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I find your Idea is so closely connected to me that I must forget both together, or neither. I'm sorry, I could not have a glympse either of you, or of the Sun, (your Father) before you went for Bath. But now it pleales me to see him, and hear of you. Pray put Mr. Congreve in mind that he has one on this side of the World who loves him; and that there are more Men and Women in the Universe, than Mr. Gay and my Lady Duchess of M. There are Ladies in and about Richmond that pretend to value him and your self; and one of 'em ac least
may be thought to do it without Afm fectation, namely Mrs. Howard. As for Mrs. Blounts (whom you mercifully make mention of) they are gone, or going to Susfex. I hope Mrs. Pulteney is the better for the Bath, tho? I have little Charity and few good Wishes for the Ladies, the Destroyers of their best friends the Men. Pray tell her she has forgot the first Commisfion I ever troubled her with, and therefore it shall be the last (the very thing I fear The desires). Dr. Arbuthnot is a strange creature; he goes out of town, and leaves his Bastards at other folks doors. I have long been so far mistaken in him as to think him a Man of Morals as well as of Politicks. Pray, let him know I made a very unfashionable enquiry i’other day of the welfare
of his Wife and family: Things that (I presume) are below the consideration of a Wit andan Ombre-player. They are in perfect health. Tho' Mrs. A_'s Navel has been burnt, I hope the Doctor's own Belly is in abfolute ease and contentment. Now I speak of those Regions about the Abdomen, pray, dear Gay, consult with him and Dr. Clée, to what exact pitch yours may
be fuffer'd to swell, not to outgrow theirs, w ho are, yet, your Betters. Pray tell Dr. Arbuthnot that even Pigeon-pyes, and Hogspuddings are thought dangerous by our Governors; for those that have been sent to the Bishop of Rochester, are open’d and prophanely pry'd into at the Tower : 'Tis the first time dead Pigeons have been suspected of carrying Intelligence. To be serious, you, and Mr. Congreve (nay and the Doctor if he has not dined) will be sensible of my concern and surprize at the commitment of that Gentleman, whose welfare is as much my concern as any friend's I have. I think my self a most unfortunate wretch ; I no fooner love, and, upon knowledge, fix my esteem to any man; but he either dies like Mr. Craggs, (r is fint to Imprisonment like the Bishop. God send him as well as I wish him, manifest him to be as innocent as I believe him, and make all his Enemies know him as well as I do, that
love him and think of him as well!
If you apprehend this Period to be of any danger in being address'd to you ; tell Mr. Congreve or the Doctor, it is writ to them. I am
July 13, 1723.
oblig’d, by your kind letter, which fufficiently warm'd my heart to have answer'd it sooner, had I not been deceiv'd (a way one often is deceiv’d) by hearkening to Women; who told me that both Lady Burlington and yourself were immediately to return from Tunbridge, and that my Lord was gone to bring you back. The world furnishes us with too many examples of what you complain of in yours, and I afsure you, none of them touch and grieve me so much as what relates to you. I think your Sentiments upon it are the
same I should entertain : I wish those we call Great Men had the same Notions, but they are really the most Little Creatures in the world; and the most interested, in all but one Point; which is, that they want Judg
ment to know their greatest Interest, to encourage and chuse Honest men for their Friends.
I have not once seen the Person you complain of, whom I have of late thought to be, as the Apostle admonisheth, one Flesh with his Wife.
Pray make my sincere compliments to Lord Burlington, whom I have long known to have more Mind to be a Good and honourable man, than almost any one of his rank.
I have not forgot yours to Lord Bolingbroke, (tho' I hope to have speedily a fuller opportunity) he returns for Flanders and France, next Month.
Mrs. Howard has writ you something or other in a letter which she says she repents. She has as much Goad-nature as if she had never seen any Ill-nature, and had been bred among Lambs and Turtle-doves, instead of Princes and Court-Ladies.
By the end of this week, Forte scue will pass a few days with me. We shall remember you in our Potations, and wish
you a Fisher with us, on my Grass-plat. In the mean time we wish you Success as a Fisher of Women, at the Wells, a Rejoycer of the Comfortless and Widow, an Impregnator of the Barren, and a Playfellow of the Maiden. I am
in the midst of that melancholy with which I have been so long encompassed, in an hourly Expectation almost of my Mother's death; there was no circumstance that render'd it more insupportable to me, than that I could not leave her to see you. Your own present Escape from so imminent danger, I pray God may prove less precarious than my poor Mother's can be ; whose Life at her age can at best be but a short Reprieve, or a longer Dying. But I fear, even that is more than God will please to grant me; for, these two days past, her most dangerous Symptoms are returned upon her; and unless there be a sudden change, I must in a few days, if not in a few Hours, be depriv’d of her. In the afflicting Prospect before me, I know nothing that can so much alleviate it as the View now given me (Heaven grant it may encrease !) of your recovery. In the sincerity of my heart, I am excessively concern'd, not to be able to pay you, dear Gay, any part of the debt Į very gratefully remember I owe you, on a like sad occasion, when you was here comforting me in her last great Illness. May your P4