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of Italy ; his own character and the character of the revolution led him on to success. The secret of his triumphs is now easily understood. He fought against commanders conducting the great game of warfare upon a regular and formal system of tactics, at the least expense, at the least possible waste of human life, and with a prudence which, if it did not insure victory, did not render retreat hopeless. Bonaparte always set his fortune "upon a cast.” He won every thing by risking every thing; he would assign thousands and tens of thousands of his own men to certain destruction, to insure the safety of the remainder ; where other generals paid for the subsistence of their forces, Bonaparte plundered. Such a system was new, and was therefore terrific. The world saw the activity with which he moved great masses of men, the fearlessness with which he attacked superior force, his contempt of the elements and of the barriers opposed by rivers and mountains to military movements and whilst they wondered they were lost. He continued this practice from the commencement of his career to its close from the passage of the Alps to the flight from Moscow. We may form some idea of the wholesale destruction of human life which this system induced, by knowing that the annual addition to the French army, by conscription, was for many years upwards of 150,000 men, whilst in England the recruits of each year were not more than 5000. The world at last learned to imitate the boldness and the rapidity of his military movements, and it was reserved for England and her allies to beat him by the adoption of those weapons, and yet leave him in the exclusive possession of his system of plunder and bloodshed.
If we could divest ourselves of the abhorrence which we feel of Bonaparte's merciless principles of warfare, we should be ready to acknowledge that he was the greatest general of modern times. But it required even greater military abilities to defeat him, without sacrificing the principles of justice and humanity. This was accomplished by the Englishman who freed Spain from the yoke of his oppression.
But Bonaparte is not to be looked at only as a general ;-he aspired to and filled the character of a sovereign, and a head of sovereigns. His merits in this particular are easily summed up. He had but one notion of government, and that was founded upon the fear, not the love, of the governed. He was one of the greatest enemies to liberty that ever appeared in the world. He found the French people in the possession of the wildest and most unbridled principles of republicanism, and he made them the willing slaves of his absolute monarchy. Under his rule there was no representation of the people, no freedom of the press, no appeal from the enormities of his cruel and all-pervading police. His sway was a despotism of the most arbitrary character. But he gilded the chains of the French. He filled them with the intoxication of national vanity-he astounded them by his victories—he flattered them by his insolent demeanour to other nations-he imposed no restraints upon their licentious habits, except when they interfered with the even progress of his government-he obtained the suffrages of men of letters by his patronage--and he took care to raise many splendid public works, amongst a people who enjoy themselves only in public, and are insensible to the comforts and securities of domestic life. In his private demeanour as a sovereign he was haughty and repulsive ; coarse and offensive, except upon occasions of show ;-overbearing and insolent even to the fair sex. But he appears to have been affectionate to his relations ;—and the force of his talents, and the magnificence of his power, could not fail to procuro him many warm and faithful friends.
In a word, Bonaparte was the living symbol of the French Revolution. He was the representative of its ferocity, its selfishness, its contempt of ordinary restraints, its mighty daring, its defiance of God, its cruelty to man. What Cromwell was in a fanatical age, Bonaparte was in an atheistical. The world will never again behold
two such men, because the circumstances that made them can never again exist. They were both, to a certain extent, impostors; and they both exhausted the materials of their deceptions.
82.-DEATH OF CARDINAL WOLSEY
CAVENDISH. (AMONGST the earliest memoirs on English history, and certainly far exceeding most memoirs in interest and importance, is The Life of Wolsey, by George Cavendish, his Gentleman Usher. It was long a question who wrote this remarkable book; but the doubt was satisfactorily cleared up by Mr. Hunter, who found that it was written by the brother of Sir William Cavendish, a faithful follower of the great Cardinal. There are ten MSS. in existence of this ancient work; but it has been very carefully edited by Mr. Singer. We confine our extracts to those striking passages which relate to the death of the great Cardinal.]
Wolsey had been dismissed from Court and had retired to his palace at Cawood, previous to his installation at York as Archbishop. He was suddenly arrested on a charge of high treason, by the Earl of Northumberland, and was forced to set out for the metropolis. Very soon the Cardinal fell ill; and it is evident, from the cautions observed, that those about him suspected that he intended to poison himself. Ill as he was, the Earl of Shrewsbury put the fallen man under the charge of Sir William Kingston, the lieutenant of the Tower, whom the king had sent for the Cardinal, with twenty-four of his guard ; and with this escort he departed on his last journey. “And the next day he took his journey with Master Kingston and the guard. And as soon as they espied their old master in such a lamentable estate, they lamented him with weeping eyes. Whom my lord took by the hands, and divers times, by the way, as he rode, he would talk with them, sometime with one, and sometime with another ; at night he was lodged at a house of the Earl of Shrewsbury's, called Hardwick Hall *, very evil at ease. The next day he rode to Nottingham, and there lodged that night, more sicker, and the next day he rodo to Leicester Abbey ; and by the way he waxed so sick that he was divers times likely to have fallen from his mule, and being night before we came to the Abbey of Leicester, where at his coming in at the gates the Abbot of the place with all his convent met him with the light of many torches ; and whom they right honourably received with great reverence. To whom my lord said, Father Abbot, I am come hither to leave my bones among you ;' whom they brought on his mule to the stairs' foot of his chamber, and there alighted, and Master Kingston then touk him by the arm, and led him up the stairs; who told me afterwards that he never carried so heavy a burden in all his life. And as soon as he was in his chamber, be went incontinent to his bed, very sick. This was upon Saturday at night; and there he continued sicker and sicker.
“ Upon Monday in the morning, as I stood by his bedside, about eight of the clock, the windows being close shut, having wax-lights burning upon the cupboard, I beheld him, as me seemed, drawing fast to his end. He perceiving my shadow upon the wall by his bedside, asked who was there : "Sir, I am here,' quoth I; . • How do you ? quoth he to me: Very well, sir,' quoth I, if I might see your grace well : ' 'What is it of the clock ?' said he to me; 'Forsooth sir, said I, “it is past eight of the clock in the morning.' 'Eight of the clock ? quoth he: that cannot be;' rehearsing divers times 'Eight of the clock, eight of the clock ; Nay, nay,' quoth he at last, it cannot be eight of the clock : for by eight of the clock ye shall lose your master; for my time draweth near that I must depart out of this world.""
The rapacity of the king is strikingly exhibited in the following passage : “And after dinner, Master Kingston called for me (Cavendish) into his chamber, and at
• Not the Hardwick of Derbyshire, but of Nottinghamshire.
my being there, said to me, "So it is that the king hath sent me letters by this gentleman, Master Vincent, one of your old companions, who hath been of late in trouble in the Tower of London for money that my lord should have at his last departing from him, which now cannot be found. Wherefore the king, at this gentleman's request, for the declaration of his truth, hath sent him hither with his grace's letters directed unto me, commanding me by virtue thereof to examine my lord in that behalf, and to have your council herein, how it may be done, that he may take it well and in good part. This is the chief cause of my sending for you ; therefore I pray you what is your best council to use in this matter for the true acquittal of this gentleman ?' 'Sir,' quoth I, 'as touching that matter, my simple advice shall be this, that your own person shall resort unto him and visit him, and in communication break the matter unto him ; and if he will not tell the truth, there be that can satisfy the king's pleasure therein; and in any wise speak nothing of my fellow Vincent. And I would not advise you to tract the time with him : for he is very sick, and I fear me he will not live past to-morrow in the morning.' Then went Master Kingston unto him, and asked first how he did, and so forth proceeded in communication, wherein Master Kingston demanded of him the said money, saying, “That my lord of Northumberland hath found a book at Cawood that reporteth how yo had but fifteen hundred pounds in ready money, and one penny thereof will not be found, who hath made the king privy by his letters thereof. Wherefore the king hath written unto me, to demand of you if you know where it is become ; for it were pity that it should be embezzled from you both. Therefore, I shall require you, in the king's name, to tell me the truth herein, to the intent that I may make just report unto his majesty what answer ye make therein. With that my lord paused awhile, and said, 'Ah, good lord ! how much doth it grieve me that the king should think in me such deceit, wherein I should deceive him of any one penny that I have. Rather than I would, Master Kingston, embezzle or deceive him of a mite, I would it were moult, and put in my mouth ;' which words he spake twice or thrice very vehemently. I have nothing, ne never had (God being my judge), that I esteemed, or had in it any such delight or pleasure, but that I took it for the king's goods, having but the bare use of the same during my life, and after my death to leave it to the king; wherein he hath but prevented my intent and purpose. And for this money that ye demand of me, I assure you it is none of mine ; for I borrowed it of divers of my friends to bury me, and to bestow among my servants, who have taken great pains about me, like true and faithful men. Notwithstanding, if it be his pleasure to take this money from me, I must hold me therewith content. Yet I would most humbly beseech his majesty to see them satisfied, of whom I borrowed the same for the discharge of my conscience. . . . . 'Sir,' quoth Master Kingston, 'there is no doubt in the king; ye need not to mistrust that, but when the king shall be advertised thereof, to whorn I shall make report of your request, that his grace will do as shall become him. But, sir, I pray you, where is this money ?' Master Kingston,' quoth he, 'I will not conceal it from the king ; I will declare it to you, (ere) I die, by the grace of God. Take a little patience with me I pray you. Well, sir, then will I trouble you no more at this time, trusting that ye will show me to-morrow.'
“Howbeit my lord waxed very sick, most likeliest to die that night, and often swooned, and, as me thought, drew fast toward his end, until it was four of the clock in the morning, at which time, I asked him how he did: “Well,' quoth he, 'if I bad any meat; I pray you give me some.' "Sir, there is none ready,' said I. 'I wis,' quoth he, 'ye be the more to blame, for you should have always some meat for me in a readiness, to eat when my stomach serveth me; therefore I pray you get me some; for I intend this day, God willing, to make me strong, to the intent I may occupy myself in confession, and make me ready to God.' The dying man ate a spoonful or two. Then was be in confession the space of an hour. And when he had ended his confession, Master Kingston bade him good-morrow (for it was seven of the clock in the morning), and asked him how he did. 'Sir,' quoth he, 'I tarry but the will and pleasure of God, to render unto him my simple soul into his divine hands.' 'Not yet so, sir,' quoth Master Kingston, with the grace of God, ye shall live, and do very well, if ye will be of good cheer.' 'Master Kingston, my disease is such, that I cannot live; I have had some experience in my disease, and thus it is : I have a flux, with a continual fever; the nature whereof is this: that if there be no alteration with me of the same within eight days, then must either epsue excoriation of the entrails, or frenzy, or else present death ; and the best thereof is death. And as I suppose, this is the eighth day; and if ye see in me no alteration, then is there no remedy (although I may live a day or twain), but death which is the best remedy of the three.' 'Nay, sir, in good faith' quoth Master Kingston, 'you be in such dolor and pensiveness, doubting that thing that indeed ye need not to fear, which maketh you much worse than ye should be. Well, well, Master Kingston,' quoth he. "I see the matter against me how it is framed; but if I had served God as diligently as I have done the king, he would not bave given me over in my grey hairs. Howbeit this is the just reward that I must receive for my worldly diligence and pains that I may have had to do him service ; only to satisfy his vain pleasure, not regarding my godly duty. Wherefore I pray you, with all my heart, to have me most humbly commended unto his royal majesty ; beseeching him in my behalf to call to his most gracious remembrance all matters proceeding between him and me, from the beginning of the world unto this day, and the progress of the same : and most chiefly in the weighty matter yet depending (meaning the matter newly began between him and the good Queen Katherine), then shall his conscience declare whether I have offended him or no. He is sure a prince of royal courage, and hath a princely heart; and rather than he will either miss or want any part of his will or appetite, he will put the loss of one-half of his realm in danger. For I assure you, I have often kneeled before him in his privy chamber on my knees, the space of an hour or two, to persuade him from his will and appetite, but I could never bring to pass to dissuade him therefrom. Therefore, Master Kingston, if it chance hereafter you to be one of his privy council, as for your wisdom and other qualities ye are meet to be, I warn you to be well advised and assured what matter ye put in his head, for ye shall never put in out again.''
The narrative then goes on to exhibit a long speech of the Cardinal's against “ this new pernicious sect of Lutherans," At last Wolsey said: “Master Kingston, farewell; I can no more, but wish all things to have good success. My time draweth on fast I may not tarry with you. And forget not, I pray you, what I have said and charged you withal: for when I am dead, ye shall peradventure remember my words much better. And even with these words he began to draw his speech at length, and his tongue to fail; his eyes being set in his head, whose sight failed him. Then we began to put him in remembrance of Christ's passion; and sent for the abbot of the place to anneal him, who came with all speed and ministered unto him all the service to the same belonging: and caused also the guard to stand by, both to hear him talk before his death, and also to witness of the same; and incontinent the clock struck eight, at which time he gave up the ghost, and thus departed he this present life. And calling to our remembrance his words the day before, how he said that at eight of the clock we should lose our master, one of us looking upon another, supposing that he prophesied of his departure.
“Here is the end and fall of pride and arrogancy of such men, exalted by fortune to bonours and high dignities; for I assure you, in his time of authority and glory,
he was then the haughtiest man in all his proceedings that then lived, having more respect to the worldly honour of his person than he had to his spiritual profession; wherein should be all meekness, humility, and charity; the process whereof I leave to them that be learned and seen in divine laws."
83.-WHAT IS POETRY
LEIGH HINT. [LEIGI HUNT, one of the most original and fascinating of English prose writers-one, also, who has won an enduring station amongst English poets, is the son of a West Indian who came to England and took orders in the Church. He was born in 1784, and was educated at Christ's Hospital. As early as 1805 he was a writer of theatrical criticism in his brother's paper, The News;-in 1808 the brothers established the Examiner-aweekly paper which surpassed all its then contemporaries in ability and taste. In those days it was almost impossible for a public writer to speak out; and Leigh Hunt had to expiate a sarcasm upon the Prince Regent by two years' imprisonment. Mr. Hunt's subsequent connection with Lord Byron was not a fortunate one; and we are inclined to think that in future literary history most honest sympathies will be with the plebeian asserting his independence as a brother in letters, instead of with the patrician,-heartless and insolent,-a declaimer for liberty but in practice a tyrant. Mr. Hunt, who has borne much adversity with a cheerfulness beyond all praise, writes as freshly and brilliantly as ever. Long may those unfailing spirits which are the delight of his social and family circle be the sunshine of his old age. The following extract is from a delightful volume, published in 1817, entitled, 'Selections from the English Poets-Imagination and Fancy.')
If a young reader should ask, after all, What is the best way of knowing bad poets from good, the best poets from the next best, and so on? the answer is, the only and twofold way; first, the perusal of the best poets with the greatest attention; and second, the cultivation of that love of truth and beauty which made them what they are. Every true reader of poetry partakes a more than ordinary portion of the poetic nature; and no one can be completely such, who does not love, or take an interest in every thing that interests the poet, from the firmament to the daisy
- from the highest heart of man, to the most pitiable of the low. It is a good practice to read with pen in hand, marking what is liked or doubted. It rivets the attention, realizes the greatest amount of enjoyment, and facilitates reference. It enables the reader also, from time to time, to see what progress he makes with his own mind, and how it grows up to the stature of its exalter.
If the same person should ask, What class of poetry is the highest ? I should say, undoubtedly, the Epic; for it includes the drama, with narration besides; or the speaking and action of the characters, with the speaking of the poet himself, whose utmost address is taxed to relate all well for so long a time, particularly in the passages least sustained by enthusiasm. Whether this class has included the greatest poet, is another question still under trial; for Shakspeare perplexes all such verdicts, even when the claimant is Homer; though if a judgment may be drawn from his early narratives (“Venus and Adonis,' and the ‘Rape of Lucrece'), it is to be doubted whether even Shakspeare could have told a story like Homer, owing to that incessant activity and superfætation of thought, a little less of which might be occasionally desired even in his plays ; if it were possible, once possessing anything of his, to wish it away. Next to Homer and Shakspeare come such narrators as the less universal but intenser Dante; Milton, with his dignified imagination; the universal profoundly simple Chaucer; and luxuriant remote Spenser - immortal child in poetry's most poetic solitudes: then the great second-rate dramatists ; unless thoso who are better acquainted with Greek tragedy than I am, demand a place for them before Chaucer: then the airy yet robust universality of Ariosto; the hearty out-ofdoor nature of Theocritus, also a universalist; the finest lyrical poets (who only take short flights, compared with the narrators); the purely contemplative poets who have