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to a perfidious duplicity; his easy insinuating ad- BOOK dress was conducive to the most artful dissimulation; and his systematical disregard of morals is 1085. betrayed in the favourite and uniform maxim of his whole life; that men were never honest nor sincere from principle, nor women ever chaste but from humour or caprice. With the manners, tàste, and refinement, he had imbibed the licentious gallantry of the French court; and to his habitual dependence while a fugitive, we must as· cribe the venal and prostitute spirit with which, in
his secret treaties with Louis, he sold the nation and himself when king. From the dangerous effects of his popular talents, and desire of absolute power, which his education among the cavaliers abroad had confirmed, the English found a temporary resource in his indolence and profusion; and till the last years of his reign, his government, however unconstitutional, was comparatively mild. But his mind was alike adverse to the liberties, and irreconcileable to the religion of the nation, and ever ready to sacrifice its glory and its interests to his own criminal pursuits and pleasures; and hence a reign, auspicious and popular at its commencement, became, as might naturally be expected, disgraceful and odious before its conclusion.
His person was tall and graceful; and his countenance an assemblage of harsh, but majestic features. Historians, struck with his resemblance to
BOOK the busts of Tiberius, have indulged a comparison w of their characters, and the events of their lives;
their invariable choice of unprincipled favourites, whom they successively trusted, hated, and destroyed; the profound dissimulation with which they concealed their designs; their indolence and love of pleasure; their early banishment, unexpected succession, and suspicious death 68. Neither in the social, though licentious pleasures of his court, nor in the government of England, disquieted and therefore controlled by the most op
posite factions, did Charles resemble the solitary Character and suspicious tyrant. of Capreæ ; but the various in Scotland, and enormous oppressions of his reign in Scot
land, may be compared with the tyranny of the worst Cæsars. The only difference is, that instead of cruelties inflicted chiefly on the first ranks of the nobility, whom Tiberius extinguished, a more diffusive, and to the people a more insupportable tyranny, extended over the community at large, The only apology for Charles is, that he was not present to superintend or to restrain his ministers; *to witness the tortures, the groans, of the murder of his subjects ; and to compute the sums that were wrung from their misery, or the blood in, discriminately shed by his judges and guards. But the crimes of his ministers, and the outcries of the people, were repeatedly, yet ineffecțually, conveyed to his ear; the orders for a massacre were certainly
* Burnet. Welwood,
executed with his approbation, if not subscribed BOOK with his hand; and his refusal to alleviate the car lamities of his subjects, bespeaks a cruel, unfor. 1685. giving, and obdurate heart ; irreconcileable to the presbyterians from former indignities, and though exempt from religious bigotry, secretly gratified with religious persecution.
SCOT LA N D.
Accession, and Parliament of James.- Argyle's In
vasion and Execution.—Opposition to the repeal of the Penal Laws and the Test.—Dispensing powers exerted.--Origin and progress of the Revolution in England-in Scotland. Convention of Estates.-Forfeiture of the Crown by James,-its settlement on the Prince and Princess of Orange.
BOOK 11THATEVER opposition had been made' to
v a popish succesgor, in the preceding reign, Accession there was no party now to resist or to disturb the
accession of James. The administration of the three kingdoms had been placed in his hands ; and when the alarm of the popish, was succecded by the detection of the Ryehouse plot, the English, apparently, were not averse from a tacit compromise for the surrender of their liberties, if their religion were preserved. The first ambiguous declaration of James, that he would neither de
part from his just prerogatives, nor invade the es- "BOOK tablished government in church or state, was re- min presented as the word of a prince never yet broken, and magnified as a security above all law. Addresses from every corporate body promised a secure and permanent authority, if from servile corporations, who had surrendered their privileges or suffered them to be violated, it were possible to 'collect the latent spirit or the sentiments of the people.
His accession was equally secure in Scotland. 'n ScotAmong the nobility and gentry, his residence there had procured many personal friends, and the royalists were attached to his person by the impunity with which they were indulged in the abuse of power; the highlanders, by his attention to their chieftains, and his care to compose the dissensions of their clans. The presbyterians appeared the objects rather of his commiseration than fear. An indemnity was proclaimed on his accession; but an act of ostentatious clemency was disappointed, as usual, by the exception of all above the rank of mechanics or peasants, and the unhappy fugitives were required to surrender within three weeks, and to submit to the oath of allegiance or to perpetual exile. While the oath of allegiance was thus exacted, it is observable that the coronation oath for Scotland was declined by James, as repugnant to the religion which he proposed to introduce; but the omission was eii