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infused his own opinions into those from whom he pretended to learn and receive them. And even with them who were able to preserve themselves from his infusions, and discerned those opinions to be fixed in him, with which they could not comply, he always left the character of an ingenious and conscientious person. He was, indeed, a very wise man, and of great parts, and possessed with the most absolute spirit of popularity, and the most absolute faculties to govern the people, of any man I ever knew.
In the first entrance into the troubles, he undertook the command of a regiment of foot, and performed the duty of a colonel, upon all occasions, most punctually. He was very temperate in diet, and a supreme governor over all his passions and affections, and had thereby a great power over other men's. He was of an industry and vigilance not to be tired out, or wearied by the most laborious; and of parts not to be imposed upon by the subtle or sharp; and of a personal courage equal to his best parts : so that he was an enemy not to be wished, wherever he might have been made a friend; and as much to be apprehended where he was so, as any man could deserve to be. And therefore his death was no less pleasing to the one party, than it was condoled in the other.
157. EXECUTION OF MONTROSE. As soon as he had ended his discourse, he was ordered to withdraw; and after a short space, was brought in, and told by the chancellor, “that he was, on the morrow, being the one-and-twentieth of May, 1650, to be carried to Edinburgh cross, and there to be hanged on a gallows thirty foot high, for the space of three hours, and then to be taken down, and his head to be cut off upon a scaffold, and hanged on Edinburgh tollbooth; and his legs and arms to be hanged up in other public towns of the kingdom, and his body to be buried at the place where he was to be executed, except the kirk should take off his excommunication; and then his body might be buried in the common place of burial.” He desired “that he might say somewhat to them,” but was not suffered, and so was carried back to the prison.
The next day they executed every part and circumstance of that barbarous sentence, with all the inhumanity imaginable; and he bore it with all the courage and magnanimity, and the greatest piety, that a good Christian could manifest. He magnified the virtue, courage, and religion of the last king, exceedingly commended the justice and goodness, and understanding of the present king, and prayed “that they might not betray him as they had done his father.” When he had ended all he meant to say, and was expecting to expire, they had yet one scene more to act of their tyranny. The hangman brought the book that had been published of his truly heroic actions, whilst he had commanded in that kingdom, which book was tied in a small cord that was put about his neck. The marquis smiled at this new instance
of their malice, and thanked them for it, and said, “he was pleased that it should be there, and was prouder of wearing it than ever he had been of the garter;" and so renewing some devout ejaculations, he patiently endured the last act of the executioner.
Thus died the gallant Marquis of Montrose, after he had given as great a testimony of loyalty and courage as a subject can do, and performed as wonderful actions in several battles, upon as great inequality of numbers, and as great disadvantages in respect of arms, and other preparations for war, as have been performed in this age. He was a gentleman of a very ancient extraction, many of whose ancestors had exercised the highest charges under the king in that kingdom, and had been allied to the crown itself. He was of very good parts, which were improved by a good education : he had always a great emulation, or rather a great contempt of the Marquis of Argyle (as he was too apt to contemn those he did not love), who wanted nothing but honesty and courage to be a very extraordinary man, having all other good talents in a great degree. Montrose was in his nature fearless of danger, and never declined any enterprise for the difficulty of going through with it, but exceedingly affected those which seemed desperate to other men, and did believe somewhat to be in himself which other men were not acquainted with, which made him live more easily towards those who were, or were willing to be, inferior to him (towards whom he exercised wonderful civility and generosity), than with his superiors or equals. He was naturally jealous, and suspected those who did not concur with him in the way, not to mean so well as he. He was not without vanity, but his virtues were much superior, and he well deserved to have his memory preserved and celebrated amongst the most illustrious persons of the age in which he lived.
158. IZAAK Walton. 1593–1683. (Manual, p. 227.)
FROM “ THE COMPLETE ANGLER."
But turn out of the way a little, good scholar, towards yonder high honeysuckle hedge; there we'll sit and sing whilst this shower falls so gently upon the teeming earth, and gives yet a sweeter smell to the lovely flowers that adorn these verdant meadows.
Look, under that broad beech-tree, I sat down when I was last this way a-fishing, and the birds in the adjoining grove seemed to have a friendly contention with an echo, whose dead voice seemed to live in a hollow tree, near to the brow of that primrose-hill; there I sat viewing the silver streams glide silently towards their centre, the tempestuous sea; yet sometimes opposed by rugged roots and pebble stones, which broke their waves, and turned them into foam: and sometimes I beguiled time by viewing the harmless lambs, some leaping securely
in the cool shade, whilst others sported themselves in the cheerful sun, and saw others craving comfort from the swollen udders of their bleating dams. As I thus sat, these and other sights had so fully possessed my soul with content, that I thought, as the poet has happily expressed it,
'Twas for that time listed above earth,
As I left this place, and entered into the next field, a second pleasure entertained me; it was a handsome milkmaid that had not yet attained so much age and wisdom as to load her mind with any fears of many things that will never be, as too many men too often do; but she cast away all care, and sung like a nightingale: her voice was good, and the ditty fitted for it: it was that smooth song which was made by Kit Marlow, now at least fifty years ago; and the milkmaid's mother sung an answer to it, which was made by Sir Walter Raleigh in his younger days.
They were old-fashioned poetry, but choicely good; I think much better than the strong lines that are now in fashion in this critical age. Look yonder! on my word, yonder they both be a-milking again. I will give her the chub, and persuade them to sing those two songs to us.
I knew a man that had health and riches, and several houses, all beautiful and ready furnished, and would often trouble himself and family to be removing from one house to another; and being asked by a friend why he removed so often from one house to another, replied, “ It was to find content in some of them.” But his friend, knowing his temper, told him, “If he would find content in any of his houses, he must leave himself behind him; for content will never dwell but in a meek and quiet soul.” And this may appear, if we read and consider what o’r Saviour says in St. Matthew's Gospel, for He there says, “Blessed be the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed be the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed be the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And blessed be the meek, for they shall possess the earth.” Not that the meek shall not also obtain mercy, and see God, and be comforted, and at last come to the kingdom of heaven; but, in the mean time, he, and he only, possesses the earth, as he goes toward that kingdom of heaven, by being humble and cheerful, and content with what his good God has allotted him. He has no turbulent, repining, vexatious thoughts that he deserves better; nor is vexed when he sees others possessed of more honor or more riches than his wise God has allotted for his share; but he possesses what he has with a meek and contented quietness, such a quietness as makes his very dreams pleasing, both to God and himself.
John EVELYN. 1620-1706. (Manual, p. 229.) 159. ST. PAUL'S CATHEDRAL AND THE FIRE OF LONDON.
(Diary.) At my return I was infinitely concern'd to find that goodly church St. Paules now a sad ruine, and that beautiful portico — for structure comparable to any in Europe, as not long before repair'd by the king
- now rent in pieces, flakes of vast stone split asunder, and nothing remaining intire but the inscription in the architrave, showing by whom it was built, which had not one letter of it defac'd. It was astonishing to see what immense stones the heat had in a manner calcin'd, so that all yo ornaments, columns, freezes, and projectures of massie Portland stone flew off, even to ye very roofe, where a sheet of lead covering a great space was totally melted; the ruins of the vaulted roofe falling, broke into St. Faith's, which being filled with the magazines of bookes belonging to ye stationers, and carried thither for safety, they were all consum'd, burning for a weeke following. It is also observable that the lead over yo alter at ye east end was untouch'd, and among the divers monuments the body of one bishop remain’d intire. Thus lay in ashes that most venerable church, one of the most antient pieces of early piety in ye Christian world, besides neere 10o more. The lead, yron worke bells, plate, &c., melted; the exquisitely wrought Mercers Chapell, the sumptuous Exchange, ye august fabriq of Christ Christ, all ye rest of the Companies Halls, sumptuous buildings, arches, all in dust; the fountaines dried up and ruin’d, whilst the very waters remain’d boiling; the vorago’s of subterranean cellars, wells, and dungeons, formerly warehouses, still burning in stench and dark clouds of smoke, so that in five or six miles, in traversing about, I did not see one load of timber unconsum’d, nor many stones but what calcin'd white as snow. The people who now walk'd about ye ruines appear'd like men in a dismal desart, or rather in some greate citty laid waste by a cruel enemy, to which was added the stench that came from some poore creatures bodies, beds, &c.
SAMUEL PEPys. . 1632-1703. (Manual, p. 229.) 160. Mr. PepYS QUARRELS WITH HIS WIFE: (Diary.) May 11, 1667. — My wife being dressed this day in fair hair, did make me so mad, that I spoke not one word to her, though I was ready to burst with anger. After that, Creed and I into the Park, and walked, a most pleasant evening, and so took coach, and took up my wife, and in my way home discovered my trouble to my wife for her white locks, swearing several times, which I pray God forgive me for, and bending my fist, that I would not endure it. She, poor wretch, was surprised with it, and made me no answer all the way home;
but there we parted, and I to the office late, and then home, and without supper to bed, vexed.
12. (Lord's Day.) – Up and to my chamber, to settle some accounts there, and by and by down comes my wife to me in her night-gown, and we begun calmly, that, upon having money to lace her gown for second mourning, she would promise to wear white locks no more in my sight, which I, like a severe fool, thinking not enough, begun to except against, and made her fly out to very high terms and cry, and in her heat, told me of keeping company with Mrs. Knipp, saying, that if I would promise never to see her more — of whom she had more reason to suspect than I had heretofore of Pembleton — she would never wear white locks more. This vexed me, but I restrained myself from saying anything, but do think never to see this woman - - at least, to have here more; and so all very good friends as ever. My wife and I bethought ourselves to go to a French house to dinner, and so inquired out Monsieur Robins, my perriwigg-maker, who keeps an ordinary, and in an ugly street in Covent Garden did find him at the door, and so we in; and in a moment almost had the table covered, and clean glasses, and all in the French manner, and a mess of potage first, and then a piece of bæuf-à-la-mode, all exceeding well seasoned, and to our great liking; at least it would have been anywhere else but in this bad street, and in a perriwigg-maker's house; but to see the pleasant and ready attendance that we had, and all things so desirous to please, and ingenious in the people, did take me mightily. Our dinner cost us 6s.