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As he returned to his lodgings from a gaming table, he was attacked in the dark by three ruffians, who were employed to affaffinate him. The earl defended himself with fo much refolution, that he dispatched one of the affaffins, whilst a gentleman, accidentally paffing that way, interpofed and disarmed another; the third fecured himself by flight. This generous affiftant was a difbanded officer, of a good family, and fair reputation; who, by what we call the partiality of fortune, to avoid cenfuring the iniquities of the times, wanted even a plain fute of clothes to make a decent appearance at the caftle. But his lordship, on this occafion, prefenting him to the duke of Ormond, with great importunity prevailed with his grace to allow him to refign his poft, of captain of the guards, to his friend; which, for about three years, the gentleman enjoyed; and upon his death, the duke returned the commiffion to his generous benefactor.


The pleafures of the English court, and the friendships he had there contracted, were powerful motives for his return to London. Soon after his arrival, he was made master of the horse to the duchefs of York, and married the lady Frances, eldest daughter of Richard earl, of Burlington, who before had been the wife of colonel Courtney.

Here he distinguished himself by his writings: and about this time, in imitation of those learned and polite affemblies, with which he had been acquainted abroad; particularly one at Caen (in which his tutor, the celebrated Mr. Bochart, died fuddenly, whilst he was delivering an oration;) he began to form a fociety for the refining and fixing the standard of our language; in which defign, his great friend Mr. Dryden was a principal affistant. A defign, of which it is much easier to conceive an agreeable idea, than any rational hope ever to fee it brought to perfection among us. This project was entirely defeated by


the religious commotions, which enfued on the acceffion of king James to the throne at which time the earl took a refolution to pass the remainder of his life at Rome; telling his friends, it would be beft to fit next to the chimney when the chamber Smoked. But amid these reflections, he was feized by the gout, and being too impatient of pain, he permitted a bold French pretender to phyfic, to apply a repelling medicine, in order to give him prefent relief, which drove the distemper into his bowels, and in a fhort time put a period to his life, in the close of the year 1884, at St. James's. The moment in which he expired, he cried out, with a voice that expreffed the most intense fervour of devotion,

My God! my father, and my friend,
Do not forfake me at my end.

He was interred, with great pomp, in Westminster Abbey; but his merit, as a writer, will beft appear by the following teftimonies.

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Testimonies of Authors concerning the Earl of ROSCOMMON, and his Writings.

DRYDEN, Preface to his mifcellany Poems.

OR_this last half year I have been troubled with


cold profe-fits of it, which are always the most tedious with me, were spent in the Hiftory of the League; the hot, which fucceeded them, in verfe mifcellanies. The truth is, I fanfied to myfelf a kind of eafe in the change of the paroxyfm; never fufpecting but that the humour would have wafted itself in two or three paftorals of THEOCRITUS, and as many odes of HORACE. But finding, or at least thinking I found, fomething that was more pleasing in them, than my ordinary productions, I encouraged myself to renew my old acquaintance with LUCRETIUS and VIRGIL; and immediately fixed upon fome parts of them, which had most affected me in the reading. These were my natural impulfes for the undertaking. But there was an accidental motive, which was full as forcible, it was my lord Rosco MMON's Effay on tranflated Verfe, which made me uneafy till I tried whether or no I was capable of following his rules, and of reducing the fpeculation into practice. For many a fair precept in poetry is, like a feeming demonftration in the mathematics, very fpecious in the diagram, but falfe in the mechanic operation. I think I have generally observed his inftructions: I am fure my reafon is fufficiently convinced both of their truth and usefulness; which, in other


words, is to confess no less a vanity, than to pretend that I have, at least in fome places, made examples to his rules.

DRYDEN, Dedication of the Aeneis to the duke of Buckingham.

SOME of our countrymen have tranflated episodes, and other parts of VIRGIL, with great fuccefs. As particularly your lordship, whofe version of Orpheus and Eurydice is eminently good. Amongst the dead authors, the Silenus of my lord ROSCOMMON cannot be too much commended.

DRYDEN, Poftfcript to his Virgil.


WHOEVER has given the world the tranflation part of the third Georgic, which he calls the Power of Love, has put me to fufficient pains to make my own not inferior to his; as my lord ROSCOMMON'S Silenus had formerly given me the same trouble.

DRYDEN, Notes on Virgil.

PASTORAL fixth. My Lord RoscoMMON'S Notes on this Paftoral are equal to his excellent tranflation of it, and thither I refer the reader.

CREECH, Preface to his Horace.

WHAT I have borrowed from others, if ever I have stock enough, I will honestly endeavour to repay; but the debt I have contracted from my lord RosCOMMON is fo vaft, that I fhall never be able to difcharge to his admirable verfion I must gratefully ac



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