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GEORGE GRANVILLE, or as
others write Greenville, or Grenville, afterwards lord Landsdown of Biddeford in the county of Devon, lefs is known than his name and rank might give reason to expect. He was born about 1667,, the son of Bernard Greenville, who was entrusted by Monk with the most private transactions of the Restoration, and the grandson of Șir Bevil Greenville, who died in the King's cause, at the battle of Landsdowne.
His early education was superintended by Sir William Ellis; and his progress was such, that before the age of twelve he was sent to Cambridge, where he pronounced a copy of his own verses to the princess Mary d'Esté of Modena, then dutchess of York, when she visited the university,
At thea ccession of king James, being now at eighteen, he again exerted his poetical powers, and addrefled the new monarch in three short pieces, of which the first is profane, and the two others such as a boy might be expected to produce; but he was commended by old Waller, who perhaps was pleased to find himself imitated, in six lines, which, though they begin with nonsense and end with dulness, excited in the young author a rapture of acknowledgement, in numbers such as Waller's felf might use.
It was probably about this time that he wrote the poem to the earl of Peterborough, upon his accomplishment of the duke of York's marriage with the princess of Modena, whose charms appear to have gained a strong prevalence over his imagination, and upon whóm nothing ever has been charged but imprudent piety, an intemperate and misguided zeal for the propagation of popery.
However faithful Granville might have been to the King, or however enamoured of the Queen, he has left no reason for supposing that he approved either the artifices or
the violence with which the King's religion was insinuated or obtruded. He endeavoured to be true at once to the King and to the Church.
Of this regulated loyalty he has transmitted to posterity a sufficient proof, in the letter which he wrote to his father about a month before the prince of Orange landed:
Mar, near Doncaster, Oct. 6, 1688. To the honourable Mr. Barnard Granville,
at the earl of Båthe’s, St. James's.
... Your having no prospect of obtaining a to commission for me, can no way alter or
cool my desire at this important juncture " to venture my life, in some manner or " other, for my King and my Country:
* I cannot bear living under the reproach “ of lying obscure and idle in a country re" tirement, when every man who has the " least fense of honour should be preparing ' for the field.
“ You may remember, Sir, with what re. " luctance I submitted to your commands
upon Monmouth's rebellion, when no importunity could prevail with you to permit
me to leave the Academy: I was too young “ to be hazarded; but, give me leave to 4. say, it is glorious at any age to die for * one's country, and the sooner the nobler “ the sacrifice.
“ I am now older by three years. My “ uncle Bathe was not so old when he was “ left among the slain at the battle of New
bury; nor you yourself, Sir, when you " made your escape from your tutor's, to 5 join your brother at the defence of Scilly.
« The fame cause is now come round about " again. The King has been milled; let « thofe who have mited him be answerable “ for it. Nobody can deny but he is facred “ in his own person, and it is every honest “ man's duty to defend it.
" You are pleased to say, it is s ful if the Hollanders are rafh enough to “ make such an attempt; but, be that as it