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by all good men; who have been, for so many years together, the pattern and standard of honour to the nation; and whose whole life has been so great an example of heroic virtue, that we might wonder how it happened into an age so corrupt as ours, if it had not likewise been a part of the former. As you came into the world with all the advantages of à noble birth and education, so you have rendered
John of Austria. His skill in the equestrian art was, perhaps, as great a recommendation, as his noble birth and unstained loyalty. During the wars, he had been raised from the rank of earl to that of marquis; and after the Restoration he was created duke of Newcastle. He wrote several plays, of which we know only the names; “ The Country Captain," Variety,"
.” The llumourous Lovers,” and “ The Triumphant Widow.” He also translated Moliere's “ L'Etourdi,” which our author converted into “ Sir Martin Mar-all.” But his most noted work is a splendid folio on Horsemanship, with engravings; in which, after his grace has been represented in every possible attitude and dress, he is at length depicted mounted on Pegasus, and in the act of ascending from a circle of Houybnbnms, kneeling around him in the act of adoration.
His once celebrated duchess was Margaret, daughter of Sir Charles Lucas. She was his grace's second wife, and married to him during his exile. A most voluminous author; she wrote nineteen plays, besides philosophical essays, letiers, and orations. For the former she has condescended to leave the following apology:
The Latin phrases I could never tell,
Her grace's assiduity was equal to her originality She kept a bevy of maidens of honour, who were obliged, at all hours of the night, to attend the summons of her bell, with a light, and malerials to register her grace's conceptions," which, we beg the reader to understand, were all of a literary or philosophical nature.
both yet more conspicuous by your virtue. Fortune, indeed, has perpetually crowned your undertakings with success, but she has only waited on your valour, not conducted it. She has ministered to your glory like a slave, and has been led in triumph by it; or, at most, while honour led you by the hand to greatness, fortune only followed to keep you from sliding back in the ascent. That, which Plutarch accounted her favour to Cymon and Lucullus, was but her justice to your grace; and, never to have been overcome where you led in person, as it was more than Hannibal could boast, so it was all that Providence could do for that party, which it had resolved to ruin. Thus, my lord, the last smiles of victory were on your arms; and, everywhere else declaring for the rebels, she seemed to suspend herself, and to doubt, before she took her flight, whether she were able wholly to abandon that cause, for which
for which you fought*.
tions of her muse.
The good duchess's conceptions are now forgotten; but it should not be forgotten, that her kind solicitude soothed and supported her husband through a weary exile of eighteen years, when their fortunes were reduced to the lowest ebb. In gratitude, he appears to have encouraged her pursuits, and admired the produce
In the “ Sessions of Poets” he is introduced as founding upon her literary pretensions, rather than his own.
Newcastle and's horse for entrance next strives,
Well-stuffed was his cloak-bag, and so was his breeches,
Pulled out his wife's poems, plays, essays, and speeches.
Put up ihy wite's trumpery, god noble marquis,
To provide her fresh straw, and a chamber that dark is.
This compliment is overstrained. But though Charles gained many advantages after the earl of Newcastle had left England, the north was irrecoverably lost to his cause.
But the greatest trials of your courage and constancy were yet to come: Many had ventured their fortunes, and exposed their lives to the utmost dangers for their king and country, who ended their loyalty with the war; and, submitting to the iniquity of the times, chose rather to redeem their former plenty, by acknowledging an usurper, than to suffer with an unprofitable fidelity (as those meaner spirits called it) for their lawful sovereign. But, as I dare not accuse so many of our nobility, who were content to accept their patrimonies from the clemency of the conqueror, and to retain only a secret veneration for their prince, amidst the open worship which they were forced to pay to the usurper, who had dethroned him; so, I hope, I may have leave to extol that virtue which acted more generously; and which was not satisfied with an inward devotion to monarchy, but produced itself to view, and asserted the cause by open martyrdom. Of these rare patterns of loyalty, your grace was chief: Those examples you could not find, you made. Some few Cato's there were with you, whose invincible resolution could not be conquered by that usurping Cæsar. Your virtue opposed itself to his fortune, and overcame it, by not submitting to it. The last and most difficult enterprize he had to effect, when he had conquered three nations, was to subdue your spirit; and he died weary of that war, and unable to finish it.
In the mean time, you lived more happily in your exile, than the other on his throne. Your loyalty made you friends and servants amongst foreigners; and you lived plentifully without a fortune; for you lived on your own desert and reputation. The glorious name of the valiant and faithful Newcastlé, was a patrimony which could never be exhausted.
Thus, my lord, the morning of your life was clear and calm; and, though it was afterwards overcast, yet, in that general storm, you were never without a shelter. And now you are happily arrived to the evening of a day, as serene as the dawn of it was glorious; but such an evening as, I hope, and almost prophecy, is far from night: 'Tis the evening of a summer's sun, which keeps the day-light long within the skies. The health of your body is maintained by the vigour of your mind: Neither does the one shrink from the fatigue of exercise, nor the other bend under the pains of study. Methinks, I behold in you another Caius Marius, who, in the extremity of his age, exercised himself almost every morning in the Campus Martius, amongst the youthful nobility of Rome. And afterwards in your retirements, when you do honour to poetry, by employing part of your leisure in it, I regard you as another Silius Italicus, who, having passed over his consulship with applause, dismissed himself from business, and from the gown, and employed his age, amongst the shades, in the reading and imitation of Virgil.
In which, lest any thing should be wanting to your happiness, you have, by a rare effect of fortune, found, in the
excellent lady, not only a lover, but a partner of your studies; a lady whom our age may justly equal with the Sappho of the Greeks, or the Sulpitia of the Romans; who, by being taken into your bosom, seems to be inspired with your genius; and, by writing the history of your life *, in so masculine a style, has already placed you in the number of the heroes. She has anticipated that great portion of fame, which envy often hinders a living virtue from possessing; which would, indeed, have been given to your ashes, but with a later payment; and of which you could have no present use, except it were by a secret presage of that which was to come, when you were no longer in a possibility of knowing it. So that if that were a praise, or satisfaction to the greatest of emperors, which the most judicious of poets gives him
The duchess wrote her husband's Life, which was translated into Latin. It is certainly the best of her grace's performances.
Præsenti tibi maturos largimur honores, &c.
that the adoration, which was not allowed to Hercules and Romulus till after death, was given to Augustus living, then certainly it cannot be denied, but that your grace has received a double satisfaction: the one, to see yourself consecrated to immortality while you are yet alive; the other, to have your praises celebrated by so dear, so just, and so pious an historian.
It is the consideration of this that stops my pen; though I am loth to leave so fair a subject, which gives me as much field as poetry could wish, and yet no more than truth can justify. But to attempt any thing of a panegyric, were to enterprize on your lady's right; and to seem to affect those praises, wbich none but the duchess of Newcastle can deserve, when she writes the actions of her lord. I shall, therefore, leave that wider space, and contract myself to those narrow bounds, which best become my fortune and employment.
I am obliged, my lord, to return you not only my own acknowledgments, but to thank you in the names of former poets; the manes of Jonson and