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To Edward Wortley Mountagu,' Esq.
Then I send you this volume, I am rather to make you a request than a Dedication.
I must desire, that if you think fit to throw away any moments on it, you would not do it after reading those excellent pieces with which you are usually conversant. The images which you will meet with here, will be very faint, after the perusal of the Greeks and Romans, who are your ordinary companions. I must confess I am obliged to you for the taste of many of their excellences, which I had not
1 Edward Wortley Montagu, an intimate friend of Addison and Steele, was the second son of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and grandson of Edward Montagu, the first Earl of Sandwich. He was chosen a Member of Parliament for Huntingdon in 1705, and in all other parliaments but two to the end of her reign. On the accession of George I. he became one of the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, and was afterwards Ambassador-Extraordinary to the Porte. He set out, January 27, 1716, and having finished his negotiations returned in 1718. In the first parliament called by King George I. he was chosen for the city of Westminster, and afterwards served for Huntingdon. He was a member for the city of Peterborough when he died, January 22, 1761, aged 80 years, before he was able to alter his will, as he intended, in favour of his son. He married the famous Lady Mary Pierrepont, eldest daughter of the Duke of Kingston, in 1712, and by her he had issue an only son, Edward Wortley Montagu, who was M.P. in three parliaments for Bossiney, in Cornwall, and a daughter Mary, married to John Stuart, Earl of Bute, August 24, 1736.
observed until you pointed them to me. I am very proud that there are some things in these papers which I know you pardon ;' and it is no small pleasure to have one's labours suffered by the judgment of a man, who so well understands the true charms of eloquence and
But I direct this address to you, not that I think I can entertain you
with my writings, but to thank you for the new delight I have, from your conversation, in those of other
May you enjoy a long continuance of the true relish of the happiness Heaven has bestowed upon you. I know not how to say a more affectionate thing to you, than to wish that you may be always what you are ; and that you may ever think, as I know you now do, that you have a much larger fortune than you want.
I am, Sir,
most humble Servant,
1 There is no doubt that Wortley Montagu contributed papers and hints for the Tatler (“Letters of Lady M. W. Montagu," ed. Moy Thomas, i. 5, 10, 62). See specially No. 223.
BY ISAAC BICKERSTAFF, Esq.
[STEELE. From Tuesday, August 2, to Thursday, August 4, 1709. Quicquid agunt homines
nostri farrago libelli.
Juv., Sat. I. 85, 86.
White's Chocolate-house, August 2.
The History of Orlando the Fair. Chap. I. Wh
hatever malicious men may say of our lucu
brations, we have no design but to produce unknown merit, or place in a proper light the actions of our contemporaries who labour to distinguish themselves, whether it be by vice or virtue. For we shall never give accounts to the world of anything, but what the lives and endeavours of the persons (of whom we treat) make the basis of their fame and reputation. For this reason it is to be hoped, that our appearance is reputed a public benefit; and though certain persons may turn what we mean for panegyric into scandal, let it be answered once for all, that if our praises are really designed as raillery, such malevolent persons owe their safety from it only to their being too inconsiderable for history. It is not every man who deals in ratsbane, or is unseasonably amorous, that can adorn story like Æsculapius ;' nor every stockjobber of the India Company can assume the port, and personate the figure of Aurengezebe. My noble ancestor, Mr. Shakespeare, who was of the race of the Staffs, was not more fond of the memorable Sir John Falstaff, than I am of those worthies ; but the Latins have an admirable admonition expressed in two words, to wit, nequid nimis, which forbids my indulging myself on those delightful subjects, and calls me to do justice to others, who make no less figures in our generation : of such, the first and most renowned is, that eminent hero and lover, Orlando: the handsome,
| Nichols suggests that this and the following number were by Addison, who had sent Steele another packet or two from Ireland since the appearance of No. 32. Perhaps Steele made one paper, headed “The History of Orlando the Fair,” serve for two numbers (50, 51). The personal character of these papers may have caused Steele to omit them in the list of Addison's papers which he gave to Tickell. See Tatler, No. 32.
1 Dr. Radcliffe ; see Nos. 44, 46, 47. 2 See No. 46.
* Robert Feilding, commonly known by the name of Beau Feilding, a handsome and very comely gentleman, was tried for felony at the Old Bailey, December 4, 1706. He had married, as the indictment sets forth, on November 25, 1705, Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, having a former wife then living. In the course of the evidence at this trial, it appears, that sixteen days before, viz. November 9, 1705, Mrs. Villars, a very bad woman, had artfully drawn him into a marriage with one Mary Wadsworth, spinster, in the mistaken belief of her being Mrs. Deleau, a widow, with a fortune of £60,000. His marriage with the duchess was therefore set aside, and her Grace was allowed the liberty of marrying again. He craved the benefit of his clergy, and when sentence was given, that he should be burnt in his hand, produced the Queen's warrant to suspend execution, and was admitted to bail. In his will, dated April 9, 1712, and proved on May 12 following, he is styled “Robert Feilding, of Feilding Hall, in the county of Warwick, Esq.," and appears to have had some estates at Lutterworth. He is mentioned by Swift among those who have made mean figures ” on some remarkable occasions. Feilding, having
whose disappointments in love, in gallantry, and in war, have banished him from public view, and made him voluntarily enter into a confinement, to which the ungrateful age would otherwise have forced him. Ten lustra and more are wholly passed since Orlando first appeared in the metropolis of this island : his descent noble, his wit humorous, his person charming. But to none of these recommendatory advantages was his title so undoubted as that of his beauty. His complexion was fair, but his countenance manly ; his stature of the tallest, his shape the most exact ; and though in all his limbs he had a proportion as delicate as we see in the works of the most skilful statuaries, his body had a strength and firmness little inferior to the marble of which such images are formed. This made Orlando the universal flame of all the fair sex : innocent virgins sighed for him, as Adonis ; experienced widows, as Hercules. Thus did this figure walk alone the pattern and ornament of our species, but of course the envy of all who had the same passions, without his superior injured his fortune by his gallanıry and extravagance in early life, repaired the breaches he had made in it, by his first marriage with the Countess of Purbeck, a widow lady of an ancient and noble family in Ireland, who had a large fortune of her own, to which she had added considerably by a former marriage ; she was the only daughter and heiress of Barnham Swift, Lord Carlingford, who was of the same family with the Dean of St. Patrick's. Feilding is said to have lived happily for some years with this lady, who was a zealous Roman Catholic, and could have no great difficulty in inducing a man who had no religion to profess himself a proselyte to her religious persuasion. See No. 51 (Nichols).—On July 29, 1706, Lady Wentworth wrote to Lord Raby that the Duchess of Cleveland had got Feilding sent to Newgate “ for thretning to kill her twoe sons for taking her part, when he beet her and broack open her clossett door and toock fower hundred pd. out. . . . He beat her sadly and she cryed out murder in the street out of the windoe, and he shott a blunderbus at the people " ("Wentworth Papers," pp. 58-9). See, too, Luttrell's “ Diary,” June, July, and October, 1706, passim.