I must now tell you the fate of the unfortunate cavaliers who had been made prisoners at Philiphaugh. The barbarous treatment of the common soldiers you are already acquainted with.
Argyle, the leader of the Convention of Estates, had to resent the devastation of his country, and the destruction of his castles; and his desire of vengeance was so common to the age, that it would have been accounted neglect of his duty to his slain kinsmen and plundered clan, if he had let slip the favourable opportunity of exacting blood for blood. Other noblemen of the Convention had similar motives; and, besides, they had all been greatly alarmed at Montrose’s success; and nothing makes men more pitiless than the recollection of recent fears. It ought partly to have assuaged these vindictive feeling, that Montrose’s ravages, although they were sufficiently wasting, were less encouraged by the officers, than arising from the uncontrollable license of an unpaid soldiery. The prisoners had always been treated with honour and humanity, and frequently dismissed on parole. So that, if the fate of Montrose’s companions had depended on the Convention alone, it is possible, that almost all might have been set at liberty upon moderate conditions. But unfortunately the Presbyterian clergy thought proper to interfere strenuously between the prisoners, and the mercy which they might otherwise have experienced.
And there it must be owned, that the Presbyterian ministers of that period were in some respects a different kind of men from their predecessors, in the reign of James VI. Malice cannot, indeed, accuse them of abusing the power which they had acquired since their success in 1640, for the purpose of increasing either their own individual revenues, or those of the church; nor had the system of strict morality, by which they were distinguished, been in any degree slackened. They remained in triumph, as they had been in suffering, honourably poor and rigidly moral. But yet, though inaccessible to the temptations of avarice or worldly pleasure, the Presbyterian clergy of this period cannot be said to have been superior to ambition and the desire of power; and as they were naturally apt to think that the advancement of religion was best secured by the influence of the church to which they belonged, they were disposed to extend that influence by the strictest exertion of domestic discipline. Enquiry into the conduct of individuals was carried on by the Church-courts with indecent eagerness; and faults or follies, much fitter for private censure and admonition, were brought forward in the face of the public congregation. The hearers were charged every Sabbath-day, that each individual should communicated to the Kirk Session (a court composed of the clergyman and certain selected laymen of the parish) whatever matter of scandal or offence against religion and morality should come to their ears; and thus an inquisitorial power was exercised by one half of the parish over the other. This was well meant, but had bad consequences. Every idle story being made the subject of anxious investigation, the private happiness of families was disturbed, and discord and suspicion were sown where mutual confidence is most necessary.
This love of exercising authority in families, was naturally connected with a desire to maintain that high influence in the state, which the Presbyterian church had acquired since the downfall of prelacy. The Scottish clergy had of late become used to consider their peculiar form of church government, which unquestionably has many excellences, as something almost as essential as religion itself; and it was but one step farther, to censure every one who manifested a design to destroy the system, or limit the power, of the Presbyterian discipline, as an enemy to religion of every kind, nay, even to the Deity himself. Such opinions were particularly strong amongst those of the clergy who attended the armies in the field, seconded them by encouragement from the pulpits, or aided them by actually assuming arms themselves. The ardour of such men grew naturally more enthusiastic in proportion to the opposition they met with, and the dangers they encountered. The sights and sentiments which attend civil conflict, are of a kind to reconcile the human heart, however generous and humane by nature, to severe language and cruel actions. Accordingly, we cannot be surprised to find that some of the clergy forgot that a malignant, for so they called a Royalist, was still countryman and fellow Christian, born under the same government, speaking the same language, and hoping to be saved by the power of the same creed, with themselves; or that they directed against such Cavaliers and Episcopalians those texts of Scripture, in which the Jews were, by especial commission, commanded to extirpate the heathen inhabitants of the Promised Land.
On of these preachers enlarged on such a topic after Lesley’s victory, and chose his text from the 15th chapter of 1st Samuel, where the prophet rebukes Saul for sparing the king of the Amalekites, and for having saved some part of the flocks and herds of that people, which Heaven had devoted to utter destruction, — “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears?” In his sermon, he said that Heaven demanded the blood of the prisoners taken at Philiphaugh, as devoted by the Divine command to destroy; nor could the sins of the people be otherwise atoned for, or the wrath of Heaven averted from the land. It is probable, that the preacher was himself satisfied with the doctrine which he promulgated; for it is wonderful how people’s judgment is blinded by their passions, and how apt we are to find plausible, and even satisfactory reasons, for doing what our interest, or that of the party we have embraced, strongly recommends.
The Parliament, consisting entirely of Covenanters, instigated by the importunity of the clergy, condemned eight of the most distinguished cavaliers to execution. Four were appointed to suffer at St Andrews, that their blood might be an atonement, as the phrase went, for the number of men (said to exceed five thousand) whom the county of Fife had lost during Montrose’s wars. Lord Ogilvy was the first of these; but that young nobleman escaped from prison and death in his sister’s clothes. Colonel Nathaniel Gordon, one of the bravest men and best soldiers in Europe, and six other cavaliers of the first distinction, were actually executed.
We may particularly distinguish the fate of Sir Robert Spottiswood, who, when the wars broke out, was Secretary Lord President of the Court of Session, and accounted a judge of great talent and learning. He had never born arms; but the crime of having brought to Montrose his commission as Captain–General of Scotland, and of having accepted the office of secretary, which the Parliament had formerly conferred on Lanark, was thought quite worthy of death, without any further act of treason against the Estates. When on the scaffold, he vindicated his conduct with the dignity of a judge, and the talents of a lawyer. He was rudely enjoined to silence by the Provost of St Andrews, who had formerly been a servant of his father’s, when prelate of that city. The victim submitted to this indignity with calmness, and betook himself to his private devotions. He was even in this task interrupted by the Presbyterian minister in attendance, who demanded of him whether he desired the benefit of his prayers, and those of the assembled people. Sir Robert replied, that he earnestly demanded the prayers of the people, but rejected those of the preacher; for that, in his opinion, God had expressed his displeasure against Scotland, by sending a lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets, — a far greater curse, he said, than those of sword, fire, and pestilence. An old servant of his family took care of Spottiswood’s body, and buried him privately. It is said that this faithful domestic, passing through the market-place a day or two afterwards, and seeing the scaffold on which his master had suffered still unremoved, and stained with his blood, was so greatly affected, that he sunk down in s swoon, and died as they were lifting him over his own threshold. Such are the terrible scenes which civil discord gives occasion to; and, my dear child, you will judge very wrong if you suppose them peculiar to one side or other of the contending parties in the present case. You will learn hereafter, that the same disposition to abuse power, which is common, I fear, to all who possess it in an unlimited degree, was exercised with cruel retaliation by the Episcopalian party over the Presbyterians, when their hour of authority revived.
We must now turn our thoughts to England, the stage on which the most important scenes were acting, to which these in Scotland can only be termed very subordinate. And here I may remark, that, greatly to the honour of the English nation, — owing, perhaps, to the natural generosity and good-humour of the people, or to the superior influence of civilisation, — the civil war in that country, though contested with the utmost fury in the open field, was not marked by any thing approaching to the violent atrocities of the Irish, or the fierce and ruthless devastation exercised by the Scottish combatants. The days of deadly feud had been long past, if the English ever followed that savage custom, and the spirit of malice and hatred which it fostered had no existence in that country. The English parties contended manfully in battle, but, unless in the storming of towns, when all evil passions are afloat, they seem seldom to have been guilty of cruelty or wasteful ravage. They combated like men who have quarrelled on some special point, but, having had no ill-will against each other before, are resolved to fight it out fairly, without bearing malice. On the contrary, the cause of Prelacy or Presbytery, King or Parliament, was often what was least in the thoughts of the Scottish barons, who made such phrases indeed the pretext for the war, but in fact looked forward to indulging, at the expense of some rival family, the treasured vengeance of a hundred years.
But though the English spirit did not introduce into their civil war the savage aspect of the Scottish feuds, they were not free from the religious dissensions, which formed another curse of the age. I have already said, that the party which opposed itself to the King and the Church of England, was, with the followers of the Parliament, and the Parliament itself, divided into two factions, that of the Presbyterians and that of the Independents. I have also generally mentioned the points on which these two parties differed. I must now notice them more particularly.
The Presbyterian establishment, as I have often states, differs from that of the Church of England, in the same manner as a republic, all the members of which are on a footing of equality, differs from a monarchial constitution. In the Kirk of Scotland, all the ministers are on an equality; in the Church of England, there is a gradation of ranks, ascending from the lowest order of clergymen to the rank of bishop. But each system is alike founded upon the institution of a body of men, qualified by studies of a peculiar nature to become preachers of the gospel, and obliged to show they are so qualified, by undergoing trials and examinations of their learning and capacity, before they can take holy orders, that is to say, become clergymen. Both Churches also agree in secluding from ordinary professions and avocations, the persons engaged in the ministry, and in considering them as a class of men set apart for teaching religious duties and solemnizing religious rites. It is also the rule alike of Episcopalians and Presbyterians, that the National Church, as existing in its courts and judicatories, has power to censure, suspend from their functions, and depose from their clerical character and clerical charge, such of its members as, either by immoral and wicked conduct, or by preaching and teaching doctrines inconsistent with the public creed, shall render themselves unfit to execute the trust reposed in them. And further, both these national churches maintain, that such courts and judicatories have power over their lay hearers, and those who live in communion with them, to rebuke transgressors of every kind, and to admonish them to repentance; and if such admonitions are neglected, to expel them from the congregation by the sentence of excommunication.
Thus far most Christian Churches agree; and thus far the claims and rights of a national church are highly favourable to the existence of a regular government; since reason, as well as the general usage of the religious world, sanctions the establishment of the clergy as a body of men separated from the general class of society, that they may set an example of regularity of life by the purity of their morals. Thus set apart from the rest of the community, they are supported at the expense of the state, in order that the reverence due to them may not be lessened by their being compelled, for the sake of subsistence, to mingle in the ordinary business of life, and share the cares and solicitudes incidental to those who must labour for their daily bread.
How far the civil magistrate can be wisely intrusted with the power of enforcing spiritual censures, or seconding the efforts of the church to obtain general conformity, by inflicting the penalties of fines, imprisonment, bodily punishment, and death itself, upon those who differ in doctrinal points from the established religion, is a very different question. It is no doubt true, that wild sects have sometimes started up, whose tenets have involved direct danger to the state. But such offenders ought to be punished, not as offenders against the church, but as transgressors against the laws of the kingdom. While their opinions remain merely speculative, the persons entertaining them may deserve expulsion from the national church, with which indeed they could consistently desire no communion; but while they do not carry these erroneous tenets into execution, by any treasonable act, it does not appear the province of the civil magistrate to punish them for opinions only. And if the zeal of such sectaries should drive them into action, they deserve punishment, not for holding unchristian doctrines, but for transgressing the civil laws of the realm. This distinction was little understood in the days we write of, and neither the English nor the Scottish church can be vindicated from the charge of attempting to force men’s consciences, by criminal persecutions for acts of non-conformity, though not accompanied by any civil trespass.
Experience and increasing knowledge have taught the present generation, that such severities have always increased the evil they were intended to cure; and that mild admonition, patient instruction, and a good example, may gain many a convert to the established churches, whom persecution and violence would have only confirmed in his peculiar opinions. You have read the fable of the traveller, who wrapped his cloak the faster about him when the storm blew loud, but threw it aside in the serene beams of the sunshine. It applies to the subject I have been speaking of, as much as to the advantages of gentleness and mild persuasion in social life.
I return to the distinction between the Independents and Presbyterians during the civil wars of the reign of Charles I. The latter, as you already know, stood strongly out for a national church and an established clergy, with full powers to bind and loose, and maintained by the support of the civil government. Such a Church had been fully established in Scotland, and it was the ardent wish of its professors that the English should adopt the same system. Indeed, it was in the hope of attaining this grand object that the consent of the Scottish Convention of Estates was given, to sending an auxiliary army to assist the Parliament of England; and they had never suffered themselves to doubt that the adoption of the Presbyterian discipline in that country was secured by the terms of the Solemn League and Covenant. But the Independents had, from the beginning, entertained the secret resolution of opposing the establishment of a national church of any kind in England. The opinions of these sectaries stood thus on matters of church government. Every one, they said, had a right to read the Scriptures, and draw such conclusions respecting the doctrines which are there inculcated, as his own private judgment should hold most conformable to them. They went farther, and argued, that every man who felt himself called upon to communicate to others the conclusions which he had derived from reading the Bible, and meditating on its contents, had a right, and a call from Heaven, to preach and teach the peculiar belief which he had thus adopted. It was no matter how obscure had been the individual’s condition in life, or how limited the course of his education; he was equally entitled, in their opinion, to act as a minister, as if he had studied with success for twenty years, and taken orders from a bishop, or from a presbytery. It such a gifted preacher could prevail on six persons to admit his doctrines, these six persons, according to the doctrine of the Independents, made a Christian congregation; and, as far as religious instruction was concerned, the orator became their spiritual head and teacher. Be his hearers many or few, they were thenceforward his sheep, and he their spiritual shepherd. But to all the rest of the world, except his own congregation, the Independents held, that every preacher remained an ordinary layman, having no claim on the state for revenue or subsistence. If he could persuade his congregation to contribute to his support, he was the more fortunate. If not, he lived by his ordinary calling, of a baker, a tailor, or a shoemaker, and consoled himself that he resembled St Paul, who wrought with his hands for his livelihood.
Of the congregations or sects thus formed, there were in England hundreds, perhaps thousands, most of them disagreeing from each other in doctrine, and only united by the common opinion peculiar to them all as Independents, that each private Christian had a right to teach or to listen to whatever doctrines he thought fit; that there ought to exist no church courts of any kind; that the character of a preacher was only to be recognised by those disciples who chose to be taught by him; and that, in any more extensive point of view, there ought not to exist any body of priests or clergymen by profession, any church government, or church judicatories, or any other mode of enforcing religious doctrine, save by teaching it from the pulpit, and admonishing the sinner, or, if necessary, expelling him from the congregation. This last, indeed, could be no great infliction where there were so many churches ready to receive him, or there, if he pleased, he might set up a church for himself.
The Sectaries, as the Independents were termed, entertained, as may be supposed, very wild doctrines. Men of an enthusiastic spirit, and sometimes a crazed imagination, as opinionative as they ignorant, and many of them as ignorant as the lowest vulgar, broached an endless variety of heresies, some of them scandalous, some even blasphemous; others, except on account of the serious subject they referred to, extremely ludicrous.
But the preachers and hearers of these strange doctrines were not confined to the vulgar and ignorant. Too much learning made some men mad. Sir Henry Vane, one of the subtlest politicians in England, and Milton, one of the greatest poets ever born, caught the spirit of the times, and became Independents. But above all, Oliver Cromwell, destined to rise to the supreme power in England, was of that form of religion.
This remarkable person was of honourable descent, but, inheriting a small fortune, had practised at one time the occupation of a brewer. After a course of gaiety and profligacy during early youth, he caught a strong taint of the enthusiasm of the times, and made himself conspicuous by his aversion to Prelacy, and his zealous opposition to the arbitrary measures of the King. He became a member of Parliament, but, as he spoke indifferently, made no figure in that body, being only prominent for his obstinacy and uncompromising zeal. When, however, the parliament raised their army, the military talents of Cromwell made him early distinguished. It was remarked that he was uniformly successful in every contest in which he was personally engaged, and that he was the first officer who could train and bring to the field a body of cavalry capable of meeting the shock of the Cavaliers, whose high birth, lofty courage, and chivalrous bravery, made them formidable opponents of the Parliamentary forces. His regiment of Ironsides, as they were called, from the cuirasses which the men wore, were carefully exercised, and accustomed to strict military discipline, while their courage was exalted by the enthusiasm which their commander contrived to inspire. He preached to them himself, prayed for them and with them, and attended with an air of edification to any who chose to preach or pray in return. The attention of these military fanatics was so fixed upon the mysteries of the next world, that death was no terror to them; and the fiery valour of the Cavaliers was encountered and repelled, by men who fought for their own ideas of religion as determinedly as their enemies did for honour and loyalty. The spirit of the Independent sectaries spread generally through the army, and the Parliament possessed no troops so excellent as those who followed these doctrines.
The great difference betwixt the Presbyterians and Independents consisted, as I have told you, in the desire of the former to establish their form of religion and church government as the national church establishment of England, and of course to compel a general acquiescence in their articles of faith. For this, a convention of the most learned and able divines was assembled at Westminster, who settled the religious creed of the intended church according to the utmost rigour of the Presbyterian creed. This assumption of exclusive power over the conscience alarmed the Independents, and in the dispute which ensued, the consciousness of their own interest with the army gave the sectaries new courage and new pretensions.
At first the Independents had been contented to let the Presbyterians of England, a numerous and wealthy body, take the lead in public measures. But as their own numbers increased, and their leaders became formidable from their interest with the army, they resisted the intention which the Presbyterians showed of establishing their own faith in England as well as Scotland. Sir Henry Vane persuaded them to temporize a little longer, since to oppose Presbytery was to disgust the Scottish auxiliaries, enamoured as they were of their national system. “We cannot yet dispense with the assistance of the Scots,” he said; “the sons of Zeruiah are still too many for us.” But the progress of the war, while it totally ruined the King’s party, gradually diminished the strength of the Presbyterians, and increased that of the Independents. The Earls of Essex and Manchester, generals chosen from the former party, had sustained many losses, which were attributed to incapacity; and they were accused of having let slip advantages, from which it was supposed they had no wish to drive the King to extremity. People began to murmur against the various high offices in the army and state being exclusively occupied by members of Parliament, chiefly Presbyterians; and the protracted length of the civil hostilities was imputed to the desire of such persons to hold in their possession as long as possible the authority which the war placed in their hands.
The Parliament felt that their popularity was in danger of being lost, and looked about for means of recovering it. While their minds were thus troubled, Cromwell suggested a very artful proposal. To recover the confidence of the nation, the members of Parliament, he said, ought to resign all situations of trust or power which they possessed, and confine themselves exclusively to the discharge of their legislative duty. The Parliament fell into the snare. They enacted what was called the self-denying ordinance; by which, in order to show their disinterested patriotism, the members laid down all their offices, civil and military, and rendered themselves incapable of resuming them. This act of self-deprivation proved in the event a death-blow to the power of the Presbyterians; the places which were thus simply resigned being instantly filled up by the ablest men in the Independent party.
Two members of Parliament, however, were allowed to retain command. The one was Sir Thomas Fairfax, a Presbyterian, whose military talents had been highly distinguished during the war, but who was much under the guidance of Oliver Cromwell. The other was Cromwell himself, who had the title of lieutenant-general only, but in fact enjoyed, through his influence over the soldiers, and even over Fairfax himself, all the advantage of supreme command.
The success of Cromwell in this grand measure let to remodelling the army after his won plan, in which he took care their numbers should be recruited, their discipline improved, and, above all, their ranks filled up with Independents. The influence of these dangers was soon felt in the progress of the war. The troops of the King sustained various checks, and at length a total defeat in the battle of Naseby, from the effect of which the affairs of Charles could never recover. Loss after loss succeeded; the strong places which the Royalists possessed were taken one after another; and the King’s cause was totally ruined. The successes of Montrose had excited a gleam of hope, which disappeared after his defeat at Philiphaugh. Finally, King Charles was shut up in the city of Oxford, which had adhered to his cause with the most devoted loyalty; the last army which he had in the field was destroyed; and he had no alternative save to remain in Oxford till he should be taken prisoner, to surrender himself to his enemies, or to escape abroad.
In circumstances so desperate, it was difficult to make a choice. A frank surrender to the Parliament, or an escape abroad, would have perhaps been the most advisable conduct. But the Parliament and their own Independent army were now on the brink of quarrelling. The establishment of the Presbyterian Church was resolved upon, though only for a time and in a limited form, and both parties were alike dissatisfied; the zealous Presbyterians, because it gave the church courts too little power; the Independents, because it invested them with any control, however slight, over persons of a different communion. Amidst the disputes of his opponents, the King hoped to find his way back to the throne.
For this purpose, and to place himself in a situation, as he hoped, from whence to negotiate with safety, Charles determined to surrender himself to that Scottish army which had been sent into England, under the Earl of Leven, as auxiliaries of the English Parliament. The King concluded that he might expect personal protection, if not assistance, from an army composed of his own countrymen. Besides, the Scottish army had lately been on indifferent terms with the English. The Independent troops, who now equalled, or even excelled them in discipline, and were actuated by an enthusiasm which the Scots did not possess, looked with an evil eye on any army composed of foreigners and Presbyterians. The English in general, as soon as their assistance was no longer necessary, began to regard their Scottish brethren as an incumbrance; and the Parliament, while they supplied the Independent forces liberally with money and provisions, neglected the Scots in both these essentials, whose honour and interest were affected in proportion. A perfect acquaintance with the discontent of the Scottish army, induced Charles to throw himself upon their protection in his misfortunes.
He left Oxford in disguise, on 27th April, 1646, having only two attendants. Nine days after his departure, he surprised the old Earl of Leven and the Scottish camp, who were then forming the siege of Newark, by delivering himself into their hands. The Scots received the unfortunate monarch with great outward respect, but guarded his person with vigilance. They immediately broke up the siege, and marched with great speed to the north, carrying the person of the King along with them, and observing the strictest discipline on their retreat. When their army arrived at Newcastle, a strong town which they themselves had taken, and where they had a garrison, they halted to await the progress of negotiations at this singular crisis.
Upon surrendering himself to the Scottish army, King Charles had despatched a message to the Parliament, expressing his having done so, desiring that they would send him such articles of pacification as they should agree upon, and offering to surrender Oxford, Newark, and whatever other garrisons or strong places he might still possess, and order the troops he had on foot to lay down their arms. The places were surrendered accordingly, honourable terms being allowed; and the army of Montrose in the Highlands, and such other forces as the Royalists still maintained throughout England, were disbanded, as I have already told you, by the King’s command.
The Parliament showed great moderation, and the civil war seemed to be ended. The articles of pacification which they offered were not more rigorous than the desperate condition of the King must have taught him to expect. But questions of religion interfered to prevent the conclusion of the treaty.
In proportion as the great majority of the Parliament were attached to the Presbyterian forms, Charles was devoted to the system of Episcopacy. He deemed himself bound by his coronation oath to support the Church of England, and he would not purchase his own restoration to the throne by consenting to its being set aside. Here, therefore, the negotiation betwixt the King and his Parliament was broken off; but another was opened between the English Parliament and the Scottish army, concerning the disposal of the King’s person.
If Charles could have brought his mind to consent to the acceptance of the Solemn League and Covenant, it is probable that he would have gained all Scotland to his side. This, however, would have been granting to the Scots what he had refused to the Parliament; for the support of Presbytery was the essential object of the Scottish invasion. On the other hand, it could hardly be expected that the Scottish Convention of Estates should resign the very point on which it had begun and continued the war. The Church of Scotland sent forth a solemn warning, that all engagement with the King was unlawful. The question, therefore, was, what should be done with the person of Charles.
The generous course would have been, to have suffered the King to leave the Scottish army as freely as he came there. In that case he might have embarked at Tynemouth, and found refuge in foreign countries. And even if the Scots had determined that the exigencies of the times, and the necessity of preserving the peace betwixt England and Scotland, together with their engagements with the Parliament of England, demanded that they should surrender the person of their King to that body, the honour of Scotland was intimately concerned in so concluding the transaction, that there should be no room for alleging that any selfish advantage was stipulated by the Scots as a consequence of giving him up. I am almost ashamed to write, that this honourable consideration had no weight.
The Scottish army had a long arrear of pay due to them from the English Parliament, which the latter had refused, or at least delayed, to make forthcoming. A treaty for the settlement of these arrears had been set on foot; and it had been agreed that the Scottish forces should retreat into their own country, upon payment of two hundred thousand pounds, which was one-half of the debt finally admitted. Now, it is true that these two treaties, concerning the delivery of the King’s person to England, and the payment by Parliament of their pecuniary arrears to Scotland, were kept separate, for the sake of decency; but it is certain, that they not only coincided in point of time, but bore upon and influenced each other. No man of candour will pretend to believe that the Parliament of England would ever have paid this considerable sum, unless to facilitate their obtaining possession of the King’s person; and this sordid and base transaction, though the work exclusively of a mercenary army, stamped the whole nation of Scotland with infamy. In foreign countries they were upbraided with the shame of having made their unfortunate and confiding Sovereign a hostage, whose liberty or surrender was to depend on their obtaining payment of a paltry sum of arrears; and the English nation reproached them with their greed and treachery, in the popular rhyme, —
Sold his King for a groat.”
The Scottish army surrendered the person of Charles to the Commissioners for the English Parliament, (28th Jan. 1647) on receiving security for their arrears of pay, and immediately evacuated Newcastle and marched for their own country. I am sorry to conclude the chapter with this mercenary and dishonourable transaction; but the limits of the work require me to bring it thus to a close.
Last updated Sunday, January 3, 2016 at 12:16