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These are the early instances of courage which can be produced in favour of lord Rochester, which was afterwards impeached, and Tery juftly; for, in many private broils, he discovered a timid, pusilanimous fpirit, very unsuitable to those noble instances of the contary which have just been mentioned.
The author of his life, prefixed to his works, which goes under the name of M. St. Eyre. mond, addressed to the duchefs of Mazarine, but which M. Maizeau asserts not to be his, accounts for it, upon the general observation of that disparity between a man and himself, upon different occasions.
6. Let it fuffice,"? says he, “to observe, that we difer not from one another more than we do from ourselves at different times.” But we imagine another, and a stronger, reasop may be given, for the cowardice which Rochefer afterwards disco vered in private broils, particularly in the affair between him and the earl of Mulgrave, in which he bebaved very meanly. The courage which lord Rochester shewed in a naval engagement, was in the early part of his life, before he had been immersed into those labyrinths of excess and luxury into which he afterwards funk.
It is certainly a true obfervation that guilt makes cowards; a man who is continually subjected to the reproaches of conscience, who is afraid to examine his heart left it should appear too horrible, cannot have much courage ; for, while he is conscious of so many errors to
be repented of, of so many vices he has committed, he naturally starts at danger, and. Hies from it as his greatest enemy. It is true courage is fometimes conftitutional ; and there have been instances of men', guilty of every enormity, who have discovered a large thare of it: but these have been wretches who have overcome all sense of honour, been loft to every consideration of virtue, and whose courage
is like that of the lion of the desart, a kind of ferocious impulse unconnected with season. Lord Rochester had certainly never overcome the reproaches of his confcience, whose alarming voice at laft struck terror into his heart, and chilled the fire of the fpirits.
Since his traveis and naval expeditions, he feemed to have contracted a habit of temperance ; in which had he been fo happy as to persevere, be must have escaped that fatal rock, on which he afterwards fplit, upon bis return to court, where love and pleafure kept their perpetual rounds, under the smiles of a prince whom nature had fitted for all the enjoyments of the most luxurious desires. In times fo diffolute as these, it is no wonder if a man of so warm a constitution as Rochester could not refift the too flattering temptations, which were heightened by the participation of the court in general.
The uncommon charms of Rochester's conversation, induced all men to court him: as a H6
companion, though they often paid too dear for their curiosity, by being made the subject of his lampoons, if they happened to have any oddities in their temper, by the exposing of which he could humour his propensity to scandal. His pleasant extravagancies soon became the subject of general conversation ; by which his vanity was at once flattered, and his turn of satire rendered more keen, by the success it met with.
Rochester had certainly a true talent for satire, and he fpared neither friends nor foes, but let it loose on all without discrimination. Majesty itself was not fecure from it; he more than once lampooned the king, whose weakness and attachment to some of his mistresses he endeavoured to cure by several means; that is, either by winning them from him, in spite of the indulgence and liberality they felt from a royal gallant, or by feverely lampooning them and him on various occasions; which the king, who was a man of wit and pleasure as well as his lordship, took for the natural fallies of his genius, and meant rather as the amusements of his fancy, than as the efforts of malice ; yet, either by a too frequent repetition, or a too close and poignant virulence, the king banished him the court for a fatire made dire&tly on him. This satire consists of twenty-eight stanzas, and is entitled, The Restoration; or, The History of the Infipids: and, as it contains the keeneft reflections
against the political conduct, and private cha racter, of that prince, and having produced the banishment of this noble lord, we shall here give it a place; by which his lord ship's genius for this kind of writing will appear.
The RESTORATION; or, The History
of INSIPIDS; a Lampoon.
1. Chaste, pious, prudent, Charles the Second,
The miracle of thy restoration,
Rain'd on the Israelitish nation;
The virtues in thee, Charles, inherent,
Altho' thy count'nance be an odd piece, Prove thee as true a God's viceregent, in
As e'er was Harry with his cod-piece:
; Charles only one refolvid to marry, And other mens he never
Yet has he fons and daughters more
He, like a politic prince, and pious,
And does to no religioo cie us! Jews, Christians, Turks, Papifts, he'll please us With Mofes, Mahomet, or Jesus.
y. In all affairs of church or state
He very zealous is, and able; Devout at prayers, and fits up late
At the cabal and council. table.
The wiseft kings have all fome folly:
Charles, like a fov'reign, wife and holy, Makes young men judges of the bench, And biðhops, those that love a wench,
Preserving those that cut off's head;