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3 whole life. Whilst I was in this learned body, I applied myself with so much diligence to my studies, that there are very few celebrated books, either in the learned or the modern tongues, which I am not acquainted with.
Upon the death of my father, I was resolved to travel into foreign countries, and therefore left the university, with the character of an odd unaccount
fellow, that had a great deal of learning, if I would but shew it. An insatiable thirst after knowledge carried me into all the countries of Europe, in which there was any thing new or strange to be seen; nay, to such a degree was my curiosity raised, that having read the controversies of some great men concerning the antiquities of Egypt, I made a voyage to Grand Cairo, on purpose to take the measure of a pyramid : and as soon as I had set myself right in that particular, returned to my native country with great satisfaction*.
I have passed my latter years in this city, where I am frequently seen in most public places, though there are not above half a dozen of my select friends that know me; of whom my next paper shall give a more particular account. There is no place of general resort wherein I do not often make my appearance; sometimes I am seen thrusting my head into a round of politicians at Will's, and listening with great attention to the narratives that are made in those little circular audiences. Sometimes I smoke a pipe at Child'st, and while I seem attentive to nothing but the Postman, overhear the conver
* A sarcasm on Mr. Greaves, and his book intitled Pyrami. dographia.
+ Child's coffee-house was in St. Paul's church-yard, and the resort of the clergy; St. James's stood then where it does now; Jonathan's was in 'Change-alley, and the Rose tavern was on the outside of Temple-bar.
ORIGINAL DEDICATIONS. you in my thoughts, when I have endeavoured to draw, in some parts of these discourses, the character of a good-natured, honest, and accomplished gentle
But such representations give my reader an idea of a person blameless only, or only laudable for such perfections as extend no farther than to his own private advantage and reputation.
But when I speak of you, I celebrate one who has had the happiness of possessing also those qualities which make a man useful to society, and of having had opportunities of exerting them in the most conspicuous manner.
The great part you had, as British ambassador, in procuring and cultivating the advantageous commerce between the courts of England and Portugal, has purchased you the lasting esteem of all who understand the interest of either nation.
Those personal excellencies which are overrated by the ordinary world, and too much neglected by wise men, you have applied with the justest skill and judgment. The most graceful address in horsemanship, in the use of the sword, and in dancing, has been employed by you as lower arts; and as they have occasionally served to cover or introduce the talents of a skilful minister.
But your abilities have not appeared only in one nation. When it was your province to act as her majesty's minister at the court of Savoy, at that time encamped, you accompanied that gallant prince through all the vicissitudes of his fortune, and shared by his side the dangers of that glorious day in which he recovered his capital. As far as it regards personal qualities, you attained, in that one hour, the highest military reputation. The behaviour of our minister in the action, and the good offices done the vanquished in the name of the Queen of England, gave both the conqueror and the captive the most
lively examples of the courage and generosity of the nation he represented.
Your friends and companions in your absence frequently talk these things of you; and you cannot hide from us (by the most discreet silence in any thing which regards yourself) that the frank enter. tainment we have at your table, your easy condescension in little incidents of mirth and diversion, and general complacency of manners, are far from being the greatest obligations we have to you. I do assure you, there is not one of your friends has a greater sense of your merit in general, and of the favours you every day do us, than,
and most humble Servant,
WILLIAM HONEYCOMB, ES2*. The seven former volumes of the Spectator having been dedicated to some of the most celebrated persons of the age, I take leave to inscribet this eighth and last to you, as to a gentleman who hath ever been ambitious of appearing in the best company.
You are now wholly retired from the busy part of mankind, and at leisure to reflect upon your past achievements; for which reason I look upon you as a person very well qualified for a dedication.
I may possibly disappoint my readers, and yourself too, if I do not endeavour on this occasion to make the world acquainted with your virtues. And here, Sir, I shall not compliment you upon your birth, person, or fortune ; nor on any other the like perfections which you possess, whether you will or no; but shall only touch upon those which are of your own acquiring, and in which every one must allow you have a real merit.
Your janty air and easy motion, the volubility of your discourse, the suddenness of your laugh, the management of your snuff-box, with the whiteness of your hands and teeth (which have justly gained you the envy of the most polite part of the male
* Generally supposed to be Col. Cleland.
+ This dedication is suspected to have been written by Eustace Budgell, who might have better dedicated it to Will Wimble.
world, and the love of the greatest beauties in the female) are entirely to be ascribed to your own personal genius and application.
You are formed for these accomplishments by a happy turn of nature, and have finished yourself in them by the utmost improvements of art. A man that is defective in either of these qualifications (whatever may be the secret ambition of his heart) must never hope to make the figure you have done, among the fashionable part of his species. It is therefore no wonder we see such multitudes of aspiring young men fall short of you in all these beauties of your character, notwithstanding the study and practice of them is the whole business of their lives. But I need not tell you that the free and disengaged behaviour of a fine gentleman makes as many awkward beaux, as the easiness of your favourite hath made insipid poets.
At present you are content to aim all your charms at
your own spouse, without farther thought of mischief to any others of the sex. I know you had formerly a very great contempt for that pedantic race of mortals who call themselves philosophers; and yet, to your honour be it spoken, there is not a sage of them all could have better acted up to their precepts in one of the most important points of life: I mean, in that generous disregard of popular opinion which
you shewed some years ago, when you chose for
your wife an obscure young woman, who doth not indeed pretend to an ancient family, but has certainly as many forefathers as any lady in the land, if she could but reckon
their names. I must own I conceived very extraordinary hopes of you from the moment that
your age, and from eight-and-forty (where you had stuck so many years) very ingeniously stepped into your grand climacteric. Your deportment has since been