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old, fables remarkable for their elegance and wit. Can you repeat me one?
G. I really don't know, Sire, ifI can; my memory is far from being good.
K. Do your best; I fhall take a turn in the apartment, and give you time to recollect one.---- Well, have you fucceeded?
K. Now for the moral.
G. It is this; "When the productions of an author do not fatisfy a good judge, this is a strong preFree thihing confund
The schlewis ra
fumption against them; but when they are extolled by a blockhead, then it is high time to commit them to the flames."
G. Yes, Sire. "A certain painter of Athens, who exercifed his art with a view to reputation rather than from the love of gain, addreffed himself to a connoiffeur for his opinion of one of his pictures, which reprefented the god Mars. The connoiffeur could not diffemble; he found the piece defective; he objected particularly the too great appearance of art that reigned through the whole. The painter defended his work with all the warmth of an inordinate felf-love; the critic anfwered his arguments, but without producing conviction. In the mean time arrives a coxcomb, who cafts an eye upon the picture, and with out giving himself a moment's time to reflect, cries out in a rapture, Gods! what a mafler-piece! Mars lives, breathes, terrifies in that admirable production. Obferve thofe feet, thofe nails! What tafte, what an air of grandeur in the helmet, the
fhield, and in the whole armour of Some account of the late Richard the terrible deity! The painter blushed, beheld the true connoiffeur with a look that fpoke confufion and conviction; and faid to him, I am now perfuaded that your judgment is well founded. The cox comb retired, and the picture was effaced."
K. Excellent, Mr. Gellert! The piece is admirable; and there is fomething elegant in the conftruction of this fable. I can perceive the force and beauty of this compofition. But when Gottfched read to me the tranflation of Iphigenia, I had before me the French original, and did not understand a word of what he read. If I ftay here fome time, you must come and fee me often, and read me some of your fables.
G. I don't know, Sire, if I may venture to read, as I have acquired by habit that finging tone of voice which is common in our mountains.
K. Aye, like that of the Silefians. You must, however, read your fables yourself, otherwife they will lofe.Return foon hither.
When Mr. Gellert was gone, the king faid, "This is quite another man than Gottfched ;" and the day following, he faid at table, that "Of all the learned Germans, Gellert was themoft rational and judicious."
Richard Nath, E'q
or, as he is commonly called, Beau Nath, the fubject of this memoir, was born in the town of Swanfey, in Glamorganfhire, on the 18th of October, 1674. His father's principal income arofe from a partnership in a glafs-houfe; his mother was niece to colonel Poyer, who was killed by Oliver Cromwell for deferding D 3
Pembroke caftle against the rebels. Nafh himself was educated under Mr.Maddocks atCaemarthen school, and from thence fent to Jefus college, in Oxford, to prepare him for the ftudy of the law.
The first method Mr. Nash took to distinguish himself at college was not by application to ftudy, but by affiduity in intrigue. In the neigh bourhood of every univerfity there are girls, who with fome beauty, more coquetry, and little fortune, lie upon the watch for every raw amorous youth, Our hero was quickly caught, and went thro' all the mazes and adventures of a college intrigue, before he was 17; he offered marriage, the offer was accepted, but the affair coming to the knowledge of his tutor, he was fent home, with proper inftructions, to his father.
Mr. Nath having thus quitted college, bought him a pair of colours, and entered into the army, but ftill continuing his intrigues, and finding that the profits of his commiffion would not enable him to fupport his expences, he exchanged the military life for the study of the law, and accordingly entered his name in the Temple books. Here he went to the very fummit of fecond-rate luxury. Though very poor he was very fine, he fpread the little gold he had in the most oftentatious manner, and tho' the gilding was but thin, he laid it on as far as it would go.
In those days it was cuftomary for the inns of court to entertain every monarch, on their acceffion to the throne, with a pageant. King William, the laft to whom this honour was exhibited, was then juft come to the crown. Mr. Nash was appointed to conduct the ceremony,
which he difcharged fo much to the fatisfaction of his majefty, that he offered him knighthood, "Please your majefty (replyed Nafh) if you intend to make me a knight, I wish it may be one of your poor knights of Windfor, and then I shall have a fortune at least able to fupport the title.' We do not find, however, that the king took the hint, he had numbers to oblige, and never cared to give money without adequate fervices.
But though Nafh acquired no riches by his late office, he gained many friends. With thefe he converfed with he greatest familiarity, and his generofity and benevolence already began to fhew themselves amidst all his poverty. An inftance of this kind is told us about this time, which does him no fmall honour. When he was to give in his accounts to the mafter of the temple, among other articles, he charged. "For making one man happy 101." Being questioned about the meaning of fo ftrange an item, he frankly declared, that happening to over-hear a poor man tell his wife and a large family of children, that 10l. would make him happy, he could not avoid trying the experiment, adding, that if they did not chufe to acquiefce in his charge, he was ready to refund the money. The mafter, ftruck with fuch an uncommon inftance of good nature, publickly thanked him, and defired that the fum might be doubled as a proof of their fatisfac¬ tion. This fact is recorded in the Spectator, though without a name.
On the other hand we are told. that while the poor bleffed his charity and munificence, his creditors complained with great reafon of his injustice; and amongst other ftories related
related of him to this purpose, is one which informs us of a friend's not being able to procure a juft debt of him, but by the employing another perfon to borrow a fum of Nafh to the amount. The perfon obeyed, and readily obtained that from Nafh's generofity, which the other had often implored in vain from his justice.
Our hero being now thirty years old, without a fortune, or talents to procure cne, and being entered befides into a life of gaity, commenc ed gamfter. In this profeffion he experienced all the viciffitudes which attend that courfe of life, being. fometimes in affluence, and at other times reduced to the lowest ebb of poverty. His profeffion naturally drew him down to Bath, the waters of which began then to be in repute. Captain Webfter, his predeceffor in office, dying about the fame time, Nash found means to fucceed him, and by the regulations he introduced both there and at Tunbridge, foon became the favourite of all the rich and great who frequented thofe places of public pleasure. Thefe prefented him with boxes and many other valuable teftimonies of their favour; but the principal honour he received in this refpect was from the late prince of Wales and the prince of Orange, to the memory of each of whom he has raised a column. A fuit in chancery, however, which he imprudently commenced afterwards against the keepers of the gamingtables there and at Tunbridge, contributed not a little to leffen his reputation, as it hewed him to be intimately connected with a very infamous fet of people; but ftill continuing his protection to the innocent, and his friendship to all who Aood in need of it, he maintained
his poft as fupreme arbiter of all their pleasures, to the very day of his death.
Some time before his decease, we are told, his temper became so changed between age and poverty, that he grew very affronting, peevish and difguftful. This gave encouragement, as it is faid, to a gentle» man, who trod the ftage for many years with reputation, to endeavour to fupplant him in his place. But be this as it will, Nash still preserved his power, and the corporation of Bath, in gratitude for the great benefits derived from him to the city, allowed him a penfion of fix fcore guineas a year, which was paid him by ten guineas at a time, on the firft Monday in every month. This, with the fale of his fnuff-boxes, and other trinkets, enabled him to lead out a lingering life, which he was very defirous to have made longer, till the 3d of February, 1761, when he died fincerely regretted by that city, to which he had been a great benefactor, aged eighty-feven years, three months, and fome days.
His funeral was performed with all the pomp and folemnity the place could afford, and his epitaph was written both in Latin and Englifh by fome of the firft geniufes of the age. Two of the best of thefe are given us in the volume which contains his memoirs. [See our laft volume.]
As to his abilities we are told, that he was not without good fente, though he employed it on trifles; and as be was always aiming at faying good things, he now and then had the fortune to fucceed. A specimen of his wit is given us in a reply to Dr. Cheyne, who, having prefcribed for him, and asking him the next day, if he had followed D 4 hir
his prescription, "No (fays he) for if I had, I should have broke my neck, for I threw it out of the two-pair-of stairs window." Much better were the bon-mots that were played off against him. Telling a noble earl, one day, that he had loft five hundred pounds at cards, Is it not furprifing, (faid he) that fortune fhould always ferve me fo?" "Not at all (replied the earl) it cannot be furprising that you fhould lofe your money; but all the world is furprised where you get money to lofe."
His converfation, like his life, was trifling, and strongly tinctured with vanity, braggade, and impertinence. Of this we have a fpecimen or two in fome of those stories which, the writer of his life tells us, he used to be continually repeating towards the latter end of his life. But, with all his faults, it must be owned, that he was not without good qualities; and the many inftances of his unbounded charity and benevolence, with the means that he contrived to put the pleafures of the rich under fome regulation, ought to ferve as a veil to thofe follies of which his life was but too full.
A short Character of his Excellency Thomas, Earl of Wharton, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. By Dr. Swift.
London, Aug. 30, 1710. HE kingdom of Ireland being hence, its annals, fince the English establishment, are ufually digefted under the heads of the feveral governors but the affairs and events of that island, for fome years paft,
have been either fo infignificant, or fo annexed to thofe of England, that they have not furnished matter of any great importance to hiftory. The fhare of honour, which gentlemen from thence have had by their conduct and employments in the army, 'turneth all to the article of this kingdom; the reft, which relateth to politics, or the art of government, is inconfiderable to the laft degree, however it may be reprefented at court by those who prefide there, and would value themselves upon every step they make towards finishing the flavery of that people, as if it were gaining a mighty point to the advantage of England.
Generally fpeaking, the times which afford most plentiful matter for ftory, are those in which a man would leaft chufe to live; fuch as under the various events and revolutions of war, the intrigues of a ruined faction, or the violence of prevailing one; and lastly, the arbitrary, unlawful acts of opprefling governors. In the war, Ireland hath no fhare, but in fubordination to us: the fame may be faid of their factions, which, at prefent, are but imperfect tranfcripts of ours. But the third fubje&t for hiftory, which is arbitrary power, and oppreffion; as it is that by which the people of Ireland have, for fome time, been diftinguished from all her majesty's fubje&s, fo being now at its greatest height, under his excellency Thomas earl of Wharton, a fhort account of his government may be of
prefent age, although, I hope, it will be incredible to the next: and because this account may be judged rather an hiftory of his excellency than of his government, I must here declare,
declare, that I have not the leaft view to his person in any part of it. I have had the honour of much converfation with his lordship, and am thoroughly convinced how indifferent he is to applaufe, and how infible of reproach; which is not a humour put on to ferve a turn, or keep a countenance, nor arifing from the consciousness of innocence, or any grandeur of mind, but the mere unaffected bent of his nature.
He is without the fenfe of fhame or glory, as fome men are without the fenfe of fmelling; and, therefore, a good name to him is no more than a precious ointment would be to thefe. Whoever, for the fake of others, were to defcribe the nature of a ferpent, a wolf, a crocodile, or a fox, must be understood to do it, without any perfonal love or hatred for the animals themfelves.
In the fame manner, his excellency is one whom I neither perfonally love nor hate. I fee him at court, at his own house, and fometimes at mine, (for I have the honour of his vifits) and when thefe papers are public, it is odds but he will tell me, as he once did upon a like occafion, that he is damnably mauled; and then, with the eafieft tranfition in the world, afk about the weather or time of the day; fo that I enter on the work with more chearfulness, because I am fure neither to make him angry, nor any way hurt his reputation; a pitch of happinefs and fecurity to which his excellency hath arrived, and which n philofopher before him could reach.
I intend to execute this performance by firft giving a character of his excellency, and then relating
fome facts during his government, which will ferve to confirm it.
I know very well, that men's characters are best known from their actions; but these being confined to his administration in Ireland, his character may, perhaps, take in fomething more, which the narrownefs of the time, or the scene, hath not given him opportunity to exert.
Thomas, earl of Wharton, lord lieutenant of Ireland, by the force of a wonderful constitution, hath paffed fome years, his grand climacteric, without any vifible effects of old age, either on his body or his mind; and in fpite of a continual profitution to thofe vices which ufually wear out both, his behaviour is in all the forms of a young man at five and twenty. Whether he walketh, or whistleth, or fweareth, or talketh bawdy, or calleth names, he acquitteth himself in each beyond a templar of, three years ftanding. With the fame grace, and in the fame ftile, he will rattle his coachman in the middle of the ftreet, where he is governor of the kingdom; and all this is without con'equence, because it is in his character, and what every body expecteth. He feemeth to be an ill diffembler, and an ill liar, although they are the two talents he most practifeth, and most valueth himfelf upon. The ends he hath gained by lying appeared to be more owing to the frequency, than the art of them; his lies being fometimes detected in an hour, often in a day, and always in a week. He tells them freely in mixed companies, although he knows half of thofe that hear him to be his enemies, and is fure they will discover them the moment they leave him. He fweareth folemnly he loveth,