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Which God hai given me; and unworthy of the friendship of such a man as youi

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2^, 1714

3Tj -Have no better excuse to offer you, that JL I have omitted a task naturally so plealing to me as conversing upon paper with .you; but that my time and eyes have beert tvholly erclploy'd upon Homer, whom I almost fear I shall And but one way ofiraita^ ling, which is, in his blindness. Iam perpetually afflicted with headach's, than very much affect my fight j and indeed since my Coming hither I have scarce passed an hour agreeably, except that in which I read your letter. I would seriously have you think,' you have no man Who more truly knows to place a right value on your friendship, than he who least deserves k on all other dCr Countsithan his due fense of it. But let me teU you, -yfiu-cjm hardly guess what a task you undertake, when you profefoyout self Mt\y. sricrfd'j there are some Tories Who Will tafce youfor a Whig, feme Whip

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who will take you for a Tory, some Prate slants who will esteem you a rank Papist, and some Papists who will account you a Heretick.

I find by dear experience, we live in an age, where it is criminal to be moderate; and where no one man can be allowed to be just to all men. The notions of right and wrong are (osar strain'd, that perhaps to be in the right so very violently, may be of worse consequence than to be easily and quietly in the wrong. I really wish all men io well, that I am satisfied but few can wish me so j but if those few are such as tell me they do, I am content, for they are the best people I know: While you believe me what I profess as to Religion, I can bear any thing the Bigotted may fay ; while Mr. Congrevt likes my poetry, I can endure Dennis aud a thousand more like him j while the most honest and moral of each party think me no ill man, I can easily support it, tho' the most violent and mad of all parties rose up to throw dirt at me.

I must expect an hundred attacks upon the publication of my Homer. Whoever in .our times would be a professor of learning above his fellows,, ought at the very first to enter the world with the constancy and resolution of a primitive Christian, and be prepared to suffer all sorts of publick Persecution. >o * cution. It is certainly to be lamented^ that C,jf any man does but endeavour to distinguish himself, or gratify others by his studies,1 he is immediately treated as a common ener-1 my, instead of being look'd upon as a com-' \ v raon friend ; and assaulted as generally, as if y. his whole defign were to prejudice the State, ..and ruin the publick. I will venture to fay, :-.no man ever rose to any degree of perfe\ , ction in writing, but thro' obstinacy and an -■ inveterate resolution against the stream of T:mankind: So that if the world has receiv'd any benefic from the labours of the Learned, lit was in itsown despite. For when first j"n they essay their parts, all people in general are prejudiced against new beginners j and ( ., when they have got a little above contempt,' jhen some particular persons who were best* i nfore unfortunate in their own attempts, are nfworn foes to them, only because they suc□ ceed. — Upon the whole, one may say of ■<••'• the best writers, that they pay a severe fine t^v ;for their fame, which it is always in the power of the most worthless part of mankind R-'i-xo levy upon them when they please.

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I,../. To Mr. t E R v A s.

July 48, 1714:

IAm just enter'd upon the old way of life again, steep and musing; It is my employment to revive the old of past ages to the present- as it is yows to transmit the young of the present,, tft tfte future. I ■ am copying the great Master in one art, with the same love and diligence with which the Painter hereafter, will copy you in another.

Thtls I should begin my Epistle to you,' if it were a Dedicatory one. Butasitisr* friendly letter, you are to find nothing Mentioned in yout Owl* praise but what only one irt the world is witness to, yoMt particular good-natur'd offices to me. What-ever mankind in general would allow, you, that I am not to give you to your facej and if I wefe to do it in your absence, the world would tell me I am too partial to be permit* ted to pals any judgment of you.

So you fee me cut out from any thing but common acknowledgments, or common discourse. The first you wou'd take ill, tho' I told you but half what 1 ought j so in short {the last only remains*

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And as fer the last, what can you expect from a man who has not talk'd these five: days? who is withdrawing his thoughts as far as he can, from all the present world, its customs and its manners, to be fully possest and absorpt in the past? When people talk of going to Church, I think of Sacrifices and Libations; when 1 fee the parson, I address him as Chryses priest of Apollo; and instead of the Lord's Prayer, I begin

God of the Silver Bow, Sec.

While you in the world are concerned about the Protestant Succession, I consider only how Menelam may recover Helen, and the Trojan war be put to a speedy conclusion. I never inquire if the Queen be well or; nor* but heartily wish to be at Hettor's ftu peral. The only things I regard in this life, irc^ whether my friends are-well? whether; rjiy Translation go well on? whether Den* pis be writing criticisms? whether any body will answer him, since I don't? and whether Liutott be not yet broke?

, I am^&c.

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