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can never have a: Publick-spirit; for (as a friend of mine says) how is it posible for that man to love twenty thousand people, who never loved one?
I communicated your letter to Mr. C
he thinks of you and talks of you as he ought, I mean as I do, and one always thinks that to be just as it ought. His health and mine are now so good, that we wish, with all our souls, you were a witness of it. We never 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 sense, and therefore must want generosity : You have so much of both, that I am sure you pardon them; for one cannot but forgive whatever one despises 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 I 4
those blessings and earthly prosperities 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,
To the Honourable
From Mr. POPE.
To the Honourable Robert Digby.
Chiswick, Jan. 2, 1717.
to you, but that I have been your Succeffor in a Fit of Sickness, and am not yet so much recovered, but that I have thoughts of using your * Physicians. They are as grave Perfons as any of the Faculty, and (like the Antients) 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 Asses to them, we'll think them Alles to our Doctors.
I am glad you are so 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 Sixpence 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 Honesty 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.
'Tis something particular in you, not to be satisfied with sending me your own Books, but to make your Acquaintance continue the Frolick. Mr. Wharton forc'd me to take Gorboduc, which has since done me great Credit with several People, as it has done Dryden and Oldham fome Dir. kindness, in shewing 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 Sense, 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 Salathiel Lovel, Recorder of London, to furnish out a decent and plentiful Execution, of Greeks and Trojans---- It is not to be exprest 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.)
Yours most faithfully.
To the same.
London March 31, 1718. Dear Sir, ' O 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 received