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that though its author was indisputably more no notices worth naming-a bare intimation of a gentleman, a scholar, and a man of taste of the deaths of Waller, Cowley, and Daventhan our actuary, it is far inferior both in in-ant, and a few words of Dryden-Milton, we terest, curiosity, and substantial instruction, think, not once mentioned. There is more to that which we are now considering. The of the natural philosophers of Gresham Coltwo authors, however, we are happy to find, lege, but not much that is valuable-some were great friends; and no name is mentioned curious calculations and speculations about in the latter part of the Diary with more uni- money and coinages-and this odd but auform respect and affection than that of Evelyn thentic notice of Sir W. Petty's intended will. -though it is very edifying to see how the shrewd, practical sagacity of the man of business, revenges itself on the assumed superiority of the philosopher and man of letters. In this respect we think there is a fine keeping of character in the sincerity of the following passage—
"By water to Deptford, and there made a visit to Mr. Evelyn, who, among other things, showed me most excellent painting in little; in distemper, Indian incke, water colours: graveing; and above all, the whole mezzo-tinto, and the manner of it, which is very pretty, and good things done with it. He read to me very much also of his discourse, he hath been many years and now is about, about Gardenage; which is a most noble and pleasantly piece. He read me part of a play or two of his own making very good, but not as he conceits them, I think, to be. He showed me his Hortus Hyemalis; leaves laid up in a book of several plants kept dry, which preserve colour, however, and look very finely, better than an herball. In fine a most excellent person he is, and must be allowed a little for a little conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others. He read me, though with too much gusto, some little poems of his own that were not transcendant; yet one or two very pretty epigrams; among others, of a lady looking in at a grate, and being pecked at by an eagle that was there."
And a little after he chuckles not a little over his learned friend's failure, in a speculation about making bricks-concluding very sagely, so that I see the most ingenious men may sometimes be mistaken!"
We meet with the names of many distinguished men in these pages, and some characteristic anecdotes,-but few bold characters. He has a remarkable interview with Clarendon-in which the cautious and artful meanour of that veteran politician is finely displayed, though on a very trivial occasion. The Navy Board had marked some trees for cutting in Clarendon Park without his leave at which he had expressed great indignation; and our author went, in a prodigious fright, to pacify him. He found him busy hearing causes in his chambers, and was obliged to wait.
"After all done, he himself called, Come, Mr. Pepys, you and I will take a turn in the garden.' So he was led down stairs, having the goute, and there walked with me, I think above an hour, talk ing most friendly, but cunningly!He told me he would not direct me in any thing, that it might not be said that the Lord Chancellor did labour to abuse the King; or (as I offered) direct the suspending the report of the purveyors: but I see what he means, and will make it my work to do him service in it. But Lord! to see how we poor wretches dare not do the King good service, for fear of the greatness of these men!"
"Sir William Petty did tell me that in good earnest he hath in his will left some parts of his estate to him that could invent such and such things. As among others, that could discover truly the way of milk coming into the breasts of a woman! and he that could invent proper characters to
express to another the mixture of relishes and tastes. And says, that to him that invents gold, he gives nothing for the philosopher's stone; for (says he) they that find out that, will be able to pay themthan to go to a lecture; for here my executors, that selves. But, says he, by this means it is better must part with this, will be sure to be well convinced of the invention before they do part with their money."
There is no literary intelligence of any value to be gained from this work. Play collectors will probably find the names of many lost pieces-but of our classical authors there are
"I asked what the matter was, for he seemed to me to be very much frighted: he told me very seride-ously that I should not lodge in that house, because shortly a dead coffin would be carried out of it, for many were carrying it when he was heard cry! I neglecting his words and staying there, he said to that what he saw would surely come to pass; and others of the servants he was very sorry for it, and though no sick person was then there, yet the landlord, a healthy Highlander, died of an apoplectic fit before I left the house."
The Appendix, which seems very judiciousselected, contains some valuable fragments of historical information: but we have not now left ourselves room for any account of them; and are tempted to give all we can yet spare to a few extracts from a very curious correspondence between Mr. Pepys and Lord Reay and Lord Tarbut in 1699, on the subject of the Second Sight among our Highlanders. Lord Reay seems to have been a firm believer in this gift or faculty--but Lord Tarbut had been a decided sceptic, and was only converted by the proofs of its reality, which occurred to himself while in the Highlands, in the year 1652 and afterwards. Some of the stories he tells are not a little remarkable. For example, he says, that one night when one of his Celtic attendants was entering a house where they had proposed to sleep, he suddenly started back with a scream, and fell down in an agony.
Another occurred in 1653, when, in a very rugged part of the country, he fell in with a man who was staring into the air with marks of great agitation. Upon asking what it was that disturbed him, he answered,
"I see a troop of Englishmen leading their horses down that hill-and some of them are already in the plain, eating the barley which is growing in the field near to the hill.' This was on the 4th of May (for I noted the day), and it was four or five days before any barley was sown in the field he spoke of. Alexander Monro asked him how he knew they were Englishmen: he answered, because they were leading horses, and had on hats and boots, which he knew no Scotchmen would have on there. We took little notice of the whole story as other than a foolish vision, but wished that an English party were there, we being then at war with them, and the
place almost inaccessible for horsemen. But the beginning of August thereafter, the Earl of Middleton, then lieutenant for the King in the Highlands. having occasion to march a party of his towards the South Islands, sent his foot through a place called Inverlacwell, and the forepart, which was first down the hill, did fall to eating the barley which was on the little plain under it.'
Another of his lordship's experiences was as follows. In January 1682, he was sitting with two friends in a house in Ross-shire, when a man from the islands
"Desired me to rise from that chair, for it was an unlucky one. I asked Why?' He answered, Because there was a dead man in the chair next to it. Well,' said I, 'if it be but in the next, I may safely sit here: but what is the likeness of the man?' He said he was a tall man with a long grey coat, booted, and one of his legs hanging over the chair, and his head hanging down to the other side, and his arm backward, as it were broken. There were then some English troops quartered near the place, and there being at that time a great frost after a thaw, the country was wholly covered over with ice. Four or five Englishmen riding by this house, not two hours after the vision, where we were sitting by the fire, we heard a great noise, which proved to be these troopers, with the help of other servants, carrying in one of their number who had got a very mischievous fall and had his arm broke; and falling frequently into swooning fits, they brought him to the hall, and set him in the very chair and in the very posture which the seer had proposed: but the man did not die, though he revived with great difficulty."
These instances are chiefly remarkable as being given upon the personal knowledge of an individual of great judgment, acuteness, and firmness of character. The following is from a still higher quarter; since the reporter was not even a Scotchman, and indeed no less a person than Lord Clarendon. In a letter to Mr. Pepys in 1701, he informs him, that, in 1661, upon a Scottish gentleman being in his presence introduced to Lady Cornbury, he was observed to gaze upon her with a singular expression of melancholy; and upon one of the company asking the reason, he replied, "I see her in blood!" She was at that time in perfect health, and remained so for near a month, when she fell ill of small-pox: And
"Upon the ninth day after the small-pox appeared, in the morning, she bled at the nose, which quickly stopt; but in the afternoon the blood burs: out again with great violence at her nose and mouth, and about eleven of the clock that night she dyed, almost weltering in her blood!"'
There is a great number of similar stories, reported on the most imposing testimonythough, in some instances, the seer, we must say, is somewhat put to it to support his credit, and make out the accomplishment of his vision. One chieftain, for instance, had long been seen by the gifted, with an arrow sticking in his thigh; from which they all inferred, that he was either to die or to suffer greatly, from a wound in that place. To their surprise, however, he died of some other infliction, and the seers were getting out of reputation; when luckily a fray arose at the funeral, and an arrow was shot fairly through the thigh of the dead man, in the very spot where the vision had shown it! On another occasion, Lord Reay's grandfather was told that
he had been seen with a dagger run into his breast-and though nothing ever happened to him, one of his servants, to whom he had given the doublet which he wore at the time of this intimation, was stabbed through it, in the very place where the dagger had been seen. Lord Reay adds the following additional instance, of this glancing, as it were, of the prophecy on the outer garment.
"John Macky, of Dilril, having put on suit of clothes, was told by a seer that he did see the gallows upon his coat, which he never noticed ; but some time after gave his cout to his servant, William Forbess, to whose honesty there could be nothing said at that time; but he was shortly after hanged for theft, with the same coat about him: my informer being an eye-witness of his execution, and one who had heard what the seer said before."
His lordship also mentions, that these visions were seen by blind people, as well as those who had sight,—and adds, that there was a blind woman in his time who had the faculty in great perfection; and foretold many things that afterwards happened, as hundreds We have no of living witnesses could attest. time now to speculate on these singular legends-but, as curious mementos of the lubricity of human testimony, we think it right they should be once more brought into notice.
And now we have done with Mr. Pepys. There is trash enough no doubt in his journal, -trifling facts, and silly observations in abundance. But we can scarcely say that we wish it a page shorter; and are of opinion, that there is very little of it which does not help us to understand the character of his times, and his contemporaries, better than we should ever have done without it; and make us feel more assured that we comprehend the great historical events of the age, and the people who bore a part in them. Independent of instruction altogether too, there is no denying, that it is very entertaining thus to be transported into the very heart of a time so long gone by; and to be admitted into the domestic intimacy, as well as the public councils, of a man of great activity and circulation in the reign of Charles II. Řeading this book, in short, seems to us to be quite as good as living with Mr. Samuel Pepys in his proper person, and though the court scandal may be detailed with more grace and vivacity in the Memoires de Grammont, we have no doubt but even this part of his multifarious subject is treated with far greater fidelity and fairness in the work before uswhile it gives us more clear and undistorted glimpses into the true English life of the times-for the court was substantially foreign
than all the other memorials of them put together, that have come down to our own.
The book is rather too dear and magnificent. But the editor's task we think excellently performed. The ample text is not incumbered with ostentatious commentaries. But very brief and useful notices are supplied of almost all the individuals who are mentioned; and an admirable and very minute index is subjoined, which methodises the immense miscellany-and places the vast chaos at our disposal.
A History of the early Part of the Reign of James the Second; with an Introductory Chapter. By the Right Honourable CHARLES JAMES FOX. To which is added an Appendix. 4to. pp. 340. Miller, London: 1808.
If it be true that high expectation is almost always followed by disappointment, it is scarcely possible that the readers of Mr. Fox's history should not be disappointed. So great a statesman certainly has not appeared as an author since the time of Lord Clarendon; and, independent of the great space which he fills in the recent history of this country, and the admitted splendour of his general talents, -his known zeal for liberty, the fame of his eloquence, and his habitual study of every thing relating to the constitution, concurred to direct an extraordinary degree of attention to the work upon which he was known to be engaged, and to fix a standard of unattainable excellence for the trial of his first acknowledged production. The very circumstance of his not having published any considerable work during his life, and of his having died before bringing this to a conclusion, served to increase the general curiosity; and to accumulate upon this single fragment the interest of his whole literary existence.
No human production, we suppose, could bear to be tried by such a test; and those who sit down to the perusal of the work before us, under the influence of such impressions, are very likely to rise disappointed. With those, however, who are at all on their guard against the delusive effect of these natural emotions, the result, we venture to predict, will be different; and for ourselves, we are happy to say, that we have not been disappointed at all; but, on the contrary, very greatly moved and delighted with the greater part of this singular volume.
We do not think it has any great value as a history; nor is it very admirable as a piece of composition. It comprehends too short a period, and includes too few events, to add much to our knowledge of facts; and abounds too little with splendid passages to lay much hold on the imagination. The reflections which it contains, too, are generally more remarkable for their truth and simplicity, than for any great fineness or apparent profundity of thinking: and many opportunities are neglected, or rather purposely declined, of entering into large and general speculations. Notwithstanding all this, the work, we think, is invaluable; not only as a memorial of the high principles and gentle dispositions of its illustrious author, but as a record of those sentiments of true English constitutional independence, which seem to have been nearly forgotten in the bitterness and hazards of our more recent contentions. It is delightful as the picture of a character; and most instructive and opportune as a remembrancer of public duties: And we must be permitted to say a word or two upon each of these subjects.
To those who know Mr. Fox only by the great outlines of his public history,-who know merely that he passed from the dissipations of too gay a youth into the tumults and cabals of a political life,-and that his days were spent in contending about public measures, and in guiding or averting the tempests of faction, the spirit of indulgent and tender feeling which pervades this book must appear very unaccountable. Those who live much in the world, even in a private station, comme monly have their hearts a little hardened, and their moral sensibility a little impaired. But statesmen and practical politicians are, with justice, suspected of a still greater forgetfulness of mild impressions and honourable scruples. Coming necessarily into contact with great vices and great sufferings, they must gradually lose some of their horror for the first, and much of their compassion for the last. Constantly engaged in contention, they cease pretty generally to regard any human beings as objects of sympathy or disinterested attachment; and, mixing much with the most corrupt part of mankind, naturally come to regard the species itself with indifference, if not with contempt. All the softer feelings are apt to be worn off in the rough conflicts of factious hostility; and all the finer moralities to be effaced, by the constant contemplation of expediency, and the necessities of occasional compliance.
Such is the common conception which we form of men who have lived the life of Mr. Fox; and such, in spite of the testimony of partial friends, is the impression which most private persons would have retained of him, if this volume had not come to convey a truer and a more engaging picture to the world at large, and to posterity.
By far the most remarkable thing, then, in this book, is the tone of indulgence and unfeigned philanthropy which prevails in every part of it;-a most amiable sensibility to all the kind and domestic affections, and a sort of softheartedness towards the sufferings of individuals, which seems hitherto to have been thought incompatible with the stern dignity of history. It cannot but strike us with something still more pleasing than surprise, to meet with traits of almost feminine tenderness in the sentiments of this veteran statesman; and a general character of charity towards all men, not only remote from the rancour of vulgar hostility, but purified in a great degree from the asperities of party contention. He expresses indeed, throughout, a high-minded contempt for what is base, and a thorough detestation for what is cruel But yet is constantly led, by a sort of generous prejudice in favour of human nature, to adm
all possible palliations for the conduct of the individual delinquent, and never attempts to shut him out from the benefit of those natural sympathies of which the bad as well as the good are occasionally the objects, from their fortune or situation. He has given a new character, we think, to history, by this soft and condescending concern for the feelings of individuals; and not only left a splendid record of the gentleness and affectionate simplicity of his own dispositions, but set an example by which we hope that men of genius may be taught hereafter to render their instructions more engaging and impressive. Nothing, we are persuaded, can be more gratifying to his friends, than the impression of his character which this work will carry down to posterity; nor is it a matter of indifference to the country, that its most illustrious statesman should be yet more distinguished for the amiableness of his private affections.
This softness of feeling is the first remarkable thing in the work before us. The second is perhaps of more general importance. It is, that it contains the only appeal to the old principles of English constitutional freedom, and the only expression of those firm and temperate sentiments of independence, which are the peculiar produce, and natural protection of our mixed government, which we recollect to have met with for very many years. The tone of the work, in this respect, recalls us to feelings which seem of late to have slumbered the country which they used to inspire. In our indolent reliance upon the imperishable virtue of our constitution, and in our busy pursuit of wealth, we appeared to be forgetting our higher vocation of free citizens; and, in our dread of revolution or foreign invasion, to have lost sight of those intestine dangers to which our liberties are always more immediately exposed. The history of the Revolution of 1688, and of the times immediately preceding, was eminently calculated to revive those feelings, and restore those impressions, which so many causes had in our days conspired to obliterate; and, in the hands of Mr. Fox, could scarcely have failed to produce a very powerful effect. On this account, it must be matter of the deepest regret that he was not permitted to finish, or indeed to do more than begin, that inspiring narrative. Even in the little which he has done, however, we discover the spirit of the master: Even in the broken prelude which he has here sounded, the true notes are struck with such force and distinctness, and are in themselves so much in unison with the natural chords of every British heart, that we think no slight vibration will be excited throughout the country; and would willingly lend our assistance to propagate it into every part of the empire. In order to explain more fully the reasons for which we set so high a value upon the work before us on this particular account, we must be allowed to enlarge a little upon the evil which we think it calculated to
We do not think the present generation of our countrymen substantially degenerated
from their ancestors in the days of the Revolution. In the same circumstances, we are persuaded, they would have acted with the same spirit;-nay, in consequence of the more general diffusion of education and intelligence, we believe they would have been still more zealous and more unanimous in the cause of liberty. But we have of late been exposed to the operation of various causes, which have tended to lull our vigilance, and relax our exertions; and which threaten, unless powerfully counteracted, to bring on, gradually, such a general indifference and forgetfulness of the interests of freedom, as to prepare the people for any tolerably mild form of servitude which their future rulers may be tempted to impose upon them.
The first, and the principal of these causes, however paradoxical it may seem, is the ac tual excellence of our laws, and the supposed inviolability of the constitution. The second is, the great increase of luxury, and the tremendous patronage of the government. The last is, the impression made and maintained by the events of the French Revolution. We shall say but a word upon each of these prolific themes of speculation.
Because our ancestors stipulated wisely for the public at the Revolution, it seemed to have become a common opinion, that nothing was left to their posterity but to pursue their private interest. The machine of Government was then completed and set agoingand it will go on without their interference. Nobody talks now of the divine right, or the dispensing power of kings, or ventures to propose to govern without Parliaments, or to levy taxes without their authority;-therefore, our liberties are secure;-and it is only factious or ambitious people that affect any jealousy of the executive. Things go on very smoothly as they are; and it can never be the interest of any party in power, to attempt any thing very oppressive or injurious to the public. By such reasonings, men excuse their abandonment of all concern for the community, and find, in the very excellence of the constitution, an apology for exposing it to corruption. It is obvious, however, that liberty, like love, is as hard to keep as to win; and that the exertions by which it was originally gained will be worse than fruitless, if they be not followed up by the assiduities by which alone it can be preserved. Wherever there is power, we may be sure that there is, or will be, a disposition to increase it; and if there be not a constant spirit of jealousy and of resistance on the part of the people, every monarchy will gradually harden into a despotism. It will not, indeed, wantonly provoke or alarm, by seeking again to occupy those very positions from which it had once been dislodged; but it will extend itself in other quarters, and march on silently, under the colours of å venal popularity.
This indolent reliance on the sufficiency of the constitution for its own preservation, affords great facilities, no doubt, to those who may be tempted to project its destruction; but the efficient means are to be found chiefly
in the prevailing manners of the people, and
Few things seem more unaccountable, and indeed absurd, than that Hume should have taken part with high-church and high-monarchy men. from the Presbyterians, may perhaps have influ The persecutions which he suffered in his youth enced his ecclesiastical partialities. But that he should have sided with the Tudors and the Stuarts against the people, seems quite inconsistent with all the great traits of his character. His unrivalled sagacity must have looked with contempt on the preposterous arguments by which the jus divinum was maintained. His natural benevolence must have suggested the cruelty of subjecting the enjoy ments of thousands to the caprice of one unfeeling individual; and his own practical independence in private life, might have taught him the value of rided. Mr. Fox seems to have been struck with those feelings which he has so mischievously de
In aid of these actual temptations of interest and indolence, come certain speculative doctrines, as to the real value of liberty, and the illusions by which men are carried away who fancy themselves acting on the principle the same surprise at this strange trait in the characof patriotism. Private happiness, it is dis-ter of our philosopher. In a letter to Mr. Laing, covered, has but little dependence on the he says, "He was an excellent man, and of great nature of the government. The oppressions powers of mind; but his partiality to kings and of monarchs and demagogues are nearly equal princes is intolerable: nay, it is, in my opinion, in degree, though a little different in form; miration which women and children sometimes quite ridiculous; and is more like the foolish ad. and the only thing certain is, that in flying have for kings, than the opinion, right or wrong, from the one we shall fall into the other, and of a philosopher."
suffer tremendously in the period of transition. If ambition and great activity therefore be not necessary to our happiness, we shall do wisely to occupy ourselves with the many innocent and pleasant pursuits that are allowed under all governments; instead of spreading tumult and discontent, by endeavouring to realize some political conceit of our own imagination. Mr. Hume, we are afraid, is chiefly responsi ble for the prevalence of this Epicurean and ignoble strain of sentiment in this country,an author from whose dispositions and understanding, a very different doctrine might have been anticipated.* But, under whatever authority it is maintained, we have no scruple in saying, that it seems to us as obviously false as it is pernicious. We need not appeal to Turkey or to Russia to prove, that neither liberal nor even gainful pursuits can be carried on with advantage, where there is no political freedom: For, even laying out of view the utter impossibility of securing the persons and properties of individuals in any other way, it is certain that the consciousness of independence is a great enjoyment in itself, and that, without it, all the powers of the mind, and all the capacities of happiness, are gradually blunted and destroyed. It is like the privation of air and exercise, or the emasculation of the body;-which, though they may appear at first to conduce to tranquillity and indolent enjoyment, never fail to enfeeble the whole frame, and to produce a state of oppressive languor and debility, in comparison with which even wounds and fatigue would be delicious.
To counteract all these enervating and depressing causes, we had, no doubt, the increasing opulence of the lower and middling orders of the people, naturally leading them to aspire to greater independence, and improving their education and general intelligence. And thus, public opinion, which is in all countries the great operating check upon authority, had become more extensive and more enlightened; and might perhaps have been found a suffi