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verted it into an enchanting abode. There he spent many happy days in the arms of philosophy, the muses, and voluptuousness, assigning to his pleasures that portion of time which he had never refused them, reserving for study the hours formerly devoted to business; and reuniting around him a society selected from men of letters, men of the world, and the most amiable of the other sex. Voltaire, who formed one of the party, declares he was enchanted with his visits. “I have found,” said he, “in this illustrious Englishman, all the irrudition of his country, mingled with all the politeness of our own. I never heard any one pronounce our language with more energy and propriety. This man, who has been all his life engaged in pleasures and business, has, nevertheless, found means to learn, and to retain every thing. He is as well acquainted with the history of the Egyptians as of the English. He is equally familiar with Virgil and Milton; and he loves French, Italian, and English poetry; but he loves them differently, because he perfectly discerns the different genius of each.” Meanwhile, the mind of viscount Bolingbroke was continually busied about the means of returning to his native country. The earl of Stanhope, one of his most bitter enemies, was now dead , but sir Robert Walpole was still in credit; the earl of Sunderland and the duke of Marlborough, who were his friends, did not long survive; while the dutchess dowager, who professed a particular esteem for the man, “ who alone, was worthy to praise her husband,” no longer enjoyed any credit. . As means were about to be recurred to in London, for repealing the bill of attainder, Madame de Villette was sent thither, and, under the name of lady Bolingbroke, acted in concert with lord Harcourt. All their solicitations, however, would have proved ineffectual, but for the patronage of the dutchess of Kendal,
who is said to have sold his lordship's pardon at an enormous price! Be this as it may, he arrived at Calais on the 11th of May, 1723; four days after it had passed the great seal: but on learning that it extended only to his life, and that he was deprived of the peerage and his estates, he immediately repaired te Aix-la-Chapelle. In 1725, lord Bolingbroke at length revisited his native country; and an act of parliament was soon after passed for the purpose of restoring his property to him; but the enmity, and it has been added, the jealousy of Walpole, prevented the restoration of his dignities. The conduct of the minister on this occasion excited the bitterest animosity on the part of Bolingbroke, who soon became one of the most violent, as well as most formidable, of his political foes. As his father was still alive, and in possession of the principal estates, the viscount resolved to settle at “ Dawley,” near Uxbridge, and there resigned himself to the enjoyment of country amusements, and the company of the learned, such as Swift and Pope. He also connected himself openly with the opposition, and published many able letters in the Craftsman, besides a variety of pamphlets, which occasioned a great sensation. On the demise of George I, it was supposed that a change in the administration would have taken place; but Walpole was enabled to obtain a greater share of credit under that than the preceding reign. The viscount, who was not discouraged by this unexpected circumstance, immediately formed a strict union with William Pulteney, afterwards earl of Bath, and then at the head of a most powerful party. Notwithstanding this, in 1735 he returned to France, and as he had sold the estate of la Source, he now hired the castle of Chanteloup, which was afterwards embellished by the celebrated duke de Choiseul, while an exile like himself. Here, as usual, he resigned himself to study, to an intercourse with men of wit, and to good cheer. His father having died in 1740, lord Bolingbroke received a considerable augmentation to his fortune; and in 1742, on the change of ministers, he returned a second time to England. He now obtained the confidence of the prince of Wales, father of the reigning monarch in our own time, to whom he addressed, and for whom, indeed, he is said to have written, one of the most celebrated of his works. He spent the chief part of his time in Wiltshire,” and at Battersea, near London, where he had a library, equally valuable on account of the number and the rarity of the books contained there. “ Bolingbroke, during the latter part of his life, was considered as an oracle, and regularly consulted as such by statesmen and men of letters. He was in full possession of glory, and was enjoying himself in the bosom of opulence and repose, when he became completely miserable from a single shock from the hand of blind destiny. The marchioness de Villette, after languishing for several years, died on the 18th of March, 1750, and he regretted her during the short remainder of his own life, which was only twenty months continuance. Throughout the whole of that period, this philosopher never passed a single day without shedding tears. He himself was at length attacked by a slow and lingering malady, which put his constancy to the severest proofs. An ulcer in his face gave him great pain; but he supported his anguish with a stoicism, which had always constituted the basis of his principles. He died at Battersea, November 25, 1751, at the age of 79, and his fortune devolved on his nephew. Immediately after the demise of the lady just alluded to, her relations commenced a process against
lord Bolingbroke, which not only tended to deprive him of his property in France, but to throw discredit on a person who had been so long dear to him. The cause was heard, and the sentence pronounced proved unfavourable to the hopes and wishes of the subject of this memoir, whose life closed before he was enabled to take the proper means for obtaining a reversion of the judgment. But the marquis de Matignon, actuated by the impulse of that mutual regard which had subsisted so long between them, immediately appealed to the parliament of Paris, and obtained a final decision at a period when his friend was no more, with a view of rescuing his character and fortune from unmerited censure and loss.
The character of Bolingbroke has afforded a fertile subject of discussion, both to his friends and his enemies. The earl of Orrery, on one hand, has observed, “ that he united in himself the wisdom of Socrates, the dignity and ease of Pliny, and the delicacy of Horace, both in his writings and conversations. He has been also praised by two great men, the earls of Chatham and Chesterfield, as well as by Swift, Pope, &c. On the other hand, Sheridan, Harvey, the bishop of Cloyne, with a multitude of others, have attacked his memory. And, indeed, it has been for many years past, the fashion to condemn his principles without scruple, and without remorse. The French editor of his works, maintains that he was not an atheist. On the contrary, he asserts, on the credit of Mrs. Mallet, who died about fifteen years since, at the age of eighty, “that himself, Swift, and Pope, constitued a society of pure deists; and that, although the second of these, being dean of St. Pa-. trick’s, was somewhat more reserved than the rest, yet he was fundamentally of the same way of thinking.”
* “Au chateau de Lydiard, dans a province de Wilts.”
william PENN, AND THE TRIAL By Julty.
THE great, singular, and intrepid Englishman, whom it is here proposed to exhibit in a new point of view, was born in London, in the year 1644. His father, who was an admiral of some note, not only assisted in the capture of Jamaica, during the protectorate of Cromwell, but also served with applause under the duke of York. Having distinguished himself in a seafight with the Dutch, he was knighted, and admitted into favour, notwithstanding his zeal during the usurpation. Young Penn completed his education at Christ Church, and, as he then gave an early presage of his future talents, a fond father, doubtless, formed high expectations of the fortunes of so accomplished a son. But those hopes were apparently blasted by a most extraordinary event; for our Oxonian suddenly became a convert to the doctrines of the quakers, a new and obscure sect; suspected by the royalists, and odious to the reigning monarch. So recently had their peculiar doctrines sprung up, that George Fox, the founder, was still alive; and Wil. liam Loe, one of his most zealous disciples, who had enlisted the subject of this memoir under his banners, in imitation of his master, was about to travel into foreign countries, for the sole purpose of propagating the faith abroad. The enraged parent remonstrated in vain; his threats to discard, and even to disinherit, his only son, were of no avail; for filial obedience was not proof against a call of the sfirit, and the sacrifice of a father’s love, and a father's wealth, appeared, in the heyday of life, and amidst the fervour of enthusiasm, to be only a step towards that martyrdom, of
which he then seemed to be ambitious. The admiral, however, never forsook him entirely; and it was through his intercession, that the young man was relieved from prison at Cork, after having been committed for preaching there. Notwithstanding this incident, which might have abated the fervours of one less replete with zeal, we find our young quaker, on his return to London, employed in writing and publishing a book, for the express purpose of showing the benefits to be derived from suffering; and this very book, entitled, “ No Cross, no Crown,” was the cause of his suffering anew, as it occasioned his committal to the tower. On his release, he persisted in his former course of iife, and preached frequently in publick; but, notwithstanding this, the admiral at length became reconciled to, and bequeathed him his whole property, which was pretty considerable. That very year in which the latter died, was rendered memorable by the bold, manly, and patriotick conduct of a son, who, notwithstanding the singularity and seeming quaintness of his religious opinions, would have conferred honour on the noblest family in the kingdom. Persisting in his original intentions, and neither swayed by worldly interests on one hand, nor alarmed by the fear of a very jealous, capricious, and arbitrary government, on the other, Mr. Penn pursued that career which he considered to be pointed out by a sense of duty. Notwithstanding a. body of soldiers had taken possession of the meeting house in “Gracious street,” August 15, 1670, he preached in the immediate vicinity as before. On this, he was apprehended, committed by the lordmayor, and tried for the same, along with William Mead,” at the Old Bailey, on the first, third, fourth, and fifth of September following. On this occasion, the bench consisted of: Samuel Starling, lordmayor. John Howel, recorder. . Thomas Bludworth, William Peak, Richard Ford, Sir John Robinson, Joseph Shelden, Richard Brown, J John Smith, James *...; Sheriffs. It is important here, that the names of the jury should be also recorded, not only as a mark of respect to them, but also as an example to their fellow subjects, viz. 1. Thomas Veer. 2. Edward Bushel. 3. John Hammond. 4. Charles Milson. 5. Gregory Walklet. 6. John Brightman. 7. William Plumsted. 8. Henry Henley. 9. James Damask. 10. Henry Michel. 11. William Lever. 12. John Baily. The indictment purported, “ that William Penn and William Mead, the latter late of London, linen draper, with divers persons to the jurors unknown, to the number of three hundred, did unlawfully, assemble, and congregate themselves with force of arms, &c. to the disturbance of the peace of our lord the king; and that William Penn, by agreement between him and William Mead, did take upon himself to preach and speak, in contempt of the said lord the king, and of his law, to the great disturbance of his peace,” &c.
* Gracechurch street,
Having pleaded “ not guilty,” the court adjourned until the afternoon, and the prisoners, being again brought to the bar, were there detained during five hours, while house breakers, murderers, &c. were tried. On the 2d of September, the same ceremony took place as before, with only this difference, that on one of the officers pulling off the hats of the two prisoners, the lord mayor exclaimed: “Sirrah, who bid you put off their hats? put on their hats again *
Recorder, to the firisoners.--Do you know where you are : Do you know it is the king's court?
Penn. I know it to be a court, and I suppose it to be the king's COul't. Recorder. Do you not know there is respect due to the court: And why do you not pull off your hat? Penn. Because I do not believe that to be any respect. Recorder. Well, the court sets forty marks a piece upon your heads, as a fine for your contempt of the Court. Penn. I desire it may be observed, that we came into the court with our hats off (that is, taken off) and if they have been put on since, it was by order of the bench; and, therefore, not we, but the bench should be fined. After this, the jury were again sworn, on which sir J. Robinson, lieutenant of the Tower, objected against Edward Bushel, as he had not kissed the book, and, therefore, would have him sworn again; “though, indeed, it was on purpose to have made use of his tenderness of conscience in avoiding reiterated oaths to have put him by his being a juryman, apprehending him to be
* On inquiry it has been discovered, that Mr. Mead had been originally a tradesman in London; but, during the civil wars, he, like many others, obtained a commission in the army, and was known by the appellation of captain Mead It is not at all improbable, that he took the same side as William Penn’s father; and, indeed, his conduct on this occasion displays somewhat of the republican intrepidity of those days.
a person not fit to answer their arbitrary ends.” James Cook, the first witness, being called, swore that he saw Mr. Penn speaking to the people in Gracechurch street, but could not hear what he said, on account of the noise. Richard Read deposed exactly in the same manner, and to the same effect; but added, that he “ saw captain Mead speaking to lieutenant Cook, yet what he said he could not tell.” The third witness was equally incompetent to prove any thing against Mr. Penn; and as “for captain Mead,” said he, “I did not see him there.” o Mr. Recorder Howel. What say you, Mr. Mead, were you there 2 William Mead. It is a maxim of your own law, memo tenetur accusare seifsum; which, if it be not true Latin, I am sure it is true English, “ that no man is bound to accuse himself,” and why dost thou offer to ensnare me with such a question ? Doth not this show thy malice Is this like unto a judge that ought to be counsel for the prisoner at the bar 2 - w Recorder. Sir, hold your tongue; I did not go about to ensnare you. Penn. We confess ourselves to be so far from recanting, or declining to vindicate the assembling of ourselves to preach, pray, or worship the eternal, holy, just God; that we declare to all the world, that we do believe it to be our indispensable duty to meet incessantly upon so good an account; nor shall all the powers upon earth be able to divert us from reverencing and adoring our God who made us. .Alderman Brown. You are not here for worshipping God, but for breaking the law; you do yourselves great wrong in going on in that discourse.
Penn. I affirm I have broken no law, nor am I guilty of the indictment that is laid to my charge; and to the end the bench, the jury, and myself, with these that hear us, may have a more direct understanding, I desire you would let me know by what law it is you prosecute me, and upon what law you grounded my indictment? Recorder. Upon the common law. Penn. Where is that common law? Recorder. You must not think that I am able to run up so many years, and eversomany adjudged cases, which we call common law, to answer your curiosity, Penn. This answer, I am sure, is very short of my question; for, if it be common, it should not be so hard to produce. Recorder. Sir, will you plead to your indictment : Penn. Shall I plead to an indictment that hath no foundation in law If it contain that law you say I have broken, why should you decline to produce that law, since it will be impossible for the jury to determine or agree to bring in their verdict, who have not the law produced by which they should measure the truth of this indictment, and the guilt, or contrary, of my fact? Recorder. You are a saucy fellow; speak to the indictment. [At this time, several upon the bench urged hard upon the prisoner to bear him down.] Penn. I say it is my place to speak to matter of law; I am arraigned a prisoner; my liberty, which is next to life itself, is now concerned; you are many mouths and ears against me, and if I must not be allowed to make the best of my case, it is hard: I say again, unless you show me, and the people, the law you ground your indictment
* See a scarce and valuable tract, printed for William Butler, 1682, and entitled, “The People's ancient and just Liberties asserted, in the Trial of William Penn and William Mead, at the Sessions held at the Old Bailey, &c. against the most arbitrary procedure of that court.” “Wo unto them that decree unlighteous decrees, and write grievousness, which they had prescribed to turn away the needy from judgement, and