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fulness continue in your blood, which animated one of your

noble ancestors to sacrifice his life in the quarrels of his sovereign;* though, I hope, both for your sake, and for the public tranquillity, the same occasion will never be offered to your lordship, and that a better destiny will attend you. But I make haste to consider you as abstracted from a court, which (if you will give me leave to use a term of logic) is only an adjunct, not a propriety of happiness. The Academics, I confess, were willing to admit the goods of fortune into their notion of felicity; but I do not remember, that any of the sects of old philosophers did ever leave a room for greatness. Neither am I formed to praise à court, who admire and covet nothing, but the easiness and quiet of retirement. I naturally withdraw my sight from a precipice; and, admit the prospect be never so large and goodly, can take no pleasure even in looking on the downfall, though I am secure from the danger.

York. His intrepid coolness appears from a passage in his Memoirs, containing the observations he made during the action, on the motion of eannon bullets in the recoil, and their effect when passing near the human body. His bravery was rewarded by his promotion to command the Katharine, the second best ship in the fleet. This vessel had been captured by the Dutch during the action, but was retaken by the English crew before she could be carried into harbour. Lord Mulgrave had a picture of the Katharine at his house in St James's Park.-See CARLETON'S Memoirs, p. 5.

+ In 1548-9, there were insurrections in several counties of England, having for their object the restoration of the Catholic religion, and the redress of grievances. The insurgents in Northamptonshire were 20,000 strong, headed by one Ket, a tanner, who possessed himself of Norwich. The Earl of Northampton, marching rashly and hastily against him, at the head of a very inferior force, was defeated with loss. In the rout Lord Sheffield, ancestor of the Earl of Mulgrave, and the person alluded to in the text, fell with his horse into a ditch, and was slain by a butcher with a club. The rebels were afterwards defeated by the Earl of Warwick. DUGDALE's Baron, vol. ii. p. 386. HOLLINSHED, p. 1035.

Methinks, there is something of a malignant joy in that excellent description of Lucretius ;

Suave, mari magno turbantibus æquora dentis,
E terrâ magnum alterius spectare laborem ;
Non quia vexari quenquam est jucunda voluptas,
Sed, quibus ipse malis careas, quia cernere suave est.

I am sure his master Epicurus, and my better master Cowley, preferred the solitude of a garden, and the conversation of a friend, to any consideration, so much as a regard, of those unhappy people, whom, in our own wrong, we call the great. True greatness, if it be any where on earth, is in a private vir. tue, removed from the notion of pomp and vanity, confined to a contemplation of itself, and centering on itself:

Omnis enim per se Divûm natura necesse est
Immortali ævo summâ cum pace fruatur ;

-curá semota, meluque,
Ipsa suis pollens opibus.*

If this be not the life of a deity, because it cannot consist with Providence, it is, at least, a god-like life. I can be contented, (and I am sure I have your lordship of my opinion) with an humbler station in the temple of virtue, than to be set on the pinnacle of it:

The entire

passage of Lucretius is somewhat different from this quotation:

Quæ bene, et eximie quamvis disposta ferantur,
Longe sunt tamen a verâ ratione repulsa.
Omnia enim per se Divum natura necesse est
Immortali ævo summâ cum pace fruatur,
Semota q nostris rebus, sejunctaque longè.
Nam privata dolore omni, privata periclis,
Ipsa suis pollens opibus, nihil indiga nostri,
Nec bene promeritis capitur, nec tangitur ira.

LIB. II. Dryden ingeniously applies, to the calm of philosophical retirement, the Epicurean tranquillity of the Deities of Lucretius.

Despicere unde queas alios, passimque videre

Errare, atque viam palantes quærere vitæ. The truth is, the consideration of so vain a creature as man, is not worth our pains. I have fool enough at home, without looking for it abroad; and am a sufficient theatre to myself of ridiculous actions, without expecting company, either in a court, a town, or a play-house. It is on this account that I am weary with drawing the deformities of life, and lazars of the people, where every figure of imperfection more resembles me than it can do others. If I must be condemned to rhyme, I should find some ease in my change of punishment. I desire to be no longer the Sisyphus of the stage; to roll up a stone with endless labour, (which, to follow the proverb, gathers no moss) and which is perpetually falling down again. I never thought myself very fit for an employment, where many of my predecessors have excelled me in all kinds; and some of my contemporaries, even in my own partial judgment, have outdone me in Comedy. Some little hopes I have yet remaining, and those too, considering my abilities, may be vain, that I may make the world some part of amends, for many ill plays, by an heroic poem. Your lordship has been long acquainted with my design; the subject of which you know is great, the story English, and neither too far distant from the present age, nor too near approaching it. Such it is in my opinion, that I could not have wished a nobler occasion to do honour by it to my king, my country, and my friends; most of our ancient nobility being concerned in the action.* And your lordship has one particular rea

* The subject of this intended poem, was probably the exploits of the Black Prince. See Life.

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son to promote this undertaking, because you were the first who gave me the opportunity of discoursing it to his Majesty, and his Royal Highness : They were then pleased, both to commend the design, and to encourage it by their commands. But the unsettledness of my condition has hitherto put a stop to my thoughts concerning it. As I am no successor to Homer in his wit, so neither do I desire to be in his poverty. I can make no rhapsodies, nor go a begging at the Grecian doors, while I sing the praises of their ancestors. The times of Virgil please me better, because he had an Augustus for his patron; and, to draw the allegory nearer you, I am sure I shall not want a Mecænas with him. It is for your lordship to stir up that remembrance in his Majesty, which his many avocations of business have caused him, I fear, to lay aside ; and, as himself and his royal brother are the heroes of the poem, to represent to them the images of their warlike predecessors ; as Achilles is said to be roused to glory, with the sight of the combat before the ships. For my own part, I am satisfied to have offered the design, and it may be to the advantage of my reputation, to have it refused me.

In the meantime, my lord, I take the confidence to present you with a tragedy, the characters of which are the nearest to those of an heroic poem. It was dedicated to you in my heart, before it was presented on the stage. Some things in it have passed your approbation, and many your amendment. You were likewise pleased to recommend it to the king's perusal, before the last hand was added to it, when I received the favour from him to have the most considerable event of it modelled by his royal pleasure. It may be some vanity in me to add his testimony then, and which he graciously confirmed afterwards, that it was the best of all my

tragedies ; in which he has made authentic my pria vate opinion of it; at least, he has given it a value by his commendation, which it had not by my writing:

That which was not pleasing to some of the fair ladies in the last act of it, as I dare not vindicate, so neither can I wholly condemn, till I find more reason for their censures. The procedure of Indamora and Melesinda seems yet, in my judgment, natural, and not unbecoming of their characters. If they, who arraign them, fail not more, the world will never blame their conduct; and I shall be glad, for the honour of my country, to find better images of virtue drawn to the life in their behavi. our, than any I could feign to adorn the theatre. I confess, I have only represented a practical virtue, mixed with the frailties and imperfections of human life. I have made my heroine fearful of death, which neither Cassandra nor Cleopatra would have been; and they themselves, I doubt it not, would have outdone romance in that particular. Yet their Mandana (and the Cyrus was written by a lady,) was not altogether so hard-hearted : For she sat down on the cold ground by the King of Assyria, and not only pitied him who died in her defence, but allowed him some favours, such, perhaps, as they would think, should only be permitted to her Cyrus.* I have made my Melesinda, in opposition to Nourmahal, a woman passionately loving of her husband, patient of injuries and contempt, and constant in her kindness, to the last ; and in that, perhaps, I may have erred, because it is not a virtue much in use. Those Indian wives are loving fools, and may do well to keep themselves in their own

* An incident in “ Artamenes, ou Le Grand Cyrus," a huge romance, written by Madame Scuderi.

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