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CHARACTER OF HERODOTUS.
THE underwritten is copied from Dr. Swift's (dean of St. Patrick's) own handwriting in an edition of Herodotus, hy Paul Stephens, the gift of the earl of Clanricard to the library of Winchester college. . .
“ Judicium de Herodoto post longum tempus “ relecto. Ctesias mendacissimus Herodotum men“ daciorum arguit, exceptis paucissimis, (ut mea fert “ sententia) omnimodo excusandum. Cæterum diof verticulis abundans hic pater historicorum filum 66 narrationis ad tædium abrumpit : unde oritur (ut · “ par est) legentibus confusio, et exindè oblivio. Quin “ et forsan ipsæ narrationes circumstantiis nimium “ pro re scatent. Quod ad cætera, hunc scriptorem “ inter apprimè laudandos censeo, neque Græcis 6 neque Barbaris plus æquo faventem aut iniquum : 66 in orationibus ferè brevem, simplicem, nec nimis “ frequentem. Neque absunt dogmata e quibus erudi66 tus lector prudentiam tam moralem quam civilem “ haurire poterit.
“ J. SWIFT *.” ! « Julii 6, 1720."
* Attestation of dean Swift's printer. “ I do hereby certify that the above is the handwriting of the “ late Dr. Jonathan Swift, D. S.P. D., from whom I have had “ many letters, and printed several pieces from his original MSS. “ Dublin,
“ GEORGE FAULKNER.” “ August 21, 1762."
SKETCH OF THE CHARACTER
ARISTOTLE, the disciple of Plato, and tutor to Alexander the Great. His followers were called peripateticks, from a Greek word which signifies to walk, because he taught his disciples walking. We have not all his works, and some of those which are imputed to him are supposed not genuine. He writ upon logick, or the art of reasoning ; upon moral and natural philosophy ; upon oratory, poetry, &c. and seems to be a person of the most comprehensive genius that ever lived.
* This fragment is preserved in the Essay of Deane Swift, esq., who tells us, “ he transcribed it without any variation ; and that “ he found it by accident in a little book of instructions, which “ Dr. Swift was pleased to draw up for the use of a lady, enjoining “ her to get it all by heart.”—Having mentioned the character given by the dean of this philosopher in the Battle of the Books, Mr. Swift observes, “ The portrait of Aristotle is equally strong “ and masterly; he stouped much, and made use of a staff; that is, “ he thought, he considered, he ruminated; he pondered deeply “ on the most intricate and abstruse points relating to the sciences; “ and, by the force of reasoning, which is meant by his staff, he ““ cleared his way through briars and thorns, until he struck into “ the road which leads to science and philosophy. The remaining “ part of Aristotle's portrait is only the representation of an ab“ stracted scholar, worn away and decayed with years, hard study, “ nocturnal lucubrations, and the want of bodily exercise.” Essay, page 283.
COURT OF QUEEN ANNE.
[THE ORIGINAL CHARACTERS* ARE PRINTED IN
ROMAN ; SWIFT'S REMARKS IN ITALICKS.]
DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH.
ALL, handsome man for his age, with a very obliging address, of a wonderful presence of mind,
*These characters, drawn up in the name of John Macky, (but written by Mr. Davis, an officer in the customs) were annexed to Memoirs of the Secret Services of John Macky, esq., during the reigns of king William, queen Anne, and king George I; printed in 1739, from a MS., said to be attested by his son, Spring Macky, esq.
+ Dr. Swift's notes are transcribed from a copy formerly belonging to John Putland, esq., a near relation to the dean, who took them from Swift's own handwriting. This volume afterward came into the possession of Philip Carteret Webb, esq.; and is now the property of Thomas Astle, esq., a gentleman to whom the publick are indebted for some very accurate and curious publications
so as hardly ever to be discomposed ; of a very clear head, and sound judgment; very bold, never daunted for want of success ; every way capable of being a great man, if the great success of his arms, and the heaps of favours thrown upon him by his sovereign, do not raise his thoughts above the rest of the nobility, and consequently draw upon him the envy of the people of England. He is turned of 50 years of age. Detestably covetous.
DUKE OF ORMOND. With all the qualities of a great man, except that of a statesman, hating business. He is about 40 years of age. Fairly enough writ.
DUKE OF SHREWSBURY. NEVER was a greater mixture of honour, virtue (none], and good sense, in any one person, than in him : a great man, attended with a sweetness of behaviour, and easiness of conversation, which charms all who come near him: Nothing of the stiffness of a statesman, yet the capacity and knowledge of a piercing wit. He speaks French and Italian as well as his native language : And although but one eye, yet he has a most charming countenance, and is the most generally beloved by the ladies of any gentleman in his time. He is turned of 40 years old.
and whose valuable collections are rendered infinitely more so by that obliging readiness with which he communicates them at all times, when they are likely to promote the success of any literary undertaking.
DUKE OF SOMERSET. Is of a middle stature, well shaped, a very black complexion, a lover of musick and poetry; of good judgment [not a grain; hardly common sense] ; but, by reason of a great hesitation in his speech, wants expression. He is about 42 years old.
DUKE OF DEVONSHIRE. Has been the finest and handsomest gentleman of his time ; loves the ladies, and plays ; keeps a noble house, and equipage ; is tall, well made, and of a princely behaviour. Of nice honour in every thing, but the paying his tradesmen. Past 60 years old. A very poor understanding.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE. ; He is a nobleman of learning, and good natural parts, but of no principles. Violent for the high church, yet seldom goes to it. Very proud, insolent, and covetous ; and takes all advantages. This character is the truest of any.
· EARL OF NOTTINGHAM. He has the exteriour air of business; and application enough to make him very capable. In his habit and manners very formal; a tall, thin, very black man, like a Spaniard, or Jew ; about 50 years old. He fell in with the whigs, was an endless talker.
EARL OF ROMNEY. He was the great wheel on which the revolution rolled. He had not a wheel to turn a mouse. Of