Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

The order of the garter may defend itself by its motto, "Evil to him who evil thinketh.'

Theognis will have Jupiter neither with rain, nor without it, to please all men. Neither a close fist, nor an open hand, can want a misconstruction. What was wanting to nearest relations was conferred on the general, without whom all might seem unavailable for a crown.

Wise men can be pleased with the most excellent gratitude, and fools can be gratified with the gaiety of the sight.

It was the custom of heathens to destroy the living, under pre. tence of honouring the dead; not a few, made close mourners by a civil death, seemed to follow the corpse of an usurper.

Some can fancy, that an Essex, Ireton, and a Cromwell lay in their beds of blasphemed honour with more fond state ; none are supposed to have equalled his funeral-pomp, inferior alone to that of princes by a diadem. The defects of earth may heaven supply, by changing a fickle coronet into a never-fading crown.

Mars, in most opinions, is best pictured reeking in blood; a general rendered inglorious, if not exposed in the purple of war; to bring in our hero with the white robes of a confessor, and dis. engaged from the bloody camps of a rebellious schism, to make a soldier of the church militant, which can only lead to the truly triumphant paths of glory, if an error is more venial than by intitling to the craft to bestow on him the prey of foxes; a great, rather than a good renown, unworthy of a Christian champion. Let Mahometans glory in praises common to wolves, bears, and tygers, who expect in Paradise no pleasure above that of goats, by the enjoyment of brutish sensuality.

Foolish historians, like fond heralds, make the most savage of beasts supporters to the arms of the highest grandeur; butcheries and debaucheries the prime parts in the tragedies of their heroes. What, but named, might turn Christians blood into a congealed cake of ice, is affixed to the story to make a more horrible Polyphemus.

Discretion should lay aside the bloody shirt. The famed conqueror of the East, who, instead of all the vain pomp of proud funerals, would have a shirt carried aloft ia triumph, to shew how small a portion was left a Saladine, after his mighty acquisitions, surely bad a cleanly shift, and no bloody emblem exposed of hua man inconstancy. The cruel piece of duty, which sacrificed a man to revenge for an injured father, though some can fancy generous, heroick, and a prophetick action, which first made the soldier, who was to restore the common parent, may it ever be forgot, whilst the bloodless conquest, for a country's father, never wants a grateful commemoration.

May the bloody atchievements in a Belgick, Irish, Scottish war be ever silenced, and after so honourable a death, be introduced by no puny historian, who, while he fancies the erecting of tro, phies, by accumulating the dangerously acquired conquests of an hero, exposes a brutish valour, and baffled reason, for marks of honour, by a mistake of objects, affixes iudelible notes of infamy. While the lion is forgot, may the triumphs of the lamb be cele. brated, who unlearned us the fierceness of savages, and by attend. ing to the voice of peace, became a Gratioso to a most peaceable prince on earth, and hath the promise of the blessing which attends upon peace-makers, and thus may be intitled a favourite to the King of Kings, who disdains not the title of the Prince of Peace.

It'was no cruel victory to which our hero owed his honours, and three nations their preservation. God appeared not in the thunder and lightning of war, but in the soft whisperings of peace, for the most happy of restorations.

The general can never want the encomium of a Fabius, will be ever intitled, by delays, the restorer. To attribute our restoration to the church's prayers, though an heterodox, can be no culpable opinion, which cannot dishonour God by ascribing all to his mercies, nor the king to have his cause owned by heaven, nor the general, by being made an instrument in the hand of the Almighty, when his own arm was withered by the loss of strength in a com, mission.

The Psalmist's fool said in his heart there was no God; and he said that all men were lyars. May wars, plagues, nor fires, be the cruel remembrancers to instruct that truth, which we are so apt to forget! To God only belongeth salvation.

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us but to thy name be the glory. Who would rob God of his glory on earth, may fall short of being glorified in heaven.

To God alone, as ever due, be ever glory, whose fame only can make an history everlasting.





Qne to his Royal Highness the Duke of York: The other to the Duchess,

occasioned by her embracing the Roman Catholick Religion,

As these Letters serve to rescue the Memory of the worthy Earl, their Author, from all Imputation of Popery, of being Popishly affected, and, as I can find, no where recorded, they are deservedly thus preserved from the Injury of Time, in the Vindication of that noble Personage.



presence, since I have been marked with the brand of bapish. ment; and I would still with the same awe forbear this presumption, if I did not believe myself bound by all the obligations of duty to make this address to you.

I have been too much. ac. quainted with the presumption and impudence of the times, in raising false and scandalous reproaches upon innocent and worthy persons of all qualities and degrees, to give credit to those bold whispers, which have been too long scattered abroad, concerning your wife's being shaken in her religion. But when those whispers break out into noise, and publick persons begin to report that the duchess is become a roman catholick: When I heard that many worthy persons, of unquestionable devotion to your royal highness, are not without some fear and apprehension of it; and many reflexions are made from thence, to the prejudice of your royal person, and even of the king's majesty ; I hope it may not misbecome me, 'at what distance soever, to cast myself at your feet, and beseech you to look to this matter in time, and to apply some antidote to expel the poison of it. It is not possible your royal highness can be without zeal, and intire devotion for that church, for the purity and preservation whereof, your blessed father made himself a sacrifice; and to the restoration whereof, you have con. tributed so much yourself, and which highly deserves the king's protection and yours, since there can be no possible defection in the hearts of the people, whilst due reverence is made to the church. Your wife is so generally believed to have so perfect duty, and intire resignation to the will of your highness, that any defection in her, from her religion, will be imputed to want of circumspection in you, and not using your authority; or to your connivance. I peod not tell the ill consequence that such a mutation would be at.

tended with, ia reference to your royal highness, and even to the king himself, whose greatest security (under God) is in the affec. tion and duty of his protestant subjects. Your royal highmess well knows how far I have always been from wishing that the Ro. man Catholicks should be prosecuted with severity ; but I less wish it should ever be in their power to be able to prosecate those who differ from them, since we well know how little moderation they would or could use.

And if this, which people so much talk of, I hope, without ground, should fall out, it might very probably raise a greater storm against the Roman Catholicks in general, than modest men can wish; since, after such a breach, any jealousy of their presumption would seem reasonable. I have written to the duchess, with the freedom and affection of a troubled and perplexed father. I do most humbly beseech your royal highness, by your authority, to rescue her from bringing a mischief upon you and herself, that never can be repaired; and to think it worthy your wisdom to remove and dispel those reproaches, how false soever, by better evidence than contempt; and hope you do believe that no severity I have, or can undergo, shall in any degree lessen or diminish my most profound duty to his majesty, or your royal highness; but that I do, with all imaginable obedience, submit to your good pleasure in all things. God preserve your Royal Highness,

and keep me in your favour,

Your Royal Highness's
most humble and obedient servant,


The Earl of Clarendon's Letter to the Duchess of York. You have much reason to believe that I have no mind to trova ble you, or displease you, especially in an argument that is so unpleasant and grievous to myself; but as no distance of place that is between us, in respect of our residence, or the greater

in respect of the high condition you are in, can make me less your father, or absolve me from performing those obligations which that relation requires froin me: So when I receive any credible advera tisement of what reflects upon you, in point of honour, consci. ence, or discretion, I ought not to omit the informing you of it, or administering such advice to you, as to my understanding seems reasonable, and which I must still hope will have some credit with yoa. I will confess to you, that what you wrote to me many months since, upon those reproaches which I told you were generally reported concerning your defection in religion, gave me so much satisfaction, that I believed them to proceed from that ill spie rit of the time that delights in slanders and calumny; but I must tell you, the same report increases, of late, very much, and I

myself saw a letter, the last week, from Paris, from a person who said the English ambassador assured him, the day before, that the duchess was become a Roman Catholick; and which makes greater impression upon me, I am assured that many good men in England, who have great affection for you and me, and who have thought nothing more impossible, than that there should be such a change in you, are at present under much affliction, with the observation of a great change in your course of life, and that constant exercise of that devotion which was so notorious; and do apprehend, from your frequent discourses, that you have not the same reverence and veneration, which you used to have, for the church of England, the church in which you were baptized, and the church the best constituted, and the most free from errors, of any christian church, this day, in the world; and that some per. sons, by their insinuations, have prevailed with you to have a better opinion of that which is most opposite to it, the church of Rome, than the integrity thereof deserves. It is not yet in my power to believe that your wit and understanding, with God's bles. sing upon both, can suffer you to be shaken further, than with melancholick reflections upon the iniquity and wickedness of the age we live in, which discredits all religion, and which, with equal license, breaks into the professors of all, and prevails upon the members of all churches, and whose manners will have no benefit from the faith of any church.

I presume, you do not intangle yourself in the particular controversies between the Romanists and us, or think yourself a com. petent judge of all difficulties which occur therein; and, therefore, it must be some fallacious argument of antiquity and universality, confidently urged by men, who know less than many of those you are acquainted with, and ought less to be believed by you, that can raise any doubts and scruples in you; and, if you will, with equal temper, hear those who are well able to inform you in all such particulars, it is not possible for you to suck in that poison, which can only corrupt and prevail over you, by stopping yours, own cars, and shutting your own eyes. There are but two per. sons in the world, who have greater authority with you than I can' pretend to, and am sure they both suffer more in this rumour, and would suffer much more, if there were ground for it, than I can do; and truly I am as unlikely to be deceived myself, or to deceive you, as any man who endeavours to pervert you in your religion ; and, therefore, I beseech you, let me have so much credit with you, as to persuade you to communicate any doubts or scruples, which occur to you, before you suffer them to make too deep an impression upon you. The common argument, that there is no salvation out of the church, and the church of Rome is that only truc church, is both irrational and untrue. There are many churches, in which salvation may be attained, as well as in any one of them; and were many even in the apostles time, otherwise they would not have directed their epistles to so many several churches, in which there were different opinions received, and very

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »