Critical and Historical Essays — Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 877 pages of information about Critical and Historical Essays Volume 1.

He had indeed left none his like behind him.  There still remained, indeed, in his party, many acute intellects, many eloquent tongues, many brave and honest hearts.  There still remained a rugged and clownish soldier, half fanatic, half buffoon, whose talents, discerned as yet only by one penetrating eye, were equal to all the highest duties of the soldier and the prince.  But in Hampden, and in Hampden alone, were united all the qualities which, at such a crisis, were necessary to save the state, the valour and energy of Cromwell, the discernment and eloquence of Vane, the humanity and moderation of Manchester, the stern integrity of Hale, the ardent public spirit of Sydney.  Others might possess the qualities which were necessary to save the popular party in the crisis of danger; he alone had both the power and the inclination to restrain its excesses in the hour of triumph.  Others could conquer; he alone could reconcile.  A heart as bold as his brought up the cuirassiers who turned the tide of battle on Marston Moor.  As skilful an eye as his watched the Scotch army descending from the heights over Dunbar.  But it was when to the sullen tyranny of Laud and Charles had succeeded the fierce conflict of sects and factions, ambitious of ascendency and burning for revenge, it was when the vices and ignorance which the old tyranny had generated threatened the new freedom with destruction, that England missed the sobriety, the self-command, the perfect soundness of judgment, the perfect rectitude of intention, to which the history of revolutions furnishes no parallel, or furnishes a parallel in Washington alone.

MILTON (August 1825)

Joannis Miltoni, Angli, de Doctrina Christiana libri duo posthumi.  A Treatise on Christian Doctrine, compiled from the Holy Scriptures alone.  By John Milton, translated from the Original by Charles R. Sumner, M.A., etc., etc. 1825.

Towards the close of the year 1823, Mr. Lemon, deputy keeper of the state papers, in the course of his researches among the presses of his office, met with a large Latin manuscript.  With it were found corrected copies of the foreign despatches written by Milton while he filled the office of Secretary, and several papers relating to the Popish Trials and the Rye-house Plot.  The whole was wrapped up in an envelope, superscribed To Mr. Skinner, Merchant.  On examination, the large manuscript proved to be the long-lost Essay on the Doctrines of Christianity, which, according to Wood and Toland, Milton finished after the Restoration, and deposited with Cyriac Skinner.  Skinner, it is well known, held the same political opinions with his illustrious friend.  It is therefore probable, as Mr. Lemon conjectures, that he may have fallen under the suspicions of the Government during that persecution of the Whigs which followed the dissolution of the Oxford parliament, and that, in consequence of a general seizure of his papers, this work may have been brought to the office in which it has been found.  But whatever the adventures of the manuscript may have been, no doubt can exist that it is a genuine relic of the great poet.

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