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Extra info for A Character of King Charles the Second by George Savile, Marquis of Halifax
Have not Men of great Wit in all times permitted their Understandings to give way to their first Impressions? It taketh off from the Diminution when a Man doth not mind a thing; and the King had then other Business: The inferior part of the Man was then in Possession, and the Faculties of the Brain, as to serious and painful Enquiries, were laid asleep at least, tho’ not extinguished. Careless Men are most subject to Superstition. Those who do not study Reason enough to make it their Guide, have more Unevenness: As they have Neglects, so they have Starts and Frights; Dreams will serve the turn; Omens and Sicknesses have violent and sudden Effects upon them.
In short, this Prince might more properly be said to have Gifts than Virtues, as Affability, Easiness of Living, Inclinations to give, and to forgive: Qualities that flowed from his Nature rather than from his Virtue. He had not more Application to any thing than the Preservation of his Health; it had an intire Preference to any thing else in his Thoughts, and he might be said without Aggravation to study that, with as little Intermission as any Man in the World. He understood it very well, only in this he failed, that he thought it was more reconcilable with his Pleasures, than it really was.
Only Princes and Persons of Honour must have gentler Words given to their Faults, than the nature of them may in themselves deserve. Princes dissemble with too many, not to have it discovered; no wonder then that He carried it so far that it was discovered. Men compared Notes, and got Evidence; so that those whose Morality would give them leave, took it for an Excuse for serving him ill. Those who knew his Face, fixed their Eyes there; and thought it of more Importance to see, than to hear what he said.