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Copied in Secretary Thurloe's hand ;' who has added the following Note : "With this Letter was sent the intelligence of the twenty ships coming across the Straits, and of the thirty-one ships and eight fire-ships—[word lost]—in Cadiz ;'-dạngerous ships and fire-ships, which belong all now to the vanished gene. rations ; and have sailed, one knows not whence, one knows not whither! .
PRECISELY in those same summer days there has come a brillian Swedish gentleman, as Extraordinary Ambassador to this Country from the King of Swedeland. A hot, high-tempered, clear-shining man; something fierce, metallic, in the lustre of him. Whose negotiations, festivities, impatiences, and sudden heats of temper, occupy our friend Bulstrode almost exclusively for a twelvemonth. We will say only, he has come hither to negotiate a still stricter league of amity between the two Countries ; in which welcome enterprise the Lord Protector seems rather to complicate him by endeavoring to include the Dutch in it, the Prussians and Danes in it—to make it in fact a general League, or basis for a League, of Protestants against the Power of Rome, and Antichristian Babylon at large; which in these days, under certain Austrian Kaisers, Spanish Kings, Italian Popes, whose names it may be interesting not to remember, is waxing very formidable. It was an object the Protector never ceased endeavoring after; though in this, as in other instances, with only partial, never with entire success.
Observe, however, as all Old London observes, on the night of Saturday, July 28th, 1655, the far-shining Procession by torchlight. Procession from Tower-wharf to the late Sir Abraham Williams's in Westminster;' this brilliant Swedish Gentleman with numerous gilt coaches and innumerable outriders and onlookers, making his advent then and thus ; Whitlocke, Montague, Strick. land (for we love to be particular) officially escorting him. Ob. serve next how he was nobly entertained three days in tha
Williams House, at the Protector's charges; and on the third day had his audience of the Protector; in a style of dignity worth noting by Bulstrode. Sir Oliver Flemming ; 'galleries full of ladies,’: Lifeguards in their grey frock-coats with velvet welts ;' lanes of gentlemen, seas of general public : conceive it all ; truly dignified, decorous; scene' the Banqueting House of Whitehall, hung with arras:' and how at the upper end of the room the Lord Protector was seen standing on a footpace and carpet, with a chair of state behind him ;' and how the Ambassador saluted thrice as he advanced, thrice lifting his noble hat and feathers, as the Protector thrice lifted his; and then-Bulstrode shall give the rest :
After a little pause, the Ambassador put off his hat, and began to speak, and then put it on again: and whensoever, in his speech, he named the King his master, or Sweden, or the Protector, or England, he moved his hat: especially if he mentioned anything of God, or the good of Christendom, he put off his hat very low; and the Protector still answered him in the like postures of civility. The Ambassador spake the Swedish language; and after he had done, being but short, his Secretary Berkman did interpret it in Latin to this effect -- Conceivable, without repetition, to ingenious readers. A stately, far-shining speech, done into Latin ; being but short.'
And now, after his Interpreter had done, the Protector stood still a pretty while; and, putting off his hat to the Ambassador, with a carriage full of gravity and state, he answered him in English to this effect :'
My Lord Ambassador, I have great reason to acknowledge, with thankfulness, the respects and good affection of the King your master towards this Commonwealth, and towards myself in particular. Where of I shall always retain a very grateful memory; and shall be ready upon all occasions to manifest the high 'sense and value I have of his Majesty's friendship and alliance.
My Lord, you are welcome into England; and during your abode here, you shall find all due regard and respect to be given to your person, and to the business about which you come. I am very willing to enter into a “nearer and more strict alliance and friendship with the King of Swedeland," as that which, in my judgment, will tend much to the honor and commodity of both Nations, and to the general advantage of the Protestant Interest. I shall nominate some Persons to meet and treat with your Lordship, upon such particulars as you shall communicate to them.
After which, Letters were presented, etceteras were transacted, and then with a carriage full of gravity and state, they all with. drew to their ulterior employments, and the scene vanishes.*
It is too sad a truth, the Expedition to the West Indies has failed! Sea-General Penn, Land-General Venables have themselves come home, one after the other, with the disgraceful news; and are lodged in the Tower, a fortnight ago, for quitting their post without orders. Of all which we shall have some word to say anon. But take first these glimpses into other matters, foreign and domestic, on sea and land,-as the Oblivions have chanced to leave them visible for us. “Cascais Bay' is at the mouth of the Tagus : General Blake seems still king of the waters in those parts.
• To General Blake, at Sea.'
Whitehall, 13th September, 1653. SIR,
We have received yours from Cascais Bay, of the 30th of August; and were very sensible of the wants of the Fleet as they were represented by your last before; and had given directions for three-months provisions,—which were all prepared, and sent from Portsmouth, some time since, under the convoy of the Bristol Frigate. But the Commissioners of the Admiralty have had Letters yesterday that they were forced back, by contrary winds, into Plymouth, and are there now attending for the first slack of wind, to go to sea again. And the Commissioners of the Admiralty are instructedt to quicken them by an express; although it is become very doubtful whether those provisions can now' come in time for supplying of your wants.
* Whitlocke, pp. 609, 10.
And for what concerns the fighting of the Fleet of Spain, whereof your said Letter makes mention, we judge it of great consequence and much for the service of the Commonwealth that this Fleet were fought; as well in order to the executing your former Instructions, as for the preservation of our ships and interest in the West Indies : and our meaning was, by our former Order, and still is, That the Fleet which shall come for the guarding of the Plate Fleet, as we conceive this doth, should be attempted. But in respect we have not certain knowledge of the strength of the Spanish Fleet, nor of the condition of your Fleet, which may alter every day,—we think it reasonable, at this distance, not to oblige you by any positive order to engage; but must, as we do hereby, leave it to you, who are upon the place, and know the state of things, to handle the rein as you shall find your opportunity and the ability of the Fleet to be :-as we also do for your coming home, either for want of provisions or in respect of the season of the year, at such time as you shall judge it to be for the safety of the Fleet. And we trust the Lord will guide and be with you in the management of this
Your very loving friend,
"P.S.' In case your return should be so soon as that you should not make use of the Provisions now sent you, or but little thereof, we desire you to cause them to be preserved; they may be applied to other uses.*
• To the Commissioners of Maryland.'
Whitehall, 26th September, 1655. SIRS,
It seems to us by yours of the 29th of June, and by the relatior we received by Colonel Bennet, that some mistake or scruple hath arisen concerning the sense of our Letters of the 12th of January last,—as if, by our Letters, we had intimated that we would have a stop put to the proceedings of those Commissioners who were authorized to settle the Civil Government of Maryland. Which was not at all intended by us; por so much as proposed to us by those who made addresses to us to
* Thurloe, i., 724,-in cypher; and seemingly of Thurloe's composition
obtain our said Letter : but our intention (as our said Letter doth plainly import) was only, To prevent and forbid any force or violence to be offered by either of the Plantations of Virginia or Maryland, from one to the other, upon the differences concerning their bounds; the said differences being then under the consideration of Ourself and Council here. Which, for your more full satisfaction, we have thought fit to signify to you; and rest,
Your loving friend,
• OLIVER P.*
A very obscure American Transaction ;-sufficiently lucid for our Cisatlantic purposes ; nay shedding a kind of light or twi. light into extensive dim regions of Oblivion on the other side of the Ocean. Bancroft, and the other American authorities, who have or have not noticed this Letter, will with great copiousness explain the business to the curious.
The Major-Generals are now all on foot, openly since the middle of August last ;t and an Official Declaration published on the subject. Ten military Major-Generals, Ten or finally Twelve, with militia-forces, horse and foot, at their back; coercing Royalist Revolt, and other Anarchy ; decimating' it, that is, levying Ten per cent. upon the Income of it; summoning it, cross-questioning it,-peremptorily signifying to it that it will not be allowed here, that it had better cease in this Country. They have to deal with Quakers also, with Anabaptists, Scandalous Ministers, and other forms of Anarchy. The powers of these men are great: much need that they be just men and wise, men fearing God and hating covetousness ;-all turns on that! They will be supportable, nay welcome and beneficial, if so. Insupportable enough, if not so :-as indeed what official person, or man under any form, except the form of a slave well-collared and driven by whips, is or ought to be supportable 'if not so? We subjoin a
and other forms salso, with Anabaptistaountry.
* Thurloe, iv., 55.