Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

took Care of your Fortune. Elegance was fo blended with Oeconomy in her Management, it fhew'd Us the Difference betwixt Plenty and Oftentation.

I have prefumed, Your Lordship will obferve, to draw but the Outlines of the Picture; to sketch out that Symmetry, which distinguish'd her equally to every Beholder. To finish up the Colouring of the Whole, is above my Strength or Vanity. The peculiar Duties She paid either to Heaven, or your Lordship, are too facred to be touch'd here. They stand forbid to a vulgar Approach; and I choose, as in the Jewish Temples, to draw a Curtain across that Altar. It might be a childish Superftition, perhaps, to imagine her too good for this World; but we feel to our Concern, that what made her revered on Earth, qualified her too early for a Saint in Heaven.

[ocr errors]

L

Oftendunt terris hanc tantùm Fata,nec ultra Effe finunt,

A ;

I

I should fear, my Lord, to awake your Sorrows even with this faint Recapitulation of her Virtues, did I not know, the Image of them is engraven on your Heart, and I am paying but the Rites of a pious and fympathetick Refpect. As I am proud to be thought a Client and Servant of your Family, and claim Your Lordship's Patronage as it were by Descent from your Noble Father, I would profefs a becoming Intereft in whatever affects my Patron. If my Duty, My Lord, be too bold, I have it to plead in Excufe, that it is in fome Measure warranted by your own Conduct and Behaviour. That Eafinefs of Addrefs with which I have been receiv'd by You, and that Indulgence which you are pleas'd to fhew me on every Occafion, ground a fort of habitual Freedom. In Converfations with Your Lordship, tho' we cannot but remember the Distance due to your Quality, yet we find something fo engaging on your part, that we imperceptibly flide

on

on the very Confines of Friendship. Your Sweetness and Affability always put me in mind of Ovid's APOLLO; he reftrain'd the Luftre of his Godhead, when he was to converfe with a mortal Son;

circum Caput omne micantes Depofuit radios, propriúfque accedere juffit. So, You, my Lord, will not fuffer your Quality to glare upon your Inferiors: You abate of the Splendour of a Patrician, and defcend to Us in the Light of the easy agreeable Gentleman.

If You ever fhew any Referve, it is with Regard to your own Modesty. You there labour to retire within Your felf; and would fain fhut Us out from the Discovery of Talents, which you cannot restrain from starting to Obfervation. Your Behaviour refembles That of Pyramus and Thisbe's Parents, in a Passage which has employ'd the Criticks ; Sed vetuêre patres quod non potuere vetare, A 4

For

For I have always understood it thus, that they endeavour'd to forbid what they could not prevent. The Confeffion I am going to make, my Lord, is in part an Evidence of this Truth. I had defign'd to obtrude upon You what I had to fay critically of Shakespeare: but your Modesty abfolutely denied my Appeal. You would not look upon your felf converfant enough in my Author to be appointed Judge of the various parts of his Character; tho' I have borrow'd many Hints from hearing You converse upon him. I have foften'd the Theft, Şir, in Expreffion, you fee, in Regard to my felf; and Your Lordship may reasonably deny the Lofs of the Jewels, which I have difparag'd in the unartful Setting. I may very truly apply to You the Character, which a much greater Dedicator apply'd to a Patron not fo great: Ingenium tale eft, ut etiam fine literis videatur cultum effe potuiffe; tantum autem Literarum confecutus es, ut vel fatis ad fummam gloriam effe poffit.

6

But

But I am aware, that in these Declarations I am trefpaffing on Your Lordship's Patience. That Light of Veneration, in which I view You, makes me think I could never fay too much on the Subject: and that nice Distrust, with which You view Your felf, makes You think that I cannot fay too little. I can only know that I am forgiven, in being continued to fhare the Honour of Your Esteem; and indulg'd in the Op portunities of approving myself,

My LORD,

Tour LORDSHIP'S

10 January, 1733.

most faithful and obedient

bumble Servant,

LEW. THEOBALD.

« PředchozíPokračovat »