Slike strani

matic career.

Restoration, and was employed for several years in the diplomatic service. He was perhaps the most brilliant diplomatist of an age whose foreign polítics were sufficiently shifty and intricate, and it was he who negotiated His diplo with de Witt the Triple Alliance. But Temple was timid and selfish, delicate and self-indulgent; and, while still little more than a middle-aged man, he retired from the active political life of that stormy and factious period, and amused himself, first in his villa at Sheen, and afterwards at his lovely retreat of Moor Park, near Farnham, with gardening and the belles lettres, pursuing everything with a pompous affettation which the result scarcely justified. However, his contemporaries were vastly impressed by the magnificence of his manners and the memory of his diplomatic career, and gave extravagant praise to his Essays, which His work; were easy and graceful, but not very profound. ary, opinion They were published in two parts (1680 and 1692) and its real under the titlė of Miscellanea. Temple observed things accurately; he was not insensible to the beauties of nature; and he always wrote like a gentleman-and these particulars, taken together, sum up the merit of his work. It is, however, an unfortunate circumstance that he chose to play the classical scholar, as well as the man of taste, in introducing the unprofitable controversy of the ancients and moderns (see Notes and Illustrations to this chapter) into England. His essay, Of Ancient and Modern Learning, showed a childish ignorance and presumption that met its reward at the hands of Bentley, and deserved even more contempt than it actually received.

8 7. No name, among the brilliant circle which surrounded Pope and Swift, is more remarkable than that of FRANCIS ATTERBURY, the Tory and Jacobite Bishop of Rochester, a man of gre intellectual activity, of FRANCIS considerable, though by no means profound learning, (1662–1932). and of a violent, imperious, and restless temper. He was educated at Westminster and at Christ Church, Oxford. Without being at all quarrelsome, he had a fondness for controversy, and his virgin effort was directed against Obadiah Walker, the Romanist Master of University College. Some years later he entered, on behalf of his pupil

, Boyle, into the Bentley controversy. The reply to Bentley, of which he was the principal author, was considered by the fashionable and unlearned world to have demolished completely his adversary's arguments. Atterbury's eloquence, polite learning, and his constant defence of the rights of Convocation, gained him speedy preferment in the Church. From the archdeaconry of Totnes he rose to the deanery of Carlisle ; and from Carlisle he went to Christ Church. At Christ Church his politics and his overbearing temper soon excited general confusion. However, in 1713, he was made Bishop of Rochester and dean of Westminster, and became conspicuous as one of the mainstays of the extreme Tory party in the House of Lords. His appointment had been the work of a Tory ministry, and, on the fall of

Harley's coalition, he was not unnaturally regarded His political by the Court party with suspicion. He had been misfortunes.

known as an ardent supporter of the project for reinstating the Pretender at the death of Queen Anne ; and, at the beginning of George I's reign, he engaged in a secret correspondence with the Jacobites abroad. In his difficult position his conduct cannot be severely blamed, but it laid him open, at least, to a charge of treason. In 1722 he was attainted of treasonable practices by a Bill of pains and penalties, deprived of his bishopric, and condemned to exile. He went abroad, first to Brussels, then to Paris, and ultimately to Montpellier. The Pretender invited him to Rome, but he refused to go. All through his political misfortunes his attachment to his own Church was sincere ; and, to the end of his life, he never resigned his title to the see of Rochester. His His charac.

private character, with its warm affections and ter: its in. friendships, was a strange contrast to his truculent fluence on attitude in public affairs. He was Pope's most his writing. intimate friend, and guided him with wise and valuable literary counsel ; and there are few stories more pathetic than the anecdote of his dying daughter's long journey from England to Toulouse to receive his blessing, to take the last sacrament at his hands, and to die in his embrace. As a critic, his judgment was sound, although he was, of course, a more fervent admirer of Restoration poetry and its artificial tendency than more recent writers ; and his estimate of Waller's work in English verse, exaggerated to a modern reader, reflects the opinion of his day. At the same time he was not hindered by his political ardour from fully appreciating the genius of Milton. His own style, in the fragments which he left, is exceptionally clear, and reads with a colloquial ease; and it is to be regretted that his public ambition and intrigue prevented him from bequeathing to us more than a few sermons, speeches, and scattered criticisms.

$ 8. ANTHONY ASHLEY COOPER, EARL OF SHAFTESBURY, was the grandson of Charles II's unprincipled chancellor, and LORD

the pupil of his grandfather's great protégé, John

Locke. His literary reputation, of a peculiar kind (1671-1713).

in his own day, is now comparatively obscure ; but,

as a moralist and metaphysician, and as a model of elegant and classical, though somewhat unequal, prose, he stands very high. He seems, from a certain consciousness of his rank, to have abstained from publishing very much. He was singularly cultured and refined, and spoke with authority

upon æsthetic questions ; in fact, his chosen position Shaftesbury was that of a competent dabbler. Nevertheless, he deists.

thought more deeply than he wrote. In spite of his early training at the feet of Locke, he attached him


self to an opposite school of thought, and is, in effect, the chief of the group of writers who are known as the English deists. His scepticism was modified, however, by a Platonism which he probably received from the study of Cudworth and his school." While the whole tendency of his mind was speculative and enquiring, his Platonism raised his moral standard to a higher plane, gave a solidity to his thought, and an eloquence to his style which they could not have attained otherwise. In 1711 he gathered his occasional pieces into three volumes, which he called Characteristics of The "Char

acteristicsdien, Manners, Opinions, and Times. The treatises

(1711). which it contained had, for the most part, been published between 1699 and 1710. Their style is not always at its best, for at times it has an ambitious and affected flavour ; but its Platonic manner, in the dialogue called The Moralists, is eloquent and lucid. His great ethical principle was an insistence on the morality of human nature ; metaphysics:

Shaftesbury's he maintained that in man there was a distinct their submoral sense which enabled him to distinguish scquent

influence. almost instinctively between good and evil actions. Whether he was, as has been argued, the discoverer of this theory or not, it had its influence upon contemporary thought ; and the French encyclopædists found that his tentative and alloyed deism furnished their own more thorough-going systems with important suggestions. An even more direct result of his philosophy, on its more positive side, is to be seen in Pope's Essay on Man.

$ 9. HENRY SAINT-JOHN, VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE, who also posed as a deist, was, in his writing, as really superficial as Shaftesbury affected to be. As a statesman and orator no one could have had a more brilliant and LORD BOLmeteoric career than this accomplished debauchee,

(1678-1751). who, after passing through Eton and possibly Christ Church, and acquainting himself with the worst ways of the town, took to politics and at once established his reputation as an eloquent partisan. From 1700 to 1715 he took part in public affairs, first as a private member, then His political as secretary of war. In 1710, as secretary of state, fate. he was Harley's colleague in the brilliant and ill-fated coalition which Swift helped so vigorously; and, meanwhile, he joined in the diversions of the coterie which surrounded Pope. We have already, in speaking of Swift, said something of the disaster which befell Harley's ministry. Harley and Bolingbroke could not agree; the Tory coalition melted ; Bolingbroke, like Atterbury, engaged in a treasonable correspondence with the Court of Saint-Germain's, and, to escape the dangers of a formal impeachment, was obliged to go into exile. His unpopularity was increased by the part which he had taken in the Peace of Utrecht. In France he actually entered the service of the Pretender, but was soon dismissed through intrigue, and, on


career and

receiving a pardon, returned to England in 1723. He again flung himself heart and soul into political life, and became Walpole's chief opponent.

After Walpole's fall, he again His later

retired to France, and amused the declining years life.

of his life with political, moral, and philosophical writing. In his last years he was again in England, living at Battersea, and published (1749) his Letters on the Spirit of Patriotism, and his Idea of a Patriot King, which, some years before, he had given in Ms. to Pope. When he found, after Pope's death, that the poet, contrary to a solemn promise, had caused a number of copies to be printed, he affected great anger, and so bequeathed a celebrated scandal to literary annals. Of his other works, his Letter to Sir William Wyndham (written 1717), in defence of his political conduct, and his Letters on the Study and Use of History, written in France (1735), are the most important. His style is lofty, selfBolingbroke's

important, and oratorical, but his philosophical instyle: his

difference to the usual objects of ambition is, to philosophical every reader who knows anything about the man, position.

an impertinent pose. It was to Bolingbroke that Pope dedicated his Essay on Man; and, without doubt, the poet, who was not so able a philosopher as to see clearly the logical result of his speculations, owed some of his ideas to Bolingbroke, and still more to Shaftesbury. At all events, it took a considerable effort of sophistry on Warburton's part to reconcile the Essay on Man with orthodoxy. Bolingbroke was not merely a deist, but an acknowledged atheist. His writings against revealed religion, consisting chiefly of letters to his friends, including Pope, were bequeathed by him to the infidel publisher David Mallet, who brought them out, with Bolingbroke's other works, in 1754. His attacks on Christianity, although the brilliance of their author's career gave them some importance, are not very serious; nor can they be regarded as more than the impudent by-play of a wit whose self-conceit led him to think himself a patron and creditor of philosophy.

§ 10. BERNARD MANDEVILLE has won his doubtful reputation as a disturbing factor in the philosophical society of his

time. He was born and educated in Holland, and BERNARD settled as a small physician in London. With a MANDEVILLE (1670 ?-1733).

considerable amount of humour and a larger stock

of indecent cynicism, he became a pamphleteer, and, from 1700, or earlier, to his death, prepared an unsavoury legacy for posterity. Most of this is fortunately forgotten, but his Fable

of the Bees was continually before the public. This The Fable, persistent little book was, in its original form, a clumsy of the Becs": its history.

poem called The Grumbling Hive (1705), and told

the story of a hive of vicious bees, whose prosperity, depending on their vices, was ruined on their becoming virtuous. Mandeville added prose digressions to his apologue in 1714, and, on finding that the public was waking up to the theory which it implied, published it in a much augmented form, in 1723, under the title of The Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices Public Benefits. This appeal to notoriety was a great success. The book was prosecuted. Berkeley attacked it in Alciphron, and William Law published scathing Remarks upon it. Mandeville was not afflicted with acute sensitiveness, and the complaints of the virtuous caused him only to blaspheme the more in subsequent editions, each of which augmented the book until, in its posthumous form, it became a very considerable treatise and attained the proportions of a manual of social ethics. Mandeville wrote well and vividly, with an unsparing realism which recalls Swift from time to time ; but he Mandeville's

style. had absolutely no standard of morality, and, when his object was not purely to annoy people, stood on the lowest ground of expediency. His impish coarseness amused itself at the expense of Shaftesbury's superiority and supercilious culture, and his satire always returned to this mark, which, it must be owned, was rather obvious. No greater contrast could exist than this between the exclusive sceptic, who wrote about virtue in the most meditative of styles, and the popular cynic, who recommended vice in the broadest language of his day.

$ 11. GEORGE BERKELEY, Bishop of Cloyne, has a name to which his attack on Mandeville forms but a small contribution. He was an Irishman, a native of Kilkenny, and a scholar of Kilkenny College. A great part of his GEORGE early life, from 1700 to 1713, was spent at Trinity (1685-1953). College, Dublin, where he obtained a fellowship. During these thirteen years, he built up his metaphysical system, which he developed in three successive works, an Essay towards a New Theory of Vision (1709), The Principles of Human knowledge (1710), and Hylas and Philonous, a series of Platonic dialogues (1713). At twenty-eight he came to London, and won golden opinions from Pope and Swift, who both extolled the perfection of his intellect and character. The next eight years of his life were passed, for the most part, in foreign travel, and he did not return to Ireland till 1721. In 1724 he was appointed to the deanery of Derry, and resigned his fellowship. However, Derry saw very little of him, for, just about this time, he conceived the plan of establishing an university

Bermuda or missionary college in the Bermudas, with the idea

scheme. of civilising and converting the Carib savages. He pressed it with great energy, and, having succeeded in obtaining a grant of £20,000—which was never paid him~from Parliament, he married a wife, and, in 1728, started for America. For three years afterwards the dean of Derry chose Rhode Island for the centre of his operations, presumably with the intention of being able to start for the “still-vex'd Bermoothes" at a moment's notice. However, the Government did nothing for him ; and the only result of Berkeley's self-imposed exile was Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher, which he published on his return


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