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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
CHARLES LORD HALIFAX1.
SIMILITUDE of manners and studies is usually mentioned as one of the strongest motives to affection and esteem; but the passionate veneration I have for your Lordship, I think, flows from an admira
This very distinguished wit and statesman was fourth son of the Hon. George Montague, of Harton, in Northamptonshire, son of Henry the first earl of Manchester, and born April 16, 1661. He was educated at Westminster-school, and at Trinity-college, Cambridge; shewed very early a most pregnant genius, and quickly made great progress in learning. In 1684 he wrote a poem "On the Death of King Charles II." in which he displayed his genius to such advantage, that he was invited by the earl of Dorset to London, where he soon increased his fame, particularly by a piece which he wrote in conjunction with Matthew Prior, and published in 1687, under the title of "The Hind and the Panther, transversed to the Story of
tion of qualities in you, of which, in the whole course of these papers, I have acknowledged myself incapable. While I busy myself as a stranger upon earth, and can pretend to no other than being a looker-on, you are conspicuous in the busy and polite world, both in the world of men, and that of letters. While I am silent and unobserved in public meetings, you are admired by all that approach you, as the life and genius of the conversation. What an happy conjunction of dif
the Country-mouse and the City-mouse." Upon the abdication of king James II. he was chosen one of the members of the convention, and recommended by the earl of Dorset to king William, who immediately allowed him a pension of five hundred pounds per annum. After some time, having given proofs of his great abilities in the house of commons, he was made one of the commissioners of the treasury, and soon after chancellor of the exchequer; in which post he brought about that great work of recoining all the current money of the nation. In 1698 he was appointed first commissioner of the treasury, and one of the lords justices of England during the king's absence in Holland; and in 1700 was created a peer of England by the title of baron of Halifax in the county of York; but before his promotion, he had conferred on him the place of auditor of the exchequer, being succeeded in his post of first lord of the treasury by Sidney lord Godolphin. In 1701 the house of commons impeached him of high crimes and misdemeanors, in six articles, which, however, were dismissed by the house of lords. He was again attacked by the
ferent talents meets in him whose whole discourse is at once animated by the strength and force of reason, and adorned with all the graces and embellishments of wit! When learning irradiates common life, it is then in its highest use and perfection; and it is to such as your lordship, that the sciences owe the esteem which they have with the active part of mankind. Knowledge of books in recluse men, is like that sort of lantern, which hides him who carries it, and serves only to pass through secret and gloomy paths of his own; but,
house of commons in 1702, but without success. he wrote "An Answer to Mr. Bromeley's Speech," respecting the occasional conformity-bill. In 1706 he was one of the commissioners for the union with Scotland; and upon passing the "Bill for the Naturalization of the illustrious House of Hanover, and for the better security of the succession of the crown in the Protestant line," his lordship was chosen to carry that act to Hanover. Upon the death of queen Anne, he was one of the lords of the regency in his majesty's absence from his kingdoms; and when George I. had taken possession of his throne, his lordship was again appointed first commissioner of the treasury, and created earl of Halifax and knight of the garter. He died May 19, 1715, and was interred in Westminster-abbey. His lordship wrote, besides those mentioned, some other poems, particularly one intitled, "The Man of Honour ;" and his works have been since collected, and published among those of the English poets.