Page images




Home Account of the Duke of MONMOUTH's Execution, in the Reign of James the Second.

in by the judges, leit the light of friends, rt seinbling him, had consented him in a court might excite commile. to lose his life in public, to save that ration. At his execution the spectators of Monmouth. They started at every were innumerable.

On his first ap ruinour of his name; and long expearance upon the Icafiold hie bowed to pected with impatience, when their fa. the people, by whom, be knew, he vourite should again call them to arwas tenderly beloved ; but, from re sert his cause and their own. Lord gard to the decoruin of his rank, ad. Dartmouth, by order of James, at. dressed them not. Deep filences fiic- teniled the execution. When he gave ceeded alterntely to inurmurs of lighs an account of it to the King, he laid, and groans in the fpectators, who felt “ You have got rid of one enemy, but their grief restrained by refpect, when a more dangerous one remains behind." "they looked upon Monmouth; but James pretended not to understand that burit into tears, as oft as they bebeld his son-in-law was alluded to; yet the the forrowful looks of each other. words funk deep into his mind. Men of rank are more afraid of pain Two relations were printed by the than death, and of ihaine than of King's authority; one of the manner either: He expressed anxiety left the of Monmouth's falling into the hands executioner should not end his life at a of those who pursued him, and the blow, examining the axe to satisfy other of his execution, the last of himielf, and said, “ he was :fraid to which was signed by the bishops who die." Yet asked, “ Could any one attended him. In there was deicribed perceive it by his countenance ?" The every thing which Monmouth had said executioner, awed by the rank of his or done, during those painful periods: victim, atter several strokes, Here, it was laid, " he had taken thiew away the axe, and could with Thelter in a covert, surrounded with . difficulty be prevailed on to complete hedges, but full of outlets to the open his duty. The people, in their tears country: Of these outlets the guards and prayers, and the contortions of had taken poffeffion ; 10 that as often their bodies, seemed to feel those Itrokes as he approached them, which was which the Duke no longer felt. Those thirty times, he had been driven back who considered the vuious turns of into his concealments." There, it human things, reflected, that the mul was said, “ The bishops had presied titudes wlio attended his execution him to repent of his connection with would, in a different situation of his Lady Harriot Wentworth; but he had fortune, have been shouting after the treated his passion for that Lady as a wheels of his chariot. The decent matter of respect; and the latt act of courage with which he died, thewed his life was to send her a love-token. how much force the sentiments of per The bishops had pressed him to own, tona! dignity have over those of nature, on the fcafold to the peo, le, the docin men of illustrious birth. In his trine of non-resistence; but he anpockets, after his death, were four swered, He came there to die, not to {pelis against danger, songs, and prayers, make speecl:es. They urged him to in his own hand-writing ; papers cha- pray himself for the King, but he kept racteristic of a mind addicted to am. filent: They aked him to join in their bition, pleature, and superstition. The prayer for the King; with curelers fondness of the common people fol

air he faid, Amen." lowed Monmouth even beyond the VOL. VII.


Of the Prevalence of VIR TU E.



The young

HILE Socrates was in the midst “ 'Tis greatest in the greatest, and be.

of a public lecture on morality, Theodota, a coinmon prostitute, paned “ The purpled monarch better than by; and, to thew her power and tri " his crown." umph over the fage, ihe beckoned Alcibiades, his moit attentive hearer. We have examples nothing can ex

Athenian, as gay and in ceed in this respect in Britain. We confiderate as the wildeit nobleman of have a king who never omitted, during his age in Britain, left the unñnised his reign, one opportunity of virtue sentence, and ran to her. The mi. in himself; ncr one occasion of rettress brought him back; and, gloryirg warding it in others : And, for the fuin her victory, addressed herself to the ture time, when Heaven shall please to philolopher : “ Behold, Socrates, I change the scene upon us, (for there claim a just precedence over thee; and is no earthly scene but must at some call to witness Athens, that I am the time change,) we may not only firmly greater and more powerful of the two." hope, but may be sure, to see the 4. Why, madan?” said the fage. same steps followed ; and to view again “ Because," replied the courtezin, upon the throne, an example, as well “ thy wisdom never yet could alienate as a patron, of virtue. one of my lovers; but, see here, my It is to this period, long as we willa charms have drawn away thy favourite that it may be delayed : Yet it is to and most honourable pupil.” Socrates this period we are to louk for such a undifturbed replied, " It is no won reformation in our young nobility as der, Theodota! the way to thee is the will afford a story, better than this of Soft Nope of Pleasure; and every eye Alcibiades, by as much as it is better can see the transient glare of beauty: not to err, than to be convinced of an But the path with me, is up the rug

It is from courts examples are ged hill of glory; and the objects, too best taken; and coming fom the bright for vulgar eyes, are Fame and greateit, they spread farther. The Virtue." The noble youth burst from taper inay, illuminate the private fa. his niistress's arms, and fell upon his mily, but it is the fovereign fun alone knees to worthip him: The harlot which spreads its influence through tlie walked away in trouble and confu- universe. soon.

If the nobility of an advanced time It wculd not be difficult to find ex of life were oppressive, inconsiderate, amples in England of all that hap- rath, or cruel, we might refer them to pered in Grecce on this occafion; er the great example where mildness, pru. coping the repentance. Sometimes an dence, temperance and mercy, beam cld Rory wakes the attention, where from the throne, to light them into present objects pass together unregard. better paths: But, as the young caned. If this should rouse the ininds of

not take example except from the youth to see the dignity: f Virtue, and young, and the lessons, even of a king, its prevalence, even with the din lute, his reverence for goodness, and rewhen it has a fair hearing, we do not wards to tho'e who excel in virtue, want an object of regard as much have the fuil effect, even on those who above that Socrates in rank, as the dir. can plead in their own excuse the heat solute nobility of this day are below of youth, and natural levity of that bis pupil. Virtue has the same pre gay period. eminence from the degree of lite It has been seen that courts have, fol. wherein it is siewn; as Shakespeare lowed the exanples strictly of their gives to inercy.

kings, when they have been abandon



View of the Univerfe.

59 ed: The greater praise of imitating ample is placed; it might be found in virtue in their prince, will lead, be the resource of Pride ; and the very yond a doubt, more strongly. Even foibles of the great mi lt thus be made imperfections of body, in a king, have the soil whereon to plant their virtuesr. been copied by a train of civil cour Every one who is placed by birth, or tiers. There will not certainly be less by the favour of liis sovereign, in this complaisance shewn by our young no;

exalted rank, sees his own right to a bility, where the graces of the mind high importance; and places it in a comnand their relpect as well as imi. light of valt confideration. But let us tation.

look round the great world, and les In the palace of Alexander, ro cour what it is which really establishes this tier looked itrait forward : When Cæ- pre-eminence, and we thall find it is sar reigned in Rome, no man of fashion Virtue. The libertine degrades nobis would let a single hair grow near his lity; and, without one exception, we forehead. In Henry Beauclerc's time, now see it; that such of our men of 'even monks were scholars; and, un fashion, be their age, their title, or der our Charles II. bishops were libi. their fortune, what it will, as degrade dinous. In the present court, we see themselves by a debauched life, are let dignity in all the advanced nobility; down by it to the level, or below the and only some of the inconsiderate level, of the common class. Every young, who cannot take example from one's recollection will point him out a time of life so different, are wild, instances of men, whose natural int. thoughtless, and of Alcibiades's turn. portance would let them above, even We fee virtues can be imitated as the generality of those who have the warmly as vices have been copied in honour to hold the same rank in title more abandoned times; and we shall and precedence; but who, on the concontinue to see it when the refor:naiion trary, because they are debauched, will be general.

have no respect froin any;'whom every If there can want another argument, 'confiierale man looks on with con. beside the native dignity of the object, tempt, and every good man with comand the high rank in which the ex- pasion.

[ocr errors]


HE astonishing structure, and the which is, at the firme time, the noand order of creation, demand, not 'ploy us, in our thort pilgrimage thro' the notice only, but, the veneration of the body. Nay, the excellent Mr. every reasonable bring: No less than Ray, has very pleasingly imagined, infinite wildom could conceive the that it may be part of our businels and plan; nor less than almighty power employment, to all eternity, to dilo erect the fabric!

cover itill, deeper, into the unfathom. Our sight is struck with amazement, able works of God; and contempiate when we look but upon a fiately build- the glory of liis wisdom, power, and ing, the mere effect of human inven- goodness, tion; and, yet, (to the shame of our What a vaft field for contemplation stupidity be it ipoken) we can consider is opened in those regions of matter, the earth, we live on, with indifference; about us, in which there is not the we can walk under the lamp's of Hea least particle, but carries with it an ven, without being enlightened by the argument of God's existence; not the smallest glimmering of divine reflec- smallest being but shews it; n r the tion! nor (to many) do they argue lightest motion produced, the softelt any thing greater than chance; which, Whisper of the air, but tells it. The in other words, is nothing.

frame and constitutin of the worid, Yet, certainly, no knowledge can the astonishing magnificence of it, the be so delightful, to the soul, as this, various kinds of creatures, and the




View of the Universe. constancy observed in the productions The twinkling stars, that from dirt of things, and the uses for which they earth, remote, are produced, all thew, that there is Seem Heav'n-set gems, and scatter'd some alınighty designer at the top of

seeds of day; all thele things: Such marks they bear Here, (buoyant worlds!) 'midst seas of his power, and wisdom.

of Æther fivat, If we would thew to any doubter, And, o'er blue kingdoms; hold a the grandeur of this fabric, we need fiery sway. only bid him confider the sun, with that insupportable glory that surrounds in distant orbits, round each reigning it: The valt distance, magnitude, and

ftar, heat of it! the plai ets periodically Huge carths, and moons, their circmoving in their several orbits, about

ly homage pay: it, with all :heir regular variety of af. Millions of countless miles are lo pects, guarded, one of them, by between, Tecondary planets, and, as it were, And fick'ning thought grows tir'd, te emulaiing the state of the sun: And, stretch so fari probably, all these, poileiled by di How brightly vast each concave itinet and proper inhabitants! let hin

Sphere is seen! think of those surprising visits the comets make us; the large trains of Th' enormous vaults, with wheeling uncommon splendor, which attend worlds glow round; them; the far country they come Ro’ling oblique, yet none their patlis from, and the curiosity and horror

confound: they excite, not only among us, but Their crossing currents cause no in the inhabitants of the worlds about clałhing jars; us; who also may be roused, as we Nor one the other's progress bars. are, to see the entry, and progress, of these new ministers of the almighty. Wide round their central suns their Let him direct his eye and contempla: Yet no proud planet dares his line for

tours they make; tion, through thole azure regions

take: above hiin, up to the fixed stars, that radiants and numberless host of Hea- Partial, an intercepted ray to break. ven; and reflect but how unlikely it They take, and lend, by turns, the is, that they should be placed there,

îtreaming liglit; only to adorit, and bespangle, our

And forin, in tv emin silence, day canopy! he will, then, instruct' him

and night. klf, that they are so many other suns, with their several regions, and depen

We need only consider these things, dant planets, about them i he willfur- which are now known almost to every ther discern, by the lielp of glatles, body; and, by them, we shall be îtill more and more of these fixed taught, that a fructure, so infinite, lights; and exalt himself to an appre

muit be the work of an infinite archie henfion of their unaccountable num

tect. But, if we could take a parti. bers, and of the iinmensity of those cular view of all that aftonishing com1paces, that lie retired beyond, not pa's, which we have thus hattily run only, our view but even our imagina

Hor would wonders multiply tion.

upon us? every part of every wold, Here, on light fancy's faily wings, I Worlds. “If we examine this our eartii,

is, as it vere, made up of other rife, Awid, and confounded, thro' deep What variety of monntains, hills, val.

What scope is here for admiration? wilsis of air? Millions of op'ning wonders strike my what numberless tribes of different ani

leys, plains, rivers, feas, trees, plants ! eyes; And reason's finite view is dazzled mals is it stock'd with. How unwearied

are the inventions, and works of one there! Globes, behind globes, un number'd,

hence appear.



[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »