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THE greatest honour of human life, is to live well with men of merit; and I hope you will pardon me the vanity of publishing, by this
• William Pulteney, esq. born in 1682, had early a seat in the house of commons, and distinguished himself in opposition to queen Anne's last ministry. On the accession of king George, he was appointed secretary at war, Sept. 27, 1714; and afterward cofferer of the houshold. He was at this time the intimate friend of sir Robert Walpole; but in 1725, that minister being suspected of a desire to extend the bounds of prerogative, Mr. Pulteney entered steadily into opposition; and at last became so obnoxious to the crown, that July 1, 1781, king George II. with his own hand, struck him out of the list of privy councillors, and ordered him to be put out of the list of all commissions of the peace. A proceeding so violent in the ministry served only to inflame his resentment, and increase his popularity. Sir Robert resigning his employments in 1741, Mr. Pulteney was again sworn of the privy council; and created baron of Heydon, viscount Pulteney, and earl of Bath. From that moment his favour with the people was at an end and the rest of his life was spent in contemning that applause which he no longer could secure. William viscount Pulteney, his only son, who was a lord of the bedchamber, aid-de-camp to the king, and colonel of the royal volunteers, going over with his regiment in the defence of Portugal, died Feb. 16, 1763; and the earl dying July 7, 1764, the titles became extinct.
means, my happiness in being able to name you among my friends. The conversation of a gentleman, that has a refined taste of letters, and a disposition in which those letters found nothing to correct, but very much to exert, is a good fortune too uncommon to be enjoyed in silence. In others, the greatest business of learning is to weed the soil; in you, it had nothing else to do, but to bring forth fruit. Affability, complacency, and generosity of heart, which are natural to you, wanted nothing from literature, but to refine and direct the application of them. After I have boasted I had some share in your familiarity, I know not how to do you the justice of celebrating you for the choice of an elegant and worthy acquaintance, with whom you live in the happy communication of generous sentiments, which contribute, not only to your own mutual entertainment and improvement, but to the honour and service of your country. Zeal for the public good is the characteristic of a man of honour, and a gentleman, and must take place of pleasures, profits, and all other private gratifications. Whoever wants this motive is an open enemy, or an inglorious neuter to mankind, in proportion to the misapplied advantages with which nature and fortune have blessed him. But you have a soul animated with nobler views, and know that the distinction of
wealth and plenteous circumstances, is a tax upon an honest mind, to endeavour, as much as the occurrences of life will give him leave, to guard the properties of others, and be vigilant for the good of his fellow-subjects.
This generous inclination, no man possesses in a warmer degree than yourself; which, that Heaven would reward with long possession of that reputation into which you have made so early an entrance, the reputation of a man of sense, a good citizen, an agreeable companion, a disinterested friend, and an unbiassed patriot, is the hearty prayer of,
Your most obliged
and most obedient