« ПредишнаНапред »
Mr. Fox's Periods of English History, - Comparison between the Pro-
ceedings of Charles the First and the Earl of Strafford.--Observations
À VINDICATION, &c.
SECTION THE FIRST.
Mr. Rose feels so strong an attachment to the early section periods of our history, that he begins his observations in – apparent displeasure at Mr. Fox, for having passed them
a thom Mr. Rose's Ob
lavins passed them jections to Mr. by without notice, and commenced his historical labours English Histo only at the latter end of the fifteenth century. He then states, that Mr. Fox distributes the periods, into which his work is divided, after the latter end of the fifteenth century, in a manner not quite intelligible. This charge comes upon us rather by surprise ; for though Mr. Rose had thought he perceived a constant bias, operating powerfully on Mr. Fox's mind, he had given us no reason to suppose that it would make him write unintelligibly. That he divides his periods in a different manner from what Mr. Rose would do may be admitted ; but the text is not obscure.
SECTION The commencement of the first period objected to,
- is fixed at the year 1588, and ends at the year 1640.
To this arrangement Mr. Fox was naturally led by the consideration, that the preceding period, from the accession of Henry the Seventh to 1588, was one, in which the political state of the country was materially changed by regulations, of which tyranny was the immediate, and liberty the remote consequence. The next succeeding period he describes as one, in which, by the cultivation of science, and the arts of civil life, during a season of almost uninterrupted tranquillity and peace, there was a great general improvement in the people, but particularly in their manners and style of thinking. The distinction between the two periods cannot be mistaken by an attentive reader. Mr. Rose makes no objection to the commencement of this period, but would extend it so far as to include the whole of Elizabeth's reign, and gives four reasons for objecting to its concluding earlier. The first is, because there was no change of system in the government of Queen Elizabeth during her whole reign. To this it may be answered, that the second period is selected, not on account of its political features, but the general improvement of the people, which advanced inore rapidly, because there was no change. And we may ask, how the steadiness of her government can be used as an argument on either side, or render her reign more fit to be placed in one period or the other ?-The next reason is, that the authors, to whom