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really has) nothing else to recommend it. Such as it is, Extremum hoc munus morientit bsbeto: For that may well be the Case, considering that within a sew Months I am entering into my Seventieth Year ; after which, even the Healthy and the Happy cannot much depend upon Life, and will not, if they are wife, much desire it. Whenever I go, you will lose a Friend who loves and values yeu extremely, if in my Circumstances I can be said to be lost to any one, when dead, more than I am ajready whilst living. I expected to have heard from you by Mr. Morice, and wondered a little that I did not; but he owns himself in a Fault, fer not giving you due Notice of his Motions. It was not amiss that you forbore writing to me on a Head, wherein I promis'd more than I was able to perform. Disgraced Men sancy sometimes that they preserve an Influence, where, when they endeavour to exert it, they soon see their Mistake. I did so, my good Friend, and acknowledge it under my Hand. You sounded the Coast and found out my Error, it seems, before I was aware of it; but enough on this Subject. , .
What are you doing in England to the Honour of Letters? and particularly what are you doing? Ipse quid audes? Qu<s circumvolitas agilis Tbjma? Do you pursue the moral * Plan you mark'd out, and seem'd sixteen Months ago so intent upon? Am I to see it perfected ere I die? And are you to enjoy the Reputation of it while I live? Or do you rather chuse to leave the Marks of your Friendship, like the Legacies of a Will, to be read and enjoy'd only by those who survive you? Were I as near you as I have been, I should hope to peep into the Manuscript before it was finished. But alas! there is and
* The Essay on Man.
will ever probably be, a great Deal of Land and Sea between us. How many Books have come out of late in your Parts, which you think I should be glad to peruse? Name them; the Catalogue, I believe, will not cost you much Trouble. They must be good ones indeed to challenge any Part of my Time, now I have so little of it left. I, who fquander'd whole Days heretofore, now husband Hours, when the Glass begins to run low, and care not to m i f- spend them on Trifles. At the End of the Lottery ot Life, our last Minutes, like Tickets left in the Wheel, rise in their Valuation. They are not of so much Worth perhaps in themselves, as those which preceded, but we are apt to prize them more, and with Reason. I do so, my dear Friend, and yet think the most precious Minutes of my Life are well employ'd, in reading what you write. But this is a Satissaction leannot much hope for, and therefore must betake myself to others, which are less entertaining. Adieu, dear Sir, and forgive me engaging with one, whom you, I think, have reckoned' among the Heroes of the Dunciad. It was necessary for me either to accept of his dirty Challenge, or to have suffer'd in the Esteem of the World by declining it. My Respects to your Mother: I fend a Paper for Dean Swift, if you have an Opportunity, and think it worth your while to convey it. My Country, at this Distance, seems to me a strange Sight, I know not how it appears to you who are in the Midst of the Scene, and yourself a Part of it; I wish you would tell me. You may write safely to Mr. Morice, by the honest Hand that conveys this, and will return into these Parts before Chrijhnas: Sketch out a rough Draught of it, that I may be able to judge, whether a Return to it be really eligible, or whether I should not, like the Chymist in the Bottle, upon hearing Don Shte N 3 vedo's vedo's Account of Spain, desired to be cork'd up again. Aster all, I do and must love my Country, wit!i all its Faults and Blemishes; even that Part of the Constitution, which wounded me unjustly, and itself through my Side, shall ever be dear to me. My last Wish will be like that of Father Paul, Ejlc pcrpetna; and when I die at a Distance from it, it will be in the fame Manner as Virgil describes the expiring P cloponnefian,
Sternkur, & dulces mores reminifcitur Argos.
Do I still live in the Memory of my Friends, as they certainly do in mine? I have read a good many of your Paper Squabbles about me, and am glad to see such free Concessions on that Head, tho' made with no View of doing me a Pleasure, but merely of loading another.
/ am, &c.
Paris, Oil. 2.6, 1731.
IHave lately seen an Extract of some Pasiages in Mr. Oldmixon's History of England. The first of them is faid to be taken from his Preface to that History, page 9, and runs in these Words.
"I have, in more than one Place of this Hi"story, mention'd the great Reason there is to "suspect, that the History of the Rebellion, as it "was publish'd at Oxford, was not entirely the "Work of the Lord Clarendon; who did indeed "write an History of those Times, and, I doubt "not, a very good one; wherein, as I have been "(I believe) well inform'd, the Characters of the "Kings whose Reigns are written, were different "from what they appear in the Oxford History, "and its Copy, Mr. Echard's. I speak this by
"Hearfay, but Hearsay from a Person superior to "all Suspicion, and too illustrious to be named, with"out Leave.
*' I ajso humbly reser it to the Decifion-of ano"ther very honourable Person, whether there is not, "to his Knowledge, such an History, in Manu"script, still extant; and to a reverend Doctor, *' now living, whether he did not see the Oxford *' Copy, by which the Book is printed, altered, "and interpolated, while it was at the Press.
"To which I must add, that there is now in "Custody of a Gentleman os Dijlinction, both for "Merit and Quality *, a History of the Rebellion, "of the first Folio Edition, scored, in many Places, "by Mr. Edmund Smith, of Christ-Church, Oxon. "Author of that excellent Tragedy, Phadra and *' Hippolytus; who himself alter'd the Manuscript "History, and added what he has there marked, '*' as he consess'd with some of his last Word , be"fore his Death. These Alterations, written with ** his own Hand, and to be seen by any one that ** knows it, may be publish'd, on another Occa'*' sion, with a farther Account of this Discovery, "In the mean time, for the Satisfaction of the '' Public, I insert a Letter, entire which I receiv'** ed since the last Paragraph was written.
Accidentally looking on some of the Sheets of your History of England, during the Reigns
* Gierge Duckets, Esq; one of the Commissioners of Excise.
." of the Royal House of Stuart, at the Bookseller's, ." I find that you mention the History of Lord Cla"rendon, wherein you justly question the Genuiner "ness of that Book; in order to put the Matter "out of doubt, I here fend you the following "Account.
"Mr. Edmund Smith, a Man very well known "to the learn'd World, came down to make me «« a Visit at # * *, about J we, 1710, where he "continu'd till he died, about six Weeks after.
"_As our Conversation chiefly ran upon Learn,'* ing and History, you may easily think that Cla"rendon's was not forgotten: Upon mentioning "that Book, he frankly told me, that there had "been a fine History written by Lord.Clarendon, "but what was publish'd under his Name was only "Patchwork, and might as properly be call'd, the «* History of Al-small «watterbury: For, _«c to his Knowledge, 'twas alter''d; nay, that he "himself was employ'd by them to interpolate and "alter the Original.
"He then ask'd me, whether I had the Book by /' me? If I had, he would convince me of the Truth ** of his Assertion, by the very printed Copy: I "immediately brought him the Folio Edition; and "the first Thing he turn'd to was the Character "of Mr. Hampden, where is that Expression: He "had a Head to contrive, a Heart to conceive, and" ,'« a Hand to execute any Villany.\ He then decla
\ The Words are much softer in the History, where, instead of a Heart to conceive, we find, a Tongue to perfiKttde; and instead of the Word Villany, that of Mischief; as the Citation is, in another Part of this Extract, truly made. The unknown Writer of this Letter, i. e,