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whereas this condition I am in breaks my mind and wastes my spirits so much, that I cannot hold out long."

Hated however, as he was, by the Queen Mother, and petitioned against with equal acrimony by both the above-mentioned classes of religionists, he still enjoyed, in return for his disinterested zeal and his indefatigable exertions, the unlimited confidence of his exiled Sovereign. The martyr of his pleasures, or the victim of his indolence, Charles would never write a letter except upon a Friday; and then only, if he happened to be free from other engagements : so that to him, more particularly, a minister of fidelity and industry was invaluable. He even endured his remonstrances, as the price of his exemption from labour !

At this time, the poverty of the court was most deplorable. Unassisted by the Princes of the continent, plundered by the agents through whom his scanty supplies were transmitted, and “senselessly and ridiculously” represented to be in debt to his knavish cousin Rupert, who had however captured some very rich prizes from the West India trade of England, Charles was little able to pay the services of his attendants. Hyde himself assures us that, in mid-winter, he had neither clothes nor fire to preserve him from the severity of the season;' that he wanted both shoes and shirts ;' and that the Marquis of Ormond was in no better condition. They owed

* “ I fear,” says the Marquis of Ormond, “ his immoderate delight in empty and vulgar conversations is become an irresistible part of his nature; and will never suffer him to animatę his own designs, or the actions of others, with that spirit whick is requisite to his quality, and still more to his fortune.”

for all the meat, which they had eaten (at an obscure chop-house) for three months, to a poor woman, who was no longer able to trust; and “ my poor family at Antwerp,” he adds, “ which breaks my heart, is in as sad a state as I am; and the King as either of us."

Notwithstanding this severe pressure of indigence, however, this upright man continued to maintain the same erect aspect; and while some of his Majesty's followers were with their religion renouncing their country, and others in greater number were making their peace with the existing government and returning to it, he regarded both these measures as what in himself, with his feelings and convictions, would have been both degrading and dishonest. His wife, with a magnanimity worthy of her consort, was supporting herself and her family at Antwerp with the most rigid economy; and from her “ miraculous courage, he declares, he derived “ unspeakable comfort.”

At length, the English Prince discovered that he must no longer expect an asylum either from the generosity, or the consanguinity, of the French court. “ The cheats and the villainy of that nation,” observes his indignant minister, “ are so gross, that I cannot think of it with patience; nor will the King ever prosper till he abhors them perfectly, and trusts none who trust them.” Even in the early part of Charles' troubles, they had meditated wresting from him the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, as the price of their mercenary hospitality. That hope extinguished by the ascendency of Cromwell,* Mazarin

* To remove this insurmountable obstacle, even Hyde (with regret must it be recorded) patronised the projects of the assassin. From him Captain Titus, and others of that description, under the stipulations of an alliance with England compelled the royal exile and his few adherents to seek a new abode.

Finding that he could now no longer be of any service by continuing his personal attendance, Hyde retired to Antwerp. By the kindness of the Princess of Orange, the eldest sister of Charles II., who offered him a house rent-free at Breda, he was induced to remove to that city: and here it was with some dif. culty, and only under a conviction that “ the matter had some marks of Divine Providence in it,” that he was induced to permit his eldest daughter to become one of that Princess Maids of Honour.

His Majesty in 1657, upon the death of Herbert, made him Lord Chancellor; having first employed his friend, the Marquis of Ormond, to dispose him to receive the appointment. As Sir Edward however assigned many reasons, why there was no need of such an officer, till the King (then at Bruges) should return to England, his Majesty went himself to his lodgings, and observed this very consideration was what principally disposed him to confer the appointment upon him;' at the same time producing letters which he had received from Paris, for the grant of several English reversions of lands and offices, * from which (he said) he could only free himself by putting the seal into hands, that would not be importuned! The Earl of Bristol, likewise, and Secretary Nicholas adding their persuasions, he submitted at length to the King's pleasure.

received encouragement. At the same time, even in his most desperate fortunes, he ever regarded the plan of re-establishing Charles IL by dint of foreign arms as unwarrantable.

The chief administration of affairs being now, in a great degree, placed in his hands, and the death of the Protector with the various consequent revolutions in England having revived his hopes of effecting the restoration of his royal master, he drew up many declarations on the subject : and in return for his exertions, when that event was happily accomiplished, * beside the office of Chancellor was entrusted with the management of the principal part of the public business. In 1660, Hyde was elected Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and created

* To Hyde chiefly, from his just dread of the Presbyterian discipline, to which he thought it not improbable that stipulation might be favourable, must be referred the unrestricted restoration of the King. He therefore pressed, that all should be settled upon the old foundation, and the Sovereign unconditionally regained his inheritance. He knew indeed, assuredly, that one result of stipulation would be, his own exclusion from the royal councils.

+ In this arduous situation, he displayed his accustomed acuteness and integrity. He honourably rejected a proposal for raising a considerable permanent revenue, which would have made the King independent of his parliament: he promptly proceeded to disband the army; and he checked and moderated the vindictive thirst of the royalists for plunder and blood. His honours, naturally, rose with his power. The first years of this reign, under the administration of Southampton and Clarendon, form by far the least exceptionable part of it; and even in this period the executions of Argyle and Vane, and the whole conduct of the government with respect to church-matters, both in England and in Scotland, were gross instances of tyranny. With respect to the execution of those who were accused of having been more immediately concerned in the King's death, that of Scrope, who had come in upon the Proclamation, and of the military officers who had attended the trial, was a violation of every principle of law and justice. But the fate of the others, though highly dishonourable to Monk, whose whole power had arisen from his. zeal in their service, and their remunerating favour and confidence and

a Peer of the Realm by the title of Baron Hyde in Wiltshire; and, in 1661, received the farther dignity of Viscount Cornbury, and Earl of Clarendon. He, also, received some grants from the crown, which rendered his income adequate to his dignity. More than such attentions, as could not decently be withheld, were little by him to be expected. A new man, of unyielding strictness of morals and principles, could not hope to be popular, or even in that court.'

From the thoughtless disposition likewise of his Sovereign, who had been prodigal of promises to his friends during his exile, the situation of the Chancellor was extremely undesirable. In vain he represented to them the sacredness of a royal Act of Oblivion and Indemnity, and told them, as it was the making of

• safe

not perhaps very creditable to the nation, of which many had applauded, more had supported, and almost all had acquiesced in the act) is not certainly to be imputed as a crime to the King, or to those of his advisers who were of the Cavalier party. The passion of revenge, though condemned both by philosophy and religion, yet. when it is excited by injurious treatment of persons justly dear to us, is perhaps among the most excusable of human frailties; and if Charles, in his general conduct, had shown stronger feelings of gratitude for services performed to his father, his character in the eyes of many would be rather raised than lowered by this example of severity against the regicides,

Clarendon is said to have been privy to the King's receive ing money from Lewis XIV.; but what proofs exist of this charge (a heavy charge it is) I know not. Southampton was one of the very few of the royalist party, who preserved any just regard for the liberties of the people; and the disgust, which a person possessed of such sentiments must unavoidably feel, is said to have determined him to quit the King's service, and to retire altogether from public affairs. Whether he would have acted upon this determination, his death, which happened in the year 1667, prevents as now from ascertaining.

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