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raportance is not likely to be regarded as ancient and honourable, had, before his time, ishonourable. In a country in which many been scarcely mentioned in our history; but very honest people had, within the space of a which, long after his death, produced so many lew months, supported the government of the eminent men, and formed such distinguished Protector, that of the Rump, and that of the alliances, that it exercised, in a regular and (ing, a man was not likely to be ashamed of constitutional manner, an influence in the state thandoning his party for a place, or of voting scarcely inferior to that which, in widely differ. or a bill which he had opposed.
ent times, and by widely different arts, the The public men of the times which followed house of Neville aitained in England, and that the Restoration were by no means deficient in of Douglas in Scotland. During the latter tourage or ability; and some kinds of talent years of George II., and through the whole appear to have been developed amongst them reign of George III., members of that widely 0 a remarkable-we might almost say, to a spread and powerful connection were almost Dorbid and unnatural degree. Neither Thera- constantly at the head either of the Government nenes in ancient, nor Talleyrand in modern or of the Opposition. There were times when times, had a finer perception of all the pecu- the “cousinhood," as it was once nicknamed, tiarities of character, and of all the indications would of itself have furnished almost all the of coming change, than some of our country- materials necessary for the construction of an men of those days. Their power of reading efficient cabinet. Within the space of fifty things of high import, in signs which to others years, three First Lords of the Treasury, three were invisible or unintelligible, resembled Secretaries of State, two Keepers of the Privy magic. But the curse of Reuben was upon Seal, and four First Lords of the Admiralty them all: "Unstable as water, thou shall not were appointed from among the sons and grandexcel."
sons of the Countess Temple. This character is susceptible of innumerable So splendid have been the fortunes of the modifications, according to the innumerable main stock of the Temple family, continued by varieties of intellect and temper in which it female succession. Williain Temple, the first may be found. Men of unquiet minds and of the line who attained to any great historical violent ambition followed a fearfully eccentric eminence, was of a younger branch. His facourse-darted wildly from one extreme to ther, Sir John Temple, was Master of the Rolls another-served and betrayed all parties in in Ireland, and distinguished himself among iurn-showed their unblushing foreheads al. (the Privy Councillors of that kingdom by the ternately in the van of the most corrupt admi- zeal with which, at the commencement of the aistrations and the most factious oppositions- struggle between the crown and the Long were privy to the most guilty mysteries, first | Parliament, he supported the popular cause. of the Cabal, and then of the Rye-House Plot He was arrested by order of the Duke of Or -abjured their religion to win their sovereign's mond, but regained his liberty by an exchange, !avour, while they were secretly planning his repaired to England, and there sat in the House overthrow--shrived themselves to Jesuits with of Commons as burgess for Chichester. Heatetters in cipher from the Prince of Orange in tached himself to the Presbyterian party, and .heir pockets-corresponded with the Hague was one of those moderate members who, at whilst in office under James-began to corres- the close of the year 1648, voted for treating pond with St. Germains as soon as they had with Charles on the basis to which that prince kissed hands for office under William. But had himself agreed, and who were, in conseTemple was not one of these. He was not quence, turned out of the House, with small destitute of ambition. But his was not one of ceremony, by Colonel Pride. Sir John seems, those souls within which unsatisfied ambition however, to have made his peace with the anticipates the tortures of hell, gnaws like the victorious Independents; for, in 1653, he reworm which dieth not, and burns like the fire sumed his office in Ireland. which is not quenched. His principle was to Sir John Temple was married to a sister of pake sure of safety and comfort, and to let the celebrated Henry Hammond, a learned and greatness come if it would. It came: he en- pious divine, who took the side of the king joyed it: and in the very first moment in which with very conspicuous zeal during the Civil it could no longer be enjoyed without danger War, and was deprived of his preferment in the ind vexation, he contentedly let it go. He was church after the victory of the Parliament. On not exempt, we think, from the prevailing politi- account of the loss which Hammond sustained
al immorality. His mind took the contagion, on this occasion, he has the honour of being but took it ad modum recipientis ; in a form so designated, in the cant of that new brood of nild that an undiscerning judge might doubt Oxonian sectaries who unite the worst parts of shether it were indeed the same fierce pesti- the Jesuit to the worst parts of the Orange. lence that was raging all around. The malady man, as Hammond, Presbyter, Doctor, and partook of the constitutional languor of the Confessor. patient. The general corruption, mitigated by William Temple, Sir John's cldest son, was iis calm and unadventurous temperament, born in London, in the year 1628. He received showed itself in omissions and desertions, not his early education under his maternal uncle, le positive crimes; and his inactivity, though was subsequently sent to school at Bishopometimes timorous and selfish, becomes re- Stortford, and, at seventeen, began to reside at pectable when compared with the malevolent Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where the ind perfidious restlessness of Shaftesbury and celebrated Cudworth was his tutor. Tne times underland.
were not favourable to study. The Civil War Temple sprang from a family which, though disturbed even the quiet cloisters and bowling.
greens of Cambridge, produced violent revolutions in the government and discipline of the colleges, and unsettled the minds of the stu
dents. Temple forgot at Emmanuel all the little Greek which he had brought from BishopStortford, and never retrieved the loss;–a circumstance which would hardly be worth noticing but for the almost incredible fact, that fifty years later, he was so absurd as to set up his own authority against that of Bentley on questions of Greek history and philology. He made no proficiency either in the old philosophy which still lingered in the schools of Cambridge, or in the new philosophy of which Lord Bacon was the founder. But to the end of his life he continued to speak of the former with ignorant admiration, and of the latter with equally ignorant contempt. After residing at Cambridge two years, he departed without taking a degree, and set out upon his travels. He seems then to have been a lively, agreeable young man of fashion, not by any means deeply read, but versed in all the superficial accomplishments of a gentleman, and acceptable in all polite societies. In politics he professed himself a Royalist. His opinions on religious subjects seem to have been such as might be expected from a young man of quick parts, who had received a rambling education, who had not thought deeply, who had been disgusted by the morose austeri§§ the Puritans, and who, surrounded from childhood by the hubbub of conflicting sects, might easily learn to feel an impartial contempt for them all. On his road to France he fell in with the son and daughter of Sir Peter Osborne. Sir Peter was Governor of Guernsey for the king, and the young people were, like the father, warm for the royal cause. At an inn where they stopped, in the Isle of Wight, the brother amused himself with inscribing on the windows his opinion of the ruling powers. For this instance of malignancy the whole party were arrested and brought before the governor. The sister, trusting to the tenderness which, even in those troubled times, scarcely any gentleman of any party ever failed to show where a woman was concerned, took the crime on herself, and was immediately set at liberty with her fellow-travellers. This incident, as was natural, made a deep impression on Temple. He was only twenty: Dorothy Osborne was twenty-one. She is said to have been handsome; and there remains abundant proof that she possessed an ample share of the dexterity, the vivacity, and the tenderness of her sex. Temple soon became, in the phrase of that time, her servant, and she returned his regard. But difficulties as great as ever expanded a novel to the fifth volume, opposed their wishes. When the courtship commenced, the father of the hero was sitting in the Long Parliament, the father of the heroine was holding Guernsey for King Charles. Even when the war ended, and Sir Peter Osborne returned to his seat at Chicksands, the prospects of the lovers were scarcely, less gloomy. Sir John Temple had a more advantageous alliance in view for his son. Dorothy Osborne was in the mean time beseiged by as
many suitors as were drawn to Belmont by the fame of Portia. The most distinguished on the list was Henry Cromwell. Destitute of the capacity, the energy, the magnanimity of his illustrious father, destitute also of the meek. and placid virtues of his elder brother, this young man was perhaps a more formidable rival in love than either of them would have been. Mrs. Hutchinson, speaking the sentiments of the grave and aged, describes him as an “insolent fool,” and a “debauched ungodly Cavalier.” These expressions probably mean that he was one who, among young and dissipated people, would pass for a fine gentleman. Dorothy was fond *. of larger and more formidable breed than those which lie on modern hearth-rugs; and Henry Cromwell promised that the highest functionaries at Dublin should be set to work to procure her a fine Irish greyhound. She seems to have felt his attentions as very flattering, though his father
was then only Lord-General, and not yet Pro
tector. Love, however, triumphed over ambi-
hurt and irritated by these imputations on her .
lover, defended him warmly behind his back, and addressed to himself some very tender and anxious admonitions, mingled with assurances of her confidence in his honour and virtue. On one occasion she was most highly provoked by the way in which one of her brothers spoks of temple: “We talked, ourselves weary. she says—"he renounced me, and I defied him.” Nearly seven years did this arduous wooin continue. We are not accurately inform respecting Temple's movements during that time. But he seems to have led a rambling life, sometimes on *: gonument. sometumes in
Ireland, sometimes in London. He made himself master of the French and Spanish languages, and amused himself by writing Essays and Romances—an employment which at least served the purpose of forming his style. The specimen which Mr. Courtenay has preserved of those early compositions is by no means contemptible. Indeed, there is one passage on Like and Dislike which could have been produced only by a mind habituated carefully to reflect on its own operations, and which reminds us of the best things in Montaigne. He appears to have kept up a very active correspondence with his mistress. His letters are lost, but hers have been preserved; and many of them appear in these volumes. Mr. Courtenay expresses some doubt whether his readers will think him justified in inserting so large a number of these epistles. We only wish that there were twice as many. Very little indeed of the diplomatic correspondence of that generation is so well worth reading. There is a vile phrase of which bad historians are exceedingly fond—"the dignity of history.” One writer is in possession of some anecdotes which would illustrate most strikingly the operation of the Mississippi scheme on the manners and morals of the Parisians. But he suppresses those anecdotes because they are too low for the dignity of history. Another is strongly tempted to mention some facts indicating the horrible state of the prisons of England two hundred years ago. But he hardly thinks that the sufferings of a dozen felons pigging together on bare bricks in a hole fifteen feet square would form a subject suited to the dignity of history. Another, from respect for the dignity of history, publishes an account of the reign of George II., without ever mentioning Whitefield's preaching in Moorfields. How should a writer, who can talk about senates, and congresses of sovereigns, and pragmatic sanctions, and ravelines, and counterscarps, and battles where ten thousand men are killed and six thousand men with fifty stands of colours and eighty guns taken, stoop to the StockExchange, to Newgate, to the theatre, to the tabernacle? Tragedy has its dignity as well as history; and how much the tragic art has owed to that lignity any man may judge who will compare the majestic Alexandrines in which the “Seigneur Oreste” and “Madame Andromaque”utter their complaints, with the chattering of the fool in “Lear,” and of the nurse in “Romeo and Juliet.” That an historian should not record trifles, that he should confine himself to what is important, is perfectly true. But many writers seem never to have considered on what the historical importance of an event depends. They seem not to oe aware that the importance of a fact, when that fact is considered with refer. ence to its immediate effects, and the importance of the same fact, when that fact is considered as part of the materials for the construction of a science, are two very different things. ...The quantity of good or evil which a transaction produces is by no means necessarily proportioned to the quantity of light which that transaction affords as to the way in which
good or evil may hereafter be produced. The poisoning of an emperor is in one sense a far more serious matter than the poisoning of a rat. But the poisoning of a rat may be an era in chemistry; and an emperor may be poisoned by such ordinary means, and with such ordinary symptoms, that no scientific journal would notice the occurrence. An action for a hundred thousand pounds is in one sense a more momentous affair than an action for fifty pounds. But it by no means follows that the learned gentlemen who report the proceedings of the courts of law ought to give a fuller account of an action for a hundred thousand pounds than of an action for fifty pounds. For a cause, in which a large sum is at stake, may be important only to the particular plaintiff and the particular defendant. A cause, on the other hand, in which a small sum is at stake, may establish some great principle interesting to half the families in the kingdom. The case is exactly the same with that class of subjects of which historians treat. To an Athenian, in the time of the Peloponnesian war, the result of the battle of Delium was far more important than the fate of the comedy of the “Knights.” But to us the fact that the comedy of the “Knights” was brought on the Athenian stage with success is far more important than the fact that the Athenian phalanx gave way at Delium. Neither the one event nor the other has any intrinsic importance. We are in no danger of being speared by the Thebans. We are not quizzed in the “Knights.” To us, the importance of both events consists in the value of the general truth which is to be learned from them. What general truths do we learn from the accounts which have come down to us of the battle of Delium ? Very little more than this, that when two armies fight, it is not improbable that one of them will be very soundly beaten—a truth which it would not, we apprehend, be difficult to establish, even if all memory of the battle of Delium were lost among men. . But a man who becomes acquainted with the comedy of the “Knights,” and with the history of that comedy, at once feels his mind enlarged. Society is presented to him under a new aspect. He may have read and travelled much. He may have visited all the countries of Europe, and the civilized nations of the East. He may have observed the manners of many barbarous races. But here is something altogether different from everything which he has seen either among polished men or among savages. ... Here is a community, politically, intellectually, and morally unlike any other community of which he has the means of forming an opinion. This is the really precious part of history, the corn which some threshers carefully sever from the chaff, for the purpose of gathering the chaff into the garner, and flinging the corn into the firc. Thinking thus, we are glad to learn so mucti, and would willingly learn more, about the loves of Sir William and his mistress. In the seventeenth century, to be sure, Louis XIV. was a much more important person than Temple's sweetheart. But death and time equalize all things. Neither the great king, nor the beauty of Bedfordshire -neither the gorgeous
paradise of Marli ncr Mistress Osborne's favourite walk “in the common that lay hard by the house, where a great many young wenches used to keep sheep and cows and sit in the shade singing of ballads,”—is anything to us. Louis, and Dorothy are alike dust. A cottonmill stands on the ruins of Marli, and the Osbornes have ceased to dwell under the ancient roof of the Chicksands. But of that information, for the sake of which alone it is worth while to study remote events, we find so much in the love-letters which Mr. Courtenay has published, that we would gladly purchase equally interesting billets with ten times their weight in state papers taken at random. To us
surely it is as useful to know how the young.
ladies of England employed themselves a hundred and eighty years ago, how far their minds were cultivated, what were their favcurite studies, what degree of liberty was allowed to them, and what use they made of that liberty, what accomplishments they most valued in men, and what proofs of tenderness delicacy permitted them to give to favoured suitors, as to know all about the seizure of Franche Comté and the treaty of Nimeguen. The mutual relations of the two sexes seem to us to be at least as important as the mutual relations of any two governments in the world; and a series of letters, written by a virtuous, amiable, sensible girl, and intended for the eye of her lover alone, can scarcely fail to throw some light on the relations of the sexes; whereas it is perfectly possible, as all who have made any historical researches can attest, to read bale after bale of despatches and protocols without catching one glimpse of light about the relations of governments.
Mr. Courtenay proclaims that he is one of Dorothy Osborne's devoted servants, and expresses a hope that the publication of her letters will add to the number. We must declare ourselves his rival. She really seems to have been a very charming young woman—modest; £enerous, affectionate, intelligent, and sprightly, —a royalist, as was to be expected from her connections, without any of that political asperity which is as unwomanly as a long beard, religious, and occasionally gliding into a very pretty and enduring sort of preaching, yet not too good to partake of such diversions as London afforded under the melancholy rule of the Puritans, or to giggle a little at a ridiculous sermon from a divine who was thought to be one of the great lights of the Assembly at Westminster, with a little turn for coquetry, which was yet perfectly compatible with warm and disinterested attachment, and a little turn for satire, which yet seldom passed the bounds of good nature. She loved reading; but her studies were not those of Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. She read the verses of Cowley and Lord Broghill, French Memoirs recommended by her lover, and the Travels of Fernando Mendez Pinto. But her favourite books were those ponderous French Romances which modern readers know chiefly from the pleasant satire of Charlotte Lennox. She could not, however, help laughing at the vile English into
worse for some passages in which raillery and tenderness are mixed in a very engaging namby-pamby. When at last the constancy of the lovers had triumphed over all the obstacles which kinsmen and rivals could oppose to their union, a yet more serious calamity befell them. Poor Mistress Osborne fell ill of the small-pox, and, though she escaped with life, lost all her beauty. To this most severe trial the affection and honour of the lovers of that age was not unfrequently subjected. Our readers probably remember what Mrs. Hutchinson tells us of herself. The lofty Cornelia-like spirit of the aged matron seems to melt into a long-forgotten softness when she relates how her beloved Colonel “married her as soon as she was able to quit the chamber, when the priest and all that saw her were affrighted to look on her. But God,” she adds, with a not ungraceful vanity, “recompensed his justice and constancy, by restoring her as well as before.” Temple showed on this occasion the same “justice and constancy” which did so much honour to Colonel Hutchinson. The date of the marriage is not exactly known. But Mr. Courtenay supposes it to have taken place about the end of the year 1654. From this time we lose sight of Dorothy, and are reduced to form our opinion of the terms on which she and her husband were, from very slight indications which may easily mislead us. Temple soon went to Ireland, and resided with his father, partly in Dublin, partly in the county of Carlow. Ireland was probably ther a more agreeable residence for the higher classes, as compared with England, than it has ever been before or since. In no part of the empire were the superiority of Cromwell's abilities and the force of his character so signally displayed. He had not the power, and probably had not the inclination, to govern that island in the best way. The rebellion of the aboriginal race had excited in England a strong religious and national aversion to them; nor is there any reason to believe that the Pro. tector was so far beyond his age as to be free from the prevailing sentiment. He had vanquished them; he knew that they were in his power; and he regarded them as a band of malefactors and idolaters, who were mercifully treated if they were not smitten with the edge of the sword. On those who resisted he had made war as the Hebrews made war on the Canaanites. Drogheda was as Jericho; and Wexford as Ai. To the remains of the old population" the conqueror granted a peace, such as that which Joshua granted to the Gibeonites. He made them hewers of wood and drawers of water. But, good or bad, he could not be otherwise than great. Under savourable circumstances, Ireland would have found in him a most just and beneficent ruler. She found him a tyrant; not a small, teasing tyrant such as those who have so long been her curse and her shame, but one of those awful tyrants who, at long intervals, seem to be sent on earth, like avenging angels, with, some high commission of destruction and renovation. He
which they were translated. Her own style is was no man of half measures, of mean affronts very agreeable: nir are her letters at all the and ungracious concessions. His Protestant
ascendency was not an ascendency of ribands, and fiddles, and statues, and processions. He would never have dreamed of abolishing penal laws against the Irish Catholics, and withholding from them the elective franchise—of giving them the elective franchise, and excluding them from Parliament—of admitting them to Parliament, and refusing to them a full and equal participation in all the blessings of society and government. The thing most alien from his clear intellect and his commanding spirit was petty persecution. He knew how to tolerate, and he knew how to destroy. His administration in Ireland was an administration on what are now called Orange principles,<-followed out most ably, most steadily and undauntedly, most unrelentingly, to every extreme consequence to which those principles lead; and it would, if continued, inevitably have produced the effect which he contemplated,—an entire decomposition and reconstruction of society. He had a great and definite object in view, to make Ireland thoroughly English—to make it another Yorkshire or Norfolk. Thinly peopled as Ireland then was, this end was not unattainable; and there is every reason to believe that if his policy had been followed during fifty years this end would have been attained. Instead of an emigration, such as we now see from Ireland to England, there was, under his government, a constant and large emigration from England to Ireland. This tide of population ran almost as strongly as that which now runs from Massachusetts and Connecticut to the states behind the Ohio. The native race was driven back before the advancing van of the Anglo-Saxon population, as the American Indians or the tribes of Southern Africa are now driven back before the white settlers. Those fearful phenomena which have almost invariably attended the planting of civilized colonies in uncivilized countries, and which had been known to the nations of Europe only by distant and questionable rumour, were now publicly exhibited in their sight. The words, “extirpation,” “eradication,” were often in the mouths of the English back-settlers of Leinster and Munster —cruel words—yet, in their cruelty, containing more mercy than much softer expressions which have since been sanctioned by universities, and cheered by Parliaments. For it is in truth more merciful to extirpate a hundred thousand people at once, and to fill the void with a well-governed population, than to misgovern millions through a long succession of generations. We can much more easily pardon tremendous severities inflicted far a great object, than an endless series of paltry vexations and oppressions inflicted for no rational object at all.
reland was fast becoming English. Civililation and wealth were making rapid progress in almost every part of the island. The effects of that iron despotism are described to us by a hostile witness in very remarkable language. “Which is more wonderful,” says Lord Clarendon, “all this was done and settled within little more than two years, to that degree of perfection that there were many buildings raised for beauty as well as use, orderly and regular plantations of trees, and fences, and
enclosures raised throughout the kingdom, purchases made by one from another at very valuable rates, and jointures made upon marriages, and all other conveyances and settlements executed, as in a kingdom at peace within itself, and where no doubt could be made of the validity of titles.” All Temple's feelings about Irish questions were those of a colonist and a member of the dominant caste. He troubled himself as little about the welfare of the remains of the old Celtic population as an English farmer on the Swan river troubles himself about the New Hollanders, oral)utchboor at the Cape about the Caffres. The years which he passed in Ireland while the Cromwellian system was in full operation he always described as “years of great satisfaction.” Farming, gardening, county business, and studies rather entertaining than profound, occupied his time. In politics he took no part, and many years after he attributed this inaction to his love of the ancient constitution, which, he said, “would not suffer him to enter into public affairs till the way was plain for the king's happy restoration.” It does not appear, indeed, that any offer of employment was made to him. If he really did refuse any preferment, we may, without much breach of charity, attribute the refusal rather to the caution which, during his whole life, prevented him from running any risk than to the servour of his loyalty. In 1660 he made his first appearance in public life. He sat in the Convention which, in the midst of the general confusion that preceded the Restoration, was summoned by thi chiefs of the army of Ireland to meet in Dublin. After the king's return, an Irish Parliament was regularly convoked, in which Temple represented the county of Carlow. The details of his conduct in this situation are not known to us. But we are told in general terms, and can easily believe, that he showed great moderation and great aptitude for busiRoss. It is probable that he also distinguished himself in debate; for many years afterwards he remarked, that “his friends in Ireland used to think that, if he had any talent at all, it lay in that way.” In May, 1663, the Irish Parliament was prorogued, and Temple repaired to England with his wife. His income amounted to about five hundred pounds a year, a sum which was then sufficient for the wants of a family mixing in fashionable circles. He passed two years in London, where he seems to have led that easy, lounging life which was best suited to his temper. He was not, however, unmindful of his interest. He had brought with him letters of introduction from the Duke of Ormond, the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, to Clarendon, and to Henry Bennet, Lord Arlington, who was Secretary of State. Clarendon was at the head of affairs. But his power was visibly declining, and was certain to decline more and more every day. An observer much less discerning than Temple might easily perceive that the Chancellor was a man who belonged to a by gone world;—a representative of a past age, of obsolete modes of thinking, of unfashion