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shall grow,

ebb nor flow;

decline.

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There, fairer than the fairest here, the healing tree ing to distinguish the true coin from the

counterfeit. We run, however, we presume The stream, shall be the stream of life, with neither

but little chance of contradiction, when we The sun, the Sun of righteousness, which cannot

affirm that something more than mere clacease to shine,

mour and prejudice is required, to give real The day, a Sabbath-day serene, which never knows value to a word, which the fickle breath of

popular opinion has often as lightly conThe monarch whom our eyes behold, the King of

ferred as taken away; and that something kings shall be,

more than a profession of disinterested Who died on earth, to reign in heav'n, O, ransom'd devotion to the general good, should be man, with thee;

demanded on the part of him who is exAnd we ourselves shall wear the robes the great alted by so proud a distinction, before he is Redeemer wove,

suffered to remain secure in its possession. With palms of conquest in our hands, exclaiming,

True patriotism requires its possessor to "God is love."

pursue the good he has at heart, through evil as well as good report; to be as remarkable for patient abstinence from self

gratification, as for vigorous exertion in the Review.-Prose Works of John Milton. cause he has embraced ; to be as willing to

Edited by R. Fletcher. Westley and encounter the difficulties and privations to Duvis. London. 1834.

which a failure is liable, as to secure the

honours and distinctions promised by suc(Continued from p. 35.)

cess; in short, to deem no sacrifice too Milton's prose works, it appears, in addi- great, no suffering too painful, no privation tion to the attractions which they contain for too severe, in pursuance of the course which the students of elegance in composition, will an unbiassed judgment has once determined be of equal utility to the patriotic Christian. to lead to the common welfare. When on With respect to the title of patriot, we may the noble name of patriot the still more observe, that so numerous have been the noble title of Christian is engrafted, we need pretenders to it, and so different the grounds not say that the standard of moral excel. upon which their pretensions have been lence rises proportionably higher; but let founded, that it is no easy matter to deter- none think that the united qualities implied mine to whom it justly belongs. That it by both names, are to be found in the inhahas been assumed, however, by every fac- bitants of a moral Utopia alone. Happily tious spirit, who has endeavoured to extricate we need proceed to no great distance in himself, by unprincipled acts of violence, our own history, to find many such. The from the wholesome restraints of authority, numerous voluntary exiles who quitted their the whole tenor of history is loud and con- native country during the reign of James stant in proclaiming. To omit all examples and Charles the First, preferring liberty and of ancient date, the Jacquerie of France, the free exercise of religion amidst the and the followers of Jack Cade in England, inhospitable wilds of America, to the rewere, no doubt, in their own estimation, strictions attending an avowal of their prinpatriots upon the grand scale. The tribune ciples at home; the great body of ministers Rienzi, and the fisherman Massaniello, were who at once retired to certain poverty and also, according to themselves and the lazza- probable want, after the passing of the illroni of Rome and Naples, great and con- judged act of uniformity; many of the sistent patriots; and in our own time, we victims of the courts of high commission have seen the patriotic terrorists of Paris and and star-chamber; Bunyan pining in long Lyons, writing their incontrovertible claim imprisonment; the eloquent and judicious to the honourable designation in characters De Lorn perishing for conscience' sake in too legible to be mistaken. Differing very his lonely and forsaken cell: these are exlittle in the way of proving their title, from amples on which a hallowed recollection those who daringly claimed for themselves will ever rest; for the disinterested character the additionally distinguishing appellation of their sentiments is proved by a testimony of saints in the days of Cromwell, they, too, which none can doubt. But with such we as well as the latter worthies, have had their must unwillingly confess, that Milton, and hundreds of senseless advocates to echo his companions in the bloody and desperate their clamorous assertions, contradicted no game which it was their own misfortune, as less by reason than by that most uncom. well as that of the nation, too successfully promising of all evidences, the voix du fait. to play,--are not to be reckoned. Milton There are unfortunately but few in this had every thing to gain, and nothing to lose, fashion-guided world, who are able or will. by his political principles; and that he

" The noble task,

turned them to good account in the ad- an unjustifiable action, few will be hardy vancement of his temporal interests, needs enough to dispute. Charles the First, it not be stated here. There is scarcely one will be remembered, was tried by no estabof his works which might not have been lished law, by no properly authorised court, prompted either by self-interest, or by that upon no available evidence. We are not, proud and haughty impatience of control, in his case, called upon to determine the which arose against every institution, human question, whether a British king is personor divine, that stood in opposition to his ally amenable to his parliament by an act rebellious spirit. His deprecatory sonnet, of mal-administration, since by that parlia

“Captain, or colonel, or knight at arms,” ment, in whose name the war was carried does not shew much of the spirit of a on, he was never tried. A military force, republican martyr; and his virulent abuse of forming but an insignificant part of the fallen power, of which, however, while yet nation, having obtained possession of the unshaken, he could speak respectfully person of their sovereign by one act of enough, is only equalled by his servile violence, and removed the majority of the eulogiums on the vulgar usurper, who in house of commons from interference with one half-hour swept away the whole fabric, their proceedings by another, went on, in which the supporters of the “good old mockery of every precedent, and in deficause” had been labouring for years to ance of the protestations of the most sensible establish. No one could be more severe members of the community, to pass and than Milton upon an antagonist, who had carry into execution a sentence, which, as it been hired to write in defence of principles was then received with almost universal opposed to his own; yet we no where find abhorrence, has since been contemplated that he refused ten times the sum which with different feelings, by those only who rewarded Salmasius, when presented to him would be willing to use it as an excuse for by parliainent, for that model of low abuse, similar acts of injustice. Three things are the Defensio Populi.

wanting to make the trial of Charles the

First bear the remotest resemblance to a With which all Europe rang from side to side.”

judicial process: first, the existence of some And some of the noble expressions, in which written statute, to the pains and penalties we shall be greatly surprised if our readers of which the monarch might be subjected ; fall below ourselves in admiring. Moreover, secondly, the proof of his having deserved for mere consistency's sake, Milton, in his punishment, by its violation; and thirdly, extreme love of freedom, and ardour to the constitutional acknowledgment of a dispense the blessing, might, one would court anthorized to interfere on the occathink, have imparted some litttle portion of sion. We will not insult the good sense it to those of his immediate household; and information of any of our readers, by yet, that he was a severe preceptor, an un- attempting to prove, that in all these points kind husband, and a stern parent, is a truth, the proceedings by which Charles was unluckily for his panegyrists, as incontro- brought to the scaffold, were totally and vertible as it is notorious to the world ; nor notoriously deficient; and the sense of the is this the only instance in which those nation, as soon as it could make itself most clamorous against restraint abroad, heard, after the astonishment into which by have proved the most arbitrarily severe so desperate a crime it had been thrown, to their dependants and families at home: was sufficiently indicative of a right feeling “ License they mean, when they call liberty," upon the subject. The kingly bearing of is happily descriptive of patriots of this cast; the monarch himself, throughout the whole but we doubt much, if the author of the line of the trying scene, greatly tended to ever thought of being cited in its illustration. strengthen the impression in his favour;

The writings of Milton upon subjects and the pathetic incidents which attended purely political, are chiefly devoted to the his last hours, notwithstanding the sneers of vindication and praise of that well known Mr. Godwin, and others of the same school, action, than which one more palpably un- have been, and always will be, the means just and unconstitutional never disgraced of exciting an interest in his fate, which it the annals of England. Upon which of would be in vain for any coolly reasoning the two great parties, between whom the philosopher, who prates to us about abstract kingdom was divided throughout the civil rights and political justice, to attempt efwar, the guilt of bloodshed must rest, has facing. Of such feelings, we are not, and been, and will yet be, a subject of dispute, we need not, be ashamed. They are among not to say of uncertainty; but that the out- the few which still connect somewhat of its rage on the person of the captive sovereign, once faultless character with our debased which followed it, was an illegal as well as

and fallen nature.

But to proceed : Shortly after the minds “ Be the great unknown' whom he of men had been thus prepared for a re- might, the gauntlet is here taken up as if action, appeared the famous Ikon Basilike; it were the king's; every allegation is exaand from that time the ruin of the parlia- mined; the reply and justification of the mentary cause, although for a while retarded parliament and army are complete, and the by the episode of Cromwell's iron despot- ghostly visitunt gibbers back again to the ism, might be considered an event deter- grave. Pressing closely on his antagonist, mined. As ingeniously conceived as suc- and tracing him step by step, the Iconoclast cessfully executed, and, however unjustifiable either exposes the fallacy of his reasonings, and dishonourable the imposture, deservedly or the falsehood of his assertions, or the influencing the public mind by the argu- hollowness of his professions, or the conments placed in the mouth of the royal venient speciousness of his devotion. In Eidolon, as well as the devotional character argument and in style compressed and with which, by no violation of truth, it energetic, perspicuous and neat, it discovery invested him; this extraordinary work ap- a quickness which never misses an advanpeared to the regicides of Westminster Hall, tage, and a keenness of remark which in much the same manner as the ghost of carries an irresistible edge. The martyr Banquo is described by Shakspeare, arising stands before us exposed in all the deformity before the eyes of his murderer, marring at of his duplicity and deception, smitten, once the triumph of their success, and blasted, and withered, in the pitiless enproving a fearful earnest of that justice, counter, (pitiless indeed,) and yet there is which was not long in overtaking many of not a single paragraph of unseemly exultatheir number. Milton was the exorcist tion, of wanton mockery, or insult, over commissioned to lay the avenging spectre; the fall of the monarch, throughout the and a task more unsuited to a model secretary's vindication of the patriots! As for the patriotic Christian, can scarcely be so much history, the Iconoclast is invaluimagined; for since the authenticity of the able: (we believe it—no assignable sum work was still uncontroverted, the only could be named as a fitting price.) The means of effecting the end proposed was, royal road to a fatal block is pointed out; by aspersing the character of the deceased and the lesson is not more awful than plain. anew, and descending into the sacred stil. The following extracts are specimens of that ness of the tomb, to vent a list of unfounded satire, sportive and yet grave withal, which calumnies, in the “ dull cold ear of death,” wrings its victim in every page.”—Preface, at a time when few of the most unfeeling page 27. among mankind could have avoided some And yet that sportive satire over the sense of commiseration at the spectacle of ashes of the dead, which, however grave departed royalty, "yet green in earth,” and withal, wrings its victim in every page, fallen by a fate which, even if deserved, does not contain a paragraph of unseemly generally secures the worst of criminals exultation. Alack! alack! such are the from further insult and contumely. Of any inconsistencies of genius! However, we such weakness, however, all must unequi- proceed, according to our plan, to extract a vocally 'acquit John Milton, since not a few paragraphs from the Iconoclast's Answer vestige of it appears in his Iconoclastes, or 10 Salmasius and the Defensio Secunda, any subsequent work upon the same sub- which the patriotic Christian will do well ject. With a devotedness to his purpose, to study, in connexion with some of those which some perhaps may admire, but few passages in his Testament, which, besides would wish to imitate, and in the exultation enjoining the tribute of “honour to whom of that triumph which the worst may feel honour is due,” also command us not to in the accomplishment of their designs, he render railing for railing, but contrariwise never ceases to point to the headless corpse blessing.”. And here we may remark, that before him, as a sufficient manifestation of Mr. Fletcher's system of Christian ethics the favour of Heaven towards his view of should by all means be published as soon the question, not remembering how often as possible, in the shape of a commentary success has crowned the most iniquitous, upon such parts of scripture. It would, at nor anticipating the fearful extent to which least, possess the merit of originality; and the same evidence might afterwards be we begin to suspect that we have hitherto used against his party and himself. Such been egregiously in the dark as to their true a triumph we conscientiously believe few meaning. In the first place, then, to shew of our readers will envy him. Let us hear, Milton's general idea of the manner in however, the judicious Mr. Fletcher, and which justice ought to be administered ; an observe how complacently he dwells upon idea which his party were never behind in Milton's vilification of his deceased king. putting into practice.

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“ He goes on, therefore, with vehemence “ The curse is an appropriation of the to repeat the mischiefs done at these tu. prayer of David, ' Let thine anger, I bemults; they first petitioned, then protested; seech thee, be against me, and against my dictate next, and lastly overawe the parlia- father's house ; as for these sheep, what have

They removed obstructions, they they done ?!purged the houses, they cast out rotten « Hitherto his meditations, now his vows, members. If there were a man of iron, which as the vows of hypocrites used to be, such as Talus by our poet Spencer is are most commonly absurd, and some feigned to be, the page of justice, who with wicked.” Ibid. his iron flail could do all this, and expe- “ After the suspected poisoning his ditiously, without those deceitful forms and father, not inquired into, but smothered up, circumstances of law, worse than cere- and him protected and advanced to the very monies in religion; I say, God send it half of his kingdom, who was accused in done, whether by one Talus, or a thousand parliament to be the author of the fact, with Iconoclastes.” What is intended by the much more evidence than Duke Dudley, allegorical Talus, we are not left a moment that false protector, is accused upon record in doubt, since Milton at once proceeds to to have poisoned Edward,” &c.- Ibid. interpret it, in opposition, we imagine, to “ But the king and his party having lost Spencer, as symbolical of the people ; and, in this quarrel their heaven upon earth, after this undisguised advocacy of club law, begin to make great reckonings of eternal a very excellent and summary method of life; and at an easy rate, in forma pauperis, justice, by the bye, which we here submit canonize one another into heaven-he them, to the patriotic Christian, as perfectly scrip- in his book; they him, in the portraiture, tural; and the more to be admired, since before his book : but, as it was said before, it is recommended by one who, as Mr. stagework will not do it, much less the justFletcher states, in meekness possessed his ness of their cause, wherein most frequently soul, we are not at all surprised at the fol- they died in a brutish fierceness, with oaths lowing passage :

and other damning words in their mouths, “ To give account to royalists what was as if such had been the only oaths they done with their vanquished king, yielded up fought for, which undoubtedly sent them into our hands, is not be expected from them full sail on another voyage thun to heaven.whom God hath made his conquerors.” Very facetious certainly, and, if true, an

No doubt, Milton found it difficult unquestionable ground for jesting and exenough to give any satisfactory account of ultation to the patriotic Christian! so infamous a transaction. But let us pro- The whole of the twelfth chapter of the ceed to notice his eminent talents in vilifying Iconoclastes is devoted to the purpose of the dead, in his vituperation of Charles, proving the atrocious and merciless maswhich, besides laying the crimes of parri- sacres in Ireland, to have taken place by cide, hypocrisy, sensuality, and a cruelty the authority of Charles. As extracts upon surpassing that of the worst of tyrants, to bis this subject would make it necessary to charge, certainly does not contain any great exceed our usual space, we may be excused quantity of insult!

from quoting Milton's own words. We “But, saith he, as swine are to gardens, may observe, however, that a more ranso are tumults to parliaments. This the corous falsehood was never invented; and parliament, if they had found it so, could yet the monarch is in no wise insulted ! have told us. In the mean while, who But the best comment upon the more covert knows not that one great hog, (Charles,) accusations contained in the Iconoclastes, may do as much mischief in a garden as is to be found in the Defensio Populi, many little swine."Iconoclastes.

which we proceed to quote in preference to “Neither is it slightly to be passed over, the former work, as in it Milton's repubthat in the very place where blood was first lican fury, increased by opposition, blazes drawn in this cause, at the beginning of all beyond all bounds at the cost of every one that followed, there was his own blood shed differing from himself in opinion. We by the executioner, according to that sen- recommend the concluding paragraphs adtence of divine justice, ' In the place where dressed to Salmasius, (with which our notice dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs for the present number will be closed,) to lick thy blood, even thine.'"-Ibid.

the most attentive consideration of christian “ Thus had this miserable man no worse men, as models of meekness,] sobriety, enemies to solicit and mature his own de- decency, and good-will towards our opstruction, than the obdurate curses which ponents. proceeded against himself out of his own • What you ascribe to the barbarous mouth."- Ibid.

cruelty of the English, proceeded rather

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from their clemency and moderation, and other parts of that kingdom; who solicited as such deserves commendation ; who, two armies towards the destruction of the though the being a tyrant is a crime that parliament of England, and the city of comprehends all sorts of enormities, such London; and did many other actions of as robberies, treasons, and rebellions against hostility before the parliament and people the whole nation, yet were contented to had listed one soldier for the preservation inflict no greater punishment upon him and defence of the government.'

-Ibid. for being so, than they used of course to “This itch of yours in making similido upon any common highwayman or ordi- tudes, enforces me to rectify you, whether nary traitor.”—Def. pro Pop. An.

I will or no. I will let you see how like “Since therefore, the law is chiefly right King Charles was to Nero. Nero, you say, reason, if we are bound to obey a king, or commanded his own mother to be run a minister of God, by the very same rea- through with a sword. But Charles murson, and the very same law, we ought to dered his own father and prince, and that resist a tyrant, and a minister of the devil.”- too by poison. For, to omit other eviDef. pro Pop.

dences, he that would not suffer a duke “ I will be content to pass by in silence that was accused for it, to come to his trial, that part of his life that he spent in ban- must needs have been guilty of it himself. queting, at plays, and in the conversation Nero slew many thousands of Christians, of women, (vitam inter fæminarum greges but Charles slew many more.”Def. Pop. dilapsam,) for what can there be in Splendide mendax! Milton must have luxury and excess worth relating? And known the falsehood of such an abominable what could those things have been to us, if calumny. And with respect to the latter he had been a private person? But since charge, how inany thousands did Cromwell he would be a king, as he could not live a slay at Drogheda ? at Dunbar? or in rearprivate life, so neither could his vices being what Milton blasphemously calls “God's like a private person. For, in the first trophies,” at Worcester. But we proceed. place, he did a great deal of mischief by If you say Charles died as he lived, I his example: in the second place, all that agree with you; if you say that he died time that he spent upon his lust and his piously, holily, and at ease, you may sports, which was a great part of his time, remember that his grandmother, Mary he stole from the state, the government of Queen of Scots, an infamous woman, (Milwhich he had undertaken : thirdly, and ton cannot be content with aspersing with lastly, he squandered away vast sums of his venom one generation alone,) died money, which were not his own, but the on the scaffold with as much outward public revenue of the nation, in his domestic appearance of piety, sanctity, and conluxury and extravagance. So that in his stancy as he did. And lest you should private life at home, he first begun to be an ascribe too much to that presence of mind ill king. But let us rather pass over to which some common malefactors have so those crimes that he iš charged with, on the great a measure of at their death; many account of misgovernment, Here you times, despair and a hardened heart puts on, lament his being condemned as a tyrant, a as it were, a vigour of courage and stupitraitor, and a murderer. That he had no dity, a show of quiet and tranquillity of wrong done him shall now be made appear. mind : sometimes the worst of men desire Though you scorn to have Charles com- to appear good, undaunted, innocent, and pared to so cruel a tyrant as Nero; he now and then religious, not only in this life, resembled him extremely much.

but at their death ; and in suffering death “ And, finally, I suppose no man will for their villanies, use to act the last part of deny that he was a murderer, by whose their hyprocrisy and cheats with all the show order the Irish took arms, and put to death imaginable, and, like bad poets or stagewith most exquisite torments above a players, are very ambitious of being clapped hundred thousand English, who lived peace- at the end of the play.”—Def. pro Pop. ably by them, and without any apprehen- Perhaps the reader has had enough of sion of danger.”Ibid.

Milton's skill in ringing the changes upon “ All this is to be imputed to Charles, the epithets of tyrant and murderer. not to us, who first raised an army of Let us turn, therefore, to his Christian-like Irishmen against us, who, by his own language to his antagonist. warrant, authorised the Irish nation to “ Now you begin to be personally conconspire against the English; who by their cerned. Gallus gallinaceus, a cock,' say means slew two hundred thousand, (eleven, you, “ has both cocks and hens under him. Hal, I told thee eleven,) in the province of How can that be, since you yourself that Ulster, besides what numbers were slain in are Gallus, and but too much gallinacei 2D. SERIES, NO. 38.-VOL. IV.

182.-VOL. :

M

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