« السابقةمتابعة »
is possessed of the art of prolonging it at pleafure ? to whom has the fecret been imparted? Either they are deceived by a vain hope of evading death, or there is something in a life of diffipation not worth preserving. I am astonished at the stupidity of any man, who can deny himfelf the gratification of conscious integrity: The proud man must be a consummate blockhead to take such wearifome pains for a little extorted Hattery of the most fervile fort, and overlook the ready means of gaining general respect upon the noblest terms: Is it not an abuse of language and an insult to common fenfe for a fully fellow to announce himself to the world as a man of pleasure, when there is not an action in his life, but leaves a sting behind it to belye the character he profeffes? Can one fellow-creature find amusement in tormenting another? Is it possible there can be a recreation in malice, when it flanders the innocent; in fraud, when it cheats the unsuspecting; in perfidy, when it betrays a benefactor ? If any being, who does me wrong, will juftify himself against the wrong by confeffing, that he takes delight in injury, I will own to one instance of human depravity, which till that shall happen I will persist to hope is not in existence. The fact is that all men have that refpcét for justice, that they attempt to shelter
their very worst actions under 'it's defence; and even those contemptible pilferers soft reputation, who would be as much unknown by their names as they are by the concealment of them, qualify (I am persuaded); the dirty deed they are about by some convenient phamtain of offence in the character they affault; even their hands cannot be raised to strike without prefacing the blow by saying to themfelves-This man deferves to die... Foolishi wretches, whatrcdiputation must they mákę of life, who devote fo great a portion of it to miseries and reproaches of their own creating
!!! Let:a rationab creature for once talk common senfe to himself, and if no better words than the following occur to his thoughts, let him make use of them; he is heartily welcome to the loan.
I know there is a period in approach, when 6. I must encounter an enemy to my life, whose “ power is' irresistible: This is a very serious « thing for me to reflect upon, and knowing it «to be a truth infallible, I am out of hope, that « I can so far forget the terms of my existence, « as totally to expel it from my thoughts : "If L « could foresee the precise hour, when this
enemy will come, I would provide against it « as well as I am able, and fortify my mind to
« receive him with such complacency as I could « muster: But of this hour I have alas! no “ foresight; it may be this moment, or the next, « or years may intervene before it comes to “ pass: It behoves me then to be upon my « guard : He may approach in terrors, that « agonise me to think of; he may seize my soul < in the commiffion of fome dreadful act and « transport it to a place, whose horrors have no a termination: I will not then commit that .
dreadful act, because I will not expose myself. « to that dreadful punishment: It is in my own < choice to refrain from it, and I am not such a « desperate fool to make choice of misery: If I « act with this precaution, will he still appear « in this shape of terror ? Certainly he will “ not, nor can he in justice transport me to a “ place of punishment, when I have committed . « nothing to deserve it: Whither then will he
convey me? To the manfions of everlasting “ happiness: Where are my fears ? What is * now become of his terrors? He is my paff« port, my conductor, my friend : I will wel
come him with embraces; I will smile upon “ him with gratitude, and accompany him with « exultation."
OWEVER disposed we may be to exe
crate the bloody act of the regicides, yet we must admit the errors and misconduct of Charles's unhappy reign to be such as cannot be palliated; in our pity for his fate we must not forget the history of his failings, nor, whilst we are sympathising in the pathos of the tragedy, overlook it's moral.
Four successive parliaments, improvidently dissolved, were sufficient warnings for the fifth to fall upon expedients for securing to themselyes a more permanent duration by laying some restraints upon a prerogative so wantonly exerted.
Let us call to mind the inauspicious commencement of this monarch's reign; before the ceremony of his coronation had taken place, be espoused a sister of France and set a catholic princess on the throne of a protestant kingdom, scarce cool from the ferment of religious jea. lousies, recently emancipated from the yoke of Rome and of course intolerant through terror, if not by principle: The most obnoxious man in
the kingdom was Montagu, author of the profcribed tract, intitled Apello Cæfarem, and him Charles enrolled in his list of royal chaplains : By throwing himself incontinently into the hands of Buckingham he shewed his people they were to expeét a reign of favoritifm; and the choice of the minifter marked the character of the mo narch: He levied mufters for the Palatinate of twelve thousand men; exacted contributions for coat and conduct-money, declared martial law in the kingdom and furnifhed his brother of France with a squadron of ships for the un popular reduction of Rochelle, and the mariners tefufed the fervice : These meafures Airred the parliament then fitting to move for a redrefs of grievances, before they provided for his debts, and their remonftrances provoked him upon the inftant to diffolve them.
Every one of these proceedings took place before his coronation, and form the melancholy prelude to his mifguided government:
A fecond parliament was called together, and to intimidate them from refuming their redress of grievances and divert their attempts from the person of his favorite; he haughtily informs them, that he cannot suffer an enquiry even on the meanesl of his servants. What was to be expected from such a menacing declaration? They, difdaining