A Character of King Charles the Second by George Savile, by Miaunache

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Extra resources for A Character of King Charles the Second by George Savile, Marquis of Halifax

Sample text

His Wit was better suited to his Condition before he was restored than afterwards. The Wit of a Gentleman, and that of a crowned Head, ought to be different things. As there is a Crown Law, there is a Crown Wit too. To use it with Reserve is very good, and very rare. There is a Dignity in doing things seldom even without any other Circumstance. Where Wit will run continually, the Spring is apt to fail; so that it groweth vulgar, and the more it is practiced, the more it is debased. He was so good at finding out other Mens weak Sides, that it made him less intent to cure his own: That generally happeneth.

Now I would fain know whether the Common Law is capable of being defined, and whether it doth not hover in the Clouds like the Prerogative, and bolteth out like Lightening to be made use of for some particular Occasion? If so, the Government of the World is left to a thing that cannot be defined; and if it cannot be defined, you know not what it is; so that the supream Appeal is, we know not what. We submit to God Almighty though he is incomprehensible, and yet He hath set down His Methods; but for this World, there can be no Government without a stated Rule, and a Supream Power not to be controled neither by the Dead nor the Living.

The immoderate Love of Ease maketh a Man’s Mind pay a passive Obedience to any thing that happeneth: It reduceth the Thoughts from having Desire to be content. It must be allowed he had a little Over-balance on the well-natured Side, not Vigour enough to be earnest to do a kind Thing, much less to do a harsh one; but if a hard thing was done to another Man, he did not eat his Supper the worse for it. It was rather a Deadness than Severity of Nature, whether it proceeded from a Dissipation of Spirits, or by the Habit of Living in which he was engaged.

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