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head on a stage erected for that purpose, to convince his soldiers, who taxed him for preferring his love to his glory."--He was a great ruffian, who neither loved his mistress, nor understood glory. But the fact is doubted.
“ Cromwell, when he quelled a mutiny in Hyde Park.”
“ Harry the Great, of France, when he entered Paris, and sat at cards the same night with some great ladies, who were his mortal enemies." -A pleasure below so great a man; nor do I believe he felt it; at least not after Swift's fashion. It is pure spite, and tea-table revenge. Bonaparte's position was better, when, as Emperor and Protector of the Rhenish Confederation, or rather as “the child and champion of Jacobinism," he made the old German dowager princess back out of the room, when she took leave curtseying.
“ Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, at his trial.”-A party flourish.
“ Cato, of Attica, when he provided for the safety of his friends, and had determined to die."
“ Sir Thomas More, during his imprisonment, and at his execution.”-A jesting death was, perhaps, as good a baulk as could be for such a tyrant as Henry the Eighth; but in itself it is not a great death.
“ Marius, when the soldier sent to kill him in the dungeon. was struck with so much awe and veneration that his sword fell from his hand.”
“ Douglas, when the ship he commanded was on fire, and he lay down to die in it, because it should not be said, that one of his family ever quitted their post." —He was a captain. Marvell wrote some fine lines on him, which I am sorry I have not by me to quote. One almost imagines, that the spirit of this young hero would remain, visibly sitting and looking on, after the body was consumed.
OF THOSE WHO HAVE MADE A MEAN CONTEMPTIBLE FIGURE, IN SOME AC
TION OR CIRCUMSTANCE OF THEIR LIVES.” “ Antony, at Actium, when he fled after Cleopatra."-Swift enters upon the scornful part of his subject with more vigour. The cases are almost all in point, and only fail in one or two instances from being too common. There is no want of ground of contempt.
“ Pompey, when he was killed on the sea-shore in Egypt." " Nero and Vitellius, when they were put to death."
« Lepidus, when he was compelled to lay down his share of the Triumvirate." —But Lepidus was also in a poor position.
6 Cromwell, the day he refused the kingship out of fear.". This is excellent. Cromwell is said to have almost fainted in his coach.
“ Perseus, King of Macedon, when he was led in triumph." « Richard the Second, of England, after he was deposed.”
“ The late King of Poland, when the King of Sweden forced him to give up his kingdom; and when he took it again, upon the King of Sweden's defeat by the Muscovites." These Tories, after all, were but novices. What would Swift have thought of the resumption of crowns now-a-days; resumptions by the dozen, and performed with all the delight and dignity imaginable!
“ King James the Second of England, when the Prince of Orange sent to him at midnight to leave London.”
“ King William the Third of England, when he sent to beg the House of Commons to continue his Dutch guards, and was refused.”
“ The late Queen Anne of England, when she sent Whitworth to Muscovy on an embassy of humiliation, for an insult committed here on that prince's ambassador.”-It was not in Cromwell's style; but, as an instance, it wants prominence. These things are thought so little of among princes, where expediency is concerned, that Anne seems ill used in being made an example.
“ The Lord Chancellor Bacon, when he was convicted of bribery."-An awful record. The world owes so much to this great man, and his case admits of so much apology, that one is inclined to omit the instance against him. Sed magis amica veritas.
“ The late Duke of Marlborough, when he was forced, after his own disgrace, to carry his Duchess's gold key to the queen.” -This is not party spite; for Swift was very generous and impartial in his appreciation of the duke. While he disliked his faults, he would have had him employed for his talents. But notwithstanding our author's professions, and the Travels of Gulliver, he had great notions himself of a gold key. Marlborough was a courtier, and had gone through too many mortifications to contrast a necessity like this with any thing like the greatness here opposed to it. He was accustomed to mean figures, as well as better ones. That he would feel abject enough, is but too probable. The habi. tual meannesses to which the “great" submit, and their sensibility nevertheless to a failure in their miserable views of honour, are inconceivable to those who do not know something of them.
“ The old Earl of Pembroke, when a Scotch lord gave him a lash with a whip at Newmarket, in presence of all the nobility, and he bore it with patience."
“ King Charles the Second of England, when he entered into the second Dutch war; and in many other actions during his whole reign."
“ Philip the Second of Spain, after the defeat of the Armada.”-A mistake: kings, particularly Spanish kings, not being so easily ashamed of themselves.
“ The Emperor Charles the Fifth, when he resigned his crown, and nobody would believe his reasons." - This is excellent. Here was a king who had unkinged himself, and found himself liable to shame accordingly.
“King Charles the First of England, when, in gallantry to
his queen, he thought to surprise her with a present of a diamond buckle, which he pushed into her breast, and tore her flesh with the tongue; upon which she drew it out, and flung it on the ground.”—For Charles's state of subjection to his wife, see Bassompiere. The buckle was a bad business; but the shuttlecock of another sovereign was worse: he knocked it into a lady's bosom, and drew it out with a pair of tongs.
“ Fairfax, the parliament general, at the time of King Charles's trial.”—The nothingness of his position was the worse, inasmuch as his wife, Lady Fairfax, went into court and insulted it with loud words from the gallery.
“ Julius Cæsar, when Antony offered to put a diadem on his head, and the people shouted for joy to see him decline it; which he never offered to do, till he saw their dislike in their countenances.”_A
case! “ Coriolanus when he withdrew his army from Rome, at the entreaty of his mother."
“ Hannibal, at Antiochus's court.”
“ Beau Fielding, at fifty years old, when in a quarrel upon the stage, he was run into his breast, which he opened and showed to the ladies, that he might move their love and pity; but they all fell a laughing.”—This is perfect. [Beau Fielding, a handsome man half_crazed with vanity and “bonnes fortunes, was the Orlando the Fair of the Tatler. See No. 50 of that work. He married the Duchess of Cleveland, Charles the Second's mistress; on which he was indicted for bigamy, a former wife being living.]
“ The Count de Bussy Rabutin, when he was recalled to court after twenty years banishment into the country, and affected to make the same figure he did in his youth.”—This might be contrasted with the conduct of Sully, who, coming out of his retirement in old age to advise with Louis the Thirteenth, and being laughed at by the young courtiers for the antiquity of his dress, said to that prince, “Sir, when your Majesty's father, of illustrious memory, did me the honour to invite me into his presence, he used to send all the coxcombs out of the way.”
“ The Earl of Sunderland, when he turned Papist in the time of King James the Second, and underwent all the forms of a heretic converted.”
“ Pope Clement the Seventh, when he was taken prisoner at Rome, by the Emperor Charles the Fifth's forces."
« Queen Mary, of Scotland, when she suffered Bothwell to ravish her, and pleaded that as an excuse for marrying him."
“ King John, of England, when he gave up his kingdom to the Pope, to be held as a fief to the see of Rome.”
One is tempted to enlarge this gallery of pictures. It would be very easy, and no less edifying. But I fear I have already exceeded my limits. I cannot help giving two, however, before I go.
GREAT FIGURE.- Dean Swist, during the reward offered for his discovery as author of the Drapier's Lettters, when he discharged a man from his service for supposed insolence, who was in the secret.
MEAN FIGURE.—The same Swift, during his services to the ministry, the first time that Harley, the Lord Treasurer, called him Jonathan.
[New Monthly Magazine.
SELECTED FOR THE MUSEUM.
Memoirs of Samuel Pepys, Esq. F.R.S. Secretary to the Admi
ralty, &c. &c. Edited by Lord Bray brooke. 2 vols. 4to. Colburn. 1825.
The very late period of the month at which these bulky volumes have been published, though copious quotations from them have found their way into the journals of the day, prevents us from giving them the benefit of a regular analysis. They are so full of curious and interesting matter, however, that our readers cannot fail to be gratified by such notice as the time permits.
The work consists of, 1. a Preface; 2. the Life of Mr. Pepys; 3. Selections from his Diary; 4. Private Correspondence; and, 5, an Appendix.
The first informs us that the Rev. Mr. John Smith, of Cambridge, (Curate of Banham, Norfolk,) had deciphered the Diary from six folio tomes in the original short-hand of the writer, and now preserved in the Pepysian Library; and, farther, that the present publication comprehends only such a portion of the entries as Mr. Smith deemed most worthy of meeting the eye of the world.
The second is a brief but sufficient biography. Samuel Pepys was the son of a tailor, and born in London, February 23, 1632. His family appears to have been respectable and well connected; and he had the advantage of being educated at St. Paul's School and Cambridge. His studies at the latter place were abridged by an early marriage in October, 1655, when he was only twentythree years of age. The object of his choice, Elizabeth St. Michel, of Somersetshire, was unquestionably a beautiful woman, for he mentions her frequently in his Diary as “the prettiest” of many “ fine ladies” who are described together. She was only fifteen when she became a wife; and the young couple had little else but love to make them happy: for the very first memorandum we find -after an introductory praise of God for good health-states as the close of the year 1659,
“I lived in Axe-Yard, having my wife, and servant Jane, and no other family but us three," and then proceeds with all due parenthetical humility.
January 1. (Lords Day,) 1659-60. This morning (we living lately in the garret) I rose, put on my suit with great skirts, haying not lately worn any other cloth but them. Went to Mr. Gunning's* chapel at Exeter House," &c.
The worthy gentleman was, nevertheless, living tolerably well at this period, and in the employment of his relative, Lord Sandwich (styled my Lord throughout, though, at this opening, only Admiral Sir Edward Montagu): for, on the 9th, he tells us of breakfasting upon “cold turkey-pie and a goose !" and, on the 26th, the following characteristic record is seen.
" January, 1659-60. Fome from my office to my Lord's lodgings, where my wife had got ready a very fine dinner-viz. a dish of marrow-bones; a leg of mutton; a loin of veal; a dish of fowl, three pullets, and a dozen of larks all in a dish; a great tart; a neat's tongue; a dish of anchovies; a dish of prawns; and cheese. My company was my father, my uncle Fenner, his two sons, Mr. Pierce, and all their wives, and my brother Tom.
“The news of this day is a letter that speaks absolutely Monk's concurrence with this parliament, and nothing else, which yet I hardly believe."
Mr. Pepys's future advancement in life was gradual, and justly due to his diligence. He filled several honourable official situations, served in parliament, was for two years President of the Royal Society, and finally died (not rich, however,) at Clapham, in 1703, aged 71.
The three remaining divisions of the work will be illustrated by our future observations and extracts; and we need only say here that the Diary embraces ten strange years in our history, from 1659 to 1669; that the private correspondence is derived from Dr. Rawlinson's collections in the Bodleian library, and letters in the possession of Mr. S. Pepys Cockerel (the representative of the family); and that the Appendix is merely a few not very important documents.
Of the Diary, which is the truly important part of the publication, it is justly remarked,
“The Journal contains the most unquestionable evidences of veracity; and, as the writer made no scruple of committing his most secret thoughts to paper, encouraged, no doubt, by the confidence which he derived from the use of shorthand, perhaps there never was a publication more implicitly to be relied upon for the authenticity of its statements, and the exactness with which every fact is de. tailed. Upon this point I can venture to speak with the less hesitation, having, in preparing the sheets for the press, had occasion to compare many parts of the Diary with different accounts of the same transactions recorded elsewhere; and in no instance could I detect any material error or wilful misrepresentation."
Much more, indeed, may be urged in favour of this singular record. It exhibits, with utter simplicity, the personal characters of the writer, and of those (many of them remarkable persons) with whom he was most intimately associated. It presents traits of the general manners of the age, from the king and his court, to the lowest individual and the bear-garden. It contains more interesting particulars of the history of the stage, at the period of the Re
Gunning was afterwards Bishop of Chichester and of Ely. He had, as is related in Wood's Athenæ, persevered in reading the Liturgy at the chapel at Exeter House during the predominancy of the Parliament, for which Cromwell often rc. buked him.