chapter  10
26 Pages

GILBERT BURNET, Some Passages of the Life and Death of Rochester 1680

From the Preface: I have endeavoured to give his character as fully as I could take it: for, I who saw him only in one light, in a sedate and quiet temper, when he was under a great decay of strength and loss of spirits, cannot give his picture with that life and advantage that others may who knew him when his parts were more bright and lively; yet the composure he was then in may perhaps be supposed to balance any abatement of his usual vigour, which the declination of his health brought him under. I have written this discourse with as much care, and have considered it as narrowly, as I could. I am sure I have said nothing but truth: I have done it slowly, and often used my second thoughts in it, not being so much concerned in the censures which might fall on myself, as cautious that nothing should pass that might obstruct my only design of writing, which is the doing what I can towards the reforming a loose and lewd age. And if such a signal instance, concurring with all the evidence that we have for our most holy faith, has no effect on those who are running the same course, it is much to be feared they are given up to a reprobate sense.