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ANECDOTES

OF

DISTINGUISHED PERSONS.

BRITISH.

CHARLES THE SECOND.

[1649-1685.)

Had this King but loved business as well

as he understood it,” says Sir Richard Bulstrode, “ he would have been the greatest « Prince in Europe.” Of his own country he used to say, that it was the most comfortable climate to live under, that he had ever experienced; as there were more days in the year, and more hours in the day, that a man could take exercise out of doors in it, than in any country he had ever known. He said one day

VOL. II.

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to Sir Richard Bulstrode, that during his exile he had seen many countries, of which none pleased him so much as that of the Flemings, who were the most honest and true-hearted people he had ever met with : and then added, “ I am weary of travelling, I am resolved to go « abroad no more; but when I am dead and

gone, I know not what my brother will do;

I am much afraid that when he comes to the A Throne he will be obliged to travel again.”

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An Address being once presented from the City to this Monarch by the Lord Mayor, attended by Sir Robert Clayton, Mr. Bethell, and Mr. Cornish, the King returned an answer by the Lord Chancellor, which concluded thus:

“ The King doth not believe this to be so “ unanimous a vote of the City as is pretended; “ and he commands me to tell you, that if he

did believe it were so (as he does not), that

you have meddled with a thing which is " none of your business

. ;--" and so dismissed them.-“ Memoirs of the Reign of Charles the Second, by Sir Richard Bulstrode, Resident at Brussels to the Court of Spain from Charles the Second.”

Lockhart, the Author of “ The Memoirs," wrote with his own hand the following narrative

in his copy of Lord Clarendon's “ History of " the Rebellion."

“ It is very strange, that amongst so many " dangers to which King Charles the Second “ was exposed, and from which he was surpriz

ingly and miraculously delivered, neither “ Lord Clarendon, nor any Author I have met “ with, takes the least notice of one of a very extraordinary nature which happened to him “ in Holland, and which was as follows:

“ The King when at Brussels, being desirous « and resolved to see his sister the Princess of

Orange (but withal under a necessity to make “ his journey with the utmost secrecy), did “ communicate his design to no person whatso

He ordered Fleming (a servant of the “ Earl of Wigtoun), who was in his service; “ and of whose fidelity he neither then nor ever « after did doubt, secretly to provide a couple “ of good horses, and have them ready at a

certain place and time of the next ensuing

night, by his Majesty appointed; and that «. Fleming, with these horses, should remain “ alone till he heard from the King. At the “ time appointed, the King (having gone to « bed, and afterwards dressed himself) privately

goes out at a back door, and leaving only a 66 letter to some one of his servants in whom “ he confided, with an account of his having

B2

gone

ever.

gone from thence for a few days, and with “ directions to keep his absence as secret as ,

possible, under pretence of his being indifposed, came to the place, where he found

Fleming with the horses as he had directed. “ He then acquainted Fleming of his design to

speak with his sister at the Hague; and, not

regarding the hazards he might be exposed “ to, away he went with his slender equipage “ and attendance, travelling through the most “ secret by-ways, and contriving it so, that he

came to the Hague by six in the morning, “ and alighted at a scrub inn, in a remote part “ of the town, where he was confident none “ would know him under the disguise he was " then in. He immediately sent Fleming to

acquaint his sister where he was, and left it “ to her to contrive the way and manner of

having access to her, so as not to be known.

Fleming, having dispatched his commission “ in a very short time (less than an hour), was “ no sooner returned to tell the King, whom " he found in the room where he had left him

(where he had been still alone), than an un“ known person came and asked of the Land6 lord, if two Frenchmen had not alighted at “ his house that morning. The Landlord re“ plied, that two men had come, but of what " country he knew not. The stranger re

quired

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