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truth of donbtful or contested passages. and the probable motive» of insignificant and ambiguous actions. The labour which is thus visibly bestowed on the work, often apl»rars, therefore, disproportioned to the imjiortauce of the result. The history becomes, ш a certain degree, languid and heavy; and fomething like a feeling of disappointment and impatience is generated, from the tarditiese and excessive caution with which the story is carried forward. In those constant aiic.-npls. too, to verify the particulars which arc narrated, a certain tone of debate is frequently assumed, which savours more of the orator than the historian; and though there is nothing florid or rhetorical in the general сам of the diction, yet those argumentative passages are evidently more akin to public speaking than to written composition. Frequent interrogations—short alternative propositions—and an occasional mixture of familiar ¡mases and illustrations,—all denote a certain habit of personal altercation, and of keen and animated contention. Instead, therefore, of a work emulating the full and flowing narrative of Livy or Herodotua, we find in Air. Foi's book rather a series of critical remarks on the narratives of preceding writers, mingled up with occasional details somewhat more copious and careful than the magnitude o; the subjects seemed to require. The history, in short, is planned upon too broad a scale, and the narrative too frequently interrupted by small controversien and petty indecisions. We are aware that these objections may be owing in a good degree to the smallnese of the fragment upon which we are un1 'itunatelv obliged to hazard them; and that the proportions which appear gigantic in this Imle relic, might have been no more than majestic in the finished work; but even after matins allowance for this consideration, we ca;mot help thinking that the details are too minute, and the verifications too elaborate.
The introductory chapter is full of admirable reasoning1* and just reflections. It begins with noticing, that there are certain ppriod? in the history of every people, which are obviously big with important consequence, and exercise a visible and decisive influence on the times that come after. The Kisn of Henry VII. is one of these, with relation to England ;—another is that comprised between 1588 and 1640;—and the most remarkable of all, is that which extends from the last of these dates, to the death of Charles II.—the era of constitutional principles and practical tyranny—of the best laws, and the most corrupt administration. It is to the review of this period, that the introductory chapter i? dedicated.
Mr. Fox approves of the first proceedings of the Commons; but censures without rewrve th« unjustifiable form of the proceeding against Lord Strafford, whom he qualifies with thp name of a great delinquent. With «card to the causes of the civil war, the most •Jifficult question to determine is, whether the Parliament made sufficient efforts to avoid Wmgingaflaire to such a decision. That they
had justice on their side, he says, cannot be reasonably doubted,—but seems to think that something more might have been done, to bring matters to an accommodation. With regard to the execution of the King, he makes the following striking observations, in that tone of fearless integrity and natural mildness, which we have already noticed aa characteristic of this performance.
"The execution of the King, though a far less violent measure than (hat of Lord StraiTurd, is an event of so singular a nature, that we cannot wonder that it should have excited more sensation than any other in the annals of England. This exemplary act of substantial justice, as it has been called by some, of enormous wickedness by others, must be considered in two points of view. Firat, was it not in itself just and necessary \ Secondly, was the example ol it likely to be salutary or pernicious 1 In regard to the first of these questions, Mr. Hume, not perhaps intentionally, makes the beat justification of it, by saying, that while Charles lived, the projected Republic could never be secureBut to justify taking away the life of an individual. upon the principle of self-defence, the dnnger must be, not problematical and remote, but evident and immediate. The danger in this instance was not of such a nature; and the imprisonment, or even banishment of Charles, might have given to the republic such a degree of security as any government ought to be content with. It must be confessed, however, on the other side, that if the republican government had suffered the King to escape, it would have been an act of justice and generosity wholly unexampled; and to have granted him even hie life, would have been one among the more rare efforts of virtue. The short interval between the déposai and death of princes is become proverbial; and (hough there may be some few examples on the other side, as far as life is concerned, I doubt whether a single instance can be found, where liberty has been granted to a deposed monarch. Among the modes of destroying persons in such a situation, there can be little doubt but that adopted by Cromwell and his adhérente is the least dishonourable. Edward the Second, Richard the Second, Henry ihe Sixth, Edward the Fifth, had none of them long survived their déposai; bu( this was the first instance, in our history at least, where, of such an act, it could be truly said, that it was not done in a corner.
"As to the second question, whether the advantage to be derived from the example was such as to justify an act of such violence, it appears to me to be a complete solution of it to observe, that with respect to England (and I know not upon what ground we are to set examples for other nations, or. in other words, to take the criminal justice of the world into our hands), it was wholly needless, and therefore unjustifiable, tu set one tor kings, at a time when it was intended the office of king should be abolished, and consequently that no person should he in the situation to make it the rule of his conduct. Besides, the miser es attendant upon a deposed monarch, seem to be sufficient to deter any prince, who thinks of consequences, from running the risk of being placed in such a situation; or if death be the only evil that can deter him, the fate of former tyrants deposed by their subjects, would by no means encouragn him to hope he could avoid even that catastrophe. As far as we can judge from the event, the example was certainly not very effectual; since both the sons of Charles, though having their father's fate before their eyes, yet feared not to violate the liberties of the people even more than he had ы tempreH to do.
"After all, however, notwithstanding what the more reasonable part of mankind may think upop this question, it is much to be doubled whether this singular proceeding has not, as much as any other circumstance, served to raise the character of the Knglish nation in the opinion of Europe in general. Tie who has read, and still more he who has heard in conversation, discussions upon this subject, by foreigners, must have perceived, that, even in ilie minds of those who condemn the act, the impression made by it has been far more that of respect and admiration, than that of disgust and horror. The truth is, that the guilt of ihe action, tlmt is to say, the taking away the life of the King, is what most men in the place of Cromwell and his associates would have incurred. What there is of splendour and of magnanimity in it, I mean the publicity and solemnity of the act, is what few would be capable of displaying. It is a degrading fact to human nature, that even the sending away of the Duke of Gloucester was an instance of generosity almost unexampled in the history of transactions of this nature."—pp. 13—17.
Under the Protector, of whom he speaks with singular candour, the government was absolute—and. on his death, fell wholly into the hands of the army. He speaks with contempt and severe censure of Monk for the precipitate and unconditional submission into which he hurried the country at the Restoration; and makes the following candid reflection on the subsequent punishment of the regicides.
"With respect to the execution of those who were accused of having been more immediately concerned in the King's death, that of Scrope, who had come in upon the proclamation, ana of the military officers who had attended the trial, was a violation of every principle of law and justice. But the fate of the others, though highly dishonourable to Monk, whose whole power had arisen from his leal in their service, and the favour and confidence with which they had rewarded him, and not perhaps very creditable to the nation, of which many had applauded, more had supported, and almost all had acquiesced in the act, is not certainly to be imputed as a crime to the King, or to those of his advisers who were of the Cavalier party. The passion of revenge, though properly condemned both by philosophy and religion, yet when it is excited by injurious treatment of persons justly dear to us, is among the most excusable ol human frailties ; and if Charles, in his general conduct, had shown stronger feelings of gratitude for services performed to his father, his character, in the eyes of many, would be rather raised than lowered by this example of severity against the regicides."—pp.22, 23.
The mean and unprincipled submission of Charles to Louis XIV., and the profligare pretences upon which he was perpetually soliciting an increase of his disgraceful stipend, are mentioned with becoming reprobation. The delusion of the Popish plot is noticed at some length; and some admirable remarks are introduced with reference to the debates on the expediency of passing a bill for excluding the
certain restrictions on him in the event of his succession. The following observations are distinguished for their soundness, as well as their acuteness; and are applicable, in principle, to every period of ouVhistory in which it ran be necessary to recur to the true prineiples of the constitution.
"It is not easy to conceive upon what principles even the Tories could justify their support of the restrictions. Many among them, no doubt, saw the provisions >n the some Tight in which the Whigs
represented them, as an expedient, admirably indeed adapted to the real object of upholding the present king's power, by the defeat of the exrlasion, but never likely to take effect for their pretended purpose of controuling that of his successor; and supported them for that very reason. But such a principle of conduct was too fraudulent to be avowed; nor ought it perhaps, in candour, to be imputed to ihe majority of the party. To those who acted with good luith, and meant that the restrictions should really take place, and be effectu»!, surely it ought to have occurred (and to thaw who most prized the prerogatives of the crown, it ought most forcibly to have occurred], that, in consenting to curtail the powers of ihe crown, rather than u> alter the succession, they were adopting the greller, in order to avoid the lesser evil. The question of, what are to be the powers of the crown f is surelv of superior importance to that of, who shall wearn? Those, at least, who consider the royal prerogative as vested in the king, not for his own sake, bat foe that of his subjects, must consider the one of then questions as much above the other in dignity, ts the rights of the public are more valuable than the« of an individual. In this view, Ihe prerocatirr* rj the crown are in itAitanee and effect Ihe rights of the people: and theie rightl of the people vtrt Haiti be tacrißced to the purptae ofpreiervinf the tutcttxinn to the mott favoured prince, much less lo ose who, on account of his religious persuasion, »ajustly feared and suspected. In truth, the question between the exclusion and restrictions seems peculiarly calculated to ascertain the different views in which the different parties in this country have seen, and perhaps ever Vill see, the prerogatives of the crown. The Whigs, who consider them аз a trust for the people, a doctrine which the Tones themselves, when pushed in argument, will sometimes admit, naturally think it their duty rather to change the manager of the trust, than to impair the subject of it; while others, who consider them u the right or property of the king, will as naturally act as they would do in the case of any other property, and consent to the loss or annihilation ofiny part of it, for the purpose of preserving the remainder to him, whom they style the rightful owner. If the people be the sovereign, and ihe king the delegate, it is better to change the bailiff than to injure the farm ; but if the king be the proprietor, it is better the farm should be impaired, nav. part of it destroyed, than that the whole shouid pa« over to an usurper. The royal prerogative ough'. according to the Whigs (not in the case of a Popuh successor only, but in all cases), to be reduced ю such powers as are in iheir exercise beneficial to (he people; and of the benefit of these they »ill not rashly suffer the people to be deprived, «Ьешт the executive power be in the hands of an heredi* tary, or of an elected king; of a regent, or of ary other denomination of magistrate; while, on the other hand, they who consider prerogative wilk reference only to royalty, will, with equal 1*101* ness, consent either to the extension or the suspension of its exercise, as the occasional iniere''s of the prince may seem to require."—pp. 37—3V
Of the reality of any design to assassinate the King, by those engaged in what was called the Rye-House Plot, Mr. Fox appears to entertain considerable doubt, partly on account of the impiobability of many of the circumstances, and partly on account of the uniteTM? and resolute denial of Rumbold, the chief "I that party, in circumstances when he had no conceivable inducement to dispuise the truth Of the condemnation of Russell and Sydney, he speaks with the indication which must be felt by all friends to liberty at the recollection of that disgraceful proceeding. The following passage is one of the most eloquent and one of the most characteristic in the whole roíame.
"L'pon evidence puch as has been slated, was this great and excellent man (Sydney) condemned to &. Pardon was not lo be expected. Mr. Hume says, that such an interference on the part of the King, though it might have been an act of heroic generosity, could nut be regarded as an in* dispensable duly. He might have said, with more propriety, that il we* idle to expect that the government, alter having incurred so much guilt in order to obtain the sentence, should, by remitting it, relinquish ¡he object just when it is within ils grasp. The »me hisionan considers the jury as highly ЫлпеаЫе : and so do I; But what was their guilt, /л ютрэптоп of that of ihe court who tried, and of the government who prosecuted, in this infamous cause Î Yet the jury, being the only party thnt can wiih any colour be stated as acting independently of the government, is the only one mentioned bjr him as blameahle. The prosecutor is wholly omitted in his censure, and so is the court; this h>t. not from any tenderness for the judge (who, to do this auihor justice, is no favourite with him), but lest the odious connection between that branch of ihe judicature and the government should strike the reader too forcibly: For Jefferies, in this indance. ought lo be regarded as the mere loot and immunem (a fit one, no doubt) of the prince who had appointed him for ihe purpose of this and similar services. Lastly, the King is gravely introduced on the question of pardon, as if he had had Do prior concern in the cause, and were now to decide upon the propriety of extending mercy ю а inminal condemned by a court of judicature! Nor ire we once reminded what that judicature was,—by whom appointed, by whom influenced, by whom called upon to receive that detestable evidence, the very recollection of which, even tit this distance of time, fires every honest heart with inrhgnaiion. As well might we palliate the murdtrs ni Tiberius; who seldom put to deaih his victims without в previous decree of his senate. The moral of all this seems to be, that whenever a prince can, by intimidation, corruption, illegal evidence, or other such means, obtain a verdict against n subject whom he dislikes, he may cause him lo be executed without any breach of indispensable doty; nay, that it is an act of heroic generosity, if he spires h;m. I never reflect on Mr. Hume's statement of this matter but with the deepest regret. Widely as I differ from him upon many other occasions, this appears to me lo be the most reprehen!:Ь e passage of his whole work. A spirit of adu.a;¡un towards deceased princes, though in a good met»ure free from the imputation of interested meanness, which is justly attached to flattery, when applied to living monarch*; yet, as it is less intelligible with respect to its motives than the other, so is u m us consequences still more pernicious to the eeneral interests of mankind. Fear of censure from contemporaries will seldom have much effect «poo men in situations of unlimited authority. The; will too often flatter themselves, that ihe Mme power which enables them to commit the crime, will secure them from reproach. The dread <>i posthumous infamy, therefore, being the only retrain!, ihtir consciences excepted, upon the pasmona of such persons, it is lamentable that this last tieience (feeble enough at best), should in any degree be impaired; and impaired it must be. if not •'<«l!y destroyed, when tyrants can hope to find in a man tike Hume, no less eminent for the integrity and benevolence of his heart, than for the depth and soundness of his understanding, an apologist (or eren their foulest murders."—pp. 48—50.
The uncontrouled tyranny of Charles' administration in his latter days, is depicted with much force and fidelity; and the clamour by his other ministers against the Mar
quis of Halifax, for having given an opinion in council that the North American uolonies should be made participant in the benefits of the English constitution, gives occasion to the following natural reflection.
"There is something curious in discovering, that, even at this early period, a question relative to North American liberty, and even to North American taxation, was considered as the lest of principles friendly or adverse, to arbitnry power at home. But the truth is, that among the several controversies which have arisen, there is no other wherein the natural rights of man on ihe one hand, and the authority of artificial institution on the other, as applied respectively, by the Whigs arid Tories, to the English constitution, are so fairly put in issue, nor by which the line of separation between the two parties is so strongly and distinctly marked." —p. 60.
The introductory chapter is closed by the following profound and important remarks, which may indeed serve as a key to the whole transactions of the ensuing reign.
"Whoever reviews the interesting period which we have been discussing, upon the principle recommended in the outset of this chapter, will find, that, from the consideration of the past, to prognosticate the future, would, at the moment of Charles' demise, be no easy task. Between two persons, one of whom should expect that the country would remain sunk in slavery, the other, that the cause of freedom would revive and triumph, it would be difficult to decide, whose reasons were belter supported, whose speculations the more probable. I should guess that he who desponded, had looked more at ihe state of the public; while he who was sanguine, had fixed his eyes more attentively upon ihe person who was about to mount ihe throne. Upon reviewing the two great parlies of the nation, one observation occurs very forcibly, and that is, that the great strength of the Whigs consisted in iheir being able to brand their adversaries as favourers of Popery; that of the Tories (as far as their strength depended upon opinion, and not merely upon the power of the crown), in their finding colour to represent the Whigs as republicans. From t his observation we may draw a further inference, that, in proportion to the rashness of the crown, in avowing and pressing forward the cause of Popery, and to ihe moderation and steadiness of the Whigs, in adhering to the form of monarchy, would be the chance of the people of England, lor chancing an ignominious despotism for glory, liberty, and happiness."—pp. 66, 67.
James was known to have had so large a share in the councils of his brother, that no one expected any material change of system from his accession. The Church, indeed, it was feared, might be less safe under a professed Catholic; and the severity of his temper might inspire some dread of an aggravated oppression. It seems to be Mr. Fox's great object, in this first chapter, to prove that the object of his early policy was. not to tetablish the Catholic religion, but to make himself absolute and independent of his Parliament.
The fact itself, ne conceives, is completely established by the manner in which his secret negotiations wilh France were carriej on; in the whole of which, he was zealously served by ministers, no one of whom had the slightest leaning towards Popery, or could ever be brought to countenance the measures which he afterwards pursued in its favour. It is made still more evident by the complexion S
of his proceedings in Scotland; where the test, which he enforced at the point of the bayonet, was a Protestant test,—so much so. indeed, that he himself could not take it,—ana the objects of his persecution, dissenters from the Protestant church of England. We coneider this point therefore—and it is one of no small importance in the history of this period —as now sufficiently established.
It does not seem necessary to follow the author into the detail of that sordid and degrading connexion which James was so anxious to establish, by becoming, like his brother, the pensioner of the French monarch. The bitter and dignified contempt with which it is treated by Mr. Fox, may be guessed at from the following account of the first remittance.
"Within a very few days from that in which ihe latter of them had passed, he (the French ambassador) was empowered to accompany the delivery of a letter from his master, with the agreeable news of having received from him bills of exchange to the amount of Ave hundred thousand livres, lo be used in whatever manner might be convenient to the King of England's service. The account which Barillon gives of the manner in which this sum was received, is altogether ridiculous: the King's rye» teere full of lean ! and three of his ministers, Rochester, Sunderland, and Godolphin, came severally to Ihe French ambassador, to express the pense their master had of the obligation, in terms the most lavish. Indeed, demonstrations of gratitude from the King directly, as well as through his ministers, for this supply, were such as, if they had been used by some unfortunate individual, who, with his whole family, had been saved, by the timely succour of some kind and powerful prolector, from a gaol and all its horrors, would he deemed raiher too strong than too weak. Barillon himself eeems surprised when he reíales them ; but imputes them to what was probably their real cause, to the apprehensions that had been entertained (very unreasonable ones!), that the King of France might no longer choose to interfere in the affairs of England, and, consequently, that his support could not be relied on lor the grand object of assimilating this government lo his own."—pp. 83, 84.
After this, Lord Churchill is sent to Paris on the part of the tributary King.
"How little could Barillon guess, that he was negotiating with one who was destined lo be at the head of an administration which, in a few years, would send the same Lord Churchill, not lo Paris to implore Lewis for succours towards enslaving England, or to thank him for pensions ю her monarch, hut lo combine all Europe against him in the cause of liberty! to rouie his armies, to take his towns, lo humble his pride, and to shake lo the foundation thai fabric of power which it had been the business of a long life to raise, at the expense of every sentiment of tenderness to his subjects, and of justice and good faith lo foreign nations! It is with difficulty the render ran persuade himself that the Godolphin and Churchill here mentioned, are the same persons who were afterwards, one in the cabinet, one in ihe field, iho great conductor» of the war of ihe Succession. How little do ihey appear in the one instance! how great in ihe other! And the investigation of ihn cause 10 which this excessive difference is principally owing, will produce a moit useful lesson. Is the difference to be attributed to any superiority of grnius in the prince whom they served in the latter period of their lives f Queen Anne's capacity appears to have been inferior even to her father'«. Did they enjoy, in a greater degree, her favour and confidence? The
тегу reverse is the fact. But, in one rase, rhr» were the tools of a king plotting against his peotv*-: in the other, the ministers of a tree jrorernnwit acting upon enlarged principles, and wiih enere*» which no stale that is not in some degree republican can supply. How forcibly must the contemplation of i hese men in such opposite situations tench ; '.т~ engaged in political lite, that a free and popiibr».'.ernmem is desirable, not only tor the public gaxi. but for their own greatness and ronndenilion. lor every object of generous ambition."—pp. ^. ^'.'.
As James, in the outset of his reign. prr>fessed a resolution to adhere to the system of government established by his brother, ar.d made this declaration in the lirst place, to his Scottish Parliament, Mr. Fox thinks it necessary to take a slight retrospectivo view of the proceedings of Charles towards that unhappy country; and details, from unquestionable authorities, such a scene of intolerant oppression and atrocious cruelty, as lo justify him ш saying, that the state of that kingdom was "a state of more absolute slavery than at that time subsisted in any part of Christendom."
In both Parliaments, the King's revenue was granted for life, in terms of ois demand without discussion or hesitation; and Mr. Hume is censured with severity, and apparently with justice, for having presented his readers with a summary of the argument* which he would have them believe were actually used in the House of Commons <и both sides of this question. "This misrepresentation," Mr. Fox observes, "is of no sraall importance, inasmuch as, by intimatin? thai such a question could be debated at all, auJ much more, that it was debated with the enlightened views and bold topics of ar^nnni.•; with which his genius has supplied h¡m h gives us a very false notion of the character of the Parliament, and of the times \\h:< h • is describing. It is not improbable, that if tho arguments had been used, \vhirli th:s i. lorian supposes, the utterer of them wouJl have been expelled, or sent to the Tower: at») it is certain that he would not have bwn heard with any degree of attention, or evto patience."—p. 142.
The last chapter is more occupied with narrative, and less with argument and refill' than lhal which precedes it. It contains lie story of the unfortunate and desperate expedilions of Argyle and Monmouth, and of li' condemnalion and dealh of iheir unhappy leaders. Mr. Fox, ihough convinced thai th« misgovernment was such as fully If j"'1 resistance by arms, seems to admit th.i¡ '• '••• those enterprises were rash and injmi"-:" With his usual candour and openness, heUpserves, thai '•' the prudential reason? atfirf resistance at lhat time were exceeding strong; and that there is no point, jndeed. ffl human concerns, wherein the dictates с virtue and of worldly prudence are so identified, as in this great question of resistance of force to established governments."
The expeditions of Monmouth anil .No•' had been concerted together, and «l'rt' | tended to take effect at the same топ>": '• Monmouth, however, who was relucían»? for«?J upon the enterprise, was not so soon reruiy: ami Argyle landed in the Highlands with a very small force before the Duke had sailed from Holland. The details of his irresolute councils and ineffectual marches, are given at far too great length. Though they give occasion to one profound and important remark, which we do not recollect ever to have met with before; but, of the justice of which, most of those who have acted with parties must have had melancholy and fatal experience. It is introduced when speaking of the disunion that prevailed among Argyle's little band of followers.
"Add lo all this," he says, "that where spirit v» not wanting, it was accompanied with a degree ind species of perversity wholly inexplicable, and which can hardly gain belief from any one whose f xperience has not made him acquainted with the extreme difficulty of penuading men, who pride themselves upon an extravagant love of liberty, ri'her to compromise upon some points with those »ho have, in the main, the same views with themstlve«. than to give power (a power which will inЬШЫу be used for their own destruction) to an ni»ersary, of principles diametrically opposite; in o'her worda, rather to concede something to a hieixi.than every thingtoanenemy."—pp. 187,188.
The account of Argyle's deportment from :he time of his capture to that of his execution, ¡f among the most striking passages in the book: and the mildness and magnanimity ni his resignation, is described with kindred ¡•clings by hie generous historian. The merits o! this nobleman are perhaps somewhat exa/ï^rate«!; for he certainly wanted conduct a:ij decision for the part he had undertaken; ï.i'i more admiration is expressed at the equa"jniity with which he went to death, than the "•wit frequency of this species of heroism can allow us to sympathize with: But the -:;>ry is finely and feelingly told; and the impression which it leaves on the mind of the reader is equally favourable to the author and 'o the hero of it. We can only make room for the concluding scene of the tragedy.
•'Before he left the casile he had his dinner at tfc* u«uil honr. at which he discoursed not only dimly, bat even cheerfully, with Mr. Charterte and o'.rers. After dinner he retired, ns was his custom, M hi-î bed-chamber, where, it is recorded, that he »Vp: quietly for about a quarter of an hour. While ht was in bed, one of the members of the council cune and intimated to the attendants a desire to !?<ak with him: upon being told that the earl was »sleep, and had left orders not to be disturbed, the manager disbelieved the account, which he consid> r«las a device to avoid further questionings. To H'iífy him, the door of the bed-chamber was half •ypened. and he then beheld, enjoying a sweet and 'nnquil slumber, the man who, by the doom of h.ii and his fellows, was to die within the врясе of '»o ebon hoars! Struck with the sight, he hurried • Jt of the room, quitted the castle wiih the utmost precipitation, and hid himself in the lodgings of an acquaintance who lived near, where he flung him«<!l upon the first bed that presented itself, and hod every appearance of a man suffering the most excruciating torture. His friend, who had been apprized by the servant of the state he waa in. and »ho naturally concluded that he was ill, offered bin some wine. He refused, saying, 'No, no, that »ill not help me: I have been in at Argyle, and <»w him aleeping aa pleasantly as ever man did. •nhin an hour of eternity! But aa for me ——'
The name of the person to whom this anecdote relates is not mentioned; and the truth of it may therefore be fairly considered as liable to that degree of doubt with which men of judgment receive every species of traditional hisiory. Woodrow, however, whose veracity is above suspicion, says he had it from the most unquestionable authority. It is not in itself unlikely ; and who is there that would not wish it true? What a satisfactory spectacle to a philosophical mind, to see the oppressor, in the zenith of his power, envying his victim! What an acknowledgment of the superiority of virtue! What an affecting and forcible testimony to the value of that peace of mind, which innocence alone can confer! We know not who this man was; but when we reflect, that the guilt which agonized him was probably incurred for the sake of some vain tille, or at least of some increase of wealth, which he did not want, and possibly knew not how to enjoy, our disgust is turned into something like compassion for that very foolish class of men, whom the world calls wise in their generation."
"On the scaffold he embraced his friends, gave some tokens of remembrance to his son-in-law, Lord .Mailland, for his daughter and grandchildren; etript himself of part of his apparel, of which he likewise made presents; and laid his head upon ihe block. Having uttered a short prayer, he gave the signal to the executioner; which was instantly obeyed, and his head severed from his body. Such were the last hours, and such the final close, of this grent man's life. May the like happy serenity in such dreadful circumstances, and a death equally glorious, be the loi of all, whom tyranny, of whatever denomination or description, shall in any nge, or in any country, call to expiate their virtues on the scaffold!"—p. 211.
Rumbold, who had accompanied Argyle in this expedition, speedily snared his fate. Though a man of intrepid courage, and fully aware of ihe fate that awaited him, he persisted to his last hour in professing his innocence of any design to assassinate King Charles at the Ryehouse. Mr. Fox gives great importance to this circumstance ; and seems disposed to conclude, on the faith of it, that the Ryehouse plot itself was altogether a fabrication of the court party, to transfer to their adversaries the odium which had been thrown upon them with as little justice, by the prosecutions for the Popish plot. It does not appear to us, however, that this conclusion is made out in a manner altogether satisfactory.
The expedition of Monmouth is detailed with as redundant a fulness as that of Argyle; and the character of its leader still more overrated. Though Mr. Fox has a laudable jealousy of kings, indeed, we are afraid he hae rather a partiality for nobles. Monmouth appears to have been an idle, handsome, presumptuous, incapable youth, with none of the virtues of a patriot, and none of the talents of an usurper; and we really cannot discover upon what grounds Mr. Fox would exalt him into a hero. He was in arms, indeed, against a tyrant; and that tyrant, though nearly connected with him by the ties of blood, sentenced him with unrelenting cruelty to death. He was plunged at once from the heiehts of fortune, of youthful pleasure, and of ambition, to the most miserable condition of existence, —to die disgracefully after having stooped to ask his life by abject submission! Mr. Fox dwells a great deal too long, we think, both