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official circles. Almost all that remained of what feelings; yet they had not acquired a strong had been good and noble in the Cavaliers and passion for innovation. Accustomed to see old Roundheads of 1642, was now to be found in establishments shaking, falling, lying in ruins the middling orders. The principles and feel- all around them,-to live under a succession ings which prompted the "Grand Remon- of constitutions, of which the average durastrance" were still strong among the sturdy tion was about a twelvemonth,--they had no yeomen, and the decent God-fearing merchants. religious reverence for prescription;-nothing The spirit of Derby and Capel still glowed in of that frame of mind which naturally springs many sequestered manor-houses; but among from the habitual contemplation of immemorial those political leaders who, at the time of the antiquity and immovable stability. AccustomRestoration, were still young, or in the vigoured, on the other hand, to see change after change of manhood, there was neither a Southampton welcomed with eager hope and ending in dis nor a Vane, neither a Falkland nor a Hamp-appointment,-to see shame and confusion of den. That pure, fervent, and constant loyalty face follow the extravagant hopes and predic which, in the preceding reign, had remained tions of rash and fanatical innovators--they unshaken on fields of disastrous battle, in had learned to look on professions of public foreign garrets and cellars, and at the bar of spirit, and on schemes of reform, with distrust the High Court of Justice, was scarcely to be and contempt. They had sometimes talked found among the rising courtiers. As little, or the language of devoted subjects-sometimes still less, could the new chiefs of parties lay that of ardent lovers of their country. But claim to the great qualities of the statesmen their secret creed seems to have been, that who had stood at the head of the Long Parlia- loyalty was one great delusion, and patriotism ment. Hampden, Pym, Vane, Cromwell, are another. If they really entertained any predi discriminated from the ablest politicians of lection for the monarchical or for the popular the succeeding generation, by all the strong part of the constitution.--for Episcopacy or for lineaments which distinguish the men who Presbyterianism,--that predilection was feeble produce revolutions from the men whom revo- and languid; and instead of overcoming, as in lutions produce. The leader in a great change, the times of their fathers, the dread of exile, conthe man who stirs up a reposing community, fiscation, and death, was rarely of proof to resist and overthrows a deeply-rooted system, may be the slightest impulse of selfish ambition or of a very depraved man; but he can scarcely be selfish fear. Such was the texture of the Presdestitute of some moral qualities which extort byterianism of Lauderdale, and of the speculaeven from enemies a reluctant admiration- tive republicanism of Halifax. The sense of fixedness of purpose, intensity of will, enthu- political honour seemed to be extinct. With siasm which is not the less fierce or perse- the great mass of mankind, the test of integrity vering, because it is sometimes disguised under in a public man is consistency. This test, the semblance of composure, and which bears though very defective, is perhaps the best that down before it the force of circumstances and any, except very acute or very near observers, the opposition of reluctant minds. These are capable of applying; and does undoubtedly qualities, variously combined with all sorts of enable the people to form an estimate of the virtues and vices, may be found, we think, in characters of the great, which, on the whole, most of the authors of great civil and religious approximates to correctness. But during the movements,--in Cæsar, in Mohammed, in latter part of the seventeenth century, inconHildebrand, in Dominic, in Luther, in Robes-sistency had necessarily ceased to be a dispierre; and these qualities were found, in no grace; and a man was no more taunted with scanty measure, among the chiefs of the party it, than he is taunted with being black at Timwhich opposed Charles the First. The cha- buctoo. Nobody was ashamed of avowing racter of the men whose minds are formed in what was common to him with the whole the midst of the confusion which follows a nation. In the short space of about seven great revolution is generally very different. years, the supreme power had been held by the Heat, the natural philosophers tell us, produces Long Parliament, by a Council of Officers, by rarefaction of the air, and rarefaction of the air Barebone's Parliament, by a Council of Officers produces cold. So zeal makes revolutions, again, by a Protector according to the Instruand revolutions make men zealous for nothing. ment of Government, by a Protector according The politicians of whom we speak, whatever to the humble petition and advice, by the Long may be their natural capacity or courage, are Parliament again, by a third Council of Officers, almost always characterized by a peculiar by the Long Parliament a third time. by the levity, a peculiar inconstancy, an easy, apa- Convention, and by the king. In such times, thetic way of looking at the most solemn ques- consistency is so inconvenient to a man who tions, a willingness to leave the direction of affects it, and to all who are connected with their course to fortune and popular opinion, a him, that it ceases to be regarded as a virtue, notion that one public cause is pretty nearly and is considered as impracticable obstinacy as good as another, and a firm conviction that and idle scrupulosity. Indeed, in such times, it is much better to be the hireling of the worst a good citizen may be bound in duty to serve cause than to be a martyr to the best. a succession of governments. Blake did so in one profession, and Hale in another; and the conduct of both has been approved by posterity. But it is clear that when inconsistency with respect to the most important public questions has ceased to be a reproach, incon sistency with respect to questions of minor
This was most strikingly the case with the English statesmen of the generation which followed the Restoration. They had neither the enthusiasm of the Cavalier, nor the enthusiasm of the Republican. They had been early emancipated from the dominion of old usages and
ancient and honourable, had, before his time, been scarcely mentioned in our history; but which, long after his death, produced so many eminent men, and formed such distinguished alliances, that it exercised, in a regular and constitutional manner, an influence in the state scarcely inferior to that which, in widely differ. ent times, and by widely different arts, the house of Neville attained in England, and that of Douglas Scotland. During the latter years of George II., and through the whole reign of George III., members of that widely spread and powerful connection were almost constantly at the head either of the Government or of the Opposition. There were times when the "cousinhood," as it was once nicknamed, would of itself have furnished almost all the materials necessary for the construction of an efficient cabinet. Within the space of fifty years, three First Lords of the Treasury, three Secretaries of State, two Keepers of the Privy Seal, and four First Lords of the Admiralty were appointed from among the sons and grandsons of the Countess Temple.
This character is susceptible of innumerable So splendid have been the fortunes of the modifications, according to the innumerable main stock of the Temple family, continued by varieties of intellect and temper in which it female succession. William Temple, the first may be found. Men of unquiet minds and of the line who attained to any great historical violent ambition followed a fearfully eccentric eminence, was of a younger branch. His facourse-darted wildly from one extreme to ther, Sir John Temple, was Master of the Rolls another-served and betrayed all parties in in Ireland, and distinguished himself among turn-showed their unblushing foreheads al- the Privy Councillors of that kingdom by the ternately in the van of the most corrupt admi-zeal with which, at the commencement of the nistrations and the most factious oppositions-struggle between the crown and the Long were privy to the most guilty mysteries, first Parliament, he supported the popular cause. of the Cabal, and then of the Rye-House Plot He was arrested by order of the Duke of Or -abjured their religion to win their sovereign's mond, but regained his liberty by an exchange, favour, while they were secretly planning his repaired to England, and there sat in the House overthrow--shrived themselves to Jesuits with of Commons as burgess for Chichester. He at letters in cipher from the Prince of Orange in tached himself to the Presbyterian party, and their pockets-corresponded with the Hague was one of those moderate members who, at whilst in office under James-began to corres- the close of the year 1648, voted for treating pond with St. Germains as soon as they had with Charles on the basis to which that prince kissed hands for office under William. But had himself agreed, and who were, in conseTemple was not one of these. He was not quence, turned out of the House, with small destitute of ambition. But his was not one of ceremony, by Colonel Pride. Sir John seems, those souls within which unsatisfied ambition however, to have made his peace with the anticipates the tortures of hell, gnaws like the victorious Independents; for, in 1653, he reworm which dieth not, and burns like the fire sumed his office in Ireland. which is not quenched. His principle was to make sure of safety and comfort, and to let greatness come if it would. It came: he enjoyed it: and in the very first moment in which it could no longer be enjoyed without danger and vexation, he contentedly let it go. He was not exempt, we think, from the prevailing political immorality. His mind took the contagion, but took it ad modum recipientis ;-in a form so mild that an undiscerning judge might doubt whether it were indeed the same fierce pestilence that was raging all around. The malady partook of the constitutional languor of the patient. The general corruption, mitigated by his calm and unadventurous temperament, showed itself in omissions and desertions, not I positive crimes; and his inactivity, though sometimes timorous and selfish, becomes respectable when compared with the malevolent and perficious restlessness of Shaftesbury and Sunderland.
Temple sprang from a family which, though
Importance is not likely to be regarded as dishonoutable. In a country in which many very honest people had, within the space of a few months, supported the government of the Protector, that of the Rump, and that of the King, a man was not likely to be ashamed of abandoning his party for a place, or of voting for a bill which he had opposed.
The public men of the times which followed the Restoration were by no means deficie courage or ability; and some kinds of talent appear to have been developed amongst them to a remarkable-we might almost say, to a morbid and unnatural degree. Neither Theramenes in ancient, nor Talleyrand in modern times, had a finer perception of all the peculiarities of character, and of all the indications of coming change, than some of our countrymen of those days. Their power of reading things of high import, in signs which to others were invisible or unintelligible, resembled magic. But the curse of Reuben was upon them all: Unstable as water, thou shall not excel."
Sir John Temple was married to a sister of the celebrated Henry Hammond, a learned and pious divine, who took the side of the king with very conspicuous zeal during the Civil War, and was deprived of his preferment in the church after the victory of the Parliament. On account of the loss which Hammond sustained on this occasion, he has the honour of being designated, in the cant of that new brood of Oxonian sectaries who unite the worst parts of the Jesuit to the worst parts of the Orangeman, as Hammond, Presbyter, Doctor, and Confessor.
William Temple, Sir John's eldest son, was born in London, in the year 1628. He received his early education under his maternal uncle, was subsequently sent to school at BishopStortford, and, at seventeen, began to reside at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where the celebrated Cudworth was his tutor. The times were not favourable to study. The Civil War disturbed even the quiet cloisters and bowling,
greens of Cambridge, produced violent revolutions in the government and discipline of the colleges, and unsettled the minds of the students. Temple forgot at Emmanuel all the little Greek which he had brought from Bishop-illustrious father, destitute also of the meck Stortford, and never retrieved the loss;-a cir- and placid virtues of his elder brother, this cumstance which would hardly be worth notic- young man was perhaps a more formidable ing but for the almost incredible fact, that fifty rival in love than either of them would have years later, he was so absurd as to set up his been. Mrs. Hutchinson, speaking the senti own authority against that of Bentley on ques- ments of the grave and aged, describes him as tions of Greek history and philology. He made an "insolent fool,” and a “debauched ungodly no proficiency either in the old philosophy Cavalier." These expressions probably mean which still lingered in the schools of Cam- that he was one who, among young and dissibridge, or in the new philosophy of which pated people, would pass for a fine gentleman. Lord Bacon was the founder. But to the end Dorothy was fond of dogs of larger and more of his life he continued to speak of the former formidable breed than those which lie on mowith ignorant admiration, and of the latter dern hearth-rugs; and Henry Cromwell prowith equally ignorant contempt. mised that the highest functionaries at Dublin After residing at Cambridge two years, he should be set to work to procure her a fine departed without taking a degree, and set out Irish greyhound. She seems to have felt his upon his travels. He seems then to have been attentions as very flattering, though his father a lively, agreeable young man of fashion, not was then only Lord-General, and not yet Proby any means deeply read, but versed in all tector. Love, however, triumphed over ambi the superficial accomplishments of a gentle- tion, and the young lady appears never to have man, and acceptable in all polite societies. In regretted her decision; though, in a letter writ politics he professed himself a Royalist. His ten just at the time when all England was ringopinions on religious subjects seem to have ing with the news of the violent dissolution of been such as might be expected from a young the Long Parliament, she could not refrain man of quick parts, who had received a ram- from reminding Temple, with pardonable va bling education, who had not thought deeply,nity, "how great she might have been, if she who had been disgusted by the morose austeri- had been so wise as to have taken hold of the ty of the Puritans, and who, surrounded from offer of H. C." childhood by the hubbub of conflicting sects, might easily learn to feel an impartial contempt for them all.
Nor was it only the influence of rivals that Temple had to dread. The relations of his mistress regarded him with personal dislike, and spoke of him as an unprincipled adventurer, without honour or religion, ready to render services to any party for the sake of preferment. This is, indeed, a very distorted view of Temple's character. Yet a character, even in the most distorted view taken of it by the most angry and prejudiced minds, generally retains something of its outline. No caricaturist ever represented Mr. Pitt as a Falstaff, or Mr. Fox as a skeleton; nor did any libeller ever impute parsimony to Sheridan, or profusion to Marlborougn. It must be allowed that the turn of mind which the eulogists of Ter
On his road to France he fell in with the son and daughter of Sir Peter Osborne. Sir Peter was Governor of Guernsey for the king, and the young people were, like the father, warm for the royal cause. At an inn where they stopped, in the Isle of Wight, the brother amused himself with inscribing on the windows his opinion of the ruling powers. For this instance of malignancy the whole party were arrested and brought before the governor. The sister, trusting to the tenderness which, even in those troubled times, scarcely any gentleman of any party ever failed to show where a woman was concerned, took the crime on her-ple have dignified with the appellation of phi self, and was immediately set at liberty with losophical indifference, and which, however her fellow-travellers. becoming it may be in an old and experienced statesman, has a somewhat ungraceful appear ance in youth, might easily appear shocking to a family who were ready to fight or suffer martyrdom for their exiled king and their persecuted church. The poor girl was exceedingly hurt and irritated by these imputations on her lover, defended him warmly behind his back. and addressed to himself some very tender and anxious admonitions, mingled with assurances of her confidence in his honour and virtue. On one occasion she was most highly provoked by the way in which one of her brothers spoke of Temple: "We talked ourselves weary," she says "he renounced me, and I defied him."
many suitors as were drawn to Belmont by the fame of Portia. The most distinguished on the list was Henry Cromwell. Destitute of the capacity, the energy, the magnanimity of his
This incident, as was natural, made a deep impression on Temple. He was only twenty. Dorothy Osborne was twenty-one. She is said to have been handsome; and there remains abundant proof that she possessed an ample share of the dexterity, the vivacity, and the tenderness of her sex. Temple soon became, in the phrase of that time, her servant, and she returned his regard. But difficulties as great as ever expanded a novel to the fifth volume, opposed their wishes. When the courtship commenced, the father of the hero was sitting in the Long Parliament, the father of the heroine was holding Guernsey for King Charles. Even when the war ended, and Sir Peter Osborne returned to his seat at Chicksands, the prospects of the lovers were scarcely less gloomy. Sir John Temple had a more advan- respecting Temple's movements during that tageous alliance in view for his son. Dorothy time. But he seems to have led a rambling Osborne was in the mean time beseiged by as | life, sometimes on the Continent, sometimes in
Nearly seven years did this arduous wooing continue. We are not accurately informed
Ireland, sometimes in London. He made him- | good or evil may hereafter be produced. The self master of the French and Spanish lan- poisoning of an emperor is in one sense a far guages, and amused himself by writing Essays more serious matter than the poisoning of a and Romances-an employment which at least rat. But the poisoning of a rat may be an era served the purpose of forming his style. The in chemistry; and an emperor may be poisoned specimen which Mr. Courtenay has preserved by such ordinary means, and with such ordiof those early compositions is by no means nary symptoms, that no scientific journal would contemptible. Indeed, there is one passage notice the occurrence. An action for a hun on Like and Dislike which could have been pro- dred thousand pounds is in one sense a more duced only by a mind habituated carefully to momentous affair than an action for fifty reflect on its own operations, and which re- pounds. But it by no means follows that the minds us of the best things in Montaigne. learned gentlemen who report the proceedings of the courts of law ought to give a fuller account of an action for a hundred thousand pounds than of an action for fifty pounds. For a cause, in which a large sum is at stake, may be important only to the particular plaintif and the particular defendant. A cause, on the other hand, in which a small sum is at stake, may establish some great principle interesting to half the families in the kingdom. The case is exactly the same with that class of subjects of which historians treat. To an Athenian, in the time of the Peloponnesian war, the result of the battle of Delium was far more important than the fate of the comedy of the "Knights." But to us the fact that the comedy of the Knights" was brought on the Athenian stage with success is far more important than the fact that the Athenian phalanx gave way at Delium. Neither the one event nor the other has any intrinsic importance. We are in no danger of being speared by the Thebans. We are not quizzed in the "Knights." To us, the importance of both events consists in the value of the general truth which is to be learned from them. What general truths do we learn from the accounts which have come down to us of the battle of Delium? Very little more than this, that when two armies fight, it is not improbable that one of them will be very soundly beaten-a truth which it would not, we appre hend, be difficult to establish, even if all memory of the battle of Delium were lost among men. But a man who becomes acquainted with the comedy of the Knights," and with the history of that comedy, at once feels his mind enlarged. Society is presented to him under a new aspect. He may have read and travelled much. He may have visited all the countries of Europe, and the civilized nations of the East. He may have observed the manners of many barbarous races. But here is something altogether different from every thing which he has seen either among polished men or among savages. Here is a community, po litically, intellectually, and morally unlike any other community of which he has the means of forming an opinion. This is the really pre cious part of history,-the corn which some threshers carefully sever from the chaff, for the purpose of gathering the chaff into the garner, and flinging the corn into the fire.
He appears to have kept up a very active correspondence with his mistress. His letters are lost, but hers have been preserved; and many of them appear in these volumes. Mr. Courtenay expresses some doubt whether his readers will think him justified in inserting so large a number of these epistles. We only wish that there were twice as many. Very little indeed of the diplomatic correspondence of that generation is so well worth reading. There is a vile phrase of which bad historians are exceedingly fond-"the dignity of history." One writer is in possession of some anecdotes which would illustrate most strikingly the operation of the Mississippi scheme on the manners and morals of the Parisians. But he suppresses those anecdotes because they are too low for the dignity of history. Another is strongly tempted to mention some facts indicating the horrible state of the prisons of England two hundred years ago. But he hardly thinks that the sufferings of a dozen felons pigging together on bare bricks in a hole fifteen feet square would form a subject suited to the dignity of history. Another, from respect for the dignity of history, publishes an account of the reign of George II., without ever mentioning Whitefield's preaching in Moorfields. How should a writer, who can talk about senates, and congresses of sovereigns, and pragmatic sanctions, and ravelines, and counterscarps, and battles where ten thousand men are killed and six thousand men with fifty stands of colours and eighty guns taken, stoop to the StockExchange, to Newgate, to the theatre, to the tabernacle?
Tragedy has its dignity as well as history; and how much the tragic art has owed to that lignity any man may judge who will compare the majestic Alexandrines in which the "Seigneur Oreste" and "Madame Andromaque" utter their complaints, with the chattering of the fool in "Lear," and of the nurse in "Romeo and Juliet."
That an historian should not record trifles, that he should confine himself to what is important, is perfectly true. But many writers seem never to have considered on what the historical importance of an event depends. They seem not to se aware that the importance of a fact, when that fact is considered with reference to its immediate effects, and the importance of the same fact, when that fact is considered as part of the materials for the construction of a science, are two very different things. The quantity of good or evil which a transaction produces is by no means necessarily proportioned to the quantity of ght which that transaction affords as to the way in which
Thinking thus, we are glad to learn so much, and would willingly learn more, about the loves of Sir William and his mistress. In the seventeenth century, to be sure, Louis XIV. was a much more important person than Temple's sweetheart. But death and time equalize all things. Neither the great king, nor the beauty of Bedfordshire -neither the gorgeous
paradise of Marli nor Mistress Osborne's favourite walk" in the common that lay hard by the house, where a great many young wenches used to keep sheep and cows and sit in the shade singing of ballads,"-is any thing to us. Louis and Dorothy are alike dust. A cottonmill stands on the ruins of Marli, and the Osbornes have ceased to dwell under the ancient roof of the Chicksands. But of that information, for the sake of which alone it is worth while to study remote events, we find so much in the love-letters which Mr. Courtenay has published, that we would gladly purchase equally interesting billets with ten times their weight in state papers taken at random. To us surely it is as useful to know how the young ladies of England employed themselves a hundred and eighty years ago,-how far their minds were cultivated, what were their favourite studies, what degree of liberty was allowed to them, and what use they made of that liberty, what accomplishments they most valued in men, and what proofs of tenderness delicacy permitted them to give to favoured suitors, as to know all about the seizure of Franche Comté and the treaty of Nimeguen. The mutual relations of the two sexes seem to us to be at least as important as the mutual relations of any two governments in the world; and a series of letters, written by a virtuous, amiable, sensible girl, and intended for the eye of her lover alone, can scarcely fail to throw some light on the relations of the sexes; whereas it is perfectly possible, as all who have made any historical researches can attest, to read bale after bale of despatches and protocols without catching one glimpse of light about the relations of governments.
worse for some passages in which raillery and tenderness are mixed in a very engaging namby-pamby.
When at last the constancy of the lovers had triumphed over all the obstacles which kinsmen and rivals could oppose to their union, a yet more serious calamity befell them. Poor Mistress Osborne fell ill of the small-pox, and, though she escaped with life, lost all her beauty. To this most severe trial the affection and honour of the lovers of that age was not unfrequently subjected. Our readers probably remember what Mrs. Hutchinson tells us of herself. The lofty Cornelia-like spirit of the aged matron seems to melt into a long-forgotten softness when she relates how her beloved Colonel "married her as soon as she was able to quit the chamber, when the priest and all that saw her were affrighted to look on her. But God," she adds, with a not ungraceful vanity, "recompensed his justice and constancy, by restoring her as well as before." Temple showed on this occasion the same "justice and constancy" which did so much honour to Colonel Hutchinson. The date of the marriage is not exactly known. But Mr. Courtenay supposes it to have taken place about the end of the year 1654. From this time we lose sight of Dorothy, and are reduced to form our opi nion of the terms on which she and her hus band were, from very slight indications which may easily mislead us.
Temple soon went to Ireland, and resided with his father, partly in Dublin, partly in the county of Carlow. Ireland was probably ther a more agreeable residence for the higher classes, as compared with England, than it has ever been before or since. In no part of the Mr. Courtenay proclaims that he is one of empire were the superiority of Cromwell's Dorothy Osborne's devoted servants, and ex- abilities and the force of his character so sig presses a hope that the publication of her letters | nally displayed. He had not the power, and will add to the number. We must declare our-probably had not the inclination, to govern that selves his rival. She really seems to have been island in the best way. The rebellion of the a very charming young woman-modest, ge-aboriginal race had excited in England a strong nerous, affectionate, intelligent, and sprightly, religious and national aversion to them; nor —a royalist, as was to be expected from her is there any reason to believe that the Proconnections, without any of that political aspe-tector was so far beyond his age as to be free rity which is as unwomanly as a long beard,- from the prevailing sentiment. He had vanreligious, and occasionally gliding into a very quished them; he knew that they were in his pretty and enduring sort of preaching, yet not power; and he regarded them as a band of too good to partake of such diversions as Lon- malefactors and idolaters, who were mercifully don afforded under the melancholy rule of the treated if they were not smitten with the edge Puritans, or to giggle a little at a ridiculous of the sword. On those who resisted he had sermon from a divine who was thought to be made war as the Hebrews made war on the one of the great lights of the Assembly at Canaanites. Drogheda was as Jericho; and Westminster, with a little turn for coquetry, Wexford as Ai. To the remains of the old which was yet perfectly compatible with warm population the conqueror granted a peace, and disinterested attachment, and a little turn such as that which Joshua granted to the Gifor satire, which yet seldom passed the bounds beonites. He made them hewers of wood and of good nature. She loved reading; but her drawers of water. But, good or bad, he could studies were not those of Elizabeth and Lady not be otherwise than great. Under favourable Jane Grey. She read the verses of Cowley circumstances, Ireland would have found in and Lord Broghill, French Memoirs recom- him a most just and beneficent ruler. She mended by her lover, and the Travels of Fer- found him a tyrant; not a small, teasing tyrant nando Mendez Pinto. But her favourite books such as those who have so long been her curse were those ponderous French Romances which and her shame,—but one of those awful tyrants modern readers know chiefly from the pleasant who, at long intervals, seem to be sent on satire of Charlotte Lennox. She could not, earth, like avenging angels, with some high however, help laughing at the vile English into commission of destruction and renovation. He which they were translated. Her own style is was no man of half measures, of mean affronts Verv agreeable, nor are her letters at all the and ungracious concessions. His Protestant