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in like manner as I have born others, with fome degree of fortitude and firmness.
You see how ready I am to relapfe into an argu. ment which I had quitted once before in this leto ter. I shall probably again commit the fame fault, if I continue to write ; and therefore I ftop short here, and with all sincerity, affection, and esteem, bid you adieu ! till we meet either in this world, if God pleases, or else in another.
I am, &c.
Binfield, Nov. 13, 1712; OU writ me a very kind Letter some months
ago, and told me you were then upon the point of taking a journey into Devonshire. That hindered my answering you, and I have since leveral times inquired of you, without any fatisfaction ; for so I call the knowledge of your welfare, or of any thing that concerns you. I past two months in Sullex, and since my return have been again very ill
. I writ to Lintot in hopes of hearing of you, but had no answer to that point. Our friend Mr. Cromwell too has been silent all this year; I believe he has been displeased at some or other of my freedoms *, which I very innocently
We see by the letters to Mr. Cromwell, that Mr. Pope was used to railly him on his turn for trifling and pedantic criticism. So he loft his two early friends, Cromwell and Wycherly, by his zeal to correct the bad poetry of the one, and the bad taste of the other.
take, and moft with thofe I think most my friends. But this I know nothing of; perhaps he may have opened to you: and if I know you right, you are of a temper to cement friendships, and not to divide them.' I really much love Mr. Cromwell, and have a true affection for yourself, which, if I had any interest in the world, or power with those who have, I should not be long without manifesting to you. I desire you will not, either out of modesty, or a vicious distrust of another's value for you (thofe two eternal foes to merit) imagine that your letters and conversation are not always welcome to me. There is no man more intirely fond of goodnature or ingenuity than myself, and I have seen too much of those qualities in you to be any thing less than
L E T T E R II.
Dec. 24, 17211 T has been my good fortune within this month
than (I think) almost in all my time beside. But nothing upon my word has been to home-felt à fatisfaction as the news you tell me of yourself : and you are not in the least mistaken, when you congratulate me upon your own good success: for I have more people out of whom to be happy, than any ill-natur'd man can boast of. I may with honesty affirm to you, that, notwithstanding the many inconveniences and disadvantages they commonly talk of in the Res 'angufta domi, I have never found any other, than the inability of giving people of merit the only certain proof of our value for them, in doing them some real service. For after all, if
we could but think a little, felf-love might make us philosophers, and convince us quantuli indiget Natura! Ourselves are easily provided for; 'tis nothing but the circumstantials, and the Apparatus or equipage of human life, that costs so much the furnishing. Only what a luxurious man wants for horfes, and footmen, a good-natur'd man wants for his friends, or the indigent.
I shall see you this winter with much greater pleafúre than I could the last; and, I hope, as much of your time, as your attendance on the Duchess * will allow you to spare to any friend, will not be thought loft upon one who is as much so as any
I must also put you in mind, tho' you are now secretary to this Lady, that you are likewise secretary to nine other Ladies, and are to write fometimes for them too. He who is forced to live wholly upon thofe Ladies favours is indeed in as a precarious a condition as any He who does what Chaucer says for fuftenance; but they are very agreeable companions, like other Ladies, when a man only passes a night or fo with them at his leifure, and away. I am
LET TER IIT.
Aug. 23, 1713 UST as I receiv'd yours, I was set down to
write to you, with some shame that I had so long deferred'it.
But I can hardly repent my neglect, when it gives me the knowledge how little you insist upon ceremony, and how much a greater Thare in your memory I have, than I deferve. !
* Duchess of Monmouth, to whom he was just then made Secretary
have been near a week in London, where I am like to remain, till I become, by Mr. Jervas's help, Elegans Formarum Spectator. 'I begin to discover beauties that were till now imperceptible to me. Every corner of an eye, or turn of a nose or ear, the smallest degree of light or shade on a cheek, or in a dimple, have charms to distract me. I no longer look upon Lord Plausible as ridiculous, for admiring a Lady's fine tip of an ear and pretty elbow (as the plain-Dealer has it) but am in fome danger even from the ugly and disagreeable, since they may have their retired beauties, in one trait or other about them. You may guess in how uneasy a state I am, when every day the performances of others appear more beautiful and excellent, and my own more despicable. I have thrown away three Dr. Swifts, each of which was once my vanity, two Lady Bridgwaters, a Dutchess of Montague, besides half a dozen Earls, and one knight of the garter. I have crucified Christ over again in effigie, and made a Madona as old as her mother St. Anne. Nay, what is yet more miraculous, I have rivalld St. Luke himself in painting, and as, Ptis faid, an angel came and finished his piece, fo, you would swear, a devil put the last hand to mine, Stis fo begrim'd and fmutted. However I comfort myself with a Christian reflection, that I have not broken the commandment, for my pictures are not the likeness of any thing in heaven above, or in earth below, or in the water under the earth. Neither will any body adore or worship them, except the Indians should have a sight of them, who, they tell us, worship certain idols purely for their ugliness.
I am very much recreated and refreshed with the news of the advancement of the Fan *, which,
* A Poem of Mr. Gay's, lo intitled,