Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

any friend

have long look'd upon with affection?

with affection? I begin already to feel both what some apprehend, and what others are yet too stupid to apprehend. I grieve with the old, for so many additional inconveniencies and chagrins, more than their small remain of life feemed destined to undergo; and with the young, for so many of those gaieties and pleasures (the portion of youth) which they will by this means be deprived of. This brings into my mind one or other of those I love beft, and among them the widow and fatherless, late of. As I am certain no people living had an earlier and truer sense of others misfortunes, or a more generous resignation as to what might be their own, so I earnestly wish that whatever part they must bear, may be rendered as supportable to them, as it is in the

power

of to make it.

But I know you have prevented me in this thought, as you always will in any thing that is good, or generous : 1 find by a letter of your lady's (which I have seen) that their ease and tranquillity is part of

I believe there's some fatality in it, that you should always, from time to time, be doing those particular things that make me enamour'd of you.

I write this from Windsor-Forelt, of which I am come to take my last look. We here bid our neighbours adieu, much as those who go to be hang'd do their fellow-prisoners, who are condemn’d to follow them a few weeks after. I parted from honest Mr. D* with tenderness; and from old Sir William Trumbull as from a venerable prophet, fortelling with lifted hands the miseries to come, from which he is just going to be removed himself.

your care.

Perhaps,

[ocr errors]

Perhaps, now I have learnt so far as

Nos dulcia linquimus arva, my next leffon may be

Nos Patriam fugimus. Let that, and all else be as Heaven pleases! I have provided just enough to keep me a man of honour. I believe you and I shall never be ashamed of each other. I know I wish my Country well, and, if it undoes me, it shall not make me wish it otherwise.

L ET TER VII.

From Mr. BLOUNT.

[ocr errors]

March 24, 1715-16. . R letters give me a gleam of satisfaction,

in the midst of a very dark and cloudy fituation of thoughts, which it would be more than human to be exempt from at this time, when our homes must either be left, or be made too narrow for us to turn in. Poetically speaking, I should lament the loss Windsor-forest and you sustain of each other, but that, methinks, one can't say you are parted, because you will live by and in one another, while verse is verse. This consideration hardens me in my opinion rather to congratulate you, since you have the pleasure of the prospect whenever you take it from your shelf, and at the same time the solid calh you sold it for, of which Virgil in his 'exile knew nothing in those days, and which will make every place easy to you. I for my part am not so happy; my parva rura are fastened to me, so that I can't exchange them, as you have, for more portable means of subsistance, and yet I hope to gather enough to make the Patriam fugimus supportable to

me: 'tis what I am resolved on, with my Penate. If therefore you ask me, to whom you shall complain? I will exhort you to leave laziness and the elms of St. James's Park, and choose to join the other two proposals in one, safety and friendship (the least of which is a good motive for most things, as the other is for almost every thing) and go with me where War will not reach us, nor paultry Con. ftables summon us to vestries.

The future epistle you flatter me with, will find me still here, and I think I

may

be here a month longer. Whenever I go from hence, one of the few reasons to make me regret my home will be, that I shall not have the pleasure of saying to you,

Hic tamen hanc mecum poteris requiefcere noétem, which would have rendered this place more agreeable, than ever else it could be to me; for I protest, it is with the utmost fincerity that I assure you, I am entirely,

Dear Sir,

Your, &c.

LETTER VIII.

[ocr errors]

June 22, 1717 I

F a regard both to public and private affairs may correspondent, I have really a very good title to it. I cannot fay whether 'tis a felicity or unhappiness, that I am obliged at this time to give my whole application to Homer; when without that employment, my thoughts must turn upon what is less agreeable, the violence, madness, and resentment of

modern

modern War-makers *, which are likely to prove (to some people at least) more fatal, than the same qualities in Achilles did to his unfortunate country

men.

Tho' the change of my scene of life, from Windfor-forest to the side of the Thames, be one of the grand Æra's of my days, and may be called a notable period in fo inconsiderable a history ; yet you can scarce imagine any hero paffing from one ftage of life to another, with so much tranquillity, so eafy a transition, and so laudable a behaviour. become so truly a citizen of the world (according to Plato's expression) that I look with equal indifference on what I have left, and on what I have gained. The times and amusements past are not more like a dream to me, than those which are present: I lie in a refreshing kind of inaction, and have one comfort at least from obscurity, that the darkness helps me to sleep the better. I now and then reflect upon the enjoyment of my friends, whom, I fancy, I remember much as separate fpirits do us, at tender intervals, neither interrupting their own employments, nor altogether careless of ours, but in general constantly wishing us well, and hopeing to have us one day in their company.

To grow indifferent to the world is to grow philosophical, or religious (which soever of those turns we chance to take) and indeed the world is such a thing, as one that thinks pretty much, must either laugh at, or be angry with : but if we laugh at it, they say we are proud; and if we are angry with it, they say we are ill-natured. So the most politic way is to seem always better pleased 'than one can be, greater admirers, greater lovers, and in short greater fools, than we really are : fo fhall we live

* This was wri.ten in the year of the affair of Presa ton. P. Voi. VIII.

C

comfortably

comfortably with our families, quietly with our neighbours, favoured by our masters, and happy with our mistresses. I have filled my paper, and so adieu.

LET TER IX.

I

Sept. 8, 1717. Think your leaving England was like a good

man's leaving the world, with the blessed conscience of having acted well in it; and I hope you have received your reward, in being happy where you are. I believe, in the religious country you inhabit, you'll be better pleased to find I consider you in this light, than if I compared you to those Greeks and Romans, whose constancy in suffering pain, and whose resolution in pursuit of a generous end, you would rather imitate than boast of.

But I had a melancholy hint the other day, as if you were yet a martyr to the fatigue your virtue made you undergo on this fide the water. I beg, if your

health be restored to you, not to deny me the joy of knowing it. Your endeavours of service and good advice to the poor papists, put me in mind of Noah's preaching forty years to those folks that were to be drowned at laft. At the worst I heartily with your Ark may find an Ararat, and the wife and family (the hopes of the good patriarch) land safely after the deluge, upon the shore of Totness.

If I durft mix prophane with sacred history, I would chear you with the old tale of Brutus the wandering Trojan, who found on that very coast the happy end of his peregrinations and adventures.

I have very lately read Jeffery of Monmouth (to whom your Cornwall is not a little beholden) in the translation of a clergyman in my neighbourhood.

The

« ZurückWeiter »