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She insisted on bis constant presence at court, and undertook to form the young mind of her favourite: but the scholar presumed to dispute the lessons of his teacher: and the spirit with which he opposed her chidings extorted her applause. In every quarrel his perseverance was victorious: and his vanquished mistress, in atonement for the pain which she had given, loaded him with caresses and favours. Hence he deduced a maxim, which, however it might succeed for a few years, finally brought him to the scaffold; that the queen might be driven, but could not be led; that her obstinacy might be subdued by resistance, though it could not be softened by submission.
Contrary to the lot of most favourites, he had enjoyed at the same time the affection of the sovereign and of the people. To the latter he was known only by the more dazzling traits in his character, his affability and profusion, his spirit of adventure and thirst of glory, and his constant opposition to the dark and insidious policy of the Cecils. His last offence could not, indeed, be disguised; but it was attributed not so much to his own passions, as the secret agents of his enemies, working upon his open and unsuspecting disposition. To silence these rumours, an account of his treason was published by authority, charging him, on his own confession, and the confessions of his associates, with a design to place himself on the throne. But the charge obtained no credit: and the popularity of the queen, which had long been on the wane, seemed to be buried in the same grave with her
favourite. On her appearance in public she was no longer greeted with the wonted acclamations: her counsellors were received with loud expressions of insult and abhorrence. Ukgard.
THE EARL OF STRAFFORD.
Thus fell the greatest subject in power, and little inferior to any in fortune, that was at that time in any of the three kingdoms; who could well remember the time, when he led those people, who then pursued him to his grave. He was a man of great parts, and extraordinary endowments of nature; not unadorned with some addition of art and learning, though that again was more improved and illustrated by the other; for he had a readiness of conception, and sharpness of expression, which made his learning thought more than in truth it was. His first inclinations and addresses to the court were only to establish his greatness in the country; where he apprehended some acts of power from the Lord Savile, who had been his rival always there, and of late had strengthened himself by being made a privy counsellor and officer at court: but his first attempts were so prosperous, that he contented not himself with being secure from that lord's power in the country, but rested not till he had bereaved his adversary of all power and place in court; and so sent him down a most abject, disconsolate old man to his country, where he was to have the superintendency over him too, by getting himself at the same time made lord president of the north. These successes, applied to a nature too elate and haughty of itself, and a quicker progress into the greatest employments and trust, made him more transported with disdain of other men, and more contemning the forms of business, than happily he would have been, if he had met with some interruption in the beginning, and had passed in a more leisurely gradation to the office of a statesman.
He was, no doubt, of great observation, and a piercing judgment, both in things and persons; but his too good skill in persons made him judge the worse of things: for it was his misfortune to be in a time wherein very few wise men were employed with him; and scarce any (but the Lord Coventry, whose trust was more confined), whose faculties and abilities were equal to his: so that upon the matter he relied wholly upon himself; and discerning many defects in most men, he too much neglected what he said or did. Of all his passions his pride was most predominant; which a moderate exercise of ill fortune might have corrected and reformed; and which was by the hand of Heaven strangely punished, by bringing his destruction upon him by two things that he most despised—the people and Sir Harry Vane. In a word, the epitaph which Plutarch records that Sylla wrote for himself, may not be unfitly applied to him: "That no man did ever exceed him, either in doing good to his friends, or in doing mischief to his enemies;" for his acts of both kinds were most notorious.
John Bradshaw (a name which Liberty herself, wherever she is respected, has commended for celebration to everlasting memory) was sprung, as is well known, from a noble family; and hence, spent the early part of his life in the diligent study of the laws of his country. Becoming afterwards a skilful and eloquent pleader, a zealous defender of liberty and of the people, he was admitted to the higher offices in the state, and several times discharged the function of an incorrupt judge. At length, on a request from the parliament that he would preside on the trial of the king, he refused not the dangerous office; for to skill in the law, he added a liberal mind, a lofty spirit, with manners unimpeachcd, and obnoxious to no man. This office, therefore, which was great and fearful, almost surpassing all example, marked out as he was by the daggers and threats of so many ruffians, he executed and filled with such steadiness, such gravity, with such dignity and presence of mind, that he seemed destined and created by the Deity himself for this particular act—an act which God in his stupendous providence had preordained should be exhibited among this people; and he so far surpassed the glory of all tyrannicides, as it is more humane, more just, more full of majesty, to try a tyrant, than to put him to death without a trial. He was otherwise neither gloomy nor severe, but mild and gentle. Yet, at all times equal to himself—the consul, as it were, not of a single year,—he supported the high character which he took upon him with a becoming gravity; so that you would think him sitting in judgment upon the king, not on the tribunal only, but every moment of his life. He is above all men indefatigable in counsel and in exertions for the public—he alone is equal to a host. At home he is, according to his means, hospitable and splendid; the most faithful of friends, and, in every change of fortune, the most to be relied upon. No one sooner or more willingly discovers merit, wherever it is to be seen, or acts towards it with greater favour. At one time he aids the pious, at another the learned, or men known for any species of skill; now he relieves, from his private fortune, brave men of the military profession who have been reduced to want; and if they are not in want, he yet receives them with a willing courtesy, a friendly welcome. It is his constant practice to proclaim the praises of others, and to conceal his own: and among his political enemies, if any has happened to return to his right senses, which has been the case with many, no man has been more ready to forgive. But if the cause of the oppressed is to be openly defended; if the favour and the power of the mighty is to be resisted; if the public ingratitude against any meritorious character is to be reproved; then indeed, no one could find in this man any want of eloquence or of firmness; no one could even desire an advocate or a friend more intrepid, more eloquent: for he has found one, whom no threats can turn aside from rectitude, whom neither intimidation nor bribes can