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trusted; who have been considered as the ad
the common level, or virtue refined from passion, or proof against corruption, could not easily find an abler judge, or a warmet advocate.
What was the result of Mr. Savage's enquiry, though he was not much accustomed to conceal his discoveries, it may not be entirely safe to relate, because the persons whose characters he criticised are powerful; and power and resentment are seldom strangers; nor would it perhaps be wholly just, - because what he asserted in conversation might, though true in general, be heightened by some momentary-ardour of imagination, and, as it can be delivered only from memory, may
be imperfectly represented; so that the pi&ture at first aggravated, and then unskilfully copied, may be justly suspected to retain no great resemblance of the original.
may however be observed, that he did not appear to have formed very elevated ideas of those to whom the administration of affairs, or the conduct of parties, has been in
vocates of the crown, or the guardians
the people; and who have obtained the most implicit confidence, and the loudest applauses. Of one particular person, who has been at one time so popular as to be generally esteemed, and at another so formidable as to be universally detested, he observed, that his acquisitions had been small, or that his capacity was narrow, and that the whole range of his mind was from obscenity to politics, and from politics to obscenity.
But the opportunity of indulging his fpečulations on great characters was now at an end. He was banished from the table of Lord Tyrconnel, and turned again adrift upon the world, without prospect of finding quickly any other harbour.
As prudence was not one of the virtues by which he was diftinguished, he had made no provision against a misfortune like this. And though it is not to be imagined but that the separation must for some time have been preceded by coldness, peevishness, or neglect, though it was undoubtedly the consequence of accumulated provocations on both sides; yet every one that knew Savage will readily believe, that to him it was sudden as a stroke of thunder; VOL. III,
that, though he might - have transiently futs pected it, he had never suffered any thought fo unpleasing to sink into his mind, but that he had driven it away by amusements, or dreams of future felicity and affluence, and had never taken any measures by which he might prevent a precipitation from plenty to indigence.
This quarrel and separation, and the difficulties to which Mr. Savage was exposed by them, were foon known both to his friends and enemies; nor was it long before he perceived, from the behaviour of both, how much is added to the lustre of genius by the ornaments of wealth.
His condition did not appear to excite much compassion; for he had not always been careful to use the advantages he enjoyed with that moderation' which ought to have been with more than usual caution preserved by him, who knew, if he had reflected, that he was only a dependant on the bounty of another, whom he could expect to support him no longer than he endeavoured to preserve his favour by complying with his
inclinations, and whom he nevertheless set at defiance, and was continually irritating by negligence or encroachments.
Examples need not be sought at any great distance to prove, that superiority of fortune has a natural tendency to kindle pride, and that pride seldom fails to exert itself in contempt and insult; and if this is often the effect of hereditary wealth, and of honours enjoyed only by the merit of others, it is fome extenuation of any indecent triumphs to which this unhappy man may have been betrayed, that his prosperity was heightened by the force of novelty, and made more intoxicating by a senfe of the misery in which he had so long languished, and perhaps of the insults which he had formerly borne, and which he might now think himself entitled to revenge. It is too common for those who have unjustly suffered pain, to inflict it likewise in their turn with the same injustice, and to imagine that they have a right to treat others as they have themselves been treated.
That Mr. Savage was too much elevated by any good fortune, is generally known; and
some passages of his Introduction to The Author to be let sufficiently shew, that he did not wholly refrain from such satire as he afterwards thought very unjust, when he was exposed to it himself; for when he was afterwards ridiculed in the character of a diftrefled very easily discovered, that distress was not a proper subject for merriment, or topic of invective. He was then able to discern, that, if misery be the effect of virtue, it ought to be reverenced; if of ill-fortune, to be pitied; and if of vice, not to be insulted, because it is perhaps itself a punishment ad-quate to the crime by which - it was produced. And the humanity of that man can deserve no panegyric, who is
capable of reproaching a criminal in the hands of the executioner.
... But these reflections, though they readily occurred to him in the first and last parts of his life, were, I am afraid, for a long time :forgotten; 'at least they were, like many other maxims, treasured up in his mind, rather for thew than use, and operated very little upon his conduct, however elegantly he might sometimes explain, or however forcibly he might inculcate, them.