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were published last year, 1806, in seven vols, 8vo. by Charles Symmons, D. D. of Jesus College, Oxford; with a life of the author, and interspersed with translations and critical remarks.
If we consider the greatness of the author, his prose works have probably been very little read. This has arisen no doubt in
from the temporary interest of many of the subjects he treats, and partly from his enmity against the established clergy of his time. The high republican spirit which' pervades them might also have had some influence in checking their extensive popularity. In consequence of his intimate acquaintance with our early writers, particularly the writers of Romance, his style is often more antiquated than that of any of his cotemporaries. It were superfluous to remark upon the character of writings from a man so illustrious as Milton. They breathe throughout that suba lime, etherial spirit, peculiar only to him. We are continually astonished and delighted at his never-failing abundance of sentiments and imagery-at that majestic stream and swell of thoughts, with which his mind always flows. He was a man essentially great; and whoever wishes to form his language to a lofty and noble style-his character to a fervid sincerity of soul, will read the works, of Milton.
EARL of Clarendon and lord high chancellor of England, descended from an ancient family in Cheshire, was born at Dinton near Hindon, in Wiltshire, in 1608. He entered at Magdalene Hall, Oxford, in 1622, being only fourteen years old, and proceeded bachelor of arts in 1625; soon after which, he removed to the Middle Temple, and was subsequently called to the bar.
In the short parliament held at Westminster, April 10, 1640, he was elected member for Wotton-Basset in Wiltshire; and in the long parliament was member for Saltash in Cornwall. In 1649, he was made chancellor of the exchequer, and at the same time knighted, and sworn of the privy council. In these offices, he was continued by Charles II. He became lord high chancellor in 1657,
After the restoration, 1660, he was chosen chancellor of the university of Oxford. The same year he was created a peer, by the title of Baron Hyde of Hindon in Wiltshire; to which were added, the following year, the titles of viscount Cornbury in Oxfordshire, and earl of Clarendon in Wiltshire. Eventually, however, the favour of his majesty was withdrawn; and in 1667, he was deprived of the great seal, impeached of high-treason, and banished the kingdom. He died at Rouen in 1674.
1. The principal literary work of lord Clarendon, is his “ History of the Rebellion;" which was begun in 1646, in the island of Jersey, whither he had retired on the declining of the king's affairs. It was finished at Moulins in 1672-3, while the author was in banishment. The last edition is in six volumes, 8vo.
A distinguishing excellence of lord Clarendon consists in his lively and accurate delineations of character. My selections, therefore, shall consist entirely of such instances,
Character of Hampdere.
Mr. Hampden was a man of much greater eunning, and it may be, of the most discerning spirit, and of the greatest address and insinuation to bring any thing to pass which he desired, of any man of that time, and who laid the design deepeat. He was a gentleman of a good extraction, and a fair furn tune; who, froin a life of great pleasure and licence, bad on a sudden retired to extraordinary sobriety and strictness, arid yet retained his usual cheerfulness and affability; which, together with the opinion of his wisdom and justice, and the courage he had shewed in opposing the ship-money, raised his reputation to a very great height, not only in Buck inghamshire, where he lived, but generally through out the kingdom. He was not a man of many words, and rarely begun the discourse, or made the first entrance upon any business that was assumed; but a very weighty speaker, and after he had heard a full debate, and observed how the house was like to be inclined, took up the argument, and shortly, and clearly, and craftily so stated it, that be commonly conducted it to the conclusion he desired; and if be found he could not do that, he was never witbout the dexterity to divert the debate to another time, and to prevent the determining any thing in the negative, which might prove inconvenient in