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mortuis ad vivos provocari, tibique pro tribunali fisti ; ut poft nostri seculi ineptias, et inep. tos, illas explosas, hos sepultos, non etiam defint, quas explodas, quos fepelias: eum nempe volo Magnæ Britanniæ Censorem, qui non folùm in præsentem sed et præteritas ætates ultrò citróque jus censoriæ authoritatis exerceat.
Nolim autem mihi id vitio verti, quòd Theologos hic in medium protraham, et deridendos propinem. Cum enim Theologia omnium Difciplinarum Regina ab ipso Numine jus in se derivaverit, procul abfit, ut illius cultores despicatui habeam, ut potiùs ex omni non modò Republicâ, sed ex finibus humanæ naturæ exterminandos arbitrer, quotquot Theologiam aut ejus Ministros divino illo jure ac dignitate spoliare contendunt. Si aliter sentirem, næ tuum patrocinium defugissem, Vir Integerrime, cui curæ fuit, ut morum bonorum ac pietatis jura sarta ac tecta ab omni piaculo conservares. At verò credo me culpam minimè commeruiffe, fi eos infecter, qui majori ignorantiâ an malitiâ freti in Theologiam involant; qui venerabili Theologiæ gradu, et optimis beneficiis tumidi, novis, et hactenus inauditis opinionibus, Reipublicæ ftatum convellunt ; qui eò quòd Theologorum titulo inagis quàm meritis ornentur, ideo tantum fibi arrogant, ut omnem abjiciant ac relinquant obedientiam, ne modò rationi paseant, cui ipsâ naturæ lege subjecti sunt; qui
pro Magistrali suâ dignitate in cunctos inferiores ferulam vibrant; quíque longo quantumvis toga syrmate ferocientes pallium tamen brevius indui debuerunt, quo minùs incautos fallant.
Hujusmodi Theologos tanto quod per summum decus usurpaverunt nomine exui, et loco moveri dignos in conspectum adduxi, Lepidifsime Morum Caftigator, ut ab omnibus publi. citus exibilentur. Hanc ineptiarum farraginem duxi nunquam commodiùs extrudi poffe, quàm cum Natio in risum prona, morionibus et nugis magis impensè delectetur. Nationis equidem patientiam nequeo non obiter suspicere, et mecum ftomachari, quæ libellos istos quotidie impune libertate plusquam vernili vagantes, affaniis puris putis refertos, legere sustineat ; ferátque illud Observatorum, Revisorum et cæterorum scurraruin vulgus, vocibus nonnisi Barbaris efferendum. Ætas profectò Censore digniffima, qui hanc effrænem scribendi licentiam virgâ notet, , et reprimat; iftósque nugatores, nifi inter vivos * mwrari ulteriùs definant, ad Vespillones damnet! Age, Vir insignissime; prodeat tandem tamdiu defideratus tuarum lucubrationum liber, facundo illo filentii, quod in ipfis tam disertè expreslifti, præconio celebrandus. Ex illis discant Lectores scriptorésque, illi quid legi, hi quid scribi potiffimum cum fructu non
* Sueton. in Vit, Neron. Claud. cap. 33.
minori quàm voluptate deceat. Interea dum illas expectamus, præludant Ha obscurorum Epistola *, quarum elaborata barbaries, et folæcismi, legentem in cachinnos solvant, et quicquid ridiculi vanæque levitatis in pectore refidet, adeo exhauriant, ut ad tuas poftea Lucubrationes perlegendas, animus defæcatior, et à nugis expurgatior accedat: quippe medici so. lent corpus ægrum medicamentis purgare, quò meliùs ad victum falubriorem sumendum preparetur. Denique obscuri isti homunciones, quibus nil quicquam vixit insulfius, longo post tempore jam tandem refipiscunt; famam, quam olim non potuerunt, conantur nunc aucupari ; à coætaneis suis audiri vix meruerunt, nunc in fpem et lectores et emptores fibi conciliandi veniunt: vivi pro mortuis meritò habebantur; mortui verò nunc vivere et inclarescere incipient, ubi primùm eorum Epistolæ nomine tuo infignitæ præfulgebunt.
Vale, Vir Eruditiffime; noftrisque moribus diu ac feliciter consule.
* “ The purpose of the work,” says Steele, Tatler, No 197, “ is fignified in the dedication, in very elegant language, and “ fine raillery. It seems this is a collection of letters which “ some profound blockheads, who lived before our timnes, have “ written in honour of each other, and for their mutual infor. “ mation in each other's absurdities. They are mostly of the « German nation, whence, from time to time, inundations of “ writers have Aowed, more pernicious to the learned world, " than the swarms of Goths and Vandals to the publick.”
LETTER CCCXCIII *.
To WILLIAM Lord CowPER, Baron of Winghamt. MY LORD,
[1710). FTER having long celebrated the fupe
rior graces and excellencies anong men, in an imaginary character, I do myself the honour to fhew my veneration for transcendent merit under my own name, in this address to your Lordship. The just application of thofe high accomplishments of which you are master, has been an advantage to all your fellow-subjects; and it is from the common obligation you have laid upon all the world, that I, though a private man, can pretend to be affected with, or
* Prefixed to the third volume of “ The Tatler."
† William Cowper, esq. soon after being called to the bar, was appointed one of King William's counsel ; -he succeeded Sir Nathan Wright, as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Oct. 11, 1705 ; was created Baron Cowper of Wingham, Nov. 9, 1706; and appointed Lord Chancellor, May 4, 1707 ; which poft he held till Sept. 25, 1710. On the accession of King George, he was appointed again Lord Chancellor, Sept. 21, 1714 ; and, on resigning the great seal, was created Earl Cowper, and Viscount Fordwich, March 18, 1717-18. He generously declined accepta ing New-years-gifts from the counsellors at law, which had been long given to his predecessors; and, what is still more to his honour, foresaw and opposed the destructive measures of the Southfea bubble in 1720. He died O&t. 10, 1723. It is recorded, and ought always to be mentioned to the honour of Lord Cowper, that when he was Chancellor, though in friendship with the Duke of Marlborough, and of the same political principles, he nobly refused, and persisted in his refusal, to put the broad seal of his office to a tremendous commission for making his Grace Generalifimo for life.
take the liberty to acknowledge, your great ta. lents and public virtues.
It gives a pleasing prospect to your friends, that is to say, to the friends of your country, that you have passed through the highest offices, at an age when others usually do but form to themselves the hopes of them. They may expect to see you in the House of Lords as many years as you were ascending to it. It is our common good, that your admirable eloquence can now no longer be employed, but in the exprefsion of your own sentiments and judgement. The skilful pleader is now for ever changed into the just judge; which latter character your Lordship exerts with so prevailing an impartiality, that
you win the approbation even of those who difsent from you; and you always obtain favour, because you are never moved by it.
This gives you a certain dignity peculiar to your present situation *, and makes the equity, even of a Lord High Chancellor, appear but a degree towards the magnanimity of a Peer of Great-Britain.
Forgive me, my Lord, when I cannot conceal from you, that I shall never hereafter behold you, but I shall behold you, as lately, de-, fending the brave and the unfortunate up.
* He had just resigned the office of Lord Chancellor.
+ The brave means the Duke of Marlborough. But who was the unfortunate?