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tres of Brandenburg and Braganza. Many form of a foul and poisonous snake. Those evils, no doubt, were produced by the civil war. who injured her during the period of her disThey were the price of our liberty. Has the guise, were forever excluded from participan acquisition been worth the sacrifice? It is the tion in the blessings which she bestowed. But nature of the devil of tyranny to tear and rend to those who, in spite of her loathsome aspech, the body which he leaves. Are the miseries pitied and protected her, she afterwards reof continued possession less horrible than the vealed herself in the beautiful and celestial struggles of the tremendous exorcism? form which was natural to her, accompanied
If it were possible that a people, brought up their steps, granted all their wishes, filled their ander an intolerant and arbitrary system, could houses with wealth, made them happy in love, subvert that system without acts of cruelty and and victorious in war. Such a spirit is folly, half the objections to despotic power Liberty. At times she takes the form of a would be removed. We should, in that case, hateful reptile. She grovels, she hisses, she be compelled to acknowledge that it at least stings. But wo to those who in disgust shall produces no pernicious effects on the intellec- venture to crush her! And happy are those tual and moral character of a people. We de- who, having dared to receive her in her deplore the outrages which accompany revolu- graded and frightful shape, shall at length be tions. But the more violent the outrages, the rewarded by her in the time of her beauty and more assured we feel that a revolution was ne her glory. cessary. The violence of those outrages will There is only one cure for the evils which always be proportioned to the ferocity and ig- newly acquired freedom produces-and that norance of the people: and the ferocity and cure is freedom! When a prisoner leaves his ignorance of the people will be proportioned cell, he cannot bear the light of day ;-he is to the oppression and degradation under which unable to discriminate colours, or recognise they have been accustomed to live. Thus it faces. But the remedy is not to remand him was in our civil war. The rulers in the church into his dungeon, but to accustom him to the and state reaped only that which they had rays of the sun. The blaze of truth and liberty sown. They had prohibited free discussion- may at first dazzle and bewilder nations which they had done their best to keep the people un- have become half blind in the house of bondage. acquainted with their duties and their rights. But let them gaze on, and they will soon be able The retribution was just and natural. If they to bear it. In a few years men learn to reason. suffered from popular ignorance, it was be- The extreme violence of opinion subsides. cause they had themselves taken away the key Hostile theorics correct each other. The scatof knowledge. If they were assailed with blind tered elements of truth cease to conflict, and fury, it was because they had exacted an begin to coalesce. And at length a system of equally blind submission.
justice and order is educed out of the chaos. It is the character of such revolutions that Many politicians of our time are in the habit we always see the worst of them at first. Till of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, men have been for some time free, they know that no people ought to be free till they are fit not how to use their freedom. The natives of to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy wine countries are always sober. In climates of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to where wine is a rarity, intemperance abounds. go into the water till he had learnt to swim! A newly liberated people may be compared to if men are to wait for liberty till they become a Dorthern army encamped on the Rhine or wise and good in slavery, they may indeed the Xeres. It is said that, when soldiers in wait forever. such a situation first find themselves able to Therefore it is that we decidedly approve indulge without restraint in such a rare and of the conduct of Milton and the other wise expensive luxury, nothing is to be seen but in- and good men who, in spite of much that was forication. Soon, however, plenty teaches dis- ridiculous and hateful in the conduct of their cretion; and after wine has been for a few associates, stood firmly by the cause of public months their daily fare, they become more liberty. We are not aware that the poet has temperate than they had ever been in their been charged with personal participation in own country. In the same manner the final any of the blamable excesses of that time. and permanent fruits of liberty are wisdom, The favourite topic of his enemies is the line moderation, and mercy. Its immediate effects of conduct which he pursued with regard to are often atrocious crimes, conflicting errors, the execution of the king. Of that celebrated scepticism on points the most clear, dogma. proceeding we by no means approve. Still tism on points the most mysterious. It is just we must say, in justice to the many eminent at this crisis that its enemies love to exhibit persons who concurred in it, and in justice it. They pull down the scaffolding from the more particularly to the eminent person who half-finished edifice; they point to the flying defended it, that nothing can be more absurd dust, the falling bricks, the comfortless rooms, than the imputations which, for the last hunthe frightful irregularity of the whole appear- dred and sixty years, it has been the fashion to ance; and then ask in scorn where the pro- cast upon the regicides. We have throughout mised splendour and comfort are to be found ? abstained from appealing to first principles If such miserable sophisms were to prevail
, we will not appeal to them now. We recar there would never be a good house or a good again to the parallel case of the Revolution. government in the world.
What essential distinction can be drawn bo. Ariosto tells a pretty story of a fairy, who, tween the execution of the father and the by some mysterious law of her nature, was condemned to appear at certain seasons in the
* Orlando Furioso, Caato 43.,
deposition of the son? What constitutional, had not been done, while the people dis. maxim is there, which applies to the former approved of it. But, for the sake of public and not to the latter? The king can do no liberty, we should also have wished the people wrong. If so, James was as innocent as to approve of it when it was done. If any. Charles could have been. The minister only thing more were wanting to the justification ought to be responsible for the acts of the of Milton, the book of Salmasius would furnish sovereign. If so, why not impeach Jeffries it. That miserable performance is now with and retain James? The person of a king is justice considered only as a beacon 10 word. sacred. Was the person of James considered catchers who wish to become statesmen. The sacred at the Boyne? To discharge cannon celebrity of the man who refuted it, the “Ænce against an army in which a king is known to magni dextra,” gives it all its fame with the be posted, is to approach pretty near to regi- present generation. In that age the state of cide. Charles too, it should always be re- things was different. It was not then fully membered, was put to death by men who had understood how vast an interval separates the been exasperated by the hostilities of several mere classical scholar from the political philoyears, and who had never been bound to him sopher. Nor can it be doubted, that a treatise by any other tie than that which was common which, bearing the name of so eminent a to them with all their fellow-citizens. Those critic, attacked the fundamental principles of who drove James from his throne, who seduced all free governmenis, must, if suffered to rehis army, who alienated his friends, who first main unanswered, have produced a most perimprisoned him in his palace, and then turned nicious effect on the public mind. bim out of it, who broke in upon his very We wish to add a few words relative to slumbers by imperious messages, who pursued another subject on which the enemies of him with fire and sword from one part of the Milton delight to dwell—his conduct_during empire to another, who hanged, drew, and the administration of the Protector. That an quartered his adherents, and attainted his enthusiastic votary of liberty should accept innocent heir, were his nephew and his two office under a military usurper, seems, no daughters! When we refect on all these doubt, at first sight, extraordinary. But all the things, we are at a loss to conceive how the circumstances in which the country was then same persons who, on the fifth of November, placed were extraordinary. The ambition of thank God for wonderfully conducting his ser- Oliver was of no vulgar kind. He never seems vant King William, and for making all opposi- to have coveted despotic power. He at first tion fall before him until he became our King fought sincerely and manfully for the parliaand Governor, can, on the thirtieth of January, ment, and never deserted it, till it had deserted contrive to be afraid that the blood of the Royal its duty. It he dissolved it by force, it was Martyr may be visited on themselves and their not till he found that the few members, who children.
remained after so many deaths, secessions, We do not, we repeat, approve of the execu- and expulsions, were desirous to appropriate tion of Charles; not because the constitution to themselves a power which they held only exempts the king from responsibility, for we in trust, and to inflict upon England the know that all such maxims, however excellent, curse of a Venetian oligarchy.
But even have their exceptions; nor because we feel when thus placed by violence at the head any peculiar interest in his character, for we of affairs, he did not assume unlimited power. think that his sentence describes him with He gave the country a constitution far more perfect justice as a “tyrant, a traitor, a inur. perfect than any which had at that time been derer, and a public enemy;” but because we known in the world. He reformed the repreare convinced that the measure was most in- sentative system in a manner which has exjurious to the cause of freedom. He whom it torted praise even from Lord Clarendon. For removed was a captive and a hostage. His himself, he demanded indeed the first place in heir, to whom the allegiance of every royalist the commonwealth ; but with powers scarcely was instantly transferred, was at large. The so great as those of a Dutch stadtholder, or an Presbyterians could never have been perfecily American president. He gave the parliament Jeconciled to the father. They had no such rooi- a voice in the appointment of ministers, and ed enmity to the son. The great body of the left to it the whole legislative authority-not people, also, contemplated that proceeding with even reserving to himself a veto on its enactfeelings whích, however unreasonable, no go-ments. And he did not require that the chief vernment could safely venture to outrage. magistracy should be hereditary in his family.
But, though we think the conduct of the Thus far, we think, if the circumstances of the regicides blamable, that of Milton appears to time, and the opportunities which he had of as in a very different light. The deed was aggrandizing himself, be fairly considered, he done. It could not be undone. The evil was will not lose by comparison with Washington incurred; and the object was to render it as or Bolivar. Had his moderation been met by small as possible. We censure the chiefs corresponding moderation, there is no reason of the army for not yielding to the popular to think that he would have overstepped the opinion: but we cannot censure Milton for line which he had traced for himself. But wishing to change that opinion. The very when he found that his parliaments questioned iceling, which would have restrained us from the authority under which they met, and that he committing the act, would have led us, after it was in danger of being deprived of the restricthad been committed, to defend it against the ed power which was absolutely necessary to his ravings of servility and superstition. For the personal safety, then, it must be acknowledged, sake of public liberty, we wish that the thing i he adopted a more arbitrary policy.
Yet, though we believe that the iutentions | vernment, which had just ability enough to of Cromwell were at first honest, though we deceive, and just religion enough to persecute. believe that he was driven from the noble The principles of liberty were the scoff of every course which he had marked out for himself grinning courtier, and the Anathema Maranaby the almost irresistible force of circum- tha of every fawning dean. In every high stances, though we admire, in common with place, worship was paid to Charles and James all men of all parties, the ability and energy -Belial and Moloch ; and England propitiated of his splendid administration, we are not those obscene and cruel idols with the blood pleading for arbitrary and lawless power, even of her best and bravest children. Crime sucin his hands. We know that a good constitu- ceeded to crime, and disgrace to disgrace, ull tion is infinitely better than the best despot. the race, accursed of God and man, was a But we suspect, that, at the time of which we second time driven forth, to wander on the speak, the violence of religious and political face of the earth, and to be a by-word and a enmities rendered a stable and happy settle- shaking of the head to the nations. ment next to impossible. The choice lay, not Most of the remarks which we have hitherto between Cromwell and liberty, but between made on the public character of Milton, apply Cromwell and the Stuarts. That Milton chose to him only as one of a large body. We shall well, no man can doubl, who fairly compares proceed to notice some of the peculiarities the events of the protectorate with those of the which distinguished him from his contempoibirty years which succeeded it—the darkest raries. And, for that purpose, it is necessary and most disgraceful in the English annals. to take a short survey of the parties into which Cromwell was evidently laying, though in an the political world was at that time divided. irregular manner, the foundations of an ad. We must premise, that our observations are mirable system. Never before had religious intended to apply only to those who adhered, liberty and the freedom of discussion been from a sincere preference, to one or to the enjoyed in a greater degree. Never had the other side. At a period of public commotion, national honour been better upheld abroad, or every faction, like an Oriental army, is attended the seat of justice better filled at home. And by a crowd of camp followers, a useless and it was rarely that any opposition, which stopped heartless rabble, who prowl round its line of short of open rebellion, provoked the resent- march in the hope of picking up something ment of the liberal and magnanimous usurper. under its protection, but desert it in the day of The institutions which he had established, as battle, and often join to exterminate it after a set down in the Instrument of Government, defeat. England, at the time of which we are and the Humble Petition and Advice, were treating, abounded with such fickle and selfish excellent. His practice, it is true, too often politicians, who transferred their support to departed from the theory of these institutions. every government as it rose,—who kissed the Bus, had he lived a few years longer, it is hand of the king in 1640, and spit in his face probable that his institutions would have sur- in 1649,- who shouted with equal glee when vived him, and that his arbitrary practice Cromwell was inaugurated in Westminster would have died with him. His power had Hall, and when he was dug up to be hanged at not been consecrated by any ancient preju- Tyburn-who dined on calves' heads or on dices. It was upheld only by his great per- broiled rumps, and cut down oak branches or sonal qualities. "Little, therefore, was to be stuck them up as circumstances altered, withdreaded from a second Protector, unless he out the slightest shame or repugnance. These were also a second Oliver Cromwell. The we leave out of the account. We take our events which followed his decease are the estimate of parties from those who really most complete vindication of those who exeri-deserved to be called partisans. ed themselves to uphold his authority. For We would speak first of the Puritans, the his death dissolved ihe whole frame of society. most remarkable body of men, perhaps, which The army rose against the Parliament, the the world has ever produced. The odious and different corps of the army against each other. ridiculous parts of their character lie on the Sect raved against sect. Party plotted against surface. He that runs may read them; nor party. The Presbyterians, in their eagerness have there been wanting a:ientive and malito be revenged on the Independents, sacrificed cious observers to point them out. For many their own liberty, and deserted all their old years after the Restoration, they were the theme principles. Without casting one glance on the of unmeasured invective and derision. They past, or requiring one stipulation for the future, were exposed to the utmost licentiousness of they threw down their freedom at the feet of the press and of the stage, at the time when the most frivolous and heartless of tyrants. the press and the stage were most licentious.
Then came those days, never to be recalled They were not men of letters; they were, as a without a blush—the days of servitude without body, unpopular; they could not defend themloyalty, and sensuality without love, of dwarf- selves; and the public would not take them ish talents and gigantic vices, the paradise of under its protection. They were therefore cold hearts and narrow minds, the golden age abandoned, without reserve, to the tender mer. of the coward, the bigot, and the slave. The cies of the satirists and dramatists. The king cringed to his rival that he might trample ostentatious simplicity of their dress, their on his people, sunk into a viceroy of France, sour aspect, their nasal twang, their stiff pos. and pocketed, with complacent infamy, her ture, their long graces, their Hebrew names degrading insults and her more degrading the Scriptural phrases which they introduced gold. The caresses of harlots and the jests on every occasion, their contempt of human of buffoons regulated the measures of a go- learning, their detestation of polite amuse
ments, were indeed fair game for the laughers. | with hands: their diadems crowns of glory But it is not from the laughers alone that the which should never fade away! On the rich philosophy of history is to be learnt. And he and the eloquert, on nobles and priests, they who approaches this subject should carefully looked down with contempt: for they esteemed guard against the influence of that potent ridi- themselves rich in a more precious treasure, cvle, which has already misled so inany excel- and eloquent in a more sublime language, lent writers.
nobles by the right of an carlier creation, and “Ecco il fonte del riso, ed ecco il rio
priests by the imposition of a mightier hand. Che mortali perigli in se contiene:
The very meanesi of them was a being to
whose fate a mysterious and terrible importThose who roused the people to resistance
ance belonged-on whose slightest actions the who directed their measures through a long anxious interest—who had been destined, be
spirits of light and darkness looked with series of eventful years—who formed, out of
fore heaven and earth were created, to enjoy the most unpromising materials, the finest
a felicity which should continue when heaven army that Europe had ever seen—who trampled down King, Church, and Aristocracy, which short-sighted politicians ascribed to
and earth should have passed away. Events who, in the short intervals of domestic sedition and rebellion, made the name of England ter- earthly causes had been ordained on his acrible to every nation on the face of the earth, nourished, and decayed. For his sake the
count. For his sake empires had risen, and were no vulgar fanatics. Most of their ab. surdities were mere external badges, like the Almighty had proclaimed his will by the pen signs of freemasonry or the dresses of friars. He had been rescued by no common deliverer
of the evangelist and the harp of the prophet. We regret that these badges were not more from the grasp of no common foe. He had attractive. We regret that a body, to whose been ransomed by the sweat of no vulgar courage and talents mankind has owed inestimable obligations, had not the lofty elegance it was for him that the sun had been darkened,
agony, by the blood of no earthly sacrifice. which distinguished some of the adherents of that the rocks had been rent, that the dead had Charles I., or the easy good breeding for which the court of Charles II. was celebrated. But, arisen, that all nature had shuddered at the sufif we must make our choice, we shall
, like ferings of her expiring God! Bassanio in the play, turn from the specious ent men, the one all self-abasement, penitence,
Thus the Puritan was made up of two differcaskets which contain only the Death's head and the Fool's head, and fix our choice on the gratitude, passion; the other proud, calm, in plain leaden chest which conceals the treasure, the dust before his Maker; but he set his foot
flexible, sagacious. He prostrated himself in The Puritans were men whose minds had derived a peculiar character from the daily tirement, he prayed with convulsions, and
on the neck of his king. In his devotional recontemplation of superior beings and external interests. Not conüent with acknowledging, in groans, and tears. He was half maddened by generál terms, an overruling Providence, they iyres of angels or the tempting whispers of
glorious or terrible illusions. He heard the habitually ascribed every event to the will of fiends. He caught a gleam of the Beatific the Great Being, for whose power nothing was Vision, or woke screaming from dreams of too vast, for whose inspection nothing was too everlasting fire. Like Vane, he thought him. minute. To know him, to serve him, to enjoy self intrusted with the sceptre of the millennial him, was with them the great end of existence. They rejected with contempt the ceremonious year. Like Fleetwood, he cried in the bitterhomage which other sects substituted for the him. But when he took his seat in the coun
ness of his soul that God had hid his face from pure worship of the soul. Instead of catching cil, or girt on his sword for war, these temoccasional glimpses of the Deity through an obscuring veil, they aspired to gaze full on the pestuous workings of the soul had left no intolerable brightness, and to commune with perceptible trace behind them. People who him face to face. Hence originated their con
saw nothing of the godiy but their uncouth tempt for terrestrial distinctions. The differ- visages, and heard nothing from them but their ence between the greatest and meanest of man groans and their whining hymns, might laugh kind seemed to vanish, when compared with who encountered them in the hall of debate or
at them. But those had little reason to laugh, the boundless interval which separated the in the field of battle. These fanatics brought whole race from him on whom their own eyes to civil and military affairs a coolness of judg. were constantly fixed. They recognised no
ment and an immutability of purpose which title to superiority but his favour; and, confi. dent of that savour, they despised all the ac. their religious zeal, but which were in fact the
some writers have thought inconsistent with complishments and all the dignities of the
necessary effects of it. The intensity of their world. If they were unacquainted with the works of philosophers and poets, they were
feelings on one subject made them tranquil on deeply read in the oracles of God. If their every other. One overpowering sentiment had names were not found in the registers of her and fear. Death had lost its terrors and plea
subjected to itself pity and hatred, ambition ralds, they felt assured that they were recorded sure its charms. They had their smiles and in the Book of Life. If their steps were not their tears, their raptures and their sorrows, accompanied by a splendid train of menials, but not for the things of this world. Enthusiasm legions of ministering angels had charge over had made them stoics, had cleared their minds them Their palaces were houses not made from every vulgar passion and prejudice, and Gerusalemme Liberata, xv. 57.
raised them above the influence of danger and
of corruption. It sometimes might lead them | machines for destruction dressed up in uni to pursue unwise ends, but never to choose un- forms, caned into skill, intoxicated into valour, wise means. They went through the world defending without love, destroying without like Sir Artegale's iron man Talus with his hatred. There was a freedoin in their subserflail, crushing and trampling down oppressors, viency, a nobleness in their very degradation. mingling with human beings, but having nei. The sentiment of individual independence was ther part nor lot in human infirmities; insensi- strong within them. They were indeed misble to fatigue, to pleasure, and to pain; not to led, but by no base or selfish motive. Combe pierced by any weapon, not to be withstood passion and romantic honour, the prejudices by any barrier.
of childhood, and the venerable names of hisSuch we believe to have been the character tory, threw over them a spell potent as that of of the Puritans. We perceive the absurdity of Duessa; and, like the Red-Cross Knight, they their manners. We dislike the sullen gloom thought that they were doing battle for an inof their domestic habits. We acknowledge jured beauty, while they defended a false and that the tone of their minds was often injured loathsome sorceress. In truth, they scarcely by straining after things too high for mortal entered at all into the merits of the political reach. And we know that, in spite of their question. It was not for a treacherous king hatred of Popery, they too often fell into the or an intolerant church that they fought; but worst vices of that bad system, intolerance and for the old banner which had waved in so extravagant austerity—that they had their an- many battles over the heads of their fathers, chorites and their crusades, their Dunstans and and for the altars at which they had received their De Montforts, their Dominics and their the hands of their brides. Though nothing Escobars. Yet when all circumstances are could be more erroneous than their political taken into consideration, we do not hesitate to opinions, they possessed, in a far greater depronounce them a brave, a wise, an honest, and gree than their adversaries, those qualities a useful body.
which are the grace of private life. With The Puritans espoused the cause of civil many of the
vices of the Round Table, they liberty, mainly because it was the cause of re- had also many of its virtues, courtesy, geneligion. There was another party, by no means rosity, veracity, tenderness, and respect for wonumerous, but distinguished by learning and man. They had far more both of profound and ability, which co-operated with them on very of polite learning than the Puritans. Their different principles. We speak of those whom manners were more engaging, their tempers Cromwell was accustomed to call the Heathens, more amiable, their tastes more elegant, and men who were, in the phraseology of that time, their households more cheerful. doubting Thomases or careless Gallios with Milton did not strictly belong to any of the regard to religious subjects, but passionate classes which we have described. He was not worshippers of freedom.' Heated by the study a Puritan. He was not a Freethinker. He of ancient literature, they set up their country was not a Cavalier. In his character the noas their idol, and proposed to themselves the blest qualities of every party were combined heroes of Platarch as their examples. They in harmonious union. From the parliament seem to have borne some resemblance to the and from the court, from the conventicle and Brissotines of the French Revolution. But it from the Gothic cloister, from the gloomy and is not very easy to draw the line of distinction sepulchral circles of the Roundheads and from between them and their devout associates, the Christmas revel of the hospitable Cavalier, whose tone and manner they sometimes found his nature selected and drew to itself whatever it convenient to affect, and sometimes, it is was great and good, while it rejected all the probable, imperceptibly adopted.
base and pernicious ingredients by which those We now come to the Royalists. We shall fine elements were defiled. Like the Puritans, attempt to speak of them, as we have spoken he lived of their antagonists, with perfect candour. We
“As ever in his great Taskmaster's eye." shall not charge upon a whole party the profligacy and baseness of the horseboys, gamblers, Like them, he kept his mind continually fixed and bravoes, whom the hope of license and on an Almighty Judge and an eternal reward. plunder attracted from all the dens of White And hence he acquired their contempt of ex. friars to the standard of Charles, and who dis- ternal circumstances, their fortitude, their graced their associates by excesses which, tranquillity, their inflexible resolution. But under the stricter discipline of the Parliament- not the coolest sceptic or the most profane ary armies, were never tolerated. We will scoffer was more perfectly free from the conselect a more favourable specimen. Thinking, tagion of their frantic delusions, their savage as we do, that the cause of the king was the manners, their ludicrous jargon, their scorn of cause of bigotry and tyranny, we yet cannot science, and their aversion to pleasure. Hating refrain from looking with complacency on the tyranny with a perfect hatred, he had nevercharacter of the honest old Cavaliers. We feel theless all the estimable and ornamental qualia national pride in comparing them with the ties, which were almost entirely monopolized instruments which the despots of other coun- by the party of the tyrant. There was none tries are compelled to employ, with the mutes who had a stronger sense of the value of litewho throng their antechambers, and the Janis-rature, a finer relish for every elegant amusesaries who mount guard at their gates. Our ment, or a more chivalrous delicacy of honour royalist countrymen were not heartless, dan- and love. Though his opinions were demo. gling courtiers, bowing at every step, and sim- cratic, his tastes and his associates were such pering at every word. They were not merel as harmonize best with monarchy and aristo