« PreviousContinue »
the earl of Northampton, celebrated both for beauty and understanding.
He received some favourable notice from king James; but soon found it necessary to oppose the violence of his innovations, and with some other lords appeared in Westminfter-hall to countenance the bishops at their trial.
As enormities grew every day lessfupportable, he found it necessary to concur in the Revolution. He was one of those lords who sat every day in council to preserve the publick peace, after the king's departure; and, what is not the most illustrious action of his life, was employed to conduct the princess Anne to Nottingham with a guard, fuch as might alarm the populace, as they 3
paffed, with falfe apprehensions of her danger. Whatever end may be defigned, there is always something despieable in a trick.
He became, as may be easily supposed, a favourite of king William, who, the day after his accession, made him lord chamberlain of the household, and gave him afterwards the garter. He happened to be among those that were toffed with the king in an open boat fixteen hours, in very rough and cold weather, on the coast of Holland. His health afterwards declined; and on Jan. 19, 1705-6, he died at Bath.
He was a man whose elegance and judgement were universally confeffed, and whofe bounty to the learned and b4
Witty was generally known. To the in-: -dulgent affection of the publick, lordRo-chefter bore ample testimony in this remark: I know not how it is, but lord Buckhurft may do what he will, yet is never in the wrong.
If such a man attempted poetry, we scannot wonder that his works were praised. Dryden, whom, if Prior tells struth, he distinguished: by his beneficence, and who lavished his blandith ments on those who are not known to have to well deserved them, undertaking to produce authors of our own country fuperior to those of antiquity, says, I would instance your lordship in fatire, and Shakespeare in tragedy. Would it be imagined that, of this rival to an
tiquity, all the satires were little personal invectives, and that his longest compofition was a song of eleven stanzas?
The blame, showever, of this exaggerated praise falls on the encomiaft, not upon the author; whose performances are, what they pretend to be, the effusions of a man of wit; gay, vigorous, and airy. His verses to Howard thew great fertility of mind, and his Dorinda has been imitated by Pope.