(He places it with the deeds.)
Amos: And then if I might speak for Seth.
Cromwell: Yes, what is it?
Amos: He’s dumb, sir, it’s true, but you’ll find no better heart nor wits. And he has a fair lot of book-learning now as well, and has come to handle a pen for all his poor hands were treated so. He would be your servant, sir, in the wars.
Oliver: It’s a good offer. Very well, Seth, we’ll serve together.
(SETH acknowledges this, gravely pleased. There are voices outside.)
Bridget: They are coming, father. Are you ready?
(BRIDGET opens the door on to the stone hall, and the labourers stand at the door and beyond.)
Cromwell (rising): My friends, I know not to what labour you will next be called, but we are upon dark and proving days, coming to memorable issues. The tyranny that has worked among us so grievously and long now strikes at our all. We must betake ourselves to defence, or this will be but a rotten realm, fair for no man to live in henceforth. Do not be mistaken. In the way of life out of which has come this menacing destruction upon us is much of beauty, much of nobility, and the light of man’s mind. These things it will be for us in season to cherish and preserve. But where these have been is no warrant for authority abused. And authority this day is an abuse against us to the very pitch of wickedness. We are called to stand for the charter of all men’s faith, for the charter which is liberty, which is God. Against us are arrayed the ranks of privilege. They are mighty, well used in arms, fearless, and not easily to be turned aside. But we go to battle in the name of God. Let every man consider it. Each one of you is here and now called to service in that name, that hereafter in England a man may call his hearth his own. And now may the love of God inform you. In humble courage let us go forward, nourishing our strength, sure always in our cause. May God bless us, and teach us the true valiance, and may He spend us according to His will. Amen. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
(Together they sing, AMOS leading them.)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for
his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil; for thou art with me ...
THE SCENE CLOSES
After dawn on July 14, 1645, the day of Naseby.
GENERAL FAIRFAX, with IRETON—now colonel—and two other officers, is holding a council of war in his tent. He is working with a map. During the proceedings sentries pass to and fro.