Графични страници
PDF файл

And as for 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, it's Customs, and it's Manners, to be fully possess’d and absorp'd in the past ? When People talk of going to Church, I think of Sacrifices and Libations; when I see the Parson, I address him as Chryfes, Priest of Apollo ; and instead of the Lord's Prayer, I begin,

God of the Silver Bow, &c.



in the World are concern'd about the Protestant Succession, I consider only how Menelaus may recover Helen, and the Trojan War be put to a. speedy Conclusion. I never inquire if the Queen be well or not, but heartily wish to be at Hector's Funeral. The only Things I regard in this Life, are, whether


Friends are well ? Whether my Translation go well on? Whether Dennis be writing Criticisms? Whether any body will answer him, since I don't? And whether Lintott be not

yet broke ?

I am, &c.

To the same.

AUGUST 16, 1714. I Thank you for your good Offices which are

numberless. Homer advances so fast, that he begins to look about for the Ornaments he is to appear in, like a modish modern Author,

Picture in the Front,
With Bays and wicked Ryme upon't.

I have the greatest Proof in nature at present of the amusing Power of Poetry; for it takes me up so intirely, that I scarce fee what passes under my Nose, and hear nothing that is said about me. Το follow Poetry as one ought, one must forget Father and Mother, and cleave to it alone. My Réverie has been so deep, that I have scarce had an Interval to think myself uneasy in the want of your Company I now and then just miss you as I step into Bed; this minute indeed I want extremely to see you, the next I shall dream of nothing but the taking of Tray, or the Recovery of Briseis.

I fancy no Friendship is so likely to prove lasting as ours, because I am pretty sure there never was a Friendship of so easy a Nature. We neither of us demand any mighty Things from each other ; what Vanity we have, expects it's Gratification from other people. It is not I, that am to tell you what an Artist you are, nor is it you that are to tell me what a Poet I'am ; but 'tis from the World abroad we hope (piously hope) to hear these Things. At home we follow our Business, when we have any ; and think and talk most of each other when we have

none. 'Tis not unlike the happy Friendship of a stay'd Man and his Wife, who are seldom so fond as to hinder the Business of the House from going on all Day, or so indolent as not to find Consolation in each other every Evening. Thus well-meaning Couples hold in Amity to the last, by not expecting too much from human Nature; while romantic Friendships, like violent Loves, begin with Dir.

quiets, proceed to Jealousies, and conclude in Ani* mofities. I have liv'd to see the fierce Advance

ment, the sudden Turn, and the abrupt Period, of three or four of these enormous Friendships, and am. perfectly convinc'd of the Truth of a Maxim we once agreed in, That nothing hinders the constant


I 3

[ocr errors]

Agreement of People who live together, but meer Vanity; a secret insisting upon what they think their Dignity or Merit, and an inward Expectation of such an Över-measure of Deference and Regard, as answers to their own extravagant false Scale ; and which no body can pay, because none but them. selves can tell, exactly, to what pitch it amounts.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

AUG. 27, 1714. · WH

Hatever Studies on the one hand, or Amuse-
ments on the other, it sha!) .be


Fortune to fall into, I shall be equally incapable of forgetting you in any of 'em. The Task I undertook , tho' of Weight enough in itself

, has had a voluntary Increase, by the inlarging my Defign of the Notes ; and the Neceflity of consulting a Number of Books has carry'd me to Oxford : 'But I fear, thro' my Lord Harcourt's and Dr Clarke's Means, I shall be more converfant with the Pleasures and Company of the Place, than with the Books and Manuscripts of it.

I find still more Reason to complain of the Nego ligence of the Geographers in their Maps of old Greece, fince I look'd upon two or three more noted Names in the public Libraries here. But with all the Care I am capable of, I have fome Cause to fear the Engraver will prejudice me in a few Situations. I have been forc'd to write to him in so high a Style, that were my Epistle intercepted, it would raise no small Admiration in an

[ocr errors]

* The Translation of Homer's Iliad.


ordinary Man. There is scarce an Order in it of less Importance, than to remove such and such Mountains, alter the Course of such and such Rivers, place a large City on such a Coast, and raze another in another Country. I have set Bounds to the Sea, and said to the Land, Thus far shalt thou advance, and no further *. In the mean time, I who talk and command at this rate, am in danger of losing my Horse, and stand in some Fear of a Country Justice. To disarm me, indeed, may be but prudential, considering what Armies I have at present on Foot, and in my Service : A hundred thoufand Grecians are no contemptible Body; for all that I can tell, they may be as formidable as four thousand Priests ; and they seem proper Forces to send against those in Barcelona. That Siege deserves as fine a Poem as the Iliad, and the machining part of Poetry would be the juster in it, as they say the Inhabitants expect Angels from Heaven to their Afliftance. May I venture to say, who am a Papist, and say to you who are a Papift, that nothing is more astonishing to me, than that People fo greatly warm’d with a Sense of Liberty, should be capable of harbouring such weak Superstition, and that so much Bravery and so much Folly can inhabit the same Breasts ?

I could not but take a Trip to London, on the Death of the Queen, mov'd by the common Curiosity of Mankind, who leave their own Bafiness to be looking upon other Mens. I thank God, that as for myself, I am below all the Accidents of Statechanges by my Circumstances, and above them by my Philofophy. Common Charity of man to man, and universal good Will to all, are the Points I have.

* This relates to the Map of ancient Greece, laid down by our Author in his Observations on the second Iliad.



[ocr errors]

most at heart ; and I ain furę those are not to be broken for the sake of any Governors, or Government. I am willing to hope the best, and what I more will than my own or any particular man's Advancement, is, that this Turn may put an end entirely to the Divisions of Whig and Tory; that the Parties may love each other as well as I love them both; or at least hurt each other as little as I would either; and that our own People may live as quietly as we shall certainly let theirs that is to fay, that want of Power itself in us may not be a surer Prevention of Harm, than want of Will in them. I am sure, if all Whigs and all Tories had the Spirit of one Roman Catholic that I know, it would be well for all Roman Catholics ; and if all Roman Catholics had always had that Spirit, it had been well for all others, and we had never been charg'd with so wicked a Spirit as that of Persecution.

I agree with you in my Sentiment of the State of our Nation since this Change: I find myfelf juft in the fame situation of Mind you describe as your own, heartily wishing the Good, that is, the Quiet of my Country, and hoping a total End of all the unhappy Divisions of Mankind by Party-spirit, which at best is but the Madness of many for the Cain of a few.

I am, &c.


AUGUST 20. 1714

I HAVE a Particular to tell you at this time

, which pleases me so much, that you must expect a more than ordinary Alacrity in every Turn. You know I cou'd keep you in luspense for twenty

« ПредишнаНапред »