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to be a Doctor till this instant. I ventur'd to prescribe fome Fruit (which I happen'd to have in the Coach) which being forbidden her by her Doctors, she had the more inclination to. In short, I tempied, and the eat; nor was I more like the Devil than the like Eve. Having the good success of the 'foresaid Gentleman before my eyes, I put on the Gallantry of the old Serpent, and in spite of my evil Form accosted her with all the Gaiety I was master of; which had so good effect, that in less than an hour she grew pleasant, her colour return'd, and the was pleas’d to say my prescription had wrought an immediate cure: In a word, I had the pleasantest journey imaginable.
Thus far (methinks) my Letter has something of the air of a Romance, tho' it be true. ' But I hope you will look on what fol. lows as the greatest of truths, That I think myself extremely oblig’d by you in all points, especially for your kind and hcnourable Information and Advice in a mafter of the utmost concern to me, which I Ihall ever acknowledge as the highest proof at once of your friendihip, justice, and fincerity. At the same time be assur'd, that Gentleman we spoke of, fhall never by any alceration in me discover my knowledge of his Mistake: the hearty forgiving of which is the only kind of Return I can possibly
make him for so many favours. And I
But in one thing, I must confess you have yourself oblig'd me more than any man, which is, that you have shew'd me many
of my Faults, to which as you are the more an implacable Enemy, by so much the more you are a kind Friend to me. 1 cou'd be proud, in revenge, to find a few flips in your Verses, which I read in London, and since in the Country with more ap: plication and pleasure: the thoughts are very just, and you are sure not to let them fuffer by the Versification. If you wou'd oblige me with the trust of any thing of yours, I thou'd be glad to execute any commissions you wou'd give me concerning them. I am here so perfectly at leisure, that nothing wou'd be lo agreeable an en
$ 4 tertainment
tertainment to me ; buť if you will not af. ford me that do not deny me at least the fatisfaction of your Lecter's as long as we are absent, if you wou'd not have him very unhappy who is very sincerely sos
Having a vacant space here, I will fill it with a short Ode on Solitude, which I found yesterday by great accident, and which i find by the date was written when I was not twelve years old ; that you may perceive how long I have continu'd in my passion for a rural life, and in the fame employments of it.
Happy the man, whose wish and care,
A few paternal Acres tound, Content to breathe bis native air,
In 9is own ground.
Whole berds with milk, whole fields with bread,
Whole flocks fupply him with attire, Whofe Trees in summer gield him shade,
In winter, fire.
Bleft, who can inconćern'dly findoraviti
Hours, days, and years side foft awdy't In Health of body, Peace of mind,
Quiet by day, ale
Together mixt; sweet Recreation
Thus, let me live unseen, unknown,
Thus; unlamented let me die,
Tell where I lie.
August 19, 1709.
think of you, my Letters wou'd be as bad as á Rent-charge ; but tho' the one be but too little for your Good-nature, the other wou'd be too much for your Quiet, which is one bleffing Good-nature fhoud indispensably receive from mankind, in return for those inany it gives. I have been inform'd of late, how inuch I am indebted to that quality of yours, in speaking well of me in my absence; the only thing by which
you prove yourself no Wit or Critic: Tho indeed I have often thought, that a friend will show just as much indulgence (and no more) to my faults when I am absent, as he does severity to 'em when I am present. To be very frank with you, Sir, I must own, that where I receiv'd so much Civility at first, I cou'd hardly have expected so much Sincerity afterwards. ; But now I have only to with, that the last were but equal to the first, and that as you have omitted nothing to oblige me, so you wou'd omit nothing to improve me.
I caus’d an acquaintance of mine to enquire cwice of your welfare, by whom I have been inform'd, that you have left your speculative Angle in the Widow's Coffee-house, and bidding adieu for some time to all the Rehearsals
, Reviews, Gaettes, &c. have march'd off into Lincolnshire. Thus I find you vary your life in the scene at least, tho' not in the Action; for tho' life for the most part, like an old Play, be still the same, yet no w and then a new Scene may make it more entertaining. As for myself
, I would not have my life a very regular Play, let it be a good mery Farce, a G-d's name, and a fig for the critical Unities ! Yer (on the other side) I wou'd as soon write like Durfey, as live' like Toml; whose beastly, yet