exceedingly dangerous. When he had any attack which prevented his attending to business, he grew impatient, and ordered his physicians to set him right again at any cost. At the time when Lady Claypole's illness assumed a dangerous character, he was suffering from an attack of gout; while giving audience to the Dutch ambassador, Nieuport, on the 30th of July, he felt so unwell, that he broke off the interview, and adjourned the business to the following week. After the death of Lady Claypole, the Protector made an effort to resume his labours: he held his council; he reviewed some troops; he terminated a commercial negotiation with Sweden; he grew alarmed at the sudden arrival of Ludlow in London, and ordered Fleetwood to make sure that he entertained no evil designs. But an intermittent fever broke out with great violence; he was obliged to remain in bed, and his physicians believed him to be in great danger. About the 20th of August, however, the fever ceased; he left his bed, and resumed his former occupations. George Fox, the Quaker, who was always sure to meet with a friendly reception from him, went to Hampton Court, and requested to speak with him "about the sufferings of Friends." "I met him riding into Hampton Court Park," says Fox; "and before I came to him, as he rode at the head of his life-guards, I saw and felt a waft of death go forth against him; and when I came to him, he looked like a dead man. After I had laid the sufferings of Friends before him, and had warned him according as I was moved to speak to him, he bade me come to his house; and, the next day, I went up to Hampton Court to speak farther with him. But when I came, Harvey, who was one that waited on him, told me the doctors were not willing that I should speak with him. So I passed away, and never saw him more."

The fever had greatly increased; his physicians prescribed change of air, and recommended him to leave Hampton Court for London. He returned to Whitehall on the 24th of August, 1658, and from that mo

ment, notwithstanding some few intervals of respite, the disease and danger became more and more urgent. Cromwell ceased to attend to public business, and seemed not even to think of it. In his own soul, however, he had not yet given up all hope of life, and future worldly achievements. Having heard his physicians whisper that his pulse was intermittent, the words filled him with alarm: he turned pale, a cold perspiration covered his face, and, requesting to be placed in bed, he sent for a secretary, and executed his private will. On the following morning, one of his physicians entered his room. "Why do you look so sad?" said Cromwell to him. "How can I look otherwise," replied the physician, "when I have the responsibility of your life upon me?" "You doctors think I shall die," returned Cromwell; and he took the hand of his wife, who was sitting by his bedside, and said to her, "I tell thee I shall not die of this bout; I am sure I shall not." Observing the surprise of his physician at these words, he added: "Do not think that I am mad; I tell you the truth; I know it from better authority than any which you can have from Galen or Hippocrates. It is the answer of God himself to our prayers; not to mine alone, but those of others, who have a more intimate interest in Him than I have. Therefore, take courage; banish sorrow from your eyes, and treat me as you would treat a mere servant. You can do much by your science; but nature can do more than all the doctors in the world, and God is infinitely more powerful than nature." Finding him so strangely excited after an almost sleepless night, the physician ordered that he should be kept perfectly quiet, and left the room. he was going away, he met one of his colleagues, and said to him, "I fear our patient is well nigh deranged," and he repeated what he had heard. "Are you so far a stranger here," replied the other, "that you do not know what took place last night? The Protector's chaplains, and all their friends the saints, engaged in prayers for his safety, in different parts of the palace,


and they all heard the voice of God, saying, 'He will recover!' so they are all certain of it."

Not in Whitehall only, but in a multitude of churches and houses in London, fervent prayers were offered for the Protector's recovery; prayers at once sincere and interested-dictated alike by sympathy and fear. Independently of the men who were attached to his person and government, and whose fortune was dependent on his own, Cromwell was, to all those revolutionists and sectaries, whom republican fanaticism had not rendered his enemies, the representative of their cause, and the defender of their civil and religious liberties. What would be their fate if he should die? Under what yoke would they next fall? And their prayers were not, to them, cold and empty forms;-they had firm faith in their access to God, and they presumptuously believed that He revealed to them His designs. "O Lord," exclaimed Goodwin, one of the Protector's chaplains, "we pray not for his recovery- that Thou hast granted already; what we now beg is his speedy recovery." The politicians were not so sanguine and yet they, too, had great hopes.

Cromwell was far from getting better; his fits became far more violent and frequent; and when they were over, he was left in a state of profound despondency. His family and his confidants were agitated by the utmost anxiety regarding the future. Who was to be his successor? By the terms of the Instrument of Government, he was himself to appoint him. After he fell ill, and before he left Hampton Court to return to London, Cromwell had given some thoughts to the matter, and had directed John Barrington, one of his secretaries, to fetch from his study-table at Whitehall, a sealed paper, in the form of a letter directed to Thurloe, in which, immediately after the second constitution of the Protectorate, he had nominated his successor, without communicating the secret to any other person. This paper could not be found, and Cromwell said no more about it. When his death seemed to be

imminent, his children and sons-in-law, Lord Faulconbridge among others, urged Thurloe, the Protector's only real confidant, to put some question to him on this subject. Thurloe promised to do so, but delayed performing his promise. He had no certain knowledge of his master's intentions; -Cromwell had kept them perfectly secret, as he was unwilling to deprive any of those who aspired to succeed him, of the hope of doing So. Some persons affirmed that his choice would not rest on either of his sons, but on his son-in-law, Fleetwood, who was more popular with the army and with the republicans. Under these doubtful circumstances, Thurloe hesitated to undertake to demand a positive answer from the Protector, as he was unwilling to incur the enmity of any of the aspirants.

In these perplexities of those who surrounded him, Cromwell took no part; worldly affairs, political questions, even the interests of those persons who were dearest to him, retreated and disappeared in proportion as he drew nearer to the grave; his soul fell back upon itself, and, as it advanced towards the mysteries of the eternal future, it came in contact with other thoughts and other perplexities than those which agitated the mourners around his bed. Cromwell's religious faith had exercised but little influence over his conduct; the necessities, combinations, and passions of this world had more generally swayed him, and he had yielded to their mastery with cynical recklessness, -as he was determined to succeed, to become great, and to rule at any cost. The Christian had disappeared beneath the revolutionary politician and despot; but though it had disappeared, it had not altogether perished: Christian faith had survived in his soul, though overladen by so many falsehoods and crimes; and when the final time arrived, it re-asserted its power; and, to use the fine expression of Archbishop Tillotson, "Cromwell's religious enthusiasm gained the victory over his hypocrisy." On the 2nd of September, Cromwell, who had been delirious, had a lucid interval of some duration. His

chaplains were standing around his bed. "Tell me," he said to one of them, "is it possible to fall from grace ?" "It is not possible," replied the minister. "Then," exclaimed the dying man, "I am safe; for I know that I was once in grace." He then turned round, and prayed aloud. "Lord," he said, "though I am a miserable and wretched creature, I am in covenant with Thee through grace; and I may, I will, come to Thee, for Thy people! Thou hast made me, though very unworthy, a mean instrument to do them some good, and Thee service; and many of them have set too high a value upon me, though others wish, and would be glad of my death; but, Lord, however Thou do dispose of me, continue and go on to do good for them. Give them consistency of judgment, one heart, and mutual love; and go on to deliver them, and with the work of reformation; and make the name of Christ glorious in the world. Teach those who look too much on Thy instruments to depend more upon Thyself. Pardon such as desire to trample upon the dust of a poor worm, for they are Thy people too; and pardon the folly of this short prayer, even for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen."

This pious exercise was followed by a kind of stupor, which continued until evening. As the night closed in, Cromwell became greatly agitated; he spoke in low and broken tones, terminating neither his ideas nor his words. "Truly God is good," he said, "indeed He is


. . He will not . . He will not leave me ... I would be willing to live to be farther serviceable to God and His people . . . but my work is done yet God will be with His people." One of his attendants offered him something to drink, and besought him to endeavour to sleep. "It is not my design," he answered, "to drink or sleep, but my design is to make what haste I can to be gone." Day dawned at length; it was the 23rd of September, his FORTUNATE DAY, as he had often called it-the anniversary of his victories at Dunbar and Worcester. By a singular

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