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‘ are young. But let us do like good soldiers, who close their ranks the more as each comrade falls.'
Jean-Jacques did press closer to his comrades after a time; but at first he fled from Paris and them. He went to Spain ; he came to England; he crossed to America, and traversed the great continent from north to south, and he worked as those work who have little else left to do.
A few words must be said on the literary labours by which he is known, and which are all that heart, ability, industry, and ardour could produce from one of whom Alexis de Tocqueville said that he had the rare privilege of taking interest in all things, and of regarding with equal curiosity, tantôt littéraire, ' tantôt savante, tout ce qui vient de l'homme. To this faculty is owing the multifariousness of what he undertook. Histories, romances, plays, travels, biographies, poetry, journalism--the lightest sallies of epigrammatic wit, the driest researches of archæology -- nothing came amiss to one who was as universal in knowledge as cosmopolitan in interest. And all was thrown off with the same genial ease which made him the man most valued as a correspondent, most fascinating in a tête-à-tête, most sought in society. His facility of composition was almost unexampled in the annals of authorship, and the more so as combined with habits of thoroughness in all he undertook. He wrote a chapter of a novel in a night—he versified an article on Tocqueville's work which he had not time to write in prose. His six volumes of Roman history, while presenting a mine of knowledge from which hand-book makers will ever dig, have a flow of style seldom combined, except in the highest names, with the same depth of erudition. These, and his careful contributions to the history of various literatures, will live, while the repute of his lighter works, the chief charm of which consisted in their being so like his own conversation, is already passing away with the contemporaries who enjoyed them. Tocqueville's eulogy to the Comte de Circourt on the charm of Ampère's society is significant: ‘Le moindre mérite de cet auteur • là est celui d'écrire.'
Here the attempt to describe the career and character of this remarkable man must come to an end. The Penates of friendly hearths which he had worshipped all his life never forsook him. *Madame Récamier was dead, and Alexis de Tocqueville followed ten years later; but the sympathies and consolations of friendship, which were to him as the breath of life, were still renewed. We have instanced his passion for the beautiful Juliette, and his affection for the great historian, as the first and second epochs of his life. A third epoch and a third group of friends were
granted to him in the family of the gifted and amiable editress of these volumes. The follies of youth and the ambitions of maturer age were now over, and what the intimacy of this exemplary home circle supplied him with, was best suited for one nearing the end of life's pilgrimage. The lingering illness, the piety, and the death of M. and Mdme. Cheuvreux's only child and daughter, allured to brighter worlds and led the 'way;' and this chapter, on which we can only thus passingly touch, is so far of a higher order of interest as the joys and sorrows in which he now took part were of a purer and more sacred kind. It is no slight tribute to Madame Cheuvreux-and it is one she will most appreciate-to say that, as the generous heart of Jean-Jacques Ampère cared for those he loved, equally during life and after death, so her kindred heart in both senses has cared for him. He died at Pau, March 1864, under his friends' roof, bequeathing to Madame Cheuvreux those family records of three generations which she has turned to such pious account. And it may be added that in so doing she has given to the world a work which, more than any other we know, proves that France is the Paradise of Friendship.
Art. IV.-1. History of England from the Accession of James 1. to the Disgrace of Chief Justice Coke, 1603-1616. By SAMUEL RAWSON GARDINER. In two volumes. London:
1863. 2. Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage, 1617-1623. A
Chapter of English History. By SAMUEL RAWSON GARDINER. In two volumes. London: 1869. 3. A History of England under the Duke of Buckingham and
Charles I., 1624-1628. By SAMUEL Rawson GARDINER.
sent us with a history of England from the accession of James I. in 1603 to the death of Buckingham in 1628. If we have not noticed these books before, it must not be imagined that we have failed to appreciate their great merits. They all alike bring a large amount of new information to bear upon a period investigated by many previous explorers; they contain fresh views of the home policy of James I. and Charles I., while they lighten up the whole course of their foreign policy, rendering it for the first time really intelligible; in short, they take their place as the standard work which all must read who wish to form a correct opinion of the men and facts of the time. Knowledge and research Mr. Gardiner shares with other writers. There is a second characteristic of his books which more especially separates them from previous histories of the same period, namely, their thoroughgoing impartiality. Mr. Gardiner places his readers behind the scenes on both sides, and lays materials before them from which to form an indifferent judgment between leaders of the opposition and supporters of the prerogative. Nor does he do mere formal justice to men of one party, while his sympathies are manifestly on the other side. On the contrary, his aim has been to represent the events of a past time free of the party colouring which historians writing under the influence of modern ideas have often laid upon them. Ready enough to bestow severe censure on low motives and bad policy, Mr. Gardiner presupposes that each party honestly believed in the excellence of its own political creed, and that in any particular case the better cause is as likely to be found on the one side as on the other.
We need hardly say that Mr. Gardiner's position gives his history a peculiar and special interest of its own. · England
under Charles I. and the Duke of Buckingham' narrates the incidents of the exciting struggle for power between Charles I. and his early Parliaments, and may possibly bear the palm for popularity. But · Prince Charles and the Spanish Mar
riage' is a book of at least equal, if not of greater worth, and it certainly yields in real historical interest to no portion of Mr. Gardiner's work. There, and there alone, can be read an authentic, clear, and comprehensible account of the negotiations with Spain and the causes of their ultimate failure. There also is to be found a character of James I., newly illustrated alike in its strong and weak sides by the close study which Mr. Gardiner has given to the king's foreign policy, James appears in these pages as a man of learning and of more than ordinary ability, who was in possession of ideas, which might have classed him amongst the first statesmen of his day ; on the other hand, no history has revealed so fully the extent of his moral weakness.
The policy which, in spite of constant swervings to the right and to the left, James to the day of his death kept ever in his mind's eye, was deserving of better success than it attained. Living in an age of intolerance, James was opposed to persecution. Living in an age when every quarrel of religion called for an appeal to force, James had an instinctive dislike to war, and above all to a war of religion. To lessen the intolerance of English Protestants, to place England in a mediating position between Catholic and Protestant states, and to obtain a settlement of religious difficulties on the Continent on a basis of mutual forbearance, were aims undoubtedly worthy of a consummate statesman. Unfortunately, however, James' great aims sat but loosely upon him. They were too big for the man.
Great aims for their accomplishment require great moral and intellectual qualities, perseverance, abnegation of self, firmness of will, knowledge of men, and insight into the conditions of the time. In all such qualities of strength James was painfully deficient. Hence, turned aside as he was by petty and personal objects, the greater with him was ever subordinate to the less. Catholics were persecuted because the king was short of money to give away ; Puritans were persecuted lest their principles should endanger the power of the crown. James I. could never see the primary conditions of success. Different estimates of the character of this monarch will probably be formed according to the side from which he is approached. If we fix our attention on the ends he had in view and compare them with those for which other kings and statesmen of his day were striving, we shall be apt to condone the moral weakness of the man. If, on the other hand, we begin with investigating his actions, we shall be apt to deny him the credit which he does deserve for the endeavour, however feebly and incompetently made, to supplant the sword by the olive-branch as arbiter in the settlement of the religious questions of his day. . Whether Mr. Gardiner in his estimate has fairly hit the balance, we recommend our readers to judge for themselves. We wish here to call attention to the fact that he does not regard James as a man of great practical sagacity, or as one whose successful statesmanship has served as a model for modern politicians. Such a view is far more false than the popular idea of the king, which, though it may take note only of his faults, has at least a good deal of foundation in fact to stand upon.
Yet a late reviewer of Mr. Gardiner's books bas held James up to admiration as a great and successful statesman. This portrait seems mainly woven out of his own fancy; as, however, he gives his readers to understand that his statements rest on the histories of Professor von Ranke and Mr. Gardiner, we purpose for a short space to show how entirely he has misrepresented the views of at least one of these his professed guides. The reviewer tells us that James' tentative, procrastinating, in form haggling, in spirit freezing, policy
* Quarterly Review, July, 1875, No. cclxxvii.
had no special cause in any fault in his mind and judgment. The very same policy is and has been the rigorous line, marked out by interest and also by duty, at many a juncture of European affairs for the United Kingdom. . . . There are plenty of later examples and they are most assuredly not examples of mere fumbling ignorance and groping incompetence) of behaviour very like that of James I. ; while the Thirty Years' War—a war which no English king, general, or minister could stop, guide, or comprehend-looned and threatened, but as it were from altogether another sphere than his own.'
The writer of these sentences certainly does not follow Mr. Gardiner, who never confounds James' aims and the means by which he sought to attain them. James' policy in so far as it was averse to war may fairly be called a modern policy, but assuredly no English statesman, who had any acquaintance with Mr. Gardiner’s volumes, would feel flattered at a comparison drawn between his behaviour at a great crisis and that of James I. at the crisis of the Thirty Years' War. the great misfortune of James' character,' Mr. Gardiner writes, ' that while both in his domestic and foreign policy he
was far in advance of his age in his desire to put a final end to religious strife, he was utterly unfit to judge what were • the proper measures to be taken for the attainment of his
object. The whole narrative of · Prince Charles and the Spanish Marriage’ may be said to be one long illustration of these words. James' foreign policy from the first was marred by two fundamental errors. He thought to effect an equilibrium between Catholic and Protestant States by entering into a marriage treaty and close alliance with Spain, a Catholic country which would never seriously have entertained the thought of bestowing the hand of its Infanta on a heretic Prince of Wales except in hope of the conversion of the English nation to the Roman Catholic faith. The Spanish marriage was abhorred by the people of England and condemned by James' wisest counsellors. He made it the pivot of his foreign policy. But we could not have conceived that the most inveterate Tory writer now in existence would have dared to assert, as this reviewer has done, that the policy of James I. is in the main still the policy of Great Britain.' Afterwards on the breaking out of hostilities in Bohemia, James made the second error of supposing that his mere words were to hush the storms of war, when he had no army behind by which to enforce them. Two such false steps were bad enough. Still during the course of the war an occasional crisis occurred when it was just possible that a really able statesman seizing the opportunity might have been able to mediate successfully.