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treme ignorance and impertinence; or the mixture of these, an ill-judged and never-ceasing civility; or lastly, by the two things which were his utter aversion, the insinuation of a flatterer, and the whisper of a talebearer. If, therefore, we set the piece in its worst position; if its faults be most exposed; the shades will still appear very finely joined with their lights; and every imperfection will be diminished by the lustre of some neighbouring virtue. But if we turn the great drawings and wonderful colourings to their true light, the whole must appear beautiful, noble, admirable. He possessed all those virtues in the highest degree, upon which the pleasure of society, and the happiness of life depend; and he exercised them with the greatest decency and best manners. As good nature is said, by a great author,” to belong more particularly to the English than any other nation, it may again be said, that it belonged more particularly to the late Earl of Dorset than to any other English man. A kind husband he was, without fondness; and an indulgent father, without partiality. So extraordinary good a master, that this quality ought indeed to have been numbered among his defects, for he was often served worse than became his station, from his unwillingness to assume an authority too severe. And during those little transports of passion, to which I just now said he was subject, I have known his servants get into his way, that they might make a merit of it immedi* Bishop Sprat, Hist. of the Royal Society.
ately after; for he that had the good fortune to be chid, was sure of being rewarded for it. His table was one of the last that gave us an example of the old housekeeping of an English nobleman. A freedom reigned at it, which made every one of his guests think himself at home; and an abundance, which showed that the master's hospitality extended to many more than those who had the honour to sit at table with him. In his dealings with others, his care and exactness that every man should have his due, was such, that you would think he had never seen a court: the politeness and civility with which this justice was administered, would convince you he never had lived out of one. He was so strict an observer of his word, that no consideration whatever could make him break it; yet so cautious, lest the merit of his act should arise from that obligation only, that he usually did the greatest favours without making any previous promise. So inviolable was he in his friendship, and so kind to the character of those whom he had once honoured with a more intimate acquaintance, that nothing less than a demonstration of some essential fault could make him break with them; and then too, his good nature did not consent to it, without the greatest reluctance and difficulty. Let me give one instance of this amongst many. When, as lord chamberlain, he was obliged to take the king's pension from Mr. Dryden, who had long before put himself out of a possibility of receiving any favour from the court, my Lord allowed him an equivalent out of his own estate. However displeased with the conduct of his old acquaintance, he relieved his necessities; and while he gave him his assistance in private, in public he extenuated and pitied his error. The foundation indeed of these excellent qual:ties, and the perfection of my Lord Dorset's character, was that unbounded charity which ran through the whole tenor of his life, and sat as visibly nredominant over the other faculties of his soul, as she is said to do in Heaven, above her sister virtues. Crowds of poor daily thronged his gates, expecting thence their bread; and were still lessened by his sending the most proper objects of his bounty to apprenticeships, or hospitals. The lazar and the sick, as he accidentally saw them, were removed from the street to the physician; and many of them not only restored to health, but supplied with what might enable them to resume their former callings, and make their future life happy. The prisoner has often been released, by my Lord's paying the debt; and the condemned has been saved by his intercession with the sovereign, where he thought the letter of the law too rigid. To those whose circumstances were such as made them ashamed of their poverty, he knew how to bestow his munificence without offending their modesty; and under the notion of frequent presents, gave them what amounted to a subsistence. Many yet alive know this to be true, though he told it to none, nor ever was more uneasy than when any one mentioned it to him. We may find among the Greeks and Latins, Tibullus and Gallus, the noblemen that writ poetry; Augustus and Maecenas, the protectors of learning; Aristides, the good citizen; and Atticus, the well bred friend; and bring them in, as examples of my Lord Dorset's wit, his judgment, his justice, and his civility. But for his charity, my Lord, we can scarce find a parallel in history itself. Titus was not more the delicial humani generis, on this account, than my Lord Dorset was; and, without any exaggeration, that prince did not do more good in proportion out of the revenue of the Roman empire, than your father out of the income of a private estate. Let this, my Lord, remain to you and your posterity a possession for ever; to be imitated, and, if possible, to be excelled. As to my own particular, I scarce knew what life was, sooner than I found myself obliged to his favour; nor have had reason to feel any sorrow so sensibly as that of his death.
Ille dies—quem semper acerbum
AEneas could not reflect upon the loss of his own father with greater piety, my Lord, than I must recall the memory of yours: and when I think whose son I am writing to, the least I promise myself from your goodness is an uninterrupted continuance of favour, and a friendship for life. To which, that I may with some justice entitle myself, I send your Lordship a dedication, not filled with a long detail of your praises, but with my sincerest wishes that you may deserve them. That you may employ those extraordinary parts and abilities with which Heaven has blessed you, to the honour of your family, the benefit of your friends, and the good of your country; that all your actions may be great, open, and noble, such as may tell the world whose son and whose successor you are.
What I now offer to your Lordship is a collection of poetry, a kind of garland of good will. If any verses of my writing should appear in print, under another name and patronage, than that of an Earl of Dorset, people might suspect them not to be genuine. I have attained my present end, if these poems prove the diversion of some of your youthful hours, as they have been occasionally the amusement of some of mine; and I humbly hope, that as I may hereafter bind up my fuller sheaf, and lay some pieces of a very different nature (the product of my severer studies) at your Lordship's feet, I shall engage your most serious reflection: happy, if in all my endeavours I may contribute to your delight or to your instruction. I am, with all duty and respect,