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ought. His health and mine are now so good, that we wish with all our fouls, you were a witness of it. We neyer meet but we lament over you: we pay a kind of weekly rites to your memory, where we strow flowers of rhetorick, and offer such libations to your name, as it would be prophane to call Toasting. The Duke of B-----m is sometimes the High Priest of your praises ; and upon the whole, I believe there are as few Men that are not sorry at your departure, as Women that are : for you know most of your Sex want good senke, and therefore must want generosity. You have fo much of both, that I am sure you pardon them ;. for one cannot but forgive whatever one despises. For my part I hate a great many women for your fake, and undervalue all the rest. 'Tis you are to blame, and may God revenge it upon you with all those blessings and earthly profperities, which the Divines tell us are the cause of our Perdition ; for if he makes you happy in this world, I dare trust your own virtue to do it in the other. I am
Chiswick, Jan. 2, 1717. Dear Sir,
Had pleas'd myself sooner in writing
to you, but that I have been your I Succeffor in a Fit of Sickness, and
am not yet so much recovered, but that I have Thoughts of using your
* Phyficians. They are as grave Persons as any of the Faculty, and (like the AnRS tients) carry their own Medicaments about with
them. But indeed the Moderns are such Lovers of Raillery, that nothing is grave enough to escape them. Let 'em laugh, but People will still have their Opinions. As they think our Doctors Afles to them, we'll think them Asses to our Doctors.
I am glad you are 'fo much in a better State of Health, as to follow me to jest about it. My Concern, when I heard of your Danger, was so very serious, that I almost take it ill Dr Evans should tell you of it, or you mention it. I tell you fairly, if you and a few more such People were to leave the World, I would not give Six-pence to stay in it.
I am not so much concern'd as to the point, whether you are to live fat or lean. Most Men of Wit or Honefty are usually decreed to live very lean, so I'am inclined to the Opinion that 'tis decreed you shall. However be comforted, and reflect that you'll make the better Busto for it. fatisfied with sending me your own Books, but to make your Acquaintance continue the Frolic. Mr Wharton forced me to take Gorbaduc, which has since done me great Credit with several People, as it has done Dryden and Oldham some Diskindness, in fhewing there is as much difference between their Gorboduc, and this, as between Queen Anne and King George. It is truly a Scandal, that Men should write with Contempt of a Piece which they never once faw; as those two Poets did, who were ignorant even of the Sex, as well as Senfe of Gorboduc.
Adieu ! I am going to forget you. This Minute you took up all my Mind, the next I shall think of nothing but the Terms of Agamemnon, and the Recovery of Briseis. I shall be Achilles's humble Servant these two Months (with the good Leave of
all my Friends). I have no Ambition so strong at present, as that noble one of Sir Salathiet Lovel; Recorder of London, to furnith out a decent and plentiful Execution, of Greeks and Trojons. It is not to be expreft how heartily I wish the Death of all Homer's Heroes, one after another. The Lord preserve' me in the Day of Battle, which is just approaching !. Dear Sir, join in your Prayers for me, and know me to be always (whether I live, die, or am damn'd as a Poet)
Taur's most faithfully.
To the same.
London, March 31, 1718.
TO convince you how little Pain I give myself,
in corresponding with Men of Good-nature, and good Understanding, you see I omit to answer your Letters till a time, when another Man would be ashamed to own he had receiv'd them. If there
you are ever moved on my Account by that Spirit, which I take to be as familiar to you as a Quotidian Ague, I mean the Spirit of Goodness, pray never stint it, in any fear of obliging me to a Civility beyond my natural Inclination: I dare trust you, Šir, not only with my Folly when I write, but with my Negligence when I do not i and expect equally your Pardon for either.
If I knew how to entertain you thro’ the rest of this Paper, it should be spotted and diversified with Conceits all over ; you should be put out of Breath with Laughter at each Sentence, and pause at each Period, to look back over how much Wit you had pafs'a. . But I have found by Experience, that People now a-days regard Writing as little as they do Preaching. The most we can hope is to be heard, just with Decency, and Patience, once a week by Folks in the Country; here in Town we hum over a piece of fine Writing, and we whistle at a Sermon. The Stage is the only place we seem alive at : There indeed we stare, and roar, and clap Hands for King George and the Government. As for all other Virtues but this Loyalty, they are an obsolete Train, so ill-dress’d, that Men, Women and Children hiss 'em out of all good Company. Humility knocks so sneekingly at the Door, that every Footman out-raps it, and makes it give way to the free Entrance of Pride, Prodigality, and Vain-glory.
"My Lady Scudamore, from having rufticated in your Company too long, really behaves herself scandalously among us. She pretends to open her Eyes for the sake of seeing the Sun, and to sleep because it is Night; drinks Tea at nine in the Morning, and is thought to have said her Prayers before ; talks without any manner of Shame of good Books, and has not seen Cibber's Play of the Non-Juror. I rejoiced, the other Day, to see a Libel on her Toilette, which gives me some Hope that you
have at least a Taste of Scandal left you, in Defect of all other Vices.
Upon the whole Matter, I heartily with you well ; but as I cannot entirely desire the Ruin of all the Joys of this City, so all that remains is to wish you wou'd keep your Happiness to yourselves,