« PreviousContinue »
which they held offices, hononrs, and emoluments. The King | subjects. The crushed rebellions of Argyle in Scotmight die to-morrow, and might leave them at the mercy of a land, of Monmouth in England, and the execution of hostile government and a hostile rabble. But, if the old faith these leaders, rendered resistance apparently hopeless, could be made dominant in Ireland, if the Protestant interest in that conatry could be destroyed, there would still be, in the worst Persecution reigned without an apology in England and event, an asylum at hand to which they might retreat, and where Scotland, while in Ireland Tyrconnel had in view, equally they might either negotiate or defend themselves with advantage. at least with the restoration of Popery, the restoration A Popish priest was hired with the promise of the mitre of of forfeited lands. Judge-made law was administered, Waterford to preach at St. James's against the Act of Settlement; and his sermon, though heard with deep disgust by the and the judges were open to any amount of corruption, English part of the anditory, was not without its effect. The and prepared for any deed of cruelty. The bigotry and struggle which patriotism had for a time maintained against errors of James must have been of a capital description Ligutry in the royal mind was at an end. There is work to be before he could have raised the feeling that revolutiondone in Ireland,' said James, 'which no Englishman will do.'
ized the islands. He was not a man of talents; and * All obstacles were at length removed; and in February, 1697, Tyreonnel began to rule his native country with the power yet some talent was requisite to lose a crown in the and appointments of lord-lieutenant, but with the humbler title circumstances. His servile minions wrought too rací lord-deputy.
pidly, and with too much severity. The persecutions " His arrival spread dismay through the whole English popu- in Scotland were bitter. The men against whom they lation. Clarendon was accompanied, or speedily followed, across St. George's Channel, by a large proportion of the most respect from either party was hopeless, and the atrocities per
were directed had an unbending spirit. Concession able inhabitants of Dublin, gentlemen, tradesmen, and artificers. It was said that fifteen hundred families emigrated in a few days. petrated by the party in power are not more surely The panic was not unreasonable. The work of putting the colo- preserved in the history than in the traditions of the mists down under the feet of the natives went rapidly on. In a country. A similar system was adopted in England. short time almost every privy councillor, judge, sheriff, mayor, | The rebellion of Monmouth, and the rising of the alderman, and justice of the peace was a Celt and a Roman Catholie
. It seemed that things would soon le ripe for a general western peasantry, furnished the apology for cruelties election, and that a House of Commons bent on abrogating the of the most revolting nature. The most estimable men Aet of Settlement would easily be assembled. Those who had were exposed to the greatest calamities.
No man was lately been the lords of the island now cried out, in the bitterness sufficiently blameless and cautious to be out of danger, of their souls, that they had become a prey and a laughing-stock || The most illustrious names amongst the English Disto their own serfs and menials ; that houses were burnt and cat- senters, in these and in other evil times, were exposed tle stolen with impunity; that the new soldiers roamed the country, pillaging, insulting, ravishing, maiming, tossing one Pro- to severe and galling punishment for their faith. testant in a blanket, tying up another by the hair and scourging Those on whom the dominant party retaliated the penal him ; that to appeal to the law was vain; that Irish judges, laws were far more exempt from any responsibility sheriffs, juries, and witnesses were all in a league to save Irish concerning them than the “ trimmers,” whose religion whole soil would soon change hands ; for that in every action of changed with the sovereign, and who were frequently ejextment tried under the administration of Tyrconnel, judgment the instruments of persecution. There are three had been given for the native against the Englishman. amongst many names famous in the English Dissenting
" While Clarendon was at Dublin, the privy seal had been in churches on theological and religious grounds. Mr. the hands of commissioners. His friends hoped that it would, Macaulay places them together, and as an estimate of on his return to London, be again delivered to him. King and the Jesuitical cabal had determined that the disgrace John Bunyan's life and works, from the pen of a great of the Hydes should be complete. Lord Arundell of Wardour, a modern rhetorician, who cannot be charged with morbid Roman Catholic, received the privy seal. Bellasyse, a Roman enthusiasm, must be valuable, we extract the passage:Catholic, was made first lord of the treasury; and Dover, another
"If any man stood higher than Baxter in the estimation of the Roman Catholic, had a seat at the board. The appointment of Protestant Dissenters, that man was John Howe. Howe had, a ruined gambler to such a trust would alone have sufficed to
like Baxter, been personally a gainer by the recent change of disgust the public. The dissolute Etherege, who then resided at
The sanne tyranny which had flung Baxter into jail Ratisbon as English envoy, would not refrain from expressing had driven Ilowe into banishment; and, soon after Baxter had with a sneer his hope that his old boon companion, Dover, would
been let out of the King's Bench prison, Ilowe returned from keep the King's money better than his own.
Utrecht to England. It was expected at Whitehall that lowe * The dismission of the two brothers is a great epoch in the
would exert in favour of the court all the authority which he reign of James. From that time it was clear that what he really || possessed over his brethren. The King himself condescended to vanted was not liberty of conscience for the members of his own
ask the help of the subject whom he had oppressed. Howe apChurch, bat liberty to persecute the members of other Churches. Pretending to abhor tests, he had himself imposed a test. Ile with whom he was on terms of close intimacy, kept him steady
pears to have hesitated; but the influence of the llampdens, thought it hard, he thought it monstrous, that able and loyal
to the cause of the constitution. A meeting of Presbyterian men should be excluded from the public service solely for being ministers was held at his house, to consider the state of affairs, Roman Catholics. Yet he had himself turned out of office a
and to determine on the course to be adopted. There was great treasurer whom he admitted to be both loyal and able, solely for anxiety at the palace to know the result. Two royal messengers being a Protestant. The cry was that a general proscription was
were in attendance during the discussion. They carried back at hand, and that every public functionary must make up his the unwelcome news that Howe had declared himself decidedly wind to lose his soul or lose his place. Who indeed could hope adverse to the dispensing power, and that he had, after long deto stand where the Hydes had fallen? They were the brothers- bate, carried with him the majority of the assembly, in-law of the King, the uncles and natural guardians of his
“ To the names of Baxter and Howe must be added the name children, his friends from early youth, his steady adherents in of a man far below them in station and in acquired knowledge, adversity and peril, his obsequious servants since he had been on
but in virtue their equal, and in genius their superior-John the throne. Their sole crime was their religion, and for this Bunyan. Bunyan had been bred a tinker, and had served as a crime they had been discarded. In great perturbation, men began | private soldier in the Parliamentary army. Early in his life he had to look round for help; and soon all eyes were fixed on one
been fearfully tortured by remorse for his youthful sins, the worst whom a rare concurrence both of personal qualities and of for.
of which scem, however, to have been such as the world thinks tuitous circumstances pointed out as the deliverer.”
venial. His keen sensibility and his powerful imagination made This was the crisis in the history of James. No lis internal conflicts singularly terrible. He fancied that he was
under sentence of reprobation, that he had committed blasphemy further doubt of his purposes remained amongst his against the Holy Ghost, that he had sold Christ, that he was
actually possessed by a demon. Sometimes loud voices from 11 time for interference had arrived. Few men have heaven cried ont to warn him. Sometimes fiends whispered im- | impressed their memory deeper in the country than pious suggestions in his ear. He saw visions of distant moun
William of Orange. Great cities still preserve liis tain-tops, on which the sun shone brightly, but from which he was separated by a waste of snow. He felt the devil behind him statue--always an equestrian statue-amongst their pulling his clothes. He thought that the brand of Cain had public edifices. The grey horse and the sharp stern been set upon him. He feared that he was about to burst asunder features of the monarch are painted over the doors of like Judas. His mental agony disordered his health. One day many houses of public entertainment. His name is still he shook like a man in the palsy. On another day he felt a tire the watchword of a great Irish party. His memory is within his breast. It is difficult to understand how he survived sufferings so intense and so long continued. At length the clouds cherished with a fondness amounting to veneration broke. From the depths of despair the penitent passed to a state amongst a large proportion of the Protestant popula. of serene felicity. An irresistible impulse now urged him to tion in Ireland. A foreign prince, who could thus impart to others the blessing of which he was himself possessed. succeed in writing his name on the annals, and in the Ile joined the Baptists, and became a preacher and writer. His hearts, of a nation, and seizing its crown, must have education had been that a mechanic. lle knew no language but the English, as it was spoken by the common people. Tie been a man endowed with many extraordinary powers. had studied no great model of composition, with the exception- Mr. Macaulay has thus described him:an important exception undoubtedly--of our noble translation of
“He was now in his thirty-seventh year. But both in body the Bible. His spelling was bad. He frequently transgressed and in mind he was older than other men of the same age. Inthe rules of grammar; yet his native force of genius, and his
deed it might be said that he had never been young. experimental knowledge of all the religious passions, from despair ternal appearance is almost as well known to us as to his own to ecstacy, amply supplied in him the want of learning. His captains and councillors. Sculptors, painters, and medallists rude oratory roused and melted hearers who listened withont || exerted their utmost skill in the work of transmitting his feainterest to the laboured discourses of great logicians and Hebra
tures to posterity; and his features were such as no artist could ists. His works were widely circulated among the humbler fail to seize, and such as, once seen, could never be forgotten. classes. One of them, the · Pilgrim's Progress,' was, in his own His name at once calls up before us a slender and feeble frame, lifetime, translated into several foreign languages. It was, how- a lofty and ample forehead, a nose curved like the beak of an ever, scarcely known to the learned and polite, and had been, eagle, an eye rivalling that of an eagle in brightness and keenduring near a century, the delight of pious cottagers and artisans
ness, a thoughtful and somewhat sullen brow, a firm and some. before it was publicly commended by any man of high literary what peevish mouth, a cheek pale, thin, and deeply surrowed by eminence. At length critics condescended to inquire where the sickness and by care. That pensive, severe, and solemn aspect secret of so wide and so durable a popnlarity lay. They were could scarcely have belonged to a happy or a good-humoured man. compelled to own that the ignorant multitude had judged more
But it indicates, in a manner not to be mistaken, capacity equal correctly than the learned, and that the despised little book was
to the most arduous enterprizes, and fortitude not to be shaken really a masterpiece. Bunyan is indeed as decidedly the first of by reverses or dangers. allegorists, as Demosthenes ie the first of orators, or Shakspere “Nature had largely endowed William with the qualities of a the first of dramatists. Other allegorists have shown equal in- I great ruler; and education had developed those qualities in no genuity: but no other allegorist has ever been able to touch the
cominon degree. With strong natural sense, and rare force of heart, and to make abstractions objects of terror, of pity, and of will, he found himself, when first his mind began to open, a love.
fatherless and motherless child, the chief of a great but de. “It may be doubted whether any English Dissenter had suf-pressed and disheartened party, and the heir to vast and indefered more severely under the penal laws than John Bunyan. finite pretensions, which excited the dread and aversion of the Of the twenty-seven years which had elapsed since the Restora- | oligarchy, then supreme in the United Provinces. The common tion, he had passed twelve in confinement. We still persisted in people, fondly attached during a century to his house, indicated preaching; but that he might preach, he was under the necessity whenever they saw him, in a manner not to be mistaken, that of disguising himself like a carter. He was often introduced they regarded him as their rightful head. The able and expe. into meetings through back doors, with a smock-frock on his rienced ministers of the republic, mortal enemies of his name, came back, and a whip in his hand. If he had thonght only of his every day to pay their feigned civilities to him, and to observe the own ease and safety, he would have hailed the Indulgence with progress of his mind. The first movements of his ambition were delight. He was now at length free to pray and exhort in open carefully watched: every unguarded word uttered by him was day. His congregation rapidly increased; thousands hung upon noted down; nor had he near him any adviser on whose judghis words; and at Bedford, where he ordinarily resided, money
ment reliance could be placed. He was scarcely afteen years old was plentifully contributed to build a meeting-house for him. when all the domestics who were attached to his interest, or who His influence among the common people was such, that the Go- enjoyed any share of his confidence, were removed from under vernment would willingly have bestowed on him some municipal || his roof by the jealous Government. He remonstrated with office; but his vigorous understanding, and his stont English energy beyond his years, but in vain. Vigilant observers saw heart, were proof against all delusion and all temptation.
the tears more than once rise in the eyes of the young State felt assured that the proffered toleration was merely a bait in- | prisoner. His health, naturally delicate, sank for a time under tended to lure the Puritan party to destruction; nor would he, the emotions which his desolate situation had produced. Such by accepting a place for which he was not legally qualified, recog. | situations bewilder and unnerve the weak, but call forth all the nize the validity of the dispensing power. One of the last acts strength of the strong. Surrounded by suares in which an or. of his virtuous life was to decline an interview to which he was | dinary youth would have perished, William learned to tread at invited by an agent of the Government.”
once warily and firmly. Long before he reached manhood he
knew how to keep secrets, how to bafile curiosity by dry and A record of crime and suffering, of patience and per- guarded answers, how to conceal all passions under the same sho's secution, of the gradual reconstruction of an insurgent of grave tranquillity. Meanwhile he made liitle proficiency in party—the gradual whispering of resistance, the in- fashionable or literary accomplishments. The manners of the flexible determination of the crown and the court, the Dutch nobility of that age wanted the grace which was found in
the highest perfection among the gentlemen of France, and equally undaunted perseverance of the "suffering rem
which, in an inferior degree, embellished the Court of England; nants,” occupies a considerable portion of the second
and his manners were altogether Dutch. Even his countrymen volume.
thought him blunt. To foreigners he often seemed churlish. In We come at last to an opening in the clouds. The his intercourse with the world in general he appeared ignorant ablest politician on the continent, who had an interest
or negligent of those arts which double the value of a favour, in preserving royalty in Britain, who sympathized and take away the sting of a refusal. He was little interested in
letters or science. The discoveries of Newton and Leibnitz, the with sufferers for conscience sake, but who did nothing poems of Dryden and Boileau, were unknown to him. Dramatic raslily or without grave consideration, say that the performances tired him; and he was glad to turn away from the stage and to talk about public affairs, while Orestes was raving, || made on public affairs, and still more surprised to see the lad, in or while Tartuffe was pressing Elvira's hand.”
situations in which he might have been expected to betray The training to which he was subjected rendered strong passion, preserve a composure as imperturbable as their him an early adept in political movements, and pecu- | monwealthi
, grave, discreet, and judicious as the oldest among
At eighteen he sate among the fathers of the comliarly qualified him for that part which he had to per-| them. At twenty-one, in a day of gloom and terror, he was form in England.
placed at the head of the Administration. At twenty-three he The importance achieved by him in the United Pro- was renowned throughout Europe as a soldier and a politician. vinces was comparatively slight when compared with
He had put domestic factions under his feet: he was the sonl of
a mighty coalition; and he had contended with honour in the his success in England. He came professedly to me
field against some of the greatest generals of the age.” diate between his father-in-law, a king, and his subjects; but he came at the head of a considerable
His courage was admirable; but it was restrained
army, in the depth of winter-and a negotiator in these cir' || by perfect coolness in battle. He exposed bis person cumstances is apt to dictate. William contrived to fearlessly
, but only when the purpose to be gained was avoid the appearance of dictation, and achieved every II greater than the risk. The Prince of Condé admired result that the use of violent measures could have the bravery of his antagonist, but censured the careattained, but with more certainty than victory would lessness of risking defcat by the reckless exposure of have afforded.
a leader. William had made the same calculation; The utter imbecility of James smoothed the march of the revolution. The nation
but his forces were raw, opposed to a veteran army, rejoiced in the prospect of repose afforded to them. I and it was necessary to inspire them with courage by The flight of James pacified the scruples of high church- || their general's example
. At the battle of the Boyne men, who considered themselves bound to passive
his bitterest foes acknowledged that the event of the obedience. The certainty of toleration to their worship, day would have been turned by a change of kings. and of civil liberty to their party, satisfied the Dissen- || chivalrous bearing and undoubted bravery of the Scot
The house of Stuart was badly represented. The ters. Deliverance from imminent and pressing dangers || tish kings disappeared at intervals after they were secured the attachment of the Irish Protestants.
James the Second in. party of Covenanters in Scotland opposed the revolu- | transplanted to St. James's. tion as a compromise, but they were too weak to herited the pusilanimity of his grandfather, with his create a serious resistance. The Roman Catholics
father's stubborness, and without his intellect. The everywhere viewed the change with fear and dis-talents in which James was most deficient were emisatisfaction. The latter led to the Irish war, and nently possessed by the Prince of Orange :its influence still prevails in Irish society. William “ His own blunders and their consequences had been his only was, however, disposed to tolerate any form of worship. I lessons. I would give," he once exclaimed, “ a good part of my He held opinions in advance of his age, and displeas- | before I had to command against him.' It is not improbable
estates to have served a few campaigns under the Prince of Condé ing to many extreme zealots, who, hating equality, that the circumstance which prevented William from attaining aimed at supremacy.
His policy did not spring from any eminent dexterity in strategy may have been favourable to ignorance of, or carelessness regarding, theological the general vigour of his intellect
. If his battles were not those points. On the contrary, he had perhaps mpre ac
of a great tactician, they entitled him to be called a great man.
No disaster could for one moment deprive him of his firmness, quaintance with religious doctrines, and more esteem
or of the entire possession of all his faculties. His defeats were for religious practice, than any other ruler of England repaired with such marvellous celerity, that, before his enemies sare Cromwell. He was strictly attached to the doc- || had sung the Te Deum, he was again ready for conflict ; nor did trines of the Calvinistic school of divinity:
his adverse fortune ever deprive him of the respect and confidence
of his soldiers. That respect and confidence he owed in no small “The Princes of Orange had generally been the patrons of the measure to his personal courage. Courage, in the degree which Calvinistic divinity, and owed no small part of their popularity || is necessary to carry a soldier without disgrace through a camto their zeal for the doctrines of election and final perseverance, paign is possessed, or might, under proper training, be acquired a zeal not always enlightened by knowledge or tempered by huma- || by the great majority of men. But courage like that of William nity. William had been carefully instructed from a child in the is rare indeed. He was proved by every test; by war, by wounds, theological system to which his family was attached, and re- by painful and depressing maladies, by raging seas, by the imunia garded that system with even more than the partiality which nent and constant risk of assassination, a risk which has shaken men generally feel for a hereditary faith. lle had ruminated on very strong nerves, a risk which severely tried even the adaman. the great enizas which had been discussed in the Synod of tine fortitude of Cromwell. Yet none could ever discover what Don, and had found in the austere and inflexible logic of the that thing was which the Prince of Orange feared. His advisers Generese school something which suited his intellect and his could with difficulty induce him to take any precaution against temper. That example of intolerance indeed which some of the pistols and daggers of conspirators. Old sailors were anazed his predecessors had set he never imitated. For all persecu- at the composure which he preserved amidst roaring breakers on tion he felt a fixed aversion, which he avowed, not only where a perilous coast. In battle his bravery made him conspicuous the arowal was obviously politic, but on occasions where it even among tens of thousands of brave warriors, drew forth the Neemed that his interest would have been promoted by dissimu- generous applause of hostile armies, and was never questioned lation or by silence. His theological opinions, however, were even by the injustice of hostile factions. During his first calaeven more decided than those of his ancestors. The tenet of paigus he exposed himself like a man who sought for death, was predestination was the keystone of his religion. He often de-always foremost in the charge and last in the retreat, fought, clared that if he were to abandon that tenet he must abandon sword in hand, in the thickest press, and, with a musket-ball in with it all belief in a superintending Providence, and must be- his arm, and the blood streaming over his cuirass, still stood his come a mere Epicurean. Except in this single instance, all the ground, and waved his hat under the hottest fire. His friends sap of his vigorous mind was early drawn away from the specu- | adjured him to take more care a life invaluable to his country; lative to the practical. The faculties which are necessary for and his most illustrious antagonist, the great Condé, remarked, the conduct of important business ripened in him at a time of after the bloody day of Seneff, that the Prince of Orange had in life when they have scarcely begun to blossom in ordinary men. all things borne himself like an old general except in exposing Since Octavius the world had seen no such instance of pre- || himself like a young soldier. William denied that he was guilty cocious statesmanship. Skilful diplomatists were surprised to of temerity. It was, he said, from a sense of duty, and on a cool lear the weighty observations which at seventeen the Prince calculation of what the public interest required, that he was
always at the post of danger. The troops which he commanded || tations, the failure of his melons, the state of his stud, his wish had been little used to war, and shrank from a close encounter to procure an easy pad nag for his wife, his vexation at learnwith the veteran soldiery of France. It was necessary that their ing that one of his household, after ruining a girl of good leader should show them how battles were to be won."
family, refused to marry her, his fits of sea sickness, his coughs,
his headaches, his devotional moods, his gratitude for the Divine William was not apt to form strong friendships, but protection after a great escape, his struggles to submit himthe sincerity of the attachments that he contracted was self to the Divine will after a disaster, are described with an undoubted. The friendship subsisting between him || amiable garrulity hardly to have been expected from the most and a Dutch gentleman, “named Bentinck,” has been able is the careless effusion of his tenderness, and the brotherly
discreet and sedate statesman of the age. Still more remarkoften mentioned. Mr. Macaulay tells the circumstances interest which he takes in his friend's domestic felicity. When more concisely than they have been hitherto stated. an lieir is born to Bentinck, he will live, hope,' says We wish, indeed, that he had introduced more copious William, “to be as good a fellow as you are ; and, if I extracts from the monarch's correspondence with the should have a son, our children will love each other, I hope, founder in England of the Bentinck family. Few re
as we have done.' Through life he continues to regard the little
Bentincks with paternal kindness. He calls them by endearing tainers have shown more attachment to their chieftain diminutives : he takes charge of them in their father's absence, than Bentinck felt and acted towards his prince; and and, though vexed at being forced to refuse them any pleasure, his fealty—before death in every form, in the battle will not suffer them to go on a hunting party, where there would field, and in the chamber of a loathsome disease--was
be risk of a push from a stag's horn, or to sit up late at a riotous richly rewarded. We quote the story here, because absence
, William, in the midst of business of the highest moment,
When their mother is taken ill during her husband's the family of the Dutch nobleman has attained the finds time to send off several expresses in one day, with short highest place amongst the English aristocracy, in a notes containing intelligence of her state. On one occasion, when comparatively short period. They gave a governor to
They gave a governor to she is pronounced out of danger after a severe attack, the Prince India, a man of enlarged and liberal views, whose ef- breaks forth into fervent expressions of gratitude to God. 'I forts to advance the native races were, probably, never
write,' he says, 'with tears of joy in my eyes. There is a singular
charm in such letters, penned by a man whose irresistible energy fully appreciated. The late Lord George Bentinck be- || and inflexible firmness extorted the respect of his enemies, whose came suddenly the leader of the country party; and no cold and ungracious demeanour repelled the attachment of almost man, with a cause absolutely unpopular at the time, alt his partisans, and whose mind was occupied by gigantic ever acquired more extensive influence out or in the schemes which have changed the face of the world.
“ His kindness was not misplaced. Bentinck was early proHouse of Commons, in the two or three sessions to
nounced by Temple to be the best and truest servant that ever which his active Parliamentary life was confined:- prince had the good fortune to possess, and continued through “Highest in his favour stood a gentleman of his household
life to merit that honourable character. The friends were indeed named Bentinck, sprung from a noble Batavian race, and destined
made for each other. William wanted neither a guide nor a to be the founder of one of the great patrician houses of England. Matterer. Having a firm and just reliance on his own judgment, The fidelity of Bentinck had been tried by no cominon test. It
he was not partial to counsellors who dealt much in suggestions was while the United Provinces were struggling for existence
and objections. At the same time he had too much discernment, against the French power that the young Prince on whom all
and too much elevation of mind, to be gratified by sycophancy. their hopes were fixed was seized by the small-pox. That disease
The confidant of such a prince ought to be a man, not of inventive had been fatal to many members of his family, and at first wore,
genius or commanding spirit, but brave and faithful, capable of in his case, a peculiarly malignant aspect. The public conster
executing orders punctually, of keeping secrets inviolably, of obnation was great. The streets of the Hague were crowded from serving facts vigilantly, and of reporting them truly; and such a daybreak to sunset by persons anxiously asking how his IIighness
man was Bentinck.” At length his complaint took a favourable turn. cape was attributed partly to his own singular cquanimity, and
The last sentence of this extract is almost literally partly to the intrepid and indefatigable friendship of Bentinck. | applicable to the descendant of William's friend. We From the hands of Bentinck alone William took food and medi- do not know that the most ardent admirers of the late cine. By Bentinck alone William was lifted from his bed and Lord George Bentinck claimed for him the possession laid down in it. • Whether Bentinck slept or not while I was ill,' said William to Temple, with great tenderness, “I know not.
of “inventive genius." His bitterest opponents could But this I know, that, through sixteen days and nights, I never
not deny that he possessed in a very remarkable degree once called for anything but that Bentinck was instantly at my all the other qualities recorded by Mr. Macaulay as side. Before the faithful servant had entirely performed his task, || appertaining to his ancestor. He was brave and he had himself caught the contagion. Still, however, he bore up faithful. He served Canning well, and punctually exeagainst drowsiness and fever till his master was pronounced con
cuted his orders. He kept the secrets of that great valescent. Then, at length, Bentinck asked leave to go home. It was time: for his limbs would no longer support him. He
statesman inviolably. He observed facts vigilantly. was in great danger, but recovered, and, as soon as he left his He reported them truly. Like his ancestor, he was bed, hastened to the army, where, during many sharp campaigns, capable of forming strong friendships ; and the comhe was ever found, as he had been in peril of a different kind, bination between him and Mr. D’Israeli was peculiarly close to William's side. “Such was the origin of a friendship as warm and pure as
formidable, from the genius of the one, and the reany that ancient or modern history records. The descendants of search and perseverance of the other partner. Bentinck still preserve many letters written by William to their We may be censured for lingering too long with ancestor; and it is not too much to say that no person who has Mr. Macaulay's work. In some measure the censure not studied those letters can form a correct notion of the Prince's is merited from those who have not yet read the character. He whom even his admirers generally accounted the volumes. Others, who are acquainted with their fasci. most distant and frigid of men here forgets all distinctions of rank, and pours out all his thoughts with the ingenuousness of a nating qualities, will understand why we have yielded schoolboy. He imparts without reserve secrets of the highest to a temptation that they did not resist. The work moment. He explains with perfect simplicity vast designs affect- has not those outbursts of eloquence, marred often by ing all the Governments of Europe. Mingled with his com
overstrained writing, that characterise some modern munications on such subjects are other communications of a very || schools. different, but perhaps not of a less interesting kind. All his ad
The style is cold but clear, unimpassioned ventures, all his personal feelings, his long runs after enormous but pleasing, chaste, and classical-exhibiting the stags, his cargusals on St, Hubert's-day, the growth of his plan- | power of the English language, when employed without
the meretricious gildings and conceits with which many as they occurred. He has skilfully lightened the
way popular writers have disfigured their works, and con- by crowds of incidents, thrown in at their proper tribute to form a hurtful and morbid taste.
place, essentially necessary to fill up the range of his The historian has, without fear or favour, endea- design, and by those brief but searching summaries of vonred to delineate society as it existed, and its changes | character that render his work peculiarly valuable.
POEMS BY THOMAS AIRD. *
BY GEORGE GILFILLAN.
“ That man
We have rarely felt more at a loss than in criticising||ferent times, to the two last mentioned. this volume of genuine and transcendent poetry ; be-should write poetry," was De Quincey's emphatic cause, in the first place, almost all the enthusiastic comment. There are three lines in it, any one of minds of Scotland are long and intimately acquainted which is enough to make the poem immortal. One is with a great part of its contents; and yet, in the se- the picture of the sky of Hell — cond place, the general mind of the country knows
“ Till, like a red bewildered map, the sky was scribbled o'er.” little, and is disposed to believe less, of the merit, power, originality, and genius of the author. In such The second is a case, it becomes somewhat difficult to adjust our “ The silent magnanimity of Nature and her God." plirases of commendation so as not to offend some The thirdparty, either by what seems depreciation or by exag- “And thou shalt summer high in bliss upon the hills of God.” geration. Mr. Aird's most striking qualities are originality, || ferior in original genius, when pressed recently with
A poet more popular than Mr. Aird, though far intruth to nature, richness of imagery, and power
the “Dream, if it was not a powerful poem, asked, language. He possesses an eye of his own, a forging But where is · Mount Aksbeck'? And where, Mr. mint of his own, a spirit and a style of his own. You never trace him in the track of any other author. He A, is Coleridge's “Silent Sea’? and where the Wood'
of his Hermit? and where Bunyan's 'Mount Marvel'? is no echo, but a native voice. He has been most mi-Perhaps, too, you can tell us where ‘Mount Prejudice' nute in bis observations of nature; and not Thomson
is?" in his “Seasons,” nor Cowper in his “Task," has given
The “Demoniac is another beautiful, in parts more faithful, literal, yet ideal transcripts of scenery. His “ Summer's Day,” his “Winter's Day,” and his powerful
, and, throughout, melting ballad. What can “ Mother's Blessing," remind you of first-rate daguer- l of the Demon into his victim ?
be finer than the following description of the entrance rotypes; every feature of the sly old dame's expressive countenance is caught, and caught with perfect 6. The Fiend ! the Fiend! hush,' Herman cried, 'he left me ease and mastery. Mr. Aird, along with a poet's love,
here at noon, retains a boy's love for nature. He knows more
Hungry and sick among the brakes, and comes he then so soon ?' birds' nests than any boy in Dumfries, and prizes the p from the shores of the Dead Sea came a dull booming sound;
The leaves shook on the trees; thin winds went wailing all fascination which dwells in a bush of broom or furze, around. laden with its golden crop. Notwithstanding the Then laughter shook the sullen air. To reach his mother's hand slight snow which years have shed upon his head, his The young man grasped, but back was thrown convulsed upon
the sand. heart is all burning with boyhood ; his tastes, enthusi
No time was there for Miriam's love. He rose; a smotlıcred asms, and joys, are all young. The scenery of Scot
gleam land has never had a more devoted worshipper, a keener Was on his brow; with fierce motes rolled his eye's distempered observer, or a more faithful describer. There are passa- beam. ges, both in his Poems and in his “Old Bachelor," which | He smiled—'twas as the lightning of a hope about to die rank with sueh descriptions as that in “Halloween
For crer from the furrowed brows of Hell's Eternity.
Like sun-armed snakes, rose on his head a storm of golden hair, of the burnie, in perfect correctness, blended with || Tangled ; and thus on Miriam fell hot breathings of despair,ideal beauty, or with the finer pictures in the Waverley | Perish the breasts that gave me milk; yea, in thy mouldering Novels.
heart Besides this power of minute, knotty, and pictu- | Good thrifty roots I'll plant, to stay, next time, my hunger's resque description, Mr. Aird has a higher and rarer
Red-veined derived apples I shall cat with savage haste, gift, that of imaginative combination. We find this
And see thy life-blood Ulushing through, and glory in the taste.”” creative quality best exhibited in his “Devil's Dream on Mount Aksbeck,” his “ Demoniac," and his “Ne- Where can this amiable poet have overheard and buchadnezzar.” Than the first of these, the English || retained, as he has here reproduced, the red Alphabet language possesses no more unique, sustained, and of Hell ? Why the “ Devil's Dream” has not been singular flight of imagination. So such critics as Wil- generally popular, can be easily explained. It is guardson, Delta, De Quincey, and Samuel Brown, have ed and fenced from common apprehension and appreagreed. We shall never forget the pleasure we had ciation by the thick burs of beauty and grandeur and
gave, in introducing this marvellous poem, at dif- // which surround it. It is inscrutable as an eif-knot
* Blackwood, Edinburgh,