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THE BRITISH MAGAZINE,

For A U GUS T; 1761.

THE LIFE OF CHARLES MONTAGUE,

Earl of HALIFAX..

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* As the preamble to his patent, which was drawn up in very elegant Latin by Mr. Prior, is remarkable, it may not be amiss to transcribe it. It was as follows : “If it be accounted honourable to be descended from a moft ancient family of noblemen; if it be any glory to grow illustrious by great actions, proceeding from perfonal and inherent merit, our right well-beloved, and very faithful counsellor, Charles Montague, Elg; on both accounts recommends himself to our fingular good opinion and esteem, who derives his splendor from a house, which at once very plentifully provides for the or. nament and support of our kingdom, in three earls, and eight members of parliament: a gentleman adorned with those virtues, to which no good citizen can envy any increase of honour, and which a juft prince cannot but freely offer. Nature has endued him with a genius to manage affairs of the highest concern, and wbich being cultivated by learning, and by a continual practice of speaking well, and acting wifely, we have found him ftrenuous and eloquent in parliament, in council faithful and prudent, in determining causes relating to the exchequer, upright and penetrating. We gratefully acknowledge ourselves altogether indebted to the parliament, for the supplies we have received to carry on a nine years war, in fighting for religion and liberty, and the common welfare of Europe : but we must not pass over in filence the fagacity of this excellent gentleman, who took care, that in the greatest scarcity the public credit should not fiok, by being overburthened with excessive intereft. We must likewise reckon it a happiness, that he was at that tiine chancellor of our exchequer, when, to our ad. miration, we beheld the current money, which was adulterated and debased by the fraud .and villainy of wicked men, in the space of two years (though accounted the work of an age) coined anew, and restored to its intrinsic value : an attempt as fortunate as it was bold. And the demands of money increasing upon us, by his counsel and ad. vice we entered upon a new and unusual method of establimhing a paper credit, where. by we made provision to advance the riches of the nation. For these good o. Fices he gained the love and efteem of the people; and for the benefit which they received by Did d.2

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