Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

as yourself, there being none whose merit is more universally acknowledged by all parties, and who has made himself more friends, and fewer enemies. Your great abilities, and unquestioned integrity, in those high employments which you have passed through, would not have been able to have raised you this general approbation, had they not been accompanied with that moderation in an high fortune, and that affability of manners, which are so conspicuous through all parts of

your

life. Your averfion to any oftentatious arts of setting to show those great services which you have done the publick, , has not likewise a little contributed to that uni. versal acknowledgement which is paid you by your country. The confideration of this

part
of
your

character, is that which hinders me from enlarging on those extraordinary talents, which have given you so great a figure in the British senate, as well as in that elegance and politeness which appear in your more retired conversation. I should be unpardonable if, after what I have said, I should longer detain you with an address of this nature : I cannot, however, conclude it without acknowledging those great obligations which you have laid upon, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant, The SPECTATOR.

LETTER

L ET TER CCCCXIV *.
To the Duke of MARLBOROUGH t.

[ocr errors]

A

[ocr errors]

MY LORD,

[1712.] s it is natural to have a fondness for what has coft us much time and attention to

produce, * Prefixed to the fourth volume of “ The Spectator.” See a former letter to the Duke, p. 322.

† John Churchill, eldest son of Sir Winstan Churchill, of Wooten-Baffet, in the county of Wilts, was born June 24, 1650. The Duke of York obtained for him an enfigncy in the guards fo early as 1666; and a company of grenadiers, under the Duke of Monmouth, in 1672, at the fiege of Maestricht. On his return, he was appointed a lieutenant-colonel, a gentleman of the bed. chamber, and master of the robes to the Duke of York. Attending the Duke into Scotland, he had a regiment of dragoons; and was created Baron of Aymouth in that kingdom, Dec. 1, 1682. King James, on his accession, appointed him gentleman of the bedchamber, captain of a troop of his life-guard ; and created him Baron Churchill of Sandridge, May 14, 1685. At the Revolution, he was continued gentleman of the bed-chamber; sworn of the privy

Feb. 6, 1688-9; created Earl of Marlborough, April 9, 1689; the same year was commander of the English forces in Flanders, and in 1690 had the same employment in Ireland. He was, notwithstanding, dismissed from the King's service, and even committed to the Tower on suspicion of a plot. On the death of Queen Mary, he was recalled to the privy council; and appointed, June 19, 1698, governor to the Duke of Gloucester, with this extraordinary compliment from the King, “ My " Lord, make him but what you are, and my nephew will be all 56 I wish to see him.” He was three times one of the lords jus. tices in the King's absence; and, in 1701, commander in chief of the English forces in Holland, and ambassador extraordinary to the States General. King William having warınly recommended him to the Princess Anne, he was, about a week after her Majesty's acceffion, elected Knight of the Garter; and, soon after,

appointed

produce, I hope your Grace will forgive my endeavour to preserve this work from oblivion, by affixing to it your memorable name.

I shall not here presume to mention the illustrious passages of your life, which are celebrated by the whole age, and have been the subject of the most sublime pens; but if I could convey you to posterity in your private character, and describe the stature, the behaviour, and aspect, of the Duke of Marlborough, I question not but it would fill the reader with more agreeable images, and give him a more delightful entertainment than what can be found in the follow. ing, or any other book.

One cannot indeed without offence to your. self observe, that you excel the rest of man

appointed captain-general of all the forces, and ambassador to The States. In 1702, he commanded the army in Flanders ; and, at his return, was created, Dec. 22, Marquis of Blandford and Duke of Marlborough. In 1704, in consequence of the memorable victory at Hock sted, he was appointed a Prince of the Empire ; and had Mildenheim afsigned for his principality, Nov. 12, 1705. On the 19th of January, 1710-11, finding the Queen's prepoffefsion against his Duchess could not be overcome, he carried a surrender of all her places to her Majesty; and was himself dismissed, Dec. 30, 1711. Upon the Earl of Godolphin's death, resolving to quit this kingdom, he embarked at Dover, Nov. 14, 1712; and the Duchess followed himn in February. On the accession of King George I. he returned to London, Aug. 4, 1714; and was again, Sept. 24, appointed captain-general of the land forces, master-general of the ordnance, and colonel of the first regiment of foot, guards. He died at Windsor Lodge, June 16, 1722, in the 72d year of his age, and was buried with great solemnity in Westmin. fter-abbey.

kind in the least, as well as the greatest endowments. Nor were it a circumstance to be mentioned, if the graces and attractions of your perfon were not the only pre-eminence you have above others, which is left, almost, unobserved by greater writers.

Yet how pleafing would it be to those who shall read the surprising revolutions in your story, to be made acquainted with your ordinary life and deportment ! How pleasing would it be to hear that the same man, who had carried fire and sword into the countries of all that had opposed the cause of liberty, and struck a terror into the armies of France, had, in the midst of his high station, a behaviour as gentle as is usual in the first steps towards greatness! And if it were poffible to express that easy grandeur, which did at once persuade and command; it , would appear as clearly to those to come, as it does to his contemporaries, that all the great events which were brought to pass under the conduct of so well-governed a spirit, were the blessings of Heaven upori wisdom and valour; and all which seem adverse fell out by divine permission, which we are not to search into.

You have passed that year of life wherein the most able and fortunate Captain, before your time, declared he had lived enough both to nature and to glory; and your Grace may make that reflection with much more justice. He spoke

.

it after he had arrived at empire by an usurpation upon those whom he had enslaved; but the Prince of Mildenheim may rejoice in a sovereignty which was the gift of him whose dominions he had preserved.

Glory established upon the uninterrupted success of honourable designs, and actions, is not subject to diminution; nor can any attempts prevail against it, but in the proportion which the narrow circuit of rumour bears to the unliinited extent of fame.

We may congratulate your Grace not only upon your high atchievements, but likewise upon the happy expiration of your command, by which your glory is put out of the power of Fortune : and when your person shall be so too, that the Author and Disposer of all things may place you in that higher mansion of bliss and immortality which is prepared for good princes, law.givers, and heroes, when he in his due time removes them from the envy of mankind, is the hearty prayer of, my Lord, your Grace's most obedient, most devoted, humble servant,

THE SPECTATOR.

LETTER

« НазадПродовжити »