Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
The Stuart Family
By Edward Hyde, Lord Clarendon (16091674)
From the Life
THE TRUTH is, it was the unhappy fate and constitution of that family, that they trusted naturally the judgments of those who were as much inferior to them in understanding as they were in quality, before their own, which was very good; and suffered even their natures, which disposed them to virtue and justice, to be prevailed upon and altered and corrupted by those who knew how to make use of some one infirmity that they discovered in them; and by complying with that, and cherishing and serving it, they by degrees wrought upon the mass, and sacrificed all the other good inclinations to that single vice. They were too much inclined to like men at first sight, and did not love the conversation of men of many more years than themselves, and thought age not only troublesome but impertinent. They did not love to deny, and less to strangers than to their friends; not out of bounty or generosity, which was a flower that did never grow naturally in the heart of either of the families, that of Stuart or the other of Bourbon, but out of an unskilfulness and defect in the countenance; and when they prevailed with themselves to make some pause rather than to deny, importunity removed all resolution, which they knew neither how to shut out nor to defend themselves against, even when it was evident enough that they had much rather not consent; which often made that which would have looked like bounty lose all its grace and lustre.