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We give one specimen of the nar- his work. Here the orator was interrupted by Sir
in common use. rative style of the author:
[An Account of Cromwell's Expulsion of the Parliament in 1653.]
At length Cromwell fixed on his plan to procure the dissolution of the parliament, and to vest for a time the sovereign authority in a council of forty persons, with himself at their head. It was his wish to effect this quietly by the votes of the parliament-his resolution to effect it by open force, if such votes were refused. Several meetings were held by the officers and members at the lodgings of the lord-general in Whitehall. St John and a few others gave their assent; the rest, under the guidance of Whitelock and Widrington, declared that the dissolution would be dangerous, and the establishment of the proposed council unwarrantable. In the meantime the house resumed the consideration of the new representative body; and several qualifications were voted, to all of which the officers raised objections, but chiefly to the 'admission of members,' a project to strengthen the government by the introduction of the presbyterian interest. Never,' said Cromwell, shall any of that judgment who have deserted the good cause be admitted to power.' On the last meeting, held on the 19th of April, all these points were long and warmly debated. Some of the officers declared that the parliament must be dissolved one way or other;' but the general checked their indiscretion and precipitancy, and the assembly broke up at midnight, with an understanding that the leading men on each side should resume the subject in the morning.
At an early hour the conference was recommenced, and, after a short time, interrupted, in consequence of the receipt of a notice by the general, that it was the intention of the house to comply with the desires of the army. This was a mistake; the opposite party had indeed resolved to pass a bill of dissolution; not, however, the bill proposed by the officers, but their own bill, containing all the obnoxious provisions, and to pass it that very morning, that it might obtain the force of law before their adversaries could have time to appeal to the power of the sword. While Harrison 'most strictly and humbly' conjured them to pause before they took so important a step, Ingoldsby hastened to inform the lord-general at Whitehall. His resolution was immediately formed, and a company of musketeers received orders to accompany him to the house. At this eventful moment, big with the most important consequences both to himself and his country, whatever were the workings of Cromwell's mind, he had the art to conceal them from the eyes of the beholders. Leaving the military in the lobby, he entered the house and composedly seated himself on one of the outer benches. His dress was a plain suit of black cloth, with gray worsted stockings. For a while he seemed to listen with interest to the debate; but when the speaker was going to put the question, he whispered to Harrison, This is the time; I must do it;' and rising, put off his hat to address the house. At first his language was decorous, and even laudatory. Gradually he became more warm and animated; at last he assumed all the vehemence of passion, and indulged in personal vituperation. He charged the members with self-seeking and profaneness, with the frequent denial of justice, and numerous acts of oppression; with idolising the lawyers, the constant advocates of tyranny; with neglecting the men who had bled for them in the field, that they might gain the Presbyterians who had apostatised from the cause; and with doing all this in order to perpetuate their own power and to replenish their own purses. But their time was come; the Lord had disowned them; he had chosen more worthy instruments to perform
Peter Wentworth, who declared that he had never heard language so unparliamentary-language, too, the more offensive, because it was addressed to them by their own servant, whom they had too fondly cherished, and whom, by their unprecedented bounty, they had made what he was. At these words Cromwell put on his hat, and, springing from his place, exclaimed, 'Come, come, sir, I will put an end to your prating.' For a few seconds, apparently in the most violent agitation, he paced forward and backward, and then, stamping on the floor, added, 'You are no parliament; say you are no parliament; bring them in, bring them in.' Instantly the door opened, and Colonel Worsley entered, followed by more than twenty musketeers. This,' cried Sir Henry Vane, is not honest; it is against morality and common honesty.' 'Sir Henry Vane,' replied Cromwell; 'O, Sir Henry Vane! The Lord deliver me from Sir Henry Vane! He might have prevented this. But he is a juggler, and has not common honesty himself!' From Vane he directed his discourse to Whitelock, on whom he poured a torrent of abuse; then pointing to Chaloner, There,' he cried, sits a drunkard;' next to Marten and Wentworth, "There are two whoremasters; and afterwards selecting different members in succession, described them as dishonest and corrupt livers, a shame and scandal to the profession of the gospel. Suddenly, however, checking himself, he turned to the guard and ordered them to clear the house. At these words Colonel Harrison took the speaker by the hand and led him from the chair; Algernon Sidney was next compelled to quit his seat; and the other members, eighty in number, on the approach of the military, rose and moved towards the door. Cromwell now resumed his discourse. 'It is you,' he exclaimed, that have forced me to do this. I have sought the Lord both day and night that he would rather slay me than put me on the doing of this work.' Alderman Allan took advantage of these words to observe, that it was not yet too late to undo what had been done; but Cromwell instantly charged him with peculation, and gave him into custody. When all were gone, fixing his eye on the mace,What,' said he, shall we do with this fool's bauble? Here, carry it away.' Then, taking the act of dissolution from the clerk, he or dered the doors to be locked, and, accompanied by the military, returned to Whitehall.
That afternoon the members of the council assembled in their usual place of meeting. Bradshaw had just taken the chair, when the lord-general entered, and told them that if they were there as private individuals, they were welcome; but if as the Council of State, they must know that the parliament was dissolved, and with it also the council. 'Sir,' replied Bradshaw, with the spirit of an ancient Roman, we have heard what you did at the house this morning, and before many hours all England will know it. But, sir, you are mistaken to think that the parliament is dissolved. No power under heaven can dissolve them but themselves; therefore, take you notice of that.' After this protest they withdrew. Thus, by the parricidal hands of its own children, perished the Long Parliament, which, under a variety of forms, had, for more than twelve years, defended and invaded the liberties of the nation. It fell without a struggle or a groan, unpitied and unregretted. The members slunk away to their homes, where they sought by submission to purchase the forbearance of their new master; and their partisans, if partisans they had, reserved themselves in silence for a day of retribution, which came not before Cromwell slept in his grave. The royalists congratulated each other on an event which they deemed a preparatory step to the restoration of the king; the army and navy, in nu
merous addresses, declared that they would live and die, stand and fall, with the lord-general; and in every part of the country the congregations of the saints magnified the arm of the Lord, which had broken the mighty, that in lieu of the sway of mortal men, the fifth monarchy, the reign of Christ might be established on earth.
It would, however, be unjust to the memory of those who exercised the supreme power after the death of the king, not to acknowledge that there existed among them men capable of wielding with energy the destinies of a great empire. They governed only four years; yet, under their auspices, the conquests of Ireland and Scotland were achieved, and a navy was created, the rival of that of Holland and the terror of the rest of Europe. But there existed an essential error in their form of government. Deliberative assemblies are always slow in their proceedings; yet the pleasure of parliament, as the supreme power, was to be taken on every subject connected with the foreign relations or the internal administration of the country; and hence it happened, that among the immense variety of questions which came before it, those commanded immediate attention which were deemed of immediate necessity; while the others, though often of the highest importance to the national welfare, were first postponed, then neglected, and ultimately forgotten. To this habit of procrastination was perhaps owing the extinction of its authority. It disappointed the hopes of the country, and supplied Cromwell with the most plausible arguments in de
fence of his conduct.
Besides his elaborate History of England,' Dr Lingard is author of a work evincing great erudition and research, on the Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, published in 1809.
The great epoch of the English Commonwealth, and the struggle by which it was preceded, has been illustrated by MR GEORGE BRODIE'S History of the British Empire from the Accession of Charles I. to the Restoration, four volumes, 1822, and by MR GODWIN'S History of the Commonwealth of England, four volumes, 1824-27. The former work is chiefly devoted to an exposure of the errors and misrepresentations of Hume; while Mr Godwin writes too much in the spirit of a partisan, without the calmness and dignity of the historian. Both works, however, afford new and important facts and illustrations of the momentous period of which they treat.
The greatest historical name in this period, and our greatest living historian, is HENRY HALLAM, author of several elaborate works. His first was a View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, two volumes quarto, 1818, being an account of the progress of Europe from the middle of the fifth to the end of the fifteenth century. In 1827 he published The Constitutional History of England from the Accession of Henry VII. to the Death of George II., also in two volumes; and in 1837-38 an Introduction to the Literature of Europe in the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centuries, in four volumes. With vast stores of knowledge, and indefatigable application, Mr Hallam possesses a clear and independent judgment, and a style grave and impressive, yet enriched with occasional imagery and rhetorical graces. His introduction to the Literature of Europe' is a great monument of his erudition. His knowledge of the language and literature of each nation is critical and profound, and his opinions are conveyed in a style remarkable for its succinctness and perspicuous beauty. In his two first works, Mr Hallam's views of political questions are those generally adopted by the Whig party, but are stated with calmness and moderation. He is peculiarly a supporter of principles, not of men, and he judges of characters without party prejudice or passion.
It is the previous state of society, under the grandchildren of Charlemagne, which we must always keep in mind, if we would appreciate the effects of the feudal system upon the welfare of mankind. The institutions of the eleventh century must be compared with those of the ninth, not with the advanced civilisation of modern times. The state of anarchy which we usually term feudal, was the natural result of a vast and barbarous empire feebly administered, and The History of the Anglo-Saxons, by SIR FRANCIS the cause, rather than the effect, of the general estaPALGRAVE, 1831, and the same author's elaborate blishment of feudal tenures. These, by preserving account of the Rise and Progress of the English Com- the mutual relations of the whole, kept alive the feelmonwealth-Anglo-Saxon Period, are curious and valu-ing of a common country and common duties; and able works. The history and literature of the Anglo-Saxons had long been neglected; but some accomplished scholars, following Mr Sharon Turner, have recently mastered the difficulties attendant on such a study, and introduced us more nearly to those founders of the English character and language. MR CONYBEARE'S Illustrations of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, the valuable translation of the Saxon Chronicle by MR INGRAM, the REV. MR BOSWORTH's Anglo-Saxon Grammar, and various works by Sir Francis Palgrave and MR THOMAS WRIGHT, have materially
aided in this resuscitation.
MR SOUTHEY'S History of Brazil, three volumes quarto, 1810, and his IIistory of the Peninsular War, two volumes quarto, 1823-28, are proofs of the laureate's untiring industry, and of the easy and admirable English style of which he was so consummate a master. The first is a valuable work, though too diffuse and minutely circumstantial. The Memoirs of Spain during the Reigns of Philip IV. and Charles II., by MR JOHN DUNLOP, 1834; the History of India, by MR JAMES MILL, Six volumes, 1819; and
settled, after the lapse of ages, into the free constitution of England, the firm monarchy of France, and the federal union of Germany.
The utility of any form of policy may be estimated by its effects upon national greatness and security, upon civil liberty and private rights, upon the tranquillity and order of society, upon the increase and diffusion of wealth, or upon the general tone of moral sentiment and energy. The feudal constitution was little adapted for the defence of a mighty kingdom, far less for schemes of conquest. But as it prevailed alike in several adjacent countries, none had anything to fear from the military superiority of its neighbours. It was this inefficiency of the feudal militia, perhaps, that saved Europe, during the middle ages, from the danger of universal monarchy. In times when princes had little notions of confederacies for mutual protec tion, it is hard to say what might not have been the successes of an Otho, a Frederic, or a Philip Augustus, if they could have wielded the whole force of their subjects whenever their ambition required. empire equally extensive with that of Charlemagne,
and supported by military despotism, had been formed about the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, the seeds of commerce and liberty, just then beginning to shoot, would have perished; and Europe, reduced to a barbarous servitude, might have fallen before the free barbarians of Tartary.
If we look at the feudal polity as a scheme of civil freedom, it bears a noble countenance. To the feudal law it is owing that the very names of right and privilege were not swept away, as in Asia, by the desolating hand of power. The tyranny which, on every favourable moment, was breaking through all barriers, would have rioted without control, if, when the people were poor and disunited, the nobility had not been brave and free. So far as the sphere of feudality extended, it diffused the spirit of liberty and the notions of private right. Every one will acknowledge this who considers the limitations of the services of vassalage, so cautiously marked in those law-books which are the records of customs; the reciprocity of obligation between the lord and his tenant; the consent required in every measure of a legislative or general nature; the security, above all, which every vassal found in the administration of justice by his peers, and even (we may in this sense say) in the trial by combat. The bulk of the people, it is true, were degraded by servitude; but this had no connexion
with the feudal tenures.
The peace and good order of society were not promoted by this system. Though private wars did not originate in the feudal customs, it is impossible to doubt that they were perpetuated by so convenient an institution, which indeed owed its universal establishment,to no other cause. And as predominant habits of warfare are totally irreconcilable with those of industry, not merely by the immediate works of destruction which render its efforts unavailing, but through that contempt of peaceful occupations which they produce, the feudal system must have been intrinsically adverse to the accumulation of wealth, and the improvement of those arts which mitigate the evils or abridge the labours of mankind.
examine the most authentic sources of information, and to convey a true picture of the times, without prepossession or partiality. He commences with the accession of Alexander III., because it is at that period that our national annals become particularly interesting to the general reader. The first volume of Mr Tytler's history was published in 1828, and a continuation has since appeared at intervals, conducting the narrative to the year 1603, when James VI. ascended the throne of England. The style of the history is plain and perspicuous, with sufficient animation to keep alive the attention of the reader. Mr Tytler has added considerably to the amount and correctness of our knowledge of Scottish history. He has taken up a few doubtful opinions on questions of fact; but the industry and talent he has evinced entitle him to the lasting gratitude of his countrymen. A second edition of this work, up to the period already mentioned, extends to nine volumes.
The History of the War in the Peninsula, and in the South of France, from the year 1807 to the year 1814, in six volumes, 1828-40, by COLONEL W. F. P. NAPIER, is acknowledged to be the most valuable record of that war which England waged against the power of Napoleon. Mr Southey had previously written a history of this period, but it was heavy and uninteresting, and is now rarely met with. Colonel Napier was an actor in the great struggle he records, and peculiarly conversant with the art of war. The most ample testimony has been borne to the accuracy of the historian's statements, and to the diligence and acuteness with which he has collected his materials. Further light has been thrown on the Spanish war, as well as on the whole of our other military operations from 1799 to 1818, by the publication of The Despatches of Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington, by LIEUTENANT-COLONEL GURWOOD, twelve volumes, 1836-8. The skill, moderation, and energy of the Duke of Wellington are strikingly illustrated by this compilation. No man ever before,' says a critic in the Edinburgh Review, had the gratification of himself witnessing the formation of such a monument to his glory. His despatches will continue to furnish, through every age, lessons of practical wisdom which cannot be too highly prized by public men of every station; whilst they will supply to military commanders, in particular, examples for their guidance which they cannot too carefully study, nor too anxiously endeavour to
But, as a school of moral discipline, the feudal institutions were perhaps most to be valued. Society had sunk, for several centuries after the dissolution of the Roman empire, into a condition of utter depravity; where, if any vices could be selected as more eminently characteristic than others, they were falsehood, treachery, and ingratitude. In slowly purging off the lees of this extreme corruption, the feudal spirit exerted its ameliorating influence. Violation of faith stood first in the catalogue of crimes, most repugnant to the very essence of a feudal tenure, Ample materials for a comprehensive and complete most severely and promptly avenged, most branded history of the revolutionary war had been furnished, by general infamy. The feudal law-books breathe or existed in national repositories, and a work of throughout a spirit of honourable obligation. The this kind was undertaken by A. ALISON, Esq., a feudal course of jurisdiction promoted, what trial by gentleman of the Scottish bar. Mr Alison's History peers is peculiarly calculated to promote, a keener of Europe from the Commencement of the French Revofeeling, as well as readier perception, of moral as welllution in 1789 to the Restoration of the Bourbons in as of legal distinctions. In the reciprocal services of lord and vassal, there was ample scope for every magnanimous and disinterested energy. The heart of man, when placed in circumstances that have a tendency to excite them, will seldom be deficient in such sentiments. No occasions could be more favourable than the protection of a faithful supporter, or the defence of a beneficent sovereign, against such powerful aggression as left little prospect except of sharing in his ruin.
1815, was completed in 1842 in ten volumes. Exceptions may be taken to parts of this work as prolix in style and partial in statement. His account of the battle of Waterloo, for example, has been questioned by the highest living authority on that subject; but, taken as a whole, Mr Alison's history is honourable to his talents, no less than his industry. His style is generally clear and animated, and his arrangement of his vast materials orderly, and well adapted for
The following are also recent contributions to this valuable department of our literature:-A History of England from the Peace of Utrecht to the Peace of AixTYT-la-Chapelle, and a History of the War of the Succes sion in Spain, both by LORD MAHON; a History of China, by the REV. CHARLES GUTZLAFF; a History of the Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece, by
P. F. TYTLER-COLONEL NAPIER, &c. The History of Scotland, by PATRICK FRASER LER, Esq. is an attempt to build the history of that country upon unquestionable muniments.' The author professes to have anxiously endeavoured to
JAMES ST JOHN; a History of Christianity from the Birth of Christ to the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire, by the REV. H. H. MILMAN; a History of India (the Hindoo and Mohammedan periods), by the HON. MOUNTSTUART ELPHINSTONE; a History of Modern Greece, by JAMES EMERSON; a History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, by W. H. PRESCOT (a very interesting and valuable work), and a History of the Conquest of Mexico, by the same author; a History of the Christian Church, by DR E. BURTON. The various works written to simplify history, and adapt its details to young and uninstructed readers, far exceed enumeration.
The French have cultivated biography with more diligence than the English; but much has been done of late years to remedy this defect in our national literature. Individual specimens of great value we have long possessed. The lives of Donne, Wotton, Hooker, and Herbert, by Izaak Walton, are entitled to the highest praise for the fulness of their domestic details, no less than for the fine simplicity and originality of their style. The lives of the poets by Johnson, and the occasional memoirs by Goldsmith, Mallet, and other authors, are either too general or too critical to satisfy the reader as representations of the daily life, habits, and opinions of those whom we venerate or admire. Mason's life of Gray was a vast improvement on former biographies, as the interesting and characteristic correspondence of the poet and his literary diary and journals, bring him personally before us pursuing the silent course of his studies, or mingling occasionally as a retired scholar in the busy world around him. The success of Mason's bold and wise experiment prompted another and more complete work-the life of Dr Johnson by Boswell. JAMES BOSWELL (1740-1795) was by birth and education a gentleman of rank and station-the son of a Scottish judge, and heir to an ancient family and estate. He had studied for the u to vigermout oddeate
bar, but being strongly impressed with admiration of the writings and character of Dr Johnson, he attached himself to the rugged moralist, soothed and flattered his irritability, submitted to his literary
despotism and caprice; and, sedulously cultivating his acquaintance and society whenever his engagements permitted, he took faithful and copious notes of his conversation. In 1773 he accompanied Johnson to the Hebrides, and after the death of the latter, he published, in 1785, his journal of the tour, being a record of each day's occurrences, and of the more striking parts of Johnson's conversation. The work was eminently successful; and in 1791 Boswell gave to the world his full-length portrait of his friend, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D., in two volumes quarto. A second edition was published in 1794, and the author was engaged in preparing a third when he died. A great number of editions has since been printed, the latest of which was edited by Mr J. W. Croker. Anecdotes and recollections of Johnson were also published by Mrs Piozzi, Sir John Hawkins, Malone, Miss Reynolds, &c. Boswell had awakened public curiosity, and shown how much wit, wisdom, and sagacity, joined to real worth and benevolence, were concealed under the personal oddities and ungainly exterior of Johnson. Never was there so complete a portraiture of any single individual. The whole time spent by Boswell in the society of his illustrious friend did not amount to more than nine months, yet so diligent was he in writing and inquiring-so thoroughly did he devote himself to his subject, that, notwithstanding his limited opportunities, and his mediocre abilities, he was able to produce what all mankind have agreed in considering the best biography in existence. Though vain, shallow, and conceited, Boswell had taste enough to discern the racy vigour and richness of Johnson's conversation, and he was observant enough to trace the peculiarities of his character and temperament. He forced himself into society, and neglected his family and his profession, to meet his friend; and he was content to be ridiculed and slighted, so that he could thereby add one page to his journal, or one scrap of writing to his collection. He sometimes sat up three nights in a week to fulfil his task, and hence there is a freshness and truth in his notes and impressions which attest their fidelity. His work introduces us to a great variety of living characters, who speak, walk, and think, as it were, in our presence; and besides furnishing us with useful, affecting, and ennobling lessons of morality, live over again the past for the delight and entertainment of countless generations of readers.
With a pardonable and engaging egotism, which forms an interesting feature in his character, the historian Gibbon had made several sketches of his own life and studies. From these materials, and embodying verbatim the most valuable portions, LORD SHEFFIELD compiled a memoir, which was published, with the miscellaneous works of Gibbon, in 1795. A number of the historian's letters were also included in this collection; but the most important and interesting part of the work is his journal and diary, giving an account of his literary occupations. The calm unshrinking perseverance and untiring energy of Gibbon form a noble example to all literary students; and where he writes of his own personal history and opinions, his lofty philosophical style never forsakes him. Thus he opens his slight memoir in the following strain:
'A lively desire of knowing and of recording our ancestors so generally prevails, that it must depend on the influence of some common principle in the minds of men. We seem to have lived in the persons of our forefathers: it is the labour and reward of vanity to extend the term of this ideal longevity. Our imagination is always active to enlarge the narrow circle in which nature has confined us.
Fifty or a hundred years may be allotted to an individual, but we step forwards beyond death with such hopes as religion and philosophy will suggest; and we fill up the silent vacancy that precedes our birth, by associating ourselves to the authors of our existence. Our calmer judgment will rather tend to moderate than to suppress the pride of an ancient and worthy race. The satirist may laugh, the philosopher may preach, but reason herself will respect the prejudices and habits which have been consecrated by the experience of mankind.'
Gibbon states, that before entering upon the perusal of a book, he wrote down or considered what he knew of the subject, and afterwards examined how much the author had added to his stock of knowledge. A severe test for some authors! From habits like this sprung the Decline and Fall.
In 1800 DR JAMES CURRIE (1756-1805) published his edition of the works of Burns for the benefit of the poet's family, and enriched it with an excellent memoir, that has served for the groundwork of many subsequent lives of Burns. The candour and ability displayed by Currie have scarcely been sufficiently appreciated. Such a task was new to him, and was beset with difficulties. He believed that Burns's misfortunes arose chiefly from his errorshe lived at a time when this impression was strongly prevalent-yet he touched on the subject of the poet's frailties with delicacy and tenderness. He estimated his genius highly as a great poet, without reference to his personal position, and thus in some measure anticipated the more unequivocal award of posterity. His remarks on Scottish poetry, and on the condition of the Scottish peasantry, appear now somewhat prolix and affected; but at the time they were written, they tended to interest and inform the English reader, and to forward the author's benevolent object in extending the sale of the poet's works. Memoirs of Burns have since been written by Mr Lockhart, Mr Allan Cunningham, and various other authors, who have added additional facts to those related by Currie, and new critical disquisitions on the character and genius of Burns. It cannot be said, however, that any of the number have composed a more able, luminous, or eloquent biography than that of the original editor.
After the death of Cowper in 1800, every poetical reader was anxious to learn the personal history and misfortunes of a poet who had afforded such exquisite glimpses of his own life and habits, and the amiable traits of whose character shone so conspicuously in his verse. His letters and manuscripts were placed at the disposal of Hayley, whose talents as a poet were then greatly overrated, but who had personally known Cowper. Accordingly, in 1803, Hayley published memoirs of the poet and his correspondence in four volumes. The work was a valuable contribution to English biography. The inimitable letters of Cowper were themselves a treasure beyond price; and Hayley's prose, though often poor enough, was better than his poetry. What the hermit of Eartham' left undone has since been supplied by Southey, who in 1835 gave the world an edition of Cowper in fifteen volumes, about three of which are filled with a life and notes. The lives of both Hayley and Southey are written in the style of Mason's memoir, letters being freely interspersed throughout the narrative. Of a similar description, but not to be compared with these in point of interest or execution, is the life of Dr Beattie, by Sir William Forbes, published in 1806, in two volumes.
In the same year LORD HOLLAND published an Account of the Life and Writings of Lope Felix de Vega, the celebrated Spanish dramatist. De Vega
was one of the most fertile writers upon record: his miscellaneous works fill twenty-two quarto volumes, and his dramas twenty-five volumes. He died in 1635, aged seventy-three. His fame has been eclipsed by abler Spanish writers, but De Vega gave a great impulse to the literature of his nation, and is considered the parent of the continental drama. The amiable and accomplished nobleman who recorded the life of this Spanish prodigy has himself paid the debt of nature; he died at Holland house, October 23, 1840, aged sixty-seven. Lord Holland was a generous patron of literature and art. Holland house was but another name for refined hospitality and social freedom, in which men of all shades of opinion participated. As a literary man, the noble lord has left few or no memorials that will survive; but he will long be remembered as a generous-hearted English nobleman, who, with princely munificence and varied accomplishments, ever felt a strong interest in the welfare of the great mass of the people; who was an intrepid advocate of popular rights in the most difficult and trying times; and who, amidst all his courtesy and hospitality, held fast his integrity and consistency to the last.
The Life of Nelson, by SOUTHEY, published in two small volumes (since compressed into one) in 1813, rose into instant and universal favour, and may be considered as one of our standard popular biographies. Its merit consists in the clearness and beautiful simplicity of its style, and its lucid arrangement of facts, omitting all that is unimportant or strictly technical. Mr Southey afterwards published a Life of Wesley, the celebrated founder of the Methodists, in which he evinces a minute acquaintance with the religious controversies and publications of that period, joined to the art of the biographer, in giving prominence and effect to his delineations. His sketches of field-preaching and lay preachers present some curious and interesting pictures of human nature under strong excitement. The same author contributed a series of lives of British admirals to the Cabinet Cyclopædia, edited by Dr Lardner.
The most valuable historical biography of this period is the Life of John Knox, by DR THOMAS M'CRIE (1772-1835), a Scottish minister. M'Crie had a warm sympathy with the sentiments and opinions of his hero; and on every point of his history he possessed the most complete information. He devoted himself to his task as to a great Christian duty, and not only gave a complete account of the principal events of Knox's life, his sentiments, writings, and exertions in the cause of religion and liberty,' but illustrated, with masterly ability, the whole contemporaneous history of Scotland. Men may differ as to the views taken by Dr M'Crie of some of those subjects, but there can be no variety of opinion as to the talents and learning he displayed. Following up his historical and theological retrospect, the same author afterwards published a life of Andrew Melville, but the subject is less interesting than that of his first biography. He wrote also memoirs of Veitch and Brysson (Scottish ministers, and supporters of the Covenant), and histories of the Reformation in Italy and in Spain. Dr M'Crie published, in 1817, a series of papers in the Edinburgh Christian Instructor, containing a vindication of the Covenanters from the distorted view which he believed Sir Walter Scott to have given of them in his tale of Old Mortality. Sir Walter replied anonymously, by reviewing his own work in the Quarterly Review! There were faults and absurdities on the side both of the Covenanters and the royalists, | but the cavalier predilections of the great novelist