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sorrow for others, than with anger for myself; nor did the affront trouble me so much as their sin.” This is read, I doubt not, and believed: and as there is some use of everything, so is there of this book, were it but to shew us, what a miserable, credulous, deluded thing that creature is, which is called the vulgar ;" who, notwithstanding what they might know, will believe such vain glories as these. Did not that choleric and vengeful act of proclaiming him traitor before due process of law, having been convinced so late before of his illegality with the five members, declare his anger to be incensed ? 'Doth not his own relation confess as much? And his second message left him fuming three days after, and in plain words testifies“ his impatience of delay” till Hotham be severely punished, for that which he there terms an insupportable affront.
to enter into the town. So that after many messages and answers, for he went himself from the wall, out of an apprehension of some attempt upon his person, the king, after the duke of York and they who attended him were permitted to return out of the town, and after he had caused Sir John Hotham to be proclaimed a traitor, for keeping the town by force against him, returned to York, with infinite perplexity of mind, and sent a complaint to the parliament, of Hotham's disobedience and rebellion. It was then believed, and Hotham himself made it to be believed, that Mr. Murray, of the bedchamber, who was the messenger sent by the king in the morning, to give Sir John Hotham notice that his majesty intended to dine with him, had infused some apprehensions into the man, as if the king meant to use violence towards him, which produced that distemper and resolution in him: but it was never proved, and that person (who was very mysterious in all his actions) continued long after in his majesty's confidence.” (Clarendon's History, fc. ii. 382. sqq., and the suppressed passages in the notes, and appendix, qc. p. 608.)- Ed.
None, in fact, but the most vulgar minds could ever be deluded by such 3 mixture of cant, imbecility, and falsehond as the Eikon Basilikė. If it was written by the king, it affords an admirable means of estimating his capacity; if it was written by the bishop, we may judge of the egregious folly of those who could mistake his miserable sophistry for reasoning or argument, or his exaggerated hypocrisy for devotion. It is some satisfaction that neither tyrants nor their advocates often excel in the art of writing; which, as Jean Jaques well remarks, no man becomes master of by instinct. Painted fires may deceive the eye, but will not warm can the specious imitation of noble sentiments kindle in the breast of the reader a spark of generous enthusiasm. For this reason the icy periods of the Eikon Basilikè are now dismissed with indifference or contempt; while they who read the Eikonoklastes, however few, experience all that warmth of delight which true eloquence and lofty sympathies never fail to inspire. ED.
Surely if his sorrow for Sir John Hotham's sin were greater than his anger for the affront, it was an exceeding great sorrow indeed, and wondrous charitable. But if it stirred him so vehemently to have Sir John Hotham punished, and not at all, that we hear, to have him repent, it had a strange operation to be called a sorrow for his sin. He who would persuade us of his sorrow for the sins of other men, as they are sins, not as they are sinned against himself, must give us first some testimony of a sorrow for his own sins, and next for such sins of other men as cannot be supposed a direct injury to himself. But such compunction in the king no man hath yet observed ; and till then his sorrow for Sir John Hotham's sin will be called no other than the resentinent of his repulse; and his labour to have the sinner only punished will be called by a right name, his revenge.
And “the hand of that cloud, which cast all soon after into darkness and disorder," was his own hand. For, assembling the inhabitants of Yorkshire and other counties, horse and foot, first under colour of a new guard to his person, soon after, being supplied with ammunition from Holland, bought with the crown jewels, he begins an open war by laying siege to Hull: which town was not his own, but the kingdom's; and the arms there, public arms, bought with the public money, or not his own. Yet had they been his own by as good a right as the private house and arms of any man are his own; to use either of them in a way not private, but suspicious to the commonwealth, no law permits. But the king had no property at all either in Hull or in the magazine: so that the following maxims, which he cites, “ of bold and disloyal undertakers,” may belong more justly to whom he least meant them. After this, he again relapses into the praise of his patience at Hull, and by his overtalking of it seems to doubt either his own conscience or the hardness of other men's belief. To me the more he praises it in himself, the more he seems to suspect that in very deed it was not in him; and that the lookers on so likewise thought.
Thus much of what he suffered by Hotham, and with what patience; now of what Hotham suffered, as he judges, for opposing him : "he could not but observe how God, not long after, pleaded and avenged his cause.” Most men are too apt, and commonly the worst of men, so to interpret, and ex.
pound the judgments of God, and all other events of Providence or chance, as makes most to the justifying of their own cause, though never so evil; and attribute all to the particular favour of God towards them. Thus when Saul heard that David was in Keilah,“ God,” saith he, “ hath delivered him into my hands, for he is shut in,' But how far that king was deceived in his thought that God was favouring to his cause, that story unfolds; and how little reason this king had to impute the death of Hotham to God's avengement of his repulse at Hull, may easily be seen.
For while Hotham continued faithful to his trust, no man more safe, more successful, more in reputation than he: but frorn the time he first sought to make his peace with the king, and to betray into his hands that town, into which before he had denied him entrance, nothing prospered with him.* Certainly had God purposed him such an end for his opposition to the king, he would not have deferred to punish him till then, when of an enemy he was changed to be the king's friend, nor have made his repentance and amendment the occasion of his ruin. How much more likely is it, since he fell into the act of disloyalty to his charge, that the judgment of God concurred with the punishment of man, and justly cut him off for revolting to the king; to give the world an example, that glorious deeds done to ambitious ends find reward answerable, not to their outward seeming, but to their inward ambition ! In the meanwhile, what thanks he had from the king for revolting to his cause, and what good opinion for dying in his service, they who have ventured like him, or intend, may here take notice.
He proceeds to declare, not only in general wherefore God's judgment was upon Hotham, but undertakes by fancies and allusions to give a criticism upon every particular, “that his head was divided from his body, because his heart was divided from the king; two heads cut off in one family for affronting
* From Clarendon's narrative it would appear that offended pride was the first cause of the defection of the Hothams from the parliament: the son, indignant at having the Lord Fairfax placed over his head, fell into correspondence with the court party, which being detected, they were committed to the Tower. The historian, who, writing by command, thought it incumbent upon him to participate in all his master's antipathies, admits, however, that “there was evidence enough against them.” They were accordingly executed on Tower-hill. (History, v. 118-121.)—ED.
the head of the commonwealth; the eldest son being infected with the sin of his father, against the father of his country.' These petty glosses and conceits on the high and secret judgments of God, besides the boldness of unwarrantable commenting, * are so weak and shallow, and so like the quibbles of a court sermon, that we may safely reckon them either fetched from such a pattern, or that the hand of some household priest foisted them in; lest the world should forget how much he was a disciple of those cymbal doctors. But that argument, by which the author would commend them to us, discredits them the more; for if they be so
obvious to every fancy,” the more likely to be erroneous, and to misconceive the mind of those high secrecies, whereof they presume to determine. For God judges not by human fancy,
But however God judged Hotham, yet he had the king's pity. But mark the reason, how preposterous ; so far he had his pity," as he thought he at first acted more against the light of his conscience, than many other men in the same cause.” Questionless they who act against conscience, whether at the bar of human or divine justice, are pitied least of all. These are the common grounds and verdicts of nature, whereof when he who hath the judging of a whole nation is found destitute under_such a governor that nation must needs be miserable. By the way he jerks at "some men's reforming to models of religion, and that they think all is gold of piety, that doth but glister with a show of zeal.” We know his meaning, and apprehend how little hope there could be of him from such language as this; but are sure that the piety of his prelatic model glistered more upon the posts and pillars which their zeal and fervency gilded over, than in the true works of spiritual edification.
“He is sorry that Hotham felt the justice of others, and fell not rather into the hands of his mercy.” But to clear
* It is not at all surprising to find the author of the Eikon Basilikè, whether king or prelate, indecently triumphing over the fate of these unhappy men, whose fluctuations of principle, though favourable to the court, could not fail to excite even his contempt. “ I cannot but observe,” he says, “ how God, not long after, so pleaded and avenged my cause, in the eye of the world, that the most wilfully blind cannot avoid the displeasure to see it, and with some remorse and fear to own it, as a notable stroke and prediction of divine vengeance." It may be remarked, that wicked men in authority always pretend to think heaven greatly interested in pleading their cause, and avenging anything and everything that offends them.-ED.
that, he should have shown us what mercy he had ever used to such as fell into his hands* before, rather than what mercy he intended to such as never could come to ask it. Whatever mercy one man might have expected, it is too well known the whole nation found none; though they besought it often, and so humbly; but had been swallowed up in blood and ruin, to set his private will above the parliament, had not his strength failed him. “ Yet clemency he counts a debt, which he ought to pay to those that crave it; since we pay not anything to God for his mercy but prayers and praises." we ought as freely to pay all things to all men; for all that we receive from God, what do we pay for, more than prayers and praises? We looked for the discharge of his office, the payment of his duty to the kingdom, and are paid court-payment, with empty sentences that have the sound of gravity, but the significance of nothing pertinent.
Yet again after his mercy past and granted, he returns back to give sentence upon Hotham; and whom he tells us he would so fain have saved alive, him he never leaves killing with a repeated condemnation, though dead long since. It was ill that somebody stood not near to whisper him, that a reiterating judge is worse than a tormentor. pities him, he rejoices not, he pities him" again; but still is sure to brand him at the tail of his pity with some ignominious mark, either of arnbition or disloyalty. And with a kind of censorious pity aggravates rather than lessens or conceals the fault : to pity thus, is to triumph. He assumes to foreknow, that “ aftertimes will dispute whether Hotham were more infamous at Hull, or at Tower-hill.” What knew he of aftertimes, who, while he sits judging and censuring without end the fate of that un
* What npinion was entertained of his mercy we may learn from the following anecdote related by his apologist. “ Before his going (to Hampton Court) he sent to the Earls of Essex and Holland to attend him in his journey ; who were both by their places, the one being lord chamberlain of his household, the other the first gentleman of the bed-chamber, or groom of the stole, obliged to that duty. The Earl of Essex resolved to go; and to that purpose was making himself ready, when the Earl of Holland came to him, and privately dissuaded him; assuring him that if they two went, they should be both murdered at Hampton Court.” (Clarendon, ii. 163.) Upon this Warburton significantly remarks :—“ The Earl of Essex was no fool. What an idea must this give us of the king's known character !”, (Notes on Clarendon, vii. 584.)—ED.