Majesty. And no doubt Cromwell did feel like this at the moment he said it, the Lord not yet having put it into his heart to act upon the text:
"Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow." These are described by Herbert as halcyon days for the King. He was able to live in something reminiscent of his old style, holding audiences and riding abroad hunting. But never was he allowed to forget the real state of the case. He was guarded not as kings, but as prisoners are guarded. When he rode abroad it was on parole. While he slept, Colonel Whalley's sentries, relieving each other at regular intervals, guarded his every way of escape. The flattering attentions that he received from the commanders were all part of a calculated plan to induce him to throw the weight of the Crown on to their side in an unstable balance of domestic power politics. And if they found they could not use him, they would not hesitate to discard--and perhaps destroy him.
THE HEADS OF THE PROPOSALS
OLIVER Cromwell was playing a hazardous and complicated game, in which the time factor was all-important. He had to come to terms with the King, if at all, in the shortest possible time. For Cromwell can hardly have credited the Parliamentary chiefs with failing to perceive that their one chance lay in forestalling him, by getting the King to head a two-nation-wide coalition of Royalists, Scottish Presbyterians and English Parliamentarians against the now plainly threatened menace of a military tyranny. And on the other hand, the mere fact of the army commanders being known to be in negotiation with the King would be bound to give a handle to the Agitators for persuading the soldiers that the pass was being sold and the revolutionary cause betrayed.
The proposals of the army for a peace settlement were drafted with a promptitude that reveals the authentic Cromwellian touch. They were, after discussion in the Council of the Army, embodied in a document known as the Heads of the Proposals,
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Publication information: Book title: King Charles the Martyr, 1643-1649. Contributors: Esmé Wingfield-Stratford - Author. Publisher: Hollis & Carter. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1950. Page number: 203.
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