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and the good that ever lived; that is, to be. envy'd and censur'd by bad writers.

You do no more than answer my expectations of you, in declaring how well you take my

freedom in sometimes neglecting, as I do, to reply to your Letters lo soon as I ought ; those who have a right taste of the substantial part of friendship, can wave the ceremonial." A friend is the only one that will bear the omission; and one may, find who is not so, by the very trial of it.

As to any anxiety I have concerning the fate of my Homer, the care is over with me. The world must be the judge, and I shall be the first to consent to the justice of its judgment, whatever it be. I am not so arrant an Author, as, even to desire, that if I am in the wrong, all mankind should be fo.

I am mightily pleas’d with a saying of Monsieur Tourreil: “When a Man writes, " he ought to animate himself with the " thoughts of pleasing all the world : but " he is to renounce that desire or hope, the

very moment the Book goes out of his cc hands."

I write this from Binfield, whither I came yesterday, having past a few days in my way with my Lord Bolingbroke: I go to London in three days time, and will not fail to pay a visit to Mr. M--, whom I saw not long since at my Lord Halifax's. I hoped from


thence he had some hopes of advantage front the present administration : for few people (I think) but I, pay respects to great Men without any prospects. I am in the fairest way in the world of being not worth a groat, being born both a Papist and a Poet. This purs me in mind of reacknowledging your continued endeavours to enrich me : Bus I can tell you 'tis to no purpose, for without the Opes, Æquum animum mi ipse parabo.


I am your,

Mr. Pope to Mr. CONGREVE.



March 19, 1714-15.
HE Farce of the What-d'ye-call it, has.

occasioned many different speculacions in the town. Some look'd upon it as meer jeft upon the tragic poers, others as a satire upon the late war. Mr. Cromwell hearing. none of the words, and seeing the a&ion to be tragical, was much astonished to find the audience laugh; and fays, the Prince and Princess mult doubtless be under no lefs amazement on the same account. Several templers, and others of the more vociferous kind of criticks, went with a resolution to hiss, and confelt they were forced to laugh so much, that they forgot the design they came with. The Court in general has in a ,

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very particular manner come into the jest,
and the three firft Nights, (notwithstanding
two of them were court-nights) were distin.
guith'd by very full audiences of the first
quality. The common people of the pit and
gallery receiv'd it at first with great gravity
and fedateness, fome few with tears; buc
after the third day they also took the hint,
and bave ever since been very loud in their
claps. There are still fome fober men who
cannot be of the general opinion, but the
laughers are so much the majority, that one
or two criticks seem decermin'd to undeceive
the town at their proper cost, by writing
grave differrations against it: To encourage
then in which laudable design, it is resolv'd
a Preface shall be prefixt to the Farce, in
vindication of the nature and dignity of this
new way of writing..

Yesterday Mr. Steele's affair was decided :
I am sorry I can be of no other opinion than
yours, as to his whole carriage and writings
of late. But certainly he has not only been
punish'd by others, but suffer'd much even
from bis own party in the point of character,
nor (I believe) receiv'd any amends in that
of interest, as yer; whatever may be bis :
Profpcas for the future.

This Gentleman, among a thousand others, is a great instance of the fate of all who are carried away by party-spirit, of any fide, I wish all violence may succeed.



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90.1991 LETTERS of
as ill; but am really amazed that so much
of thar fower and pernicious quality shou'd
be joined with so much nacural good bu.
mour as I think Mr. Steele is possess d of.

I am, &c.

April 7, 1715

R. Pope is going to Mr. Fervas's

where Mr. Addilon is fitting for his pictuie ; in the mean time amidit clouds of tobacco at a coffee-house I write this letter. There is a grand revolution at Will's, Morrice has quitted for a coffee-house in the city, and sitcomb is restor'd to the great joy of Cromwell, who was at a great loss for a person to converse with upon the fathers and church history; the knowledge I gain from him, is intirely in painting and poeiry; and Mr. Pope owes all his skill in astronomy to him and Mr. Whiffon, lo celebrated of lare or his discovery of the longitude in an Jane Giay is to be play'd in Easter:Week, (vhin Mrs. Oldfield is to personate a chara&er äir &tly oppolite to female nature; for what woman cyer despis'd Sovereignty? You know Chaucer has a tale where a knight

* Called, An Ode on toc Longitude, in Swift's and Pope's Mifcelianes.

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to pray


saves his head, by discovering it was't

the thing which all women molt covered. Mr. Pope's Homer is retarded by the great rains that have fallen of late, which causes the Mheets to be long a drying; this gives Mr. Lintot great uneasiness, who is now endei. vouring rocorrupt the Curate of his parish

for fair weather, that his work may go on. There is a six-penny Criticisin lately publik'd upon the Tragedy of the What dye-call-it, wherein he witli much judgnent and learning calls me a blockhead, and Mr.

Pope a knave. His grand charge is against the Pilgrims Progress being read, which he says is dire&tly develd at Cato's reading Plato; to back this censure, he goes on to tell you, that tlie Pilgrims Progress being mentioned to be the eighth edition, makes the reflection evident, the Tragedy of Cato having just eight times (as hie quaintly expreffes it) visited the Press. He has also ena deavoured to show, that every particular passage of the play alludeš to some fine pare of Tragedy, which tie says I have injudia ciously and profanely abused. * Sir Samuel Garib's Poem upon my Lord Clare's house, I believe will be publish'd in the Easter-week.

Thus far Mr. Gay — who has in his letter forestall'd all tlie subjects of diversion ; uness

Pizce wis entirled, A compleat Key what d'ye-call-it. It was written by one Griffin á Player, asted by Lewis Theobald.


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* Iinis curious

to the

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