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From The Contemporary Review.


chosen books and guides, and of his own imperious, working intellect, and sleepSIR HENRY VANE, known to history as less dialectical faculty. Born in 1612, he the younger Vane, and to most people passed from boyhood into youth at the solely as the man to whom Cromwell very time when the Puritan fervour was said, "Sir Harry Vane, Sir Harry Vane, reaching its climax in England; and the the Lord deliver me from Sir Harry fact that every influence immediately surVane," was a characteristic figure in the rounding him would be directed to check English Revolution of the seventeenth and discountenance Puritanism, was likecentury, a living epistle of much that was ly to predispose the logically intrepid and characteristic, memorable, and curious in wilful boy in its favour. He was of an English Puritanism. The writing about ancient stock; one of his ancestors had him is not satisfactory. Vituperation, received knighthood for bravery on the ample in quantity and vigorous in qual- field of Poictiers; his father was a prosity, you have from Clarendon and his his- perous and pliant courtier. He was himtorical fraternity, whose account of Vane, self the polar opposite of all that this lintoned down a little, is substantially adopt-eage and parentage would lead us to exed in the Biographia Britannica; com- pect. History might be ransacked in mendation has recently abounded on both vain for a pair of men so antithetically in sides of the Atlantic, Mr. C. Wentworth contrast with each other as Sir Harry Upham and Mr. Forster strenuously ex- Vane the father and Sir Harry Vane the erting themselves to depict him as a son. The father was incapable of standfaultless hero and Puritan Washington, ing erect; the son was incapable of bowin contrast with the traitorous dissimu- ing or bending: the father could adapt lator Oliver Cromwell: but fairness is himself to any hole, round or square; the absent on the one side, discrimination on son could never find any hole that would the other. Clarendon, having been Vane's quite suit him: the son could adjust himbitter enemy during his life, was not like- self neither to Charles I. nor to Oliver ly to do his memory justice; but Claren- Cromwell; the father smirked, and ate don's portrait-sketches are sharp; he has good things, and made himself generally an eye for a man's distinctive quality; useful under Charles, under the Parliaand his language is eloquent. You can ment, and under the Protector! discover the true Vane in Clarendon's seem to have remained on the best of portrait, though the "jaundiced eye" of terms all their lives, a circumstance due, the artist has quenched the white and red I suppose, to the totality of their differof honest health, and substituted a false ence. The father could tolerate all prinand sickly hue. In the favourable biog- ciples because he had none; the son raphies the figure of Vane seems to float could not quarrel with, or complain of, waveringly on a reflecting surface of wa- his father, because his most vehemently tery panegyric; you fail to trace a deter-asserted principles never evoked contraminate outline, or to form an idea of the diction. It might be interesting to know flesh-and-bone Sir Harry, as distinguished whether the extremes of flexibility and from an abstract of political perfection inflexibility have alternated in the chiefs prefiguring the sublimities of the American constitution. The reader of the modern eulogistic biographies of Vane is not unlikely to repeat the prayer of Cromwell.


of the house of Vane from the days of old Howel ap Vane of Monmouthshire, the first recorded progenitor of the Knight of Poictiers, until now. That the race has had tough vitality is unquestionable, for at this hour the Vane blood runs in several of our ducal and lordly families, and the Duke of Cleveland is a lineal descendant of Sir Harry.

Henry Vane comes before us from the first as pointedly original. From the age of fifteen he was a law unto himself. The influence of his father, his relatives, and the court-circle in which he moved, was Till fifteen, Vane tells us, he lived the weak in comparison with that of self-life of a worldling and "good fellow;"

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