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the rule of the Parliament had become exceed. ingly disliked by the great body of the nation. Charles was the lawful heir of the long vacant throne; and a strong party was fully prepared to invite him back to England, and to welcome him as king. The restoration of Charles II, was planned by the royalists, and General Monk was the person who was chiefly concerned in bringing about this event.
Monk had always been attached to the king's side; but during the time of Cromwell's Protectorate, he had served in the army under the Parliament. Now, however, the period seemed to have arrived for bringing back the former mode of government ; and Monk rejoiced to be once more engaged in support of the royal
But he arranged all his plans with great secrecy and caution, and indeed this was necessary in order to ensure his success. He then left Scotland, where he had been hitherto, and proceeded with his army to England. No one was fully acquainted with the exact object he had in view ; but it was generally known that he was going to attempt some reformation of the Parliament. As he passed through the country, many of the principal inhabitants came to him with addresses, expressing a hope that he would restore to them the privileges of which they had been so long deprived, and particularly that he would adopt means for electing a new Parliament which would govern according to law. Monk arrived in London ; he was introduced to the Parliament, and had an amicable interview with the members. He pressed upon them the necessity of taking measures to satisfy the wishes of the nation; and though he could not bring them over to his own views, he yet negociated so wisely that, in a very short time, a dissolution of the Parliament took place, and a new one was formed, to the great joy of the people of London; for they now began to hope that better days, days of peace and justice, were really approaching.
The members of this new Parliament were mostly royalists, and General Monk saw that the time was come for him to carry out his plan for the restoration of the king. One day therefore, when he thought the way was clear before him, he gave directions to the president of the Council to inform the Parliament, that Sir John Granville, a servant of the king, had been sent over with a letter from his Majesty to the House of Commons, and that he was now waiting at the door. Sir John Granville was called in; the letter was read, and orders were given that it should be published immediately. This letter contained a declaration from the king, promising a general amnesty to all parties, and liberty of conscience; and it gave very general satisfaction. An invitation was sent to Charles, without loss of time, entreating him to come and take the government into his own hands; and preparations were made for welcoming him with every token of affection and respect.
Charles was soon on his way to England. He landed at Dover, and was there met by General Monk, who had been, as we have seen, the chief cause of his restoration; and very cordial was the salutation which took place between the loyal subject and his grateful sovereign. Monk had indeed well deserved the thanks of his royal master. And there were many others to share the joyful feelings of that day. Crowds assembled to welcome back the king, and to testify their loyalty by shouts and congratulations. The mayor of Dover came forward, and presented his staff, the badge of his office. Then he offered the king a magnificent Bible, which Charles accepted, saying that he loved it above all things in the world. A splendid canopy was raised, under which he stood, and talked with General Monk and others, until the stately coach appeared which was to convey him to Canterbury. A bright and happy day was that 29th of May, 1660; and you know that we still commemorate its anniversary, and celebrate, as the year rolls round, the Restoration of Charles II.
I think it will please you to read a description of the public rejoicings on that occasion, as it was given by a person who himself witnessed them. So I will here copy for you an extract from the account of John Evelyn, a gentleman who wrote a very entertaining Diary of the events of those days, from which, I dare say, we shall soon have to borrow again. On this celebrated 29th of May, he wrote thus in his journal.-" This day his majesty Charles II came to London, after a long and sad exile, and calamitous suffering both of the king and church, being seventeen years. This was also his birthday, and with a triumph of about 20,000 horse and foot, brandishing their swords, and shouting with inexpressible joy; the ways strewed with flowers, the bells ringing, the streets hung with tapestry, fountains running with wine; the mayor, aldermen, and all their companions, in their liveries, chains of gold, and banners ; lords and nobles, clad in cloth of silver, gold, and velvet ; the windows and balconies all set with ladies; trumpets, music, and myriads of people flocking even so far as from Rochester, so as they were seven hours in passing the city, even from two o'clock in the afternoon till nine at night. I stood in the Strand, and beheld it, and blessed God; and all this was done without one drop of bloodshed, and by that very army which
rebelled against him ! But it was the Lord's doing; for such a rebellion was never mentioned in any history, ancient or modern, since the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity; nor so joyful a day, or so bright, ever seen in this nation; this happening when to expect or effect it was beyond all human policy. The eagerness of men, women, and children to see his majesty, and kiss his hands, was so great, that he had scarce leisure to eat for some days, coming as they did from all parts of the nation; and the king, being as willing to give them that satisfaction, would have none kept out, but gave free access to all sorts of people."
This will give you some idea of the state of people's minds in general at that period. And here we will, for the present, leave Charles, and reserve the history of his reign for the next chapter.