The bastard: A poem, inscribed with all due reverence to Mrs. Bret, once Countess of Macclesfield. By Richard Savage, son of the late Earl Rivers.
Savage, Richard, d. 1743.
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The PREFACE.

THE Reader will easily perceive these Verses were begun, when my Heart was gayer, than it has been of late; and finish'd in Hours of the deepest Melancholy.

I hope the World will do me the Justice to be|lieve, that no part of this flows from any real Anger against the Lady, to whom it is inscrib'd. Whatever undeserv'd Severities I may have re|ceiv'd at her Hands, wou'd she deal so candidly as to acknowledge Truth, she very well knows, by an Experience of many Years, that I have ever behaved myself towards her, like one, who thought it his Duty to support with Patience all Afflictions from that Quarter. Indeed if I had not been capable of forgiving a Mother, I must have blush'd to receive Pardon myself at the Hands of my Sovereign.

Neither to say Truth, were the manner of my Birth All, shou'd I have any Reason from com|plaint—when I am a little disposed to a gay turn of Thinking, I consider, as I was a De-relict from my Cradle, I have the Honour of a lawful Claim to the best Protection in Europe. For being a Spot of Earth, to which no body pre|tends a Title, I devolve naturally upon the KING, as one of the Rights of his Royalty.

Page  [unnumbered] While I presume to name his MAJESTY, I look back, with Confusion, upon the Mercy I have lately experienc'd, because it is impossible to remember it, but with something I would fain forget; for the sake of my future Peace, and Alleviation of my past Misfortune.

I owe my Life to the Royal Pity, if a Wretch can, with Propriety, be said to live, whose Days are fewer than his Sorrows; and to whom Death had been but a Redemption from Misery.

But I will suffer my Pardon, as my Punish|ment, till that Life, which has so graciously been given me, shall become considerable enough not to be useless in his Service, to whom it was for|feited.

Under Influence of these Sentiments, with which his MAJESTY's great Goodness has in|spired me, I consider my Loss of Fortune, and Dignity, as my Happiness; to which, as I was born without Ambition, I am thrown from them without repining.—Possessing those Advanta|ges, my Care had been, perhaps, but how to enjoy Life; by the want of them I am taught this nobler Lesson, to study how to deserve it.

R. Savage.