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received with the blazing of bonfires, the ringing of bells, and the joyful shouts of the people. The Presbyterian members, who had been driven out by the "purging" of Pride, hurried back to their seats again, and, after issuing writs for a general election, dissolved March 16th. Thus passed away the notable "Long Parliament," which had been in existence for twenty years.

The new assembly was termed a Convention Parliament, because it was called without royal authority. It met about a month later, including ten members of the House of Lords. Meanwhile Monk had been in communication with the exiled Charles, who issued a declaration of pardon to all for past offences, "excepting only such persons as shall hereafter be excepted by Parlia ment." One week after this declaration was received, May 8th, Charles II. was proclaimed King, and the fleet which had been sent to convey him from Holland to Dover arrived at London, May 29th, amid every demonstration of joy. Bells clanged, bonfires flashed all the way to London, flags waved, and the frenzied people shouted themselves hoarse. There was sarcastic point in the remark of the King, that it must be his own fault he had not come before, since every one seemed to be so glad to see him.

A striking feature of his triumphal journey to London was the Commonwealth army drawn up at Blackheath to give him welcome. The soldiers were silent, but sullen, for it was a bitter sight to them. The Puritans were equally. sour, for they looked upon the funeral of their fondest hopes; but there was no help for it. The Commonwealth had perished because of the quarrels of its


The Puritans were devoutly religious, yet bigoted to the last degree, and they committed the fatal mistake of insisting that other people should accept their pattern of religion. They were lacking in all the elements of sweet charity, and frowned upon the most innocent amusements. The Long Parliament ordered that Christmas should be kept as a fast day, and the most trifling breaches of morality were punished with rigorous severity. It was this spirit that was carried across the ocean and led a governor in Massachusetts to reprove a party of little children for dancing round a May-pole; that caused the persecution of Roger Williams and the Quakers, and that carried out that frightful tragedy, the Salem witchcraft.

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OME of those English kings were made of poor stuff, and Charles II. was among the worst. His years of exile and struggle had apparently disheartened him and left him. with no ambition except that of obtaining all the enjoyment possible out of the remainder of his life. His whole love being centred in himself, he had none left for his country. He had no conception of such a thing as duty, no respect for any man or woman, and wanted to be King simply because it gave him unlimited means of gratifying every yearning of his vicious nature.

By a pleasant fiction the beginning of his reign was dated back twelve years before, that is, from the day of his father's execution. The Commonwealth troops were disbanded, but the King retained a select guard of five thousand men, from which in time a standing army grew.

No reign could have begun under more promising prospects than that of Charles II. He was heartily welcomed by the great majority of his people. He had talents, a pleasing temper, and a courteous manner, but he was utterly lacking in moral principle. He secretly favored the Catholic religion, but it was as a matter of policy, for he would accept no faith that put the least restraint upon his shameless life. In short, the times that were ushered in by his reign were a complete and absolute reaction from the rigid morality of the Puritan rule. Immorality reigned everywhere.

The new Parliament passed an Act of Indemnity, granting a general pardon, but excepting from its benefits the judges who had condemned Charles I. to death. Some of these were imprisoned for life, and thirteen were executed; but most of the others had already fled from the country. Among the fugitives were William Goffe, Edward Whalley, and Colonel John Dixwell, who found refuge in the New England colonies, though frequent search was made for them. One of the silliest revenges conceivable was the digging up of the bodies of Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and Pride on the anniversary of the late King's death and hanging them in chains at Tyburn, after which they were buried at the foot of the gallows among the remains of highway robbers and the lowest of criminals. The Episcopal form of service was restored, and in the course of the following few years harsh laws were passed against the Nonconformists, or Dissenters. These included the Presbyterians, Independents or Congregationalists, Baptists, and the Society of Friends, or Quakers. It was in 1662 that the Act of Uniformity was passed. This ordered every clergyman who did not assent and consent to everything in the prayer-book, and who did not use it in his Sunday services, to surrender his church. It meant that he must leave his home and go out in the world, to seek in the best way he could a living for himself, his wife, and children. On August 24th of that year two thousand clergymen abandoned their homes, among them being preachers of the great towns, as well as the poor, hard-working country parsons.

They were martyrs for conscience' sake, and continued to preach on the hillsides or seashore, or wherever listeners could be found. The King, the bishops, and the Cavalier Parliament, angered by what they looked upon as contumacy, passed yet severer laws against the Dissenters. The "Conventicle Act" forbade them to worship anywhere except in the parish churches. Such oppressive commands can seldom be enforced. Little companies continued to meet in barns, in out-of-the-way places, in caves, glens, and the recesses of the sombre woods. Sentinels were kept on watch, and generally managed to give notice of the approach of guards and constables, who, when they could, seized the Dissenters and hustled them off to prison. During the reign of Charles II. eight thousand Dissenters died in the jails, which were filthy, crowded breedingplaces of disease. The Scottish Parliament, which Bishop Burnet said was 'mostly drunk," was as merciless as the English in persecuting the Dissenters, for Scotland had again become a separate kingdom. The tangle in Ireland was settled by Cromwell's colonists giving up a third of their gains; but many Irish claimants protested that, though they had no share in the rebellion of 1641, they could not obtain restitution nor pay for their losses.

Among those who suffered religious persecution was a man who had learned the trade of a tinker. He had been rough and wild, but was converted, and, in

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