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in the galleries. And if I be mistaken in this, it is nothing to the business in hand; for be galleries what they will for the use, I commanded not the taking of them down at St. Andrews. At Edinburgh, the king's command took down the stone walls and galleries, which were there removed, and not mine. For his majesty having, in a Chris. tian and princely way, erected and endowed a bishoprick in Edinburgh, he resolved to make the great church of St. Giles in that city, a cathedral; and to this end, gave order to have the galleries in the lesser church, and the stone wall which divided them, taken down.' For of old, they were both one Church, and made two by a wall built up at the west-end of the chancel; so that that which was called the lesser church, was but the chancel of St. Giles, with galleries round about it, and was for all the world like a square theatre, without any show of a church; as is also the church at Brunt-Iland over against it. And I remember, when I passed over at the Frith, I took it, at first sight, for a large square Pigeon-house, so free was it from all suspicion of being so much as built like an ancient church.” p. 96.
We have already stated our opinion, that Laud, in the whole of his public conduct, was perfectly sincere; and, that he really believed himself to be promoting the interests of the nation. How greatly he erred in that belief, must be evident to all; and it is not a little singular, that at no period of his life does he seem to have distrusted the prudence of his own ineasures, not even when time had developed their disastrous consequences. It might have been supposed that, during his long imprisonment in the Tower, when he was compelled, for the purpose of preparing a defence against the impending charges of the Commons, to review with accuracy the whole of his public life, he would have discovered certain passages calculated to excite strong doubts as to the wisdom of his conduct. If, however, such doubts presented themselves to his mind at all, he has carefully refrained from expressing them in the work before us. On the contrary, he keeps up, from beginning to end, a tone of astonishment at that blind malevolence of his enemies, which refused to acknowledge the propriety of his measures. This, we think, is a strong proof of the purity of his intentions, though it may perhaps tend to reduce still lower our opinion of his judgement. The sincerity of his religious principles, which was indeed never doubted upon any tolerable evidence, is also remarkably testified by the consolation he seems to have derived from them under his heaviest misfortunes. The following passage affords a specimen of his feelings when the storm of parliamentary indignation first broke over his head.
“ December 18, 1640, being Friday.-Upon this day Mr. Densell Hollis, second son to John, Earl of Clare, by order from the house of commons, came up to the lords, and accused me of high treason; and told the lords, they would make proof thereof in convenient time; but desired in the mean time, that I might be committed to safe custody. This was strange news to my innocency; for this I can say for myself, without falsehood or vanity, that to the uttermost of my understanding, I served the king, my gracious master, with all duty and faithfulness; and without any known or wilful disservice to the state therewhile. And this I did, with as true and free a heart, as ever any man did that served the king. And I thank God, my care was such for the public, that it is well known, I much neglected my own private fortunes there while. The more was I amazed at the first apprehension of this heavy and undeserved charge.
“Upon this charge, I was commanded to withdraw. But I first desired leave to speak a few words; and I spake to this effect; that I was heartily sorry for the offence taken against me, and that I was most unhappy, to have my eyes open to see that day, and mine ears to hear such a charge. But humbly desired their lordships, to look upon the whole course of my life, which was such, as that I did verily persuade myself, not one man in the house of commons did believe in his heart, that I was a traitor. Here my lord, the Earl of Essex, interrupted me, and said, that speech of mine was a scandal put upon the whole house of commons, that they should bring me up charged with so high a crime, which themselves did not believe. I humbly desired then, that I might be proceeded with in the ancient parliamentary way of England. This the Lord Say excepted against; as if I would prescribe them how they should proceed. So I withdrew, as I was commanded, and was presently called in again to the bar; and thence delivered to Mr. James Maxwell, the officer of the black rod, to be kept in custody, till the house of commons should farther impeach me.
“ Here I humbly desired leave, that I might go home to fetch some papers necessary for my defence. This was granted me with some difficulty, and Mr. Maxwell was commanded to attend me all the while I should stay. When I was gone to Lambeth, after some little discourse (and sad enough) with my steward, and some private friends, I went into my chapel to evening prayer. The psalms for that day gave me much comfort, and were observed by some friends then present, as well as by myself. And upon the comfort I then received, I have every day since (unless some urgent business prevented me) read over both these psalms, and, God willing, purpose so to do every day of my life. Prayers being ended, I went with Mr. Maxwell, as I was commanded; hundreds of my poor neighbours standing at my gates to see me go, and prayed heartily for my safe return to my house ; for which I blessed God and them.” p. 73.
Such ample justice has been done to the private virtues of Laud, by the eloquence of Clarendon, that we shall trouble our readers upon that head very briefly. It is, however, a subject to which, briefly as we can notice it, we turn with far greater pleasure than we have felt in dwelling on the errors of his public life. Upon his sincerity a few words have been already
said. To his charities, ample testimony is borne by the records of many a religious foundation still in existence. His munificent patronage of learning has, perhaps, never been surpassed in this country. His zeal in the cause of virtue, though often intemperate, was unquestionably sincere ; his notions of justice, though rigorous, seem never to have been vindictive; his gratitude, though undiscriminating, was yet pure. Much praise, we think, is also due to him for the sincerity and steadfastness of his friendship to Strafford : in spite of all the infirmities of temper which that great man was apt to manifest, and in spite too of all his influence with the monarch, which nearly rivalled Laud's, and might therefore have excited his jealousy, the Archbishop seems to have lived with him in confidence and friendship, and has pronounced over his tomb an eulogy which we extract on account of its mingled truth and beauty.
“ These answers being returned, the earl prepared himself; and upon Wednesday morning, about ten of the clock, being May the twelfth, he was beheaded on the Tower-hill, many thousands behold ing him. The speech which he made at his end was a great testimony of his religion and piety, and was then printed: and in their judgement, who were men of worth, and some upon, some near the scaffold, and saw him die, he made a patient, and pious, and couragious end; insomuch, that some doubted whether his death had more of the Roman or the Christian in it, it was so full of both. And notwithstanding this hard fate which fell upon him, he is dead with more honour than any of them will gain who hunted after his life. Thus ended the wisest, the stoutest, and every way the ablest subject that this nation hath bred these many years. The only imperfections which he had, that were known to me, were his want of bodily health, and a carelessness (or rather roughness) not to oblige any; and his mishaps in this last action were, that he groaned under the public envy of the nobles, served a mild and a gracious prince, who knew not how to be, or be made great; and trusted false, perfidious, and cowardly men in the northern employment, though he had many doubts put to him about it. This day was after called by divers, Homicidium Comitis Straffordiæ, the day of the murder of Strafford : because when malice itself could find no law to put him to death, they made a law on purpose for it. God forgive all, and be merciful.”
We have spoken of the sincerity of Laud's religious principles, as admitted even by his bitterest opponents ; but we think it fair to say that those principles, as represented even by himself, appear to have been considerably tinctured with superstition. Many passages in the work before us warrant this opinion; and some of them, indeed, are of such a nature as to be excused only by the current prejudices of the time. See, for example, how ingeniously he avails himself of the misfortune of Lord Brook to “ clap a judgment upon his back:” : “ The Lord Brook was now in action. A bitter enemy he was to the church, and her government by bishops. On March 2, he was going to give onset upon the close of the cathedral at Litchfield ; and as he was taking view of the place, from a window in a house opposite to the close, and his beaver up, so that a musket at such a distance could have done him but little harm; yet was he shot in the left eye, and killed dead in the place without speaking one word. Whence I shall observe three things : first, that this great and known enemy to cathedral churches died thus fearfully in the assault of a cathedral. A fearful manner of death in such a quarrel. Secondly, that this happened upon Saint Chad's day, of which Saint the Cathedral bears the name. Thirdly, that this lord coming from dinner about two years since, from the Lord Herbert's house in Lambeth, upon some discourse of St. Paul's church, then in their eye upon the water, said to some young lords that were with him, that he hoped to live to see that one stone of that building should not be left upon another. But that church stands yet, and that eye is put out that hoped to see the ruins of it.” p. 201.
Moreover, the scrupulous minuteness with which he records his dreams, (and the diary is full of them,) savours strongly of the same infirmity. We shall conclude our extracts from this volume, with a specimen or two of the Archbishop's nightly visions ; just observing, that the favours of Queen Mab, which he has here recorded, though numerous, seem hardly to have been of the choicest.
“ December 14.–Sunday night, I did dream that the Lord Keeper was dead : that I passed by one of his men, that was about a monument for him : that I heard him say, his lower lip was infinitely swelled and fallen, and he rotten already. This dream did trouble me.” p. 7.
“ August 21.-Sunday, I preached at Breckpock; where I stayed two days, very busy in performing some business. That night, in my sleep, it seemed to me, that the Duke of Buckingham came into bed to me; where he behaved himself with great kindness towards me, after that rest, wherewith wearied persons are wont to solace themselves. Many also seemed to me to enter the chamber, who saw this. Not long before, I dreamed that I saw the Dutchess of Buckingham, that excellent Lady, at first very much perplexed about her husband, but afterwards cheerful and rejoycing that she was freed from the fear of abortion, so that in due time she might be, again a mother.” p. 22.
“ January 5.--Epiphany-eve, and Friday, in the night I dreamed, that my mother, long since dead, stood by my bed, and drawing aside the cloaths a little, looked pleasantly upon me; and that I was glad to see her with so merry an aspect. She then showed to me a certain old man, long since deceased; whom, while alive, I both knew and loved. He seemed to lie upon the ground, merry enough, but with a wrinkled countenance. His name was Grove. While I prepared to salute him, I awoke.” p. 37.
" January 14.-Sunday, towards morning I dreamed, that the Bishop of Lincoln came, I know not whither, with iron chains ; but returning loosed from them, leaped on horseback, and went away; neither could I overtake him.” p. 38.
“ January 16.- I dreamed that the King went out to hunt; and that when he was hungry, I brought him on the sudden into the house of my friend, Francis Windebank. While he prepareth to eat, I, in the absence of others, presented the cup to him after the usual manner. I carried drink to him; but it pleased him not. I carried it again, but in a silver cup : thereupon, his Majesty said, you know that I always drink out of glass. I go away again, and awoke.” p. 38.
“ July 7.--Saturday night, I dreamed that I had lost two teeth. The. Duke of Buckingham took the Isle of Rhée.” p. 41.
" January 24.--Friday, at night I dreamed that my father (who died forty-six years since) came to me; and, to my thinking, he was as well and as cheerful as ever I saw him. He asked me, what I did here? and after some speech, I asked him, how long he would stay with me? he answered, he would stay till he had me away with him. I am not moved with dreams ; yet I thought fit to remember this.” p. 57.
Upon the whole, we do not think that this work is calculated to diminish any of the prejudices which we had entertained against the political character of the author, or to inspire us with any respect for his talents. Making all possible allowances for the difficulties of his public situation, we can see in him nothing more than a man with very ordinary abilities for government under the guidance of a very defective judgement. A comparison has sometimes been instituted between Laud and Wolsey ; but never, certainly, was a more unfortunate comparison made. True, both rose from a very humble rank in life to the first station in the kingdom ; both were churchmen; both were ambitious; both unfortunate. But Wolsey seems to have been a man of talents equal to his fortunes-talents to which Laud could make no pretension; while, on the other hand, Laud was the undoubted possessor of virtues, to which Wolsey appears to have been an utter stranger.
We have spoken, without reserve, the sentiments which we entertain as to the public conduct of our author, and feel no desire to qualify the censures we have pronounced. At the same time, however, we look with feelings of shame and abhorrence upon that infamous proceeding, misnamed a trial, by which Laud was brought to the scaffold. That both he and Strafford had shown themselves unfit for power, by the indiscreet and arbitrary use they made of it, we are fully convinced ; but not less strong is our conviction, that neither Strafford nor Laud, in the plenitude and wantonness of their authority, ever committed such an outrage upon the laws as that by which they died.