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were abandoned, and Dr. Richardson and his companions effected their return overland to the Great Bear Lake, which they traversed in canoes, and arrived at Fort Franklin on the 28th. The whole party spent a second winter here; and Captain Franklin, accompanied by Dr. Richardson, set out by Canada and New York for London, where they arrived the latter end of September, in the following year (1827).

Having thus brought the narrative of this expedition to a close, we cannot take leave of the two distinguished officers, under whose directions it was carried into effect, without offering them the tribute of our unaffected admiration for the coolness and perseverance which they appear to have exhibited throughout the many perils which they encountered. To the officers by whom they were accompanied, as well as the men who assisted them, the applause of their country is also due, and we trust that they will receive the promotion which they have so well earned. Their united services have indeed lost somewhat of that brilliancy by which they would have been distinguished, if Captain Franklin had had the good fortune to reach Icy Cape. Nevertheless, the discoveries which they have made, and the length of coast which they have been enabled, under the most harassing circumstances, to delineate, must entitle them to be ranked with Captains Parry and Lyons, and the other eminent officers, who may now be said to have opened to the eye of science almost the whole of the Arctic regions.

ART II.-Historical Sketches of Charles I., Cromwell, Charles II., and the Principal Personages of that period; illustrated by Fifty Lithographic Plates. By W. D. Fellowes, Esq. 4to. pp. 517. London

and Paris.

1828.

It has often struck us as matter of regret that, in the distribution of the arts and sciences among the nine daughters of Memory, the province of History should have been allotted to so very dignified a personage as the Muse who has hitherto presided over it. On the score, we presume, of her primogeniture, she has really all along been in the habit of assuming an air and deportment greatly too majestic for the nature of the occupation assigned to her, and such as in fact quite unfits her for the performance of many of the duties to which she is expected to give her attention. Her business is nothing less than to study man in all the variety of his conditions and doings, to observe and note down whatever he has performed and suffered, to chronicle for us not merely his wars and more splendid crimes, but his domestic habits, his superstitions, his most unimposing weaknesses-to tell us, in one word, the story of humanity in all its mingled light and shade, wisdom and folly, grandeur and meanness. Yet, how has she in general acquitted herself of these multifarious duties? By confining her

discourse merely to a notice of a few of the more conspicuous incidents that cast their shadows on the surface of society; the movements of armies, for example, the intrigues of statesmen, the whims of kings—and passing over, as beneath her regard, almost every thing else that forms part of the goings-on of "this breathing world. And this is what we have learned to call Historya cold and pompous recital of what we may denominate the mere ceremonial of social life-a record of the heraldic shews and flourishes that have filled the eyes and the ears of men, to the exclusion of whatever has really come home to their bosoms, and formed the regular business of their hands and the daily bread of their affections.

Even in treating, too, of the matters with which alone she deigns to occupy herself, nothing can be conceived more frigid and unnatural than the mode of narration usually adopted by the historic muse. Whatever would lead us to think of the personages introduced as men like ourselves, and would thence engage us to sympathize most intensely with their fortunes, it is her fashion to pass over, as too much savouring, forsooth, of common life for the lofty tone of her delineations, in which nothing is individual or familiar, or picturesque, but every thing general, artificial, affected, and unaffecting. Her dramatis persone are all the mere wooden images of a puppet-shew, having neither power nor volition, nor any other attribute of life or character, of their own, but moving to and fro as if some concealed hand were directing them by a string. You see them sometimes here and sometimes there, and it may be according to a certain rule and method that they perform their various evolutions; but if so, the laws of astronomy would enable us to calculate them nearly as well as those of human nature. The whole exhibition, in one word, looks almost as like a transcript of the rotations of the distant stars, as of the doings of beings of our own species, and dwelling on the same earth with ourselves. It has nothing about it of either the aspect or the din of earth at all-but is all over as cold as the glow, and as uninteresting as the music, of the spheres.

Yet even kings and statesmen, we need hardly observe, have human hearts in their bosoms, and are, in truth, servile to human passions in their high place, just as much as the humblest and obscurest of their fellow-men. Nor are those even of their public actions that seem to influence the fate and make part of the history of nations, less the result of feelings common to them with their kind, than are the most trivial or unobtrusive parts. of their private conduct. They, and the multitudes whom they seem to lead and command, are one and all inheritors of the same bondage, and alike the sport, from their cradles to their graves, of that despotism which has its seat within the breast of each of them. Even the history of nations, then, is still the history of men-and is, indeed, in this respect alone distinguished from

chronology, which is the history of events. That mode of writing which professes to investigate the causes and consequences of events, seeking for one in another as its progenitor, but with hardly any reference to more than the names of the living actors, which is what is commonly called History, is, in truth, but a more philosophical species of chronology. Our best histories, in the highest and truest sense of the term, are the dramas of Shakspeare, and the Novels and Romances of the Author of Waverley. Here we have the living instruments as well as the incidents of the story-men bearing the countenances, animated by the feelings, and using the language of men-a picture of the real world delineated and coloured from life, and bearing upon it, accordingly, all the heat and stir of the busy original. History written on another plan, may exercise the memory and the understanding, like mathematics and algebra; it is thus only it can ever touch or mend the heart.

Mr. Fellowes does not, however, in the present volume, attempt so high a task as that of emulating those great masters of narrative, by laying before us either a regular history of the times to which he directs our attention, written in the spirit we have been recommending, or a picture of the manners by which they were marked, and the more extraordinary characters who moved in' them, produced by mixing up the scattered intimations of records and tradition with the embellishments of congenial fiction. His aim is only the far more humble one of collecting and assorting a few curious documents, illustrative of the more neglected, but not for all that less interesting passages of the history of the period in question, and thus both inviting to them the public attention, and rendering them much more generally accessible than they have heretofore been. We have not observed that, in the course of his labours, he has even attempted the settlement of a single disputed fact, or added in any way whatever, by any suggestion or conjecture of his own, to the stock of information in regard to his subject of which the world was already in possession. With the exception, indeed, of a few fac similes of unimportant autographs preserved in private collections, we are not aware that the volume contains any thing of the least degree of interest or value which had not been previously printed in the very form in which it is here given to us. For as to the few biographical sketches that are here and there interspersed among the acknowledged extracts, and which seem to be from the pen of the editor, they are merely such compilations as are to be found in any common peerage, and can claim no rank either as literary compositions, or even as depositories of curious or forgotten information. We speak with some hesitation, however, as to the originality even of this portion of the publication-which, after all, may possibly be a mere reprint like the rest; for Mr. Fellowes has performed his task as a gleaner, in so very immethodical and slovenly a style, that it is not always

very obvious whether he is addressing us, as usual, in the language of another, or throwing in a few words of his own. We meet, occasionally, in the course of the volume, with whole paragraphs and pages, which have all the customary marks of quotation, except a reference to the authority from which they have been extracted; and it is not altogether improbable, therefore, that many passages may also be merely transcripts, which have not even inverted commas to distinguish them.

Although thus little more than a collection of extracts, we are not, however, to set down the book as one of no value. On the contrary, the lovers of our national antiquities, and of curious history in general, will feel themselves indebted, we are persuaded, to Mr. Fellowes, for the elegant and convenient form in which he has here reprinted a number of tracts of very considerable interest, which, owing to their extreme rarity, have been, till now, nearly as inaccessible to the generality of readers, as if they had remained in the shape of unpublished manuscripts. His duties, even in the humble capacity of a collector, might certainly have been more carefully, and, we will add, more learnedly performed; for he has, in fact, only skimmed the surface of a most abundant subject, and given us but a sample of the rich mass of precious, and as yet almost unused, materials that remain for its illustration. But the spirit, at all events, in which he has proceeded, is a right one, and deserving of all encouragement; nor should we be doing him justice to deny that the volume with which he has presented us, is, with all its imperfections, well deserving of a place in every historical library. But we shall best convey to our readers an idea of the instruction and entertainment to be found in it, by a short sketch of its more important contents.

There is scarcely, perhaps, any age within the range of history, with regard to all the more eminent individuals belonging to which we have such violently contradictory accounts, as have been handed down to us even by contemporary authorities, of almost every distinguished character who appeared on the theatre of public affairs in England, from the commencement of the reign of Charles I. to the Revolution. Never did the position in which men were placed in reference to each other, render it so difficult for them to form a correct judgment as to those even with whom they came most frequently into contact, but whom, nevertheless, they seldom or ever saw, except through the bedimming or discolouring medium of party prejudice. Even facts themselves, viewed through this deceiving veil, assumed, in many instances, to the eye of an observer, almost any shape which his prepossessions most naturally led him to bestow upon them. No wonder, therefore, that even in the most honest endeavours to form an accurate estimate of character and the motives of conduct, virtues were converted into vices, and vices into virtues, in the strangest style imaginable, and to such an extent as almost in every case to

VOL. IX.

C

reduce the whole process to uncertainty and confusion. The strange circumstances of the times, too, which necessitated and justified so many actions not altogether similar to those which usually command our approbation, constituted another source of perplexity to the eye-witnesses of the extraordinary proceedings of individuals and parties, which were thus occasionally exhibited, as they still do to ourselves, who have to form our opinions from their distorted and contradictory reports. In evidence of the amount of this perplexity, we need refer only to the irreconcileably opposite creeds and theories which divide us to this day, touching the characters of Charles I. himself, of Laud, of Cromwell, of Milton, not to mention many other contemporary names, nearly as much the subject of controversy. With regard to a few of these, Mr. Fellowes has here collected the judgments that have been delivered both by writers of their own age, and by those of succeeding times. The first he introduces to us is Charles I., in reference to whom, passing over the citations from Rapin, Clarendon, Hume, and other well-known authorities, we give the following extract from a very rare anonymous work, printed in 1655, the style of which certainly exhibits, in high perfection, all " the pride, pomp, and circumstance" of pedantry:

'King Charles was born November 19th, A. D. 1600, at Dun-Fermling, in Scotland, not next in call to the diadem. But the hand of God countermanded nature's dispose, and by taking away Henry, his incomparable brother, presented Charles, not only the succeeding, but the only male stud of sovereignty. The gallantry of Henry's heroique spirit tended somewhat to the disadvantage and extenuation of Charles his glory; who arriving at years, and wanting nothing of his princely institution, came yet short of him in the acquist of reputation with the people. Henry of a forward and enterprising, Charles of a studious and retired spirit; whereof the blame may be in part imputed to some organical impotences in his body; for in his state of increment and growth, he was exceeding feeble in his lower parts, particularly his legs not growing erect, but repandous and embowed, whereby he was unapt for exercises of activity. And though his vocall impediment accompanyed him to the fatall stroke, yet was it to wise men an idea of his wisdom: therefore, obloquy never played the fool so much as imputing folly to him, since there was never, or very rarely, known a fool that stammered. As for his intellectuals, he gave in the Spanish court (where was his first initiation into renown), a very satisfactory account.'—pp. 5, 6.

As to the intellectual character of Charles, so long a favorite topic of party contention, and one even which certain recent writers still appear disposed to debate with almost as much heat and acrimony as ever, the truth seems to be, that he was neither on the one hand distinguished by the extraordinary parts claimed for him by his admirers, nor on the other remarkable for any peculiar share of stupidity or weakness. He possessed, perhaps, rather more than the average amount both of talent and acquirement which royal personages have in general had to boast of;

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