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I HE greatest honour of human life, is to live well with men of merit; and I hope you will pardon me the vanity of publishing, by this means, my happiness in being able to name you among my friends. The conversation of a gentleman, that has a refined taste of letters, and a disposition in which those letters found nothing to correct, but very much to exert, is a good fortune too uncommon to be enjoyed in silence. In others, the greatest business of learning is to weed the soil; in you, it had nothing else to do, but to bring forth fruit. Affability, complacency, and generosity of
1 Afterwards Viscount Pulteney and Earl of Bath. He was born 1682, and died July 7, 1764. The character of Lord Bath was thus sketched by Dr. Zachary Pearce, late Bishop of Rochester.—“ William Pulteney, Earl of Bath, descended from a very ancient family (the De Pulteneys, who, I think, came to England with the Norman Duke, William,) was, by inheritance and prudent economy, possessed of a very large estate, out of which he yearly bestowed, contrary to the opinion of those who were less acquainted with him, more than a tenth part of his whole income. He was a firm friend to the established religion of his country, and free from all the vices of the age, even in his youth. He constantly attended the public worship of God, and all the offices of it in his parish-church, while his health permitted it; and when his great age and infirmities prevented him from so doing, he supplied that defect by daily reading over the morning-service of the Church before he came out of his bedchamber. That he had quick and lively parts, a fine head, and sound judgment, the many things which he published occasionally, sufficiently testify."
The above character certainly agrees much better with the style of Steele's Dedication, than that given of Lord Bath by the late Lord Chesterfield, who says of him, that he was “ a complete orator; but a slave to every disorderly pas. sion, avarice in particular.”