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he succeeded, without niuch opposition, in re-inforcing the garrison with a regiment of 500 men, and a supply of ammunition. The defeat of Sir William Waller, at Roundway-down, was achieved under his sole command, and he led the van in the action at Cropready Bridge.
But jealousy or rivalry having fastened upon him suspicions of mutiny, and of favouring the parliamentary interest, he was removed from his post in the army, and retired for a short time to France. He was naturally of an aspiring and imperious disposition, precipitate in his resolutions, and impatient of contradiction; but he had great influence and authority in the army. He had a most pleasant and lively wit,--drank freely, and excelled in all the companionable qualities of the camp, which made him popular with his fellowofficers. After the battle of Worcester, he was particularly active in managing the concealment and escape of the unfortunate Prince. Disguised with his hawk, be attended him from place to place, assisted in procuring a vessel, and embarked with him for France. He continued, during all his peregrinations, attached to his court, and had considerable influence in his councils. He was sent as ambassador to the Diet at Ratisbon, for the purpose of soliciting the Emperor of Germany to undertake his restoration; and with the hope of obtaining some fit asylum within the imperial dominions, where he might sojourn with his small retinue, in expectation of his better destiny. It was on this occasion that Lord Wilmot was created Earl of Rochester. His success in these negociations was very partial; all he could procure being a trifling subsidy of a few thousand pounds. With the
consent of the Prince he came over to England in 1655, with the intent of exciting an insurrection in favour of the royal cause ; in this, however, he failed, having been too free in communicating his designs, and only escaped by being so dexterous in assuming disguises. He returned to Cologne, where Charles then was, but did not live to witness the unexpected event that replaced the exiled monarch on the throne of his ancestors; having expired on the 19th of February, 1657. He was buried privately, and by special leave of the Parliament, in the Church of Spilsby, in the sepulchre of the family of Lee. He married Anne, daughter of Sir John St Johns, of Lyddiard, bart. and widow of Sir Francis Henry Lee, of Ditchley, in Oxfordshire; and this lady was the mother of the noble convert, to whose history we now return.
John WILMOT, Earl of Rochester, Viscount Athlone in Ireland, and Baron of Adderbury, in Oxfordshire, was born at Ditchley, near Woodstock, April 10th, 1647. Being early deprived of his father, he was left with little other inheritance than the honours and titles to which he succeeded; with such claims to the royal favour as the eminent services of his family might naturally be supposed to establish. This scanty fortune was, however, carefully managed, by the great prudence and discretion of his mother, so that he received an education every way suitable to his rank. He was entered to the free-school at Burford, where he made extraordinary proficiency both in Greek and Latin, especially the latter, which he acquired to such perfection, that he retained, through life, a peculiar relish for the authors in that language, particularly those who flourished during the Augustan era of Roman literature. Here, also, those shining talents began to develope themselves, which afterwards blazed out with such wild and irregular, though short-lived, brilliancy.
In his twelfth year he was entered a nobleman at Wadham College, Oxford, under the care of Mr Phineas Berry, and Dr Blandford, afterwards Bishop of Worcester; and in 1661, he was, with some others of high rank and literary celebrity, made Master of Arts in convocation ; " at which time (says Wood) he, and none else, was admitted very affectionately into the fraternity, by a kiss on the left cheek from Lord Clarendon, the Chancellor of the University, who then sat in the supreme chair to honour that assembly.” Besides his classical attainments, he acquired a reputation for wit, eloquence, and poetry, which he had studied to great perfection.* His learned and affectionate tutor had imbued his mind with excellent principles, and founded the elements of a virtuous
• Nature had formed him for a scholar and a poet ; and the astrologers of the time, (whose predictions, like those of phrenology, are most to be depended upon when calculated backwards)accounted for his extraordinary genius by planetary influences. 6. He was endued, (says Gadbury) with a noble and fertile muse.
The Sun guverned the horoscope, and the moon ruled the birth hour, The conjunction of Venus and Mercury in M. Cæli in sextile of Luna, aptly denotes his inclination to poetry. The great reception of Sol with Mars, and Jupiter posit. ed so near the latter, bestowed a large stock of genervus and active spirits, which constantly attended on this excellent native's mind, insomuch that no subject came anniss to him."-Gadbury's Ephemeris, 1698.
character on the solid basis of a liberal education. But the good seed had fallen on a perverse soil, and was unhappily blighted by early intemperance. The king's restoration happening while he was at the University, he gave way to the general current of riotous and extravagant joy which then overran the nation, and debauched the public morals. The natural consequences of these excesses were, a total neglect of his studies, to which all the remonstrances of his tutor could never recal him ; and the acquirement of irregular habits, which afterwards grew to such a height of profligacy, .when fostered amidst the temptations and enticements of a court, that had banished all regard for decency and moral restraint.
Having finished his academical studies, he travelled into France and Italy. His companion and governor, on this occasion, was Dr Balfour, a learned Scotsman, who afterwards acquired great celebrity as a physician in his native country. The judicious management, and salutary advices of this worthy person, not only brought him back to the love of learning, but weaned him almost entirely from the indulgence of those criminal propensities which he had contracted at College. He often expressed his great obligations to love and honour this most excellent and valuable instructor, to whose fidelity and care he thought he owed more than to all the world; and he was particularly affected by the many ingenious and amiable artifices by which he contrived to engage his attention, and draw him to delight in books and study. The taste which he then acquired for reading, remained with him till his death, and was often indulged at intervals amidst all the
sensualities and criminal pursuits that filled up the short course of his abandoned life. The choice of his subjects was not always good; but the habitual desire of knowledge, and his occasional fits of study, improved his understanding, and prepared him the better to weigh and estimate the evidences for revelation, when his mind was in a capacity for deliberate inquiry and sober reflection.
Such was the happy reformation that tuition and example had effected, when he returned from his travels in 1665, being then in his eighteenth year. He was immediately introduced at court, with every advantage in his favour, both from the remembrance of his father's loyalty, and the prepossessing attractions of his own person and accomplishments.
His appearance had much of elegance and gracefulness, his person being tall, slender, and handsomely formed. His countenance was extremely regular, and of a fine complexion. His manners were polished according to the exact rules of good breeding. There was a becoming modesty in his deportment, and a civility almost natural to him, which rendered his presence agreeable and gave an easy and obliging turn to his conversation. Few possessed in a higher degree the qualities both of mind and body that go to constitute in perfection the man of rank and fashion. His abilities were excellent, and he had greatly improved them by learning and industry. His colloquial powers were unrivalled, which gave an irresistible charm to his conversation, reridering him the delight of gay society, and making his company universally courted. He had a singular vivacity of thought and vigour of expression; and