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The seventh piece contains, Reflections on the Use and Abuse of Philosophy in Matters that are properly relative to Talte. This piece hath been also published before, with Mr. Gerard's essay on the same subject.
The eighth and last piece contains, Memoirs of Christina, Queen of Sweden, whose extraordinary character is well known to moft of our Readers : the anecdotes of this piece appear to be authentic, and the reasoning on them, sensible and juft ; but if we are to look upon this piece as a specimen of biographical writing, it is evident this kind of composition is not our Author's forte. Indeed, with all his allowed solidity and good sense, the superficial fallies of the Frenchman frequently escape him ; of which we have given one or two instances. On the whole, however, this may be no defect; as the phlegm and caution of an Englishman, of Mr. D'Alembert's degree of understanding, might have prevented his throwing out fome ingenious hints; which, however hazarded they seem at present, may porfibly lead to something more important than they appear to promise, and which are by no means the least valuable part of these miscellanies.
The Lives of all the Earls and Dukes of Devonshire, descended from
the renorined Sir William Caver:dish, one of the Privy Counsellors to King Henry VIII. illustrated with Reflections and Observations on the most friking Passages in each Life: Interspersed with some Particulars of the Lives, Characters, and Genealogies of several great and eminent Men, their Cotemporaries; to which is added, a snort account of the Rife, Progress, and present State of the High Court of Chancery. By Mr. Grove, of Richmond. 8vo. 55. Nourse.
HEN first we took this curious piece of biography in
hand, we were noi a little puzzled to conceive how so bulky a volume could be composed from materials which, if our historical recollection did not deceive us, were so extremely thin and scanty. But we had not gone through many pages, before our perplexity was at an end ; and we found that there Lives of the Devonshire Family, might with almost equal propriety, have been intitled the Lives of any other noblemen, their cotemporaries.
It too frequently happens that men of great reading, are men of little thought. They are induftrious in collecting materials, but injudicious in the use and application of them. They are
unwilling to omit any thing which they deem curious and striking, however foreign it may be to the subject before them.
This appears to have been the case with the well meaning and elaborate Biographer now under review. He has been indefatigable in scraping together whatever might contribute to swell the bulk of his materials; but to the task of selection and rejection, he appears to have been wholly unequal. Had he known how to blot out discreetly, he would have found that what remained, was too inconsiderable for biographical commemoration. A life worth recording, will be distinguilhed by some striking incidents, some remarkable revolutions, or at least some entertaining peculiarities, which may render it interesting : where there is nothing of this kind, we may indeed draw a character, but it is absurd to think of writing a life. ... We will endeavour, notwithstanding, from this digressive and desultory work, to give such extracts as may niake the Reader better acquainted with the noble family whose lives are here transmitted to us, and which, without the help of the Review, would never, we apprehend, reach posterity, : Our Biographer, in his introduction, traces the genealogy of the Cavendish Family from the time of William, commonly called the Conqueror. Little more can be said of them than that they lived and that they died; till we come to Sir John Cavendish, who was preferred to the high office of Lord Chief Justice of England by Edward the third, and continued in that post, when Richard the second succeeded to the throne.
It happened, we are told, that this worthy magistrate was in the country, when Wat Tyler's rebellion broke out, and the vengeance of the rabble was rouzed against him on hearing that his gallant son, John Cavendish, had lately, in Smithfield, killed Wat Tyler, whom they so much idolized. They rushed into the House where the venerable judge lodged, dragged him from thence into the market place of Bury, where they had before dragged the prior of St. Edmunds out of his monastery, and there cruelly murdered both by striking off their heads.
After reciting the particulars of the death of Tyler, and equitably sharing the merit of that event between the Lord Mayor of London and Mr. Cavendish, our author proceeds to the life of William, who was created Baron Cavendish of Hardwick, by King James the first, and afterwards by him promoted to the earldom of Devonshire. On the discovery of the Bermudas Idands, it seems a grant of them was made by king James to this Lord, and others; and this is the only anecdote which the life of this noble peer affords.
The mention of Bermudas however has given our author an opportunity of drawing breath from the laborious task of biography, and of wandering into an account of these delightful iflands. But left a prose description should not satisfy the Reader, he has added a poetical one from Waller, who (on mere hearsay teltimony) sings the beauties of these happy islands, whose fruit, if we believe him, exceeds that of the Hesperian Gardens, and where,
With candied plantaines, and the juicy pine,
And with potatoes fat their wanton swine. It is a great pity that the ingenious poem called the Sugar Cane, was not published before Mr. Grove finished this account of Bermudas, as it would no doubt have afforded him many choice extracts.
The life of the second earl of Devonshire is as interesting as that of the first. All that we learn of him is that, in his youth, Mr. Thomas Hobbes was his tutor, that “ When he had finished his studies at home, he made a tour to several parts of Europe, and having seen every thing worthy of obfervation,” (What did he then, think you Reader? Why, he)
Reader? Why, he) “ returned to his native country.” amazing!
We must not forget however to add, that “On his first appearance at court, King James was so pleased with his graceful mein,' (we all know that King James loved handsome men)
that he conferred on him the honour of knighthood.' What is more, he attended Charles the first, to Canterbury, and affifted at the nuptials of that Prince with Henrietta, where he appeared with that splendor which does honour to a court on fuch folemnities. Nothing more remains, but that he married, died, and was buried; and then in due biographical form and order, comes a list of his children.
Now for William the third Earl of Devonshire, who was likewise a pupil under Mr. Hobbes, and who made the tour of Europe, as his father had done before him : and having treasured up observations in the different countries he pafied through,' he, like his Father, very wisely returned to England."
What use he made of this treasure of observations, does not aspear from this account of his life. All we find is, that “ On the mceting of the parliament in 1640, he was one of the first who stood up for the prerogative,' (much to his honour no doubt!)... And when he faw a party in both houses too strong for the King to contend with, he supplied the distreiles Rev. July, 1764.
of that unfortunate Prince with money, and even sent his owiz brother to fight in the royal cause, wherein he lost his life.' (More to his honour still.) We hope this cautious and affectionate conduct was the fruit of his foreign observations.
We are next presented with the life of Christian Countess Dowager of Devonshire, wife of the second and mother of the third Earl. As to her, she was of a sweet dispofition, and a good oeconomist; she was left involved in many law suits, which she put an end to by such prudent management, as gained her great respect and esteem from the judges; which occasioned his Majesty one day to say to her in jest, Madam, you have all my judges at your disposal. In short she was a zealous royalist : and As she had been a Christian indeed, during the whole course of her life,' it will easily be believed that the died like
So reft her soul!- we pass on to Charles Cavendish Esquire, brother to the third Earl of Devonshire, and the favourite son of the Countess his mother.
This indeed appears to have been a high mettled spark. His firft tour was to Paris, where hearing of the French army at Luxemburgh, and impatient for such a view, which was so well fuited to one of his martial temper, he stole away to the camp, unknown to his governor, but was soon brought back to his Studies.
The next year he spent in several parts of Italy, and in the following spring, having embarked for Constantinople, there dropped his governor again, and, prompted by curiosity and an ardent desire of seeing on the spot the customs and manners' of different nations, leaving his English servants behind him, took a circuit by land, through Natolia ; from thence went by sea to
Alexandria and Cairo; and came, by way of Malta, to Spain; and after some stay at that court, returned to England in 1641.
"After having paid his duty to the Countess, his mother, he was presented to the King and Queen, and most graciously reccived by them. As his inclination determined him to arms, and the Countess, in compliance therewith, intending to purchase for him Colonel Goring's regiment of foot, then in Holland, he went thither to be trained up in the Prince of Orange's army, and when he had made one campaign returned to England, about the end of November 1641, where there was too much occasion to exercise his martial ardour, the King having been forced by popular tumults and distractions in the two houses, to retire to York, to which place both himself and brother hastened to offer their service to their distretled Sovereign.
Here our young hero inlisted among those noble volunteers, who desired to be put under command, to fight in the royal
täufe. He made it his choice to ride in the King's own troop, commanded by Lord Bernard Stuart, his near kinsman, brother to the Duke of Richmond, and continued in it till the battle of Edghill, in October 1642, when the King, out of respect and tenderness for such gallant men, that he might not expose them to equal hazard with the rest of the cavalry, reserved them for a guard to his own person. But Mr. Cavendish, who valued glory more than life, supposing this to be no post of danger, and therefore not of hondur, prevailed with Lord Bernard Stuart to use his interest with the King, that they might be drawn up on the right hand of the right wing of the horse, as most exposed, to which his Majesty, at their importunity, consented. And indeed, as this was a post of the hottest service, so it was of the greatest fuccefs; wherein Mr. Cavendish so distinguished himfelf by his personal valour, that the Lord Aubigny, who coinmanded the Duke of York's troop, being fain, he was preferred to that choice before any other, though eminent both for their birth and merit.
After this, the King, on his offer to go into the North, and there raise a complete regiment of horse, granted him a commislion, with a promise to make bim Colonel of it; which have ing accomplished, he took up his head quarters at Newark, and thereby kept in awe many of the rebel garrisons in the neighbouring parts, and at length became master of the whole country, insomuch that the royal commissioners for Lallfhire and l?
incoln Nottinghamshire desired his permission to petition the King, that he might have the command of all the forces of those two counties, in quality of Colonel General, which the King granted.
• In this command, he beat the rebels from Grantham, gained a complete victory near Stamford, and reduced several of their garrison-towns, by the alistance of other brave officers. After. many glorious actions, he had the honour of receiving the Queen in her march to Newark, who immediately remembered, the had seen him last in Holland, and was now extremely pleased to meet him again in England. The Countess his mother was then in the Queen's coach, whom she entertained with an account of her fon's exploits; and her Majesty, in token of the great esteem she had for him, when she was to give the word to Major Tuke, gave that of Cavendish.
*This brave officer waited on the Queen with a noble guard towards Oxford, and in the way, by her consent, took Burton 1 upon Trent by storm, with no small hazard of his life: So un
thaken was his loyalty, that when the royal cause was declining, this only made bim more daring and resolute. In the last action wherein he was engaged, he is faid to have been mur.