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ward the royal cause, did arise from divers accidents, which fell out in the course of affairs, and seemed even to oblige him to undertake that which in the end conduced so much to his greatness and glory.' It is certain that Monk could not, without extreme hazard, have then attempted to act the part of Cromwell; and that he could not expect to gratify his ambition or his avarice so fully by establishing a free republic, or a strictly limited monarchy, as by restoring the King without any conditions."
EARL OF CLARENDON, LORD HIGH CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.*
THIS illustrious historian, whose family had possessed the estate of Norbury in Cheshire from the time of the Saxon monarchy, was the third son of Henry Hyde, Esq. a gentleman of competent property, of Dinton near Hindon in Wiltshire. At this village he was born, in 1608.
Under the private tuition of the Vicar of Dinton he remained, till he was upward of thirteen: when with a view to the clerical profession he was sent to Magdalen Hall, Oxford. During his residence at that place, he was distinguished rather for his talents than for his improvement of them; and from some vices, particularly that of drinking in which he had been initiated, he afterward looked upon his leaving it as one of the most fortunate events of his life. In the year after his admission, he was chosen to fill the next vacancy of a demy place
* AUTHORITIES. Whitlocke's Memorials, Lives of the Lord Chancellors 1708, Wood's Athena Oxonienses, Burnet's History of His Own Times, and Macdiarmid's Lives of British Statesmen.
at Magdalen College. But as a vacancy did not soon occur, and he was now become an only son, he removed thence, after taking the degree of B.A., to the Middle Temple, where he studied the law for several years under the direction of his uncle Nicholas Hyde, subsequently Chief Justice of the King's Bench; interrupted, however, in his application, partly by the ague and the small-pox which endangered his life, and partly by a continuance of his dissipated habits acquired at college, which were but too much confirmed by the society of the swarms of young officers, awaiting in London the Duke of Buckingham's setting off on his expeditions against the continent. Nor was his taste indeed, partial as it had always been to the polite literature of Greece and Rome, sufficiently under his control to relish the dryer studies of the English bar.
When the lawyers had resolved to express publicly their disapprobation of Prynne's Histriomastix,'* Mr. Hyde and Mr. Whitlocke were chosen by the Temple as managers of a masque presented to their Majesties at Whitehall, by the gentlemen of the Inns of Court, in 1634.
He was still a student, when his uncle died: but this, instead of preventing him from continuing his labours, induced him to pursue them with greater steadiness and ardor. To recall (as he himself informs us) those wandering desires, which render the mind inconstant and irresolute, he resolved to enter into the married state and notwithstanding a disappointment in his first passion, he was fortunate
* A Treatise against Plays and Masques, levelled at Charles I. and his Queen.
enough about the age of twenty to conciliate the affection of a beautiful and nobly connected young lady, the daughter of Sir George Ayliffe; whom however, to his deep grief, he lost by the small-pox within six months. Such, indeed, was his dejection upon this event, that nothing but the authority of his father, to whom he ever paid implicit obedience, prevented him from seeking to divert or to indulge his melancholy by going abroad. But he found a happier consolation, after three years of widowhood, in the daughter of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, Master of Requests, by whom during an union of thirty six years he had a numerous progeny.
His success, upon his first appearance at the bar, greatly surpassed the expectation, which his contemporaries had founded upon his previous habits and studies. Instead of cultivating the acquaintance of those of his own profession, he had coveted and acquired the friendship of Jonson, and Selden, and Kenelm Digby, and Waller, and May, and Sheldon, and Morley, and Hales of Eton, and Chillingworth. But the friend, whom he regarded with the most tender attachment and the most unqualified admiration was Lord Falkland, pronounced by himself every where the most accomplished gentleman, scholar, and statesman of his age.' It was his maxim, indeed, always to be found in the most select society; and with a feeling not very unlike that of Pædaretus he frequently affirmed, that he never was so proud, or thought himself so good a man, as when he was the worst of the party.'
What chiefly, however, contributed to his success was, his introduction to the notice and patronage of Archbishop Laud. This arose from his having been 6
consulted by the London merchants, on the subject of the vexations which they had endured from the preceding Lord Treasurer Weston, and which they had applied to the Primate as a Commissioner of the Treasury to redress. The countenance of the minister did not fail to produce it's accustomed effects. He was treated, says Macdiarmid, by the Judges and the more eminent counsellors, with a consideration, to which no other lawyer of his years could pretend; and he quickly procured as much business as he desired. He might, at this time, have widely extended his practice: but he had resolved not to sacrifice to the lust of wealth those relaxations, without which life would to him have lost it's sweetest charm. Even so, however, he could give to friendship little more than his hours of dinner; the courts of law claiming his mornings, and the preparation for them his afternoons. From his evenings, from sleep, or from the vacations (for he never travelled the circuit) he stole the time given to his favourite Belles Lettres; and on quitting London, during two months of the summer, he indulged in cheerful hospitality at his seat in Wiltshire.
He was of a disposition, indeed, to enter completely into the enjoyments of social life. In the company of Lord Conway, and other noted epicures, he had acquired a full relish for the pleasures of the table; and as he discoursed learnedly upon them, he might have been suspected of excesses, in which he did not indulge. To his honour be it recorded, that by no improper compliances, or degrading flatteries, did he ever court the company of the great. He scorned to dissemble his opinions, even when he knew they