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To the same. If you ask how the waters agree with me, I must
tell you, so very well, that I question how you and I should agree if we were in a room by our selves? Mrs. T---- has honestly assured me, that but for some whims which she can't intirely conquer, The would go and see the world with me in man's cloaths. Even you, Madam, I fancy (if you wou'd not partake in our adventures) would wait our coming in at the evening with some impatience, and be well enough pleased to hear 'em by the firefide. That would be better than reading Romances, unless Lady M---- would be our Historian ;, for as The is married, she has probably leisure hours in the night-time, to write or do what she will in. What raises these defires in me, is an acquaintance I am beginning with my Lady Sandwich, who has all the spirit of the last age, and all the gay experience of a pleasurable life. It were as scandalous an omission to come to the Bath and not to see my Lady Sandwich, as it had formerly been to have travelled to Rome without visiting the Queen of Sweden. She is, in a word, the best thing this Country has to boast of; and as she has been all that a woman of spirit could be, so she still continues that easy and independent creature that a fensible woman always will be.
I must tell you a truth, which is not however much to my credit. I never thought so much of your self and your fifter, as fince I have been fourscore miles distance from you. In the Forest I look'd upon you as good neighbours ; at London as pretty kind of women; but here as divinities, angels,
goddesses, or what you will. In the same manner I never knew at what a rate I valu'd your life, till you were upon the point of dying. If Mrs. T-- and you will but fall very fick every season, I shall certainly die for you. Seriously I value you both so much, that I esteem others much the less for your fakes; you have robb'd me of the pleasure of esteeming a thousand pretty qualities in them, by Mowing me so many finer in your selves. There are but two things in the world which could make you indifferent to me, which I believe you are not capable of ; I mean ill-nature and malice. I have seen enough of you not to overlook any Frailty you could have, and nothing less than a Vice can make me like you less. I expect you shou'd discover by my conduct towards you both, that this is true, and that therefore you should pardon a thousand things in me for that one disposition. Expect nothing from me but truth and freedom, and I shall always be thought by you what I always am,
To the Samne. I Return'd home as flow and as contemplative after I had parted from you, as my
------a retird from the Court and Glory to his Country seat and Wife, a week ago. I found here a dismal defponding letter from the son of another great Courtier, who expects the same fate; and who tells me, the great one's of the earth will now take it very kindly of the mean one's, if they will favour them with a visit by Day-light. With what Joy wou'd
they lay down all their schemes of glory, did they but know you have the generosity to drink their healths once a day, as soon as they are fallen? Thus the unhappy by the sole merit of their misfortunes become the care of heaven and you. I intended to have put this last into verse, but in this age of Ingratiçude Iny
best friends forsake me, I mean my rhymes. I defire Mrs. P-- to stay her stomach with these half hundred Plays, till I can procure her a Romance big enough to satisfy her great Soul with Adventures. As for Novels, I fear she can depend upon none from me but That of my Life, which I am still, as I have been, contriving all possible me-, thods to shorten, for the greater ease both of my Historian and the Reader. May she believe all the passion and tenderness express’d in these Romances to be but a faint image of what I bear her ; and may you (who read nothing) take the same truth upon hearing it from me: You will both injure me very much, if you don't think me a truer friend than ever any romantick lover, or any imitator of their style could be.
The days of Beauty are as the days of Greatness and as long as your Eyes make their sun shine, all the world are your adorers. I am one of those unambitious people, who will love you forty years hence, when your eyes begin to twinkle in a retirement, for your own fakes, and without the vag nity which every one now will take to be thought
LETTER VIH. YOU have ask'd me News a hundred times at the
first word you spoke to me, which some would interpret as if you expected nothing better from my
lips : And truly 'tis not a sign two Lovers are together, when they can be so impertinent as to enquire what the world does. All I mean by this is, that either you or I are not in love with the other : I leave you to guess which of the two is that stupid and insensible creature, so blind to the other's excellencies and charms ?
This then shall be a letter of News: And sure if you did not think me the humblest creature in the world, you could never imagine a Poet could dwindle to a brother of Dawks and Dyer, from a rival of Tate and Brady.
The Earl of Oxford has behaved fo bravely, that in this act at least he might seem above Man, if he had not just now voided a Stone to prove him subject to human infirmities. The utmost weight of affliction from princely power and popular hatred, were almost worth bearing, for the glory of such a dauntless conduct as he has shewn under it.
You may foon have your wish, to enjoy the gallant fights of armies, incampments, standards waving over your brother's corn-fields; and the pretty windings of the Thames about M------ stained with the blood of men. Your barbarity, which I have heard so long exclaimed against in town and country, may have its fill of destruction. I would not add one circumstance usual in all descriptions of calamity, that of the many Rapes committed or to be committed upon those unfortunate women that delight in war. But God forgive me
----- in this martial age, if I could, I would buy a regiment for your fake and Mrs. P-----'s and some others, whom Í have cause to fear no fair means will prevail upon.
Those eyes that care not how much mischief is done, or how great slaughter committed, so they have but a fine Show; those very female eyes will be infinitely delighted with the camp which is speedely to be formed in Hyde-Park. The tents are
Carried thither this morning, new regiments, with new cloths and furniture (far exceeding the late cloth and linnen designed by his Grace for the soldiery.) The fight of so many gallant fellows, with all the pomp and glare of War yet undeformed by Battle ; those Scenes which England has for many years only beheld on Stages, may possibly invite your curiosity to this place. Mrs.
-- expects the Pretender at her lodgings by Saturday fe'nnight. She has bought a picture of Madam Maintenon to set her features by against that time. Three Priests of your acquaintance are very positive by her interest to be his Father Confeflor.
By our latest account from Duke-street, Westminfter, the conversion of T. G. Esq; is reported in a manner somewhat more particular : That upon the seizure of his Flanders-mares, he seemed more than ordinarily disturbed for some hours, sent for his ghostly father, and resolved to bear his lofs like a Christian ; till about the hours of feven or eight the coaches and horses of feveral of the Nobility passing by the window towards Hyde-Park, he could no longer endure the disappointment, but instantly went out, took the Oath of Abjuration, and recovered his dear horses which carried him in triumph to the Ring. The poor distressed Roman Catholicks, now unhorsed and uncharioted, cry out with the Psalmist : Some in Chariots and some in Horses, but we will invocate the name of the Lord.
I am, &C.
L E T.