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Merits were fo fingularly confpicuous, a to render themselves the firft Men of a Family, which rofe into Note by their Means, have been the conftant Patrons of the SPECTA TO R. This therefore, which is the Ninth a nd Laft Volume, could not, in my Opinion, be poffibly Infcribed to any Perfon fo properly as your LORDSHIP; who have, in the firft Place, the Honour of being defcended from a Family, which, for a long Series of Time, has, by very many Noble Alliances, got the Blood of fome of the moft Illuftrious Peers of Great Britain running in its Veins; and who have, in the next place, perfonally acted fo many Things perfectly worthy of your great Birth, that a PRINCE, the moft diftinguifb'd Himself among all the Princes of Europe, for his vaft Capacity in diftinguifbing the real Merit of his Subjects, hath thought fit, to make You, who are ally'd to fo many Noblemen, One of their Number.
I very well know, that a great deal of what is call'd witty Satire and Rallery, has been made ufe of to deter Perfons from fpeaking concerning Family and Birth, in a Dedication: But I must beg leave to affert, That it is a falfe kind of Wit, and that the Rallery is unwarrantable; and I
can by no means yield up even my littleShare of Reason, to an Error, merely because it is grown Common. To put a Perfon of Honour in mind of his good. Birth, is placing before his Eyes the Worth of his Ancestors, and giving him fresh Incentives to continue the doing of Things, that are truly Great and truly Noble. Hence I can't help thinking, that the first Man, whoever he was, who difcountenanced this elegant Practice in a Dedication, was either addreffing a Man who placed a wrong Degree of Pride in his having fprung from no Family at all; or elfe writing to fome degenerate and unworthy Peer, who had been happier in not being diftinguifh'd by one, and on whom it would have been a fevere Satire to be put in mind of any Perfons of Worth, that preceded Him. Whoever will read the Ingenious Mr. ADDISON'S Maxims upon Nobility, (a Person who had a great Share in writing the SPECTA TOR,) will find, that he joins with me in this Opinion. That celebrated Wri ter, after having given, according to his wonted Manner, feveral weighty and convincing Reafons, why he is of that Opinion, tells us at laft, that for those Reafons, He thinks a Man of Merit, that is derived from an Illuftrious Line is very justly to be regarded more than
a Man of Equal Merit, who has no Claim to Hereditary Honours. "
I fhall therefore in this Place take the Liberty of making Honourable Mention. to Your LORDSHIP of one Great Anceftor of Yours, whofe very Character, by being only written down in the Words of that Noble Hiftorian, the Lord CLARENDON, Will, perhaps, excite a commendable Thirft of gaining the like Fame Hereafter, in many well-born Young Gentlemen, that fhall read it; and it must be very pleafing to You to find, in fo great a Writer as the Lord CLARENDON, One of the One of the most shining Characters in the whole Hiftory, given. to a near Relation of Your own, who can't be faid to be before you in Worth and Merit, but only to have preceded You in Point of Time. This Impartial Hiftorian fpeaks of Colonel GAGE as follows;
"He was, in truth, a very extraor-dinary Man, of a large and very graceful Perfon, of an honourable Ex"traction, his Grandfather having been. "Knight of the Garter, befides his great "Experience and Abilities as a Soldier, which were very Eminent, he had very great Parts of Breeding being 'a
"very good Scholar in the polite Parts of "Learning, a great Mafter in the Spa"nifh and Italian Tongues, which he
fpoke in great Perfection, having scarce "been in England in Twenty Years be
fore. He was likewife very conver"fant in Courts; having for many Years "been much efteemed in that of the
Arch-Duke and Dutchefs, Albert and "Ifabella, at Bruffels, which was a great "and very regular Court at that Time; "fo that he deferved to be looked upon
as a wife and accomplish'd Perfon. "Of this Gentleman the Lords of the
Council had a fingular Efteem, and "confulted frequently with him whilft "they looked to be befieg'd; and thought "Oxford to be the more Secure for his "being in it, which rendered him fo un"grateful to the Governor, Sir Arthur t Afton, that he crofs'd him in any Thing. "he propofed, and hated him perfectly; 66 as they were of Natures and Manners, "as different as Men can be,
"He relieved Bafing, when it was " befieged, and was next made Gover"nor of Oxford; but enjoy'd the Office "a very little Time; for within a Month, "or thereabout, making an Attempt to "break down Culham Bridge, near Abing
don where he intended to erect a Royal
Fort, that should have kept that Gar rifon from that Side of the Country, he was shot through the Heart with a "Mufquet Bullet Prince Rupert was "prefent at the Action, having approved,
and been much pleafed with the De"fign, which was never pursued after
his Death. And in truth the King had "a wonderful Lofs in his Death, He being "a Man of great Wisdom and Temper, "and one among the very few Soldiers, "who made himself to be univerfally ❝ loved and efteemed."
YOU fee here before You, my Lord,. those Virtues exemplify'd in Your Ancestors, which ought to be the constant Companions of Nobility and Honour, and without them, the Wearer of dignify'd Appellations enjoys but a dead Title. You fee it was by the Virtues of Generofity, Affability, Courage, and Loyalty, that Your Ancestors got their principal Renown; and the glorious Character
which I take greater Delight to hear frequently, as I do, that You have already obtain'd in the World, than to speak of it here to Yourself) must continue to be kept alive by the conftant Repetition of thofe Virtues, as often as proper Occafions fhall demand them..