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wild encounter of twenty two ships with a force, according to their account who favour the Dutch, three times as superior. Nothing can justify a commander in fighting under such disadvantages, but the impossibility of retreating. But what hindered Blake from retiring, as well before the fight as after it? To say, he was ignorant of the strength of the Dutch fleet,’ is to impute to him a very criminal degree of negligence; and at least it must be confessed, that from the time he saw them, he could not but know that they were too powerful to be opposed by him, and even then there was time for retreat. To urge
the ardor of his sailors,' is to divest him of the authority of a commander, and to charge him with the most reproachful weakness that can enter into the character of a general. To mention the impetuosity of his own courage, is to make the blame of his temerity equal to the praise of his valour; which seems indeed to be the most gentle censure, that the truth of history will allow. We must then admit, amidst our eulogies and applauses, that the great, the wise, and the valiant Blake was once betrayed to an inconsiderate and desperate enterprise by the resistless ardor of his own spirit and a noble jealousy of the honour of his country.” This quotation we retain for the purpose of adding, that if the author had lived in the times of a St. Vincent or a Nelson, he would probably have viewed Blake's temerity in a different light.
Blake's behaviour to his brother Benjamin has been deservedly celebrated as one of the noblest instances of justice to his country, and at the same time of tenderness to a friend and relation, that can be met with in ancient or modern history. When that brother betrayed cowardice in the first trial, he immediately broke him and sent him home, as unworthy of the nation's pay. Yet the want of military virtue did not lessen the ties of fraternal affection; and he left him to enjoy that estate, which he might be qualified to adorn in private life.
“ Never man so zealous for a faction (says Hume) was so much respected, and esteemed, even by the opposite factions. He was, by principle, an inflexible republican : and the late usurpations, amidst all the trusts and caresses which he received from the ruling powers, were thought to be very little grateful to him. It is still our duty,' he said to the seamen, 'to fight for our country, into whatever hands the government may fall. Disinterested, generous, liberal, ambitious only of true glory, dreadful only to his avowed enemies, he forms one of the most perfect characters of that age, and the least stained with those errors and violences which were then so predominant. The Protector ordered him a pompous funeral at the public charge; but the tears of his countrymen were the most honourable panegyric on his memory
COLONEL JOHN HUTCHINSON, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Hutchinson of Owthorpe in Nottinghamshire, Knight, by Margaret daughter of Sir John Byron of Newstead in the same county, was born at Nottingham in 1616; and after acquiring the rudiments of his education at that place, was removed thence to the Free-School at Lincoln. Here, when not occupied by his studies, he was exercised in an military postures, assaults, and defences by an old Low Country soldier, who was employed to instruct his school-fellows in this way. From Lincoln he returned to Nottingham School; and upon quitting it, was admitted a Fellow-Commoner at Peter House, Cambridge, where he attained great credit for his learning, and took his degree with considerable reputation.
After five years' stay at the University, being then twenty years old, he revisited his father's house, who had now settled his habitation at Nottingham; but a new family of children by a second marriage having sprung up, which made his abode there not entirely agreeable, he obtained leave to go to London,
* AUTHORITIES. Mrs. Hutchinson's Memoirs, and Censurit Literaria, Vol. IV.
and there became a member of Lincoln's Inn. Finding however both the society and the study of the law unpleasant to his taste, and the plague (which broke out this spring) beginning to drive people from London, he retired to the house of his music-master at Richmond. Here, fortunately for his happiness, he met his future wife and biographer Lucy, eldest daughter of Sir Allen Apsley, Victualler of the Navy (“ a place then both of credit, and great revenue”) and subsequently Lieutenant of the Tower, by Lucy daughter of Sir John St. John of Lydiard Tregoz in Wiltshire.*
* Of her education she herself gives the following account: " As soon as I was weaned, a French woman was taken to be my dry nurse, and I was taught to speak French and English together.-By that time I was four years old, I read English perfectly; and having a great memory, I was carried to sermons, and while I was very young, could remember and repeat them exactly, and being caressed, the love of praise tickled me and made me attend more heedfully. When I was about seven years
age, I remember I had at one time eight tutors in several qualities, languages, music, dancing, writing, and needlework. But my genius was quite averse from all but my book; and that I was so eager of, that my mother, thinking it prejudiced my health, would moderate me in it: yet this rather animated me than kept me back, and every moment I could steal from my play, I would employ in any book I could find, when my own were locked up from me.
After dinner and supper, I still had an hour allowed me to play, and then I would steal into some hole, or other to read. My father would have me learn Latin, and I was so apt that I outstripped my brothers, who were at school; although my father's chaplain, who was my tutor, was a pitiful dull fellow. My brothers, who had a great deal of wit, had some emulation at the progress I made in my learning, which very well pleased my father: though my mother would have been contented, I had not so wholly addicted myself to that, as to neglect my other qualities. As for music and
A great deal of good young company, indeed (she informs us) and many ingenuous persons, by réason of the court where the young Princes were bred, entertained themselves in that place, and had frequent resort to the house where Mr. Hutchinson tabled. He was soon courted into their acquaintance and invited to their houses, where he was nobly treated with all the attractive arts, that young women and their parents use to procure them lovers. But though some of them were very handsome, others wealthy, witty, and well-qualified; all of them set out with all the gayety and bravery, that vain women put on to set themselves off; yet Mr. Hutchinson could not be entangled in any of their fine snares: but without any taint of incivility, in such a way of handsome raillery reproved their pride and vanity, as made them ashamed of their glory and vexed that
dancing, I profited very little in them, and would never practise my lute or harpsichord, but when my masters were with me; and for my needle, I absolutely hated it. Play among other children I despised, and when I was forced to entertain such as came to visit me, I tired them with more grave instruction than their mothers, and plucked their babies to pieces, and kept the children in such awe, that they were glad when I entertained myself with elder company to whom I was very acceptable. And living in the house with many persons that had a great deal of wit, and very profitable serious discourses being frequent at my father's table and in my mother's drawing-room, I was very attentive to all, and gathered up things that I would utter again to great admiration of many, that took my memory and imitation for wit. It pleased God that through the good instructions of my mother, and the sermons she carried me to, I was convinced that the knowledge of God was the most excellent study; and accordingly applied myself to it, and to practise as I was taught, &c.”