« ZurückWeiter »
Companions I have enough, friends few, and thofe too warm in the concerns of the world, for me to bear pace
with ; or elfe so divided from me, that they are but like the dead whose remembrance I hold in honour. Nature, temper, and habit from my youth made me have but one strong defire; all other ambitions, my person, education, constituţion, religion, &c. conspired to remove far from me. That desưe was, to fix and preferve a few lasting, dependable friendfhips : and the accidents which have disappointed me in it, have put a period to all my aims. So I am funk into an idlenefs, which makes me neither care nor labour to be noticed by the rest of mankind; I propose no rewards to myself, and why should I take any sort of pains ? here I sit and sleep, and probably here I shall sleep till I sleep for ever, like the old man of Verona. I hear of what passes in the busy world with fo little attention, that I forget it the next day: and as to the learned world, there is nothing passes in it. I have no more to add, but that I am with the fame truth as ever,
Oct. 23, 1730. OUR letter is a very kind one, but I can't
say fo pleasing to me as many of yours have been, thro' the account you give of the dejection of your spirits. I wish the too constant use of wąter does not contribute to it; I find Dr. Arbuthnat and another very knowing physician of that opinion. I also wish you were not so totally immers'd in the country; I hope your return to town will be a prevalent remedy against the evil of too much
recollection. I wish it partly for my own fake. We have lived little together of late, and we want to be physicians for one another. It is a remedy that agreed very well with us both, for many years, and I fancy our conftitutions would mend upon the old medicine of Studiorum fimilitudo, &c. I believe we both of us want whetting; there are several here who will do you that good office, merely for the love of wit, which seems to be bidding the town a long and last adieu. I can tell you of no one thing worth reading, or seeing; the whole age feems resolv'd to justify the Dunciad, and it may stand for a public Epitaph or monumental Inscription like that at Thermopyla, on a whole people periff'd! There may indeed be a Wooden image or two of Poetry set up, to preserve the memory that there once were bards in Britain ; and flike the Giants at Guildhall) Ihow the bulk and bad taste of our ancestors : At present the poor Laureat * and Stephen Duck serve for this purpose ; a drunken fot of a Parfon holds forth the emblem of Inspiration, and an honest induftrious Thresher not unaptly represents Pains and Labour. I hope this Phänomenon of Wiltshire has appear'd at Amefbury, or the Duchefs will be thought insensible to all bright qualities and exalted genius's, in court and country alike.
But he is a harmless inan, and therefore I am glad.
This is all the news talk'd of at court, but it will please you better to hear that Mrs. Howard talks of you, tho' not in the same breath with the Thresher, as they do of me. By the way, have you seen or convers'd with Mr. Chubb, who is a wonderful Phänomenon of Wiltshire? I have read
chro' his whole volume * with admiration of the writer ; tho' not always with approbation of the doctrine. I have past juft three days in London in four months, two at Windsor, half an one at Richmond, and have not taken one excursion into any other country. Judge now whether I can live in my library: Adieu. Live mindful of one of your first friends, who will be fo till the last
Mrs. Blount deseryes your remembrance, for she never forgets you, and wants nothing of being a friend +.
I beg the Duke's and her Grace's acceptance of my services : the contentment you express in their company pleafes me, tho' it be the bar to my own, in dividing you from ụs. I am ever very truly
Qat. 2, 1732 IR Clem. Cottrel tells me you will shortly come
to town. We begin to want comfort in a few friends about us, while the winds whistle, and the waters raar. The fun gives us a parting look, but
* This was his quarto Volume, written before he had given any signs of those extravagancies, which have since rendered him so famous, As the Court fet Mr. Duck for the rival of Mr. Pope, the City at the same time confidered Chubb, as one who would eclipse Locke. The modefty of the court Poet kept him sober in a very intoxicating situation, while the vanity of this new-fashioned Philosopher aslifted his fage admirers in turning his brains.
+ Alluding to those lines in the Epift. on the characters Women, “ With ev'ry pleasing, ev'ry prudent part, Fr Say what can Cloe want i-She wants a heart.
I wish you
'tis but a cold one; we are ready to change those distant favours of a lofty beauty, for a gross material fire that warms and comforts more. could be here till your family come to town : you'll live more innocently, and kill fewer harmless creatures, nay none, except by your proper deputy, the butcher. It is fit for conscience fake, that you should come to town, and that the Duchess should stay in the country, where no innocents of another species may suffer by her. I hope she never goes to church : the Duke should lock you both up, and Jefs harm would be done. I advise you to make man your game, hunt and beat about here for coxcombs, and truss up Rogues in Satire: I fancy they'll turn to a good account, if you can produce them fresh, or make them keep: and their relations will come, and buy their bodies of you.
The death of Wilks leaves Cibber without a col. league, absolute and perpetual dictator of the stage, tho indeed while he lived he was but as Bibulus to Cæfar. However ambition finds something to be gratify'd with in a mere name; or else, God have mercy on poor ambition! Here is a dead vacation at present, no politics at court, no trade in town, nothing stirring but poetry. Every man, and every boy, is writing verses on the Royal Hermitage : I hear the Queen is at a loss which to prefer; but for my own part I like none so well as Mr. Poyntz’s in Latin. You would oblige my Lady Suffolk if you tried your Muse on this occasion. I am sure I would do as much for the Duchess of Queensberry, if the defired it. Several of your friends assure me it is expected from you: one should not bear in mind, all one's life, any little indignity one receives from a Court; and therefore I am in hopes, neither her Grace will hinder you, nor you decline it.
The volume of Miscellanies is just publishid, which concludes all our fooleries of that kind. All
your friends remember you, and, I affure you, no one more than
L ETTER. XXVI.
From Mr. Gay to Mr. Pope.
Oct. 7, 1732
Ain at last return'd from my Somersetshire expe
dition, but fince my return I cannot so much boast of my health as before I went, for I am frequently out of order with my colical complaints, so as to make me uneafy and dispirited, tho' not to any violent degree. The reception we met with, and the little excursions we made were every way agreeable. I think the country abounds with beautiful prospects. Sir William Wyndham is at prefent amusing himself with some real improvements, and a great many visionary castles. We were often entertain'd with sea views and fea fish, and were at some places in the neighbourhood, among which, I was mightily pleased with Dunster-Castle near Minehead. It stands upon a great eminence, and hath a prospect of that towny with an extensive view of the Bristol channel, in which are seen two small Ilands call'd the Steep Holms and Flat Holms, and on the t'other side we could plainly distinguish the divisions of fields on the Welch coast. All this jour. ney I perform'd on horseback, and I am very much disappointed that at prefent I feel myfelf fo little the better for it. : Dhave indeed followed riding and exercise for three months fuccessively, and really think I was as well without it; fo that I begin to fear the illillness I have so long and so often complain'd of, is in3