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Now, Sir, let what will happen, I keep myself in temper: As I have no flattering hopes, so I banish all useless fears; but as to the things of this world, I find myself in a condition beyond expeetation; it being evident from a late Parliamentary inquiry, that I have as much ready money, as much in the funds, and as great a personal estate, as Sir Robert S-tt-n.
If the Translator of Homer find fault with this unheroic difpofition, or (what I more fear) if the Draper of Ireland accuse the Englishman of want of spirit: I filence you both with one line out of your own Horace. Quid te exempta juvat spinis e pluribus una? For I take the whole to be fo corrupted, that a cure in any part would be of little avail,
and fo fix'd as your Lordship: You, while your imagination is carrying you through every corner of the world, where you have or have not been, can at the fame time remember to do offices of favour and kindness to the meanest of your friends; and in all the scenes you have passed, have not been able to attain that one quality peculiar to a great man, of forgetting every thing bạt injuries. Of this I am a living witness against you for being the most infignificant of all your old humble servants, you were so cruel as never to give me time to ask a favour, but prevented me ina doing whate i
ever you thought I desired, or could be for my credit or advantage.
I have often admired at the capriciousness of Fortune in regard to your Lordship. She hath forced Courts to act against their oldest, and most conftant maxims; to make you a General because you had courage and conduct; an Ambassador, because you had wisdom and knowledge in the interests of Europe, and an Admiral on account of your skill in maritime affairs: whereas, according to the usual method of Court proceedings, I should have been at the head of the Army, and you of the Church, or rather a Curate under the Dean of St. Patrick's.
The Archbishop of Dublin laments that he did not see your Lordship till he was just upon the point of leaving the Bath : I pray God you may have found success in that journey, else I shall continue to think there is a fatality in all your LordShip’s undertakings, which only terminate in your own honour, and the good of the public, without the least advantage to your health or fortune.
I remember Lord Oxford's Ministry us'd to tell me, that not knowing where to write to you, they were forced to write at you. It is so with me, for you are in one thing an Evangelical man, that you know not where to lay your head, and, I think, you have no house. Pray, my Lord, write to me, that I may have the pleasure in this scoundrel country, of going about, and shewing my depending Parfons a letter from the Earl of Peterborow.
LET TER XL.
you vast wood; and one may address to you as to a very abstracted perfon, like Alexander Selkirk, or the * Self-taught Philosopher. I should be very curious to know what sort of contemplations employ you. I remember the latter of those I mention'd, gave himself up to a devout exercise of making his head giddy with various circumrotations, to imitate the motions of the celestial bodies. I don't think it at all impossible that Mr. L* may be far advanced in that exercise, by frequent turns towards the several aspects of the heavens, to which you may have been pleased to direct him in search of prospects and new avenues. He will be tractable in time, as birds are tamed by being whirld about; and doubtless come not to despise the meanest shrubs or coppice-wood, tho' naturally, he seems more inclined to admire God, in his greater works, the tall timber : for, as Virgil has it, Non omnes arbusta juvant, humilesque myrica. I wish myself with you both, whether you are in peace or at war, in violent argumentation or smooth consent, over Gazettes in the morning, or over Plans in the evening. In that last article, I am of opinion, your Lordship has á loss of me ; for generally after the
+ Lord Bathurst.
The title of an Arabic Treatise of the Life of Hai Ebn Yocktan.
debate of a whole day, we acquiesced at night in the best conclusion of which human Reason seems capable in all great matters, to fall fast asleep! And so we ended, unless immediate Revelation (which ever must overcome human reason) fuggested some new lights to us, by a Vision in bed. But laying aside Theory, I am told, you are going directly to Practice. Alas, what a Fall will that be? A new Building is like a new Church; when once it is set up, you must maintain it in all the forms, and with all the inconveniencies; then cease the pleasant luminous days of inspiration, and there is an end of miracles at once!
That this Letter may be all of a piece, I'll fill the rest with an account of a consultation lately held in my neighbourhood about designing a princely garden. Several Critics were of several opinions : One declar'd he would not have too much Art in it; for my notion (said he) of gardening is, that it is only sweeping Nature *: Another told them that Gravel walks were not of a good tafte, for all the finest abroad were of loose fand: A third advis'd peremptorily there should not be one Lyme-tree in the whole plantation: A fourth made the same exclusive clause extend to Horse-chesnuts, which he affirmed not to be Trees, but Weeds: Dutch Elms were condemn’d by a fifth ; and thus about half the Trees were proscribed, contrary to the Paradise of God's own planting, which is expresly said to be planted with all trees. There were some who could not bear Ever-greens, and call’d them Never-greens ; fome, who were angry at them only when cut into shapes, and gave the modern Gardeners the name of Ever-green Tay
An expression of Sir T. H.
lors; some, who had no dislike to Cones and Cubes, but would have them cut in Forest-trees; and some who were in a passion against any thing in shape, even against clipt-hedges, which they call'd green walls. These (my Lord) are our Men of Taste, who pretend to prove it by tasting little or nothing, Sure such a Taste is like such a stomach, not a good one, but a weak one. We have the same fort of Critics in poetry; one is fond of nothing but Heroics, another cannot relish Tragedies, another hates Pastorals, all little Wits delight in Epigrams. Will you give me leave to add, there are the same in Divinity ; where many leading Critics are for rooting up more than they plant, and would leave the Lord's Vineyard either very thinly fur, nilh'd, or very oddly trimm'd.
I have lately been with my Lord * who is a zealous, yet a charitable Planter, and has so bad a Taste, as to like all that is good. He has a difpofition to wait on you in his way to the Bath, and, if he can go and return to London in eight or ten days, I am not without a hope of seeing your Lordship with the delight I always fee you, Every where I think of you, and every where I
wish for you,
I am, &c.
To Mr. C.
Sept. 2, 1732, I
Affure you I am glad of your letter, and have now give me, to bę plain and unreserved upon