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come known; for a man of this magnitude belongs not to one people, but to the world. What our countrymen may decide of him, still more what may be his fortune with posterity, we will not try to foretell. Time has a contracting influence on many a wide-spread fame; yet of Richter we will say, that he may survive much. There is in him that which does not die ; that Beauty and Earnestness of soul, that spirit of Humanity, of Love and mild Wisdom, over which the vicissitudes of mode have no sway. This is that excellence of the inmost nature which alone confers immortality on writings; that charm which still, under every defacement, binds us to the pages
of our own Hookers, and Taylors, and Brownes, when their way of thought has long ceased to be ours, and the most valued of their merely intellectual opinions have passed away, as ours too must do, with the circumstances and events in which they took their shape or rise. To men of a right mind, there may long be in Richter much that has attraction and value. In the moral desert of vulgar Literature, with its sandy wastes, and parched, bitter, and too often poisonous shrubs, the writings of this man will rise in their irregular luxuriance, like a cluster of date-trees, with its greensward and well of water, to refresh the pilgrim, in the sultry solitude, with nourishment and shade.
Art. VIII.- Original Letters, illustrative of English History, in
cluding numerous Royal Letters from Autographs in the British Museum, and one or two other Collections. With Notes and Illustrations. By HENRY ELLIS, F. R. S. Sec. S. A. Keeper of the MSS. in the British Museum. Second Series, 4 vols. 8yo. pp. 1613. London. Harding and Lepard. 1827.
IT t is with great pleasure that we meet our learned and
worthy Editor again in the prosecution of his very useful task, on which we formerly greeted his entrance by our meed of applause and thanks. We strongly urged him to continue; and we still urge him in like manner: For he has only begun, what may well last his life, the work of opening to the world the hitherto locked up treasures under his official care. If there were no other inducements to prosecute this duty, this alone should suffice, that it is the first and surest way by far of preserving for ever the valuable documents themselves—there being no more effectual way of perpetuating the testimony of any paper-writing, than giving it to the public through the press. But the paramount reason for urging Mr Ellis to go on, is, that he thus makes accessible to all mankind what hitherto has been the property of the trustees, who never use it,—or of a few men living near the Museum, who only use it in the parts suited to their peculiar speculations and views,
In selecting from this work some of the more interesting portions, with the view both of giving them greater circulation, and of conveying a few remarks to the reader, we shall confine ourselves to the third and fourth volumes, as by far the most interesting. The barbarous remains of royal illiterature, (sit venia verbo,) or of priestly pride, alternating with sycophancy, are of little curiosity; though here and there such courtesies as that of the brutal savage, Glyndower's lieutenant, the pink of chivalry with our romancers, in his letter to Reginald Lord Grey de Ruthyn, may excite a smile. The Baron terms this doughty correspondent, “ the strongest thief in Wales.” His name is Griffith ap David ap Griffith ; and he is of the true cast, which our sentimental lovers of " the olden time,” who regret all improvement, would have us regard as the genuine race of men, high-minded men. “ We hope," says Griffith, or, as he signs his name, Gruffuth, “ we hope we shall do the a privy “ thing; a rope, a ladder, and a ryng; high on gallows for to “ hinge. And thus shall be your endynge; and he that made “ the be the so helpynge; and we on our behalf, shall be well “ willynge.”—In which fine poesy of the true time of chivalry, be it observed, in passing, there is some little trace of the versification of its modern eulogists and imitators. But we deem the remains of less savage animals more befitting the degenerate taste and fallen nature of the present age to contemplate ; and, therefore, pass at once some centuries downward in the series, from the Plantagenet to the Tudor and the Stuart.
In “ that infamous year," as Lord Clarendon justly terms 1572, the news of the massacre at Paris excited a natural sympathy and alarm in England; and we now find, that the foul murder of Mary Queen of Scots, was first suggested by the base and cruel councillor-Fear. Female jealousy may have smoothed the way to its execution, by one of the most cold-blooded and perfidious of her sex; but its origin was in alarm, the cause of most of the evils that afflict nations. A Right Reverend Prelate has, it now appears, the singular honour of having first suggested this great crime, as an expedient “ for the safety of our “ Quene and Realme"—to which the canting miscreant dares to add blasphemously, “ of God will.” The following letter, from Edwin Sandys, Bishop of London, to the Lord Burghley, substantiates his claim to the honour of inventing the greatest blot upon Elizabeth's fame; and it is fit so singular a wretch should be made known to posterity for what he did.
“ Theese evill tymes trouble all good mens headdes, and make their hearte sake, (heartes ake,) fearinge that this barbarous treacherie will not ceasse in Fraunce, but will reach over unto us. Neither feare we the mangling of our body, but we sore dreade the hurt of our Head: for therin consisteth our lief and saftie. We shall dutiefullie praie. Give
you good advise. And God, I trust, will deliver us owt of the mouthe of the warringe Lyon. The Citizens of London in theese dangerous daies had need prudentlie to be dealt withall; the preachers appointed for the Crosse in this vacacion are but yonge men, unskilfull in matters politicall, yet so carried with zeale that they will enter into them and poure furthe their opinions. Yf the league standeth firme betwixt her Matie, and the Frenche Kinge, (as I suppose it dothe,) they may perhappes, beinge not directed, utter speache to the breache therof. Howe that will be liked of I dowte. Ýf I may receave from yor. L. some direction or advise herin, I will not faill to directe them so well as I canne. The Deane of Paules and I will first occupie the place, givinge example howe others may followe. Sundrie have required a publique Faste and Praier to be had, for the confoundinge of theese and other cruell enemies of Goddes gospell; but this I will not consent unto, withowt warraunt from hir Matie. Thus am I bolde to unfolde a peece of my myde on the sudden, and to make you pertaker of my simple cogitacions, knowinge that according to yo. olde wonte, you will toke the same in good parte. Hasten hir Matie. homewarde, hir safe returne to London will comforth many heartes oppressed with feare. God preserve yow, and directe yow with his spirite to counsell to his glorie. In haste from my howse at Fulham this yth. of September 1572 “ yor. L. humble at commandment.
« ED. LONDON. “ The saftie of our Quene and Realme,
yf God will. u 1. Furthwith to CUTTE of the SCOTTISH QUENE'S HEADE: ipsa est nostri fundi calamitas.
“ 2. To remove from our Quene Papistes, and suche as by private persuasion overthrowe good counsell.
“ 3. The Q. matie, to be garded stronglie with Protestants, and others to be removed.
“ 4. Order must be taken for the safe kepinge of the Tower, and for good order to be had in London for strengtheninge of the Citie, and that they receave no Papistes of strengthe to sojourne there this winter.
“5. A firme League to be made with the yonge Scottish Kinge and the Protestants there.
“ 6. A League to be made with the Princes Protestants of Germanie, offensive and defensive.
“ 7. The chiefe Papistes of this realme are to be shutte uppe in the Tower, and the popishe olde Bushoppes to be returned thither.
“8. The Gospell earnestlie to be promoted, and the Churche not burdened with unnecessarie ceremonies.
“ 9. The Protestants, which onlie are faithfüll subjectes, are to be comforted, preferred, and placed in autoritie, the Papistes to be displaced.
“ Theese put in execution, wolde twrne to Goddes glory, the saftie of the Quene's Matie, and make the Realme florishe
and stande. “ To the right honourable my singuler good Lorde the Lorde of Burghley, highe Treasurer of Englande.”
“ My singular good Lorde” served a jealous and spiteful woman, or he would have spurned the Right Reverend assassin from him, and told him, 66 tarry thou for life in Paul's chain, “ for never shalt thou set in Lambeth thy cleft hoof,”
The birth of “ our most religious and gracious sovereign,” Charles II., is thus announced by Lord Dorchester, with exemplary piety, and not quite as great a gift of prophecy :
“ SIR, “ I receaved this morning by Mr. Hopton your last Letters, and though I had allready written to you by this bearer, the cause of publick joy, since hapned, occasions the addition of these lynes to let yow know that yesterday before noone the Queene was made the happy mother of a Prince of Wales. Herselfe (God be thanked) is in good estate, and what a child can promise that reckons yet but two dayes, is allready visible, as a gratious pledge from Heaven of those blessings which are convayed and assured to Kingdomes in the issue of their Princes. As this hath sett on worke here whatsoever may serve to speake the fullnes of our harts in the language of publicke rejoysing, soe His Majestie hath thought fitt to communicate his contentment to the King and Queenes of France by his owne letters, whereof Mr. Montague is the bearer, and hath commission to invite that King and the Queene mother to joyne with the King of Bohemia in christning of the yong Prince. And soe in hast I rest
“ Yrs, to be commaunded
“ DORCHESTER. " From Whitehall The 30 of May 1630.
“ To my very loving frend M'. De Vic remayning for his Majesties affaires at Paris.”
We are tempted to extract the letter which immediately follows, touching a peculiarity in that great man, and venerable patriot, Lord Coke. It is from Mr Mead to Sir Martin Stuteville:
“ Sir Edward Coke being now very infirme in body, a freind of his sent him two or three Doctors to regulate his health ; whom he told, that he had never taken phisick since he was borne, and would not now begin; and that he had now upon him a disease, which all the druggos
of Asia, the gold of Africa, the silver of America, nor all the Doctors of Europe could cure, Old Age. He therefore both thankt them and his friend that sent them, and dismist them nobly with a reward of twenty pieces to each man.”
A letter from one Mr Pary (Dec. 2, 1632) to Sir Thomas Puckering, gives the news of Gustavus Adolphus's death at the battle of Lutzen, near Leipsic, with some particulars of that memorable catastrophe.
“ On Fryday Dalbier a German (who was Count Mansfeld's paymaster in all his warres, hee that should have fetch't over the Dutch for the late Duke from Embden, and which hath served sometimes under the King of Sweden since his coming into Germany) Dalbier, I say, came to the court. And Burlamacki that accompanied him thither told me, the newes he brought out of Dutchland were as followeth: That hee was four dayes in the Swedish army, after the battell was fought. That hee sawe the dead body of the king of Sweden. That Papenheim, the bravest commander that ever serv'd the Emperour was slaine in the same battell. That the Swedish army gott the victory. That Walstein left his ordinance behinde him. That Bernard Duke of Saxon Weymar pursued Walstein towards Bohemia : that Dalbier, as hee passed through Frankford, understood the Chancelour Oxeinstern was gone up to consult with the Duke Elector of Saxony about carriage of the maine busines: and that when Dalbier was come to Mentz, hee found the King of Bohemia dead there of the plague which hee had gotten at Frankford.* Thus farre Burlamacki.
“ The manner of the king of Swedens death he thus describeth ; I mean Dalbier; the King (saith hee) being shott on the arme with a pistoll call’d to his cousin Bernard Duke of Weymar, to make way for his retreat, that hee might goe and dresse his wound. But as the word was in his mouth, an horseman of the enemy prying the king steadfastly in the face, said, you are the birde wee have so long lookt, and with that shott him through the boddy with a brace of bulletts; so that the King fell off his horse stark dead, and Duke Bernard slewe the man that had thus kill'd him. But that which soundes harshe and incredible in all mens eares, is, that the Kinges body, thus falling, should bee so much neglected as to be left all day and all night in the field, and to be found next morning stript stark naked among the
promiscuous carcasses. But Browne that arrived here on Saturday, being sent post by Curtius the kinges Agent from Frankford, contradictes Dalbier in this, saying, the Kinges corpse, as soon as ever it fell, was layd in a waggon, and that being since embalmed it is carried along with the army as an incentive to stirre up his soldiers to revenge his blood.
“ Both doe agree, that the King by his last will and testament con
* The King of Bohemia died at Mentz Nov. 29th. 1632; as it was subsequently said, of a malignant fever.