« VorigeDoorgaan »
omnium gloriam tantum superaverit, quantò est humanius, quantò justius ac majestate plenius tyrannum judicare, quam injudicatum occidere. Alioqui nec tristis nec severus sed comis et placidus, personam tamen quam suscepit tantam, æqualis ubique sibi ac veluti consul non unius anni, pari gravitate sustinet: ut non de tribunali tantum, sed per omnem vita!n judicare regem diceres. In consiliis et laboribus publicis maximè omnium indefessus multisque par unus: domi, si quis alius, pro suis facultatibus hospitalis ac splendidus, amicus longe fidelissimus atque in omni fortunâ certissimus, bene merentes quoscunque nemo citiùs aut libentiùs agnoscit neque majore benevolentiâ prosequitur; nunc pios, nunc doctos, aut quâvis ingenii laude cognitos, nunc militares etiam et fortes viros ad inopiam redactos suis opibus sublevat; iis si non indigent, colit tamen libens atque amplectitur: alienas laudes perpetuo prædicare, suas tacere solitus; hostium quoque civilium siquis ad sanitatem rediit, quod experti sunt plurimi, nemo igposcentior. Quod si causa oppressi cujuspiam defendenda palàm, si gratia aut vis potentiorum oppugnanda, si in quenquam bene meritum ingratitudo publica objurganda sit, tum quidem in illo viro vel
facundiam vel constantiam nemo desideret, non patronum, non amicum, vel idoneum magis et intrepidum, vel disertiorem alium quisquam sibi optet: habet quem non minæ dimovere recto, non metus aut munera proposito bono atque officio, vultāsque ac mentis firmissimo statu dejicere valeant.”i
“ John Bradshaw, a name which, in every country where her power is acknowledged, liberty herself has consecrated to immortal renown,) was descended, as is generally known, of a noble family. The early part of his life he devoted to the study of the laws of his country; and then becoming a profound lawyer, a most eloquent advocate, a zealous assertor of freedom and the
people's rights, he was employed in the more important affairs of the state, and frequently discharged, with unimpeachable integrity, the duties of a judge. When, at length, solicited by the Parliament to preside at the trial of the King, he did not decline this most dangerous commission: for to the science of the law he had brought a liberal disposition, a lofty spirit, sincere and unoffending manners; and, thus qualified, he supported that great and, beyond prece
i P. W. v, 240.
dent, fearful office, exposed to the threats and to the daggers of innumerable assassins, with so much firmness, so much weight of manner, such presence and dignity of mind that he seemed to have been formed and
appointed immediately by the Deity himself for the performance of that deed, which the Divine Providence had of old decreed to be accomplished in this nation; and so far has he exceeded the glory of all tyrannicides as it is more humane, more just, more noble to try and to pass legal sentence on a tyrant, than without trial to put him to death. .
Though in other respects neither gloomy nor severe but gentle and placid, he yet sustains with unfaltering dignity the character which he has borne, and, uniformly consistent with himself, he appears like a consul from whom the fasces are not to depart with the year; so that not on the tribunal only, but throughout his life you would regard him as sitting in judgment upon kings. Unwearied, and singly equal to a multitude in his labours for the public, in domestic life, to the utmost stretch of his power, he is hospitable and splendid: the stedfastness and adherency of his friendship are not to be affected by the vicissitudes of fortune: and instant and eager to acknowledge merit
wherever it is discovered, he is munificent to reward it. The pious, the learned, the eminent in
any walk of genius, the soldier and the brave man are either relieved by his wealth, if in distress, or, if not indigent, are cultivated by his attentions and cherished in his embrace. Delighted to dwell on the praises of others, he studiously suppresses his
So great are his placability and readiness to forgive, that they are extended, as very many have experienced, even to the the enemies of himself and of the state when, from a sense of their errors, they have reverted to reason.
“ If the cause of the oppressed is openly to be asserted; if the influence and the strong arm of the powerful are to be controlled; if the public ingratitude to any meritorious individual is to be arraigned, then will no deficiency of eloquence or of fortitude be seen in this great man; then will the client possess in him an advocate and a friend suited to all his wants and adequate to his highest expectations: the cause indeed will be in the hands of a defender whom no threats can divert from the straight path; whom neither intimidation nor bribes can bend from the uprightness of duty, or for an instant deject
froin the conscious firmness of his countenance and the determined attitude of his mind.”
k Enough has been said of Bradshaw to satisfy the demand of my subject: but for the amusement of my readers I am inclined to insert in this place an inscription on this resolute but mistaken republican, written by an American pen and deeply blotted with the intemperance of party. It is transcribed from a copy, dated, Annapolis, June 21, 1773, and is here given merely as a curiosity, and as a symptom of that fiery spirit which was working in the bosom of our colonies before it acquired its full strength, and, in consequence of the injudicious measures of our government, burst joto pernicious action. The inscription is stated to have been engraven on a caynon; whence copies were taken and hung up in almost every house throughout the continent of America. The false points of this short production are too obvious to require any particular indication. The conduct of Bradshaw was the result, as I am persuaded, of high though misdirected principle; and he therefore may be allowed the praise which his American eulogist has lavished on bim: but, under all the circumstances of the case, the death of Charles must for ever be condemned as an act in atrocious opposition to the law and the constitution of England, and must consequently be branded, to the last revolution of time, as a MURDER.
nor regardless be told,
the blast of calumny,
and the terrour of regal vengeance,
who fairly and openly adjudged