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Encourage him to tope; but kifs him not,
Earl of DORSE T, and MIDDLESEX,
Lord Chamberlain of his Majefty's Houfhold, Knight of the Moft Noble Order of the Garter, &c.
HE wifhes and defires of all good men, which have attended your lordship from your first appearance in the world, are at length accomplished in your ob
taining thofe honours and dignities, which you have fo long deferved. There are no factions, though irreconcileable to one another, that are not united in their affection to you, and the refpect they pay you. They are equally pleafed in your profperity, and would be equally concerned in your affliction. Titus Vefpafian was not more the delight of human kind. The univerfal empire made him only more known, and more powerful but could not make him more beloved. He had greater ability of doing good, but your inclination to it, is not lefs: and though you could not extend your beneficence to fo many perfons, yet you have loft as few days as that excellent emperor, and never had his complaint to make when you went to bed, that the fun had fhone upon you in vain, when you had the opportunity of relieving fome unhappy man. This, my Lord, has juftly acquired you as many friends as there are perfons who have the honour to be known to you: meer acquaintance you have none; you have drawn them all into a nearer line: and they who have converfed with you are for ever after inviolably yours. This is a truth fo generally acknowledged, that it needs no proof: it is of the nature of a firft principle, which is received as foon as it is propofed; and needs not the reformation which Defcartes ufed
to his for we doubt not, neither can we properly fay, we think we admire and love you, above all other men: there is a certainty in the propofition, and we know it. With the fame af. furance can I fay, you neither have enemies, nor can scarce have any; for they who have never heard of you, can neither love or hate you; and they who have, can have no other notion of you, than that which they receive from the public, that you are the beft of men. After this, my teftimony can be of no farther ufe, than to declare it to be day-light at high-noon and all who have the benefit of fight, can look up as well, and fee the fun.
It is true, I have one privilege which is almoft particular to myfelf, that I faw you in the eaft at your first arifing above the hemifphere: I was as foon fenfible as any man of that light, when it was but juft fhooting out, and beginning to travel upward to the meridian. I made my early addrefies to your lordship, in my effay of Dramatic Poetry; and therein befpoke you to the world, wherein I have the right of a firft difcoverer. When I was myself, in the rudiments of my Poetry, without name or reputation in the world, having rather the ambition of a writer, than the fkill; when I was drawing the out-lines of an art, without any living mafter to inftruct me in it; an art which had been better praised than studied here in England, wherein Shakefpeare, who created the ftage among us, had rather written happily, than knowingly and juftly: and Johnfon, who by studying Horace, had been acquainted with the rules, yet feemed to envy pofterity that knowledge, and like an inventor of some useful art, to make a monopoly of his learning: when thus, as I may fay, before the ufe of the loadftone, or knowledge of the compafs, I was failing in a vaft ocean, without other help than the pole-ftar of the ancients, and the rules of the French Stage amongst the moderns, which are extremely different from ours, by reafon of their oppofite tafle; yet even then, I had the prefumption to dedicate to your lordfhip: a very unfinished piece, I must confefs, and which only can be excus'd by the little experience of the author, and the modefty of the title, An Effay. Yet I was ftronger in prophecy than I was in criticiẩm; I was infpired to foretel you to mankind, as the reftorer of Poetry, the greatest genius, the truest judge, and the best patron.
Good fenfe and good nature are never feparated, though the ignorant world has thought otherwife. Good nature, by which I mean beneficence and candor, is the product of right reafon; which of neceffity will give allowance to the failings of others,