« ПредишнаНапред »
that the happiest here may not die with Envy at a Bliss which they cannot attain to.
I am, &c.
To the same.
May 1, 1720. Dear Sir, YOU'LL think me very full of myself
, when after a long Silence (which however to say Truth has rather been ernploy'd to contemplate of you, than to forget you) I begin to talk of my own Works. I find it is in the finishing a Book, as in' concluding a Session of Parliament; one always thinks it will be very foon, and finds it very late. There are many unlook'd for Incidents to retard the clearing any public Account, and so I see it is in mine. I have plagued myself, like great
Ministers, with undertaking too much for one Man and with a Desire of doing more than was expected from me, have done less than I ought.
For having design'd four very laborious and uncommon Indexes to Homer, I'm forc'd, for want of Time, to publish two only; the Design of which you will own to be pretty, tho' far from being fully executed. I've also been oblig'd to leave unfinish'd in my Desk the Heads of two Essays, one on the Theology and Morality of Homer, and another on the Oratory of Homer and Virgil. So they must wait for future Editions, or perith ; and
fone Way or other, no great Matter which) dabit Deus his quoque finem.
I think of you every Day, I assure you, even without such good Memorials of you as your Sisters, with whom I sometimes talk of you, and find it one of the most agreeable of all Subjects to them. My Lord Digby must be perpetually remember'd by all who ever knew him, or knew his Children. There needs no more than an Acquaintance with your Family, to make all elder Sons with they had Fathers to their Lives-end.
I can't touch upon the Subject of filial Love, without putting you in mind of an old Woman, who has a sincere, hearty old-fashion'd Respect for you, and constantly blames her Son for not having writ to you oftner, to tell you fo.
I very much with (but what signifies my wishing? my Lady Scudamore wishes, your Sisters wish) that you were with us, to compare the beautiful Contrast this Season affords us of the Town and Country. No Ideas you could form in the Winter can make you imagine what Twickenham is (and what your Friend Mr Johnson of Twickenham is) in this warmer Seafon. Our River glitters beneath an unclouded Sun, at the same time that it's Banks retain the Verdure of Showers; our Gardens are offering their first Nofegays ; our Trees, like new Acquaintance brought happily together, are stretching their Arms to meet each other, and growing nearer and nearer every Hour : The birds are paying their thankfgiving Songs for the new Habitations I have made 'em ; my Building rises high enough to attract the Eye and Curiosity of the Paffenger from the River, where, upon beholding a Mixture of Beauty and Ruin, he enquires what House is falling, or what Church is rising ? So little Taste have our common Tritons of Vitruvius ; whatever De
light the true, unseen, poetical Gods of the River may take in reflecting on their Streams by Tuscan Porticos, or lonic Pilasters.
But (to descend from all this Pomp of Style) the best Account I can give of what I am building, is, that it will afford me a few pleasant Rooms for such a Friend as yourself, or a cool Situation for àn Hour or two for Lady Scudamore, when she will do me the Honour fat this publick House on the Road) to drink her own Cyder.
The Moment I am writing this, I am surprized with the Account of the Death of a Friend of mine ; which makes all I have here been talking of, a mere Jeft! Buildings, Gardens, Writings, Pleafures, Works, of whatever Suff Man can raise ! none of them (God knows) capable of advantaging a Creature that is mortal, or of fatisfying a Soul that is immortal! Dear Sir, I am
To the fame.
July 20, 1720. OUR kind Desire to know the State of my
Health had not been unsatisfied of so long, had not that ill State been the Impediment. Nor should I have seem'd an unconcern’d Party, in the Joys of your Family, which I heard of from Lady Scudamore, 'whofe short Echantillon of a Letter (of a quarter of a Page) I value as the short Glimpse of a Vision afforded to fome devout Hermit; for it includes (as those Revelations do) a promise of a better Life in the Elysian Groves of Cirencester, whether, I could almost say in the Style of a Ser. mon, the Lord bring us all, &c. Thither may we tend, by various ways to one blissful Bower: Thither may Health, Peace, and good Humour, wait upon us as Associates : Thither may whole Cargoes of Nectar (Liquor of Life and Longævity!) by Mortals callà Spaw-water, be convey'd : And there (as Milton has it) may we, like the Deities,
On Flow'rs repos'd, and with fresh Garlands
crown'd, Quaff Immortality and Joy When I speak of Garlands, I Thould not forget the green Vestments and Scarfs which your Sisters promis'd to make for this purpose: I expect you too in green with a Hunting-horn by your Side and a green Hat, the Model of which you may take from Osborne's Description of King James I.
What Words, what Numbers, what Oratory, or what Poetry, can fuffice, to express how infiniteJy I efteem, value, love, and desire you all, above all the great ones, the rich ones, and the vain ones of this part of the World ! above all the Jews, Jobbers, Bubblers, Subscribers, Projectors, Directors, Governors, Treasurers, &c. &c. &c. &c. in fæcula sæculorum!
Turn your Eyes and Attention from this miserable mercenary Period; and turn yourself, in a juft Contempt of these Sons of Mammon, to the Contemplation of Books, Gardens, and Marriage, in which I now leave you, and return (Wretch that I am!) to water-gruel and Palladio.
I am, &c.
To the fame.
Twickenham, Sept. 1.
Fortnight or more; perhaps you would be comforted to have a sight of him, whether you need him or not. I think him as good a Doctor as any for one that is ill, and a better Doctor than any for one that is well. He would do admirably for Mrs Mary Digby: She needed only to follow his Hints, to be în eternal Businefs and Amusement of Mind, and even as active as she could desire. But indeed I fear she would out-walk him : For (as Dean Swift obfervid to me the very
first time I saw the Doctor) He is a Man that can do ES