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I doubt not, will delight the eye and sense of the fair, as long as that agreeable machine shall play in the hands of pofterity. I am glad your fan is mounted so foon, but I would have you varnish and glaze it at your leisure, and polish the fticks as much as you can.
You may then cause it to be borne in the hands of both sexes, no less in Britain, than it is in China s where it is ordinary for a Mandarine to fan himself cool after a debate, and a Statesman to hide his face with it when he tells a grave lie.
I am, &c.
Sept. 23, 1714. Elcome to your native foil +! welcome to your
friends! thrice welcome to me! whether returned in glory, bleft with court-interest, the love and familiarity of the great, and fill'd with agreeable hopes; or melancholy with dejection, contemplative of the changes of fortune, and doubtful for the future: Whether return'd a triumphant Whig, or a desponding Tory, equally all hail ! equally beloved and welcome to me! If happy, I am to partake in your elevation ; if unhappy, you have ftill a warm corner in my heart, and a retreat at Binfield in the worst of times at your service. If you are a Tory, or thought fo by any man, I know it can proceed from nothing but your gratitude to a few people who endeavour'd to serve you, and whose
* In the beginning
of this year Mr. Gay went over to Hanover with the Eart of Clarendon, who was sent thither by Q. Amne.. On her death they returned to England and it was on this occasion that Mr. Pope inet bim with this friendly welcome
politics were never your concern. If you'area Whig, as I rather hope, and, as I think, : your principles and mine! (as brother poets) had ever a bias to the side of Liberty, I know you will be an honest man, and an inoffensive one. Upon the whole, I know, you are incapable of being so much of either party as to be good for nothing. Therefore once more, whatever you are, or in what state You are, all hail!, ;
One or two of your old friends complain’d they had heard nothing from you since the Queen's death ; I told them no man living lov'd Mr. Gay better than I, yet I had not once written to him in all his voyage. This I thought a convincing proof, how truly one may be a friend to another without telling him so every month. But they had reasons too themselves to alledge in your excufe ;' as men who really value one another, will never want such as make their friends and themselves easy. The late Universal concern in public affairs, threw us all into a hurry of spirits: even I, who am more a Philosopher than to expect any thing from any Reign, was borne away with the current, and full of the expectation of the Succeffor: During your journeys, I knew not whither to aim a letter after you; that was a sort of shooting Aying: add to this the demand Homer had upon me, to write fifty verses a day, besides learned notes, all which are ati a conclusion for this year. Rejoice with me; my friend, that my labour is over come and make merry with me in much feasting: We will feed among the lilies (by the lilies I mean the Ladies.) Are not the Rosalinda's of Britain as charming as the Blousalinda's of the Hague ? or have the two great Pastoral poets of our nation renounced love at the same time? for Philips, immortal Philips hath deserted, yea, and in a rustic manner kicked, his Rosalind. Dr. Parnelle and I have been insepa
crable ever since you went. We are now: at: the Bath, where (if you are not, as I heartily hope, better engaged) your coming would be the greatest pleasure to us in the world. Talk not of expences : Homer shall support his children. I beg a line from you directly to the post-house in Bath. Poor Par
nelle is in an ill state of health. • Pardon me if I add a word of advice in the poetical way. Write something on the King, or Prince, or Princess.. On whatsoever foot you may be with the court, this can do no harm-I shall never know where to end, and am confounded in the many things I have to say to you, tho’ they all amount but to this, that I am entirely, as ever,
London, Nov. 8, 1717. am extremely glad to find by a Letter of yours
to Mr. Fortescue, that you have received one From me, and I beg you to keep as the greatest of curiofities, that letter of mine which you received, and I never writ.
But the truth is, that we were made here to expect you
in a short time, that I was upon the ram. ble most part of the Summer, and have concluded the season in grief, for the death of my poor faz ther.
I shall not enter into a detail of my concerns and troubles, for two reasons; because I am really afAicted and need no airs of grief, and because they are not the concerns and troubles of
but myself. But I think you. (without too great a compliment) enough my friend, to be pleas’d to know he died easily, without a groan, or the fickness of two mi
nutes; in a word, as filently and peacefully as he livedi
Sic mihi contingat vivere, ficque mori !
I am not in the humour to say gay things, nor in the affectation of avoiding them. I can't pretend to entertain either Mr. Pulteney or you, as you have done both my Lord Burlington and me, by your letter to Mr. Lowndes *. I am only sorry you have no greater quarrel to Mr. Lowndes, and with you paid some hundreds a year to the land-tax. That gentleman is lately become an inoffenfive person to me too, so that we may join heartily in our addresses to him, and (like true patriots) rejoice in all that good done to the nation and government, to which we contribute nothing ourselves. - I fhould not forget to acknowledge your letter sent from Aix; you told me then that writing was not good with the waters, and, I find since, you are of my opinion, that 'tis as bad without the waters. But, I fancy, it is not writing but thinking, that is so bad with the waters; and then you may write without any manner of prejudice, if you writ like our brother Poets of these days.
The Duchess, Lord Warwick, Lord Stanhope, Mrs. Bellenden, Mrs. Lepell, and I can't tell who else, had your letters: Dr. Arbuthnot and I expect to be treated like Friends. I would fend
fervices to Mr: Pulteney, but that he is out of favour at court; and make fome compliment to Mrs. Pulteney, if she were not a Whig. My Lord Burlington tells me she has much out-find all the French ladies, as fhe did the English before : 'I am sorry for it, because it will be detrimental to our holy reli
* A Poem intituled, To my ingenious and worthy friend W. Lowndes, El Author of that celebrated treatise in Eolo, call'd the LAND-TAX BILL. á
gion, if heretical women should eclipse those Nuns and orthodox Beauties, in whose eyes alone lie all the hopes we can have, of gaining such fine gentlemen as you to our church.
I wish you joy of the birth of the young prince, becaufe he is the only prince we have, from whom you have had no expectations and no disappoint
From Mr. GAY to Mr. F
Stanton Harcourt, Aug. 9, 1718. HE only news that you can expect to have
from me here, is ' news from heaven, for I' am quite out of the world, and there is scarce any thing can reach me except the noise of thunder, which undoubtedly you have heard too. We have read in old authors of high towers levelld by it to the ground, while the humble valleys have escap'd: the only thing that is proof against it is the laurel, which, however, I take to be no great security to the brains of modern authors. But to let you fee that the contrary to this often happens, I must acquaint you, that the highest and moft extravagant heap of towers in the universe, which is in this' neighbourhood, stands still undefaced, while a cock of barley in our next field has been consumed to ashes. Would to God that this heap of barley had been all that had perished ! for unhappily beneath this little shelter fat two much more conftant Lovers than ever were found in Romance under the shade of a beech-tree. John Hewet'was a well-set man VOL. VIU. I