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Finding the boys to gather round him, he endeavoured to ingratiate himself into their favour, by a fpeech adapted to their young minds, wherein he bitterly inveighed against the cruelty of government, and enumerated to them the enormous gabels that were laid on all the neceffaries of life. And having, after feveral repetitions, made them acquire the fubftance of his fpeech, he directed them to disperse themfelves through every ftreet, repeating their leffon as they went, even to the very windows of the viceroy's palace.
The number of thefe young infurgents went on increafing, till they amounted to upwards of five thoufand choice fturdy lads, about fixteen or feventeen years of age. With thefe he entered the market-place, on Sunday the 7th of July, and raised fuch difturbances among the collectors of the gabel, and the country and retail fruiterers, that the taxes could not be collected; and the fruit in the fcuffle being thrown about, the boys fcrambled for it, to the great entertainment of the fpectators.
At length affairs, as he intended they fhould, grew more ferious. The rabble flocked together in great numbers, as well
wards Lord Chief Baron Pengelly, in Chefhunt. This gentleman is supposed to have been a natural fon of Richard's, and was the only one of his family that feems to have fhewn an affectionate regard towards him.
Inconceivable was the abuse bestowed on the protector Richard, both by the cavaliers and the republicans; the former exhibiting him as a subject of derifion; the latter, as a man of little or no religion.
A writer who favours the loyalifts, fays, "that he had not one of the great qualities of his father, and hardly any of a gentleman." This, however, is only the language of prejudice and party. It is true, he was not very converfant in public bufinefs; but this could not be expected, both from his inattention to it, and the little experience it was in his power to acquire, as he was almoft totally excluded from the affairs of government during his father's life. While he retained his elevated rank, it is certain he was not looked upon in that defpicable light his enemies pretend. The counties and towns, nay the three kingdoms, ftrove which fhould be moft lavish in his praises, and in profeffing their attachment to his government. Foreign powers alfo paid
him their congratulations in a flattering manner; and feveral of our English commanders, celebrated for their fkill in the military art, did not think it beneath them to accept the honour of knighthood from his hands.
Nor did he want capacity, as reprefented. There are facts which prove the contrary. In his answer to the French ambaffador's condolence and congratulation on his acceffion, he is faid to have "carried himself difcreetly, and better than was expected;" and his speech to his parliament is allowed to be fuperior to that of his chancellor, though the latter was confeffedly a perfon of abilities.
It has also been faid, that he wanted fpirit and delicacy of feeling, and that he tamely gave up his power: but this, certainly, is only a popular miftake; for when the army deferted him, feeing Whalley's regiment of horfe filing off with the reft, he opened his breast, and defired them to put an end to his life and misfortunes at once. And when the perfidious Fleetwood, Difbrowe, and others, endeavoured to perfuade him to diffolve his parliament, nay threatened him if he did not, he withstood all their argumest', their threats, and their folicitations, until the next morning,
morning, though he had none near him to fupport his arguments and his firmness, except Secretary Thurlowe.
Neither was he wanting in a proper fenfibility of the inconftancy of the nation, when he was obliged to leave Whitehall. As his servants were removing the furniture, &c. he bid them be very careful of two old trunks which stood in the wardrobe. A friend that was near, furprized at this extraordinary care, afked what they contained? "Nothing lefs," replied Richard," than the lives and fortunes of all the good people of England." The trunks were filled with addreffes which had been fent from every part of the kingdom, expreffing that the falvation of the nation depended on his fafety, and his acceptance of the fovereignty: nearly all of them proffer him their lives and fortunes, and several of them fubjoin, " all that is dear to us."
During the last years of his life, no perfons were permitted to visit him, but such as had strong recommendations from fome of his old acquaintance, as being of agreeable chearful converfation, and of ftrict honour. Upon the introduction of any new acquaintance whom they recommended, the following ceremony
was always observed: after having paffed an hour or two in converfation and drinking, Richard, ftarting up, took the candle, and the reft of the company (who all knew, except the last admitted man, what was going forward) took up the bottle and the glasses, and followed the quondam Protector to a dirty garret, in which nothing was to be feen but a little round hair trunk. Mr. Cromwell, having drawn the trunk into the middle of the room, and being feated aftride it, then called for a bumper of wine, with which he drank profperity to Old England; all the company did the fame, and laft of all the new member, who is defired by Richard to take care and fit light, for he had no less than the, lives and fortunes of all the good people of England under him. The trunk was then opened, and the original addresses, before mentioned, fhewn to him with great mirth and laughter. This was his usual method of initiating a new acquaintance.
The reflections thrown on him by the republicans, chiefly arofe from an unguarded expreffion of Richard's, which is faid to have contributed, in a great measure, to his being depofed. An inferior officer, who had publicly murmured at the advancement in the