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resolute temper under his administration impressed on all Christendom, can never be forgotten.
· So deeply rooted was this fpirit, and fa hardily had it been nursed through a long feries of the most strenuous exertions, that neither the blandishments of a lively and voluptuous monarch, nor all the banter and licentiousness of his favourite circle, were afterwards able to subdue it. In spite of that circle; in spite of the ridicule and opposition to be expected from profligate courtiers, and prostitute wits; in fpite of the deference, the adulation, and the selfish views, with which kings are commonly approached; there were not wanting, even in the presence of the dissolute Charles, those who had virtue and dignity sufficient to tell him of his debaucheries, and to admonish him against them. The people
in general, though they could not hate · the person of a man whose affability was
irresistibly pleasing, yet murmured at his
indolence, loudly condemned his vices, never relished his government, were shocked at his employing the taxes of the nation to corrupt its morals, and openly testified their abhorrence of his mistresses. The amusements, which he had transplanted from abroad, were but little propagated beyond the limits of his palace : they suited not the taste of a nation, whose ruling character was still serious and mafculine, however much the return of quiet had contributed to foften the rigid demeanour and maxims of a particular class, who had tinctured the rest; and whatever pains were taken to infuse the love of jollity and riot. In a word, though needy and vicious poets, though mercenary and obsequious courtiers, though their dependents and connexions, with such others near them as they could immediately infuence-though all these were combined to flatter and copy the immoralities of their fovereign, and thus to spread the infection ; yet this, it has been juftly remarked, was not the prevailing inclination of the kingdom: the dissolution of manners, imputed to it at that period, was not universal : multitudes of all ranks, and of both parties, preserved the fund of pious morals, and manly principles, by which they had been long actuated ; and where duty or firmness were less the motives, prudence and decency continued to operate : many conspicuous instances of private worth, and of public zeal, were ftill scen; and glorious proofs were fuccesively given of an integrity and magnanimity alike calm and invincible.
- Nevertheless it is certain, that the seeds of irreligion, vice, and luxury, which were then so industriously fown, came in process of time to shoot up but too strongly, and to be cultivated with a success which has, with greater or less rapidity, been ever. fince advancing to the height it has now: gained. This event, it is well known, has been eminently promoted by the un-:
restrained importation of foreign fashions, ideas, and diversions, in all their variety of extravagance, together with a perpetual accession of wealth for a number of years from different sources, and particularly of late from the plunder of the East, whence it is believed but few have come home enriched, without leaving behind them the curses of ruined families and desolated provinces.
· If, in a country highly polished like this, where the Arts would naturally minister to its pleasures with an affiduity proportioned to the rewards it was willing to bestow, those pleasures have kept pace with its opulence; and if such opulence, weary of former gratifications, or disgusted at finding them still rivalled by its inferiors, is constantly seeking new refinements of vanity and indulgence; we carinot surely be surprised, however we may be grieved, at the enormous encrease and Mhameful effeminacy of our modifh entertainments.
We shall wonder the less, though we must lament the more, when we refled how much this great evil is fostered by the most part of our young nobility and gentry. Sent abroad for the supposed purpose of improvement, without any foundation in principle or knowlege, do they not, after roaming a while through Europe in trivial and ignominious pursuits, generally return more depraved and foolish than they went ? By witnessing the contemptible bigotry of the Church of Rome, by hearing the infidel and impious conversation so common in France and Italy, and by imitating the vicious customs eftablished in those countries under the notion of a superior Gallantry, are they not usually confirmed in their disaffection to all religion, and their scorn of every thing sober, fedate, and manly? To show that they have travelled, and are now complete gentlemen, they never rest till they have instructed our youth at home in yet higher 'forms of amusement and licentiousness, if