CHAPTER III.
THE NEW MODEL ARMY AND THE KING.

IN his desire to escape from the undoubted evils of military government, Cromwell had the best part of the army behind him. Nor did it, at the moment, appear very difficult to attain this object by coming to terms with the King, especially as the army leaders were prepared to make concessions to Charles's religious scruples. Claiming freedom for themselves in matters of conscience, they were ready to concede it in return, and, for the first time since he had ridden out of Oxford, Charles was allowed to receive the ministrations of his own chaplains, and to join in offering prayer and praise in the familiar language of the Prayer Book of the Church. It was a long step towards the settlement of that religious question which had created so impassable a gulf between the King and the Presbyterians.

The constitutional question remained to be discussed, and the burden of framing terms to bind the King fell upon Cromwell's son-in-law, Ireton, rather than upon Cromwell himself. Cromwell indeed would

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