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therefore with Cato, as some writers affect man, but the qualities of a dæmon. The to do; it is certain, that if Cato's virtue other, warmed with admiration and grati. seems more splendid in theory, Cicero's tude, which they thought he merited, 26 will be found superior in practice; the one the restorer of light and liberty to the was romantic, the other rational; the one Christian church, ascribed to him persec, drawn from the refinements of the schools, tions above the condition of humanity, and the other from nature and social life; the viewedcall his actions with a veneration one always unsuccessful, often hurtful; the bordering on that which should be paid other always beneficial, often falutary to only to those who are guided by the immethe republic.

diate inspiration of Heaven. It is his own To conclude; Cicero's death, though conduct, not the undistinguithing cenfure, violent, cannot be called untimely: but nor the exaggerated praise of his contemwas the proper end of such a life, which poraries, which ought to regulate the opimust have been rendered less glorious, if it nions of the present age concerning him. had owed its preservation to Antony. It Zeal for what he regarded as truth, unwas therefore what he not only expected, daunted intrepidity to maintain it, abilities but in the circumstances to which he was both natural and acquired to defend it, reduced, what he seems even to have wish- and unwearied industry to propagate it, are ed. For he, who had before been timid in virtues which shine so confpicuously in dangers and desponding in difirefs, yet from every part of his behaviour, that even his the time of Cæsar's death, roused by the enemies must allow him to have possessed desperate fate of the republic, assumed the them in an eminent degree. To these fortitude of a hero : discarded all fear; de may be added, with equal justice, such spised all danger; and when he could not purity, and even austerity of magners, as free his country from a tyranny, provoked became one who assumed the character of the tyrants to take that life, which he no a reformer; such fanctity of life as suited longer cared to preserve. Thus, like a great the doctrine which he delivered; and such actor on the stage, he reserved himíelf as perfect disintereitedness, as affords no ilight it were for the lait act; and after he had presumption of his încerity. Superior to played his part with dignity, resolved to all selfiih confiderations, a stranger to the inish it with glory, Middleton's Cicero. elegancies of life, and despising its plea

sures, he left the honours and emoluments 639. The character of MARTIN LUTHER. of the church to his disciples; remaining

While appearances of danger daily in- satisfied himself in his original state of creased, and the tempeft which had been professor in the university, and paitor to so long a-gathering, was ready to break the to:vn of Wittemberg, with the modeforth in all its violence against the protest- rate appointments annexed to these offices. ant charch, Luther was saved by a season. His extraordinary qualities were alloyed able death, from feeling or beholding its with no inconsiderable mixture of humın deftruâiye rage. Having gone, though frailty, and human paffions. There, howin a declining state of health, and during a ever, were of such a nature, that they canrigorous season, to his native city of Eisle- not be imputed to malevolence or corrupben, in order to compose, by his authority, tion of heart, but seem to have taken their a dissension among the counts of Manf- rise from the same source with many of his field, he was seized with a violent inflam- virtues. His mind, forcible and vehement mation in his stomach, which in a few in all its operations, roused by great obdays put an end to his life, in the fixty jects, or agitated by violent passions, broke third year of his age.-- As he was raised out, on many occasions, with an impetu. ep by Providence to be the author of one ofity which astonishes mon of fecbler fpiof the greatest and most intereiting revo- rits, or such as are placed in a more tran. lations recorded in history, there is not quil fituation. By carrying some praiseany person, perhaps, whose character has worthy dispositions to excess, he bordered been drawn with such opposite colours. sometimes on what was culpable, and was In his own age, one party, struck with often betrayed into actions which exposed horror and inflamed with rage, when they him to censure. His confidence that his faw with what a daring hand he over- own opinions were well founded, approachtorned every thing which they held to be ed to arrogance; his courage in asserting {acred, or valued as beneficial, imputed to them, to raihness; his firmness in adhering him not only all the defects and vices of a to them, to obstinacy; and his zeal in confuting his adversaries, to rage and scurri- dangers which he braved and surmounted. lity. Accustomed himself to confider every Towards the close of Luther's life, though thing as subordinate to truth, he expected without a perceptible declension of his zeal the fame deference for it from other men; or abilities, the infirmiries of his temper and, without making any allowances for increased upon him, so that he daily grew their timidity or prejudices, he poured · more peevish, more irascible, and more forth, against those who disappointed him impatient of contradiction. Having lived in this particular, a torrent of invective to be witness of his own amazing success ; mingled with contempt. Regardless of to see a great part of Europe embrace his any diftinction of rank or character, when doctrines; and to shake the foundation of his doctrines were attacked, he chalised the Papal throne, before which the mighti. all his adversaries, indiscriminately, with eft monarchs had trembled, he discovered, the same rough hand; neither the royal on some occasions, symptoms of vanity and dignity of Henry VIII. nor the eminent self-applause. He must have been indeed learning and ability of Erasmus, screened more than man, if, upon contemplating all them from the same abuse with which he that he actually accomplished, he had netreated Tetzel or Eccius.

ver felt any sentiment of this kind rising But these indecencies of which Luther in his breast. was guilty, must not be imputed wholly S ome time before his death he felt his to the violer.ce of his temper. They ought strength declining, his constitution being to be charged in part on the manners of worn out by a prodigious multiplicity of the age. Among a rude people, unac- business, added to the labour of discharging quainted with those maxims, which, by his ministerial function with unremitting putting continual restraint on the passions diligence, to the fatigue of constant ftudy, of individuals, have polished society, and besides the composition of works as volurendered it agreeable, disputes of every minous as if he had enjoyed uninterrupted kind were managed with heat, and strong leisure and retirement. His natural intre. emotions were uttered in their natural lan. pidity did not forsake him at the approach guage, without reserve or delicacy. At of death: his last conversation with his the same time, the works of learned men friends was concerning the happiness rewere all composed in Latin; and they were served for good men in a future world, of not only authorised, by the example of emi. which he spoke with the fervour and denent writers in that language, to use their light natural to one who expected and antagonists with the most illiberal fcurri. wished to enter foon upon the enjoyment lity : but, in a dead tongue, indecencies of of it. The account of his death filled the every kind appear less thocking than in a Roman Catholic party with excessive as living language, whose idioms and phrases well as indecent joy, and damped the seem gross, because they are familiar. fpirits of all his followers; neither party

In passing judgment upon the characters sufficiently confidering that his doctrines of men, we ought to try them by the prin- were now so firmly rooted, as to be in a ciples and maxims of their own age, not condition to flourish, independent of the by those of another. For although virtue hand which first had planted them. His and vice are at all times the fame, man- funeral was celebrated by order of the ners and customs vary continually. Some Elector of Saxony, with extraordinary parts of Luther's behaviour, which to us pomp. He left several children by his appear most culpable, gave no disguít to, wife, Catharine Bore, who survived him: his contemporaries. It was even by some towards the end of the last century, there of those qualities which we are now apt to were in Saxony some of his descendants in blame, that he was fitted for accomplish- decent and honourable stations, ing the great work which he undertock.

Robert for. Torouse mankind, when funk in ignorance or superstition, and to encounter the rage 9 4

i $ 40. Charafier of Alfren, King of of bigotry, armed with power, required

England. the utmolt vehemence of zeal, and a tern- The merit of this prince, both in private per daring to exceís. A gentle call would and public life, may with advantage bo neither have reached, nor have excited set in opposition to that of any monarch those to whom it was addressed. A spirit, or citizen which the annals of any age or more amiable, but less vigorous than Lu- any nation can present to us. He seems, ther's would have thrunk back from the indeed, to be the complete model of


perfe& character, which, under the deno- thing that could contribute to the security mination of a fage or wise man, the phi. of his kingdom. He was author of that losophers have been fond of delineating, inestimable privilege, peculiar to the subrather as a fi&tion of their imagination, jects of this nation, which consists in their than in hopes of ever seeing it reduced to being tried by their peers; for he first practice: lo happily were all his virtues instituted juries, or at least improved upon tempered together, so justly were they an old institution, by specifying the numblended, and so powerfully did each pre- ber and qualifications of jurymen, and rent the other from exceeding its proper extending their power to trials of property bounds. He knew how to conciliate the as well as criminal indi&tments; but no most enterprising spirit with the coolest regulation redounded more to his honour moderation ; the most obftinate persever- and the advantage of his kingdom, than ance with the easieft flexibility; the most the measures he took to prevent rapine, severe justice with the greatest lenity; the murder, and other outrages, which had to greatest rigour in command with the long been committed with impunity. His greatest affability of deportment; the high- attention stooped even to the meanest cireit capacity and inclination for science, cumstances of his people's conveniency. with the most thining talents for action. He introduced the art of brick-making, His civil and his military virtues are als and built his own houses of those materials; most equally the objects of our admiration, which being much more durable and secure excepting only, that the former being from accidents than timber, his example more rare among princes, as well as more was followed by his subjects in general. useful, seem chiefly to challenge our ap. He was, doubtless, an object of most perplaníe. Nature also, as if desirous that so feet efteem and admiration ; for, exclusive bright a production of her skill should be of the qualities which distinguished him as fet in the faireft light, had bestowed on a warrior and legislator, his personal chahim all bodily accomplishments, vigour of racter was amiable in every respect. Died limbs, dignity of shape and air, and a 897, aged 52.

Smollett. pleasant, engaging, and open countenance. Fortune alone, by throwing him

§ 42. Character of WILLIAM the into that barbarous age, deprived him of

Conqueror. historians worthy to transmit his fame to Few princes have been more fortunate posterity; and we wish to see him delineated than this great monarch, or were better in more lively colours, and with more par- entitled to prosperity and grandeur for ticular ftrokes, that we may at least per- the abilities and vigour of mind which he ceive some of those small specks and ble displayed in all his conduct. His spirit mishes, from which, as a man, it is im- was bold and enterprising, yet guided by possible he could be entirely exempted, prudence. His ambition, which was ex

Hume. orbitant, and lay little under the restraints

of justice, and still less under those of hu$41. Another Character of ALFRED,

manity, ever submitted to the dictates of Alfred, that he might be the better reason and sound policy. Born in an able to extend his charity and munificence, age when the minds of men were intracregulated his finances with the most perfect table and unacquainted with submission, economy, and divided his revenues into he was yet able to direct them to his pur. a certain number of parts, which he ap- poses; and, partly from the ascendant of propriated to the different expences of the his vehement disposition, partly from art ftate, and the exercise of his own private and diffimulation, to establish an unlimitted liberality and devotion; nor was he a less monarchy. Though not insensible to geeconomist in the distribution of his time, nerosity, he was hardened against comwhich he divided into three equal portions, passion, and seemed equally oftentatious allotting one to sleep, meals, and exercise; and ambitious of eclat in his clemency and devoting the other two to writing, and his severity. The maxims of his ad. reading, business, and prayer. That this ministration were severe; but might have division might not be encroached upon been useful, had they been solely employed inadvertently, he measured them by tapers in preserving order in an established goof an equal fize, which he kept continually vernment; they were ill calculated for burning before the shrines of relics. Als softening the rigours which under the most fred seemed to be a genius self-taught, gentle management are inseparable from which contrived and comprehended every conquest. His attempt againt England

was was the last enterprize of the kind, which, and at the head of armies, he joined to all during the course of seven hundred years, the capacity that genius could give, all the had fully succeeded in Europe; and the knowledge and skill that experience could greatness of his genius broke through teach, and was a perfect master of the those limirs, which first the feudal institu- military art, as it was practised in the tions, then the refined policy of princes, times wherein he lived. His constitution hare fixed on the several states of Chris. enabled him to endure any hard Mips, and terdom. Though he rendered himself in- very few were equal to him in personal finitely odious to his English subjects, he strength, which was an excellence of more transmitted his power to his posterity, and importance than it is now, from the manthe throne is still filled by his descendants ; ner of fighting then in use. It is said of a proof that the foundation which he laid him, that none except himself could bend was him and solid, and that amongst all his bow. His courage was heroic, and his violences, while he seemed only to gra- he poileiled it not only in the field, but tify the present passion, he had still an eve (which is more uncommon) in the cabinet, towards futurity. Died Sept, 9, 1037, attempting great things with means that aged 63*.


to other men appeared totally unequal to

such undertakings, and steadily prosecuting 843. Enceber Chara 7er of WILLIAM what he had boldly resolved; being never the Conqucror.

disturbed or disheartened by difficulties, in From the transactions of William's reign, the course of his enterprizes; but having he appears to have been a prince of great that noble vigour of mind, which, instead courage, capaci:y, and ambition; politic, of bending to opposition, rises against it, cruel, vindi&tive, and rapacious; stern and and seems to have a power of controlling haughty in his deportment, reserved and and commanding Fortune herself. jealous in his disposition. He was fond Nor was he lefs superior to pleasure of glory; and, though parsimonious in than to fear: no luxury softened him, no his household, delighted inuch in often- riot disordered, no floth relaxed. It helped tation. Though sudden and impetuous not a little to maintain the high respect his in his enterprizes, he was cool, deliberate, subjects had for him, that the majesty of and indefatigable, in times of danger and his character was never let down by any d culty. His aspect was nobly severe incontinence or indecent excess. His temand imperious, his llature tall and portly: perance and his chastity were constant his conflitution robust, and the compo- guards, that secured his mind from all fi:ion of his bones and muscles strong: weakness, supported its dignity, and kept there was hardly a man of that age, who it always as it were on the throne. could bend his bow, or handle his arms. Through his whole life he had no partner.

Smollett. of his bed but his queen; a moft extra

ordinary virtue in one who had lived, even § 44. Another. Character of WILLIAM from his earliest youth,amidit all the licence the Conqueror.

of camps, the allurements of a court, and The character of this prince has feldom

the seductions of sovereign power! Had

he kept his oaths to his people as well as been fer in its true light; some eninent

! he did his marriage vow, he would have writers having been dazzled so much by

been the best of kings; but he indulged the more shining parts of it, that they

ney other paflions of a worse nature, and inhave hardly seen his faults; while others,

" finitely more detrimental to the public than out of a strong deteftation of tyranny,

· those he restrained. A luft of power, which have been unwilling to allow him the

no regard to justice could limit, the most praise he deserves. He may with justice be ranked among

unrelenting cruelty, and the mot insatiable

avarice, poflessed his soul. It is true, inthe greatest generals any age has pro

deed, that among many acts of extreme duced. There was united in him activity,

inhumanity some thining instances of great vigilance, intrepidity, caution, great force

clemency may be produced, that were of judgment, and never failing presence

either effects of his policy, which taughe of mind. He was strict in his discipline,

him this method of acquiring friends, or and kept his soldiers in perfect obedience;

of his magnanimity, which made him slight yet preserved their affection. Having been

a weak and subdued enemy, such as was from his very childhood continually in war,

Edgar Atheling, in whom he found neither * Smollett says, 6s. spirit nor talents able to contend with him


for the crown. But where he had no ad- ness of the ancient landed estate of the vantage nor pride in forgiving, his nature crown, and the feudal profits to which he discovered itself to be utterly void of all legally was entitled, rendered him one of sense of compassion; and some barbarities the richest monarchs in Europe, he was which he committed, exceeded the bound's not content with all that opulence, but by that even tyrants and conquerors prescrib: authorising the sheriffs, who collected his to themselves.

revenues in the several counties, to pra&ife Most of our ancient historians give him the most grievous vexations and abuses, the character of a very religious prince; for the railing of them higher, by a perbut his religion was after the famion of petual auction of the crown-lands, so that those times, belief without examination, non, of his tepants could be fccure of and devotion without piety. It was a re- posleflion, if any other would come and ligion that prompted him to endow mo- offer more; by various iniquities in the nafteries, and at the same time allowed court of exchequer, which was entirely him to pillage kingdoms; that threw him Norman; by forteitures wrongfully taken; on his knees 'before a relic or cross, but and, lastly, by arbitrary and illegal taxafuffered him unrestrained to trample upon tions, he drew into his treasury much too the liberties and rights of mankind.

great a proportion of the wealth of his As to his wisdom in government, of kingdom. which some modern writers have spoken It must however be owned, that if his very highly, he was indeed so far wise avarice was insatiably and unjustly rapathat, through a long unquiet reign, he cious, it was not meanly parsimonious, knew how to support oppreffion by terror, nor of that soidid kind which brings on and employ the propereft means for the a prince dishonour and contempt. He carrying on a very iniquitous and violent supported the dignity of his crown with administration. But that which alone de- a decent magnificence; and though he ferves the name of wisdom in the character never was lavish, he fometimes was libeof a king, the maintaining of authority ral, more especially to his soldiers and to by the exercise of those virtues which make the church. But looking on money as a the happiness of his people, was what, neceflary means of maintaining and inwith all his abilities, he does not appear to creasing power, he desired to accumulate have poflefied. Nor did he excel in those as much as he could, rather, perhaps, from foothing and popular arts, which some- an ambitious than a covetous nature; at times change the complexion of a tyranny, least his avarice was subservient to his and give it a fallacious appearance of ambition, and he laid up wealth in his freedom. His government was harsh and coffers, as he did arms in his magazines, despotic, violating even the principles of to be drawn out, when any proper occasion that constitution which he himself had required it, for the defence and enlargeeftablished. Yet so far he performed the ment of his dominions. duty of a sovereign, that he took care to Upon the whole, he had many great maintain a good police in his realm; curb- qualities, but few virtues ; and if those ing licentiousness with a strong hand,which, actions that most particularly distinguish in the tumultuous state of his government, the man or the king are impartially conwas a great and difficult work. How well fidered, we shall find that in bis character he performed it, we may learn even from there is much to admire, but itill more to the testimony of a contemporary Saxon abhor.

Lyttelton. historian, who says, that during his reign. a man might have travelled in perfect § 45. The Character of WILLIAM fecurity all over the kingdom with his bo

RUFUS, fom full of gold, nor durft any kill another The memory of this monarch is tranf. in revenge of the greatest offences, nor mitted to us with little advantage by the offer violence to the chastity of a woman. churchmen, whom he had offended; and But it was a poor compensation, that the though we may suspect in general that highways were safe, when the courts of their account of his vices is somewhat jaslice were dens of thieves, and when exaggerated, his conduct affords little reaalmost every man in authority, or in office, fon for contradicting the character which wed his power to oppress and pillage the they have assigned him, or for attributing people. The king himself did not only to him any very estimable qualities; he tolerate, but encourage, support, and even seems to have been a violent and tyrannical Share these extortions. Though the great prince; a perfidious, encroaching, and


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