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have to their country, which however is no virtue in them, because it is their private interest, which is directly contrary, in England. In the queen's time I did often press the lord treasurer Oxford and others of the ministry, upon this very subject; but the answer was, we must not offend the Dutch,” who at that very time were opposing us in all our steps towards a peace. I laughed to see the zeal the ministry had about the fishing at Newfoundland (I think) while no care was taken against the Dutch fishing just at our doors.
As to my native country, I happened indeed, by a perfect accident, to be born here; my mother being left here from returning to her house to Leicester; and I was a year old before I was sent to England. And thus I am a Teague or an Irishman, or what people please, although the best part of my life was in England.
What I did for this country was from perfect hatred at tyranny and oppression, for which I had a proclamation against me for 300l. which my old friend was obliged to consent to, the very first or second night of his arrival hither. The crime was, that of writing against one Wood an ironmonger, to coin 100,000 pounds in half-pence not exceeding one sixth part of the money ; which was laid before the people in so plain a manner, that they all refused it, and so the nation was preserved from immediate ruin.
I have done some smaller services for this kingdom, but I can do no more; I have too many years upon me, and toQ much sickness; I am out of favour at court, where I was well received during two summers, six or seven years ago : the governing people do not love me, for as corrupt as England is, it is an habitation of saints, in comparison of Ireland. We are all slaves, and knaves, and fools : add all, but the bishops and people in employment, beggars. The cash of Ireland does not amount to 200,000). The few honest men among us are dead-hearted, poor, and out of favour and power.
I talked to two or three gentlemen of this House of Commons now sitting here, mentioned your scheme, shewed how very advantageous it would be to Ireland : they agreed with me, but said, that if such a thing were proposed, the members would all go out, as at a thing they had no concern in.
I believe the people of Lapland, or the Hottentots, are not so miserable a people as we : for oppression supported by power will infallibly introduce slavish principles. I am
afraid that even in England your proposal will come to nothing. There is not virtue enough left among mankind. If your scheme should pass into an act, it will become a job; your sanguine temper will cool; rogues will be the only gainers ; parties and faction will intermingle, and defeat the most essential parts of the design.-Standing armies in time of peace, projects of excise, and bribing elections, are all you are like to be employed in, not forgetting septennial parliaments, directly against the old whig principles, which have always been mine.
A gentleman of this kingdom, about three years ago, joined with some others in a fishery here, in the northern parts. They advanced only 2001. by way of trial; they got men from Orkney to cure their fishes, who understood it well. But the vulgar folks of Ireland are so lazy and so knavish, that it turned to no account, nor would any body join with them; and so the matter fell, and they lost two thirds of their money. Oppressed beggars are always knaves, and I believe there are hardly any other among us. They had rather gain a shilling by knavery, than five pounds by honest dealings. They lost 300,000l. a year for ever, in the time of the plague at Marseilles, when the Spaniards would have bought all their linen from Ireland; but the merchants and weavers sentover such abominable linen, that it was all returned back, and sold for a fourth part of its value. This is our condition, which you may please to pity, but never can mend. I wish you good success with all my heart. I have always loved good projects, but have always found them to miscarry. I am, Sir, with true esteem for your good intentions,
Your most obedient humble servant. P.S. I would have subscribed my name, if I had not a very bad one; so I leave you to guess it. If I can be of any service to you in this kingdom, I should be glad you will employ me
VII. Two Letters from the late Countess of Hertford, afterwards
Duchess of Somerset, on the death of her only son, George, Lord Viscount Beauchamp, who died of the Small Pox at Bologna, in 1744.
To the Rev. Dr. B. SIR, I AM very sensibly obliged by the very kind compassion you express for me under my heavy affliction. The medi. tations you have favoured me with, afford the strongest motives for consolation that can be offered to a person under my unhappy circumstances. The dear lamented son I have Jost, was the pride and joy of my heart, but I hope I may be the more easily excused for having looked on him in this light, since he was not so from the outward advantages he possessed, but from the virtues and rectitude of his mind. The prospects which flattered me in regard to him, were not drawn from his distinguished rank, or froni the beauty of his person, but from the hopes that his example would have been serviceable to the cause of virtue, and would have shewn the younger part of the world, that it was possible to be chearful without being foolish or vicious, and to be religious without severity or melancholy. His whole life was one uninterrupted course of duty and affection to his parents, and when he found the hand of death upon him, his. only regret was to think of the agonies that must rend their hearts; for he was perfectly contented to leave the world, as his conscience did not reproach him with any presumptuous sins, and he hoped his errors would be forgiven. Thus he resigned bis innocent soul into the hands of his merciful Creator on the evening of the birth-day which completed him nineteen. You will not be surprised, Sir, that the death of such a son should occasion the deepest sorrow : yet at the same time it leaves us the most comfort, able assurance, that he is far happier than our fondest wishes could have made him, which must enable us to support the remainder of years which it shall please God to allot for us here, without murmuring or discontent, and quicken our endeavours to prepare ourselves to follow him in that happy place, where our dear valuable child is gone before us. I beg the continuance of your prayers, and am,
Sir, Yours, &c.
2d. Written ten years after. I AM sorry, good Mrs.--to find that your illness seems rather to increase than diminish; yet the disposition of mind with which you receive this painful dispensation, seems to convert your sufferings into a blessing. While you resign to the will of God in so patient a manner, this disease seems only the chastisement of a wise and merciful being, who, chasteneth not for his own pleasure, but for our profit, Were I not convinced of this great truth, I fear I must long since have sunk under the burthen of sorrow, which God saw fit to wean my foolish heart from this vain world, and shew me how little all the grandeur and riches of it avail to happiness. He gave me a son, who promised all that the fondest wishes of the fondest parents could hope; an honour to his family, an ornament to his country; with a heart early attached to all the duties of religion and society, with the advantage of strong and uninterrupted health, joined to a form, which when he came into Italy, made him more generally known by the name of the English Angel than by that of his family. I know this account may look like a mother's fondness; perhaps it was too much so once: but alas ! it now only serves to shew the uncertainty and frailty of all human dependance. This justly beloved child was snatched from us before we could hear of his illness. That fatal disease, the small pox, seized him at Bologna, and carried him off the evening of bis birth-day, on which he had completed nineteen years. Two posts before, I had a letter from him, written with all the life and innocent chears: fulness inherent to his nature; the next but one came from bis afflicted governor*, to acquaint his unhappy father that he had lost the most dutiful and best of sons, the pride and hope of his declining age. He bore the stroke like a wise man and a Christian ; but never forgot, nor ceased to sigh for it. A long series of pain and intirmity, which was daily gaining ground upon him, shewed me the sword, which appeared suspended over my head by an almost coba web thread, long before it droppedt. As to my bodily pains, I bless God, they are by no means insupportable at present. I rather suffer a languid state of weakness, which wastes my Aesh and consumes my spirits by a gentle decay, than any frightful suffering; and am spending that remains,
* Mr. Dalton.
of nature, which was almost exhausted in continued care and anxiety for the sufferings of a person dearer to me than one's self. My daughter*, who is very good to me, has sent me her youngest son, just turned of four years old, to amuse me in my solitude, because he is a great favourite of mine, and shews a great deal of his uncle's disposition, and some faint likeness of his person. It is high time to release you from so long a letter, but there are some subjects, on which my tears nor pen know not how to stop, when they begin to flow.
I am, dear Madam,
F.SOMERSETT. 1762, July
VIII. The Duke of Ormond to his Son.
July 10, 1675. By the last account I received of your condition, I must, with the trouble and grief of a father, conclude you are in danger of death, and that, in all human probability, the days you are to live in the world are not many.
I fear, neither you nor I have so served God, that we can reasonably expect he should afford you a miraculous deliverance from that distemper and weak estate to which your own negligence and intemperance, and my ill example and want of seasonable and proper admonition, may have too much contributed. · I hope your own piety, and consideration of a happy or miserable eternity, have suggested to you thoughts of this nature ; and whether it shall please God to restore you to your health, or put a period to your life, this merciful affliction of his, which allows you time for repentance and addresses for mercy, will be of advantage to you. Yet I have thought it my duty to furnish you with all the helps in my power towards your making a happy end (if it be God's will) or a profitable use of these approaches of death, it, in undeserved indulgence towards us, he shall vouchsafe to
* Lady Eliz. Smithson, afterwards Countess of Northumbc:land, + Her Grace died a few months after.