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Your Lordship is produced by Providence, in an ample and flowing fortune, to make a stand for honesty, and to preserve the names of virtue and honour from oblivion. Whoever 'has ex. erted himself for the publick, has at your house a friend and a bencfactor : diftinctions are there made by the rule of reason and justice; a young and noble heart, generously disposed by Nature, and fortified by letters, can determine, in spite of prevailing fashion to the contrary, that good and evil are really distinct confiderations, and that “to distinguish virtuous men is the best “ knowledge of the world.”
I could give a thousand instances of your Lordship's great humanity this way, and of your having attained in your first years to be “the terror of ill, and the refuge of good men.” What can fondness itself wish more for a man, than to have wealth, and the best sense in the use of it; than to be elegantly delightful, artlessly eloquent, discreetly fincere, and judicioufly bountiful? Your Lordship will be transmitted to futurity by the professors of those liberal arts you protect and encourage. The prefent I now make you can give me no opportunity to endeavour that way. But, as these occasional writings are arguments against the incursions made upon our liberty, and written even when those innovations were first attempted; I humbly desire your Lordshiy's protection
to them and their author, who is, with the utmost integrity, my Lord, your Lordship’s most obliged, most obedient, and most humble fervant,
L ET TER CCCCXLV *.
To Sir SAMUEL GARTH T.
(1715). S soon as I thought of making the Lover
a present to one of my friends, I resolved, without farther distracting my choice, to send ir TO THE BEST-NATURED MAN. You are so universally known for this character, that an epistle so directed would find its way to you without your name, and I believe nobody but you yourself would deliver such a superscription to any other person.
* Prefixed to an edition of The Lover and Reader," in 12 mo, 1715.
+ Dr. Samuel Garth, the celebrated author of “ The Difpen. " fary.”—The first edition of this admirable poem came out in 1694; and went through three impressions in a few months. This extraordinary encouragement put him upon making several improvements in it; and in 1706 he published a fourth edition, with several additions. Major Pack observes, that “ The Dispensary had lost and gained in every
edition ; almost
every “ thing that Sir Samuel left out being a robbery from the pub“ lick, whilft every thing that he added was an embellishment "s to his poem.” On the accession of King George I. he had the honour of being knighted with the Duke of Marlborough's Tword. He died Jan. 18, 1718-19.
This propensity is the nearest a kin to love ; and good nature is the worthiest affection of the mind, as love is the noblest passion of it: while the latter is wholly employed in endeavouring to make happy one fingle object, the other diffufes its benevolence to all the world.
As this is your natural bent, I cannot but congratulate to you the singular felicity that your profession is fo agrecable to your temper. For what condition is inore defirable than a constant impulse to relieve the distressed, and a capacity to adminifter that relief? When the fick man hangs his eye on that of his physician, how pleasing must it be to speak comfort to his anguish, to raise in him the first motions of hope, to lead him into a persuafion that he shall return to the company of his friends, the care of his family, and all the blessings of being ?
The manner in which you practise this hea. venly faculty of aiding human life, is according to the liberality of science, and demonstrates that your heart is more fet upon doing good than growing rich.
The pitiful artifices which empiricks are guilty of to drain cash out of valetudinarians, are the abhorrence of your generous mind ; and it is as common with Garth to supply indigent pa. tients with money for food, as to receive it from wealthy ones for phyfick. How much more amiable, Sir, would the generosity which is al
ready applauded by all that know you, appear to those whose gratitude you every day refuse, if they knew that you resist their presents left you should supply those whose wants you know, by taking from those with whose necessities you are unacquainted ?
The families you frequent receive you as their friend and well-wisher, whose concern, in their behalf, is as great as that of those who are rea lated to them by the ties of blood and the sanctions of affinity. This tenderness interrupts the satisfactions of conversation, to which you are so happily turned; but we forgive you that our. mirth is often infipid to you, while you fit absent to what passes amongst us from your care of such as languish in fickness. We are sensible their distresses, instead of being removed by company, return more strongly to your imagination by comparison of their condition to the jollities of health.
But I forget I am writing a dedication; and in an address of this kind, it is more usual to celebrate mens great talents, than those virtues to which such talents ought to be subservient ; yet where the bent of a man's spirit is taken up in the application of his whole force to serve the world in his profession, it' would be frivolous not to entertain him rather with thanks for what he is, than applauses for what he is capable of being. Besides, Sir, there is no room for say
ing any thing to you, as you are a man of wit, and a great poet; all that can be spoken that is worthy an ingenuous spirit, in the celebration of such faculties, has been incomparably said by yourself to others, or by others to you: you have never been excelled in this kind but by those who have written in praise of you : I will not pretend to be your rival even with such an advantage over you; but, assuring you, in Mr. Codrington's words *, that I do not know whether my love or admiration is greater, I remain, Sir, your most faithful friend, and most obliged, humble servant,
ORIGINAL PREFACE + to “The Drummer," 1775.
AVING recommended this Play to the
town, and delivered the copy of it to the bookseller, I think myself obliged to give some account of it.
It had been some years in the hands of the author; and, falling under my perusal, I thought so well of it, that I persuaded him to make some additions and alterations to it, and let it appear
* "Thou hast no faults, or I no faulis can spy :
CODRINGTON to Dr. Garth, before The Dispensary. + See hereafter, No CCCCLV.