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However, my Lord, I own, that critics of this fort can intimidate me, nay half incliné me to write no more: That would be making the Town a compliment which, I think, it deserves; and which {ome, I am sure, would take very kindly. This way of Satire is dangerous, as long as flander rais'd by fools of the lowest rank, can find any countenance from those of a higher. Even from the conduct shewn on this occasion, I have learnt there are fome who would rather be wicked than ridiculous ; and therefore it may be safer to attack Vices than Follies. I will therefore leave my betters in the quiet possession of their Idols, their Groves, and their High-places; and change my subject from their pride to their meanness, from their vanities to their miseries; and, as the only certain way to avoid misconstructions, to lessen offence, and not to multiply ill-natur'd applications, I may probably, in my next, make use of real names instead of fictitious ones. I am,

My Lord,
Your most Affectionate, &c.

LET TER XXVII.

IT

Cirencefter. T is a true saying, that misfortunes alone prove

one's friendships; they show us not only that of other people for us, but our own for theń. We hardly know ourfelves any otherwise. I feel my being forced to this Bath-journey as a misfortune į and to follow my own welfare preferably to those I love, is indeed a new thing to me: my

health has

* To Mrs. B.

not

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not usually got the better of my tendernefles and affections. I set out with a heavy heart, wishing I had done this thing the last season ; for every day I defer it, the more I am in danger of that accident which I dread the most, my Mother's death (especially should it happen while I am away.) And another Reflection pains me, that I have never, since I knew you, been so long feparated from you, as I now must be. Methinks we live to be more and more strangers, and every year teaches you to live without me: This absence may, I fear, make my return lefs welcome and less wanted to you, than once it seem'd, even after but a fortnight. Time ought not in reason to diminish friendshir, when it confirms the truth of it by experience.

The journey has a good deal disordered me, notwithstanding my resting place at Lord Bathurst's. My Lord is too much for me, he walks, and is in fpirits all day long; I rejoice to see him fo. It is a right distinction, that I am happier in seeing my friends so many degrees above me, be it in fortune, health, or pleasures, than I can be in sharing either with them for in these fort of enjoyments I cannot keep pace with them, any more than I can walk with a stronger man. I wonder to find I am a companion for none but old men, and forget that I am not a young fellow myself. The worst is, that reading and writing, which I have still the greatest relish for, are growing painful to my eyes. But if I can preserve the good opinion of one or two friends, to fuch a degree, as to have their indulgence to my weaknesses, I will not complain of life: And if I could live to see you consult your ease and quiet, by becoming independent on those who will never help you to either, I doubt not of finding the latter part of my life pleasanter than the former, or present. My uneasinesses of body I can bear; my chief unealiness of mind is in your regard. You have a VOL. VIIL

L

temper

temper that would make you easy and beloved (which is all the happiness one needs to wish in this world) and content with moderate things. All your point is not to lose that temper by facrificing yourself to others, out of a mistaken tenderness, which hurts you, and profits not them. And this you must do soon, or it will be too late : Habit will make it as hard for you to live independent, as for L- to live out of a Court.

You must excuse me for observing what I think any defect in you: You grow too indolent, and give things up too easily: which would be otherwise, when

you found and felt yourself your own : Spirits would come in, as ill-usage went out. While you live under a kind of perpetual dejection and oppression, nothing at all belongs to you, not your own Humour, nor your own Sense.

You can't conceive how much you would find resolution rise, and chearfulness grow upon you, if you'd once try to live independent for two or three months. I never think tenderly of you but this comes across me, and therefore excuse my repeating it, for whenever I do not, I diffemble half that I think of you. Adieu, pray write, and be particular about your health.

LETTER XXVIII *.

OUR letter dated at nine a clock on Tuesday

Y ,

fterday I hoped; and yesterday I sent you a line or two for our poor Friend Gay, inclos'd in a few words to you; about twelve or one a clock you fhould have had it. I am troubled about that, tha'

* To the fame,

the

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the present cause of our trouble be fo much greater t. Indeed I want a friend, to help me to bear it better. We want each other. I bear a hearty share with Mrs. Howard, who has lost a man of a moft honest heart; so honest an one, that I with her Master had none lefs honest about him. The world after all is a little pitiful thing; not performing any one promife it makes us, for the future, and every day taking away and annulling the joys of the past.' Let us comfort one another, and, if poffible, study to add as much more friendship to each other, as death has deprived us of, in him: I promise you more and more of mine, which will be the way to deserve more and more of yours.

I purposely avoid saying more. The subject is beyond writing upon, beyond cure or ease by reason or reflection, beyond all but one thought, that it is the will of God.

So will the death of my mother be! which now I tremble at, now resign to, now bring close to me, now fet farther off: Every day alters, turns me about, and confuses my whole frame of mind. Her dangerous distemper is again return'd, her fever coming onward again, tho' less in pain ; for which laft however I thank God.

I am unfeignedly tired of the world, and receive nothing to be calld a Pleasure in it, equivalent to countervail either the death of one I have so long lived with, or of one I have so long lived for. I have nothing left but to turn my thoughts to one comfort; the last we usually think of, tho' the only one we should in wisdom depend upon, in such a disappointing place as this. I sit in her room, and the is always present before me, but when I'leep.

+ Mr. Gay's death, which happend in Nov. 1732, at the Duke of Queensberry's house in London, aged 4.5

P. L2

I wonder

I wonder I am so well: I have shed many tears, but now I weep at nothing. I would above all things see you, and think it would comfort you to see me lo equal-temper'd and so quiet. But pray dine here; you may, and she know nothing of it, for the dozes much, and we tell her of no earthly thing, left it run in her mind, which often trifles have done. If Mr. Bethel had time, I wish he were your companion hither. Be as much as you can with each other: Be assur'd I love you both, and be farther assur'd, that friendship will increase as I live

on.

LETTER XXIX.

To HUGH BETHEL, Esq.

July 12, 1723. Affure you unfeignedly any memorial of your

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me, who know those tenders of affection from you are not like the common traffic of compliments and professions, which most people only give that they may receive; and is at best a commerce of Vanity, if not of Falsehood. I am happy in not immedia ately wanting the fort of good offices you offer : but if I did want them, I should not think myself unhappy in receiving them at your hands : this really is some compliment, for I would rather most men did me a small injury, than a kindness. I know your humanity, and, allow me to say, I love and value you for it: 'Tis a much better ground of love and value, than all the qualities I see the world fo fond of: They generally admire in the wrong place,

and

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