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I looks like no great Compliment to
reditary Right to whatever may be called Mine. Many of the following Pieces were written by the Command of Your Excellent Father; and most of the reft, under His Protection and Patronage.
The particular Felicity of Your Birth, My Lord; The natural Endowments of Your Mind, (whịch, without
fufpicion of Flattery) I may tell You, are very Great; The good Education with which these Parts have been improved; and Your coming into the World, and seeing Men very early; make Us expect from Your Lordship all the Good, which our Hopes can form in Favour of a young Nobleman. Tu Marcellus eris, ---Our Eyes and our Hearts are turned on You. You must be a Judge and Master of Polite Learning; a Friend and Patron to Men of Letters and Merit; a faithful and able Counsellor to Your Prince; a true Patriot to Your Countrey; an Ornament and Honor to the Titles You possess; and in one Word, a Worthy Son to the Great Earl of DORSET.
It is as impossible to mention that Name, without defiring to Commend the Person; as it is to give Him the Commendations which His Virtues deserved. But I afsure my self, the most agreeable Compliment I can bring Your Lordship, is to pay a grateful Respect to Your Father's Memory. And my own Obligations to Him were fuch; that the World must pardon my Endeavoring at His Character, however I may miscarry in the Attempt.
A Thousand Ornaments and Graces met in the Composition of this Great Man; and contributed to make Him universally Belov’d and Esteem'd. The Figure of His Body was Strong, Proportionable, Beautiful: and were His Picture well Drawn, it must deserve the Praise given to the Pourtraits of RAPHAEL; and, at once, create Love and Respect. While the Greatness of His Mein inform’d Men, they were approaching the Nobleman; the Sweetness of it invited them to come nearer to the Patron. There was in His Look and Gesture something that is
afier conceived than described; that gain’d upon You in His Favor, before He spake one Word. His Behavior
was Easie and Courteous to all; but Distinguished and Adapted to each Man in particular, according to his Station and Quality. His Civility was free from the Formality of Rule, and flowed immediately from His good Sense.
Such were the Natural Faculties and Strength of His Mind, that He had occasion to borrow very little from Education: and He owed those Advantages to His own Good Parts, which Others acquire by Study and Imitati
His Wit was Abundant, Noble, Bold. Wit in most Writers is like a Fountain in a Garden, fupply'd by several Streams brought thro’ artful Pipes, and playing sometimes agreeably. But the Earl of DORSET's was a Source rising from the Top of a Mountain, which forced it's own way, and with inexhaustible Supplies, delighted and inriched the Country thro' which it pass’d. This extraordinary Genius was accompany'd with so true a Judgment in all Parts of fine Learning, that whatever Subject was before Him, He Discours d as properly of it, as if the peculiar Bent of His Study had been apply'd That way; and He perfected His Judgment by Reading and Digesting the best Authors, tho' He quoted Them very seldom.
Contemnebat potiùs literas, quàm nesciebat: and rather seem'd to draw His Knowledge from His own Stores, than to owe it to any Foreign Assistance.
The Brightness of His Parts, the Solidity of His Judgment, and the Candor and Generosity of His Temper distinguith'd Him in an Age of great Politeness, and at a Court abounding with Men of the finest Sense and Learning. The most eminent Masters in their several Ways appeal'd to His Determination. WALLER thought it'an Honor to consult Him in the Softnefs and Harmony of his
Verse: and Dr. SPRAT, in the Delicacy and Turn of his Profe. DRYDEN determines by Him, under the Character of Eugenius; as to the Laws of Dramatick Poetry. BUTLER ow'd it to Him, that the Court tasted his Hum dibras: WICHERLEY, that the Town liked his Plain Dealer: and the late Duke of BUCKINGHAM deferr’d to publish his Rehearsal; 'till He was sure (as He expressed it) that my Lord DORSET would not Rehearse upon Him again. If We wanted Foreign Testimony; LAFONTAine and ST. EVREMONT have acknowledg’d, that He was a Perfect Master in the Beauty and Fineness of their Language, and of All that They call les Belles Lettres. Nor was this Nicety of His Judgement confined only to Books and Literature; but was the Same in Statuary, Painting, and all other Parts of Art. BERNINI would have taken His Opinion upon the Beauty and Attitude of a Figure; and King CHARLES did not agree with LELY, that my Lady CLEVELAND's Picture was Finished, 'till it had the Approbation of my Lord BUCKEHURST.
As the Judgement which He made of Others Writings, could not be refuted; the Manner in which He wrote, will hardly ever be Equalled. Every one of His Pieces is an Ingot of Gold, intrinsically and solidly Valuable; such as, wrought or beaten thinner, would shine thro'a whole Book of any other Author. His Thought was always New; and the Expression of it so particularly Happy, that every body knew immediately, it could only be my Lord DORSET's:' and yet it was so Easy too, that Every body was ready to imagine himself capable of writing it. There is a Lustre in His Verses, like That of the Sun in CLAUDE LORAINE's Landskips; it looks Natural,