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food than it was at that time: and M. Paris, Rad. de Coggethale, the chronicle of Peterborough, the Hist. Croyland. Continuatio, Knygh. fon, Otterburne, and Rous, all using the term Dyfenteria*; though the patrons of the toad, William Caxton, the MS. Chronicle in Lewis, and mine, pretend, that the monk's and the king's bellies fwelled and burst, and their bowels fell out. In short, John's case was nearly fimilar to that of Cardinal Wolsey, who not only died of the same malady, induced by the same original cause, grief and vexation, but, what makes it parallel, was also reported, though falsely, to have been taken off by poison t
“ Setting aside testimony on that side of the question, which is what we have endeavoured to do in part, one can discern nothing of poison in the nature of John's disorder. When the abbot of Croxton em. bowelled him , it is not said that any signs of poison appeared, or that the operator had an apprehension of any foul play; though Caxton and the English chronicles say his belly was swelled with the poison. Neither does the king say any thing more in his will, than that he was gravi infirmitate praeventusil. On the contrary, the causes of the ma. lady were adequate to the symptoms without the intervention of poi. fon. The king had been greatly harrated and fatigued, and probably very wet. He was under the utmost perplexity, not knowing whom to trust, nor where to be safe ; and this is what the annals of Dunstaple mean, by saying of this king, obiit in çxilio ş. He fickened, accordingly, in the abbey, and inflamed his distemper by eating improper, and, in his present case, very hurtful, things; though it seems he was wont at other times to eat and drink of them freely without harm **. He ate and drank them most intemperately, indulging his appetite to the full, as having nobody there to controul him ; his physician, the abbat of Croxton, not being with him at the tiine, and never seeing him till he came to Newark, when his malady was grown desperate and past cure it. It adds much strength to the above observations, that the author of the continuation of the History of Croyland, a great house in the vicinage of Swineshead, who flourished as late as the reign of king Edward IV. and had no reason to have any regard or esteem for the memory of king John, only says that he died, “ ingravescente “ fuper eum dissenteriae morbo,” at the castle of Newark.
* Ubi fupra modum disenteria vexatus, Chron. Burg. Perhaps we Thould read unde fupra modum, &c. Joh. Roffus, p. 198. Knyghton, col. .24, 25. Hift. Croyl. Contin. p. 474. Rad. de Coggeshale, as before cited.
+ See Wolsey's case discussed in Gent. Mag. 1775: p. 25. Carte III. p. 118. Mr. Hearne is of opinion that Rofamond Clifford was not poiToned. Lel. Itin. II. in Append. and ad Gul. Neubrig. p. 739. & feq.
I At Newark, M, Paris, p. 288. but Knyghton says at Croxton, col. 2425.
Testamentum R. Joh. in Thomas's Survey of Worcester Cath. p. 19 of Append.
And so M. Paris says of the king, nihil terrae, imo nec feipfum pelli. dens. p. 288; and see M. Westminster, p. 276.
** M. Westminster, 1.c. . ** Idem, ibidem. Vol. V.
“ Matthew Paris's narrative, supported by the correspondent historians, receives, lastly, a material and most convincing confirmation from the conduct of the king's friends after his deathUpon John's decease, affairs took a most favourable turn ; Lewis, the French Dauphine, was soon expelled the kingdom, and the whole power came into the hand of the king of England's party, infomuch that in 1217, the earl of Pembroke, tutor to the young king, and administrator of the kingdom, Gualo the Pope's legate, and Peter de Rupibus, the great bishop of Winchester, with others of the young king's powerful friends, were all triumphant in Newark, the very place where John died, and no great distance from Swinelhead; and yet, though a most atrocious and traiterous act had been committed, as is pretended, against the person of their late sovereign, by the abbat and inonks of Swineshead, not the least enquiry, that one can find, was ever made about it; nay, the name of the abbat is not certainly known *: whereas one might expect to have heard of a total dissolution of the house, the erasement of the buildings, the seizure of the estate, the degradation and expulsion of the abbat and monks. Not one of these thinys, how. ever, happened, but the monastery continued to exist and flourish till the time of the general suppreslion. A strong presumption, you must allow, that a crime of so black a die had never been perpetrated at the place. : “ It may be alledged indeed, that according to Dr. Barcham, Henry 111, the king's fon, alluded, in a speech of his, to the violent death of his father. He was at Clarkenwell, where the prior faucily said to him, “ that as foon as he ceased to do justice towards his prelates, he " should cease to be a king;" to which the king hastily replied, “O “ quid fibi vult istud, vos Anglici, vultisne me, ficut quondams patrette * meum, à regno præcipitare, atque necare præcipitatum 7." If the word potionare, initead of necare, had been used, it would have been decisive; but at present the word is too lax for us to infer any thing of poison in the case. But by this the king only meant, that his father's troubles were the cause of his death, as in truth they were. But fup. posing he hinted at any finifter doings at Swineshead, it was only Spoken in a passion, A. 1252, between thirty and forty years after the event; and Matthew Paris calls it a rash and uncircumfpect answer, as well he might, his own account of John's death being, that he died of a fever, and nothing else.
" It may be fuggefted again, that John must have been poisoned, fince authors tell us, that certain monks, sume say three, others tive , were actually employed at Swinelhead, in after-ages, to pray and fing for the soul of the monk that administered the poison. So then there is no truth in that pretty story of Hemingburg, that the monk eat the three marked harmless pears, and escaped with life, but the whole rests on the ale being envenomed by the toad. But the misfortune is, the appointinent of the singing monks is not mentioned by any body oldes
* Perhaps it was Robert de Denton ; for he was made abbar of Furnes fiom the abbey of Swincshead, A. 1217, Willis, Mitr. Abb. II. p. 106. '
+ M. Paris, p. 854.. | My MS. Engl. Chron. that in Lewis, and Caxton, say five; Fox three.
tban than the author of the Eulogium, who died about A. 1366 t, one hun, dred and fifty years after the fact; and therefore, though he speaks of an ordinance by the general chapter 1, meaning, I suppose, of the whole order of Cistercians, yet one knows not how to give him credit for it. At moit, it only proves, that the story prevailed in after-times at Swineshead, and was there believed; as probably it might, as well as in other places, and as many other ridiculous stories in those credulous ages were. Dr. Barcham, though he espouses and believes the poison, was aware of this; for he says with caution, those monkish writers avow, at what time they wrote this, the monks in that abbey did fing, &c. And thus the appointment, of monks to pray for the ailassin's soul at Swineshead, in atter-ages, possibly may be true, and yet the fact, which was the ground of the appointment may not be lo. Parsons, the Jesuit, I observe, gives not one jot the more credit to the poison, on account of this chantry. ." In short, it appears clear to me that king John died a natural death." An Apology for the Life and Writings of David Hume, Esq.
Our antiquary thinks, after all, it may appear strange to fome, that so many authors should assert with confidence and with so many circumstances that king John was poisoned, if he really was not. For his own part, however, he conceives it, on the contrary, very natural that such an assertion should take place, · " John," says he, “ died at a critical time, of a short illness, contracted in an enemy's quarter ; whence it would be very obvious for the vulgar to surmise that he was poisoned. Kings, and other great personages, seldom die suddenly, witness the case of Wolsey above. mentioned, but the like faucies and imaginations rise in peoples minds. It was furmije at first, and then grew into an affertion, and ihis by degrees received circumstances and embellishments from the pens of certain idle monks that did not love the king's perfon. John was a bad man in various refpects, and the monks have not fpareil him; they have loaded nim with the reproaches he deserved Il. And I think it not improbable, that when he was with his back.friends at Swineshead, he might use such threatning discourse at table as is related above; .which being afterwards reported by the monks, or other writers, might at length furnish a specious pretence, in conjuction with furmise, for the fictitious story of the poison, and all the circumstances and particulars of it,"
We shall proceed to the other articles, contained in this curious voluine, in our next Review,
of Dr. Barchain in Speed, p. 58%. i See also John Fox.
| M. Paris speaks of ejus infinita reprehenfibilia vitia. See M, Westminster, p. 276. Hemingburg, P: 560. Joh. Rossus, p. 198. And Dr. Barchain in Speed, p. 587.
With a Parallel between him and the late Lord Cheferfield : 10 which is added an Address to one of the People called Christians, by way of Reply to his Letter to Adam Smith, LL. D.
“ For modes of Faith, let graceless zealots fight,
POPE. 12mo. 2s. 6d. Fielding and Walker, The hafty production of some ingenious advocate fór Mr. Hume, better qualified to imitate his ease and brilliancy of stile than to investigate the difficulty and profundity of his fentiments. He tells us, indeed, in his dedication to Mr. Strahan, that, tho' his “ thoughts have been thrown upon paper in hafté, they are by no means hafty thoughts.” Either he muft have written, then, sometiines without thinking, or to what must we impute, such a furange fentence as the following? " The prostitution of Christianity, or, in other words, the Christian religion made use of as a cloak to cover the most irreligious purposes, is more fatal to the supreme goyernor of the world, and to his subordinate creatures, than much greater latitude of principlethan was indulged by Mr. Hume * "What latitude of principle this writer woud contend for, we know not; but we cannot conceive either latitude or longitude of principle, of either hypocrisy or profligacy, however fatal it may prové to his subordinate creatures, can be in any wise fatal to the supreme governor of the World. This word, therefore, if not the thought, was thrown upon paper in too much hafte. Perhaps too much time in the composition might be avoided left the delay should prove fatal to the publication. In these temporary and temporizing productions periculum eft in mora. Another quill-driver might be before-hand with him, and catch the penny qut of his hand. It is well for him that he had his thoughts ready cut and dried for the occasion; he might otherwife not have been able to throw them on paper at any rate ; fo that, all circumstances considered, a hafty word or two, if not quité blafphemous; might be forgiven him. Our country readers, who are strangers to the press and the expeditious mode of manufacturing books and pamphlets in London, must be frequently astonished at the rapid fucceffion of literary publications. Nothing is more cominon, in town, than for a .book to be published, or an event to happen, one day, and a long printed treatise on it to appear the next. It is, indeed,
* Preliminary Address, page xi.
not unfrequent for the answer to a book to be written before, the publication of the book itself, and observations on facts and events to be fabricated, like the dying speeches of condemned malefactors, before such events come to pass, The truth is, the Literary grubs of this metropolis are in general not more ingenious than industrious. They differ also so widely froin the improvident feriblers of former times that they watch; with the utmost solicitude, every occasion for exercising their industry. Their Pegasus, like a post-horse, ftands ever ready faddled and bridled in the stable, to be mounted as necessity requires. The want of inspiration from a captious mufc they always guard against, by having their scrutoires well lined with variety of materials, pro re nata : so that they are never at a loss even for impromptu's on the most sudden occasion. The death of David Hurne afforded one of these opportunities, tho' not fo sudden as not to have been for some time anticipated. Hence it appears that, hard as the present writer spurred his Pegasus, one of the people called Christians whipped his Oxonian Bidet to town before him. Luckily the little Christian took a different side of the question, and thence enabled our author to kill two birds with one stone, by annexing an Answer to his Apology.-- But to coine to the performance itself; which, thom evidently a catch-penny, hath inore merit than usually distinguilhes such productions. To proceed methodically, the Apo. logift has divided his tract into Sections : in the firft of which he treats of Mr. Hame's philofophical confiftency; telling us among other things, that it had been frequently prognosticated, by people professing themselves Christians, to whom Mr, Hume's theory was obnoxious, that he would abjure it on his death-bed and die a penitent. In the disappointment of this prognostication our apologist triumphs not a little ; imputing it as a great merit to Mr. Hume that he died as he lived. ;
It is to the honour," says he, “ of David Hume, then, that he was no bypocrite in philofophy; and that, unlike the many detected hypocrites in Chriftianity, he acted as he wrore, and wrote no more than, at all times, he actually felt.
6 This may be evidenced more accurately, when we run our eye over that posthumous paper, which he hath, very characteristically, called, A Funeral Oration. Prior to this, I would just turn an old subject on a new fide : I would make a comment or two, on that shameful species of delusion, which, arrayed in the fair and unsuspicious robes of orthodoxy, makes the most fatal depredations upon fociety; and, indeed, does infinitely more mischief than the most daring and declared infidelity."
In his second Section, our author treats accordingly of Religious Hypocrisy; which, he says, is one of the difwnguishing features, by which we mark the present age,