19 DECEMBER 1840, Page 16


THE design of this work, and the subject chosen—time Civil Wars of CHARLES the First—are better than the execution. The plan of selecting the most striking events in English history for separate treatment and pictorial illustration, has sufficient novelty for the reader; furnishes scope for the writer; and forms a more solid, and even attractive subject for an Annual, than commonplace tales and verses ; whilst time engravings, corresponding with the reality of the composition, would have rendered the art as valuable as the lite- rature, and more complete. We say more complete, because no one could expect a continuous view of history in a book for the drawing- room and boudoir. The author must of necessity dual with persons and events, rather than with causes or principles, or with those social peculiarities which verge upon the abstract, and are traceable in laws, charters, and other muniments. Even in time selection of characters and actions he is confined to those which are striking. Many years must sometimes be passed over without yielding hint a hero or a

scene, a story of romance, or a striking anecdote; so that though the mind might receive, through this medium, a vivid impression of the

tableaux as it were of history, it could never be made a substitute

for history itself. But still an historical spirit might pervade time work, though of the school of the picture-painting 1.my y rather than the philosophical Tuve yin pus. A n impartiality both of state • meta and of opinion may fairly be loked for, as well as the whole truth, if a subject be handled at all. The manner and diction are not to he over-scrutinized, provided they are readable and effective.

A man who could rise to that combination of troth, simplicity, and strength, which forum the perfection of the historical style, should write a history : it would be thrown away upon its romance and its gossip.

Some of these qualities the Reverend R. CATTEEMOLE pos- sesses; though dashed with faults. In his judgments the church- man constautly peeps out ; and although he professes, and we doubt not intends, a perfect impartiality, he does not always diTlay it. His words of censure, indeed, are dealt out equally ; but his nar- rative, we think, will leave upon the uninfbrined mind a stronger bias in flavour of CHARLES, Sravrroao, and the whole Royalist party, than the facts of history warrant. Tie arbitrary disposition of STE PE0RD—i■iivi0'15 in his acts, and visible under his own hand in his letters—is not brought Out, if it be not concealed. The faithlessness of CHARLES—that impossibility of trusting him, which caused all his misfortunes—has no place in Mr. CarrEa- stor.F.'s portrait. 111:tiRif.T1.1, Wi0-; ktIOWD to be unfidthful, and is said to have advised CHARLES o, an injudicious course that she might enjoy uncontrolled the socii.ty of her minion JERMYN. Yet this gross stain is not alluded to by 11-. CATTERMOLE, though he devotes a whole chapter to her conduct and character : nor does the omission arise front any to to ears polite, since he stigma ti z es the Count esa of C asi-m.m., whose frailty at till events was uoaccompanied by treachery and infidelity. The style of Mr. CATTERMOLE is well adapted to his task. Ile is mrmticcd SOMEwhat affected with tine rhetorical mauia, and ad- dicted to dfigiilfion ; but he is clear, rapid, and pictorial. His

knowledge of the period does not appear to be very great. We have no right to look for great research or new discoveries

in a work of this kind ; but we alight expect that a person who undertakes a VOI011ie hhould be timmiliar w;th the subject, and have perused the commonly meessible authorities, FIS well as the best historians who have boiled of the period. Ni r. CAT- TERMOLE appears rather to have mid to w rite ilia won k, than to have %rater, his work because he had rs ad. Ile rather ex- hibits a ready dexterity in seizing the salient points of' the parts he has inspected, than to have made his selection from a thorough knowledge of tlte whole. This, however, is merely an impression, and it may he a wrong one. Writing virginibus puerisque, he might fancy that smoothness in style, and not too much !natter, were the things needful: but his long quotations from such a well-known author as CLARENDON, or from so lately published a book as Mr. FORSTER'S Statesmen of the Commonwealth of England, are only justifiable when absolutely necessary for the purpose in hand—as in the ease of CLARENDoN'S report of I'si's speech on impeaching STRAFF0121).

The selection of the period exhibits judgment. It seems has possible to tire of the Great Rebellion, and the events which led to it. Innumerable original state papers, reports of speeches, letters, memoirs, autobiographies, pamphlets, and contemporary histories, have appeared ; the greatest historical geniuses of this country, and we might say of' Europe, have treated the subject both generally and particularly ; lesser people have said their say, and continue to say it: yet we devour all, and have appetite for more. That nice combination of physical at with intellee. tual qualities, which is requisite to make the " perfection ofa man," seems to take place at the period when nations are passiir from rudeness to eivilization—whilst they retain the vigour and simplicity of one mode of life, and befbre they have been rendered over-in- tellectual and speculative by the other. Our dramatic poetry was developed under the last 'report, our politics under the first ST1: Compared with the statesmen of that period, the politicians of suc- ceeding tinmes look mean and dwarfish—like a modern puny por- trait-bust against an antique head of Hercules.

'1'Ime subjects of' Arr. CATTERM01.13 are well chosen. After an introduction giving a preliminary sketch of antecedent affairs, he begins with STRAFFORD'S trial and execution. " Parliamen- tary Crisis" follows,—a rapid review of the weak and violent mea- sures which led to " the Raising of the Standard." The changeful fortunes of the war—embracing the greater battles, and, under the head of " Partisan NVarfare," or " Hampden," detached affairs— succeeds ; being varied by chapters on " Queen Henrietta," " Ilyde," narrating. the abortive attempt of the treaty at ()xford, and " the Church in l)esolation," with the trial and execution of LAUD. Marston :Moor, which saw the destruction of the hopes of' triumph fbr the Royalists, closes the volume : a second volume itt another year will describe their downfal. And we wish the under- taking every success. Our criticism has been applied to the great subject of Mr. CATTERMOLE'S pet], Father thall to of his publication. Compared to the batch of effete or abortive creatures that come forth in shoals, the Historical Annual is a guinea to a gilt-piece.

We will take an extract or two as examples of' the matter and manner of the author.

somosits or Tim CIVIL WAIL England—the laud heating of whose warlike pulse had, shire the great dis- pute arose, wholly drowned the Mint, decaying traditions of those miseries that attended her ancient domestic feuds—had likewise happily Mrgoit en military tactics, and their very nomenclature had heroine an miltiroWn language. 'to drill their zealous recruits, withdrawn soddenly from the plotigh,ttie anvil, or the loon), the Parliament employed officers who bad served in the wars or cer- many ; the fortifications and management of the artillery were chiefly confided to tiireiguusoldiers of Mrtune, German or French. The proper equipment pith): men was, Mr the MIMIC reason, a difficult), which it nog aired flint, to surmount. 'rile rude but pieturespie matchlocks or inuskets of' the smut, whet) these could not be hail, pikes and pole-am,s, simplied the aroN of the infantry ; the long heavy sword, the carhitie and pistols, the hack and I, r, plate+, ith this steel cap., common to both horse and Mot, preson;e;I the ,Iperior m'enutre- inent of the cavalry or troopers. Both armies, but especial:). tile King's, were at tirst but imperfectly furnished with arms of any kind I romwell a " 11011- 141111..8" OW111111:11 that title as %veil on acronut of the mare " com- plete steel" in which they wore belted lie 1111 their invincible dariv ; and every 0110 has heard of Ilaslerivtes reg. lit, nieknanted by the " I stirs," " because of' the bright iron shells with which they were corered, being perfect cuirassiers." 'The colours of the regiments were varinto, it:Tording to the fancy, or, more frequently, agreeing with the hon,,, hold livery of the respective leaders. TI113 mark of distiort ion was the more important, .bovainic, at the outbreak of the war, it was sometimea the mily means of recog- nition by which, in battle, ft iend could be di3cernet from Me, no dis- tinctive field-word ha hero adopted. " Lord Nugent, in his Lift of thempfiro, inmhuriuui 1141, " were the London red coats; Lord Brookes's, the purple ; Hampden's, the green co:ail; Lord Say's und Lord Man- deville's, the blue; the orange, which had long been the colour of Lord Essex's household, and now that of 1118 liOily•:!iiii411, was wnen in n seitrf over th,. ar- mour of all the officers of the Pai 'lament army, ii4 ,y1111.01 or their cause." The J(ing's Minims re.,_;inient lil:cwise adopted red ; the Earl of Newcastle's regiment of Narthumbrians were termed, Irmo the white col,cir of their coats, (or, as smile say, with reference to their fierce courage,,) " castle's Iambs." It was only by degrees, however, that any thing like tini- Iiirmity was attained : the choice of clothing and arms wa3, in the first insl often decided hy the taste or eires,iislilliel,t1 of the iuiuiivi,IuuruhWriircr. 1.•8•h regiment or each troop hail its stand:all or cornet, bearing on one side the watch-

word of time Parliament, " I with nit;'' and on the other, (tutu device of it

manlier, with 1114 motto. The ioseription Oil II,, Elit Of 1.;•,,i'S's w:18 " Caver wham' "; the 101 ter•cliosen a irt noire characteristic word4 whioh hattle over the head of Illiomelen were " N'esti.eia 1111111) retro1,111,1": later in the war, Algernon Sidney, 1,11,. lir the steadiest lialherent, to the valise, thus iii expressed, rank and education, two and two, carrying baskets ffiled with earth ; many I Fresco, as most of our readers may be aware, is painting with water- of whom wrought in the trenches, till they fell ill from the effect of unusual exertion. Of the works thus patriotically raised, an interesting description retnains; and though long ago every vestige of their existence has been swept away by the hand of time or the march of improvement, they appear to have been, for that age, of respectable efficiency. The stranger, on approaching the capital by water, before he found himself enclosed between those tICII3C ranks of merchantmen which event then covered both banks of the Thames, was frowned upon from either shore by a stern molt- angular fort, with its deep trench and bristling palisades, surmounted by cannon and guarded by many a steel-capped musketeer, sworn toes to Cavaliers and Malignants. From Limehouse, where they commenced, the lines stretched on to Wham:Impel, to Shorn:ditch, to !foxtrot, then along by Holborn to St. Oiles's and Marylebone, to Tyburn and Hyde Park; whence bending round by Tothill Fields, the river was again commanded by two forts, the one erected at that station and the other at Nine Elms, on the opposite side; front which point they stretched uncross the angle of Sorry, through Newiugton to Redriff, where they. again terminated upon the stream. At each of these, and of many intervening angles, a flirt commanded the adjoining approaches. There were, in all, twenty-limr ffirts, besides redoubts, counter- scarps, and half-moons along the trenches between; the whole planted with 212 pieces of ordnance ; a circuit of twelve miles, enclosing great wealth, and swanning with a various and eager population. At each diet' central point within this wide circumference was placed a emis-ile.garde—in the City, in Southwark, by the [louses of Parlhonent, at Whitehall. The writer from whose curious details we copy the present sketch, though a &onion:in, a Presbyterian, and a devoted admirer of' the Parliament, unconsciously throws in n natural touch of loval frelimug, which finishes the grand but melancholy picture of a Mighty entiltaf inn rebellion against its sovereign : " 1 fouud," says lw, " the grass growing 11,011 in the royal courts of the King's house ; which, in- deed, was a lamentable sight."

More value would have been given to the ornamental part of the publication had the illustrations been more real.. Portraits of the great men vi hose names occur in time letterpress—landscapes pre- senting the scenes of their exploits, or buildings which they at- tacked or defended—either transcripts as they now stand, or copies from prints, or " restorations" as the architects have it—would have had more interest, we think, than flincied designs even for the drawingrown-table. Mr. Gamma CATTERMOLE has produced a set of picturesque indications of striking incidents, in which the figures are properly costumed and grouped with dramatic- skill, hut where we look in vain for those traits of individual character that give life to the actors ill the scene. It would be unreasonable to expect grand historical pictures engraved miniature size in the etn- bellishments of an Annual : nor can the line-engraver represent on so minute a scale those loose, free touches of the pencil, which in the original are so suggestive of the sketcher's meaning: hence, occasionally, these designs appear tame and feeble—the very op- posite qualities to those which distioguish the drawings of.CAT- TERN101.1i whose style is as remarkable for vigour as nullity. In subjects Clepending on broad general features—such, for instance, as the Puritan soldier preachiog to his comrades, cased in buff coats, cuirasses, and helmets, smoking and drinking among the mutilated monuments of a cathedral—the " Defence of Wardour Castle"—" Selling Church Plunder," and such like scenes, where armour and shrines, weapons and flagons, are arranged with pic- torial effect—the designer succeeds best : be has a leaning to the gross and material, and revels in scenes of riot and merriment, brute three and sensual enjoyment. " The Arrest of Strafford," however, is a tine study for a picture : not so its pendant, " Straf- limas Farewell," which is inferior to DELAROCIIE'S design of tine same subject : indeed CATTERNIOIX'S does not depict the incident truly.