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Ing I wou'd give him none, he went to E. T. and writ a Poftfcript, in her long romantic Letter, to direct my Answer to his house, but they not expecting an Anfwer, fent a young man to me, whofe nanye, it feems, is Pattisson : I told him, I Thou'd not write any thing, but I believa it might be so, as the writ in her Letter. I am extremely concern'd, that
former Indiscretion in putting 'em into the hands of this Pretzeuse, thou'd have given you lo much
uch disturbance; for the last thing I Tou'd do wou'd be to difoblige you ; for whom I have ever preserv'd the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, Sir,
Your faithful Friend, and as other most bumble Servant,
To Mr PP.E. 33
August 1, 1727-1 HO? I writ my long Narrative From
Epsom till I was tir'd, yet was I ist Satisfied left any doubt thou'd reft upon your mind. I could not make proteftations of my Innocence of a grievous crime, but I was impatient till I came to Town, ithat I might send you thote Letters, as a clear evidence, that I was a peiteat Aranger to
all their proceeding: Shou'd I have protested against it, after the printing, it might have been taken for an attempt to decry his purchase ; and as the little exception you have taken, has serv'd 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 the expresses for all you write, and her passion for having 'em, I believe, was what prevail'd upon me to let her keep 'em. By the interval of twelve years at least, from her posseflion, to the time of printing 'em, '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, fo Sapho had recourse to her hid treasure of Letters, and play'd off, not only your's to me, but all those to herself (as the Lady's last-itake) 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 Eve, you will have a more favourable thought of the undefigning error of
Your faithful Friend,
and humble Servant,
Now, should our Apology for this Publication be as ill receiv'd, as the Lady's seems to have been by the Gentlemen concerned; we shall at least have Her Comfort of being Thank'd by the rest of the world. Nor has Mr. P. himself any great cause to think it inuch Offence to his Modesty, or Reflexion on his Judgment; when we take care to inform the Public, that there are few Letters of his in this Collection which were not written una der Twentŷ years of Age : On the other hand, we doubt not the Reader will be much more furpriz'd to find, at that early period, so much variety of Style, Affecting Sentiment, and Justness of Criticism, in pieces which must bave been writ in haste, very few perhaps ever re-view'd, and none intended for the Eye of the Public.
Decemb. 26. 1704. T was certainly a great Satisfaction to me to see and converse with a Man,
whom in his Writings I had so long known with Pleasure : But it was a high addition to it, to hear you, at our very first meeting, doing justice to your dead friend Mr. Dryden. I was not so happy as to know him; Virgilium tantum vidi -Had I been born early enough, I must have known and lov'd him: For I have been afsur'd, not only by your self, but by Mr. * The Author's Age then Sixteen.
Congreve and Sir William Trumbul,that his personal qualities were as amiable as his Poetical, notwithstanding the many libellous Misrepresentations of them, (against which the former of these Gentlemen has told me he will one day vindicate him I suppose those Injuries were begun by the Violence of Party, but' 'tis no doubt they were continu'd by Envy at his success and fame: And those Scriblers who attack'd him in his latter times, were only like Gnats in a Summer's Evening, which are never very troublesome but in the finest and most glorious Seafon; (for his Fire, like the Sun's, fhin'd clearest towards its feta ting.)
You must not therefore imagine, that when you told me of my own Performances that they were above those Criticks, I was so vain as to believe it; and yet I may not be so humble as to think my self quite below their
. Notice. For. Critics, as they are Birds of Prey, have ever a natural Inclination to Carrion: And though. such
poor Writers as I, are but Beggars, however no Beggar is so poor but he can
fo. keep a Cur, and no Author is so beggarly but he can keep a Critic. So. I'm far from
He since did so, in his Dedication to the Duke of New castle, prefix'd to Tonson's Duodecimo Edition of Dryden's Plays, 7717
thinking the Attacks of such people either any honour or dishonour, even to me, much less to Mr. Dryden. I think with you, that whatever lesser Wits have risen since his Death, are but like Stars appearing when the Sun is fet, that twinkle only in his Absence, and with the Rays they have borrowed from him. Our Wit (as you call it) is but Reflection or Imitation, therefore scarce to be call'd ours. True Wit, I believe, may be defin'da Justness of Thought,
, and a Facility of Expression; or (in the Midwives Phrafe) a perfect Conception, with an easy Delivery. However this is far from a compleat Definition; pray help me to a better, as I doubt not you can.
I am, &c.
Mr. WycHERLEY to Mr. Pope.
Jan. 25, 1704-5. HAVE been so busy of late in cor
Madrigals, for a great Man or two who desir'd to see them, that I have (with your Pardon) omitted to return you an Answer to your most ingenious Letter : So Scriba lers to che Publick, like Bankers to the Pub. lick, are profufè in their voluntary Loans