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I fhun his Zenith, court his mild Decline;
Thus SOMMERS once, and HALLIFAX, were mine. Oft, in the clear, ftill Mirrour of Retreat,
I ftudy'd SHREWSBURY, the wife and great: CARLETON'S calm Senfe, and STANHOPE'S noble
Flame, Compar'd, and knew their gen'rous End the same :
VER. 77. SOMMERS] Jola Lord Sommers died in 17:6. He had been Lord Keeper in the reign of William III. who took from him the feals in 1700. The Author had the honour of knowing him in 1706. A faithful, able, and incorrupt Minifter; who, to qualities of a confummate nateiman, added those of a man of Learning and Politenefs.
"One of thofe divine men," fays Lord Orford finely, "who, like a chapel in a palace, remains unprofaned, while all the reft is tyranny, corruption, and folly. All the traditional accounts of him, the hiftorians of the laft age, and its beft authors, represent him, as the moft incorrupt lawyer, and the honeftest statesman ; as a mafter orator, a genius of the finest taste, and as a patriot of the nobleft and moft extenfive views; as a man, who dispensed bleffings by his life, and planned them for posterity. He was at once the model of Addison, and the touchitone of Swift: The one wrote from him, the other for him.” WARTON.
VER. 77. HALLIFAZ,] A Peer, no lefs diftinguished by his love of Letters than his abilities in Parliament. He was dif graced in 1710, on the change of Q Anne's miniftry POPE.
VER. 79 SHREWSBURY,] Charles Talbot, Duke of Shrewf bury, had been Secretary of State, Embassador in France, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Treasurer. He several times quitted his employments, and was often recalled, He died in 1718. POPE.
VER. 80. CARLETON] Hen. Boyle, Lord Carleton, (nephew of the famous Robert Boyle,) who was Secretary of State under William III. and Prefident of the Council under Q. Anne. Porɛ,
VER. 80. STANHOPE] James Earl Stanhope. A Noblerman of equal courage, fpirit, and learning. General in Spain, and Secretary of State.
How pleasing ATTERBURY'S fofter hour!
How fhin'd the Soul, unconquer'd in the Tow'r!
VER. 80. STANHOPE's noble Flame,] Who confeffed to old Whifton, that, in his opinion, it was almoft impoffible for a Minister of State to be an honeft man. WARTON.
VER. 82. How pleafing ATTERBURY's] Pleafing indeed it muft have been, whether we confider his learning, his eloquence, his tafte, his tender domeftic feelings as a Father, his kindness as a Friend. Atterbury is held up, as factious, ambitious, &c. That he was attached to the Houfe of Stuart, and afterwards entered into the schemes with the party, there can be no doubt; but I think it hard to attribute this to disappointed ambition, from not attaining the ecclefiaftical eminence he afpired to. Might he not have been actuated folely by confcience, and a sense of what he thought his duty? His firmness of conduct, his manly tendernefs, his accomplishments, and his fufferings throw a kind of beautiful luftre on his character, whatever might have been his political creed, or conduct. His letter on his banishment, where he fays, "Some natural tears he dropped, but wiped them foon;" who can read without being affected to tears? I cannot help faying, when I think of his "fofter hour;" "Ambition should be made of ferner fluff"
When we confider what has been esteemed the harsher and more violent part of his character, we feel an additional tenderness, at the idea of kindneffes, friendship, paternal feelings, &c. We are interested, as when in Julius Cæfar we fee Brutus, whose ftern character we had been almoft afraid to approach, taking the inftrument, from the boy's hand, and, in the midst of his haraffed and bitter feelings, faying,
"Gentle Knave, good night;
I will not do thee fo much wrong to wake thee !"
I will add Coxe's account of his Education, &c. "Francis Atterbury was born at Middleton near Newport Pagnell, in Buckinghamshire, 1662. He was educated at Westminfter, and elected ftudent of Christ Church Oxford. He was distinguished at an early age for tafte and claffical attainments. On taking orders, he acquired high reputation, for his talents in preaching, and fupporting, against Hoadley and Wake, the doctrines of the high Church.
How can I PULT'NEY, CHESTERFIELD forget,
"He was first patronized by Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bishop of Exeter; appointed by the Tory administration of Queen Anne, Dean of Christ Church; and in 1713, at the recommendation of the Earl of Oxford, advanced to the Bishoprick of Rochester, and Deanery of Westminster.
“He was inimical always to the fucceffion of the Hanover linc. On the acceffion of George the First, he received evident marks of coldnefs from the new Sovereign. He afpired to the highest Honours of the Church, and would have fucceeded under Queen Anue; but, on her death, his uniform oppofition to the Government of his new Sovereign, precluded him from all expectation of preferment."
VER. 83. Hot bin'd the Soul,] Among thefe, Atterbury was his chief intimate. The turbulent and imperious temper of this haughty prelate was long felt and remembered in the college over which he prefided. It was with difficulty Queen Anne was per fuaded to make him a bishop; which she did at last, on the repeated importunities of Lord Harcourt; who preffed the Queen to do it, because truly fhe had before disappointed him, in not placing Sacheverell on the bench. After her deccafe, Atterbury vehemently urged his friends to proclaim the Pretender; and on their refufal, upbraided them for their timidity with many oaths; for he was accuftomed to fwear, on any ftrong provocation. In a Collection of Letters, lately published by Mr. Duncombe, it is affirmed, on the authority of Elijah Fenton, that Atterbury, fpeaking of Pope, faid, there was,
Mens curva in corpore curvo.
This fentiment feems utterly inconfiftent with the warm friendhip fuppofed to fubilt between thefe celebrated men. But Dr. Herring, in the 2d vel, of this collection, p. 104. fays, “ If At· terbury was ret worfe uted than any honest man in the world ever was, there were drong contradictions between his public and private character."
VER. 84. PULT'NEY, CHESTERFIELD] I have heard a lady of exquifite wit and judgment, fay of thefe two celebrated men, The latter was always friving to be witty, and the former could not help being "