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I T looks like no great compliment to your Lordship, that I prefix your name to this epistle; when, in the Preface, I declare the book is published almoft againft my inclination. But, in all cafes, my Lord, you an hereditary right to whatever may be called mine. Many of the following pieces were written by the command of your excellent father; and most of the rest, under his protection and patronage.
The particular felicity of your birth, my Lord; the natural endowments of your mind, which, without suspicion of flattery, I may tell you, are very great; the good education with which these parts have been improved; and your coming into the world, and feeing men very early; make us expect from your Lordship all the good, which our hopes can form in favour of a young nobleman. "Tu Marcellus eris-"Our eyes and our hearts are turned on you. You must be a judge and master of polite learning; a friend and patron to men of letters and merit; a faithful and able counfellor to your prince; a true patriot to your country; VOL. I.
an ornament and honour to the titles you poffefs; and, in one word, a worthy fon to the great Earl of Dorfet.
It is as impoffible to mention that name, without defiring to commend the person; as it is to give him the commendations which his virtues deferved. But I affure myself, the most agreeable compliment I can bring your Lordship, is to pay a grateful refpect to your father's memory: and my own obligations to him were fuch, that the world must pardon my endeavouring at his character, however I may miscarry in the attempt.
A thoufand ornaments and graces met in the compofition of this great man, and contributed to make him univerfally beloved and efteemed. The figure of his body was ftrong, proportionable, beautiful: and were his picture well drawn, it must deserve the praise given to the portraits of Raphael; and, at once, create love and refpect. While the greatnefs of his mien informed men, they were approaching the nobleman; the fweetnefs of it invited them to come nearer to the patron. There was in his look and gefture fomething that is more eafily conceived than described; that gained upon you in his favour, before he spake one word. His behaviour was eafy and courteous to all; but diftinguished and adapted to each man in particular, according to his ftation and quality. His civility was free from the formality of rule, and flowed immediately from his good fenfe.
Such were the natural faculties and strength of his mind, that he had occafion to borrow very little from education; and he owed thofe advantages to his own
good parts, which others acquire by study and imitation. His wit was abundant, noble, bold. Wit in most writers is like a fountain in a garden, fupplied by feveral ftreams brought through artful pipes, and playing fometimes agreeably. But the earl of Dorfet's was a fource rifing from the top of a mountain, which forced its own way, and with inexhauftible fupplies delighted and enriched the country through which it paffed. This extraordinary genius was accompanied with fo true a judgement in all parts of fine learning, that, whatever fubject was before him, he discoursed as properly of it, as if the peculiar bent of his study had been applied that way: and he perfected his judgement by reading and digesting the beft authors, though he quoted feldom.
"Contemnebat potius literas, quam nefciebat :"
and rather feemed to draw his knowledge from his own ftores, than to owe it to any foreign affistance.
The brightness of his parts, the folidity of his judgement, and the candour and generofity of his temper, diftinguished him in an age of great politenefs, and at a court abounding with men of the fineft fense and learning. The most eminent mafters in their feveral ways appealed to his determination. Waller thought it an honour to confult him in the foftnefs and harmony of his verfe: and Dr. Sprat, in the delicacy and turn of his profe. Dryden determines by him, under the character of Eugenius, as to the laws of dramatick poetry. Butler owed it to him, that the Court tafted his