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Dr ARBUTINOT to Mr POPE.
Hampstead, July 17, 1734.
Little doubt of your kind Concern for me, nor
of that of the Lady you mention. 'I have nothing to repay my Friends with at present, but prayers and good wishes. I have the fatisfaction to find that I am as officiously serv'd by my Friends, as he that has thousands to leave in Le-. gacies; besides the Assurance of their Sincerity. God Almighty has made my bodily distress as easy as a thing of that nature can be: have found some relief, at least sometimes, from the Air of this place. My Nights are bad, but many poor Creatures have worse.
As for you, my good Friend, I think since our first acquaintance there has not been any of those little Suspicions or Jealoufies that often affect the sincerest Friendships ; I am sure not on my side. I must be so sincere as to own, that tho’ I could not help valuing you for those Talents, which the World prizes, yet they were not the Foundation of my Friendship : They were quite of another fort; nor shall I at present offend you by enumerating them: And I make it my Laft Request, that you continue that noble Disdain and Abhorrence of Vice, which you seem naturally endu'd with, but still with a due regard to your own Safety; and study more to reform than chastise, tho' the one often cannot be effected without the other.
Lord Bathurst I have always honour'd for every good Quality, that a Person of his Rank ought to have: Pray give my Respects and kindest Wishes
to the Family. My Venison Stomach is gone, but I have those about me, and often with me, who will be very glad of his present. If it is left at my house it will be transmitted fafe
A Recovery in my Cafe, and at my Age, is impoffible; the kindest With of my Friends is Euthanafia. Living or dying, I shall always be
March 18, 1708, BELIEVE it was with me when I left the Town, as it is with a great many Men when they leave the World, whose loss itself they do not so much regret, as that of their Friends
whom they leave behind in it. For I do not know one thing for which I can envy
London, but for your continuing there. Yet I guess you will expect I should recant this Expression, when I tell you, that Sapho (by which heathenish Name you have christen'd a very orthodox Lady) did not accompany me into the Country. However, I will confels my self the less concern'd on that Account, because I have no very violent Inclination to lose my Heart, especially in so wild and savage a place as this Forest is: In the Town, 'tis ten to one but a young Fellow may find his stray'd Heart again, with some
Wild-street or Drury-lane Damsel; but here, where I could have met with no redress from an unmerciful, virtuous Dame, I must for ever have lost my little Traveller in a Hole, . where I could never rummage to find him again. - Well, Sir, you have your Lady in the Town still, and I have my Heart in the Country still, which being wholly unemploy'd as yet, has the more room in it for my Friends, and does not want a Corner at your Service. - To be serious, you have extremely oblig'd me by your Frankness and Kindness to me: And if I have abus'd it by too much Freedom on my part, I hope you will attribute it to the natural Openness of my Temper, which hardly knows how to show Respect where I feel Affection. I wou'd love my Friend, as my Mistress, without Ceremony; and hope a little rough Usage sometimes may not be more displeasing to the one, than it is to the other.
If you have any Curiosity to know in what manner I live, or rather lose a Life, Martial will inform you in one Line: (the Translation of which cost a Friend of ours three in English)
One Mort, one long,
Prandeo, poto, cano, ludo, legó, cæno, quiesco.
Every Day with me iş literally another yesterday; for it is exactly the same; it has the fame Business, which is Poetry; and the fame Pleasure, which is Idleness. A Man might indeed pass his Time much better, but I quefton if any Man could pass it much easier. If you will visit our Shades this Spring, which I very much desire, you may perhaps instruct me to manage my Game more wisely ; but at pre
sent I am satisfy'd to trifle away my Time any way, rather than let it stick by me; as Shop-keepers are glad to be rid of those Goods at any rate, which would otherwise always be lying upon their hands. Sir, if
will favour me fometimes with your Letters, it will be a great Satisfaction to me on se
veral Accounts; and on this in particular, that it < will show me (to my comfort) that even a wise
Man is sometimes very idle ; for so you must needs be when you can find leisure to write to
April 27. 1708. IHAVE nothing to say to you in this Letter;
but I was resolv'd to write to tell you so. Why should not. I content my felf with so many great Examples, of deep Divines, profound Caluists, grave Philosophers, who have written, not Letters only, but whole Tomes and voluminous Treatises about nothing? Why shou'd a Fellow like me, who all his life does nothing, bé alham'd to write nothing? and that to one who has nothing to do but to read it? But perhaps you'll say, the whole world has fomething to do, something to talk of, fomething to with for, something to be imploy'd about: But pray, Sir, calt up the Account, put all these Somethings together, and what is the Sum Total but just Nothing ? I have no more to say, but to desire you to give my Service (that is nothing) to your Friends, and to believe that I am nothing more than