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ROCHESTER AND CHARLES THE SECOND.

(Letter from Waller to St. Evremond.) GRAMMONT once told Rochester, that if he could by any means divest himself of one half of his wit, the other half would make him the most agreeable man in the world. This observation of the count's did not strike me much when I heard it, but I have often marked the propriety of it since. Last night I supped at lord R.’s with a select party: on such occasions, he is not ambitious of shining; he is rather pleasant than arch; he is comparatively reserved; but you find something in that restraint, which is more agreeable than the utmost exertion of talents in others. The reserve of Rochester gives you the idea of a copious river, that fills its channel, and seems as if it would easily overflow its banks, but is unwilling to spoil the beauty and verdure of the plains. The most perfect good-humour was supported through the whole evening; nor was it in the least disturbed, when, unexpectedly, towards the end of it, the king came in—(no unusual thing with Charles II.) “ Something has vexed him," said Rochester; "he never does me this honour, but when he is in an ill humour.” The following dialogue, or something very like it, then ensued :

The King. How the devil have I got here? The knaves have sold every cloak in the wardrobe.

Rochester. Those knaves are fools. That is a part of dress, which, for their own sakes, your majesty ought never to be without.

The King. Pshaw !—I'm vexed !

Rochester. I hate still life-I'm glad of it. Your majesty is never so entertaining as when

The King. Ridiculous !—I believe the English are the most untractable people upon earth.

Rochester. I most humbly beg your majesty's pardon, if I presume in that respect.

The King. You would find them so were you in my place, and obliged to govern,

Rochester. Were I in your majesty's place, I would not
The King. How then ?

Rochester. I would send for my good lord Rochester, and command him to govern.

The King. But the singular modesty of that nobleman

Rochester. He would certainly conform himself to your majesty's bright example. How gloriously would the two grand social virtues flourish under his auspices !

govern at all.

The King. O, prisca fides! What can these be?
Rochester. The love of wine and women!
The King. God bless your majesty!

Rochester. These attachments keep the world in good humour, and therefore I say they are social virtues. Let the bishop of Salisbury deny it if he can.

The King. He died last night; have you a mind to · succeed him ?

Rochester. On condition that I shall neither be called upon to preach on the thirtieth of January, nor on the twenty-ninth of May.*

The King. Those conditions are curious. You object to the first, I suppose, because it would be a melancholy subject; but the other

Rochester. Would be a melancholy subject too.
The King. That is too much

Rochester. Nay, I only mean that the business would be a little too grave for the day. Nothing but the indulgence of the two grand social virtues could be a proper testimony of my joy upon that occasion.

The King. Thou art the happiest fellow in my dominions. Let me perish, if I do not envy thee thy impudence !

It is in some such strain of conversation, generally, that this prince passes off his chagrin ; and he never suffers his dignity to stand in the way of his humour. If happiness be the end of wisdom, I know not who has a right to censure his conduct.

EPITAPH FOR “RARE BEN."

BY MILDMAY FANE, EARL OF WESTMORELAND. (From a small book of Poems which his Lordship gare to, and is still preserred in, the

Library of Emanuel College, Cambridge.)

In Obitum Ben Johns. Poetæ Eximü,

He who began from bricke and lime
The Muses' hill to climbe;
And, whilom busied in laying ston,
Thirsted to drinke of Helicon,

* The anniversaries of king Charles the First's martyrdom and the Restoration of Charles the Second.

Changing his trowel for a gun,
Wrote straight the temper, not the dirt of men.
Now sithence that he is turned to clay and gon,
Let these remain of the occupation
He honor'd once: square him a tomb, may say
His craft exceeded far a dawber's way,-
Then write upon, “He could no longer tarry,
But was returned 'gain unto the quarry.”

THE PAIR THIEF.-BY THE EARL OF EGREMONT. The following beautiful verses, which appeared in the European Magazine, vol. ii. pp. 63, have been since assigned to Charles Wyndham, earl of Egremont, the son of the celebrated Sir William Wyndham, minister to queen Anne.

Before the urchin well could go,
She stole the whiteness of the snow;
And more that whiteness to adorn,
She stole the blushes of the morn,-
Stole all the sweets that ether sheds
On primrose buds or violet beds.
Still, to reveal her artful wiles,
She stole the Graces' silken smiles ;
She stole Aurora's balmy breath,
And pilfer'd orient pearl for teeth:
The cherry, dipt in morning dew,
Gave moisture to her lips and hue.

These were her infant spoils,-a store
To which in time she added more.
At twelve, she stole from Cyprus’ queen
Her air and love-commanding mein,
Stole Juno's dignity, and stole
From Pallas, sense to charm the soul.

Apollo's wit was next her prey;
Her next, the beam that lights the day.
She sung ;-amaz'd, the Sirens heard,
And, to assert their voice, appear'd.
She play'd;—the Muses from the hill
Wonder'd who thus had stol’n their skill.

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THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF NEWCASTLE. MARGARET, duchess of Newcastle, so celebrated as a loving wife and voluminous scribbler, has, in an epistle appended to Sir William Musgrave's copy of the life of the duke her husband, (a rare work) preserved in the British Museum, given the following amusing character of his grace and herself. Whatever may be thought of its modesty, no one can deny its claims to an extraordinary share of ingenuousness.

“ My lord is a person, whose humour is neither extravagantly merry nor unnecessarily sad; his mind is above his fortune, as his generosity is above his purse ; his courage above danger, his justice above bribes, his friendship above self-interest, his truth too firm for falsehood, his temperance beyond temptation : his conversation is pleasing and affable, his wit is quick, and his judgement is strong, distinguishing clearly without clouds of mistakes; his discourse is always new upon the occasion, without troubling the hearers with old historical relations, nor stuft with useless sentences; his behaviour is manly without formality, and free without constraint, and his mind hath the same freedom; his nature is noble, and his disposition sweet. His loyalty is proved by his publick service to his king and country, by his often hazarding of his life, by the loss of his estate and the banishment of his person, by his necessitated condition, and his constant and patient sufferings. But, however our fortunes are, we are both content, spending our time harmless; for my lord pleaseth himself with the management of some few horses, and exercises himself with the use of the sword, which two arts he hath brought, by his studious thoughts, rationall experience, and industrious practice, to an absolute perfection.

For my part, I had rather sit at home and write, or walk in my chamber and contemplate. But I hold it necessary sometimes to appear abroad, besides, I do find that several objects do bring new materials for my thoughts and fancies

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to build upon. Yet, I must say this in behalf of my thoughts, that I never found them idle ; for, if the senses bring no work in, they will work of themselves like silk-worms, that spin out of their own bowels. Neither can I say that I thinke the time tedious when I am alone, so I be near my lord, and know that he is well. I always took delight in a singularity, even in acoutrements of habits; but whatsoever I was addicted to, either in fashions of cloths, contemplation of thoughts, actions of life, they were lawful, honest, honourable, and modest, of which I can avouch to the world with a great confidence, because it is a pure truth. As for my disposition, it is more inclining to melancholy than merry, but not crabbed or peevish melancholy; and I am apt to weep rather than laugh, not that I do often either of them. Also, where I place a particular affection, I love extraordinarily and constantly, yet not fondly, but soberly and observingly; but this affection will take no root but where I think or find merit, and have leave both from divine and moral laws. Yet, I find this passion so troublesome, as it is the only torment of my life, for fear any evil misfortune, or accident, or sickness, or death should come unto them, insomuch as I am never freely at rest. Likewise, I am gratefull, for I never receive a curtesie, but I am impatient and troubled until I can make a return. Also, I am chaste, both by nature and education, insomuch that I do abhorr an unchaste thought. Likewise, I am seldom angry, as my servants may witness for me, but, when I am angry, I am very angry, but yet it is soon overz. and I am easily pacified, if it be not such an injury as may create a hate. Likewise, I am neither spiteful, envious, nor malicious. I repine not at the gifts that nature or fortune bestows upon others, yet I am a great emulator; for, though I wish none worse than they are, yet it is lawful for me to wish myself the best, and to do my honest endeavours thereunto; for I think it no crime to wish myself the exactest of nature's works, my thread of life the longest, my chain of destiny the strongest, my mind the peaceablest, my life the pleasantest, my death the easiest, and (myself) the greatest saint in heaven.”

The duke amply repaid the partiality of his lady, by an epistle which he published, to “ justifie the lady Newcastle, and truth against falsehood, laying those false and malicious aspersions of her, that she was not author of her books."

This lady's philosophy,” says the uxorious peer, “ is excellent, and will be thought so hereafter; and the truth is, that it was wholly and only wrought out of her own brain, as there are many witnesses, by the several sheets that she sent daily to be writ fair for the press. As for her Poems, where are the

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