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get both together, or neither. I'm forry I could not have a Glymipfe either of you, or of the Sun, (your Father) before you went for Bath. it pleases me to see him, and hear of you. Pray put Mr Congreve in mind, that he has one on this side of the World who loves him; and that there are more Men and Women in the Universe, than Mr Gay and my Lady Duchess of M. There are Ladies in about Richmond that pretend to value him and yourself; and one of 'em at least may be thought to do it without Affectation, namely Mrs-Howard. As for Mrs Blounts (whom you mercifully make mention of) they are gone, or going to Sussex. I hope Mrs Pulteney is the better for the Bath, tho' I have little Charity and few good Wishes for the Ladies, the Destroyers of their best Friends the Men. Pray tell her, she has forgot the first Commission I ever troubled her with, and therefore it shall be the last (the very thing I fear she desires). Dr Arbuthnot is a strange Creature'; he goes out of Town, and leaves his Bastards at other Folks Doors. I have long been so far mistaken in him as to think him a Man of Morals as well as of Politics. Pray let him know I made a very unfashionaBle Enquiry t'other day of the Welfare of his Wife and Family: Things that (I prefume) are below the Consideration of a Wit and an Ombre-player. They are in perfect Health. Tho' Mrs Å's Navel has been burnt, I hope the Doctor's own Belly is in absolute Eafe and Contentment. Now I speak of those Regions about the Abdomen, pray, dear Gay, consulè with him and Dr Cheyne to what exact pitch your's may be suffer'd to swell, not to outgrow theirs, who are, yet, your Betters. Pray tell Dr Arbuthnot, that even Pigeon-pyes, and Hogspuddings are thought dangerous by our Governours ; for thole that have been sent to the Bishop of Roche
Ater, are open'd and prophanely pry’d into at the Tower : 'Tis the first time dead Pigeons have been suspected of carrying Intelligence. To be serious, you, and Mr Congreve (nay and the Doctor, if he has not dined) will be sensible of my Concern and Surprize at the Commitment of that Gentleman, whose Welfare is as much my Concern as any Friends I have. I think myself a most unfortunate Wretch; I no sooner love, and, upon Knowledge, fix my Esteem to any Man; but he either dies like Mr Craggs, or is sent to Imprisonment like the Bifhop. God send him as well as I wish him, manifest him to be as innocent as I believe him, and make all his Enemies' know him as well as I do, that they may love him and think of as well! If
you apprehend this Period to be of any Danger in being address’d to you ; tell Mr Congreve or the Doctor, it is writ to them. I am
July 13, 1723. Dear Sir, I WAS very much
pleas’d, not to say obligd, by your kind Letter, which sufficiently warm'd my Heart to have answer'd it sooner, had I not been deceiv'd (a way one often is deceiv'd) by hearkening to Women ; who told me that both Lady Burlington and your self were immediately to return from Tunbridge, and that my Lord was gone to bring you back. The World furnishes us with too many Examples of what you complain of in your's, and I alsuré you, none of them touch and grieve me so much as what relates to you.
Sentiments upon it are the very fame I should entertain : I
with those we call Great Men had the fame Nocions, but they are really the most little Creatures in the world, and the most interested, in all but one Point; which is, that they want Judgment to know their greatest Interest, to encourage and chuse honeft Men for their Friends.
I have not once seen the Person you complain of, whom I have of late thought to be, as the Apostle admonitheth, one Flesh with his IVife.
Pray make my fincere Compliments to Lord Burlington, whom I have long known to have more mind to be a good and honourable Man, than almost any one of his rank.
I have not forgot your's to Lord Bolingbroke, (tho' I hope to have speedily a fuller Opportunity) he returns for Flanders and France next Month.
Mrs Howard has writ you something or other in a Letter which she says she repents. She has as much Good-nature as if she had never seen any Ill-nature, and had been bred among Lambs and Turtle-doves, instead of Princes and Court-Ladies.
By the end of this Week, Fortefeue will pafs a few Days with me. We shall remember you in our Potations, and wish you a Filher with us, on my Glass-plat. In the mean time we wish you Success as a Fisher of Women, at the Wells, a Rejoycer of the Comfortless and Widow, an Impregnator of the Barren, and a Play fellow of the Maiden.
Dear Sir, I Faithfully assure you, in the midst of that melan
lancholy with which I have been so long encom. passed, in an hourly Expectation almost of my
Mother's death; there was no Circumstance that render'd it more insupportable to me, than that I could not leave her to see
Your own present Efeape from fo imminent Danger, I pray God may prove lefs precarious than my poor Mother's can be; whose Life at her age can at best be but a short Reprieve, or a longer Dying. But I fear, even that is more than God will please to grant me ; for, these two days past, her most dangerous Symptoms are returned upon her; and unless there be a sudden change, I must in a few Days, if not in a few Hours, be depriv'd of her. In the afflicting Prospect before me, I know nothing that can so much alleviate it as the View now given me (Heaven grant it may encrease!) of your Recovery. In the fincerity of my Heart, I am excessively concern’d, not to be able to pay you, dear Gay, any part of the Debt I very gratefully remember I owe you, on a like fad Occasion, when you was here comforting me in her last great-Illness. May your Health augment as fast as I fear it pleafes God her's must decline: I believe that would be very fast - may the Life that is added to you be passed in good Fortune and Tranquillity, rather of your own giving to your self, than from any Expectations or Truft in others.-May you and I live together, without wishing more Felicity or Acquisitions than Friendship can give and receive without Obligations to Greatness God keep you, and three or four more of those I have known as long, that I may have something worth the surviving my Mother. *** Adieu, dear Gay, and believe me (while you live, and while I live)
As I told you in my last Letter, I repeat it
The in this : Do not think of writing to me.
Doctor, Mrs Howard, and Mrs Blount give me daily Accounts of you.
Sunday Night. · Dear Sir,
Handwriting tho’ I feard the Trouble it might give you. wish I had not known that you are still so excessively weak. Every day for a week past I had hopes of being able in a day or two more to see you.
But my poor Mother advances not at all, gains no Strength, and seems but upon the whole to wait for the next cold Day to throw her into a Diarrhea that must, if it return, carry her off. This being daily to be fear'd, makes me not dare to go a Day from her, left that should prove to be her last. God send you a speedy Recovery, and such a total one as at your time of Life may be expected. You need not call the few Words I writ to you either kind, or good; that was, and is, nothing. But whatever I have in my Nature of Kindness, I really have for you, and whatever Good I could do, I wou'd among the very first be glad to do to you. In your Circumstance the old Roman farewel is proper. Vive! memor nostri.
I send you a very kind Letter of Mr Digby, between whom and me two. Letters have pass’d concerning you.