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never seen Mrs. Drury, whom he has made immortal in his admirable Anniversaries. I have had the same fortune, though I have not succeeded to the fame genius. However, I have followed his footsteps in the design of his panegyric; which was to raise an emulation in the living, to copy out the example of the dead. And therefore it was, that I once intended to have called this poem
“ The Pattern:" and though, on a second confideration, I changed the title into the name of the illustrious person, yet the design continues, and Eleonora is still the pattern of charity, devotion, and humility; of the best wife, the best mother, and the best of friends.
And now, my lord, though I have endeavoured to answer your commands, yet I could not answer it to the world, nor to my conscience, if I
lordfhip my testimony of being the best hufband now living: I say my testimony only; for the praise of it is given you by yourself. They who defpife the rules of virtue both in their practice and their morals, will think this a very trivial commendation. But I think it the peculiar happiness of the Countess of Abingdon, to have been fo truly loved by you while she was living, and so gratefully honoured after she was dead. Few there are who have either had, or could have, such a loss; and yet fewer who carried their love and constancy beyond the grave. The exteriors of mourning, a decent funeral, and black habits, are the usual stints of common husbands: and perhaps their wives deserve no better than to be mourned with hypocrisy, and forgot with ease. But you have distinguished yourself from ordinary lovers, by a real and lasting grief for the deceased; and by endeavouring to raise for her the most durable monument, which is that of verse. And so it would have proved, if the workman had been equal to the work, and your choice of the artificer as happy as your design. Yet, as Phidias, when he had made the ftatue of Minerva,,could not forbear to engrave his own name, as author of the piece: fo give me leave to hope that, by subscribing mine to this poem, I may live by the goddess, and transmit my name to pofterity by the memory of hers.. 'Tis no fiattery to assure your lordfhip, that fhe is remembered, in the present age, by all who have had the honour of her conversation and acquaintance; and that I have never been in any company, since the news of her death was first brought me, where they have not extolled her virtues, and even spoken the same things of her in prose which I have done in verse..
I therefore think myself obliged to thank your lordfhip for the commiffion which you have given me: how I have acquitted myself of it, must be left to the opinion of the world, in spite of any protestation which I. can enter against the present age, as incompetent or corrupt judges. For my comfort, they are but English-men, and, as such, if they think ill of me to-day, they are inconstant enough to think well of me to-morrow.. And, after all, I have not much to thank my that I was born amongst them. The good of both sexes are so few in England, that they stand like exceptions against general rules: and though one of them has de
served a greater commendation than I could give her, they have taken care that I should not tire my pen with frequent exercise on the like subjects; that praises, like taxes, should be appropriated, and left almost as individual as the person. They say, my talent is satire: if it be so, it is a fruitful age, and there is an extraordinary crop to gather. But a single hand is insufficient for such a harvest: they have fown the dragon's teeth themselves, and it is but just they should reap each other in lampoons. You, my lord, who have the character of honour, though it is not my happiness to know you, may stand aside, with the small remainders of the English nobility, truly such, and, unhurt yourselves, behold the mad combat. If I have pleased you,
and fòme few others, I have obtained my end. You see I have disabled myself, like an elected Speaker of the House: yet like him I have undertaken the charge, and find the burden sufficiently recompensed by the honour. Be pleased to accept of these my unworthy labours, this paper-monument; and let her pious memory, which I am sure is facred to you, not only plead the pardon of my many faults, but gain me your protection, which is ambitiously fought by,
E L E O NORA:
A PANEGYRICAL POEM.
Soft whifpers, first, and mournful murmurs rise
The nation felt it in th’ extremest parts,
Such multitudes she fed, she cloath’d, she nurst,
Nor did her alms from oftentation fall,
A future cordial for a fainting mind ;
elf the foundress and attendant too.