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CONTENTS. L The Story Of The Death Of Thomas, Earl
Of Strafford. A.d. 1641, . . . Fraser's Magazine, . . • 451 IL The Parisians. By Lord Lytton, author of "The Last Days of Pompeii," "My Novel,"
"The Caxtons,'' etc Part IX Blackwood's Magazine, . . 463
IIL On Some Gradations In The Forms Of
Animal Life, Fraser's Magazine, . . . 479
IV. The Prescotts Of Pamphillon. By the
author of "Dorothy Fox." Part IV., . Good Words, . . . .493
V. The Bath Archives, Athetucum 504
VI. The Deluge, Academy, 509
The Exiled Mountaineer, . . 450 I Near The End 45°
Poetry And Proper Names, . . 4501 Life's Little Day, . . . .45°
Miscellany, . , . . ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ • • • ■ • Sn> S12
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THE EXILED MOUNTAINEER.
(From the French of ChAtcaubrianJ.)
How sweet the memory of that spot of earth, The happy fatherland that gave me birthl Sister, they never knew, those early clays,
One thrill of dearth. My France, my country! thy remembrance stays
By me always!
My sister, can it be thou hast forgot
In that dear spot,
The castle 'nea*h whose walls, long, long ago,
■ In accents low ■
Mind'st thou the tranquil lakelet's face so blue,
The gorgeotls hue
When day was dene f • • . ,
Ah, who will give my loved ones back to me —
And will not flee:
By me always.
POETRY AND PROPER NAMES. (Theformer assisting you to pronounce the latter.)
There dwelt an old cobbler at Bromley,
And he had a daughter so comely,
That name she relinquished for CHOLMONDE-
A small barber shaved for a penny;
lie hung out his pole
Along with a scroll,
A school was for boys kept at E'sham,
Yet his line he could trace
To a generous race. This poor pedagogue called himself BeauChamp.
There is choice of a great many large banks,
A soldier may genius or dunce be;
As one was whose name
Is worthy of fame;
NEAR THE END.
O The wild days of youth! the dear dead days!
Dark are the lights and all the chorus dumb, And cold and faintly through the gath'ring haze
Of this sad twilight time thin echoes come, And wand'ring voices haunt the glimmering ways.
Sitting alone in these last empty years, Life, starved and dwindled, tells its old tales o'er,
And, like a wind, the Past sings in mine ears,
Oft from the dreamland of the Long Ago,
And fain I'd follow them, and fain would know, How fares it with them 'neath the starless skies
That brood above the silent shades below.
Brave souls and beautiful! to what forlorn Mute fields of Death's cold kingdom are ye passed?
O dreary Death, that hath nowhere forborne,
To pluck earth's fairest flowers and o'ercast Sweet scents and colours with relentless scorn!
Ah me! A little while the evening light
A little while before my falt'ring sight
Then, dumbly-dark, shall fall all-ending night
LIFE'S LITTLE DAY.
Hopes, like dew-drops, pearl its morning,
Airy visions, fancies gay; Soon they fade, youth's dreamland scorning,
Purpose'grows as grows the day.
Work and toil come swiftly, aching
And the soul weds Right, forsaking
Onwards creep long twilight shadows;
Fairest suns must seek the West; Glories die from flower-bright meadows,
Then comes night, and with it Rest.
From Frascr's Magazine. THE STORY OF THE DEATH OF THOMAS, EARL OF STRAFFORD. A.O. 1641.
It needs some courage to tell again the oft-told story of the death of the Earl of Strafford; by an easy stretch of memory twenty-two narratives describing the closing months of that statesman's life may be reckoned up. And though these many story-tellers vary in ability, from Macaulay to Oldmixon, and though according to some Strafford was both "good and I great," and to others "that wicked Earl," 1 till all so far agree, that they ascribe his I death to the overpowering authority of Pym and his associates, all ascribe the passage through the House of Lords of the Attainder Bill to threats from a London mob; all aver that Charles I. did what he could to save his minister. Instead, however, of attempting another version of Stratford's trial, and with absolute indifference about his guilt, we propose to show that these two-and-twenty narratives are throughout untrue, that the impeachment of Strafford was a failure, his Attainder Bill a blunder, and that his condemnation by the Upper House was due solely to the King; that he, and he alone, brought death on his faithful servant.
Our story is not a pleasant one; it is not agreeable to an Englishman to tarnish the renown of the "popular party" in the Long Parliament, or to add gloom to the shadows upon the character of Charles I. It is distressing to think that such a man as Strafford fell before the intrigues of those "old subtle foxes "he justly called "the Court vermin." Still this is the impression forced on us, almost against our will, by a long-continued study of all the authorities at the Rolls Office and in the British Museum, both in MS. and in print, relating to the years 1639-41; and arising especially from the examination of diaries which Sir S. D'Ewes and his brother note-takers in Parliament scribbled on their knees, descriptive of events which took place before their eyes.*
• Among these authorities I include u A Brie/ and Perfect Relation of the Trial 0/ Thomas, Earl 0/ Strafford." Though published in 1647, evidently this
As our story is not based on mere surmise, or on the comparison of one received account with another, but is what may be called "self-contained " and selfsupported, we shall not contradict, step by step, the statements of our predecessors, or show how they are misled ; nor shall we venture on a minute investigation into the King's motives as regards Strafford. First shall be exhibited — and it must be at some length — the true position occupied by the popular party between November 11, 1640, and May 12, 1641, the dates of Strafford's arrest and execution; then it will be shown that the Attainder Bill but increased the chances of his safety; and then, that the King's actions, dictated by Strafford's enemies, overthrew all prospect of his escape, at the very time when his acquittal was confidently expected.
A false impression has been created about the opening scene of this tragedy. King Charles, it must be remembered, renewed in 1640 his attempt to force the Scottish nation to a conformity in Church government, and the failure of that attempt must be recalled: the royal army being stationed in Yorkshire, and the English frontier wholly unguarded, the Scottish army advanced, defeated a small body of our troops at Newburn, occupied Newcastle, and all the northern counties. This took place in August. September was spent in negotiation; the Long Parliament was summoned; and on the 26th of October a cessation of arms between England and Scotland being agreed to, the final settlement of peace was adjourned to London. During this lull in public events Strafford returned to his Yorkshire home —" Old Wentworth Woodhouse." He was full of general anxiety, he noticed the " rare art and malice " of the Ear! of Bristol and his other associates, and their evident
pamphlet was written in 1641, and by one in the Earl's service. This Relation is the stock from which the compilers of the State Trials, and of Rushworth's and* Nalson's Collections, drew their narratives: passages from it are inserted in Heylin's Laud, and Ratcliffe's Memoirs 0/ Strafford; this Relation is, in fact, the sole origin of all the descriptions of the closing scenes of that statesman's life. Reference will be made to it as, Narrative, 1647.
intention to make him the scapegoat for the wide-spread misery of the year 1640. He also was aware of the fierce malignity of his enemies, and apprehensive about "the great matters " against him they expected to hear "out of Ireland;" and though unwilling to leave Yorkshire, not because he dreaded quitting the shelter of the army, but because he wished to fulfil the duty there entrusted to him; still, according to his own description, he was "hastened up " to London, by fellowcouncillors whom he evidently distrusted. But he never, it would seem, shrank from meeting his adversaries; certainly he was not ordered up from Yorkshire by the King. He was sent for to correct a blunder made by the Lord Keeper, told " that there was a great want" of him at Westminster, and that if he "had been there that folly had not been committed." And his last impression was one of cheerfulness, he thought that "to the best of my judgment, we gain much rather than lose.
. . . The Irish business is past, and better than I expected, their proofs being scant. ... All will be well, and every hour gives more hope than the other." •
These are Strafford's words and feelings, expressed in a letter written the very night before he quitted Yorkshire for London, to his intimate friend, Sir. G. Ratcliffe; and they make it impossible to believe the statements of the sham-contemporary chronicler, who asserts that the Earl was forced by the King to place himself within the power of his enemies, and that he journeyed to London expecting certain death, trusting for safety to his monarch's solemn pledge. This gives a far more picturesque idea for an opening chapter in Strafford's impeachment than the reality, which was that he quitted the army reluctantly " but not very unwillingly ;" that he came up in good hope, merely on the call of his official colleagues. The object of the invention, however, is plain: it is to create the feeling, that from the very beginning Strafford foresaw the scaffold, and looked to the King alone as his protector.
* Letter to Sir G. Ratcliffe, begun November 5, and ended Sunday, November 8, 1640. Ratcliffe CorretjiQiuUnce, 214-223.
I And so again, to create the impression that unthinking haste and over-masierful power governed Parliament at the very outset of Strafford's trial, we are told that Pym, rising suddenly from his seat in the House of Commons, the doors being locked, drove them, by a long-continued blast of invective directed against the Earl, to accuse him of high treason: and that the Lords were surprised, by equal rapidity of action, into his committal. The Commons, in truth, acted on proceedings extending over four days, and on the report of a select committee.* They even prefaced the impeachment at the bar of the Upper House by a previous message, "touching things against the Earl of Strafford." f Nor had that charge been justified by an enumeration of his "high and imperious actions in England and Ireland," and his "passionate advices : " % that was expressly reserved. The accusation was founded on "my Lord Mountnorris his cause, and papists suffered in England to increase under arms."§ These were the sole charges: the first was an act of severity, perhaps of injustice, committed in 1635 upon a subordinate in the Irish Government; the second, as might be expected from its vague character, was " set aside" in Westminster Hall.
Strafford, then, was, on the nth of November, 1640. impeached of high treason, on the deliberate verdict of Parliament, for actions which, supposing they were crimes, certainly were not treasons. But these petty charges were only the excuse for his arrest. He was, in truth, placed at the bar that day as the author of the quarrel between the King and his people, of the dissolution of the Short Parliament, the injuries caused by the preparations for war with Scotland, and of the disasters of that war. On him was charged England's disgraceful defeat by
• So little was secrecy attempted, that Sir W. Pennyman, an intimate friend of Strafford's, was placed upon this Committee, November 7, 1640. D' Ewes Harleian MSS. (162), 4.
t Nov. 11. 1640. D'Ewes, Harleian MSS. (r&i), pp. 5,6.
$ Clarendon, ed. 1838, p. 73. § November 11, 1640. D'Ewes, Harleian MSS. (162), 4-7
.the Scots, the shame that this disgrace rested unavenged, and the triumphant occupation of our northern counties by a hated and despised invader.
But if Straford came to London trusting that nothing more would be heard from Ireland, not fearing a capital charge, and not relying on any special promise of protection from his master; and if, when he appeared in the House of Lords, he was suddenly arrested on the charge of high treason, a charge based on no proof at all, but entertained because he was odious to the community, then it will be felt, that as time went on, when the tale of all his evil acts and thoughts against our three nations had been told, that the fate of that "wicked Earl" was certain. This is the natural expectation: the contrary, however, was the fact. He was in March "favoured by not a few " among the men who impeached him in November on such trivial charges, and by a "great party in the Upper House ;" and he was regarded by a large and influential mass of his fellow countrymen with admiration and regard.* Such was the power of the man, and the force of circumstances. The attack on him was foiled: the blow directed against him returned upon his accusers. Their strength, and then their weakness, to place this fact before our readers, must be estimated with precision. And this estimate, as it has never been attempted before, must be set out in full.
Strafford's accusers, at the outset of their "great business," derived assistance from that blast of popular wrath which sent him to prison; and then turning to more material aid, they had under their thumb that most important witness, Sir H. Vane, the Secretary of State. In that capacity, obeying the King's commands, immediately after the dissolution of the Short Parliament, he signed warrants, under which messengers searched the rooms, even the coat pockets of Pym and Hampden, and carried off their papers. And though Hampden lost by this
• Earl of Strafford Cluiracterizcd. Written during April 1641. Somers' Tracts, iv. 231; May's History of the Parliament, 62.
seizure only some letters,* and Pym a trunk full of parliamentary journals "which can do him little hurt";J still Vane had committed a breach of parliamentary privilege, punishable, perhaps by a fine, certainly by imprisonment. And, "as Mr. Speaker had the warrants,"% that punishment might be both swift and heavy. At any moment Vane might be taken from the Treasury Bench in the House, and placed at its Bar; and then where would be the "daily diet" from the Court he drew for his household, as Secretary of State, and his fees and official gains? And hence arose that tenacity of memory, as well may be supposed, which enabled Vane, unlike the rest of his fellow-councillors, to prove at the trial Strafford's suggestion to the King — that by the Irish army England might be reduced to obedience.
Willing helpers, also, to the work in Westminster Hall, were found among Strafford's subordinates in the Irish Government, greedy to profit by his downfall. They furnished, accurately penned, the charge that he quartered soldiers on peaceable subjects, to starve them into submission to his decrees. This offence ultimately secured his conviction; the exulting words of the draftsmen on their completion of that article, " now the bird is our o\vn,"§ were fully justified.
And from some members of the House of Lords co-operation against Strafford might be expected; for their pecuniary interest was bound up with his fate. To stay the advance of the victorious Scots during the last September, an immediate loan from the City of 200,000/. had been required; and the Earl of Bristol, and a few other members of the Great Council of Peers, were constrained to give the security of their bonds for repayment of the loan. || Whilst Strafford was in prison they were free from anxiety; but he at large, amid the altered circumstances
* Lambeth Library was thus enriched by MSS. No. 1030, 108. Bishop William's Remembrances to Mr. Hampden.
t Newsletter, May 12, 1640. Rolls Office. Clarendon, ed. 18.19, 77*
X Com. Journ., ii. 26.
§ Ratcliffe Correspondence, 23a.
|| Kushworth, iii. 1281.