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quered : till you were placed at the head of armies, the Confederates seemed contented to shew France that she could not overcome Europe; but it entered not into the heart of man, that the rest of Europe could conquer France. When I have said this, my Lord, there arise in my soul so many instances of your having been the ministering angel in the cause of Liberty, that my heart Hags, as if it expected the lash of Slavery, when the sword is taken out of his hand who defended me and all men from it. Believe me, Immortal Sir, you have a slighter loss in this change of your condition than any other man in England. Your actions have exalted you to be the chief of your species; and a continued chain of successes, resulting from wise counsels, have denominated you the first of mankind in the age which was blessed with your birth. Enjoy what it is not in the
power of fate itself to take from
of your past actions. Past actions make up present glory. It is in the power of mortals to be thankless to you for doing them ; but it is not in their power to take from you that you have done them. It is in the power of man to make your services ineffectual in consequences to your country; but it is not in their power to make them inglorious to yourself. Be not therefore you concerned ; but let us lament, who may suffer by your removal. Your glory is auga
mented by comparison of your merit to the reward it meets with : but the honour of your country
It is as impossible to do you dishonour, as to recall yesterday; your character is indelible in the book of fame: and though, after a few turbulent years, it will be said of us, the rest of mankind, "they were ;" it will be to the end of timę said, “ Marlborough is.” My Lord, you are possessed of all the English glory of the whole age in which you live; and all who shall be transmitted to posterity, must pass down only memorable, as they have exerted themselves in concert with you, or against you, with endless honour as your friends, infamy as your enemies. The brightest circumstance that can be related of the Queen herself will be, it was she for whom Marlborough conquered. Since it is thus, my Lord, if even the glorious edifice which your country decreed should be erected to perpetuate your memory, stand unfinished, let it stand so a monument of the instability of human affairs. Your glory is not changed be. cause the rest of mankind are changeable. It is not your fault that other generals have received a greater reward for escaping your valour, than you have for making them fly before it.
Had it pleased God that we had lost you by your mortality, the greatest man next to you
would have had the mitigation of his inferior desert, that the same age could not produce such another : but how will he do to avert the eyes of all mankind, upon all exigencies, from looking towards you yet living?
My noble Lord, be convinced that you cannot be disgraced ; that your stand in human life is immutable; that your glory is as impaffive as the fame of him who died a thousand years ago. Whence is it that we thus love you, that we thus honour you? It is from the very qualities which lay you open to the assaults of your enemies. That sweet complacency, that admirable fpirit, which is so tempered for the arts of common life, makes us lose our wonder in love. Is that amiable man, with that easy gesture, that gentle, beseeching mien, the man terrible in battle, the scourge of tyrants? My Lord Marlborough, do not think there are not men who can see your several accoinplishments, your excellencies, that expose you to the possibility of being ill-treated. We understand you too well not to fee, and to thank you, that you come home, as if you had never heard the acclamations of the universe ; that your modesty and resignation have made your transcendent, your heroic, your god-like virtue, capable of being blended in society with other men. And, my Lord, do you think we can let that virtue bę dangerous to you, which only makes your other
qualities not dangerous to us ? Accept, O familiar, O amiable, O glorious man, the thanks of every generous, every honest man, in GreatBritain. Go on in your easy mien of life, be contented we see you, we admire you, we love you the inore. While you are, what you cannot cease to be, that mild virtue is your armour; the shameless ruffian that should attempt to sully it, would find his force against it as detestable as the strength of a ravisher in the violation of chastity, the testimonies of a perjured man confronting truth, or clamour drowning the voice of innocence. I am, my Lord, your grateful fellow-subject, and faithful friend,
L ET TER CCCC t.
To Lord SOMERS I.
[1711-12]. 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.
* Should it be said, this is a name which Steele was not likely to have adopted; let it be remembered, that he published the letter as his own in his “ Political Writings."
+ Prefixed to the first volume of “ The Spectator.”
| This distinguished Lawyer was born at Worcester in 1652. He was first taken notice of at the trial of the Seven Bishops, for whom he was one of the counsel. See p. 324.
None but a person of a finished character can be the 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 publick 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
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
* Mr. Walpole, for one, has done them juftice, in his “ Ca. “ talogue of Royal and Noble Authors."