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he knew no more than of those of China, and always cried up the French government. Of his manners and appearance we have different accounts. The grave and sober Clarendon represents him as agreeable and insinuating, whilst the lively Hamilton, agreeing with a well-known ballad, considers him as dull and mysterious, imposing on the world by an affected solemnity, and made Secretary of State on the credit of his countenance. * A black patch on his nose added much to the gravity of his appearance.
Sir Thomas Clifford, the son of a clergyman in Devonshire, had embraced the Catholic religion before the Restoration. He was rough, violent, and ambitious in his nature. He was first employed and advanced by Lord Arlington, and appeared very grateful for a subordinate place. But when he found that he had a chance of obtaining the Treasurer's staff, he told the King that Lord Arlington did not desire to have it, whilst he persuaded Arlington that he was pleading for him. "This," says Mr. Evelyn, "was the only great ingratitude he showed." t He was the sole adviser of that
* Clarendon's Life, p. 181. 183. fol. Grammont, p. 122. quarto.
"Bennet's grave look was a pretence," *c.
See Dryden's Works. f 'Evelyn, p. 439.
scandalous expedient, the shutting up of the Exchequer. * He espoused, without measure or moderation, the interests of the Duke of York, and his imprudence, in this respect, became the cause of his disgrace, and soon after, of his death.
Lauderdale was a man formed to be the minister of an unprincipled king. His knowledge of Scotland, and his own inclinations, led him at first to favour the Presbyterians; but finding that court-favour was to be gained by an opposite conduct, he did not hesitate to execute a most bloody persecution for the purpose of introducing and establishing Episcopacy.
These ministers, together with Lord Ashley, afterwards Lord Shaftesbury, formed the council, "to all succeeding ages curst," under the name of the Cabal, which comprehends the initial letters of their names.
Their power, however, was not yet firmly established, and the king had not yet finally resolved to govern in direct opposition to the wishes of the nation.
* Evelyn, p. 425. quarto. A report was current that Lord Shaftesbury was the author of that measure, which Dalrymple of course believes. Mr. Fox positively denies its truth, probably on the authority of a passage in Belsham's history, which the reader will find in the Appendix to this work. The testimony of Evelyn seems to set the question at rest.
Great alarm had been raised by the con
quests of Lewis XIV. in Flanders, and a
book, written by the Baron d'Isola to refute the
French pretensions, had increased the public
ferment. In this conjuncture the King sent for
Sir W. Temple, and by the advice of Arlington,
and Lord Keeper Bridgeman, intrusted him with
an embassy to the Hague. The conse1668. J . , «.
quence was, a triple alliance between
England, Holland, and Sweden, to defend
Flanders from any farther invasion.
But unfortunately the two objects of the King's predilection were those of his people's antipathy, France and Popery. With this disposition, he had proposed to enter into a treaty with France before he signed the triple alliance, and as soon as it was concluded he renewed his overtures. * But Lewis, probably thinking he should get better terms by affecting indifference, for some time declined to listen to them. Another circumstance brought the negociations to a successful or rather a disgraceful and unfortunate residt.
The Duke of York had long wished for a formal reconciliation with the church of Rome. He proposed to his confessor to keep his conversion secret, and continue to profess openly
* Dalrymple, App. p. II. VOL. I. K
-the Protestant religion. But whether the consciences of Father Symonds and the Pope were really scrupulous, or whether it be incompatible with the pride* and policy of the papal see to accept of an unavowed conversion, the
1669. „ . , , .
tact is certaui that both the confessor and the Pope informed James that it was contrary to their precepts to allow ill that good might come. In this dilemma James applied to his brother, who acknowledged that he also felt Uneasy at the restraint he was under in respect to religion. They had a solemn meeting in consequence, on the day of the conversion of St. Paul, when Charles proposed, as he and hisbrother were then in the full strength of life, to begin immediately a great work. It was agreed between them to profess openly the Catholic religion, and to attempt by means of an army the setting up an arbitrary monarchy. But as foreign aid was necessary, they determined to apply to the King of France for * assistance. Their overtures were most favourably received; and after some negociation, the Duchess of Orleans met her brother at Dover, in order to conclude the alliance. The event was a treaty, of which one article is so remarkable that it deserves to be inserted entire.
* Life of James, p. 440. et seq.
]67a "Article 2. * The King of Great May 22. Britain is convinced of the truth of the Catholic religion, and resolved to make his declaration of it, and to reconcile himself with the church of Rome, as soon as the affairs of his kingdom shall be ^sufficiently established to permit him. He has every reason to hope, and to be persuaded from the affections and from the fidelity of his subjects, that none of them, even of those on whom God shall not have yet so abundantly shed his grace as to dispose them by this august example to be converted, will ever fail in the inviolable obedience due from all people to their sovereigns, even of a different religion. Nevertheless, as there appear sometimes turbulent and restless spirits, who endeavour to disturb the public tranquillity chiefly when they can conceal their evil designs under the plausible pretext of religion, His Britannic Majesty, who has nothing more at heart (after the repose of his conscience) than to establish that which the mildness of his government has procured to his subjects, believes that the best means of preventing it from being disturbed is to be assured, in
* From an original in the possession of Lord Clifford. Rose, Obs. on Mr. Fox's work, p. 45. The project of th« article, as given by Dalrymple, App. p. 55., is not materially different.