« EelmineJätka »
of Knowledge, which, however posseffed in the highest degree, can possibly give no one good quality to the mind .
It is true, I have been much concerned, for several
years past, upon account of the publick as well as for myself, to see how ill a taste for wit and sense prevails in the world, which Politics, and South-sea, and Party, and Opera's, and Masquerades have introduced. For, be
, lides many infipid papers which the malice of
• This is a very strange / cial, and a civil being. And affertion. To suppose that a these are all included under consummate knowledge of Ethics; whether you call the Laws, by which civilized the science Morality or Law, societies are governed, can | And with regard to the Law give no one good quality to the of England, we must be mind, is making Ethics (of much prejudiced against it which public laws are so con- not to allow that what Tully siderable a part) a very un- affirms concerning the Law profitable study. The best of the twelve tables, may division of the sciences is that, with more justice, be applied old one of Plato, into Ethics, to ours.
i Fremant omnes Physics, and Logic. The se- “ licet, dicam quod fenverer Philosophers condemn“ tio: bibliothecas mehercule a total application to the two « omniuih Philofophorum latter, because they have no unum mihi videtur Pantendency to mend the heart; “ dectarum volumen et auand recommend the first as
“ thoritatis pondere et utir our principal study, for its
" litatis ubertate superare." efficacy in this important fer- But the best proof of its niovice. And sure, if any hu- ral efficacy is the manners of man speculations can mend its profeflors: and these, in the heart they must be those every age, have been such as which have Man for their ob- were the first improved, or ject, as a reasonable, a so- | the last corrupted.
fome hath entitled me to, there are many persons appearing to wish me well, and pretending to be judges of my style and manner, who
, have yet ascribed fome writings to me, of which any man of common sense and literature would be heartily afhamed. I cannot forbear instancing a Treatise called a Dedication upon Dedications, which many would have to be mine, although it be as empty, dry, and fervile a composition, as I remember at any time to have read. But above all, there is one Circumstance which makes it impossible for me to have been author of a Treatise, wherein there are several pages containing a Panegyriç on King George, of whose character and person I am utterly ignorant, nor ever had once the cusiosity to enquire into either, living at so great a distance as I do, and having long done with whatever can relate to public matters.
Indeed I have formerly delivered my thoughts very freely, whether I were asked or no; but never affected to be a Councellor, to which I had no manner of call, I was humbled enough to see myself so far out-done by the Earl of Oxford in my own trade as a Scholar, and too good a Courtier not to discover his contempt of those who would be men of importance out of their sphere. Befides, to say the truth, although I have known many great Ministers ready
enough to hear Opinions, yet I have hardly seen. one that would ever descend to take Advice; and this pedantry ariseth from a Maxim them- * selves do not believe at the fame time they practise by it, that there is something profound in Politics, which men of plain honest fense cannot arrive to.
I only wish my endeavours had succeeded better in the great point I had at heart, which was that of reconciling the Ministers to each other. This might have been done, if others, who had more concern and more influence, would have acted their parts; and, if this had succeeded, the public interest both of Church and State would not have been the worse, nor the Protestant Succession endangered.
But, whatever opportunities a constant attendance of four years might have given me. for endeavouring to do good offices to particular persons, I deserve at least to find tolerable quarter from thofe of the other Party; for many of which I was a constant advocate with the Earl of Oxford, and for this I appeal to his Lordship : He knows how often I pressed him. in favour of Mr. Addífon, Mr. Congreve, MI;. Row, and Mr. Steel ; although I freely confels that his Lordship's kindness to them was altogether owing to his generous notions, and the esteem he had for their wit and
parts, of whichi
I could only pretend to be a remembrancer, For I can never forget the answer he gave to the late Lord Hallifax, who upon the first change of the Ministry interceded with him to spare Mr. Congreve : It was by repeating these two lines of Virgil,
Non obtusa adeo geftamus pectora Pæni,
jungit ab urbe,
Pursuant to which, he always treated Mr. Çongreve with the greatest personal civilities, assușing him of his constant favour and protection, and adding that he would study to do something better for him.
I remember it was in those times a usual subject of raillery towards me among the Ministers, that I never came to them without a Whig in
my sleeve; which I do not say with any view towards making my Court : For, the new Principles fixed to those of that denomination, I did then, and do now from my heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as wholly degenerate from their predecessors. I have conversed in fome freedom with more ministers of State of all parties than usually happens to men of my level, and, I confess, in their capacity as Mi
. He means particularly , Enemies, of an intențion to the principle at that time proscribe the Tories. charged upon them, by their
nifters, I look
them as a race of people whose acquaintance no man would court, otherwise than
upon the score of Vanity or Ambition. The first quickly wears off (and is the Vice of low minds, for a man of spirit is too proud to be vain) and the other was not my case. Besides, having never received more than one small favour, I was under no neceffity of being a slave to men in power,
but chose my friends by their personal merit, without examining how far their notions agreed with the politics then in vogue. I frequently conversed with Mr. Addison, and the others I named (except Mr. Steel) during all my
Lord Oxford's Ministry, and Mr. Addison's friendship to me continued inviolable, with as much kindness as when we used to meet at my
Lord Sommers for Hallifax, who were leaders of the opposite Party
I would infer from all this, that it is with great injustice I have these many years been pelted by your Pamphleteers, merely upon account of some regard which the Queen's last Ministers were pleased to have for me: and yet in my
conscience I think I am a partaker in every ill design they had against the Protestant
Lord Sommers had very | Wharton when he went the warmly recommended Dr. Queen's Lieutenant into TreSwift to the favour of Lord | land, in the year 1709.