Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Yet so far was this great master from pre- the best men, even Job himself, were not able sumptuous confidence in his abilities, that, in his refrain from such starts of impatience. This he examinations of the sick, he was remarkably cir- did not deny; but said, “He that loves God, cumstantial and particular. He well know that ought to think nothing desirable but what is most the originals of distempers are often at a distance pleasing to the Supreme Goodness.” from their visible effects; that to conjecture, Such were his sentiments, and such his conduct, where certainty may be obtained, is either vanity in this state of weakness and pain : as death apa or negligence;

and that life is not to be sacrificed, proached nearer, he was so far from terror or either to an affectation of quick discemment, or confusion, that he seemed even less sensible of of crowded practice, but may be required, if trifled pain, and more cheerful under his torments, which away, at the hand of the physician.

continued till the 23d day of September, 1738, on About the middle of the year 1737, he felt the which he died, between four and five in the mornfirst approaches of that fatal illness that broughting, in the 70th year of his age. him to the grave, of which we have inserted an Thus died Boerhaave, a man formed by nature account, written by himself Sept. 8, 1739, to a for great designs, and guided by religion in the friend at London ;* which deserves not only to exertion of his abilities. He was of a robust and be preserved as an historical relation of the disease athletic constitution of body, so hardened by early which deprived us of so great a man, but as a severities, and wholesome fatigue, that he was proof of his piety and resignation to the divine will. insensible of any sharpness of air, or inclemency

In this last illness, which was to the last degree of weather. He was tall, and remarkable for lingering, painful, and afflictive, his constancy extraordinary strength. There was in his air and and firmness did not forsake him. He neither motion something rough and artless, but so maintermitted the necessary cares of life, nor forgot jestic and great at the same time, that no man the proper preparations for death. Though de ever looked upon him without veneration, and a jection and lowness of spirit was, as he himself kind of tacit submission to the superiority of his tells us, part of his distemper, yet even this, in genius. some measure, gave way to that vigour which the The vigour and activity of his mind sparkled soul receives from a consciousness of innocence. visibly in his eyes; nor was it ever observed that

About three weeks before his death he received any change of his fortune, or alteration in his A visit at his country-house from the Rev. Mr. affairs, whether happy or unfortunate, affected his Schultens, his intimate friend, who found him countenance. sitting without-door, with his wife, sister, and He was always cheerful, and desirous of pro daughter: after the compliments of form, the moting mirth by a facetious and humorous conladies withdrew, and left them to private conver- versation; he was never soured by calumny and sation ; when Boerhaave took occasion to tell him detraction, nor ever thought it necessary to conwhat had been, during his illness, the chief sub- fute them; “for they are sparks,” said he, " which, ject of his thoughts. He had never doubted of if you do not blow them, will go out of them the spiritual and immaterial nature of the soul; selves.” but declared that he had lately had a kind of ex. Yet he took care never to provoke enemies by perimental certainty of the distinction between severity of censure, for he never dwelt on the corporeal and thinking substances, which mere faults or defects of others, and was so far from reason and philosophy cannot afford, and oppor- inflaming the envy of his rivals by dwelling on tunities of contemplating the wonderful and inex- his own excellences, that he rarely mentioned himplicable union of soul and body, which nothing self or his writings. but long sickness can give. This he illustrated He was not to be overawed or depressed by by a description of the effects which the infirmi- the presence, frowns, or insolence of great men, ties of his body had upon his faculties, which yet but persisted on all occasions in the right with they did not so oppress or vanquish, but his soul a resolution always present and always calm. He was always master of itself, and always resigned was modest, but not timorous, and firm without to the pleasure of its Maker.

rudeness. He related, with great concern, that once his He could, with uncommon readiness aud cerpatience so far gave way to extremity of pain, tainty, make a conjecture of men's inclinations that, after having lain fifteen bours in exquisite and capacity by their aspect. tortures, he prayed to God that he might be set His method of life was to study in the n.orning free by death.

and evening, and to allot the middle of the day to Mr. Schultens, by way of consolation, an- his public business. His usual exercise was swered, that he thought such wishes, when forced riding, till, in his latter years, his distempers by continued and successive torments, unavoid- made it more proper for him to walk : when he able in the present state of human nature; that was weary he amused himself with playing on

the violin. *Ætas, labor, corporisque opima pinguetudo, effe. His greatest pleasure was to retire to his house cerant, ante annum, ut inertibus refertum, grave, hebes, in the country, where he had a garden stored with plenitudine (urgens corpus, anhelum ad motus minimos, all the herbs and trees which the climate would cuin sensu suffocationis, pulsu mirifice anomalo, ineptum evaderet ad ullum motum. Urgebat præcipue sub: bear; here he used to enjoy his hours unmolested, sistens prorsus el intercepta respiratio ad prima somni and prosecute bis studies without interruption. Initia : unde somnus prorsus prohibebatur, cum formi. The diligence with which he pursued his dabili strangulationis molestia. Hinc hydrops pedum, studies, is sufficiently evident from his success crurum, femorum, scroti, præputii, et abdominis. Quæ Statesmen and generals may grow great by uncum anxietate summa, anhelitu suffocante, et debilitate expected accidents, and a fortunate concurrence Incredibili : somno pauco, eoque vago, per somnia tur. of circumstances, neither procured nor foreseen batissimo: animus vero rebus agendis

impar. Cum his by themselves; but reputation in the learned quibus resigno data, quæ sola amo, et honoro unice.wor d must be the effect of industry and capaOrig. Earl

city. Boerhaave lost none of his hours, but

tamen omnia sublata.

when he had attained one science, attempted an- God as he is in himself, without attempting to in. other; he added physic to divinity, chemistry to quire into his nature. "He desired only to think the mathematics, and anatomy to botany. He of God, what God knows of himself. There he examined systems by experiments, and formed stopped, lest, by indulging his own ideas, he experiments into systems. He neither neglected should form a Deity from his own imagination, the observations of others, nor blindly submitted and sin by falling down before him. To the will to celebrated names. He neither thought so of God he paid an absolute submission, without highly of himself as to imagine he could receive endeavouring to discover the reason of his deterno light from books, nor so meanly as to believe minations; and this he accounted the first and he could discover nothing but what was to be most inviolable duty of a Christian. When he learned from them. He examined the observa- heard of a criminal condemned to die, he used to tions of other men, but trusted only to his own. think, who can tell whether this man is not better

Nor was he unacquainted with the art of re than Í? or, if I am better, it is not to be ascribed commending truth by elegance, and embellishing to myself, but to the goodness of God. the philosopher with polite literature: he knew Such were the sentiments of Boerhaave, whose that but a small part of mankind will sacrifice words we have added in the note. * So far was their pleasure to their improvement, and those this man from being made impious by philosophy, authors who would find many readers, must en- or vain by knowledge or by virtue, that he ascribdeavour to please while they instruct.

ed all his abilities to the bounty, and all his goodHe knew the importance of his own writings ness to the grace of God. May his example exto mankind, and lest he might, by a roughness tend its influence to his admirers and followers! and barbarity of style, too frequent among men May those who study his writings imitate his life ! of great learning, disappoint his own intentions, and those who endeavour after his knowledge as and make his labours less useful, he did not neglect pire likewise to his piety! the politer arts of eloquence and poetry. Thus He married, September 17, 1710, Mary Drolenwas his learning at once various and exact, pro veaux, the only daughter of a burgomaster of found and agreeable.

Leyden, by whom he had Joanna Maria, who But his knowledge, however uncommon, holds survives her father, and three other children who in his character but the second place; his virtue died in their infancy. was yet much more uncommon than his learning. The works of this great writer are so generally He was an admirable example of temperance, known and so highly esteemed, that though it may fortitade, humility, and devotion. His piety, and not be improper to enumerate them in the order a religious sense of his dependence on God, was of time in which they were published, it is wholly the basis of all his virtues, and the principle of unnecessary to give any other account of them. his whole conduct. He was too sensible of his He published in 1707, “Institutiones Medicæ,* weakness to ascribe any thing to himself, or to to which he added in 1709, “ Aphorismi de cogconceive that he could subdue passion, or with noscendis et curandis morbis.” stand temptation, by his own natural power; he 1710, “Index stirpium in horto academico." attributed every good thought, and every laudable 1719, “De materia medica, et remediorum foraction, to the Father of goodness. Being once mulis liber;” and in 1727, a second edition. asked by a friend, who had often admired his pa- 1720, “ Alter index stirpium,” &c. adorned with tience under great provocations, whether he knew plates, and containing twice the number of plants what it was to be angry, and by what means he as the former. fiad so entirely suppressed that impetuous and 1722, “Epistola ad cl. Ruischium, qua senten ungovernable passion? he answered with the ut- tiam Malpighianam de glandulis defendit.” most frankness and sincerity, that he was natu- 1724, “ Atrocis nec prius descripti morbi histo rally quick of resentment, but that he had, by ria illustrissimi baronis Wassenariæ." daily prayer and meditation, at length attained to 1725, “Opera anatomica et chirurgica Andreæ this mastery over himself.

Vesalii,” with the life of Vesalius. As soon as he rose in the morning, it was, 1728, “ Altera atrocis rarissimique morbi marthroughout his whole life, his daily practice to re- chionis de Sancto Albano historia." tire for an hour to private prayer and meditation ; “Auctores de lue Aphrodisiaca, cum tractatu this, he often told his friends, gave him spirit and præfixo." rigoor in the business of the day, and this he there- 1731, “ Aretxi Cappadocis, nova editia" fore commended as the best rule of life; for no- 1732, “Elementa Chemiae,' thing, he knew, could support the soul in all distresses but a confidence in the Supreme Being, * “Doctrinam sacris literis Hebraice et Griece tradi nor can a steady and rational magnanimity flow ram, solam animæ salutarem et agrovit et sensit. Omni from any other source than a consciousness of the opportunitate profitebatur disciplinam, quam Jesus divine favow.

Christus ore et vita expressit, unice tranquillitatem dare

menti. Semperque dixit anicis, pacem animi haud re. He asserted on all occasions the divine autho-periundam nisi in magno Mosis præcepto de sincero rity and sacred efficacy of the holy Scriptures; and amore Dei et hominis dene observato. Neque extra

sacra maintained that they alone taught the way of sal. Deum pius adoravit, qui est.' Intelligere de Deo, unice ration, and that they only could give peace of volebac id, quod Deus de se intelligit. mind. The excellency of the Christian religion nihil requisivit, ne idololatria erraret. In voluntate Dei was the frequent subject of his conversation. A sic requiescebat, ut illius nullam omnino rationem inda. strict obedience to the doctrine, and a diligent imi sandacorpenaren Tape unice supremam omnium legem tation of the example of our blessed Saviour, he colendam. De aliis et seipso sentiebat : ut quoties crimi. often declared to be the foundation of the tran- nis reos ad pænas letales damnatos audiret, semper cogi; quillity. He recommended to his friends a care-taret, sæpe diceret ; quis dixerat an non me sint ineliores?

Ulique, si ipse melior, id non mihi auctori tribuendum ful observation of the precept of Moses concern

esse palam aio, confiteor ; sed ita largienti Deo.'"-Orig. ing the love of God and man. He worshipped | Edit.

BLAKE.
1734, "Observata de argento vivo, ad Reg. | admiring the abilities, and reverencing the virfae
Soc. et Acad. Scient."

of the author.*
These are the writings of the great Boerhaave,
which have made all encomiums useless and vain,
since no man can attentively peruse them without

* Gent. Mag. 1789, vol. ix. p. 176.-N.

[graphic]

At a time when a nation is engaged in a war compliance with those new ceremonies which hee
with an enemy whose insults, ravages, and bar- was then endeavouring to introduce.
barities have long called for vengeance, an ac- When the civil war broke out, Blake, in con-
count of such English commanders as have me formity with his avowed principles, declared for
rited the acknowledgments of posterity, by ex- the parliament; and thinking a bare declaration
tending the powers

and raising the honour of their for right not all the duty of a good man, raised a
country, seems to be no improper entertainment troop of dragoons for his party, and appeared in
for our readers.* We shalt therefore attempt a the field with so mach bravery, that he was in a
succinct narration of the life and actions of Ad- short time advanced, without meeting any of those
miral Blake, in which we have nothing farther in obstructions which he had encountered in the
view than to do justice to his bravery and con- university.
duct, without intending any parallel between his In 1045, he was governor of Taunton, when
achievements and those of our present admirals. the Lord Goring came before it with an army of

ROBERT BLAKE was born at Bridgewater, in 10,000 men. The town was ill fortified and upSomersetshire, in August, 1598, his father being supplied with almost every thing necessary for a merchant of that place, who had acquired a con- supporting a siege. The state of this garrison siderable fortune by the Spanish trade. Of his encouraged Colonel Windham, who was aeearliest years we have no account, and therefore quainted with Blake, to propose a capitulation; can amuse the reader with none

of those prog- which was rejected by Blake with indignation nostics of his future actions, so often met with in and contempt: nor were either menaces or per memoirs.

suasion of any effect, for he maintained the In 1615, he entered into the university of Ox- place under all its disadvantages, till the siege was ford, where he continued till 1623, though with raised by the parliament's army. out being much countenanced' or caressed by his He conúnued, on many other occasions, to superiors, for he was more than once disappointed give proofs of an insuperable courage, and a in his endeavours after academical preferments. It steadiness of resolution not to be shaken : and, is observable that Mr. Wood (in his Athenæ Ox- as a proof of his firm adherence to the parliaonienses) aseribes the repulse he met with at ment, joined with the borough of Taunton in reWadham College, where he was competitor for a turning thanks for their resolution to make no fellowship, either to want

of learning, or of sta- more addresses to the King. Yet was he so fas ture. With regard to the first objection, the same from approving the death of Charles I. that he writer had before informed us, that he was an early made no scruple of declaring, that he would ven riser and studious, though he sometimes relieved ture his life to save him, as willingly as he had his attention by the amusements of fowling and done to serve the parliament. fishing. As it is highly probable that he did not In February, 1648-9, he was made a commis. want capacity, we may therefore conclude, upon sioner of the navy, and appointed to serve his confession of his diligence, that he could not that element, for which he seems by nature to fail of being learned, at least in the degree requi- have been designed. He was soon afterwards site to the enjoyment of a fellowship, and may sent in pursuit of Prince Rupert, whom he shut safely ascribe his disappointment to his want of up in the harbour of Kingsale, in Ireland, for seve stature, it being the custom of Sir Henry Savil

, rat months, till want of provisions and despair of then warden of that college,

to pay much regard relief excited the prince to make a daring effort to the outward appearance of those who solicited for his escape, by forcing through the parliament's preferment in that society. So much do the great fleet: this design he executed with his usual in est events owe sometimes to accident or folly! trepidity, and succeeded in it, though with the loss

He afterwards retired to his native place, where of three ships. He was pursued by Blake "he lived,” says Clarendon, “ without any ap the coast of Portugal

, where he was received into pearance of ambition to be a greater man than the Tagus, and treated with great distinction by he was, but inveighed with great freedom against the Portuguese. the license of the times, and power of the court." Blake coming to the mouth of that rives, sent

In 1640, he was chosen burgess for Bridge to the King a messenger, to inform him, that the water by the Puritan party, to whom he had re fleet in his port belonging

to the publie enemiesd commended himself by the disapprobation of the commonwealth of England; he demanded bishop Laud's violence and severity, and his non- leave to fall upon it. This being refused, though

the refusal was in very soft terms, and accomps This life was first printed in the Gentleman's Maganied with declarations of esteem, and a presert zine for the year 1740.- N.

of provisions, so exasperated the admiral, that

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

without any hesitation, he fell upon the Portu-during the commotions of England, had arrived guese fleet, then returning from Brasil

, of which to that height of naval power, and that affluence he took seventeen ships, and burnt three. It was of wealth, that, with the arrogance which a long to no purpose that the King of Portugal, alarmed continued prosperity naturally produces, they at so unexpected a destruction, ordered Prince began to invent new claims, and to treat other Rupert to attack him, and retake the Brasil ships. nations with insolence, which nothing can defend Blake carried home his prizes without molesta- but superiority of force. They had for some Lion, the Prince not having force enough to pur- time made uncommon preparations at a vast exsue him, and well pleased with the opportunity of pense, and had equipped a large fleet, without quitting a port where he could no longer be pro- any apparent danger threatening them, or any tected.

avowed design of attacking their neighbours. This Blake soon supplied his feet with provisions, unusaal armament was not beheld by the English and received orders to make reprisals upon the without some jealousy, and care was taken to French who had suffered their privateers to mo- fit out sach a fleet as might secure the trade from lest the English trade ; an injury which, in those interraption, and the coast from insults; of this days, was always immediately resented, and if Blake was constituted admiral for nine months. not repaired certainly punished. Sailing with In this situation the two nations remained, keep this commission, he took in his way a French ing a watchful eye upon each other, withont actman of war valued at a million. How this ship ing hostilities on either side, till the 15th of May, happened to be so rich, we are not informed; but 1652, when Van Trump appeared in the Downs as it was a cruiser, it is probable the rich lading with a fleet of forty-five men of war. Blake, was the accuraulated plunder of many prizes. who had then but twenty ships, upon the ap Then following the unfortanate Rupert, whose proach of the Dutch admiral saluted him with Heet by storms and battles was now reduced to three single shots, to require that he should, by five ships, into Carthagena, he demanded leave striking his flag, show that respect to the English of the Spanish governor te attack him in the which is due to every nation in their own domiharbour, but received the same answer which had nions; to which the Dutchman answered with a been returned before by the Portuguese : “ That breadside ; and Blake, perceiving that he intendthey had a right to protect all ships that came ed to dispute the point of hononr, advanced with into their dominions ; that if the admiral were his own ship before the rest of his fleet, that, if it forced in thither, he should find the same security; were possible,

a general battle might be preventand that be required him not to violate the peace ed. Bat the Dutch, instead of admitting him to of a neutral port." Blake withdrew apon this treat, fired upon him from their whole fleet, with answer into the Mediterranean; and Rupert out any regard to the customas of war, or the law then leaving Carthagena entered the port of of nations. Blake for some time stood alone Malaga, where he burnt and sank several English against their whole force, till the rest of his squadmerchant ships. Blake judging this to be an in- ron coming up, the fight was continued from be fringement of the neutrality professed by the tween four and five in the afternoon till nine at Spaniards, now made no scruple

to fall upon Ru- night, when the Dutch retired with the loss of pert's fleet in the harbour of Malaga, and having two ships, having not destroyed a single vessel, destroyed three of his ships, obliged him to quit nor more than fifteen men, most of which were the sea, and take sanctuary at the Spanish court on board the Admiral, who, as he wrote to the

In February, 1650-1, Blake still continuing to parliament, was himself engaged for four hours cruise in the Mediterranean, met a French ship with the main body of the Datch fleet, be of considerable force, and commanded the cap- ing the mark at which they aimed, and as Whittain to come on board, there being no war de- lock relates, received above a thousand shot. clared between the two nations. The captain, Blake, in his letter, acknowledges the particular when he came, was asked by hins, whether "he blessing and preservation of God, and ascribes was willing to lay down his sword, and yield ?” his success to the justice of the cause, the Dutch which he gallantly refused, though in his enemy's having first attacked him upon the Engtish coast. power. Blake, scorning to take advantage of an It is indeed little less than miraculous, that a artifice, and detesting the appearance of treachery, thousand great shot should not do more execuLold him, “ that he was at liberty to go back tion; and those who will not admit the interpoto his ship, and defend it as long as he could.” sition of providence, may draw at least this inThe captain willingly accepted his offer, and after ference from it, that the bravest man is not always a fight of two hours, confessed himself conquered, in the greatest danger. kissed his sword, and surrendered it.

In July, he met

the Dutch 'fishery fleet with a In 1652, broke out the memorable war between convoy of twelve men of war, all which le the two commonwealths of England and Hol- took, with 100 of their herring-busses. And in land ; a war in which the greatest admirals that September, being stationed in the Downs, with perhaps any age has produced, were engaged on about sixty sail

, he discovered the Dutch admieach side, in which nothing less was contested rals De Witt and De Ruyter with near the same than the dominion of the sea, and which was number and advanced towards them; but the carried on with vigour, animosity, and resolution, Dutch being obliged, by the nature of their coast, proportioned to the importance of the dispute and shallowness of their rivers, to build their The chief commanders of the Dutch fleets were ships in such a manner that they require less Van 'Trump, De Ruyter, and De Witt, the most depth of water than the English vessels, took adcelebrated names of their own nation, and who vantage of the form of their shipping, and shelhad been perhaps more renowned, had they been tered themselves behind a flat, called Kentish opposed by any other enemies. The States of Knock ; so that the English, finding some of their Holland, having carried on their trade without ships aground, were obliged to alter their course; opposition, and almost without competition, not but perceiving early the next morning that the only during the inactive reign of James L. but Hollanders had forsaken their station, t?

sued them with all the specd that the wind, which periority of his enemics, put out to encounter was weak and uncertain, allowed, but' found them, though leis flect was so weakly manned, themselves unable to reach them with the bulk of that half of his ships were obliged to lie idle with their feet, and therefore detached some of the out engaging, for want of sailors. The force of lightest frigates to chase them. These came so the whole Dutch feet was therefore sustained by near as to tire upon them about three in the after about twenty-two ships. 'I'wo of the English noon ; but the Dutch, instead of tacking about, frigates, named the Vanguard and the Victory, hoisted their sails, and steered toward their own after having for a long time stood engaged amidst coast, and finding themselves the next day fol- the wbole Dutch Heet, broke through without lowed by the whole English fieet, retired into much injury, nor did the English lose any ships Goree. "The sailors were eager to attack them till the evening, when the Garland, carrying foriy in their own harbours; but a council of war be- guns, was boarded at once by two great ships, ing convened it was judged imprudent to hazard which were opposed by the English till they had the flect upon the shoals, or to engage in any im- scarcely any men left to defend the decks, then portant enterprise without a fresh supply of pro- retiring into the lower part of the vessel, they visions.

blew up their decks, which were now possessed That in this engagement the victory belonged by the enemy, and at length were overpowered to the English is beyond dispute, since, without the and taken. 'The Bonaventure, a stout well-built loss of one ship, and with no more than forty men merchant ship, going to relieve the Garland, was killed, they drove the enemy into their own ports, attacked by a man of war, and after a siout retook the rear-admiral and another vessel, and sistance, in which the captain, who defended her so discouraged the Dutch admirals, who had not with the utmost bravery, was killed, was likewise agreed in their measures, that De Ruyter, who carried off

' by the Dutch. Blake, in the Triumph, had declared against hazarding a battle, desired secing the Garland in distress, pressed forward lo resign his commission, and De Witt, who had to relieve her, but in his way had his foremast insisted upon fighting, fell sick, as it was sup- shattered, and was himself boarded; but beating posed, with vexation. But how great the loss of off the enemies, he disengaged himself

, and rethe Dutch was is not certainly known : that two tired into the Thames with the loss only of two snips were taken they are too wise to deny, but ships of force, and four small frigates, but with affirm that those two ivere all that were destroy- his whole flect much shattered. Nor was the viced. The English, on the other side, affirm that story gained at a cheap rate, notwithstanding the three of their vessels were disabled at the first en- unusual disproportion of strength; for of the counter, that their numbers on the second day Dutch flag-ships one was blown up, and the other were visibly diminished, and that on the last day two disabled; a proof of the English bravery, they saw three or four ships sink in their fight. which should have induced Van Trump to have

De Witt being now discharged by the Holland- spared the insolence of carrying a broom at bis ers as unfortunate, and the chief command restor- top-mast in his triumphant passage through the ed :0 Van Trump, great preparations wer, made Channel, which he intended as a declaration that for retrieving their reputation, and repairing their he would sweep the seas of the English shipping; losses. Their endeavours were assisted by the this, which he had little reason to think of accomEnglish themselves, now made factious by suc- plishing, he soon after perished in attempting. cess; the men who were entrusted with the There are sometimes observations and inquicivil administration being jealous of those whose ries, which all historians seem to decline by agreemilitary commands had procured so much honour, ment, of which this action may afford us an exlest they who raised them should be eclipsed by ample: nothing appears at the first view more to them. Such is the general revolution of affairs demand our curiosity, or afford matter for examiin every state ; danger and distress produce nation, than this wild encounter of twenty-two unanimity and bravery, virtues which are seldom ships with a force, according to their accounts unattended with success; but success is the pa- who favour the Dutch, three times superior. rent of pride, and pride of jealousy and faction ; Nothing can justify a commander in fighting faction makes way for calamity, and happy is under such disadvantages, but the impossibility of that nation whose calamities renew their unani- retreating. But what hindered Blake from remity. Such is the rotation of interests, that tiring as well before the fight as after it? To say equally tend to hinder the total destruction of a he was ignorant of the strength of the Dutch people, and to obstruct an exorbitant increase of Beet, is to impute to him a very criminal degree power.

of negligence; and, at least, it must be confessed Blake had weakened his fleet by many detach- that, from the time he saw them, he could not but ments, and lay with no more than forty sail in know that they were too powerful to be opposed the Downs, very ill provided both with men and by him, and even then there was time for retreat. ammunition, and expecting new supplies from To urge the ardour of his sailors, is to divest him those whose animosity hindered them from pro- of the authority of a commander, and to charge viding them, and who chose rather to see the trade him with the most reproachful weakness that can of their country distressed, than the sca-officers enter into the character of a general. To menexalted by a new acquisition of honour and in- tion the impetuosity of his own courage, is to fluence,

make the blame of his temerity equal to the praise Van Trump, desirous of distinguishing himself of his valour; which seems indeed to be the most at the resumption of his command by some re- gentle censure that the truth of history will allow. markable action, bud assembled eighty ships of We must then admit, amidst our eulogies and war, and ten fire-ships, and steered towards the applauses, that the great, the wise, and the valiant Downs, where Blake, with whose condition and Blake was once betrayed to an inconsiderate and strength he was probably acquainted, was then desperate enterprize, by the resistless ardour of stationed. Blake, not able to restrain his natural his own spirit, and a noble jealousy of the honou ardour, or perhaps not fully informed of the su- 1 of his country.

« ZurückWeiter »