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His Grace the DUKE of ORMOND.


Anno 1699SOME

OME estates are held in England, by paying a

fine at the change of every lord : I have enjoyed the patronage of your family, from the time of your excellent grandfather to this present day. I have dedicated the translation of the lives of Plutarch to the first Duke ; and have celebrated the memory of your heroic father. Though I am very short of the age of Nestor, yet I have lived to a third generation of your house; and by your Grace's favour am admitted ftill to hold from you by the same tenure.

I am not vain enough to boast that I have deserved the value of so illustrious a line; but my fortune is the greater, that for three defcents they have been pleased to distinguish my poems from those of other men; and have accordingly made me their peculiar care. May it be permitted me to say, That as your grandfather and father were cherished and adorned with honours by two successive monarchs, so I have been esteemed and patronized by the grandfather, the father, and the fon, descended from one of the most antient, molt conSpicuous, and most deserving families in Europe.

It is true, that by delaying the payment of my last fine, when it was due by your Grace's accession to the


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titles and patrimonies of your house, I may seem, in rigour of law, to have made a forfeiture of my claim; yet my heart has always been devoted to your service: and since you have been graciously pleased, by your permission of this address, to accept the tender of my duty, it is not yet too late to lay these volumes at your feet.

The world is fenfible that you worthily succeed, not only to the honours of your ancestors, but also to their virtues. The long chain of magnanimity, courage, easiness of access, and desire of doing good even to the prejudice of your fortune, is so far from being broken in your Grace, that the precious metal yet runs pure to the newest link of it: which I will not call the last, because I hope and pray, it may descend to late posterity: and your flourishing youth, and that of your excellent Dutchess, are happy omens of my wish.

It is observed by Livy and by others, that some of the nobleft Roman families retained a resemblance of their ancestry, not only in their hapes and features, but also in their manners, their qualities, and the diftinguishing characters of their minds: fome lines were noted for a stern, rigid virtue, favage, haughty, parsimonious, and unpopular : others were more sweet, and affables made of a more pliant paste, humble, courteous, and obliging ; ftudious of doing charitable offices, and diffusive of the goods which they enjoyed. The last of these is the proper and indelible character of your Grace's family. God Almighty has endued you with a softness, a beneficence, an attractive beha4


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viour winning on the hearts of others; and so fensible of their misery, that the wounds of fortune seem not inflicted on them, but on yourself. You are so ready to redress, that you almost prevent their wishes, and always exceed their expectations : as if what was yours, was not your own, and not given you to possess, but to bestow on wanting merit. But this is a topic which I must cast in shades, left I offend your modesty, which is so far from being oftentatious of the good you do, that it blushes even to have it known: and therefore I must leave you to the satisfaction and testiinony of your own conscience, which though it be a silent panegyric, is yet the best.

You are so easy of access, that Poplicola was not more, whose doors were opened on the outside to faye the people even the common civility of asking entrance; where all were equally admitted ; where nothing that, was reasonable was denied; where misfortune was a powerful recommendation, and where (I can scarce forbear faying) that want itself was a powerful media, tor, and was next to merit.

The history of Peru affures us, that their Incas, above all their titles, esteemed that the highest, which called them Lovers of the poor : a name more glorious than the Felix, Pius, and Augustus of the Roman emperors; which were epithets of Aattery, deserved by few of them; and not running in a blood like the perpetual gentleness, and inherent goodness of the Ormond Family


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