Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

S T E E L E's

LETTERS TO HIS FRIENDS.

LETTER CCCLXXXV.
To the Right Honourable the Lord Cutts*,

Colonel of his Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of
Guards, &c.

MY LORD, Tower Guard, March 23, 1701. HE address of the following papers is so very much due to your Lordship, that

they John Lord Cutts, a soldier of most hardy bravery in King William's wars, was a younger son of Richard Cutts, esq. of an ancient and distinguished family, settled about the time of Henry VI. at Matching in Essex, where they had considerable property. His father removed to Childerley in Cambridgeshire, on a good estate being given him by Sir John Cutts, bart. who died with out issue.

This estate, after the decease of an elder brother, de. volved on John; who fold it, to pay incumbrances, to equip himself as a foldier, and to enable himself to travel. After an academical education at Cambridge, he entered early into the fervice of che D. of Monmouth, and followed his fortunes abroad; was aid-de-camp to the Duke of Lorrain in Hungary, and fignalized himself in a very extraordinary manner at the taking of Buda by the Imperialists in 1686; which important place had been for near a century and a half in the hands of the Turks. Mr. Addison, in a Latin poem worthy of the Augustan age, plainly hints at Mr. Cutts's distinguished bravery at that siege. He was afterwards colonel of a regiment in Holland under the

States,

T 4

that they are but ä mere report of what has
paffed upon my guard to my commander, for

they

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

States, and accompanied King William to England, who conti-
nued his favour towards him, and created him baron Cutts of
Gowran in Ireland, Dec. 6, 1690. He was appointed Governor
of the Isle of Wight, April 14, 1693 ; made a major-general ;
and, when the assassination project was discovered, 1695-6, was
captain of the King's guard. He was twice married; first, to
Elizabeth, daughter of George Clark of London, merchant
(relict of John Morley, of Glynd, in Sussex, and after, of John
Trevor, efq. eldest brother to the first Lord Trevor). This lady
died in Feb. 1692; and that same year he had both his legs hurt
in the battle of Steenkirk. His second wife, an amiable young
woman, dying in 1697 at the age of 18, was celebrated in an
admirable fermon by Atterbury. In 1695, and the three fol.
lowing parliaments, he was regularly elected one of the repre.
sentatives both for the county of Cambridge, and for the borough
of Newport in the Isle of Wight; but made his election for the
former. In two parliaments which followed (1702 and 1705)
he represented Newport. In 1698 he was complimented by Mr.
John Hopkins, as one to whom “a double crown was due,” as
a hero and as a poet. In 1699, he is thus introduced in a com-
pliment to King William on his conquefts :

“ The warlike Cutts the welcome tidings brings,
“ The true best servant of the best of kings;
“ Cutts, whose known worth no herald needs proclaim,

“ His wounds and his own worth can speak his fame.”
He was colonel of the Coldstream, or second regiment of
guards, in 1701; when Steele, who was indebted to his inte.
relt for a military commission, inscribed to him his first work,
“ The Christian Hero." On the accession of Queen Anne, he
was made a lieutenant-general of the forces in Holland. Feb.
13, 1702-3, he was appointed commander in chief of the Englih
forces on the continent during the absence of the Duke of Marl-
borough; commander in chief of the forces in Ireland, under
the Duke of Ormond, March 23, 1704-5; and afterwards one
of the lords justices of that kingdom, to keep him out of the way
of action, a circumstance which broke his heart. He died at

Dublin,

.

they were writ upon duty, when the mind was
perfectly disengaged, and at leisure, in the filent

watch
Dublin, Jan. 26, 1706-7, and was buried there in the cathedral
of Christ-church. He was a person of eminent natural parts,
well cultivated by study and conversation; of a free, unreserved
temper; and of undaunted bravery and resolution. As he was
a fervant to Queen Mary when Princess of Orange, and learned
the trade of war under her Consort, he was early devoted to them
both, and a warm supporter of the Revolution. He was an
absolute stranger to fear; and, on all occasions, gave distin-
guishing proofs of his intrepidity, particularly at the fiege
of Limerick in 1691, at the memorable attack of the castle
of Namur in 1695, and at the siege of Venlo in 1702.
Macky says of him, in 1703, “ He hath abundance of wit, but

too much seized with vanity and felf-conceit; he is affable, “ familiar, and very

brave. Few considerable actions happened “ in this as well as the last war, in which he was not, and hath “ been wounded in all the actions where he ferved; is esteemed “to be a mighty vigilant officer, and for putting the military or“ ders in execution; he is pretty tall, lufty, well-shaped, and

an agreeable companion ; hath great revenues, yet so very ex“pensive, as always to be in debt; towards fifty years old.” Swift, in a MS. note on Macky, calls him, with his usual laconic cruelty, “ The vainest old fool alive.” He wrote a poem on the death of Queen Mary; and published, in 1687, “Poetical Exercises, written upon several Occasions, and dedic “cated to her Royal Highness Mary Princess of Orange; li“censed March 23, 1686-7, Roger L'Estrange." It contains, besides the dedication figned “ J. Cutts,” verses to that Princess ; a poem on Wisdom; another to Mr. Waller on his commending it ; seven more copies of verses (one of them called “ La Muse “ Cavalier,” which had been ascribed to Lord Peterborough, and as such mentioned by Mr. Walpole in the list of that nobleman's writings), and eleven fongs; the wbole composing but a very thin volume; which is by no means so scarce as Mr. Walpole supposes it to be. The author speaks of having more pieces by him. A. specimen of his poctry (of which the five first lines are quoted by Steele in his fifth Tatler) is added in the following page :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« Only

[ocr errors]

watch of the night, to run over the busy dream
of the day; and the vigilance which obliges us.
to suppose an enemy always near us, has awak-
ened a sense that there is a restless and subtle
one which constantly attends our steps and me-
ditates our ruin *.

Thoughts of this nature a man may with
freedom acknowledge to your Lordship, who

“ Only tell her that I love,

Leave the rest to her and Fate ;
Some kind planet from above
May perhaps her pity move ;

Lovers on their stars must wait;
Only tell her that I love.
Why, oh, why should I despair ?

Mercy's pi&tur’d in her eye:
If she once vouchsafe to hear,
Welcome Hope, and welcome Fear.

She's too good to l'et me die ;

Why, oh, why should I despair :"
* “ Being thoroughly convinced,” he says, “ of many things,
“ of which he often repented, and which he more often repeated,
“ he writ, for his own private use, a little book, called, “The
“ Christian Hero,' with a design principally to fix upon his own
“mind a strong impression of virtue and religion, in opposition
“ to a stronger propenfity towards unwarrantable pleasures. This
“ secret admonition was too weak; he therefore printed the
“ book with his name, in hopes that a standing testimony against
“ himself, and the eyes of the world (that is to say, of his ac-
“ quaintance) upon him in a new light, might curb his desires,
" and make him ashamed of understanding and seeming to feel,
“ what was virtuous, and living so quite contrary a life. This
“had no other good effect, but that from being thought no un-
“ delightful companion, he was foon reckoned a disagreeable
“ fellow. One or two of his acquaintance thought fit tu misuse
“ him, and try their valour upon him; and every body he knew
measured the least levity in his words and actions with the .
" character of a Christian Hero." Apology, p. 296.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

]

0

have ever been so far from running into the fafhionable vice of exploding religion, that your early valour first appeared against the profeffed eneinies of Christianity; and Buda had transmitted you to late posterity, but that you yourself have obliterated your part in that glorious scene by the fresher memory of you at Limerick and Namur.

With one honest purpose of life, and constant service of one interest and one cause, in what country have you not fought? in what field have you not bled? But I know I here offend you, nor will you allow warmth in commendation to be like a friend ; but if, my Lord, to speak you generous, honest, and brave, be not friendly, I do assure you it is the only thing I will ever do in common with your enemies.

I said your enemies; but if there are any who have ignorance or malice enough to be such, their little hates must be lost in the distinction the better world allow you; and that county (whose discerning is refined by a learned and elegant university) has done you so great an honour in making you unanimously their representative in parliament, that they who would oppose your reputation, do but confess they are unacquainted with what passes in the world, and strangers to the residence of knowledge and irtue. It was there you received those rudime

* Cambridgeshire ; fee p. 275.

« НазадПродовжити »