Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

tude of this Place, and the greatest Pleasures of it I owe to its being so near those beautiful Manors wherein you sometimes reside: It is not Retising from the World, but Enjoying its most valuable Blessings, when a Man is permitted to Share in your Lordship's Conversations in the Country. All the bright Images which the Wits of paft Ages have left behind them in their Writings, the noble Plans which the greatest Statesmen have laid down for Administration of Affairs, are equally the familiar Objects of your Knowledge. But what is peculiar to your Lordship above all the illustrious Personages that have appeared in any Age, is, That Wit and Learning have from your Example fallen into a new Æra. Your Patronage has produced those Arts, which before Chunned the Com. merce of the World, into the Service of Life ; and it is to you we owe, that the Man of Wit has turned himself to be a Man of Business. The false Delicacy of Men of Genius, and the Objections which others were ape to insinuate against their Abilities for entering into Affairs, have equally va

nished.

Mewn,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

pilhed. And Experience has
that Men of Letters are not only qua-
lified with a

greater Capacity, but also a greater Integrity in the Difpatch of Business. Your own Studies have been diverted from

diverted from being the highest Ornament, to the highest Use to Mankind; and the Capacities which would have rendered you the greatest Poet of your Age, have to the Advantage of Great Britain been employed in Pursuits which have made you the most able and unbiassed Patriot. A vigorous Imagination, an extensive Apprehension, and a ready Judgment, have distinguished you in all the illustrious Parts of Administration, in Reign attended with such Difficulties, that the fame Talents without the fame Quickness in the Possession of them would have been incapable of conquering. The natural Success of such Abilities has advanced you to a Seat in that illustrious House, where you were received by a

a Crowd of your Relations. Great as you are in your Honours, and Personal qualities, I know you will forgive an humble Neighbour, the Vanity of pretending to

a Place

a

i

A 3

a Place in your Friendship, and subscribing himfelf,

My LORD,

Your Lordship's

Most Obliged, and

Most Devoted Servant,

Richard Steele.

THE

P R E F A C E.

N the last. Tatler I promised some Explanation of Pallages and Persons men

tioned in this Work, as well as some 9.

Account of the Alliances I have had

in the Performance. I fall do this in very few Words; for when a Man has no Design but to speak plain Truth, he may say a great Deal in a very narrow Compass. I have, in the Dedication of the First Volume made my Acknowledgments to Dr. Swift, whafe pleasant Writings, in the Name of Bickerstaff, created an Inclination in the Town towards any Thing that could appear in the same Disguise. I muft acknowledge also, that at my first entring upon this Work, a certain uncommon Way of Thinking, and a Turn in Conversation peculiar to that agreeable Gentleman, rendered his Company very advantageous to one whose Imagination was to be continually employed upon obvious and common Subjects, though at the Same Time obliged to treat of them in a new and unbeaten Method. His Verses on the Shower in Town, and the Description of the Morning, are Instances of the Happiness of that Genius, which could raise Juch pleasing Ideas upon Occasions so barren to an ordinary Invention.

A4

WHEN

WHEN I am upon the House of Bickerstaff, 1 must not forget that Genealogy of the Family sent to me by the Post, and Written, as I fince understand, by Mr. Twisden, who died at the Battle of Mons, and has a Monument in Westminster-Abbey, suitable to the Respect which is due to his Wit and his Valour. There are through the Course of the Work very many Incidents which were written by unknown Correspondents. Of this Kind is the Tale in the second Tatler, and the Epiftle from Mr. Downes the Prompter, with others which were very well received by the Publick. But I have only one Gentleman, who will be nameless, to thank for any frequent Alistance to me, which indeed it would have been barbarous in bim to have denyed to one with whom he has lived in an Intimacy from Childhood, confidering the great Ease with which he is able to dispatch the most entertaining Pieces of this Nature. This good Office he performed with such Force of Genius, Humour, Wit and Learning, that I fared like a distressed Prince; who calls in a powerful Neighbour to his Aid; I was andone by my Auxiliary; when I had once called him in, I could not subsist without Dependance on him.

THE same Hand writ the distinguishing Characters of Men and Women under the Names of Musical Instruments, the Distress of the News-writers, the Inventory of the Play-house, and The Description of the Thermometer, which I cannot but look upon as the greatest Embellishments of this work.

THUS far I thought necessary to say relating to the

great Hands which have been concerned in these Volumes, with Relation to the Spirit and Genius of the Work; and am far from pretending to Modesty in making this Acknowledgment. What a Man obtains from the Good Opinion and Friendship of worthy Men, is a much greater Honour than he can pol

« AnteriorContinuar »