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all his successes, and that prodigious authority to which he raised himself, without having recourse to that contract of his with the devil, of which (as Echard pretends) Colonel Lindsey was eye and earwitness. In the course of his life he was temperate and sober, and despised those who were not so. In his family he showed great kindness, but without any diminution of his authority. He was very respectful to his mother, and very tender to his wife; yet neither had any influence over him. He expressed a deep sense of the concern, which the former discovered for his danger, heard whatever she said to him patiently, but acted as he thought proper, and in respect to her burial went directly against her dying request. His wife is said to have made a proposition tending to restore the King; and his son Richard to have expressed an anxious wish in behalf of his Sovereign's life; but he rejected both unmoved. He did not seem offended at applications of the same kind from other persons, as from Whitlocke, though that gentleman thought he lost his confidence by it; from the Marquis of Hertford, whom he treated very respectfully; and from Dr. Brownrig, Bishop of Exeter, to whom he showed more kindness than to any other man of his rank and profession. * He displayed a great respect for learning and learned men, without affecting to be learned himself. His Letters, however, are the best testimonies of his parts; for they are varied in their stile in a wonderful manner, exactly adapted to the purposes for which they were

* He once asked advice of this Prelate. “ My advice,” said he to him, “ must be in the words of the Gospel; “ Render unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's:" to which Cromwell made no reply.

written, and the persons to whom they were addressed.* His public speeches were long, dark, and perplexed; and though mixed with the cant of the times, they yet have sentiments in them which show a superiority of understanding. † In his conversation he was easy and pleasant, and could unbend himself without losing his dignity. He made an excellent choice in those whom he employed, but trusted none of them farther than was necessary.

It may seem strange, that in drawing together his character, nothing more should be said of his principles, as to government or religion ; but the real truth is, that neither can be discovered with certainty. We only know, negatively, that he hated a Commonwealth, and the Presbyterians; what his sentiments were in other respects, it is not possible to say.

When he recollected himself after the follies of his youth, there seems to be no doubt that he had serious impressions of religion ; and strong proofs exist, that he was afterward tinctured with enthusiasm. The most probable hypothesis is, that he gradually lost all sense of religion, and only preserved the mask of it for the better carrying on his designs, and managing the different parties. It is idle indeed to dispute on the religion of a man, who rose to greatness by a succession of actions, both in conception and execution radically criminal. Clarendon mentions his speaking kindly of Bishops as if there was something good in that order, if the dross was scoured off; and appears to think he was in earnest. But the whole of his life proves, that he was not

* A great number of them are to be found in Thurloe's and Nichols' Collections, as well as in Rushworth and Whitlocke.

+ Several of these, also, are in Whitlocke's Memorials."

steady to any form of religion; and therefore his meaning, it may be presumed (if he spoke sincerely) was, that he would return to the old form of government:' for, whatever he pretended, this was his great aim. He did not overturn the constitution to leave it in ruins, but to set it up again, and himself at the head of it; and though he compared his own government at first to that of a high-constable, yet all his subsequent efforts were directed to get the chaos new formed, and his own authority sanctified by the regal title and the appearance of a legal parliament.

326

ADMIRAL BLAKE.*

(1598-1657.]

ROBERT BLAKE, whose name occupies one of the first places in the naval annals of England, and who for integrity and a truly patriotic spirit is unquestion: ably one of the first of her illustrious characters, was the son of a merchant in the Spanish trade settled at Bridgewater in Somersetshire, at which place he was born in 1598. From the Grammar School of Bridgewater he removed in 1615 to Oxford, where he was entered at St. Alban's Hall. Thence he migrated to Wadham College. His academical character was that of a youth, who with a considerable turn for study combined a love of rural amusement. In February, 1617, he took the degree of B. A.

He was early tinctured with republican principles, and in reprobation of the severity with which Dr. Laud, then Bishop of Bath and Wells, pressed uniformity in his diocese, began to fall into the puritanical opinions. From the natural bluntness and sincerity of his disposition his sentiments speedily transpiring, the Puritan party procured his return for Bridgewater, in 1640. On the breaking out of the civil war, he

* AUTHORITIES. Campbell's Lives of the Admirals, and Lediard's Naval History.

declared for the parliament. In 1643, he was at Bristol under the command of Colonel Fiennes, who entrusted him with a little fort on the line, and (as Clarendon informs us) when the Governor had agreed to surrender that city to Prince Rupert, he for some time held out, and was only preserved from punishment by the consideration of his inexperience in the laws of war.

He served afterward in Somersetshire, and through his good intelligence in that county was enabled, in conjunction with Sir Robert Pye, to surprise Taunton for his employers. Of this place, the only garrison possessed by the parliament in the west, he was in 1644 appointed Governor; and though it's works were not strong, it's supplies adequate, or it's garrison numerous, by his strict discipline and his kind behaviour to the townsmen he found means to keep it against the King's forces. Even when Gor. ing, with nearly ten thousand men, had actually taken part of the town, Blake still held out the other part with the castle, till he received relief.* When the parliament had voted that “no farther addresses should be made to his Majesty, Colonel Blake concurred with the borough of Taunton in expressing his gratitude. He disapproved, however, of the trial of Charles as illegal; and was frequently heard to say,

he would as freely venture his life to save the King, as ever he had done to serve the parliament.' But this was, probably, chiefly owing to the humanity of his temper; as he subsequently united himself closely with the republican party, and was, perhaps, the

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* For this service, the parliament ordered the garrison a, bounty of two thousand, and the Governor a present of five hundred pounds.

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