« PreviousContinue »
I Should not act the part of an impartial Spectator, if I dedicated
the following Papers to one who is not of the most consummate and most acknowledged merit.
None but a person of a finished character, can be the proper patron of a work, which endeavours to cultivate and polish human life, by promoting virtue and knowledge, and by recommending whatsoever may be either useful or ornamental to society.
I know that the homage I now pay you, is offering a kind of violence to one who is as solicitous to shun applause, at he is asiduous to deserve it. But, my Lord, this is perhaps the only particular, in which your prudence will be always disappointed.
While justice, candour, equanimity, a zeal for the good of your country, and the most persuasive eloquence in bringing over others to it, are valuable diftin&tions, You are not to expect that the public will fo far comply with your inclinations, as to forbear celebrating such extraordinary qualities. It is in vain that you have endeavoured to conceal your share of merit, in the many national services which you have effected. Do what you will, the present age will be talking of your virtues, though poterity alone will do them juftice.
Other men pass through oppositions and contending interests in the ways of ambition; but your great abilities have been invited to power, and importuned to accept of advancement. Nor is it strange that this fhould happen to your Lord thip, 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 conftitution in particular, and of the interests of Europe in general; to which I must also add, a certain dignity in yourself, that, to say 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 faw, that of the arraignment of it's prelates; and how far the civil power, in the late and present reign, has been indebted to your counsels and wisdom.
Byt to enumerate the great advantages which the public has received from your administration, would be a more proper work for an history than for an address of this nature,