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this head. I wrote to you concerning it long fince; but a friend of yours and mine was of opinion, it was taking too much upon me, and more than I could be entitled to by the mere merit of long acquaintance, and good will. I have not a thing in my heart relating to any friend, which I would not, in my own nature, declare to all mankind. The truth is what you guess ; I could not esteem your conduct, to an object of misery so near you as Mrs. and I have often hinted it to yourself: The truth is, I cannot yet efteem it for any reason I am able to see. But this I promise, I acquit you as far as your own mind acquits you. I have now no further cause of complaint, for the unhappy Lady gives me now no farther pain; she is no longer an object either of yours or my compassion; the hardships done her, are lodg’d in the hands of God, nor has any man more to do in them, except the persons concern'd in occafioning them.
As for the interruption of our Correspondence, I am sorry you seem to put the Test of my friendfhip upon that, because it is what I am disqualified from toward my other acquaintance, with whom I cannot hold any frequent commerce. you the obstacles which I can't surmount : want of health, want of time, want of good eyes; and one yet stronger than them all, I write not upon the terms of other. men. For however glad I might be, of expressing my respect, opening my mind, or venting my concerns, to my private friends ; I hardly dare while there are Curlls in the world. If you please to reflect either on the impertinence of weakadmirers, the malice of low enemies, the avarice of mercenary Booksellers, or the filly curiosity of people in general; you'll con
fess I have small reason to indulge corresponden. cies : in which too I want materials, as I live altogether out of town, and have abstracted my mind (I hope) to better things than common news. I with my friends would send me back those forfeitures of my discretion, commit to my justice what I trusted only to their indulgence, and return me at the year's end those trifling letters, which can be to them but a day's amusement, but to me may prove a discredit as lasting and extensive, as the aforesaid weak admirers, mean enemies, mercenary fcriblers, or curious fimpletons, can make it.
I come now to a particular you complain of, my not answering your question about some Partypapers, and their authors. This indeed I could not tell
you, because I never was, or will be privy to such papers : And if by accident, thro' my acquaintance with any of the writers, I had known a thing they concealed ; I should certainly never bę the Reporter of it.
For my waiting on you at your countıy-house, I have often with'd it; it was my compliance to a superior duty that hinder'd me, and one which you are too good a Chriftian to wish I should have broken, having never ventur'd to leave my mother (at her great age) for more than a week, which is too little for such a journey.
Upon the whole, I must acquit myself of any act or thought, in prejudice to the regard I owe you, as so long and obliging an acquaintance and correspondent. I am fure I have all the good wishes for yourself and your family, that become a friend : There is no accident that can happen to your advantage, and no action that can redound to your credit, which I should not be ready to extol, or to rejoice in. And therefore I beg you to be affured,
I am in disposition and will, tho' not so much as I would be in testimonies or writing,
L ET TER XLII.
To Mr. RICHARDSON.
Jan. 13, 1732. Have at last got my Mother fo well, as to allow
myself to be absent from her for three days. As sunday is one of them, I do not know whether I may propose to you to employ it in the manner you mentioned to me once. Sir Godfrey call'd imploying the pencil, the prayer of a painter, and affirmed it to be his proper way of serving God, by the talent he gave him. I am sure, in this instance, it is serving your friend; and, you know, we are allowed to do that (nay even to help a neighbour's ox or ass) on the fabbath: which tho' it may feem a general precept, yet in one sense particularly applies to you, who have help'd many a human ox, and many a human ass, to the likeness of man, not to say of God.
Believe me, dear Sir, with all good wishes for yourself and your family (the happiness of which tyes I know by experience, and have learn'd to vaļue from the late danger of losing the best of mine)
L E T T E R XLII.
To the same.
Twickenham, June 10, 1733 S I know, you and I mutually desire to see
one another, I hoped that this day our wishes would have met, and brought you hither. And this for the very reason which possibly might hinder your coming, that my poor Mother is dead f: I thank God, her death was as easy, as her life was innocent; and as it coft her not a groan, or even a figh, there is yet upon her countenance such an expresfion of Tranquillity, nay, almost of Pleasure, that it is even amiable to behold it. It would afford the finest Image of a Saint expir’d, that ever Painting drew; and it would be the greatest obligation which even "That obliging Art could ever bestow on a friend, if you could come and sketch it for me. I am sure, if there be no very prevalent obftacle, you will leave any common business to do this: and I hope to see you this evening as late as you will, or to morrow morning as early, before this winter-flower is faded. I will defer her interment till to morrow night. I know you love me, or I could not have written this— I could not (at this time) have written at all---Adieu ! May you die as happily!
+ Mrs. Pope died the seventh of June, 1733, aged 93.
To the fame.
T is hardly possible to tell you the joy your pencil
gave me, in giving me another friend, so much the same ! and which (alas for mortality!). will out-last the other. Pofterity will, thro' your means, see the man whom it will for ages honour, vindicate, and applaud, when envy is no more, and when (as I have already said in the Effay to which you are so partial)
The fons fhall blush their fathers were his foes.
That Effay has many faults, but the poem you sent me has but one, and that I can easily forgive. Yet I would not have it printed for the world, and yet I would not have it kept unprinted neitherbut all in good time. I'm glad you publish your Milton. B-ly will be angry at you, and at me too shortly for what I could not help, a Satyrical Poem on Verbal Criticism by Mr. Mallet, which he has inscrib’d to me, but the poem itfelf is good (another cause of anger to any Critic.) As for myself, I resolve to go on in my quiet, calm, moral course, taking no sort of notice of man's anger, or woman's scandal, with Virtue in my eyes, and Truth upon my tongue. Adieu,