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so weak as to bend under the weight of his body; his address was awkward, and his appearance slovenly. There was nothing dignified either in the composition of his mind or person. We have in the course of his reign exhibited repeated instances of his ridiculous vanity, prejudices, profusion, folly, and littleness of soul. All that we can add in his favour is, that he was averse to cruelty and injustice; very little addicted to excess, temperate in his meals, kind to his servants, and even desirous of acquiring the love of his subjects, by granting that as a favour, which they claimed as a privilege. His reign, though ignoble to himself, was happy to his people. They were enriched by commerce, which no war interrupted. They felt no severe impositions; and the commons made considerable progress in ascertaining the liberties of the nation.


§ 99. Another Character of JAMES. No prince, so little enterprising and so inoffensive, was ever so much exposed to the opposite extremes of calumny and flattery, of satire and panegyric. And the factions which began in his time, being still continued, have made his character be as much disputed to this day, as is commonly that of princes who are our contemporaries. Many virtues, however, it must be owned, he was possessed of; but not one of them pure, or free from the contagion of the neighbouring vices. His generosity bordered on profusion, his learning on pedanty, his pacific disposition on pusillanimity, his wisdom on cunning, his friendship on light fancy, and boyish fondness. While he imagined that he was only maintaining his own authority, he may perhaps be suspected in some of his actions, and still more of his pretensions, to have encroached on the liberties of his people.

While he endeavoured, by an exact neutrality, to acquire the good-will of all his neighbours, he was able to preserve fully the esteem and regard of none. His capacity was considerable, but fitter to discourse on general maxims than to conduct

any intricate business.

His intentions were just, but more adapted to the conduct of private life, than to the government of kingdoms. Awkward in his person, and ungainly in his manners, he was ill qualified to command respect: partial and undiscerning

in his affections, he was little fitted to acquire general love. Of a feeble temper more than a frugal judgment; exposed to our ridicule from his vanity, but exempt from our hatred by his freedom from pride and arrogance. And upon the whole it may be pronounced of his character, that all his qualities were sullied with weakness, and embellished by humanity. Political courage he was certainly devoid of; and from thence chiefly is derived the strong prejudice which prevails against his personal bravery: an inference, however, which must be owned, from general experience, to be extremely fallacious. Hume.

§ 100. Another Character of JAMES.

The principal thing which is made to serve for matter for king James's panegyric, is the constant peace he caused his subjects to enjoy. This cannot be said to be the effect of chance, since it clearly appears, it was his sole, or at least his chief aim in the whole course of his administration. Nothing, say his friends, is more worthy a great king than such a design. But the same design loses all its merit, if the prince discovers by his conduct, that he preserves peace only out of fear, carelessness, excessive love of ease and repose; and king James's whole behaviour shews he acted from these motives, though he coloured it with the pretence of his affection for the people.

His liberality, which some praise him for, is exclaimed against by others as prodigality. These last pretend he gave without measure and discretion, without any regard to his own wants, or the merit of those whom he beaped his favours upon.

As to his manners, writers are no less divided: some will have him to be looked on as a very wise and virtuous prince; whilst others speak of him as a prince of a dissolute life, given to drinking, and a great swearer in common conversation, especially when in a passion. He is likewise taxed with dissolving the Earl of Essex's marriage, the pardoning the Earl and Countess of Somerset, the death of Sir Walter Raleigh, and the confidence wherewith in full parliament he called God to witness, that he never had any thoughts of giving the Papists a toleration, which he could not affirm but by means of some mental reservation.

But whatever may be said for or against James's person, it is certain England ne

ver flourished less than in his reign; the English saw themselves exposed to the insults and jests of other nations, and all the world in general threw the blame on the king.


§ 101. Character of CHARLES I. Such was the unworthy and unexampled fate of Charles I. king of England, who fell a sacrifice to the most atrocious insolence of treason, in the forty-ninth year of his age, and in the twenty-fourth of his reign. He was a prince of a middling stature, robust, and well-proportioned. His hair was of a dark colour, his forehead high, his complexion pale, his visage long, and his aspect melancholy. He excelled in riding, and other manly exercises; he inherited a good understanding from nature, and had cultivated it with great assiduity. His perception was clear and acute, his judgment solid and decisive; he possessed a fine taste for the liberal arts, and was a munificent patron to those who excelled in painting, sculpture, music, and architecture. In his private morals he was altogether unblemished and exemplary. He was merciful, modest, chaste, temperate, religious, personally brave, and we may join the noble historian in saying, "He was the worthiest gentleman, the best master, the best "friend, the best husband, the best fa"ther, and the best christian of the age "in which he lived." He had the misfortune to be bred up in high notions of the prerogative, which he thought his honour and his duty obliged him to maintain. He lived at a time when the spirit of the people became too mighty for those restraints which the regal power derived from the constitution; and when the tide of fanaticism began to overbear the religion of his country, to which he was conscientiously devoted, he suffered himself to be guided by counsellors, who were not only inferior to himself in knowledge and judgment, but generally proud, partial, and inflexible; and from an excess of conjugal affection, that bordered upon weakness, he paid too much deference to the advice and desires of his consort, who was superstitiously attached to the errors of popery, and importuned him incessantly in favour of the Roman Catholics.


have been unexceptionable. His infirmities and imperfections have been candidly owned in the course of this narration. He was not very liberal to his dependants; his conversation was not easy, nor his address pleasing; yet the probity of his heart, and the innocence of his manners, won the affection of all who attended his person, not even excepting those who had the charge of his confinement. In a word, he certainly deserved the epithet of a virtuous prince, though he wanted some of those shining qualities which constitute the character of a great monarch. Beheaded January 30, 1648-9. Smollett.

Such were the sources of all that misgovernment which was imputed to him during the first fifteen years of his reign. From the beginning of the civil war to his fatal catastrophe, his conduct seems to

102. Another Character of CHARLES I.

The character of this prince, as that of most men, if not of all men, was mixed, but his virtues predominated extremely above his vices; or, more properly speaking, his imperfections: for scarce any of his faults arose to that pitch, as to merit the appellation of vices. To consider him in the most favourable light, it may be affirmed, that his dignity was exempted from pride, his humanity from weakness, his bravery from rashness, his temperance from austerity, and his frugality from avarice: all these virtues in him maintained their proper bounds, and merited unreserved praise. To speak the most harshly of him, we may affirm, that many of his good qualities were attended with some latent frailty, which, though seemingly inconsiderable, was able, when seconded by the extreme malevolence of his fortune, to disappoint them of all their influence. His beneficent disposition was clouded by a manner not gracious, his virtue was tinctured with superstition, his good sense was disfigured by a

deference to persons of a capacity much inferior to his own, and his moderate temper exempted him not from hasty and precipitate resolutions. He deserves the epithet of a good, rather than a great man; and was more 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 the second. Had he been born an absolute prince, his humanity and good sense had rendered his reign 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 savoured 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 rashly 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 every treaty, those concessions which he thought in conscience he could not maintain, he never would by any motive or persuasion be induced to make.

And though some violations of the 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 presence; of a sweet and melancholy aspect; 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. Hume.


§ 103. Another Character of CHARLES I. In the character of Charles, as repre

sented by his panegyrists, we find the qua lities of temperance, chastity, regularity, piety, equity, humanity, dignity, condescension, and equanimity; some have gone so far as to allow him integrity, and many writers, who condemn 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, in 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 uxoriousness, 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 of his reign he spoke with difficulty and hesitation, towards 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 imperiousness 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 out of the world with the same 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 Macaulay.


§ 104. Character 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 at 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 sagacity, whilst he concealed his own purposes, under the impenetrable shield of dissimulation.

He reconciled the most atrocious crimes to the most rigid notions of religious obligations. From the severest exercise of devotion, he relaxed into the most ridiculous

and idle buffoonery: 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 villany and virtue, baseness and magnanimity, absurdity and good sense, that we find on record in the annals of mankindt. Noble.

§ 105. Character of CHARLES II. If we survey the character of 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 judget, 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, gaining, 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 communicative 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 formali ties 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

* From Noble's Memoirs of the Protectoral house of Cromwell.

+ Cromwell died more than five millions in debt; though the parliament had left him in the treasury about five hundred thousand pounds, and in stores to the value of seven hundred thousand pounds.

Richard, the son of Cromwell, was proclaimed protector in his room; but Richard, being of a very different disposition to his father, resigned his authority the 22d 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 afterwards upon his paternal fortune at home.

Marquis of Halifax.

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 sense 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 of 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, economy 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 of 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.

It has been remarked of this king, that he never said a foolish thing, nor ever did a wise one: a censure, which, though too far carried, seems to have some foundation in his character and deportment. Died Hume. Feb. 6, 1685, aged 54.

§ 106. Another Character of CHARLES II. Charles II. was in his person tall and 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 talent 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 best natured 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 enterprise, a stranger to any manly friendship 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 himself unprincipled, he believed mankind were false, perfidious, and interested; and therefore 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 his 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. Smollett.

$107. Another Character 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 bred up the first twelve years of his life, with the splendour that became the heir of so great a crown. After that, he passed through 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 any 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 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

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