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fidence appear to have made them so presumptuous that their chief officers could not abstain from some internal dissentions. "There was no good understanding,” says Clarendon, “between the officers of the army." The army was mostly composed of Scots; and yet, by Clarendon's testimony, there was a proposal to supersede old David Leslie in the command, and Buckingham, by the same authority, appears to have been desirous that the honour of the chief command should be conferred upon himself, urging that as it was unreasonable, while they were in Scotland, to put any other in command over Leslie, so now it was unreasonable, while they were in England, and hoped to increase the army by the access of the English, upon whom their principal dependence would be, to expect they would be willing to serve under Leslie; and it would not consist with the honour of any peer of England to receive his orders. Charles was surprised, and urged against the duke his youth; the duke, with sufficient self-confidence, urged again, that Henry IV. of France had won a great battle when he was younger. The king, however, refused to listen to the counsels of his ill-adviser, and the duke did not recover from his ill humour while the army remained in Worcester. The army itself, which in truth must have been a strange array of ragged regiments, felt comfortable; they liked their quarters, and did not desire to quit them till they should be thoroughly refreshed. They were not desirous of marching farther on; Worcester was a good post, standing in a fertile region in the very heart of the kingdom ; and if Cromwell must be met, it appears to have been generally thought it would be better to meet him there. So Charles abandoned his first intention to proceed on to London, and every effort was made to strengthen the position by repairing the breaches of the walls, and throwing up forts; and it is impossible to resist the impression that there was a generally diffused faith that, in this place the tide of conflict and conquest was to turn, and now “the king would enjoy his own again.”

Even yet they did not know the man who was marching upon them, they did not understand as yet the shrewdness of that eye, and the resources of that brain. The battle of Worcester, it will be seen at once, differs from any of the other great battles which Cromwell fought, and where his genius rose victorious. Marston and Naseby, and even Dunbar, were on the open plain ; but Worcester was a city in possession, and the Royalists no doubt expected, from the security of their position, a protracted siege. Worcester stands, as the reader knows, on the right bank of the Severn, and something had been done by the Royalists to increase its means of resistance. Cromwell, of course, found all the bridges broken down and destroyed; not a boat or punt was to be seen, while, apparently securely fortified, there on the opposite side were şeen the heights of the beautiful old city, not less strong than beautiful. Even Clarendon seems scarcely able to repress his feelings of admiration, as he says,

Cromwell, without troubling himself with the formality of a siege, marched directly on as to a prey, and possessed himself at once of the hill and all the other places of advantage with very little opposition.” How did he perform this feat? It may be supposed he knew what he would do before he arrived on the scene of action. While the Royalists felt their security from the broad river of the Severn, and the narrower river of the little Teme, the great general had no sooner arrived than he proceeded at once to throw his army astride across the two rivers by means of pontoons; then he laid a bridge across the Teme close to its junction with the Severn. He used no delay, none of the circumspection which it was supposed he would so naturally and necessarily employ. He soon forced his way through the surprised and weak defenders against the ingress, as the troops landed by the bridges; and in fact, the battle of Worcester may be said to have been fought in Worcester streets. Cromwell himself soon seized upon

the of what was called the royal fort, and played them upon the fugitives. The battle raged all round, at every point, although it appears to have been decided under the walls of the town. There Cromwell, with his own Ironsides around him, held the conflict for three hours, “as stiff a contest,” he wrote afterwards, "for many hours, including both sides of the river, as he had ever seen.”


Some attempts have been made to show that Charles acquitted himself with extraordinary bravery on this occasion ; the effort is not successful, the description of the king's heroism at the battle of Worcester has no clear foundation. It is more probable that he looked down upon the rout of battle from the Cathedral tower; and at last, seeing all hope gone and all courage lost, he cried out, “I had rather that you would shoot me than keep me alive to see the sad consequences of this fatal day." The army was cut to pieces, most of the great generals and leaders were taken prisoners, the streets were filled with the bodies of horses and men. By six in the evening Charles had fled through St. Martin's gate. Just outside the town he tried to rally his men ; but it was to no purpose, Worcester lay behind him, its houses pillaged, its citizens slain for his sake, and he forced to fly for his life. And who could have expected any other ending? A boy like Charles, with such an army, a handful of men badly supplied with ammunition, the leaders of the army quarrelling among themselves; and these before a veteran like Cromwell, with all England at his back The bravery and devotedness of the men who followed Charles may command respect, and shed some lustre over what must be regarded as a worthless cause, but that is all. So Charles fled through the streets in piteous despair on the evening of that third of September, Cromwell's fortunate day, the anniversary of the battle of Dunbar. At ten o'clock at night he sat

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down, as he says, weary and scarcely able to write ; yet he wrote to the Parliament of England : “The dimensions of this mercy are above my thoughts, it is for aught I know a crowning mercy." They still remember that day in Worcester, and still point out many of the places connected with the story of the battle : and in Perry Wood, where Cromwell first took up his position, there is a tree, which the peasant shows to those who desire to see it, where the devil, Cromwell's intimate friend, appeared to him and gave him the promise of victory. The railway indeed runs over the ground where the hottest engageinent took place ; Sidbury and St. Martin's have disappeared, and large lime trees grow on the site of the Royal Fort, where the Royalist guns were seized by Cromwell and turned upon the Royalist army; but the rooms are still shown where Charles slept, and where the Duke of Hamilton, who was wounded in the action, died. Powick old bridge, which occupies a conspicuous place in the story of the battle, still stands crooked and narrow, spanning with massive arches and abutments the famous streams of the Teme and Laughern. Perhaps the most curious item memorializing the famous conflict is in the corporation records, with reference to the poor Scotch soldiers : “Paid for pitch and rosin to perfume the Hall after the Scots, two shillings.” Indeed that fine old Hall needed perfuming and cleansing, for it was drenched with blood, but rather the blood of the English than the

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