« PreviousContinue »
berale, animum excelsum, mores integros ac nemini obnoxios; unde illud, munus, omni propè exemplo majus ac formidabilius, tot sicariorum pugionibus ac minis petitus, ità constanter, ità graviter, tantâ animi cum præsentiâ ac dignitate gessit atque implevit, ut ad hoc ipsum opus, quod jam olim Deus edendum in hoc populo mirabili providentiâ decreverat, ab ipso numine designatus atque factus videretur; et tyrannicidarum omnium gloriam tantum superaverit, quantò est humanius, quantò justius ac majestate plenius tyrannum judicare, quam injudicatum occidere. Alioqui nec tristis nec severus sed comis et placidus, personam tamen quam suscepit tantam, æqualis ubique sibi ac veluti consul non unius anni, pari gravitate sustinet: ut non de tribunali tantum, sed per omnem vitam judicare regem diceres. In consiliis et laboribus publicis maximè omnium indefessus multisque par unus: do-. mi, si quis alius, pro suis facultatibus hospitalis ac splendidus, amicus longe fidelissimus atque in omni fortunâ certissimus, bene merentes quoscunque nemo citiùs aut libentiùs agnoscit neque majore benevolentiâ prosequitur; nunc pios, nunc doctos, aut quâvis ingenii laude cognitos, nunc militares etiam et fortes viros ad inopiam redac
egyre tös suis opibus sublevat; iis si non indigent,
colit tamen libens atque amplectitur: alieilius nas laudes perpetuo prædicare, suas tacere
-solitus; hostium quoque civilium siquis ad sanitatem rediit, quod experti sunt plurimi, nemo ignoscentior. Quod si causa oppressi cujuspiam defendenda palàm, si gratia aut -vis potentiorum oppugnanda, 'si in quenquam bene meritum ingratitudo publica objurganda sit, tum quidem in illo viro vel facundiam vel constantiam nemo desideret, non patronum, non amicum, vel idoneum magis et intrepidum, vel disertiorem alium quisquam sibi optet: habet quem non minä dimovere recto, non metus aut munera proposito bono atque officio, vultûsque ac mentis firmissimo‘statu dejicere valeant.
“ John Bradshaw, a name which, in every country where her power is acknowledged, liberty herself has consecrated to immortal renown,) was descended, as is generally known, of a noble family. The early part of his life he devoted to the study of the laws of his country; and then becoming a profound lawyer, a most eloquent advocate, a zealous asserter of freedom and the
people's rights, he was employed in the more
important affairs of the state, and frequently discharged, with unimpeachable integrity, the duties of a judge. When, at length, solicited by the Parliament to preside at the trial of the King, he did not decline this most dangerous commission: for to the science of the law he had brought a liberal disposition, a lofty spirit, sincere and unoffending manners ;. and, thus qualified, he supported that great and, beyond precedent, fearful office, exposed to the threats and to the daggers of innumerable assassins, with so much firmness, so mạch weight of manner, such presence and dignity of mind that he seemed to have been formed and
appointed immediately by the Deity himself for the performance of that deed, which the Divine Providence had of old decreed to be accomplished in this nation; and so far has he exceeded the glory of all tyrannicides as it is more humane, more just, more noble to try and to pass legal sentence on a tyrant, than without trial to put him to death.
Though in other respects neither gloomy nor severe but gentle and placid, he yet sustains, with unfaltering dignity, the character which he has borne, and, uniformly consistent with himself, he appears like a consul from whom the fasces are not to depart
equeil with the year: so that not on the tribunal terit only, but throughout his life you would renghol gard him as sitting in judgment upon kings. Unwearied, and singly equal to
equal to a multitude in his labours for the public, in domestic life, to the utmost stretch of his power, he is hospitable and splendid: the stedfastness and adherency of his friendship are not to be affected by the vicissitudes of fortune; and instant and eager to acknowledge merit, wherever it is discovered, he is munificent to reward it. The pious, the learned, the eminent in any walk of genius, the soldier and the brave man are either relieved by his wealth, if in distress, or, if not indigent, are cultivated by his attentions and cherished in his embrace. Delighted to dwell on the praises of others, he studiously suppresses his own. So great are his placability and readiness to forgive that they are extended, as the experience of numbers hath ascertained, to any among the enemies of himself and of the state who, from a sense of their errors, have reverted to reason.
“ If the cause of the oppressed is openly to be asserted; if the influence and the strong arm of the powerful are to be controlled; if the public ingratitude to any meritorious individual is to be arraigned, then will no de
ficiency of eloquence or of fortitude be seen in this great man; then will the client possess in him an advocate and a friend suited to all his wants and adequate to his highest expectations; the cause, indeed, will be in the hands of a defender whom no threats can divert from the straight path; whom neither intimidation nor bribes can bend from the uprightness of duty, or for an instant deject from the conscious firinness of his countenance and the determined attitude of his mind.”
To these men, thus ardently praised by Milton, has been ascribed, as we have already intimated, his present appointment by the Council. But if the preference was, in the first instance, the suggestion of friendship, it was afterwards proved, by the event, to be the dictate of wisdom. The hand of the latin secretary most ably concurred with the spirit of the executive council; and during his continuance in office, which was prolonged to the restoration, the state-papers in his department may be regarded as models in the class of diplomatic composition. They speak, indeed, the language of energy and wisdom;
; and, entitled equally to the applause of the . critic and the politician, they must have impressed foreign states with a high opinion of