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England's people, when he invaded the country, and hurled from the throne his uncle and father-in-law. It was sheer ambition, combined with the intense hatred of Louis XIV., who, it seems, had insulted him, whose mother was legitimately royal, with the offer of one of his spurious issue in marriage.
Cæsar, as affirmed by Cicero, (De Officiis, lib. iii., cap. 21,) had in constant utterance—" semper in ore," the poetic line, or maxim, which may be applied to William's dethronement of, it may be said, a parent. It is from Euripides-(Phænissæ 527,)
“Ειπερ γὰρ ἀδικεῖν χρή, τυρρανίδος πέρι
Κάλλιστον ἀδικέιν: τἄλλα δ' ευσεβειν χρεών."
Cicero, with just diffidence of his poetic faculty, renders the distich, incondite, he owns as follows:
"Nam si violandum est jus, regnandi gratia
Violandum est: in aliis rebus pietatem colas."
In this pagan, would it were not practically a christian, sentence, crime, identical in moral character, may ennoble or pollute, as measured by the grandeur of its object, and scale of transgression, exalting the great despoiler,-the insatiate conqueror, or unscrupulous aspirant to a crown, into a hero, while consigning the humbler culprit in the same pursuit, branded with infamy, to the executioner. "At tu," said the Scythian orator, according to Quintus Curtius, (lib. vii., 8,)" qui te gloriaris ad latrones persequendos venire, omnium gentium quas adisti, latro es.” And in more comprehensive enunciation of the truth, St. Augustine, (De Civitate Dei. lib. iv., chapter 4,) asks "Remota justitia, quid sunt bella nisi latrocinia magna?" The Irish nation surely did not call William
to her aid: it was a comparatively small section of her people; for James only was her legitimate, her acknowledged king. With the exception of a few foreigners in command, his army was exclusively Irish, of whom, on the other hand, very few relatively were on William's side. That of the Boyne was the sole important combat in which he was victorious; for he had been constantly defeated by Marshal Luxembourg, whose retort on William's sarcastic allusion to his crooked back, is well known. "He has never seen my back, and often have I made him show his." The duke of Berwick's delineation of William, and the power of his eagle eye, on their first interview, in 1693, after the battle of Norwinden, is very impressive, (See Mémoires de Berwick, tom i., and St. Simon, tome iii., p. 300.) Although in respect to Ireland at least, the cause of James was assuredly the more just, in result, we now may felicitate ourselves, long though we suffered, on his defeat.
In his early days James served with honor under Turenne, and afterwards, when compelled to quit France, at the requisition of Cromwell, under Don Juan of Austria and the Grand Condé, in the Spanish service. When on the restoration, he, as Lord High Admiral, commanded the English fleet, on the 3rd of June 1665, he gained a signal victory over Opham, admiral of the Dutch republic, then our most redoubted foe and rival on the deep; and again, on the 27th of May 1672, he triumphed over De Ruyter, the greatest sea commander, says Hume, of the age. These battles, whether the combination of skill or boon of fortune, established for him a high name;
and even Napoleon attributed much to fortune in victories.
"Fu il vincer sempre mai laudabil cosa,
Orlando Furioso, Canto xv. 1.
Nor should we forget that we owe to him some naval improvements. From Hume, too, (volume viii.,) we learn how much the commercial concerns of England advanced during his short reign, while that of his supplanter was consumed in war.
Mr. Macauley fondly dwells on William's attachment to his favorite, Bentinck, whom he afterwards created Earl of Portland, to prove, that he was not altogether the cold-hearted being that history describes him; but we have at least equal evidence of James' long and constantly demonstrated friendship for the Penns, father and son, uninterrupted even by what is supposed so operative on his feelings, a signal variance of religion. And what is additionally creditable to James, in this instance, is that the elder Penn had commanded under him the English fleet in 1665, against Opham, when, as usual, the real merit of the victory was by many ascribed to the experienced seaman, while, in the official report, the laurels adorned the brow of his royal superior, in whose breast, however, this popular transfer of the honor obviously excited no jealousy. In respect to Sir William Penn, that truly great and good man, Mr. Macauley has to vindicate his character, as an historian, from the powerfully supported proofs adduced by Mr. Forster, in his republication of Clarkson's Life of Penn, of apparently the most unfounded imputations on that eminent person's acts and principles. James' uniform
regard for the Earl of Feversham, a foreign Protestant, proves by a further testimony, that his feelings were not always swayed by a conformity to his creed.
Mr. Macauley has again to justify his accusation of Mary Beatrice, the consort of James, who, he asserts, had requested that one hundred of the rebels sentenced to transportation, after Monmouth's defeat at the battle of Sedgemore, in 1685, should be given to her. "The profits," he says, "which she cleared on the cargo, (by the sale of the convicts in the colonies,) after making large allowance for those who died of hunger and fever during the passage, cannot be estimated at less than one thousand guineas." (History of England, vol. i., p. 655.) This, Miss Strickland, (Historic Scenes, page 178,) justly calls, a very ugly story, but she most clearly proves it to be a monstrous misstatement; and most discreditable, we must say it is, to the historian, whom it is painful to see thus darkened in his views, and perverted in his feelings by impassioned prepossessions. Had the Queen acted towards James the part of his unworthy daughter, her delinquency, however great, would have found. some palliative; but because she was the affectionate, not the rebellious wife of the object of his abhorrence, she is made participant of her husband's misdeeds; for his contact, in the historian's belief, is contamination. Mr. Macauley's partiality for William has obtained favor for this monarch's wife, most undeserving as she was of it, while the historian's antipathy to James, extends in bitter injustice to his queen, whose character was most amiable, and her conduct most exemplary in every relation of life. All her ladies, observes Miss Strickland, loved and esteemed her-Protestants
as well as those of her own persuasion. Even her old coachman, who had served Cromwell in that capacity, followed her to France, and offered his gratuitous services, in the exercise of which he died. The testimony borne of this princess by all who knew or approached her, is uniform in the representation of her excellent qualities, to which Mr. Macauley is pleased to oppose an impeachment, not less grounded in fact than, we regret to add, seemingly, at least, little creditable in purpose. But see Miss Strickland's repelling demonstration—it appears irresistible even by all the eloquence and ingenuity of her able adversary.
But at the Boyne, James was no longer what he had been, or promised to be, and we repeat, that he most justly forfeited the affections of the faithful people, who even after the experience of his incapacity, or worse, long adhered to him. His legitimate son, whom the pious Protestants descended to every artifice of conscious imposture to disinherit, was devoid of talents; nor was his grandson, though the short-lived object of admiration, and descendant too of the great Sobieski, much superior, while his natural son, the Duke of Berwick, was nearly as able a general, and a far better man than his uncle, the Duke of Marlborough; but his descendants in France and Spain have sunk into insignificance of capacity and character.
In April last, (1850,) there appeared an advertisement in a Parisian newspaper, “L'Union Quotidienne,” announcing the following work-" Essai sur l'Irlande Ancienne et Moderne, et sur les Brigades Irlandaises