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the Cabinet as in the Field, and who adorned it by a more elegant system of modern gardening, first illustrated on this spot." The lines from Pope, commemorative of the beauty of Stowe, and the virtues of Cobham, are also cut on the pillar :

"And you brave Cobham, to the latest breath,
Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death;
Such in those moments as in all the past,

Oh, save my country, Heaven!' shall be your last."

The actual circumstances attending Lord Cobham's death are related in the Memoirs of Hannah More. In his last moments, not being able to carry a glass of jelly to his mouth, he was in such a passion, that he threw the jelly, glass, and all, in the face of his niece, Hester Grenville, and expired! Had Pope been then alive, his extreme sensitiveness and dread of ridicule would assuredly have led him to cancel the above unprophetic lines.

The epistle to Lord Cobham had apparently been shown to his lordship in manuscript. The following letters from him are given in Ruffhead's Life, no doubt derived from Warburton :

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"Stowe, Nov. 1, 1733.

Though I have not modesty enough not to be pleased with your extraordinary compliment, I have wit enough to know how little I deserve it. You know all mankind are putting themselves upon the world for more than they are worth, and their friends are daily helping the deceit. But I am afraid I shall not pass for an absolute patriot. However, I have the honour of having received a public testimony of your esteem and friendship, and am as proud of it as I could be of any advantage which could happen to me. As I remember, when I saw the brouillon of this Epistle, it was perplexed. You have now made it the contrary; and I think it is the clearest and cleanest of all you have wrote. Don't you think you have bestowed too many lines on the old lecher? The instance itself is but ordinary, and I think should be shortened or changed."

"Stowe, Nov. 8.

"I like your lecher better now 'tis shorter; and the glutton is a very good epigram. But they are both appetites which from nature we indulge, as well for her ends as our pleasure. A cardinal, in his way of pleasure, would have been a better instance. What do you think of an old lady dressing her silver locks with pink, and ordering her coffin to be lined with white quilled satin with gold fringes; or Counsellor Vernon retiring to enjoy himself with five thousand a-year, which he had got, and returning to the Chancery to get. a little more, when he could not speak so loud as to be heard? or a judge turned out coming again to the bar? I mean that a passion or habit that has not a natural foundation falls in better with your subject than any of our natural wants, which in some degree we cannot avoid pursuing to the last."

Lord Cobham must have been somewhat of a proser, if we may credit an anecdote told by Walpole. Bubb Dodington, Lord Melcombe, falling asleep one day, after dinner, with Sir Richard Temple, Lord Cobham, the General,

the latter reproached him with his drowsiness. Dodington denied having been asleep, and, to prove he had not, offered to repeat all Lord Cobham had been saying. Cobham challenged him to do so. Dodington repeated a story, and Lord Cobham owned he had been telling it. "Well," said Dodington, 66 and yet I did not hear a word of it; but I went to sleep because I knew that about this time of day you would tell that story."


Ver. 54. The gracious Chandos is beloved at sight.] The Hon. James Brydges, ninth Baron, and first Duke of Chandos, was a liberal, and benevolent, but ostentatious nobleman. He was Paymaster of the Forces under Godolphin's Administration, and amassed an immense fortune. The House of Commons, in 1711, instituted a Committee of Inquiry into the public expenditure, and there was a sum of thirty-five millions unaccounted for, about one-half of which was connected with the accounts of Brydges. His answer to the charge was, that the accounts had been regularly presented, but that the mode of scrutinizing and passing them was tedious and complex, owing to a system pursued by the Duke of Newcastle. Great carelessness as to the public accounts prevailed at that period, and such was the low state of political morality, that almost every public man in office was charged with peculation. Johnson, in his pamphlet on the Falkland Islands, sarcastically alludes to the compensation which the nation received at the close of a ten years' war, for the death of multitudes, and the expense of millions, by contemplating the sudden glories of paymasters, and agents, contractors, and commissaries, "whose equipages shine like meteors, and whose palaces rise like exhalations." Chandos gave room for scandal by the large sums he spent in building, and by the style of magnificence in which he lived. He is said to have spent £200,000 on his house at Canons, near Edgeware. He had also begun the erection of a great town house in Cavendish Square, but desisted. At Canons he affected something like regal state. He dined in public, with flourishes of trumpets announcing each change of dishes. His chapel was fitted up with splendour, and when he went to it he was attended by a military guard. The great Handel was master of the choir in this chapel, and it was there that his sacred drama of Esther was first performed. His Acis and Galatea was also composed for the Duke of Chandos. By unsuccessful speculations in the African and South Sea Companies, the munificent duke greatly impaired his fortune, and his son, on succeeding to the estate, was unable to reside at Canons. He could not dispose of the house entire, and he therefore pulled it down, and sold the materials by auction. The costly furniture was also sold, crowds flocking to the scene-as a hundred years afterwards crowds flocked to the Stowe and Strawberry Hill sales. The pillars at Chesterfield House, South Audley Street, originally belonged to Canons, and were termed by the witty Earl of Chesterfield, "the canonical pillars of his house." The equestrian statue of George II. in Golden

Square, with that of George I. in Leicester Square, and the range of iron palisades at New College, Oxford, were also part of the Canons spoil. The duke died at Canons, August 9, 1744, and the manor was purchased in 1747 by a retired London merchant, who built a small villa on the site of the great mansion. The estate was afterwards sold to Mr. Dennis O'Kelly, of sporting celebrity, whose race-horse, Eclipse, was buried in the park.


Ver. 81. Who would not praise Patricio's high desert?] The famous Sidney Godolphin, Lord Treasurer. "Godolphin had been bred a page at Whitehall, and had early acquired all the flexibility and the self-possession of a veteran courtier. He was laborious, clear-headed, and profoundly versed in the details of finance. Every government, therefore, found him a useful servant; and there was nothing in his opinions or in his character which could prevent him from serving any government. Sidney Godolphin,' said Charles, 'is never in the way, and never out of the way.' This pointed remark goes far to explain Godolphin's extraordinary success in life. He acted at different times with both the great political parties; but he never shared in the passions of either. Like most men of cautious tempers and prosperous fortunes, he had a strong disposition to support whatever existed. He disliked revolutions; and for the same reason for which he disliked revolutions he disliked counterrevolutions. His deportment was remarkably grave and reserved; but his personal tastes were low and frivolous, and most of the time which he could save from public business was spent in racing, card-playing, and cockfighting."-Macaulay's History of England. This fortunate man, who had rendered himself necessary to four successive sovereigns, and who was chief minister to Queen Anne during the first nine years of her reign, died in 1712. Though Godolphin had no literature, he did literature good service by employing Addison to celebrate the battle of Blenheim, and appointing him to a commissionership, with a salary of about £200 a-year-the forerunner of better things.


Ver. 179. Wharton stands confess'd.] Philip, Duke of Wharton, son of the great Whig Marquis of Wharton, who died in 1715. The subject of Pope's admirable and just satire was born in 1669, and died on the 31st of May, 1731, at Rens, near Barcelona, in the monastery of the Franciscans de la Puebla. "With attachment to no party," says Horace Walpole, " though with talents to govern any party, this lively man changed the free air of Westmin. ster for the gloom of the Escurial,-the prospect of King George's Garter for the Pretender's; and, with indifference to all religion, the frolic lord who had writ the ballad on the Archbishop of Canterbury, died in the habit of a Capuchin." This is no unusual termination to profligacy in high life.

The austerity and gloom of the monastery, the hair-shirt and nightly vigil, offer contrasts to splendid vice, and strike the imagination while they minister to penitence and remorse. Sir Walter Scott predicted that Byron would ultimately repose in the Roman Catholic faith. Wharton contributed largely to the True Briton, a periodical edited by Arnall (one of the characters in the Dunciad), and spoke often with good effect in the House of Lords. His speech on the South Sea question had an effect not anticipated; it threw Earl Stanhope into one of those "tempestuous sallies of passion," which Walpole says were common to him, and, in answering it, the earl burst a blood-vessel, and died. Wharton's speech in defence of Atterbury, was also one of his greatest efforts. "His Grace, then in opposition to the Court, went to Chelsea the day before the last debate on that prelate's affair, where, acting contrition, he professed being determined to work out his pardon at Court, by speaking against the bishop, in order to which he begged some hints. The minister (Walpole) was deceived, and went through the whole cause with him, pointing out where the strength of the argument lay, and where its weakness. The duke was very thankful, returned to town, passed the night in drinking, and, without going to bed, went to the House of Lords, where he spoke for the bishop, recapitulating in the most masterly manner, and answering all that had been urged against him." Young dedicated his tragedy of Revenge to Wharton, in a style of fulsome adulation, and the duke is said to have presented the poet with £2000 for his poem of the Universal Passion, remarking that it was the best bargain he had ever made in his life, for the poem was fairly worth £4000. He also gave Young, as an appropriate lamp for a tragic author, a human skull, in which he had fixed a candle. It must have been by this light, that Young afterwards composed his Night Thoughts!


Ver. 246. Odious! in woollen! 't would a saint provoke,
(Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke.)

Narcissa was Mrs. Oldfield, a celebrated actress, who died October 23, 1730 aged 47. Pope, in his Sober Advice from Horace, says of her,—and these are almost the only lines that can, with decency, be quoted from that poem,

"And all the Court in tears, and half the town,
Lament dear charming Oldfield dead and gone.
Engaging Oldfield! who, with grace and ease,
Could join the arts to ruin and to please."

She lived some years with the wit and politician Arthur Mainwaring, who, by his will, 1712, appointed her his executrix. She had a son by Mainwaring, and another by General Churchill, and to these, she left her estate. Mrs. Oldfield was buried in Westminster Abbey, between the monuments to Craggs

and Congreve, the corpse being decorated with "a Brussels lace head-dress, a Holland shift with tucker and double ruffles of the same lace, and a pair of new kid gloves." Her companion "Betty" or Mrs. Saunders, a humble actress, attended her constantly, and performed these last offices which vanity prompted. A statute was passed in the 30th of Charles II., and not repealed till the 54th of George III., which imposed a penalty of five pounds upon every burial where any material but woollen was used. From notices inserted in that valuable periodical, Notes and Queries, it appears that the penalty was often enforced. It may give some idea of the rate of payment of actresses in the time of Mrs. Oldfield, to mention that her salary was long £200 a-year certain, and a benefit clear of all charges. When the theatre was in prosperity, Cibber says, they advanced her salary to three hundred guineas per annum, with her usual benefit, which, upon an average for several years, at least doubled that sum.

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