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in that respect was the ground of an incurable refentment against a prince, to whom he had been so much obliged. “But now begins my trouble. After 1 had kissed the king's hand for the deanry of St. Paul's, I gave his ma: jesty my most humble thanks, and told him, that now he had set me at ease for the remainder of my life. He replied, no such matter, I affure you': and spoke plainly about a great place, which I dread to think of, and said, it was neceffary for his service, and he must charge it upon my conscience, just as he had faid this, he was called to fupper, and I had only time to say, that when his majesty was at leifure, 1 did believe I could satisfy him, that it would be most for his service, that I should continue in the station, in which he had now placed me. This hath brought me into a real difficulty. For on the one hand it is hard to decline his majesty's commands, and much harder yet to stand out against so much goodness, as his majesty is pleased to use towards me. On the other, I can neither bring my inclination nor my judgement to it. This I owe to the bishop of Salisbury, one of the worst and best friends I know: Best for his fingular good opinion of me : And the worst for directing the king to this method, which I know he did; as if his lordship and I had connected the matter how to finish this foolish piece of dissimulation, in running away from a bishopric to catch an archbishopric. This fine device hath thrown me so far into
the briars, that, without his majesty's great goodness, I shall never get off without a scratched face.
." And now I will tell your ladyship the bottom of my heart. I have, of a long time, I thank God for it, devoted myself to the public service, without any regard for myself; and to that end have done the best I could, in the best manner I was able. Of late God hath been pleased, by a very severe way, but in great goodness to me, to wean me perfectly from the love of this world ; so that worldly greatness is now not only undesireable, but diftasteful to me: and I do verily believe that I fhall be able to do as much or more good in my present station than in a higher; and shall not have one jor less interest or influence upon any others to any good purpose ; for the people naturally love a man that will take great pains and little preferment: but, on the other hand, if I could force my inclination to take this great place, I foresee that I shall fink under it, and grow melancholy, and good for nothing; and, after a little while, die as a fool dies.”
The fee of Canterbury foon after becoming vacant by the deprivation of archbishop Sancroft, on the first of February, 1689-90, the king continued, for several months after, his importunities to the dean for his acceptance of it; which he still endeavoured to avoid. In this situation he wrote a letter to the lady Ruffel, wherein he tells her, Vol. VIII
“ On Sunday last the king commanded me to wait upon him the next morning at Kenfington. I did so, and met with what I feared. His majesty renewed his former gracious offer in so pressing a manner, and with so much kindness, that I hardly knew how to refift it. I made the best acknowledgments I could of his undeserved grace and favour to me, and begged of him to consider all the consequences of the matter; being well alsured, that all that storm, which was raised in convocation the last year by those who will be the church of England, was upon my account; and that the bishop of L------ was at the bottom of it, out of a jealousy that I might be a hindrance to him in attaining what he desires, and what, I call God to witness, I would not have.
" And I told his majesty, that I was still afraid, that his kindness to me would be greatly to his prejudice, especially if he carried it so far as he was then pleased to speak. For I plainly saw they could not bear it, and that the effects of envy and ill-will towards me would terminate upon him.
“ To which he replied, That, if the thing were once done, and they saw no remedy, they would give over, and think of making the best of it, and therefore he must desire me to think seriously of it; with other expressions not fit for me to repeat. To all which I anfwered, That, in obedience to his majesty's commands, I would consider of it again, tho'
I was afraid I had already thought more of it than had done me good, and must break thro' one of the greatest resolutions of my life, and facrifice, at once, all the ease and contentment of it; which yet I would force myself to do, were I really convinced, that I was, in any measure, capable of doing his majesty and the public that service which he was pleafed to think I was. He smiled, and said, * You talk of trouble; I believe you will have much more ease in it than in the condition in which you now-are' Thinking not fit to say more, I humbly took leave."
To this letter her ladyship returned an an(wer which contributed not a little to determine him to acquiesce in the king's pleasure, if his majesty should still press him, who now infifted upon a peremptory answer. The refult of this affair is mentioned at large in his letter to lady Ruffel.
“ I went to Kensington full of fear, but yet determined what was fit for me to do. I met the king coming out of his closet, and asking if his coach was ready. He took me aside, and I told him, That, in obedience to his majesty's command, I had considered of the thing as well as I could, and came to give him my answer. I perceived his majesty was going out, and therefore desired him to appoint me another time, which he did on the Saturday morning after.
*«. Then I came again, and he took me into his closet, where I told him, that I could not
but have a deep sense of his majesty's great grace and favour to me, not only to offer me the best thing he had to give, but to press it so earnestly upon me.
I said, I would not presume to argue the matter any farther, but I hoped he would give me leave to be fill his humble and earnest petitioner to spare me in that thing. He answered, he would do so, if he coold; but he knew not what to do, if I refuted it. Upon that I told him, that tendered my life to him, and did humbly devote [it] to be disposed of as he thought fit. He was graciously pleased to say, it was the best news had come to him this great while, I did not kneel down to kiss his hand; for, without that, I doubt I am too sure of it; but requested of him, that he would defer the declaration of it, and let it be a secret for some time. He said he thought it might not be amiss to defer it till the parliament was up.
“ I begged farther of him, that he would not make me a wedge to drive out the present archbishop ; that, some time before I was nominated, his majesty would be pleased to declare in council, that, since his lenity had not had any better effect, he would wait no more, but would dispose of their places. This, 1 told him, I humbly desired, that I might not be thought to do any thing harsh, or which might reflect upon me ; for, now that his majefty had thought fit to advance me to this ftation, my reputation was become his interest.