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VOLUME THE FIRST.
TO JOHN LORD SOMERS, BARON OF EVESHAM. My Lord,
the interests of Europe in general; to which I SHOULD not act the part of an impartial I must also add, a certain dignity in yourself, Spectator, if I dedicated the following pa- that (to say the least of it) has been always pens to one who is not of the most consum- equal to those great honours which have mate and most acknowledged merit. been conferred upon you.
None but a person of a finished character It is very well known how much the can be a proper patron of a work which church owed to you in the most dangerous endeavours to cultivate and polish human day it ever saw, that of the arraignment of life by promoting virtue and knowledge, its prelates;* and how far the civil power, and by recommending whatsoever may be in the late and present reign, has been either useful or ornamental to society. indebted to your counsels and wisdom.
I know that the homage I now pay you, But to enumerate the great advantages is offering a kind of violence to one who is which the public has received from your as solicitous to shun applause, as he is as- administration, would be a more proper siduous to deserve it. But, my lord, this is work for a history, than for an address of perhaps the only particular in which your this nature. prudence will be always disappointed. Your lordship appears as great in your
While justice, candour, equanimity, a private life, as in the most important offices zeal for the good of your country, and the which you have borne. I would, therefore, most persuasive eloquence in bringing over rather choose to speak of the pleasure you others to it, are valuable distinctions, you afford all who are admitted to your conare not to expect that the public will so far versation, of your elegant taste in all the comply with your inclinations, as to forbear polite arts, of learning, of your great hucelebrating such extraordinary qualities. It manity and complacency of manners, and is in vain that you have endeavoured to of the surprising influence which is peculiar conceal your share of merit in the many to you, in making every one who converses national services which you have effected. with your lordship prefer you to himself, Do what you will, the present age will be without thinking the less meanly of his own talking of your virtues, though posterity talents. But if I should take notice of all alone will do them justice.
that might be observed in your lordship, I Other men pass through oppositions and should have nothing new to say upon any contending interests in the ways of ambi- other character of distinction. I ain, tion; but your great abilities have been in
MY LORD, vited to power, and importuned to accept Your Lordship’s most devoted, of advancement. Nor is it strange that this
Most obedient humble servant, should happen to your lordship, who could
THE SPECTATOR. bring into the service of your sovereign the arts and policies of ancient Greece and Rome; as well as the most exact knowledge peached in 1688.
* He was one of the counsel for the seven bishops im. of our own constitution in particular, and of
VOLUME THE SECOND.
TO CHARLES LORD HALIFAX.
passionate veneration I have for your lordSIMILITUDE of manners and studies is ship, I think, flows from an admiration of usually mentioned as one of the strongest qualities in you, of which, in the whole motives to affection and esteem: but the course of these papers, I have acknow
ledged myself incapable. While I busy his own; but in the possession of a man of myself as a stranger upon earth, and can business, it is as a torch in the hand of one pretend to no other than being a looker-on, who is willing and able to show those who you are conspicuous in the busy and polite were bewildered, the way which leads to world; both in the world of men, and that their prosperity and welfare. A generous of letters. While I am silent and unob- concern for your country, and a passion for served in public meetings, you are admired every thing which is truly great and noble, by all that approach you, as the life and are what actuate all your life and actions; genius of the conversation. What a happy and I hope you will forgive me when I have conjunction of different talents meets in him an ambition this book may be placed in the whose whole discourse is at once animated library of so good a judge of what is valuaby the strength and force of reason, and ble; in that library where the choice is adorned with all the graces and embellish- such, that it will not be a disparagement to ments of wit! When learning irradiates be the meanest author in it. Forgive me, common life, it is then in its highest use and my lord, for taking this occasion of telling perfection; and it is to such as your lord- all the world how ardently I love and how shiļ, that the sciences owe the esteem nour you; and that I am, with the utmost which they have with the active part of gratitude for all your favours, mankind. Knowledge of books in recluse
MY LORD, men, is like that sort of lantern which Your Lordship's most obliged, most obehides him who carries it, and serves only dient, and most humble servant, to pass through secret and gloomy paths of|
VOLUME THE THIRD.
TO THE RIGHT HON. HENRY BOYLE.*
1712. life. Your aversion to any ostentatious arts As the professed design of this work is to of setting to show those great services which entertain its readers in general, without you have done the public, has not likewise a giving offence to any particular person, it little contributed to that universal acknowwould be difficult to find out so proper a ledgment which is paid you by your counpatron for it as yourself, there being none try. whose merit is more universally acknow- The consideration of this part of your ledged by all parties, and who has made character, is that which hinders me from himself more friends, and fewer enemies. enlarging on those extraordinary talents Your great abilities and unquestioned in- which have given you so great a figure in tegrity, in those high employments which the British senate, as well as in that eleyou have passed through, t would not have gance and politeness which appear in your been able to have raised you this general more retired conversation. I should be unapprobation, had they not been accom- pardonable if, after what I have said, I panied with that moderation in a high for should longer detain you with an address of tune, and that affability of manners, which this nature: I cannot, however, conclude it, are so conspicuous through all parts of your without acknowledging those great obliga
tions which you have laid upon, * Youngest son of Charles Lord Clifford. He was
SIR, created Baron Charleton, in 1714; but dying, unmarried, Your most obedient humble servant, in 1725, the title died with him. † He was several years secretary of state during the
THE SPECTATOR, reign of Queen Avne.
VOLUME THE FOURTH.
TO THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH. My Lord,
1712. I shall not here presume to mention the As it is natural to have a fondness for illustrious passages of your life, which are what has cost us much time and attention celebrated by the whole age, and have been to produce, I hope your grace will forgive the subject of the most sublime pens; but if my endeavour to preserve this work from I could convey you to posterity in your prioblivion by affixing to it your memorable vate character, and describe the stature,
the behaviour, and aspect, of the Duke of
Marlborough, I question not but it would the most able and fortunate captain before fil the reader with more agreeable images, your time,declared he had lived long enough and give him a more delightful entertain- both to nature and to glory; and your grace Dent than what can be found in the follow- may make that reflection with much more ing or any other book.
justice. He spoke it after he had arrived One cannot indeed without offence to at empire by an usurpation upon those yourself observe, that you excel the rest of whom he had enslaved: but the Prince of mankind in the least, as well as the greatest Nindelheim* may rejoice in a sovereignty erdowments. Nor were it a circumstance which was the gift of him whose dominions to be mentioned, if the graces and attrac- he had preserved. tions of your person were not the only pre- Glory established upon the uninterrupted eminence you have above others, which is success of honourable designs and actions, left almost unobserved by greater writers. is not subject to diminution; nor can any
Yet how pleasing would it be to those attempts prevail against it, but in the proFho shall read the surprising revolutions in portion which the narrow circuit of rumour your story, to be made acquainted with bears to the unlimited extent of fame. your ordinary life and deportment! How We may congratulate your grace not only pleasing would it be to hear that the same upon your high achievements, but likewise man, who carried fire and sword into the upon the happy expiration of your com. countries of all that had opposed the cause mand, by which your glory is put out of of liberty, and struck a terror into the the power of fortune: and when your perarmies of France, had, in the midst of his son shall be so too, that the Author and high station, a behaviour as gentle as is Disposer of all things may place you in that isial in the first steps towards greatness! higher mansion of bliss and immortality And if it were possible to express that easy which is prepared for good princes, lawgrandeur, which did at once persuade and givers, and heroes, when he in his due time command, it would appear as clearly to removes them from the envy of mankind, these to come, as it does to his contempora- is the hearty prayer of, ries, that all the great events which were
MY LORD, brought to pass under the conduct of so Your Grace's most obedient, most devoted, Heli-governed a spirit, were the blessings
humble servant, of heaven upon wisdom and valour; and all
THE SPECTATOR. which seem adverse, fell out by divine permission, which we are not to search into.
* This title was conferred upon the Duke by the Em. You have passed that year of life wherein peror, after the battle of Hochstadt.
VOLUME THE FIFTH.
TO THE EARL OF WHARTON.
1712-13. who enjoys these several talents united, and The author of the Spectator, having pre- that too in as great perfection as others posfixed before each of his volumes the name sess them singly. "Your enemies acknowof some great persons to whom he has par- ledge this great extent in your lordship’s ticular obligations, lays his claim to your character, at the same time that they use lordship’s patronage upon the same ac- their utmost industry and invention to decount. I must confess, my lord, had not I rogate from it. But it is for your honour already received great instances of your that those who are now your enemies were favour, I should have been afraid of sub- always so. You have acted in so much conmitting a work of this nature to your peru-sistency with yourself, and promoted the sal
. You are so thoroughly acquainted with interests of your country in so uniform a the characters of men, and all the parts of manner, that even those who would misrehuman life, that it is impossible for the least present your generous designs for the public misrepresentation of them to escape your good, cannot but approve the steadiness and notice. It is your lordship's particular dis- intrepidity with which you pursue them. tinction that you are master of the whole It is a most sensible pleasure to me that I compass of business, and have signalized have this opportunity of professing myself pourself in all the different scenes of it. one of your great admirers, and in a very We admire some for
the dignity, others for particular manner, the popularity of their behaviour; some for
MY LORD, their clearness of judgment, others for their Your Lordship's most obliged, and happiness of expression; some for the lay- most obedient humble servant, ing of schemes, and others for the putting
THE SPECTATOR. them in execution. It is your lordship only
VOLUME THE SIXTH.
TO THE EARL OF SUNDERLAND.
1712-13. tates powerful or inconsiderable in Europe, VERY many favours and civilities (re- as they are friends or enemies to Great ceived from you in a private capacity) | Britain. The importance of those great which I have no other way to acknowledge, events which happened during that adwill, I hope, excuse this presumption; but ministration in which your lordship bore so the justice I, as a Spectator, owe your cha- important a charge, will be acknowledged racter, places me above the want of an as long as time shall endure. I shall not
Candour and openness of heart, therefore attempt to rehearse those illuswhich shine in all your words and actions, trious passages, but give this application a exact the highest esteem from all who have more private and particular turn, in desirthe honour to know you; and a winning ing your lordship would continue your facondescension to all subordinate to you, vour and patronage to me, as you are a made business a pleasure to those who ex- gentleman of the most polite literature, and ecuted it under you, at the same time that perfectly accomplished in the knowledge it heightened her majesty's favour to all of books* and men, which makes it necesthose who had the happiness of having it sary to beseech your indulgence to the folconveyed through your hands. A secretary lowing leaves, and the author of them, who of state, in the interest of mankind, joined is, with the greatest truth and respect, with that of his fellow-subjects, accom
MY LORD, plished with a great facility and elegance Your Lordship’s obliged, obedient, in all the modern as well as ancient lan
and humble servant, guages, was a happy and proper member
THE SPECTATOR. of a ministry, by whose services your sovereign is in so high and flourishing a condi
* His lordship was the founder of the splendid and tion, as makes all other princes and poten- truly valuable library at Althorp.
VOLUME THE SEVENTH.
TO MR. METHUEN.*
The great part you had, as British amIt is with great pleasure I take an oppor- bassador, in procuring and cultivating the tunity of publishing the gratitude I owe you advantageous commerce between the courts for the place you allow me in your friend- of England and Portugal, has purchased ship and familiarity. I will not acknow- you the lasting esteem of all who underledge to you that I have often had you in stand the interest of either nation. my thoughts, when I have endeavoured to Those personal excellencies which are draw, in some parts of these discourses, the overrated by the ordinary world, and too character of a good-natured, honest, and much neglected by wise men, you have apaccomplished gentleman. But such repre- plied with the justest skill and judgment. sentations give my reader an idea of a per- The most graceful address in horsemanson blameless only, or only laudable for ship, in the use of the sword, and in dancsuch perfections as extend no farther than ing, has been cmployed by you as lower to his own private advantage and reputa- arts; and as they have occasionally served tion.
to cover or introduce the talents of a skilBut when I speak of you, I celebrate one ful minister. who has had the happiness of possessing also But your abilities have not appeared only those qualities which make a man useful to in one nation. When it was your province to society, and of having had opportunities | act as her majesty's minister at the court of of exerting them in the most conspicuous Savoy, at that time encamped, you accommanner.
panied that gallant prince through all the
vicissitudes of his fortune, and shared by wards Sir Paul Methuen, K. B. He was several years which he recovered his capital. As far as
*Of Bishops.Canings, in the connty of Wilts; afer. his side the dangers of that glorious day in ambassador at the court of Lisbon, wisere he conducted himself with great ability.
lit regards personal qualities, you attained,
in that one hour, the highest military re- have at your table, your easy condescension putation. The behaviour of our minister in little incidents of mirth and diversion, in the action, and the good offices done the and general complacency of manners, are ranquished in the name of the Queen of far from being the greatest obligations we England, gave both the conqueror and the have to you. I do assure you, there is not captire the most lively examples of the one of your friends has a greater sense of courage and generosity of the nation he re- your merit in general, and of the favours presented.
you every day do us, than, Your friends and companions in your ab
SIR, sence frequently talk these things of you;
Your most obedient, and you cannot hide from us (by the most
and most humble servant, discreet silence in any thing which regards
RICHARD STEELE. yourself) that the frank entertainment we
VOLUME THE EIGHTH.
TO WILLIAM HONEYCOMB, ESQ. * The seven former volumes of the Spec- 1 their lives. But I need
not tell you that the tator having been dedicated to some of the free and disengaged behaviour of a fine most celebrated persons of the age, I take gentleman makes as many awkward beaux, leave to inscribe this eighth and last to you, as the easiness of your favourite hath made as to a gentleman who hath ever been am- insipid poets. bitious of appearing in the best company; At present you are content to aim all
You are now wholly retired from the your charms, at your own spouse, without busy part of mankind, and at leisure to re- farther thought of mischief to any others flect upon your past achievements; for of the sex. I know you had formerly which reason I look upon you as a person a very great contempt for that pedantic very well qualified for a dedication. race of mortals who call themselves philo
I may possibly disappoint my readers, sophers; and yet, to your honour be it and yourself too, if I do not endeavour on spoken, there is not a sage of them all could this occasion to make the world acquainted have better acted up to their precepts in with your virtues. And here, sir, I shall one of the most important points of life: I Dot compliment you upon your birth, per- mean, in that generous disregard of popuson, or fortune; nor on any other the like lar opinion which you showed some years perfections which you possess, whether you ago, when you chose for your wife an ob will or no; but shall only touch upon those scure young woman, who doth not indeed which are of your own acquiring, and in pretend to an ancient family, but has cerwhich every one must allow you have a tainly as many forefathers as any lady in real merit.
the land, if she could but reckon up their Your janty air and easy motion, the vo- names. lubility of your discourse, the suddenness I must own I conceived very extraordiof your laugh, the management of your nary hopes of you from the moment that souff-box, with the whiteness of your hands you confessed your age, and from eightand teeth (which have justly gained you and-forty (where you had stuck so many the envy of the most polite part of the years) very ingeniously stepped into your male world, and the love of the greatest grand climacteric. Your deportment has beauties in the female) are entirely to be since been very venerable and becoming. ascribed to your own personal genius and if I am rightly informed, you make a reapplication.
gular appearance every quarter-sessions You are formed for these accomplish- among your brothers of the quorum; and ments by a happy turn of nature, and have if things go on as they do, stand fair for finished yourself in them by the utmost im- being a colonel of the militia. I am told provements of art. A man that is defective that your time passes aw as agreeably in either of these qualifications (whatever in the amusements of a country life, as it may be the secret ambition of his heart) ever did in the gallantries of the town; and must never hope to make the figure you that you now take as much pleasure in the have done, among the fashionable part of planting of young trees, as you did formerly his species. It is therefore no wonder we see in the cutting down of your old ones. In such multitudes of aspiring young men fall short, we hear from all hands that you are short of you in all these beauties of your thoroughly reconciled to your dirty acres, character, notwithstanding the study and and have not too much wit to look into your practice of them is the whole business of own estate.
After having spoken thus much of my * Generally supposed to be Col. Cleland. patron, I must take the privilege of an au