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tion of Drumclog, it was their last grand act of a warlike nature. After this, when their position became more intricate, there were added to mistakes in council, blunders in the field. The Covenant which they required the English to sign, as the condition of their assistance, could not be carried out in the letter. The free thought awakened there would not confine itself to the limits they prescribed for it. Along with the English Presbyterians, they became jealous and disquieted, because of the growing power of Cromwell, who knew better than they how to distinguish between fact and formula, and claimed for the God-fearing people a liberty of conscience which they were not prepared to tolerate-with which, in fact, the letter of their Covenant was incompatible. The differences between them were taken advantage of by the king, who had been wandering about as a fugitive since Naseby. He repaired to the Scotch camp at Newark, and placed himself in their hands. Refusing, however, to sign their Covenant, and otherwise proving unmanageable, he was shortly afterwards given up to the English. His execution by the latter, in

, 1649—an event which the Covenanters did not anticipate, and of which, consistently with their principles, they could not approve,-introduced a new element into their ranks, which greatly influenced their future procedure, and led to an act which proved as great a blunder as, to our thinking, it was a crime.

It should be said that previous to this their numbers had, by defection or expulsion, been greatly reduced. Their triumph became the occasion of their weakness. The unity and enthusiasm excited by a common danger, yielded, in the case of some, to the self-seeking quickened or gendered by success. The captivity of the king awakened relentings in the people who had helped to reduce him to his captive condition. Many of the nobles, not unwilling to take advan


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tage of this revulsion of feeling, originated a movement ostensibly for his liberation, and for the settlement of matters by a Free Parliament. Thus was formed the party who, because of their compact with the king, were called the Engagers, as opposed to the strict Covenanters, of whom Argyll was the leader. These Engagers were headed by the Marquis of Hamilton, joined by Loudon, Lauderdale, Myddleton, and other nominal Covenanters. Through the fusion of the Royalists they became strong enough to march into England, but not in the best military order, and were wofully routed by Cromwell at the battle of Preston, in 1648.

Their defeat placed the strict Covenanters again at the head of affairs. These, in January 1649, passed through Parliament a very stringent measure, entitled the “ Act of Classes,” the object of which was to exclude from office all but their own party; its immediate result, the still further reduction of that party, owing to numbers taking exception to the stringency of the measure; so that on the strictest members rests the opprobrium of the events to which I have already alluded, and am now about more particularly to refer: their unholy alliance with a dissolute king, and consequent war with the Puritans.

For this part of their procedure I honestly confess I can find no sufficient vindication. Mitigating circumstances there were, which ought not to be overlooked.

The execu. tion of the king had so shocked the feelings and excited the indignation of the people, who were still attached to the Stuart line and to monarchical institutions, that the Covenanters, in order to retain their position, had

course left but to invite Prince Charles to the throne. They did so, imposing such conditions as were required, “to save the country," as has been said, “ from the effects of its own extravagance;" ordering the king,


by Act of Parliament, to dismiss bis evil counsellors, and substantially binding him to observe the forms of constitutional government, and to rule by responsible advisers. Charles, who, though only twenty years of age, seems to have been an adept in the art of mental reservation, was most liberal in his promises-agreed to do all they required -made no difficulty in giving pledges by which he never meant to be bound-signed the Covenant, not it appears with shrugs and grimaces expressive of dislike, but with well-feigned assent; for, as a witty Frenchman said, “They compelled him to sign it voluntarily,"—signed whatever papers they chose to lay before him, because he knew well that if his object was to be gained there was nothing for it but to sign. Thus he became their Covenanted King; and the solemn farce of a coronation with its attendant ceremonials was enacted between him and them, in the ancient palace at Scone, where Scotland's kings were wont to be crowned.

These circumstances may somewhat mitigate our censure; they certainly furnish no vindication of their procedure. Both parties knew that they were acting a lie. Neither of them trusted the other, and both knew that they did not. With all their affectation, he had no respect for their Covenant; they no faith in bis character ;and both were aware of the fact. They used each other for their own purposes, and were both conscious that they did. They knew him too well not to be convinced of his duplicity. He was too shrewd not to discern their distrust. They knew what a scapegrace he was ; they knew, as Cromwell told them, in terribly earnest manner, how he was plotting with malignants in England for the overthrow of the religion which in Scotland he had sworn to defend; how he had a Popish army fighting for him in Ireland, and foreign Popish mercenaries in his ships making depredations on the English coast. And when, knowing all this, they received him into their bosom, because, forsooth, he signed their Covenant-on a pretext so flimsy as that, and not content with doing so, sought to force him on the English, “to the satisfaction," as they pretended, “ of God's people of both nations,”it was, I hesitate not to say, a flagrant outrage on their principles and their previous history. It cannot be vindicated. If we attempt to excuse the people, it can only be done at the expense of their leaders. It shows, at least, how sadly unequal they were to the emergencies which had arisen. The truth is, I apprehend, that Argyll, who was at their

I head, though a true patriot, and a man, as he proved, of sincere religious principle, had strongly selfish instincts, was crafty and subtle, and, without intending to injure his country, ready to turn political changes to account for the promotion of personal ends. His conduct towards Charles, when in the hands of his party, his proposing that he should marry his daughter, and otherwise seeking to bend him to his purposes, gives us but a low opinion of his disinterestedness. It required the grander qualities which he afterwards evinced at his martyrdom, to make us forget the self-seeking and meanness which he manifested then. He was just the man to take advantage of a formula. He managed to keep his position, without injuring, as he supposed, his country, because the king had signed the Covenant. Thus he retained the parchment, but in this instance, we think, sacrificed the spirit. The formula was with him; but the fact, I take it, was with Cromwell and his Ironsides. The fact and the formula are now about to rush into hostile collision. Which of them can best withstand the shock we shall presently see.

The position they now assume brings them into direct antagonism with the English Parliament. Cromwell and his friends do not need to be told how the Scotch king and Covenant will affect them. They will invade us, it is thought, if we do not first invade them. The latter plan is deemed preferable on the whole. Cromwell, who has just satisfactorily disposed of the Irish difficulty, wishes Fairfax to take command of the army, which is on the eve of starting for Scotland. Fairfax persisting in his refusal, Cromwell is compelled to take it in hand himself. Very happily 80; there being no one who could do it so well. He enters Scotland by Berwick, and advancing through the Pease Pass to Musselburgh, finds his old friend Leslie, with an army of six or seven thousand horse, and fourteen or fifteen thousand foot, occupying a strong position between Edinburgh and Leith, flanked by an entrenched line from the Calton to Leith shore, and “the Leith guns scouring the greater part of the line, so that they lay very strong." Cromwell finds the position not easy to attempt--thinks it advisable not to risk an engagement. After sundry skirmishing, and various ineffectual attempts to draw the wary Leslie from bis position, he is compelled, by his provisions failing, and the state of the weather not permitting the English ships to land supplies at Musselburgh, to fall finally back on Dunbar, where he can fortify himself for the winter, and keep up communication with England by his ships—the only means of doing so now left, the pass at Cockburnspath being closed against him. He takes his position on the neck of the promontory on which the town of Dunbar stands, with the village of Belhaven on his right; on his left, and running away in a slanting direction in front of him, a deep grassy glen named Brocksburn. Behind him is the town of Dunbar and the sea ; on his extreme left the promontory of St. Abb’s Head; before him, at a short distance, stretches the chain of the Lammermoors, impassable

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