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to give evidence in a court of justice, a Mussulman must be in a state of purity : Bajazet the First was not allowed to give his testimony as a witness because he did not say the five prayers in public,+how little, then, must be the value of a Christian oath ! Besides this, while by the invariable practice of the courts of justice the perjury of a Mussulman against a Christian is slightly regarded, that of a Christian against a Mussulman is punished with death. Hence the Christians are open to a thousand claims, and frequently have their property and their houses seized by a stranger, without a chance of obtaining redress. If a Mussulman kills a Christian, even from deliberate malice, the law, which condemus the offender, is not executed, and the criminal escapes with impunity: the least blow of a Christian against a Mussulman is visited with the heaviest penalty. “The Christians are obliged to live in houses of a dark hue, to wear a dress of a dark colour, and above all, not to wear a green turban, a white shawl, or yellow slippers. If they have fine houses, they must take care that the outside has a shabby appearance ; if they have handsome horses, they do not dare to ride them themselves.”
“The barbarous ignorance of the Turks has been attributed to the belief in the Mahometan religion, and especially in predestination: but we must not forget that this was the religion of the inventors of algebra, and of the enlightened Arabs of Spain. At the commencement of the sixteenth century, the Cardinal Ximenes ordered to be burnt a large library of Arabic books because they contained nothing on Christian theology : might it not at that time have been urged by the Arabs, that the Christian religion was the enemy, and the Mahometan the friend of learning 2 Might they not have quoted with triumph the dictum of Mahomet, that the ink of the learned is of equal value in heaven with the blood of martyrs? As little could predestination be mentioned as a sufficient cause, by itself, of mental darkness. The Scotch and the Genevese, two of the most enlightened nations, both share, in this respect, the faith of the Turks. Yet although it were not just to ascribe the ignorance of the Turks to their religious doctrines, it is impossible to deny that these doctrines have tended to perpetuate its do
* See Anastasius—one of the best delineations of manners ever given in any shape to the world.
minion. A text in the Koran, well or ill interpreted, was held to forbid the true followers of Mahomet from learning the manners and customs of other nations. The Turks would not adopt printing, because much sanctity was attached to the writing of the sacred volume; and they declined to use clocks, lest the prescribed custom of calling the people to prayers by the voice should become of less reverence. They treated foreign nations with the utmost contempt, on the ground of their infidelity, and consequently neglected the arts of foreign invention. A similar remark may be made respecting predestination. There certainly never was a nation which carried so far into the daily business of life this metaphysical doctrine. In the days of their growing greatness it armed them with desperate courage and unconquerable fortitude. At the moment of an assault they faced the hottest fire of cannon and musketry, convinced that no ball could reach them unless it had been so destined from eternity: after the most fatal reverse, they comforted themselves with thinking that it was the will of God, and that no human efforts could have done more. But when the empire had reached its apex, and the arts of peace were more requisite than those of war, the same doctrine had an opposite effect, and became the most effectual bar to the progress of the nation :-it is a resource for indolence, a motive to apathy, an excuse for ignorance. If an unskilful physician kills all his patients, it is the will of God ; if an oppressive governor lays waste his province, it is still the will of God. To submit to injustice, extortion, and tyranny, is a proof of the most sublime piety. To avoid the plague, to provide means for the preservation of health, to learn new arts, to endeavour, in short, to surmount any of those dangers and inconveniences which Providence seems to have placed in our way as an excitement to industry, is, in the belief of a Turk, an impious interference with the decrees of the Almighty.” p. 111—115.
We could wish his Lordship had adopted some other mode of expression respecting predestination. He ought to know that it is not merely a “metaphysical doctrine,” but an important part of divine revelation, and an essential branch of the Christian system. With this exception, we have derived much pleasure from the perusal of the volume.
1. Original Letters, illustratire of English History; including numerous Royal Letters: from Autographs in the British Museum, and one or two other Collections. With Notes and Illustrations. By HENRY Ellis, F.R.S. Sec. S. 4. Keeper of the Manuscripts in the British Museum. In three vols. post Svo. pp. 310,308,399. London: Harding and Lepard.
2. Original Letters, &c. By the same Author. In four vols. post 8vo. pp. 349,336,383,514. London : Harding and Lepard.
The country is much indebted to Mr. Ellis, for the judgment with which he has selected these letters for publication, and the labour and pains he has employed in explaining and illustrating them. His volumes are an important acquisition to our literature, and will afford very valuable assistance to future historians; for documents like these frequently throw much greater light on the transactions of the period to which they relate, than papers of a more public kind possibly can. Here we have letters from Royal and other personages, chronologically arranged, from Henry V. to George III. ; many of exceedingly curious and important. In general they relate to politics, and in many cases develope the secret motives that actuated, and the ends they had in view, while the world thought very differently of them. Our readers will be pleased with the following extracts, which are of a more serious cast :
“Queen Anne Boleyne to Thomas Cromwell."
Anne the Quene. By the Quene. Trustie and right welbeloved we grete
you well. And whereas we be crediblie
* Mr. Ellis says, in a note; “From the following Letter, if from no other source, it may be gathered that Anne Boleyn favoured the dissemination of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue. Her own copy of Tyndal's translation of “The Newe Testament, imprinted at Antwerp by Marten Emperowr, Anno M. D. xxxiiij,' is still extant among the books bequeathed, in 1799, to the British Museum, by the Rev. Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode. It is upon vellum, illuminated. Upon the gilding of the leaves, in red letter, are the words ANNA REGINA ANGLIE.”
informed that the berer hereof, Richard Herman, marchaunte and citizen of Antwerpe in Brabant was in the tyme of the late lorde Cardynall put and expelled frome his fredome and felowshipe of and in the Englishe house there, for nothing ells (as he affermethe) but oonly for that that he dyd bothe with his gooddis and pollicie, to his greate hurte and hynderans in this worlde, helpe to the settyng forthe of the Newe Testamente in Englisshe. We therefore desire and instantly praye you that with all spede and favoure convenient ye woll cause this good and honeste marchaunte, being my Lordis true, faithful, and loving subjecte, restored to his pristine fredome, Hibertie, and felowshipe aforesaid, and the soner at this oure requeste, and at your good leyser to here hym in suche thinges as he hathe to make further relacion unto you in this behalf. Yeven under our Signete at my Lordis manoure of Grenewiche the xiiij daye of May. To our trustie and right welbeloved Thomas Crumwell squyer, Chief Secretary unto my Lorde the King's Highnes.” vol. ii. p. 45.
“ Oliver Cromwell to Colonel Valentine Walton, his Brother in law, announcing the Death of Col. Walton's eldest Son. Deere Sir, It's our duty to sympathize in all mercyes, that wee praise the Lord together; in chastisements or tryalls, that soe wee may sorrowe together. Truly England, and the Church of God, hath had a great favor from the Lord in this great victorie" given unto us, such as the like never was since this war begunn. It had all the evidences of an absolute victorie obtained by the Lord's blessinge upon the godly partye principally. Weenever charged but wee routed the enimie. The lefte winge which I commanded, being our owne horse, saving a few Scottes in our reere, beat all the Prince's horse. God made them as stubble to our swords. Wee charged their regiments of foote with our horse and routed all wee charged. The particulars I cannot relate now ; but I believe of twenty thousand, the Prince hath not four thousand left. Give glory, all the glory to God. Sir, God hath taken away your eldest sonn by a cannon shott. Itt brake his legge. Wee were necessitated to have itt cutt off, whereof hee died. Sir, you know my tryalls this way, but the Lord supported mee with this, that the Lord took him into the happinesse wee all pant after and live for. There is your precious child, full of glory, to know sinn nor sorrow any more. Hee was a gallante young man, exceedinge gracious. God give you his comfort. Before his death hee was soe full of comfort, that to Franke Russell and myselfe hee could not expresse itt, itt was soe great above his paine. This he sayd to us. Indeed itt was admirable. A little after hee sayd, one thinge lay upon his spirit: I asked him what that was ; hee told mee that it was that God had not suffered him to be noe more the executioner of his enimies. At his fall, his horse being killed with the bullett, and as I am informed three horses more, I am told hee bid them open to the right and lefte, that he might see the rogues runn. Truly hee was exceedingly beloved in the armie of all that knew him. But few knew him ; for hee was a precious younge man, fitt for God. You have cause to blesse the Lord. Hee is a glorious sainct in heaven, wherein you ought exceedingly to rejoyce. Lett this drinke up your sorrowe. Seinge theise are not fayned words to comfort you, but the thing is soe real and undoubted a truth, you may doe all thinges by the strength of Christ. Seeke that, and you shall easily beare youre tryall. . Lett this publike mercy to the Church of God make you to forgett your private sorrowe. The Lord be your strength ; soe prayes Your truly faythfull and lovinge brother, OLIVER CROMWELL. Vol. iii. p. 300.
* The battle of Marston Moor.
“Major General Harrison to Cromwell, as Lord Generall ; written immediately after Cromwell's departure for the Scottish Campaign. My deare Lord, To spare your trouble I forbeare to give you my excuse for not waiting on you to Ware. I know you love me, therefore are ... not apt to except, though in this particular I had not sailed, but that orders from the Councell superseded me. Considering under how many and greate burdens you labour I am afraid to saie anie more, that I maie not add to them, but love and duty makes me presume. The buisnes you goe upon is weightie, as ever yett you undertooke: the issue plainly and deeply concernes the life or death of the Lord's people, his owne name and his Son's : nevertheless maie you rejoyce in God (whose affaire itt is) who, having heretofore given you numberlesse signall testimonies to other parts of the worke, will in mercie prosper this, that Hee maie perfect what Hee hath begun. And to omitt other arguments, that in Deut. xxxii. 27. hath much force on my hearte, especially the last words, “And the Lord hath not done all this.” I believe if the present enemy should prevaile,
July 5, 1644.”
hee would as certainly reproach God and alf that hitherto hath beene done as aforesaid, even as I now write, but the jealousie of the Lord of Hosts, for his greate name will not admittitt. My Lord, bee careful for nothing, but praie with thanksgiving (to witt in faith), Phil. iv. 6,7. I doubt not your successe, but I thinke Faith and Praier must bee the chiefe engines, as heretofore the ancient Worthies through Faith subdued kingdomes, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the Aliens. Oh that a Spirit of Faith and Supplication maie be poured forth on you and your armiel There is more to bee had in this poore simple waie than even most Saints expect. My Lord, lett waiting upon Jehovah bee the greatest and most considerable business you have every daie; reckon itt soe more then to eate, sleepe, or councell together. Run aside some times from your companie, and gett a word with the Lord. Why should not you have three or four precious soules allwaies standing att your elbow, with whom you might now and then turne into a corner * I have found refreshment and mercie in such a waie. Ah, the Lord of compassion owne, pittie your burdens, care for you, stand by and refresh your hearte each moment. I would I could in anie kind doe you good, my heart is with you, and my poore praiers to my God for you. The Allmightie Father carrie you in his very bossome, and deliver you (if itt be his will) from touching a very haire of anie for whom Jesus hath bled. I expect a very gracious returne in this particular: but I am sorry to bee thus tedious, pardon mee. Here is little newes, onely Charles Vane retorned from Portugall, who left our Fleet indifferently well, and that they had seised nine of the Portugall's Shipps. The Father of mercies visitt, and keepe your soule close to him continually, protect, preserve, and prosper you, is the praire of, my Lord, Your excellencie's loving Servant, whilst I breath, T. HARRISON. Whitehall, 3d Jnly, 1650.” Vol. iii. p. 363—355. Second Series.
“Oliver Cromwell to Colonel Hacker.
I have the best consideration I can for the present in this businesse, and although I believe Capt. Hubbert is a worthy man, and heere soe much, yett as the case stands, I cannott with satisfaction to myselfe and some others revoake the commission I had given to Capt. Empson, without offence to them, and reflection upon my owne judgement. I pray lett Capt. Hubbert knowe I shall not bee unmindfull of him, and that noe disrespect is intended to him. But indeed I was not satisfied with your last speech to mee about Empson, that he was a better praecher then a fighter or souldier, or words to that effect. Truly I thinke hee that prayes and praeches best will fight best. I know nothing will give like courage and considence as the knowledge of God in Christ will, and I blesse God to see any in this armye able and willinge to impart the knowledge they have for the good of others. And I expect itt bee encouraged by all Chiefe Officers in this armye especially: and I hope you will doe soe. I pray receave Capt. Empson lovinglye. I dare assure you hee is a good man and a good officer. I would wee had noe worse. I rest, Your lovinge friend, O. C.Roni W. E.LL. Dec. 25, 1650.”
Mr. Ellis chooses to call the letters of Cromwell and Harrison, “letters of cant.” We are sorry that so sensible a man should expose his weakness, by adopting a vulgar prejudice, which ought, in these enlightened days, to be left to the infidel and the libertine. What is called “cant,” is usually nothing more than that earnest, servent mode of expression, which indicates that the writer meanis and feels what he says; for men do not commonly act the hypocrite in writing to their nearest friends.
We must insert one more specimen : it shows the interest felt at Rome in the projected re-establishment of popery and tyranny in this country.
“The Earl of Melfort to King James the Second front Rome.
5th Sept. 1690. May it please your Majesty,
Your Majesty's Letter of the 30th of July from St. Germains I had not till Wednesday last, being the 30th of August. I most humbly thank your Majesty for your goodness to me and mine. My services are due by many indispensable obligations, and I shall still endeavour by zeal to show the greatness of that Inost humble assection I have to your royal person and interest.
So soon as I had received the honour of your Letter and the other for his Holiness I demanded audience, but Thursday being appointed for singing the Te Deum for the taking of Napoli de Malvoisie, which the
Pope was to perform in person at Santa Maria Major, I was put off till Friday at night. On Friday's night being admitted to audience of his Holiness, I delivered him your Majesty's Letter, which he received most kindly, asking if your Majesty, the Queen and Prince were well. He said, “O how much do I compassionate their condition;' and having opened the Letter, he gave it to me to read for him, which ended, he said he would answer it, and approve of all your Majesty had done; but that he saw it was left to me to enlarge on what it contained. I told him that the first thing I had order to inform him of, was, the reason why your Majesty had quitted Ireland, which was the united request of all the General Officers of your Army, who wisely considered that in your royal person consisted all their present hopes ; and that though Ireland might be lost the sooner, yet your Majesty would be more in a condition to act for the whole, being in France, where it was necessary to concert the whole matter; that they well considered that none could have so much interest with the Most Christian King to procure them succours, or, by attacking England, draw the forces which oppressed them another way. That these considerations had prevailed with your Majesty, and I hoped his Holiness would approve of what your Majesty bad done. He said that it was perfectly well, for that your Majesty being safe your re-establishment was certain; and that he approved extremely of your having come away, and would write so much to your Majesty himself. I told his Holiness that now your Majesty was come to France to demand succours from that King, the next thing I had contmanded me was to beg of his Holiness what assistance it was possible for his Holiness to give. That the enterprize was great, and that though France should do all they could, yet that all would not be near what was sufficient, and that therefore his Holiness of necessity must see this most just cause to perish, to the reproach of all the Catholics who did not assist or help to support it. That there never was a time in which the Holy See had so much honour to gain or lose, and that the eyes of all Europe was upon his Holiness to see if he would tamely suffer a Catholic Kingdom to fall into the hands of Heretics, unconcerned to see so many hundreds of thousands of Catholics under the grievousest persecution, and greatest temptation to lose their religion. That by a timely and suitable assistance his Holiness might have had the glory in his Pontificate to have advanced the Catholic Religion in England and Scotland, where it was not ; and as that would have been much to his honour, I was assured he would never give occasion to the contrary by suffering a Catholic Kingdom to be dismembered from the church in his time, without giving all the assistance he could to such as were endeavouring its defence. That a timely supply might do much, and I was not sure but 12 or 15,000 stand of Arms might have prevented these mischiefs if sent in time, since your Majesty wanted not Men but Arms to have out-numbered your enemies. That that was neglected, but that for the future I hoped his Holiness would turn his thoughts more intently on a thing in which he and the Church of God were so much concerned. His Holiness repeated all his former compliments of what he would do and suffer for your Majesty, but that he could not act against all the world, and he had not wherewithal to do as he would. That all the world was in war. That war was come into Italy. That there was scarcity at Rome. That the rents of the Ecclesiastic State were not paid. That he was in thousands of straits and difficulties. That the little he had given was borrowed : he had in it given his Entrails, so dislicult is it now to find money. I thanked his Holiness for what he had done, it was a mark of his sense of what he was obliged to do, and at the same time one infallible proof of his Poverty being so very disproportioned to what it was designed for, that I did not insist for what was properly his Holiness's, but that some other fund might be employed in so good, so pious, so necessary a work. That there were many sums employed for pious ends whereof his Holiness might dispose by changing the intention: and that there were many other ways of raising money if he had a mind: and that the assisting your Majesty was a hundred times a more pious work than building of Churches, especially where there are already too many : that by this speedy assistance he would not only do a work glorious for him, but absolutely necessary for his honour, and for the reputation if not safety of the Holy See. He considered a little without saying any thing ; he then asked if Orange was dead. I told him it was not yet certain ; and he saw Letters from all parts bore contradictions, some say he was, others he was not. • It is doubtful,” said he, “but however, I am fixed in myself that England will throw off that Monster, and call back their own King. I pray for it every day, and would give my life to procure it.' He said he had thought of your Majesty's concerns and how to help you, that he would consider of it, and all that ever he could he would do ; that, in the mean time, he would answer your Majesty's Letter. I humbly thanked him for the hopes he
gave me, that I should inform your Majesties of his good intentions, and begged of him to consider how the season was advanced, and how precious time is to us. And whilst he considered how to help, I begged of him to reflect on the Triumph of the Heresy in Ireland, the altars overthrown, Churches profaned, Catholics persecuted, the sacrileges committed on the persons of the religious, priests, and bishops; and I persuaded myself this view would quickly determine his Holiness to do something of importance. He repeated to me what he had said before ; that he would think, that he would consider, and do all that he could in the world for your Majesty's assistance. This repetition was a sign that he intended to finish this audience; and so I shewed my desire to be licentiated, which his Holiness perceiving, began to inform me of Napoli di Malvoisie, what importance it was of to the Venetians, &c. I congratulated his Holiness on that Conquest as a Christian and a Catholic, and as a servant to your Majesty with whom the Venetians had preserved their Alliances: and this I did to show his Holiness the difference of the spirit which actuates us, and that of the house of Austria. We were glad that Christianity gained, though from those that fought against our enemies: whilst they sung the Te Deum for the Church's having lost a Kingdom, and a Heretic's Victory. But I hoped that God, in his good time, would put a stop to these impieties. . His Holiness asked me if it was possible that any Cathedral had sung the Te Deum for Orange's Victory; I told him that I had their own printed news for it, at which his Holiness seemed horribly scandalized.” p. 200–205. *The Desolation of Eyam; the Emigrant, a Tale of the American Woods ; and other Poems. By Willi AM and MARY Howitt, Authors of “The Forest Minstrel and other Poems.” Foolscap 8vo. pp. 323. Price 8s. London: Wightman and Cramp.
WE beg to apologise to our worthy friends, William and Mary Howitt, for having so long delayed to notice their very elegant and interesting volume. And we are sorry that we have not now sufficient time and space to do justice to its contents. We fear, besides, that the fatigue consequent on the hurry and bustle of getting out two numbers in one month, has incapacitated us in great measure for a review of a volume of poems. Therefore, lest we should stultify ourselves by some