Imágenes de página

well she may be so," he replied, “when she hears what death her old father is coming unto.

The time appointed for the farewell to his children was January 29th, the day previous to his execution. The anguish which rent Elizabeth's bosom was so intense that she was reported to be dead, but on learning that her father wished to see her once again, she mustered all her fortitude to go through the interview which she ardently desired and yet dreaded. When they arrived at St. James's Palace, and were introduced into the apartment of the King, they were struck to find him so much changed in appearance since they had parted fifteen months before. His hair had become al. most gray ; he had neglected to dress either it or his beard from the time that his servants had been taken from him, and his dress, instead of wearing its usual aspect of dignified simplicity, was neglected and forlorn. In spite of all Elizabeth's attempts at self-control, the moment she beheld her father, she burst into a wild and almost convulsive passion of tears : he took her in his arms, seated her on his knee, soothed her by his caresses, and desired her to calm herself and listen to his instructions, as he had things to confide to her ear that he could tell to no one else, and it was important that she should hear and remember them. The conversation that ensued was recorded by herself, as follows :

“What the king said to me, January 29, 1648–49, being the last time I had the happiness to see him. He told me he was glad I was come, and although he had not time to say much, yet somewhat he had to say to me, which he could not to another, or leave in writing, because he feared their cruelty was such, as that they would not have permitted him to write to me.

He wished me not to grieve and torment myself for him, for that would be a glorious death that he should dieit being for the laws and liberties of this land, and for maintaining the true Protestant religion. He bid me read Bishop Andrews's Sermons, Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, and Bishop Laud's book against Fisher, which would ground me against Popery. He told me he had forgiven all his enemies, and hoped God would forgive them also; and commanded us, and all the rest of my

[ocr errors]

brothers and sisters to forgive them. He bid me tell my mother that his thoughts never strayed from her, and that his love should be the same to the last. Withal, he commanded me and my brother to be obedient to her, and bid me send his blessing to the rest of my brothers and sisters, with commendation to all his friends. So, after he had given me his blessing, I took my leave. Farther, he commanded us all 10 forgive those people, but never to trust them ; for they had been most false to him and to those that gave them power, and he feared also to their own souls; and he desired me not to grieve for him, for he should die a martyr, and that he doubted not but the Lord would settle his throne upon his son, and that we should be all happier than we could have expected to have been if he had lived ; with many other things which at present I cannot remember."

When he had concluded his exhortations, Charles said to his daughter, “Sweetheart, you'll forget this.” “No," replied the weeping girl, "I shall never forget this whilst I live,” and she promised to write down the particulars at once. To the exactness of her recollection we are indebted for many particulars not recorded by Herbert, who was a witness of the interview.

The little Harry, now just nine years of age, was the next to receive his father's notice. Then the king, taking the Duke of Gloucester upon his knee, said, 'Sweetheart, now they will cut off thy father's head,' upon which words, the child looked very steadfastly on him. “Mark, child, what I say, they will cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king ; but mark what I say, you must not be a king so long as your brothers Charles and James do live ; for they will cut off your brothers' heads (when they can catch them), and cut off thy head too at last; and, therefore, I charge you do not be made a king by them.' At which the child sighing, said, “I will be torn in pieces first ;' which falling so unexpectedly from one so young, it made the king rejoice exceedingly."

Parting embraces were exchanged, and anxious to shorten a scene which he had purposely made as brief as possible, Charles was leaving the room to retire to his bedchamber, when the bitter wail of anguish which

[ocr errors]

burst from his daughter brought him back once more to her side, to fold her again in his arms, to clasp her to his bosom, to press kisses, how tender! on her wet cheeks and quivering lips, and then—what could he more ?-to leave her, feeling that for himself the bitterness of death was past. Elizabeth's agony of sorrow was so heart-rending that it brought a strange softness over the stern natures of some of the by-standers, who were little wont to be touched with royal sorrows, and had long witnessed unmoved the calmer grief of the father.

The prince and princess were taken back to Lyon House. No pen has recorded how, in her beautiful seclusion, Elizabeth passed the fearful hours of the 3oth of January ; the bursting heart with which she poured out her soul in prayers for her father, till the fatal hour arrived, the pang of orphan desolation which thrilled to the very core of her sensitive spirit, when the lapse of time made it all but certain that she had no longer a father; the tenacious clinging to the hopeless chance, that after all such a thing could not bem that at the eleventh hour some rescue must have appeared ; the agonizing suspense of waiting the arrival of the first messenger from London, who brought a full and final confirmation of her fears, and all the intensity of hopeless misery that followed. Elizabeth never recovered from the effects of that day, and the short remainder of her career was but a lingering death.—Lives of the Princesses of England.

[ocr errors]

GREEN, THOMAS HILL, an English philosopher, born at Birkin, Yorkshire, April 7, 1836; died at Oxford, March 15, 1882. He was educated at Rugby, and at Balliol College, Oxford, where he became a teacher in 1866, master of the college in 1870, and Professor of Moral Philosophy in 1878. As a leading figure in the Neo-Hegelian movement, he exerted a marked influence upon the trend of thought at Oxford. Mrs. Humphry Ward took him for the original of “ Dr. Grey” in her novel, Robert Elsmere. He contributed many philosophical articles to the North British Review and other periodicals; was joint editor of the philosophical works of Hume, and joint translator of the Metaphysics of Lotze. Besides the Introduction to Hume (1874), he published in 1881 a lecture entitled Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Contract. After his death appeared The Witness of God and Faith (1883); Prolegomena to Ethics (1883); Collected Writings (1885-7-8), edited by Nettleship.

“To Professor Green," says Principal Caird in his Essays on Philosophical Criticism, “philosophy was not a study of the works of men that are gone, but a life transmitted from them to hima life expressing itself with that power and authority which belongs to one who speaks from his own experience, and never to the scribes,' who speak from tradition."


I confess to hoping for a time when the phrase will have lost its meaning, because the sort of education which alone makes the gentleman in any true sense will be within the reach of all. As it was the aspiration of Moses that all the Lord's people should be prophets, so with all seriousness and reverence we may hope and pray for a condition of English society in which all honest citizens will recognize themselves and be recog. nized by each other as gentlemen.—From Lecture Before the Wesleyan Literary Society, 1881.


If it seems but a poor change from the fanatic sacer. dotalism of Laud to the genteel and interested sacerdo. talism of modern English churchmanship, yet the fifteen years of vigorous growth which Cromwell's sword secured for the church of the sectaries, gave it a permanent force which no reaction could suppress, and which has since been the great spring of political life in England. The higher enthusiasm, however, which breathed in Cromwell and Vane, was not puritanic or English merely. It belonged to the universal spiritual force which, if it conquers them for a moment, yet again sinks under them, that it may transmute them more thoroughly to its service. “Death," said Vane on the scaffold, “is a little word, but it is a great work to die.” So his own enthusiasm died that it might rise again. It was sown in the weakness of feeling, that it might be raised in the intellectual comprehension which is power. “The people of England,” he said again, “have long been asleep. I doubt they will be hungry when they awake.” They have slept, we may say, another two hundred years. If they should yet wake and be hungry, they will find their food in the ideas which, with much blindness and weakness, he vainly offered them, cleared and ripened by a philosophy of which he did not dream.-From Lecture on the Revolution : Works, page 145

« AnteriorContinuar »