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up notes left by Charles I. The inmost feelings of the soul do not deceive : you cannot put yourself so completely in the place of a man as to reproduce the movements of the mind of that man in such or such a circumstance of his life. It seems to me, for example, that Charles I. alone could have written this series of thoughts :
“ I see it a bad exchange to wound a man's own conscience, thereby to salve state sores; to calm the storms of popular discontents by stirring up a tempest in a man's own bosom. [Charles here reproaches himself with Strafford's death.]
“ Blesse me still with reason as a man, with reli. gion as a Christian, and with constancy in justice as a king.
“ Thou needest no help, nor shall I, if I may have these; if not to conquer, at least to suffer.
“ The events of all wars by the sword being very dubious, and of a civil war uncomfortable; the end hardly recompensing, and late repairing, the mischief of the means,--since, therefore, both in conquering, and being conquered, I am still a sufferer, I beseech thee to give me a double portion of thy spirit.
“ Indeed they have left me but little of life, and only the husk and shell as it were.
“ If you never see my face again [this was addressed to his son Charles), and God will have me buried in such a barbarous imprisonment and obscurity; farewell.
“ A principal point of your honour will consist in your deferring all respect, love, and protection to your mother, my wife; who hath many ways deserved well of me, and chiefly in this, that, having been a means to blesse me with so many hopefull children, (all which, with their mother, I recommend to your love and care), she hath been content, with incomparable magnanimity and patience, to suffer both for and with me and you.
“ When they have destroyed me, as I doubt not but my blood will cry aloud for vengeance to Heaven, so I beseech God not to poure out his wrath upon the generality of the people.
“ I had rather you should be Charles le Bon, then le Grand, good then great; I hope God hath designed you to be both.
“Your prerogative is best shewed in remitting rather than exacting the rigour of the laws; there being nothing worse than legall tyrannie.
“ Let my memory ever with my name live in you.
“ Farewell till we meet, if not on earth, yet in heaven.
Happy times I hope attend you."
DEFENCE OF THE ENGLISH PEOPLE AGAINST
Soon afterwards appeared that work of Milton's which gained him most renown in his life-time -his Defence of the English People against a tract by Salmasius in favour of the memory of Charles I. “ Those attacks upon a king who is no more,” justly and eloquently observes M. Villemain, “ those insults beyond the scaffold, had something abject and ferocious, which the enthusiastic mind of Milton was so dazzled by false zeal as not to perceive.”
“ Defensio pro Populo Anglicano” is written in elegant and classic Latin prose; but Milton appears here merely as a 'translator of his own thoughts conceived in English, and he thus loses his national originality. All these '
master-pieces of modern Latinity would excite a smile in the scholars of Rome, if they were to rise from their graves.
Milton first tells Salmasius, that he, Salmasius, knows nothing of Latin : he asks how he could write persona regia ?
Milton affected to carry back in pure Latin the term persona to the classic signification, a mask, though Salmasius had in his favour the authority of Varro and Juvenal; but, suddenly rising, he adds :—“Thy expression, Salmasius, is more just than thou imaginest ; a tyrant is in reality the mask of a king."
This quarrel about Latin is a common quarrel among scholars; every proficient in Greek and Latin asserts that his neighbour knows not a word of those languages.
“Thou beginnest thy work, Salmasius, with these words :—Horrid news has lately struck our ears! a parricide has been consummated in England! But this horrid news must have a sword much longer than St. Peter's, and thy ears must be of astonishing length, for this news cannot strike any but those of an ass . O mercenary advocate ! couldst thou not address the defence of Charles the father, according to thee the best of defunct kings, to Charles the son, the most needy of all living kings, without charging thy work to this scurvy king? Though thou art a scoundrel, thou wouldst not make thyself ridiculous, and call thy work Defence of the King ; for, having sold thy work, it is no longer thine : it belongs to thy
king, who has paid too dearly for it at the rate of one hundred jacobuses, a large sum for that pauper monarch !”
Did not Milton receive from his masters one thousand pounds sterling for his answer to Salmasius?—that is more than one hundred jacobuses. Happily the whole of the defence is not in this tone.
“I am about to treat of important and not common matters: I shall tell how a very potent king, after trampling on the laws of the nation, and giving a shock to religion, ruled according to his will and pleasure, and was at length vanquished on the field of battle by his subjects, who had undergone a long servitude under this king. I shall tell how he was put in prison; how, as he could not give in his words or actions any hope of obtaining from him a better line of conduct, he was finally condemned to death by the supreme council of the kingdom, and beheaded before the very gate of his palace. I shall tell by virtue of what right, and by what laws peculiar to this country, this sentence was pronounced ; and I shall easily defend my worthy and valiant countrymen against domestic and foreign calumnies ......
“ Nature and the laws would be in danger, if slavery spoke and liberty were mute; if tyrants could find men ready to plead their cause, while those who had conquered could not meet with an