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science, could not be fully assured of a just decision; except by the promise made them in Scripture, that God would be ever present with his church, and that the gates of hell should not prevail against her; that the gross errors adopted by the wisest heathens prove how unfit men were to grope their own way through this profound darkness; nor would the Scriptures, if trusted to every man's judgment, be able to remedy, on the contrary, they would much augment those fatal illusions; that Sacred Writ itself was involved in so much obscurity, gave rise to so many difficulties, contained so many appearing contradictions, that it was the most dangerous weapon that could be intrusted into the hands of the ignorant and giddy multitude; that the poetical style in which a great part of it was composed, at the same time that it occasioned uncertainty in the sense by its multiplied tropes and figures, was sufficient to kindle the zeal of fanaticism, and thereby throw civil society into the most furious combustion; that a thousand sects must arise, which would pretend, cach of them, to derive its tenets from the Scriptures; and would be able, by specious arguments, to seduce silly women and ignorant mechanics into a belief of the most monstrous principles; and that if ever this disorder, dangerous to the magistrate himself, received a remedy, it must be from the tacit acquiescence of the people in some new authority; and it was evidently better, without further contest or inquiry, to adhere peaceably to ancient, and therefore the more secure, establishments.

[The Middle Ages-Progress of Freedom.] Those who cast their eye on the general revolutions of society, will find that, as almost all improvements of the human mind had reached nearly to their state of perfection about the age of Augustus, there was a sensible decline from that point or period; and men thenceforth gradually relapsed into ignorance and barbarism. The unlimited extent of the Roman empire, and the consequent despotism of its monarchs, extinguished all emulation, debased the generous spirits of men, and depressed the noble flame by which all the refined arts must be cherished and enlivened. The military government which soon succeeded, rendered even the lives and properties of men insecure and precarious; and proved destructive to those vulgar and more necessary arts of agriculture, manufactures, and commerce; and in the end, to the military art and genius itself, by which alone the immense fabric of the empire could be supported. The irruption of the barbarous nations which soon followed, overwhelmed all human knowledge, which was already far in its decline; and men sunk every age deeper into ignorance, stupidity, and superstition; till the light of ancient science and history had very nearly suffered a total extinction in all the European nations.

But there is a point of depression as well as of exaltation, from which human affairs naturally return in a contrary direction, and beyond which they seldom pass, either in their advancement or decline. The period in which the people of Christendom were the lowest sunk in ignorance, and consequently in disorders of every kind, may justly be fixed at the eleventh century, about the age of William the Conqueror; and from that era the sun of science, beginning to re-ascend, threw out many gleams of light, which preceded the full morning when letters were revived in the fifteenth century. The Danes and other northern people who had so long infested all the coasts, and even the inland parts of Europe, by their depredations, having now learned the arts of tillage and agriculture, found a certain subsistence at home, and were no longer tempted to desert their industry in order to seek a precarious livelihood by rapine and by the plunder of their neighbours. The

feudal governments also, among the more southern nations, were reduced to a kind of system; and though that strange species of civil polity was ill fitted to insure either liberty or tranquillity, it was preferable to the universal license and disorder which had every where preceded it.

It may appear strange that the progress of the arts, which seems, among the Greeks and Romans, to have daily increased the number of slaves, should in later times have proved so general a source of liberty; but this difference in the events proceeded from a great difference in the circumstances which attended those institutions. The ancient barons, obliged to maintain themselves continually in a military posture, and little emulous of eloquence or splendour, employed not their villains as domestic servants, much less as manufacturers; but composed their retinue of freemen, whose military spirit rendered the chieftain formidable to his neighbours, and who were ready to attend him in every warlike enterprise. The villains were entirely occupied in the cultivation of their master's land, and paid their rents either in corn and cattle, and other produce of the farm, or in servile offices, which they performed about the baron's family, and upon the farms which he retained in his own possession. In proportion as agriculture improved and money increased, it was found that these services, though extremely burdensome to the villain, were of little advantage to the master; and that the produce of a large estate could be much more conveniently disposed of by the peasants themselves, who raised it, than by the landlord or his bailiff, who were formerly accustomed to receive it. A commutation was therefore made of rents for services, and of money rents for those in kind; and as men, in a subsequent age, discovered that farms were better cultivated where the farmer enjoyed a security in his possession, the practice of granting leases to the peasant began to prevail, which entirely broke the bonds of servitude, already much relaxed from the former practices. After this manner villanage went gradually into disuse throughout the more civilised parts of Europe: the interest of the master as well as that of the slave concurred in this alteration. The latest laws which we find in England for enforcing or regulating this species of servitude, were enacted in the reign of Henry VII. And though the ancient statutes on this head remain unrepealed by parliament, it appears that, before the end of Elizabeth, the distinction of villain and freeman was totally though insensibly abolished, and that no person remained in the state to whom the former laws could be applied.

Thus personal freedom became almost general in Europe; an advantage which paved the way for the increase of political or civil liberty, and which, even where it was not attended with this salutary effect, served to give the members of the community some of the most considerable advantages of it.

[Death and Character of Queen Elizabeth.]

Some incidents happened which revived her tenderness for Essex, and filled her with the deepest sorrow for the consent which she had unwarily given to his execution.

The Earl of Essex, after his return from the fortunate expedition against Cadiz, observing the increase of the queen's fond attachment towards him, took occasion to regret that the necessity of her service required him often to be absent from her person, and exposed him to all those ill offices which his enemies, more assiduous in their attendance, could employ against him. She was moved with this tender jealousy; and making him the present of a ring, desired him to keep that pledge of her affection, and assured him that into whatever disgrace he should fall, what

ever prejudices she might be induced to entertain gilance, and address, are allowed to merit the highest against him, yet if he sent her that ring, she would praises, and appear not to have been surpassed by any immediately, upon sight of it, recall her former tender- person that ever filled a throne: a conduct less rigoness, would afford him a patient hearing, and would rous, less imperious, more sincere, more indulgent to lend a favourable ear to his apology. Essex, not- her people, would have been requisite to form a perwithstanding all his misfortunes, reserved this pre-fect character. By the force of her mind she concious gift to the last extremity; but after his trial trolled all her more active and stronger qualities, and and condemnation, he resolved to try the experiment, prevented them from running into excess: her heroand he committed the ring to the Countess of Notting- ism was exempt from temerity, her frugality from ham, whom he desired to deliver it to the queen. The avarice, her friendship from partiality, her active countess was prevailed on by her husband, the mortal temper from turbulency and a vain ambition: she enemy of Essex, not to execute the commission; and guarded not herself with equal care or equal success Elizabeth, who still expected that her favourite would from lesser infirmities; the rivalship of beauty, the make this last appeal to her tenderness, and who desire of admiration, the jealousy of love, and the ascribed the neglect of it to his invincible obstinacy, sallies of anger. was, after much delay and many internal combats, Her singular talents for government were founded pushed by resentment and policy to sign the warrant equally on her temper and on her capacity. Endowed for his execution. The Countess of Nottingham fall-with a great command over herself, she soon obtained ing into sickness, and affected with the near approach an uncontrolled ascendant over her people; and while of death, was seized with remorse for her conduct; and she merited all their esteem by her real virtues, she baving obtained a visit from the queen, she craved also engaged their affections by her pretended ones. her pardon, and revealed to her the fatal secret. The Few sovereigns of England succeeded to the throne in queen, astonished with this incident, burst into a more difficult circumstances; and none ever conducted furious passion: she shook the dying countess in her the government with such uniform success and felibed; and crying to her that God might pardon her, city. Though unacquainted with the practice of tolebut she never could, she broke from her, and thence- ration-the true secret for managing religious factions forth resigned herself over to the deepest and most --she preserved her people, by her superior prudence, incurable melancholy. She rejected all consolation from those confusions in which theological controversy she even refused food and sustenance; and, throwing had involved all the neighbouring nations: and herself on the floor, she remained sullen and immov- though her enemies were the most powerful princes able, feeding her thoughts on her afflictions, and de- of Europe, the most active, the most enterprising, the claring life and existence an insufferable burden to least scrupulous, she was able by her vigour to make ber. Few words she uttered; and they were all ex- deep impressions on their states; her own greatness pressive of some inward grief which she cared not to meanwhile remained untouched and unimpaired. reveal: but sighs and groans were the chief vent which The wise ministers and brave warriors who flourishshe gave to her despondency, and which, though they ed under her reign, share the praise of her success; discovered her sorrows, were never able to ease or as-but instead of lessening the applause due to her, they suage them. Ten days and nights she lay upon the make great addition to it. They owed, all of them, carpet, leaning on cushions which her maids brought their advancement to her choice; they were supported her; and her physicians could not persuade her to by her constancy, and with all their abilities, they allow herself to be put to bed, much less to make trial were never able to acquire any undue ascendant over of any remedies which they prescribed to her. Her her. In her family, in her court, in her kingdom, she anxious mind at last had so long preyed on her frail remained equally mistress: the force of the tender body, that her end was visibly approaching; and the passions was great over her, but the force of her mind council being assembled, sent the keeper, admiral, was still superior; and the combat which her victory and secretary, to know her will with regard to her visibly cost her, serves only to display the firmness of successor. She answered with a faint voice that as her resolution, and the loftiness of her ambitious senshe had held a regal sceptre, she desired no other than timents. a royal successor. Cecil requesting her to explain herself more particularly, she subjoined that she would have a king to succeed her; and who should that be but her nearest kinsman, the king of Scots? Being then advised by the archbishop of Canterbury to fix her thoughts upon God, she replied that she did so, nor did her mind in the least wander from him. Her voice soon after left her; her senses failed; she fell into a lethargic slumber, which continued some hours, and she expired gently, without farther struggle or convulsion (March 24), in the seventieth year of her age and forty-fifth of her reign.

So dark a cloud overcast the evening of that day, which had shone out with a mighty lustre in the eyes of all Europe. There are few great personages in history who have been more exposed to the calumny of enemies and the adulation of friends than Queen Elizabeth; and yet there is scarcely any whose reputation has been more certainly determined by the unanimous consent of posterity. The unusual length of her administration, and the strong features of her character, were able to overcome all prejudices; and obliging her detractors to abate much of their invectives, and her admirers somewhat of their panegyrics, have at last, in spite of political factions, and what is more, of religious animosities, produced a uniform judgment with regard to her conduct. Her vigour, her constancy, her magnanimity, her penetration, vi

The fame of this princess, though it has surmounted the prejudices both of faction and bigotry, yet lies still exposed to another prejudice, which is more durable because more natural, and which, according to the different views in which we survey her, is capable either of exalting beyond measure or diminishing the lustre of her character. This prejudice is founded on the consideration of her sex. When we contemplate her as a woman, we are apt to be struck with the highest admiration of her great qualities and extensive capacity; but we are also apt to require some more softness of disposition, some greater lenity of temper, some of those amiable weaknesses by which her sex is distinguished. But the true method of estimating her merit is to lay aside all these considerations, and consider her merely as a rational being placed in authority, and intrusted with the government of mankind. We may find it difficult to reconcile our fancy to her as a wife or a mistress; but her qualities as a sovereign, though with some considerable exceptions, are the object of undisputed applause and approbation.


DR WILLIAM ROBERTSON was born at Borthwick, county of Edinburgh, in the year 1721. His father was a clergyman, minister of Borthwick, and after

wards of the Greyfriars church, Edinburgh: the son was also educated for the church. In 1743 he was appointed minister of Gladsmuir, in Haddingtonshire, whence he removed, in 1758, to be incumbent of Lady Yester's parish in Edinburgh. He had distinguished himself by his talents in the

Dr William Robertson.

General Assembly; but it was not till 1759 that he became known as a historian. In that year he published his History of Scotland during the Reigns of Queen Mary and of King James VI., till his Accession to the Crown of England, by which his fortune was benefited to the extent of £600, and his fame was by one effort placed on an imperishable basis. No first work was ever more successful. The author was congratulated by all who were illustrious for their rank or talents. He was appointed chaplain of Stirling castle; in two years afterwards he was nominated one of his majesty's chaplains in ordinary for Scotland; and he was successively made principal of the university of Edinburgh, and historiographer for Scotland, with a salary of £200 per annum. Stimulated by such success, as well as by a love of composition, Dr Robertson continued his studies, and in 1769 he produced his History of the Reign of Charles V., in three volumes, quarto, for which he received from the booksellers the princely sum of £4500. It was equally well received with his former work. In 1777 he published his History of America, and in 1791 his Historical Disquisition on Ancient India, a slight work, to which he had been led by Major Rennel's Memoirs of a Map of Hindostan. For many years Dr Robertson was leader of the moderate party in the church of Scotland, in which capacity he is said to have evinced in the General Assembly a readiness and eloquence in debate which his friend Gibbon might have envied in the House of Commons. After a gradual decay of his powers, this accomplished historian died on the 11th of June 1793, in the seventy-first year of his age.

The History of Scotland' possesses the interest and something of the character of a memoir of Mary Queen of Scots. This unfortunate princess forms the attraction of the work; and though Robertson is not among the number of her indiscriminate admirers and apologists, he labours (with more of

the art of the writer to produce a romantic and interesting narrative, than with the zeal of the philosopher to establish truth) to awaken the sympathies of the reader strongly in her behalf. The luminous historical views and retrospects in which this historian excels, were indicated in his introductory chapter on Scottish history, prior to the birth of Mary. Though a brief and rapid summary, this chapter is finely written, and is remarkable equally for elegance and perspicuity. The style of Robertson seems to have surprised his contemporaries; and Horace Walpole, in a letter to the author, expresses the feeling with his usual point and vivacity. Before I read your history, I should probably have been glad to dictate to you, and (I will venture to say it-it satirises nobody but myself) should have thought I did honour to an obscure Scotch clergyman by directing his studies by my superior lights and abilities. How you have saved me, sir, from making a ridiculous figure, by making so great a one yourself! But could I suspect that a man I believe much younger, and whose dialect I scarce understood, and who came to me with all the diffidence and modesty of a very middling author, and who I was told had passed his life in a small living near Edinburgh-could I then suspect that he had not only written what all the world now allows the best modern history, but that he had written it in the purest English, and with as much seeming knowledge of men and courts as if he had passed all his life in important embassies?' This is delicate though somewhat overstrained flattery. Two of the quarto volumes of Hume's history had then been published, and his inimitable essays were also before the world, showing that in mere style a Scotchman could carry off the palm for ease and elegance. Robertson is more uniform and measured than Hume. He has few salient points, and no careless beauties. His style is a full and equable stream, that rolls everywhere the same, without lapsing into irregularity, or overflowing its prescribed course. It wants spirit and variety. Of grandeur or dignity there is no deficiency; and when the subject awakens a train of lofty or philosophical ideas, the manner of the historian is in fine accordance with his matter. When he sums up the character of a sovereign, or traces the progress of society and the influence of laws and government, we recognise the mind and language of a master in historical composition. The artificial graces of his style are also finely displayed in scenes of tenderness and pathos, or in picturesque description. His account of the beauty and sufferings of Mary, or of the voyage of Columbus, when the first glimpses of the new world broke upon the adventurers, possesses almost enough of imagination to rank it with poetry. The whole of the History of America' is indeed full of the strongest interest. The discovery of so vast a portion of the globe, the luxuriance of its soil, the primitive manners of its natives, the pomp, magnificence, and cruelty of its conquerors, all form a series of historical pictures and images that powerfully affect the mind. No history of America can ever supplant the work of Robertson, for his materials are so well arranged, his information so varied, his philosophical reflections so just and striking, and his narrative so graceful, that nothing could be added but mere details destitute of any interest. His History of the Reign of Charles V. wants this natural romance, but the knowledge displayed by the historian, and the enlarged and liberal spirit of his philosophica inquiries, are scarcely less worthy of commendation. The first volume, which describes the state of Europe previous to the sixteenth century, contains the result of much study and research, expressed in


language often eloquent, and generally pleasing and harmonious. If the 'pomp and strut' which Cowper the poet imputes to Robertson be sometimes apparent in the orderly succession of well-balanced and equally flowing periods, it must be acknowledged that there is also much real dignity and power, springing from the true elevation of intellectual and moral character.

almost uninterrupted succession of calamities which befell her; we must likewise add that she was often imprudent. Her passion for Darnley was rash, youthful, and excessive. And though the sudden transition to the opposite extreme was the natural effect of her ill-requited love, and of his ingratitude, insolence, and brutality, yet neither these nor Bothwell's artful address and important services can justify her attachment to that nobleman. Even the manners of the age, licentious as they were, are no apology for this unhappy passion; nor can they induce us to look on that tragical and infamous scene which followed upon it with less abhorrence. Humanity will draw a veil over this part of her character which it cannot approve, and may, perhaps, prompt some to impute her actions to her situation more than to her dispositions, and to lament the unhappiness of the former rather than accuse the perverseness of the latter. Mary's sufferings exceed, both in degree and in duration, those tragical distresses which fancy has feigned to excite sorrow and commiseration; and while we survey them, we are apt altogether to forget her frailties; we think of her faults with less indignation, and approve of our tears as if they were shed for a person who had attained much nearer to pure virtue.

A late acute critic, Mr Gifford, has thus discriminated between the styles of Hume and Robertson: Hume, the most contracted in his subject, is the most finished in execution; the nameless numberless graces of his style; the apparent absence of elaboration, yet the real effect produced by efforts the most elaborate; the simplicity of his sentences, the perspicuity of his ideas, the purity of his expression, entitle him to the name and to the praises of another Xenophon. Robertson never attained to the same graceful ease, or the same unbounded variety of expression. With a fine ear and exact judgment in the construction of his sentences, and with an absence of Scotticisms, truly wonderful in one who had never ceased to converse with Scotsmen, there is in the sentences of this historian something resembling the pace of an animal disciplined by assiduous practice to the curb, and never moving but in conformity to the rules of the manège. The taste of Hume was Greek-Attic Greek: he had, as far as the genius of the two languages would permit, collected the very juice and flavour of their style, and transfused it into his own. Robertson, we suspect, though a good, was never a profound scholar: from the peculiar nature of his education, and his early engagement in the duties of his profession, he had little leisure to be learned. Both, in their several ways, were men of the world; but Hume, polished by long intercourse with the best society in France, as well as his own country, trans-Her taste for music was just, and she both sung and ferred some portion of easy high-breeding from his manners to his writings; while his friend, though no man was ever more completely emancipated from the bigotry of a Scots minister, or from the pedantry of the head of a college, in his intercourse (which he assiduously courted) with the great, did not catch that last grace and polish which intercourse without equality will never produce, and which, for that reason, mere sçavans rarely acquire from society more liberal or more dignified than what is found in their own rank.'

[Character of Mary Queen of Scots.]

To all the charms of beauty and the utmost elegance of external form, she added those accomplishments which render their impression irresistible. Polite, affable, insinuating, sprightly, and capable of speaking and of writing with equal ease and dignity. Sudden, however, and violent in all her attachments, because her heart was warm and unsuspicious. Impatient of contradiction, because she had been accustomed from her infancy to be treated as a queen. No stranger, on some occasions, to dissimulation, which, in that perfidious court where she received her education, was reckoned among the necessary arts of government. Not insensible of flattery, or unconscious of that pleasure with which almost every woman beholds the influence of her own beauty. Formed with the qualities which we love, not with the talents that we admire, she was an agreeable woman rather than an illustrious queen. The vivacity of her spirit, not sufficiently tempered with sound judgment, and the warmth of her heart, which was not at all times under the restraint of discretion, betrayed her both into errors and into crimes. To say that she was always unfortunate will not account for that long and

With regard to the queen's person, a circumstance not to be omitted in writing the history of a female reign, all contemporary authors agree in ascribing to Mary the utmost beauty of countenance and elegance of shape of which the human form is capable. Her hair was black, though, according to the fashion of different colours. Her eyes were a dark gray, her that age, she frequently wore borrowed locks, and of complexion was exquisitely fine, and her hands and Her stature was of a height that rose to the majestic. arms remarkably delicate, both as to shape and colour. She danced, she walked, and rode with equal grace.

the end of her life she began to grow fat, and her played upon the lute with uncommon skill. Towards long confinement and the coldness of the houses in which she had been imprisoned, brought on a rheumatism, which deprived her of the use of her limbs. without admiration and love, or will read her history 'No man,' says Brantome, 'ever beheld her person

without sorrow.'

[Martin Luther.]

[From the History of Charles V.']

While appearances of danger daily increased, and the tempest which had been so long a gathering was ready to break forth in all its violence against the Protestant church, Luther was saved, by a seasonable death, from feeling or beholding its destructive rage. Having gone, though in a declining state of health, and during a rigorous season, to his native city of Eysleben, in order to compose, by his authority, a dissension among the counts of Mansfield, he was seized with a violent inflammation in his stomach, which in a few days put an end to his life, in the sixty-third year of his age. As he was raised up by providence to be the author of one of the greatest and most interesting revolutions recorded in history, there is not any person, perhaps, whose character has been drawn with such opposite colours. In his own age, one party, struck with horror and inflamed with rage, when they saw with what a daring hand he overturned everything which they held to be sacred, or valued as beneficial, imputed to him not only all the defects and vices of a man, but the qualities of a demon. The other, warmed with the admiration and gratitude which they thought he merited as the restorer of light and liberty to the Christian church, ascribed to him perfections above the condition of humanity, and viewed all his actions with a venera

even by some of those qualities, which we are now apt to blame, that he was fitted for accomplishing the great work which he undertook. To rouse mankind, when sunk in ignorance or superstition, and to encounter the rage of bigotry armed with power, required the utmost vehemence of zeal, as well as a temper daring to excess. A gentle call would neither have reached nor have excited those to whom it was addressed. A spirit more amiable, but less vigorous than Luther's, would have shrunk back from the dangers which he braved and surmounted.

[Discovery of America.]

Next morning, being Friday the third day of August, in the year 1492, Columbus set sail, a little before sunrise, in presence of a vast crowd of spectators, who sent up their supplications to heaven for the prosperous issue of the voyage, which they wished rather than expected. Columbus steered directly for the Canary Islands, and arrived there without any occurrence that would have deserved notice on any other occasion. But in a voyage of such expectation and importance, every circumstance was the object of attention.



tion bordering on that which should be paid only to manners and customs vary continually. Some parts those who are guided by the immediate inspiration of of Luther's behaviour, which appear to us most culp heaven. It is his own conduct, not the undistinguishable, gave no disgust to his contemporaries. It was ing censure or the exaggerated praise of his contemporaries, that ought to regulate the opinions of the present age concerning him. Zeal for what he regarded as truth, undaunted intrepidity to maintain his own system, abilities, both natural and acquired, to defend his principles, and unwearied industry in propagating them, are virtues which shine so conspicuously in every part of his behaviour, that even his enemies must allow him to have possessed them in an eminent degree. To these may be added, with equal justice, such purity and even austerity of manners as became one who assumed the character of a reformer; such sanctity of life as suited the doctrine which he delivered; and such perfect disinterestedness as affords no slight presumption of his sincerity. Superior to all selfish considerations, a stranger to the elegancies of life, and despising its pleasures, he left the honours and emoluments of the church to his disciples, remaining satisfied himself in his original state of professor in the university, and pastor of the town of Wittemberg, with the moderate appointments annexed to these offices. His extraordinary qualities were alloyed with no inconsiderable mixture of human frailty and human passions. These, however, were of such a nature, that they cannot be imputed to malevolence or corruption of heart, but seem to have taken Upon the 1st of October they were, according to their rise from the same source with many of his vir- the admiral's reckoning, seven hundred and seventy tues. His mind, forcible and vehement in all its leagues to the west of the Canaries; but, lest his men operations, roused by great objects, or agitated by should be intimidated by the prodigious length of the violent passions, broke out, on many occasions, with navigation, he gave out that they had proceeded only an impetuosity which astonishes men of feebler spirits, five hundred and eighty-four leagues; and, fortuor such as are placed in a more tranquil situation. nately for Columbus, neither his own pilot nor those By carrying some praiseworthy dispositions to excess, of the other ships had skill sufficient to correct this he bordered sometimes on what was culpable, and was error and discover the deceit. They had now been often betrayed into actions which exposed him to cen- above three weeks at sea; they had proceeded far besure. His confidence that his own opinions were well-yond what former navigators had attempted or deemed founded, approached to arrogance; his courage in possible; all their prognostics of discovery, drawn asserting them, to rashness; his firmness in adhering from the flight of birds and other circumstances, had to them, to obstinacy; and his zeal in confuting his proved fallacious; the appearances of land, with which adversaries, to rage and scurrility. Accustomed him- their own credulity or the artifice of their commander self to consider everything as subordinate to truth, he had from time to time flattered and amused them, expected the same deference for it from other men; had been altogether illusive, and their prospect of and without making any allowances for their timidity success seemed now to be as distant as ever. These or prejudices, he poured forth against such as disap- reflections occurred often to men who had no other pointed him, in this particular, a torrent of invective object or occupation than to reason and discourse conmingled with contempt. Regardless of any distinc-cerning the intention and circumstances of their extion of rank or character when his doctrines were attacked, he chastised all his adversaries indiscriminately with the same rough hand; neither the royal dignity of Henry VIII., nor the eminent learning and abilities of Erasmus, screened them from the same gross abuse with which he treated Tetzel or Eccius.

But these indecencies, of which Luther was guilty, must not be imputed wholly to the violence of his temper. They ought to be charged in part on the manners of the age. Among a rude people, unacquainted with those maxims which, by putting continual restraint on the passions of individuals, have polished society and rendered it agreeable, disputes of every kind were managed with heat, and strong emotions were uttered in their natural language without reserve or delicacy. At the same time the works of learned men were all composed in Latin, and they were not only authorised, by the example of eminent writers in that language, to use their antagonists with the most illiberal scurrility; but in a dead tongue, indecencies of every kind appear less shocking than in a living language, whose idioms and phrases seem gross, because they are familiar.

In passing judgment upon the characters of men, we ought to try them by the principles and maxims of their own age, not by those of another; for although virtue and vice are at all times the same,

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pedition. They made impression at first upon the ignorant and timid, and extending by degrees to such as were better informed or more resolute, the contagion spread at length from ship to ship. From secret whispers or murmurings they proceeded to open cabals and public complaints. They taxed their sovereign with inconsiderate credulity, in paying such regard to the vain promises and rash conjectures of an indigent foreigner, as to hazard the lives of so many of her own subjects in prosecuting a chimerical scheme. They affirmed that they had fully performed their duty by venturing so far in an unknown and hopeless course, and could incur no blame for refusing to follow any longer a desperate adventurer to certain destruction. They contended that it was necessary to think of returning to Spain while their crazy vessels were still in a condition to keep the sea, but expressed their fears that the attempt would prove vain, as the wind, which had hitherto been so favourable to their course, must render it impossible to sail in the opposite direction. All agreed that Columbus should be compelled by force to adopt a measure on which their common safety depended. Some of the more audacious proposed, as the most expeditious and certain method for getting rid at once of his remonstrances, to throw him into the sea, being persuaded that, upon their return to Spain, the death of an un

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