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modestly be content to be accounted a Patriach. "But were you a little younger, I should rather rank you with Sir Amadis, and his Fellows. If Piety be. fo Romantic, I fall turn Hermit in good earneft; for I see one may go so far as to be Poetical, and hope to save one's Squl at the same time. I really wish myself something more, that is, a Prophet ; for I wish I were as Habakkuk, to be taken by the Hair of the Head, and visit Daniel in his Den. You are very obliging in saying, I have now a whole Family, upon my Hands, to whom to discharge the Part of a Friend." I assure you I like "em all so well, that I will never quit my Hereditary Right to them: You have made me your's, and consequently them mine. I still see them walking on my Green at Twickenham, and gratefully remember (not only their green Gowns) but the Instructions they gave me how to slide down and trip up the steepest Slopes of my Mount.
Pray think of me fometimes, as I shall often of you ; and know me for what I am, that is,
To the fame.
Twickenham, OET. 21. 1721, Dear Sir,
, enquiring after me, among the first Concerns of Life, at your Resuscitation, should have been fooner answer'd and acknowledg'd. I sincerely rejoice at your recovery from an Illness which gaye me less pain than it did you, only from my Ignorance of it. I should have else been seriously and deeply affected in the Thought of your Danger by a Fever. I think it a fine and natural Thought, which I lately read in a private Letter of Montaigne, giving an account of the last Words of an intimate Friend of his : “ Adieu my Friend! the Pain I . feel will soon be over; but I grieve for that
you are to feel, which is to laft you for Life.”
I join with your Family in giving God thanks for lending us a worthy Man soinewhat longer. The Comforts you receive from their Attendance put me in mind of what old Fletcher of Saltoune raid one Day to me: “ Alas, I have nothing to do but to “ die : I am a poor Individual; no Creature to « wish or to fear for my Life or Death: 'Tis the
only reason I have to repent being a single Mani “ now I grow old, I am like a Tree without a Prop, C and without
young Trees of my own shedding " to grow round me for Company and Defence”.
I hope the Gout will soon go after the Fever, and all evil Things remove far from you.
pray tell me, when will you move towards us? If you
had an Interval to get hither, I care not what fixes you afterwards, except the Gout. Pray come, and never stir from us again. Do away your dirty
Acres, cast 'em to dirty People, such as in the Scripture-Phrase possess the Land., Shake off your Earth like the noble Animal in Milton.
The tawny Lyon, pawing to get free
But I believe Milton never thought, thefe fine Verses of his should be apply'd to a Man felling a parcel of dirty Acres; tho' in the main I think it may have some resemblance'; for God knows, this little Space of Ground nourishes, buries, and confines us, as that of Eden did thofe Creatures, till we can shake it loose, at least in our Affections and Defires.
Believe, dear Sir, I truly love and value you: Let Mrs Blount know that she is in the List of my Memento Domine's Famulorum Famularumque's, &c. My poor Mother is far from well, declining; and I am watching over her, as we watch an expiring Taper, that even when it looks brightest, waftes fastest. I-am (as you will see from the whole Air of this Letter) 'not in the gayest
' nor easiest Humour, but always with Sincerity,
To the fame.
June 27, 1723. Dear Sir,
O U may truly do me the Justice to think no
man is more your fincere Well-wisher than myself, or more the fincere Well-wisher of your whole Family; with all which, I cannot deny but I have a mixture of Envy to you all, for loving one another so well ; and for enjoying the sweets of that life, which can only be tasted by People of good will.
They from all Shades the Darkness can exclude, And from a Defart banish Solitude.
Torbay is a Paradise, and a Storm is but an Amu, fement to such People. If you drink Tea upon a Promontory that overhangs the Sea, it is preferable to an Assembly ; and the whistling of the Wind better Music to contented and loving Minds, than the Opera to the Spleenful, Ambitious, Disseas’d, Diftafted, and Distracted Souls, which this World affords: nay, this World affords no other. Happy they! who are banish'd from us; but happier they, who can banish themselves, or more properly, banish the World from them!
Alas! I live at Twickenham ;
I take that Period to be very fumblime, and to include more 'than a hundred Sentences that might be writ to express Distraction, Hurry, Multiplication of Nothings, and all the fatiguing perpetual Business of having no Business to do. You'll won
der I reckon translating the Odysley as nothing. But whenever I think seriously (and of late I have met with so many Ocçafions of thinking seriously, that I begin never to think otherwise) I cannot but think these things very idle ; as idle, as if a Beast of Burden should go on jingling his Bells, without bearing any thing, valuable about him, or ever serving his Master.
Life's vain Amusements, amidst which we dwell ; Nat weigbd, or understood by the grim. God of Hell! Said a Heathen Poet, as he is translated, by a ChriStian Bishop, who has, first by his Exhortations, and since by his Example, taught me to think as becomes a Resonable Creature. — But he is gone! He carry'd away more Learning, than is left in this Nation behind him ; but he left us more in the noble Example of bearing Calamity well. 'Tis true, we want Literature very much; but pray God we don't want Patience more! if these Precedents are to prevail.
I remember I promis’d to write to you, as foon as I should hear you were got home. You must look on this as the first Day I've been myself, and pass over the Mad Interval un-imputed' to me. How punctual a Correspondent I shall hence-forward be able, or not able, to be, God knows; but he knows I shall ever be a punctual and grateful Friend, and all the good Wishes of such an one will ever attend you.