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trine of the efficacy of natural religion. His creed is contained in five articles. 1. That there is one supreme God. 2. That he is chiefly to be worshipped. 3. That piéty and virtue are the principal parts of his worship. 4. That we must repent of our sins, and that if we do so, God will forgive them. 5. That there are rewards for good men and punishments for bad men, in a future state. Many answers to this work were published by Gassendi, by Baxter, in his More Reasons for the Christian Religion, and by the Rev. Mr. Halyburton, in a volume entitled Natural Religion insufficient, and Revealed necessary to Man's Happiness. Å full account of this work, as well as of the treatise De Religione Gentilium, and the Religio Laici, may be found in Leland's View of the Deistical Writers of England. The ability displayed in these compositions was such as to excite the attention of Locke, who allows his lordship to be a man of parts, while Leland considers him as the most eminent of the deistical writers, and, in several respects, superior to those that succeeded him. It is highly singular, that a writer, holding opinions like these, should, when doubtful as to the propriety of promulgating them, look for a special revelation of the divine pleasure. In what strange inconsistencies may the human mind entangle itself! When on the point of publishing a book, which was to prove the inefficacy of Revelation, Lord Herbert put up a prayer for an especial interposition of Providence to guide him!
“My book, De Veritate, prout distinguitur à revelatione verisimili, possibili, et à falso, having been begun by me in England, and formed there in all its principal parts, was about this time finished; all the spare hours which I could get from my visits and negociations, being employed to perfect this work, which was no sooner done, but that I communicated it to Hugo Grotius, that great scholar, who, having escaped his prison in the Low Countries, came into France, and was much welcomed by me and Monsieur 'Tieleners also, one of the greatest scholars of his time, who, after they had perused it, and given it more commendations than it is fit for me to repeat, exhorted me earnestly to print and publish it; howbeit, as the frame of my whole book was so different from any thing which had been written heretofore, I found I must either renounce the authority of all that had written formerly concerning the method of finding out truth, and consequently insist upon my own way, or hazard myself to a general censure, concerning the whole argument of my book; I must confess it did not a little animate me, that the two great persons above mentioned did so highly value it, yet, as I knew it would meet with much opposition, I did consider whether it was not better for me a while to suppress it. Being thus doubtful in my chamber, one fair day in the summer, my casement being open towards the south, the sun shining clear, and no wind stirring, I took my book, De Veritate, in my hand, and, kneeling on my knees, devoutly said these words:
"O thou eternal God, author of the light which now shines upon me, and giver of all inward illuminations, I do beseech thee, of thy infinite goodness, to pardon a greater request than a sinner ought to make; I am not satisfied enough whether I shall publish this book, De Veritate; if it be for thy glory, I beseech thee give me some sign from heaven; if not, I shall suppress it.
“I had no sooner spoken these words, but a loud, though yet gentle noise came from the heavens, (for it was like nothing on earth,) which did so comfort and cheer me, that I took my petition as granted, and that I had the sign I demanded, whereupon also I resolved to print
“This, how strange soever it may seem, I protest before the eternal God is true, neither am I any way superstitiously deceived herein, şince I did not only clearly hear the noise, but in the serenest sky that ever I saw, being without all cloud, did to my thinking see the place from whence it came.”
The observations of Dr. Leland, on this part of Lord Herbert's history, are candid and judicious.
“I have no doubt of his lordship's sincerity in this account; the rious air with which he relates it, and the solemn protestation he makes, as in the presence of the eternal God, will not suffer us to question the truth of what he relates ; viz. that he both made that address to God which he mentions, and that in consequence of this, he was persuaded that he heard the noise he takes notice of, and regarded as a mark of God's approbation of the request he had made, and accordingly, this great man was determined by it to publish his book. He seems to have considered it as a kind of imprimatur given to it from heaven, and as signifying the divine approbation of the book itself, and of what was contained in it.”—Leland's View of the Deistical Writers, i. 27.
The Life and Reign of Henry the Eighth has been termed, by Lord Orford, “a master-piece of historic biography.” From the dedication (which is not given in Kennet's Complete History of England) it appears, that this work was written at the instigation and under the eye of James I. The chief error in this production is, that the noble historian is too favourably disposed towards his hero, and treats with too lenient and palliating a hand the cruelties and vices of that monarch. In other respects, the Life of Henry VIII. is a highly valuable work, and contains much information which is not to be found elsewhere. “ The author," says Bishop Nicolson, in his excellent book, the English Historical Library, “has acquitted himself with the like reputation as Lord Chancellor Bacon gained by the Life of Henry VII., having, in the polite and martial part, been admirably exact, from the best records that remain.”* To this it may be added, that he throws considerable light upon our legal history.
Lord Herbert's other works consist of Occasional Verses of Edward Lord Herbert, Baron of Cherbury and Castle Island, who deceased in 1648, Lond. 1665, 8vo. a volume published by his younger son, Henry Herbert. Like his brother, George Herbert, whose poems we noticed in a former volume, Lord Herbert is often both rugged and obscure in his verses.
The sword was much better suited to his hand than the lyre, and we shall not therefore, at present, favour the reader with any specimens of his verses.
The character of Lord Herbert has been ably drawn by Horace Walpole, in the advertisement prefixed to this volume.
“The noble family which gives these sheets to the world, is above the little prejudices which make many a race defraud the public of what was designed for it by those, who alone had a right to give or withhold. It is above suppressing what Lord Herbert dared to tell. Foibles, passions, perhaps some vanity, surely some wrong-headedness, these he scorned to conceal, for he sought truth, wrote on truth, was truth. He honestly told when he had missed or mistaken it. His descendants, not blind to his faults, but through them conducting the reader to his virtues, desire the world to make this candid observation with them :
that there must have been a wonderful fund of internal virtue, of strong resolution, and manly philosophy, which, in an age of such mistaken and barbarous gʻallantry, of such absurd usages and false glory, could enable Lord Herbert to seek fame better founded, and could make him reflect, that there might be a more desirable kind of glory than that of a romantic duellist. None shut their eyes so obstinately against seeking what is ridiculous, as they who have attained a mastery in it: but that was not the case with Lord Herbert. His valour made him a hero, be the heroism in vogue what it would; his sound parts made him a philosopher. Few men, in truth, have figured so conspicuously in lights so various; and his descendants, though they cannot approve him in every walk of glory, would perhaps injure his memory, if they suffered the world to be ignorant, that he was formed to shine in every sphere, into which his impetuous temperament, or predominant reason, conducted him.
“ As a soldier, he won the esteem of those great captains, the Prince of Orange, and the Constable de Montmorency. As a knight, his chivalry was drawn from the purest founts of the Fairy Queen. Had he been ambitious, the beauty of his person would have carried him as far as any gentle knight can aspire to go. As a public minister, he supported the dignity of his country, even when his prince disgraced it; and that he was qualified to write its annals, as well as to ennoble them, the history I have mentioned proves, and must make us lament, that he did not complete, or that we have lost, the account he purposed to give of his embassy. These busy scenes were blended with, and terminated by meditation and philosophic inquiries. Strip each period of its excesses and errors, and it will not be easy to trace out, or dispose the life of a man of quality into a succession of employments which would better become him. Valour and military activity in youth, business of state in the middle age, contemplation and labour for the
information of posterity in the calmer scenes of closing life. This was Lord Herbert. The deduction he will give himself.”
Before we conclude, we must say a few words respecting the different editions of The Life.-The MS. itself was supposed, for many years, to have been lost, but was discovered, about the year 1737, in a mansion which had belonged to the Herbert family. It was not, however, printed until 1764, when Horace Walpole struck off some copies at the private press of Strawberry Hill. In 1770, Dodsley published a second edition, in 4to., to which Horace Walpole added a dedication and advertisement. In 1809, a third edition in 8vo., “with a Prefatory Memoir," was given to the public by Messrs. John Ballantyne & Co., of Edinburgh. In the Prefatory Memoir, all the scattered information respecting Lord Herbert is industriously collected and judiciously put together. Unless we are much deceived, we recognize, in this edition, the hand which has illustrated, in various ways, the age of England's Solomon.
Art. VIII.-The Revenger's Tragedy. By Cyril Tourneur.
4to. Lond. 1607. The Atheist's Tragedy; or, The Honest Man's Revenge. By
Cyril Tourneur. 4to. Lond. 1612. .
These two plays are the only fruit now remaining of Cyril Tourneur's dramatic labours, and although they are not sufficient to shew any great versatility of genius, they afford materials enough to judge of his capacity for the business of tragedy. He lived in the reign of James the First, but who or what he was is not known; but, from an allusion which occurs in one of his plays to the eight returns of Michaelmas term, we conjecture him to have had some connection with the profession of the law, that being a piece of knowledge which he would hardly have otherwise possessed. He was the author of another play, called The Nobleman, which was one of the victims of the anti-dramatic taste of Warburton's servant. A dramatist of those days did not content himself with writing three plays, if he had any tolerable success on the stage; and we accordingly find, from a couplet quoted by Winstanley, what opinion his contemporaries had of
“ His fame unto that pitch was only rais'd,
VII. PART II.
The two dramas of Tourneur, which are now extant, are of the same species, but of very different degrees of merit. Our first impression on reading them was, that The Atheist’s Tragedy was a very bad, and The Revenger's Tragedy a very excellent one. On recurring to them, however, we were disposed to think we had formed too hard a judgement of the first, and too high a one of the second, and we conceive that we are now in a fitter temper to form a calm and impartial estimate of their respective merits. We will previously, however, offer the few remarks we have to make on the general character of our author's mind; which, as collected from the two productions we have before us, appears to have been of a bold and vigorous cast, but he looked rather upon than through the deeds of men--he observed actions but did not penetrate motives. Those actions too which attracted him most, were of a gross and revolting kind. There is nothing in him but what is real, palpable, and obvious—he possessed no inclination for the chivalric in action or in character-no love for the marvellous in imagination. He displays, however, a manifest preference for fearful, forbidden things—an itching to touch that, of which the bare thought would make others shudder with horror-to form monstrous conjunctions and perform prodigious feats—to play with atheism and dally with incest. Although woman and woman's love, or that which usurps its name, form considerable features of his plays, he delineates the terrible and appalling rather than the amiable and tender in passion-he seems to dwell with delight on the grossest and coarsest sensualities, the feverish, burning indulgence of sense, without the purifying inAuence of sentiment-without any relief from imagination-without even the voluptuousness and rapture of enjoyment. Indeed we find in these plays, scenes and dialogues of the most open licentiousness-the most disgusting details, from the exposure of which, nature herself teaches us to shrink with shame. They are in parts, sepulchres full of dead men's bones within-but not white without—it is plain unvarnished sensuality, without gloss or embellishment. Of the highest quality of the dramatist he has only a small allotment, there is but one scene which possesses any considerable degree of pathos, and that is in the Revenger's Tragedy—between the two brothers, and the mother of Castiza, on her temporary estrangement from, and her return to, honorable and virtuous feeling. There are other places, chiefly in the Atheist's Tragedy, in which it peeps out like a flower in winter, just enough to convince us, that it inhales an ungenial air. He felt a difficulty, or want of power, of exciting emotions of a deeply pathetic kind, and thence a disinclination to exercise what he had, to the greatest degree of which it was capable.