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aspired to be thought wits, at that time imagined themselves intitled to indulge.
One of these frolicks has, by the industry of Wood, come down to posterity. Sackville, who was then Lord Buckhurst, with Sir Charles Sedley and Sir Thomas Ogle, got drunk at the Cock in Bow-street by Coventgarden, and, going into the balcony, exposed themselves to the populace in very indecent postures. At last, as they grew warmer, Sedley stood forth naked, and harangued the populace in such profane language, that the publick indignation was awakened; the crowd attempted to force the door, and, being repulsed, drove in the performers with stones, and broke the windows of the house.
For this misdemeanor they were indicted, and Sedley was fined five hundred pounds: what was the sentence of the others is not known. Sedley employed Killigrew and ano. ther to procure a remission from the king; but (mark the friendship of the diffolute !) they begged the fine for themselves, and exacted it to the last groate
In 1665, Lord Buckhurst attended the Duke of York as a volunteer in the Dutch war; and was in the battle of June 3, when eighteen great Duich ships were taken, fourteen others were deitroyed, and Opdam the admiral, who engaged the Duke, was blown up
beside him, with all his crew.
On the day before the battle, he is said to have composed the celebrated song, To all you Ladies now at land, with equal tranquillity of mind and promptitude of wit. Seldom any splendid story is wholly true. I have heard from the late earl of Orrery, who was likely to have good hereditary intelligence, that Lord Buckhurst had been a week employed upon it, and only retouched or finished it on the memorable evening. But even this, whatever it may subtract from his facility, leaves him his courage.
He was soon after made a gentleman of the bedchamber, and sent on thorț embassies to France.
In 1674, the estate of his uncle James Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex, came to him by its owner's death, and the title was conferred on him the year after. In 1677, he became, by the death of his father, Earl of Dorset, and inherited the estate of his family.
In 1684, having buried his first wife, of the family of Bagot, who left him no child, he married a daughter of the Earl of Nora thampton, celebrated both for beauty and understanding
He received some favourable notice from King James; but soon found it neceffary to oppose the violence of his innovations, and with some other Lords appeared in Westminster-hall to countenance the bishops at their -trial.
As enormities grew every day less supportable, he found it necessary to concur in the Revolution. He was one of those Lords who fat 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, such as might alarm the populace, as they pasied, with false apprehensions of her danger. Whatever end may be designed, there is always something despicable 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 tossed 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 January 19, 1705-6, he died at Bath.
He was a man whose elegance and judgement were universally confessed, and whoso bounty to the learned and witty was generally known. To the indulgent affection of the publick, Lord Rochester bore ample testimony in this remark: I know not how it is, but Lord Buckhurst, may do what he will, yet is never
in the wrong.
If such a man attempted poetry, we calls not wonder that his works were praised. Dryden, whom, if Prior tells truth, he distinguished by his beneficence, and who lavished his blandishments on those who are not known to have so well deserved them, undertaking to produce authors of our own country superior to those of antiquity, says, I would instance your Lordship in satire, and Sbakspeare in tragedy. Would it be imagined that, of this rival to antiquity, all the satires were little personal invectives, and that his longest composition was a song of eleven stayzas?
The blame, however, of this exaggerated praise falls on the encomiast, not upon the author; whose performances are, what they pretend to be, the effufions 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.