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STEE L E'S

LETTERS TO HIS FRIENDS.

LETTER CCCLXXXV.

To the Right Honourable the Lord CUTTS *, Colonel of his Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Guards, &c.

MY LORD,

Tower Guard, March 23, 1701. HE addrefs of the following papers is fo very much due to your Lordship, that

they

TH

John Lord Cutts, a foldier of moft hardy bravery in King William's wars, was a younger fon of Richard Cutts, efq. of an ancient and diftinguished family, fettled about the time of Henry VI. at Matching in Effex, where they had confiderable property. His father removed to Childerley in Cambridgeshire, on a good eftate being given him by Sir John Cutts, bart. who died without iffue. This eftate, after the decease of an elder brother, devolved on John; who fold it, to pay incumbrances, to equip himself as a foldier, and to enable himself to travel. After an academical education at Cambridge, he entered early into the fervice of the D. of Monmouth, and followed his fortunes abroad; was aid-de-camp to the Duke of Lorrain in Hungary, and fignalized himself in a very extraordinary manner at the taking of Buda by the Imperialifts in 1686; which important place had been for near a century and a half in the hands of the Turks. Mr. Addison, in a Latin poem worthy of the Auguftan age, plainly hints at Mr. Cutts's diftinguished bravery at that fiege. He was afterwards colonel of a regiment in Holland under the T 4

States,

that they are but a mere report of what has paffed upon my guard to my commander, for they

States, and accompanied King William to England, who continued his favour towards him, and created him baron Cutts of Gowran in Ireland, Dec. 6, 1690. He was appointed Governor of the Isle of Wight, April 14, 1693; made a major-general and, when the affaffination-project was difcovered, 1695-6, was captain of the King's guard. He was twice married; firft, to Elizabeth, daughter of George Clark of London, merchant (relict of John Morley, of Glynd, in Suffex, and after, of John Trevor, efq. eldest brother to the first Lord Trevor). This lady died in Feb. 1692; and that same year he had both his legs hurt in the battle of Steenkirk. His fecond wife, an amiable young woman, dying in 1697 at the age of 18, was celebrated in ap admirable fermon by Atterbury. In 1695, and the three following parliaments, he was regularly elected one of the reprefentatives both for the county of Cambridge, and for the borough of Newport in the Isle of Wight, but made his election for the former. In two parliaments which followed (1702 and 1705) he reprefented Newport. In 1698 he was complimented by Mr. John Hopkins, as one to whom "a double crown was due,” as a hero and as a poet. In 1699, he is thus introduced in a compliment to King William on his conquefts:

"The warlike Cutts the welcome tidings brings,
"The true beft servant of the best of kings;

"Cutts, whofe known worth no herald needs proclaim,
"His wounds and his own worth can speak his fame.”

1

He was colonel of the Coldstream, or fecond regiment of guards, in 1701; when Steele, who was indebted to his intereft for a military commiffion, infcribed to him his first work, "The Chriftian Hero." On the acceflion of Queen Anne, he was made a lieutenant-general of the forces in Holland. Feb. 13, 1702-3, he was appointed commander in chief of the English forces on the continent during the absence of the Duke of Marlborough; commander in chief of the forces in Ireland, under the Duke of Ormond, March 23, 1704-5; and afterwards one of the lords justices of that kingdom, to keep him out of the way of action, a circumftance which broke his heart. He died at

Dublin,

they were writ upon duty, when the mind was perfectly disengaged, and at leifure, in the filent watch

Dublin, Jan. 26, 1706-7, and was buried there in the cathedral of Chrift-church. He was a perfon of eminent natural parts, well cultivated by study and conversation; of a free, unreferved temper; and of undaunted bravery and refolution. As he was a fervant to Queen Mary when Princess of Orange, and learned the trade of war under her Confort, he was early devoted to them both, and a warm fupporter of the Revolution. He was an abfolute stranger to fear; and, on all occafions, gave diftinguishing proofs of his intrepidity, particularly at the fiege of Limerick in 1691, at the memorable attack of the caftle of Namur in 1695, and at the fiege of Venlo in 1702. Macky fays of him, in 1703, "He hath abundance of wit, but "too much seized with vanity and self-conceit; he is affable, "familiar, and very brave. Few confiderable actions happened "in this as well as the laft war, in which he was not, and hath "been wounded in all the actions where he ferved; is esteemed "to be a mighty vigilant officer, and for putting the military or"ders in execution; he is pretty tall, lufty, well-shaped, and "an agreeable companion; hath great revenues, yet so very ex"penfive, as always to be in debt; towards fifty years old." Swift, in a MS. note on Macky, calls him, with his usual laconic cruelty, "The vaineft old fool alive." He wrote a poem on the death of Queen Mary; and published, in 1687, “Poetical Exercises, written upon several Occasions, and dedi❝cated to her Royal Highness Mary Princefs of Orange; li"censed March 23, 1686-7, Roger L'Eftrange." It contains, besides the dedication figned “J. Cutts," verfes to that Princess; a poem on Wisdom; another to Mr. Waller on his commending it; feven more copies of verfes (one of them called "La Muse "Cavalier," which had been afcribed to Lord Peterborough, and as fuch mentioned by Mr. Walpole in the lift of that nobleman's writings), and eleven fongs; the whole compofing but a very thin volume; which is by no means fo fcarce as Mr. Walpole fuppofes it to be. The author fpeaks of having more pieces by him. A fpecimen of his poetry (of which the five first lines are quoted by Steele in his fifth Tatler) is added in the following page :

"Only

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watch of the night, to run over the bufy dream of the day; and the vigilance which obliges us to suppose an enemy always near us, has awakened a fenfe that there is a reftlefs and subtle one which conftantly attends our fteps and meditates our ruin*.

Thoughts of this nature a man may with freedom acknowledge to your Lordship, who

"Only tell her that I love,

Leave the reft to her and Fate ;
Some kind planet from above
May perhaps her pity move;

Lovers on their stars must wait;
Only tell her that I love.

Why, oh, why should I despair?
Mercy's pictur'd in her eye :
If the once vouchsafe to hear,
Welcome Hope, and welcome Fear.
She's too good to let me die ;
Why, oh, why should I despair?"

Being thoroughly convinced," he fays, " of many things,

"of which he often repented, and which he more often repeated, "he writ, for his own private ufe, a little book, called, 'The "Chriftian Hero,' with a defign principally to fix upon his own "mind a strong impreffion of virtue and religion, in oppofition "to a stronger propenfity towards unwarrantable pleasures. This "fecret admonition was too weak; he therefore printed the "book with his name, in hopes that a standing teftimony against "himself, and the eyes of the world (that is to say, of his ac<s quaintance) upon him in a new light, might curb his defires, “and make him afhamed of understanding and feeming to feel "what was virtuous, and living fo quite contrary a life. This "had no other good effect, but that from being thought no un "delightful companion, he was foon reckoned a disagreeable "fellow. One or two of his acquaintance thought fit to misuse "him, and try their valour upon him; and every body he knew "measured the leaft levity in his words and actions with the "character of a Chriftian Hero." Apology, p. 296.

have ever been so far from running into the fafhionable vice of exploding religion, that your early valour first appeared against the profeffed enemies of Chriftianity; and Buda had tranfmitted you to late pofterity, but that you yourfelf have obliterated your part in that glorious scene by the fresher memory of you at Limerick

and Namur.

With one honeft purpose of life, and conftant fervice of one intereft and one caufe, in what country have you not fought? in what field have you not bled? But I know I here offend you, nor will you allow warmth in commendation to be like a friend; but if, my Lord, to speak you generous, honeft, and brave, be not friendly, I do affure you it is the only thing I will ever do in common with your enemies.

I faid your enemies; but if there are any who have ignorance or malice enough to be fuch, their little hates must be loft in the diftinction the better world allow you; and that county (whose discerning is refined by a learned and elegant univerfity) has done you fo great an honour in making you unanimoufly their reprefentative in parliament, that they who would oppofe your reputation, do but confefs they are unacquainted with what paffes in the world, and ftrangers to the refidence of knowledge and virtue. It was there you received those rudiments * Cambridgeshire; fee p. 250.

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