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fionate, and charitable; and so inoffensive, a sound judgment, he committed, however, that the bishop, who was his confesor for several oversights. But the crimes Edten years, declares, that in all that time ward is most juftly charged with, are his he had never committed any sin that re. cruelty, perjury, and incontinence. The quired penance or rebuke. In a word, he first appears in the great number of princes would have adorned a cloister,-though he and lords he put to death, on the scafdisgraced a crown; and was rather re- fold, after he had taken them in battle. If fpectable for those vices he wanted, than there ever was reason to few mercy in case for those virtues he poflessed. He founded of rebellion, it was at that fatal time, when the colleges of Eaton and Windsor, and it was almoft impoflible to stand neuter, King's College in Cambridge, for the re- and so difficult to chuse the juftes fide beception of those scholars who had begun tween the two houses that were contending their studies at Eaton.
for the crown. On the morning that succeeded his And yet we do not see that Edward had death, his body was exposed at St. Paul's any regard to that confideration. As for church, in order to prevent unfavourable Edward's incontinence, one may say, that conjeciures, and, next day, fent by water his whole life was one continued fcene of to the abbey of Chertsey, where he was excess that way; he had abundance of milinterred: but it was afterwards removed, tresses, but especially three, of whom he by order of Richard III. 10 Windsor, and said, that one was the merrieft, the other there buried with great funeral folem the witrieft, and the other the holiest in the nity.
world, since she would not stir from the
church but when he sent for her. What $ 74. Character of EDWARD IV. is most astonishing in the life of this prince Edward IV. was a prince more splendid is his good fortune, which seemed to be and shewy, than either prudent or virtuous; prodigious. brave, though cruel; addicted to plea. He was raised to the throne, after the sure, though capable of activity in great loss of two battles, one by the Duke his emergencies; and less fitted to prevent ills father, the other by the Earl of Warwick, by wise precautions, than to remedy them who was devoted to the house of York. after they took place, by his vigour and The head of the father was still upon the enterprize,
Hume. walls of York, when the son was pro
v claimed in London.. $75. Another Character of EDWARD IV.
V. Edward escaped, as it were, by miracle,
E He was a prince of the most elegant per- out of his confinement at Middleham. He fon and insinuating address; endowed was restored to the throne, or at least rewith the utmost fortitude and intrepidity; ceived into London, at his return from posseffed of uncommon sagacity and pene. Holland, before he had overcome, and tration; but, like all his ancestors, was whilft his fortune yer depended upon the brutally cruel and vindi&tive, perfidious, issue of a battle which the Earl of Warlewd, perjured, and rapacious; without wick was ready to give him. In a word, one liberal thought, without one sentiment he was ever victorious in all the battles of humanity.
Smollett.. wherein he fought in person. Edward
died the gth of April, in the 42d'year of 676. Another Character of EDWARD IV. his age, after a reign of twenty-two years When Edward ascended the throne, he and one month.
Rapin, was one of the handsomett men in 'Eng. land, and perhaps in Europe. His noble
§ 77. EDWARD V. mien, his free and easy way, his affable Immediately after the death of the carriage, won the hearts of all at first sight, fourth Edward, his son was proclaimed These qualities gained him esteem and af- king of England, by the name of Ed. fection, which stood him in great stead in ward V. though that young prince was several circumstances of his life. For some but just turned of twelve years of age, time he was exceeding liberal: but at never received the crown, 'nor exercised length he grew covetous, not so much from any function of royalty; so that the interhis natural temper, as out of a necessity to vai between the death of his father, and bear the immediatc expences which his the usurpation of his uncle, the Duke of pleasures ran him into.'
Gloucester, afterwards Richard III. was Though he had a great deal of wit, and properly an interregnum, during which
the uncle took his measures for wresting was withered, and one shoulder higher than the crown from his nephew.
another, from which circumstance of de
formity he acquired the epithet of Crook 78. Character of Richard III.
Smollett, Those historians who favour Richard, for even He has met partizans among later
$80. Chara&ter of HENRY VII. writers, maintain that he was well quali The reign of Henry VII. was in the fed for government, had he legally ob. main fortunate for his people at home, and tained it; and that he committed no crimes honourable abroad. He put an end to the bat such as were necessary to procure him civil wars with which the nation had been poffeffion of the crown: but this is a very so long harassed; he maintained peace and poor apology, when it is confessed, that he order to the state ; he depressed the former was ready to commit the most horrid crimes exorbitant power of the nobility; and, towhich appeared ni cefiary for that purpose; gether with the friendship of some foreign and it is certain that all his courage and princes, he acquired the consideration and Capacity, qualities in which he really seems regard of all. not to have been deficient, would never H e loved peace, without fearing war; have made compensation to the people, though agitated with criminal suspicions of for the danger of the precedent, and for his servants and minifters, he discovered no the contagious example of vice and mur. timidity, either in the conduct of his affairs, der, exalted upon the throne. This prince or in the day of battle; and, though ofren was of small stature, hump-backed, and severe in his punishments, he was commonly had a very harsh disagreeable visage; so less actuated by revenge than by the maxthat his body was in every particular no ims of policy. less deformed than his mind. Hume. The services which he rendered his peo.
ple were derived from his views of privato $79. Another Character of RICHARD III.
interest, rather than the motives of public Such' was the end of Richard III, the spirit; and where he deviated from selfish most cruel unrelenting tyrant that ever
regards, it was unknown to himself, and fat on the throne of England. He seems
ever from malignant prejudices, or the to have been an utter stranger to the softer
mean projects of avarice; not from the emotions of the human heart, and entirely Gallies of pallion
fallies of pafion, or allurements of pleadeltitute of every locial enjoyment. His sure ; ftill less from the benign motives of ruling paflion was ambition : for the gra- friendship and generosity. tification of which he trampled upon every His capacity was excellent, but somelaw, both human and divine ; bui this thirst
what contracted by the narrowness of his of dominion was unattended with the least
heart; he possessed insinuation and address, work of generosity, or any desire of ren
but never employed these talents except dering himself agreeable to his fellow.crea
some great point of interest was to be gain. tures: it was the ambition of a savage, not
ed; and while he neglected to conciliate · of a prince ; for he was a solitary king, al- the affections of his people, he often felt together detached from the rest of mankind,
the danger of resting his authority on their and incapable of that satisfaction which
fear and reverence alone. He was always results from private friendship and disin.
extremely attentive to his affairs; but terested society. We mult acknowledge,
possessed not the faculty of seeing far into however, that after his accestion to the
futurity; and was more expert at promotthrone, his administration in general was
ing a remedy for his mistakes, than judiConducted by the rules of justice; that he
cious in avoiding them. Avarice was on enacted salutary laws, and established wile the whole his ruling paffion; and he re. regulations; and that if his reign had been mained an instance almoft fingular, of a protracted, he might have proved an ex
- man placed in a high station, and possessed cellent king to the English nation. He oft
of talents for great affairs, in whom that was dark, filent, and reserved, and so much
passion predominated above ambition. Even master of dissimulation, that it was almost
among private persons, avarice is nothing impollible to dive into his real sentiments, buta species of ambition, and is chiefly incitwhen he wanted to conceal his deligns. ed by the prospect of that regard, distinction. His ftature was small, his aspect cloudy, and consideration, which attends on riches. levere, and forbidding: one of his arms Died April 12th, 1509, aged 52, having Slain at the battle of Bosworth. reigned 23 years.
$81. Another Character of Henry VII. himself in different parts of his reign, that,
Henry'was tall, straight, and well-Ihaped, as is well remarked by Lord Herbert, his zhough slender; of a grave aspect, and fa
history is his belt character and description.
h turnine complexion : austere in his dress. The absolute and uncontrouled authority and reserved in conversation, except when
which he maintained at home, and the rehe had a favourite point to carry; and then gard he obtained among foreign nations, he would fawn, flatter, and practire all the are circumstances which entitle him to the arts of infinuation. He inherited a natural appellation of a great prince; while his fund of fagacity, which was improved by tyranny and cruelty seem to exclude him study and experience; nor was he deficient
from the character of a good one. in personal bravery and political courage.
He poffesfed, indeed, great vigour of H: was cool, close, cunning, dark, distruft
mind, which qualified him for exercising fal, and designing; and of all the princes dominion
dominion over men; courage, intrepidity, who had fat on the English throne, the
vigilance, inflexibility; and though these most fordid, fel6th, and ignorant. He rof qualities lay not always under the guidance dessed, in a peculiar manner, the art of of a regular and solid judgment, they were turning all his domestic troubles, and all accompanied with good parts, and an exhis foreign disputes, to his own advantage: tensive capacity; and every one dreaded a tence he acquired the appellation of the
contest with a man who was never known English Solomon; and all the powers of to yield, or to forgive; and who, in every the continent courted his alliance, on ac. controversy, was determined to ruin himcount of his wealth, wisdom, and uninter- felf, or his antagonist. jupted prosperity.
A catalogue of his vices would compreThe nobility he excluded entirely from
hend many of the worst qualities incident the administration of public affairs, and
to human nature. Violence, cruelty, procmployed clergymen and lawyers, who, as
fusion, rapacity, injustice, obftinacy, arrothey had no interest in the nation, and gance, bigotry, presumption, caprice; but depended entirely upon his favour, were
neither was he subject to all these vices in more obsequious to his will, and ready to
the most extreme degree, nor was he at concur in all his arbitrary measures. At
intervals altogether devoid of virtues. He the same time it must be owned, he was
was fincere, open, gallant, liberal, and caa wise legislator; chaste, temperate, and
pable at least of a temporary friendship afliduous in the exercise of religious duties;
and attachment. In this respect he was decent in his depórtment, and exact in the
unfortunate, that the incidents of his times adminiftration of justice, when his private
served to display his faults in their full interest was not concerned; though he fre.
light; the treatment he met with from the quently used religion and justice as cloaks
court of Rome provoked him to violence; for perfidy and oppreffion. His foul was
the danger of a revolt from his superiti. continually actuated by two ruling passions, tous lubjects
paffions. tious subjects feemed to require the molt equally base and unkingly, namely, the
he extreme severity. But it must at the same
ex fear of losing his crown, and the desire of time be acknowledged, that his fituation amalling riches; and these motives influ. tended to throw an additional lustre on enced his whole conduct. Nevertheless,
what was great and magnanimous in his his apprehension and avaricc redounded,
character. on the whole, to the advantage of the na
The emulation between the Emperor tion. The first induced him to depress
and the French King rendered his alliance, the nobility, and abolish the feudal tenures,
notwithstanding his impolitic conduct, of which rendered them equally formidable
great importance to Europe. The extento the prince and people; and his avarice
live powers of his prerogative, and the prompted him to encourage industry and
fubmiflion, not to say slavilh disposition of
fub trade, because it improved his customs,
his parliament, made it more easy for him and enriched his subjects, whom he could to allume and maintain that entire domi. afterwards pillage at discretion.
nion, by which his reign is so much diftinSmollett. guished in English history.
It may seem a little extraordinary, that $ 82. Charafler of HENRY VIII.
notwithstanding his cruelty, his extortion,
his violence, his arbitrary administration, It is difficult to give a juft summary of this this prince not only acquired the regard of prince's qualities; he was so different from his subjects, but never was the object of their hatred; he seems even, in some de- tions. As he had it in his power to make gree, to have poflefled their love and either scale preponderate, each courted his affection. His exterior qualities were ad favour with the most obsequious fubmisvantageous, and fit to captivate the malti. fion, and, in trimming the balance, he kept tude; his magnificence and personal bra- them both in subjection. In accustoming very, rendered him illustrious to vulgar them to these abject compliances, they deeyes; and it may be said with truth, that generated into llaves, and he from their the English in that age were so thoroughly prostitution acquired the most despotic aufubdued, that, like eastern slaves, they thority. He became rapacious, arbitrary, were inclined to admire even those acts of froward, fretful, and so cruel that he seemviolence and tyranny, which were exer- ed to delight in the blood of his subjects. cifed over themselves, and at their own ex. He never seemed to betray the least pence.
symptoms of tenderness in his disposition; Died January 28th, 1547, anno ætatis and, as we already observed, his kindness 57, regni 37.
Hume. to Cranmer was an inconsistence in his
character. He seemed to live in defiance $ 83. Another Chara&ter of Henry VIII. of censuré, whether ecclefiaftical or fecu
Henry VIII. before he became corpu- lar; he died in apprehension of futurity; lent, was a prince of a goodly personage, and was buried at Windsor, with idle proand commanding aspect, rather imperious cessions and childish pageantry, which in than dignified. He excelled in all the those days passed for real taste and magniexercises of youth, and posseffed a good ficence.
I Smollett. understanding, which was not much improved by the nature of his education.
84. Character of EDWARD VI. Instead of learning that philosophy which Thus died Edward VI. in the sixteenth opens the mind, and extends the qualities year of his age. He was counted the of the heart, he was confined to the study wonder of his time ; he was not only of gloomy and scholastic disquisitions, learned in the tongues and the liberal sciwhich served to cramp his ideas, and per- ences, but he knew well the state of his vert the faculty of reason, qualifying him kingdom. He kept a table-book, in for the disputant of a cloister, rather than which he had written the characters of all the lawgiver of a people. In the first years the eminent men of the nation : he studied of his reign, his pride and vanity seemed fortification, and understood the mint well. to domineer over all his other paßions; He knew the harbours in all his dominis though from the beginning he was impe. ons, with the depth of the water, and caous, head strong, impatient of contradic way of coming into them. He understood tion and advice. He was rath, arrogant, foreign affairs so well, that the ambafiaprodigal, vain-glorious, pedantic, and su- dors who were sent into England, publishperstitious. He delighted in pomp and ed very extraordinary things of him, in pageantry, the baubles of a weak “mind. all the courts of Europe. He had great His paffions, soothed by adulation, rejected quickness of apprehenfion; but being disall restraint; and as he was an utter ftran- truitful of his memory, he took notes of ger to the finer feelings of the soul, he every thing he heard (that was confidergratified them at the expence of justice able) in Greek characters, that those about and humanity, without remorse or com- him might not understand what he writ, pundion.
which he afterwards copied out fair in the He wrested the supremacy from the journal that he kept. His virtues were bishop of Rome, partly on conscientious wonderful : when he was made to believe motives, and partly from reasons of state that his uncle was guilty of conspiring the and conveniency. He suppressed the mo- death of the other counsellors, he upon chat nafteries, in order to supply his extrava- abandoned him. gance with their spoils; but he would not Barnaby Fitz Patrick was his favourite; have made those acquisitions, had they not and when he sent him to travel, he writ. been productive of advantage to his nobi. oft to him to keep good company, to avoid lity, and agreeable to the nation in gene. excess and luxury; and to improve himself ral. He was frequently at war; but the in those things that might render him c.greatest conquest he obtained was over his pable of employment at his return. He own parliament and people.-Religious was afterwards made Lord of Upper Op. disputes had divided them into two fac- fory in Ireland, by Queen Elizabeth, and
did answer the hopes this excellent king have had an ingredient of bigotry in his had of him. He was very merciful in his difpofition, that would have rendered him nature, which appeared in his unwilling- very troublesome to those of tender connefs to sign the warrant for burning the sciences, who might have happened to dif. maid of Kent. He took great care to have fer with him in religious principles; nor his debts well paid, reckoning that a prince can we reconcile either to his boafted huwho breaks his faith, and loses his credit, manity or penetration, his consenting to the has thrown up that which he can never re- death of his uncle, who had served him cover, and made himself liable to perpetual faithfully; unless we suppose he wanted diftruft, and extreme contempt. He took resolution to withstand the importunities of special care of the petitions that were given his mioisters, and was deficient in that vihim by poor and opprest people. But his gour of mind, which often exifts indepengreat zeal for religion crowned all the dent of learning and culture. Smolicit, reit- it was not an angry heat about it that actuated him, but it was a true tender- § 87. Cbaracter of MARY. ness of conscience, founded on the love of It is not necessary to employ many God and his neighbour. These extraordi- words in drawing the character of this nary qualities, set off with great sweetness princess. She possessed few qualities either and affability, made him universally be- estimable or amiable, and her person was loved by his people.
Burnet. as little engaging as her behaviour and
address. Obstinacy, bigotry, violence, cru$85. Another Character of EDWARD V. : elty, malignity, revenge, and tyranny;
All the English historians dwell with every circumilance of her character took · pleasure on the excellencies of this young a tin iure from her bad temper and nar
prince, whom the flattering promises of row understanding. And amidst that comhope, joined to many real virtues, had plication of vices which entered into her made an object of the most tender affec- composition, we shall scarcely find any tions of the public. He poffeffed mildne's virtue but sincerity; a quality lich the of disposition, application to study and seems to have maintained throughout her business, a capacity to learn and judge, whole life, except in the beginning of her and an attachment to equity and juitice. reign, when the neceflity of her affairs He seems only to have contracted, from obliged her to make some promises to the his education, and from the age in which Protestants, which the certainly never inhe lived, too much of a narrow prepoffef- tended to perform. But in those cases a fion in matters of religion, which made weak bigoted woman, under the governhim incline somewhat to bigotry and per- ment of priests, easily finds cafuistry fuffisecution. But as the bigotry of Proteit- cient to justify to herself the violation of ants, less governed by priests, lies under an engagement. She appears, as well as more restraints than that of Catholics, the her father, to have been susceptible of some effets of this malignant quality were the attachment of friendship; and that without less to be apprchended, if a longer life had caprice and inconftancy, which were so rebeen granted to young Edward. Hume. mai kable in the conduct of that monarch.
V To which we may add, that in many cir$ 86. Another Character of EDWARD VI.
cumstances of her life, the gave indications Edward is celebrated by historians for of resolution and vigour of mind; a quathe beauty of his person, the sweetneis oflity which seems to have been inherent in his disposition, and the extent of his know- her family. ledge. By that time he had attained his Died Nov. 7, A.D. 1568. Hume. fixteenth year, he understood the Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Spanish lan- $ 88. Another Character of MARY. guages; he was versed in the Sciences of We have already observed, that the chalogič, inusic, natural philosophy, and master racteristics of Mary were bigotry and reof all theological disputes; insomuch that venge: we shall only add, that she was the famous Cardanus, in his return from proud, imperious, froward, avaricious, and Scotland, visiting the Englith court, was wholly deilitute of every agreeable qualiastonished at the progress he had made in fication,
Smolleit. learning; and afterwards extolled him in his works as a prodigy of nature, Not- $.89. Character of ELIZABETH. withstanding these encomiums, he seems to Elizabeth had a great deal of wit, and