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as soon as both are defined and li- idly do we say, in speaking of the mited, the last are as indispensable to events of our own time which affect our the integrity of the constitution - as party feelings,-“We stand too near the first: and popular freedom itself to these events for an impartial estiwould suffer as much, though indi- mate: we must leave them to the rectly, from an invasion of Cæsar's judgment of posterity"! For it is a rights-as by a more direct attack on fact that of the many books of meitself. But in the 17th century the moirs written by persons who were rights of the people were as yet not not merely contemporary with the defined: throughout that century great civil war, but actors and even they were gradually defining them- leaders in it's principal scenes—there selves—and, as happens to all great is hardly one which does not exhibit practical interests, defining them- a more impartial picture of that great selves through a course of fierce and drama than the histories written at bloody contests. For the kingly rights this day. The historian of Popery are almost inevitably carried too does not display half so much zeahigh in ages of imperfect civilization: lotry and passionate prejudice in and the well-known laws of Henry speaking of the many events which the Seventh, by which he either broke have affected the power and splenor gradually sapped the power of the dor of the Papal See for the last 30 aristocracy, had still more extrava- years, and under his own eyes, as he gantly exalted them.-On this ac- does when speaking of a reformer count it is just to look upon demo- who lived three centuries ago-of a cratic or popular politics as identical translator of the Bible into a vernain the 17th century with patriotic cular tongue who lived nearly five politics. In later periods, the demo- centuries ago-of an Anti-popemof crat and the patriot have sometimes a Charlemagne or a Gregory the been in direct opposition to each Great still further removed from himother: at that period they were ine- self. The recent events he looks upon vitably in conjunction.-All this, as accidental and unessential: but in however, is in general overlooked by the great enemies, or great founders those who either write English his- of the Romish temporal power, and tory or comment upon it. Most in the history of their actions and writers of or upon English history their motives, he feels that the whole proceed either upon servile princi- principle of the Romish cause and ples, or upon no principles : and a it's pretensions are at stake. Pretty good Spirit of English History, that much under the same feeling have is, a history which should abstract modern writers written with a ranthe tendencies and main results [as corous party spirit of the political to laws, manners, and constitution] struggles in the 17th century: here from every age of English history is they fancy that they can detect the a work which I hardly hope to see incunabula of the revolutionary spirit: executed. For it would require the here some have been so sharpsighted concurrence of some philosophy with as to read the features of pure jacoa great deal of impartiality. How binism: and others* have gone so far

Amongst these Mr. D'Israeli in one of the latter volumes of his Curiosities of Literature' has dedicated a chapter or so to a formal proof of this proposition. A reader who is familiar with the history of that age comes to the chapter with a previous indignation, knowing what sort of proof he has to expect. This indignation is not likely to be mitigated by what he will there find. Because some one madman, fool, or scoundrel makes a monstrous proposal—which dies of itself unsupported, and is in violent contrast to all the acts and the temper of those times, this is to sully the character of the parliament and three-fourths of the people of England. If this proposal had grown out of the spirit of the age, that spirit would have produced many more proposals of the same character and acts corresponding to them. Yet upon this one infamous proposal, and two or three scandalous anecdotes from the libels of the day, does the whole onus of Mr. D'Israeli's parallel depend. Tantamne rem tam negligenter ?- In the general character of an Englishman I have a right to complain that so heavy an attack upon the honor of England and her most virtuous patriots in her most virtuous age should be made with so much levity : a charge so solemn in it's matter should have been prosecuted with a proportionate solemnity of manner. Mr. D’Israeli refers with just applause to the opinions of Mr. Coleridge: I wish that he would have allowed a little more weight to the striking as to assert that all the atrocities of eyes of the unwary, &c.: he found the French revolution had their direct in short that reformation, by popular parallelisms in acts done or coun- insurrection, must end in the de. tenanced by the virtuous and auguststruction and cannot tend to the forSenate of England in 1640! Strange mation of a regular Government." distortion of the understanding which After a good deal more of this wellcan thus find a brotherly resemblance meaning cant, the Introduction conbetween two great historical events, cludes with the following sentence : which of all that ever were put on the writer is addressing the reformers record stand off from each other in of 1793, amongst whom both most irreconcileable enmity: the one leaders and followers,” he says “ may originating, as Mr. Coleridge has together reflect—that, upon specuobserved, in excess of principle; the lative and visionary reformers," (i. e. other in the utter defect of all moral those of 1640) « the severest puprinciple whatever; and the progress nishment which God in his vengeof each being answerable to its ori- ance ever yet inflicted—was to curse gin! Yet so it is. And not a me. them with the complete gratification moir-writer of that age is reprinted of their own inordinate desires." I in this, but we have a preface from quote this passage—not as containing some red-hot Anti-jacobin warning us any thing singular, but for the very with much vapid common-place from reason that it is not singular: it exthe mischiefs and eventual anarchy of presses in fact the universal opinion : too rash a spirit of reform as dis- notwithstanding which I am happy played in the French revolution—not to say that it is false. What “ comby the example of that French revo- plete gratification of their own delution, but by that of our own in the sires was ever granted to the “reage of Charles I. The following formers” in question? On the conpassage from the Introduction to Sir trary, it is well known (and no book William Waller's Vindication pub- illustrates that particular fact so well lished in 1793, may serve as a fair as Sir William Waller's) that as early instance: “He” (Sir W. Waller) as 1647 the army had too effectually “ was, indeed, at length sensible of subverted the just relations between the misery which he had contributed itself and parliament-not to have to bring on his country;" (by the suggested fearful anticipations to all way, it is a suspicious circumstance discerning patriots of that unhappy --that Sir William* first became issue which did in reality blight their sensible that his country was misera- prospects. And, when I speak of ble, when he became sensible that he an ão unhappy issue,”. I would be himself was not likely to be again understood only of the immediate employed; and became fully con- issue: for the remote issue was-the vinced of it, when his party lost revolution of 1088, as I have already their ascendancy:) “ he was con- asserted. Neither is it true that even vinced, by fatal experience, that the immediate issue was “unhappy" anarchy was a bad step towards a to any extent which can justify the perfect government'; that the sub- ordinary language in which it is deversion of every establishment was scribed. Here again is a world of no safe foundation for a permanent delusions. We hear of “anarchy," and regular constitution: he found of “confusions,” of “ proscriptions, that pretences of reform were held of “ bloody and ferocious tyranny." up by the designing to dazzle the All is romance: there was no anar

passage in which that gentleman contrasts the Frenclı revolution with the English revolution of 1640-8. However, the general tone of honor and upright principle, which marks Mr. D’Israeli's work, encourages me and others to hope that he will cancel the chapter--and not persist in wounding the honor of a great people for the sake of a parallelism, which—even if it were true—is a thousand times too slight and feebly supported to satisfy the most accommodating reader,

* Sir William, and his cousin Sir Hardress Waller, were both remarkable men. Sir Hardress had no conscience at all ; Sir William a very scrupulous one ; which however he was for ever tampering with—and generally succeeded in reducing into compliance with his immediate interest. He was however an accomplished gentleman : and as a man of talents worthy of the highest admiration.

chy; no confusions; no proscrip- were condemned upon evidence opentions; no tyramy in the sense de- ly given and by due course of law. signed. The sequestrations, for- With respect to the general characfeitures, and punishments of all sorts ter of his government, it is evident which were inflicted by the conquer- that in the unsettled and revoluing party on their antagonists-went tionary state of things which follows on by due course of law; and the a civil war some critical cases will summary justice of courts martial arise to demand an occasional “ viwas not resorted to in England: ex- gour beyond the law”-such as the cept for the short term of the two Roman government allowed of in the wars, and the brief intermediate dictatorial power. But in general campaign of 1648, the country was Cromwell's government was limited in a very tranquil state. Nobody by law: and no reign in that cenwas punished without an open trial; tury, prior to the revolution, furand all trials proceeded in the regu- nishes fewer instances of attempts to lar course, according to the ancient tamper with the laws--to overrule forms, and in the regular courts of them—to twist them to private injustice. And as to “ tyranny,” which terpretations--or to dispense with is meant chiefly of the acts of Crom- them. As to his major-generals of well's government, it should be re- counties, who figure in most histories membered that the Protectorate last- of England as so many Ali Pachas ed not a quarter of the period in that impaled a few prisoners every question (1640–1660); a fact which morning before breakfast-or rather is constantly forgotten even by very as so many ogres that ate up good eminent writers, who speak as though christian men, women and children Cromwell had drawn his sword in alive, they were disagreeable people January 1649-cut off the king's who were disliked much in the same head-instantly mounted his throne way as our commissioners of the in-and continued to play the tyrant come-tax were disliked in the mefor the whole remaining period of his mory of us all; and heartily they life (nearly ten years). Secondly, as would have laughed at the romantic to the kind of tyranny which Crom- and bloody masquerade in which well exercised, the misconception is they are made to figure in the Engludicrous : continental writers have lish histories. What then was the a notion, well justified by the lan

“ tyranny

of Cromwell's governguage of English writers, that Crom- ment, which is confessedly complainwell was a ferocious savage who ed of even in those days? The word built his palace of human skulls and “ tyranny" was then applied not so desolated his country. Meantime, he much to the mode in which his power was simply a strong-minded--rough- was administered (except by the prebuilt Englishman, with a character judiced)-as to its origin. However thoroughly English, and exceedingly mercifully a man may reign,-yet, if good-natured. Gray valued himself he have no right toreign at all, we may upon his critical knowledge of Eng- in one sense call him a tyrant; his lish history: yet how thoughtlessly power not being justly derived, and does he express the abstract of Crom- resting upon an unlawful (i. e. a miwell's life in the line on the village litary) basis. As a usurper, and one Cromwell—" Some Cromwell, guilt- who had diverted the current of a less of his country's blood !" How grand national movement to selfish was Cromwell guilty of his country's and personal objects, Cromwell was blood? What blood did he cause to and will be called a tyrant; but not be shed ? A great deal was shed no in the more obvious sense of the doubt in the wars (though less, by word. Such are the misleading statethe way, than is imagined): but in ments which disfigure the History of those Cromwell was but a servant of England in its most important chapthe parliament: and no one will al- ter. They mislead by more than a lege that he had any hand in causing simple error of fact: those, which a single war. After he attained the I have noticed last, involve a moral sovereign power, no more domestic anachronism : for they convey images wars arose : and as to a few pere of cruelty and barbarism such as sons who were exccuted for plots and could not co-exist with the national conspiracies against his persou, they civilization at that time ; and whọ. soever has not corrected this false have not stained with the atrabilious picture by an acquaintance with the hue of their wounded remembrances : English literature of that age, must hardly a town in England, which necessarily image to himself a state stood a siege for the king or the of society as rude and uncultured as parliament, but has some printed methat which prevailed during the wars morial of its constancy and its sufof York and Lancaster-i. e. about ferings; and in nine cases out of ten two centuries earlier. But those, the editor is a clergyman of the estawith which I introduced this article, blished church, who has contrived to are still worse ; because they involve deepen “ the sorrow of the time" by an erroneous view of constitutional the harshness of his commentary. history, and a most comprehensive Surely it is high time that the wounds act of ingratitude: the great men of of the 17th century should close ; the Long Parliament paid a heavy that history should take a more comprice for their efforts to purchase for manding and philosophic station ; their descendants a barrier to irre- and that brotherly charity should sponsible power and security from now lead us to a saner view of conthe anarchy of undefined regal pre- stitutional politics; or a saner view rogative: in these efforts most of of politics to a more comprehensive them made shipwreck of their own charity. The other cause of this tranquillity and peace; that such sac falsification springs out of a selfishcrifices were made unavailingly (as ness which has less claim to any init must have seemed to themselves), dulgence

viz. the timidity with and that few of them lived to see the which the English Whigs of former “good old cause ” finally triumph- days and the party to whom they ant, does not cancel their claims upon succeeded, constantly shrank from our gratitude-but rather strengthen acknowledging any alliance with the them by the degree in which it ag- great men of the Long Parliament gravated the difficulty of bearing under the nervous horror of being such sacrifices with patience. But confounded with the regicides of whence come these falsifications of 1649. It was of such urgent imhistory? I believe, from two causes: portance to them, for any command first (as I have already said) from the bver the public support, that they erroneous tone impressed upon the should acquit themselves of any sennational history by the irritated spirit timent of Jurking toleration for regiof the clergy of the established cide, with which their enemies never church: to the religious zealotry of failed to load them, that no mode of those times-the church was the ob- abjuring it seemed sufficiently emjectof especial attack; and its members phatic to them: hence it was that were naturally exposed to heavy suf- Addison, with a view to the interest ferings: hence their successors are in- of his party, thought fit when in disposed to find any good in a cause Switzerfand, to offer a puny insult to which could lead to such a result. It the memory of General Ludlow: is their manifest right to sympathise hence it is that even in our own days, with their own order in that day; no writers have insulted Milton with and in such a case it is almost their so much bitterness and shameless duty to be incapable of an entire im- irreverence as the Whigs; though it partiality. Meantime they have car- is true that some few Whigs, more ried this much too far: the literature however in their literary than in of England must always be in a con- their political character, have stepped siderable proportion lodged in their forward in his vindication. At this hands; and the extensive means thus moment I recollect a passage in the placed at their disposal for inju- writings of a modern Whig bishopriously colouring that important part in which, for the sake of creating a of history they have used with no charge of falsehood against Milton, modesty or forbearance. There is the author has grossly mis-translated not a page of the national history even a passage in the Defensio pro Pop. in its local subdivisions wliich they Anglicano : and, if that bishop were

* Until after the year 1688, I do not remember ever to have found the term Whig applied except to the religious characteristics of that party: whatever reference it might have to their political distinctions was only secondary and by implication.

not dead, I would here take the commission for which no distinct liberty of rapping his knuckles--were fathers can be found? The learned it only for breaking Priscian's head. editor does not pretend that there is To return over to the clerical feud any positive evidence, or presumption against the Long Parliament,-it was even, for imputing to the Puritans a a passage in a very pleasing work dislike to the custom in question: of this day (Ecclesiastical Biography) but, because he thinks it a good cuswhich suggested to me the whole tom, his inference is that nobody of what I have now written. Its could have abolished it but the Pus learned editor, who is incapable of ritans. Now who does not see that, uncandid feelings except in what if this had been amongst the usages concerns the interests of his order, discountenanced by the Puritans, it has adopted the usual tone in regard would on that account have been the to the men of 1640 throughout his more pertinaciously maintained by otherwise valuable amnotations: and their enemies in church and state? somewhere or other in the Life of Or, even if this usage were of a naHammond, according to my remem- ture to be prohibited by authority, as brance) he has made a statement to the public use of the liturgy-organs this effect—That the custom preva- --surplices, &c., who does not see lent among children in that age of that with regard to that as well as to asking their parents' blessing was other Puritanical innovations there probably first brought into disuse by would have been a reflux of zeal at the Puritans. Is it possible to ima- the restoration of the king which gine a perversity of prejudice more would have established them in more unreasonable? The unamiable side strength than ever ? But it is evident of the patriotic character in the se- to the unprejudiced that the usage in venteenth century was unquestion- question gradually went out in subably its religious bigotry; which, mission to the altered spirit of the however, had its ground in a real fer- times. It was one feature of a gevour of religious feeling and a real neral system of manners, fitted by strength of religious principle some- its piety and simplicity for a pious what exceeding the ordinary stand- and simple age, and which therefore ard of the 19th century. But, how- even the 17th century had already ever palliated, their bigotry is not to outgrown. It is not to be inferred be denied; it was often offensive that filial affection and reverence from its excess; and ludicrous in its have decayed amongst 'us, because direction. Many harmless customs, they no longer express themselves in many ceremonies and rituals that had the same way. In an age of impera high positive value, their frantic in- fect culture, all passions and emotolerance quarreled with: and for tions are in a more elementary state my part 1 heartily join in the sen- _" speak a plainer language”-and timent of Charles II.-applying it as express themselves externally: in such he did, but a good deal more exten- an age the frame and constitution of sively, that their religion “ was not society is more picturesque; the a religion for a gentleman:" indeed modes of life rest more undisguisedly all sectarianism, but especially that upon the basis of the absolute and which has a modern origin—arising original relation of things : the son is and growing up within our own me- considered in his sonship, the father mories, unsupported by a grand tra- in his fatherhood: and the manners ditional history of persecutions— take an appropriate coloring. Up to conflicts—and martyrdoms, lurking the middle of the 17th century there moreover in blind alleys, holes, cor- were many families in which the ners, and tabernacles, must appear children never presumed to sit down spurious and mean in the eyes of in their parents' presence. But with him who has been bred up in the us, in an age of more complete intelgrand classic forms of the Church of lectual culture, a thick disguise is England or the Church of Rome. spread over the naked foundations of But, because the bigotry of the Pu- human life; and the instincts of good ritans was excessive and revolting, is taste banish from good company the that a reason for fastening upon them expression of all the profounder emoall the stray evils of omission or tions. A son therefore, who should

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