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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Old portraits and modern Sketches (search)
d, hard-hearted ascetics, enemies of the fine arts and polite literature. The works of Milton and Marvell, the prose-poem of Harrington, and the admirable discourses of Algernon Sydney are a sufficient answer to this accusation. To none has it less application than to the subject of our sketch. He was a genial, warmhearted man, an elegant scholar, a finished gentleman at home, and the life of every circle which he entered, whether that of the gay court of Charles II., amidst such men as Rochester and L'Estrange, or that of the republican philosophers who assembled at Miles's Coffee House, where he discussed plans of a free representative government with the author of Oceana, and Cyriack Skinner, that friend of Milton, whom the bard has immortalized in the sonnet which so pathetically, yet heroically, alludes to his own blindness. Men of all parties enjoyed his wit and graceful conversation. His personal appearance was altogether in his favor. A clear, dark, Spanish complexion, l
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Historical papers (search)
peril and obloquy. Perjured informers endeavored to swear away his life; and, although nothing could be proved against him beyond the fact that he had steadily supported the great measure of toleration, he was compelled to live secluded in his private lodgings in London for two or three years, with a proclamation for his arrest hanging over his head. At length, the principal informer against him having been found guilty of perjury, the government warrant was withdrawn; and Lords Sidney, Rochester, and Somers, and the Duke of Buckingham, publicly bore testimony that nothing had been urged against him save by impostors, and that they had known him, some of them, for thirty years, and had never known him to do an ill thing, but many good offices. It is a matter of regret that one professing to hold the impartial pen of history should have given the sanction of his authority to the slanderous and false imputations of such a man as Burnet, who has never been regarded as an authentic c