« 前へ次へ »
the Prince, if now your Majesty will be pleased to give me a theme to
F. ST. ALBAN.'
The following short epistle from Prince Charles to Buckingham contains the germ of the policy of his subsequent reign. It was written at the close of 1621, when the House of Commons had evinced its determination to restrain the prerogatives of the Crown within their constitutional limits. The desire expressed, that "such seditious fellows might be made an example to others,' evinces the early and deep-rooted aversion to the rights of parliament, which was afterwards displayed with such disastrous results.
STINIB, * The lower house this day has been a little unruly, but I hope it will turn to the best, for before they rose they began to be ashamed of it; yet I could wish that the King would send down a commission here (that if need were), such seditious fellows might be made an example to others by Monday next, and till then I would let them alone; it will be seen whether they mean to do good or to persist in their follies, so that the King needs to be patient but a little while. I have spoken with so many of the council as the King trusts most, and they [are] all of this mind; only the sending of authority to set seditious fellows fast is of my adding. I defy thee in being more mine than I am
Thy constant loving friend,
CHARLES P.' -Ib. pp. 209–210.
The only other extract for which we can make room is a letter from Sir Walter Raleigh to his wife, written from the Tower, which determines, as Mr. Brewer remarks, the much vexed ' question whether or not Sir Walter did attempt to stab himself.' We envy not the man who can read this epistle without being deeply interested in the fortunes of its writer.
* Receive from thy unfortunate husband these his last lines, these the last words that ever thou shalt receive from him. That I can live to think never to see thee and my child more, I cannot. I have desired God, and disputed with my reason, but nature and compassion hath the victory. That I can live to think how you are both left a spoil to my enemies, and that my name shall be a dishonor to my child, I cannot, I cannot endure the memory thereof: unfortunate
woman, unfortunate child, comfort yourselves, trust God, and be contented with your poor estate ; I would have bettered it if I had enjoyed a few years. Thou art a young woman, and forbear not to marry again : it is now nothing to me; thou art no more mine, nor I thine. To witness that thou didst love me once, take care that thou marry not to please sense, but to avoid poverty, and to preserve thy child. That thou didst also love me living, witness it to others; to my poor daughter, to whom I have given nothing ; for his sake, who will be cruel to himself to preserve thee. Be charitable to her, and teach thy son to love her for his father's sake. For myself, I am left of all men, that have done good to many. All my good turns forgotten, all my errors revived and expounded to all extremity of ill; all my services, hazards, and expenses for my country, plantings, discoveries, fights, councils, and whatsoever else, malice hath now covered over. I am now made an enemy and traitor by the word of an unworthy man; he hath proclaimed me to be a partaker of his vain imaginations, notwithstanding the whole course of my life hath approved the contrary, as my death shall approve it. Woe, woe, woe be unto him by whose falsehood we are lost ! he hath separated us asunder ; he hath slain my honor, my fortune; he hath robbed thee of thy husband, thy child of his father, and me of you both. Oh, God ! thou dost know my wrongs: know then, thou my wife and child ; know then thou, my Lord and King, that I ever thought them too honest to betray, and too good to conspire against. But my wife, forgive thou all as I do; live humble, for thou hast but a time also. God forgive my Lord Harry, for he was my heavy enemy. And for my Lord Cecill, I thought he would never forsake me in extremity; I would not have done it him, God knows. But do not thou know it, for he must be master of thy child, and may have compassion of him. Be not dismayed that I died in despair of God's mercies ; strive not to dispute it; but assure thyself that God hath not left me, nor Satan tempted me. Hope and despair live not together ; I know it is forbidden to destroy ourselves, but I trust it is forbidden in this sort, that we destroy not ourselves despairing of God's mercy.
The mercy of God is immeasurable, the cogitations of men comprehend it not. In the Lord I have ever trusted, and I know that my Redeemer liveth: far is it from me to be tempted with Satan ; I am only tempted with sorrow, whose sharp teeth devour my heart. O God, thou art goodness itself, thou canst not be but good to me; O, God, that art mercy itself, thou canst not be but merciful to me!
* For my estate is conveyed to feoffees, to your cousin Brett and others; I have but a bare estate for a short life. My plate is at gage in Lombard Street : my debts are many. To Peter Vanlore, some £600. To Antrobus as much, but Cumpson is to pay £300 of it. То Michael Hext, £100. To George Carew, £100. To Nicholas Sanders, £100. To John Fitz-James, £100. To Mr. Waddom, £100. To a poor man, one Hawker, for horses, £70. To a poor man, called Hunt, £20. Take first care of those for God's sake. To a brewer at Weymouth, and a baker for my Lord Cecill's ship and mine, I think some £80; John Renolds knoweth it. And let that poor man have
his true part of their return from Virginia ; and let the poor men's wages be paid with the goods, for the Lord's sake. Oh, what will my poor servants think at my return, when they hear I am accused to be Spanish, who sent them, to my great charge, to plant and discover upon his territory! Oh, intolerable infamy! Oh, God! I cannot resist these thoughts; I cannot live to think how I am derided, to think of the expectation of my enemies, the scorns I shall receive, the cruel words of lawyers, the infamous taunts and despites, to be made a wonder and a spectacle! Oh, death! hasten thee unto me, that thou mayest destroy the memory of these, and lay me up in dark forgetfulness. Oh, death! destroy my memory, which is my tormentor; my thoughts and my life cannot dwell in one body. But do thou forget me, poor wife, that thou mayest live to bring up thy poor child. I recommend unto you my poor brother, A. Gilbert. The lease of Sanding is his, and none of mine ; let him have it for God's cause; he knows what is due to me upon it. And be good to Kemis, for he is a perfeet honest man, and hath much wrong for my sake. For the rest, I commend me to them, and them to God. And the Lord knows my sorrow to part from thee and my poor child ; but part I must by enemies and injuries, part with shame and triumph of my detractors ; and therefore be contented with this work of God, and forget me in all things but thine own honor, and the love of mine. I bless my poor child, and let him know his father was no traitor. Be bold of my innocence, for God, to whom I offer life and soul, knows it. And whosoever thou choose again after me, let him be but thy politique husband; but let my son be thy beloved, for he is part of me, and I live in him, and the difference is but in the number, and not in the kind. And the Lord for ever keep thee and them, and give thee comfort in both worlds !—Ib. pp. 93—97.
The Notes appended by Mr. Brewer to the Memoirs of the Bishop, and to the letters which constitute the second and supplementary volume, display considerable acquaintance with the men and events of the times of James. As such they are valuable, nor would their worth have been diminished had there been less of an anti-puritan and anti-liberal complexion about them. Much of this is probably to be attributed to the professional standing of the author, for clergymen now a-day seem emulous of copying the example of the worst specimens of their class. The publication, however, without possessing any very high pretensions, or throwing any striking and original lights on the reign of James, will be found an interesting companion to the historical student in his severer and more laborious investigation into the character and history of the period on which it treats.
Art. VII.—Historical Sketches of Statesmen who flourished in the time
of George III. First and Second Series. By HENRY LORD BROUGHAM. London: Charles Knight and Co.
These volumes furnish another illustration of the correctness of the remarks which we made in our last number, on the boundless range of Lord Brougham's information, and the versatility of his powers. Scarcely a month elapses without some fresh proof being afforded, of the unceasing activity of his Lordship’s intellect, and of the multifarious knowledge with which it is enriched. Some of his productions, conceived in haste and executed with astonishing rapidity, may be destined to an ephemeral existence, yet it would be difficult to point out one which is not impregnated with such elements of vitality, as insure, to some extent, the accomplishment of its destined object. The contents of the volumes now before us, are of a much more popular and attractive character than the Dissertations we noticed last month, and their readers will be proportionably more numerous. The times and the statesmen of George the Third; the character of that monarch and of his son ; the social virtues and political delinquencies of the former ; the open profligacy and base selfishness of the latter; the political views patronised by both; and the effects resulting to the constitution and interests of the empire from their opposite characters, but uniform policy; are topics which cannot fail to attract a large class to the attentive examination of what his lordship has written.
The times illustrated are sufficiently remote from our own to allow, at least, of an approximation to the calm review and impartial judgment of the historian; while their contiguity to our day; the direct influences transmitted from them to ourselves; the reminiscences of our youth, aided by the strong impression yet retained of the high talents, or public virtues, or perverse ambition, or base apostacy, of the statesmen described, give all the interest of deep personal feeling, of admiration yet undiminished, or of indignant hostility yet warm and vigorous, to the Sketches furnished by his lordship's pen. We regard the work as invested with far more than ordinary interest, and as furnishing materials, the full worth of which can only be known to the future historian. Differing from his lordship in some of his views, and believing that his judgments have, in a few cases, been influenced by recent events, we feel equally certain that the general accuracy of his sketches will be admitted with growing conviction, as the passions and party alliances of the day are forgotten. In no case do we anticipate this more confidently, than in those very instances in which his lordship is now suspected to have erred most
seriously ;-we refer, especially, to the unfavorable view he has given of George III., whose undue elevation cannot much longer be sustained by all the artifices of his cherished faction.
A large proportion of the work has already appeared, either in the Edinburgh Review, or in the Introductions to his lordship's speeches, recently published by Messrs. Black, of Edinburgh. Several of the articles, however, are original; and important and interesting additions have been made to others. The design of the publication is thus stated in the Introduction to the second volume, and the statement is fully borne out by the manner in which his lordship has treated the various and sometimes delicate topics involved in his discussions. We have not met with a work, for some time past, which is so adapted to serve the purposes of political morality, by reminding statesmen of the scrutiny to which their conduct will be subjected when the bewildering influences of their day, and the ephemeral popularity their measures, are withdrawn.
* It would be a very great mistake to suppose that there is no higher object in submitting these sketches to the world, than the gratification of curiosity respecting eminent statesmen, or even a more important purpose, the maintenance of a severe standard of taste respecting oratorical excellence. The main object in view has been the maintenance of a severe standard of public virtue, by constantly painting political profligacy in those hateful colours which are natural to it, though sometimes obscured by the lustre of talents, especially when seen through the false glare shed by success over public crimes. To show mankind who are their real benefactors; to teach them the wisdom of only exalting the friends of peace, of freedom, and of improvement; to warn them against the folly, so pernicious to themselves, of lavishing their applauses upon their worst enemies; those who disturb the tranquillity, assail the liberties, and obstruct the improvement of the world ; to reclaim them from the yet coarser habit, so nearly akin to vicious indulgence, of palliating cruelty and fraud committed on a large scale, by regarding the success which has attended those foul enormities, or the courage and the address with which they have been perpetrated; these are the views which have guided the pen that has attempted to sketch the history of George the Third's times, by describing the statesmen who flourished in them. With these views a work was begun many years ago, and interrupted by professional avocations ; the history of two reigns in our own annals, those of Henry V. and Elizabeth, deemed glorious for the arts of war and of government, commanding largely the admiration of the vulgar, justly famous for the capacity they displayed, but extolled upon the false assumption that foreign conquest is the chief glory of a nation, and that habitual and dexterous treachery towards all mankind is the first accomplishment of a sovereign. To relate the story of those reigns in the language of which sound reason prescribes the use; to express the scorn of falsehood and the detestation of cruelty which the uncorrupted feelings of