Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

It is, however, the appropriate, the transcendant praise of ADDISON, that he steadily and uniformly, and in a manner peculiarly his own, exerted these great qualities in teaching and disseminating a love for morality and religion. He it was, who, following the example of the divine Socrates, first stripped philosophy in this island of her scholastic garb, and bade her, clothed in the robes of elegant simplicity, allure and charm the multitude. He saw his countrymen become better as they became wiser; he saw them, through his instructions, feel and own the beauty of holiness and virtue; and for this, we may affirm, posterity, however distant or refined, shall revere and bless his memory.'

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

...

1

1

1

1

1

Budgell
Hughes
Grove
Pope.
Parnell
Pearce.

...

Martyn
Byrom
Swift. ....
Brome

Francham

Dunlop...

Hardwicke

Fleetwood..

Tickell.

Philips

Eusden

Henley, John

Shepheard, Miss
Perry, Mrs...
Heywood
Watts.

Weaver.

Parker

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Ince

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

I SHOULD not act the part of an impartial Spectator, if I dedicated the following papers to one who is not of the most consummate and most acknowledged merit.

None but a person of a finished character can be a proper patron of a work which endeavours to cultivate and polish human life, by promoting virtue and knowledge, and by recommending whatsoever may be either useful or ornamental to society.

I know that the homage I now pay you, is offering a kind of violence to one who is as solicitous to shun applause, as he is assiduous to deserve it. But, my Lord, this is perhaps the only particular in which your prudence will be always disappointed.

While justice, candour, equanimity, a zeal for the good of your country, and the most persuasive eloquence in bringing over others to it, are valuable distinctions: you are not to expect that the public will so far comply with your inclinations, as to forbear celebrating such extraordinary qualities. It is in vain that you have endeavoured to conceal your

share of merit in the many national services which you have effected. Do what you will, the present age will be talking of your virtues, though posterity alone will do them justice.

Other men pass through oppositions and contending interests in the ways of ambition; but your great abilities have been invited to power, and importuned to accept of advancement. Nor is it strange that this should happen to your Lordship, who could bring into the service of your sovereign the arts and policies of ancient Greece and Rome; as well as the most exact knowledge of our own constitution in particular, and of the interests of Europe in general; to which I must also add, a certain dignity in yourself, that (to say the least of it) has been always equal to those great honours which have been conferred upon you.

It is very well known how much the church owed to you, in the most dangerous day it ever saw, that of the arraignment of its prelates; and how far the civil power, in the late and present reign, has been indebted to your counsels and wisdom.

But to enumerate the great advantages which the public has received from your administration, would be a more proper work for a history, than for an address of this nature.

Your Lordship appears as great in your private life, as in the most important offices which you have borne. I would, therefore, rather choose to speak of the pleasure you afford all who are admitted to your conversation, of your elegant taste in all the polite arts of learning, of your great humanity and complacency of manners, and of the surprising influence which is peculiar to you, in making every one who converses with your Lordship prefer you to himself, without thinking the less meanly of his own talents. But if I should take notice of all that

might be observed in your Lordship, I should have nothing new to say upon any other character of distinction. I am,

My Lord, your Lordship's most devoted,

Most obedient humble servant,

THE SPECTATOR.

VOL. II.

ΤΟ

CHARLES LORD HALIFAX.

MY LORD, SIMILITUDE of manners and studies is usually mentioned as one of the strongest motives to affection and esteem; but the passionate veneration I have for your Lordship, I think flows from an admiration of qualities in you, of which, in the whole course of these papers, I have acknowledged myself incapable. While I busy myself as a stranger upon earth, and can pretend to no other than being a looker-on, you are conspicuous in the busy and polite world, both in the world of men, and that of letters. While I am silent and unobserved in public meetings, you are admired by all that approach you, as the life and genius of the conversation. What a happy conjunction of different talents meets in him whose whole discourse is at once animated by the strength and force of reason, and adorned with all the graces and embellishments of wit! When learning irradiates common life, it is then in its highest use and perfection; and it is to such as your Lordship, that the sciences owe the esteem which they have with

« PoprzedniaDalej »