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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

CHARLES LORD HALIFAX.

From the Hovel at Hampton

wick, April 7, 1711.

MY LORD,

WHEN I first resolved upon doing myself this honour, I could not but indulge a certain vanity in dating from this little covert, where I have frequently had the honour of your lordship’s company, and received from you very many obligations. The elegant solitude of this place, and the greatest pleasures of it I owe to its being so near those beautiful manors wherein you sometimes reside: it is not retiring from the world, but enjoying its most valuable blessings, when a man is permitted to share in your lordship's conversation in the country. All the bright images which the wits of past ages have left behind them in their writings, the noble plans which the greatest statesman have laid Vol. IV.

А

down

down for administration of affairs, are equally the familiar objects of your knowledge. But what is peculiar to your lordship above all the illustrious personages that have appeared in any age, is, that wit and learning have from your example fallen into a new era. Your patronage has produced those arts, which before Thunned the commerce of the world, into the service of life, and it is to you we owe, that the man of wit has turned himself to be a man of business. The falfe delicacy of men of genius, and the objections which others were apt to insinuate against their abilities for entering into affairs, have equally vanished. And experience has shewn, that men of letters are not only qualified with a greater capacity, but also a greater integrity in the dispatch of business. Your own studies have been diverted from being the highest ornament, to the highest use to mankind; and the capacities which would have rendered you the greatest poet of your age, have to the advantage of Great Britain been employed in pursuits which have made you the most able and unbiassed patriot. A vigorous imagination, an extensive apprehension, and a ready judgment, have diftinguished you in all the illustrious parts of administration, in a reign attended with such difficulties, that the same talents without the fame quickness in the poffeffion of them would have been incapable of conquering. The natural success of such abilities has advanced you to a seat in that illuftrious house, where you were received by a crowd of your relations. Great as

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you are in your honours, and personal qualities, I know you will forgive an humble neighbour, the vanity of pretending to a place in your friendihip, and subscribing himself,

My Lord,

Your Lordship's

most obliged, and

most devoted fervant,

RICHARD STEELE.

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