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treat at Binfeld in the worst of Times at your Service. If you are a Tory, or thought so by any Man, I know it can proceed from nothing but your Gratitude to a few People, who endeavour'a to serve you,
and whose Politics were never your Con
If you are a Whig, as I rather hope, and as I think your Principles and mine (as Brother Poets) had ever a Biass to the side of Liberty, I know you will be an honest Man and an inoffensive one. Upon the whole, I know you are incapable of being fo much of either Party as to be good for nothing, Therefore once more, whatever you are, or in whatever State you are, All Hail !
One or two of our old Friends complain'd, they had heard nothing from you since the Queen's Death; I told 'em, no Man living lov'd Mr Gay better than I, yet I had not once written to him in all his Voyage. This I thought a convincing Proof, how truly one may be a Friend to another without telling him so every Month. But they had Reasons too themselves to alledge in your Excuse, as Men who really value one another will never want such as make their Friends and themfelves easy. The late universal Concern in Public Affairs, threw us all into a hurry of Spirits; even I, who am more a Philosopher than tu expect any thing from any Reign, was born away with the Cure rent, and full of the Expectation of the Succeffor : During your Journies I knew not whither to aim a Letter after you, that was a sort of thooting Aying: add to this the Demand Homer, had upon me, to write fifty Verses a Day, besides learned Notes, all which are at a Conclusion for this Year. Rejoice with my Friend, that my Labour is over ; come and make merry with me in much Feasting, for I to. thee, and thou to me. We will feed among the Lilies. By the Lilies, I mean the LaL6
dies, with whom I hope you have fed to Satiety : Haft thou passed thro' many Countries, and not tasted the Delights thereof? Hast thou not left to thy Iffue in divers Lands, that German Gays and Dutch Gays may arise, to write Pastorals, and sing their Songs in strange Countries ? Are not the Blou zelinda's of the Hague as charming as the Rosalinda's of Britain ? Or have the two great Pastoral Poets of our Nation renounced Love at the same time? For Philips, Immortal Philips, Hanover Philips, hath deferted, yea, and in a rustic manner, kicked his Rofalinda.--Dr Parnelle and I have been inseparable ever since you went. We are now at the Bath, where (if you are not, as I heartily hope, better engag’d) your coming would be the greatest Pleasure to us in the World. Talk not of Expences : Homer shall support his Children. I beg a Line from you directed to the Post-house in Bath Poor Parnelle is in an ill State of Health. Pardon me if I add a word of Advice in the poe
Write fomething on the King, or Prince, or Princess.
On whatsoever Foot you may be with the Court, this can do no Harm 1 shall never know where to end, and am confounded in the many things I have to say to you, tho' they all amount but to this, that I am entirely, as ever,
London, Nov. 8, 1718. -Dear Sir, I AM extremely glad to find by a Letter of your's
to Mr Fortescue, that ycu have receiv'd one from me ; and I beg you to keep, as the greatest of Curio
fities, that Letter of mine which you receiv'd and I never writ.
But the truth is, that we were made here to expect you in a short time, that I was upon the Ramble most part of the Summer, and have concluded the Season in Grief, for the Death of my poor Father,
I shall not enter into a Detail of my Concerns and Troubles, for two Reasons ; because I am really afflicted and need no Airs of Grief, and because they are not the Concerns and Troubles of any but myself
. But I think you (without too great a Compliment) enough my Friend, to be pleas’d to know he died easily, without a Groan, or the Sickness of two Minutes ; in a word, as silently and peacefully as he liv’d.
Sic mihi contingat vivere, ficque mori !. I am not in the Humour to say gay Things, nor nor in the Affectation of avoiding them. I can't pretend to entertain either Mr Pulteney or you, as you have done both my Lord Burlington and me, by your Letter to Mr Lowndes. I am only forry you have no greater Quarrel to Mr Lowndes, and wish you paid fome hundreds a Year to the Land
That Gentleman is lately become an inoffensive Person to me too ; so that we may join heartily in our Addresses to him, and (like true Patriots) rejoice in all that Good done to the Nation and Government, to which we contribute nothing ourselves:
I should not forget to acknowledge your Letter sent from Aix; you told me then, that Writing was not good with the Waters, and I find, since you are of my Opinion, that 'tis as bad without the Waters. But I fancy, it is not writing but thinking, that is so bad with the Waters and then you might write without any
manner of Prejudice, if you writ like our Brother Poets of these Days.
I have no Story to tell that is worth your hearing : You know I am no Man of Intrigue ; but the Duchess of Hamilton has one which she says is worth my hearing, that relates to Mr Pultenèy and your, self; and which she promises, if you won't tell me, The will. Her Grace has won in a Raffle a very fine Tweezercase ; at the Sight of which my Tweezercase, and all other Tweezercases on the Globe, hide their diminish'd Heads.
That Duchess, Lord Warwick, Lord Stanhope, Mrs Bellenden, Mrs Lepell, and I can't tell who else, had your Letters. Dr Arbuthnot and I expect to be treated like Friends. I would fend
Services to Mr Pulteney, but that he is out of favour at Court; and make some Compliment to Mrs Pulteney, if she were not a Whig. My Lord Burlington tells me she has as much outshin'd all the French Ladies, as she did the English before: I am forry for it, because it will be detrimental to our holy Religion, if heretical Women should eclipse those Nuns and orthodox Beauties, in whose Eyes alone lie all the Hopes we can have, of gaining such fine Gentlemen as you to our Church.
Your, &c. I wish you Joy of the Birth of the young Prince, because he is the only. Prince we have, from whom you have had no Expectations, and no Disappointments.
The truth is, I have never been in a worse State in my Life, and find whatever I
have try'd as a Remedy, so ineffectual, that I give
to forfeit their Opinion or your own Judgment
cafe. Let Time convince those who know
I don't believe he has a more sincere Friend in the World than I am ; therefore I will think him mine. I am his, Mr Congreve's, and
London, Sept. 11, 1722.
you for remembring me. I would do
beft' to forget myself, but that I find your Idea is so closely connected to me that I must for