Page images
PDF
EPUB

1661. when the new parliament was called, a year after, in which there was a design to set aside the act of indemnity, and to have brought in a new one, the king did so positively insist on his adhering to the act of indemnity, that the design of breaking into it was laid aside. The earl of Clarendon owned it was his counsel. Acts or promises of indemnity, he thought, ought to be held sacred: a fidelity in the observation of them was the only foundation upon which any government could hope to quiet seditions or civil wars: and if people once thought that those promises were only made to deceive them, without an intention to observe them religiously, they would never for the future hearken to any treaty. He often said it was the making those promises had brought the king home, and it was the keeping them must keep him at home. So that whole work, from beginning to the end, was entirely his. The angry men, that were thus disappointed of all their hopes, made a jest of the title of it, An act of oblivion and of indemnity; and said, the king had passed an act of oblivion for his friends, and of indemnity for his enemies. To load the earl of Clarendon the more, it was given out that he advised the king to gain his enemies, since he was sure of his friends by their principles. With this he was often charged, though he always denied itd. Whel66ther the king fastened it upon him after he had dis

obtained particular pardons un- d He might deny the words, der the great seal, for what but the practice was suitable to was included in the act of in- such doctrine, and every body demnity. My great grandfa- knew there was nothing done ther had one, which I have at that time but by his ad

sceu. O. vice. D.

graced him, to make him the more odious, I cannot 1661. tell. It is certain the king said many very hard things of him, for which he was much blamed: and in most of them he was but little believed.

It was natural for the king, upon his restoration, 1662. to look out for a proper marriage. And it was soon ^Jj^j*' observed, that he was resolved not to marry a protestant. He pretended a contempt of the Germans, and of the northern crowns. France had no sister. He had seen the duke of Orleans's daughters, and liked none of them. Spain had only two infantas: and as the eldest was married to the king of France, the second was to go to Vienna. So the house of Portugal only remained, to furnish him a wife, among the crowned heads. Monk began to hearken to a motion made him for this by a Jew, that managed the concerns of Portugal, which were now given for lost, since they were abandoned by France by the treaty of the Pyrenees; in which it appears, by cardinal Mazarin's letters, that he did entirely deliver up their concerns; which was imputed to his desire to please the queen-mother of France, who, being a daughter of Spain, owned herself still to be in the interests of Spain in every thing in which France was not concerned, for in that case she pretended she was true to the crown of France. And this was the true secret of Cardinal Mazarin's carrying on that war so feebly as he did, to gratify the queen-mother on the one hand, and his own covetousness on the other: for the less public expense was made, he had the greater occasions of enriching himself, which was all he thought on. The Portugueze being thus, as they thought, cast off by

1662. France, were very apprehensive of falling under the Castillians, who, how weak soever they were in opposition to France, yet were like to be too hard for them, when they had nothing else on their hands. So, vast offers were made, if the king would marry their infanta, and take them under his protection. Monk was the more encouraged to entertain the proposition, because some pretended, that, in the beginning of the war of Portugal, king Charles had entered into a negotiation for a marriage between his son and this infanta. And the veneration paid his memory was then so high, that every thing he had projected was esteemed sacred. Monk promised to serve the interests of Portugal: and that was, as sir Robert Southwell told me, the first step made in that mattere. Soon after the king came into England, an embassy of congratulation came from thence, with orders to negotiate that business. The Spanish ambassador, who had a pretension of 167 merit from the king in behalf of that crown, since they had received and entertained him at Brussels, when France had thrown him off, set himself much against this match: and, among other things, affirmed, that the infanta was incapable of having children. But this was little considered. The Spaniards are not very scrupulous in affirming any thing that serves their ends: and this marriage was like to secure the kingdom of Portugal. So it was no wonder that he opposed it: and little regard was had to all that he said to break it. An alliance At this time monsieur Fouquet was gaining an from ascendant in the counsels of France, cardinal Maza

France.

e See post p. 297. O.

rin falling then into a languishing, of which he died 1662. a year after. He sent one over to the king with a ~"project of an alliance between France and England. He was addressed first to the earl of Clarendon, to whom he enlarged on all the heads of the scheme he had brought, of which the match with Portugal was a main article. And, to make all go down the better, Fouquet desired to enter into a particular friendship with the earl of Clarendon; and sent him the offer of 10,000/. and assured him of the renewing the same present every year. The lord Clarendon told him, he would lay all that related to the king faithfully before him, and give him his answer in a little time: but for what related to himself, he said, he served a great and bountiful master, who knew well how to support and reward his servants: he would ever serve him faithfully; and, because he knew he must serve those from whom he accepted the hire, therefore he rejected the offer with great indignation. He laid before the king the heads of the proposed alliance, which required much consultation. But in the next place he told both the king and his brother what had been offered to himself. They both advised him to accept of it. Why, said he, have you a mind that I should betray you? The king answered, he knew nothing could corrupt him. Then, said he, you know me better than I do my self: for if I take the money, I shall find the sweet of it, and study to have it continued to me by deserving it. He told them, how he had rejected the offer; and very seriously warned the king of the danger he saw he might fall into, if he suffered any of those who served him, to be once pensioners to other princes: those presents were

1662. made only to bias them in their counsels, and to discover secrets by their means: and if the king gave way to it, the taking money would soon grow to a habit, and spread like an infection through the whole court.

168 As the motion for the match with Portugal was Y^rek''"^eJf carried on, an incident of an extraordinary nature riase- happened in the court. The earl of Clarendon's daughter, being with child, and near her time, called upon the duke of York to own his marriage with her. She had been maid of honour to the princess royal: and the duke, who was even to his old age of an amorous disposition, tried to gain her to comply with his desires. She managed the matter with so much address, that in conclusion he married her. Her father did very solemnly protest, that he knew nothing of the matter, till now that it broke outf. The duke thought to have shaken her from claiming it by great promises, and as great threatenings P.

'Lord Shaftsbury told sir Mich. Wharton, from whom I had it, he had observed a respect from lord Clarendon and his lady to their daughter, that was very unusual from parents to their children, which gave him a jealousy she was married to one of the brothers, but suspected the king most. D. (As far as lord Clarendon's lady is concerned in this story; sir Michael Wharton's veracity is established by Locke's Memoirs of the Earl of Shaftsbury. See Locke's Works, vol. iii. p. 493. And it appears, from lord Clarendon's account of this transaction, that his daughter resided with him for some time after he

had been informed, by the king's order, of the marriage, and whilst it still remained a secret from the public. King Charles's conduct in this business was excellent throughout, that of Clarendon worthy an ancient Roman. See Continuation of the Life of the Earl of Clarendon, by himself, p. 27—40.)

s And a scandalous attempt was made to affect her reputation, as my lord Clarendon says, in a manuscript history, written by himself, of his life, or rather a continuation of it, from the restoration to within

of his death. I had the

reading of this manuscript, by the favour of the lord Com

« PreviousContinue »