I should first thank Professor Woolrych for his attention to my book, and also for his generous conduct in anticipating debate over his views. In particular I am grateful for his correction of a historical point on which my book proves in error: the readmission of conformist members in the first weeks of the Rump Parliament did not much extend to secluded members, and thus the backsliding of the revolutionaries after Pride's Purge and the king's trial may have been less troubling to Milton than I supposed. On this point I had mistaken Underdown and Worden's description of the revolutionaries' compromise, and had partially misunderstood their conclusion that ‘the damage to the revolutionary cause…had already been done by the end of February’. Here Woolrych now shows me wrong. But although this changes the balance it does not change the substance of my argument about Milton's stern note in the History. For as Woolrych renews the issue of the dating of the Digression from Milton's History, he again misreads that text and its context in the larger work. He believes it an expression of despair, and thinks such despair on Milton's part could only be occasioned by the national apostasy at the Restoration. But Milton, both in the contemporary Tenure of Kings and Magistrates (1649) as well as in later tracts, proves much less sanguine about English hopes than even the passages Woolrych cites will support. The Presbyterians, whom the Tenure attacks in the same terms as the Digression, were not the only problem faced by the ‘uprighter sort’ of magistrates and those ‘people, though in number less by many, in whom faction least hath prevaild above the Law of nature and right reason’.