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royal master, than what Montaigne has left of his. Those accusations had been more reasonable, if they had been placed on inferior persons : For in all courts, there are too many, who make it their business to ruin wit; and Montaigne, in other places, tells us, what effects he found of their good natures. He describes them such, whose ambition, lust, or private interest, seem to be the only end of their creation. If good accrue to any from them, it is only in order to their own designs : conferred most commonly on the base and infamous; and never given, but only happening sometimes on well-de

Dulness has brought them to what they



proud, insolent, and covetous, and takes all advantages. In paying his debts unwilling, and is neither esteemed nor beloved ; for notwithstanding his great interest at court, it is certain he has none in either house of parliament, or in the country. He is of a middle stature, of a brown complexion, with a sour lofty look.” Swift sanctioned this severe character, by writing on the margin of his copy of Macky's book, This character is the truest of any." то bitter a censure, let us contrast the panegyric of Pope:

Muse, 'tis enough ; at length thy labour ends,
And thou shalt live, for Buckingham commends ;
Let crowds of critics now my verse assail ;
Let Dennis write, and nameless numbers rail,
This more than pays whole years of thankless pain-
Time, health, and fortune, are not lost in vain.
Sheffield approves ; consenting Phæbus bends,
And I and Malice from this hour are friends.

be worth the attention of the great to consider the value of that genius, which can hand them down to posterity in an interesting and amiable point of view, in spite of their own imbeçilities, errors, and vices. While the personal character of Mulgrave has nothing to recommend it, and his poetical effusions are sunk into oblivion, we still venerate the friend of Pope, and the protector of Dryden.

Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, Marquis of Normandy, and Earl of Mulgrave, was born in 1649, and died in 1720. He was therefore twenty-seven years old when he received this dedication.

It may

are; and malice secures them in their fortunes. But somewhat of specious they must have, to recommend themselves to princes, (for folly will not easily go down in its own natural form with discerning judges,) and diligence in waiting is their gilding of the pill; for that looks like love, though it is only interest. It is that which gains them their advantage over witty men; whose love of li. berty and ease makes them willing too often to discharge their burden of attendance on these officious gentlemen. It is true, that the nauseousness of such company is enough to disgust a reasonable man ; when he sees, he can hardly approach greatness, but as a moated castle ; he must first pass through the mud and filth with which it is encompassed. These are they, who, wanting wit, affect gravity, and go by the name of solid men; and a solid man is, in plain English, a solid, solemn fool. Another disguise they have, (for fools, as well as knaves, take other names, and pass by an alias,) and that is, the title of honest fellows But this honesty of theirs ought to have many grains for its allowance ; for certainly they are no farther honest, than they are silly : They are naturally mischievous to their power; and if they speak not maliciously, or sharply, of witty men, it is only because God has not bestowed on them the gift of utterance. They fawn and crouch to men of parts, whom they cannot ruin ; quote their wit when they are present, and, when they are absent, steal their jests; but to those who are under them, and whom they can crush with ease, they shew themselves in their natural antipathy; there they treat wit like the common enemy, and, giving no more quarter, than a Dutchman would

to an English vessel in the Indies, they strike sail where

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they know they shall be mastered, and murder where they can with safety.

This, my lord, is the character of a courtier without wit; and therefore that which is a satire to other men, must be a panegyric to your lordship, who are a master of it. If the least of these reflections could have reached your person, no necessity of mine could have made me to have sought so earnestly, and so long, to have cultivated your kindness. As a poet, I cannot but have made some observations on mankind; the lowness of my fortune has not yet brought me to flatter vice; and it is my duty to give testimony to virtue. It is true, your lordship is not of that nature which either seeks a commendation, or wants it. Your mind has always been above the wretched affectation of popularity. A popular man is, in truth, no better than a prostitute to common fame, and to the people. He lies down to every one he meets for the hire of praise ; and his humility is only a disguised ambition. Even Cicero himself, whose eloquence deserved the admiration of mankind, yet, by his insatiable thirst of fame, he has lessened his character with succeeding ages; his action against Catiline may be said to have ruined the consul, when it saved the city; for it so swelled his soul, which was not truly great, that ever afterwards it was apt to be overset with vanity. And this made his virtue so suspected by his friends, that Brutus, whom of all men he adored, refused him a place in his conspiracy. A modern wit has made this observation on him; that, coveting to recommend himself to posterity, he begged it as an alms of all his friends, the historians, to remember his consulship: And observe, if you please, the oddness of the event; all their histories are lost, and the vanity of his request stands yet recorded in his own writings. How much more great and

manly in your lordship, is your contempt of popular applause, and your retired virtue, which shines only to a few ; with whom you live so easily and freely, that you make it evident, you have a soul which is capable of all the tenderness of friendship, and that you only retire yourself from those, who are not capable of returning it. Your kindness, where you have once placed it, is inviolable; and it is to that only I attribute my happiness in your love. This makes me more easily forsake an argument, on which I could otherwise delight to dwell; I mean your judgment in your choice of friends; because I have the honour to be one. After which I am sure you will more easily permit me to be silent, in the care you have taken of my fortune; which you have rescued, not only from the power of others, but from my worst of enemies, my own modesty and laziness; which favour, had it been employed on a more deserving subject, had been an effect of justice in your nature; but, as placed on me, is only charity. Yet, withal, it is conferred on such a man, as prefers your kindness itself, before any of its consequences; and who values, as the greatest of your favours, those of your love, and of your conversation. From this constancy to your friends, I might reasonably assume, that your resentments would be à nobler prin astina for certainly, it is the same composition of mind, the same resolution and courage, which makes the greatest friendships and the greatest enmities. And he, who is too lightly reconciled, after high provocations, may recommend himself to the world for a Christian, but I should hardly trust him for 'a friend. The Italians have a proverb to that pur, pose, “ To forgive the first time, shews me a good Catholic; the second time, a fool.” To this firmness in all your actions, though you are wanting in no other ornaments of mind and body, yet to this I principally ascribe the interest your merits have acquired you in the royal family. A prince, who is constant to himself, and steady in all his undertakings; one with whom that character of Horace

will agree,


Si fractus illabatur orbis,

Impavidum ferient ruinæ such an one cannot but place an esteem, and repose a confidence on him, whom no adversity, no change of courts, no bribery of interests, or cabals of factions, or advantages of fortune, can remove from the solid foundations of honour and fidelity :

Ille meos, primus qui me sibi junxit, amores

Abstulit; ille habeat secum, servetque sepulchro. How well your lordship will deserve that praise, I need no inspiration to foretel. You have already left no room for prophecy: Your early undertakings have been such, in the service of your king and country, when you offered yourself to the most dangerous employment, that of the sea ; when you chose to abandon those delights, to which your youth and fortune did invite you, to undergo the hazards, and, which was worse, the company of common seamen, that you have made it evident, you will refuse no opportunity of rendering yourself use. ful to the nation, when either your courage or conduct shall be required. The same zeal and faith

* On perusing such ill applied flattery, I know not whether we ought to feel most for Charles II. or for Dryden.

† The Earl of Mulgrave, in the Dutch war of 1672, served as a volunteer on board the Victory, commanded by the Earl of Ossory. He behaved with distinguished courage himself, and has borne witness to that of his unfortunate admiral, James Duke of

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