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And the debanched'st actions they can do,
Meer trifies to their circumstance and show.
For’tis not what they do that's now the sin,
But what they lewdly affect and glory in;
As if prepost'rously they would profess
A forc'a hypocrisy of wickedness.”

BUTLER

More modern writers make the same complaint of the obscenity introduced in this reign.

“ In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease,
Sprung the rank weed, and thriv'd with large increase ;
When love was all an easy monarch's care;
Seldom at council, never in a war:
Jilts ruld the state, and statesinen farces writ;
Nay, wits had pensions, and young lords had wit :
The fair sat panting at a courtier's play,
And not a mask went unimprov'd away :
The modest fan was lifted up no more,
And virgins smild at what they blush'd before."

POPE.

“ Charles,” says Mr. Walpole, “ introduced the fashions of the court of France, without its elegance. He had seen Lewis XIV. countenance Corneille, Moliere, Boileau, Le Sueur; who, forming themselves on the models of the antients, seemed, by the purity of their writings, to have studied only in Sparta. Charles found as much genius at home: but how licentious, how indelicate, was the style he permitted or demanded! Dryden's tragedies are a compound of bombast and heroic obscenity, inclosed in the most beautiful numbers. If Wycherly had nature, it is nature starknaked. The painters of that time veiled it but little more: Sir Peter Lely scarce saves appearances but by a bit of fringe or embroidery. His nymphs, generally reposed on the turf, are too wanton and too magnifisteward; and afterwards to that natural child, called, Charles earl of Burford (since duke of St. Albans); and managed all their concerns. So that, by that employment, coming to the knowledge of the said king, he became one of his companions in private to make him merry, at the duchess of Portsmouth's, Cheffings's, and Bap. May's"."'

• Pope's

* Butler's Works, by Thyer, vol. I. p. 72. 8vo. Lond. 1759. Essay on Criticism. In Warburton's edit. 1756.

Even Clarendon himself, bigotted and partial as he is, owns, “the king took little pleasure in the queens conversation; and more indulged to himself all liberties in the conversation of those who used all their skill to supply him with divertisements, which might drive all that was serious out of his thoughts b.” In another place, he says, “ that the constant conversation with men of great profaneness, whose wit consisted in abusing scripture, and in repeating and acting what the preachers said in their sermons, and turning it into ridicule (a faculty in which the duke of Buckingham excelled), did much Jessen the natural esteem and reverence he [the king) had for the clergy; and inclined him to consider them as a rank of men that compounded a religion for their own advantage, and to serve their own turn." This same Buckingham, we are told, “reported all the licence and debauchery of the court in the most lively colours, being himself a frequent eye and ear witnesa of it..."

-Those who heretofore sought private holes,
Securely in the dark to damn their souls,
Wore vizards of hypocrisy, to steal
And slink away, in masquerade, to hell ;
Now bring their crimes into the open sun,
For all mankind to gaze their worst upon.
* *

*
For men have now made vice so great an art,

The matter of fact's become the slightest part; • Wood's Athenæ, c. 1039. • Clarendon's Continuation, vol. III. Id. p. 683.

Id. p. 701,

с

p. 641.

And the debanched'st actions they can do,
Meer trifles to their circumstance and show.
For’tis not what they do that's now the sin,
But what they lewdly affect and glory in;
As if prepost'rously they would profess
A forc'd hypocrisy of wickedness.”

BUTLER.

More modern writers make the same complaint of the obscenity introduced in this reign.

“ In the fat age of pleasure, wealth, and ease,
Sprung the rank weed, and thriv'd with large increase;
When love was all an easy monarch's care ;
Seldom at council, never in a war:
Jilts ruld the state, and statesinen farces writ;
Nay, wits had pensions, and young lords had wit :
The fair sat panting at a courtier's play,
And not a mask went unimprov'd away:
The modest fan was lifted up no more,
And virgins smild at what they blush'd before."

POPI.

" Charles,” says Mr. Walpole, introduced the fashions of the court of France, without its elegance. He had seen Lewis XIV. countenance Corneille, Moliere, Boileau, Le Sueur; who, forming themselves on the models of the antients, seemed, by the purity of their writings, to have studied only in Sparta. Charles found as much genius at home: but how licentious, how indelicate, was the style he permitted or demanded! Dryden's tragedies are a compound of bombast and heroic obscenity, inclosed in the most beautiful numbers. If Wycherly had nature, it is nature starknaked. The painters of that time veiled it but little more: Sir Peter Lely scarce saves appearances but by a bit of fringe or embroidery. His nymphs, generally reposed on the turf, are too wanton and too magnifi

Pope':

* Butler's Works, by Thyer, vol. I. p. 72. 8vo. Lond. 1759. Essay on Criticism. In Warburton's edit. 1756.

366

THE LIFE OF CHARLES II.

cent to be taken for any thing but maids of honour *."

-What more need be said on this subject? The witnesses are unanimous: the fact uncontroverted. Let us leave him then a warning, to posterity, of the danger arising from bad principles in a sovereign; and the woes to be expected from men void of humanity and virtue, when in power. Their vices 'affect not merely themselves : they alone are not hurt by them. The community is infected as with a deadly leprosy, which descends to posterity: and though, by the virtue of their successors, the disorder for a time may be palliated; it seldom is wholly cured; but, as opportunity offers, breaks forth with new violence, and hardly ever fails of terminating in destruction.

*Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, vol. III. p. 2. 4to. 1763

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(Communicated by the Hon. Horace Walpole, Esq.) For my worthy Friend Capt. John Dunche at his Fathers att Peusey near Abington in Berkshire.

These Whitehall Aug. 28th, --58.

R. CROMWELL.

SR.

I received your last sad intelligence of the death of St. Barbe and his lady. I am perswaded they are oute of a troublesome worlde, and certainly happy : the losse is not soe much theires, as there neighbours. The stroake of death is soe forcible that the strongest cannot stand againste itt, noe weapons of the flesh to encounter the grave, they must be spirituall. Such I hope they had (by the grace of God) to inake a victory, to chearge through unto the place of there wishes and glory. His friendship will make me to rejoyce in his & his wyfe's happyness. It is a providentiall stroake and ought to teache the moste healthy & happy. I am fully p’swaded the country hath a losse in him, and I also, they as wanting one that would

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