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after what I have said, I should longer detain you with an address of this nature: I cannot, however, conclude it, without acknowledging those great obligations which you have laid upon,
THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.
1712. As it is natural to have a fondness for what has cost us much time and attention to produce, I hope your grace will forgive my endeavour to preserve this work from oblivion, by affixing to it your memorable name.
I shall not here presume to mention the illustrious
passages your life, which are celebrated by the whole age, and have been the subject of the most sublime pens; but if I could convey you to posterity in your private character, and describe the stature, the behaviour, and aspect, of the Duke of Marlborough, I question not but it would fill the reader with more agreeable images, and give hiin a more delightful entertainment than what can be found in the following, or any other book.
One cannot indeed without offence to yourself observe, that you excel the rest of mankind in the
least, as well as the greatest endowments. Nor were it a circumstance to be mentioned, if the graces and attractions of your person were not the only pre-eminence you have above others, which is left almost unobserved by greater writers.
Yet how pleasing would it be to those who shall read the surprising revolutions in your story, to be made acquainted with your ordinary life and deportment! How pleasing would it be to hear that the same man, who carried fire and sword into the countries of all that had opposed the cause of liberty, and struck a terror into the armies of France, had, in the midst of his high station, a behaviour as gentle as is usual in the first steps towards greatness! And if it were possible to express that easy grandeur, which did at once persuade and command ; it would appear as clearly to those to come, as it does to his contemporaries, that all the great events which were brought to pass under the conduct of so wellgoverned a spirit, were the blessings of heaven upon wisdom and valour; and all which seem adverse fell out by divine permission which we are not to search into. You have passed that year
of life wherein the most able and fortunate captain, before your time, declared he had lived long enough both to nature and to glory; and your grace may make that reflection with much more justice. He spoke it after he had arrived at empire by an usurpation upon those whom he had enslaved; but the Prince of Mindelheim may rejoice in a sovereignty which was the gift of him whose dominions he had preserved.
Glory established upon the uninterrupted success of honourable designs and actions, is not subject to diminution ; nor can any attempts prevail against it, but in the proportion which the narrow circuit of rumour bears to the unlimited extent of fame.
We may congratulate your grace not only upon your high achievements, but likewise
the happy expiration of your command, by which your glory is put out of the power of fortune: and when your person shall be so too, that the Author and Disposer of all things may place you in that higher mansion of bliss and immortality which is prepared for good princes, law-givers, and heroes, when he in his due time removes them from the envy of mankind, is the hearty prayer of,
THE EARL OF WHARTON.
1712-13. The author of the Spectator, having prefixed before each of his volumes the name of some great persons to whom he has particular obligations, lays his claim to your lordship’s patronage upon the same account. I must confess, my lord, had not I already received great instances of your favour, I should have been afraid of submitting a work of this nature to your perusal. You are so thoroughly acquainted with the characters of men, and all the parts of human life, that it is impossible for the least misrepresentation of them to escape your notice. It is your lordship's particular distinction that you are master of the whole compass of business, and have signalized yourself in all the different scenes of it. We admire some for the dignity, others for the popularity of their behaviour ; some for their clearness of judgment, others for their happiness of expression; some for the laying of schemes, and others for the putting of them in execution. It is your lordship only who enjoys these several talents united, and that too in as great perfection as others possess them singly. Your enemies acknowledge this great extent in your lordship's character, at the same time that they use their utmost industry and invention to derogate from it. But it is for your honour that those who are now your enemies were always so. You have acted in so much consistency with yourself, and promoted the interests of your country in so uniform a manner, that even those who would misrepresent your generous designs for the public good, cannot but approve the steadiness and intrepidity with which you pursue them. It is a most sensible pleasure to me that I have this opportunity of professing myself one of your great admirers, and, in a very particular manner,
1712-13, VERY many favours and civilities (received from you in a private capacity) which I have no other way to acknowledge, will
, I hope, excuse this presumption; but the justice I, as a Spectator, owe your character, places me above the want of an excuse. Candour and openness of heart, which shine in all your words and actions, exact the highest esteem from all who have the honour to know you ; and a winning condescension to all subordinate to you, made business a pleasure to those who executed it under you, at the same time that it heightened her majesty's favour to all those who had the happiness of having it conveyed through your hands. A secretary of state, in the interest of mankind, joined with that of his fellow-subjects, accomplished with a great facility and elegance in all the modern as well as ancient languages, was a happy and proper member of a ministry, by whose services your sovereign is in so high and flourishing a condition, as makes all other princes and potentates powerful or inconsiderable in Europe, as they are friends or enemies to Great Britain. The importance of those great events which happened during that administration in which your lordship bore so important a charge, will be acknowledged as long as time shall endure. I shall not therefore attempt to rehearse