My predecessor and myself have been in correspondence on this subject with the Board of Works; it often seems as if success were about to come, but it slips away, and everything has to be begun again. I should like to show you Kilronan Abbey, an old abbey unroofed by Cromwell. The people have gone there for centuries, kneeling in the snow and rain. We are sadly in need of subscription.
"The heart," said he, "warms the genius, but in Pitt the genius withers the heart, which is a very different thing"; and so it is that Cromwell and he were not dissimilar in many of their attributes. Indeed, it is said that Napoleon never tired of quoting or having quoted to him some striking characteristic of Cromwell.
Cromwell now took upon himself the right of visitation, not only of the exempt monasteries, but of the others as well, suspending the jurisdiction of the bishops while his enquiries were going forward, and thus emphasising the doctrine that that jurisdiction was derived from the King.
What alone gave some stability to all these unsettled humors was the great influence, both civil and military, acquired by Oliver Cromwell.
In the mean time other attempts were made to smelt iron with pit-coal. Dudley says that Cromwell and the then Parliament granted a patent to Captain Buck for the purpose; and that Cromwell himself, Major Wildman, and various others were partners in the patent.
"Am I then to report," said Wildrake, "an it please you, that you cannot stead Colonel Everard in this matter?" "Unconditionally, ay but, taken conditionally, the answer may be otherwise," answered Cromwell. "I see thou art not able to fathom my purpose, and therefore I will partly unfold it to thee.
It may be due to this conviction of being one of the chosen, like Cromwell and Gordon, soldiers of Christ, that he met all adjurations for him to take care of his precious life with fanatical unconcern. He communicated to the Cabinet, at the close of the conflict, how he had appointed to confer alone and without guards to terrify the emissary, a noted Confederate.
"Violence," he said to himself, "would spoil all; D'Artagnan, my friend, prove to this young serpent that thou art not only stronger, but more subtle than he is." "Ah!" he said, making a low bow, "why did you not begin by saying that, Monsieur Mordaunt? What! are you sent by General Oliver Cromwell, the most illustrious captain of the age?"
The story of Ramsey and his rambles appealed to Cromwell, who talked tirelessly, and to the engineer, who listened long; and in time the habitants of Cromwell's domains, which covered a country some seven hundred miles square, all knew the story and all joined in the search. Beyond the pass of the Peace an old Cree caught up with them and made signs, for he was deaf and dumb.
Into thy hands I commend my spirit, for thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, thou God of truth!" Historia Martyrum Anglorum. On the 19th of June. Hall says they were insolent to Cromwell on their trial. "By the hand of God," according to Mr. Secretary Bedyll.