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XIV. out of compliment to King Charles, offered five hundred pounds to any one who should secure him in the dominions of France. He was at length seized at Leyden, brought over to England, and condemned to die by Judge Jefferies, who treated him in a very unbecoming manner.
Bishop Burnet observes that he died with great meekness and resignation, expressing a hearty repentance for his past profligate life. King Charles, about the time of Sir Thomas's execution, told several people, that he had been lately assured Sir Thomas had been suborned by Cromwell, to take away his life when he waited on him in Holland, but he found no opportunity of perpetrating his crime; for failing in which, the Protector imprisoned him on his return home. Tho this story came from a royal mouth, few people believed it; yet it is certain, that Cromwell kept him a year in prison.
He was hanged at Tyburn on the twentieth of June, 1684: his head was fixed upon Westminster-Hall, between those of Cromwell and Bradshaw, and his quarters upon Temple-Bar, Aldgate, Aldersgate, and the town-wall of Stafford. It is said he was a native of Nimeguen, a city of Guelderland, and would have claimed from the states-general the protection of a native, if he had not been carried away as soon as he was arrested.
I find in Wood's Fasti, mention made of one James Aston, a divine, of whom no more is faid than that he was a zealous loyalilt, and about this time well beneficed. It is not unlikely, that it is the same person whom we find here celebrated for dullness; for, had he excelled in any thing else, Wood would not have failed to remark it.
Hho would not be as filly as Dunbar,
As dull as Monmouth rather than Sir Carr. There was a Lord Viscount Dunbar, and a colonel of the same name, about this time at court ; but to which to apply this character I cannot tell, as I never met with any of their private history.
Monmouth is said to have been trave, soft, gentle, and fin, cere, open to the grofleft adulation, and strongly addicted to his pleasures : he was, upon the whole, a man of very weak parts, graceful in his perfon, and of an endearing placid deportment. See our notes upon Abjalom and Achitophel.
Sir Carr Scrope is the third person in this verse : he was the fon of Sir Adrian Scrope, a Lincolnshire knight, and bred at Oxford, where he took a master's degree in 1664; and in 1666 ke was created a baronet. He was intimate with the most cele
brated genuises of King Charles's court, had a very pretty turn
“ Sir Carr, that knight of wither'd face,
miss alone he strives to please,
And again, in the third vol. part I. p. 148,
- no man can compare “ For carriage, youth, and beauty, with Sir Carr." He died at his house in St. Martin's-fields, Westminster, in the latter end of the
Nor shall the royal miftreffes be nam'd. About the time of the writing this poem, the king, if we may rely upon Bishop Burnet's authority, divided all his spare time between the Dutchess of Portsmouth and Nell Gwin,
Ernely and Ailesbury, with all that race
Åt council Jet as foils on Danby's fcore.
Robert, the firft Earl of Ailesbury, was the son of Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin in Scotland, and created by King Charles Lord Bruce in England. In 1685 he fucceeded the Earl of Arlington as lord-chamberlain of the king's houfhold, and died a few months afterwards. Wood gives him the character of a man of learning, a benefactor to the clergy, a great antiquarian, and says he was well skilled in the history of his owu country.
Thomas, Earl of Danby, ancestor to the prefent Duke of Leeds, came out of Yorkshire, and was very zealous in forwarding the reftoration ; for which special service he was made treasurer of the navy, then a privy-counfellor, and in 1673, lord high-treafurer of England. He enjoyed a great share of the royal favor, which, perhaps, promoted his being impeached by the commons for monopoly and mismanagement: he was pardoned by the king, which occafioned much discontent; was zealous in procuring a match between the Prince of Orange and Lady Mary, afterwards King and Queen of England; a principal actor in the revolution, and chairman of that committee of the whole house, which, on King James's flight, voted an abdication, and advanced William to the throne ; wherefore he was made president of the council ; and raised to the dignity of Marquis of Carmarthen and Duke of Leeds, about three years afterwards. He died in the year 1712, aged eighty-one.
Firft let's behold the merries man alive. This character is so strongly and so juftly marked, that it is impoffible to mistake its being intended for Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury: “A man of little steadiness, but “ such uncommon talents, that he acquired great weight with “ every party he espoused : he was turbulent, restless, ambi“ tious, fubtle, and enterprising: he had conquered all sense of “ shame, was restrained by no fears, and influenced by no prin- ** ciples."
Smollett's Hift. In the first vol. of the State Poems, p. 140, he is mentioned thus :
« A little bobtail'd lord, urchin of state,
'as Nokes and Lee.. These were two celebrated comedians in Charles the IId's reign,
So Cat transformd, &c. Alluding to the fable of a cat's being turned into a woman, at the intercefsion of a young man that loved it ; but forgetting herself the ran after a mouse, and was reduced to her prifting shape.
The new earl with parts deserving praise,
Yet loses all, &c.
He was taken into custody and committed to the Tower, for
Lord Effex was a man of indifferent abilities, but what the
for filly Tropos' Sake.
have been a man of muth estimation; and Roger North, in his Examen, fays, his course of life was scandalous.
Thus Dorset purring like, &c. Charles Earl of Dorset, about this time forty years of age, was one of the best bred men of his time. He was a lord of the bed-chamber, and sent several times with compliments, or on short embassies, to France, for the king could not bear to be long without him : he was a most munificent patron ; learning and genius were sure of his protection; and when our author was deprived of the bayes, he allowed him the laureat's annual stipend out of his own private purse. Arthur Manwaring, Mr. Prior, and many other men of abilities, owed to him their being advanced and provided for. Nor was he less brave than polite and learned; for he attended the Duke of York as a volunteer in the first Dutch war; and hy his coolness, courage and conduct thewed himself a worthy representative of his many illustrious ancestors. The night before the famous battle, in which the Dutch admiral Opdam was blown up, he made a celebrated song, with the greatest composure, beginning,
To you fair ladies now at land,
We men at fea indite, &c.
No man had more ease or good-humor; his conversation was refined and sprightly: he had studied books and men deeply, and to good purpose : he was an excellent critic, and good poet, with a strong turn to satire, for which he is thus highly complimented in the State Poems, vol. I. p. 200.
“ Dorset writes fatire too, and writes so well,
“ Some drowsy wit in our unthinking court." He wrote with severity, but that severity was always justly pointed; and Lord Rochester calls him,
“ The beit good man, with the worst-natur'd muse.” His first wife the Countess-Dowager of Falmouth, had proved a barren: wife. Of her having been a teeming widow I am ignorant. His second wife, whom he married in 1685, was daughter to the Earl of Northampton, and mother to the present Duke of