Matthew Prior: A Study of His Public Career and Correspondence

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Matthew Prior (1664-1721) was a minor poet and diplomat under King William III and subsequently Queen Anne. As an envoy to the Netherlands and France and negotiator of the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 he had a ringside seat at the European power struggles of his time, while at the same time forging a literary career by publishing poetry and angling for the post of Poet Laureate. Prior's surviving correspondence to his patrons and paymasters is a uniquely witty record of diplomatic life. The first full-length biography of Prior, this book was first published in 1921. Its author, Leopold George Wickham Legg, was an editor of the Dictionary of National Biography. The appendixes include detailed information about Prior's family background and transcriptions of some of his surviving letters and a diary from 1712.--

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Էջ 284 - Signed sealed published and declared to be my last will and testament in the presence of WM.
Էջ 262 - Notre Pere. And, dearest Child, along the day, In every thing you do and say, Obey and please my lord and lady, So God shall love, and angels aid ye. If to these precepts you attend, No second letter need I send, And so I rest your constant friend.
Էջ 174 - It is therefore the Queen's positive command to your Grace, that you avoid engaging in any siege or hazarding a battle till you have further orders from Her Majesty. I am at the same time directed to let your Grace know, that the Queen would have you disguise the receipt of this order...
Էջ 80 - I faced old James and all his court the other day at St. Cloud. Vive Guillaume ! You never saw such a strange figure as the old bully is, [James II.] lean, worn, and rivelled, not unlike Neale, the projector. The queen looks very melancholy, but otherwise well enough : their equipages are all very ragged and contemptible.
Էջ 39 - MJmoire to compose and no Post-boy to move That on Sunday may hinder the softness of love ; For her, neither visits, nor parties at tea, Nor the long-winded cant of a dull refugee : This night and the next shall be hers, shall be mine, To good or ill fortune the third we resign : Thus scorning the world and superior to fate I drive on my car in processional state.
Էջ 261 - My noble, lovely, little Peggy Let this my first epistle beg ye, At dawn of morn and close of even To lift your heart and hands to Heaven. In double...
Էջ 274 - Spencer, and I will take care to make good in every respect what I said to him when living ; particularly as to the triplet he wrote for his own Epitaph ; which, while we were in good terms, I promised him should never appear on his tomb while I was Dean of Westminster.
Էջ 12 - And your petitioner shall pray— There's one thing more I had almost slipt, But that may do as well in postscript: My friend Charles Montague's * preferr'd ; Nor would I have it long observ'd, That one mouse eats, while t'other's starv'd.
Էջ 141 - The days are now long enough to walk in the Park after dinner ; and so I do whenever it is fair. This walking is a strange remedy ; Mr Prior walks to make himself fat, and I to bring myself down ; he has generally a cough, which he only calls a cold ; we often walk round the Park together.
Էջ 10 - Imprimis, As soon as Phoebus' rays inspect us, First, Sir, I read, and then I breakfast; So on, till foresaid God does set, I sometimes study, sometimes eat. Thus...

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