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always flows. He was a man essentially great; and whoever wishes to form his language to a lofty and noble style-his character to a fervid sincerity of soul, will read the works of Milton.
EARL of Clarendon and lord high chancellor of England, descended from an ancient family in Cheshire, was born at Dinton near Hindon, in Wiltshire, in 1608. He entered at Magdalene Hall, Oxford, in 1622, being only fourteen years old, and proceeded bachelor of arts in 1625; soon after which, he removed to the Middle Temple, and was subsequently called to the bar.
In the short parliament held at Westmin ster, April 10, 1640, he was elected member for Wotton-Basset in Wiltshire; and in the long parliament was member for Saltash in Cornwall. In 1642, he was made chancellor of the exchequer, and at the same time knighted, and sworn of the privy council. In these offices, he was continued by Charles II. He became lord high chancellor in 1657.
After the restoration, 1660, he was chosen chancellor of the university of Oxford. The same year he was created a peer, by the title of Baron Hyde of Hindon in Wiltshire; to which were added, the following year, the titles of viscount Cornbury in Oxfordshire, and earl of Clarendon in Wiltshire. Eventually, however, the favour of his majesty was withdrawn; and in 1667, he was deprived of the great seal, impeached of high-treason, and banished the kingdom. He died at Rouen in 1674.
1. The principal literary work of lord Clarendon, is his "History of the Rebellion;" which was begun in 1646, in the island of Jersey, whither he had retired on the declining of the king's affairs. It was finished at Moulins in 1672-3, while the author was in banishment. The last edition is in six volumes, 8vo.
A distinguishing excellence of lord Clarendon consists in his lively and accurate delineations of character. My selections, therefore, shall consist entirely of such in
Character of Hampden.
Mr. Hampden was a man of much greater cunning, and it may be, of the most discerning spirit, and of the greatest address and insinuation to bring any thing to pass which he desired, of any man of that time, and who laid the design deepest. He was a gentleman of a good extraction, and a fair fortune; who, from a life of great pleasure and licence, had on a sudden retired to extraordinary sobriety and strictness, and yet retained his usual cheerfulness. and affability; which, together with the opinion of his wisdom and justice, and the courage he had shewed in opposing the ship-money, raised his reputation to a very great height, not only in Buckinghamshire, where he lived, but generally throughout the kingdom. He was not a man of many words, and rarely begun the discourse, or made the first entrance upon any business that was assumed; but a very weighty speaker, and after he had heard a full debate, and observed how the house was like to be inclined, took up the argument, and shortly, and clearly, and craftily so stated it, that he commonly conducted it to the conclusion he desired; and if he found he could not do that, he was never without the dexterity to divert the debate to another time, and to prevent the determining any thing in the negative, which might prove inconvenient in
the future. He made so great a shew of civility, and modesty, and humility, and always of mistrusting his own judgment, and esteeming his with whom he conferred for the present, that he seemed to have no opinions or resolutions, but such as he contracted from the information and instruction he received upon the discourses of others: whom he had a wonderful art of governing, and leading into his principles and inclinations, whilst they believed that he wholly depended upon their counsel and advice. No man had ever a greater power over himself, or was less the man that he seemed to be: which shortly after appeared to every body, when he cared less to keep on the masque.
He was a gentleman of a good family in Buckinghamshire, and born to a fair fortune, and of a most civil and affable deportment. In his entrance into the world, he indulged to himself all the license in sports and exercises, and company, which were used by men of the most jolly conversation. Afterwards he retired to a more reserved and melancholy society, yet preserving his own natural chearfulness and vivacity, and above all, a flowing courtesy to all men; though they who conversed nearly with him, found him growing into a dislike of the eccle