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"strong parts”and eminent gifts,” the" learning and diligence," the "acuteness and eloquence,” of the unhappy deceased, and then breaks forth into the following extraordinary strain.
“ Howle ye firre trees, for a cedar is fallen ! lament ye Sophisters, for the master of sentences, (shall I say) or fallacies is vanished: wring your hands, and beat your breasts, ye anti-christian engineers, for your arch-engineer is dead, and all his engines buried with him. Ye daughters of Oxford weep over Chilling worth, for he had a considerable and hopeful project how to clothe you and himself in scarlet, and other delights. I am distressed for thee, my brother Chillingworth, (may his executrix say) very pleasant hast thou been unto me, thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of father, husband, brother. O, how are the mighty fallen, and the weapons, nay engines of war, perished ! O, tell it not in Gath, that he who raised a battery against the Pope's chair,that he might place reason in that chair instead of Antichrist, is dead and gone: publish it not in the streets of Askelon, that he who did at once batter Rome, and undermine England, the reforming church of England, that he might prevent a reformation, is dead; lest if you publish it, you puzzle all the conclave, and put them to consider, whether they should mourn or triumph.”
Of the “ Profane Catechism,” which follows, we have already given a specimen, which we doubt not will be decmed a very sufficient evidence, that it is not from indolence that we forbear to produce any further extracts. In truth, it is a very absurd and clumsy piece of work. With the other parts of the book we have, we confess, been much interested and entertained, and have been proportionably anxious, by the choice and the copiousness of our quotations, to transfuse into our own pages as much as possible of that which has fixed our attention, and excited our feelings in the original.
We close the present article with the following particulars of the life of Cheynell: whether we have in the preceding remarks taken a correct view of his character or not, we of course cannot presume to determine; but the passage we are about to quote, does, we confess, affect us with a melancholy, as for the misfortunes of a friend.
“Cheynell's death happened in 1665, at an obscure village called Preston, in Sussex, where he had purchased an estate, to which he retired upon his being turned out of the living of Petworth. The warmth of his zeal, increased by the turbulence of the times in which he lived, and by the opposition to which the unpopular nature of some of his employments exposed him, was at last heightened to distraction, and he was for some years disordered in his understanding."
Art. II.-The Memoirs of Philip de Comines : containing the
History of Lewis XI. and Charles VIII. of France, and of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, to which Prince he was Secretary: as also the History of Edward IV. and Henry VII. of England; including that of Europe for almost half the Fifteenth Century: with a Supplement, as also several original Treaties, Notes and Observations. And lastly, the Secret History of Lewis XI. out of a book called The Scandalous Chronicle, and the Life of the Author prefixed to the whole, with Notes upon it, by the famous Sleidan. "Faithfully translated from the Edition of Monsieur Godefroy, Historiographer Royal of France. To which are added, Remarks on all the Occurrences relating to England. By Mr. Uvedale. London, 1712.
Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, Edward IV. of England, Francis of Bretagne, “ the best humoured Prince in the world,” are personages who possess sufficient interest, to render us willing to endure for a short time some acquaintance with * Lewis XI., a king notorious for a bad disposition, an unquiet reign, oppressive to his subjects, and disgraceful to himself, and a penitence awakened rather by personal sufferings, at the close of his career, than the genuine repentance of religious sincerity, and honest remorse.
However difficult it might be to speak of such a man and his measures, with that impartial and calm examination, which should ever influence the historian, we cannot forbear to give our full assent to the character given to Philip de Comines in the preface, after which we shall proceed to the examination of his work methodically.
“ He commends no man the more for being of his own fainily or country; nor the Kings themselves in whose court he had been raised, unless the goodness of their actions could justify his relations, and where they were faulty, he never fails to show it. 'In a word, he is all over like himself, honest, entire, and faithful as he ought to be ; what he says is graceful, and his relations are intermixed with many wise
* Lewis the Eleventh was the son of Charles the Fortunate, so named from having expelled the English from his dominions, in which he was greatly assisted by the celebrated Joan of Arc. The rebel. lious conduct of his son embittered all his latter days, and having discovered that, in conjunction with some malecontents, Lewis had laid a plot to poison him, he abstained from all food six days, and when prevailed upon to take it, expired in consequence.
sayings. When he falls upon any thing more than ordinarily remarkable, there is an advertisement to the reader, and particularly to young Princes, to consider it seriously, to have a care of what has proved dishonourable or prejudicial to other people, and when he has done, shows them frankly and generously what is their duty. I would not be thought to have insisted too long upon his praise; what I have said is true, and his Excellence will be better discovered by reading his History, in which it is not to be doubted but that those who peruse it will find in it several important and memorable occurrences; and one may venture to recommend him with the greater confidence, because we find but few, that imitate him.
“ But besides this character that Sleidan gives him, he has another qualification to recommend him to the favour of an Englishman, and that is, that whenever he has an occasion of mentioning the English in his history, he always does it after an honourable manner; and though, indeed, he will not allow us to be as cunning politicians as his own countrymen, yet he gives us the character of being a generous, bold-spirited people, highly commends our constitution, and never conceals the grandeur and magnificence of the English nation."
The “ Memoirs" of this faithful and accomplished delineator of " his own times” commence with informing us, “ that as soon as he was fit for business, he was presented to Charles, Duke of Burgundy (at that time only Count de Charalois) in 1464."* It appears, that within three days after thus entering into the service of this remarkable man, Comines was witness to those conversations between him and other great lords in France, which ended in their declaration of war against Lewis, under pretence of the public good. Our author candidly informs us, that the great personages who assumed this character of philanthropic warriors, had each some private object; some near family connection to oblige, some insult to revenge, some town to regain, or some debt to insist upon, which were at the bottom very prompting principles of action, in addition to the professed and glorious principle of compelling a tyrannical despot to his duty.-In this book, we have a digression, which gives a striking picture of the situation not only of the people of whom it speaks, but of many others who have been afficted with the government of a warlike prince, who is seldom less “ a rod” to his enemies than his friends, as may be proved from “ Macedonia's madman to the Swede.”
“ The subjects of the house of Burgundy lived at that time in great plenty and prosperity, grew proud, and wallow'd in riches, by reason of the long peace they had enjoyed, and the goodness of their prince, who laid but few taxes upon them; so that in my judgement, if any country might be called then the Land of Promise, it was his country, which abounded in wealth and repose, more than ever it did since, and it is now three and twenty years since their miseries began. The expenses and habits both of women and men were great and extravagant: their entertainments and banquets more profuse and splendid than in any other place that I ever saw. Their baths and their treats for women, lavish and disorderly, and many times immodest: I speak of women of inferior degree. In short, the subjects of that house were then of opinion no prince was able to cope with them, at least to impoverish them : and now in the whole world I do not know any people so desolate and miserable as they are."
After this war had been carried on with such alternate success, as to leave no increase of power on either side, and to no apparent end, save to prove the personal intrepidity and endurances of the Duke of Burgundy, he concluded peace with the King of France; and the second book commences with showing him engaged in besieging the city of Liege. In this war, Lewis took part, in consequence of which he became a prisoner to the duke in the castle of Peronne, and purchased his liberty by making peace with his conqueror, and turning his arms against his late allies, the Liegeois. Our historian's third book introduces us to the affairs of our own country, the support given by the Duke of Burgundy to Edward IV., whose sister he had married, and the aid privately afforded by Lewis to the Earl of Warwick (the king-maker), whereby he effected, for a period, the imprisonment of his royal master, and restored the crown to Henry VIth. An account is also given of the Earl of Warwick's arrival at Calais, and the conduct of the governor, who opposed his entrance. We here learn, that the court of France used to negociate then, (as it is well known they have frequently done since) by means of the fair sex, as we are told, that“
a lady of quality was employed on business of importance, which she accomplished, at last, to the utter destruction of the Earl of Warwick and his party."
“ This lady was no fool, nor blab of her tongue; and being allowed the liberty of visiting her mistress, the Dutchess of Clarence, she, for that reason, was employed in this secret, rather than a man. Vaucler was a cunning man, and jealous enough; yet this lady was too hard for him, wheedled him, and carried on her intrigues, till she had effected the ruin of the Earl of Warwick, and all his faction : for which reason 'tis no shame for persons in his condition to be suspicious, and keep a watchful eye over all comers and goers; but ’tis a great disgrace to be circumvented, and out-witted, and to lose any thing through one's own negligence or credulity; however, our suspicions ought to be grounded on some foundation, and not to be entertained on every trivial occasion, for that is as bad the other way."
Comines tells us, King Edward was not a man of any great management, or foresight, but of an invincible courage, and the most beautiful prince mine eyes ever beheld.” And it certainly appears in the course of the fourth book, when this king was reinstated in his throne, and had marched into France to take vengeance on Lewis for the part he had acted, that he was indeed capable of being managed by the wily Frenchman, who, through the medium of a valet, dressed up as a herald, prevailed on Edward to accede to that remarkable meeting, which took place between these two monarchs on the bridge, of Picquigny; whereon “ was built a large wooden grate, somewhat resembling a lion's cage, about breast high, so that the two kings might lean over it, and discourse together;" and where, it appears, Edward, although he had twenty thousand well-equipped fighting men lying within a league, was induced to make a truce for nine years with the man who had assisted his enemies, and insulted him in his misfortunes. As it cannot fail to be gratifying to our national pride to see how formidable the English were to France at this period, even after they had ceased from considering themselves as sovereigns, and had been long suffering from their own desolating civil wars; we again offer an extract, in which is described our own monarch at this singular conference.
“ The King of England advanced along the Causey (which I mentioned before) very nobly attended, with the air and presence of a king: there were in his train his brother the Duke of Clarence, the Earl of Northumberland, his chamberlain called the Lord Hastings, his chancellor, and other peers of the realm; among which there were not above four drest in cloth of gold, like himself. The King of England wore a black velvet cap upon his head, with a large flower de luce, made of precious stones, upon it: he was a prince of a noble majestic presence, his person proper and straight, but a little inclining to be fat; I had seen him before, when the Earl of Warwick drove him out of the kingdom, then I thought him much handsomer, and to the best of my remembrance, my eyes had never beheld a more beautiful person. When he came within a little distance of the rail, he pulled off his cap, and bowed himself within half a foot of the ground; and the King of France, who was then leaning over the barrier, received him with abundance of reverence and respect : they embraced through the holes of the grate, and the King of England making him another low bow, the King of France saluted him thus :— Cousin, you are heartily welcome, there is no person living I was so ambitious of seeing, and God be thanked that this interview is upon so good an occasion.' The King of England returned the compliment in very good French ; then the Chancellor of England (who was a prelate, and Bishop of Ely) began his speech with a prophecy (with which the English are always provided), that at Picquigny a memorable peace was to be concluded between the English and French: after he had finish
VOL. VII. PART I.