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we wilh 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 rhetoric, and offer such libations to your name as it would be prophane to call Toasting. The Duke of B- mis 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 generolity : You have so 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 reft. 'T'is you are to blame, and may God revenge it upon you, with all those blessings and earthly profperities, which, the divines tells 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

Your, &c.



On her Marriage. V OU are by this time satisfied how much the

I tenderness of one man of merit is to be preferred to the addresses of a thousand. And by this

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time the Gentleman you have made choice of is fenfible, how great is the joy of having all those charms and good qualities which have pleased fo many, now applied to please one only. It was but just, that the same Virtues which gave you reputation, should give you happiness ; and I can with you no greater, than that you may receive it in as high a degree yourself, as so much good humour must infallibly give it to your husband.

It may be expected, perhaps, that one who has the title of Poet should say something more polite on this occasion: But I am really more a well-wisher to your felicity, than a celebrater of your beauty. Befides, you are now a married woman, and in a way to be a great many better things than a fine lady; such as an excellent wife, a faithful friend, a tender parent, and at last, as the consequence of them all, a saint in heaven. You ought now to hear nothing but that, which was all you ever desired to hear (whatever others may have spoken to you) I mean Truth : and it is with the utmost that I assure you, no friend you have can moré rejoice in any good that befals you, is more sincerely delighted with the prospect of your future happiness, or more unfeign.. edly desires a long continuance of it.

I hope, you will think it but just, that a man who will certainly be spoken of as your admirer, after he is dead, may have the happiness to be eiteemed, while he is living,

Your, &c. :

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From the Year 1905 to 1716.




O&ober 19, 1705. T Return you the Book you were pleased to send I me, and with it your obliging letter, which deserves my particular acknowledgment; for, next to the pleasure of enjoying the company of so good a friend, the welcomest thing to me is to hear from him. I expected to find, what I have met with, an admirable genius in those Poems, not only because they were Milton's it, or were approved by Sir Hen. Wooton, but because you had commended them;

• Secretary of State to King William the Third. + L'Allegro, Il Penseroso, Lycidas, and the Masque of Comus.

and give me leave to tell you, that I know no body so like to equal him, even at the age he wrote most of them, as yourself. Only do not afford more cause of complaints against you, that you suffer nothing of yours to come abroad; which in this age, wherein wit and true sense is more scarce than money, is a piece of such cruelty as your best friends can hardly pardon. I hope you will repent and amend; I could offer many reasons to this purpose, and such as you cannot answer with any sincerity; but that I dare not enlarge, for fear of ingaging in a style of Compliment, which has been so abused by fools and knaves, that it is become almost scandalous. I conclude therefore with an assurance which shall never vary, of my being ever, &c.


April 9, 1708, | Have this moment received the favour of yours 1 of the 8th instant; and will make you a true excuse (tho' perhaps no very good one, that I deferred the troubling you with a letter, when I sent back your papers, in hopes of feeing you at Binfield before this time. If I had met with any fault in your pérformance, I should freely now (as I have done too presumptuously in conversation with you) tell you my opinion ; which I have frequently ventured to

give you, rather in compliance with your desires than that I could think it reasonable. For I am not yet satisfied upon what grounds I can pretend to judge of poetry, who never have been practifed in the art. There may possibly be fome happy genius’s, who may judge of some of the natural beauties of a poem, as a man may of the proportions of a build. ing, without having read Vitruvius, or knowing any thing of the rules of architecture ; but this, tho' it may sometimes be in the right, must be subject to many mistakes, and is certainly but a superficial knowledge ; without entring into the art, the me. thods, and the particular excellencies of the whole composure, in all the parts of it.

Besides my want of skill, I have another reason why I ought to suspect myself, by reason of the great affection I have for you; which might give too much bias to be kind to every thing that comes from you. But after all, I must say (and I do it with an old-fashioned sincerity) that I entirely approve of your translation of those pieces of Homer, both as to the versification and the true sense that shines thro' the whole: Nay I am confirmed in my former application to you, and give me leave to renew it upon this occasion, that you would proceed in tranflating that incomparable Poet, to make him speak good English, to dress his admirable characters in your proper, significant, and expressive conceptions, and to make his works as useful and instructive to this degenerato age, as he was to our friend Horace,

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