Priuli, Father to Belvidera, a Senator.
Antonio, a Fine Speaker in the Senate.
Jaffeir, Pierre, Renault,
Bedamar, Spinosa, Theodore
Eliot, Revillido, Durand
Mezzana, Bramveil, Ternon
Two Women, Servants to Aquilina.
The Council of Ten.
Executioner and Rabble.
TO HER GRACE
THE DUCHESS OF PORTSMOUTH
Madam,Were it possible for me to let the world know how entirely your Graces goodness has devoted a poor man to your service; were there words enough in speech to express the mighty sense I have of your great bounty towards me; surely I should write and talk of it for ever: but your Grace has given me so large a theme, and laid so very vast a foundation, that imagination wants stock to build upon it. I am as one dumb when I would speak of it, and when I strive to write, I want a scale of thought sufficient to comprehend the height of it. Forgive me, then, madam, if (as a poor peasant once made a present of an apple to an emperor) I bring this small tribute, the humble growth of my little garden, and lay it at your feet. Believe it is paid you with the utmost gratitude, believe that so long as I have thought to remember how very much I owe your generous nature, I will ever have a heart that shall be grateful for it too: Your grace, next Heaven, deserves it amply from me; that gave me life, but on a hard condition, till your extended favour taught me to prize the gift, and took the heavy burthen it was clogged with from me: I mean hard fortune: when I had enemies, that with malicious power kept back and shaded me from those royal beams, whose warmth is all I have, or hope to live by; your noble pity and compassion found me, where I was far cast backward from my blessing; down in the rear of Fortune, called me up, placed me in the shine, and I have felt its comfort. You have in that restored me to my native right, for a steady faith, and loyalty to my prince, was all the inheritance my father left me, and however hardly my ill-fortune deal with me, tis what I prize so well that I neer pawned it yet, and hope I neer shall part with it. Nature and Fortune were certainly in league when you were born, and as the first took care to give you beauty enough to enslave the hearts of all the world, so the other resolved to do its merit justice, that none but a monarch, fit to rule that world, should eer possess it, and in it he had an empire. The young prince you have given him, by his blooming virtues, early declares the mighty stock he came from; and as you have taken all the pious care of a dear mother and a prudent guardian to give him a noble and generous education; may it succeed according to his merits and your wishes: may he grow up to be a bulwark to his illustrious father, and a patron to his loyal subjects, with wisdom and learning to assist him, whenever called to his councils, to defend his right against the encroachments of republicans in his senates, to cherish such men as shall be able to vindicate the royal cause, that good and fit servants to the crown may never be lost for want of a protector. May he have courage and conduct, fit to fight his battles abroad, and terrify his rebels at home; and that all these may be yet more sure, may he never, during the spring-time of his years, when these growing virtues ought with care to be cherished, in order to their ripening; may he never meet with vicious natures, or the tongues of faithless, sordid, insipid flatterers, to blast em: To conclude; may he be as great as the hand of Fortune (with his honour) shall be able to make him: and may your grace, who are so good a mistress, and so noble a patroness, never meet with a less grateful servant than, madam, your graces entirely devoted creature.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|