Abbildungen der Seite

friendship,” and when, after the lapse of twenty-six years, Lord Clarendon records the death of Lord Falkland, -when, after twenty-six years filled with every vicissitude that can befal a state or attend the fortunes of an individual, he turns to the recollection of those earlier days, and dwells with affectionate admiration on the virtues of his friend, he felt that neither time, nor all its burthen of events, could efface the “ love and grief” with which he cherished his memory, nor quench the emotion to which the thoughts of him gave rise.

A story is told by Whitelock of Lord Falkland having “ called for a clean shirt on the morning of the battle; and, on being asked the reason for it, answered “ that if he were slain he should not be found in foul “ linen;" and also of “his being dissuaded by his “ friends to go into the fight, as having no call for it, “ being no military man: he said he was weary of the “ times, and foresaw much misery to his own country, “ and did believe he should be out of it ere night.” 2

This anecdote, related by Whitelock, and adopted by subsequent writers, is not mentioned by any other contemporaneous authority. It has, however, furnished a subject for comment, and inferences have been drawn, or implied, from the words thus reported to have been uttered by Lord Falkland on the morning of the battle. The question of his wearing-apparel, and the allusion to

In the will made by Sir Edward Hyde at Jersey, 1647, he leaves this direction respecting his children :-"My sons may be seasonably instructed “ to all respect and kindness towards the children of my dear lord, the “ Lord Falkland, with whom I had a most perfect and blameless friend"ship."-State Papers, vol. ii. p. 361. ? Whitelock's 'Memorials,' p. 70.

his being “out of it" before night, are treated as deliberate preparations for the death he intended to seek. Admitting even the words to be correct as stated by Whitelock, the value of such expressions must in part have depended on the tone in which they were uttered and the persons to whom they were addressed. Whitelock was a leader of the opposite party; his testimony could therefore only be given upon hearsay evidence, and probably from no very direct channel; the remonstrance of his friends, and the melancholy presages of his death contained in his answer, seem just such variations of Lord Clarendon's account of what had passed by letter between them as would naturally take place in the transmission of the anecdote through different hands. Lord Clarendon says he “ died as much of the time as 66 of the bullet;" and no doubt it was his too little value for life, as well as his constitutional indifference to danger, that drew from Lord Clarendon those tender warnings and remonstrances already alluded to. But Lord Clarendon, whose information was likely to be far more direct than Whitelock's, tells us that on the morning of the battle Lord Falkland was “ very cheer“ ful :" the charge in which he was killed was not volunteered, but in obedience to the orders of his commanding officer, and the shot by which he fell was fired from the musket of a soldier concealed behind a hedge. There is certainly nothing in these circumstances to show that he courted death, though he was careless of danger: on the contrary, it is distinctly stated by Lord Clarendon that, at this very period, he was expecting a speedy termination of the conflict in favour of the



cause he espoused, and looking forward to the next battle as leading to the peace he so much desired.'

Lord Falkland was thirty-three years of age when he was killed, and in that time, says Lord Clarendon, “ he “ was very accomplished in all those parts of learning and “ knowledge which most men labour to attain till they are “ very old.”? It will be well, therefore, to trace the various paths by which Lord Falkland may be said to have attained the celebrity which posterity has attached to his name.

He was well known in his time as a poet, and also as a religious controversialist; and in this double capacity he is celebrated by Suckling in

“ A Session was held the other day,
And Apollo himself was at it, they say ;
The laurel that had been so long reserved
Was now to be given to hiin best deserved.
“ Hales sat by himself, most gravely did smile
To see them about nothing keep such a coil;
Apollo had spied him, but, knowing his mind,
Pass’d by, anıl call’d Falkland, that sate just behind.
“ But he was of late so gone with divinity,
That he had almost forgot his poetry ;
Though, to say the truth, and Apollo did know it,
He might have been both his priest and his poet.”

Life, vol. i. p. 165.---Lord Sunderland seems to have been equally sanguine as to the state of the King's affairs at this time. Four days only before the battle of Newbury, in which he was killed, he wrote to his wife that the King's affairs had never been in a more prosperous condition ; “ that setting down before Gloucester bad prevented their finishing the “ war this year, which nothing could keep us from doing if we had a month's “ more time.”—Sidney Letters, vol. ii. p. 671.

% Life, vol. i. p. 166.

The only poems that have been handed down to us of his writing are an · Eclogue on the Death of Ben Jonson,'' Lines on the Death of Dr. Donne,' and · Verses to Grotius. ' Aubrey says “ that Dr. Earle “ would not allow Lord Falkland to be a good poet, “ though a great wit; he writ not a smooth verse, but “ a great deal of sense.”? Of his theological writings there remain "A Discourse on Episcopacy;' A Discourse on the Infallibility of the Church of Rome,' and "A Reply to the Answer thereto;'3 " A Letter addressed to Mr. Walter Montague concerning his Change of Religion ;' and also · A Letter to Mr. F. M.,' anno 1636, printed at the end of Mr. Charles Gataker's · Answer to Five Captious Questions, propounded by a Factor for the Papacy.

Lord Clarendon speaks with regret that the two discourses on the principal positions of the Church of Rome had not been published, they having, as he says, “ that “ sharpness of style and full weight of reason that the “ Church is deprived of great jewels in the concealment “ of them.” They were, however, published some few

See Appendix R. and S. 2 Aubrey's “Lives of Eminent Men.'—"Dr. Earles was an excellent poet both in Latin, Greek, and English. He was very dear to the Lord Falkland, with whom he spent as much time as he could make his own; and as that Lord would impute the speedy progress he made in the Greek tongue to the information and assistance he had from Mr. Earles, so Mr. Earles would frequently profess that he had got more useful learning by his conversation at Tew than he had at Oxford.”Life of Clarendon, vol. i. p. 51.

3 The Answer was written by G. Holland, a Cambridge scholar, and afterwards a Roman Catholic priest.

* These were collected together and published by Dr. Triplet, who had been chaplain to Lord Falkland, and dedicated by him to his son Lucius, third Viscount Falkland.

5 Hist, of the Rebellion, vol. iv. p. 244.


years later, and Lord Clarendon thus alludes to the Discourse on the Infallibility of the Church of Rome :

“ It is not a trivial evidence of his learning, his wit, 6 and his candour, that may be found in that discourse “ of his against the Infallibility of the Church of Rome,' “ published since his death ; and from a copy under his “ own hand, though not prepared and digested by him “ for the press, and to which he would have given some “ castigations."? Lord Falkland was a decided member of the Church of England, but his toleration for the opinions of others who differed from him was no less remarkable than the fund of knowledge on which his own were based. Lord Clarendon tells us, “ He had “ read all the Greek and Latin fathers, all the most " allowed and authentic ecclesiastical writers, and all the “ councils, with wonderful care and observation ; for in " religion he thought too careful and too curious an “ inquiry could not be made amongst those whose “ purity was not questioned, and whose authority was “ constantly and confidently urged by men who were “ furthest from being of one mind amongst themselves, “ and for the mutual support of their several opinions “ in which they most contradicted each other; and in all “ those controversies he had so dispassioned a considera“ tion, such a candour in his nature, and so profound a “ charity in his conscience, that in those points in which he “ was in his own judgment most clear he never thought “ the worse or in any degree declined the familiarity of " those who were of another mind; which, without

" See Appendix Q.

? Clarendon, ‘Life,' vol. i. p. 44.

« ZurückWeiter »