Page images
PDF
EPUB

estates. But he speedily made known his A beardless chief, a rebel e'er a man, value both as a political partisan and a So young his hatred to his Prince began.” citizen soldier; for in less than a year The winds first “ blew him " into the royal (August, 1644) he received a commission to command a brigade of horse and foot, when he became a rebel. His Diary, from

camp, and he was no longer beardless with the title of Field-Marshal-General; January 1, 1616, to April 10, 1650 (when and with this force he besieged and re- it ends) is meagre in the extreme. It is duced Wareham. In the October follow- studiously confined to domestic incidents ing, being appointed Commander-in-Chief and personal matters, and contains not a for the Parliament in Dorsetshire, he took single comment on any of the great politithe field with ten regiments of horse and cal events, including the royal martyrdom, foot, with which he stormed Abbotsbury, that occurred in the interval. But we colthe fortified house of Sir John Strangways, lect from it that he took an active part in garrisoned by a cavalier regiment, which, country business, and co-operated with after a desperate defence, capitulated. the authorities for the enforcement of the An officer in this affair writes, “ When by law of the land. After stating that he no other means we could get it, we found had been sworn a justice of the peace for a way by desperately flinging fired turf- the county of Wilts, and was in commission

ggots into the windows, and the fight for oyer and terminer the whole circuit, then grew so hot that our said Command- he sets down: er-in-Chief (who, to his perpetual renown, behaved most gallantly in this service)

August 11, 1646.— Sir John Danvers came was forced to bring up his men within and sat with us. Seven condemned to die, four pistol-shot of the house, and could hardly for horse stealing, two for robbery, one for killget them to stay and stand the brunt.” ing his wife; he broke her neck with his hands; After clearing the surrounding country of it was proved that, he touching her body the day 'royalist forces, he advanced to the relief after, her nose bled afresh; four burnt in the

hand, one for felony, three for manslaughter; of Taunton, where Blake was sorely the same sign followed one of them, of the pressed, and the siege was raised at his

corpse bleeding, approach.

like in mere wantonness of depreciation, This, gravely set down by a and without the semblance of authority, Shaftesbury, is a remarkable proof of the Lord Campbell says that “he (Shaftes- strength of the popular superstition. bury) wrote a flaming account of the ex- In January, 1652, he was named one of ploit to the Parliament, taking greater the Parliamentary Commissioners for the credit to himself than Cromwell in his des- reform of the law, and an entry in the patch announcing his victory at Dunbar.” Journal, dated March

17, 1653,

thus : The actual report, in the shape of a letter to Lord Essex, has been printed from the “ Resolved by the Parliament that Sir AnHarleian MSS. by Mr. Christie, and turns thony Ashley Cooper, baronet, be, and is hereby, out to be simple, plain, and business-like, pardoned of all delinquency, and be, and is without one boastful or turgid expression. hereby, made capable of all other privileges as The military commands which he subse- any other of the people of this nation are. quently held are cursorily mentioned in the Dary as unattended by results for Martyn and Lord Campbell, that he had

There is no reason for believing, with want of men ; and his military career terminated in 1645. Mr. Christie thinks that

been guilty of any delinquency more rehe withdrew from the army along with the cent than his (in Independent eyes) origrest of the Presbyterian leaders, who were

inal sin in taking service with the Crown. driven out by the “Self-denying Ordi- He was one of ten members for the county nance” and the “New Model." Lord of Wilts in Barebones' Parliament, and Campbell says captiously: “ He was sud- his detractors take for granted that he fell denly satisfied with his military glory, and in with the humors of this strange assemafter this brilliant campaign never again with the best of them:

bly, prayed, canted, and sought the Lord appeared in the field; whether he retired from some affront, or mere caprice, is not “ Next this — how wildly will ambition steer! certainly known.” Dryden's sneer at his A vermin wriggling in the usurper's ear, brief military career is equally gratui- Bartering his venal wit for sums of gold, tous :

He cast himself into the saint-like mould:

Groaned, sighed, and prayed, while godliness “A martial hero, first with early care

was gain, Blown, like a pigmy by the winds, to war, The loudest bag-pipe of the squeaking train."

runs

There is not the slightest evidence that Considering that the estrangement was he did anything of the kind. He regularly gradual, and that there is no proof whatacted and voted with the moderate party in ever of his having aspired to the lady's this assembly; but the fact of his having hand or (at the time) to the Great Seal, been a member of it was remembered the simplest explanation is the best. He against him when he became a Peer: was willing to go along with Cromwell to “ A little bobtail'd lord, urchin of state,

the extent of making him Chief MagisA praise-god Barebone peer, whom all men

trate, or head of the Executive, under conbate."

stitutional restrictions, but shrank from

the creation of an uncontrolled despotism The charge of wriggling in the usurper's or dictatorship. His position in the Presear derives some semblance of plausibility byterian party, to whom he owed his infrom his being deputed by the House to fluence, was at stake; and he had obvioffer Hampton Court to Cromwell, and be- ously no alternative but to become one of coming one of the fifteen members of the the Protector's creatures or to separate Council of State named in the new Con- from him. How matters stood between stitution which established the Protector- them is shown by Shaftesbury's exclusion ate for life. He certainly made common from the Second Parliament elected under cause with Cromwell against the fanatics, the Instrument of Government; and also and, during a brief interval, had the air by the remark attributed, on respectable of trusting in and being trusted by him. authority, to Cromwell, that “there was If we may believe Burnet," he (Sắaftes- no one he was more at a loss how to manbury) pretended that Cromwell offered to age than that Marcus Tullius Cirero, the make him king. He was indeed of great little man with three names." If that use to him in withstanding the enthusi- little man could have been induced to asts of that time. He was one of those name his price, the odds are that it would who pressed him most to accept of the have been readily paid, even if he had kingdom, because, as he said afterwards, named the Great Seal or a daughter. he was sure it would ruin him.” In the Lord Campbell says that upon being reclosing years of his life Shaftesbury was in fused the hand of “the musical, glibthe habit of talking loosely and boastfully tongued Lady Mary," he (Shaftesbury) of his former doings; and, not intending finally broke with Oliver, and become a to be taken literally, he may have said partisan of the banished royal family. This something of the sort to intimate the high is glaringly incorrect. He did not become sense Cromwell entertained of his services, a partisan of the royal family until after or by way of mystifying Burnet, whose Oliver's death, when the people, with one credulity and love of gossip were well accord, flew from petty tyrants to the known. It is impossible to believe that throne, and the Restoration offered the Cromwell did offer to make him king, or sole protection against anarchy. His pub(for it comes to this, if he in turn wished lic appearances during the five or.six Cromwell to be king) that the throne was years' interval were limited by the jealbandied between them, or made the sub-ousy or hostility he had provoked. The ject of an interchange of compliments, certificate of approbation from the Counlike a chair or place of precedence becil

, without which no member could take tween two courtiers, which each presses his seat, was refused to more than a hundthe other to accept.

red members of the Parliament of 1656. "Early in 1655, Shaftesbury quietly with- He was one of these, and he joined with drew from Cromwell's Privy Council, and sixty-four others in signing a letter of gradually came to be regarded as a de- complaint to the Speaker, which was folcided opponent of his views. There was lowed up by a spirited Remonstrance to no open rupture or avowed cause of dis- the People, denouncing whoever advised satisfaction, and conjecture has conse- the exclusion, or who should sit and vote quently been busy in imputing motives, in the “mutilated” assembly, as capital public and private, the least creditable enemies of the Commonwealth. The muthe better. Some will have it that Shaftes- tilated assembly proceeded, notwithstandbury aspired to the Great Seal and was ing, to pass the new Constitution, entitled refused : others, that he sought the hand the Humble Petition and Advice, under of the Lady Mary, the Protector's daugh- which Parliament was to consist of two ter; that his addresses were declined on Houses; and Cromwell forthwith prothe ground of his dissolute morals; and ceeded to nominate his peers. We need that the disappointment of his ambitious hardly say that Shaftesbury was not one love was the occasion of the breach. of this favoured and speedily discredited body, but he was allowed to sit in the The homeliness of Strafford's illusHouse of Commons during the Session of trations, in his memorable defence, is 1658, and he played a conspicuous part in no less remarkable than their appositethe opposition to the new Constitution ness : and the new Lords whom the Commons refused to recognize. He was a teller on ive treason) been so long concealed? Where

“ Where has this species of guilt (constructthe division which led to the immediate has this fire been so long buried, during so many dissolution of this Parliament, the last centuries that no smoke should appear, till it called by Oliver, who died in September, burst out at once, to consume me and my chil1658, and was succeeded by his son Rich- dren. . . . If I sail on the Thames, and split ard, whose first Parliament met in Janu- my vessel on an anchor, in case there be no buoy ary, 1659. Shaftesbury was again a mem- to give warning, the party shall pay me damber, and an active and influential one. age; but if the anchor be marked out, then is He delivered in it, and published at the the striking on it at my own peril. Where is time, a carefully prepared speech, which the mark set upon this crime? Where is the may be accepted as the best specimen token by which I should discover it? It has extant of his oratory, and one of the lain concealed under water, and no human pru

dence, or human innocence, could save me from best specimens of the oratory of the age.

the destruction with which I am at present The leading speakers were then earnest, threatened.” plain, and practical, rather than rhetoricai or declamatory. They were rarely The language of the Royal Martyr bore full and flowing, rarely what is commonly no trace of the ambiguity or double-dealcalled eloquent; rarely imaginative in the ing with which he has been charged, and highest sense of the term. Their greatest may be recommended, for idiomatic simeffects were produced by terse, weighty plicity and force, to premiers and cabinets sentences, apt, homely metaphors, sudden by whom royal speeches are composed. turns, quaint allusions, condensed reason- “ You have taken the whole machine of ing, and bold apostrophes. They were oc- government to pieces was his warning casionally long-winded. Hume describes address to the Parliament of 1610 — “a Pym as opening the charge against Straf- practice frequent with skilful artists when ford " in a long-studied discourse, divided they desire to clear the wheels from any into many heads after his manner;” and rust which may have grown upon them. contemptuously referring to an attempt to The engine may again be restored to its put the Parliamentary champions in bal- former use and motions, provided it be ance with the most illustrious characters put up entire, so as not a pin of it be of antiquity — with Cato, Brutus, Cassius wanting.” In the short speech, which he

the historian exclaims : “ Compare only delivered from the speaker's chair on the one circumstance and consider its conse- occasion of the ill-advised attempt to seize quences. The leizure of those noble an- the five members, he said : 66 Well, since tients were (sic) totally employed in the the birds are flown, I do expect that you study of Grecian eloquence and philoso- will send them to me as soon as they rephy, in the cultivation of polite letters and turn.". civilized society. The whole discourse Shaftesbury's oratory was formed in the and language of the moderns were pol- same school, and after the best models. luted with mysterious jargon, and full of As he was uniformly plain-spoken, it conthe lowest and most vulgar hypocrisy." tradicts that theory of his character which This was partly true of Vane, Cromwell, would make him prone to dissimulation and many others when the Saints were and deceit. As he left no doubt of his inuppermost: during “Barebone's Parlia- tentions for the time, we may conclude ment or in the worst days of the Rump." that he had no interest in concealing But it was not true of the Parliamentary them; and he would thus present only celebrities of the antecedent or immedi- one instance among many where honesty ately ensuing periods — of 1628, 1610, or of purpose has coexisted with instability. 1659; not true of Hampden, Holles, Dig- There is another point of view in which by, Capel, Hyde, Falkland, and a host of his speeches throw light upon the inculaccomplished and highly-cultivated men, pated and dubious passages of his career. whose minds and memories fairly ran Was he at any time a demagogue ? How

with classical illustrations. Of did he wield the fierce democracy, if he the two principal speakers, quoted by wielded it? Was it by boldly appealing Hume, in 1628, one, Sir Francis Seymour, to popular passions or by adroitly using refers to Herodotus, and the other, Sir them? Was he nearest to a Mirabeau or Robert Philips, to Livy.

a Talleyrand? Macaulay, referring to the

over

IT 18 THE FIRST ELBL OF SZAIZBORP,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

apually

778

LIFE OF THE FI There is not the slightest evide he did anything of the kind. He acted and voted with the moderat this assembly; but the fact of

28, give me leave to speak

their qualifications; which been a member of it was }

in reason, to carry some against him when he became :

the employment they design
“ A little bobtail'd lord, urchin

House of Lords are the King's
A praise-god Barebone peer.
bate."

te datintare; they have their part in
26 " way to generary Council; they are the highest

sad determining of the reasons for
The charge of wriggling
ear derives some semblar

them we take our great officers of State;
from his being deputed

* sparreguerit, mudang IT laws and abrogating old; from

beq se commonly our generals at land, and

sinirals at sea. In conclusion, they are
offer Hampton Court to
coming one of the fifte
Council of State nan

operament; and have, besides, the greatest and

endlest share in the administration. Now, cer.
stitution which estab

Dirt D&VT Interly lost bed of the essence and constitution of our old
ate for life. He ce
cause with Cromwe

n. 11 mob arsti, and judging mainly, Sir, to judge according to the dictates of
and, during a bri

the state and are of his speetics * resson, one would imagine some small faculties
of trusting in ar
If we may belie

a thom. To could ner that shat the such a calling; and those such as are not usu

als for the reardedelerits of some sod endowments to be necessary for discharging bury) pretended

baikan bestiran says of bus farorite is slly acquired in shops and warehouses, nor make him king

trone of the peculiar object of his found by following the plough: and what other use to him ir

that matterbury's atendency ra telt. bave been versed in but those which more reasts of that

ead above al in the House of Lonts, bred in but their shops, what other arts they

riaperatin; that it is in small circles, academies most of their lordships have been who pressed

we commit not the education of our children to
kingdom, be

He never appeal to the pursions of his heads, I think we are yet to be informed. Sir,
He i derer rebement or declamatory. /goired good arms and good shoulders than good

ignorant and illiterate masters; nay, we trust
he was sur

not our horses to unskilful grooms. I beseech
closing yea
the habit
the crength of reason, and appeals in a you, let us think it belongs to us to have some

care into whose hands we commit the manage-
of his for
to be ta

at refinement and culture to appreciate. ment of the commonwealth; and if we cannot
somethii
sense C

His sound sense, his ample stores of knowl-have persons of birth and fortune to be our

edge and obsertation, bis derterity, his rulers, to whose quality we would willingly or by

fertility, his invas, bis wit, would be lost submit, I beseech you, Sir, for our credit and credul:

upon a tarbaleat asemblr as surely as safety's sake, let us seek men at least of parts
know)

Is de pensia yould be submerged in a and education, to whose abilities we may have
Crom

mint and cos a fragment of his compo- some reason to give way. If a patient dies
(for

sa e has been preserred which does not unders a physician's hand, the law esteems that Cror

bear the impress of a certain description not a felony, but a misfortune, in the physician:

of fastidiosnea. Strange to say, these but it has been held by some, if one who is no ban

and the party miscarries, the law makes the ject

fragments manifest that very proneness to physician undertakes the management of a cure, like

generalization which Macaulay supposes empiric a felon: and sure, in all men's opinion,

distinctire of Halifar. The speech against the patient a fool. To conclude, Sir, for great tw

Cromwell's peers abounds in maxims and men to govern is ordinary; for able men it is th

reasonings which are sometimes almost and necessity, and fools sometimes by chance;

theories in fine strokes of satire, and in natural; knaves many times come to it by force
d

but universal choice and election of fools and
knaves for government was never yet made by

chose.”
made to Phillip the Second, King of Spain, when any who were not themselves like those they

« One of the few requests the Portuguese
he got that kingdom, as his late Highness did

He thus disposes of their claims on the

score of services :
Dobility contemptible by advancing such to that
this, by an army, was, that he would not make
degree whose quality or virtue could be noways

formerly “Mr. Speaker, I shall be as forward as any
oüe of the Bishop of Ely's accusations, that cas- same honour is not purchased by the blood of
ourselves. It was, in Richard the First's time, edge them; though I might tell you that the
been less apprehensive of such inconveniences man to declare their services, and acknowl.
ignotis hominibus tradere ”- put in the hands civil wars, till our armies marched through the
tles and forts of great trust he did “obscuris et an enemy and of a citizen; that for victories in
of obscure and unknown men. But we, Mr. city, I have not read that the conquerors have
Speaker, to such a kind of men are delivering been so void of shame as to triumph. Cæsar,
up the power of our laws, and, in that, the not much more indulgent to his country than

our late Protector, did not so much as write

szterz: be appeals to their resun, or to ther projplaces when these hare gained

it requires Do zwall degree

puzzling from their subtlety:

[graphic]

c

power of all

.

us.

[ocr errors]

18 victory at Pharsalia; much clared innocent.” The only evidence

of thanksgiving to his gods, against him was that of a boy, who stated feasts, for having been a pros- that he had carried a letter from him to

Booth. A fragment of his biography conof irony (says Sydney Smith, tains a detailed account of the manner in ctures) consists in the surprise

which Monk was with difficulty induced to by the discovery of that relation

take a decided course principally under exists between the apparent praise

the persuasion or compulsion of his wife, e real blame. I shall quote a noble a strong-minded and high-spirited woman, men of irony, from the Preface of who deserves to be placed alongside of iling no Murder.” It would be diffi- Lady Fairfax and Mrs. Hutchinson in the it to find a better, if not nobler, speci- traditionally related that, as Shaftesbury

female Valhalla, when there is one. It is nen than a passage in the speech before

was returning from the City after an at

tempt to bring about a concert with Monk, “ But, Sir, I leave this argument; and, to be the mob surrounded the carriage, crying as good as my word, come to put you in mind out, “ Down with the Rump.” He put his of some of their services, and the obligations head out at the window, and exclaimed : you owe them for the same. To speak nothing What, gentlemen, not one goo piece of one of my Lords Commissioners' valor at in a rump?”. The joke told, and he was Bristol,* nor of another noble lord's brave ad- loudly cheered as he passed on. venture at the Bear-garden,t I must tell you, Sir, that most of them have had the courage to years his chosen field of ambition was the

During the next twelve or thirteen Christians durst so have adventured their souls Court, and his freshly-revived loyalty to have attempted: they have not only subdued seemed fixed. He was one of the twelve their enemies, but their masters that raised and Commissioners deputed by the Commons maintained them; they have not only conquered to meet the restored monarch, and one of Scotlaud and Ireland, but rebellious England too, the small batch of Privy Councillors named and there suppressed a malignant party of mag- during the two days' halt at Canterbury. istrates and laws; and that nothing should be He was also an acting member of the triwanting to make them indeed complete con- bunal specially appointed for the trial, querors, without the help of philosophy they which meant condemnation, of the regihave even conquered themselves. All shame cides; for which politic compliancy Mrs. they have subdued as perfectly as all justice; Hutchinson brands him as a “ vile traithe oaths they have taken they have as easily tor," on the strength of his pledge to her digested as their old General could himself; pub- husband that, “ if the King was brought lic covenants and engagements they have tram- back, not a hair of any man's head, nor a pled under foot. In conclusion, so entire a victory they have over themselves, that their penny of any man's estate, should be consciences are as much their servants, Mr. touched for what had passed.” The most Speaker, as we are. But give me leave to con- Mr. Christie can urge in mitigation is, that clude with that which is more admirable than Monk gave a similar pledge to Ludlow, all this, and shows the confidence they have of saying that, “if he suffered such a thing, themselves and us : after having many times he should be the arrantest rogue alive; trampled on the authority of the House of Com- and that Monk was also one of the judges. mons, and no less than five times dissolved Shaftesbury spoke repeatedly in the Conthem, they hope, for those good services to the vention Parliament, and it was he who House of Commons, to be made a House of moved the adjournment of a debate on reLords."

ligion, which lasted till ten at night, when Shaftesbury played an active and influ- the House (as recorded in the Parliaential part in the plots, councils, and mentary History ") “sat an hour in the machinations which led to the Restoration ;

dark before candles were suffered to be but there is no ground for the accusa

brought in, and they were twice blown tion of rashness or undue zeal levelled at out, but the third time they were prehim by M. Guizot, who says that, “ ac- served, though with great disorder." He cused, with good reason, of complicity in was raised to the Upper House in April, the insurrection (Booth's), Sir Anthony 1661, as Baron Ashley, of Wimborne St. Cooper, on the report of Nevil, was de- /Giles, by a Patent, reciting that “at length

by his counsels, in concert with our be

loved and faithful George Monk, knight, • Fiernes, condemned to death by a court-mar- &c., &c., he did a service worthy to be

+ Colonel Pride, who endeavoured to suppress remembered, and most grateful to us, in bear-baiting by a wholesale slaughter of bears. the great business of restoring us to our

tial for cowardice.

« PreviousContinue »