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lauded by the Bishop. There is a note on this subject by Speaker Onslow, Vol. IV. p. 282, who attributes the omission to the prejudices of Burnet.

If Burnet's prejudices operated in this instance, they might operate in other cases. He might also be careless and credulous, as some of his defenders have admitted. But that he wilfully falsified his narrative, and was guilty of deliberate perversion of truth, is altogether improbable. His religious character is above suspicion, and the solemn profession and appeal which he has prefixed to his History, are vouchers for his integrity, that he tells the truth on all occasions, as fully and freely as • upon his 'best inquiry' he had been able to find it out ;' though they could not protect his pages against the intrusion of error. The substantial credit of his work is not only unimpaired, but it has received so many extraordinary confirmations from documents which have been published in very moder tines, that it will descend to future ages as one of the most interesting and valuable historical compositions which illustrate the affairs of this country and of Europe, during a period of great change, and of great political improvement.

The first of Lord Dartmouth's notes contains the following character of Burnet.

• Bishop Burnet was a man of the most extensive knowledge I ever met with ; had read and seen great deal, with a prodigious memory, and a very indifferent judgement: he was extremely partial, and readily took every thing for granted that he heard to the prejudice of those that he did not like : which made him pass for a man of less truth than he really was. I do not think he designedly published any

I thing he believed to be false. He had a boisterous vehement manner of expressing himself, which often made him ridiculous, especially in the house of lords, when what he said would not have been thought so, delivered in a lower voice, and a calmer behaviour. His vast knowledge occasioned his frequent rambling from the point he was speaking to, which ran him into discourses of so universal a nature, that there was no end to be expected but from a failure of his strength and spirits, of both which he had a larger share than most men; which were accompanied with a most invincible assurance.' DARTMOUTH.

Burnet; however, is not permitted by this Tory nobleman to retain the benefit which the preceding testimony to his uprightness confers. He declares himself fully satisfied that the Bishop

published many things that he knew to be false;' (Vol. IV.p.1.) -and represents his vanity as being very apt to get the better . of his modesty, and sometimes of his truth, of which,'his lordship adds,' there are many instances in this history that I did not expect.' (Vol. III. p. 254.) The remarks of the



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P. xi.

Editors in their preface, in reference to this recantation of the noble Annotator, are so appropriate and satisfactory that we shall offer them to our readers.

• Lord Dartmouth uses strong, and Switt much ill language, on Burnet's supposed want of veracity ; and the excellent Latin verses of Dean Moss on the same subject are now, we understand, in print. Yet, the bishop's friends need not be apprehensive of a verdict of wilful falsehood against him in consequence of the corrections of his narrative in the subsequent annotations. Lord Dartmouth, indeed, a man of honour, asserts, that this author has published many things which he knew to be untrue. See his note at the beginning of vol. iv. His lordship, it must be allowed, had better opportunities than we have for determining what Burnet knew ; but, as he has adduced little or nothing in support of this charge, we may be permitted to think, that strong prejudice, not wilful falsehood, occasioned the bishop's erroneous statements.'

The prejudices of this Earl were quite as strong as those of the Bishop; only, their direction was entirely different. Neither the religious principles nor the political tenets of the latter were agreeable to the former personage, who betrays through. out his remarks, the most determined personal dislike to the author on whose work he comments. They belonged to parties in the State who were opposed to each other, and the animosities which those parties mutually cherished, could not give the Earl greater advantages in respect of temper, than his rivals might fairly claim. Whatever might be his Lordship's knowledge of Burnet, he has given proof that it was less correct than was required sometimes to justify his censures. Burnet was no dishonour to the see of Salisbury, and therefore, there could be no liberality in reflecting upon his previous circumstances, as this Lord has done (Vol. VI. p. 151); but he should have known, that Burnet had never been 'a Scotch presbyterian • minister. Burnet is described by Lord Dartmouth, in several of his notes, as an ambitious man, eager in his desires of preferment, and ill able to conceal his disappointment when they were not gratified. Advancement in office might, perhaps, be an object of Burnet's wishes; and he might not always be pleased with the exaltation of persons who were raised to fill the first stations in the church. But that Burnet was an illustrious and exemplary bishop, there can be no doubt. He was not only attentive to the decorum of the character which he sustained, but was entirely devoted to the duties of his office, and laboured most assiduously to promote the interests of tru religion. He was vigilant in the inspection of his diocese, and liberal as a patron of his clergy. He was munificent in his charities, and was earnest in doing good of every kind. Hii


offering to resign his see on receiving the appointment of preceptor to the Duke of Glocester, and his appropriating the emoluments of the latter office to charitable purposes, are testimonies to the purity of his principles, which prove that he could practise the lessons of self-denial which he taught. And probably, if Burnet had been different as a Bishop from what he was, he had been less disliked by this Earl of Dartmouth.

The Dartmouth notes are of frequent occurrence in these volumes : they comprise a fund of interesting information on the court intrigues and political transactions of the times, and abound with interesting and well-told anecdotes. We shall transcribe a few of them as specimens. Mary, daughter of Cromwell. She outlived the earl of Falcon

. bridge, who, by her prudent management, (as it was generally thought,) was a privy counsellor to Oliver, Richard, King Charles The Second, King James the Second, and King William the Third. After his death, she desired Sir Harry Sheers to write an inscription for bis monument, and would liave it inserted, that in such a year be married his highness the then lord protector of England's daughter; which, Sir Harry told her, he feared might give offence : she answered, that nobody could dispute matters of fact, therefore insisted that it should be inserted. I do not know if it were ever erected, but Sir Harry told me the story, with some encomiums upon the spirit of the lady. D.' Vol. I. p. 142.

Burnet. It is a little surprising that a youth of nineteen should have been let into the secret of all affairs. No doubt, the great moderation, and zeal for episcopacy, which he mentions with a singular degree of modesty, which appeared early in him, and continued to his dying day, must have been the inducements : besides a notable faculty he had in keeping a secret ; which I gave queen Ann a proof of, by telling her before hand, I would tell the bishop of Salisbury a particular story, and enjoin him secrecy, which he readily promised, but came two days after from London to Windsor, to tell it her, which made her laugh very heartily. D.' p. 263.

Precedent. • I never could understand, why a precedent, unless in ceremonial matters, should ever be thought a warrant for the like proceedings. If the thing in itself be right, it ought to be done, though it were never done before: if it be wrong, its having been done a thousand times can never justify its being done any more. D.'

Vol. IV.

p. 331. Church property. We hear much of the poverty of some (of the clergy), but nothing of the wealth of others; but take it in the whole, and no Christian church has a better provision. If the lands belonging to deans and chapters, who are of no more use either to the church or state, than abbots and monks, were divided amongst the poor clergy in every diocese, there would be no just cause of complaint ; unless that bishops' daughters would not go off so well as They do now with a good sinecure. And if bishops themselves were

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brought to an equality of revenue as well as function, it would prevent the great scandal given by commendams and translations, that are daily increasing. D. Vol. V. p. 119.

Archbishop Tennison. I was ordered by the queen to go to Lambeth, and acquaint the archbishop, that she thought it necessary that some censure should pass upon Whiston and his book, which gave great offence. He said it was a bad book, and there were a great many, but the worst of all came from abroad; and wished there might be some stop put to that. I told him, there were bad books every where, but which did his grace mean? He said, there was one Bayle had wrote a naughty book about a comet that did a great deal of harni. I told him, I had read it, and did not think there was much in it; the chief design being to prove that idolatry was worse than atheism, and that false worship was more offensive to God than none.

He said, indeed he had not read it, and I found by bis discourse that he had not read Whiston's; which, I told him, struck at the essentials of the Christian religion. He said, there were some difficulties and disputes about prosecuting men for their opinions, and I never could prevail with him to tell me plainly, whether he would do what the queen desired of him, or no. But he afterwards sent me a very unintelligible letter, that concluded with excusing his not having wrote with his own hand, because he had the gout in both his feet. D.' Vol. VI. p. 50.

Creation of Peers. "I was never so much surprised, as when the queen drew a list of twelve lords out of her pocket, and ordered me to bring warrants for them; there not having been the least intimation before it was to be put in execution. I asked her, if she designed to have them all made at once. She asked me, if I bad any exceptions to the legality of it. I said, No; but doubted very much of the expediency, for I feared it would have a very ill effect in the house of lords, and no good one in the kingdom. She said, she had made fewer lords than any of her predecessors, and I saw the duke of Marlborough and the Whigs were resolved to distress her as much as they could, and she must do what she could to help herself. I told her, I wished it proved a remedy to what she so justly complained of, but I thought it my duty to tell her my apprehensions, as well as execute her commands. She thanked me, and said, she liked it as little as I did, but did not find that any body could propose a better ex. pedient. I asked lord Oxford afterwards, what was the real inducement for taking so odious a course, when there were less shocking means to have acquired the same end. He said, the Scotch lords were grown so extravagant in their demands, that it was high time to let them see they were not so much wanted as they imagined; for they were now come to expect a reward for every vote they gave. D.' Bishop Atterbury, Atterbury was just such another busy, hot

. headed, confident churchman as Burnet, but had a much superior understanding. He was litigious and vexatious to so high a degree, that he was removed from the deaneries of Carlisle and as the only means to restore them to any tolerable state of peace and

p. 87.

quiet. I never knew the queer do any thing with so much reluctancy, as the signing of his congé d'élire. She told me, she knew he would be as meddling and troublesome as the bishop of Salisbury, had more ambition, and was less tractable. I told her, I thought she had a right notion of the man, therefore wondered she would do it. She said, lord Harcourt had answered for his behaviour, and she had lately disobliged him, by refusing the like request for Dr. Sacheverel, and found if she did not grant this, she must break with him quite; which, she believed, I would not think advisable. I told her, I really thought any thing was more so, than letting such boutefeus into the church and house of lords. D.' ('. Atterbury, in return for these remarks, would, if he had thought it worth while, have treated his lordship as roughly as he did in those bitter lines lord Cadogan, for proposing to have him thrown to the lions in the tower.') p. 165.

The concluding remark is subjoined to his lordship’s annotation by the present Editors, who have added, in every part of the work, numerous notes for the purpose of correction and fuller illustration. They are drawn principally from the professed answerers of Burnet, the historians of particular periods of our history, from writers of memoirs and of scarce tracts, and occasionally from manuscript authorities. Among these, we observe strictures on some doctrines and opinions which

appear in the other annotations, which, if they do not always satisfy us, never offend us by the manner in which they are delivered by the Editors, who are not only deserving of commendation for the care and labour which they have employed upon the volumes before us, but are entitled to praise for the judicious and liberal spirit which they have infused into such parts of the composition as they have enabled us to attribute to themselves. We have great pleasure in copying from a publication issued from the Clarendon press, the following passage, which is the conclusion of the Editors' preface.

• It ought still, however, to be remembered, that at, or soon after the Revolution, a solemn recognition was made of the liberties of Englishmen; the power of dispensing with the laws was abrogated in all cases; the judges were no longer dismissible at the sole pleasure of the crown; a provision was made against the long continuance of

parliaments; freedom of religious worship was secured to the great body of Protestant Dissenters; the important and necessary measures of a union with Scotland was effected; the liberty of the press established; trials for treason better regulated ; and a more exact and impartial administration of justice generally introduced in the kingdom. Which blessings, together with all other constitutional rights, may God's providence and a virtuous and independent spirit continue to us !'

The Speaker's Notes, addressed to his son, are numerous. They frequently refer to points of parliamentary right and prac.

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