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IT is with very great pleasure I take an opportunity of publishing the gratitude I owe you, for the place you allow me in your friendship and familiarity. I will not acknowledge to you that I have often had 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 gentleman. But such representations give my reader an idea of a person blameless only, or only laudable for such perfections as extend no further 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 over-rated 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 that 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 entertainment 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,
your most obedient, and
most humble servant,
No. CCCCLXXIV. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 1712.
Asperitas agrestis & inconcinna...........
A clownish roughness, and unkindly close,
'BEING of the number of those that have lately retired from the centre of business and pleasure, my uneasiness in the country where I am, arises rather from the society than the solitude of it. To be obliged to receive and return visits from and to a circle of neighbours, who through diversity of age or inclinations can neither be entertaining or serviceable to us, is a vile loss of time, and a slavery from which a man should deliver himself, if possible: for why must I lose the remaining part of my life, because they have thrown away the former parts of theirs? It is to me an insupportable affliction, to be tormented with the narrations of a set of people, who are warm in their expressions of the quick relish of