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had just been. He therefore hurried on board the fleet, and sailed with it against Cadiz, under the command of Lord Wimbledon ; after which he also bore a part in the equally unfortunate affair against the Island of Rhe.
Thus employed, he continued until about the age of one-andtwenty, when a peace left his actions undirected; and the better to improve his experience in the art of war, he passed over as a volunteer into Holland, then the greatest school for soldiers in Europe, and was present at many battles and sieges. There his reputation was sufficiently fair to enable him to muster a troop of two hundred men ; of whom the one half were volunteers to his service, and the rest retainers in his pay. At the head of this body he fought under General Lord Goring, and repeatedly deserved his approbation. At last, some affront which he conceived offered to him by the Prince of Orange, induced him to turn his thoughts homewards, where the confusions of civil warfare were already beginning to ferment. Indifference to a contest of this description was not to be expected from a young soldier like Monk, and he devoted his talents to the royal interest. Having obtained the command of a regiment, he was employed, under the Earl of Leicester, against the Irish insurgents, and quickly attracted notice by the dexterity of his movements and the steadiness of his valour. The amiableness of his private character may best be inferred from the affectionate familiarity with which the soldiers called him honest George Monk, a distinction which they never found reason to withdraw from him even in the days he stood highest in honours. So even was his bearing, and so moderate his politics, that when the army was recalled from Ireland, he fell under suspicions of disaffection, and was suspended in his command, and even ordered to the King at Oxford, there to justify his loyalty. Upon this occasion, his general reputation for sincerity and honour was of great avail; he protested his innocence in the most earnest manner, and, in the absence of all proof, there was no alternative, but to dismiss an enquiry which it was weakness to institute. Thus restored to his regiment, he soon after was present at the siege of Nantwich, where the Royalists, under Lord Byron, met with a defeat from Fairfax, and Colonel Monk was taken prisoner. Transported to the Tower of London, he continued to suffer, during the space of two years under the most rigorous imprisonment, and the strictest poverty. Once, indeed, the king sent him a present of a hundred guineas, and repeatedly the Parliament offered him the amplest temptations to espouse their faction. Distress, however, could not break his honour, and he remained inflexible, until Cromwell, sensible of the importance of his support, became in person his seducer. The latter, with all the subtlety of his character, professed to recommend Monk to an employment, which, while it should be perfectly consistent with his own principles of honour, should also be reconcileable to the views of the Parliament. This was the suppression of the Irish insurrection, a tumult of feuds alike injurious to both the great contending parties, and equally deplored by all sides ; so that whoever undertook to put an end to them, must do his country a good, for which both king and parliament would be grateful. When this proposal was accepted, and the appointment made out by the Parliament, the hopes of Charles I. it must be remembered, were all nearly extinguished; and Oliver clearly foresaw, that once formally linked with it, Monk must either adhere to his side, and obey its orders, or hazard the adversity of being branded as a double traitor. The former consequence, as that more naturally to be expected, was the one relied on, and but too soon fully proved; for Monk speedily found himself necessitated to fight against the Duke of Ormond in Ireland, and even against Charles II. himself in Scotland. After various operations in the former country, he was at last besieged in Dundalk, by Ormond, during the year 1649, when a mutiny among the troops compelled him to surrender the town, and the Parliamentary cause was in consequence for a time lost throughout the island. In the latter country he was left at the head of seven thousand men, when, in 1651, the young king made his gallant descent upon England with the Scotch army, and Cromwell was obliged to turn from the reduction of the North, to arrest the strides of royalty towards the South.
The trust of imposing the authority of the English Parliament upon Scotland having thus devolved upon Monk, he executed his commission with a precise dispatch, which clearly established his ability as a commander. Laying siege to Stirling Castle, which was gallantly manned and well provisioned, he forced a surrender, and obtained possession of all the state papers
of the kingdom. Immediately providing one or two diversions for the purpose of quelling the risings which were effected by the nobility in different quarters, he next proceeded against the strong fortifications of Dundee. The great strength of this town had lately made it a general store for all the wealth of the adjoining counties, and it was now stocked with rich furniture, plate and money, as a certain place of safety. This, therefore, was an attack of consequence, and the better to inspirit his men, Monk promised them the gross licence of plunder in case of success. Thus cheered, they made their assault with vigour, cleared a breach without delay, and carried the place; while their general, after the savage manner of Cromwell, for once tarnished his victory, and disgraced his name by a massacre of the inhabitants. The object of this barbarity was to facilitate the success of the campaign by terrifying other places from resistance, and the example speedily produced its effect. The principal forts volunteered a submission ; the leading nobles, with Argyle at their head, were prompt to solicit terms of pardon; and even the rugged and hitherto unvanquished Highlands acquiesced in the common subjection. Having thus rapidly completed the purposes of his command, Monk remained for some time at the head of affairs in Scotland, and by the equality of his administration, was able to give content to a restless people, who had long and deeply hated their subduers as natural enemies; while he made his authority still more agreeable to the army, with whom he found it prudent still firmly to cement those feelings of regard, which they had already evinced towards him, and he afterwards converted to so noble an end.
Here he continued undisturbed until the year 1652, when, in consequence of a partial success obtained by the Dutch fleet under Van Tromp over Admiral Blake, he was summoned from Scotland to exert his talents upon the element in which he had first fought for his country. He was accordingly appointed one of the admirals of the fleet, which gave battle to the enemy on the 2d of July, and during the day particularly distinguished himself. One of the first broadsides severed in two the body of Deane, a gallant officer, and the second in command, by a chain shot, at that time a new invention, generally ascribed to the pensionary De Witte. Monk, who sailed in the same vessel, saw the fatality, and had the presence of mind to throw his cloak over the body, and, by earnest exhortations, keep the men fast to their duty, lest the unusual appearance of so raking a wound might strike a panic on their hearts. In this manner he remained busily engaged at the same spot until an opportunity presented itself to remove the remains below decks. Meantime, the action (a more particular account of which will be found in the memoir of Admiral Blake, who commanded in chief on the occasion) endured for two days with signal resolution, and then terminated in favour of the English. Another engagement followed, under the same authorities, on the 2d of the next month, and was disputed with even more determined obstinacy; for it was only after a repeated fighting for three successive days, that the English proved decidedly victorious, and Monk received double praises for his gallantry. Even Cromwell himself now came forward to acknowledge his merits, and at a public feast given in celebration of these successes at Guildhall, hung a costly chain of gold round his neck. After this a peace was negociated, and he resumed his command in Scotland, where he remained in the exercise of temperate power, until the death of Cromwell and the apathy of his son Richard, left him an open path for more interesting transactions.
Monk's principal characteristics as a commander, were strict discipline, great coolness, and an intrepid promptitude for sudden danger which it was difficult to surprise. Of this he gave a conspicuous proof just after the termination of the foregoing war. Great discontent prevailed among the sailors, in consequence of some arrears in their pay, and a disappointment in the distribution of their prize money. One day they gathered in crowds round the Navy Office, and vociferously demanded money. Monk appeared, and told then there were one thousand five hundred ships to be sold, for which he assured them the proceeds, as soon as received, should be promptly paid off. With this answer they appeared satisfied and dispersed; but in the evening they collected again, to the number of five thousand, and proceeded with arms to Whitehall. Monk, who was at the time engaged with Cromwell, overheard the tumult, and issuing from the Palace, met the body at Charing Cross. A few words satisfied him of the height of their excitement, and consequently of the uselessness of remonstrance. He therefore drew his sword, dashed into
the thickest of them, and cut down several of the leaders. Such was the effect produced by this, alacrity, that they couched their weapons, and after hearing a reproach or two from him for doubting a word he had never broken to them, they retired at his bidding, and quietly sought their homes.
The grand issue of Monk’s plans and movements henceforward was the restoration of the exiled king, a memorable event, admirably conducted, and so perfectly known, that there is nothing left in this place, but to re-echo the praises which the nobility of the action, and the prudence of its execution, have so often, and so deservedly received. Marching directly into England to intercept the possibility of any dangerous aspirations upon the part of Lambert, who was the only man likely to rival his views, he gradually purified his ranks of the most factious members, and upon quartering his army in Westminster, avowed his intention of supporting the interests of the Parliament. In return for this, he honestly told the members, that he expected they would support the interests of the people, by which means peace and happiness might once more become the enjoyment of their distracted country. The greater an emergency, the more serviceable is plain dealing ; and upon this occasion, the candid sense with which Monk spoke and acted, most triumphantly favoured his designs. The Long Parliament, that desperate focus of all the crime and misery which overran the three kingdoms, during the century in which it abused every principle and privilege of legislation, at last came to the decent resolution of dissolving its power. A new election was ordained; and that single measure involved every other consequence of success. An unbiassed appeal to the people secured the return of reasonable men to the councils of the state; the House of Peers was dexterously thrown open to the high functions of the Lords, without a debate, or even an order ; things were allowed to take their own course, and they fell pleasantly into their natural channel ; and it now required only to utter the word, and that great point for which so much had been dared, and so much suffered, was sure to be found at the goal. This was a beautiful posture in the affairs of a mighty nation : every breast was big with hope, and confident of success, and yet so much blood had been spilt, and so many lives martyred for it, that it seemed as if the blessing was too consummate for utterance, and men agreed,