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more fitted to rule in a regular established handsome, and well complexioned ; his government, than either to give way to the body strong, healthy, and juftly proportiencroachments of a popular assembly, or oned; and being of middle stature, he was finally to subdue their pretensions. He capable of enduring the greatest fatigues. wanted fuppleness and dexterity fufficient He excelled in horsemanship and other exfor the firrt measure ; he was not endowed ercises ; and he possefled all the exterior, wi:h vigour requisite for the second. Had as well as many of the essential qualities, he been born an absolute prince, his hu- which form an accomplished prince. manity and good sense had rendered his
Hume. reign happy, and his memory precious. Had the limitations on the prerogative been
$ 98. Another Character of CHARLES I. in his time quite fixed and certain, his in. In the character of Charles, as representtegrity had made him regard as sacred the ed by his panegyrifts, we find the qualities boundaries of the constitution. Unhappily of temperance, chastity, regularity, piety, his fate threw him into a period, when the equity, humanity, dignity, condescenson, precedents of many former reigns favoured and equanimity; some have gone so far as strongly of arbitrary power, and the genius to allow him integrity, and many writers, of the people ran violently towards liberty. who condemn his political principles, give And if his political prudence was not saf. him the title of a moral man. In the comficient to extricate him from so perilous a parison of this representation with Charles's situation, he may be excused; since, even conduct, accurately and justly described, it after the event, when it is commonly easy is discernible that vices of the worst tento correct all errors, one is at a loss to de. dency, when shaded by a plausible and fortermine what conduct in his circumstances mal carriage, when concordant to the inwould have maintained the authority of terests of a faction, and the prejudices of the crown, and preserved the peace of the the vulgar, assume the appearances of, and nation. Exposed without revenue, without are imposed on the credulous world as, arms, to the assault of furious, implacable, virtues of the first rank. and bigoted factions; it was never per Pallion for power was Charles's predomitted him, but with the most fatal con-' minant vice ; idolatry to his regal prerofequences, to commit the smallest mistake; gatives, his governing principle. The ina condition too rigorous to be imposed on terests of the crown, legitimated every the greatest buman capacity.
measure, and sanctified in his eye the Some historians have rashly queftioned widert deviation from moral rule. the good faith of this prince; but for this Neither gratitude, clemency, humanity, reproach, the most malignant scrutiny of equity, nor generosity, have place in the his conduct, which in every circumstance fair part of Charles's character; of the is now thoroughly known, affords not any virtues of temperance, fortitude, and perreasonable foundation. On the contrary, fonal bravery, he was undeniably poflessed. if we consider the extreme difficulties to His manners partook of diflipation, and his which he was so frequently reduced, and conversation of the indecency of a court. compare the fincerity of his professions and His chastity has been called in question, by declarations, we hall avow, that probity an author of the highest repute; and were and honour ought juftly to be numbered it allowed, it was tainted by an excess of among his most shining qualities. In every uxoriousness, which gave it the properties treaty, those concessions which he thought and the consequences of vice. The want in conscieree he could not maintais, he of integrity is manifest in every part of never would by any motive or persuasion his conduct; which, whether the corruption be induced to make.
of his judgment or heart, loft him fair opAnd though some violations of the pe. portunities of reinstatement in the throne, sition of righe may be imputed to him ; and was the vice for which above all others those are more to be ascribed to the ne. he paid the tribute of his life. His intel. cefity of his situation, and to the lofty lectual powers were naturally good, and ideas of royal prerogative which he had so improved by a continual exercise, that imbibed, than to any failure of the inte. though in the beginning of his reign he grity of his principles. This prince was spoke with difficulty and hesitation, towards of a comely prelence; of a sweet and me. the close of his life he discovered in his lanci.oly aspect; his face was regular, writings purity of language and dignity of
style ; fyie; in his debates elocution, and quick. city, whilft he concealed his own purposes, ness of perception. The high opinion he under the impenetrable thield of difiimuentertained of regal dignity, occafioned him lation, to observe a stateliness and imperiousness in He reconciled the most atrocious crimes his manner; which, to the rational and to the moit rigid notions of religious obliintelligent, was unamiable and offensive; gations. From the severeft exercise of deby the weak and formal it was mistaken votion, he relaxed into the most ridiculous for dignity.
and idle buffoonry : yet he preferved the In the exercise of horsemanship he ex- dignity and distance of his character, in the celled; had a good taste, and even skill, in midst of the coarseit familiarity. He was several of the polite arts; but though a cruel and tyrannic from policy; just and proficient in some branches of literature, temperate from inclination; perplexed and was no encourager of useful learning, and despicable in his discourse; clear and cononly patronized adepts in jargon of the summate in his designs ; ridiculous in his divine right, and utility of kings and bi- reveries ; respectable in his conduct ; in a fhops. His understanding in this point word, the strangest compound of villainy was so depraved by the prejudices of his and virtue, baseness and magnanimity, abeducation, the flattery of priests, and the surdity and good sense, that we find on reaffections of his heart, that he would never cord in the annals of mankind * endare conversation which tended to in
Noble. culcate the principles of equal right in men; and notwithstanding that the parti $ 100. Character of Charles II. cularity of his situation enforced his at. tention to doctrines of this kind, he went
If we survey the character of Charles out of the world with the same fond preju
the Second in the different lights which it dices with which he had been fostered in
will admit of, it will appear very various, his nursery, and cajoled in the zenith of his
and give rise to different and even opposite
sentiments. When considered as a compower. Charles was of a middle ftature, his body
panion, he appears the most amiable and frong, healthy, and juftly proportioned;
engaging of men; and, indeed, in this view, and his aspect melancholy, yet not unpleaf.
his deportment must be allowed altogether ing. His surviving issue, were three sons
unexceptionable. His love of raillery was and three daughters. He was executed in
so tempered with good breeding, that it the 49th year of his age, and buried, by
was never offensive His propensity to fathe appointment of the parliament, at
tire was so checked with discretion, that his Windsor, decently, yet without pomp.
friends never dreaded their becoming the Macaulay.
object of it. His wit, to use the expression
of one who knew him well, and who was 99. Character of OLIVER CROM himself an exquisite judge t, could not be WELL.
said so much to be very refined or elevated,
qualities apt to beget jealousy and appreOliver Cromwell was of a robust make bension in company. as to be a plain, gainand constitution, his aspect manly though ing, well-bred, recommending kind of wit. clownish. His education extended no far. And though perhaps he talked more than ther than a superficial knowledge of the strict rules of behaviour might permit, men Latin tongue, but he inherited great ta- were so pleased with the affable, coinmunilents from nature ; though they were such. as he could not have exerted to advantage Cromwell died more than five millions in at any juncture than that of a civil war, debt; though the parliament had left him in the inflamed by religious contests. His cha
treasury above five hundred thousand pounds, and
in stores to the value of seven hundred thousand racter was formed from an amazing con
pounds. jundure of enthusiasm, hypocrisy, and am- Richard, the son of Cromwell, was proclaimed bition. He was possessed of courage and protector in his room ; but Richard, being of a relolution, that overlooked all dangers, and very different disposition to his father, resigned law no difficulties. He dived into the cha
his authority the 22d of April 1659 ; and soon afra&ers of mankind with wonderful faga
'ter figned his abdication in form, and retired to: live several years after his refignation, at firit on the
Continent, and afterwards upon his paternal fortune * From Noble's Memoirs of the Protectoral 'at home. house of Cromwell.
+ Marquis of Halifax.
cative deportment of the monarch, that swarthy, and his countenance marked with they always went away contented both with strong, harsh lineaments. His penetration him and with themselves. This indeed is was keen, his judgment clear, his underthe most shining part of the king's character, standing extensive, his conversation lively and he seems to have been sensible of it; and entertaining, and he poflefled the tafor he was fond of dropping the formalities lent of wit and ridicule. He was easy of of state, and of relapfing every moment access, polite, and affable ; had he been into the companion.
limited to a private station, he would have In the duties of private life, his conduct passed for the most agreeable and best. though not free from exception, was in the natured man of the age in which he lived. main laudable. He was an easy generous His greatest enemies allow him to have lover, a civil obliging husband, a friendly been a civil husband, an obliging lover, an brother, an indulgent father, and a good affectionate father, and an indulgent malnatured master. The voluntary friend. ter; even as a prince he manifested an hips, however, which this prince contract- aversion to cruelty and injustice. Yet these ed, nay, even his sense of gratitude, were good qualities were more than over-balangfeeble; and he never attached himself to ed by his weakness and defects. He was a any of his ministers or courtiers with a scoffer at religion, and a libertine in his very sincere affection. He believed them morals; careless, indolent, profuse, abanto kave no other motive for serving him but doned to effeminate pleasure, incapable of self-interest, and he was fill ready, in his any noble enterprize, a stranger to any turn, to sacrifice them to present ease and manly friendship and gratitude, deaf to the convenience.
voice of honour, blind to the allurements With a detail on his private character of glory, and, in a word, wholly deftitute we must set bounds to our panegyric on of every active virtue. Being himself unCharles. The other parts of his conduct principled, he believed mankind were false, may admit of some apology, but can de- perfidious, and interested; and therefore ferve small applause. He was indeed sa practised dissimulation for his own convemuch fitted for private life, preferably to nience. He was itrongly attached to the public, that he even poffered order, fru- French manners, government, and mogality, axconomy in the former; was pro- narch ; he was diflatisfied with his own fule, tkoughtless, negligent in the latter. limited prerogative. The majority of his When we consider him as a sovereign, his own subjects he despised or hated, as hycharacter, though not altogether void of pocrites, fanatics, and republicans, who virtues, was in the main dangerous to his had persecuted his father and himself, and people, and dishonourable to himself. Neg. fought the destruction of the monarchy. ligent of the interests of the nation, care- In these sentiments, he could not be supJess of its glory, averse to its religion, jea. posed to pursue the interest of the nation; lous of its liberty, lavish of its treasure, on the contrary, he set med to think that and sparing only of its blood; he exposed his own safery was incompatible with the it by his measures (though he appeared honour and advantage of his people. ever but in sport) to the danger of a fua
Smollett. rious civil war, and even to the ruin and ignominy of a foreign conteft. Yet may $102. Another Character of CHARLES II. all these enormities, if fairly and candidly T hus lived and died king Charles the examined, be imputed, in a great measure, Second. He was the greatest instance in to the indolence of his temper: a fault history of the various revolutions of which which, however unfortunate in a monarch, any one man seemed capable. He was bred it is impossible for us to regard with great up the first twelve years of his life, with the feverity,
splendour that became the heir of so great It has been remarked of this king, that a crown. After that, he passed through he never said a foolish thing, nor ever did eighteen years in great inequalities, una wise one: a censure, which, though too happy in the war, in the loss of his father, far carried, seems to have some foundation and of the crown of England.-While he in his character and deportment, Died was abroad at Paris, Colen, or Brussels, he Feb. 6, 1685, aged 54. Hume. never seemed to lay any thing to heart. He $ 101. Another Charafler of Charles II.
pursued all his diversions, and irregular
1. pleasures, in a free career; and seemed to Charles II, was in his person tall and be as serene under the loss of a crown, as
the greatest philosopher could have been. even pleasing. In the motions of his perNor did he willingly hearken to any of son he was easy, graceful, and firm. His those projects, with which, he complained constitution was strong, and communicated often, his chancellor persecuted him. That an active vigour to all his limbs. Though in which he seemed moft concerned was, to a lover of ease of mind, he was fond of find money for supporting his expence. bodily exercise. He rose early, he walked And it was often said, that if Cromwell much, he mixed with the meanest of his would have compounded the matter, and subjects, and joined in their conversation, have given him a good round pension, 'he without diminishing his own dignity, or might have been induced to resign his title raising their presumption. He was acto him. During his exile, he delivered quainted with many persons in the lower himself so entirely to his pleasures, that he stations of life. He captivated them with became incapable of application. He spent sprightly terms of humour, and with a little of his time in reading and study; and kind of good-natured wit, which rendered yet less in thinking. And in the state his them pleased with themselves. His guards affairs were then in, he accustomed him- only attended him on public occafions. He felf to say to every person, and upon all took the air frequently in company with a occasions, that which he thought would fingle friend; and though crowds followed please moft: so that words or promises him, it was more from a wish to attract his went very easily from him. And he had notice, than from an idle curiosity. When soill an opinion of mankind, that he thought evident designs against his life were daily the great art of living and governing was, exhibited before the courts of justice, he to manage all things and all persons, with changed not his manner of appearing in a depth of craft and diffimulation. He public. It was soon after the Rye-house , desired to become absolute, and to overturn plot was discovered, he is said to have been both our religion and laws ; yet he would levere on his brother's character, when he neither run the risque, nor give himself the exhibited a striking feature of his own. trouble, which so great a design required. The duke returning from hunting with his He had an appearance of gentleness in his guards, found the king one day in Hyde outward deportment; but he seemed to Park. He expressed his surprise how his have no bowels nor tenderness in his na majesty could venture his person alone at ture ; and in the end of his life he became such a perilous time. “ James,” (replied Cruel.
Burnet. the king,) “ take you care of yourself, and
“I am lafe. No inan in England will kill g 103. Another Character of CHARLES II. "Me, to make you king.” ... The character of Charles the Second, When he was opposed with most violence like the tranfactions of his reign, has al- in parliament, he continued the most poTumed various appearances, in proportion pular man in the kingdom. His goodto the parlions and prejudices of different breeding as a gentleman, overcame the writers. To affirm that he was a great opinion conceived of his faults as a king. and good king, would be as unjutt as to His affability, bis easy address, his attention alledge that he was deftitute of all virtue, to the very prejudices of the people, renand a bloody and inhuman tyrant. The dered him independent of all the arts of indolence of his difpofition, and the diffi- his enemies to infiame the vulgar. He is pation occasioned by his pleasures, as they said with reason to have died opportunely were at firit the source of his misfortunes, for his country. Had his life extended to became afterwards the fafety of the nation. the number of years which the strength of Had he joined the ambition of power, and his constitution seemed to promise, the na. the perseverance and attention of his bro. tion would have lost all memory of their ther, to his own insinuating and engaging liberties. Had his fate placed Charles the aadrels, he might have secured his repu. Second in these laitertimes; when influence tation with writers, by enslaving them with supplies the place of obvious power; when
the crown has ceased to be distressed through In his perfon he was tall and well made. the channel of its neceffities; when the reHis complexion was dark, the lines of his presentatives of the people, in granting face strong and harsh, when fingly traced: supplies for the public service, provide for but when his features were comprehended themselves ; his want of ambition would u one view, they appeared dignified and have precluded the jealousy, and his po
pular qualities secured the utmost admira. facrifice his crown to the interests of his tion of his subjects. His gallantry itself priests ; and that he chose rather to depend would be construed into spirit, in an age on the precarious support of a French force where decency is only an improvement on to subdue the refractory spirit of his peovice.
Mai pherfon. ple, than to abide the issue of events which
" threatened such legal limitations as should § 104. Character of JAMES II. effectually prevent any further abuse of In many respects it must be owned, that power. he was a virtuous man, as well as a good T he whole tenor of the king's past conmonarch. He was frugal of the public duet, undoubtedly gave a countenance to money; he encouraged commerce with insinuations which were in themselves sufgreat attention; he applied himself to na- ficiently plausible to answer all the purposes val affairs with success; he supported the for which they were indultriously circulatfleet as the glory and protection of Eng. ed; but when the following circumstances land. He was also zealous for the honour are taken into consideration, namely, that of his country; he was capable of fup- timidity is natural to the human mind, porting its interests with a degree of dig- when oppressed with an uninterrupted series nity in the scale of Europe. In his private of misfortunes; that the king's life was put life he was almost irreproachable; he was entirely into the hands of a rival, whose an indulgent parent, a tender husband, a ambitious views were altogether incompagenerous and steady friend ; in his deport- tible even with the shadow of regal power ment he was affable, though stately; he in his person; that the means taken to inbestowed favours with peculiar grace; he crease the apprehensions which reflections prevented solicitation by the suddenness of this nature muft neceflarily occasion, of his disposal of places; though scarce were of the most mortifying kind; it must any prince was ever so generally deserted, be acknowledged, that if the principles of few ever had so many private friends; those heroic virtue might have produced conwho injured him moit were the first to im. duct in some exalted individuals, yet that plore his forgiveness, and even after they the generality of mankind would, in James's had raised another prince to the throne, fituation, have sought shelter in the professed they respected his person, and were anxious generosity of a trusted friend, from perfor his fafety. To these virtues he added Ional insult, personal danger, and from all a steadiness of counsels, a perseverance in the haralling furpence under which the his plans, and courage in his enterprizes. mind of this imprudent and unfortunate He was honourable and fair in all his deal. monarch had long laboured. ings; he was unjust to men in their prin. The opposition of James's religious ciples, but never with regard to their pro. principles to those of his subjects, his unpoperty. Though few monarchs ever of- pular connections with the court of France; fended a people more, he yielded to none but, above all, the permanent establihment in his love of his subjects; he even affirm- of a rival family on the throne of England, ed, that he quitted England to prevent the has formed in his favour such an union of horrors of a civil war, as much as from fear prejudice and interest, as to destroy in the of a restraint upon his person from the prince minds of pofterity, all that sympathy which, of Orange. His great virtue was a strict on similar occasions, and in similar misforadherence to facts and truth in all he wrote tunes, has so wonderfully operated in faand said, though some parts of his conduct vour of other princes; and whilft we pay : had rendered his fincerity in his political the tribute of unavailing tears over the profession suspected by his enemies. Ab- memory of Charles the First; whilft, with dicated his throne 1689. Macpherson. the Church of England, we venerate him 105. Another Character of JAMES 11.
as a martyr to the power and office of pre
lates: whiut we fee, with regret. that he The enemies of James did not fail to was stripped of his dignity and life at the make the most of the advantages they had very time when the chastening hand of afgained by their subtle manquvres; some fliction had, in a great measure, corrected faid, that the king's Aight was the effect the errors of a faulty education; the irreof a difturbed conícience, labouring under fiftible power of truth must oblige us to the load of secret guilt; and those whore confess, that the adherence to religious censures were more moderate, asserted, that principle, which cost the father his life, his incurable bigotry had led him even to deprived the son of his dominions; that the