IN Answer to your last, wherein you desire me to give a Character of our Prince, I shall, as well as I can, satisfie you.

As for his outward Accomplishments, I suppose you expect not that I should say any thing, you ha­ving seen him frequently when he was in England, and been a Witness of his excellent, noble, and Princely Deportment.

Nor is it necessary to one of your Education and Learning, to have an Account of his Ancestors, or that you be told, that he is the principal Branch of a House famous in History for these many hundreds of years, and that his Veins flow, with the noblest Blood in the World. However accidental these Advanta­ges are, yet Heaven was not pleased they should be wanting to a Personage it had consummated to be the Relief and Support of Christendom, and the Delight of Mankind.

But 'tis his Mind, I know, of which you require a Character; and of that though 'twill be impossible for me to do him Justice, yet I will endeavour to in­form you. He is, first, a Prince of exemplary Tempe­rance and Sobriety, and this not because his Body can­not bear Excesses, his robust and healthy Constituti­on manifesting the contrary; but from the strong Im­pression the Beauty of these Virtues had early made and still continue upon his excellent Soul. Nor are they without their Companions, Modesty and Chastity, which few of bulkier Title do at all regard, and these practised to that height, that his Court is esteem'd an Academy of good Manners, and his Courtiers, by his Example, as so many Professors of Ethics. Beside these, his benign Temper, his readiness to forgive Injuries, his tenacious Memory of Services done, and his incomparable Prudence, consider'd in opposition to the haughty Carriage, the implacable and cruel Resentments, the horrid Ingratitude, and the dull Unadvisedness of some of his Cotemporaries of the higher Style, render him still a fit Subject for the Love and Well-wishes of every honest and understand­ing man.

And yet, that which adds still to the lustre of this fair train of Virtues, and which seems to have the fullest possession of him, is JUSTICE, not that he af­fects to be flatter'd with the Title of Just, as has been done by those who least deserv'd it, and who never practised it, except it were to serve some turn, and to preamble a Trepan; or to avoid some impending danger by a specious shew of Restitution and Repara­tion; but he has made it the peculiar embellishment of all the Actions of his Life. Hence it was, that upon all the Successes with which his Arms and Con­duct have been blest, he never was puff'd up into a desire of having any addition so much as to his Title, not one City or Town in the Netherlands can com­plain of any Infraction upon their Immunities, or any Ravishing of their ancient Privileges, So that though it has frequently been in his power to have aggran­diz'd himself, after the example of his ill Neighbors, (some of whose cursed Parasites have yet had the im­pudence to transcribe their Masters Follies of this fort into his History, as if he had been guilty of the like) yet he always sacrific'd to Justice whatsoever Advantages his good Fortune put into his hands, and scorn'd to be great at the cost his Country; which from the low State wherein he found it when he was first set at the Head of the Commonwealth, deem'd then by one of our best Politicians to have been upon the point of irrecoverable Declension, he has re­asserted into so considerable a condition, that they seem able to redeem themselves from a Debt of a hun­dred years standing to our own Nation. This He­roical Principle it is, that has set him so high above his neighbouring Contenders for GLORY, as vile Flatterers call it, which is to be acquir'd by the de­populating of Countries, stripping Cities and Commu­nities of their Rights and Privileges, and the enslaving and unmanning a great part of Mankind. This Con­tempt of Glory (other than what is raised upon an ho­nourable and just Foundation) has in him ennobled the present Age with an Example for all succeeding Potentates in the World, by observing of which, they may avoid those Exorbitances which have made the foolish Affecters of Glory stink in Chronicle, and instead of atchieving, forsooth, immortal Honour, have caused their Names to be rang'd only in the higher Class of Robbers and Trouble-worlds: for he, unlike to them, seems to have made it the truly Glo­rious Design of his Life to set Mankind at Liberty; and he began early, when having scarce reach'd Man­hood, he rescu'd his Country out of the Jaws of a ra­bid Tyger, or which is all one, a Popish Victor, who would have introduc'd upon her that slavery of Body and Soul which ever follows the successful Arms of a bigotted Idolatrous Conqueror: And, if mens Sins hinder not, and their selves be not wanting, why may they not hope to see this wondrous Blessing by Provi­dence more diffusive, and not concluded within the narrow Boundaries of Belgium. The Theban Hero, not content to have asserted his Cradle, vindicated also the Nations round about; for beholding on one side a Tyrant over-running and destroying all, to that degree, that he was fabled to feed his Horses with Mans Flesh; and on t'other side the Sea, ano­ther with like Title, Priest-ridden into the most abo­minable and inhuman Idolatry; he thought 'twas the Duty of a good man, though he were not a Party concern'd, (which is sillily urg'd against our living Hero) to take up the Cause of Humanity, and to pull 'em down. It succeeded well; for he soon brought 'em both to Reason, and the grateful Pagans voted him a place among their Gods. And indeed they argu'd rightly, considering their want of, Divine Light; for what could they suppose to be liker God than he that for no advantage to himself, confer'd up­on them the most valuable Good in the World, even LIBERTY.

A Branch of this Virtue of Justice he deems to be Moderation towards men of another Religion; and by this also he has always contradistinguish'd himself from his more dignified Brethren of the Elbow-Seat; for this he not only profess'd but practised always. Ne­ver was he known to be the undoing of a Family, be­cause the Father of it could not be of his Mind. No man with him is Factious, or a Sectary, but he that troubles the Public Tranquillity. In the Disposal of his Rewards and Favours, regard is only had to the Honestest Man. Not but that he is well aware, that there is a Sect of Men in the World, who, be they never so generously principled by Nature, yet-their Religion (as they call it) obliging them to an implicit belief of and obedience to Persons of wicked Designs, he allows them with some discrimination a share in his Protection, but trusts them with great difficulty.

I should now tell you somewhat of his Valour; but it is of a sort, more sublime than has yet appear'd in the World, and far above my Pen. The Vigour, the Conduct, the Greatness, and the Evenness of his Mind, the steady Menage, the Resolution and Con­tempt of Danger, which are either Ingredients to it, or complicated with it, are as inimitable as not to be described. In fine, We have great reason to pray, That the Hand which has so exactly form'd and fi­nish'd this Prince for the Support and Joy of the Uni­verse, would protect and assist him in bringing about those noble Designs for the Common Good which no­thing less than a Divine Spirit prompts him to. Our Friend at Soestdyhe is pretty well again.

I am, SIR,

I, had forgot to instance to you the Exact Discipline he observes in his Army; but if ever you see them here or elsewhere, you will take his Officers and Souldi­ers for no other than well-bred Gentlemen and ho­nest Citizens.

Tot de Hague, gedruckt door Hans Verdraght, 1688.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.