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successful projector would excite little concern, and but of such land birds as could not be supposed to be inquired into with no curiosity.
fly far from the shore. The crew of the Pinta obColumbus was fully sensible of his perilous situa- served a cane floating, which seemed to have been tion. He had observed, with great uneasiness, the fatal newly cut, and likewise a piece of timber artificially operation of ignorance and of fear in producing dis- carved. The sailors aboard the Nigna took up the affection among his crew, and saw that it was now branch of a tree with red berries perfectly fresh. The ready to burst out into open mutiny. He retained, clouds around the setting sun assumed a new appearhowever, perfect presence of mind. He affected to ance; the air was more mild and warm, and during seem ignorant of their machinations. Notwithstand night the wind became unequal and variable. From ing the agitation and solicitude of his own mind, he all these symptoms Columbus was so confident of appeared with a cheerful countenance, like a man being near land, that on the evening of the eleventh satisfied with the progress he had made, and confident of October, after public prayers for success, he ordered of success. Sometimes he employed all the arts of the sails to be furled, and the ships to lie to, keeping insinuation to soothe his men. Sometimes he endea- strict watch lest they should be driven ashore in the Foured to work upon their ambition or avarice by night. During this interval of suspense and expectamagnificent descriptions of the fame and wealth which tion, no man shut his eyes, all kept upon deck, gazing they were about to acquire. On other occasions he intently towards that quarter where they expected to assumed a tone of authority, and threatened them discover the land, which had so long been the object with vengeance from their sovereign if, by their das- of their wishes. tardly behaviour, they should defeat this noble effort About two hours before midnight, Columbus, standto promote the glory of God, and to exalt the Spanish ing on the forecastle, observed a light at a distance, pame above that of every other nation. Even with and privately pointed it out to Pedro Guttierez, a seditious sailors, the words of a man whom they had page of the queen's wardrobe. Guttierez perceived it, beeri accustomed to reverence, were weighty and per- and calling to Salcedo, comptroller of the fleet, all suasive, and not only restrained them from those three saw it in motion, as if it were carried from place violent excesses which they meditated, but prevailed, to place. A little after midnight, the joyful sound of with them to accompany their admiral for some time land, land/ was heard from the Pinta, which kept longer.
always a-head of the other ships. But having been As they proceeded, the indications of approaching so often deceived by fallacious appearances, every land seemed to be more certain, and excited hope in man was now become slow of belief, and waited in all proportion. The birds began to appear in flocks, the anguish of uncertainty and impatience for the making towards the south-west. Columbus, in imi- return of day. As soon as morning dawned, all tation of the Portuguese navigators, who had been doubts and fears were dispelled. From every ship an guided in several of their discoveries by the motion island was seen about two leagues to the north, whose of birds, altered his course from due west towards that flat and verdant fields, well stored with wood, and quarter whither they pointed their flight. But, after watered with many rivulets, presented the aspect of a holding on for several days in this new direction delightful country. The crew of the Pinta instantly without any better success than formerly, having seen began the Te Deum, as a hymn of thanksgiving to no object during thirty days but the sea and the sky, God, and were joined by those of the other ships with the hopes of his companions subsided faster than they tears of joy and transports of congratulation. This had risen ; their fears revived with additional force ; office of gratitude to Heaven was followed by an act impatience, rage, and despair appeared in every coun- of justice to their commander. They threw themselves tenance. All sense of subordination was lost. The at the feet of Columbus, with feelings of self-conofficers, who had hitherto concurred with Columbus in demnation, mingled with reverence. They implored opinion, and supported bis authority, now took part him to pardon their ignorance, incredulity, and inwith the private men; they assembled tumultuously solence, which had created him so much unnecessary on the deck, expostulated with their commander, disquiet, and had so often obstructed the prosecution mingled threats with their expostulations, and re- of his well-concerted plan; and passing, in the warmth quired him instantly to tack about and return to of their admiration, from one extreme to another, Europe. Columbus perceived that it would be of no they now pronounced the man whom they had so avail to have recourse to any of his former arts, which, lately reviled and threatened, to be a person inspired having been tried so often, had lost their effect; and by Heaven with sagacity and fortitude more than that it was impossible to rekindle any zeal for the human, in order to accomplish a design so far beyond success of the expedition among men in whose breasts the ideas and conception of all former ages. fear had extinguished every generous sentiment. He As soon as the sun arose, all their boats were saw that it was no less vain to think of employing manned and armed. They rowed towards the island either gentle or severe measures to quell a mutiny so with their colours displayed, with warlike music, and general and so violent. It was necessary, on all these other martial pomp. As they approached the coast, accounts, to soothe passions which he could no longer they saw it covered with a multitude of people, whom command, and to give way to a torrent too impetuous the novelty of the spectacle had drawn together, whose to be checked. He promised solemnly to his men attitudes and gestures expressed wonder and astonishthat he would comply with their request, provided ment at the strange objects which presented themthey would accompany him and obey his command selves to their view. Columbus was the first European for three days longer, and if, during that time, who set foot on the new world which he had disland were not discovered, he would then abandon the covered. He landed in a rich dress, and with a naked enterprise, and direct his course towards Spain. sword in his hand. His men followed, and, kneeling
Enraged as the sailors were, and impatient to turn down, they all kissed the ground which they had so their faces again towards their native country, this long desired to see. They next erected a crucifix, proposition did not appear to them unreasonable ; nor and prostrating themselves before it, returned thanks did Columbus hazard much in confining himself to a to God for conducting their voyage to such a happy term so short. The presages of discovering land were issue. They then took solemn possession of the now so numerous and promising that he deemed them country for the crown of Castile and Leon, with all infallible. For some days the sounding line reached the formalities which the Portuguese were accustomed the bottom, and the soil which it brought up indicated to observe in acts of this kind in their new discoland to be at no great distance. The flocks of birds veries. increased, and were composed not only of sea-fowl, The Spaniards, while thus employed, were sur
rounded by many of the natives, who gazed in silent knowledge of which required a regular course of study, admiration upon actions which they could not com- together with long attention to the practice of courts. prehend, and of which they did not foresee the conse- Martial and illiterate nobles had neither leisure nor quences. The dress of the Spaniards, the whiteness of inclination to undertake a task so laborious, as well their skins, their beards, their arms, appeared strange as so foreign from all the occupations which they and surprising. The vast machines in which they had deemed entertaining or suitable to their rank. They traversed the ocean, that seemed to move upon the gradually relinquished their places in courts of justhe waters with wings, and uttered a dreadful sound tice, where their ignorance exposed them to contempt. resembling thunder, accompanied with lightning and They became weary of attending to the discussion of smoke, struck them with such terror that they began cases which grew too intricate for them to compreto respect their new guests as a superior order of hend. Not only the judicial determination of points, beings, and concluded that they were children of the which were the subject of controversy, but the conduct sun, who had descended to visit the earth.
of all legal business and transactions, was committed The Europeans were hardly less amazed at the to persons trained by previous study and application scene now before them. Every herb and shrub and to the knowledge of law. An order of men, to whom tree was different from those which flourished in their fellow-citizens had daily recourse for advice, Europe. The soil seemed to be rich, but bore few and to whom they looked up for decision in their marks of cultivation. The climate, even to the most important concerns, naturally acquired consiSpaniards, felt warm, though extremely delightful. deration and influence in society. They were advanced The inhabitants appeared in the simple innocence of to honours which had been considered hitherto as the nature, entirely naked. Their black hair, long and peculiar rewards of military virtue. They were inuncurled, floated upon their shoulders, or was bound trusted with offices of the highest dignity and most in tresses on their heads. They had no beards, and extensive power. Thus, another profession than that every part of their bodies was perfectly smooth. of arms came to be introduced among the laity, and Their complexion was of a dusty copper colour, their was reputed honourable. The functions of civil life features singular rather than disagreeable, their aspect were attended to. The talents requisite for discharg. gentle and timid. Though not tall, they were well- ing them were cultivated. A new road was opened shaped and active. Their faces, and several parts of to wealth and eminence. The arts and virtues of their bodies, were fantastically painted with glaring peace were placed in their proper rank, and received colours. They were shy at first through fear, but soon their due recompense. became familiar with the Spaniards, and with tran- While improvements, so important with respect to sports of joy received from them hawk-bells, glass the state of society and the administration of justice, beads, or other baubles ; in return for which they gradually made progress in Europe, sentiments more gave such provisions as they had, and some cotton liberal and generous had begun to animate the nobles. yarn, the only commodity of value which they could These were inspired by the spirit of chivalry, which, produce. Towards evening, Columbus returned to his though considered commonly as a wild institution, ship, accompanied by many of the islanders in their the effect of caprice, and the source of extravagance, boats, which they called canoes, and though rudely arose naturally from the state of society at that period, formed out of the trunk of a single tree, they rowed and had a very serious influence in refining the manthem with surprising dexterity. Thus, in the first ners of the European nations. The feudal state was interview between the inhabitants of the old and new a state of almost perpetual war, rapine, and anarchy; worlds, everything was conducted amicably, and to during which the weak and unarmed were exposed to their mutual satisfaction. The former, enlightened insults or injuries. The power of the sovereign was and ambitious, formed already vast ideas with respect too limited to prevent these wrongs, and the admito the advantages which they might derive from the nistration of justice too feeble to redress them. The regions that began to open to their view. The latter, most effectual protection against violence and oppressimple and undiscerning, had no foresight of the cala- sion was often found to be that which the valour and mities and desolation which were approaching their generosity of private persons afforded. The same country!
spirit of enterprise which had prompted so many
gentlemen to take arms in defence of the oppressed [Chiralry.]
pilgrims in Palestine, incited others to declare them
selves the patrons and avengers of' injured innocence Among uncivilised nations, there is but one profes- at home. When the final reduction of the Holy Land, sion honourable--that of arms. All the ingenuity and under the dominion of infidels, put an end to these vigour of the human mind are exerted in acquiring foreign expeditions, the latter was the only employ. military skill or address. The functions of peace are ment left for the activity and courage of adventurers. few and simple, and require no particular course of To check the insolence of overgrown oppressors ; to education or of study as a preparation for discharging rescue the helpless from captivity; to protect or to them. This was the state of Europe during several avenge women, orphans, and ecclesiastics, who could centuries. Every gentleman, born a soldier, scorned not bear arms in their own defence; to redress wrongs any other occupation. He was taught no science but and remove grievances ; were deemed acts of the highthat of war; even his exercises and pastimes were est prowess and merit. Valour, humanity, courtesy, fents of martial prowess. Nor did the judicial cha- justice, honour, were the characteristic qualities of racter, which persons of noble birth were alone entitled chivalry. To these were added religion, which mingled to assume, demand any degree of knowledge beyond itself with every passion and institution during the that which such untutored soldiers possessed. To middle ages, and by infusing a large proportion of recollect a few traditionary customs which time had enthusiastic zeal, gave them such force as carried confirmed and rendered respectable, to mark out the them to romantic excess. Men were trained to knightlists of battle with due formality, to observe the issue hood by a long previous discipline; they were ad. of the combat, and to pronounce whether it had been mitted into the order by solemnities no less derout conducted according to the laws of arms, included than pompous; every person of noble birth courted every thing that a baron, who acted as a judge, found that honour; it was deemed a distinction superior to it necessary to understand.
royalty; and monarchs were proud to receive it from But when the forms of legal proceedings were fixed, the hands of private gentlemen. when the rules of decision were committed to writing This singular institution, in which valour, gallantry, and collected into a body, law became a science, the and religion, were so strangely blended, was wonder
fully adapted to the taste and genius of martial neither danger nor discouragement could turn him nobles ; and its effects were soon visible in their man- aside from the execution of it. The success of their
War was carried on with less ferocity when enterprises was suitable to the diversity of their chahumanity came to be deemed the ornament of knight-racters, and was uniformly influenced by it. Francis, hood no less than courage. More gentle and polished by his impetuous activity, often disconcerted the manners were introduced when courtesy was recom- emperor's best laid schemes ; Charles, by a more calm mended as the most amiable of knightly virtues. but steady prosecution of his designs, checked the Violence and oppression decreased when it was rapidity of his rival's career, and baffled or repulsed reckoned meritorious to check and to punish them. his most vigorous efforts. The former, at the opening A scrupulous adherence to truth, with the most re- of a war or of a campaign, broke in upon the enemy ligious attention to fulfil every engagement, became with the violence of a torrent, and carried all before the distinguishing characteristic of a gentleman, be- him; the latter, waiting until he saw the force of his cause chivalry was regarded as the school of honour, rival beginning to abate, recovered in the end not only and inculcated the most delicate sensibility with all that he had lost, but made new acquisitions. Few respect to those points. The admiration of these qua- of the French monarch's attempts towards conquest, lities, together with the high distinctions and pre- whatever promising aspect they might wear at first, rogatives conferred on knighthood in every part of were conducted to a happy issue; many of the emperor's Europe, inspired persons of noble birth on some occa- enterprises, even after they appeared desperate and imsions with a species of military fanaticism, and led practicable, terminated in the most prosperous manner. them to extravagant enterprises. But they deeply imprinted on their minds the principles of generosity and honour. These were strengthened by everything demand for bistorical composition ; and before ad.
The success of Hume and Robertson extended the that can affect the senses or touch the heart. The wild verting to their great rival Gibbon, we may glance exploits of those romantic knights who sallied forth in quest of adventures are well known, and have been at some of the subordinate labourers in the same treated with proper ridicule. The political and per- four volumes quarto, his Complete History of England,
field. In the year 1758, Dr SMOLLETT published, in manent effects of the spirit of chivalry have been less deduced from the Descent of Julius Cæsar to the Treaty observed. Perhaps the humanity which accompanies all the operations of war, the refinements of gallantry, of Aix la Chapelle, 1748. In extent and complete and the point of honour-the three chief circum: ness of design, this history approaches nearest to
the works of the historical masters; but its execustances which distinguish modern from ancient manners--may be ascribed in a great measure to this in- tion is unequal, and it abounds in errors and inconstitution, which has appeared whimsical to superficial Smollett was too fluent and practised a writer to
sistences. It was rapidly composed ; and though observers, but by its effects has proved of great fail in narrative (his account of the rebellion in benefit to mankind. The sentiments which chivalry inspired had a wonderful influence on manners and 1745-6, and his observations on the act for the reconduct during the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, lief of debtors in 1759, are excellent specimens of his and fifteenth centuries. They were so deeply rooted, best style and his benevolence of character), he that they continued to operate after the vigour and could not, without adequate study and preparation, reputation of the institution itself began to decline.
succeed in so important an undertaking. Smollett afterwards continued his work to the year 1765.
The portion from the Revolution of 1688 to the (Characters of Francis I. and the Emperor Charles V.] death of George II. is usually printed as a continua
During twenty-eight years an avowed rivalship sub- tion to Hume. sisted between Francis I. and the Emperor Charles V.,
The views which Dr Robertson had taken of the which involved not only their own dominions, but reign and character of Mary Queen of Scots, were the greatest part of Europe, in wars which were pro- combated by WILLIAM TYTLER of Woodhouselee secuted with more violent animosity, and drawn out (1711-1792), who, in 1759, published an Inquiry, Histo a greater length, than had been known in any torical and Critical, into the Evidence against Mary former period. Many circumstances contributed to Queen of Scots, and an Examination of the Histories this. Their animosity was founded in opposition of of Dr Robertson and Mr Hume with respect to that interest, heightened by personal emulation, and exas
Evidence. The work of Mr Tytler is acute and perated, not only by mutual injuries, but by reciprocal learned ; it procured for the author the approbation insults. At the same time, whatever advantage one
and esteem of the most eminent men of his times; seemed to possess towards gaining the ascendant, was but, judged by the higher standards which now wonderfully balanced by some favourable circumstance exist, it must be pronounced to be partial and peculiar to the other.
inconclusive. Mr Tytler published the ‘Poetical The emperor's dominions were of greater extent; Remains of James I., King of Scotland,' with a the French king's lay more compact. Francis go- dissertation on the life and writings of the royal Terned his kingdom with absolute power; that of poet, honourable to his literary taste and research. Charles was limited, but he supplied the want of About the year 1760, the London booksellers comauthority by address. The troops of the former were pleted a compilation which had, for a long period, more impetuous and enterprising; those of the latter employed several professional authors--a ‘Universal better disciplined, and more patient of fatigue. The History,' a large and valuable work, seven volumes talents and abilities of the two monarchs were as being devoted to ancient and sixteen to modern different as the advantages which they possessed, and history. The writers were ARCHIBALD BOWER contributed no less to prolong the contest between (1686-1766), a native of Dundee, who was educated them. Francis took his resolutions suddenly, prose at the Jesuit's College of St Omer, but afterwards cuted them at first with warmth, and pushed them fled to England and embraced the Protestant faith : into execution with a most adventurous courage ; but he was author of a History of the Popes. Dr John being destitute of the perseverance necessary to sur-CAMPBELL (1709-1775), a son of Campbell of Glenmount difficulties, he often abandoned his designs, or lyon in Perthshire, wrote the Military History of the relaxed the vigour of pursuit from impatience, and Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, Lives of the sometimes from levity. Charles deliberated long, and Admirals, a considerable portion of the Biographia
determined with coolness; but having once fixed his Britannica, a History of Europe, a Political Survey of plan, he adhered to it with inflexible obstinacy, and Britain, &c. Campbell was a candid and intelligent man, acquainted with Dr Johnson and most of the but disfigured by affectation, and still more by the eminent men of his day. William GUTHRIE (1708- violent prejudices of its vindictive and unprincipled 1770), a native of Brechin, was an indefatigable author. writer, author of a History of England, a History of Histories of Ireland, evincing antiquarian research, Scotland, a Geographical Grammar, &c. GEORGE were published, the first in 1763-7 by Dr WARNER, SALE (1680-1736) translated the Koran, and was one and another in 1773 by Dr LELAND, the translator of the founders of a society for the encouragement of our best English version of Demosthenes. A reof learning. GEORGE PSALMANAZAR (1679-1763), view of Celtic and Roman antiquities was in 1771-5 a native of France, deceived the world for some time presented by John WHITTAKER, grafted upon his by pretending to be a native of the island of For- History of Manchester ; and the same author aftermosa, to support which he invented an alphabet and wards wrote a violent and prejudiced Vindication of grammar. He afterwards became a hack author, Mary Queen of Scots. The Biographical History of was sincerely penitent, and was reverenced by John- England by ĞRANGER, and ORME's History of the son for his piety. When the Universal History British Transactions in Hindostan, which appeared was completed, Goldsmith wrote a preface to it, for at this time, are also valuable works. In 1775, which he received three guineas !
MACPHERSON, translator of Ossian, published a HisIn 1763 Goldsmith published a History of England, tory of Great Britain, from the Restoration to the in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to his Son, in Accession of the House of Hanover, accompanied by two small volumes. The deceptive title had the original papers. The object of Macpherson was to desired attraction; the letters were variously attri- support the Tory party, and to detract from the buted to Lords Chesterfield, Orrery, and Lyttelton, purity and patriotism of those who had planned and and in purity and grace of style surpassed the writ- effected the Revolution of 1688. The secret history ings of any of the reputed authors. The success of brought to light by his original papers (which were this compilation afterwards led Goldsmith to compile undoubtedly genuine) certainly disclosed a degree a more extended history of England, and abridg. of selfishness and intrigue for which the public were ments of Grecian and Roman history. Even in not prepared. In this task, the historian (if Macthis subordinate walk, to which nothing but neces- pherson be entitled to the venerable name) had the sity compelled him, Goldsmith was superior to all use of Carte's collections, for which he paid £200, his contemporaries.
and he received no less than £3000 for the copyright Lord Lyttelton afterwards came forward himself of his work. The Annals of Scotland, from Malcolm as a historian, though of but a limited period. His III. to Robert I., were published in 1776 by Sir History of the Reign of Henry II., on which he had David Dalrymple, LORD HAILES. In 1779 the same bestowed years of study, is å valuable repertory of author produced a continuation to the accession of facts, but a dry and uninteresting composition. Of the house of Stuart. These works were invaluable a similar character are the Historical Memoirs and at the time, and have since formed an excellent Lives (Queen Elizabeth, Raleigh, Henry Prince of quarry for the historian. Lord Hailes was born in Wales, &c.), written by Dr Thomas BIRCH, one of Edinburgh in 1726, the son of Sir James Dalrymple the secretaries of the Royal Society. Birch was a of Hailes, Bart. He distinguished himself at the diligent explorer of records and public papers : he Scottish bar, and was appointed one of the judges of threw light on history, but was devoid of taste and the Court of Session in 1766. He was the author arrangement. These works drew attention to the of various legal and antiquarian treatises ; of the materials that existed for a history of domestic man- Remains of Christian Antiquity, containing translaners, always more interesting than state diplomacy tions from the fathers, &c.; and of an inquiry into or wars, and Dr ROBERT HENRY (1718-1790) entered the secondary causes assigned by Gibbon the histoupon a History of Great Britain, in which particular rian for the rapid growth of Christianity. Lord attention was to be given to this department. For Hailes was a man of great erudition, an able lawyer, nearly thirty years Henry laboured at his work : and upright judge. He died in 1792. In 1776 the first volume was published in 1771, and four ROBERT WATSON, professor of rhetoric and after. others at intervals between that time and 1785. Awards principal of one of the colleges of St Andrews, contemporary, Dr Gilbert Stuart, a man not devoid wrote a History of Philip II. of Spain as a continuaof talents, but rancorous and malignant in an emi- tion to Robertson, and left unfinished a History of nent degree, attempted, by a system of ceaseless Philip III., which was completed by Dr William persecution, to destroy the character and reputation Thomson, and published in 1783. In 1779, the two of Henry, but his work realised to its author the first volumes of a History of Modern Europe, by Dr large sum of £3300, and was rewarded with a pen- WILLIAM RUSSELL (1741-1793), were published with sion from the crown of £100 per annum. Henry's distinguished success, and three others were added work does not come farther down than the reign in 1784, bringing down the history to the year 1763. of Henry VIII. In our own days, the plan of a Continuations to this valuable compendium have history with copious information as to manners, been made by Dr Coote and others, and it continues arts, and improvements--where full prominence is to be a standard work. Russell was a native of Selgiven to the progress of civilisation and the domestic kirkshire, and fought his way to learning and dislife of our ancestors—has been admirably realised in tinction in the midst of considerable difficulties. The the Pictorial History of England,' published by Mr vast number of historical works published about Charles Knight. Of Dr Henry, we may add that this time shows how eagerly this poble branch of he was a native of St Ninians, in Stirlingshire, was study was cultivated, both by authors and the pubbred to the church, and was latterly one of the lic. No department of literary labour seems then to ministers of Edinburgh, where he had the honour have been so lucrative, or so sure of leading to disof filling the chair as Moderator of the General tinction. But our greatest name yet remains behind. Assembly.
Dr GILBERT STUART (1742-1786), a native of Edinburgh (to whom we have alluded in connexion
EDWARD GIBBON. with Henry), wrote various historical works, a His The historian the Decline and Fall of the Roman tory of Scotlund, a Dissertation on the British Consti- Empire was by birth, education, and manners, distution, a History of the Reformation, &c. His style is tinctively an English gentleman. He was born at torid and high-sounding, not wanting in elegance, Putney, in Surrey, April 27, 1737. His father was
of an ancient family settled at Beriton, near Peters- had long been meditating some historical work, and field, Hampshire. Of delicate health, young EDWARD whilst at Rome, October 15, 1764, his choice was GIBBON was privately educated, and at the age of determined by an incident of a striking and romantic fifteen he was placed at Magdalen college, Oxford. nature. •As I sat musing,' he says, 'amidst the He was almost from infancy a close student, but ruins of the Capitol, while the barefooted friars his indiscriminate appetite for books subsided by were singing vespers in the temple of Jupiter, the degrees in the historic line.' He arrived at Ox- idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first ford, he says, with a stock of erudition that might started to my mind.' Many years, however, elapsed have puzzled a doctor, and a degree of ignorance before he realised his intentions. On returning to of which a schoolboy would have been ashamed. England in 1765, he seems to have been fashionable He spent fourteen months at college idly and un- and idle ; his father died in 1770, and he then began profitably, as he himself states; and, studying the to form the plan of an independent life. The estate works of Bossuet and Parsons the Jesuit, he became left him by his father was much involved in debt, a convert to the Roman Catholic religion. He went and he determined on quitting the country and reto London, and at the feet of a priest, on the 8th of siding permanently in London. He then underJune 1753, he solemnly, though privately, abjured took the composition of the first volume of his histhe errors of heresy.' His father, in order to reclaim tory. At the outset,' he remarks, all was dark him, placed him for some years at Lausanne, in and doubtful ; even the title of the work, the true Switzerland, under the charge of M. Pavilliard, a
era of the decline and fall of the empire, the limits Calvinist clergyman, whose judicious conduct pre- of the introduction, the division of the chapters, vailed upon his pupil to return to the bosom of the and the order of the narrative; and I was often Protestant church. On Christmas day, 1754, he tempted to cast away the labour of seven years. received the sacrament in the Protestant church at The style of an author should be the image of Lausanne. It was here,' says the historian, that his mind, but the choice and command of language I suspended my religious inquiries, acquiescing with is the fruit of exercise. Many experiments were
implicit belief in the tenets and mysteries which made before I could hit the middle tone between a || are adopted by the general consent of Catholics and dull tone and a rhetorical declamation : three times
Protestants.'At Lausanne a regular and severe did I compose the first chapter, and twice the second system of study perfected Gibbon in the Latin and and third, before I was tolerably satisfied with their
effect. In the remainder of the way, I advanced with a more equal and easy pace.'
In 1774 he was returned for the borough of Liskeard, and sat parliament eight sessions during the memorable contest between Great Britain and America. Prudence, he says, condemned him to acquiesce in the humble station of a mute; the great speakers filled him with despair, the bad ones with terror. Gibbon, however, supported by his vote the administration of Lord North, and was by this nobleman appointed one of the lords commissioners of trade and plantations. In 1776 the first quarto volume of his history was given to the world. Its success was almost unprecedented for a grave historical work: “the first impression was exhausted in a few days; a second and third edition was scarcely adequate to the demand; and the bookseller's property was twice invaded by the pirates of Dublin : the book was on every table, and almost on every toilette.' His brother historians, Robertson and Hume, generously greeted him with warm applause. Whether I consider the dignity of your style,' says Hume,
the depth of your matter, or the extensiveness of your learning, I must regard the work as equally the object of esteem.' There was another bond of sympathy between the English and the Scottish historian : Gibbon had insidiously, though too unequivocally, evinced his adoption of infidel principles. The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all,' he remarks, considered by the people as equally true, by the philosopher as equally false, and by the magistrate
as equally useful.' Some feeling of this kind conFrench languages, and in a general knowledge of stituted the whole of Gibbon's religious belief: the literature. In 1758 he returned to England, and philosophers of France had triumphed over the three years afterwards appeared as an author in a lessons of the Calvinist minister of Lausanne, and slight French treatise, an Essay on the Study of the historian seems never to have returned to the Literature. He accepted the commission of captain faith and the humility of the Christian. In the in the Hampshire militia; and though his studies fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of his work he gave were interrupted, the discipline and evolutions of an account of the growth and progress of Chrisa modern battle,' he remarks, gave him a clearer tianity, which he accounted for solely by secondary notion of the phalanx and the legion, and the cap-causes, without reference to its divine origin. A tain of the Hampshire grenadiers was not useless to number of answers were written to these memorable the historian of the Roman empire. On the peace chapters, the only one of which that has kept posof 1762, Gibbon was released from his military session of the public is the reply by Dr Watson, duties, and paid a visit to France and Italy. He bishop of Llandaff, entitled 'An Apology for Chris