Page images
[blocks in formation]

and magnificence on the 16th of december 1653.

It was immediately after this remarkable occurrence that Milton, as it is probable, composed that part of his “ Second Defence," which I am now about to transcribe. He could not be insensible to those egregious mockeries which had been practised on the people; but it was natural for him not to abandon, without extreme reluctance, the hopes, which he had so long and so fondly cherished, of the Protector's rectitude of intention; and he seems desirous of urging this extraordinary man, to a just and a generous use of power, with every motive which could be suggested by wise counsel, or by eloquent panegyric. Milton certainly approaches the master of England with elevated sentiments, and, even in his praises, discovers the equality of an erect and independent spirit. This the reader of the following animated apostrophe, which forms a part only, though the far larger part of the whole masterly address, will not be permitted to doubt. "My extract iš preceded by a rapid and striking enumeration of those great events which had distinguished the two or three preceding years,--the recovery of Ireland by one decisive blow; the subjugation

the right of a possession watiye merit: are afterward mity of Cron

of the name with which m

Tu igitus

mi macte berator, libe


que augustio

[ocr errors]

We nostrorul

gita sæpius,

parente wall

mendatam pasitam hal

universæ. Vi

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

de of Scotland, which had been vainly attempted

by the English monarchs, during a period of ... bas met eight hundred years; the great and crowning -, as it spe victory at Worcester; the dismission of the w Long Parliament; the meeting and the sub

sequent abdication of the succeeding LegisUN AT

lature. The deserted commonwealth is then su partener represented as leaning for support on Crom

well alone; who by that best of rights, acu reluctant knowledged by reason and given by God,

the right of superior talents and virtue, is in possession of the supreme power. The relative merits of the several titles of honour are afterwards discussed, and the magnanimity of Cromwell, evinced by his rejection of the name of king, is the topic of praise with which my extract commences,

Tu igitur, Cromuelle, magnitudine illâ animi macte esto; te enim decet: tu patriæ liberator, libertatis auctor, custosque idem et conservator, neque graviorem personam, neque augustiorem suscipere potes aliam; qui non modd regum res gestas, sed heroum quoque nostrorum fabulas factis exuperasti. Cogita sæpiùs, quàm caram rem, ah quàm carà parente luâ, libertatem à patriâ tibi commendatam atque concreditam, apud te depositam habes; quod ab electissimis gentis universæ viris, illa modd expectabat, id nunc

[ocr errors]

water of the

i mbicht Gjerpartiet st be prezi ceded brain

of these

od the

coverset e subiüzza

[blocks in formation]

à te uno expectat, per të unum consequi sperai. Rererere jantam de teexpectationen, spem patriæ de te unicam; reverere vultus et vulnera tot fortium virorum, quotquot, te duce, pro libertate tam stremiè decertârunt; manes etiam eorum qui in ipso certamine occubuerunt: reverere exterarum quoque civitatum existimationem de nobis atque sermones; quantas res de libertate nostrâ, tam fortiter partâ, de nostrâ republicâ, tam gloriosè exortâ sibi polliceantur: quæ si tam citò quasi aborta evanuerit, profectò nihil æquè dedecorosum huic genti atque pudendum fuerit: teipsum denique reverere, ut pro quâ adipiscendâ libertate tot ærumnas pertulisti, tot pericula adiisti, eam adeptus, violatam per te, aut ullâ in parte immiputam aliis ne sinas esse. Profectò tu ipse liber sine nobis esse non potes; sic enim naturå comparatum est, ut qui aliorum libertatem occupat, suam ipse primus omnium amittat; seque primum omnium intelligat serviri: atque id quidem non injuriâ. At verò, si patronus ipse libertatis, et quasi tutelaris deus, si is, quo nemo justior, nemo sanctior est habitus, nemo vir melior, quam vindicavit ipse eam post modùm invaserit, id non ipsi tantum, sed universæ virtutis ac pietatis rationi perniciosum ac lethale propemodum sit

ran, quàm a

[ocr errors]

pelle perduce witam mente mulare, præ tare, nulla vol


, divitiar)

un fugere, bellum ludus

cutient, ha usilio, divil pe edoctum pero quint

I lovas, nond

issimium qui

lere, et libel

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

citate da publicah

, tan

[ocr errors]

necesse est: ipsa honestas, ipsa virtus decoxisse videbitur, religionis angusta fides, exis

timatio perexigua in posterum erit, quo graull, que

vius generi humano vulnus, post illud pri

mum, infligi nullum poterit. Onus longè content gravissimum suscepisti, quod te penitùs exa carumque plorabit, totum te atque intimum perserutae robis atyre

bitur atque ostendet, quid tibi animi, quid virium insit, quid ponderis; vivatne in te verè illa pietas, fides, justitia, animíque mo

deratio, ob quas evectum te præ cæteris Dei je, protects

numine ad hanc summam dignitatem credi

mus. Tres nationes validissimas consilio repinti atque

gere, populos ab institutis pravis ad meliorem, quàm antehac, frugem ac disciplinam velle perducere, remotissimas in partes sollicitam mentem cogitationesque immittere, vigilare, prævidere, nullum laborem recusare, nulla voluptatum blandimenta non spernere, divitiarum atque potentiæ ostentationem fugere, hæc sunt illa ardua præ quibus bellum ludus est; hæc' te ventilabunt atque excutient, hæc virum poscunt divino fultum auxilio, divino penè colloquio monitum atque edoctum. Quæ tu, et plura, sæpenumero quin tecum reputes atque animo revolvas, non dubito: uti et illud, quibus potissimum

queas modis et illa maxima perficere, et libertatem salvam nobis reddere et

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lute tot anno sti

, cam at

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

sic emm

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

cat serunt It reni si tuteline 0 sanctira


it, id 700,

[ocr errors]


infamy: re: suffer not the which you I

and have er

sustain any

the actions of our kings, but the fabled exploits of our heroes are overcome by your achievements. Reflect, then, frequently, (how dear alike the trust, and the parent from whom you have received it!) that to your hands your country has commended

or any from and confided her freedom; that, what she lately expected from her choicest representatives, she now hopes only from you.

Q reverence this high confidence, this hope of your country relying exclusively upon yourself: reverence the countenances and the wounds of those brave men, who have so nobly struggled for liberty under your auspices, as well as the manes of those whe have fallen in the conflict: reverence, alsa, the opinion and the discourse of foreign communities; their lofty anticipation with respect to our freedom so valiantly obtainedto our republic so gloriously established, of which the speedy extinction would involve us in the deepest and the most unexampled Higion wol

freedom, in free

; for it that he, who shall

, in the be the first has induced tutelary Dei

dhe man, the sactity, and that liberty wst necessa not only to system and i

and virtue

empty name

by the Parliament; for this event happened in 1656, more than two years after the period now immediately in question; but to the result of a consultation on the subject, just before the dis. mission of the Long Parliament, between Cromwell and some of the principal men of the nation whom he considered as friendly to his views; on which occasion, Whitelocke strongly dissuaded him from assuming the title of king.

wou wound more was transgre we of man

You had undertaking

quick; which Wrough; wh

« PreviousContinue »