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of subjects, that it would require, not an even-| troubled times, nave worked out the delivering's sail cn the Thames, but rather a voyage ance of nations and their own greatness, not by to the Indies, accurately to treat of all; yet, in logic, not by rhetoric, but by wariness in sucas few words as I may, I will explain my sense cess, by calmness in danger, by fierce anu of these matters.

stubborn resolution in all adversity. The " First, as to the army. An army, as you hearts of men are their books; events are their have well set forth, is always a weapon dan- tutors ; great actions are their eloquence; and gerous to those who use it; yet he who falls such a one, in my judgment, was his late among thieves spares not to fire his musque- Highness, who, if none were to treat his name toon because he may be slain if it burst in his scornfully now, who shook not at the sound of hand. Nor must states refrain from defending it while he lived, woald, by very few, be menthemselves, lest their defenders should at last tioned otherwise than with reverence. His turn against them. Nevertheless, against this own deeds shall avouch him for a great statesdanger statesmen should carefully provide; man, a great soldier, a true lover of his counand, that they may do so, they should take es- try, a merciful and generous conqueror. pecial care that neither the officers nor the sol- “For his faults, let us reflect that they who diers do forget that they are also citizens. I seem to lead are oftentimes most constrained do believe that the English army would have to follow. They who will mix with men, and continued to obey the Parliament with all duty, specially they who will govern them, must, in but for one act, which, as it was in intention, many things, obey them. They who will yield in seeming, and in immediate effect, worthy to to no such conditions may be hermits, but be compared with the most famous in history, cannot be generals and statesmen. If a man so was it, in its final consequence, most inju- will walk straight forward without turning to rious. I speak of that ordinance called the the right or the left, he must walk in a desert, self-denying, and of the new model of the army. and not in Cheapside. Thus was he enforced By those measures the Commons gave up the to do many things which jumped not with his command of their forces into the hands of men inclination nor made for his honour; because who were pot of themselves. Hence, doubtless, the army, on which alone he could depend for derived no small horour to that noble asser-power and life, might not otherwise be conbly, which sacrificed to the hope of public good tented. And I, for mine own part, marvel less the assurance of private advantage. And, as to that he sometimes was fain to indulge their the conduct of the war, the scheme prospered. violence than that he could so often restrain it. Witness the battle of Naseby, and the memo- "“ In that he dissolved the parliament, I praise rable exploits of Fairfax in the west; but there him. It then was so diminished in numbers, by the Parliament lost that hold on the soldiers as well by the death as by the exclusion of and that power to control them, which they re- members, that it was no longer the same astained while every regiment was commanded sembly; and if at that time it had made itself by their own members. Politicians there be, perpetual, we should have been governed, not who would wholly divide the legislative from by an English House of Commons, but by a the executive power. In the golden age this Venetian Council. may have succeeded; in the millennium it “ If in his following rule he overstepped the may succeed again. But where great armies laws, I pity rather than condemn him. He and great taxes are required, there the execu- may be compared to that Mwandius of Samos, tive government must always hold a great au- of whom Herodotus saith, in his Thalia, that thority, which authority, that it may not oppress wishing to be of all men the most just, he was and destroy the legislature, must be in some not able; for after the death of Polycrates he manner blended with it. The leaders of fo- offered freedom to the people, and not till cerreign mercenaries have always been mosttain of them threatened to call him to a reckondangerous to a country. The officers of native ing for what he had formerly done, did he armies, deprived of the civil privileges of other change his purpose, and make himself a tyrant, men, are as much to be feared. This was the lest he should be treated as a criminal. great error of that parliament, and though an “Such was the case of Oliver. He gave to error it were, it was an error generous, vir- his country a form of government so free and tuous, and more to be deplored than censured. admirable, that, in near six thousand years,

"Hence came the power of the army and its human wisdom hath never devised any more leaders, and especially of that most famous excellent contrivance for human happiness. leader, whom both in our conversation to-day, To himself he reserved so little power that it and in that discourse whereon I before touched, would scarcely have sufficed for his safety, and you have, in my poor opinion, far too roughly it is a marvel that it could suffice for his ambihandled. Wherefore you speak contemptibly tion. When, after that, he found that the menof his parts I know not; but I suspect that you bers of his Parliament disputed his right even are not free from the error common to studious to that small authority which he had keph, and speculative men. Because Oliver was an when he might have kept all, then indeed I ungraceful orator, and never said, either in own that he began to govern by the sword public or private, any thing memorable, you those who would not suffer him to govern ly will have it that he was of a mean capacity. the law. Sure this is unjust. Many men have there been “But for the rest, what sovereign was ever: ignorant of letters, without wit, without elo- more princely in pardoning injuries, in con quence, who yet had the wisdom to devise, and quering enemies, in extending the dominions the courage to perform that which they lacked and the renown of his people? What sea. language to explain. Such inen often, in what shore did he not mark with imperishable

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mcmorials of his friendship or his vengeance ? Mr. Cowley seemed to me not to take much The gold of Spain, the steel of Sweden, the ten amiss what Mr. Milton had said touching that thousand sails of Holland, availed nothing thankless court, which had indeed but poorly against him. While every foreign state trem- requited his own good service. He only said, bled at our arms, we sat secure from all as therefore, “Another rebellion ! Alas! alas! sault. War, which often so strangely troubles Mr. Milton. If there be no choice but between both husbandry and commerce, never silenced despotism and anarchy, I prefer despotism.” the song of our reapers, or the sound of our "Many men,” said Mr. Milton, "have floridly looms. Justice was equally administered; God and ingeniously compared anarchy and despois was freely worshipped.

ism; but they who so amuse themselves do but “Now look at that which we have taken in look at separate parts of that which is truly exchange. With the restored king have come one great whole. Each is the cause and the over to us vices of every sort, and most the effect of the other;—the evils of either are the basest and most shameful-lust, without love evils of both. Thus do states move on in the -servitude, without loyalty,-foulness of same eternal cycle, which, from the remotest speech_dishonesty of dealing-grinning con- point, brings them back again to the same sad tempt of all things good and generous. The starting-post: and till both those who govern throne is surrounded by men whom the former and those who obey shall learn and mark this Charles would have spurned from his footstool. great truth, men can expect little through the The altar is served by slaves whose knees are future, as they have known little through the supple to every being but God. Rhymers, past, save vicissitude of extreme evils, alterwhose books the hangman should burn, pan- nately producing and produced. ders, actors, and buffoons, these drink a health “When will rulers learn, that where liberty and throw a main with the king; these have is not, security and order can never be? We stars on their breasts and gold sticks in their talk of absolute power, but all power hath hands; these shut out from his presence the limits, which, if not fixed by the moderation of best and bravest of those who bled for his the governors, will be fixed by the force of the house. Even so doth God visit those who governed. Sovereigns may send their opposers know not how to valae freedom. He gives to dungeons; they may clear out a senate. them over to the tyranny which they have de- house with soldiers ; they may enlist armies sired, “Ινα παντες επαυρωνται βασιλιας.

of spies; they may hang scores of the disaf“I will not,” said Mr. Cowley, "dispute with fected in chains at every cross-road; but what you on this argument. But if it be as you say, power shall stand in that frightful time when how can you maintain that England hath been rebellion hath become a less evil than endurso greatly advantaged by the rebellion ?" ance? Who shall dissolve that terrible tribu. “Understand me rightly, sir,” said Mr. Mil-nal, which, in the hearts of the oppressed,

“ This nation is not given over to slavery denounces against the oppressor the doom of and vice. We tasted, indeed, the fruits of its wild justice? Who shall repeal the law of liberty before they had well ripened. Their self-defence? What arms or discipline shall flavour was harsh and bitter, and we turned resist the strength of famine and despair ? How from them with loathing to the sweeter poisons often were the ancient Cæsars dragged from of servitude. This is but for a time. England their golden palaces, stripped of their purple

a is sleeping on the lap of Dalilah, traitorously robes, mangled, stoned, defiled with filth, chained, but not yet shorn of strength. Let the pierced with hooks, hurled into the Tiber! cry be once heard—the Philistines be upon How often have the Eastern Sultans perished thee; and at once that sleep will be broken, and by the sabres of their own Janissaries, or the those chains will be as flax in the fire. The bow-strings of their own mutes! For no power great Parliament hath left behind it in our which is not limited by laws can ever be prohearts and minds a hatred of tyrants, a just tected by them. Small, therefore, is the wisknowledge of our rights, a scorn of vain and dom of those who would fly to servitude as if it deluding names; and that the revellers of were a refuge from commotion ; for anarchy Whitehall shall surely find. The sun is dark- is the sure consequence of tyranny. That góened, but it is only for a moment: it is but an vernments may be safe, nations must be free. eclipse; though ali birds of evil omen have Their passions must have an outlet provided, begun to scream, and all ravenous beasts have lest they make one. gone forth to prey, thinking it to be midnight. “When I was at Naples, I went with Signor Wo to them if they be abroad when the rays Manso, a gentleman of excellent parts and again shine forth.

breeding, who had been the intimate friend of “'The king hath judged ill. Had he been that famous poet Torquato Tasso, to see the wise he would have remembered that he owed burning mountain Vesuvius. I wondered how his restoration only to confusions which had the peasants could venture to dwell so fearwearied us out, and made us eager for repose. lessly and cheerfully on its sides, when the He would have known that the folly and per- lava was flowing from its summit, but Manso fidy of a prince would restore to the good old smiled, and told me that when the fire descends cause many hearts which had been alienated freely they retreat before it without haste or thence by the turbulence of factions; for, ir Ifrar. They can tell how fast it will move, and know aught of history, or of the heart of man, how far; and they know, moreover, that though he will soon learn that the last champion of it may work some little damage, it will soon the people was not destroyed when he mur- cover the fields over which it hath passed with dered Vane, nor seduced which he beguiled rich vineyards and sweet flowers. But when Fairfax.”

fames are pent up in the inuuntain, then it is



that they have reason to fear; then it is that may be safe to spare, than how much it may the earth sinks and the sea swells; then cities be possible to change. Have you not heard are swallowed up, and their place knoweth that men who have been shut up for many them no more. So it is in politics: where the years in dungeons shrink if they see the light, neople are most closely restrained, there it and fall down if their irons be struck off. And, gives the greatest shocks to peace and order; so, when nations have long been in the house therefore would I say to all kings, let your de- of bondage, the chains which have crippled magogues lead crowds, lest they lead armies; them are necessary to support them, the darklet them bluster, lest they massacre; a little ness which hath weakened their sight is necesturbulence is, as it were, the rainbow of the sary to preserve it. Therefore release them state; it shows indeed that there is a passing not too rashly, lest they curse their freedom shower, but it is a pledge that there shall be no and pine for their prison. deluge."

“I think, indeed, that the renowned Parlia“This is true," said Mr. Cowley: “yet these ment of which we have talked so much did aumonitions are not less needful to subjects show, until it became subject to the soldiers, a than to sovereigns.”

singular and admirable moderation, in such “Surely,” said Mr. Milton, “and, that I may times scarcely to be hoped, and most worthy end this long debate with a few words in which to be an example to all that shall come after. we shall both agree, I hold that as freedom is But on this argument I have said enough; and the only safeguard of governments, so are order I will therefore only pray to Almighty God that and moderation generally necessary to preserve those who shall, in future times, stand forth in freedom. Even the vainest opinions of men defence of our liberties, as well civil as reliare net to be outraged by those who propose to gious, may adorn the good cause by mercy, ihemselves the nappiness of men for their end, prudence, and soberness, to the glory of his and who must work with the passions of men name and the happiness and honour of the for their means. The blind reverence for English people." things ancient is indeed so foolish that it might And so ended that discourse; and not long after make a wise man laugh, if it were not also we were set on shore again at the Temple Garsometimes so mischievous that it would rather dens, and there parted company: and the same make a good man weep. Yet, since it may evening I took notes of what had been said, not be wholly cured, it must be discreetly in which I have here more fully set down, from dulged, and therefore those who would amend regard both to the fame of the men, and the vil laws should consider rather how much it | importance of the subject-matter.

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Tais is a book which enjoys a great and in- , being unlike the rest of the world. Every creasing popularity; but, while it has attracted child has heard of Linnæus, therefore Mr. Mita considerable share of the public attention, ford calls him Linné; Rousseau is known all it has been little noticed by the critics. Mr. over Europe as Jean Jacques, therefore Mr. Mitford has almost succeeded in mounting, Mitford bestows on him the strange appellation anperceived by those whose office it is to watch of John James. such aspirants, to a high place among histo- Had Mr. Mitford undertaken a history of any rians. He has taken a seat on the dais without other country than Greece, this propensity being challenged by a single seneschal. To would have rendered his work useless and oppose the progress of his fame is now almost absurd. His occasional remarks on the affairs a hopeless enterprise. Had he been reviewed of ancient Rome and modern Europe are full with candid severity, when he had published of errors; but he writes of times, with respect only his first volume, his work would either to which almost every other writer has been in have deserved its reputation, or would never the wrong, and, therefore, by resolutely deviathave obtained it. “Then,” as Indra says of ing from his predecessors, he is often in the Kehama, “then was the time to strike.” The right. time was neglected; and the consequence is, Almost all the modern historians of Greece that Mr. Mitford, like Kehama, has laid his have shown the grossest ignorance of the most victorious hand on the literary Amreeta, and obvious phenomena of human nature. In their seems about to taste the precious elixir of im- representations the generals and statesmen of mortality. I shall venture to emulate the cou- antiquity are absolutely divested of all indirage of the honest Glendoveer

viduality: They are personifications; they “When now

are passions, talents, opinions, virtues, vices, He saw the Amreeta in Kehama's hand,

but not men. Inconsistency is a thing of which An impulse that defied all self-cominand, In that extremity,

these writers have no notion. That a man Stung him, and he resolved to seize the cup may have been liberal in his youth and avaAnd dare the Rajal's force in Seeva's sight. ricious in his age, cruel to one enemy and Forward he sprung to tempt the unequal fray."

merciful to another, is to them utterly incon. In plain words, I shall offer a few considera- ceivable. If the facts be undeniable, they suptions, which may tend to reduce an overpraised pose some strange and deep design, in order to writer to his proper level.

explain what, as every one who has observed The principal characteristic of this historian, his own mind knows, needs no explanation at the origin of his excellencies and his defects, all. This is a mode of writing very acceptis a love of singularity. He has no notion of able to the multitude, who have always been acgoing with a multitude to do either good or customed to make gods and demons out of men evil. An exploded opinion, or an unpopular very little better or worse than themselves; but it person, has an irresistible charm for him. appears contemptible to all who have watched The same perverseness may be traced in his the changes of human character—to all who diction. His style would never have been ele- have observed the influence of time, of circumgant, but it might at least have been manly stances, and of associates, on mankind-to all and perspicuous; and nothing but the most who have seen a hero in the gout, a democrat elaborate care could possibly have made it so in the church, a pedant in love, or a philosopher bad as it is. It is distinguished by harsh in liquor. This practice of painting in nothing phrases, strange collocations, occasional sole- but black and white is unpardonable even in cisms, frequent obscurity, and, above all, by a the drama. It is the great fault of Alfieri; and peculiar oddity, which can no more be de- how much it injures the effect of his composi. scribed than it can be overlooked. Nor is this tions will be obvious to every one who will all. Mr. Mitford piques himself on spelling compare his Rosmunda with the Lady Macbeth better than any of his neighbours; and this not of Shakspeare. The one is a wicked woman; only in ancient names, which he mangles in the other is a fiend. Her only feeling is hatred; defiance both of custom and of reason, but in all her words are curses. We are at once the most ordinary words of the English lan- shocked and fatigued by the spectacle of such guage. It is, in itself, a matter perfectly indif- raving cruelty, excited by no provocation, referent whether we call a foreigner by the name peatedly changing its object, and constant in which he bears in his own language, or by that nothing but in its inextinguishable thirst for which corresponds to it in ours; whether we blood. say Lorenzo de Medici, or Lawrence de Medici, In history this error is far more disgraceful Jean Chauvin, or John Calvin. In such cases, Indeed, there is no fault which so completely established usage is considered as law by all ruins a narrative in the opinion of a judicious writers except Mr. Mitford. If he were always reader. We know that the line of demarcation consistent with himself, he might be excused between good and bad men is so faintly marked for sometimes disagreeing with his neighbours; as often to elude the most careful investigation but he proceeds on no principle but that of of those who have the best opportunities for

judging. Public men, above all, are surround-, scriptions of the great events which they wited with so many temptations and difficulties, nessed, and the great men with whom they asthat some doubt must almost always hang over sociated. When we read the account which their real dispositions and intentions. The Plutarch and Rollin have given of the same lives of Pym, Cromwell, Monk, Clarendon, period, we scarcely know our old acquaintance Marlborough, Burnet, Walpole, are well known again; we are utterly confounded by the melo!o us. We are acquainted with their actions, dramatic effect of the narration and the sublime their speeches, their writings; we have abun- coxcombry of the characters. dance of letters and well-authenticated anec- These are the principal errors into which dotes relating to them: yet what candid man the predecessors of Mr. Mitford have fallen; will venture very positively to say which of and from most of these he is free. His faulis them were honest and which of them were dis- are of a completely different description. It is honest men. It appears easier to pronounce to be hoped that the students of history may decidedly upon the great characters of antiqui- now be saved, like Dorax in Dryden's play, by ty, not because we have greater means of dis- swallowing two conflicting poisons, each of covering truth, but simply because we have which may serve as an antidote to the other. less means of detecting error. The modern The first and most important difference behistorians of Greece have forgotten this. Their tween Mr. Mitford and those who have preheroes and villains are as consistent in all their ceded him, is in his narration. Here the adsayings and doings as the cardinal virtues and vantage lies, for the most part, on his side. the deadly sins in an allegory. We should as His principle is to follow the contemporary soon expect a good action from Giant Slay-good historians, to look with doubt on all statements in Bunyan as from Dionysius; and a crime of which are not in some degree confirmed by Epaminondas would seem as incongruous as them, and absolutely to reject all which are a faux-pas of the grave and comely damsel, contradicted by them. While he retains the called Discretion, who answered the bell at the guidance of some writer in whom he can place door cf the house Beautiful.

confidence, he goes on excellently. When he This error was partly the cause and partly loses it, he falls to the level, or perhaps below the effect of the high estimation in which the the level of the writers whom he so much delater ancient writers have been held by modern spises : he is as absurd as they, and very much scholars. Those French and English authors duller. It is really amusing to observe how who have treated of the affairs of Greece have he proceeds with his narration, when he has generally turned with contempt from the simple no better authority than poor Diodorus. He and natural narrations of Thucydides and is compelle to relate something; yet he beXenophon to the extravagant representations lieves nothing. He accompanies every fact of Plutarch, Diodorus, Curtius, and other ro- with a long statement of objections. His acmancers of the same class,-men who de count of the administration of Dionysius is in scribed military operations without ever having no sense a history. It ought to be entitledhandled a sword, and applied to the seditions "Historic doubts as to certain events alleged of little republics speculations formed by ob- to have taken place in Sicily.” servation on an empire which covered half the This skepticism, however, like that of some known world. Of liberty they knew nothing. great legal characters almost as skeptical as It was to them a great mystery,-a superhuman himself, vanishes whenever his political par. enjoyment. They ranted about liberty and tialities interfere. He is a vehement admirer patriotism, from the same cause which leads of tyranny and oligarchy, and considers no monks to talk more ardently than other men evidence as feeble which can be brought forabout love and women. A wise man values ward in favour of those forms of government. political liberty, because it secures the persons Democracy he hates with a perfect hatred, a and the possessions of citizens; because it tends hatred which, in the first volume of his history, to prevent the extravagance of rulers and the appears only in his epistles and reflections, corruption of judges; because it gives birth to but which, in those parts where he has less useful sciences and elegant arts; because it reverence for his guides, and can venture to excites the industry and increases the comforts take his own way, completely distorts even his of all classes of society. These theorists ima- narration. gined that it possessed something eternally and In taking up these opinions, I have no doubt intrinsically good, distinct from the blessings that Mr. Mitford was influenced by the same which it generally produced. They considered love of singularity which led him to spell it, not as a means, but as an end; an end to be island without an s, and to place two dots over attained at any cost. Their favourite heroes the last letter of'idea. In truth, preceding are those who have sacrificed, for the mere historians have erred so monstrously on the name of freedom, the prosperity—the security other side, that even the worst parts of Mr. --the justice—from which freedom derives its Mitford's book may be useful as a corrective. value.

For a young gentleman who talks much about There is another remarkable characteristic his country, tyrannicide, and Epaminondas, pate these writers, in which their modern wor- this work, diluted in a sufficient quantity of slippers have carefully imitated them,-a Rollin and Barthelemi, may be a very useful great fondness for good stories. The most es- remedy. tablished facts, dates, and characters are never The errors of both parties arise from an suffered to come into competition with a splen- ignorance or a neglect of the fundamental did saying or a romantic exploit. The early principles of political science. The writers historians have left us natural and simple de-, on one side imagine popular government to be Vol. III.--54

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