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Your Critique is a very Dole e-p'tcc ante; for after the many faults you justly find, you smooth your rigour: but an obliging thing is owing (you thinks to one who so much esteems and admires you, and who shall ever be
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i . ■ Tour, 6cc.
August at, 17 io.
YOUR. Letters are a perfect charity to a man in retirement, utterly forgotten of all his Friends but you; for since Mr. Wycherky left London, I have not heard a word'from him; tho' just before, and once finest I writ to Irim, and tho' I know myself guilty of no offence but of doing sincerely just whatTi.' * bid me.—Hoc mihi libirtas,!.oc pia lingua fte'dit! But the greatest injury he does me is the keeping me in ignorance of his welfare, which I am always very sollicitous for, and very uneasy in the fear of any Indisposition that may befal him. In what I sent you some time ago, you "have not verse enough to be severe upon, in revenge for my last criticism: In one point'I-must persist, that is to fay, my dislike of your Pa
* Correclinghis Verses. See the Letters in 1736 andtbefilla-ucin^ Tears, of Mr. Wycherky and Mr. Pcpe.
radife, radi/e, in which I take no pleasure; I know very Well that in Greek 'tis not only us'd by Xtnophon, but is a common word for any Garden; but in English it bears the signification and conveys the idea of Eden, which alone is (I think) a reason against making Ovid ufc it; who will be thought to talk too like a Christian in your version at least, whatever it might have been in Latin or Greek. As for all the rest of my Remarks, since you do not laugh at them as at this, 1 can be so civil as not to lay any stress upon 'em (as.I think I told you before) and in particular in the point of Trees enjoying, you have, I must own, fully fatisfy'd me that the Expression is not only defensible, but beautiful. I sliall be very glad to see your Translation of the Elegy, Ad Amicam navigantem, as soon as you can; for (without a compliment to you) every thing you write either in verse or prose, is welcome to me; and you may be confident, (if my opinion can be of any fort of consequence in any thing) that I will never be unsincere,, tho' I may be-often mistaken. To use Sincerity with you is but paying you in your own coin, from whom 1 have experienc'd so much of it; and I need not tell you how much I really esteem you, when I esteem nothing in the world so much as that Quality. I know you sometimes fay civil things to me in yoar Epistolary Style, but those I am to make alii 2 lowance
lowance for, as particularly when you talk of Admiring; 'tis a word you are so us'd to in conversation of Ladies, that it will creep into your discourse in spite of\you, ev'n to your Friends. But as Women when they think themselves secure of admiration,commit a thousand Negligences, which show them so much at disadvantage and off their guard, as to lose the little real Love they had before: so when men imagine others entertain some esteem for their abilities, they often expose all their Imperfections and foolish works, to the disparagement of the litile Wit they were thought masters of. I am going to exemplify this to you, in putting into your hands (being encourag'd by so much indulgence) some verses of my Youth, or rather Childhood; which (as I was a great admirer of Waller) were intended in imitation of his manner; and are perhaps, such imitations, as those you see in awkward country Dames of the fine and well-bred Ladies of the ;Court. If you will take 'em with you into Jsincolnfiire, they may save you one hour from the conversation of the country Gentlemen and their Tenants* (who differ but in Dress and Name) which if it be there as bad as here, is even worse than my Poetry. I hope your stay there will be no longer .than (as Mr. Wycherley calls it) to rob the I ■) Country, Country, and run away to London with your money. In the mean time I beg the favour of a line from you, and am (as I will never cease to be)
Tour, &c. <■:
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OBober 12, 1710.
IDeferr'd answering your last, upon the advice I receiv'd that you were leaving the town for some time, and expected your return with impatience, having then a design of seeing my Friends there, among the first of which I have reason to account yourself. But my almost continual Illnesses prevent that, as well as most other satisfactions of my life : However I may fay one good thing of sickness, that it is the best Cure in nature for Ambition, and designs upon the World or Fortune: It makes a man pretty indifferent for the future, provided he can but be easy, by intervals, for the present. He will be content to compound for his Quiet only, and leave all the circumstantial part and pomp of life to those, who have a health vigorous enough to enjoy all the Mistrefles of their desires. I thank God, there is nothing out of myself which I would be at U 3 the the trouble of seeking, except a Friend; a happiness I once hop'd to have pcsiess'd in Mr. Wytherley but—Quantum mat at us ab ilk!—I have for seine years been employ 'd much like Children thatbuild houses whh Cards, endeavouring very busily and eagerly to raise a Friendship, which the first breath of any ill-natur'd By-stunder cou'd pusf away.—But I will trouble you no farther with writing, nor myself with relinking, of this subject.
1 was mightily pleas'd to perceive by your quotation from Voitvre, that you had' track'd me so far as France. You fee 'tis with weak heads as with weak stomachs, they immediately throw out what they reGeiv'd last: and what they read, floats upon the surface of their mind, like Oil upon water, without incorporating. This, I think however, can't be said of the Loveverses I last troubled you with, where all (I am afraid) is so puerile and so like the Author, that no body will suspect any thing to be borrow'd. Yet you, (as a friend, entertaining a better ©pinion of 'em) it seems search'd in Waller, but search'd in vain. Your judgment ©6 'era is (I think) very right, -r-r- foe it was my own opinion before. It yo-Ur think 'iim not w.or.tfh the trouble of correcting, J'- pray Jr'. ,i