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DISSOLVING THE PARLIAMENT.
The Parliament met for the first time in 1640, which, afterwards sentenced to death King Charles the first. That assembly had likewise abolished the house of peers, and was therefore looked upon as being the only authority ruling England. However Cromwell having had an opportunity of displaying high military talents and showing his bravery, prudence and even dissimulation, acquires at length a boundless influence among his military companions. He availed himself of it by putting an end to the arbitrary authority of the Parliament, and on April the 10 th 1683, having entered unexpected, be broke off the debates, briefly upbraided several members with their vices and unpopularity, declaring that God having done with them, the assembly was dissolved. Immediately, and on an agreed signal, some soldiers are entering the house, drive out the members and shut the doors.
Such is the scene that Benjamin West has described with a very high talent. Cromwell in the center of the composition stands there with a calm, dignified and cool air, ordering the sceptre to be taken away, as being a bright rattle which seemed to be the emblem of the authority which the Parliament usurped.
This picture was painted for Lord Grosvenor, and forms part of his collection, it was very well engraved in 17.. by John Hall.
Breadth, 12 feet 10 inches; height,. 9 feet, 7 inches.