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like to be inclined, took up the argument, and shortly, and clearly, and craftily so stated it, that he commonly conducted it to the conclusion he desired; and if he found he could not do that, he was never without the dexterity to divert the debate to another time, and to prevent the determining any thing in the negative, which might prove inconvenient in the future. He made so great a show of civility, and modesty, and humility, and always of mistrusting his own judgment, and esteeming his with whom he conferred for the present, that he seemed to have no opinions or resolutions, but such as he contracted from the information and instruction he received upon the discourses of others; whom he had a wonderful art of governing, and leading into his principles and inclinations, whilst they believed that he wholly depended upon their counsel and advice. No man had ever a greater power over himself, or was less the man that he seemed
to be ; which shortly after appeared to everybody, when he cared less to keep on the mask.
He was rather of reputation in his own country, than of public discourse, or fame in the kingdom, before the business of shipmoney; but then he grew the argument of all tongues, every man inquiring who and what he was, that durst, at his own charge, support the liberty and property of the kingdom, and rescue his country, as he thought, from being made a prey to the court. His carriage, throughout this agitation, was with that rare temper and modesty, that they who watched him narrowly to find some advantage against his person, to make him less resolute in his cause, were compelled to give him a just testimony. He was of that rare affability and temper in debate, and of that seeming humility and submission of judgment, as if he brought no opinion of his own with him, but a desire of information and instruction ; yet he had so subtle a way of interrogating, and under the notion of doubts, insinuating his objections, that he 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.
LORD FALKLAND. 1 In this unhappy battle was slain the Lord Viscount Falkland; a person of such prodigious parts of learning and knowledge, of that inimitable sweetness and delight in conversation, of so flowing and obliging a humanity and goodness to mankind, and of that primitive simplicity and integrity of life, that if there were no other brand upon this odious and accursed civil war, than that single loss, it must be most infamous and execrable to all posterity.
He was a great cherisher of wit, and fancy, and good parts, in any man; and if he found them clouded with poverty or want, a most liberal and bountiful patron towards them, even above his fortune; of which, in those administrations, he was such a dispenser, as, if he had been trusted with it to such uses, and if there had been the least of vice in his expense, he might have been thought too prodigal. He was constant and pertinacious in whatsoever he resolved to do, and not to be wearied by any pains that were necessary to that end. And, therefore, having once resolved not to see London, which he loved above all places, till he had perfectly learned the Greek tongue, he went to his own house in the country, and pursued it with that indefatigable industry, that it will not be believed in how short a time he was master of it, and accurately read all the Greek historians.
In this time, his house being within little more than ten miles of Oxford, he contracted familiarity and friendship with the most polite and accurate men of that university; who found such an immenseness of wit, and such a solidity of judgment in him, so infinite a fancy, bound in by a most logical ratiocination, such a vast knowledge, that he was not ignorant in any thing, yet such an excessive humility, as if he had known nothing, that they frequently resorted and dwelt with him, as in a college situated in a purer air ; so that his house was a university in a less volume, whither they came not so much for repose as study; and to examine and refine those grosser propositions, which laziness and consent made current in vulgar conversation
He was superior to all those passions and affections which attend vulgar minds, and was guilty of no other ambition than of knowledge, and to be reputed a lover of all good men; and that
1 He was killed Septeniber 20, 1643, at Newbury, in the battle between the parliament forces under the Earı of Essex, and the royalists commanded by Prince Rupert.
made him too much a contemner of those arts, which must be indulged in the transactions of human affairs.
The great opinion he had of the uprightness and integrity of those persons who appeared most active, especially of Mr. Hampden, kept him longer from suspecting any design against the peace of the kingdom ; and though he differed from them commonly in conclusion, he believed long their purposes were honest. When he grew better informed what was law, and discerned in them a desire to control that law by a vote of one or both houses, no man more opposed those attempts, and gave the adverse party more trouble by reason and argumentation ; insomuch as he was, by degrees, looked upon as an advocate for the court; to which he contributed so little, that he declined those addresses, and even those invitations which he was obliged almost by civility to entertain. And he was so jealous of the least imagination that he should incline to preferment, that he affected even a moroseness to the court, and to the courtiers; and left nothing undone which might prevent and divert the king's or queen's favor towards him, but the deserving it.
When there was any overture, or hope of peace, he would be more erect and vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press any thing which he thought might promote it; and sitting among his friends, often after a deep silence, and frequent sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent, ingeminate the word Peace, Peace; and would passionately profess, " that the very agony of the war, and the view of the calamities and desolation the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from him, and would shortly break his heart.” This made some think, or pretend to think, " that he was so much enamored of peace, that he would have been glad the king should have bought it at any price;" which was a most unreasonable calumny. As if a man that was himself the most punctual and precise in every circumstance that might reflect upon conscience or honor, could have wished the king to have committed a trespass against either.
In the morning before the battle, as always upon action, he was very cheerful, and put himself into the first rank of the Lord Byron's regiment, then advancing upon the enemy, who had lined the hedges on both sides with musketeers; from whence he was shot with a musket, in the lower part of the belly, and in the instant falling from his horse, his body was not found till the next morning; till when, there was some hope he might have been a prisoner; though his nearest friends, who knew his temper, received small comfort from that imagination. Thus fell that incomparable young man, in the four-and-thirtieth year of his age, having so much dispatched the true business of life, that the eldest rarely attain to that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter
not into the world with more innocency. Whosoever leads such a life, needs be the less anxious upon how short warning it is taken from him.
SIR MATTHEW Hale, one of the most upright judges that ever sat upon the English bench, was born at Alderly, in the county of Gloucester, in 1609. His parents dying when he was quite young, he was educated by a Puritan clergyman, and entered Oxford at the age of seventeen. After leaving the university he applied himself to the study of the law with great assiduity, and was called to the bar a few years previous to the commencement of the civil war. In the subsequent contests that shook the nation, Hale preserved a perfect neutrality, which was certainly favorable to his interests as an advocate. But how far it is manly and right, in times of great political agitation, for a citizen to study his own individual quiet and interests, instead of throwing the whole weight of his influence upon that cause which he deems the most just, is very questionable.
Hale received a commission from Charles I., and after the execution of that monarch, he was made, under Cromwell, one of the judges of the Common Bench, the duties of which office he discharged with consummate skill and the strictest impartiality. After the death of Cromwell he was a member of the parliament which recalled Charles II., and in the year of the Restoration he was knighted. In 1671 he was raised to the chief-justiceship of the King's Bench, where he presided with great honor to himself and advantage to the public till 1675, when the state of his health obliged him to resign. He died from dropsy on Christmas day of the following year, 1676.
It is not necessary to speak more fully of his character here, as in a subsequent page will be found Baxter's admirable sketch of it. The only spot upon his judicial reputation, is his having condemned two old women for witchcraft. This he did with the most sincere belief that he was doing right And how many other men, eminent for their piety, were also carried away by that delusion in the middle of the seventeenth century, not only in England, but in this country ! 2
1 Lord Erskine, in an eloquent speech in the Court of the King's Bench, upon the trial of Williams, for publishing Paine's " Age of Reason," 1797, thus addresses the jury :-"Gentlemen, in the place where we now sit to administer the justice of this great country, above a century ago the never-tobe-forgotten Sir Matthew Hale presided; whose faith in Christianity is an exalted commentary upon its truth and reason, and whose life was a glorious example of its fruits in man, administering human justice with a wisdom and purity drawn from the pure fountain of the Christian dispensation, which has been, and will be in all ages, a subject of the highest reverence and admiration.” Cowper, too, in the third book of the Task, thus beautifully speaks of bim, as one
4 In whom
For sanctity of manners undefiled.” 2 The fact of witchcraft was admitted by Lord Bacon and Mr. Addison. Dr. Johnson more than nclined to the same side of the question; and Sir William Blackstone quite frowns on opposers of his doctrine. The severe charges, therefore, which have been brought against the people of Salem, Mass., lie equally against the most learned, pious, and eminent of mankind.
Sir Matthew Hale wrote a number of works of a legal character, but that by which he is best known is his “ Contemplations, moral and divine, and Letters to his Children.” An edition of this, with his life, was published by Bishop Burnet, in three volumes. As a specimen of his style, we give the following admirable letter of advice to his children
UPON REGULATING THEIR CONVERSATION.
DEAR CHILDREN_I thank God I came well to Farrington this day, about five o'clock. And as I have some leisure time at my inn, I cannot spend it more to my own satisfaction and your bene. fit, than, by a letter, to give you some good counsel. The subject shall be concerning your speech; because much of the good or evil that befalls persons arises from the well or ill managing of their conversation. When I have leisure and opportunity, I shall give you my directions on other subjects.
Never speak any thing for a truth which you know or believe to be false. Lying is a great sin against God, who gave us a tongue to speak the truth,
and not falsehood. It is a great offence against humanity itself; for, where there is no regard to truth, there can be no safe society between man and man. And it is an injury to the speaker; for, besides the disgrace which it brings upon him, it occasions so much baseness of mind, that he can scarcely tell truth, or avoid lying, even when he has no color of necessity for it; and, in time, he comes to such a pass, that as other people cannot believe he speaks truth, so he himself scarcely knows when he tells a falsehood.
As you must be careful not to lie, so you must avoid coming near it. You must not equivocate, nor speak any thing positively for which you have no authority but report, or conjecture, or opinion.
Let your words be few, especially when your superiors or strangers are present, lest you betray your own weakness, and rob yourselves of the opportunity which you might otherwise have had, to gain knowledge, wisdom, and experience, by hearing those whom you silence by your impertinent talking.
Be not too earnest, loud, or violent in your conversation. Silence your opponent with reason, not with noise.
Be careful not to interrupt another when he is speaking ; hear him out, and you will understand him the better, and be able to give him the better answer.
Consider before you speak, especially when the business is of moment; weigh the sense of what you mean to utter, and the expressions you intend to use, that they may be significant, pertinent, and inoffensive. Inconsiderate persons do not think till they speak; or they speak, and then think.
Some men excel in husbandry, some in gardening, some in