Oliver Cromwell


English Puritan Leader, Lord Protector of the Realm, Statesman and General

Author Quotes

I have not the particular shining bauble or feather in my cap for crowds to gaze at or kneel to, but I have power and resolution for foes to tremble at.

Lieutenant-General Cromwell...a member of the House of Commons, long famous for godliness and zeal to his country, of great note for his service in the House, accepted of a commission at the very beginning of this war, wherein he served his country faithfully, and it was observed God was with him, and he began to be renowned.

A man never rises so high as when he knows not whither he is going.

He thought secrecy a virtue, and dissimulation no vice, and simulation, that is in plain English, a lie, or perfidiousness to be a tolerable fault in case of necessity.

I need pity. I know what I feel. Great place and business in the world is not worth looking after.

Mr. Lely, I desire you would use all your skill to paint my picture truly like me, and not flatter me at all; but remark all these roughnesses, pimples, warts, and everything as you see me, otherwise I will never pay a farthing for it.

A man-of-war is the best ambassador.

He was a practical mystic, the most formidable and terrible of all combinations, uniting an aspiration derived from the celestial and supernatural with the energy of a mighty man of action; a great captain, but off the field seeming, like a thunderbolt, the agent of greater forces than himself; no hypocrite, but a defender of the faith; the raiser and maintainer of the Empire of England.

I tell you we will cut off his head with the crown upon it.

My design is to make what haste I can to be gone. [last words]

A perfect master of all the arts of dissimulation: who, turning up the whites of his eyes, and seeking the Lord with pious gestures, will weep and pray, and cant most devoutly, till an opportunity offers of dealing his dupe a knock-down blow under the short ribs.

He was of a sanguine complexion, naturally of such a vivacity, hilarity and alacrity as another man is when he hath drunken a cup too much.

I was by birth a gentleman, living neither in any considerable height, nor yet in obscurity. I have been called to several employments in the nation-to serve in parliaments,-and ( because I would not be over tedious ) I did endeavor to discharge the duty of an honest man in those services, to god, and his people?s interest, and of the commonwealth; having, when time was, a competent acceptation in the hearts of men, and some evidence thereof.

Not what they want but what is good for them.

As for that famous and magnanimous commander, Lieutenant-General Cromwell, whose prowess and prudence, as they have rendered him most renowned for many former successful deeds of chivalry, so in this fight they have crowned him with the never withering laurels of fame and honor, who with so lion-like courage and impregnable animosity, charged his proudest adversaries again and again, like a Roman Marcellus indeed....and at last came off, as with some wounds, so with honor and triumph inferior to none.

He would sometimes be very cheerful with us, and laying aside his greatness he would be exceeding familiar with us, and by way of diversion would make verses with us, and everyone must try his fancy. He commonly called for tobacco, pipes, and a candle, and would now and then take tobacco himself; then he would fall again to his serious and great business.

I would be willing to live and be farther serviceable to God and his people; but my work is done. Yet God will be with his people.

Of late I have not given so free and full a power unto (Cromwell) as formerly I did, because I heard that he used his power so as in honor I could not avow him in it....for his expressions were sometimes against the nobility, that he hoped to live to see never a nobleman in England, and he loved such (and such) better than others because they did not love Lords. And he further expressed himself with contempt of the Assemberly of Divines...these he termed persecutors, and that they persecuted honester men than themselves.

As to your own person the title of King would be of no advantage, because you have the full Kingly power in you already... I apprehend indeed, less envy and danger, and pomp, but not less power, and real opportunities of doing good in your being General than would be if you had assumed the title of King.

His body was wel compact and strong, his stature under 6 foote ( I beleeve about two inches) his head so shaped, as you might see it a storehouse and shop both of vast tresury of natural parts. His temper exceeding fyery as I have known, but the flame of it kept downe, for the most part, or soon allayed with those moral endowments he had. He was naturally compassionate towards objects in distresse, even to an effeminate measure; though God had made him a heart, wherein was left little roume for any feare, but what was due to himselfe, of which there was a large proportion, yet did he exceed in tenderness towards suffrerers. A larger soule, I thinke, hath seldom dwelt in a house of clay than his was.

I would have been glad to have lived under my wood side, and to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than to have undertaken this government.

Oliver Cromwell had certainly this afflatus. One that I knew was at the battle of Dunbar, told me that Oliver was carried on with a Divine impulse; he did laugh so excessively as if he had been drunk; his eyes sparkled with spirits. He obtain?d a great victory; but the action was said to be contrary to human prudence. The same fit of laughter seized Oliver Cromwell just before the battle of Naseby; as a kinsman of mine, and a great favourite of his, Colonel J. P. then present, testified. Cardinal Mazerine said, that he was a lucky fool.

At dinner we talked much of Cromwell, all saying he was a brave fellow and did owe his crown he got to himself, as much as any man that ever got one.

His character does not appear more extraordinary and unusual by the mixture of so much absurdity with so much penetration, than by his tempering such violent ambition, and such enraged fanaticism with so much regard to justice and humanity.

If the remonstrance had been rejected i would have sold all i had the next morning and never have seen England more, and i know there are many other modest men of the same resolution.

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English Puritan Leader, Lord Protector of the Realm, Statesman and General