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sagacious observer of the circumstances which pre-
voked the preceding revolution, and has destroyed all SECTION prospect of grievances being redressed, and the situa- tion of the people being meliorated.
Mr. Fox's opinions concerning a restoration, are neither new nor peculiar. It would be easy to ac- Emp. c. 48. cumulate instances and authorities, let one suffice:Mr Gibbon observes, “ The ancient proverh, That blood“ thirsty is the man who returns from banishment to “ power, had been applied with too much truth to “ Marius and Tiberius, and was now verified for the “ third time in the life of Andronicus.”
Mr. Rose unwarrantably confines this general observation to the Restoration of Charles the Second, and it may therefore be worth while to examine shortly, whether even that great event might not be cited as an example of the truth of Mr. Fox's general observation. The Restoration was in one point of view a most fortunate incident for this country, for it brought back the form of government, to which the people had been accustomed, and which a majority of them preferred; and it laid the foundation of the happy political system, under which we now live, But we must not forget that it was also accompanied with the re-establishment of most of the abuses of the former monarchy, and that, according to Mr. Rose, so strong was the cry in favour of kingly go
vernment, it would not have been safe for the restorer of it to have proposed the most salutary restrictions. Even Monk himself would have been considered as an enemy to royalty, and treated as such. A wild and enthusiastic spirit in favour of the ancient form of government, has generally preceded, and occasioned restorations; it is not peculiar to that just mentioned, but belongs indiscriminately to all, and may be one of the reasons operating upon Mr. Fox's mind, and inducing him to make the observation in question. The existence of such a spirit, at the moment of a restoration, must be highly dangerous to the liberty of the people, and prevent them from deriving the benefit, they might have expected from resistance. In this respect, therefore, it may be doubtful in what class of revolutions the Restoration of Charles the Second ought to be placed, for owing to his being seated on the throne, without limitation, almost the whole of his reign was one continued tumultuous struggle between him and his subjects, and, if the fear of Popery had not united and invigorated the friends of rational liberty, it might have been recorded in history among the worst of revolutions, and as one which had blasted the rising prosperity of a great people. By constant adherence to a system of unexampled duplicity and meanness, Charles contrived to retain a precarious throne, but, within less than four years after his death, the errors of the first revolution were so severely felt, that a second became necessary to reform them, and SECTION the liberty of England was established on the expulsion of his brother, and his family, and accompanied with a change in the right of succession to the throne.
Mr. Rose is quite indignant at the character given of Monk by Mr. Fox, though he admits, that “ too Rose, p. 19. " much praise has been bestowed on Monk by those “ who approved of the measure, and too much cen“ sure by those who disapproved of it.” There is an insinuation conveyed in this last sentence, which must not be permitted to pass unnoticed. By connecting those, who praise and censure Monk with those, who approve or disapprove of the measure, on Mr. Fox is cast the opprobrium of disapproving of the Restoration, because he censures Monk. But is it not possible that a historian may censure a distinguished political character, and yet not be an enemy to his measures? And does not Mr. Rose give up all pretensions to candour, when he thus acknowledges that he praises Monk, not on account of any merits of his own, but of the cause in which he was engaged ? In his eyes the character of a restorer of monarchy, however base and immoral, must be entitled to admiration; and even that of Monk appears to him, only not so perfect as to justify unqualified praise being bestowed on his memory.
SECTION Mr. Rose, however, detracts from the merit of Monk,
- when he says, “ It is true that he gave great furThe people de sirous of the Re- “ therance to it,” (i. e. the restoration of the King) Rose, p. 20. “ but in doing so, he only fell in with the eager and
“ anxious wishes of almost all descriptions of men in
ure of church
during the usurpation.
Effect of seiz. The remark, that the seizure of the crown lands, and crown lands and the sale of the bishops' lands, had hardly any effect
on checking the general wish for the restoration, although it was believed there were above 400,000 families in the kingdom engaged to the Parliament by those purchases, (i. e. of the bishops' lands, for no other sales
Rose, p. 20.