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contributed to increase; and it is not for one single man to pretend, that he can add more to the heap than the thousands that have gone before him. Such innovations more frequently retard than promote knowledge; their maxims are more agreeable to the reader, by having the gloss of novelty to recommend them, than those which are trite, only because they are true. Such men are therefore followed at first with avidity, nor is it till some time that their disciples begin to find their error. They often, though too late, perceive that they have been following a speculative inquiry, while they have been leaving a practical good : and while they have been practising the arts of doubting, they have been losing all firmness of principle, which might tend to establish the rectitude of their private conduct. As a moralist, therefore, Lord Bolingbroke, by having endeavoured at too much, seems to have done nothing; but as a political writer, few can equal, and none can exceed him.
As he was a practical politician, his writings are less filled with those speculative illusions, which are the result of solitude and seclusion. He wrote them with a certainty of their being opposed, sifted, examined, and reviled; he therefore took care to build them up of such materials as could not be easily overthrown: they prevailed at the times in which they were written, they still continue to the admiration of the present age, and will probably last for ever.
THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF THE LATE RIGHT HON.
HENRY ST JOHN, LORD VISCOUNT BOLINGBROKE.
In the name of God, whom I humbly adore, to whom I offer up perpetual thanksgiving, and to the order of whose providence I am cheerfully resigned: this is the Last Will and Testament of me, Henry St John, in the reign of Queen Anne, and by her grace and favour, Viscount Bolingbroke. After more than thirty years' proscription, and after the immense losses I have sustained by unexpected events in the course of it; by the injustice and treachery of persons nearest to me; by the negligence of friends, and by the infidelity of servants; as my fortune is so reduced at this time, that it is impossible for me to make such disposition, and to give such ample legacies as I always intended, I content therefore to give as follows:
My debts, and the expenses of my burial in a decent and private manner at Battersea, in the vault where my last wife lies, being first paid, I give to William Chetwynd, of Stafford, Esq., and Joseph Taylor, of the Inner-Temple, London, Esq., my two assured friends, each of them one hundred guineas, to be laid out by them, as to each of them shall seem best, in some memorial, as the legacy of their departed friend; and I constitute them executors of this my
will. The diamond ring which I wear upon my finger, I give to my old and long approved friend the Marquis of Matignon, and after his decease, to bis son the Count de Gace, that I may be kept in the remembrance of a family whom I love and honour above all others.
Item, I give to my said executors the sum of four hundred pounds in trust, to place out the same in some of the public funds, or government securities, or any other securities, as they shall think proper, and to pay the interest or income thereof to Francis Arboneau, my valet de chambre, and Ann his wife, and the survivor of them; and after the decease of the survivor of them, if their son John Arboneau shall be living, and under the age of eighteen years, to pay the said interest or income to him, until he shall
attain his said age, and then to pay the principal money,
, or assign the securities for the same, to him; but if he shall not be living at the decease of his father and mother, or shall afterwards die before his said age of eighteen years, in either of the said cases the said principal sum of four hundred pounds, and the securities for the same, shall sink into my personal estate, and be accounted
Item, I give to my two servants, Marianne Tribon, and Remi Charnet, commonly called Picard, each one hundred pounds; and to every other servant living with me at the time of my decease, and who shall have lived with me two years or longer, I give one year's wages more than what shall be due to them at my death.
And whereas I am the author of the several books or tracts following, viz.
Remarks on the History of England, from the Minutes of Humphrey Oldcastle.
In twenty-four letters. A Dissertation upon Parties. . In nineteen letters to Caleb Danvers, Esq. The Occasional Writer. Numb.
Numb. 1, 2, 3. The Vision of Camilick.
An Answer to the London Journal of December 21, 1728, by John Trot.
An Answer to the Defence of the Inquiry into the Reasons of the Conduct of Great Britain.
A final Answer to the Remarks on the Craftsman's Vindication.
All which books or tracts have been printed and published; and I am also the author of
Four Letters on History, etc. which have been privately printed, and not published; but I have not assigned to any person or persons whatsoever the copy, or the liberty of printing or reprinting
any of the said books, or tracts, or letters: Now I do hereby, as far as by law I can, give and assign to David Mallet, of Putney, in the county of Surrey, Esquire, the copy
and copies of all and each of the before
mentioned books or tracts, and letters, and the liberty of reprinting the same. I also give to the said David Mallet the copy and copies of all the manuscript books, papers, and writings, which I have written or composed, or shall write or compose, and leave at the time of my decease. And I further give to the said David Mallet, all the books which, at the time of my decease, shall be in the room called my library.
All the rest and residue of my personal estate, whatsoever and wheresoever, I give to my said executors; and hereby revoking all former wills, I declare this to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty-second day of November, in the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty-one.
HENRY SAINT JOHN, BOLINGBROKE.
Signed, sealed, published, and declared
by the said testator, as and for his last
Proved at London, the fifth day of March, 1952, before the worshipful Robert Chapman, doctor of laws and surrogate, by the oaths of William Chetwynd and Joseph Taylor, Esquires, the executors named in the will, to whom administration was granted, being first sworn duly to administer.
PETER ST ELOY, Deputy Registers.
In Dr Matty’s Life of Lord Chesterfield, he mentions that the earl had seen Lord Bolingbroke for several months labouring under a cruel, and to appearance incurable disorder. A cancerous humour in his face made a daily progress; and the empirical treatment he submitted to not only hastened his end, but also exposed him to the most excruciating pain. He saw him, for the last time, the day before his tortures began. Though the unhappy patient, as well as his friend, did then expect that he should recover, and accordingly desired him not to come again till his cure was completed, yet he still took leave of him in a manner which showed how much he was affected. He embraced the earl with tenderness, and said, «God, who placed me here, will do what he pleases with me hereafter, and he knows best what to do. May he bless you.»-And in a letter from Chesterfield to a lady of rank at Paris, he says, «I frequently see our friend Bolingbroke, but I see him with great concern. A humour he has long had in his cheek proves to be cancerous, and has made an alarming
Hitherto it is not attended with pain, which is all he wishes, for as to the rest he is resigned. Truly a mind like his, so far superiour to the generality, would have well deserved that nature should have made an effort in his favour as to the body, and given him an uncommon share of health and duration,
The last scene is thus lamented, in a letter to the same lady:–« Are you not greatly shocked, but I am sure you are, at the dreadful death of our friend Bolingbroke? The remedy has hastened his death, against which there was no remedy, for his cancer was not topical, but universal, and had so infected the whole mass of his blood, as to be incurable. . What I most lament is, that the medicines put him to exquisite pain; an evil I dread much more than
progress of late.