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much as separate Spirits do us, at tender Intervals, neither interrupting their own Enployments, nor altogether careless of ours; but, in general, constantly wishing us well, and hoping to have us one Day in their Company.
To grow indifferent to the World is to grow Philosophical, or Religious ; (whichfoever of those Turns we chance to take) and indeed the World is fuch a thing as one that thinks pretty much, muft either laugh at, or be angry with : But if we laugh at it, they say we are proud ; and if we are angry with it, they fay we are ill-natur’d. So the most politic way is to seem always better pleas'd than one can be, greater Admirers, a greater Lovers, and in short greater Fools, than we really are: So Thai we live comfortably with our Families, quietly with our Neighbours, favour'd by our Masters, and happy with our Mistresses. I have filled my Paper, and fo adieu.
To the same.
Sept. 8. 17172
Man's leaving the World, with the blessed Conscience of having acted well in it: and I hope you have received your Reward, in being happy where
I believe, in the Religious Country you now inhabit, you'll be better pleas'd to find I consider you in this light, than if I compared you to those Greeks and Romans, whose Constancy in fufF 6
fering Pain, and whose Resolution in pursuit of a generous End, you would rather imitate than boaft of.
But I had a melancholy hint the other day, as if you were yet a Martyr to the Fatigue your Virtue made you undergo on this side the Water. I beg if your Health be restored to you, not to deny me the Joy of knowing it. Your Endeavours of Service and good Advices to the poor Papists, put me in mind of Noah's preaching forty Years to those Folks that were to be drowned at last. At the worst I heartily with your Ark may find an Ararat, and the Wife and Family (the Hopes of the good Patriarch) land safely after the Deluge upon the Shore of Totnefs.
If I durst mix prophane with facred History, I. would chear you with the old Tale of Brutus the wandering Trojan, who found on that very Coast, the happy End of his Peregrinations and Adventures.
I have very lately read Jeffery of Monmouth (to whom your Cornwall-is-not a little beholden) in the Translation of a Clergyman in my Neighbourhood. The poor Man is highly concern'd to vindicate Jeffery's Veracity as an Historian; and told me he was perfectly astonish’d, we of the Roman Communion could doubt of the Legends of his Giants, While we believ'd those of our Saints? I am forced to make a fair Composition with him; and by crediting some of the Wonders of Corinæus and Gogmagog, have brought him so far already, that he speaks respectfully pf St. Christopher's carrying Chrift, and the Resuscitation of St Nicholas Tolentine's Chickens. Thus we proceed apace in converting each other from all manner of Infidelity.
Ajax and Hector are no more, compared to Coringus and Arthur, than the Guelphs and Ghibellines
were to the Mohocks of ever-dreadful Memory. This amazing Writer has made me lay alide Homer for a Week, and when I take him up again, I shall be very well prepared to translate with belief and reverence the Speech of Achilles's Horse.
You'll excuse all this Trilling, or any thing else which prevents, a Sheet full of Compliment ; and believe there is nothing more true (even more trục ·
any thing in Jeffery, is false) than that I have a constant Affection for you, and am, &c.
P.S. I know you will take part in rejoycing for the Victory of Prince Eugene over the Turks, in the Zeal you bear to the Christian Interest; tho' your Cousin of Oxford (with whom I dined yesterday) fays, there is no other difference in the Christians beating the Turks, or the Turks beating the Christians, than whether the Emperor shall firtt declare War against Spain, or Spain declare it against the Emperor. I must add another Apophthegm of the same noble Earl. It was the Saying of a Politic Prince, “ Time and he would get " the better of any two others”: To which Lord Oxford made this Answer:
To the same.
Nov. 27, 1717
Dear Sir, THE Question
you proposed to me is what at present I am the most unfit Man in the World to answer, by my Loss of one of the best of Fa. thers.
He had liv'd in such a Course of Temperance as was enough to make the longest Life agreeable to him, and in such a Course of Piety as suffic'd to make the most sudden Death so also. Sudden indeed it was : However, I heartily beg of God to give me such an one, provided I can lead such a Life, I leave him to the Mercy of God, and to the Piety of a Religion that extends beyond the Grave :: Si qua eft ea cura; &c.
He has left me to the ticklish Management of a -narrow Fortune, where every false Step is dangerous. My Mother is in that dispirited State of Resignation, which is the effect of long Life, and the Loss of what is dear to us. We are really each
of us in want of a Friend of such an humane Turn' as yourself, to make almost any thing desirable to us. I feel
Absence more than ever, at the same time I can less express my Regards to you than ever ; and shall make this, which is the most sincere Letter I ever writ to you, the shortest and fainteft perhaps of any you have receiv'd. 'Tis enough if you reflect, that barely to remember any Person, when one's Mind is taken up with a sensible Sorrow, is a great degree of Friendihip. I can fay no more but that I love you, and all that are your's; and that I wish it may be very long before any of your's
shall feel for you, what I now feel for my Father, Adieu.
To the fame.
Rentcomb in Gloucestershire, OET: 3.1721
Dear Sir, YOUR kind Letter has overtaken me here,
for I have been in and about this Country ever since your departure. I am pleas’d to date this from a Place fo well known to Mrs Blount, where I write as if I were dictated by her Ancestors, whose Faces are all upon me.
I fear none so much as Sir Christopher Guise, who being in his Shirt, seems as ready to combate me, as her own Sir John was to demolish Duke Lancastere. I dare say your Lady will recollect his Figure. I look'd upon the Manfion, Walls, and Terraces; the Plantations, and Slopes, which Nature has made to Command a variety of Valleys and rising Woods, with a Veneration mixt with a Pleasure, that represented her to me in those puerile Amusements, which engaged her so many Years ago in this place. I fancy'd I faw her sober over a Sampler, or gay over a jointed Baby.. I dare fay she did one thing more, even in those early Times, remember'd her Creator in the Days of her Youth
You describe so well your Hermitical state of Life, that none of the antient Anchorites could
go beyond you for a Cave in a Rock with a fine Spring, or any of the Accomodations that befit a Solitary. Only I don't remember to have read, that any of those venerable and holy Personages took with them a Lady, and begat Sons and Daughters. You must