of Canterbury was almost quite forgotten by them. The courtiers cried him

4 The Clerk of the House of Cominons. 5 Archbishop of Canterbury, and fellow-minister of the King with Strafford.

6 Strafford had begun his parliamentary life as a supporter of English rights, and had afterwards gone over to the side of the Crown.

up, and the ladies were exceedingly on his side. It seemed a very pleasant object to see so many Sempronias, with pen, ink, and paper in their hands, noting the passages, and discoursing upon the grounds, of law and state. They were all of his side, whether moved by pity, proper to their sex, or by ambition of being able to judge of the parts of the prisoner. Even the chairman of the committee who prepared his impeachment observes, “Certainly never any man acted such a part, on such a theatre, with more wisdom, constancy, and eloquence, with greater reason, judgment, and temper, and with a better grace in all his words and gestures, than this great and excellent person did.”

[The trial ended in the Earl's condemnation; and in spite of his trust in the King, Charles left him to die.]

Strafford moved on to the scaffold with undisturbed composure. His body, so soon to be released, had given him a respite of its infirmities for that trying hour. Rushworth, the Clerk of the Parliament, was one of the spectators, and has minutely described the scene. « When he arrived outside the Tower, the Lieutenant desired him to take coach at the gate, lest the enraged mob should tear him in pieces. 'No,' said he, “Mr. Lieutenant, I dare look death in the face, and the people too; have you a care I do not escape ; 'tis equal to me how I die, whether by the stroke of the executioner, or by the madness and fury of the people, if that may give them better content.'' Not less than 100,000 persons, who had crowded in from all parts, were visible on Tower-hill, in a long and dark perspective. Strafford, in his walk, took off his hat frequently, and saluted them, and received not a word of insult or reproach. His step and manner are described by Rushworth to have been those of “a general marching at the head of an army, to breathe victory, rather than those of a condemned man, to

PART II.

I

undergo the sentence of death.” At his side, upon the scaffold, stood his brother, Sir George Wentworth, the Bishop of Armagh, the Earl of Cleveland, and others of his friends,-and behind them the indefatigable collector Rushworth, who “ being then on the scaffold with him," as he says, took down the speech which, having asked their patience first, Strafford at some length addressed to the people. He declared the innocence of his intentions, whatever might have been the construction of his acts, and said that the prosperity of his country was his fondest wish. But it augured ill, he told them, for the people's happiness, to write the commencement of a reformation in letters of blood. “One thing I desire to be heard in," he added, “and do hope that for Christian charity's sake I shall be believed. I was so far from being against parliaments, that I did always think parliaments in England to be the happy constitution of the kingdom and nation, and the best means, under God, to make the King and his people happy."

He then turned to take leave of the friends who had accompanied him to the scaffold. He beheld his brother weeping excessively. “ Brother," he said, “what do you see in me to cause these tears ? Does any innocent fear betray in me-guilt? or my innocent boldness-atheism? Think that you are now accompanying me the fourth time to my marriage-bed. That block must be my pillow, and here I shall rest from all my labours. No thoughts of envy, no dreams of treason, nor jealousies, nor cares, for the king, the state, or myself, shall interrupt this easy sleep. Remember me to my sister, and to my wife; and carry my blessing to my eldest son, and to Ann, and Arabella, not forgetting my little infant, that knows neither good nor evil, and cannot speak for itself. God speak for it, and bless it !” While undressing himself, and winding his hair under a cap, he said, looking on the block — “I do as cheerfully

put oft

my

doublet at this time as ever I did when I went to bed."

“Then," proceeds Rushworth, closing this memorable scene, “then he called, 'Where is the man that shall do this last office (meaning the executioner) ? call him to me.' When he came and asked him forgiveness, he told him be forgave him and all the world. Then kneeling down by the block, he went to prayer again by himself, the Bishop of Armagh kneeling on the one side, and the minister on the other; to the which minister after prayer he turned himself, and spoke some few words softly; having his hands lifted up, the minister closed his hands with his. Then bowing himself to the earth, to lay down his head on the block, he told the executioner that he would first lay down his head to try the fitness of the block, and take it up again, before he laid it down for good and all; and so he did; and before he laid it down again he told the executioner that he would give him warning when to strike, by stretching forth his hands; and then he laid down his neck on the block, stretching out his hands; the excutioner struck off his head at one blow, then took the head up in his hand, and showed it to all the people, and said, “God save the King !'”

XXIII.

DEATH OF HAMPDEN.

MACAULAY.

(For a time the King seemed to consent to the reforms of

the Long Parliament; but he at last broke from it, collected an army, and made war against it. The Parliament gathered another army, and after a drawn battle at Edgehill, the two forces encamped in the valley of the

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