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therefore his death was no less pleasing to the one party J than it was condoled in the other. In a word, what was said of Cinna might well be applied to him: "He had a head to contrive, and a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute any mischief." His death therefore seemed to be a great deliverance to the nation.
SIR HARRY VANE, THE YOUNGER.
Sir Harry Vane was a man of great natural parts, and of a very profound dissimulation, of a quick conception, and very ready, sharp, and weighty expression. He had an unusual aspect, which, though it might naturally proceed both from his father and mother, neither of which were beautiful persons, yet made men think there was something in him of extraordinary; and his whole life made good that imagination. Within a very short time after he returned from his studies in Magdalen College in Oxford, where, though he was under the care of a very worthy tutor, he lived not with great exactness, he spent some little time in France, and more in Geneva; and, after his return to England, contracted a full prejudice and bitterness against the church, both against the form of the government, and the liturgy; which was generally in great reverence, even with many of those who were not friends to the other. In this giddiness, which then much displeased, or seemed to displease, his father, who still appeared highly conformable, and ex
ceeding sharp against those who were not, he transported himself into New England, a colony within few years planted by a mixture of all religions, which disposed the professors to dislike the government of the church; who were qualified by the king's charter to choose their own government and governors, under the obligation, "that every man should take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy;" which all the first planters did, when they received their charter, before they transported themselves from hence; nor was there in many years the least scruple amongst them of complying with those obligations; so far men were, in the infancy of their schism, from refusing to take lawful oaths. He was no sooner landed there but his parts made him quickly taken notice of, and very probably his quality, being the eldest son of a privy counsellor, might give him some advantage; insomuch that, when the next season came for the election of their magistrates, he was chosen their governor; in which place he had so ill fortune (his working and unquiet fancy raising and infusing a thousand scruples of conscience, which they had not brought over with them nor heard of before), that he, unsatisfied with them, and they with him, transported himself into England, having sowed such seeds of dissension there, as grew up too prosperously, and miserably divided the poor colony into several factions and divisions and persecutions of each other, which still continue to the great prejudice of that plantation ( insomuch as some of them, upon the ground of the first expedition, liberty of conscience, have withdrawn themselves from their jurisdiction, and obtained other charters from the king, by which, in other forms of government, they have enlarged their plantation within new limits adjacent to the other.
He was no sooner returned into England than he seemed to be much reformed from his extravagancies, and, with his father's approbation and direction, married a lady of good family; and by his father's credit with the earl of Northumberland, who was high admiral of England, was joined presently and jointly with Sir William Russel in the office of treasurer of the navy (a place of great trust and profit), which he equally shared with the other, and seemed a man well satisfied and composed to the government. When his father received the disobligation from the Lord Strafford, by his being created baron of Raby, the house and land of Vane (which title he had promised himself, but it was unluckily cast upon the earl, purely out of contempt of Vane), they sucked in all the thoughts of revenge imaginable; and from thence the son betook himself to the friendship of Mr. Pym, and all the other discontented or seditious persons, and contributed all that intelligence (which will hereafter be mentioned, as he himself will often be) that designed the ruin of the earl, and which grafted him in the entire confidence of those who promoted the same; so that nothing was concealed from him, though it is believed that he communicated his own thoughts to very few.
He was indeed a man of extraordinary parts, a pleasant wit, a great understanding, which pierced into and discerned the purposes of other men with wonderful sagacity, whilst he had himvtdtum claugum, that no man could make a guess of what he intended. He was of a temper not to be moved, and of rare dissimulation, and could comply when it was not seasonable to contradict, without losing ground by the condescension; and if he were not superior to Mr. Hambden, he was inferior to no other man in all mysterious artifices. There need no more be said of his ability, than that he was chosen to cozen and deceive a whole nation, which was thought to excel in craft and cunning; which he did with notable pregnancy and dexterity, and prevailed with a people, that could not otherwise be prevailed upon than by advancing that idol Presbytery, to sacrifice their peace, their interest, and their faith, to the erecting a power and authority that resolved to persecute Presbytery to an extirpation; and, in process of time, very near brought their purpose to a pass. CLARENDON.
THE DUKE OF ARGYLE.
The duke of Argyle was a man of very considerable parts and wit, though by no means so great as appeared from a most happy and imposing mode of speaking in public, where a certain dignity and vivacity, joined to a most captivating air of openness and sincerity, generally gave his arguments a weight, which, in themselves, they frequently wanted; and many would go away charmed with his speeches, and yet be extremely at a loss afterwards to discover that strength of reasoning which they imagined at the hearing to have influenced them so highly in his favour. To style him inconsistent is by much too gentle an appellation; for, though from the time he first had a regiment, being under twenty years of age, through the whole course of his great employments, he was never known to sell a place, or even to make those advantages which were universally esteemed allowable and blameless; yet he was in his own person a most shameless prostitute to power, and extremely avaricious: he indeed would sell nothing but himself, which he continually did, with every circumstance of levity, weakness, and even treachery.
SIR ROBERT WALPOLE.
He was an honourable man, and a sound Whig. He was not, as the Jacobites and discontented Whigs of his time have represented him, and as ill informed people still represent him, a prodigal and corrupt minister. They charged him in their libels and seditious conversations as having first reduced corruption to a system: such was their cant. But he was far from governing by corruption: he governed by party attachments. The charge of systematic corruption is less applicable to him, perhaps, than to any minister