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that though its author was indisputably more no notices worth naming—a bare intimation of a gentleman, a scholar, and a man of taste of the deaths of Waller, Cowley, and Daventhan our actuary, it is far inferior both in in- ant, and a few words of Dryden-Milton, we terest, curiosity, and substantial instruction, think, not once mentioned. There is more 10 that which we are now considering. The of the natural philosophers of Gresham Coltwo authors, however, we are happy to find, lege, but not much that is valuable—some were great friends ; and no name is mentioned curious calculations and speculations about in the latter part of the Diary with more uni- money and coinages—and this odd but auform respect and affection than that of Evelyn (thentic notice of Sir W. Petty's intended will. -though it is very edifying to see how the
“Sir William Petty did tell me that in good shrewd, practical sagacity of the man of busi- earnest he hath in bis will left some parts of his ness, revenges itself on the assumed supe- esiale to him that could invent such and such riority of the philosopher and man of letters. things. As among others, that could discover truly In this respect we think there is a fine keep the way of milk coming into the breasts of a woing of character in the sincerity of the fol- man! and he that could invent proper characters 10
express to another the mixture of relishes and lowing passage
And says, that to him that invents gold, he “By water to Dep:ford, and there made a visit gives nothing for the philosopher's stone; for (says 10 Ms. Evelyn, who, among other things, showed he) they that find out ihat, will be able to pay them. me most excellent painting in linle; in distemper, selves. But, says he, by this means it is better Indian incke, water colours : graveing; and above than to go to a lecture; for here my executors, that all, the whole mezzo-linio, and the manner of it, must part with this, will be sure io be well conwhich is very pretty, and good things done with it! vinced of the invention before they do part with He read to me very much also of his discourse, he
money." hath been many years and now is about, about The Appendix, which seems very judiciousGardenage; which is a most noble and pleasant ly selected, contains some valuable fragments piece. He read me part of a play or two of his of historical information: but we have not now own making-very good, but not as he conceits them, I think, to be. He showed me his flortus left ourselves room for any account of them; Hyemalis ; leaves laid up in a book of several plants and are tempted to give all we can yet spare kept dry, which preserve colour, however, and to a few extracts from a very curious correslook very finely, better than an herball
. In fine a pondence between Mr. Pepys and Lord Reay most excellent person he is. -and must be allowed and Lord Tarbut in 1699, on the subject of a little for a litlle conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others. He read the Second Sight among our Highlanders. me, though with too much gusto, some little poems Lord Reay seems to have been a firm believer of his own that were not transcendant; yet one or in this gift or faculty-but Lord Tarbut had wo very pretty epigrams; among others, of a lady been a decided sceptic, and was only conlooking in at a grase, and being pecked at by an verted by the proofs of its reality, which oceagle that was there."
curred to himself while in the Highlands, in And a little after he chuckles not a little the year 1652 and afterwards. Some of the over his learned friend's failure, in a specula- stories he tells are not a little remarkable. tion about making bricks-concluding very For example, he says, that one night when sagely, “so that I see the most ingenious one of his Celtic attendants was entering a men may sometimes be mistaken !!!
house where they had proposed to sleep, he We meet with the names of many distin- suddenly started back with a scream, and fell guished men in these pages, and some char- down in an agony. acteristic anecdotes,---but few bold characters. He has a remarkable interview with Claren-me to be very much frighted : he told me very seri.
“I asked what the matter was, for he seemed to don--in which the cautious and artful de- ously that I should not lodge in that hoyse, because meanour of that veteran politician is finely shorily a dead coffin would be carried out of it, for displayed, though on a very trivial occasion. many were carrying it when he was heard cry! I The Navy Board had marked some trees for neglecting his words and staying there, he said to cutting in Clarendon Park without his leave others of the servants he was very sorry for it, and
that what he saw would surely come to pass : and at which he had expressed great indignation; though no sick person was then there, yei the land. and our author went, in a prodigious fright, to lord, a healthy Highlander, died of an apoplectic fit pacify him. He found him busy hearing before I left the house." causes in his chambers, and was obliged to wait. Another occurred in 1653, when, in a very
* After all done, he himself called. Come, Mr. rugged part of the country, he fell in with a Pepys, you and I will take a turn in the garden.! man who was staring into the air with marks So he was led down stairs, having the goute, and of great agitation. Upon asking what it was there walked with me, I think above an hour, talk that disturbed him, he answered, ing most friendly, but cunningly!-He told me he would not direct me in any thing, that it might not “I see a trop of Englishmen leading their lorses be said that the Lord Chancellor did labour to abuse down that bill--and some of them are already in the the King; or (as I offered) direct the suspending the plain, eating the barley which is growing in the report of the purveyors: but I see what he means, lield near to the hill. This was on the 41h of May and will make it my work to do him service in it. (for 1 noied the day), and it was four or five days But Lord! to see how we poor wretches dare not before any barley was sown in the field he spoke of. do the King good service, for fear of the greatness Alexander Monro asked him how he knew they of these men!"
were Eglishmen: he answered, because they were There is no literary intelligence of any value leading horses, and had on hats and boots, which
he knew no Scotchmen would have on there. We to be gained from this work. Play collectors took liule notice of the whole story as other than a will probably find the names of many lost foolish vision, but wished that an English party were pieces—but of our classical authors there are there, we being then at war with them, and the
place almost inaccessible for horsemen. But the he had been seen with a dagger run into his beginning of August thereafter, the Earl of Middle breast—and though nothing ever happened to ton, then lieutenant for the King in the Ilighlands. him, one of his servants, to whom he had South Islands, sent his foot through a place called given the doublet which he wore at the time Inverlacwell, and the forepart, which was first down of this intimation, was stabbed through it, in the hill, did fall 10 eating the barley which was on the very place where the dagger had been ihe little plain under it.'
Lord Reay adds the following addiAnother of his lordship’s experiences was tional instance, of this glancing, as it were, of as follows. In January 1682, he was sitting the prophecy on the outer garment. with two friends in a house in Ross-shi “ John Macky, of Dilril, having put on a new when a man from the islands
suit of clothes, was told by a seer that he did see “Desired me to rise from that chair, for it was
the gallows upon his coat, which he never noticed ; an unlucky one. I asked. Why?' He answered, William Forbess, 10 whose honesty there could be
but some time afier gave his cout to his servant, * Because ihere was a dead man in the chair next nothing said at that time; but he was shortly after to it.' — Well,' said I, “if it be but in the next, Ihanged for theft, with the same coat about him: my may safely sit here: but what is the likeness of the informer being an eye-witness of his execution, and man?' He said he was a tall man with a long grey one who had heard what the seer said before." coat, booled, and one of his legs hanging over the chair, and his head hanging down to the other side,
His lordship also mentions, that these and his arın backward, as it were broken. There visions were seen by blind people, as well as were then some English troops quartered near the those who had sight, -and adds, that there place, and there being at that iime a great frost was a blind woman in his time who had the after a thaw, the country was wholly covered over faculty in great perfection; and foretold many with ice. Four or five English men riding ebe this things that afterwards happened, as hundreds were sitting by the fire, we heard a great noise, of living witnesses could attest. We have no which proved io be these troopers, with the help of time now to speculate on these singular le. other servants, carrying in one of their number who gends—but, as curious mementos of the lubrihad got a very mischievous fal! and had his arm city of human testimony; we think it right they brought him to the hall, and set hiin in the they should be once more brought into notice. very chair and in the very posture which the And now we have done with Mr. Pepys. had proposed : but the man did not die, though he There is trash enough no doubt in his journal, revived with great difficulty."
-trilling facts, and silly observations in These instances are chiefly remarkable as abundance. But we can scarcely say that being given upon the personal knowledge of we wish it a page shorter; and are of opin. an individual of great judgment, acuteness, ion, that there is very little of it which does and firmness of character. The following is not help us to understand the character of his from a still higher quarter; since the reporter times, and his contemporaries, better than was not even a Scotchman, and indeed no less we should ever have done without it; and a person than Lord Clarendon. In a letter to make us feel more assured that we compreMr. Pepys in 1701, he informs him, that, in hend the great historical events of the age, 1661, upon a Scottish gentleman being in his and the people who bore a part in them. presence introduced to Lady Cornbury, he Independent of instruction altogether 100, was observed to gaze upon her with a singu- there is no denying, that it is very entertainlar expression of melancholy; and upon one ing thus to be transported into the very heart of the company asking the reason, he replied,
of a time so long gone by; and to be aclmitted “I see her in blood !! She was at that time into the domestie intimacr; as well as the in perfect health, and remained so for near a public councils, of a man of great activity and month, when she fell ill of small-pox: And
circulation in the reign of Charles II. Read. "Upon the ninth day after the small-pox ap. ing this book, in short, seems to us to be quite peared, in the morning, she bled at the nose, which as good as living with Mr. Samuel Pepis in quickly stopt ; but in ihe afternoon the blood burs: his proper person,--and though the court out again with great violence at her nose and scandal may be detailed with more grace and mouth, and about eleven of the clock that night vivacity in the Memoires de Grammont, we she dyed, almost wellering in her bloodl!"
have no doubt but even this part of his multiThere is a great number of similar stories, farious subject is treated with far greater reported on the most imposing testimony- fidelity and fairness in the work before us-though, in some instances, the seer, we must while it gives us more clear and undistorted say, is somewhat put to it to support his glimpses into the true English life of the credit, and make out the accomplishment of times—for the court was substantially foreign his vision. One chieftain, for instance, had —than all the other memorials of them put long been seen by the gifted, with an arrow together, that have come down to our own. sticking in his thigh; from which they all in- The book is rather too dear and magnifi. ferred, that he was either to die or to suffer cent. But the editor's task we think excel. greatly, from a wound in that place. To their lently performed. The ample text is not surprise, however, he died of some other in- incumbered with ostentatious commentaries. fliction, and the seers were getting out of repu. But very brief and useful notices are supplied tation; when luckily a fray arose at the fune- of almost all the individuals who are menral, and an arrow was shot fairly through the tioned; and an admirable and very minute thigh of the dead man, in the very spot where index is subjoined, which methodises the imthe vision had shown it! On another occa- mense miscellany—and places the vast chaos sion, Lord Reay's grandfather was told that at our disposal.
(July, 1808.) A History of the early Part of the Reign of James the Second; with an Introductory Chapter.
By the Right Honourable Charles JAMES Fox. To which is added an Appendix. *4to. Pp. 340. Miller, London : 1808. If it be true that high expectation is almost To those who know Mr. Fox only by the always followed by disappointment, it is great outlines of his public history; - who scarcely possible that the readers of Mr. Fox's know merely that he passed from the dissihistory should not be disappointed. So great pations of too gay a youth into the tumults a statesman certainly has not appeared as an and cabals of a political life,—and that his author since the time of Lord Clarendon; days were spent in contending about public and, independent of the great space which he measures, and in guiding or averting the temfiils in the recent history of this country, and pests of faction, -the spirit of indulgent and the admitted splendour of his general talents, tender feeling which pervades this book must -- his known zeal for liberty, the fame of his appear very unaccountable. Those who live eloquence, and his habitual study of every much in the world, even in a private station, thing relating to the constitution, concurred to commonly have their hearts a little hardened, direct an extraordinary degree of attention to and their moral sensibility a little impaired! the work upon which he was known to be But statesmen and practical politicians are, engaged, and to fix a standard of unattainable with justice, suspected of a still greater forgetexcellence for the trial of his first acknowl- fulness of mild impressions and honourable edged production. The very circumstance of scruples. Coming necessarily into contact his not having published any considerable with great vices and great sufferings, they work during his life, and of his having died must gradually lose some of their horror for before bringing this to a conclusion, served to the first, and much of their compassion for increase the general curiosity; and to accu- the last. Constantly engaged in contention, mulate upon this single fragment the interest 'they cease pretty generally to regard any huof his whole literary existence.
man beings as objects of sympathy or disinNo human production, we suppose, could terested attachment; and, mixing much with bear to be tried by such a test: and those who the most corrupt part of mankind, naturally sit down to the perusal of the work before us, come to regard the species itself with indifunder the influence of such impressions, are ference, if not with contempt. All the softer very likely to rise disappointed. With those, feelings are apt to be worn off in the rough however, who are at all on their guard against conflicts of factious hostility; and all the finer the delusive effect of these natural emotions, moralities to be effaced, by the constant conthe result, we venture to predict, will be dif- templation of expediency, and the necessities ferent; and for ourselves, we are happy to of occasional compliance. say, that we have not been disappointed at Such is the common conception which we all; but, on the contrary, very greatly moved form of men who have lived the life of Mr. and delighted with the greater part of this Fox; and such, in spite of the testimony of singular volume.
partial friends, is the impression which most We do not think it has any great value as a private persons would have retained of him, history; nor is it very admirable as a piece if this volume had not come to convey a truer of composition. It comprehends too short a and a more engaging picture to the world at period, and includes too few events, to add large, and to posterity. much to our knowledge of facts; and abounds By far the most remarkable thing, then, in too little with splendid passages to lay much this book, is the tone of indulgence and unhold on the imagination. The reflections feigned philanthropy which prevails in every which it contains, too, are generally more re- part of it;-a most amiable sensibility to all markable for their truth and simplicity, than the kind and domestic affections, and a sort for any great fineness or apparent profundity of softheartedness towards the sufferings of of thinking; and many opportunities are ne- individuals, which seems hitherto to have glected, or rather purposely declined, of en- been thought incompatible with the stern dig. tering into large and general speculations. nity of history. It cannot but strike us with Notwithstanding all this, the work, we think, something still more pleasing than surprise, is invaluable; not only as a memorial of the to meet with traits of almost feminine tenderhigh principles and gentle dispositions of its ness in the sentiments of this veteran statesillustrious author, but as a record of those man; and a general character of charity sentiments of true English constitutional in- towards all men, not only remote from the dependence, which seem to have been nearly rancour of vulgar hostility, but purified in a forgotten in the bitterness and hazards of our great degree from the asperities of party conmore recent contentions. It is delightful as tention. He expresses indeed, throughout, a the picture of a character; and most instruct- high-minded contempt for what is base, and ive and opportune as a remembrancer of pub- a thorough detestation for what is cruel: But lic duties: And we must be permitted to say yet is constantly led, by a sort of generous a word or two upon each of these subjects. prejudice in favour of human nature, to admi* all possible palliations for the conduct of the from their ancestors in the days of the Revoluindividual delinquent, and never attempts to tion. In the same circumstances, we are pershut him out from the benefit of those natural suaded, they would have acted with the same sympathies of which the bad as well as the spirit;—nay, in consequence of the more good are occasionally the objects, from their general diffusion of education and intellifortune or situation. He has given a new gence, we believe they would have been still character, we think, to history, by this soft more zealous and more unanimous in the and condescending concern for the feelings cause of liberty. But we have of late been of individuals; and not only left a splendid exposed to the operation of various causes, record of the gentleness and affectionate sim- which have tended 10 lull our vigilance, and plicity of his own dispositions, but set an ex- relax our exertions; and which threaten, unample by which we hope that men of genius less powerfully counteracted, to bring on, may be taught hereafter to render their in- gradually, such a general indifference and structions more engaging and impressive. forgetfulness of the interests of freedom, as to Nothing, we are persuaded, can be more prepare the people for any tolerably mild gratifying to his friends, than the impression form of servitude which their future rulers of his character which this work will carry may be tempted to impose upon them. down to posterity; nor is it a matter of indif- The first, and the principal of these causes, ference to the country, that its most illustrious however paradoxical it may seem, is the acstatesman should be yet more distinguished tual excellence of our laws, and the supposed for the amiableness of his private affections. inviolability of the constitution. The second
This softness of feeling is the first remark- is, the great increase of luxury, and the tre. able thing in the work before us. The second mendous patronage of the government. The is perhaps of more general importance. It is, last is, the impression made and maintained that it contains the only appeal to the old by the events of the French Revolution. We principles of English constitutional freedom, shall say but a word upon each of these proand the only expression of those firm and lific themes of speculation. temperate sentiments of independence, which Because our ancestors stipulated wisely for are the peculiar produce, and natural protec- the public at the Revolution, seemed to tion of our mixed government, which we recol. have become a common opinion, that nothing lect to have met with for very many years. was left to their posterity but to pursue their The tone of the work, in this respect, recalls private interest. The machine of Governus to feelings which seem of late to have ment was then completed and set agoingslumbered in the country which they used to and it will go on without their interference. inspire. In our indolent reliance upon the Nobody talks now of the divine right, or the imperishable virtue of our constitution, and dispensing power of kings, or ventures to proin our busy pursuit of wealth, we appeared to pose to govern without Parliaments, or to be forgetting our higher vocation of free citi- levy taxes without their authority ;-therezens; and, in our dread of revolution or foreign fore, our liberties are secure;-and it is only invasion, to have lost sight of those intestine factious or ambitious people that affect any dangers to which our liberties are always jealousy of the executive. Things go on very more immediately exposed. The history of smoothly as they are; and it can never be the Revolution of 1688, and of the times im- the interest of any party in power, to attempt mediately preceding, was eminently calculated any thing very oppressive or injurious to the to revive those feelings, and restore those public. By such reasonings, men excuse their impressions, which so many causes had in abandonment of all concern for the commuour days conspired to obliterate; and, in the nity, and find, in the very excellence of the hands of Mr. Fox, could scarcely have failed constitution, an apology for exposing it to corto produce a very powerful effect. On this ruption. It is obvious, however, that liberty, account, it must be matter of the deepest re- like love, is as hard to keep as to win; and gret that he was not permitted to finish, or that the exertions by which it was originally indeed to do more than begin, that inspiring gained will be worse than fruitless, if they be narrative. Even in the little which he has not followed up by the assiduities by which done, however, we discover the spirit of the alone it can be preserved. Wherever there master: Even in the broken prelude which is power, we may be sure that there is, or he has here sounded, the true notes are struck will be, a disposition to increase it; and if with such force and distinctness, and are in there be not a constant spirit of jealousy and themselves so much in unison with the natu- of resistance on the part of the people, every ral chords of every British heart, that we think monarchy will gradually harden into a desno slight vibration will be excited throughout potism. It will not, indeed, wantonly provoke the country; and would willingly lend our or alarm, by seeking again to occupy those assistance to propagate it into every part of very positions from which it had once been the empire. In order to explain more fully dislodged; but it will extend itself in other the reasons for which we set so high a value quarters, and march on silently, under the upon the work before us on this particular ac- colours of å venal popularity. count; we must be allowed to enlarge a little This indolent reliance on the sufficiency of upon the evil which we think it calculated to the constitution for its own preservation, af
fords great facilities, no doubt, to those who We do not think the present generation may be tempted to project its destruction; of our countrymen substantially degenerated but the efficient means are to be found chiefly
in the prevailing manners of the people, and suffer tremendously in the period of transition. the monstrous patronage of the government. If ambition and great activity therefore be not It can admit of no doubt, we suppose, that necessary to our happiness, we shall do wisely trade, which has made us rich, has made us to occupy ourselves with the many innocent still more luxurious; and that the increased and pleasant pursuits that are allowed under necessity of expense, has in general outgone all governments; instead of spreading tumult the means of supplying it. Almost every in- and discontent, by endeavouring to realize dividual now finds it more difficult to live on some political conceit of our own imagination. a level with his equals, than he did when all Mr. Hume, we are afraid, is chiefly responsiwere poorer; almost every man, therefore, is ble for the prevalence of this Epicurean and needy; and he who is both needy and luxu- ignoble strain of sentiment in this country; rious, holds his independence on a very pre- an author from whose dispositions and undercarious tenure. Government, on the other standing, a very different doctrine might have hand, has the disposal of nearly twenty mil- been anticipated.* But, under whatever aulions per annum, and the power of nominating thority it is maintained, we have no scruple to two or three hundred thousand posts or in saying, that it seems to us as obviously places of emolument ;-the whole population false as it is pernicious. We need not appeal of the country amounting (1808) to less than to Turkey or to Russia to prove, that neither five millions of grown men. The consequence liberal nor even gainful pursuits can be caris , that, beyond the rank of mere labourers, ried on with advantage, where there is no there is scarcely one man out of three who political freedom: For, even laying out of does not hold or hope for some appointment view the utter impossibility of securing the or promotion from government, and is not persons and properties of individuals in any consequently disposed to go all honest lengths other way, it is certain that the consciousness in recommending himself to its favour. This, of independence is a great enjoyment in itself; it must be admitted, is a situation which and that, without it, all the powers of the justifies some alarm for the liberties of the mind, and all the capacities of happiness, are people; and, when taken together with that gradually blunted and destroyed. It is like general indifference to the public which has the privation of air and exercise, or the emasbeen already noticed, accounts sufficiently for culation of the body ;-which, though they that habit of presuming in favour of all exer- may appear at first to conduce to tranquillity tions of authority, and against all popular and indolent enjoyment, never fail to enfeeble discontent or interference, which is so re- the whole frame, and to produce a state of markably the characteristic of the present oppressive languor and debility, in comparigeneration. From this passive desertion of son with which even wounds and fatigue the people, it is but one step to abet and de- would be delicious. fend the actual oppressions of their rulers ; To counteract all these enervating and deand men, otherwise conscientious, we are pressing causes, we had, no doubt, the increasafraid, too often impose upon themselves by ing opulence of the lower and middling orders no better reasonings than the following of the people, naturally leading them to aspire " This measure, to be sure, is bad, and some- to greater independence, and improving their what tyrannical;—but men are not angels;- education and general intelligence. And thus, all human government is imperfect; and, on public opinion, which is in all countries the the whole, ours is much too good to be quar- great operating check upon authority, had relled with. Besides, what good purpose become more extensive and more enlightened; could be answered by my individual opposi- and might perhaps have been found a suffition? I'might ruin my own fortune, indeed, and blast the prospects of my children; but it * Few things seem more unaccountable, and in. would be too romantic to imagine, that the deed absurd, han that Hume should have taken fear of my displeasure would produce an im- part with high-church and high-monarchy men. maculate administration-so I will hold my from the Presbyterians, may perhaps have influ.
The persecutions which he suffered in his youth tongue, and shift for myself as well as possi- enced his ecclesiastical partialities. But that he ble.” When the majority of those who have should have sided with the Tudors and the Stuarts influence in the country reason in this manner, against the people, seems quite inconsistent with it surely cannot be unnecessary to remind us, all the great traits of his character. His unrivalled now and then, of the great things that were sagacity must have looked will contempt on the done when the people roused themselves preposterous arguments by which the jus divinum
was maintained. His natural benevolence must against their oppressors.
have suggested the cruelty of subjecting the enjoyIn aid of these actual temptations of inter- ments of thousands to the caprice of one unfeeling est and indolence, come certain speculative individual; and his own practical independence in doctrines, as to the real value of liberty, and private life, might have taught him the value of the illusions by which men are carried away rided. Mr. Fox seems to have been struck with who fancy themselves acting on the principle the same surprise at this strange trait in the charac. of patriotism. Private happiness, it is dis- ter of our philosopher. In a letter to Mr. Isaing, covered, has but little dependence on the he says, He was an excellent man, and of great nature of the government. The oppressions powers of mind; but his partiality 10 kings and of monarchs and demagogues are nearly equal princes is intolerable : nay, it is, in my opinion, in degree, though a little different in form; miration which' women and children sometimes
quite ridiculous ; and is more like the foolish ad. and the only thing certain is, that in flying have for kings, than the opinion, right or wrong, from the one we shall fall into the other, and of a philosopher."