twice' pleaded for by the Chief Justice, with a shew of compassion, was absolutely negatived. His right to the challenge of such jurors as pos. sessed no freehold, was questioned-was impugned—was overruled. The death of his friend, Lord Essex, whom he has described as the worthiest, the justest, the sincerest man, and the most concerned for the welfare of the public that existed, was tortured into an incontestable proof of guilt, and made-like the whole laboured structure of testimony founded upon the frantic scheme of Shaftsbury, which he and Monmouth had actively denounced-to press upon him with its extraneous and cumulative weight. He at length requested pens and an amanuensis. To prevent his having the aid of counsel, Sawyer said he might employ a servant. Any of your servants," said Pemberton, “ shall assist in writing for you." Two,said the generous Jeffries, “he may have two !” “My wife,” said Lord Russell, the heart of the husband and the father rising to his tongus, “my wife is here, my Lord, to do it!” The by-standers turned, and saw the daughter of the most virtuous minister whom Charles had ever possessed or disregarded, take her station at the table; and piy, shame, and sorrow, and holy reverence, and thrilling indignation, touched by turns the soul of every one who had a heart to feel for his colntry or himself, for wounded virtue or for violated freedom.

The charge went on ; the witnesses were dexterously guided to their mark. They did their spiriting but lamely, neding frequently the prompter's question. It is not, however, our intention to lay bare the vague, the ill-sustained asseverations, or untwist the implicated threads of a West's or a Howard's evidence. Whoever will take the trouble to read the minutes of the trial, will rise well satisfied from the perusal. Amidst the mazy collocations of incoherent incidents, allegations, and discourses, throughout which he wanders, he will yet perhaps discern a few traces of the real course which the patriot and his party wer bent upon pursuing for the salvation of their country; as the hoary atm'sphere which presents to a spectator the apparition of mock suns and of unreal shadows, may occasionally open and give glimpses of the real luminary, as it struggles through the haze. The defence which Lord Russell hade was in harmony with his character,-unambitious, manly, and in consistence with itself. In a few lucid and pertinent remarks, he touched inon all the material points of law that were involved in the evidence against him. His own inclination would have led him to avow the part he had actually taken, but he preferred the safety of friends whom this disclosure might have com

ised, to his own effectual vindication; and, leaving his honour to the vice of Heaven and posterity, he contented himself with an indignant uisa Jwal of the treason in which it was the object of his enemies, hy every infonce, to involve him. By inference he fell. He Vas adjudged guilty oft various counts of the indictment; but it needs ni long citation-10 anx us statement of the decisions of consentaneous historians, to repudiate the verdict. The voice of truth still speaks in the language of that parliament which, in cancelling his attainder, has declared, “That by undue and illegal return of jurors, having been refused his lawal challenge to them, for the want of freehold, and by partial and unjust Onstructions of law, he was wrongfully attainted and convicted.”—Vol. 2, p. 271–273.

Lord Russell, from the first, was under the conviction that death was his assured destiny, whatever might be the nature of the evi

dence, and even before his trial commenced, his awful preparations for that event, the account of which, as left us by Burnet, is a monument of imperishable applause to the memory of Lord Russell. The most unwearied efforts were made to obtain the pardon of this great man; and his father, who it is said, offered immense treasures to obtain his son's release, petitioned the king, and offered to live on bread and water, if the latter was disposed to require his whole property as the price of his ransom. Lady Russell was still more active in her endeavours to preserve the life of her lord ; but all was in vain, and Russell must fulfil his destiny as a martyr.

His lady stayed, at his desire, to partake with him of his last earthly meal ; during which he cheerfully conversed on various subjects connected with the future welfare of his family, and on the memorable words of dying men; not taking the impression of her's and others' sorrow, but rather setting upon their grief the seal of his own sereneness. His wife was at length left alone with him; she too arose to go, in an agony of spirit, but perfectly composed and calm, controlling her own emotion that he might retain the mastery of his. He tenderly kissed her ; he for the last time embraced her; and gazed after her as she departed, with a feeling that condensed into that one moment the emotions, the trials, and the griefs of years. Under the rebound that succeeded this dreaded and desolate farewell, a less steady and well-regulated heart had been convulsed or broken. But he, when the doors of his earthly prison had closed on her angelic presence,- upheld by the prospect of a re-union in happier mansions, “where the wicked cease from troubling," turned only to Dr. Burnet, by whom he was now rejoined ; and every regret being swallowed up in the fulness of this hope, and in admiration of her incomparable excellencies, he exclaimed, “the bitterness of death is over."-vol. ii. pp. 277, 278,

When King William mounted the throne, the government and parliament did every thing in their power to make amends to the house of Russell for the injustice done to one of its members : the parliament voted the execution of Lord Russell a murder, and the highest title which could be conferred was given to the venerable survivor of the family misfortunes. The patent for the dukedom of Bedford bears the date of 1694. By the death of the foret, duke, his grandson Wriothesley, only son of the martyr, L." Russell, succeeded to the title, and he again made room for his name son in 1711, who was then only three years of age. He was 'Vis-' tinguished from most of his predecessors by his attachmento inglorious indolence and ease, and employed his time, not in gio: g an example of virtue and patriotism to his inferiors, but in the depraved sinks of billiard rooms, or with the corrupt circles of the turf. The fourth duke was the brother of his predecessor, and was known to the world as Lord John Russell. He was one of the leaders of the powerful and successful opposition, under whose attacks Sir Robert Walpole was under the necessity of retiring. He was afterwards placed at the head of the navy, and by his councils vol. II. (1833) no. III.

2 E

and conduct soon re-established it in that credit which, in Walpole's time, it had nearly lost. The duke, after experiencing the usual vicissitudes, the alternations of prosperity and adversity, which every high political functionary must make up his mind to endure, was appointed to take the government of Ireland as its Lord Lieutenant in 1756. .

* Mr. Wiffen enters at large into the proceedings of the Irish government during the lieutenancy of the noble duke, and shows, that in the midst of the great difficulties which beset him, in consequence of the habitual intriguing of the parties with whom he had to co-operate in Ireland, he yet steered a course that proved the integrity of his principles, together with an innate respect for a liberal policy. The history of the family connexions and family opposition to which Ireland was so long a prey, and which had risen to a most scandalous height at the period when the Duke of Bedford presided over its government, is given by the biographer in a manner which is highly calculated to elucidate the very peculiar and deeply interesting curiosities of the political annals of that ill-fated country. It is greatly to the credit of the noble duke, that upon his appointment to the high office, he stipulated for his right to be independent of the system of proscription and exclusion, particularly as prescribed by the frightful penal code against the Roman Catholics, which it was the invariable habit of all his predecessors to observe, with, however, some exceptions or modifications, arising altogether from the personal character of the existing incumbent. .

His Grace then, on his arrival in Ireland, soon excited the attention of the country, by openly professing favourable sentiments to the Catholic body. The promise of an amelioration of the cruel code which the Duke of Bedford's policy appeared to involve, was attended with a very marked effect, for within ten days after his acceptance of the lieutenancy, exhortations to obedience and tranquillity poured from the Catholic altars, all of them noticing the encouragement which had been given to hope for a mitigation of the laws, and invoking the Divine blessing on that generous design, The results of the Duke of Bedford's admirable policy are too much the theme of history, to require that we should follow Mr. Wiffen's description of its details. În the discharge of his duty afterwards, during the reign of George the Third, particularly as minister at Paris, the conduct of the noble duke offered no variation whatever in principle from what it formerly was. The same observation applies, with equal force, to his proceedings from the period of Lord Bute's resignation until his own death, which was most unfortunately precipitated by the fatal effect of an accident which occurred to his favourite son, the Marquis of Tavistock. This young nobleman gave promise of mighty things; and an anecdote of an affecting nature is related of his surviving lady, which is the strongest criterion how much his worth was valued. This lady fell into a consumption upon the loss of her lord, and a voyage to Lisbon was fixed upon as a last resource for the recovery of her health.

At a consultation of the faculty, held at Bedford House in August, one of the physicians, whilst he felt her pulse, requested her to open her hand. Her reluctance induced him to use a degree of gentle violence, when he perceived that she had closed it to conceal a miniature of her late husband. “ Ah, madam," he exclaimed, “all our prescriptions must be useless whilst you so fatally clierish the wasting sorrow that destroys you !". "I have kept it," she replied, “either in my bosom or my hand, ever since my dear lord's death ; and thus I must indeed continue to retain it, until I drop off after him into a welcome grave.” The physician sighed as he resigned her hand—the frigate (commanded by her brother Captain Keppel) departed to its destined climate and early in October, Lord Albemarle wrote to Mr. Rigby, “poor Elizabeth died the 2nd of this month."-vol. ii, p. 573.

With some just reflections on the character of this duke, the biographer closes his memoir, merely enumerating the names of his two successors, Francis the fifth, and John the sixth dukes, and the names of the whole of the extensive family, now constituting the representatives of the illustrious house of Russell.

Art. XIII.-An Historical Account of the Origin and Progress

of Astronomy; with Plates, illustrating chiefly the Ancient Systems. By John Narrien, F.R.A.S. London: Baldwin and Cradock. 1833. In the article which will be found in the early pages of the present review on science, we have given, from Professor Airy's report, the summary of the present state of astronomy in this country. The facts disclosed by the learned professor are no doubt of high importance; but as there is no branch of the sciences which affords in its ancient history, matter more worthy of contemplation than astronomy, we shall be readily excused for taking up the latter subject separately, as capable of being very conveniently considered by itself.

The work before us is divided into four great heads. The first presents us with a general view of the heavens, and a sketch is added of such sentiments as were most likely to be produced in the early ages, by those engaged in such a contemplation, and the purposes to which the phenomena the most obvious might be applied. Under the second head, a full exposition is given of the theories established by the ancients, whereby they accounted for the movements of the heavenly bodies, and explained the constitution of the universe. The third division of the work presents a progressive view of the changes effected by successive discoveries in the knowledge of the celestial mechanism, and in the concluding portion

espect to the the investn apparenthe brigh

will be found an outline of the system which is founded on the received hypothesis of gravitation.

The two first chapters are devoted to the consideration of the causes which led to the contemplation of the heavens, and the first notices concerning astronomy. We have no positive knowledge with respect to the first discoveries in astronomy, but it is probable that the course of the investigation was somewhat in the following order.

The first phenomenon apparent on a cursory examination, is the general and circular movement of the bright bodies in the firmament. The common shepherd tending his flocks during the night, would see that“ certain stars rose from the ocean, or from behind the hills, which limited his views towards the east, and each, after describing a curve in the heavens, disappeared behind the terrestrial objects about the west; that some performed their revolution without descending so low in any part as to reach the horizon ; and, finally, that one star seemed to be stationary in the heavens during all the time that the absence of the sun permitted it to be visible; nor could these phenomena fail to suggest the idea of the revolution of some geometrical figure, as a cone, a cylinder, or a sphere, about a certain line passing through the eye of the observer, and situated obliquely to the plane of the terrestrial horizon.”

The contemplation of the heavens, and the knowledge of the phenomena to which the study gave rise, suggested the possibility of some connection existing between the movements of the celestial bodies, and the destinies of man. Hence the origin of that extraordinary doctrine of astrology, which produced such wonderful effects during the middle ages. The author describes the manner of estimating the visible distances of the stars from each other, and the visible diameter of the sun by the ancients, the nature of their astronomical cycles, and then the monuments of this science which they have left. He next treats of the origin of astronomy amongst the Greeks, and enters at large into the strange theories, which they established concerning the celestial spheres ; the astronomical works of the earliest Greek observers are then noticed, and due attention is directed to the discoveries of Hipparchus, and the great improvements introduced by Ptolemy. The theory of the earth established by this authority, is one of the most curious, and with reference to the time when it was invented, one of the most admirable discoveries of which the ingenuity of man can boast. Ptolemy inferred the convexity of the earth “ from the fact that when a ship recedes from a spectator on the shore, the top of the mast appears to descend till it gets below the circle bounding his view; and its sphericity is demonstrated from the magnitudes of the circles which the stars describe by their diurnal motion ; he showed that these circles are different from those which would be observed if the earth had been a plane surface, or a polyhedral body; and he added that the circle and sphere are the most proper figures for motion, because they contain, respectively, the greatest area and solidity within a given diameter and superficies. Ptolemy after

« ElőzőTovább »