« PreviousContinue »
find a good, honeft, juft, well temper'd, and impartial Servant; and it is almost impoffible to preferve him long. For whofoever comes to the Toke of true painful drudgery in his Master's Service, from that moment creates to himself fo many induftrious Enemies, as he cannot gratify in all their feveral wild pretenfions, to difplace and deftroy him. So that fuch a Man's Station must be extreme flippery, and his favour oftentimes fhort liv'd, whole whole time being taken up in promoting the folid greatness of his Mafter, and the good of his Country, he cannot have leifure to take care of Himself. For whilft he is watching the Enemies of the State, and laying. Foundations for the happiness of future Times, as well as for the fecurity of the prefent, and looking after all the Parts of the Adminiftration; that the Religion of the Land may be Reverenced; the Justice of the Nation Unblemished; the Revenues of the Crown carefully and boneftly collected, and diftributed with an equal hand of Generofity and good Husbandry, according to the Jeveral occafions that may require either; How can fuch a Minifler be watching the fecret Machinations of the Envy-, ers, and Underminers of his Credit and Honesty? And therefore he may be forgiven, if, being conscious to himfelf of his own Integrity towards the Publick, he contemns the little Arts of ill defigning Men; by which however, from the first hour of his entering into the Service of his Mafter, he is continually pursued, till he is at length bunted down, and unavoidably deftroyed at Court.
We do not intend here to write the particulars of the Life of this Author; but We may say in short, that fuch a Figure as is here defcribed of a great and Superiour Minifter, and, in fome degree, of a Favourite too, this excellent Man made, for about two years after the Refloration of the King his Mafter, who, during that time, relied entirely on his Advice, and Conduct. There were indeed fome other Great and Wife men, whom the King, for fome confiderable time, confulted in his weightiest Affairs. There was the Earl of Southampton, then b 2 Lord
Lord High Treafurer of England, with whom our Author had always an entire and faft Friendship, and whom all Men, that knew him, honour'd for his great Abilities, and eminent Integrity. There was the Duke of Albemarle, then Lord General, who had the honour, and good Fortune of bringing most things, and Men, at that time to bear together, for the Restoration of that King, and the Royal Family to the Seat of their Ancestors. There was the then Marquis of Ormond, foon after his Majefty's Return made Lord Steward of the Houfebold, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland; who had not only follow'd, but even graced his Maflers Fortunes, in all the time of his Exile, with the Attendance of fo eminent, and meritorious a Subject; who had often ventured his Perfon, and loft all his Large Estate in the Steady purfuit of Loyalty and Duty to the Crown, and Zeal for the true Religion. There was the Earl of Sandwich, who had, when Admiral, and General at Sea, to his fhare the glorious part of bringing the Fleet of England, and the Body of the English Seamen, to concur in the King's Refloration; and had, before that time, been very meritorious towards his Majefty, as is mention'd at large in the enfuing parts of this Hiftory. These were the principal; and befides thefe, there was one more, who, though in a different rank, was admitted, at that time, into the most intimate Truft and Confidence, Old Secretary Nicholas; who had ferved his two Mafters, King Charles the first and fecond, with fo much Faithfulnels and Integrity, as to be justly entituled to a part in the most important Adminiftration. But, without the leaft defign of detracting from the Credit or Intereft of thefe great, and honourable Perfons, We may truly Jay, our Author had the preference of them all in the King's Favour and Efteem; and by his prudence, knowledge, and experience, in which he fhared with the others, and his Indefatigable Labour and Pains, wherein, it is most certain, they did not share with Him, he had the Happiness, without their Envy, and with their Con
currence, to have the greatest share in difpofing the minds of the People, and the King too, to agree then on fuch meafures in Parliament, as laid the foundation of that Peace, Plenty, and Profperity this Nation hath enjoyed fince.
He had the Happiness to have the greatest share in preferving the Conftitution of our Government entire, when the Then prefent Temper of the People, was but too ready to have gone into any undue complyance with
He had the happiness, among ft feveral other good Acts of Parliament, to have the greatest fhare in compaing and perfecting the Act of Oblivion and Indemnity: the Act for confirming Judicial Proceedings; and the Act of Uniformity; by which the People of England were quieted in their Minds, and fettled in their Poffeffions; and the Church of England redeem'd from the oppreffions it had lain under, and established and set up by the Law of the Land, as it was alfo by our blessed Saviour's promife to all thofe that ferve him in Holiness and Truth, on that Rock, against which the Gates of Hell were not to prevail. This is that Church, which defires to have her Doctrine understood, as well as obeyed; and which depends on the Infallibility of Scripture for her Guide; but never could be drawn to allow it to any Mortal Men, whether in a fingle Perfon, or a greater Number; and which, of all the Churches in the World, does moft rationally inform ber Members in the Practice of pure Religion and undefiled towards God, with Decency in Worship, without Affectation, Superfti tion, or Oftentation; and Obedience to the King, with due Regard to the Conftitution, and the Laws of the Land. By God's bleffing on thefe means, our Author had the happiness to leave lasting Monuments of his Judgement, and Piety; of his Loyalty to his Prince, and his entire Love to his Country.
It was during the Miniftry of this Perfon, and whilst he was in his greatest Credit, that memorable Expref
fion was used, in one of King Charles the Second's Speeches to both Houfes: That in all his Deliberations and Actions, his principal Confideration fhould be, What will a Parliament think of them?
Every Body then knew, by whofe Advice that King was inclined to make that wife Declaration. And certainly it had been happy for him, if he had always praEtifed it; and all England hath reafon to wish, that all Minifters had continued, to this day, to give the like wholesome Counsel.
Hæ tibi erunt Artes,
faid our Author, to a King of England: Keep always well with your Parliaments. Let no vain whimfey of the Example of other Countries, but utterly impracti cable in this, delude you. Keep always in the true Intereft of the Nation, and a King of England is the greateft, and happiest Prince in the World.
How this Perfon came first to lessen in his Credit, and afterwards, in the space of about five Years, to fall quite out of that King's Favour, to be Difgraced, as the Language at Court is, and Banished, must be a little touched; and We shall make an end. They who were then most concern'd in his Misfortunes, and felt the most fenfible ftrokes of his Majesty's difpleasure in their Family, have it not in their Hearts to lay any thing hard at the Door of that King, once a most gracious, and indulgent Master to our Author, and who was certainly not of a Difpofition to do harsh things to any Body; and who, as We have Reafon to believe, out of the fenfe of unkind Ufage to the Father, did afterwards, by his own fingular Goodness and Favour, much against the mind of fome in Credit with him, draw his two Sons, who yet Survive, into a very great degree of Trust, and Confidence near him; and particularly bestowed on the fecond, extraordinary marks of Honour and Bounty, that are to defcend to his Pofterity.
We take them both to be Men of fo much Piety to their Father, and fo much Spirit in themselves, that they would by no means be bribed to omit any thing upon this Occafion, that might be of Use or Advantage to the Honour of one they owe so much Duty to; if they could conceive, that there was need, at this time of day, to contribute to the Juftification of his Innocency. The World bath lasted long enough, fince the Misfortunes of this Honourable Perfon, to be throughly convinced, that there was nothing in all thofe Articles Exhibited against him in Parliament, that did in the least touch or concern him. One of his Sons, then of the House of Commons, offer'd in that Houfe, that if they who accufed him, would but take the Pains to prove to the Houfe any one of the Articles, and take which they would, if they made out but any one of them all, Himself, and all his Friends, would acknowledge him guilty of all.
But there is no need now of the Vindication of fuch a Man, whom every Body, in their Confciences, do not only acquit of any Crime, but all Good Men Speak of with Honour; and who fill lives in the opinion of all true English Men, in as high a Reputation as any Man to this day.
Yet, although We intend to decline all manner of Reflection on the Memory of that King, We may be allow'd to fay, That that excellently well natured Prince, who did very few ill natur'd things in his Reign, was prevail'd upon, in this cafe, not only to put out of his Service one of the most Faithful and Ancient Servants then alive to his Father, or Himfelf (which is not to be fo much complain'd of; for it would be a hard Tye indeed for a Prince to be, as it were, Married to his Servants for better, for worse) but to confent to an Act of Parliament, that obliged this his poor Servant to end his days in Banishment, with Old Age and Infirmities to attend him: This might be thought a little hard-hearted to inflict upon a Man, who had the Honour and Happiness,