Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations - Vol. 2

Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations - Vol. 2

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Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations - Vol. 2

Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

THE LITTLE PARLIAMENT.

BETWEEN Worcester Battle on the 3d of September, 1651, and the Dismissal of the Long Parliament on the 20th of April, 1653, are Thirty-one very important months in the History of Oliver, which, in all our Books and Historical rubbish-records, lie as nearly as possible dark and vacant for us. Poor Dryasdust has emitted, and still emits, volumes of confused noise on the subject; but in the way of information or illumination, of light in regard to any fact, physiognomic feature, event or fraction of an event, as good as nothing whatever. Indeed, onwards from this point where Oliver's own Letters begin to fail us, the whole History of Oliver, and of England under him, becomes very dim;--swimming most indistinct in the huge Tomes of Thurloe and the like, as in shoreless lakes of ditchwater and bilgewater; a stagnancy, a torpor, and confused horror to the human soul! No historical genius, not even a Rushworth's, now presides over the matter: nothing but bilgewater Correspondences; vague jottings of a dull fat Bulstrode: vague printed babblements of this and the other Carrion Heath or Flunkey Pamphleteer of the Blessed Restoration Period, writing from ignorant rumor and for ignorant rumor, from the winds and to the winds. After long reading in very many Books, of very unspeakable quality, earning for yourself only incredibility, inconceivability, and darkness visible, you begin to perceive that in the Speeches of Oliver himself once well read, such as they are, some shadowy outlines, authentic prefigurements of what the real History of the Time may have been, do first, in the huge inane night, begin to loom forth for you,--credible, conceivable in some measure, there for the first time. My reader's patience is henceforth to be still more severely tried: there is unluckily no help for it, as matters stand.

Great lakes of watery Correspondence relating to the History of . . .

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