« PředchozíPokračovat »
DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.
As it is natural to have a fondness for
S what has cost us much time and attention to produce, I hope your Grace will forgive an endeavor to preserve this work from oblivion, by affixing to it your memorable name.
I shall not here presume to mention the illustrious passages of 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 behavior, and aspect of the Duke of Marlborough, I question not but it would fill the reader with more agreeable images, and give him 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 preeminence 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 had 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, bad, in the midst of his high station, behavior 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 well governed a spirit, were the blessings of Heaven upon wisdom and valor; and all which seems adverse fell out by di