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Rose, p. 183.
than Argyle, and to prove this not only the former must be exalted, but the latter depreciated. “We tread,” says he, “ with reverence on the ashes of the dead; it might other« wise not be difficult to shew that Argyle was not altoge" ther that hero, which Mr. Fox's partiality has made him.” It is then admitted that he was possessed of an amiable disposition, gentleness, and equanimity; but it is objected that his talents were not fitted to conduct the enterprize be undertook, his bravery not always guided by discretion, his decision did not yield sufficiently to the opinion of others, and the smallness of the party which joined him in Scotland, “ marks of itself the distrust of his ability to “ conduct them; and from his landing in Orkney to his “ final discomfiture, his measures seem to have been
adopted without any plan, to ensure their success, or “ to extricate himself and his followers, if misfortune “ should attend them. The heroism of his death may, “ however, excuse Mr. Fox for the warmth of his pane
gyric; yet in the short comparison, which he has « introduced between Argyle and Montrose, he has " resisted the same feeling towards the latter nobleman, " whose death was not less heroic, and whose atchieve* ments were much more brilliant than those of the “ former. If the chivalry of Montrose had not been “ kindled by his attachment to his King, as the zeal of “ Argyle was inflamed by his indignation at the abuses “ of monarchical power, it must have given Mr. Fox an “ opportunity for such eulogium as historians, even
Rose, p. 184
" adverse to the royal cause, have allowed to that gal- SECTION “ lant royalist.”
The imputation conveyed in this passage is that, though the atchievements of Montrose were much more brilliant than Argyle's, yet Mr. Fox has withheld the eulogium due to him, because his chivalry had been kindled by his attachment to his King, while he panegyrized Argyle, because his zeal was inflamed by his indignation at the abuses of monarchical power.
In defence of Mr. Fox it might be urged, as has been done before, that if he had thought as highly of the character of Montrose, and as meanly of that of Argyle, as Mr. Rose does, the plan of his history did not admit of his entering into a discussion of the merits of Montrose and sketching out his character, for he was dead before the period at which the History begins. Is it not possible that blinded not merely with that childish love of Kings which has been imputed to Mr. Hume, but with a similar affection to every body who felt attachment to them, Mr. Rose may have estimated too highly the character of Montrose? It has been proved, that his judgment was misled by this partiality in the case of Monk. It would not follow because Montrose's death was as heroic as Argyle's, and his atchievements more brilliant, that he would have had equal claim with Argyle to the praise of Mr. Fox. The character of Argyle depended upon many other circumstances, to which Mr. Rose makes no allusion. Mr. Rose knew well that all the Historians, friendly to the royal
cause, did not think that he was entitled to unqualified praise, for he mentions himself that the character
given of him by Clarendon is “certainly more admirable, Rose, p. 174. than amiable.”
Laing, ii. ». 245.
From Mr. Laing's History, we learn that Montrose began life without any settled principle; he took the covenant bimself, and in 1639, was employed with Lesly in forcing it upon others, and was distinguished by his extreme severity in performing the service : but two years afterwards, jealous of the superiority of Argyle in the senate, and Lesly in the field, he was suspected to have set up, or at least encouraged, a false accusation of Argyle, and thrown into prison, where “ disgusted alternately at “ the court, and the covenant, his spirit, indignant' at the
disgrace of imprisonment, was fixed irrecoverably in o its last resentment." The character of Montrose was not such as to be likely to induce Mr. Fox, to go out of his way to write his panegyric. For however enterprizing and intrepid his spirit, however brilliant his exploits; they were tarnished by his general violence and severity, by his having first betrayed bis party, and then persecuted it with unrelenting and merciless cruelty, and by his not only having recommended assassination, as an expedient to secure his Sovereign upon the throne, but offered himself to use the poniard*. From the con
* He advised the assassination of Hamilton and Argyle in 1641, and undertook to execute it himself. Laing iii. p. 208, and in 1643, when his desperate counsels prevailed, a massacre of the chief covenanters was projected. Ibid. p. 235.
templation of such a character, Mr. Fox must bave SECTION turned
away with disgust, while the mild and benevolent spirit of Argyle, so congenial with his own, seems to have excited in him a high degree of affection as well as admiration, and roused the tenderest sympathy. He could not describe unmoved his undeserved sufferings, and it would have been unjust to withhold the language of panegyric, when recording the most interesting occurrence of the life of a man, of whom he thought so highly as to say,
« Let' him be weighed never so scru- Pox, p. 204. pulously, and in the nicest scales, he will not be found, “ in a single instance wanting in the charity of a christian; o the firmness, and benevolence of a patriot; the integrity, " and fidelity of a man of honour.”
Mr. Rose does not correctly state Mr. Fox’s argument, leaders in ; when he says, that from the words, “ that you take all ture Argyle.
ways to know from him those things which concern “ our government most," in the warrant for the Earl of Argyle's execution, Mr. Fox is induced to believe it was intended to apply torture, for Mr. Fox was induced to such belief, not merely from the insertion of those words, but also from torture being at that time in common use in Scotland, and the persons to whom the warrant was addressed having often caused it to be inflicted, and therefore the meaning of those words well known to them. Mr. Rose observes that torture had been in com. mon use in Scotland, was inflicted in the reign of William
the Third, and not prohibited by law. till after the Union. But he is not content to confine his history of torture, to Scotland, but makes an excursion into England, and at last comes to a conclusion, which is warranted by nothing
goes before, and therefore possibly some quotations respecting the proceedings 'against, Argyle, or some pas
sages meant to be inserted in the obseryations may have Rose, p. 182. been accidentally omitted. ** On the whole,” he says,
upon the most attentive consideration of every thing " that has been written on the subject, there does not appear “ to have been any intention of applying torture in the “ case of the Earl of Argyle.” When Mr. Rose gave the subject the most attentive consideration, or what were the documents he considered, or how he got access to every one of them we are not told; for these words certainly cannot refer to the quotations he has favoured us with, relating to the use of torture in general in this island. But Mr. Rose has omitted to notice a passage in one of Barillon’s. Letters, which it must be presumed is included in his description of “ every thing that has been written on “ the subject,” which proves to demonstration that there did exist an intention to apply the torture to Argyle, and goes further, for it furnishes the reason why it was not inflicted. The Letter is dated the 16th of July, 1685, and has this passage,
, “ The Earl of Argyle has been “ executed at Edinburg, and has left a full confession “ in writing, in which he discovers all those, who have ... assisted him with money, and who have aided his