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who should be her leaders to such a deliverance, as shall never be forgotten by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish.
ENGLAND AND LONDON. Lords and Commons of England ! consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors : a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit ; acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to. Therefore the studies of learning in her deepest sciences have been so ancient and so eminent among us, that writers of good antiquity and able judgment have been persuaded that even the school of Pythagoras and the Persian wisdom took beginning from the old philosophy of this island. And that wise and civil Roman, Julius Agricola, who governed once here for Cæsar, preferred the natural wits of Britain, before the labored studies of the French. Behold now this vast city; a city of refuge, the mansion-house of liberty, encompassed and surrounded with his protection; the shop of war hath not there more anvils and hammers waking, to fashion out the plates and instruments of armed justice in defence of beleaguered truth, than there be pens and heads there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing, searching, revolving new notions and ideas, wherewith to present, as with their homage and their fealty, the approaching reformation ; others as fast reading, trying
; all things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement. What could a man require more from a nation so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge? What wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil, but wise and faithful laborers, to make a knowing people, a nation of prophets, of sages, and of worthies ? we reckon more than five months yet to harvest ; there need not be five weeks, had we but eyes to lift up; the fields are white already.
Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle muing her mighty youth, and kindling her dazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam ; purging and unscaling her long abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and schisms.
Error supports custom, custom countenances error: and these two between them would persecute and chase away all truth and solid wisdom out of human life, were it not that God, rather than man, once in many ages calls together the prudent and religious counsels of men, deputed to repress the encroachments, and to work off the inveterate blots and obscurities wrought upon our minds by the subtle insinuating of error and custom; who, with the numerous and vulgar train of their followers, make it their chief design to envy and cry down the industry of free reasoning under the terms of humor and innovation; as if the womb of teeming Truth were to be closed up, if she presumed to bring forth aught that sorts not with their unchewed notions and suppositions.
THE ALL-CONQUERING POWER OF TRUTH. Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worst in a free and open encounter ?
Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing. He who hears what praying there is for light and clear knowledge to be sent down among us, would think of other matters to be constituted beyond the discipline of Geneva, framed and fabricked already to our hands. Yet when the new life which we beg for shines in upon us, there be who envy and oppose, if it come not first in at their casements. What a collusion is this, when as we are exhorted by the wise man to use diligence, “ to seek for wisdom as for hidden treasures,” early and late, that another order shall enjoin us to know nothing but by statute! When a man hath been laboring the hardest labor in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnished out his findings in all their equipage, drawn forth his reasons, as it were a battle ranged, scattered and defeated all objections in his way, calls out his adversary into the plain, offers him the advantage of wind and sun, if he please, only that he may try the matter by dint of argument; for his opponents then to skulk, to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge of licensing where the challenger should pass, though it be valor enough in soldiership, is but weakness and cowardice in the wars of Truth. For who knows not that Truth is strong, next to the Almighty? She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings, to make her victorious; those are the shifts and the defences that error uses against her power; give her but room, and do not bind her when she sleeps.1
1 Were half the power that fills the world with terroi,
Were hall the wealth, bestow'd on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor forts!
The warrior's name would be a name abhorred!
And every nation that should lift again Its hand against its brother, on its forehead
Would wear forevermore the curse of Cain-LONGFELLOW.
THE POET'S MORNING. My morning haunts are, where they should be, at home; not sleeping, or concocting the surfeits of an irregular feast, but up and stirring ; in winter, often ere the sound of any bell awake men to labor or to devotion ; in summer, as oft with the bird that first rises, or not much tardier, to read good authors, or cause them to be read till the attention be weary, or memory have its full freight.
I cannot but here give the conclusion of the Life of Milton by Dr. Symmons, the learned editor of his prose works :-“We have now completed the history of John Milton,-a man in whom were illustriously combined all the qualities that could adorn, or could elevate the nature to which he belonged; -a man, who at once possessed beauty of countenance, symmetry of form, elegance of manners, benevolence of temper, magnanimity and loftiness of soul, the brightest illumination of intellect, knowledge the most various and extended, virtue that never loitered in her career, nor deviated from her course;-a man, who, if he had been delegated as the representative of his species to one of the superior worlds, would have suggested a grand idea of the human race, as of beings affluent in moral and intellectual treasurem raised and distinguished in the universe, as the favorites and heirs of heaven.”
To these, I must add the remarks of Sir Egerton Brydges, no less beautiful than just :—“He had not only every requisite of the Muse; but every one of the highest order, and in the highest degree. His invention of poetical fable, and poetical imagery, was exhaustless, and always grand, and always consistent with the faith of a cultivated and sensitive mind. Sublimity was his primary and unfailing power. His characters were new, surprising, gigantic, or beautiful; and full of instruction, such as high wisdom sanctioned. His sentiments were lofty, comprehensive, eloquent, consistent, holy, original; and an amalgamation of spirit, religion, intellect, and marvellous learning. His language was his own: sometimes a little rough and unvernacular; but as magnificent as his mind: of pregnant thought; naked in its strength; rich and picturesque, where imagery was required; often exquisitely harmonious, where the occasion permitted, but sometimes strong, mighty, and speaking 'with the voice of thunder."
When to these lofty and most richly deserved encomiums, we add that in moral character he stands among the noblest and the best; that his spirit was as holy, and his heart as sanctified as his writings; and that he so spent his mighty strength in the holy cause of liberty, and for the best good of man, that he sat in darkness "amid the blaze of noon," who can hesitate to place him AT THE HEAD OF THE RACE!
: Dr. Symmons, in his Life of Milton, says, “ Abstinence in diet was one of Milton's favorite virtues; which he practised invariably through life, and availed himself of every opportunity to recommend in his writings."
O madness! to think use of strongest wines
EDWARD HYDE, EARL OF CLARENDON. 1608—1674. The life of the celebrated Earl of Clarendon is so intimately connected with the eventful times of Charles I., the Commonwealth, and the Restoration, that it would be impossible to give any thing more than a meagre outline of it in the limits to which these biographical sketches are necessarily confined. He was born at Dinton, in Wiltshire, in 1608, and at the age of fourteen entered Oxford. After leaving the university he applied himself to the study of the law, but his father dying soon after, and leaving him in the possession of a competent fortune, it was not necessary for him to exert himself for support in the line of his profession. He therefore turned his attention to politics, and in 1640 was elected a member of parliament. Here he took the side of the royalists, and had the celebrated Hampden for one of his opponents. From the zeal and ability which he showed in the royal cause, he soon became one of the king's chief advisers, and in 1643 he was made chancellor of the exchequer, and was sworn a member of the privy council.
From this time the affairs of the royal party became daily more desperate, and it being deemed best for the prince (afterwards Charles II.) to fly from the kingdom, Hyde accompanied him to the island of Jersey. Thence, the prince went to France, but Hyde remained, and there commenced his celebrated work, his “ History of the Rebellion." Upon the execution of the king, he went to the continent, living first at Madrid, and afterwards at Antwerp. Here, with other members of the exiled court, he suffered much from pecuniary distress, having, as he said, “neither clothes nor fire to preserve me from the sharpness of the season.” He continued to be the chief adviser of the exiled king, and was rewarded by him with the appointment of lord chancellor; an empty title, as the king was then situated, but soon to be one of substantial value; for, in June, 1660, soon after the triumphal entry of Charles II. into London, Hyde took his seat as speaker of the House of Lords, and on the same day he sat in the court of Chancery.
He continued to be the principal conductor of public affairs; but such was the condition of the kingdom in politics, both foreign and domestic, the poverty of the exchequer, the difficulty of raising supplies, the profligacy of the court, and the king's absolute neglect of business on the one hand, and the relation of England to foreign powers, and the Dutch war, on the other, that he had difficulties of no ordinary magnitude to contend with. Discontent reigned through the country, and the public heaped upon Clarendon the odium of every measure and event. To such a height did feelings of anger and disgust at length reach, that articles of impeachment were drawn up against him by the Commons, and as a compromise he agreed to leave the kingdom. He sailed with his family for Calais, November 29, 1667, and resided in various places in France. In 1674 he took a house at Rouen, which was his last residence. Repeated attacks of the gout had enfeebled his frame and constitution, and he died on the 9th of December, 1674, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. His body was taken to England, and interred in Westminster Abbey.
The principal literary work of Lord Clarendon, is his « History of the Re
I For full information concerning Lord Clarendon, consult Lister's “Life of Clarendon;" “ Life of Lord Clarendon, written by himself;" Burnet's "History of his own Times ;" Campbell's “Lives of the Chancellors;" Hallam's “Constitutional History of England;" and “Edinburgh Review," xlviii. 150.
bellion;" for such was the epithet bestowed by the royalists upon that civil war which brought Charles I. to the block. It was commenced, as before remarked, in 1646, in the island of Jersey, and finished at Moulins (France) in 1672–73, while the author was in banishment. The Edinburgh Review says “it is one of the noblest historical works in the English language.” Some allowance, however, must, in many cases, be made for the strong partisan feelings of the writer; though it is due to him to say, that, considering his position, and the times in which he wrote, his work is characterized by justice and impartiality. Its distinguishing excellence consists in its lively and accurate delineations of character. Of these we select the following:
JOHN HAMPDEN.3 Mr. Hampden was a man of much greater cunning, and it may be, of the most discerning spirit, and of the greatest address and insinuation to bring any thing to pass which he desired, of any man of that time, and who laid the design deepest. He was a gentleman of a good extraction, and a fair fortune ; who, from a life of great pleasure and license, had on a sudden retired to extraordinary sobriety and strictness, and yet retained his usual cheerfulness and affability; which, together with the opinion of his wisdom and justice, and the courage he had showed in opposing the ship-money, raised bis reputation to a very great height, not only in Buckinghamshire, where he lived, but generally throughout the kingdom. He was not a man of many words, and rarely begun the discourse, or made the first entrance upon any business that was assumed; but a very weighty speaker; and after he had heard a full debate, and observed how the house was
1 The advocates of Charles, like the advocates of other malefactors against whom overwhelming evidence is produced, generally decline all controversy about the facts, and content themselves with calling testimony to character. He had so many private virtues! And had James II. no private virtues! And what, after all, are the virtues ascribed to Charles ? A religions zeal, not more sincere than that of his son, and fully as weak and narrow-minded, and a few of the ordinary household decencies which half the tombstones in England claim for those who lie beneath them. A good father! A good husband !-Ample apologies, indeed, for fifteen years of persecution, tyranny, and falsehood.
“For ourselves, we own that we do not understand the phrase, a good man but a bad king. We can as easily conceive a good man and an unnatural father, or a good man and a treacherous friend. We cannot, in estimating the character of an individual, leave out of our consideration his conduct in the most important of all human relations. And if, in that relation, we find him to have been selfish, cruel, and deceitful, we shall take the liberty to call him a bad man, in spite of all his temperance at table, and all his regularity at Chapel.”—Edinburgh Review, xlii. 324. 2 The best edition of it is that of Oxford, 1826, 8 vols. 8vo, with the notes of Bishop Warburton.
8 Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood.--GRAY. It must be remembered that this character of the heroic and venerated champion of English liberty was given by one of the opposite party: yet even by him his unrivalled superiority is unquestioned. Clarendon had measured strength with him in parliament, and therefore speaks from personal knowledge. It will be remembered that Hampden was mortally wounded in a skirmish with Prince Rupert, at Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, June 18, 1643, in his forty-ninth year, and in the dawn of his public life and character. Clarendon says that his death was as great a consternation to all his party as if their whole army had been defeated.