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mote fitted to rule in a regular established government, than either to give way to the encroachments of a popular assembly, or finally to subdue their pretensions. He wanted suppleness and dexterity sufficient for the first measure; he was not endowed with vigour requisite for thefecond. Had he been born an absolute prince, his humanity and good fense had rendered his nign happy, and his memory precious. Had the limitations on the prerogative been in his time quite fixed and certain, his integrity had made him regard as sacred the boundaries of the constitution. Unhappily his fate threw him into a period, when the precedents of many former reigns favoured strongly of arbitrary power, and the genius of the people ran violently towards liberty. And if his political prudence was not sufficient to extricate him from so perilous a situation, he may be excused; since, even after the event, when it is commonly easy to correct all errors, one is at a loss to determine what conduct in his circumstances would have maintained the authority of the crown, and preserved the peace of the nation. Exposed without revenue, without arms, to the assault of furious, implacable, and bigoted factions; it was never permitted him, but with the most fatal consequences, to commit the smallest mistake; a condition too rigorous to be imposed on the greatest human capacity.
Some historians have rastily questioned the good faith of this prince; but for this reproach, the most malignant scrutiny of his conduct, which in every circumstance is now thoroughly known, affords not any reasonable foundation. On the contrary, if we consider the extreme difficulties to which he was so frequently reduced, and compare the sincerity of his professions and declarations, we shall avow, that probity and honour ought justly to be numbered among his most shining qualities. In evf ry treaty, those concessions which he thought in conscience he could not maintain, he never would by any motive or persuasion b:* induced to make.
And though some violations of tie petition of right may be imputed to him; those are more to be ascribed to the necessity of his situation, and to the lofty ideas of royal prerogative which he had imbibed, than to any failure of the integrity of his principles. This, prince was of a comely prelencc; of a sweet and melancholy affect; his face was regular,
handsome, and well complexioned; his* body strong, healthy, and justly proportioned; and being of middle stature, he was capable of enduring the greatest fatigues. He excelled in horsemanship and other exercises; and he possessed all the exterior, as well as many of the essential qualities, which form an accomplished prince.
§ 98. Another Charatlcr ofCharles I.
In the character of Charles, as represented by his panegyrists, we find the qualities of temperance, chastity, regularity, piety, equity, humanity, dignity, condescension, and equanimity; some have gone so far as to allow him integrity, and many writers, whocondemn his political principles,give him the title of a moral man. In the comparison of this representation with Charles's conduct, accurately and justly described, it is discernible that vices of the worst tendency, when shaded by a plausible and formal carriage, when concordant to the interests of a faction, and the prejudices of the vulgar, assume the appearances of, and are imposed on the credulous world as, virtues of the first rank.
Passion for power was Charles's predominant vice; idolatry to his regal prerogatives, his governing principle. The interests of the crown, legitimated every measure, and sanctified m his eye the widest deviation from moral rule.
Neither gratitude, clemency, humanity, equity, nor generosity, have place in the fair part of Charles's character; of the virtues of temperance, fortitude, and personal bravery, he was undeniably possessed. His manners partook of dissipation, and his conversation of the indecency of a court. His chastity has been called in question, by an author of the highest repute; and were it allowed, it was tainted by an excess of uxorioufness, which gave it the properties and the consequences of vice. The want of integrity is manifest in every part of his conduct; which, whether the corruption of his judgment or heart, lost him fair opportunities of reinstatement in the throne, and was the vice for which above all others he paid the tribute of his life. His intellectual powers were naturally good, and so improved by a continual exercise, that though in the beginning os his reign he spoke with difficulty and hesitation, toward* the close of his life he discovered in his writings purity of language and dignity of style; in his debates elocution, and quickness of perception. The high opinion he entertained of regal dignity, occasioned him to observe a stateliness and imp;riousness in his manner; which, to the rational and intelligent, was unamiable and offensive; by the weak and formal it was mistaken for dignity.
In the exercise of Horsemanship he excelled; had a good taste, and even skill, in several of the polite arts; but though a proficient in some branches of literature, was no encourager of useful learning, and only patronized adepts in jargon of the divine right, and utility of kings and bishops. His understanding in this point was so depraved by the prejudices of his education, the flattery of priests, and the affections of his heart, that he would never endure conversation which tended to inculcate the principles of equal right in men; and notwithstanding; that the particularity of his situation enforced his attention to doctrines of this kind, he went oat of the world with the fame fond prejudices with which he had been fostered in his nursery, and cajoled in the zenith of his power.
Charles was of a middle stature, his body strong, healthy, and justly proportioned; and his aspect melancholy, yet not unpleasing. His surviving issue, were three sons and three daughters. He was executed in the 49th year of his age, and buried, by the appointment of the parliament, at Windsor, decently, yet without pomp.
§ 99. QharaStr of Oliver CromWell •.
Oliver Cromwell was of a robust make and constitution, his aspect manly though clownish. His education extended no farther than a superficial knowledge of the Latin tongue, but he inherited great talents from nature; though they were such as he could not have exerted to advantage »t any juncture than that of a civil war, inflamed by religious contests. His character was formed from an amazing conjuncture of enthusiasm, hypocrisy, and ambition. He was possessed of courage and resolution, that overlooked all dangers, and saw no difficulties. He dived into the characters of mankind with wonderful faga
* From Noble's Memoiis of the Protectoral trase of Cromwell.
city, whilst he concealed his own purposes, under the impenetrable shield of diiiimulation.
He reconciled the most atrocious crimes to the moll rigid notions of religious obligations. From the severest exercise of devotion, he relaxed into the most ridiculous and idle buftbonry: yet he preserved the dignity and distance of his character, in the midst of the coarsest familiarity. He was cruel and tyrannic from policy; just and temperate from inclination ; perplexed and despicable in his discourse; clear and consummate in his designs ; ridiculous in his reveries; respectable in his conduct; in a word, the strangest compound of villainy and virtue, baseness and magnanimity, absurdity and good sense, that we find on record in the annals cf mankind *.
§ 100. Character os Charles II.
If we survey the character os Charles the Second in the different lights which it will admit of, it will appear very various, and give rise to different and even opposite sentiments. When considered as a companion, he appears the most amiable and engaging of men; and, indeed, in this view, his deportment must be allowed altogether unexceptionable. His love of raillery was so tempered with good breeding, that it was never offensive His propensity to satire was so checked with discretion, that his friends never dreaded their becoming the object of it. His wit, to use the expression of one who knew him well, and who was himself an exquisite judge f, could not be said so much to be very refined or elevated, qualities apt to beget jealousy and apprehension in company, as to be a plain, gain ing, well-bred, recommending kind of wit. And though perhaps he talked more than strict rules of behaviour might permit, men were so pleased with the affable, communi
* Cromwell died more than five millions in debt; though the parliament had left him in the treasury above five hundred thouljnd pounds, and in stores to the value of seven hundred thousand pounds.
Richard, the sen of Cromwell, was proclaimed protector in his room; but Richard, being of a very different disposition to his f.ither, resigned his authority the aid of April 1659 ; and soon after signed his abdication in form, and retired to live several years after his resignation, at first on the Continent, and afcei wards uuon his pctcrnal fortune at home.
-j- Marquis of Halifax. ,
3 C 3 cative cative deportment of the monarch, that they always went away contented both with him and with themselves. This indeed is the most shining part of the king's character, and he seems to have been sensible of it; for he was fond of dropping the formalities of state, and of relapsing every moment into the companion.
In the duties of private life, his conduct though not free from exception, was in the main laudable. He was an easy generous lover, a civil obliging husband, a friendly brother, an indulgent father, and a goodnatured master. The voluntary friendships, however, which this prince contracted, nay, even his fense of gratitude, were feeble; and he never attached himself to any of his ministers or courtiers with a very sincere affection. He believed them to have no other motive for serving him but self-interest, and he was still ready, in his turn, to sacrifice them to present ease and convenience.
With a detail on his private character we must set bounds to our panegyric on Charles. The other parts of his conduct may admit of some apology,' but can deserve small applause. He was indeed so much fitted for private life, preferably to public, that he even possessed order, frugality, caconomy in the former; was profuse, thoughtless, negligent in the latter. When we consider him as a sovereign, his character, though not altogether void of virtues, was in the main dangerous to his people, and dishonourable to himself. Negligent of the interests of the nation, careless of its glory, averse to its religion, jealous of its liberty, lavish of its treasure, and sparing only cf its blood; he exposed it by his measures (though he appeared ever but in sport) to the danger of a furious civil war, and even to the ruin and ignominy of a foreign contest. Yet may all these enormities, if fairly and candidly examined, be imputed, in a great measure, to the indolence of his temper: a fault which, however unfortunate in a monarch, it is impossible for us to regard with great severity,
swarthy, and his countenance marked with strong, harsh lineaments. His penetration was keen, his judgment clear, his understanding extensive, his conversation lively and entertaining, and he possessed the talenc of wit and ridicule. He was easy of access, polite, and affable; had he been limited to a private station, he would have passed for the most agreeable and bestnatured man of the age in which he lived. His greatest enemies allow him to have been a civil husband, an obliging lover, an affectionate father, and an indulgent master; even as a prince he manifested an aversion to cruelty and injustice. Yet these good qualities were more than over-balanced by his weakness and defects. He was a scoffer at religion, and a libertine in his morals; careless, indolent, profuse, abandoned to effeminate pleasure, incapable of any noble enterprize, a stranger to any manly sriendstiip and gratitude, deaf to the voice of honour, blind to the allurements of glory, and, in a word, wholly destitute of every^active virtue. Being iitnsclf unprincipled, he believed mankind were false, perfidious, and interested; and there/ore practised dissimulation for his own convenience. He was strongly attached to the French manners, government, and monarch; he was dissatisfied with his own limited prerogative. The majority of liis own subjects he despised or hated, as hypocrites, fanatics, and republicans, who had persecuted his father and himself, and sought the destruction of the monarchy. In these sentiments, he could not be supposed to pursue the interest of the nation; on the contrary, he seemed to think that his own safety was incompatible with the honour and advantage of his people.
§ I oz. Another Characlcr of Charles II.
Thus lived and died king Charles the Second. He was the greatest instance in history of the various revolutions of which any one man seemed capable. He was bied up the first twelve years of his life, with the splendour that became the heir of so great
he never said a foolish thing, nor ever did n wise onej a censure, which, though too far carried, seems to have some foundation in his character and deportment. Died Feb. 6, 1685, aged 54. Hume.
§ 101. Another CbaraSler ofCharles II. Charles II, was in his person tall and
eighteen years in great inequalities, unhappy in the war, in the loss of his father, and of the crown of England.—While he was abroad at Paris, Colen, or Brussels, he never seemed to lay aoy thing to heart. He pursued all his diversions, and irregular pleasures, in a free career; and seemed to be as serene under the loss of a crown, as
the the greatest philosopher could have been. Nor did he willingly hearken to any of those projects, with which, he complained often, his chancellor persecuted him. That in which he seemed most concerned was, to find money for supporting his expence. And it was often said, that if Cromwell would have compounded the matter, and have given him a good round pension, 'he might have been induced to resign his title to him. During his exile, he delivered himself so entirely to hh pleasures, that he Became incapable of application. He spent litde of his time in reading and study; and yet less in thinking. And in the state his affairs were then in, he accustomed himself to say to every person, and upon all occasions, that which he thought would please most: so that words or promises went very easily from him. And he had soill an opinion of mankind, that he thought the great art of living and governing was, to manage all things and all persons, with a depth of craft and dissimulation. He desired to become absolute, and to overturn both our religion and laws; yet he would neither run the risque, nor give himself the trouble, which so great a design required. He had an appearance of gentleness in his outward deportment; but he seemed to have no bowels nor tenderness in his nature; and in the end of his life he became CrneL Burnt.
§ 103. Another CbaraStr cf Charles II, The character of Charles the Second, like the transactions of his reign, has assumed various appearances, in proportion to the passions and prejudices of different writers. To affirm that he was a great and good king, would be as unjust as to alledge that he was destitute of all virtue, and a bloody and inhuman tyrant. The indolence of his disposition, and the dissipation occasionsd by his pleasures, as they were at first the source of his mibfortunes, became afterwards the safety of the nation. Had he joined the ambition of power, and the perseverance and attention of his brother, to his own insinuating and engaging address, he might have secured his reputation with writers, by enflaving them with the nation.
In his person he was tall and well made. His complexion was dark, the lines of his face strong and harsh, when singly traced: but when his features were comprehended in one view, they appeared dignified and
even pleasing. In the motions of his person he was easy, graceful, and firm. His constitution was strong, and communicated an active vigour to all his limbs. Though a lover of ease of mind, he was fond of bodily exercise. He rose early, he walked much, he mixed with the meanest of his subjects, and joined in their conversation, without diminishing his own dignity, or raising their presumption. He was acquainted with many persons in the lower ll.itions of life- He captivated them with sprightly terms of humour, and with a kind of good-natured wit, which rendered them pleased with themselves. His guards only attended him on public occasions. He took the air frequently in company with a single friend; and though crowds f ollowed him, it was more from a wish to attract his notice, than from an idle curiosity. When evident designs against his life were daily exhibited before the courts of justice, he changed not his manner of appearing in public. It was soon after the Rye-house , plot was discovered, he is said to have been severe on his brother's character, when he exhibited a striking feature of his own. The duke returning from hunting with his guards, found the king one day in Hyde Park. He expressed his surprise how his majesty could venture his person alone at such a perilous time. "James," (replied the king,) " take you care of yourself.and "I am safe. No man in England will kill "Me, to make you king."
When he was opposed with most violence in parliament, he continued the most popular man in the kingdom. His goodbreeding as a gentleman, overcame the opinion conceived of his faults as a king. His affability, his easy address, his attention to the very prejudices of the people, rendered him independent of all the arts of his enemies to inflame the vulgar. He is said with reason to have died opportunely for his country. Had his life extended to the number of years which the strength of his constitution seemed to promise, the na • tion would have lost all memory of their liberties. Had his fate placed Charles the Second in these lattertimes; when influence supplies the place of obvious power; when the crown has ceased to be distressed through the channel of its necessities; when the representatives 0/ the p:ople, in granting supplies for the public service, provide for themselves; his want of ambition would have precluded the jealousy, and h'n po3 C 4 pular pular qualities secured the utmost admiration of his subjects. His gallantry itself would be construed into spirit, in an age where decency is only an improvement on vice. Ma.pherson.
§ 104. CharaBer os James II.
In many respects it must be owned, that he was a virtuous man, as well as a good monarch. He was frugal of the public money; he encouraged commerce with great attention; he applied himself to naval affairs with success; he supported the fleet as the glory and protection of England. He was also zealous for the honour of his country; he was capable of supporting its interests with a degree of dignity in the scale of Europe. In his private life he was almost irreproachable; he was an indulgent parent, a tender husband, a generous and steady friend; in his deportment he was affable, though stately; he bellowed favours with peculiar grace; he prevented solicitation by the suddenness of his disposal of places; though scarce any prince was ever so generally deserted, few ever had so many private friends; those who injured him molt were the first to implore his forgiveness, and even after they had raised another prince to the throne, they respected his person, and were anxious for his safety. To these virtues he added a steadiness of counsels, a perseverance in his plans, and courage in his enterprizes. He was honourable and fair in all his dealings; he was unjust to men in their principles, but never with regard to their property. Though few monarchs ever offended a people more, he yielded to none in his love of his subjects; he even affirmed, that he quitted England to prevent the horrors of a civil war, as much as from fear of a restraint upon his person from the prince of Orange. His great virtue was a strict adherence to facts and truth in all he wrote and said, though some parts of his conduct had rendered his sincerity in his political profession suspected by his enemies. Abdicated his throne 1689. Macpberson.
§ Ioj;. Jnotber Ckarafier os James II.
The enemies of James did not fail to make the most of the advantages they had gained by their subtle manœuvres; some said, that the king's flight was the effect of a disturbed conscience, labouring under the load of secret guilt; and those whose censures were more moderate, asserted, that his incurable bigotry had led him even to
sacrifice his crown to the interests of his priests; and that he chose rather to depend on the precarious support of a French force to subdue the refractory spirit of his people, than to abide the issue of events which threatened such legal limitations as should effectually prevent any further abuse of power.
The whole tenor of the king's past conduct, undoubtedly gave a countenance to insinuations which were in themselves sufficiently plausible to answer all the pu-poses for which they were industriously circulated; but when the following circumstances are taken into consideration, namely, that timidity is natural to the human mind, when oppressed with an uninterrupted series of misfortunes; that the king's life was put entirely into the hands of a rival, whose ambitious views were altogether incompatible even with the shadow of regal power in his person; that the means taken to increase the apprehensions which reflections of this nature must necestarily occasion, were of the most mortifying kind; it must be acknowledged, that if the principles of heroic virtue mi?ht have produced conduct in some exalted individuals, yet that the generality of mankind would, in James's situation,have sought (helterin the professed generosity of a trusted friend, from personal insult, personal danger, and from all the harassing suspence under which the mind of this imprudent and unfortunate monarch had long laboured.
The opposition of James's religious principles to those of his subjects, his unpopular connections with the court of France; but, above all, the permanent establishment of a rival family on the throne of England, has formed in his favour such an union of piejudice and interest, as to destroy in the minds of posterity, all that sympathy which, on similar occasions, and in similar misfortunes, has so wonderfully operated in favour of other princes; and whilst we pajf the tribute of unavailing tears over the memory of Charles the First; whilst, with the Church of England, we venerate him as a martyr to the power and office of prelates; whilst we see, with regret, that he was stripped of his dignity and life at the very time when the chastening hand of affliction had, in a great measure, corrected the errors of a faulty education; the irresistible power of truth must oblige us to confess, that the adherence to religious principle, which cost the father his life, deprived the son of his dominions; that the