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W E presume we want no apology to the reader
for this publication, but some may be thought needful to Mr. Pope : however he cannot think our offence so great as theirs, who first separately publised what we have here but collected in a better form and order. As for the letters we have procured to be added, they serve but to complete, explain, and sometimes set in a true light, those others, which it was not in the writer's, or our power to recall.
This collection hath been owing to several cabinets : fome drawn from thence by accidents, and others (even of those to ladies) voluntarily given. It is to one of that sex we are beholden for the whole correspondence with H. C. esq. which letters being lent her by that gentle> < inan, she took the liberty to print ; as appears by the following, which we shall give at length, both as it is something curious, and as it may serve for an apology for, ourselves.
TO HENRY CROMWELL, Esq.
June 27, 1727. * AFTER fo long a silence as the many and
A great oppressions I have fighed under have occafioned, one is at a loss how to begin a letter to so
kind a friend as yourfelf. But as it was always my · resolution, if I must sink, to do it as decently (that
is, as filently) as I could; fo when I found myself · plunged into unforeseen, and unavoidable ruin, I · retreated from the world, and in a manner buried
myself in a dismal place, where I knew none, and · none knew me. In this dull unthinking way, I · have protracted a lingring death (for life it cannot - be called) ever since you saw me, sequestred from
company, deprived of my books, and nothing left to converse with, but the letters of my dead or aba': sent friends; among which latter I always placed yours, and Mr. Pope's in the first rank. I lent some of them indeed to an ingenious person, who ps was so delighted with the specimen, that he impor- bbe i tuned me for a sight of the rest, which having oba tained, he conveyed them to the press, I must not say altogether with my consent, nor wholly without it. I thought them too good to be loft in oblivion, and had no cause to apprehend the disobliging of any. The public, vize all perfons of taste and judgment, would be pleased with fo agreeable an amusement; Mr. Cromwell could not be angry, -fince it was but justice to his merit, to publish the
folemn and private professions of love, gratitude, and veneration, made him by fo celebrated an authur; and sincerely Mr Pope ought not to refent the publication, since the early pregnancy of his genius was no dishonour to his character. And yet had either of you been alked, common modell y
: would have obliged you to refuse, what you would not be displeased with, if done without your know-' ledge. And besides, to end all dispute, you had been pleased to make me a free gift of them, to do what I pleased with them; and every one knows, that the person to whom a letter is addressed, has the same right to dispose of it, as he has of goods purchased with his money. I doubt not but your generosity and honour will do me the right, of owning by a line that I came honestly by them. I flatter myself, in a few months I Mall again be visible to the world ; and whenever thro' good providence that turn shall happen, I shall joyfully acquaint you with it, there being none more truly your obliged fervant, than, Sir,
..: Your faithful, and"
most humble Servant, ,
i ni E, THOMAS, P.S. A Letter, Sir, directed to Mrs. Thomas, be left at my house, will be safely transmitted to Her, by,, , ; }
Yours, &c. uti ,
i To Mr. P OP E.
i ... Epsom, July 6, 1727. O THEN these letters were first printed, I
W wondered how Curll could come by them, and could not but laugh at the pompous title ; since whatever you wrote to me was humour, and famiHar raillery. As foon as I came from Epsom, I Beard you had been to see me, and I writ you a short ter from Will's, that I longed to see you. Mr.
D s, about that time charged me with giving
them to a mistress, which I positively denied : not in the least, at that time, thinking of it; but some time after, finding in the News papers Letters from Lady Packington, Lady Chudleigh, and Mr. Norris to the fame Sappho or E. T. I began to fear that I was guilty. I have never seen these Letters of Curll's, nor would go to his shop about them; I have not seen this Sappho alias E. T. these seven years.--Her writing, That I gave her 'em, to do what I would with 'em, is ftraining the point too far. . I thought not of it, nor do I think she did then ; but severe necessity which catches hold of a twig, has produced all this; which has lain hid, and forgotziby me so many years. Curll sent me a letter laft week, defiring a polítive answer about this matter, but finding I would give him none, he went to E. T. and writ a postscript in her long romantick letter, to direct my answer to his house; but they not expediting an answer, sent a young man to me, whose name, it seems, iş Pattison. I told him I should not write any thing, but I believed it might be so as The writ in her letter. I am extremely concerned that my former indiscretion in putting them into the hands of this pretieuse, should have given you much disturbance ; for the last thing I should do would be to disoblige you, for whom I have ever preserved the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, Sissy
Your faithful Friend, and in I nici moft humble Servant, e . : [ y
To Mr. POPE.
August 1, 1727. TTHOʻ I writ my long narrative from Epsom till:
T I was tired, yet was I not satisfied ; left any
doubt should reft upon your mind. I could not "make protestations of my innocence of a grievous,
crime; but I was impatient till i came to town, that
purchase; and as the little exception you have taken' · has served him to play his game upon us for these
two years, a new incident from me might enable
him to play it on for two more. --The great value : fhe expresses for all you write, and her passion for
having them, I believe, was what prevailed upon me to let her keep them. By the interval of twelve years at least, from her possession to the time of printing them, 'tis manifeft, that I had not the least ground to apprehend such a design: but as people in great straits, bring forth their hoards of old gold and most valued jewels; so Sappho had recourse to her hid treasure of Letters, and played off not only your's to me, but all those to herself (as the lady's last stake) into the press.-As for me, I hope, when you shall cooly consider the many thousand instances of our being deluded by the females, since that great Original of Adam by Éve, you will have a more favourable thought of the undesigning error of
Your faithful Friend,
and humble Servant, HENRY CROMWELL.