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on the canvass of Reynolds. There are the What a singular destiny has been that of spectacles of Burke and the tall thin form of this remarkable man! To be regarded in his Langton; the courtly sneer of Beauclerk and own age as a classic, and in ours as a compa. the beaming smile of Garrick; Gibbon tapping nion-io receive from his contemporaries ihai his snuff-box, and Sir Joshua with his trumpet full homage which men of genius have in in his ear. In the foreground is that strange general received only from posteriry—to be bgure which is as familiar to us as the figures more intimately known to posterity than other of those among whom we have been brought men are known to their contemporaries! Thai up—the gigantic body, the huge massy face, kind of fame which is commonly the most seamed with the scars of disease; the brown transient, is, in his case, the most durable. coat, the black worsted stockings, the gray The reputation of those writings, which he wig with a scorched foretop; the dirty hands, probably expected to be immortal, is every day the nails bitten and pared to the quick. We fading; while those peculiarities of manner, see the eyes and mouth moving with convul- and that careless table-talk, the memory of sive twitches; we see the heavy form rolling; which, he probably thoughi, would die with we hear it puffing; and then comes the “Why, him, are likely to be remembered as long as the sir!" and the “What then, sir?" and the “No, English language is spoken in any quarter of sir!" and the “You doni see your way through the globe. the question, sir !"
LORD NUGENT'S MEMORIALS OF HAMPDEN.*
[EDINBURGH Review, 1831.]
We have read this book with great pleasure, moirs must be considered as Memoirs of the though not exactly with that kind of pleasure history of England; and, as such, they well which we had expected. We had hoped that deserve to be attentively perused. They conLord Nugent would have been able to collect, tain some curious facts, which, to us at least, from family papers and local traditions, much are new, much spirited narrative, many judi.
Dew and interesting information respecting the cious remarks, and much eloquent declama2
life and character of the renowned leader of tion. the Long Parliament, the first of those great We are not sure that even the want of inEnglish commoners, whose plain addition of formation respecting the private character of Mister, has, to our ears, a more majestic sound Hampden is not in itself a circumstance as than the proudest of the feudal titles. In this strikingly characteristic as any which the hope we have been disappointed; but assuredly most minute chronicler-O'Meara, Las Cases, not from any want of zeal or diligence on the Mrs. Thrale, or Boswell himself-ever recordpart of the noble biographer. Even at Hamp-ed concerning their heroes. The celebrated den, there are, it seems, no important papers Puritan leader is an almost solitary instance relative to the most illustrious rietor of of a great man who neither sought nor shunned that ancient domain. The most valuable me greatness; who found glory only because glory morials of him which still exist, belong to the lay in the plain path of duty. During more family of his friend, Sir John Eliot. Lord than forty years, he was known to his country Eliot has furnished the portrait which is en neighbours as a gentleman of cultivated mind, graved for this work, together with some of high principles, of polished address, happy very interesting letters. The portrait is un- in his family, and active in the discharge of doubtedly an original, and probably the only local duties; to political men, as an honest, original now in existence. The intellectual industrious, and sensible member of Parlia forehead, the mild penetration of the eye, and ment, not eager to display his talents, stanch che inflexible resolution expressed by the lines to his party, and attentive to the interests oi of the mouth, sufficiently guaranty the like his constituents. A great and terrible crisis
We shall probably make some extracts came. A direct attack was made, by an arbi. from the leiters. They contain almost all the trary government, on a sacred right of Eng. new information that Lord Nugent has been lishmen, on a right which was the chief secu. able to procure, respecting the private pursuits rity for all their other rights. The nation of the great man whose memory he worships looked round for a defender. Calmly and unwith an enthusiastic, but not an extravagant, ostentatiously the plain Buckinghamshire Es veneration.
quire placed himself at the head of his coun. The public life of IIampden is surrounded trymen, and right before the face, and across by no obscurity. His history, more particu- the path of tyranny. The times grew darker larly from the beginning of the year 1640 to his and more troubled. Public service, perilous, death, is the history of England. These me arduous, delicate, was required; and to every
service, the intellect and the courage of this • Some Memorials of John Hampden, his Party, and his wonderful man were found fully equal. He Times. Ry LORD NUGENT. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1831. I became a debater of the first order, a most
dexterous manager of the House of Commons, that hatred itself could find no blemish on his a negotiator, a soldier. He governed a fierce | memory. and turbulent assernbly, abounding in able The story of his early life is soon told. He men, as easily as he had governed his family. was the head of a family which had been seiHe showed himself as competent to direct a tled in Buckinghamshire before the Conquest campaign as to conduct the business of the Part of the estate which he inherited had been petty sessions.
We can scarcely express the bestowed by Edward the Confessor on Baldadmiration which we feel for a mind so great, wyn de Hampden, whose name seems to indi. and, at the same time, so healthful and so well cate that he was one of the Norman favourites proportioned; so willingly contracting itself of the last Saxon king. During the contest to the humblest duties; so easily expanding between the houses of York and Lancaster, itself to the highest; so contented in repose; the Hampdens adhered to the party of the Red so powerful in action. Almost every part of Rose, and were consequently persecuted by this virtuous and blameless life, which is not Edward the Fourth, and favoured by Henry hidden from us in modest privacy, is a pre- the Seventh. Under the Tudors, the family cious and splendid portion of our national his. was great and flourishing. Griffith Hampden, tory. Had the private conduct of Hampden high sheriff of Buckinghamshire, entertained afforded the slightest pretence for censure, he Elizabeth with great magnificence at his seal would have been assailed by the same blind His son, William Hampden, sate in the Parliamalevolence which, in defiance of the clearest ment which that queen summoned in the year proofs, still continues to call Sir John Eliot an 1593. William married Elizabeth Cromwell, assassin. Had there been even any weak part aunt of the celebrated man who afterwards in the character of Hampden, had his manners governed the British islands with more than been in any respect open to ridicule, we may regal power; and from this marriage sprang be sure that no mercy would have been shown John Hampden. to him by the writers of Charles's faction. He was born in 1594. In 1597 his father Those writers have carefully preserved every died, and left him heir to a very large estate. little circumstance which could tend to make Aster passing some years at the grammar their opponents cdious or contemptible. They school of Thame, young Hampden was sent, have told us that Pym broke down in a speech, at fifteen, to Magdalen College, in the Univerthat Ireton had his nose pulled by Hollis, that sity of Oxford. At nineteen, he was admitted the Earl of Northumberland cudgelled Henry a student of the Inner Temple, where he made Martin, that St. John's manners were sullca, himself master of the principles of the English that Vane had an ugly face, that Cromwell law. In 1619 he married Elizabeth Symeon, had a red nose. They have made themselves a lady to whom he appears to have been fondmerry with the canting phrases of injudiciously attached. In the following year he was zealots. But neither the artful Clarendon nor returned to Parliament by a borough which the scurrilous Denham could venture to throw has in our time obtained a miserable celebrity, the slightest imputation on the morals or the the borough of Grampound. manners of Hampden. What was the opinion Of his private life during his early years, entertained respecting him by the best men of little is known beyond what Clarendon has his time, we learn from Baxter. That eminent told us. “In his entrance into the world,” persona eminent not only for his piety and his says that great historian, “he indulged him. fervid devotional eloquence, but for his mode- self in all the license in sports, and exercises, ration, his knowledge of political affairs, and and company, which were used by men of his skill in judging of characters—declared in the most jolly conversation." A remarkable the Saint's Rest, that one of the pleasures which change, however, passed in his character. he hoped to enjoy in Heaven was the society“ On a sudden,” says Clarendon, “from a life of Hampden. In the editions printed after the of great pleasure and license, he retired to ex. restoration, the name of Hampden was omit- traordinary sobriety and strictness, to a more ted. “But I must tell the reader,” says Baxter, reserved and melancholy society.” It is proba" that I did blot it out, not as changing my ble that this change took place when Hampopinion of the person.
Mr. John den was about twenty-five years old. At that Hampden was one that friends and enemies age he was united to a woman whom he loved acknowledged to be most eminent for pru- and esteemed. At that age he entered inio dence, piety, and peaceable counsels, having political life. A mind so happily constituted the most universal praise of any gentleman as his, would naturally, under such circum. that I rernember of that age. I remember a stances, relinquish the pleasures of dissipation moderate, prudent, aged gentleman, far from for domestic enjoyments and public duties. hin, but acquainted with him, whom I have His enemies have allowed that he was a heard saying, that if he might choose what man in whom virtue showed itself in its mildperson he would be then in the world, he would est and least austere form. With the morals be John Hampden.” We cannot but regret of a Puritan, he had the manners of an accom. that we have not fuller memorials of a man, plished courtier. Even after the change in who, after passing through the most severe his habits," he preserved,” says Clarendon, lemptations by which human virtue can be “his own natural cheerfulness and vivacity, tried, after acting a most conspicuous part in and, above all, a flowing courtesy to all men." a revolution and a civil war,could yet deserve These qualities distinguished hiin from most such praise as this from such authority. Yet of the members of his sect and his party; and, The want of memorials is surely the best proof l in the great crisis in which he afterwards took
a principal part, were of scarcely less service, the Bold. Comines, who had lived amidst th to the country than his keen sagacity and his wealthy cities of Flanders, and who had visites dauntless courage.
Florence and Venice, had never seen a peopl On the 30th of January, 1621, Hampden took so well governed as the English. “Or selon his seai in the House of Commons. His mon advis," says he,“ entre toutes les seignetimother was exceedingly desirous that her son ries du monde, dont j'ay connoissance, ou la should obtain a peerage. His family, his pos- chose publique est mieux traitée, et ou regne sessions, and his personal accomplishments moins de violence sur le peuple, et ou il n'y a were such as would, in any age, have justified nuls édifices abbatus n'y demolis pour guerre, him in pretending to that honour. But, in the c'est Angleterre; et tombe le sort et le malheur reign of James the First, there was one short sur ceux qui font la guerre." cut to the House of Lords. It was but to ash, About the close of the fifteenth and the comto pay, and to have. The sale of titles was mencement of the sixteenth century, a grear carried on as openly as the sale of boroughs portion of the influence which the aristocracy in our times. Hampden turned away with had possessed passed to the crown. No Eng. contempt from the degrading honours with lish king has ever enjoyed such absoluie power which his family desired to see him invested, as Henry the Eighth., But while the royal preand attached himself to the party which was rogatives were acquiring strength at the exin opposition to the court.
pense of the nobility, two great revolutions It was about this time, as Lord Nugent has took place, destined to be the parents of many justly remarked, that parliamentary opposition revolutions—the discovery of printing and the began to take a regular form. From a very reformation of the Church. early age, the English had enjoyed a far larger The immediate effect of the Reformation in share of liberty than had fallen to the lot of England was by no means favourable to poliany neighbouring people. How it chanced tical liberty. The authority which had been that a country conquered and enslaved by in- exercised by the Popes was transferred almost vaders, a country of which the soil had been entire to the king. Two formidable powers portioned out among foreign adventurers, and which had often served to check each other, of which the laws were written in a foreign were united in a single despot. If the system longue, a country given over to that worst ty- on which the founders of the Church of Engranny, the tyranny of caste over caste, should land acted could have been permanent, the Rehave become the seat of civil liberty, the object formation would have been, in a political of the admiration and envy of surrounding sense, the greatest curse that ever fell on our states, is one of the most obscure problems in country. But that system carried within it the the philosophy of history. But the fact is cer- seeds of its own death. It was possible to transtain. Within a century and a half after the fer the name of Head of the Church from Norman Conquest, the Great Charter was con- Clement to Henry; but it was impossible to ceded. Within two centuries after the Con-transfer to the new establishment the veneraquest, the first House of Commons met. Frois- tion which the old establishment had inspired!. sart tells us, what indeed his whole narrative Mankind had not broken one yoke in pieces sufficiently proves, that of all the nations of the only in order to put on another. The supre. fourteenth century, the English were the least macy of the Bishop of Rome had been for disposed 10 endure oppression. “C'est le plus ages considered as a fundamental principle of perilleux peuple qui soit au monde, et plus Christianity. It had for it every thing that outrageux et orgueilleux." The good Canon could make a prejudice deep and strongprobably did not perceive that all the prospe- venerable antiquity, high authority, general rity and internal peace which this dangerous consent. It had been taught in the first lessons people enjoyed were the fruits of the spirit of the nurse. It was taken for granted in all which he designates as proud and outrageous. the exhortations of the priest. To remove it He has, however, borne ample testimony to the was to break innumerable associations, and 10 effect, though he was not sagacious enough to give a great and perilous shock to the mind. trace it to its cause. “En le royaume d’An- Yet this prejudice, strong as it was, could gleterre,” says he, "toutes gens, laboureurs et not stand in the great day of the deliverance marchands, ont appris de vivre en pays, et à of the human reason. And as it was not to be mener leurs marchandises paisiblement, et les expected that the public mind, just after free laboureurs labourer.” In the fifteenth century, ing itself, by an unexampled effort, from though England was convulsed by the struggle bondage which it had endured for ages, would between the branches of the royal family, patiently submit to a tyranny which could the physical and moral condition of the people plead no ancient title. Rome had at least pre continued to improve. Villanage almost wholly scription on its side. But Protestant intole disappeared. The calamities of war were little rance, despotism in an upstart sect, infallibility felt, except by those who bore arms. The claimed by guides who acknowledged that they oppressions of the government were little felt, had passed the greater part of their lives in except by the aristocracy. The institutions of error, restraints imposed on the liberty of pri. the country, when compared with the institu- vate judgment by rulers who could vindicaic tions of the neighbouring kingdoms, seem to their own proceedings only by asserting the have been not undeserving of the praises of liberty of private judgment--hese things could Fortescue. The government of Edward the not long be borne. Those who had pulle! Fourth, though we call it cruel and arbitrary, down the crucifix could not long continue li was humane and liberal, when compared with persecute for the surplice. It required no real that of Louis the Eleventh, or that of Charles sagacity to perceive the inconsistency ani diis
honesty of men who, dissenting from almost all: She died; and the kingdom passed to ono Christendom, would suffer none to dissent from who was, in his own opinion, the greatest masthemselves; who demanded freedom of con- ter of kingcraft that ever lived; who was, in science, yet refused to grant it; who execrated truth, one of those kings whom God seems 10 persecution, yet persecuted; who urged reason send for the express purpose of hastening reagainst the authority of one opponent, and volutions. Of all the enemies of liberty whom authority against the reasons of another. Bon. Britain has produced, he was at once the most ner at least acted in accordance with his own harmless and the most provoking. His office principles. Cranmer could vindicate himself resembled that of the man who, in a Spanish from the charge of being a heretic, only by bull-fight, goads the torpid savage to fury, by arguments which made him out to be a mur- shaking a red rag in the air, and now and then derer.
throwing a dart, sharp enough to sting, but too Thus the systein on which the English small to injure. The policy of wise tyrants princes acted with respeci to ecclesiastical af- has always been to cover their violent acts fairs for some time after the Reformation, was with popular forms. James was always oba system too obviously unreasonable to be truding his despotic theories on his subjects lasting. The public mind moved while the without the slightest necessity. His foolish government moved; but would not stop where talk exasperated them infinitely more than the government stopped. The same impulse forced loans or benevolences would have done. which had carried millions away from the Yet, in practice, no king ever held his prerogaChurch of Rome, continued to carry them for- tives less tenaciously. He neither gave way ward in the same direction. As Catholics had gracefully to the advancing spirit of liberty, become Protestants, Protestants became Puri- nor took' vigorous measures to stop it, but tans; and the Tudors and Stuarts were as un-retreated before it with ludicrous haste, blus. able to avert the latter change as the Popestering and insulting as he retreated. The had been to avert the former. The dissenting English people had been governed for nearly party increased, and became strong under a hundred and fifty years by princes whó, every kind of discouragement and oppression. whatever might be their frailties or their vices, They were a sect. The government persecuted had all possessed great force of character, them, and they became an opposition. The and who, whether beloved or hated, had always old constitution of England furnished to them been feared. Now, at length, for the first time the means of resisting the sovereign without since the day when the sceptre of Henry the breaking the laws. They were the majority of Fourth dropped from the hand of his lethargic the House of Commons. They had the power grandson, Ed nd had a king whom she de. of giving or withholding supplies; and, by a spised. judicious exercise of this power, they might The follies and vices of the man increased hope to take from the Church its usurped the contempt which was produced by the authority over the consciences of men; and feeble policy of the sovereign. The indecofrom the Crown some part of the vast preroga- rous gallantries of the Court, the habits of tive which it had recent.y acquired at the gross intoxication in which even the ladies expense of the nobles and of the Pope. indulged, were alone sufficient 10 disgust a
The faint beginnings of this memorable con people whose manners were beginning to be test may be discerned early in the reign of strongly tinctured with austerity. But these Elizabeih. The conduct of her last Parliament were trifles. Crimes of the most frightful made it clear that one of those great revolutions kind had been discovered; others were sus. which policy may guide, but cannot stop, was pected. The strange story of the Gowries was
2 in progress. It was on the question of Mono- not forgotten. The ignominious fondness of polies that the House of Commons gained its the king for his minions, the perjuries, the sorfirst great victory over the throne. The con-ceries, the poisonings, which his chief favourduct of the extraordinary woman who then ites had planned within the walls of his palace, governed England is an admirable study for the pardon which, in direct violation of his politicians who live in unquiet times. It shows duty, and of his word, he had granted to the how thoroughly she understood the people mysterious threats of a murderer, made him an whom she ruled, and the crisis in which she object of loathing to many of his subjects. was called to act. What she held, she held What opinion grave and moral persons refirmiy. What she gave, she gave graciously. siding at a distance from the court entertained She saw that it was necessary to make a con- respecting him, we learn from Mrs. Hutchin. cession to the nation: and she made it, not son's Memoirs. England was no place, the grudyingly, not tardily, not as a matter of bar- seventeenth century no time, for Sporus and 7 gain and sale, not, in a word, as Charles the Locusta. First would have made it, but promptly and This was not all. The most ridiculous cordially. Before a bill could be framed or an weaknesses seemed to meet in the wretched address presented, she applied a remedy to the Solomon of Whitehall; pedantry, buffoonery, evil of which the nation complained. She ex- garrulity, low curiosity, the mosi contemptiblc pressed in the warmest terms her gratitude to personal cowardice. Nature and education. her faithiul Commons for detecting abuses had done their best to produce a finished spe. which interested persons had concealed from cimen of all that a king ought not to be. His her If her successors had inherited her wis- awkward figure, his rolling eye, his rickety dom with her crown, Charles the First might walk, his nervous tremblings, his slobhering nave died ol' old age, and James the Second mouth, his broad Scotch acceni, were impe sculd never have seen St. Germains.
fections which might have been found in the
best and greatest man. Their effect, however, convenient to leave England. A greater nanie was to make James and his office objects of is to be added to the ignominious list. By this contempt; and to dissolve those associations Parliament was brought to justice that illuswhich had been created by the noble bearing trious philosopher, whose memory genius has of preceding monarchs, and which were in half redeemed from the iníamy due to servility, themselves no inconsiderable fence to royalty. to ingratitude, and to corruption.
The sovereign whom James most resembled After redressing internal grievances, the was, we think, Claudius Cæsar. Both had the Commons proceeded to take into considera. same feeble and vacillating temper, the same tion the state of Europe. The king few into childishness, the same coarseness, the same a rage with them for meddling with such maipoltroonery. Both were men of learning; both ters, and, with characteristic judgment, drew wrote and spoke-not, indeed, well-but still them into a controversy about the origin of in a manner in which it seems almost incredi- the House and of its privileges. When he ble that men so foolish should have written or found that he could not convince them, he spoken. The follies and indecencies of James dissolved them in a passion, and sent some of are well described in the words which Sueto- the leaders of the Opposition to ruminate on nius uses respecting Claudius: “Multa talia, his logic in prison. etiam privatis deformia, necdum principi, ne- During the time which elapsed between this que infacundo, neque indocto, immo etiam dissolution and the meeting of the next Parliapertinaciter liberalibus studiis dedito.” The ment, took place the celebrated negotiation redescription given by Suetonius of the manner specting the Infanta. The would-be despot was in which the Roman prince transacted busi- unmercifully browbeaten. The would-be Soloness, exactly suits the Briton. “In cogno- mon was ridiculously overreached. “Steenie," scendo ac decernendo mira varietate animi in spite of the begging and sobbing of his dear fuit, modo circumspectus et sagax, modo in- dad and gossip,” carried off “ baby Charles" consultus ac præceps, non nunquam frivolus in triumph to Madrid. The sweet lads, as amentique similis.” Claudius was ruled suc- James called them, came back safe, but with. cessively by two bad women; James success out their errand. The great master of kingively by two bad men. Even the description craft, ir looking for a Spanish match, found a of the person of Claudius, which we find in Spanish war. In February, 1624, a Parlia. the ancient memoirs, might, in many points, ment met, during the whole sitting of which serve for that of James. “Ceterum et ingre. James was a mere puppet in the hands of his dientem destituebant poplites minus firmi, et "baby,” and of his “poor slave and dog.” The remisse quid vel serio agentem multa dehone- Commons were disposed to support the king stabant: risus indecens; ira turpior, spumante in the vigorous policy which his son and his 'ictu, præterea linguæ titubantia."
favourite urged him to adopt. But they were The Parliament which James had called not disposed to place any confidence in their icon after his accession had been refractory. feeble sovereign and his dissolute courtiers, His second Parliament, called in the spring or to relax in their efforts to remove public f 1914, had been more refractory still. It had grievances. They therefore lodged the money decn dissolved after a session of two months; which they voted for the war in the hands ard during six years the king had governed of parliamentary commissioners. They imwithout having recourse to the legislature. peached the treasurer, Lord Middlesex, for During those six years, melancholy and dis- corruption, and they passed a bill by which graceful events, at home and abroad, had fol- patents of monopoly were declared illegal. lowed one another in rapid succession ;-the Hampden did noi, during the reign of James, divorce of Lady Essex, the murder of Overbury, take any prominent part in public affairs. In the elevation of Villiers, the pardon of Somer- is certain, however, that he paid great attenset, the disgrace of Coke, the execution of Ra- tion to the details of parliamentary business, leigh, the battle of Prague, the invasion of the and to the local interests of his own county. Palatinate by Spinoia, the ignominicus flight It was in a great measure owing to his exerof the son-in-law of the English king, the de- tions, that Wendover and some other boroughs, pression of the Protestant inierest all over the on which the popular party could depend, reContinent. All the extraordinary modes by covered the elective franchise, in spite of the which James could venture to raise money opposition of the court. had been tried. His necessities were greater The health of the king had for some tinie than ever; and he was compelled to summon been declining. On the 27th of March, 162:3, the Parliament in which Hampden nade his he expired. Under his weak rule, the spirii first appearance as a public man.
of liberty had grown strong, and had become 'This Parliament lasted about twelve months. equal to the great contest. The contest was During that time it visited with deserved pu- brought on by the policy of his successor. nishment several of those who, during the Charles bore no resemblance to his father preceding six years, had enriched themselves He was not a driveller, or a pedant, or a buf b; peculation and monopoly. Michell, one of foon, or a coward. It would be absurd to deny those grasping patentees, who had purchased that he was a scholar and a gentleman, a man of the favourite the power of robbing, the na- of exquisite taste in the fine arts, a man oi tion, was fined and imprisoned for life. Mom strict morals in private life. His talents for pesson, the original, it is said, of Massinger's business were respectable; his demeanour * Overreach," was outlawed and deprived of was kingly. But he was false, imperious, ophis ill-gotten wealth. Even Sir Edward Vil- stinate, narrowminded, ignorant of the temper ciers, the brother of Buckingham, found il of his people, unobservant of the signs of his