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EDWARD HYDE, EARL OF edly, more in the face and contempt of reCLARENDON,
ligion and moral honesty. Yet wickedness born 1608, died 1673, will always be dis
as great as his could never have accomplished tinguished as the author of The History of |
those designs without the assistance of a the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England, I
great spirit, an admirable circumspection to which is added, an historical View of the
and sagacity, and a most magnanimous Affairs of Ireland, Oxf., 1702–3-4, 3 vols.
When he appeared first in the parliament
he seemed to have a person in no degree “Clarendon will always be esteemed an enter gracious, no ornament of discourse, none taining writer, even independent of our curiosity
of those talents which use to conciliate the to know the facts which he relates. His style is prolix and redundant, and suffocates us by the
affections of the stander-by. Yet as he length of its periods; but it discovers imagination
grew into place and authority his parts and sentiment, and pleases us at the same time seemed to be raised, as if he had concealed that we disapprove of it. . . . An air of probity and faculties till he had occasion to use them ; goodness runs through the whole work, as these and when he was to act the part of a great qualities did in reality embellish the whole life of | man he did it without any indecency, notthe author. . . . Clarendon was always a friend
withstanding the want of custom. to the liberty and constitution of his country."Hune: Hist, of Eng.
After he was confirmed and invested Pro“For an Englishman there is no single historical
tector by the humble petition and advice, he work with which it can be so necessary for him to consulted with very few upon any action of be well and thoroughly acquainted as with Claren importance, nor communicated any enterdon. I feel at this time perfectly assured, that if prise he resolved upon with more than those that book had been put into my hands in youth,
who were to have principal parts in the exeit would have preserved me from all the political errors which I have outgrown."-Southey: Life
cution of it; nor with them sooner than was and Corresp.
absolutely necessary. What he once resolved,
in wbich he was not rash, he would not be But the Hon. Agar Ellis (Character of
dissuaded from, nor endure any contradicEdward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, Lond., tion of his power and authority, but extorted 1827, 8vo) stamps Clarendon as an unprin obedience from them who were not willing cipled man of talent, and Brodie (Ilist. of the British Empire, Lond., 1822, 4 vols. 8vo)
Thus he subdued a spirit that had been considers him “a miserable sycophant and often troublesome to the most sovereign canting hypocrite."
power, and made Westminster Hall as obeCHARACTER OF OLIVER CROMWELL.
dient and subservient to his commands as
any of the rest of his quarters. In all other He was one of those men, quos vituperare matters, which did not concern the life of ne inimici quidem possunt, nisi ut simil lau his jurisdiction, he seemed to have great dent; whom his very enemies could not reverence for the law, rarely interposing condemn without commending him at the between party and party. As he proceeded same time; for he could never have done with this kind of indignation and haughtihalf that mischief without great parts of ness with those who were refractory, and courage, industry, and judgment. He must durst contend with his greatness, so towards have had a wonderful understanding in the all who complied with his good pleasure, and natures and humours of men, and as great courted his protection, he used great civility, a dexterity in applying them ; who, from a generosity, and bounty. private and obscure birth (though of a good To reduce three nations, which perfectly family), without interest or estate, alliance hated him, to an entire obedience to all his or friendship, could raise himself to such a dictates; to awe and govern those nations height, and compound and knead such oppo by an army that was indevoted to him, and site and contradictory tempers, humours, and wished his rnin, was an instance of a very interests into a consistence that contributed prodigious address. But his greatness at to his designs, and to their own destruction; home was but a shadow of the glory he had whilst himself grew insensibly powerful abroad. It was hard to discover which enough to cut off those by whom he had feared him most, France, Spain, or the Low climbed, in the instant that they projected Countries, where his friendship was current to demolish their own building. What was at the value he put upon it. As they did said of Cinna may very justly be said of all sacrifice their honour and their interest him, ausum eum, quce nemo auderet bonus ; to his pleasure, so there is nothing he could per fecisse que a nullo nisi fortissimo, perfici have demanded that either of them would possent. Without doubt, no man with more have denied him. .... wickedness ever attempted anything, or To conclude his character: Cromwell was brought to pass what he desired more wick- not so far a man of blood as to follow Machi
avel's method ; which prescribes, upon a total any occasion, no man durst bring before alteration of government, as a thing abso- him anything that was profane or unclean. lutely necessary, to cut off all the heads of That kind of wit had never any countenance those, and extirpate their families, who are then. He was so great an example of confriends to the old one. It was confidently jugal affection, that they who did not imi. reported that in the council of officers it was tate him in that particular darst not brag more than once proposed that there might of their liberty; and he did not only permit, be a general massacre of all the royal party, but direct, his bishops to prosecute those as the only expedient to secure the govern- scandalous vices, in the ecclesiastical courts, ment," but that Cromwell would never con against persons of eminence and near relasent to it; it may be, out of too great a tion to his service. contempt of his enemies. In a word, as he His kingly virtues had some misture and was guilty of many crimes against which alloy that hindered them from shining in damnation is denounced, and for which hell full lustre, and from prodacing those fruits fire is prepared, so he had some good quali- | they should have been attended with. He ties which have caused the memory of some was not in his nature very bountiful, though men in all ages to be celebrated ; and he will he gave very much. This appeared more be looked upon by posterity as a brave after the Duke of Buckingham's death, after wicked man.
which those showers fell very rarely; and History of the Rebellion.
he paused too long in giving, which made
those to whom he gave less sensible of the CHARACTER OF CHARLES I.
benefit. He kept state to the full, which
made his court very orderly, no man preBut it will not be unnecessary to add a suming to be seen in a place where he had short character of his person, that posterity no pretence to be. He saw and observed may know the inestimable loss which the men long before he received them about his nation then underwent in being deprived of person ; and did not love strangers, nor very a prince whose example would have had a confident men. He was a patient hearer of greater influence upon the manners and causes, which he frequently accustomed himpiety of the nation than the most strict laws self to at the council board, and judged very can have. To speak first of his private well, and was dexterous in the mediating qualifications as a man, before the mention part; so that he often put an end to causes by of his princely and royal virtues: he was, persuasion, which the stubbornness of men's if ever any, the most worthy of the title of humours made dilatory in courts of justice. an honest man ; so great a lover of justice, ! He was very fearless in his person : but, that no temptation could dispose him to a in his riper years, not very enterprising. wrongful action, except it was so disguised He had an excellent understanding, but was to him that he believed it to be just. He not confident enough of it; which made him had a tenderness and compassion of nature oftentimes change his own opinion for a which restrained him from ever doing a worse, and follow the advice of men that hard-hearted thing; and, therefore, he was did not judge as well as himself. This made so apt to grant pardon to malefactors that the him more irresolute than the conjuncture of judges of the land represented to him the dam- his affairs would admit; if he had been of age and insecurity to the public that flowed a rougher and more imperious nature he from such his indulgence. And then he re would have found more respect and duty. frained himself from pardoning either mur And his not applying some serere cures to ders or highway robberies, and quickly dis- | approaching evils proceeded from the lenity cerned the fruits of his severity by a wonder- of his nature, and the tenderness of his conful reformation of those enormities. He was science, which, in all cases of blood, made Fery punctual and regular in his devotions: him choose the softer way, and not hearken he was never known to enter upon his re to severe counsels, how reasonably soerer creations or sports, though never so early in urged. ... As he excelled in all other virthe morning, before he had been at public tues, so in temperance he was so strict that pravers; so that on hunting days his chap he abhorred all debauchery to that degree lains were bound to a very early attendance. tbat, at a great festival solemnity, where he He was likewise very strict in observing the once was, where very many of the nobility hours of his private cabinet devotions, and of the English and Scots were entertained. was so severe an exacter of gravity and being told by one who withdrew from theace. reverence in all mention of religion, that he what rast draughts of wine they drank, and could never endure any light or profane "that there was one earl who had drank word, with what sharpness of wit soever it most of the rest down, and was not himself was covered, and though he was well pleased moved or altered," the king said, "that he and delighted with reading verses made upon deserved to be banged;" and that earl com
ing shortly after into the room where his must avoid coming near it. You must not majesty was, in some gaiety, to show how equivocate, nor speak anything positively unhurt he was from that battle, the king for which you have no authority but report, sent one to bid himn withdraw from his ma- or conjecture, or opinion. jesty's presence; nor did he in some days Let your words be few, especially when after appear before him.
your superiors, or strangers, are present, lest History of the Rebellion.
you betray your own weakness, and rob yourselves of the opportunity, which you might have otherwise have had, to gain knowl
edge, wisdom, and experience, by hearing SIR MATTHEW HALE, those whom you silence by your impertinent born 1609, Chief Baron of the Exchequer,
talking. 1660. Lord Chief Justice of England, 1671,
Be not too earnest, loud, or violent in died 1676, was alike distinguished for legal
your conversation. Silence your opponent
with reason, not with noise. learning and private virtues.
Be careful not to interrupt another wher, “He was most precisely just; insomuch that I he is speaking; hear him out, and you will believe he would have lost all he had in the world I understand him the better, and be able to rather than do an unjust act: patient in hearing the most tedious speech which any man had to
give him the better answer. make for himself; the pillar of justice, the refuge
Consider before you speak, especially when of the subject who feared oppression, and one of the business is of moment; weigh the sense the greatest honours of his majesty's government; of what you mean to utter, and the expresfor, with some other upright judges, he upheld the sions you intend to use, that they may be honour of the English nation, that it fell not into
significant, pertinent, and inoffensive. Inthe reproach of arbitrariness, cruelty, and utter
considerate people do not think till they confusion. Every man that had a just cause was almost past fear if he could bring it to the court
speak; or they speak, and then think. or assize where he was judge; for the other judges Some men excel in husbandry, some in seldom contradicted him. . . . I, who heard and gardening, some in mathematics. In conread his serious expressions of the concernments versation, learn, as near as you can, where of eternity, and saw his love to all good men, and the skill or excellence of any person lies; the blamelessness of his life, thought better of
put him upon talking on that subject, obhis piety than my own."-RICHARD BAXTER.
serve what he says, keep it in your memory, LETTER TO HIS CHILDREN.
or commit it to writing. By this means you
| will glean the worth and knowledge of everyDEAR CHILDREN -I thank God I came body you converse with, and, at an easy well to Farrington this day, about five rate, acquire what may be of use to you on o'clock. And as I have some leisure time inany occasions. at my inn, I cannot spend it more to my! When you are in company with light, vain, own satisfaction, and your benefit, than, by impertinent persons, let the observing of a letter, to give you some good counsel. their failings make you the more cautious The subject shall be concerning your speech; both in your conversation with them and in because much of the good or evil that be- your general behaviour, that you may avoid falls persons arises from the well or ill their errors. managing of their conversation. When I If any one, whom you do not know to be have leisure and opportunity, I shall give a person of truth, sobriety, and weight, reyou my directions on other subjects.
lates strange stories, be not too ready to beNever speak anything for a truth which lieve or report them; and yet (unless he is you know or believe to be false. Lying is one of your familiar acquaintance) be not a great sin against God, who gave us a too forward to contradict him. If the octongue to speak the truth, and not false- casion requires you to declare an opinion, hood. It is a great offence against human- do it modestly and gently, not bluntly nor ity itself; for, where there is no regard to coarsely; by this means you will avoid giv. truth, there can be no safe society between ing offence, or being abused for too much man and man. And it is an injury to the credulity. speaker; for, besides the disgrace which it If a man whose integrity you do not very brings upon him, it occasions so much base- well know, makes you great and extraordiness of mind that he can scarcely tell truth, nary professions, do not give much credit to or avoid lying, even when he has no colour him. “Probably you will find that he aims of necessity for it; and, in time, he comes at something besides kindness to you, and to such a pass that as other people cannot that when he has served his turn, or been believe he speaks truth, so he himself disappointed, his regard for you will grow scarcely knows when he tells a falsehood. cool. As you must be careful not to lie, so you Beware also of him who flatters you, and
commends you to your face, or to one who used in religious exercises, do not publish he thinks will tell you of it; most probably them; endeavour to forget them; or, if you he has either deceived or abused you, or mention them at all, let it be with pity and means to do so. Remember the fable of sorrow, not with derision or reproach. the fox commending the singing of the Read these directions often ; think of them crow, who had something in her mouth seriously; and practice them diligently. which the fox wanted.
You will find them useful in your conversaBe careful that you do not commend your- tion; which will be every day the more selves. It is a sign that your reputation is evident to you, as your judgment, undersmall and sinking, if your own tongue must standing, and experience increase. praise you; and it is fulsome and unpleasing I have little further to add at this time, io others to hear such cominendations. but my wish and command that you will
Speak well of the absent whenever you remember the former counsels that I have have a suitable opportunity. Never speak frequently given you. Begin and end the ill of them, or of any body, unless you are day with private prayer; read the Scriptures sure they deserve it, and unless it is neces- often and seriously; be attentive to the public sary for their amendment, or for the safety worship of God. Keep yourselves in some and benefit of others.
useful employment; for idleness is the Avoid, in your ordinary communications, nursery of vain and sinful thoughts, which not only oaths, but all imprecations and corrupt the mind and disorder the life. Be earnest protestations.
kind and loving to one another. Honour Forbear scoffing or jesting at the condi your minister. Be not bitter nor harsh to tion or natural defects of any person. Such my servants. Be respectful to all. Bear offences leave a deep impression and they my absence patiently and cheerfully. Beoften cost a man dear.
have as if I were present among you and Be very careful that you give no reproach saw you. Remeniber, you have a greater ful, menacing, or spiteful words to any per-| Father than I am, who always, and in all son. Good words make friends ; bad words places, beholds you, and knows your hearts make enemies. It is great prudence to gain and thoughts. Study to requite my love as many friends as we honestly can, especi- and care for you with dutifulness, observ. ally when it may be done at so easy a rate ance, and obedience; and account it an as a good word ; and it is great folly to make honour that you have an opportunity, by an enemy by ill words, which are of no ad- your attention, faithfulness, and industry, vantage to the party who uses them. When to pay some part of that debt which, by the faults are committed, they may, and by a laws of nature and of gratitude, you owe to superior they must, be reproved: but let it me. Be frugal in my family, but let there be done without reproach or bitterness; be no want; and provide conveniently for otherwise it will lose its due end and use, the poor. and, instead of reforming the offence, it will I pray God to fill your hearts with his exasperate the offender, and lay the reprover | grace, fear, and love, and to let you see the justly open to reproof. If a person be pas- comfort and advantage of serving him ; and sionate, and give you ill language, rather that his blessing, and presence, and direcpity him than be moved to anger. You will tion, may be with you, and over you all. I find that silence, or very gentle words, are ain your ever loving father. the most exquisite revenge for reproaches : they will either cure the distemper in the angry man, and make him sorry for his passion, or they will be a severe reproof and ROBERT LEIGHTON, D.D., punishment to him. But, at any rate, they will preserve your innocence, give you the born 1611, Archbishop of Glasgow, 1670, deserved reputation of wisdom and modera- died 1684, was the author of a number of tion, and keep up the serenity and compo religious works which are still held in high sure of your mind. Passion and anger estimation for their spirituality. make a man unfit for everything that be
"Perhaps there is no expository work in the comes him as a man or as a Christian,
English language equal altogether to the exposiNever utter any profane speeches, nor tion of Peter. It is rich in evangelical sentiment make a jest of any Scripture expressions. and exalted devotion. The meaning is seldom When you pronounce the name of God or missed, and often admirably illustrated. There of Christ, or repeat any words of Holy
cords of Holy is learning without its parade, theology divested Scripture, do it with reverence and serious
of systematic stiffness, and eloquence in a beauti
| ful flow of unaffected language and appropriate ness, and not lightly, for that is "taking the imagery. To say more would be unbecoming, and name of God in vain."
less could not be said with justice."-ORME: Bib. If you hear of any unseemly expressions liotheca Biblica.
man who, even in his own judgment, has
attained to perfection in wisdom and virtue: The Greek epigram ascribed by some to even those who were accounted the wisest, Prosidipus, by others to Crates the Cynic and actually were so, acknowledged they philosopher, begins thus, “What state of life knew nothing; nor was there one among ought one to choose?'' and having enumerated the most approved philosophers whose virthem all, concludes in this manner : “ There tues were not allayed with many blemishes. are, then, only two things eligible, either | The same must be said of piety and true never to have been born, or to die as soon as religion, which, though it is the beginning one makes his appearance in the world." of felicity, and tends directly to perfection,
But now, leaving the various periods and yet, as in this earth it is not full and comconditions of life, let us, with great brevity, plete itself, it cannot make its possessors run over those things which are looked upon perfectly happy. The knowledge of the to be the greatest blessings in it, and see most exalted minds is very obscure, and whether any of them can make it completely almost quite dark, and their practice of happy. Can this be expected from a beauti- | virtue lame and imperfect. And indeed, ful outside ? No: this has rendered many who can have the boldness to boast of permiserable, but nerer made one happy. For fection in this respect when he hears the suppose it to be sometimes attended with great Apostle complaining of the law of the innocence, it is surely of a fading and perish-flesh, and pathetically exclaiming, Who shall ing nature," the sport of time or disease." deliver me from this body of death? Rom. vii. Can it be expected from riches? Surely | 24. Besides, though wisdom, and virtue, or no: for how little of them does the owner piety, were perfect, so long as we have possess, even supposing his wealth to be bodies, we must at the same time have all ever so great! what a small part of them bodily advantages, in order to perfect felicity. does he use or enjoy himselfl And what Therefore the satirist smartly ridicules the has he of the rest but the pleasure of seeing wise man of the Stoics. “He is," says he, them with his eyes? Let his table be loaded “free, honoured, beautiful, a king of kings, with the greatest variety of delicious dishes, and particularly happy, except when he is he fills his belly out of one; and if he has troubled with phlegm." Since these things a hundred beds, he lies but in one of them. are so, we must raise our minds higher, and Can the kingdoms, thrones, and sceptres of not live with our heads bowed down like the this world confer happiness? No: we learn common sort of mankind; who, as St. Aufrom the histories of all ages, that not a few gustine expresses it, "look for a happy life have been tumbled down from these by in the region of death.” To set our hearts sudden and unexpected revolutions, and upon the perishing goods of this wretched those not such as were void of conduct or life and its muddy pleasures, is not the hapcourage, but men of great and extraordinary piness of men, but of hogs. And if pleasure abilities. And that those who met with no is dirt, other things are but smoke. Were such misfortunes were still far enough from this the only good proposed to the desires happiness is very plain from the situation and hopes of men, it would not have been of their affairs, and, in many cases, from so great a privilege to be born. their own confession. The saying of Au Theological Lectures. gustus is well known: “I wish I had never heen married, and had died childless." And the expression of Severus at his death, “I became all things, and yet it does not profit SAMUEL BUTLER, me." But the most noted saying of all, and that which best deserves to be known is that I born 1612, died 1680, acquired great repuof the wisest and most flourishing king, as tation by his poem of ludibras, and was well as the greatest preacher, who, having also the au
ne also the author of some prose Characters (in exactly computed all the advantages of his the style of Earle, Hall, and Overbury). exalted dignity and royal opulence, found / which appeared in his Remains in Verse and this to be the sum total of all, and left it on
Prose, published from the original MSS., record for the inspection of posterity and
with Notes by Robert Thyer, Lond., 1759, future ages, Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.
2 vols. 8vo; later edition from the original All this may possibly be true with regard
MSS., Lond., 1827, 8vo, and royal 8vo: vol. to the external advantages of men, but may 1 1. only published. not happiness be found in the internal goods of the mind, such as wisdom and virtue?
A SMALL POET Suppose this granted ; still that they may 1 is one that would fain make himself that confer perfect felicity they must, of necessity, which nature never meant him; like a fabe perfect themselves. Now, shew me the natic that inspires himself with his own