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“? I will now speak to you, concerning the king “ of England. I never saw any thing more striking, " than the whole of his conduct. Nor have I ever
seen any person, more elevated above the tran“sitory objects of time and sense. His tranquillity “ and submission to the Divine will, are truly mar“ vellous. He really equals some of the most holy “men of old, if indeed he may not be rather said " to surpass them.
" "He has suffered the loss of three kingdoms;
yet his equanimity and peace of mind are undis“ turbed. He speaks of his bitterest enemies, “ without warmth. Nor does he ever indulge in “ those insinuations, which even good men are apt “ to fall into, when speaking of their enemies. “ He knows the meaning of two texts of scripture,
which are too much neglected :— It is given you “ to suffer;' and, Despise not the gift of God!'
He, therefore, praises God for every persecution " and humiliation which he endures. He could “not be in a more equable state of mind, even if “ he were in the meridian of temporal pros“perity.
« « His time is always judiciously and regularly “appropriated. His day is filled up in so exact a
manner, that nothing can well be either added “ to or retrenched from his occupations.
“ ' All his pursuits tend to the love of God and “ man. He appears uniformly to feel the Divine
presence. This is perhaps the first and most
important step in the divine life. It is the « foundation of all which follow.
“The queen is in every respect influenced by “ the same holy desires.
« The union of these two excellent persons, " is founded on the love of God.
may be truly termed, a holy and a sacred
Death of James.
The last moments and death of the unfortunate monarch are thus described by sir James Macpherson from the papers in the Scottish college at Paris * :
“ The steps taken by William and the States,
against the house of Bourbon, were no secret at “ the court of France. But intelligence of the “conclusion of the treaty could not have arrived “at Versailles, when an incident happened, which “ induced Lewis, perhaps too precipitately, to de“ clare himself in opposition to England. The “ unfortunate king James, having ever since the
peace of Ryswick, lost every hope of being re“stored to the throne, had resigned himself to all “the austerities of religious enthusiasm. His con
stitution, though vigorous and athletic, had, for some time, begun to yield to the infirmities of age, and to that melancholy, with which super
stition, as well as his uncommon misfortunes, “ had impressed his mind. In the beginning of
September, when he was, according to his daily custom, at public prayers, he fell suddenly into * History of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. ii, p. 214.
a lethargy; and though he recovered soon after “ his senses, he languished for some days, and ex“pired on the 6th of September. The French
king, with great humanity, paid him several visits
during his sickness; and exhibited every symptom “ of compassion, affection, and even respect.
“ Lewis being under a difficulty how to proceed upon the expected death of James, called a coun“cil to take their advice, whether he should own “ the prince of Wales as king of Great Britain and “ Ireland. The king himself had hesitated long “on this delicate point. But the dauphin, the “ duke of Burgundy, and all the princes of the “ blood declared, that it was unbecoming the dig
nity of the crown of France, not to own that the " titles of the father devolved immediately upon
Lewis approving of a resolution to “ which he had been of himself inclined, resolved * to inform the dying king, in person, of the de" termination of the council. When he arrived at “ St. Germain's, he acquainted first the queen, and " then her son of his design. He then approached “ the bed in which James lay, almost insensible “ with his disorder. When James, rousing him“self, began to thank his most christian majesty “ for all his favours, the latter interrupted him, “ and said : "Sir, what I have done is but a small “ matter. But what I have to say is of the utmost
importance.' The people present began to re“ tire. Let no person withdraw,' he said, I “ come to acquaint you, sir, that when God shall
please to call your majesty from this world, I “shall take your family into my protection, and
66 the son.
" acknowledge your son, as then he will certainly be, king of Great Britain and Ireland.' “ The voice of a Divinity could not have made a greater impression on the unfortunate servants “ of James, who were all present, than this unex
pected declaration from the French king. They "burst at once into a murmur of applause, which " seemed to be tinctured with a mixture of grief “ and joy. Some, threw themselves, in silence, at « his feet. Others wept aloud. All seemed to be * so much affected, that Lewis himself was melted “ into tears. James, in a kind of ecstacy, half“ raised himself on the bed, and endeavoured to
speak. But the confused noise was so great, and “ he so weak, that his voice could not be heard. “ The king himself, as if unable longer to bear this “ melancholy scene, retired. But, as he passed “ through the court of the palace, he called the “ officer of the guard, and ordered him to treat the young prince as king, whenever his father should
expire. Though James survived this declaration “ but one day, he sent the earl of Middleton to “ Marli to thank his most christian majesty for his “ kindness to himself and his promised protection “ to his family. Upon his death, his son was ac
knowledged by the court and the nation. Lewis “ himself visited him in form, and treated him with “the name of majesty. But the adherents of the “ nominal king, chose not to proclaim him with the “ usual solemnity, not knowing how the title of “ France would be taken by that prince, who was “ the only support of his cause.'
Historical Poems of Dryden, on the Occurrences in the
reigns of Charles the second and James the second, in which the English Catholics were particularly interested.
DRYDEN's historical poems, Absalom and Ahithophel, the Medal, Religio Laici, and the Hind and Panther, contain several passages, which throw light both on the religious and political feuds, by which the reigns of Charles the second and his successor were agitated. These splendid monuments of genius,-in their kind, without a rival or a second,--are inserted in the ninth and tenth volumes of the edition of the poet's works by sir Walter Scott, and frequently illustrated by his learned and ingenious annotations.
The condition of the roman-catholics at the time when Dryden wrote, is thus described by him :
“ The inhabitants of Old Jerusalem
They still were thought God's enemies the more.
• The Catholics.
+ The Protestants.