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like younger brothers by the elder, in order to be compacted into one family? Look at the foreign relations. Are not all nations standing respectfully hating or admiring the new wonder, the alarming precedent? Do we not originate lasting treaties with Portugal, highly advantageous to our commerce? Do we not successfully battle with the Dutch, and fight them into fellowship? Is not Spain a suitor for England's favor? Is not mighty France at least civil ; and rising Sweden on good terms? Let it be hypocrisy which controls the puritanical zealot; let it be cleverness only which guides the state-vessel so pleasantly over the wide ocean; still he must have the wreath entwined for him who is greatly clever.
The clever-minded world knows only of cleverness, and enjoys only its triumphs, appreciates only its principles; ignorant that the cleverness it so well knows, and so much enjoys, stands on a much deeper basis. The clever hero himself is not always aware of this, and consents to be de frauded of his nobler claim, by accepting renown for the witty usufruct which should be given to the moral capital. Not so, rely upon it, is it with Cromwell. Beneath contradictory appearances, confused utterance, and rough manners, there are the noble purpose, the clear conception, the straightforward action. Originality, creativeness, sincerity, perhaps ever lack polish.
Unless there be some yet unadmitted pusillanimity in royal armies, a victory, by 8,000 undisciplined zealots over 20,000 well drilled hirelings, bespeaks some eminence for the leader, as well as for those he leads. The greater number, too, make a brave resistance. How much braver the assailants. Heroism, or sincerity, or some deep quality must be here at work to produce such results. Spite of the desire to blot out all remembrance of these facts, or to distort or to discolor them, they there remain trophies of what a people can do, when the season ripens their ideal purpose into seed-bearing action.
But destiny changes the hands, and the other players now are to have an inning. Providence toys with souls, when souls would toy with it. Whosoever plays frivolously is no longer an initiative; he is discharged from again starting the ball, but has to repel it as best he may. So long as our hero keeps his heart unviolated, preserves the
promises which in the sanctuary of his soul he made to the eternal spirit, his power is intact. He coquets to his ruin, and plays false to himself.
Cromwell, with a robust frame, which might have served him twenty years longer, quits his earthly tenement at fifty-nine. So soon fails the body, when the soul is derelict from its high purpose; as, on the other hand, a lofty aim, an infinite inspiration, fills out existence and prolongs our time. At mature age, when calm judgment should mellow youthful zeal, when domestic opposition is mastered, and foreign relations are amicably secured, why is not the leader in these events elevated to a Lycurgus height, and induced to excel in brilliant utility all his previous acts, by the stamp of permanency, as far as holy, unreserved devotion can bestow it? Fatal shortsightedness! He errs not so much in fighting with the book of peace in his hand, as in courting his opponents with the words of peace on his lips. The former might be unconscious zeal, but must succeed; the latter is conscious diplomacy, which must fail. Adherence to principle is the sole security for the attainment of manhood or its preservation. Why, after so much success, does this action-loving man tamper in his position, and condescend to parley with the speculative oppressors whom he has under his feet? The reality for whose development a whole nation were too small a sphere, has he narrowed it down to a family name? Is posterity for him bounded to such a nutshell?
After the people have shown several years' successful experience of self-government, is he about to theorize concerning a twofold legislature, and to make concessions to an enemy, who is at least consistent in implacability, as well as in the determination not to learn? We dare not believe it. Mental imbecility could not so soon come over that energetic soul. Traitor to himself dares he be?
Fortunately perhaps for man that he has another lesson not to rely on man, it appears even thus. The high tide of success is often fatal to souls whom no adversity can subdue. Cromwell, paltering with a double purpose, hopes to retain the power and fame built on his spirit-founded actions, and to superadd the power and fame, which delusive imagination leads men to suppose can be acquired by calculation and intrigue. Men cannot become great by
courting the title of greatness; greatness itself alone can make them great.
Oscillating between the substance and the shadow, true to neither, he is no longer heart-whole. Royalism, Popularity? The World, the Spirit? Which seems to bid higher? The day of unbought enthusiasm is past; prudence now usurps the throne of love. Fears of the assassin, guilty tremors, shake that iron frame. Alarmed, he hurries from place to place; restless, the load of public business augments upon him; in a few weeks the least courtly of ambassadors cuts short all argument and doubt.
Rest, therefore, may these two-hundred year old bones in their antiquated tomb; for neither can the bones build new men, nor the grave new houses. We need the new Cromwell. We will rather be the new, than recount the rights and wrongs of the old. What have we to do with them? Let us attend to the existing. The wrongs he temporarily redressed have not yet passed away; the rights he claimed are not yet conceded. Old England is still corrupt; New England is still the land of hope. The waters still lie between; and if aught is changed, it is perhaps only that emigration is prevented, not by royal order in council, but by the decree of want.
No narrow field the poet has,
His range is over everything,
THY quiet radiance falls upon my spirit,
As from fresh leaves that round my footsteps grow.
As summer clouds stoop down to bathe the hills,
A solemn anthem through my being thrills.
And gaze upon thy beauty evermore,
A deeper depth of peace those eyes unfold to me,
Await the wooing air, to tempt them into birth.
Shall spread its joy, as blue skies beauty over earth,
As fragrance to the flower, or greenness to the leaves,
TREES in groves,
In ocean sport the finny herds,
God, who gave to him the lyre,
Sad-eyed Fakirs swiftly say