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will partly transcribe, as a specimen both of bis language and his character. The Secretary Cromwell had been urging him to re-consider the subject of the king's supremacy, and to make such a declaration as would satisfy the king and preserve the prisoner's life.
•Whereunto I shortly, after the inward affection of my mind, answered, for a very truth, that I would never meddle with the world again, to have the world given n.e. And to the remnant of the matter, I answered in effect as before ; shewing that I had fully determined with myself, neither lo study nor meddle with any matter of this world; but that my whole study should be, upon the passion of Christ, and mine own passage out of this world.
Upon this I was commanded to go forth for a while, and after. wards called in again. At which time Mr. Secretary said unto me, that though I were a prisoner, condemned to perpetual prison, yet I was not thereby discharged of mine obedience and allegiance unto the king's highness. And thereupon demanded me, whether that I thought, that the king's grace might not exact of me such things as are contained in the statutes, and upon like pains as he might upon other men ? Whereto I answered, that i could not say the contrary. Whereunto he said, that likewise as the king's highness would be gracious to them whom he found conformable, so his grace would foilow the course of his laws toward such as he shall find obstinate, And his mistership said farther, that my demeanour in that matter was a thing which of likelihood made others so stiff therein as they be.
• Whereto I answered, that I gave no man occasion to hold any point, one or other; nor never gave any man advice or counsel therein, one way or other ; and for conclusion, I could no farther go, whatsoever pain should come thereof. I am, quoth 1, tbe king's true, faithful sudject, and daily bedesman; and pray for his highness, and all his, and all the realm. I do nobody harm, I say none harm, I think none harm, but wish every body good. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, in good faith I long not to live. And I am dying already, and have, since I came here, been divers times in the case that I thought to die within one hour. And, I thank our Lord! I was never sorry for it, but rather sorry
when I saw the pang past. And therefore, my poor body is at the king's pleasure ; would God my death might do him gcod !
* After this Nir. Secretary said, Well, you find no fault in that statute, find you any in any of the other statutes after?' Whereto l an. swered, Sir, whatsoever thing should seem to me other than good in any of the other statutes, or in that statute either, I would not declare what fault I found, nor speak thereof: thereunto finally his mistership said full gently, that of any thing which I had spoken there should none advantage be taken.
• Whereupon I was delivered again to Mr. Lieutenant, who was then called in ; and 50 was I, by Mr. Lieutenant, brought again into my chamber. And here am I yet, in such case as I was, neither better nor
That which shall follow lieth in the hand of God, whom I beseech, to put in the king's grace's mind that thing which may be to his high pleasure; and in mine, to mind only the weal of my soul, with little regard of my body; and you, with all your's, and my wife, an
all my children, and all our other friends, both bodily and ghostly heartily well to fare. And I pray you and them all, pray
for take no thought whatsoever shall happen me. For I verily trust in the goodness of God, seem it never so evil in this world, it shall indeed in another world be for the best. Your loving father.' Vol. I. p.
202. His replies and defence, delivered in a gentle and argumentative manner, were eloquent, saintly, and heroic. After receiving the fatal sentence, he made the following address to his judges.
• More have I not to say, my lords, but that, like as the blessed apostle St. Paul, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles, was present and consented to the death of St. Stephen, and kept their clothes who stoned him to death, and yet be they now both twain holy saints in heaven, and shall continue there friends together for ever,--so I verily. trust, and shall therefore right heartily pray, that though your lordships have now here on earth been judges to my condemnation, we may yet hereafter in heaven all meet together, to everlasting salvation.'p. 227.
It appears that the cheerful fortitude with which he encountered death was not so spontaneous, as not to have'cost him many painful efforts to obtain its predominance.
• When he resigned his, office, More withdrew his attention entirely from public affairs, and devoted himself to prayer and to his writings. He lessened his establishment, sold a part of his effects, and sent his chil. dren to their own houses. He is said to have passed many sleepless nights in the anticipation of his fate, and to have prayed with fervour for courage under its—for his flesh, he said, could not endure a fillip. He ponce went so far as to hire a pursuivant to come on a sudden at dinner. : time to his house, and, knocking hastily at the door, to summon him before the council the next day. This was to prepare his family for what they had to expect.
“ He would talk,” says Mr. Roper,“ unto his wife and children of the joys of heaven and pains of hell, of the lives of holy martyrs, of their grievous martyrdoms, of their marvellous patience, and of their passions and deaths ; which they suffered rather than they would offend God. And what a happy and blessed thing it was, for the love of God to suffer the loss of goods, imprisonment, loss of land and life also.—Wherewith, and the like virtuous talk he had so long before his trouble encouraged them, that when he afterwards fell into trouble indeed, his trouble was to them a great deal the less." p. 142.
• In the course of his imprisonment, More seems never for a moment to have lost sight of the end which it was probable he should come to. He owns that he was of an irritable habit by nature, and weak against bodily sufferings. Yet the whole force of his mind appears to have been exerted at this time, in preparation to meet his fate with constancy and composure. We shall find that the effects of his endeavours, even to human eyes, were wonderful; that no man ever overcame worldly suffering, in the end more completely, or met so severe a fate with less dread of the stroke.' p. 196. VOL. IV.
The account of the manner in which he met that stroke, is certainly one of the most singular narratives in the history of mankind.
" At the appointed time he was conducted from his prison by the lieutenant of the Tower to the place of execution ; “his beard being long," says his great-grand-son, “his face pale and lean, carrying in his hands a red cross, casting his
often towards heaven." Yet his facetiousness remained to the last, of which three instances are related to have passed, even on the scaffold. On ascending this structure, he found it so weak that it was ready to fall; upon which he said to the lieutenant, “ I pray see me up safe, and for my coming down let me shift for myself.” As Henry had so prudently imposed silence on him at this time, More only désired of his spectators that they would pray for him, and bear witness that he there suffered death in and for the faith of the catholic church. This said, he knelt, and repeated a psalm with great devotion. He then rose cheerfully, and the executioner his forgiveness, More kissed him and said, “ Thou wilt do me this day a greater benefit, than ever any mortal man can be able to give me. Pluck up thy spirit, man, and be not afraid to do thy office. My neck is very short ; take heed therefore that thou strike not awry for saving thy honesty.” When he laid his head on the block, he desired the executioner to wait till he had removed his beard, " for that had never committed treason." “ So with great alacrity and spiritual joy,” adds his great-grandson, “ he received the fatal blow of the axe." p. 234.
Some grave and pious persons have been inclined to censure this gaiety, as incongruous with the feelings appropriate to the solemi situation. We would observe, that though we were to admit, as a general rule, that expressions of wit and pleasantry are unbecoming the last hour, yet Sir T. More may be justa ly considered as the exception. The constitution of his mind was so singular and so happy, that throughout his life his humour and wit were evidently, as a matter of fact, compatible, in almost all cases, with a general direction of his mind to serious and momentous subjects. His gaiety did not imply a dereliction, even for the moment, of the habitude of mind proper to a wise and conscientious man. It was an unquestionable matter of fact, that he could emit pleasantries and be seriously weighing in his mind an important point of equity or law, and could pass directly from the play of wit to the acts and the genuine spirit of devotion. And if he could at all other times maintain a vigorous exercise of serious thought and devout sentiment, unhurt by the gleaming of these lambent fires, there was no good reason why they might not gleam on the scaffold also. He had thousands of times before approached the Almighty, without finding, as he retired, that one of the faculties of his mind, one of the attributes of extraordinary and universal talent imparted to him by that Being, was become extinct in consequence of pious emotions : and his last addresses to that Being could not be of a specifically different nature from the former ; they could only be one degree more solemn. He had before almost habitually thought of death, and most impressively realized it; and still be had wit, and its soft lustre was to his friends but the more delightful for gilding so grave a contemplation : well, he could only realize the awful event one degree more impressively, when he saw the apparatus, and was warned that this was the hour. As protestants, we undoubtedly feel some defect of complacency, in viewing such an admirable display of heroic self-possession mingled with so much error ; but we are convinced that he was devoutly obedient to what he believed the will of God, that the contemplation of the death of Christ was the cause of his intrepidity, and that the errors of his faith were not incompatible with his interest in that sacrifice.
There is so little danger of any excessive indulgence of sallies of wit in the hour of death, that there is no need to discuss the question how far, as a rule applicable to good men in general, such vivacity, as that of More, would in that season comport with the Christian character ; but we are of opinion that it would fully comport, in any case substantially resembling his; in any case where the innocent and refined play of wit had been through life one of the most natural and unaffected operations of the mind, where it had never been
felt to prevent or injure serious thinking and pious feel1 -ing, and where it mingled with the clear indications of a real Christian magnanimity in death.
The translation of the Utopia is perspicuous and neat. Every reader will regret that the History of Richard III was left unfinished.—The Latin Poetry is well known to abound with elegance and spirit, thongh we shall not be induced to lay aside Virgil or Horace long enough to read probably one fourth part of it.
We should not end without noticing Mr. Cayley's strange fancy for the old termination eth ; as in which it seemeth. that he thought it advisable,' &c.' he wrote an account which here followeth'; there needeth no other reflexion than Burnet hath made, &c. Art. IV. Communications to the Board of Agriculture, on Subjects re:
lative to the Husbandry and internal Improvement of the Country.
Vol. VI. Part I. pp. 267. Price 15s. bds. Nicol. 1808. IN reviewing the preceding volume of these Communications, we had occasion to commend the selection of papers
for publication, contrasted with the indiscriminate admission of trifling and uninteresting articles in former volumes. It is, therefore, with regret that we have perceived, in the half volume at present before us, no less than six and twenty articles that appear to be dared between the years 1791 and 1798; and to have been dragged from their dusty recesses to little other purpose, in general, than that of making out a quarto volume. Some of them, it is true, have not lost their interest by the lapse of more than ten years ; but the delay in admirung tliese is nearly as reprehensible as the facility in admitting others.. A very disgraceful carelessness or defect of judgement is in each case equally manifest.
The first paper, On Planting and IVaste Lands, by the Bishop of Landatt, has considerable merit; and may be recominended to the attention of land proprietors, especially of those who have waste lands adapted to the growth of timber, 1. On waste land. IllOn marl, chalk, and clay, by the Rev. Jannes Willis, of Sopley, Hants. These papers, and No. XXVII. On fences, by the same author, give the details of inclosures of waste land, made in 1804, in the parish of Christchurch, with various success, according to the spirit, the zeal, and the judgement of the improvers. Mr. W. introduces some sensible observations on the great impropriety of attempting to reclaim too much waste land at once, with out paying proper attention to the culture or quality of the soil, and without a sufficiency of manure.
“Half the beatlıfarmers,' (he says) ! after one poor crop of turnips, impatiently and prematurely sow to (with) corn these weak lands. The grain perishes for want of nutrition ; the farmers are hurt and disappointed; and the lands are consigued again, with much disgust, to their original state of nature. A little foresight and consideration would remedy (prevent) this vexation : aspire to turnips and grasses only, until the surface is enriched, and the staple consolidated.' This advice is sounil : waste lands mostly lie at a distance from inanure ; let the first object, therefore be grass, or fodder of any kind, for stock ; if fodder he got, stock can be kept ; if stock can
inanure will be made; and if manure be made, white crops may be obtained. The price paid for paring and burning, as stated in one of these experiments, amounted to the enormous sum of 52s. 6d. per acre, which is one half more than the ordinary expence, and seems irreconcileable with the account of the total expence of Mr. Sleat's improvement, as stated in No. XXVII. In most other respects Mr. Willis's communications appear as accurate as they are interesting.