Cromwell, who was as a rule especially scrupulous in protecting non-combatants from violence, justified his severity in this case by the cruelties perpetrated by the Irish in the rebellion of 1641, and as being necessary on military and political grounds in that it "would tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which were the satisfactory grounds of such actions which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret."
Passionate, not always scrupulous in his choice and use of political weapons, intensely patriotic, loyal with a loyalty based rather or reason than sentiment, quickwitted, prompt in action, determined and pertinacious, he possessed in eminent degree many qualities lacking in other Liberal chieftains.
Accustomed freely and fearlessly to investigate whatever came before him, and swayed by a scrupulous dread of insincerity, he was doomed to long and anxious hesitation concerning some of the fundamental points of theology before arriving at a firm conviction of the truth of Christianity.
We may name, besides those already specified - in the Naples Museum, " St Euphemia," a fine early work; in Casa Melzi, Milan, the " Madonna and Child with Chanting Angels " (1461); in the Tribune of the Uffizi, Florence, three pictures remarkable for scrupulous finish; in the Berlin Museum, the " Dead Christ with two Angels "; in the Louvre, the two celebrated pictures of mythic allegory- " Parnassus " and " Minerva Triumphing over the Vices "; in the National Gallery, London, the " Agony in the Garden," the " Virgin and Child Enthroned, with the Baptist and the Magdalen," a late example; the monochrome of " Vestals," brought from Hamilton Palace; the " Triumph of Scipio " (or Phrygian Mother of the Gods received by the Roman Commonwealth), a tempera in chiaroscuro, painted only a few months before the master's death; in the Brera, Milan, the " Dead Christ, with the two Maries weeping," a remarkable tour de force in the way of foreshortening, which, though it has a stunted appearance, is in correct technical perspective as seen from all points of view.
So little was the collection considered as a literary work with a definite text that every one assumed a right to abridge or enlarge, to insert ideas of his own, or fresh scriptural quotations; nor were the scribes and translators by any means scrupulous about the names of natural objects, and even the passages from Holy Writ.