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to conceal your share of merit, in the many national services which you have effected. Do what you will, the present age will be talking of your virtues, though posterity alone will do them juftice.

Other men pass thro' oppositions and contending interests in the ways of ambition ; but your great abilities have been invited to power, and importuned to accept of advancement. Nor is it frange that this should happen to your Lordship, who could bring into the service of your sovereign the arts and policies of ancient Greece and Rome , as well as the most exact knowledge of our own conftitution in particular, and of the interests of Europe in general; to which I must also add, a certain dignity in yourself, that (to say the least of it) has been always equal to those great honours which have been conferred upon You.

It is very well known how much the Church owed to You in the most dangerous day it ever faw, that of the arraignment of its prefates; and how far the civil power, in the late and present : reign, has been indebted to your counsels and wisdom.

But to enumerate the great advantages which the public has received from your administration, would be a more proper work for an history than for an address of this nature.

Your Lordship appears as great in your private life, as in the most important offices which you have borne. I would therefore rather chuse to speak of the pleasure you afford all who are admitted


into your conversation, of your elegant tafte in all the polite parts of learning, of your great humaniry and complacency of manners, and of the surprifing influence which is peculiar to You in making every one who converses with your Lordship prefer You to himself, without thinking the less meanly of his own talents. But if I should take notice of all that might be observed in your Lordship, I thould have nothing new to say upon any other character of distinction.

I am,

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NO 1. THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 1710-11.

Non fumum ex fulgore, fed ex fumo dare lucem
Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat.,

Hor. Ars Poet, ver. 143.
One with a flash begins, and ends in finoke ;
The other out of smoke brings glorious light,
And (without raising expectation high)
Surprises us with dazzling miracles. ROSCOMMON.


HAVE observed, that a Reader seldom peruses a book with pleasure, until he knows whether

the writer of it be a black or a fair man, of a mild or choleric disposition, married or a bachelor, with other particulars of the like nature, that conduce very much to the right understanding of an author. To gratify this curiosity, which is fo natural to a reader, I design this



my next as prefatory discourses to my following writings, and fhall give some account in them of the several perfons that are engaged in this work. As the chief VOL.I.



trouble of compiling, digesting, and correcting will fall to my share, I must do myself the justice to open the work with my own history.

I was born to a finall hereditary eítate, which, according to the tradition of the village where it lies, was bounded by the fame hedges and ditches in William the Conqueror's time that it is at present, and has been delivered down from father to fon whol and entire, without the loss or acquisition of a single field or meadow, during the space of fix hundred years. There runs a story in the family, that when my mother was gone with child of me about three months, the dreamt that the was brought to bed of a Judge: Whether this might proceed from a laiv-suit which was then depending in the family, or my father's being a justice of the peace, I cannot determine ; for Ian not so vain as to think it presaged any dignity that I thould arrive at in my future life, though that was the interpretation which the neighbourhood put upon it. The gravity of my behaviour ai iny very first appearance in the world, and all the time that I fucked, seemed to faveur


mother's dream : Fer, as she has often told me, I threw away my raitle before I was two inonths old, and would not make use of my coral until they had taken away the bells from it.

As for the rest of my infancy, there being nothing in it remarkable, I shall pass it over in filence. I find, that, during my ronage, I had the reputation of a very fullen youth, but was always a favourite of my.

schoolmaster, who used to say, that my parts were folidl, and would wcar wel. I had not been long at the university, before I distinguished myself by a most profound filence; for during the space of eight years, excepting in the public exercises of the college, I scarce uttered the quantity of an hundred words; and indeed do not remember that I ever fpo-c three fentences together in my whole life, Whilft I was in this learned body, I applied my


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