페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Monarch in Heaven, till then as one secure
Sat on his throne, upheld by old repute,
Consent, or custom; and his regal state
Put forth at full, but still his strenght concealed,
Which tempted our attempt, and wrought our fall.
Henceforth his might we know, and know our own;
So as not either to provoke, or dread
New war, provoked: our better part remains,
To work in close design, by fraud or guile,
What force effected not; that he no less
At length from us may find, who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Space may produce new worlds; whereof so rife
There went a fame in Heaven that he ere long
Intended to create, and therein plant
A generation, whom his choice regard
Should favour equal to the sons of Heaven:
Thither, if but to pry, shall be perhaps
Our first eruption, thither or elsewhere:
For this infernal pit shall never hold
Celestial Spirits in bondage, nor th' abyss
Long under darkness cover. But these thoughts
Full counsel must mature: peace is despaired;
For who can think submission? War, then, War,
Open or understood, must be resolved.

2. ON HIS BLINDNESS. When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide, And that one talent which is death to hide, Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest he returning chide, Doth God exact day-labour, light denied? I fondly ask: but Patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies: God doth not need Either man's work, or his own gifts; who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed, And post o'er land and ocean without rest; They also serve who only stand and wait.

3.

OF UNLICENSED PRINTING.

(From Areopagitica.)

I deny not, but that it is of greatest concernment in the Church and Commonwealth, to have a vigilant eye how books demean themselves as well as men; and thereafter to confine, imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors. For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. It is true, no age can restore a life, whereof perhaps there is no great loss; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the loss of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole nations fare the worse. We should be wary therefore what persecutions we raise against the living labours of public men, how we spill that seasoned life of man, preserved and stored up in books; since we see a kind of homicide may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdom; and if it extend to the whole impression a kind of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an elemental life, but strikes at that ethereal and fifth essence, the breath of reason itself, slays an immortality rather than

a life.

LORD CLARENDON.

1609-1674.

Edward Hyde, Greve af Clarendon, den berømte Forfatter af den store Rebellions Historie, stammede fra en gammel Gentry familie i Cheshire; han blev født 1609 i Dinton i Wiltshire, hvor en yngre Linie af Familien havde nedsat sig. Han var oprindelig bestemt for den geistlige Stand, men gik efter et kort Ophold i Oxford til London, hvor han under en Onkels Veiledning studerede til Skranken. I 1640 blev han indvalgt i Underhuset og var Medlem baade af det korte og det lange Parlament. Han støttede her den moderate Opposition imod Kongens vilkaarlige Regjeringslyster, men da Parlamentet slog ind paa en Vei, som truede den bestaaende Forfatning, optraadte han afgjort herimod og blev fra den Tid en trofast Tilhænger af Kongens Sag og en af hans fornemste Raadgivere. Han forblev endnu en Tid i Parlamentet, men udtraadte ved den store Secession i Mai 1642 og begav sig til Kongen i York.

Da Tingene tog en saadan Vending, at det apsaaes nødvendigt at bringe Thronfølgeren i Sikkerhed, fulgte Clarendon den unge Prins til Jersey (1646). Herfra satte Prinsen snart over til Frankrig, men Clarendon blev igjen og tilbragte her to Aar, beskjæftiget med Nedskrivningen af sit historiske Værk. Senere repræsenterede han Stuarternes Sag ved flere fremmede Hoffer, og ledede, efter Cromwells Død, Underhandlingerne, som førte til Kongefamiliens Restauration. Ved sin Tilbagekomst i 1660 blev han Lord. kantsler og Greve af Clarendon, og styrede nu i syv Aar sit Lands Anliggender. Men han havde en vanskelig Stilling, ligeoverfor Kongen paa den ene, Parlamentet paa den anden Side, hvilke begge vare tilbøielige til Overgreb, og da de udenlandske Anliggender gik slet, idet England blev beseiret af det lille Holland, benyttede Kongen den almindelige Uvillie mod Ministeren til at lade ham falde (1667). Han blev efterfulgt af Kabalministeriet, og af Underhuset truet med en Anklage for Høiforræderi. For ikke at falde i sine Fienders Hænder, forlod han for anden Gang sit Fædreland, som han ikke mere gjensaa. De syv Aar af sin sidste Udlændighed tilbragte han dels i Montpellier, dels i Rouen, hvor han døde 1674. En Skrivelse, han rettede til Kongen med Bøn om at faa dø i sit Fædreland, blev ikke besvaret.

Hans ældste Datter, Anna Hyde, ægtede Hertugen af York, den senere Kong Jakob den Anden, og blev ved ham Moder til de to Dronninger Maria og Anna.

Clarendons Hovedværk er The History of the Rebellion and Civil Wars in England; det begynder med Aaret 1641 og gaar til Restaurationen. Værket er forfattet i to forskjellige, langt fra hinanden liggende Livsperioder, den første Del (de otte første Bøger, indtil Udgangen af 1644) under Opholdet paa Jersey i 1646 og 1647, Resten under hans andet Exil. Skriftet udkom først under Dronning Anna, til hvem det var dediceret, i Aaret 1702; Forlagsretten blev af Forfatterens Sønner skjænket til Universitetet i Oxford, hvis Kantsler Clarendon havde været. Til dette Arbeide slutter sig som et Supplement Life and Continuation of the History, der fortsætter Historien fra Kongens Restauration indtil Forfatterens Landflygtighed; det er nærmest en Retfærdiggjørelse for Clarendons egen Statsforvaltning, og var kun bestemt for hans Børn, at de skulde kjende den sunde Grund til Faderens Ulykke og vide, at der i hans Færd intet var, som de havde at rødme over. Dette Skrift udkom første Gang i 1759.

Ranke har i. sin Engelske Historie givet følgende Karakteristik af Clarendons Værk: „Til Forstaaelse af den engelske Historie ere disse Arbeider trods sine Mangler umistelige. De ere fremgaaede umiddelbart af en stor Statsmands Liv og bære overalt Sporene af hans Gjøren og Laden.

Det er fuldkommen sandt, hvad der er bleven sagt, at man vanskelig kan rive sig løs fra Værket, naar man engang har fordybet sig i det, især fra de tidligere Afsnit. Hans Karakterskildringer ere i det engelske Sprog uopnaaede; de ere ingenlunde uden politisk Farve eller frie for Partiskhed, men de hvile paa en stor Anskuelse af de menneskelige Ting, forene i et lykkeligt Forhold Ros og Dadel, og vidne om et skarpt Syn for Nuancerne i de Egenskaber, som fremtræde i Livet. Over Fortællingen svæver en Tone af Ærlighed og Overbevisning, som meddeler sig til Læseren. Man hører ligesom en gammel Herre, der forelæser sit Livs Erindringer i en Kreds af Venner. Clarendons Stil forbinder Omstændelighed med Flugt. Man gjenkjender deri den Mand, som pleiede Omgang med Klassikerne og nærede sin Sjæl af Bøgernes Bog“. Om Værkets Betydning for Opfatningen af de skildrede Begivenheder bemærker den samme Forfatter: „Den Virkning, et historisk Værk kan have, viser sig maaske intetsteds stærkere end i Rebellionens Historie. Opfatningen af Begivenheden i England selv og siden i den dannede Verden overhoved er derved bleven fixeret. De aandrigste Autorer have gjentaget den; ogsaa de, som bekjæmpe den, blive indenfor det af ham givne Synspunkt; de gjendrive ham i det Enkelte, men lade han bestaa i det Hele. Clarendon hører til dem, som væsentlig have bestemt den engelske Nations Idékreds“.

I. CHARACTER OF CROMWELL.

He was one of those men, quos vituperare ne inimici quidem possunt, nisi ut simul laudent; whom his very enemies could not condemn without commending him at the same time: for he could never have done half that mischief without great parts of courage, industry, and judgment. He must have had a wonderful understanding in the natures and humours of men, and as great a dexterity in applying them; who, from a private and obscure birth (though of a good family), without interest of estate, alliance or friendships, could raise himself to such a height, and compound and knead such opposite and contradictory tempers, humours, and interests into a consistence that contributed to his designs and to their own destruction; whilst himself grew insensibly powerful enough to cut off those by whom he had climbed, in the instant that they projected to demolish their own building. What Velleius Paterculus said of Cinna may very justly be said of him, ausum eum, quae nemo auderet bonus; perfecisse, quae a nullo, nisi fortissimo, perfici possent: he attempted those things which no good man durst have ventured on; and achieved those in which none but a valiant and great man could have succeeded. Without doubt, no man with more wickedness ever attempted any thing, or brought to pass what he desired more wickedly, more in the face and contempt of religion and moral honesty; yet wickedness as great as his could never have accomplished those trophies, without the assistance of a great spirit, an admirable circumspection and sagacity, and a most magnanimous resolution.

When he appeared first in the parliament, he seemed to have a person in no degree gracious, no ornament of discourse, none of those talents which use to reconcile the affections of the standers-by: yet as he grew into place and authority, his parts seemed to be renewed, as if he had con

« 이전계속 »