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The design of this publication is to present to the reader such parts of the history of the rebellion, and the subsequent æra from the restoration to the banishment of the noble author in 1667, as develop the principles and conduct of the parties concerned.
It is to be lamented, that more attention was not paid to chronological order in the original work, where, besides an almost total deficiency of dates, the chief personages are frequently described, both at the time when they became conspicuous in public life, and at their deaths. In the arrangement of this selection, the former period is generally adopted; and, although the editor, in combining the different parts, has taken the liberty to retrench some passages which appeared to him redundant, yet he has scrupulously avoided making any alteration in the language of his author, because, as an eminent writer* has observed, “it is characteristical
in which he wrote; and when the language is changed, we are not sure the sense is the same.'
To the present age, it is presumed, this volume may afford an instructive lesson, in disclosing the ambitious views of the principal actors at a time when this country was involved in all the horrors of civil war, resembling those
* Boswell's Johnson. 4to. II. 514.
which so lately have laid waste the kingdom of France, and disturbed the peace of the nations of Europe: and as similar causes must produce similar effects, it no less becomes our duty, than our interest, to guard against the visionary projects of those who, in their endeavours to reform the English constitution, would endanger those substantial blessings which were secured to us, not by the
fury of the times of Charles the first; but at the peaceable and glorious revolution in 1688.
*** A few copies are printed in 4to. as an Appendage'to the Memoirs de Grammont; or for the convenience of those who may wish to embellish them with engraved por. traits, of which above an hundred may be found in Bromley's catalogue.
Lord Clarendon's relations and early acquain-
The Roman Numerals at the end of each Character re
fer to the History of the Rebellion in octavo; and Life to the octavo edition of the Life and Continu. ation, in three volumes.
In note, p. 47. dele Porcius.p. 79. John Bastwick died 1654:
-page 92. Archbishop Williams died 1650.
About the year 1639, when England enjoyed the greatest measure of felicity that it had ever known; the two crowns of France and Spain worrying each other, by their mutual incursions and invasions, whilst they had both a civil war in their own bowels; the former, by frequent rebellions from their own factions and animosities; the latter, by the defection of Portugal; and both laboured more to ransack and burn each others dominions, than to extinguish their own fire: all Germany weltering in its own blood; and contributing to each others destruction, that the poor crown of Sweden might grow great out of their ruins, and at their charge : Denmark and Poland being adventurers in the same destructive enterprizes : Holland and the United Provinces, wearied and tired with their long and chargeable war, how prosperous soever they were in it; and beginning to be more afraid of France, their ally, than of Spain their enemy: Italy every year infested by the arms of Spain and France, which divided the princes thereof into the several factions.