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son. As this prince justly regarded himself as a martyr to the Catholic faith, as his warmest friends were all of this persuasion, as his conversation in his retirement at St. Germains was, in a great measure, confined to priests and devotees, it is natural that his superstition should increase with the increase of religious sentiment; and as he had made use of his power and authority, whilst in England, to enlarge the number of proselytes to popery, so, in a private station, he laboured incessantly, by prayer, and exhortation, and example, to confirm the piety of his popish adherents, and to effect a reformation in those who still continued firm to the doctrines of the church of England. He visited the monks of La Trappe once a year, the severest order of religionists in France; and his conformity to the discipline of the convent was so strict and exact, that he impressed those devotees with sentiments of admiration at his piety, humility, and constancy.
Thus having spent twelve years with a higher degree of peace and tranquillity than he had ever experienced in the most triumphant part of his life, he was seized with a palsy in September, 1701; and, after having languished fifteen days, died in the sixty-eighth year of his age, having filled up the interval between his first seizure and final exit with the whole train of religious exercises enjoined on similar occasions by the church of Rome, with solemn and repeated professions of his faith, and earnest exhortation of his two children, the youngest of whom was born in the second year of his exile, to keep steadfast to the religion in which they had been educated. These precepts and commands have acted with a force superior to all the temptations of a crown, and have been adhered to with a firmness which obliges an historian to acknowledge the superiority which James's descendants, in the nice points of honour and conscience, have gained over the character of Henry the Fourth, who, at that period when he was looked up to as the greatest hero of the protestant cause, made no scruple to accept the crown on the disgraceful terms of abjuring the principles of the reformation, and embracing the principles of a religion, which, from his early infancy, he had been taught to regard as idolatrous and profane.
The dominion of error over the minds of the generality of mankind is irresistible. James, to the last hour of his life, continued as great a bigot to his political as his religious errors: he could not help considering the strength and power of the crown as a circumstance necessary to the preservation and happiness of the people; and in a letter of advice which he wrote to his son, whilst he conjures him to pay a religious observance to all the duties of a good sovereign, he cautions him against suffering any entrenchment on the royal prerogative. Among several heads, containing excellent instructions on the art of reigning happily and justly, he warns the young prince never to disquiet his subjects in their property or their religion; and, what is remarkable, to his last breath, he persisted in asserting, that he never attempted to subvert the laws, or procure more than a toleration and equality of privilege to his Catholic subjects.
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As there is great reason to believe this assertion to be true, it shows that the delusion was incurable under which the king laboured, by the trust he had put in the knavish doctrines of lawyers and priests; and that neither himself nor his Protestant abettors could fathom the consequences of that enlarged toleration which he endeavoured to establish. Macauley.
KING WILLIAM III.
William the Third, king of Great Britain and Ireland, was in his person of middle size, ill shaped in his limbs, somewhat round in his shoulders, light in the colour of his hair and in his complexion. The lines of his face were hard, and his nose was aquiline; but a good and penetrating eye threw a kind of light on his countenance, which tempered its severity, and rendered his harsh features, in some measure, agreeable. Though his constitution was weak, delicate, and infirm, he loved the manly exercises of the field; and often indulged himself in the pleasures, and even sometimes in the excesses of the table. In. his private character he was frequently harsh, passionate, and severe, with regard to trifles; but when the subject rose equal to his mind, and in the tumult of battle, he was dignified, cool, and serene. Though he was apt to form bad impressions, which were not easily removed, he was neither vindictive in his disposition, nor obstinate in his resentment. Neglected in his education, and, perhaps, destitute by nature of an elegance
of mind, he had no taste for literature, none for the sciences, none for the beautiful arts. He paid no attention to music, he understood no poetry; he disregarded learning, he encouraged no men of letters, no painters, no artists of any kind. In fortification and the mathematics he had a considerable degree of knowledge. Though unsuccessful in the field, he understood military operations by land; but he neither possessed nor pretended to any skill in maritime affairs.
In the distribution of favours he was cold and injudicious. In the punishment of crimes often too easy, and sometimes too severe. He was parsimonious where he should have been liberal; where he ought to be sparing, frequently profuse. In his temper he was silent and reserved, in his address ungraceful; and though not destitute of dissimulation, and qualified for intrigue, less apt to conceal his passions than his designs: these defects, rather than vices of the mind, combining with an indifference about humouring mankind through their ruling passions, rendered him extremely unfit for gaining the affections of the English nation. His reign, therefore, was crowded with mortifications of various kinds; the discontented parties among his subjects found no difficulty in estranging the minds of the people from a prince possessed of few talents to make him popular. He was trusted, perhaps, less than he deserved, by the most obsequious of his parliament; but it seems, upon the whole, apparent that the nation adhered to his government more from a fear of the return of his predecessor, than from any attachment to his own person, or respect for his right to the throne. Macpherson.
Thus died Anne Stuart, queen of Great Britain and Ireland, in the fiftieth year of her age, and thirteenth of her reign. In her person she was of a middle stature, and before she bore children well made. Her hair was dark, her complexion sanguine, her features strong, but not irregular; her whole countenance more dignified than agreeable. In the accomplishments of the mind, as a woman, she was not deficient: she understood music; she loved painting: she had even some taste for works of genius; she was always generous; sometimes liberal, but never profuse. Like the rest of the family, she was good natured to a degree of weakness; indolent in her disposition, timid by nature, devoted to the company of her favourites, easily led. She possessed all the virtues of her father, except political courage; she was subject to all his weaknesses, except enthusiasm in religion; she was jealous of her authority, and sullenly irreconcilable towards those who treated either herself or prerogative with disrespect; but, like him also, she was much better qualified to discharge the duties of a private life, than to act the part of a sovereign. As a friend, a mother, a wife, she deserved every praise. Her conduct as a daughter could scarcely be exceeded by a virtue much superior to all these. Upon the whole, though her reign was crowded with great events, she cannot, with any justice, be called a great princess. Subject to terror, beyond the constitutional timidity of hep