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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 fay 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, * This most dangerous day was June 29, 1688, the very day on which the Seven Bishops, who had been committed to the Tower by that wicked chancellor, Jefferys, for modestly petitioning King James II. to excuse them from reading his declaration of his dispensing power in matters of religion, were tried in Westminster-hall, and acquitted, to the universal joy of the nation. In this famous trial, our Author's patron, then only Mr. Somers, was one of the learned counsel for the bihops, and, for his noble defence of thofe prelates, who were then generally styled the seven golden candlesticks, he was, by King William, made Solicitor-general, May 7, 1689; then Attorney-general, May 2, 1692, and knighted ; and Lord Keeper, 1693. April 21, 1697, he was created Lord Somers, Baron of Evelham, and made Lord Chancellor of England; from which poft he was removed in 1700, and in 1700 impeached by the Commons, but acquitted on his trial by the Lords. He then retired to his ftudies, and was chosen President of the Royal Society. Ia 1706, he projected the Union. In 1708, Queen Anne made him Lord President of the Privy Council ; but, on the change of her ministry in 1910, he was also displaced. Towards the latter end of the Queen's reign he grew very infirm; which probably was the reason why he had no other post than a seat at the council-table at the accession of King George I. He died of an apoplectic fit, April 26, 1926, after having for some time
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 publick has received from your administration, would be a more proper work for an hiftory, than for an address of this nature.
Your Lordship appears as great in your private life, as in the moft important offices which you have borne. I would, therefore, rather choose to speak of the pleasure you afford all who are admitted into your conversation, of your elegant taste in all the polite parts 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, inost obedient, humble servant,
unfortunately survived the powers of his understanding. This letter of Steele gives a lively sketch of his character; but surely no man's was ever better depicted by a pen than this nobleman's is by Mr. Addison in that admirable paper, intituled, “ The * Freeholder,” published on the 4th of May (the day of his Lordship’s interment), to which the curious are referred. His writings are too well known to need enumeration.
usually mentioned as one of the strongest motives to affection and esteem ; but the paffionate veneration I have for your Lordship, I think, flows from an admiration of qualities in
* In a note on a former epistle to this nobleman, p. 308, this further acccount of him was promised.
Mr. Charles Montague, grandson to an Earl of Manchester, was taken much notice of at Cambridge, for his “ City and “ Country Mouse,” a satire on Mr. Dryden. Being brought to Court at the Revolution, he was constituted one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, March 2, 1691-2; Chancellor of the Exchequer, in May 1694. The coin being exceedingly debased and diminished, he formed the design of calling in the money, and re-coining it, in 1695; which was effected in two years : to supply the immediate want of cash, he projected the issuing of Exchequer bills. For this service, he had the thanks of the House of Commons in 1697. He was next year appointed First Lord Commissioner of the Treasury; and, resigning that post in June 1700, obtained a grant of the office of Auditor of the receipt of the Exchequer; and the same year, Dec. 13, was created Baron Halifax.' On the accession of King George I. he was a member of the regency; was appointed First Lord Com. missioner of the Treasury, Oct. 5, 1714; created Viscount Sunbury and Earl of Halifax, Oct. 15; and died May 15, 1715." Addison has celebrated this Lord in his Account of the great" est English Poets. Steele has drawn his character in the seós cond volume of the Spectator, and in the fourth of the Tatler; “ but Pope, in the portrait of Bufo, in the Epiftle to Arbuth
not, has returned the ridicule which his Lordship, in conjunc“tion with Prior, had heaped on Dryden's Hind and Panther." Walpole's Catalogue, vol. II. p. 116.
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 filent and unobserved in public meetings, you are admired by all that approach you as the life and genius of the conversation. What an 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 learn. ing 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 the active part of mankind. Knowledge of books in recluse men, is like that sort of lantern which hides him who carries it, and serves only to pass through secret and gloomy paths of his own; but, in the possession of a man of business, it is as a torch in the hand of one who is willing and able to shew those who were bewildered, the way which leads to their prosperity and welfare. rous concern for your country, and a passion for every thing which is truly great and noble,
* This Letter was originally prefixed to the second volume of " The Spectator.”
are what actuate all your life and actions ; and I hope you will forgive me that I have an ambition this book may be placed in the library of so good a judge of what is valuable, in that library where the choice is such, that it will not be a disparagement to be the meanest author in it. Forgive me, my Lord, for taking this occafion of telling all the world how ardently I love and honour you; and that I am, with the utmost gratitude for all your favours, my Lord, your Lordship's most obliged, most obedient, and most humble servant, THE SPECTATOR.
To Mr. POPE. DEAR SIR,
Jan. 20,1711-12. HAVE received your very kind letter.
That part of it which is grounded upon your belief that I have much affection and friendship for you, I receive with great plea , sure. That which acknowledges the honour done to your “ Effay* " I have no pretence to; it was written by one whom I will make you acquainted with, which is the best return I can make to you for your favour to, Sir, your moft obliged humble servant, Rich, STEELE.
* This relates to the Spectator, No CCLIII. which was written by Addison, and pays a handsome compliment to Pope's Essay on Criticism.”