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SOME ACCOUNT

OF THE

A U UT THOR.

L

ORD. VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE defcended

from a family, which, for its antiquity, power, and large possessions, has ever been eminently distinguished in the English annals: Titles of dignity, as connected with property, were in this family before it appeared in our records; for the Ports were great.. Barons before the Norman conquest, and the St. John's became so in virtue of it.

His grandfather, Sir Walter St. John, represent-. ed the county of Wilts in two parliaments, in the reign of King Charles II. and had the fame honour in the second parliament held by King William. He had issue by his Lady one fon, Henry, who married the Lady Mary, second daughter and co-heiress of Robert Rich, Earl of Warwick, by whom he had only one son, Henry, who is the author of these volumes.

He was born about the close of the last Dutch war, in the reign of King Charles II, and as it was.

a very great comfort to Sir Walter, to see his son's apparent-heir formed under his eye ; so it was the peculiar felicity of young Mr. St. John, that not only his education and first settlement in the world, but even his first entrance into public business, was under the care and inspection of two fathers, both men of character, worth, and experience.

Mr. St. John, after having passed through Eaton fchool, was removed to Oxford ; and by the time he left that university, was deservedly considered as one who had the fairelt opportunity of making a fhining figure in the world. He was in his person wonderfully agreeable; he had a dignity mixed with sweetness in his looks, and a manner that would have captivated the neart, if his person had been ever fo indifferent. He was remarkable for his vivacity, and had a most retentive memory; so that whatever he read he made it entirely his own, and whether he was to speak or to write upon any subject, his favourite authors occurred to him just as he had read them.

In the earlier parts of his life he did not read much, or at least many books, being unwilling, as he said, to fill his head with what did not deserve a place there.

In the fucceeding part of his life a great deal of his time was employed in reading, but still with much caution; and he frequently complained of that necessity which arose from political controverfy, of being obliged to peruse a multitude of miserable performances. He had a great quickness of penetration, could very happily distinguish the real from the apparent view of polemical writers; and had a sprightliness and perfpicuity in deli

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