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that they might avoid an act so offensive as that of destroying the brother by the sister's testimony.
The plot was published in the most terrific manner. Ou the 31st of May (1643), at a solemn fast, when they were listening to the sermon, a messenger entered the church, and communicated his errand to Pym, who whispered it to others that were placed near him, and then went with them out of the church, leaving the rest in solicitude and amazement. They immediately sent guards to proper places, and that night apprehended Tomkyns and Waller; baving yet traced nothing but that letters had been intercepted, from which it appeared that the parliament and the city were soon to be delivered into the hands of the cavaliers. They perhaps yet knew little themselves, beyond some general and indistinct noticeș. “But Waller," says Çlarendon, "was so confounded with fear and apprehension, that he confessed whatever he had said, heard, thought, or seen; all that he knew of himself, and all that he suspected of others, without concealing any person of what degree or quality soever, or any discourse that he had ever, upon any occasion, entertained with them : what such and such ladies of great honour, to whom, upon the credit of his wit and great reputation, he had been admitted, had spoken to him in their chambers upon the proceedings in the Houses, and how they had encouraged him to oppose them: what correspondence and intercourse they had with some ministers of state at Oxford, and how they had conveyed all intelligence thither.” He accused the earl of Portland and lord Conway as co-operating in the transaction; and testified that the earl of Northumberland bad declared himself disposed in favour of any attempt that might check the violence of the parliament, and reconcile them to the king
Tomkyns was seized on the same night with Waller, and appears likewise to have partaken of his cowardice ; for he gave notice of Crispe's having obtained from the king a commission of array, of which Clarendon never knew how it was discovered. Tomkyns had buried it in his garden, where, by his direction, it was dug up; and thus the rebels obtained, what Clarendon confesses them to have had, the original copy. It can raise no wonder that they formed one plot out of these two designs, however remote from each other, when they saw the same agent employed in both, and found the commission of array in the hands of
him who was employed in collecting the opinions and af. fections of his people. *
Of the plot, thus combined, they took care to make the most. They sent Pym among the citizens, to tell them of their imminent danger, and happy escape ; and inform them, that the design was, “to seize the lord mayor and all the committee of militia, and would not spare one of them.” They drew up a vow and covenant, to be taken by every member of either House, by which he declared his detestation of all conspiracies against the parliament, and his resolution to detect and oppose them. They then appointed a day of thanksgiving for this wonderful delivery; which shut out, says Clarendon, all doubts whether there had been such a deliverance, and whether the plot was real or fictitious..
On June 11, the earl of Portland and lord Conway were committed, one to the custody of the mayor, and the other of the sheriff : but their lands and goods were not seized. Waller, however, was still to immerse himself deeper in ignominy. The earl of Portland and lord Conway denied the charge ; and there was no evidence against them but the confession of Waller, of which undoubtedly many would be inclined to question the veracity. With these doubts he was so inuch terrified, that he endeavoured to persuade
* “ The plot,” says May, " was ance, and to des roy all those, who borrid, and could not possibly have should by authority of Parliament be been put in execution without great their opposers; and by force of arms effusion of blood, as must needs ap- to resist all payment imposed by tbe pear by the particular branches of it, authority of both Houses for support which were confessed upon the exa. of those armies employed in their de. ginatious of master Waller, inaster fence. “Many other particulars there Tomkins, master Challoner, master were,” contioues Mr. May, “too teHassel, master Blinkhorne, master dious to relate at large; as what sig. White, and others the chief actors of nals should have been given to the it.” That which appeared by the king's forces of borse to invade the Narrative declaration published by city ; what colours for difference those authority of Parliament, was to this of the plot should wear to be known effect; that 1. They should seize in to their fellows, and such like. Much to their custody the king's children. heartened they were in this business %. To seize upon several members of by a commission of array sent froin · both Houses of Parlianient, upon the Oxford at that time froin the king to Jord mayor of London, and the com- them, aud brought secretly to Lonmittee of the militia there, under pre don by a lady, the lady Aubigny, tence of bringing them to legal trial. daughter to the earl of Suffolk, a wi3. To seize upon all the city's out, dow ever since the battle of Keynton, work's and forts, upon the tower of where the lord Aubigny her husbanat London, and all the magazines, gates, was slain. That commission of array and other places of importance in the was directed from the king to sir Ni. city. 4. To let in the king's forces, cholas Crispe, &c. &c.” to surprise the city with their assist.
Portland to a declaration like his owy, by a letter which is extant in Fenton's edition of his works; but this had very little effect: Portland sent (June 29) a letter to the Lords, to tell them, that he “is in custody, as he conceives, without any charge; and that, by what Mr. Waller had threatened him with since he was imprisoned, he doth apprehend a very cruel, long, and ruinous restraint: he therefore prays, that he may not find the effects of Mr. Waller's threats, a long and close imprisonment; but may be speedily brought to a legal trial, and then he is confident the vanity and falsehood of those informations which have been given against him will appear.”
In consequence of this letter, the Lords ordered Ports land and Waller to be confronted; when the one repeated his charge, and the other his denial. The examination of the plot being continued (July 1,) Thion, usher of the House of Lords, deposed, that Mr. Waller having bad a conference with the lord Portland in an upper rooin, lord Portland said, when he came down, “ Do me the favour to tell my lord Northumberland, that Mr. Waller has extremely pressed me to save my own life and his, by throws ing the blame upon the lord Conway and the earl of Northumberland.” Waller, in his letter to Portland, tells him of the reasons which he could urge with resistless efficacy in a personal conference; but he overrated his own oratory ; his vehemence, whether of persuasion or intreaty, was returned with contempt. One of his arguments with Portland is, that the plot is already known to a woman. This woman was doubtless lady Aubigny, who, upon this occasion, was committed to custody; but who, in reality, when she delivered the commission of array, knew not what it was. The parliament then proceeded against the conspirators, and Toinkyns * and Chaloner were hanged. The earl of Northumberland, being too great for prosecu. tion, was only once examined before the Lords. The earl of Portland and lord Conway, persisting to deny the charge, and no testimony but Waller's yet appearing against them, were, after a long imprisonment, admitted to bail. Hassel, the king's messenger, who carried the letters to Oxford, died the night before his trial. Hampden escaped, death, perhaps by the interest of his family, but was kept in prison to the end of his life. They whose names were inserted in the commission of array were not capitally punished, as it could not be proved that they had consented to their own nomination : but they were considered as malignants, and their estates were seized.
* Waller's influence at this time feelings must have been strangely must have been very low, when it blunted, if he was not sensible of the served just to save his own life, but meanness of his own escape, and the not that of his sister's husband; or his disgrace now inflicted on his family.
“ Waller,” says Clarendon, whom we have already quoted on this point, “though confessedly the most guilty, with incredible dissimulation, affected such a remorse of conscience, that his trial was put off, out of Christian compassion, till he might recover his understanding.” What use he made of this interval, with whạt liberality and success he distributed Aattery and money, and how, when he was brought (July 4) before the House, he confessed and lamented, and submitted and implored, may be read in the History of the Rebellion (B. vii.). The speech, to which Clarendon ascribes the preservation of his dear. bought life, is inserted in his works. The great historian, however, seems to have been mistaken in relating that he prevailed in the principal part of his supplication, not to be tried by a council of war; for, according to Whitlock, he was by expulsion from the House abandoned to the tribunal which he so much dreaded, and, being tried and con. demned, was reprieved by Essex; but after a year's imprisonwent, in which time resentment grew less acrimopious, paying a fine of ten thousand pounds, he was permitted to recollect himself in another country. Of his be, haviour in this part of bis life, Johnson justly says, it is not necessary to direct the reader's opinion.
For the place of his exile he chose France, and stayed some time at Roan, where his daughter Margaret was born, who was afterwards his favourite, and his amanuensis. He then removed to Paris, where he lived with great splendour and hospitality; and from time to time amused bimself with poetry, in which he sometimes speaks of the re. bels, and their usurpation, in the natural language of an hovest man. At last it became necessary for his support, to sell his wife's jewels, and being thus reduced, he solicited from Cromwell permission to return, and obtained it long the interest of colonel Scroop, to whom his sister was married. Upon the remains of his fortune he lived at Hallbarn, a house built by himself, very near to Beaconsfield, where his mother resided. His mother, though related to Cromwell * and Hampden, was zealous for the royal cause, and when Cromwell risited her used to reproach him ; he, in return, would throw a napkin at her, and say he would not dispute with his aunt; but finding in time that she acted for the king as well as talked, he made her a prisoner to her own daughter, in her own house. 'This daughter was Mrs. Price, who is said to have betrayed her brother.
Cromwell, now protector, received Waller, as his kinsmran, to familiar conversation. Waller, as he used to relate, found him sufficiently versed in ancient history ; and when any of his enthusiastic friends came to advise or consult him, could sometimes overbear him discoursing in the cant of the times; but, wben he returned, he would say, " Cousin Waller, I must talk to these men in their own way,” and resumed the common style of conversation. He repaid the Protector for his favours, in 1654, by the famous panegyric, which has been always considered as the first of his poetical productions. His choice of encomiastic topics is very judicious; for he considers Cromwell in his exaltation, without inquiring how he attained it; there is consequently, says Johnson, no mention of the rebel or the regicide. All the former part of his hero's life is veiled with sliades; and nothing is brought to view but the chief, the governor, the defender of England's honour, and the enlarger of her domision. The act of violence by which be obtained the supreme power is ligbtly treated, and decently justified. In the poem on the war with Spain are some passages at least equal to the best parts of the panegyrick; and, in the conclusion, the poet ventures yet a bigher flight of Hattery, by recommending royalty to Cromwell and the nation. Cromwell was very desirous, ás appears from his conversation, related by Whitlock, of adding the title to the power of monarchy, and is supposed to have been withheld from it partly by fear of the army, and partly by fear of the laws, which, when he should govern by the name of king, would have restrained his authority. The poem on the death of the Protector seems to have been
* This seems a mistake. What has of Cromwell. Yet Mr. Noble states given rise to the notion that Waller that the patriot Hampden was tirst cutwas a relation of Cromwell, was their sin both to Cromwell and to Waller, always calling cousin, a usual custom and Cromwell therefore used to cait at that time, where any family con. Waller's inuther aunt, and Waller curanexions were, though the parties were sin, pot actually allied, -Noble's Memoirs