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fame, to a desire of pleasing ; and they whom, in all ages, poets have endeavoured most to please, have
author, who scorned to change with fortune, and continued to admire and celebrate, in adversity, the charms which he had worshipped in the meridian of prosperity.
And now, my muse, a nobler flight prepare,
As when our eye some prospect would pursue,
Queen of our hearts, and charmer of our sight!
* He had written verses to the Earl of Peterborough, on the Duke of York's marriage with the Princess of Modena, before he was twelve years old.
been the beautiful and the great. Beauty is their deity, to which they sacrifice, and greatness is their guardian angel, which protects them. Both these are so eminently joined in the person of your Royal Highness, that it were not easy for any but a poet to determine which of them outshines the other. But I confess, madam, I am already biassed in my choice. I can easily resign to others the praise of your illustrious family, and that glory which you derive from a long continued race of princes, famous for their actions both in peace and war : I can give up, to the historians of your country, the names of so many generals and heroes which crowd their annals, and to our own the hopes of those which you are to produce for the British chro
But ah! what strange vicissitudes of fate,
Progress of Beauty. The beauty which inspired the romantic and unchanging admiration of Granville, may be allowed to justify some of the flights of Dryden's panegyric. I fear enough will still remain to justify the stricture of Johnson, who observes, that Dryden's dedication
attempt to mingle earth and heaven, by praising human excellence in the language of religion."
At the date of this address, the Duchess of York was only in her sixteenth year, VOL. V.
nicle. I can yield, without envy, to the nation of poets, the family of Este, to which Ariosto and Tasso have owed their patronage, and to which the world has owed their poems. But I could not, with out extreme reluctance, resign the theme of your beauty to another hand. Give me leave, madam, to acquaint the world, that I am jealous of this subject ; and let it be no dishonour to you, that, after having raised the admiration of mankind, you have inspired one man to give it voice. But, with whatsoever vanity this new honour of being your poet has filled my mind, I confess myself too weak for the inspiration : the priest was always unequal to the oracle : the god within him was too mighty for his breast: he laboured with the sacred revelation, and there was more of the mystery left behind, than the divinity itself could enable him to express. I can but discover a part of your excellencies to the world ; and that, too, according to the measure of my own weakness. Like those who have surveyed the moon by glasses, I can only tell of a new and shining world above us, but not relate the riches and glories of the place. 'Tis therefore that I have already waived the subject of your greatness, to resign myself to the contemplation of what is more peculiarly yours. Greatness is indeed communicated to some few of both sexes ; but beauty is confined to a more narrow compass: 'tis only in your sex, 'tis not shared by many, and its supreme perfection is in you alone. And here, madam, I am proud that I cannot flatter; you have reconciled the differing judgments of mankind; for all men are equal in their judgment of what is eminently best. The prize of beauty was disputed only till you were seen; but now all pretenders have withdrawn their claims: there is no competition but for the second place; even the fairest of our island, which is famed for beauties, not daring to commit their cause against you to the suffrage of those, who most partially adore them. Fortune has, indeed, but rendered justice to so much excellence, in setting it so high to public view; or, rather, Providence has done justice to itself, in placing the most perfect.workmanship of heaven, where it may be admired by all beholders. Had the sun and stars been seated lower, their glory had not been communicated to all at once, and the Creator had wanted so much of his praise, as he had made your condition more obscure: but he has placed you so near a crown, that you add a lustre to it by your beauty. You are joined to a prince, who only could deserve you ; whose conduct, courage, and success in war; whose fidelity to his royal brother, whose love for his country, whose constancy to his friends, whose bounty to his servants, whose justice to merit, whose inviolable truth, and whose magnanimity in all his actions, seem to have been rewarded by heaven by the gift of you. You are never seen but you are blest; and I am sure you bless all those who see you. We think not the day is long enough when we behold you ; and you are so much the business of our souls, that while you are in sight, we can neither look nor think on any else. There are no eyes for other beauties; you only are present, and the rest of your sex are but the unregarded parts that fill your triumph. Our sight is so intent on the object of its admiration, that our tongues have not leisure even to praise you : for language seems too low a thing to express your excellence; adored with the deepest veneration, that of silence. "Tis true, you are above all mortal wishes; no man desires impossibilities, because they are beyond the reach of nature. To hope to be a god, is folly exalted into madness; but, by the laws of our creation, we are obliged to adore him, and are permitted to love him too at human distance. 'Tis the nature of perfection to be attractive, but the excellency of the object refines the nature of the love. It strikes an impression of awful reverence; 'tis indeed that love which is more properly a zeal than passion 'Tis the rapture which anchorites find in prayer, when a beam of the divinity shines upon them ; that which makes them despise all worldly objects; and yet ’tis all but contemplation. They are seldom visited from above, but single vision so transports them, that it makes up the happiness of their lives. Mortality cannot bear it often: it finds them in the eagerness and height of their devotion; they are speechless for the time that it continues, and prostrate and dead when it departs. That ecstacy had need be strong, which, without any end, but that of admiration, has power enough to destroy all other passions. You render mankind insensible to other beauties, and have destroyed the empire of love in a court which was the seat of his dominion. You have subverted (may I dare to accuse you even our fundamental laws; and reign absolute over the hearts of a stubborn and free-born people, tenacious almost to madness of their liberty. The brightest and most victorious of our ladies make daily complaints of revolted subjects, if they may be said to be revolted, whose servitude is not accepted; for your Royal Highness is too great, and too just a monarch, either to want or to receive the homage of rebellious fugitives. Yet, if some few among the multitude continue stedfast to their first
and our souls are speaking so much within, that they despise all foreign conversation. Every man, even the dullest, is thinking more than the most eloquent can teach him how to utter. Thus, madam, in the midst of crowds, you reign in solitude; and are