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lamenting his fall, through the influence of the most profligate members of a dissolute Court, and contrasting clear, but it is much less clear that the reflection on Lord Clarendon was ever uttered by him : the wording would admit of its being either his or Mr. Pepys's, but the style of the comment is much more like Mr. Pepys's own than Mr. Evelyn's. Nor is this all; throughout Mr. Evelyn's diary and letters there is not a word to be found corresponding to such sentiments, and they are utterly at variance with his frequent expressions of friendship and respect for the Chancellor's character; of which the following letters, addressed on two different occasions to Lord Cornbury, afford striking examples :
“ London, February 9, 1664-5. “I own, my Lord, our illustrious Chancellor for my patron and bene“ factor; so I pay him as tender and awful respect (abstracted from his “ greatness and the circumstances of that) as if he had a natural as he “ had a virtual and just dominion over me; so as my gratitude to him “as his beneficiary is even adopted into my religion, and till I renounce “ that I shall never lessen of my duty; for I am ready to profess “ it, I have found more tenderness and greater humanity from the in“fluences of his Lordship than from all the relations I have now in the “ world, wherein yet I have many dear and worthy friends. My Lord, “ pardon again this excess, which I swear to you proceeds from the honest “ and inartificial gratitude of, my Lord, yours, &c."-Evelyn's ‘Memoirs,' vol. iv. p. 136.
“Says Court, January 20, 1665-6. “May that great and illustrious person, whose large and ample heart “ has honoured his country with so glorious a structure, and by an example “ worthy of himself showed our nobility how they ought indeed to build and “ value their qualities, live many long years to enjoy it; and when he shall “ be passed to that upper building, not made with hands, may his posterity “ (as you, my Lord) inherit his goodness, this palace, and all other cir“ cumstances of his grandeur, to consummate their felicity; with which " happy augur, permit me in all faithfulness and sincerity to subscribe “ myself, my Lord, yours, &c.”—Ibid., pp. 173-4.
Had the religious-minded Evelyn believed that the great house “in the « Piccadilly had been produced” by the bribes of those who were the main “instruments of the late troubles,” and been furnished by goods acquired in so discreditable a manner, it would have been impossible for him thus to allude to the structure itself, and still less to the future state of its possessor.
GALLERY. *37 the corruption that followed on his dismissal, he says, – “ Whatever my Lord Clarendon's skill, whether in “ law or politics, the offices of state and justice were “ filled with men of old English honour and probity... “ There were, indeed, heinous matters laid to his “charge which I could never see proved.” Had Mr. Evelyn supposed that by receiving these gifts the character of a minister and a judge was tarnished, he would never have described the plan of collection with unmixed approbation and admiration; and still less would one so pure and virtuous have afforded his assistance to make fresh lists of portraits to be obtained, had he believed that such additions would be fresh blots on the name and integrity of a Lord Chancellor."
? In a letter to the Lord Chancellor, dated 18th March, 1666-7, Mr. Evelyn says,
“My Lord, your Lordship inquires of me what pictures might be added "to the assembly of the learned and heroic persons of England which your “ lordship has already collected; the design of which I do infinitely more “ magnify than the most famous heads of foreigners which do not concern “ the glory of our country; and it is, in my opinion, the most honourable “ ornament, the most becoming and obliging which your Lordship can “ think of to adorn your palace withal; such therefore as seem to be “ wanting I shall range under these three heads :
" THE LEARNED. “ Sir Hen. Savell Alcuinus
Adrian IV. “ Archbishop of Armagh Ridley L
Alex. Hales “ Dr. Harvey Latimer |
Ven. Bede “ Sir H. Wotton Roger Ascham
Jo. Duns Scotus “ Sir T. Bodley Dr. Sanderson
Sir J. Cheke. “ G. Buchanan
Wm. Oughtred “ Jo. Barclay M. Philips
Ladies. " Ed. Spencer Rog. Bacon
Eliz. Joan Weston “ Wm. Lilly Geo. Ripley
Jane Grey. “ Wm. Hooker Wm. of Occam
The friendly testimony of Evelyn is not, however, the only contemporary circumstantial evidence to be adduced in refutation of Lord Dartmouth's charge on this subject. Bishop Burnet, whose political opinions were opposed to those of Lord Clarendon, and whose private feelings were in no way engaged in his favour, thus speaks of the manner in which he exercised his power :-“He was,” says he, “a good chancellor, only "a little too rough, but impartial in the administration .“ of justice.”?...“ The Lord Clarendon put the justice “ of the nation in very good hands." That Lord Clarendon scorned to accept the money which the corrupt practices of that age induced a foreign minister to offer, was shown by the indignation with which he repelled the insulting proposal of Fouquet to seal an alliance
" SOLDIERS. “ Sir Fra. Drake
Earl of Essex
“ Some of which, though difficult to procure originals of, yet haply “ copies might be found out upon diligent inquiry. The rest, I think, “ your Lordship has already in good proportion.”—Evelyn's Memoirs,' vol. ii. p. 307.
· Burnet's · History of his Own Times,' vol. i. p. 161. ; Ibid., p. 300.
8 His answer to Fouquet was, “ that he would lay all that related to “ the King faithfully before him, and give him his answer in a little
between France and England by a present to himself of 10,000l., to be yearly renewed: nor did he less disdain to court the favour of the King by any base compliance with his dissolute habits. “ The Earls of Clarendon “and Southampton would never,” says Bishop Burnet, “ so much as make a visit to any of them, which was “ maintaining the decencies of virtue in a very solemn “ manner." ? “ Lord Clarendon would never make “ application to Mistress Palmer, or let anything pass “ the seal in which she was named, as the Earl of “ Southampton would never suffer her name to be in “ the Treasury books. Those virtuous ministers thought “ it became them to let the world see that they did not “ comply with the King in his vices.”3 The tribute to his general worth is thus expressed by Bishop Burnet:
_“ His fall seemed to show how little princes are “ sensible of merit or great services——that they sacrifice “ their best servants not only when their affairs seem to “ require it, but to gratify the humour of a mistress or “ the passion of a rising favourite.”4 There is yet another fact which cannot be overlooked in detailing contemporary circumstantial evidence on this point, viz., the character of Lord Clarendon's dearest friends and most intimate associates ; and the question will naturally arise, would highminded men and incorruptible ministers like Lord Southampton and the Duke of Ormond have lived on terms of daily intimacy and uninterrupted friendship with one whose very hospitality could not be
“ time ; but for what related to himself, he said he served a great and “ bountiful master, who knew well how to support and reward his ser“ vants; he would ever serve him faithfully; and because he knew he “must serve those from whom he accepted the hire, therefore he rejected “ the offer with great indignation.”—Burnet's ‘History,' vol. i. p. 825.
1 Alluding to the King's mistresses.
* Ibid., p. 446. This view of the real instruments of Lord Clarendon's fall is repeated by Evelyn. Evelyn's friendship continued with the Chancellor up to the time of his quitting England. The prejudice against him on account of his having proposed the marriage with the
Infanta, to favour the chance of his own grandchildren succeeding, was doubly unjust: first, because the idea of the Portuguese alliance was not originated by him; and next, because there could be no well-grounded reason for supposing that a person in the prime of youth and in the full enjoyment of good health was likely to be childless. Moreover, the hopes that she would give an heir to the throne bid fair, soon after her marriage, to be realized, though, unhappily for herself and the country, they were prematurely extinguished. Evelyn's allusion to Lord Clarendon's unpopularity on account of the supposed neglect of the Royalist party shows that in his own time the reproach under which he fell was in the opposite direction to that of party bigotry, for which in later times he has been censured :
“ After dinner I walked to survey the sad demolition of Clarendon “ House, that costly and only sumptuous palace of the late Lord Chan“ cellor Hyde, where I have often been so cheerful with him, and some“ times so sad : happening to make him a visit but the day before he
fled from the angry Parliament, accusing him of maladministration, “ and being envious at his grandeur, who from a private lawyer came to “ be father-in-law to the Duke of York, and, as some would suggest, “ designing his Majesty's marriage with the Infanta of Portugal, not apt " to breed : to this they imputed much of our unhappiness, and that he, “ being sole minister and favourite at his Majesty's restoration, neglected “ to gratify the King's suffering party, preferring those who were the cause " of our troubles. But perhaps, as many of these things were injuriously “ laid to his charge, so he kept the government far steadier than it has “ proved since. I could name some who I think contributed greatly to “ his ruin, the buffoons and the misses, to whom he was an eyesore.”Mem. of J. Evelyn, vol. iii. pp. 95, 96.