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enemies imputed to him, while he was upon the Continent. "And concerning you," writes his Lordship, "what to resolve in myself, or what to advise you, truly I knowe not; for you must give me leave to remember, of how little weight my opinions and counsel have been with you, and how unkindly and unfriendly you have rejected the exhortations and admonitions, which in much affection and kindness, I have given you on many occasions.". Again he says, “I have little to saye to your complaints of your sister Strangford's unequall returns to your affection and kindness, but that I am sorry for it, and that you are well enough served for bestowing so much of your care where it was not due, and neglecting them to whom it was due." At this time the Earl was approaching his eightieth winter: having lost his Countess a year before, he was left in solitude and misery to creep into the grave as he could, at a season when the consolations of family-sympathies were most necessary to him. Algernon Sydney could not indeed have returned at that time with safety to England, but his letters might have assisted to cheer, instead of rendering more melancholy, the old age of his father. No one, we suppose, will say on reading Sydney's letter upon the death of his mother, that he had a heart. Let the reader judge:

• My Lord,

The passage of letters from England hither is soe uncertaine, that I did not, until within theis very fewe dayes, hear the sad newes of my mother's death. I was then with the King of Sweden, at Nicopen in Falster. This is the first opportunity I have had of sending to condole with your Lordship, a loss that is soe great to yourself, and your family, of which my sense was not soe much diminished in being prepared by her long, languishing, and certainly incurable sickness, as increased by the last words of her life. I confess, persons in such tempers are most fit to die, but they are alsoe most wanted here; and we, that for a while are left in the world, are most apt, and perhaps with reason, to regret the loss of those we most want. It may be, light and humane passions are most suitably employed upon human and worldly things, wherein we have some sensible concernments; thoughts absolutely abstracted from ourselves are most suitable unto that steddenesse of mind, that is much spoken of, little sought, and never found: than that which is seene amongst men. It weare a small compliment for me to offer your Lordship, to leave the employment in which I am, if I may any thing be able to ease your Lordship's solitude. If I could propose that to myself, I would cheerfully leave a condition of much more pleasure and advantage than I can with reason hope for here.'


This is not the language of filial affection; it is the cold, affected sentimentality of one, who thought that it was incume bent upon him to say something on the occasion, and to pretend a sense of grief which it is manifest he never felt. The editor of these papers has only followed, many other writers, in imputing to Sydney a Roman sternness of cha racter. If a perfect indifference to all the social charities, a violent temper, and an inflexible obstinacy, be the only essential ingredients in the composition of such a character, he deserves the compliment.


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He says of himself, in one of his letters to his father, -. Your Lordship may perhaps think you have a sonne that is headstrong and violent.' I have ever endeavoured to please your Lordship, and will doe soe still, but not a whit more, than if I weare in a prosperous condition.' This he writes, at the very moment that he was preparing to go to Italy, expressly against his father's reiterated injunctions. In another letter he speaks thus; I wander as a vagabond through the world, forsaken of my friends, poore, and known only to be a broken limb of a shipwrecked faction. I finde stupidity an, advantage; nature hath given me a large proportion of it; and I did artificially increase it to such a degree, that if I were not awakened by the bitter sense of somme mischiefes that the Lady Strangford hath brought upon me, I should rest well enough at ease, in a dull indolence, and never trouble myself with examining wheare I should have bread for three moneths. This may shewe your Lordship into what state, nature and fortune hath brought one that receaved life from you.' Is this, we ask, the language of a pious son to an aged father?

Let it be remembered that we are here speaking of the personal character of Algernon Sydney. We concur in the strenuous opposition which he uniformly gave to tyranny, whether he met it under a monarchy or a republic: we applaud many of his speculations upon the principles of free government; and put our hands to the seal of reprobation, which history has affixed to the violent and lawless procedure, for it cannot deserve to be called a trial, which punished him as a traitor. But though his condemnation was illegal, and therefore unjust according to the tenure by which we all hold our lives and liberties, yet it is not to be denied that he had forfeited his allegiance, under circumstances which aggravated his treason beyond the usual limits of that crime. He had been permitted to return to England from exile, under the special grace of the King. A subject of generous feelings would, in such a case, have forgotten all his ancient political animo



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sities, and have made it a point of honor to take no share in public affairs, unless he could do so consistently with the new and delicate obligations which he had contracted.

It is difficult for us also to view in any other than a criminal and most disgraceful light, the intrigues entered into by Sydney and his friends in parliament, for the purpose of getting the army disbanded in 1678. It is a fact now well attested by Barrillon's despatches in the Secretary's Office at Paris, that Sydney received bribes from the French ambassador here, for his services to the French government in endeavoring to effect that object, an object, which, if it had been attained, would infallibly have given Lewis XIV. the uncontrolled dominion of Europe, and have made this country the mere vassal of France. And this is the Algernon Sydney who has been exalted into a hero, and who, in his letters, describes himself more than once as a man 6 not to be corrupted.'

Sir James Mackintosh, to whom these papers were submitted previous to their publication, justly remarks in a note at the end of the volume, that the most curious letter of the whole is that in which Sydney relates his own conduct in the high court of justice, which was constituted for the trial of Charles I.:

I was at Penshurst,' he says, when the act for the triall passed, and comeing up to towne I heard my name was put in, and that thoes that were nominated for judges weare then in the Painted Chamber. I presently went thither, heard the act read, and found my owne name with others. A debate was raised how they should proceed upon it, and after having bin some time silent to hear what thoes would say, whoe had had the directing of that businesse, I did positively oppose Cromwell, Bradshawe, and others, whoe would have the triall to goe on, and drewe my reasons from theis tow points: First, the King could be tried by noe court; secondly, that noe man could be tried by that court. This being alleged in vaine, and Cromwell using these formall words, (I tell you, wee will cut off his head with the crowne upon it,) I replied, You may take your own course, I cannot stop you, but I will keep myself clean from haveing any hand in this businesse, I immediately went out of the roome, and never returned. This is all that passed publickely, or that can with truth be recorded, or taken notice of. I had an intention, which is not very fit for a letter.'

This intention' Sir James Mackintosh supposes to have been a design on the part of Sydney to procure a concurrence of both Houses of parliament in the deposition of the King, -a conjecture which appears to us not improbable.

REV. AUG. 1825.

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ART. IX. Don Esteban; or, Memoirs of a Spaniard. Writt n by Himself. 3 Vols. 8vo. Colburn. 1825.


F these Memoirs had not assumed too much of the character of a novel, they would have been justly considered as a valuable addition to the recent history of Spain. Commencing with a fictitious tale, at a period just preceding Napoleon's invasion of the Peninsula, they carry the reader through the war of independence, the restoration of Ferdinand, and the six long years of his misrule previous to the reestablishment of the constitution, and rapidly sketching the changes resulting from that system, terminate with its subversion and the consequent exile of the writer. The domestic habits of the Spaniards are detailed with accuracy and animation. They too frequently, however, stand out from the thread of the narrative, with which they ought to have been interwoven, and thus they present a patchwork appearance, that, to a general reader unacquainted with Spain, greatly diminishes the interest which they would otherwise have excited. Considered as a novel, the story is unskilfully conducted, and indeed often marked by inconsistencies and improbabilities of the most puerile description. But the adventures of the author among the Guerilla parties, one of which he represents himself as having commanded for a short time, are picturesque and highly diversified. It is amusing to see him claiming all the laurels on every occasion for himself, and, in the usual strain of a Spaniard, magnifying every little incident, as if upon his personal prowess depended the issue of the war. But whether he be intitled to all the military merit which he assumes to himself or not, there can be no question of the fidelity of his local descriptions, or of the boldness and eloquence with which he sketches the enthusiastic efforts and sacrifices made by the people of Spain, in their memorable resistance against the intrusive dynasty. It is not possible to read some of the instances of French barbarity which he mentions, without feeling the nerves thrill with a sensation of horror. Amidst these sanguinary scenes the author contrives sometimes to intermingle ludicrous occurences, and eccentric characters, sometimes political matters of importance, and occasionally incidents fraught with interest of a more tender nature. On the restoration of Ferdinand, it was Esteban's fortune to be enrolled in the Royal Guards, a situation which gave him an opportunity of witnessing the manners of the court. He relates many anecdotes of the King and the Infantes, which are the more entertaining, as they are impressed with every character of truth. They are told, indeed, in a sort of bustling desultory style, which too much


pervades these Memoirs in general, and shews that they were written at different intervals of time, and with extreme haste. We have heard that these anecdotes were originally intended for "The Memoirs of Ferdinand VII.," written by this author, and published about a year ago in London. In fact, several passages of the two works correspond word for word; and it would seem, that having entered into a contract for the first production, the writer subsequently altered and reduced his plan for the purpose of entering into another speculation, with a portion of the same materials. This is a circumstance which requires explanation.

The author apologizes in his preface for verbal errors, as it is very evident that no one can write in a language which is not vernacular with him, so correctly as a native, and particularly in a case like the present, when the writer cannot boast of having resided long in England.' If we are to infer from this that these Memoirs were written in English by a Spaniard, the insinuation is uncandid. He wrote the original in French, and this work is a translation from his MS. by an English hand.

The following is a favorable specimen both of the translator's style and of the author's tact in describing the living manners of Spain:

'Between seven and eight in the morning, the servants enter our rooms, to draw aside the window-curtains, and serve up chocolate to those who prefer taking it in bed; which is generally the case with the elderly people and the heads of families. In the same tray in which the chocolate is served to the gentlemen, there is generally a little silver plate, containing a live coal to light their cigars, which invariably follow the chocolate. This occupies the time till about eight, when they usually rise. Those who are religiously inclined proceed immediately to church, to hear mass, or to confess and take communion. On returning home, they take breakfast; which consists generally of some made dish, or eggs and ham, and sometimes of a basin of sopa de ajo.*

The young ladies sometimes accompany their mammas to church of a morning; but not usually, for it is only on Sunday that the omission would be an unpardonable sin. When they do not go to church in the company of their parents or brothers, they are followed by a servant, and are never seen out of doors by themselves. Those demoiselles who are not fond of long masses on a Sunday, go either very early, in a kind of deshabille,

* A soup made of a head of garlic, fried in some oil with a little pimento, the whole put into a pot of boiling water, and to which some salt is added.'

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