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& ard to the fidelity of his eldest son ; and during the latter years of his life, he had excluded that Prince from all share in public business, and was even displeased to see him at the head of armies, where his martial talents, though useful to the support of government, acquired him a renown, which, he thought, might prove dangerous to his own authority. The active spirit of young Henry, restrained from its proper exercise, broke out in extravagancies of every kind; and the riot of pleasure, the frolics of debauchery, the outrage of wine, filled the vacancies of a mind, better adapted to the pursuits of ambition, and the cares of government. This course of life threw hiin among companions, whose disorders, if accompanied with spirit and humour, he seconded and indulged ; and he was detected in many fallies, which, to severer eyes, appeared totally unworthy of his rank and station. There even remains a tradition, that, when heated with liquor and jollity, he scrupled not to accompany them in attacking the passengers on the strects and highways, and despoiling them of their goods; and he found an amusement in the incidents, which the terror and regret of these defenceless people produced on such occasions. This extreme of difsoluteness proved equally disagreeable to his father, as that eager application to business, which had at first given him occasion of jealousy; and he saw in his son's behaviour the same neglect of decency, the same attachment to low company, which had destroyed the personal character of Richard, and which, more than all his errors in government, had tended to overturn his throne. But the nation in general confidered the young prince with more indulgence; and observed so many gleams of generosity, spirit, and magnanimity, breaking continually through the cloud, which a wild conduct threw over his character, that they never ceased hoping for his amendment, and a cribed all the weeds, which shot up in that rich soil, to the want of proper culture and attention in tie King and his ministers. There passed an event which encouraged these agreeable views, and gave much occasion for favourable reflections to all men of sense and candor. A riotous companion of the prince's had been indicted before Gascoigne, the chief justice, for some disorders; and Henry was not ashamed to appear at the bar with the criminal, in order to give him countenance and protection. Finding, that his presence had not over-awed the chief justice, he proceeded to insult that magiftrate on his tribunal ; but Galcoigne, mindful of the character which he then bore, and the majesty of the sovercign and of the laws, which he suf
tained, ordered the Prince to be carried to prison for his rude behaviour. The spectators were agreeably disappointed, when they saw the heir of the crown submit peaceably to this sentence, make reparation for his error by acknowleging it, and check his impetuous nature in the midst of its entravagant career.
These sentiments may, to some, appear overstrained and too refined: but they who have accurately examined the human heart, who can make allowances for the frailties of more tality, and who know how nearly the greatest virtues border on the opposite vices, will withhold their censure of this apology for the Prince's strange irregularities. As it is essentially necessary for an historian, among other requisites, to be a philosopher'; fo philosophers only are capable of forming a right judgment of history.
The character of this Prince, who died in the Aower of his age, is painted in the following strong and glowing colours.
“ This Prince possessed many eminent virtues ; and if we give indulgence to ambition in a monarch, or rank it, as the vulgar are inclined to do, among his virtues, they were unstained by any considerable blemish. His abilities appeared equally in the cabinet and in the field; the boldness of his enterprizes was no less remarkable than his personal valour in conducting them. He had the talent of attaching his friends by affability, and of gaining his enemies by address and clemency. The English, dazzled by the lustre of his character, still more than by that of his victories, were reconciled to the defects of his title : the French almost forgot that he was an enemy: and his care of maintaining juftice in his civil administration, and preserving discipline in his armies, made some amends to both nations for the calamities inseparable from those wars, in which his short reign was almolt entirely occupied. That he could forgive the earl of Marche, who had a better right to the throne than himself, is a sure proof of his magnanimity; and that the earl relied so entirely on his friendship is no less a proof of his established character' for candor and sincerity. There remain in history few instances of such mutual trust; and still fewer where neither party found reason to repent it.”
After all however, it must be confessed, that he owed the splendor of his military character to a fortunate rashness, 2:nd the most destructive and fatal consequences might reason
ably have been expected from his daring and indiscreet enterprizes. Indeed Mr. Hume acknowleges, that “ nothing in appearance could be more unequal than the battle of Azincourt, upon which all his safety and his fortunes depended, His situation was exactly similar to that of Edward at Cressy, and that of the Black Prince at Poictiers; and the French confidence, notwithstanding past experience, in like manner proved their ruin; so that in the end, their enemies, by their misconduct, derived immortal glory from a temerity which portended inevitable destruction.
The reign of Henry VI. is a farther proof, that every weak Prince will, in a limited and mixed government, be unhappy. This King had the misfortune to lose most of the territories which his father had conquered from France, and had the farther mortification to have them, in fact, ravished from him by a General in petticoats, that is, the famous Joan d'Arc, known by the name of the Maid of OrJeans. Of this wonderful girl, our Historian gives the most accurate account we remember to have met with.
“ In the village of Domremi, near Vaucouleurs, on the borders of Lorraine, there lived a country girl of twentyfeven years of age, called Joan d'Arc, who was servant in a fmall inn, and who in that station had been accustomed to tend the horses of the guests, to ride them without a faddle to the watering-place, and to perform other offices, which, in well-frequented inns, commonly fall to the fhare of the men servants. This girl was of an irreproachable life, and had not hitherto been remarked for any fingularity; whether that she had met with no occafion to excite her genius, or that the unskilful eyes of those, who conversed with her, had not been able to discern her uncommon merit. It is easy to imagine, that the present situation of France was an interefting object even to persons of the lowest rank, and would become the frequent subject of their conversation : a young Prince, expelled his native throne, by the sedition of subjects and by the arms of strangers, could not fail to move the compassion of all his people, whose hearts were uncorrupted by faction; and the peculiar character of Charles, so strongly inclined to friendship and the tender paffions, naturally tendered him the hero of that fex, whose generous minds knew no bounds in their affections. The fiege of Orleans, the progress of the English before that place, the great distress of the garison and inhabitants, the importance of saving the city and its brave defenders, had turned thither the eyes
of all the world; and Joan, inflamed by the general sentiment, was seized with a wild desire of bringing relief to her sovereign in his present distresses. Her unexperienced mind, working day and night on this favourite object, mistook the impulses of her passion for heavenly inspirations; and the fancied, that she saw visions and heard voices, exhorting her to re-establish the throne of France, and to expel the foreign invaders, An uncommon intrepidity of temper made her overlook all the dangers, which might attend her in such a path; and thinking herself destined by heaven to this office, the threw aside that bashfulness and timidity, which would naturally adhere to her sex, her years, and her low station. She went to Boudricourt, governor of Vacouleurs ; procured admission to him ; informed him of her inspirations and intentions; and conjured him not to neglect the voice of God, who spoke thro' her, but to second those heavenly revelations, which impelled her to this glorious enterprize, Baudricourt treated her at first with some neglect; but on her frequent returns to him, and importunate follicitations, he began to remark something extraordinary in the maid, and was inclined, at all hazards, to make so easy an experiment. It is uncertain, whether this gentleman had difcernment enough to perceive, that great use might be made with the vulgar of so uncommon an engine ; or, what is more likely in that credulous age, was himself a convert to this visionary: but he adopted at last the scheme of Joan; and he gave her fome attendants, who conducted her to the French court, which at that time resided at Chinon.
“ It is the business of history to distinguish between the miraculous and the marvellous ; to reject the first in all narrations merely profane and human ; to scruple the second; and when obliged by undoubted testimony, as in the present case, to admit of something extraordinary, to receive as little of it as is consistent with the known facts and circumstances. It is pretended, that Joan, immediately on her admission, knew the King, tho’ she had never seen his face before, and tho' he purposely kept himself in the crowd of courtiers, and had laid aside every thing in his dress and apparel, which might distinguish him ; that the offered him, in the name of the fupreme Creator, to raise the siege of Orleans, and conduct him to Rheims to be there crowned and anointed; and on his expressing some doubts of her mission, revealed to him, before some sworn confidents, a secret, which was unknown to all the world but himself, and which nothing but a heavenly inspiration could discover to her and that the demand
ed, ed, as the instrument of her future victories, a particular Sword, which was kept in the church of St. Catharine de Fierbois, and which, tho' she had never seen it, she described by all its marks, and by the place in which it had long been laid and neglected. This is certain, that all these miraculous stories were spread abroad, in order to catch the vulgar. The more the King and his ministers were determined to give into the illusion, the more scruples they pretended. An assembly of grave doctors and theologians cautiously examined Joan's mision, and pronounced it undoubted and supernatural. She was sent to the parliament, then residing at Poictiers ; and was interrogated before that affembly : the presidents, the counsellors, who came persuaded of her imposture, went away convinced of her inspiration. A ray of hope began to break thro' that despair, in which the minds of all men were before enveloped. Heaven had now declared itself in favour of France, and had laid bare its out
Stretched arm to take vengeance on her invaders. Few could distinguish between the impulse of inclination and the force of conviction; and none would submit to the trouble of lo disagreeable a scrutiny."
The merit of these reflections must be acknowleged by every reader, who has the least portion of that manly and liberal spirit which distinguishes our author. An Historian above all others, should never be a dupe to credulity : and he ought not only to reject incredibilities himself, but it is his duty likewise to warn his readers against crediting phantaffic relations, which often give a wrong bias to enthufiaftic minds, and render them ridiculous to the wife, and dangerous to the weak.
Henry's losses and misfortunes abroad, naturally produced discontents at home, which at length broke out into open rebellion, and made way for the line of York in the person of Edward IV. His throne however tottered for some time, but the victory over Henry's forces at the battle of Hexham, seemed to have extinguished the hopes of the Lancastrian family. The consequences of this battle are described in a
very affecting manner.
« The fate of the unfortunate royal family, after this defcat, was very fingular. Margaret, Aying with her son into a foreft, where she endeavoured to conceal herfelf, was beset, during the darkness of the night, by robbers, who either ignorant or regardless of her quality, despoiled her of her rings and jewels, and treated her with the utmost indignity.