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The great part you had, as British ambassador, in procuring and cultivating the advantageous commerce between the courts of England and Portugal, has purchased you the lasting esteem of all who understand the interest of either nation.
Those personal excellencies which are overrated by the ordinary world, and too much neglected by wise men, you have applied with the justest skill and judgment. The most graceful address in horsemanship, in the use of the sword, and in dancing, has been employed by you as lower arts; and as they have occasionally served to cover or introduce the talents of a skilful minister.
But your abilities have not appeared only in one nation. When it was your province to act as her majesty's minister at the court of Savoy, at that time encamped, you accompanied that gallant prince through all the vicissitudes of his fortune, and shared by his side the dangers of that glorious day in which he recovered his capital. As far as it regards personal qualities, you attained, in that one hour, the highest military reputation. The behaviour of our minister in the action, and the good offices done the vanquished in the name of the queen of England, gave both the conqueror and the captive the most lively examples of the courage and generosity of the nation he represented.
Your friends and companions in your absence frequently talk these things of you: and you cannot hide from us (by the most discreet silence in anything which regards yourself) that the frank entertainment we have at your table, your easy condescension in little incidents of mirth and diversion, and general complacency of manners, are far from being the greatest obligations we have to you. I do assure you, there is not one of your friends has a greater sense of your merit in general, and of the favours you every day do us, than,
Your most obedient,
EIGHTH VOLUME OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION.
WILLIAM HONEYCOMB, ESQ.*
The seven former volumes of THE SPECTATOR having been dedicated to some of the most celebrated persons of the age, I take leave to inscribe this eighth and last to you, as to a gentleman who hath ever been ambitious of appearing in the best company.
You are now wholly retired from the busy part of mankind, and at leisure to reflect upon your past achievements; for which reason I look upon you as a person very well qualified for a dedication.
I may possibly disappoint my readers, and yourself too, if I do not endeavour on this occasion to make the world acquainted with your virtues. And here, Sir, I shall not compliment you upon your birth, person, or fortune; nor any other the like perfections which you possess, whether you will or no; but shall only touch upon those which are of your own acquiring, and in which every one must allow you have a real merit.
Your janty air and easy motion, the volubility of your discourse, the suddenness of your laugh, the management of your snuff-box, with the whiteness of your hands and teeth (which have justly gained you the envy of the most polite part of the male world, and the love of the greatest beauties in the female), are entirely to be ascribed to your own personal genius and application.
. Colonel Cleland.
You are formed for these accomplishments by a happy turn of nature, and have finished yourself in them by the utmost improvements of art. A man that is defective in either of these qualifications (whatever may be the secret ambition of his heart), must never hope to make the figure you have done among the fashionable part of his species. It is therefore no wonder we see such multitudes of aspiring young men fall short of you in all these beauties of your character, notwithstanding the study and practice of them is the whole business of their lives. But I need not tell you that the free and disengaged behaviour of a fine gentleman makes as many awkward beaux, as the easiness of your favourite Waller hath made insipid poets.
At present you are content to aim all your charms at your own spouse, without farther thought of mischief to any others of the sex. I know you had formerly a very great contempt for that pedantic race of mortals who call themselves philosophers; and yet, to your honour be it spoken, there is not a sage of them all could have better acted up to their precepts in one of the most important points of life : I mean, in that generous disregard of popular opinion which you showed some years ago, when you chose for your wife an obscure young woman, who doth not indeed pretend to an ancient family, but has certainly as many forefathers as any lady in the land, if she could but reckon up their names.
I must own, I conceived very extraordinary hopes of you from the moment that you confessed your age, and from eight-and-forty (where you had stuck so many years) very ingeniously stepped into your grand climacteric. Your deportment has since been very venerable and becoming. If I am rightly informed, you make a regular appearance every quarter-sessions among your brothers of the quorum ; and, if things go on as they do, stand fair for being a colonel of the militia. I am told that your time passes away as agreeably in the amusements of a country lite, as it ever did in the gallantries of the town; and that you now take as much pleasure in the planting of young trees, as you did formerly in the cutting down of your old ones. In short, we hear from all hands that you are thoroughly reconciled to your dirty acres, and have not too much wit to look into your own estate.
After having spoken thus much of my patron, I must take the
DEDICATION TO THE EIGHTH VOLUME OF THE ORIGINAL EDITION. xix
privilege of an author in saying something of myself. I shall therefore beg leave to add, that I have purposely omitted setting those marks to the end of every paper, which appeared in my former volumes, that you may have an opportunity of showing Mrs. Honeycomb the shrewdness of your conjectures, by ascribing every speculation to its proper author; though you know how often many profound critics in style and sentiments have very judiciously erred in this particular, before they were let into the secret.
I am, Sir,
* This Dedication has been attributed to Budgell.
BOOKSELLER TO THE READER.
In the 632nd SPECTATOR the Reader will find an account of the rise of this eighth and last volume.*
I have not been able to prevail upon the several gentlemen who were concerned in this work to let me acquaint the world with their names.
Perbaps it will be unnecessary to inform the reader, that no other papers which have appeared under the title of SPECTATOR, since the closing of this eighth volume, were written by any of those gentlemen who had a hand in this or the former volumes.
* After TAE SPECTATOR had been discontinued about eighteen months, during which time the “Guardian” and the “ Englishman” were published, an“ attempt was made to revive it, at a time," says Dr. Johnson, "by no means favourable to literature, when the succession of a new family to the throne filled the nation with anxiety, discord, and confusion; and either the turbulence of the times, or the satiety of the readers, put a stop to the publication after an experiment of eighty numbers, which were afterwards collected into an eighth volume, perhaps more valuable than any one of those that went before it. Addison produced more than a fourth part; and the other contributors are by no means unworthy of appearing as his associates. The time that had passed during the suspension of THE SPECTATOR, though it had not lessencd bis power of humour, seems to have increased his disposition to seriousness: the proportion of his religious to his comic papers is greater than in the former series. ThE SPECTATOR, from its recommencement, was published only three times a week, and no discriminative marks were added to the papers. To Addison, Tickell has ascribed twenty-three : viz., Nos. 556, 557, 558, 559, 561, 562, 565, 567, 568, 569, 571, 574, 575, 579, 580, 582, 583, 584, 585, 590, 592, 598, and 600.”—Johnson's " Lives of English Poets," vol. ii. p. 345, 8vo. edit. 1794.