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Jacobites. And men of both parties may derive equal gratification from the passage in which, summing up the events of 1688, he claims for his country the honor of having displayed, at the crisis and turning-point of her political course, the wisdom, the firmness, and the self-control which alone enable a nation to reconcile freedom with order, and progress with precedent. To be read by people of all opinions and classes and countries; to bring home intellectual delights to the craftsman, as well as to the scholar; to inspire the young with a relish for letters and a craving for knowledge—has been Macaulay's rare and most enviable fortune: and it is hoped that this volume may do something to spread the influence of an author whose pen has never sinned against honor, liberty, or virtue.
LORD MACAULAY'S WRITINGS,
THE BATTLE OF SEDGEMOOR, AND THE FATE OF MONMOUTH. 1685.
[History of England, Chapter W.]
N the day following that on which Monmouth had assumed the regal title, he marched from Taunton to Bridgewater.(.) His own spirits, it was remarked, were not high. The acclamations of the devoted thousands who surrounded him wherever he turned could not dispel the gloom which sat on his brow. Those who had seen him during his progress through Somersetshire, five years before, could not now observe without pity the traces of distress and anxiety on those soft and pleasing features which had won so many hearts. Ferguson was in a very different temper.(..) With this man's knavery was strangely mingled an eccentric vanity which resembled madness. The thought that he had raised a rebellion
(*) The Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme on the 11th of June, with the intention of raising a rebellion, and deposing his uncle, James the Second. He proclaimed himself king at Taunton on the 20th of June.
(*) Ferguson was an adventurer and plotter of a low class, who had attached himself to the Whig party. In Dryden's “Absalom and Achitophel” he figures as Judas.