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still possessed some attractions of person, and proposals of marriage were made to her by Lord Coningsby, and by the Duke of Somerset. In her reply to the latter she declined the connection as unsuitable to her time of life, and added, that if she was only thirty instead of threescore, she would not permit even the Emperor of the world to succeed in that heart which had been devoted to John Duke of Marlborough. She survived her husband two and twenty years, and lived to see the magnificent pile of Blenheim completed according to his directions. Queen Anne had promised to build this proud monument of national glory at her own expense,-if Marlborough had not had it finished at his own, it would have remained in its ruins, a striking monument of her fickleness, and of the meanness of her ministers.
If Mr. Coxe by the publication of these volumes had rendered no other service to historical literature than that of clearing Marlborough's character from the imputations with which it has been stained, that service alone would entitle him to the gratitude of all good Englishmen. Madame Sévigné has said Le monde n'a point de longues injustices: it were better to say there will be po injustice in the next world, for that which is committed in this, is often but too lasting in its effects. During a whole century Marlborough has been represented in books both at home and abroad, as a consummate general indeed, but as being devoid of honour and of principle, an intriguer, a traitor, a peculator, and so careless of human life and of human sufferings, that for the sake of his own sordid interests he wantonly prolonged a war which, but for his ambition and his avarice, might many times have been brought to an end. These foul charges were urged against him by persons who knew that they were false-men whom he had patronized and brought forward; and for some of whom he had exerted himself disinterestedly, even so as to offend the whigs with whom he acted. His enemies gave these falsehoods the sanction of authority when they were in power, because it was necessary to sacrifice Marlborough before they could sacrifice the interests of their country, and betray the Protestant succession which they designed to do. And the calumnies which thus originated have prevailed to this day, because they have found their way from libels into history, and still more because they were propagated in the writings of Swift, a principal actor in the moral assassination which was planned and perpetrated by his party. Swift was beyond all comparison the ablest writer of that age: but his conduct upon this occasion, like some other of his actions, can only be explained by supposing that the malady which rendered him at last so pitiable
a spectacle a spectacle of human weakness, affected his heart long before it overthrew his intellect.
It is no light wrong to the dead that an honourable namę should thus long have been defamed: it is no light injury to the living. What ingenuous mind is there that has not felt sorrow and humiliation for the obliquity and meanness by which the character of Marlborough has hitherto seemed to be degraded? Who is there that has not felt that whatever derogated from the admiration which he would otherwise have merited, was to be regretted as a national evil ?--for the reputation of such men as Marlborough, as Nelson, (and let us be allowed to add the only name worthy to be classed with them,) as Wellington, belong to their country. In such names nations have much of their permanent glory, and no small part of their strength: the slanderer, therefore, who detracts from their fame and asperses their memory commits a moral treason,—and as far as he succeeds, inflicts a wound upon his native land; but sooner or later, truth prevails, and his infamy then is in proportion to the merit which he has calumniated. If the spirit of faction did not destroy all sense of shame as well as of honesty, and stultify men while it depraves them, these Memoirs of Marlborough would be more efficacious than any other history, that of our own times excepted, in showing such calumniators what kind of reputation they are purchasing for themselves.
Marlborough's character is now laid open to the world, without reserve, from the most unquestionable documents. His early correspondence with James is the only blot, and for that offence, all circumstances being fairly considered, there are few persons who would fling the first stone. After what has already been said upon that subject, it may suffice to observe, that William, who best understood the circumstance, and was the person most offended, entirely excused him; trusted him himself, and recommended him to the full confidence of his successor. Mr. Coxe allows that he was parsimonious; frugality had been a necessary virtue during the first part of his life, and the habit continued after the necessity had ceased, -to this and to nothing more does the charge of parsimony amount. He was not profuse, but he never spared when it was proper that he should spend. In his loans to government, in his buildings and improvements, and in transactions of a public nature, no man was more munificent. The soldiers would not have loved a penurious man, and it is certain that no general ever more, entirely possessed the love as well as the confidence of his men. A Chelsea pensioner, at the election of 1737, was threatened with the loss of his pension if he would not vote for Lord Vere at
Windsor. His answer was, 'I will venture starving, rather than it shall be said that I vote against the Duke of Marlberough's grandson, after having followed his grandfather so many hundred leagues. The Duchess, by whom this anecdote is related, adds, 'I do not know whether they have taken away his pension, but I hope they will: for I have sent him word, if they do take it away, I will settle the same upon him for his life.'
Even his inveterate enemy, Bolingbroke, acknowledged after his death that he was the greatest general and the greatest minister that our country, or any other, had produced. He was, indeed, the main-spring, the life, the moving mind of the whole confederacy. The allies, with jarring views, contradictory interests, and oftentimes with jealous and even hostile feelings also, were kept together less by their common danger from France and their common hopes of security and advantage, than by his influence and his matchless powers of conciliation. They had no confidence in each other, and little confidence in their own councils; but they had each and all a well founded confidence in him. This was known from history. Malice and falsehood, successful as they were, could not conceal or detract from his paramount excellence as a commander and a statesman. The purity of private life was not so generally known, for this had not always been recorded, as it ought to be, for edification and example. He was a faithful husband as well as a fond one. No indecent word or allusion ever passed his lips, and if any person uttered an obscenity before him, he resented it as a personal affront and an act of public immorality. His camp was not like Cromwell's, for Marlborough was neither fanatic nor hypocrite. Colonel Blackader complained of the irreligion and profligacy of his companions; and for this he may have had cause enough; but he was a man of morbid feelings, and a puritanical rigour of manners may not improbably have provoked foolish men to appear in his company worse than they were. Another officer who served in the same army describes the camp as resembling a quiet and well-governed city; and observes, as the effect of Marlborough's regulations and example, thatcursing and swearing were seldom heard among the officers, and the poor soldiers, many of them the refuse and dregs of the nation, became, at the close of one or two campaigns, civil, sensible and clean, and had an air and spirit above the vulgar.'
But it is only from the present Memoirs that a full knowledge of this adinirable man can be obtained. Here we become acquainted with his habitual principles of action, and find in him a complete example of that moral intrepidity which is the highest and rarest of all military and political virtues, Here we behold, in letters written without reserve or affectation of any kind, the hopes and thoughts and feelings which were revealed only to his nearest and dearest friends. The man who, after such an exposure, rises in our estimation and in our love, has stood the severest test of greatness: nor was he more fitted by his surpassing talents to direct the counsels of princes, arrange campaigns which extended over half Europe, and give his orders with unerring promptitude in the heat of battle, than by his virtues and affections for the
perfect enjoyment of tranquillity and domestic life. Considering him in all his relations, public and private, it may safely be asserted that Marlborough approaches, almost as nearly as human frailty will allow, to the perfect model of a good patriot, a true statesman, and a consummate general.
Art. II.—Michael Howe, the last and worst of the Bush Ran
gers of Van Diemen's Land. Narrative of the Chief Atrocities committed by this Great Murderer and his Associates, during a Period of Six Years, in Van Diemen's Land. From authentic sources of information. Hobart Town. Printed by An
drew Bent. 12mo. 1818. THIS 'HIS is the greatest literary curiosity that has yet come before
us—the first child of the press of a state only fifteen years old! It will of course be reprinted here;—but our copy, the copy penes nos, is a genuine Caxton, rarissimusnay more, it hath the title-page. Few impressions were thrown off at the Hobart Town Press, for the settlement does not greatly abound in readers; and we therefore recommend the Roxburghe Club to apply early for a copy, for this little book will assuredly be the • Reynarde the Foxe of Australian bibliomaniacs.
Van Diemen's Land (of which Hobart Town forms the capital) is an island nearly as large as Ireland, to the south of the colony of New South Wales, better known to our readers, perhaps, by the name of Botany Bay; but separated from the continent of New Holland by a strait of sixty miles in width, called after its enterprizing discoverer Mr. Bass," and a dependency upon that colony, from which it was sub-colonized. The island was first visited by Lieutenant Flinders and Mr. Bass, at the close of the year 1798, in a small decked boat built at Norfolk Island, of the elegant 'fir of that country. The first European settlement was made at Risdon Cove, in the river Derwent, on the south-east side of the island, in 1803, by Captain John Bowen, of the Navy, who was sent from Port Jackson for that purpose by Governor King; but on the arrival of Lieutenant Colonel Collins, the author of the Account of New South Wales,' it was removed to Sullivan Cove, where the rising town of Hobart now stands.
Surgeon of the Reliance.: Captain Flinders's talents were appreciated by the Ad. miralty, and he lived to wituess the
fruit of his labours; but it is a melancholy reflection that his companion, Mr. Bass, left Port Jackson, in the year 1802, as master of a trading vessel, called the Venus, which has not since been heard of. She was bound to the coast of Peru ; and there are reports that Mr. Bass is still living and settled in that country.
As this healthy and fertile island appears to us to be much more congenial than the sultry and unwholesome back woods of America, to such of our countrymen as possess the true feelings of Englishmen, but are nevertheless compelled to carry that name to a foreign land, we shall present them with an authentic and recent picture of its actual state.
The north coast is in latitude 40° 41', and the southern promontory in 43, 38' S. Its breadth may be taken at 150 miles, and its length at 170. The climate has some peculiarities which cause a milder winter and a warmer summer than might be expected from the latitude of the island, allowing for the estimated difference of temperature between the corresponding parallels of the two hemispheres. The southern part of it being hilly, and towards the extremity even mountainous, the climate of Hobart Town is variable, Gales and hurricanes often occur, but they are generally of short duration. During summer the ordinary course of the weather is the alternate land and sea breeze, the former commencing early in the morning and prevailing till noon, when it is succeeded by the latter, which usually lasts till after sun-set
. Occasionally however a hot wind blows from the north or north-west, which, though resembling that of New South Wales, which there raises the thermometer to 106 degrees in the shade, is greatly mitigated in Van Diemen's Land by passing across Bass's Straits. The autumn is generally a serene and delightful season, and the weather continues fine and open to the middle or end of May. In June, rain, sleet and (in elevated situations) snow set in, with strong southerly gales; but even in winter fine weather intervenes, and neither wind nor rains can be said to be periodical. Slight frosts occur at night, but neither ice nor snow remains throughout the day in the vallies and plains. In September the spring rapidly advances, and in October the weather resembles the à faithless April of an English May.' During the present summer (1818) the thermometer has not exceeded 70°, except one day, on which a hot wind raised it to 80°. The range during the months of December and January has been from 54° to 70°; but this was a cool season, late rains having fallen at the beginning of it; so that the average may perhaps be taken four or five degrees higher. The mean summer mid