The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX.
Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

Part 2 out of 6

extraordinary exertions to save Dodd. He wrote several petitions and
letters on the subject, and composed for the unhappy man not only his
"Speech to the Recorder of London," at the Old Bailey, when sentence of
death was about to be pronounced upon him, and "The Convict's Address to
his Unhappy Brethren," a sermon delivered by Dr. Dodd in the chapel of
Newgate, but also "Dr. Dodd's Last Solemn Declaration," which he left
with the sheriff at the place of execution.

In 1778, I arrived in London on March 18, and next day met Dr. Johnson
at his old friend's, in Dean's Yard, for Dr. Taylor was a prebendary of
Westminster. On Friday, March 2d, I found him at his own house, sitting
with Mrs. Williams, and was informed that the room allotted to me three
years previously was now appropriated to a charitable purpose, Mrs.
Desmoulins, daughter of Johnson's godfather Dr. Swinfen, and, I think,
her daughter, and a Miss Carmichael, being all lodged in it. Such was
his humanity, and such his generosity, that Mrs. Desmoulins herself told
me he allowed her half-a-guinea a week.

Unfortunately his "Seraglio," as he sometimes suffered me to call his
group of females, were perpetually jarring with one another. He thus
mentions them, together with honest Levett, in one of his letters to
Mrs. Thrale: "Williams hates everybody; Levett hates Desmoulins, and
does not love Williams--Desmoulins hates them both; Poll (Miss
Carmichael) loves none of them."

On January 20, 1779, Johnson lost his old friend Garrick, and this same
year he gave the world a luminous proof that the vigour of his mind in
all its faculties, whether memory, judgement, and imagination, was not
in the least abated, by publishing the first four volumes of his
"Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, to the Most Eminent of the English
Poets." The remaining volumes came out in 1781.

In 1780 the world was kept in impatience for the completion of his
"Lives of the Poets," upon which he was employed so far as his indolence
allowed him to labour.

This year--on March 11--Johnson lost another old friend in Mr. Topham
Beauclerk, of whom he said: "No man ever was so free when he was going
to say a good thing, from a _look_ that expressed that it was coming;
or, when he had said it, from a look that expressed that it had come."

_XI.--Johnson's Humanity to Children, Servants, and the Poor_

I was disappointed in my hopes of seeing Johnson in 1780, but I was able
to come to London in the spring of 1781, and on Tuesday, March 20, I met
him in Fleet Street, walking, or, rather, indeed, moving along--for his
peculiar march is thus correctly described in a short life of him
published very soon after his death: "When he walked the streets, what
with the constant roll of his head, and the concomitant motion of his
body, he appeared to make his way by that motion, independent of his
feet." That he was often much stared at while he advanced in this manner
may easily be believed, but it was not safe to make sport of one so
robust as he was.

I waited on him next evening, and he gave me a great portion of his
original manuscript of his "Lives of the Poets," which he had preserved
for me.

I found on visiting his friend, Mr. Thrale, that he was now very ill,
and had removed--I suppose by the solicitation of Mrs. Thrale--to a
house in Grosvenor Square. I was sorry to see him sadly changed in his
appearance. He died shortly after.

He told me I might now have the pleasure to see Dr. Johnson drink wine
again, for he had lately returned to it. When I mentioned this to
Johnson, he said: "I drink it now sometimes, but not socially." The
first evening that I was with him at Thrale's, I observed he poured a
large quantity of it into a glass, and swallowed it greedily. Everything
about his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never
was any moderation; many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain
from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously; when he did drink
wine, it was copiously. He could practice abstinence, but not

"I am not a severe man," Johnson once said; "as I know more of mankind I
expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man _a good man_ upon
easier terms than I was formerly."

This kind indulgence--extended towards myself when overcome by wine--had
once or twice a pretty difficult trial, but on my making an apology, I
always found Johnson behave to me with the most friendly gentleness. In
fact, Johnson was not severe, but he was pugnacious, and this pugnacity
and roughness he displayed most conspicuously in conversation. He could
not brook appearing to be worsted in argument, even when, to show the
force and dexterity of his talents, he had taken the wrong side. When,
therefore, he perceived that his opponent gained ground, he had recourse
to some sudden mode of robust sophistry. Once when I was pressing upon
him with visible advantage, he stopped me thus: "My dear Boswell, let's
have no more of this. You'll make nothing of it. I'd rather have you
whistle a Scotch tune."

Goldsmith used to say, in the witty words of one of Cibber's comedies,
"There is no arguing with Johnson, for when his pistol misses fire, he
knocks you down with the butt end of it."

In 1782 his complaints increased, and the history of his life this year
is little more than a mournful recital of the variations of his illness.
In one of his letters to Mr. Hector he says, indeed, "My health has
been, from my twentieth year, such as has seldom afforded me a single
day of ease." At a time, then, when he was less able than he had once
been to sustain a shock, he was suddenly deprived of Mr. Levett, who
died on January 17. But, although his health was tottering, the powers
of his mind were in no ways impaired, as his letters and conversation
showed. Moreover, during the last three or four years of his life he may
be said to have mellowed.

His love of little children, which he discovered upon all occasions,
calling them "pretty dears," and giving them sweetmeats, was an
undoubted proof of the real humanity and gentleness of his disposition.
His uncommon kindness to his servants, and serious concern, not only for
their comfort in this world, but their happiness in the next, was
another unquestionable evidence of what all who were intimately
acquainted with him knew to be true. Nor would it be just, under this
head, to omit the fondness that he showed for animals which he had taken
under his protection. I never shall forget the indulgence with which he
treated Hodge, his cat, for whom he himself used to go out and buy
oysters, lest the servants, having that trouble, should take a dislike
to the poor creature.

_XII.--The Last Year_

In April, 1783, Johnson had a paralytic stroke, which deprived him, for
a time, of the powers of speech. But he recovered so quickly that in
July he was able to make a visit to Mr. Langton, at Rochester, where he
passed about a fortnight, and made little excursions as easily as at any
time of his life. In August he went as far as the neighbourhood of
Salisbury, to Heale, the seat of William Bowles, Esq.; and it was while
he was here that he had a letter from his physician, Dr. Brocklesby,
acquainting him of the death of Mrs. Williams, which affected him a good

In the end of 1783, in addition to his gout and his catarrhous cough, he
was seized with a spasmodic asthma of such violence that he was confined
to the house in great pain, being sometimes obliged to sit all night in
his chair, a recumbent posture being so hurtful to his respiration that
he could not endure lying in bed; and there came upon him at the same
time that oppressive and fatal disease of dropsy. His cough he used to
cure by taking laudanum and syrup of poppies, and he was a great
believer in the advantages of being bled. But this year the very severe
winter aggravated his complaints, and the asthma confined him to the
house for more than three months; though he got almost complete relief
from the dropsy by natural evacuation in February.

On Wednesday, May 5, 1784--the last year of Dr. Johnson's life--I
arrived in London for my spring visit; and next morning I had the
pleasure to find him greatly recovered. But I was in his company
frequently and particularly remember the fine spirits he was in one
evening at our Essex Head Club. He praised Mr. Burke's constant stream
of conversation, saying, "Yes, sir; if a man were to go by chance at the
same time with Burke under a shed, to shun a shower, he would say, 'This
is an extraordinary man.'"

He had now a great desire to go to Oxford, as his first jaunt after his
illness; we talked of it for some days, and on June 3 the Oxford
post-coach took us up at Bolt Court, and we spent an agreeable fortnight
with Dr. Adams at Pembroke College.

The anxiety of his friends to preserve so estimable a life made them
plan for him a retreat from the severity of a British winter to the mild
climate of Italy; and, after consulting with Sir Joshua Reynolds, I
wrote to Lord Thurlow, the Lord Chancellor, for such an addition to
Johnson's income as would enable him to bear the expense.

Lord Thurlow, who highly valued Johnson, and whom Johnson highly valued,
at first made a very favourable reply, which being communicated to Dr.
Johnson, greatly affected him; but eventually he had to confess that his
application had been unsuccessful, and made a counter proposal, very
gratefully refused by Johnson, that he should draw upon him to the
amount of L500 or L600.

On Wednesday, June 30, I dined with him, for the last time, at Sir
Joshua Reynolds's, no other company being present; and on July 2 I left
London for Scotland.

Soon afterwards he had the mortification of being informed by Mrs.
Thrale that she was actually going to marry Signor Piozzi, a papist, and
her daughter's music-master. He endeavoured to prevent the marriage, but
in vain.

Eleven days after I myself had left town, Johnson set out on a jaunt to
Staffordshire and Derbyshire, flattering himself that he might be, in
some degree, relieved; but towards the end of October he had to confess
that his progress was slight. But there was in him an animated and lofty
spirit, and such was his love of London that he languished when absent
from it. To Dr. Brocklesby he wrote: "I am not afraid either of a
journey to London, or of a residence in it. The town is my element;
there are my friends, there are my books, to which I have not yet bid
farewell, and there are my amusements. Sir Joshua told me long ago that
my vocation was to public life, and I hope still to keep my station,
till God shall bid me 'Go in peace.'"

He arrived in London on November 16. Soon after his return both the
asthma and the dropsy became more violent and distressful, and though he
was attended by Dr. Heberden, Dr. Brocklesby, Dr. Warren, and Dr.
Butter, who all refused fees, and though he himself co-operated with
them, and made deep incisions in his body to draw off the water from it,
he gradually sank. On December 2, he sent directions for inscribing
epitaphs for his father, mother, and brother on a memorial slab in St.
Michael's Church, Lichfield. On December 8 and 9 he made his will; and
on Monday, December 13, he expired about seven o'clock in the evening,
with so little apparent pain that his attendants hardly perceived when
his dissolution took place. A week later he was buried in Westminster
Abbey, his old schoolfellow, Dr. Taylor, reading the service.

I trust I shall not be accused of affectation when I declare that I find
myself unable to express all that I felt upon the loss of such a "Guide,
Philosopher, and Friend." I shall, therefore, not say one word of my
own, but adopt those of an eminent friend, which he uttered with an
abrupt felicity: "He has made a chasm, which not only nothing can fill
up, but which nothing has a tendency to fill up. Johnson is dead. Let us
go to the next best: there is nobody; no man can be said to put you in
mind of Johnson."

* * * * *


Life of Sir Isaac Newton

Sir David Brewster, a distinguished physicist, was born at
Jedburgh, on December 11, 1781. He was educated at Edinburgh
University, and was licensed as a clergyman of the Church of
Scotland by the Presbytery of Edinburgh. Nervousness in the
pulpit compelled him to retire from clerical life and devote
himself to scientific work, and in 1808 he became editor of
the "Edinburgh Encyclopaedia." His chief scientific interest
was optics, and he invented the kaleidoscope, and improved
Wheatstone's stereoscope by introducing the divided lenses. In
1815 he was elected a member of the Royal Society, and, later,
was awarded the Rumford gold and silver medals for his
discoveries in the polarisation of light. In 1831 he was
knighted. From 1859 he held the office of Principal of
Edinburgh University until his death on February 10, 1868. The
"Life of Sir Isaac Newton" appeared in 1831, when it was first
published in Murray's "Family Library." Although popularly
written, not only does it embody the results of years of
investigation, but it throws a unique light on the life of the
celebrated scientist. Brewster supplemented it in 1855 with
the much fuller "Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and
Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton."

_I.--The Young Scientist_

Sir Isaac Newton was born at the hamlet of Woolsthorpe on December 25,
1642. His father, a yeoman farmer, died a few months after his marriage,
and never saw his son.

When Isaac was three years old his mother married again, and he was
given over to the charge of his maternal grandmother. While still a boy
at school, his mechanical genius began to show itself, and he
constructed various mechanisms, including a windmill, a water-clock, and
a carriage put in motion by the person who sat in it. He was also fond
of drawing, and wrote verses. Even at this age he began to take an
interest in astronomy. In the yard of the house where he lived he traced
the varying movements of the sun upon the walls of the buildings, and by
means of fixed pins he marked out the hourly and half-hourly

At the age of fifteen his mother took him from school, and sent him to
manage the farm and country business at Woolsthorpe, but farming and
marketing did not interest him, and he showed such a passion for study
that eventually he was sent back to school to prepare for Cambridge.

In the year 1660 Newton was admitted into Trinity College, Cambridge.
His attention was first turned to the study of mathematics by a desire
to inquire into the truth of judicial astrology, and he is said to have
discovered the folly of that study by erecting a figure with the aid of
one or two of the problems in Euclid. The propositions contained in
Euclid he regarded as self-evident; and, without any preliminary study,
he made himself master of Descartes' "Geometry" by his genius and
patient application. Dr. Wallis's "Arithmetic of Infinites," Sanderson's
"Logic," and the "Optics" of Kepler, were among the books which he
studied with care; and he is reported to have found himself more deeply
versed in some branches of knowledge than the tutor who directed his

In 1665 Newton took his Bachelor of Arts degree, and in 1666, in
consequence of the breaking out of the plague, he retired to
Woolsthorpe. In 1668 he took his Master of Arts degree, and was
appointed to a senior fellowship. And in 1669 he was made Lucasian
professor of mathematics.

During the years 1666-69, Newton was engaged in optical researches which
culminated in his invention of the first reflecting telescope. On
January 11, 1761, it was announced to the Royal Society that his
reflecting telescope had been shown to the king, and had been examined
by the president, Sir Robert Murray, Sir Paul Neale, and Sit Christopher

In the course of his optical researches, Newton discovered the different
refrangibility of different rays of light, and in his professorial
lectures during the years 1669, 1670, and 1671 he announced his
discoveries; but not till 1672 did he communicate them to the Royal
Society. No sooner were these discoveries given to the world than they
were opposed with a degree of virulence and ignorance which have seldom
been combined in scientific controversy. The most distinguished of his
opponents were Robert Hooke and Huyghens. Both attacked his theory from
the standpoint of the undulatory theory of light which they upheld.

_II.--The Colours of Natural Bodies_

In examining the nature and origin of colours as the component parts of
white light, the attention of Newton was directed to the explanation of
the colours of natural bodies. His earliest researches on this subject
were communicated, in his "Discourse on Light and Colours," to the Royal
Society in 1675.

Dr. Hooke had succeeded in splitting a mineral substance called mica
into films of such extreme thinness as to give brilliant colours. One
plate, for example, gave a yellow colour, another a blue colour, and the
two together a deep purple, but as plates which produced this colour
were always less than the twelve-thousandth part of an inch thick it was
quite impracticable, by any contrivance yet discovered, to measure their
thickness, and determine the law according to which the colours varied
with the thickness of the film. Newton surmounted this difficulty by
laying a double convex lens, the radius of the curvature of each side of
which was fifty feet, upon the flat surface of a plano-convex
object-glass, and in the way he obtained a plate of air, or of space,
varying from the thinnest possible edge at the centre of the
object-glass where it touched the plane surface to a considerable
thickness at the circumference of the lens. When the light was allowed
to fall upon the object-glass, every different thickness of the plate of
air between the object-glasses gave different colours, so that the point
where the two object-glasses touched one another was the centre of a
number of concentric coloured rings. Now, as the curvature of the
object-glass was known, it was easy to calculate the thickness of the
plate of air at which any particular colour appeared, and thus to
determine the law of the phenomena.

By accurate measurements Newton found that the thickness of air at which
the most luminous parts of the first rings were produced were, in parts
of an inch, as 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 to 178,000.

If the medium or the substance of the thin plate is water, as in the
case of the soap-bubble, which produces beautiful colours according to
its different degrees of thinness, the thicknesses at which the most
luminous parts of the ring appear are produced at 1/1.336 the thickness
at which they are produced in air, and, in the case of glass or mica, at
1/1.525 at thickness, the numbers 1.336, 1.525 expressing the ratio of
the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction which produce the

From the phenomena thus briefly described, Newton deduced that
ingenious, though hypothetical, property of light called its "fits of
easy reflection and transmission." This property consists in supposing
that every particle of light from its first discharge from a luminous
body possesses, at equally distant intervals, dispositions to be
reflected from, and transmitted through, the surfaces of the bodies upon
which it is incident. Hence, if a particle of light reaches a reflecting
surface of glass _when in its fit of easy reflection_, or in its
disposition to be reflected, it will yield more readily to the
reflecting force of the surface; and, on the contrary, if it reaches the
same surface _while in a fit of easy transmission_, or in a disposition
to be transmitted, it will yield with more difficulty to the reflecting

The application of the theory of alternate fits of transmission and
reflection to explain the colours of thin plates is very simple.

Transparency, opacity and colour were explained by Newton on the
following principles.

Bodies that have the greatest refractive powers reflect the greatest
quantity of light from their surfaces, and at the confines of equally
refracting media there is no reflection.

The least parts of almost all natural bodies are in some measure

Between the parts of opaque and coloured bodies are many spaces, or
pores, either empty or filled with media of other densities.

The parts of bodies and their interstices or pores must not be less than
of some definite bigness to render them coloured.

The transparent parts of bodies, according to their several sizes,
reflect rays of one colour, and transmit those of another on the same
ground that thin plates do reflect or transmit these rays.

The parts of bodies on which their colour depend are denser than the
medium which pervades their interstices.

The bigness of the component parts of natural bodies may be conjectured
by their colours.

_Transparency_ he considers as arising from the particles and their
intervals, or pores, being too small to cause reflection at their common
surfaces; so that all light which enters transparent bodies passes
through them without any portion of it being turned from its path by

_Opacity_, he thinks, arises from an opposite cause, _viz._, when the
parts of bodies are of such a size to be capable of reflecting the light
which falls upon them, in which case the light is "stopped or stifled"
by the multitude of reflections.

The _colours_ of natural bodies have, in the Newtonian hypothesis, the
same origin as the colours of thin plates, their transparent particles,
according to their several sizes, reflecting rays of one colour and
transmitting those of another.

Among the optical discoveries of Newton those which he made on the
inflection of light hold a high place. They were first published in his
"Treatise on Optics," in 1707.

_III--The Discovery of the Law of Gravitation_

From the optical labours of Newton we now proceed to the history of his
astronomical discoveries, those transcendent deductions of human reason
by which he has secured to himself an immortal name, and vindicated the
intellectual dignity of his species.

In the year 1666, Newton was sitting in his garden at Woolsthorpe,
reflecting on the nature of gravity, that remarkable power which causes
all bodies to descend towards the centre of the earth. As this power
does not sensibly diminish at the greatest height we can reach he
conceived it possible that it might reach to the moon and affect its
motion, and even hold it in its orbit. At such a distance, however, he
considered some diminution of the force probable, and in order to
estimate the diminution, he supposed that the primary planets were
carried round the sun by the same force. On this assumption, by
comparing the periods of the different planets with their distances from
the sun, he found that the force must decrease as the squares of the
distances from the sun. In drawing this conclusion he supposed the
planets to move in circular orbits round the sun.

Having thus obtained a law, he next tried to ascertain if it applied to
the moon and the earth, to determine if the force emanating from the
earth was sufficient, if diminished in the duplicate ratio of the moon's
distance, to retain the moon in its orbit. For this purpose it was
necessary to compare the space through which heavy bodies fall in a
second at the surface of the earth with the space through which the
moon, as it were, falls to the earth in a second of time, while
revolving in a circular orbit. Owing to an erroneous estimate of the
earth's diameter, he found the facts not quite in accordance with the
supposed law; he found that the force which on this assumption would act
upon the moon would be one-sixth more than required to retain it in its

Because of this incongruity he let the matter drop for a time. But, in
1679, his mind again reverted to the subject; and in 1682, having
obtained a correct measurement of the diameter of the earth, he repeated
his calculations of 1666. In the progress of his calculations he saw
that the result which he had formerly expected was likely to be
produced, and he was thrown into such a state of nervous irritability
that he was unable to carry on the calculation. In this state of mind he
entrusted it to one of his friends, and he had the high satisfaction of
finding his former views amply realised. The force of gravity which
regulated the fall of bodies at the earth's surface, when diminished as
the square of the moon's distance from the earth, was found to be
exactly equal to the centrifugal force of the moon as deduced from her
observed distance and velocity.

The influence of such a result upon such a mind may be more easily
conceived than described. The whole material universe was opened out
before him; the sun with all his attending planets; the planets with all
their satellites; the comets wheeling in every direction in their
eccentric orbits; and the system of the fixed stars stretching to the
remotest limits of space. All the varied and complicated movements of
the heavens, in short, must have been at once presented to his mind as
the necessary result of that law which he had established in reference
to the earth and the moon.

After extending this law to the other bodies of the system, he composed
a series of propositions on the motion of the primary planets about the
sun, which was sent to London about the end of 1683, and was soon
afterwards communicated to the Royal Society.

Newton's discovery was claimed by Hooke, who certainly aided Newton to
reach the truth, and was certainly also on the track of the same law.

Between 1686 and 1687 appeared the three books of Newton's immortal
work, known as the "Principia." The first and second book are entitled
"On the Motion of Bodies," and the third "On the System of the World."

In this great work Newton propounds the principle that "every particle
of matter in the universe is attracted by, or gravitates to, every other
particle of matter with a force inversely proportional to the squares of
their distances." From the second law of Kepler, namely, the
proportionality of the areas to the times of their description, Newton
inferred that the force which keeps a planet in its orbit is always
directed to the sun. From the first law of Kepler, that every planet
moves in an ellipse with the sun in one of its foci, he drew the still
more general inference that the force by which the planet moves round
that focus varies inversely as the square of its distance from the
focus. From the third law of Kepler, which connects the distances and
periods of the planets by a general rule, Newton deduced the equality of
gravity in them all towards the sun, modified only by their different
distances from its centre; and in the case of terrestrial bodies, he
succeeded in verifying the equality of action by numerous and accurate

By taking a more general view of the subject, Newton showed that a conic
section was the only curve in which a body could move when acted upon by
a force varying inversely as the square of the distance; and he
established the conditions depending on the velocity and the primitive
position of the body which were requisite to make it describe a
circular, an elliptical, a parabolic, or a hyperbolic orbit.

It still remained to show whether the force resided in the centre of
planets or in their individual particles; and Newton demonstrated that
if a spherical body acts upon a distant body with a force varying as the
distance of this body from the centre of the sphere, the same effect
will be produced as if each of its particles acted upon the distant body
according to the same law.

Hence it follows that the spheres, whether they are of uniform density,
or consist of concentric layers of varying densities, will act upon each
other in the same manner as if their force resided in their centres
alone. But as the bodies of the solar system are nearly spherical, they
will all act upon one another and upon bodies placed on their surface,
as if they were so many centres of attraction; and therefore we obtain
the law of gravity, that one sphere will act upon another sphere with a
force directly proportional to the quantity of matter, and inversely as
the square of the distance between the centres of the spheres. From the
equality of action and reaction, to which no exception can be found,
Newton concluded that the sun gravitates to the planets and the planets
to their satellites, and the earth itself to the stone which falls upon
its surface, and consequently that the two mutually gravitating bodies
approach one another with velocities inversely proportional to their
quantities of matter.

Having established this universal law, Newton was able not only to
determine the weight which the same body would have at the surface of
the sun and the planets, but even to calculate the quantity of matter in
the sun and in all the planets that had satellites, and also to
determine their density or specific gravity.

With wonderful sagacity Newton traced the consequences of the law of
gravitation. He showed that the earth must be an oblate spheroid, formed
by the revolution of an ellipse round its lesser axis. He showed how the
tides were caused by the moon, and how the effect of the moon's action
upon the earth is to draw its fluid parts into the form of an oblate
spheroid, the axis of which passes through the moon. He also applied the
law of gravitation to explain irregularities in the lunar motions, the
precession of the equinoctial points, and the orbits of comets.

In the "Principia" Newton published for the first time the fundamental
principle of the fluxionary calculus which he had discovered about
twenty years before; but not till 1693 was his whole work communicated
to the mathematical world. This delay in publication led to the
historical controversy between him and Leibnitz as to priority of

In 1676 Newton had communicated to Leibnitz the fact that he had
discovered a general method of drawing tangents, concealing the method
in two sentences of transposed characters. In the following year
Leibnitz mentioned in a letter to Oldenburg (to be communicated to
Newton) that he had been for some time in possession of a method for
drawing tangents, and explains the method, which was no other than the
differential calculus. Before Newton had published a single word upon
fluxions the differential calculus had made rapid advances on the

In 1704 a reviewer of Newton's "Optics" insinuated that Newton had
merely improved the method of Leibnitz, and had indeed stolen Leibnitz's
discovery; and this started a controversy which raged for years.
Finally, in 1713, a committee of the Royal Society investigated the
matter, and decided that Newton was the first inventor.

_IV.--Later Years of Newton's Life_

In 1692, when Newton was attending divine service, his dog Diamond upset
a lighted taper on his desk and destroyed some papers representing the
work of years. Newton is reported merely to have exclaimed: "O Diamond,
Diamond, little do you know the mischief you have done me!" But,
nevertheless, his excessive grief is said for a time to have affected
his mind.

In 1695 Newton was appointed Warden of the Mint, and his mathematical
and chemical knowledge were of eminent use in carrying on the recoinage
of the mint. Four years later he was made Master of the Mint, and held
this office during the remainder of his life. In 1701 he was elected one
of the members of parliament for Oxford University, and in 1705 he was

Towards the end of his life Newton began to devote special attention to
the theological questions, and in 1733 he published a work entitled
"Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St.
John," which is characterised by great learning and marked with the
sagacity of its distinguished author. Besides this religious work, he
also published his "Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of
Scripture," and his "Lexicon Propheticum."

In addition to theology, Newton also studied chemistry; and in 1701 a
paper by him, entitled "Scala graduum caloris," was read at the Royal
Society; while the queries at the end of his "Optics" are largely
chemical, dealing with such subjects as fire, flame, vapour, heat, and
elective attractions.

He regards fire as a body heated so hot as to emit light copiously; and
flame as a vapour, fume, or exhalation, heated so hot as to shine.

In explaining the structure of solid bodies, he is of the opinion "that
the smallest particles of matter may cohere by the strongest
attractions, and compose bigger particles of weaker virtue; and many of
these may cohere and compose bigger particles whose virtue is still
weaker; and so on for diverse successions, until the progression end in
the biggest particles on which the operations in chemistry and the
colours of natural bodies depend, and which, by adhering, compose bodies
of a sensible magnitude. If the body is compact, and bends or yields
inward to pressure without any sliding of its parts, it is hard and
elastic, returning to its figure with a force arising from the mutual
attraction of its parts.

"If the parts slide upon one another the body is malleable and soft. If
they slip easily, and are of a fit size to be agitated by heat, and the
heat is big enough to keep them in agitation, the body is fluid; and if
it be apt to stick to things it is humid; and the drops of every fluid
affect a round figure by the mutual attraction of their parts, as the
globe of the earth and sea affects a round figure by the mutual
attraction of its parts by gravity."

In a letter to Mr. Boyle (1678-79) Newton explains his views respecting
the ether. He considers that the ether accounts for the refraction of
light, the cohesion of two polished pieces of metal in an exhausted
receiver, the adhesion of quick-silver to glass tubes, the cohesion of
the parts of all bodies, the phenomena of filtration and of capillary
attraction, the action of menstrua on bodies, the transmutation of gross
compact substances into aerial ones, and gravity. If a body is either
heated or loses its heat when placed in vacuo, he ascribes the
conveyance of the heat in both cases "to the vibration of a much subtler
medium than air"; and he considers this medium also the medium by which
light is refracted and reflected, and by whose vibrations light
communicates heat to bodies and is put into fits of easy reflection and
transmission. Light, Newton regards as a peculiar substance composed of
heterogeneous particles thrown off with great velocity in all directions
from luminous bodies, and he supposes that these particles while passing
through the ether excite in it vibrations, or pulses, which accelerate
or retard the particles of light, and thus throw them into alternate
"fits of easy reflection and transmission." He computes the elasticity
of the ether to be 490,000,000,000 times greater than air in proportion
to its density.

In 1722, in his eightieth year, Newton began to suffer from stone; but
by means of a strict regimen and other precautions he was enabled to
alleviate the complaint, and to procure long intervals of ease. But a
journey to London on February 28, 1727, to preside at a meeting of the
Royal Society greatly aggravated the complaint. On Wednesday, March 15,
he appeared to be somewhat better. On Saturday morning he carried on a
pretty long conversation with Dr. Mead; but at six o'clock the same
evening he became insensible, and continued in that state until Monday,
the 20th, when he expired, without pain, between one and two o'clock in
the morning, in the eighty-fifth year of his age.

* * * * *


Grace Abounding

During his life of sixty years Bunyan wrote sixty books, and
of all these undoubtedly the most popular are the "Pilgrim's
Progress," "The Holy War," and "Grace Abounding." His "Grace
Abounding to the Chief of Sinners," generally called simply
"Grace Abounding," is a record of his own religious
experiences. (Bunyan, biography: see FICTION.)

_I.--To the Chief of Sinners_

In this relation of the merciful working of God upon my soul I do in the
first place give you a hint of my pedigree and manner of bringing up. My
descent was, as is well-known to many, of a low and inconsiderable
generation, my father's house being of that rank that is meanest and
most despised of all the families in the land. Though my parents put me
to school, to my shame I confess I did soon lose that little I learnt.
As for my own natural life, for the time that I was without God in the
world, it was indeed according to the course of this world, and the
spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience, for from a child I
had but few equals for cursing, lying, and blaspheming. In these days
the thoughts of religion were very grievous to me. I could neither
endure it myself, nor that any other should. But God did not utterly
leave me, but followed me with judgements, yet such as were mixed with

Once I fell into a creek of the sea and hardly escaped drowning; and
another time I fell out of a boat into Bedford river, but mercy yet
preserved me alive. When I was a soldier, I and others were drawn to
such a place to besiege it; but when I was ready to go, one of the
company desired to go in my place, to which I consented. Coming to the
siege, as he stood sentinel, he was shot in the head with a musket
bullet, and died. Here were judgement and mercy, but neither of them did
awaken my soul to righteousness.

Presently, after this I changed my condition into a married state, and
my mercy was to light upon a wife whose father was counted godly. Though
we came together so poor that we had not so much household stuff as a
dish or a spoon betwixt us both, yet she had two books which her father
left her when he died: "The Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven," and "The
Practice of Piety." In these I sometimes read with her, and in them
found some things that were pleasing to me, but met with no conviction.
Yet through these books I fell in very eagerly with the religion of the
times, to wit, to go to church twice a day, though yet retaining my
wicked life. But one day, as I was standing at a neighbour's
shop-window, cursing after my wonted manner, the woman of the house
protested that she was made to tremble to hear me, and told me I by thus
doing was able to spoil all the youth in the whole town.

At this reproof I was put to shame, and that, too, as I thought, before
the God of Heaven. Hanging down my head, I wished with all my heart that
I might be a little child again. How it came to pass I know not, but I
did from this time so leave off my swearing that it was a wonder to
myself to observe it. Soon afterwards I fell in company with one poor
man that made profession of religion. Falling into some liking to what
he said, I betook me to my Bible, especially to the historical part.
Wherefore I fell to some outward reformation, and did strive to keep the
commandments, and thus I continued about a year, all which time our
neighbours wondered at seeing such an alteration in my life. For though
I was as yet nothing but a poor painted hypocrite, I loved to be talked
of as one that was godly. Yet, as my conscience was beginning to be
tender, I after a time gave up bell-ringing and dancing, thinking I
could thus the better please God. But, poor wretch as I was, I was still
ignorant of Jesus Christ, and was going about to establish my own

But upon a day the good providence of God took me to Bedford, to work on
my calling, and in that town I came on three or four poor women sitting
at a door in the sun and talking about the things of God. I listened in
silence while they spoke of the new birth and the work of God on their
hearts. At this I felt my own heart began to shake, for their words
convinced me that I wanted the true tokens of a godly man. I now began
to look into my Bible with new eyes, and became conscious of my lack of
faith, and was often ready to sink with faintness in my mind, lest I
should prove not to be an elect vessel of the mercy of God. I was long
vexed with fear, until one day a sweet light broke in upon me as I came
on the words, "Yet there is room." Still I wavered many months between
hopes and fears, though as to act of sinning I never was more tender
than now. I was more loathsome in my own eyes than a toad, and I thought
I was so in God's eyes, too. I thought none but the devil could equalise
me for inward wickedness; and thus I continued a long while, even some
years together. But afterwards the Lord did more fully and graciously
discover Himself to me, and at length I was indeed put into my right
mind, even as other Christians are.

I remember that one day as I was travelling into the country, and musing
on the wickedness of my heart, that Scripture came to my mind. "He hath
made peace by the blood of His cross." I saw that the justice of God and
my sinful soul could embrace each other through this blood. This was a
good day to me. At this time I sat under the ministry of holy Mr.
Gifford, whose doctrine was, by God's grace, much for my stability. My
soul was now led from truth to truth, even from the birth and cradle of
the Son of God to His ascension and His second coming to judge the

One day there fell into my hands a book of Martin Luther. It was his
"Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians," and the volume was so old
that it was ready to fall to pieces. When I had but a little way perused
it, I found that my condition was in his experience so handled as if his
book had been written out of my heart. I do here wish to set forth that
I do prefer this book of Martin Luther upon the Galatians (excepting the
Holy Bible) before all the books I have ever seen, as most fit for a
wounded conscience. About this time I was beset with tormenting fears
that I had committed the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost, and an
ancient Christian to whom I opened my mind told me he thought so, too,
which gave me cold comfort. Thus, by strange and unusual assaults of the
tempter was my soul, like a broken vessel, tossed and driven with winds.
There was now nothing that I longed for but to be put out of doubt as to
my full pardon. One morning when I was at prayer, and trembling under
fear that no word of God could help me, that piece of a sentence darted
in upon me: "My grace is sufficient." By these words I was sweetly
sustained for about eight weeks, though not without conflicts, until at
last these same words did break in with great power suddenly upon me:
"My grace is sufficient for thee," repeated three times, at which my
understanding was so enlightened that I was as though I had seen the
Lord Jesus look down from Heaven through the tiles upon me, and direct
these words to me.

One day, as I was passing in the field, with some dashes on my
conscience, fearing lest yet all was not right, suddenly this sentence
fell upon my soul: "Thy righteousness is in Heaven." I saw in a moment
that my righteousness was not my good frame of heart, but Jesus Christ
Himself, "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever." Now shall I go
forward to give you a relation of other of the Lord's dealings with me.
I shall begin with what I met when I first did join in fellowship with
the people of God in Bedford. Upon a time I was suddenly seized with
much sickness, and was inclining towards consumption. Now I began to
give myself up to fresh serious examination, and there came flocking
into my mind an innumerable company of my sins and transgressions, my
soul also being greatly tormented between these two considerations: Live
I must not, die I dare not. But as I was walking up and down in the
house, a man in a most woeful state, that word of God took hold of my
heart: "Ye are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption
that is in Jesus Christ." But oh, what a turn it made upon me! At this I
was greatly lightened in my mind, and made to understand that God could
justify a sinner at any time. And as I was thus in a muse, that
Scripture also came with great power upon my spirit: "Not by works of
righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy He hath
saved us." Now was I got on high; I saw myself verily within the arms of
grace and mercy; and though I was before afraid to think of a dying
hour, yet now I cried with my whole heart: "Let me die."

_II.--Bunyan Becomes a Preacher_

And now I will thrust in a word or two concerning my preaching of the
Word. For, after I had been about five or six years awakened, some of
the ablest of the saints with us desired me, with much earnestness, to
take a hand sometimes in one of the meetings, and to speak a word of
exhortation unto them. I consented to their request, and did twice at
two several assemblies, though with much weakness, discover my gift to
them. At which they did solemnly protest that they were much affected
and comforted, and gave thanks to the Father of Mercies for the grace
bestowed on me. After this, when some of them did go to the country to
teach, they would also that I should go with them. To be brief, after
some solemn prayer to the Lord with fasting, I was more particularly
called forth and appointed to a more ordinary and public preaching of
the Word. Though of myself of all saints the most unworthy, yet I did
set upon the work, and did according to my gift preach the blessed
Gospel, which, when the country people understood, they came in to hear
the Word by hundreds. I had not preached long before some began to be
touched at the apprehension of their need of Jesus Christ, and to bless
God for me as God's instrument that showed the way of salvation.

In my preaching I took special notice of this one thing, that the Lord
did lead me to begin where His Word begins with sinners--that is, to
condemn all flesh, because of sin. Thus I went on for about two years,
crying out against men's sins, after which the Lord came in upon my soul
and gave me discoveries of His Blessed grace, wherefore I now altered in
my preaching, and did much labour to hold forth Christ in all His
relations, offices, and benefits unto the world. After this, God led me
into something of the mystery of union with Christ. Wherefore that I
discovered to them also. And when I had travelled through these three
chief points of the Word of God, about five years or more, I was cast
into prison, where I have lain above as long again, to confirm the truth
by way of suffering, as before in testifying of it by preaching
according to the Scriptures.

When I went first to preach the Word, the doctors and priests of the
country did open wide against me. But I was persuaded not to render
railing for railing, but to see how many of their carnal professors I
could convince of their miserable state by the law, and of the want and
worth of Christ. I never cared to meddle with things that were
controverted among the saints, especially things of the lowest nature. I
have observed that where I have had a work to do for God, I have had
first, as it were, the going of God upon my spirit to desire I might
preach there. My great desire in my fulfilling my ministry was to get
into the darkest places of the country, even amongst these people that
were furthest off of profession. But in this work, as in all other work,
I had my temptations attending me, and that of divers kinds. Sometimes
when I have been preaching I have been violently assailed with thoughts
of blasphemy, and strangely tempted to speak the words with my mouth
before the congregation. But, I thank the Lord, I have been kept from
consenting to these so horrid suggestions. I have also, while found in
this blessed work of Christ, been often tempted to pride and liftings up
of heart, and this has caused hanging down of the head under all my
gifts and attainments. I have felt this thorn in the flesh the very
mercy of God to me. But when Satan perceived that his thus tempting and
assaulting of me would not answer his design--to wit, to overthrow my
ministry--then he tried another way, which was to load me with slanders
and reproaches. It began, therefore, to be rumoured up and down the
country that I was a witch, a Jesuit, a highwayman, and the like. To all
which I shall only say, God knows that I am innocent. Now, as Satan
laboured to make me vile among my countrymen, that, if possible, my
preaching might be of none effect, so there was added thereto a tedious
imprisonment, of which I shall in my next give you a brief account.

_III.--In a Prison Cell_

Upon November 12, 1660, I was desired by some of the friends in the
country to come to teach at Samsell, by Harlington, in Bedfordshire, to
whom I made a promise to be with them. The justice, Mr. Francis Wingate,
hearing thereof, forthwith issued out his warrant to take me and bring
me before him. When the constable came in we were, with our Bibles in
our hands, just about to begin our exercise. So that I was taken and
forced to leave the room, but before I went away I spake some words of
counsel and encouragement to the people; for we might have been
apprehended as thieves or murderers. But, blessed be God, we suffer as
Christians for well-doing; and we had better be the persecuted than the
persecutors. But the constable and the justice's man would not be quiet
till they had me away. But because the justice was not at home on that
day, a friend of mine engaged to bring me to the constable next morning;
so on that day we went to him, and so to the justice. He asked the
constable what we did where we were met together, and what we had with
us? I know he meant whether we had armour or not; but when he heard that
there were only a few of us, met for preaching and hearing the Word, he
could not well tell what to say. Yet, because he had sent for me, he did
adventure to put a few proposals to me, to this effect: What did I
there? Why did I not content myself with following my calling? For it
was against the law that such as I should be admitted to do as I did. I
answered that my intent was to instruct the people to forsake their sins
and close in with Christ, lest they did perish miserably, and that I
could do both, follow my calling and also preach without confusion.

At which words he was in a chafe, for he said he would break the neck of
our meetings. I said it might be so. Then he wished me to get sureties
to be bound for me, or else he would send me to the gaol. My sureties
being ready, I called them in, and when the bond for my appearance was
made, he told them that they were bound to keep me from preaching; and
that if I did preach, their bonds would be forfeited. To which I
answered that I should break them, for I should not leave preaching the
Word of God. Whereat that my mittimus must be made, and I sent to the
gaol, there to lie till the quarter sessions.

After I had lain in the gaol for four or five days, the brethren sought
means again to get me out by bondsmen (for so runs my mittimus--that I
should lie there till I could find sureties). They went to a justice at
Elstow, one Mr. Crumpton, to desire him to take bond for my appearing at
quarter session. At first he told them he would; but afterwards he made
a demur at the business, and desired first to see my mittimus, which ran
to this purpose: That I went about to several conventicles in this
country, to the great disparagement of the government of the Church of
England, etc. When he had seen it, he said there might be something more
against me than was expressed in my mittimus; and that he was but a
young man, and, therefore, he durst not do it. This my gaoler told me;
whereat I was not at all daunted, but rather glad, and saw evidently
that the Lord had heard me; for before I went down to the justice, I
begged of God that if I might do more good by being at liberty than in
prison that then I might be set at liberty; but, if not, His will be
done. For I was not altogether without hopes that my imprisonment might
be an awakening to the saints in this country, therefore I could not
tell well which to choose; only I in that manner did commit the thing to
God. And verily, at my return, I did meet my God sweetly in the prison
again, comforting of me and satisfying of me that it was His will and
mind that I should be there.

When I came back to prison, when I was musing at the slender answer of
the justice, this word dropped in upon my heart with some life: "For He
knew that for envy they had delivered him."

Thus have I, in short, declared the manner and occasion of my being in
prison, where I lie waiting the good will of God, to do with me as he
pleaseth; knowing that not one hair of my head can fall to the ground
without the will of my Father.

_IV.--Bunyan's Story Supplemented_

The continuation by an intimate friend of Bunyan, written anonymously.

Reader--The painful and industrious author of this book has given you a
faithful and very moving relation of the beginning and middle of the
days of his pilgrimage on earth. As a true and intimate acquaintance of
Mr. Bunyan's, that his good end may be known, as well as his evil
beginning, I have taken upon me to piece this to the thread too soon
broke off.

After his being freed from his twelve years' imprisonment, wherein he
had time to furnish the world with sundry good books, etc., and by his
patience to move Dr. Barlow, the then Bishop of Lincoln, and other
churchmen, to pity his hard and unreasonable sufferings so far as to
procure his enlargement, or there perhaps he had died by the noisomeness
and ill-usage of the place. Being again at liberty, he went to visit
those who had been a comfort to him in his tribulation, giving
encouragement by his example, if they happened to fall into affliction
or trouble, then to suffer patiently for the sake of a good conscience,
so that the people found a wonderful consolation in his discourse and

As often as opportunity would permit, he gathered them together in
convenient places, though the law was then in force against meetings,
and fed them with the sincere milk of the Word, that they might grow in
grace thereby. He sent relief to such as were anywhere taken and
imprisoned on these accounts. He took great care to visit the sick, nor
did he spare any pains or labour in travel though to the remote
counties, where any might stand in need of his assistance.

When in the late reign liberty of conscience was unexpectedly given, he
gathered his congregation at Bedford, where he mostly lived and had
spent most of his life. Here a new and larger meeting-house was built,
and when, for the first time, he appeared there to edify, the place was
so thronged that many were constrained to stay without, though the house
was very spacious.

Here he lived in much peace and quiet of mind, contenting himself with
that little God had bestowed on him, and sequestering himself from all
secular employments to follow that of his call to the ministry.

During these things there were regulators sent into all the cities and
towns corporate, to new model the government in the magistracy, etc., by
turning out some and putting in others. Against this Mr. Bunyan
expressed zeal with some weariness, and laboured with his congregation
to prevent their being imposed on in this kind. And when a great man in
those days, coming to Bedford upon such an errand, sent for him, as it
is supposed, to give him a place of public trust, he would by no means
come at him, but sent his excuse.

When he was at leisure from writing and teaching, he often came up to
London, and there went among the congregations of the Nonconformists,
and used his talent to the great good-liking of the hearers. Thus he
spent his latter years. But let me come a little nearer to particulars
of time. After he was sensibly convicted of the wicked state of his life
and converted, he was baptised into the congregation, and admitted a
member thereof in the year 1655, and became speedily a very zealous
professor. But upon the return of King Charles II. to the Crown in 1660,
he was on November 12 taken as he was edifying some good people, and
confined in Bedford Gaol for the space of six years; till the Act of
Indulgence to dissenters being allowed, he obtained his freedom by the
intercession of some in power that took pity on his sufferings; but was
again taken up, and was then confined for six years more. He was chosen
to the care of the congregation at Bedford on December 12, 1671. In this
charge he often had disputed with scholars that came to oppose him, as
thinking him an ignorant person; but he confuted, and put to silence,
one after another, all his method being to keep close to Scripture.

At length, worn out with sufferings, age, and often teaching, the day of
his dissolution drew near. Riding to Reading in order to plead with a
young man's father for reconciliation to him, he journeyed on his return
by way of London, where, through being overtaken by excessive rains and
coming to his lodgings extremely wet, he fell sick of a violent fever,
which he bore with much constancy and patience. Finding his vital
strength decay, he resigned his soul into the hands of his most merciful
Redeemer, following his Pilgrim from the City of Destruction to the New
Jerusalem. He died at the house of one Mr. Straddocks, a grocer, at the
Star on Snow Hill, in the Parish of St. Sepulchre, London, in the
sixtieth year of his age, after ten days' sickness; and was buried in
the new burying ground in Artillery Place.

* * * * *



Alexander Carlyle, minister of the Church of Scotland and
author of the celebrated "Autobiography," was born at
Cummmertrees Manse, Dumfriesshire, on January 26, 1722, and
died at Inveresk on August 25, 1805. His commanding appearance
won for him the sobriquet of "Jupiter Carlyle," and Sir Walter
Scott spoke of him as "the grandest demi-god I ever saw." He
was greatly respected in Scotland as a wise and tolerant man,
where too many were narrow, bitter, and inquisitorial. With
regard to freedom in religious thought he was in advance of
his time, and brought the clerical profession into greater
respect by showing himself a cultured man of the world as well
as a leader of his Church. Carlyle, however, would hardly be
remembered now but for the glimpses which his book gives of
contemporary persons and manners. The work was first edited in
1860 by John Hill Burton.

_I.--In the Days of Prince Charlie_

I have been too late in beginning this work, as I have entered on the
seventy-ninth year of my age, but I will endeavour, with God's blessing,
to serve posterity to the best of my ability with such a faithful
picture of times and characters as came within my view in the humble and
private sphere of life in which I have always acted.

My father, minister of Prestonpans, was of a warm and benevolent temper,
and an orthodox and eloquent orator. My mother was a person of an
elegant and reflecting mind, and was as much respected as my father was
beloved. Until 1732, when I was ten years of age, they were in very
narrow circumstances, but in that year the stipend was raised from L70
to L140 per annum. In 1735 I was sent to college.

Yielding to parental wishes, I consented, in 1738, to become a student
of divinity, and pursued my studies in Edinburgh and, from 1743, in
Glasgow, passing my trials in the presbytery of Haddington in the summer
of 1745. Early in September I was at Moffat, when I heard that the
Chevalier Prince Charles had landed in the north. I repaired to
Edinburgh, and joined a company of volunteers for the defence of the
city. Edinburgh was in great ferment, and of divided allegiance; there
was no news of the arrival of Sir John Cope with the government forces;
the Highlanders came on, no resistance was made, and the city
surrendered on the sixteenth. That night, my brother and I walked along
the sands to Prestonpans, and carried the news. Proceeding to Dunbar,
where Sir John Cope's army lay, I inquired for Colonel Gardiner, whom I
found very dejected.

"Sandie," said Colonel Gardiner, "I'll tell you in confidence that I
have not above ten men in my regiment whom I am certain will follow me.
But we must give them battle now, and God's will be done!"

Cope's small army was totally defeated at Prestonpans on the morning of
the twenty-first. I heard the first cannon that was fired, and started
to my clothes. My father had been up before daylight, and had resorted
to the steeple. I ran into the garden. Within ten minutes after firing
the first cannon the whole prospect was filled with runaways, and
Highlanders pursuing them. The next week I saw Prince Charles twice in
Edinburgh. He was a good-looking man; his hair was dark red and his eyes
black. His features were regular, his visage long, much sunburnt and
freckled, and his countenance thoughtful and melancholy.

In October of the same year I went to Leyden, to study at the university
there. Here there were twenty-two British students, among them the
Honourable Charles Townshend, afterwards a distinguished statesman, and
Mr. Doddeswell, afterwards Chancellor of the Exchequer. We passed our
time very agreeably, and very profitably, too; for the conversations at
our evening meetings of young men of good knowledge could not fail to be
instructive, much more so than the lectures, which were very dull. On my
return from Holland, I was introduced by my cousin, Captain Lyon, to
some families of condition in London, and was carried to court of an
evening, for George II. at that time had evening drawing rooms, where
his majesty and Princess Amelia, who had been a lovely woman, played at

I had many agreeable parties with the officers of the Horse Guards, who
were all men of the world, and some of them of erudition and
understanding. I was introduced to Smollett at this time, and was in the
coffee-house with him when the news of the Battle of Culloden came, and
when London all over was in a perfect uproar of joy. The theatres were
not very attractive this season, as Garrick had gone over to Dublin; but
there remained Mrs. Pritchard, Mrs. Clive, and Macklin, who were all
excellent in their way. Of the literary people I met with I must not
forget Thomson, the poet, and Dr. Armstrong.

In June, 1746, I was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Haddington,
and was ordained minister of Inveresk on August 2, 1748. There were many
resident families of distinction, and my situation was envied as
superior to that of most clergymen for agreeable society. As one of the
"Moderate" party, I now became much implicated in ecclesiastical
politics. Dr. Robertson, John Home, and I had an active hand in the
restoration of the authority of the General Assembly over the

_II.--Literary Lions of Edinburgh_

It was in one of these years that Smollett visited Scotland, and came
out to Musselburgh. He was a man of very agreeable conversation and of
much genuine humour, and, though not a profound scholar, possessed a
philosophical mind, and was capable of making the soundest observations
on human life, and of discerning the excellence or seeing the ridicule
of every character he met with. Fielding only excelled him in giving a
dramatic story to his novels, but was inferior to him in the true comic
vein. At this time David Hume was living in Edinburgh, and composing his
"History of Great Britain." He was a man of great knowledge, and of a
social and benevolent temper, and truly the best-natured man in the

I was one of those who never believed that David Hume's sceptical
principles had laid fast hold on his mind, but thought that his books
proceeded rather from affectation of superiority and pride of
understanding. When his circumstances were narrow, he accepted the
office of librarian to the Faculty of Advocates, worth L40 per annum,
and to my certain knowledge he gave every farthing of the salary to
families in distress. For innocent mirth and agreeable raillery I never
knew his match.

Adam Smith, though perhaps only second to David in learning and
ingenuity, was far inferior to him in conversational talents. He was the
most absent man in company that I ever saw, moving his lips, and talking
to himself, and smiling, in the midst of large companies. If you awaked
him from his reverie and made him attend to the subject of conversation,
he immediately began a harangue, and never stopped till he told you all
he knew about it, with the utmost philosophical ingenuity. Though Smith
had some little jealousy in his temper, he had the most unbounded

Dr. Adam Ferguson was a very different kind of man. He had been chaplain
to the 42nd, adding all the decorum belonging to the clerical character
to the manners of a gentleman, the effect of which was that he was
highly respected by all the officers, and adored by his countrymen and
the common soldiers. His office turned his mind to the study of war,
which appears in his "Roman History," where many of the battles are
better described than by any historian but Polybius, who was an
eyewitness to so many. He had a boundless vein of humour, which he
indulged when none but intimates were present; but he was apt to be
jealous of his rivals and indignant against assumed superiority.

They were all honourable men in the highest degree, and John Home and I
together kept them on very good terms. With respect to taste, we held
David Hume and Adam Smith inferior to the rest, for they were both
prejudiced in favour of the French tragedies, and did not sufficiently
appreciate Shakespeare and Milton; their taste was a rational act rather
than the instantaneous effect of fine feeling. In John Home's younger
days he had much sprightliness and vivacity, so that he infused joy
wherever he came. But all his opinions of men and things were
prejudices, which, however, did not disqualify him for writing admirable

In 1754, the Select Society was established, which improved and gave a
name to the _literati_ of this country. Of the first members were Lord
Dalmeny, elder brother of the present Lord Rosebery; the Duke of
Hamilton of that period, a man of letters could he have kept himself
sober; and Mr. Robert Alexander, wine merchant, a very worthy man but a
bad speaker, who entertained us all with warm suppers and excellent
claret. In the month of February, 1755, John Home's tragedy of "Douglas"
was completely prepared for the stage, and he set out with it for
London, attended by six or seven of us. Were I to relate all the
circumstances of this journey, I am persuaded they would not be exceeded
by any novelist who has wrote since the days of "Don Quixote." Poor Home
had no success, for Garrick, after reading the play, returned it as
totally unfit for the stage. "Douglas," however, was acted in Edinburgh
in 1756, and had unbounded success for many nights; but the
"high-flying" set in the Church were unanimous against it, as they
thought it a sin for a clergyman to write any play, let it be ever so
moral. I was summoned before the Presbytery for my conduct in attending
the play, but was exonerated by the General Assembly.

About the end of February, 1758, I went to London with my sister
Margaret to get her married with Dr. Dickson. It is to be noted that we
could get no four-wheeled chaise till we came to Durham, those
conveyances being then only in their infancy, and turnpike roads being
only in their commencement in the North. Dr. Robertson having come to
London to offer his "History of Scotland" for sale, we went to see the
lions together. Home was now very friendly with Garrick, and I was often
in company with this celebrated actor.

Garrick gave a dinner to John Home and his friends at his house at
Hampton, and told us to bring golf clubs and balls that we might play on
Molesey Hurst. Garrick had built a handsome temple with a statue of
Shakespeare in it on the banks of the Thames. The poet and the actor
were well pleased with one another, and we passed a very agreeable

We yielded to a request of Sir David Kinloch to accompany him on a jaunt
to Portsmouth, and were much pleased with the diversified beauty of the
country. We viewed with much pleasure the solid foundation of the naval
glory of Great Britain, in the amazing extent and richness of the
dockyards and warehouses, and in the grandeur of her fleet in the
harbour and in the Downs. There was a fine fleet of ten ships of the
line in the Downs, with the Royal George at their head, all ready for

_III.--Scottish Social Life_

The clergy of Scotland, being under apprehensions that the window tax
would be extended to them, had given me in charge to state our case to
some of the Ministers, and try to make an impression in our favour. The
day came when we were presented to Lord Bute, but our reception was cold
and dry. We soon took our leave, and no sooner were we out of hearing
than Robert Adam, the architect, who was with us, fell a-cursing and
swearing--"What! had he been most graciously received by all the princes
in Italy and France, to come and be treated with such distance and pride
by the youngest earl but one in all Scotland?" They were better friends
afterwards, and Robert found him a kind patron when his professional
merit was made known to him. Lord Bute was a worthy and virtuous man,
but he was not versatile enough for a Prime Minister; and though
personally brave, was void of that political firmness which is necessary
to stand the storms of state. We returned to Scotland by Oxford,
Warwick, and Birmingham.

In August, 1758, I rode to Inverary, being invited by the Milton family,
who always were with the Duke of Argyll. We sat down every day fifteen
or sixteen to dinner, and the duke had the talent of conversing with his
guests so as to distinguish men of knowledge and ability without
neglecting those who valued themselves on their birth and their
rent-rolls. After the ladies were withdrawn and he had drunk his bottle
of claret, he retired to an easy-chair by the fireplace; drawing a black
silk nightcap over his eyes, he slept, or seemed to sleep, for an hour
and a half.

In the meantime, the toastmaster pushed about the bottle, and a more
noisy or regardless company could hardly be. Dinner was always served at
two o'clock, and about six o'clock the toastmaster and the gentlemen
drew off, when the ladies returned, and his grace awoke and called for
his tea. Tea being over, he played two rubbers at sixpenny whist. Supper
was served soon after nine, and he drank another bottle of claret, and
could not be got to go to bed till one in the morning. I stayed over
Sunday and preached to his grace. The ladies told me that I had pleased
him, which gratified me not a little, as without him no preferment could
be obtained in Scotland.

It was after this that I wrote what was called the "Militia Pamphlet,"
which had a great and unexpected success; it hit the tone of the
country, which was irritated at the refusal to allow the establishment
of a militia in Scotland.

The year 1760 was the most important of my life, for before the end of
it I was united with the most valuable friend and companion that any
mortal ever possessed. I owed my good fortune to the friendship of John
Home, who pointed out the young lady to me as a proper object of suit,
without which I should never have attempted it, for she was then just
past seventeen, when I was thirty-eight. With a superior understanding
and great discernment for her age, she had an ease and propriety of
manners which made her much distinguished in every company. She had not
one selfish corner in her whole soul, and was willing to sacrifice her
life for those she loved.

* * * * *


Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell

Thomas Carlyle, the celebrated literary moralist, was born at
Ecclefechan, Scotland, Dec. 4, 1795. He was educated at the
village school and at the Annan Grammar School, proceeding to
Edinburgh University in 1809. The breakdown of his dogmatic
beliefs made it impossible for him to enter the clerical
profession, and neither school-teaching nor the study of law
attracted him. Supporting himself by private teaching, Carlyle
made the beginnings of a literary connection. He fought his
way under great difficulties; he was hard to govern; he was a
painfully slow writer; and ignorance and rusticity mar his
work to the very end. Yet a fiery revolt against impostures,
an ardent sympathy for humanity, a worship of the heroic, an
immutable confidence in the eternal verities, and occasionally
a wonderful perception of beauty, made Carlyle one of the most
influential English writers of the nineteenth century. His
marriage in 1826 with Jane Baillie Welsh was an unhappy one.
Carlyle died on February 4, 1881, having survived his wife
fifteen years. The three volumes of "Cromwell's Letters and
Speeches," with elucidations by Carlyle, were published in
1845; the first work, one might say, conveying a sympathetic
appreciation of the great Protector, all histories of the man
and his times having been hitherto written from the point of
view either of the Royalists or of the revolutionary Whigs. To
neither of these was an understanding of Puritanism at all
possible. Moreover, to the Cavaliers, Cromwell was a regicide;
to the Whigs he was a military usurper who dissolved
parliaments. To both he was a Puritan who applied Biblical
phraseology to practical affairs--therefore, a canting
hypocrite, though undoubtedly a man of great capacity and
rugged force.

_I.--Puritan Oliver_

One wishes there were a history of English Puritanism, the last of all
our heroisms. At bottom, perhaps, no nobler heroism ever transacted
itself upon this earth; and it lies as good as lost to us in the elysium
we English have provided for our heroes! The Rushworthian elysium.
Dreariest continent of shot-rubbish the eye ever saw. Puritanism is not
of the nineteenth century, but of the seventeenth; it is grown
unintelligible, what we may call incredible. Heroes who knew in every
fibre, and with heroic daring laid to heart, that an Almighty justice
does verily rule this world; that it is good to fight on God's side, and
bad to fight on the devil's side. Well, it would seem the resuscitation
of a heroism from the past is no easy enterprise.

Of Biographies of Cromwell, there are none tolerable. Oliver's father
was a country gentleman of good estate, not a brewer; grandson of Sir
Richard Cromwell, or Williams, nephew of Thomas Cromwell "mauler of
monasteries"; his mother a Stuart (Steward), twelfth cousin or so of
King Charles. He was born in 1599, went to Cambridge in the month that
Shakespeare died. Next year his father died, and Oliver went no more to
Cambridge. He was the only son. In 1620 he married.

He sat in the Parliament of 1628-29; the Petition of Right Parliament; a
most brave and noble Parliament, ending with that scene when Holles held
the Speaker down in his chair. The last Parliament in England for above
eleven years. Notable years, what with soap-monopoly, ship-money, death
of the great Gustavus at Lutzen, pillorying of William Prynne, Jenny
Geddes, and National Covenant, old Field-Marshal Lesley at Dunse Law and
pacification thereafter nowise lasting.

To chastise the Scots, money is not attainable save by a Parliament,
which at last the king summons. This "Short Parliament," wherein Oliver
sits for Cambridge, is dismissed, being not prompt with supplies, which
the king seeks by other methods. But the army so raised will not fight
the Scots, who march into Northumberland and Durham. Money not to be had
otherwise than by a Parliament, which is again summoned; the Long
Parliament, which did not finally vanish till 1660. In which is Oliver
again, "very much hearkened unto," despite "linen plain and not very
clean, and voice sharp and untuneable."

Protestations; execution of Strafford, "the one supremely able man the
king had"; a hope of compromise being for a time introduced by "royal
varnish." Then, in November, 1641, an Irish rebellion blazing into Irish
massacre; and in Parliament, the Grand Remonstrance carried by a small
majority. In January, the king rides over to St. Stephen's to arrest the
"five members." Then on one side Commissions of Array, on the other
Ordinance for the Militia. In July and August, Mr. Cromwell is active in
Cambridgeshire for the defence of that county, as others are elsewhere.
Then Captain Cromwell, with his troop of horse, is with Essex at
Edgehill, where he does his duty; and then back in Cambridgeshire,
organising the Eastern Association. So we are at 1643 with the war in
full swing.

Letters have been few enough so far; vestiges, traces of Cromwell's
doings in the eastern counties; a successful skirmish at Grantham, a
"notable victory" at Gainsborough. In August, Manchester takes command
of the Association, with Cromwell for one of his colonels; in September,
first battle of Newbury, and signing of the Solemn League and Covenant
at Westminster. Cromwell has written "I have a lovely company; you would
respect them did you know them"--his "Ironsides." In October, Colonel
Cromwell does stoutly at Winceby fight; has his horse shot under him.
Lincolnshire is nearly cleared.

On March 20, 1643, there is a characteristic letter to General Crawford,
concerning the dismissal of an officer, whom Cromwell would have
restored. "Ay, but the man is an Anabaptist. Are you sure of that? Admit
he be, shall that render him incapable to serve the public? Sir, the
state, in choosing men to serve it, takes no notice of their opinions.
Take heed of being too sharp against those to whom you can object little
but that they square not with you in every opinion concerning matters of

In July was fought, in Yorkshire, the battle of Marston Moor, the
bloodiest of the whole war, which gave the whole north to the
Parliamentary party. Cromwell Writes to his brother-in-law, to tell him
of his son's death. Of the battle, he says, "It had all the evidences of
an absolute victory obtained by the Lord's blessing upon the godly
party. We never charged but we routed the enemy. God made them as
stubble to our swords." Soon after he is indignant with Manchester for
being "much slow in action," especially after the second battle of
Newbury. Hence comes the self-denying ordinance, in December, and
construction of New Model Army.

From which ordinance Cromwell is virtually dispensed, being appointed
for repeated periods of forty days, and doing good work in Oxfordshire
and elsewhere; clearly indispensable, till the Lord General Fairfax gets
him appointed Lieutenant-general; and on his joining Fairfax, and
commanding the cavalry, the king's army is shattered at Naseby. "We
killed and took about 5,000," writes Cromwell to Lenthall. "Sir, this is
none other but the hand of God."

Thenceforward, this war is only completing of the victory. After the
storming of Bristol, Cromwell writes, "Presbyterians, Independents, all
have here the same spirit of faith and prayer; they agree here, have no
names of difference; pity it is it should be otherwise anywhere." No
canting here!

Cromwell captures Winchester, and Baring House, and sundry other
strongholds. Finally, this first civil war is ended with the king's
surrender of himself to the Scots.


Thereafter, infinite negotiations, public and private; the king hoping
"so to draw, either the Presbyterians or the Independents, to side with
me for extirpating one another that I shall be really king again."
Ending with the Scots marching home, and the king being secluded in
Holmby House. We note during this time a letter to Bridget Cromwell, now
the wife of General Ireton.

But now Parliament is busy carrying its Presbyterian uniformity
platform. London city and the Parliament are crying out to apply the
shears against sectaries and schismatics; the army is less drastic;
shows, indeed, an undue tolerance to Presbyterian alarm. With Cromwell's
approval the army is to be quartered not less than twenty-five miles
from London. This quarrel between army and Parliament waxes; the army
gains strength by securing the person of the king, finally marches onto
London, and gets its way. All is turmoil again, however, when Charles
escapes from Hampton Court, where they have lodged him, but is detained
at Carisbrooke. When 40,000 Scots are coming to liberate the king, the
army's patience breaks down. Hitherto, Cromwell has striven for an
honest settlement. Now we of the army conclude, with prayer and tears,
that these troubles are a penalty for our backslidings, conferences,
compromises, and the like; that "if the Lord bring us back in peace,"
Charles Stuart, the Man of Blood, must be called to account.

The eastern counties and Wales are up; the Scots are coming. Fairfax
goes to Colchester, Cromwell to Wales, where Pembroke keeps him a month;
thence, to cut up the Scots army in detail in the straggling battle
called Preston, of which he gives account, as also does "Dugald
Dalgetty" Turner. The clearance of the north detains him for some time,
during which he deals sternly with soldiers who plunder. In November he
is returning from Scotland, writing, too, a suitable letter to Colonel
Hammond, the king's custodian at Carisbrooke. Matters also are coming to
a head between army and the Parliament, which means to make
concessions--fatal in the judgement of the army--and to ignore the said
army; which, on the other hand, regards itself as an authority called
into being by God and having responsibilities, and purges the
Parliament, Cromwell arriving in town on the evening of the first day of
purging. Whereby the minority of the members is become majority. And
this chapter of history is grimly closed eight weeks later with a
certain death warrant.

The Rump Parliament becomes concerned with establishment of the
Commonwealth Council of State; appoints Mr. Milton Secretary for Foreign
Languages, and nominates Lieutenant-general Cromwell to quell rebellion
in Ireland. Oliver's extant letters are concerned with domestic
matters--marriage of Richard. While the army for Ireland is getting
prepared, there is trouble with the Levellers, sansculottism of a sort;
shooting of valiant but misguided mutineers having notions as to

On August 15, Cromwell is in Ireland. His later letters have been full
of gentle domesticities and pieties, strangely contrasted with the fiery
savagery and iron grimness of the next batch. Derry and Dublin are the
only two cities held for the Commonwealth. The Lord-lieutenant comes
offering submission with law and order, or death. The Irish have no
faith in promises; will not submit. Therefore, in the dispatches which
tell the story, we find a noteworthy phenomenon--an armed soldier,
solemnly conscious to himself that he is the soldier of God the Just,
terrible as death, relentless as doom, doing God's judgements on the
enemies of God.

Tredah, that is Drogheda, is his first objective, with its garrison of
3,000 soldiers. Drogheda is summoned to surrender on pain of storm;
refuses, is stormed, no quarter being given to the armed garrison,
mostly English. "I believe this bitterness will save much effusion of
blood through the goodness of God." The garrison of Dundalk, not liking
the precedent, evacuated it; that of Trim likewise. No resistance, in
fact, was offered till Cromwell came before Wexford. After suffering a
cannonade, the commandant proposed to evacuate Wexford on terms which
"manifested the impudency of the men." Oliver would only promise quarter
to rank and file. Before any answer came, the soldiery stormed the town,
which Cromwell had not intended; but he looked upon the outcome as "an
unexpected providence."

The rule of sending a summons to surrender before attacking was always
observed, and rarely disregarded. "I meddle not with any man's
conscience; but if liberty of conscience means liberty to exercise the
mass, that will not be allowed of." The Clonmacnoise Manifesto, inviting
the Irish "not to be deceived with any show of clemency exercised upon
them hitherto," hardly supports the diatribes against Cromwell's
"massacring" propensities. Also in Cromwell's counter-declaration is a
pregnant challenge. "Give us an instance of one man since my coming to
Ireland, not in arms, massacred, destroyed, or banished, concerning the
massacre or destruction of whom justice hath not been done or
endeavoured to be done."

That the business at Drogheda and Wexford did prevent much effusion of
blood is manifest from the surrenders which invariably followed almost
immediately upon summons. The last he reports is Kilkenny (March, 1650);
his actual last fight is the storm of Clonmel; for, at the request of
Parliament, he returns to England to attend to other matters of gravity,
Munster and Leinster being now practically under control.

_III.--Crowning Mercies_

Matters of gravity indeed; for Scotland, the prime mover in this
business of Puritanism, has for leaders Argyles, Loudons, and others of
the pedant species; no inspired Oliver. So these poor Scotch governors
have tried getting Charles II. to adopt the Covenant as best he
can--have "compelled him to sign it voluntarily." Scotland will either
invade us or be invaded by us--which we decide to be preferable.
Cromwell must go, since Fairfax will not resign his command in favour of
Cromwell; who does go, with the hundred-and-tenth psalm in the head and
heart of him.

So he marches by way of Berwick to Musselburgh, where he finds David
Lesley entrenched in impregnable lines between him and Edinburgh. He
writes to the General Assembly of the Kirk in protest against a
declaration of theirs. "Is it, therefore, infallibly agreeable to the
Word of God, all that you say? I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ,
think it possible that you may be mistaken." But shrewd Lesley lies
within his lines, will not be tempted out; provisions are failing, and
the weather breaking. We must fall back on Dunbar--where Lesley promptly
hems us in, occupying the high ground.

But presently Lesley, at whatsoever urging, moves to change ground,
which movement gives Oliver his chance. He attacks instead of awaiting
attack; the Scots army is scattered, 3,000 killed and 10,000 prisoners
taken. Such is Dunbar Battle, or Dunbar Drove. Edinburgh is ours, though
the Castle holds out; surrenders only on December 19, on most honourable
terms. But what to do with Scotland, with its covenanted king, a
solecism incarnate?

We have a most wifely letter to Cromwell from his wife, urging him to
write oftener to herself and to important persons: correspondence
concerning Dunbar medal, and Chancellorship of Oxford University; and
the lord general falls ill, with recoveries and relapses.

Active military movements, however, become imperative, so far as the
general's health permits. In spring and early summer is some successful
skirmishing; in July Cromwell's army has, for the most part, got into
Fife, thereby cutting off the supplies of the king's army at Stirling,
which suddenly marches straight for the heart of England, the way being
open. Cromwell, having just captured Perth, starts in pursuit, leaving
George Monk to look after Scotland.

The Scots march by the Lancashire route, keeping good discipline, but
failing to gather the Presbyterian allies or Royalist allies they had
looked for. On August 22, Charles erects his standard at
Worcester--ninth anniversary of the day Charles I. erected his at
Nottingham. On the anniversary of Dunbar fight his Scotch army is
crushed, battling desperately at Worcester; cut to pieces, with six or
seven thousand prisoners taken. Cromwell calls it "for aught I know, a
crowning mercy," and fears lest "the fullness of these continued mercies
may occasion pride and wantonness." Charles, however, escapes. The
general here sheaths his war-sword for good, and comes to town, to be
greeted with acclamations.

Of the next nineteen months the history becomes very dim. There are but
five letters, none notable. The Rump sits, conspicuous with red-tapery;
does not get itself dissolved nor anything else done of consequence;
leaves much that is of consequence not done. Before twelve months the
officers are petitioning the lord general that something be done for a
new Representative House; to be, let us say, a sort of Convention of
Notables. At any rate, in April, 1653, the Rump propose to solve the
problem by continuing themselves; till the lord general ejects them
summarily in a manner that need not here be retold. With this for
consequence, that Cromwell himself, "with the advice of my Council of
Officers," nominates divers persons to form the new Parliament, which
shall be hereafter known as "Bare-bones."

In this Parliament, which included not a few notable men, Cromwell made
the first speech extant, justifying his dismissal of the Rump, and the
summoning of this assembly, chosen as being godly men that have
principles. A speech intelligible to the intelligent. But this
Parliament failed of its business, which is no less than introducing the
Christian religion into real practice in the social affairs of this
nation; and dissolved itself after five months. Four days later the
Instrument of Government is issued, naming Oliver Protector of the
Commonwealth, Council of Fifteen, and other needful matters.

_IV.--Protector Oliver_

A new Reformed Parliament, elected, with Scotch and Irish
representatives, is to meet on September 3. Parliament meets. Oliver's
speech on September 3 is unreported, but we have that on September 4,
and another eight days later. "You are met for healing and settling. We
are troubled with those who would destroy liberty, and with those who
would overturn all control. This government which has called you, a Free
Parliament, together, has given you peace instead of the foreign wars
that were going on; there remains plenty for you to do." But the
Parliament, instead of doing it, sets to debating the "Form of
Government" and its sanctioning.

Hence our second speech. "I called not myself to this place. God be
judge between me and all men! I desired to be dismissed of my charge.
That was refused me. Being entreated, I did accept the place and title
of Protector. I do not bear witness to myself. My witnesses are the
officers, the soldiery, the City of London, the counties, the judges;
yea, you yourselves, who have come hither upon my writ. I was the
authority that called you, which you have recognised. I will not have
the authority questioned, nor its fundamental powers. You must sign a
declaration of fidelity to the constitution, or you shall not enter the
Parliament House."

The Parliament, however, will not devote itself to business; will turn
off on side issues, and continue constitution debating. Therefore, at
the end of five months lunar, not calendar, the Protector makes another
speech. "You have healed nothing, settled nothing; dissettlement and
division, discontent and dissatisfaction are multiplied; real dangers,
too, from Cavalier party, and Anabaptist Levellers. Go!"

First Protectorate Parliament being ended, the next is not due yet
awhile. The Lord Protector must look to matters which are threatening;
plots on all hands, issuing in Penruddock's insurrection, which is
vigorously dealt with. No easy matter to upset this Protector. He, with
his Council of State, establishes military administration under ten
major-generals; arbitrary enough, but beneficial.

For war, money is needed, and the second Protectorate Parliament is
summoned--mostly favourable to Cromwell. The Protector addresses it. "We
have enemies about us; the greatest is the Spaniard, because he is the
enemy of God, and has been ours from the time of Queen Elizabeth.
Therefore, we are at war with Spain, all Protestant interests being
therein at one with ours. Danger also there is at home, both from
Cavaliers and Levellers, which necessitates us to erect the
major-generals. For these troubles, the remedies are in the first place
to prosecute the war with Spain vigorously; and in the second, not to
make religion a pretension for arms and blood. All men who believe in
Jesus Christ are members of Jesus Christ; whoever hath this faith, let
his form be what it will, whether he be under Baptism, or of the
Independent judgement, or of the Presbyterian." With much more. A speech
rude, massive, genuine, like a block of unbeaten gold. But the speech
being spoken, members find that, after all, near a hundred of them shall
have no admittance to this Parliament, seeing that this time the nation
shall and must be settled.

For its wise temper and good practical tendency let us praise this
second Parliament; admit, nevertheless, that its history amounts to
little--that it handsomely did nothing, and left Oliver to do. But it
does propose to modify our constitution, increase the Protector's
powers--make him, in fact, a king--make also a second chamber. To the
perturbation of sundry officers. Out of confusion of documents and
speeches and conferences we extract this--that his highness is not, on
the whole, willing to be called king, because this will give offence to
many godly persons, and be a cause of stumbling.

The petition being settled, Parliament is prorogued till January, 1658;
when there will be a House of Lords (not the old Peers!), and the
excluded members will be admitted. May there not then be new troubles?
The Spanish Charles Stuart invasion plot is indeed afoot, and that union
abroad of the Protestant powers for which we crave is by no means
accomplished. Therefore, says the Protector, you must be ready to fight
on land as well as by sea. No time this for disunion, trumpery quarrels
over points of form. Yet such debate has begun and continues.

After this dissolution speech, and a letter as to Vaudois persecution,
there are no more letters or speeches. On September 3, 1658, for him
"the ugly evil is all over, and thy part in it manfully done--manfully
and fruitfully, to all eternity." Oliver is gone, and with him England's

* * * * *

The Life of Friedrich Schiller

Carlyle was under thirty years of age, and was occupied as a
private tutor, when he wrote the "Life of Friedrich Schiller;
comprehending an examination of his works," which had been
commissioned by the "London Magazine." It was his first essay
in the study of German literature, which he did so much to
popularise in Britain. It appeared in book form in 1825, and a
second edition was published in 1845 in order to prevent
piratical reprints. In his introduction to the second edition,
Carlyle pleads for the indulgence of the reader, asking him to
remember constantly that "it was written twenty years ago." It
has indeed been superseded by more temperate studies of
Schiller, but its tone of enthusiasm gives it a great value of
its own.

_Schiller's Youth_ (1759-1784)

Distinguished alike for the splendour of his intellectual faculties, and
the elevation of his tastes and feelings, Friedrich Schiller has left
behind him in his works a noble emblem of these great qualities. Much of
his life was deformed by inquietude and disease, and it terminated at
middle age; he composed in a language then scarcely settled into form;
yet his writings are remarkable for their extent, their variety, and
their intrinsic excellence, and his own countrymen are not his only, or,
perhaps, his principal admirers.

Born on November 10, 1759, a few months later than Robert Burns, he was
a native of Marbach in Wuertemberg. His father had been a surgeon in the
army, and was now in the pay of the Duke of Wuertemberg; and the
benevolence, integrity and devoutness of his parents were expanded and
beautified in the character of their son. His education was irregular;
desiring at first to enter the clerical profession, he was put to the
study of law and then of medicine; but he wrenched asunder his fetters
with a force that was felt at the extremities of Europe. In his
nineteenth year he began the tragedy of the "Robbers," and its
publication forms an era in the literature of the world.

It is a work of tragic interest, bordering upon horror. A grim,
inexpiable Fate is made the ruling principle; it envelops and
overshadows the whole; and under its souring influence, the fiercest
efforts of human will appear but like flashes that illuminate the wild
scene with a brief and terrible splendour, and are lost forever in the
darkness. The unsearchable abysses of man's destiny are laid open before
us, black and profound, and appalling, as they seem to the young mind
when it first attempts to explore them.

Schiller had meanwhile become a surgeon in the Wuertemberg army; and the
Duke, scandalised at the moral errors of the "Robbers," and not less at
its want of literary merit, forbade him to write more poetry. Dalberg,
superintendent of the Manheim theatre, put the play on the stage in
1781, and in October, 1782, Schiller decided his destiny by escaping
secretly from Stuttgart beyond the frontier. A generous lady, Madam von
Wollzogen, invited him to her estate of Bauerbach, near Meiningen.

Here he resumed his poetical employments, and published, within a year,
the tragedies "Verschwoerung des Fiesco" and "Kabale und Liebe." This
"Conspiracy of Fiesco," the story of the political and personal
relations of the Genoese nobility, has the charm of a kind of colossal
magnitude. The chief incidents have a dazzling magnificence; the chief
characters, an aspect of majesty and force. The other play,
"Court-intriguing and Love," is a tragedy of domestic life; it shows the
conflict of cold worldly wisdom with the pure impassioned movements of
the young heart. Now, in September, 1783, Schiller went to Manheim as
poet to the theatre, a post of respectability and reasonable profit.
Here he undertook his "Thalia," a periodical work devoted to poetry and
the drama, in 1784. Naturalised by law in his new country, surrounded by
friends that honoured him, he was now exclusively a man of letters for
the rest of his days.

_From His Settlement at Manheim to His Settlement at Jena_ (1783-1790)

Schiller had his share of trials to encounter, but he was devoted with
unchanging ardour to the cause he had embarked in. Few men have been
more resolutely diligent than he, and he was warmly seconded by the
taste of the public. For the Germans consider the stage as an organ for
refining the hearts and minds of men, and the theatre of Manheim was one
of the best in Germany.

Besides composing dramatic pieces and training players, Schiller wrote
poems, the products of a mind brooding over dark and mysterious things,
and his "Philosophic Letters" unfold to us many a gloomy conflict of the
soul, surveying the dark morass of infidelity yet showing no causeway
through it. The first acts of "Don Carlos," printed in "Thalia," had
attracted the attention of the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar, who conferred on
their author the title of Counsellor. Schiller was loved and admired in
Manheim, yet he longed for a wider sphere of action, and he determined
to take up his residence at Leipzig.

Here he arrived in March, 1785, and at once made innumerable
acquaintances, but went to Dresden in the end of the summer, and here
"Don Carlos" was completed. This, the story of a royal youth condemned
to death by his father, is the first of Schiller's plays to bear the
stamp of maturity. The Spanish court in the sixteenth century; its
rigid, cold formalities; its cruel, bigoted, but proud-spirited
grandees; its inquisitors and priests; and Philip, its head, the epitome
at once of its good and bad qualities, are exhibited with wonderful
distinctness and address. Herr Schiller's genius does not thrill, but
exalts us; it is impetuous, exuberant, majestic. The tragedy was,
received with immediate and universal approbation.

He now contemplated no further undertaking connected with the stage, but
his mind was overflowing with the elements of poetry, and with these
smaller pieces he occupied himself at intervals through the remainder of
his life. "The Walk," the "Song of the Bell," contain exquisite
delineations of the fortunes of man; the "Cranes of Ibycus," and "Hero
and Leander," are among the most moving ballads in any language.
Schiller never wrote or thought with greater diligence than while at
Dresden. A novel, "The Ghostseer," was a great popular success, but
Schiller had begun to think of history. Very few of his projects in this
direction reached even partial execution; portions of a "History of the
Most Remarkable Conspiracies and Revolutions in the Middle and Later
Ages," and of a "History of the Revolt of the Netherlands," were

A visit to Weimar, the Athens of Germany, was accomplished in 1787; to
Goethe he was not introduced, but was welcomed by Wieland and Herder.
Thence he went to see his early patroness at Bauerbach, and on this
journey, at Rudolstadt, he met the Fraeulein Lengefeld, whose attractions
made him loath to leave and eager to return. The visit was repeated next
year, and this lady honoured him with a return of love. At this time,
too, he first met the illustrious Goethe, whom we may contrast with
Schiller as we should contrast Shakespeare with Milton. Goethe was now
in his thirty-ninth year, Schiller ten years younger, and each affected
the other with feelings of estrangement, almost of repugnance.
Ultimately they liked each other better, and became friends; there are
few things on which Goethe should look back with greater pleasure than
on his treatment of Schiller.

The "Revolt of the Netherlands," of which the first volume appeared in
1788, is accurate, vivid and coherent, and unites beauty to a calm
force. It happened that the professorship at the University of Jena was
about to be vacant, and through Goethe's solicitations Schiller was
appointed to it in 1789. In the February following he obtained the hand
of Fraeulein Lengefeld. "Life is quite a different thing by the side of a
beloved wife," he wrote a few months later; "the world again clothes
itself around me in poetic forms."

_From His Settlement at Jena to His Death_ (1790-1805)

The duties of his new office called upon Schiller to devote himself with
double zeal to history. We have scarcely any notice of the plan or
success of his academical prelections; his delivery was not
distinguished by fluency or grace, but his matter, we suppose, would
make amends for these deficiencies of manner. His letters breathe a
spirit not only of diligence but of ardour, and he was now busied with
his "History of the Thirty-Years War." This work, published in 1791, is
considered his chief historical treatise, for the "Revolt of the
Netherlands" was never completed. In Schiller's view, the business of
the historian is not merely to record, but also to interpret; his
narrative should be moulded according to the science, and impregnated
with the liberal spirit of his time.

In one of his letters he says--"The problem is, to choose and arrange
your materials so that, to interest, they shall not need the aid of
decoration. We moderns have a source of interest at our disposal, which
no Greek or Roman was acquainted with, and which the _patriotic_
interest does not nearly equal. This last, in general, is chiefly of
importance to unripe nations, for the youth of the world. But we may
excite a very different sort of interest if we represent each remarkable
occurrence that happened to _men_ as of importance to _man_. It is a
poor and little aim to write for one nation; the most powerful nation is
but a fragment."

In 1791, Schiller was overtaken by a violent and threatening disorder in
the chest, and though nature overcame it in the present instance, the
blessing of entire health never returned to him. Total cessation from
intellectual effort was prescribed to him, and his prospect was a hard
one; but the hereditary Prince of Holstein-Augustenberg came to his
assistance with a pension of a thousand crowns for three years,
presented with a delicate politeness which touched Schiller even more
than the gift itself. He bore bodily pain with a strenuous determination
and with an unabated zeal in the great business of his life. No period
of his life displayed more heroism than the present one.

He now released his connection with the University; his weightiest
duties were discharged by proxy; and his historical studies were
forsaken. His mind was being attracted by the philosophy of Kant. This
transcendental system had filled Germany with violent contentions;
Herder and Wieland were opposing it vehemently; Goethe alone retained
his wonted composure, willing to allow this theory to "have its day, as
all things have." How far Schiller penetrated its arena we cannot say,
but he wrote several essays, imbued in its spirit, upon aesthetic
subjects; notably, "Grace and Dignity," "Naive and Sentimental Poetry,"
and "Letters on the Aesthetic Culture of Man."

The project of an epic poem brought Schiller back to his art; he first
thought of Gustavus Adolphus, then of Frederick the Great of Prussia,
for his hero, and intended to adopt the _ottave rime_, and in general
construction to follow the model of the "Iliad." He did not even begin
to execute this work, but devoted himself instead to the tragedy of
"Wallenstein," which occupied him for several years. Among other
engagements were, the editing of the "Thalia," which was relinquished at
the end of 1793; a new periodical, the "Horen," which began early in
1794; and another, the "Musen-Almanach," in which the collection of
epigrams known as the "Xenien" appeared. In these new publications
Schiller was supported by the co-operation of Goethe.

"Wallenstein." by far the best work he had yet produced, was given to
the world in 1799. Wallenstein is the model of a high-souled, great,
accomplished man, whose ruling passion is ambition. A shade of horror,
of fateful dreariness, hangs over the hero's death, and except in
Macbeth or Othello we know not where to match it. This tragedy is the
greatest work of its century.

Schiller now spent his winters in Weimar, and at last lived there
constantly, often staying for months with Goethe. The tragedy of "Maria
Stuart," which appeared in 1800, is a beautiful work, but compared with
"Wallenstein" its purpose is narrow and its result common. It has no
true historical delineation. The "Maid of Orleans," 1801, a tragedy on
the subject of Jeanne d'Arc, will remain one of the very finest of
modern dramas, and its reception was beyond example flattering. It was
followed, in 1803, by the "Bride of Messina," a tragedy which fails to
attain its object; there is too little action in the play and the
interest flags. But "Wilhelm Tell," 1804, exhibits some of the highest
triumphs which Schiller's genius, combined with his art, ever realised.
In Tell are combined all the attributes of a great man, without the help
of education or of great occasions to develop them. The play has a look
of nature and substantial truth, which neither of its rivals can boast
of. Its characters are a race of manly husbandmen, heroic without
ceasing to be homely, poetical without ceasing to be genuine.

This was Schiller's last work. The spring of 1805 came in cold, bleak
and stormy, and along with it the malady returned. On May 9 the end
came. Schiller died at the age of forty-five years and a few months,
leaving a widow, two sons and two daughters. The news of his death fell
cold on many a heart throughout Europe.

_Schiller's Character_

Physically, Schiller was tall and strongly boned, but unmuscular and
lean; his body wasted under the energy of a spirit too keen for it. His
face was pale, the cheeks and temples hollow, the chin projecting, the
nose aquiline, his hair inclined to auburn. Withal his countenance was
attractive, and had a certain manly beauty. To judge from his portraits,
his face expressed the features of his mind: it is mildness tempering
strength; fiery ardour shining through clouds of suffering and
disappointment; it is at once meek, tender, unpretending and heroic.

In his dress and manner, as in all things, he was plain and unaffected.
Among strangers, shy and retiring; in his own family, or among his
friends, he was kind-hearted, free and gay as a little child. His looks
as he walked were constantly bent on the ground, so that he often failed
to notice a passing acquaintance.

Schiller's mind was grand by nature, and cultivated by the assiduous
study of a life-time. It is not the predominating force of any one
faculty that impresses us, but the general force of all. His intellect
seems powerful and vast, rather than quick or keen; for he is not
notable for wit, though his fancy is ever prompt with his metaphors,
illustrations and comparisons. Perhaps his greatest faculty was a half
poetical, half philosophical imagination, a faculty teeming with
magnificence and brilliancy; now adorning a stately pyramid of
scientific speculation; now brooding over the abysses of thought and
feeling, till thoughts and feelings, else unutterable, were embodied in
expressive forms.

Combined with these intellectual faculties was that vehemence of
temperament which is necessary for their full development. Schiller's
heart was at once fiery and tender; impetuous, soft, affectionate, his
enthusiasm clothed the universe with grandeur, and sent his spirit forth
to explore its secrets and mingle warmly in its interests. Thus poetry
in Schiller was not one but many gifts. It was, what true poetry is
always, the quintessence of general mental riches, the purified result
of strong thought and conception, and of refined as well as powerful

His works exhibit rather extraordinary strength than extraordinary
fineness or versatility. His power of dramatic imitation is perhaps
never of the highest; and in its best state, it is further limited to a
certain range of characters. It is with the grave, the earnest, the
exalted, the affectionate, the mournful that he succeeds; he is not
destitute of humour, but neither is he rich in it.

The sentiments which animated Schiller's poetry were converted into
principles of conduct; his actions were as blameless as his writings
were pure. He was unsullied by meanness, unsubdued by the difficulties
or allurements of life. With the world, in fact, he had not much to do;
without effort, he dwelt apart from it; its prizes were not the wealth
which could enrich him. Wishing not to seem, but to be, envy was a
feeling of which he knew little, even before he rose above its level. To
all men he was humane and sympathising; among his friends, open-hearted,
generous, helpful; in his family tender, kind, sportive. Schiller gives
a fine example of the German character; he has all its good qualities.


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