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seemed no way supported either by his acuteness of the nation, principally with the regard to her or his learning. He began to reflect seriously on taxes and debts, and on the causes and consequenthese subjects too late in life, and to suppose those ces of them. This undertaking was left unfinishobjections very new and unanswerable which had ed, for death snatched the pen from the hand of been already confuted by thousands. “Lord Bo- the writer. lingbroke," says Pope, in one of his letters, "is Having passed the latter part of his life in digniabove trifling; when he writes of any thing in this ty and splendour, his tional faculties improved by world, he is more than mortal. If ever he trifles, it reflection, and his ambition kept under by disapmust be when he turns divine.”
pointment, his whole aim seemed to have been to In the mean time, as it was evident that a man leave the stage of life, on which he had acted such of his active ambition, in choosing retirement when various parts, with applause. He had long wished no longer able to lead in public, must be liable to to fetch his breath at Battersea, the place where he ridicule in resuming a resigned philosophical air, in was born ; and fortune, that had through life order to obviate the censure, he addressed a letter seemed to trace all his aims, at last indulged him to Lord Bathurst upon the true use of retirement in this. He had long been troubled with a canand study : in which he shows himself still able cer in his cheek, by which excruciating disease he and willing to undertake the cause of his country, died on the verge of fourscore years of age. He whenever its distresses should require his exertion. was consonant with himself to the last; and those “I have,” says he,“ renounced neither my coun- principles which he had all along avowed, he contry nor my friends; and by my friends, I mean all firmed with his dying breath, having given orders those, and those alone, who are such to their coun- that none of the clergy should be permitted to troutry. In their prosperity they shall endeavour to ble him in his latest moments. hear of me; in their distress always. In that re- His body was interred in Battersea church with treat wherein the remainder of my days shall be those of his ancestors; and a marble monument spent, I may be of some use to them, since even erected to his memory, with the following excellent thence I may advise, exhort, and warn them.” inscription : Bent upon this pursuit only, and having now ex. changed the gay statesman for the grave philosopher, he shone forth with distinguished lustre.
HENRY ST. JOHN, His conversation took a different turn from what had been usual with him; and as we are assured SECRETARY OF WAR, SECRETARY OF STATE, by Lord Orrery, who knew him, it united the
AND VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE; wisdom of Socrates, the dignity and ease of Pliny, and the wit of Horace.
Yet still amid his resolutions to turn himself from politics, and to give himself up entirely to the calls of philosophy, he could not resist embarking HIM TO A LONG AND SEVERE PERSECUTION; once more in the debates of his country; and coming back from France, settled at Battersea, an old PASSED THE LATTER PART of his time at home, seat which was his father's and had been long in THE ENEMY OF NO NATIONAL PARTY, the possession of the family. He supposed he saw an impending calamity, and though it was not in DISTINGUISHED (UNDER THE CLOUD OF A his power to remove, he thought it his duty to re- PROSCRIPTION, WHICH HAD NOT BEEN ENTIRELY tard its fall. To redeem or save the nation from TAKEN OFF) BY ZEAL TO MAINTAIN perdition, he thought impossible, since national THE LIBERTY, AND TO RESTORE THE ANCIEN corruptions were to be purged by national calamities ; but he was resolved to lend his feeble assist- HE DIED THE 12TH OF DECEMNER, 1751, ance to stem the torrent that was pouring in. With
AGED 79. this spirit he wrote that excellent piece, which is entitled, “ The Idea of a Patriot King ;" in which In this manner lived and died Lord Bolingbroke, he describes a monarch uninfluenced by party, ever active, never depressed, ever pursuing fortune, leaning to the suggestions neither of whigs nor and as constantly disappointed by her. In whattəries, but equally the friend and the father of all. ever light we view his character, we shall find him Some time after, in the year 1749, after the con- an object rather properer for our wonder than our clusion of the peace two years before, the measures imitation, more to be feared than esteemed, and taken by the administration seemed not to have gaining our admiration without our love. His ambeen repugnant to his notions of political prudence bition ever aimed at the summit of power, and no for that juncture ; in that year he wrote his last thing seemed capable of satisfying his immoderato production, containing reflections on the then state desires, but the liberty of governing all things with
IN THE REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE
IN THE DAYS OF KING GEORGE I, AND
KING GEORGE II.
SOMETHING MORE AND BETTER.
HIS ATTACHMENT TO QUEEN ANNE EXPOSED
HE PORE IT WITH FIRMNESS OF MIND; HE
TAE FRIEND OF NO FACTION;
PROSPERITY OF GREAT BRITAIN.
out a rival. With as much ambition, as greated: this is the Last Will and Testament of me, abilities, and more acquired knowledge than Cæsar, Henry St. John, in the reign of Queen Anne, and he wanted only his courage to be as successful : by her grace and favour, Viscount Bolingbroke. but the schemes his head dictated his heart often After more than thirty years' proscription, and refused to execute; and he lost the ability to per- after the immense losses I have sustained by un. form just when the great occasion called for all his expected events in the course of it; by the injustice efforts to engage.
and treachery of persons nearest to me; by the negliThe same ambition that prompted him to be a gence of friends, and by the infidelity of servants; politician, actuated him as a philosopher. His as my fortune is so reduced at this time, that it is aims were equally great and extensive in both ca- impossible for me to make such disposition, and to pacities : unwilling to submit to any in the one, or give such ample legacies as I always intended, I any authority in the other, he entered the fields of content therefore to give as follows: science with a thorough contempt of all that had
My debts, and the expenses of my burial in a been established before him, and seemed willing to decent and private manner at Battersea, in the think every thing wrong, that he might show his vault where my last wife lies, being first paid, I faculty in the reformation. It might have been give to William Chetwynd, of Stafford, Esq., and better for his quiet as a man, if he had been content Joseph Taylor, of the Inner-Temple, London, to act a subordinate character in the state; and it Esq., my two assured friends, each of them one had certainly been better for his memory as a writer, hundred guineas, to be laid out by them, as to each if he had aimed at doing less than he attempted. of them shall seem best, in some memorial, as the Wisdom in morals, like every other art or science, legacy of their departed friend; and I constitute is an accumulation that numbers have contributed them executors of this my will. The diamond ring to increase; and it is not for one single man to pre-which I wear upon my finger, I give to my old and tend, that he can add more to the heap than the long approved friend the Marquis of Matignon, thousands that have gone before him. Such innova- and after his decease, to his son the Count de Gace, tions more frequently retard than promote know that I may be kept in the remembrance of a family ledge; their maxims are more agreeable to the read- whom I love and honour above all others. er, by having the gloss of novelty to recommend
Item, I give to my said executors the sum of four them, than those which are trite, only because they hundred pounds in to place out the same in Such men are therefore followed at first
some of the public funds, or government securities, with avidity, nor is it till some time that their dis
or any other securities, as they shall think proper, ciples begin to find their error. They often, and to pay the interest or income thereof to Franthough too late, perceive that they have been fol- cis Arboneau, my valet de chambre, and Ann, his lowing a speculative inquiry, while they have been wife, and the survivor of them; and after the deleaving a practical good: and while they have been cease of the survivor of them, if their son John Arpractising the arts of doubting, they have been
boneau shall be living, and under the age of eighteen losing all firmness of principle, which might tend to establish the rectitude of their private conduct. until he shall attain his said age, and then to pay
years, to pay the said interest or income to him, As a moralist, therefore, Lord Bolingbroke, by the principal money, or assign the securities for the having endeavoured at too much, seems to have done nothing; but as a political writer, few can decease of his father and mother, or shall afterwards
same, to him; but if he shall not be living at the equal, and none can exceed him. As he was a Jie before his said age of eighteen years, in either practical politician, his writings are less filled with
of the said cases the said principal sum of four those speculative illusions, which are the result of hundred pounds, and the securities for the sami solitude and seclusion. He wrote them with a shall sink into my personal estate, and be accounscertainty of their being opposed, sisted, examined,
ed part thereof. and reviled; he therefore took care to build them of such materials as could not be easily overthrown:
Item, I give to my two servants, Marianne Tri
bon, and Remi Charnet, commonly called Picard, they prevailed at the times in which they were written, they still continue to the admiration of the each one hundred pounds; and to every other ser
vant living with me at the time of my decease, and present age, and will probably last for ever.
who shall have lived with me two years or longer,
I give one year's wages more than what shall be THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF THE LATE due to them at my death. RIGHT HON. HENRY ST. JONN, LORD VISCOUNT
And whereas I am the author of the several books
or tracts following, viz. In the name of God, whom I humbly adore, to Remarks on the History of England, from the whom I offer up perpetual thanksgiving, and to the Minutes of Humphrey Oldcastle. In twenty-four urder of wbuse providence I am cheerfully resign- letters.
A Dissertation upon Parties. In nineteen let i In Dr. Matty's Life of Lord Chesterfield, he ters to Caleb Danvers, Esq.
mentions that the earl had seen Lord Bolingbroke The Occasional Writer. Numb. 1, 2, 3. for several months labouring under a cruel, and to The Vision of Camilick.
appearance incurable disorder. A cancerous hu. An Answer to the London Journal of Decem- muur in his face made a daily progress; and the ber 21, 1728, by John Trot.
empirical treatment he submitted to not only An Answer to the Defence of the Inquiry into hastened his end, but also exposed him to the most che Reasons of the Conduct of Great Britain. excruciating pain. He saw him, for the last time,
A final Answer to the Remarks on the Crafts- the day before his tortures began. Though the man's Vindication.
unhappy patient, as well as his friend, did then exAll which books or tracts have been printed and pect that he should recover, and accordingly depublished; and I am also the author of sired him not to come again till his cure was comFour Letters on History, etc.
pleted, yet he still took leave of him in a manner which have been privately printed, and not pub- which showed how much he was affected. He lished; but I have not assigned to any person or embraced the earl with tenderness, and said, "God, persons whatsoever the copy, or the liberty of print- who placed me here, will do what he pleases with ing or reprinting any of the said books, or tracts, me hereafter, and he knows best what to do. May or letters: Now I do hereby, as far as by law I he bless you.”—And in a letter from Chesterfield can, give and assign to David Mallet, of Putney, to a lady of rank at Paris, he says, “I frequently in the county of Surrey, Esquire, the copy and see our friend Bolingbroke, but I see him with copies of all and each of the before mentioned books great concern. A humour he has long had in his or tracts, and letters, and the liberty of reprinting cheek proves to be cancerous, and has made an the same. I also give to the said David Mallet the alarming progress of late. Hitherto it is not atcopy and copies of all the manuscript books, papers, tended with pain, which is all he wishes, for as lo and writings, which I have written or composed, the rest he is resigned. Truly a mind like his, so or shall write or compose, and leave at the time of far superior to the generality, would have well demy decease. And I further give to the said David served that nature should have made an effort in Mallet, all the books which, at the time of my de- his favour as to the body, and given him an uncease, shall be in the room called my library. common share of health and duration."
All the rest and residue of my personal estate, The last scene is thus lamented, in a letter to whatsoever and wheresoever, I give to my said the same lady:-Are you not greatly shocked, but executors; and hereby revoking all former wills, 1 I am sure you are, at the dreadful death of our declare this to be my last will and testament. In friend Bolingbroke? The remedy has hastened his witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and death, against which there was no remedy, for his seal the twenty-second day of November, in the cancer was not topical, but universal, and had so inyear of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fected the whole mass of his blood, as to be incurfifty-one.
able. What I most lament is, that the medicines HENRY SAINT JOHN, BOLINGBROKE. put him to exquisite pain; an evil I dread much
more than death, both for my friends and myself. Signed, sealed, published, and declared by the said testator, as and for his last
I lose a warm, an amiable, and instructive friend. will and testament, in the presence of
I saw him a fortnight before his death, when he Oliver PRICE.
depended upon a cure, and so did l; and he deThomas Hall,
sired I would not come any more till he was quite well
, which he expected would be in ten or twelve Proved at London, the fifth day of March, 1752,
days. The next day the great pains came on, and Before the worshipful Robert Chapman, doctor of
never left him till within two days of his death, laws and surrogate, by the oaths of William
during which he lay insensible. What a man! Chetwynd and Joseph Taylor, Esquires, the ex- what extensive knowledge ! what a memory ! what ecutors named in the will, to whom adıninistra
eloquence! His passions, which were strong, were tion was granted, being first sworn duly to ad
injurious to the delicacy of his sentiments; they minister.
were apt to be confounded together, and often wil. WILLIAN LEGARD, March, PETER ST. ELOY,
fully. The world will do him more justice now 1732
than in his lifetime."
Select Collection of Essays
ON THE MOST INTERESTING AND ENTERTAINING SUBJECTS.
(FIRST PRINTED IN 1759.)
THE BEE, No. I.
I might have been left to mourn in solitude and silence: in short, whichever way I turned, nothing
presented but prospects of terror, despair, chand. SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1759.
lers' shops, and waste paper.
In the debate between fear and ambition, my INTRODUCTION.
publisher, happening to arrive, interrupted for a
while my anxiety. Perceiving my embarrassment There is not, perhaps, a more whimsically dis- about making my first appearance, he instantly ofmal figure in nature, than a man of real modesty fered his assistance and advice.
" You must who assumes an air of impudence; who, while his know, sir,” says he, “that the republic of letters is heart beats with anxiety, studies ease, and affects at present divided into three classes. One writer good-humour. In this situation, however, a pe- for instance, excels at a plan or a title-page, another riodical writer often finds himself, upon his first works away the body of the book, and a third is a attempt to address the public in form. All his dab at an index. Thus a magazine is not the repower of pleasing is damped by solicitude, and his sult of any single man's industry, but goes through cheerfulness dashed with apprehension. Impressed as many hands as a new pin before it is fit for the with the terrors of the tribunal before which he is public. I fancy, sir,” continues he, “I can progoing to appear, his natural humour turns to pert-vide an eminent hand, and upon moderate terms, ness, and for real wit he is obliged to substitute to draw up a promising plan to smooth up our vivacity. His first publication draws a crowd; readers a little, and pay them as Colonel Charteris they part dissatisfied; and the author, never more paid his seraglio, at the rate of three halfpence in to be indulged with a favourable hearing, is left to hand, and three shillings more in promises." condemn the indelicacy of his own address, or their He was proceeding in his advice, which, how want of discernment.
ever, I thought proper to decline, hy assuring him, For my part, as I was never distinguished for that as I intended to pursue no fixed method, so it address, and have often even blundered in mak- was impossible to form any regular plan; determining my bow, such bodings as these had like to ed never to be tedious in order to be logical, have totally repressed my ambition. I was at a wherever pleasure presented I was resolved to folloss whether to give the public specious promises, low. Like the Bee, which I had taken for the title or give none; whether to be merry or sad on this of my paper, I would rove from flower to fower, solemn occasion. If I should decline all merit, it with seeming inattention, but concealed choice, was too probable the hasty reader might have taken expatiate over all the beauties of the season, and me at my word. If, on the other hand, like labour- make my industry my amusement. rrs in the magazine trade, I had, with modest im- This reply may also serve as an apology to the pudence, humbly presumed to promise an epitome reader, who expects, before he sits down, a bill of of all the good things that ever were said or written, his future entertainment. It would be improper to this might have disgusted those readers I most desire pall his curiosity by lessening his surprise, or antito please. Had I been merry, I might have been cipate any pleasure I am able to procure him, hy cousured as vastly low ; and had I been sorrowful, í saying what shall come next. Thu: much, howe
ever, he may be assured of, that neither war nor low, or sad stuff, this I protest is more than I scandal shall make any part of it, Homer finely know. I have a clear conscience, and am entirely imagines his deity turning away with horror from out of the secret. the prospect of a field of battle, and seeking tran- Yet I would not have him, upon the perusal of quillity among a nation noted for peace and sim- a single paper, pronounce me incorrigible; he may plicity. Happy, could any effort of mine, but for try a second, which, as there is a studied differa moment, repress that savage pleasure some men ence in subject and style, may be more suited to find in the daily accounts of human misery! How his taste; if this also fails, I must refer him to a gladly would I lead them from scenes of blood and third, or even to a fourth, in case of extremity. altercation, to prospects of innocenee and ease, If he should still continue to be refractory, and where every breeze breathes health, and every find me dull to the last, I must inform him, with sound is but the echo of tranquillity!
Bays in the Rehearsal, that I think him a very But whatever the merit of his intentions may odd kind of a fellow, and desire no more of his acbe, every writer is now convinced, that he must be quaintance. chiefly indebted to good fortune for finding readers It is with such reflections as these I endeavour willing to allow him any degree of reputation. It to fortify myself against the future contempt or has been remarked, that almost every character, neglect of some readers, and am prepared for their which has excited either attention or praise, has dislike by mutual recrimination. If such should owed part of its success to merit, and part to a impute dealing neither in battles nor scandal to me happy concurrence of circumstances in its favour. as a fault, instead of acquiescing in their censure, Had Cæsar or Cromwell exchanged countries, the I must beg leave to tell them a story. one might have been a sergeant, and the other an A traveller, in his way to Italy, happening to exciseman. So it is with wit, which generally pass at the foot of the Alps, found himself at last succeeds more from being happily addressed, than in a country where the inhabitants had each a from its native poignancy. A bon mot, for in- large excrescence depending from the chin, like stance, that might be relished at White's, may the pouch of a monkey. This deformity, as it lose all its flavour when delivered at the Cat and was endemic, and the people little used to stranBagpipes in St. Giles's. A jest, calculated to gers, it had been the custom, time immemorial, to spread at a gaming-table, may be received with a look upon as the greatest ornament of the human perfect neutrality of face, should it happen to drop visage. Ladies grew toasts from the size of their in a mackerel-boat. We have all seen dunces chins; and none were regarded as pretty fellows, triumph in such companies, when men of real hu- but such whose faces were broadest at the bottom. nour were disregarded, by a general combination It was Sunday, a country church was at hand, in favour of stupidity. To drive the observation and our traveller was willing to perform the duties as far as it will go, should the labours of a writer, of the day. Upon his first appearance at the who designs his performances for readers of a more church-door, the eyes of all were naturally fixed refined appetite, fall into the hands of a devourer upon the stranger; but what was their amazeinent, of compilations, what can he expect but contempt when they found that he actually wanted that emand confusion? If his merits are to be determined blem of beauty, a pursed chin! This was a defect by judges, who estimate the value of a book from that not a fagle creature had sufficient gravity its bulk, or its frontispiece, every rival must acquire (though they were noted for being grave) to withan easy superiority, who, with persuasive elo- stand. Stifled bursts of laughter, winks and whisquence, promises four extraordinary pages of letter- pers, circulated from visage to visage, and the prispress, or three beautiful prints, curiously coloured matic figure of the stranger's face was a fund of from nature.
infinite gaiety ; even the parson, equally remarkaBut to proceed: though I can not promise as ble for his gravity and chin, could hardly refrain much entertainment, or as much elegance, as joining in the good-humour. Our traveller could others have done, yet the reader may be assured, I no longer patiently continue an object for deforhe shall have as much of both as I can. He shall, , mity to point at. “Good folks," said he, “Ip
perAt least, find me alive while I study his entertain- ceive that I am the unfortunate cause of all this inent; for l solemnly assure him, I was never yet good-humour. It is true, I may have faults in possessed of the secret at once of writing and abundance; but I shall never be induced to sleeping.
reckon my want of a swelled face among the During the
ourse of this paper, therefore, all numiver."* the wit and leisning I have are heartily at his service; which if, aluer so candid a confession, he trifling alterations, in the volume of Essays he published 12
Dr. Goldsmith inserted this Introduction, with a few should, notwithstanding, still find intolerably dull, the year 1765.