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Mr PopЕ to the Earl of
H ALIF A X.
Dec, I, 1714
My LORD, I AM oblig’d to you both for the Favours you have done me, and for those
intend me. 1 distruít neither your Will nor your Memory, when it is to do good : and if ever I become troublesome or follicitous, it must not be out of Expectation, but out of Gratitude. Your Lordship may either cause me to live agreeably in the Town, or contentedly in the Country, which is really all the difference I fet between an easy Fortune and a small one. It is indeed a high Strain of Generosity in you, to think of making me ealy all my Life, only because I have been so happy as to divert you fome few Hours : But if I may have leave to add, it is because you think me no Enemy to my native
my native Country, there will appear a better Reason ; for I must of consequence be very much, (as I sincerely am)
My Lord, &c.
Mr POPE to Mr CONGREVE.
JAN. 16. 1714-15. ETHINKS when I write to you, I am making a Confession, I have got (I can't tell how) such a Custom of throwing myself out upon Paper without reserve. You were not mistaken
in what you judg'd of my Temper of Mind when I writ last. My Faults will not be hid from you, and perhaps it is no Dispraise to me that they will not. The Cleanness and Purity of one's Mind is never better prov'd, than in discovering it's own Faults at first View: As when a Stream shows the Dirt at it's bottom, it shows also the Transparency of the Water.
My Spleen was not occafion'd, however, by any thing an * abusive, angry Critic could write of me.
* Dennis, who writ an abusive Pamphlet this Year, intituled, Remarks on Mr Pope's Homer,
I take very kindly your heroic manner of Congratulation upon this Scandal; for I think nothing more Honourable, than to be involved in the fame Fate with all the Great 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 .fo foon as I ought; those who have a right Tafte of tire fubftantial Part of Friendship, can wave the Ceremonial. A Friend is the only one that will bear the Omiffion; and one may find who is not fo, by the
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 it's Judgment, whatever it be. I am not so arrant an Author, as even to defire, 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 ani“ mate himself with the Thoughts of pleasing all " the World : But he is renounce that Defire or “ Hope, the very Moment the Book goes out of 66 his 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 Mwhom I saw not long since at my Lord Halifax's
. I hoped from thence he had some hopes of Advantage from the present Administration : For few People (I think) but I, pay respects to great Men without any Prospects
. I am in the fairelt Way in the World of being not worth a Groat, being born both a Papist and a Poet.. This puts me in mind of re