Security a Poet can ask for, to be shelter'd under that Great Name which prefides over One of the most Famous Univerfities of Europe. To do publick Benefits is indeed an Honour Natural and Hereditary to Your Grace's illuftrious Family; 'tis to that Noble Stock we owe our Edward the Sixth; a Prince of the greatest Hopes which that or any other Age ever produc'd: A Prince, whose uncommon Proficiency in Learning made him the Wonder of his own Time; whofe Care for his People will diftinguish him among the best of our Kings, and whose Piety and Zeal for the true Religion, will preferve his Name Dear and Sacred to our Church for ever. But if we look back fo high as the Reformation, 'twill be impoffible not to remember the Share Your Grace's Noble Anceftor had in that good Work: He was the Defence and Ornament of it in his Life, and the Martyr of it in his Death. Since it is most certain, that those wicked and ambitious Men, who defign'd the Subverfion of Church and State, and of whom the Chief dy'd a profest Papift, could not propofe to have brought about those fatal Designs, 'till they had first remov'd the Duke of Somerset.


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I need not tell the World how well Your Grace has follow'd the Examples of Honour and Virtue in your own Family. The Establish'd Church, the Crown and Your Country, have receiv'd many Eminent Teftimonies of Your unalterable Zeal for their Service, and unfhaken Refolution in their Defence. There was a Time, somewhat above twenty Years ago, when the pernicious Councils of fome Men put the Crown upon taking fuch Measures as might have been fatal in the last Degree to both Our Religious and Civil Liberties; when they had the Hardiness not only to avow a Religion equally deftructive to the Church and State, but did even prefume to bring in a publick Minifter from the Bishop of Rome, as it were in Defiance of our Conftitution, and in Triumph over Our Laws: It was then, I say, that they thought it highly neceffary to their Purpose, that a Man of the first Quality and Figure in England, should countenance so bold and unexampled an Undertaking. They pitch'd upon one, 'tis true, whofe known Love of his Country might in a good measure have taken off the Odioufnels of that Action,


and even allay'd the Apprehenfions of Danger, which on fuch an Occasion Prople naturally had. It must be own'd, that they had thought prudently for themselves; but they were highly mistaken in the Man they had chofen, and found him to be above all Temptation; such a one, whom neither the Respect he bore to the Person of the Prince, (which was very great) nor the Menaces of an infolent Faction, could prevail upon, for any Regards, to do Violence to his Country, or engage in any thing which might be an Offence to his Honour and Confcience.

It is with Pleasure, my Lord, that we compare the troublesome Condition of those paft Times, with the Security of these prefent. And I cannot but Congratulate Your Grace upon the Profperity and Success of Her Majefty's Counfels, in the great Juncture of Affairs which now draws the Eyes and Expectations of all Europe. Never, certainly, was there a fairer Profpect of Happiness than that which now rises to our View. There appears to be a general Difpofition for Unanimity and good Agreement at Home, as for Peace Abroad. Thefe


are the great Rewards given to the Piety of the Best of Queens: And it feems a Bleffing peculiarly referv'd for Her, to fave, not only Europe in General, but even France, her Enemy, from the last Ruin. That Your Grace may long enjoy the Happiness of that Peace, which in Your several high Stations, either as a Patriot to Your Country, or a faithful Councellor to the Queen, You have fo largely contributed to, is the most humble and hearty Wish of, my Lord,

Tour GRACE's

Moft Oblig'd,

Moft Devoted, and

Obedient Humble Servant,





LIFE, &c.


Mr. William Shakespear.

T feems to be a kind of Respect due to the Memory of Excellent Men, especially of those whom their Wit and Learning have made Famous, to deliver fome Account

of themselves, as well as their Works, to Pofterity. For this Reason, how fond do we fee fome People of discovering any little Perfonal Story of the great Men of Antiquity, their Families, the common Accidents of their Lives, and even their Shape, Make and Features have VOL. I.



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