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He was superior to all those passions and affections which attend vulgar minds, and was guilty of no other ambition than of knowledge, and to be reputed a lover of all good men; and that made him too much a contemner of those arts which must be indulged in the transaction of human affairs. In the last short Parliament, he was a burgess in the House of Commons; and, from the debates which were there managed with all imaginable gravity and sobriety, he contracted such a reverence to Parliament, that he thought it really impossible they could ever produce mischief or inconvenience to the kingdom; or that the kingdom could be tolerable happy in the intermission of them.

The great opinion he had of the uprightness and integrity of those persons who appeared most active, especially of Mr. Hampden, kept him longer from suspecting any design against the peace of the kingdom; and though he differed from them commonly in conclusions, he believed long their purposes were honest. When he grew better informed what was law, and discerned in them a desire to control that law by a vote of one or both Houses, no man more opposed those attempts, and gave the adverse party more trouble, by reason and argumentation; insomuch as he was, by degrees, looked upon as an advocate for the Court; to which he contributed so little, that he declined those addresses, and even those invitations which he was obliged almost by civility to entertain. And he was so jealous of the least imagination that he should incline to preferment, that he affected even a moroseness to the Court and to the courtiers; and left nothing undone which might prevent and divert the king's or queen's favour towards him, but the deserving it.

For this reason, when he heard it first whispered, "that the king had a purpose to make him a Privy Councillor," for which there was, in the beginning, no other ground but because he was known sufficient, he resolved to decline it; and at last suffered himself only to be overruled, by the advice and persuasions of his friends, to submit to it. Afterwards when he found that the king intended to make him Secretary of State, he was positive to refuse it.

Two reasons prevailed with him to receive the seals, and but for those he had resolutely avoided them. The first, the consideration that his refusal might bring some blemish upon. the king's affairs, and that men would have believed that he had refused so great an honour and trust, because he must have been with it obliged to do somewhat else not justifiable. And, this he made matter of conscience, since he knew the king made choice of him before other men, especially because he thought him more honest than other men. The other was, lest he might be thought to avoid it out of fear to do an ungracious thing to the House of Commons, who were sore troubled at the displacing Sir Harry Vane, whom they looked upon as removed for having done them those offices they stood in need of; and the disdain of so popular an incumbrance wrought upon him next to the other. For as he had a full appetite of fame by just and generous actions, so he had an equal contempt of it by any servile expedients: and he so much the more consented to and approved the justice upon Sir Harry Vane, in his own private judgment, by how much he surpassed most men in the religious observation of a trust, the violation whereof he would not admit any excuse for.

For these reasons, he submitted to the king's command, and became his secretary, with as humble and devoted an acknowledgment of the greatness of the obligation as could be expressed, and as true a sense of it in his heart. Yet two things he could never bring himself to whilst he continued in that office, that was to his death; for which he was contented to be reproached as for omissions in a most necessary part of his place. The one, employing of spies, or giving any countenance or enterment to them. I do not mean such emissaries as with danger would venture w the enemy's camp, and bring intelligence of their number, or quartering, or

any particulars that such an observation can comprehend; but those who, by communication of guilt, or dissimulation of manners, wind themselves into such trusts and secrets as enable them to make discoveries. The other, the liberty of opening letters, upon a suspicion that they might contain matter of dangerous consequence. He had a courage of the most clear and keen temper, and so far from fear that he seemed not without some appetite of danger; and therefore, upon any occasion of action, he always engaged his person in those troops which he thought, by the forwardness of the commanders, to be most like to be farthest engaged; and in all such encounters, he had about him an extraordinary cheerfulness, without at all affecting the execution that usually attended them; in which he took no delight, but took pains to prevent it, where it was not, by resistance, made necessary: insomuch that at Edge-hill, when the enemy was routed, he was like to have incurred great peril by interposing to save those who had thrown away their arms, and against whom, it may be, others were more fierce for their having thrown them away: so that a man might think he came into the field chiefly out of curiosity to see the face of danger, and charity to prevent the shedding of blood.

From the entrance into this unnatural war, his natural cheerfulness and vivacity grew clouded, and a kind of sadness and dejection of spirits stole upon him which he had never been used to: yet, being one of those who believed that one battle would end all differences, and that there would be so great a victory on one side, that the other would be compelled to submit to any conditions from the victor (which supposition and conclusion generally sunk into the minds of most men, and prevented the looking after many advantages that might then have been laid hold of), he resisted those indispositions. But after the furious resolution of the two Houses not to admit any treaty for peace, those indispositions, which had before touched him, grew into a perfect habit of uncheerfulness; and he, who had been so exactly easy and affable to all men that his face and countenance was always present and vacant to his company, and held any cloudiness, and less pleasantness of the visage, a kind of rudeness or incivility, became, on a sudden, less communicable; and thence, very sad, pale, and exceedingly affected with the spleen. In his clothes and habit, which he had minded before always with more neatness, and industry, and expense, than is usual to so great a soul, he was not now only incurious but too negligent and in his reception of suitors, and the necessary, or casual addresses to his place, so quick, and sharp, and severe, that there wanted not some men (strangers to his nature and disposition) who believed him proud and imperious; from which no mortal man was ever more free.

When there was any overture or hope of peace, he would be more erect and vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press anything which he thought might promote it; and sitting among his friends, often, after a deep silence and frequent sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent, ingeminate the word peace, peace; and would passionately profess, "that the very agony of the war, and the view of the calamities and desolation the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from him, and would shortly break his heart." This made some think, or pretend to think, "that he was so much enamoured on peace, that he would have been glad the king should have bought it at any price;" which was a most unreasonable calumny. As if a man that was himself the most punctual and precise in every circumstance that might reflect on conscience or honour, could have wished the king to have committed a trespass against either. And yet this senseless scandal made some impression upon him, or at least he used it for an excuse of the daringness of his spirit: for at the leaguer before Gloucester, when his friend passionately reprehended him for exposing his person unnecessarily to danger, (for he delighted to visit the trenches, and nearest approaches, and to discover what the enemy did,) as being so much beside the duty

of his place, that it might be understood rather to be against it, he would say merrily, "that his office could not take away the privilege of his age; and that a secretary in war might be present at the greatest secret in danger;" but withal, alleged seriously, "that it concerned him to be more active in enterprizes of hazard than other men; that all might see that his impatiency for peace proceeded not from pusillanimity, or fear to adventure his own person."

In the morning before the battle, as always upon action, he was very cheerful, and put himself in the first rank of the Lord Byron's regiment, then advancing upon the enemy, who had lined the hedges on both sides with musketeers; from whence he was shot with a musket in the lower part of the belly: and in the instant falling from his horse, his body was not found till the next morning; till when there was some hope that he might have been a prisoner; though his nearest friends, who knew his disposition, received small comfort from that imagination. Thus fell that incomparable young man, in the four and thirtieth year of his age: having so much despatched the true business of life, that the eldest rarely attain to that immense knowledge, and the youngest enter not into the world with more innocency: whosoever leads such a life needs be the less anxious upon how short warning it is taken from him.


TREES-SO beautiful in their individual attributes, so magnificent in their forest groups-aro amongst the most lovely and glorious of the materials which Nature spreads before the poets. Spenser makes his Catalogue of Trees full of picturesque associations, by his wonderful choice of epithets :

And forth they pass, with pleasure forward led,
Joying to hear the birds' sweet harmony,
Which, therein shrouded from the tempest's dread,
Seemed in their song to scorn the cruel sky;
Much can they praise the trees so straight and high,
The sailing pine, the cedar proud and tall,
The vine-prop elm, the poplar never dry,
The builder oak, sole king of forests all;

The aspen good for staves; the cypress, funeral.
The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors
And poets sage; the fir that weepeth still,
The willow, worn of forlorn paramours,
The yew, obedient to the bender's will,
The birch for shafts, the sallow for the mill,
The myrrh sweet bleeding of the bitter wound,
The warlike beech, the ash for nothing ill,
The fruitful olive, and the plantane round,

The carver holm, the maple seldom inward sound.


Scott associates the "forest fair" with the feudal grandeur of hunt and falconry:

The scenes are desert now, and bare,
Where flourish'd once a forest fair,
When these waste glens with copse were

And peopled with the hart and hind.
Yon thorn-perchance whose prickly


Yon lonely thorn, would he could tell
The changes of his parent dell,
Since he, so gray and stubborn now,
Waved in each breeze a sapling bough;
Would he could tell how deep the shade,
A thousand mingled branches made;
How broad the shadows of the oak

Have fenced him for three hundred How clung the rowan to the rock.


While fell around his green compeers

And through the foliage show'd his head,
With narrow leaves and berries red;

What pines on every mountain sprung,
O'er every dell what birches hung,
In every breeze what aspens shook,
What alders shaded every brook!
"Here in my shade," methinks he'd say,
"The mighty stag at noontide lay:
The wolf I've seen, a fiercer game,
(The neighbouring dingle bears his name,)
With lurching step around me prowl,
And stop against the moon to howl;
The mountain-boar, on battle set,
His tusks upon my stem would whet;
While doe and roe, and red-deer good,
Have bounded by through gay green-wood.
Then oft, from Newark's riven tower,
Sallied a Scottish monarch's power:
A thousand vassals muster'd round,

With horse, and hawk, and horn, and hound;

And I might see the youth intent
Guard every pass with cross-bow bent;
And through the brake the rangers stalk,
And falc'ners hold the ready hawk;
And foresters, in green-wood trim,
Lead in the leash the gaze-hounds grim,
Attentive, as the bratchet's bay
From the dark covert drove the prey,
To slip them as he broke away.
The startled quarry bounds amain,
As fast the gallant greyhounds strain:
Whistles the arrow from the bow
Answers the arquebuss below;
While all the rocking hills reply
To hoof-clang, hound, and hunter's cry,
And bugles ringing lightsomely."


Keats makes the "leafy month of June" fresher and greener, with remembrances of the "Sherwood clan"-the woodland heroes of the people's ballads:

No! those days are gone away,
And their hours are old and gray,
And their minutes buried all
Under the down-trodden fall
Of the leaves of many years:
Many times have winter's shears,
Frozen north, and chilling east,
Sounded tempests to the feast
Of the forest's whispering fleeces,
Since men knew not rents nor leases.

No, the bugle sounds no more,
And the twanging bow no more;
Silent is the ivory shrill

Past the heath and up the hill;
There is no mid-forest laugh,
Where lone echo gives the half
To some wight, amazed to hear
Jesting, deep in forest drear.

On the fairest time of June
You may go with sun or moon,
Or the seven stars to light you,
Or the polar ray to right you;

you never may behold Little John, or Robin bold;

Never one, of all the clan,
Thrumming on an empty can
Some old hunting ditty, while
He doth his green way beguile
To fair hostess Merriment,
Down beside the pasture Trent
For he left the merry tale,
Messenger for spicy ale.

Gone, the merry morris den;
Gone, the song of Gamelyn;
Gone, the tough-belted outlaw
Idling in the "grené-shawe:"
All are gone away and past!
And if Robin should be cast
Sudden from his tufted grave,
And if Marian should have
Once again her forest days,
She would weep, and he would craze:
He would swear, for all his oaks,
Fall'n beneath the dockyard strokes,
Have rotted on the briny seas;
She would weep that her wild bees
Sang not to her-strange! that honey
Can't be got without hard money!


A living writer dwells upon the solemn stillness of the forest, with a poet's love built upon knowledge. No one can understand that peculiar stillness who has not passed many a thoughtful hour beneath the "melancholy boughs," amidst which there is ever sound which seems like silence:

I love the forest; I could dwell among

That silent people, till my thoughts up grew

In nobly ordered form, as to my view
Rose the succession of that lofty throng:-
The mellow footstep on a ground of leaves
Form'd by the slow decay of num'rous years,—
The couch of moss, whose growth alone appears,
Beneath the fir's inhospitable eaves,——
The chirp and flutter of some single bird,
The rustle in the brake,--what precious store

Of joys have these on poets' hearts conferred?

And then at times to send one's own voice out,


In the full frolic of one startling shout,
Only to feel the after stillness more!

The American poet's reverence for the forest rises into devotion:

Father, thy hand

Hath rear'd these venerable columns, thou

Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and forthwith rose
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
Among their branches, till, at last, they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults,
These winding aisles, of human pomp or pride
Report not. No fantastic carvings show
The boast of our vain race to change the form

Of thy fair works. But thou art here-thou fill'st
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds

That run along the summit of these trees

In music;-thou art in the cooler breath,

That from the inmost darkness of the place,

Comes, scarcely felt-the barky trunks, the ground,
The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee.
Here is continual worship;-nature, here,

In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird

Passes; and yon clear spring, that, 'midst its herbs,
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots

Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale

Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
Thyself without a witness, in these shades,
Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace
Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak-
By whose immoveable stem I stand and seem
Almost annihilated-not a prince,

In all that proud old world beyond the deep,
E'er wore his crown as loftily as he

Wears the green coronal of leaves with which

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