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they may raise up and breed as irreproachable a young family as their parents have done. In a word, I fancy you all well, easy, and happy, just as I wish you ; and next to that, I wish you all

with me.

Next to God, is a good man: next in dignity, and next in value, Minuisti eum paullo minus ab angelis. If therefore I with well to the good and the deserving, and defire they only should be my companions and correspondents, I must very soon and very much think of you. I want your company, and your example. Pray make haste to town, so as not again to leave us : discharge the load of earth that lies on you, like one of the mountains under which the poets say, the giants (the men of the earth) are whelmed : leave earth, to the sons of the earth, your conversation is in heaven. Which that it may be accomplish'd in us all, is the prayer of him who maketh this short Sermon; value (to you) three-pence. Adieu.

Mr. Blount died in London the following Year, 1726.

P.

LET TERS

LETTERS

To and from the

Hon. ROBERT DIG BY.

From 1717 to 1724.

LET TERI:

To the Hon. ROBERT DIGBY.

I

June 2, 1717. Had pleas'd myfelf sooner in writing to you,

but that I have been your successor in a fit of fickness, and am not yet so much recovered, but that I have thoughts of using your * physicians. They are as grave persons as any of the faculty, and (like the ancients) carry their own medicaments about with them. But indeed the moderns are such lovers of raillery, that nothing is grave enough to escape them. Let them laugh, but people will still have their opinions : as they think our Doctors asses to them, we'll think them afles to our Doctors.

I am glad you are so much in a better state of health, as to allow me to jest about it. My concern, when I heard of your danger, was so very ferious, that I almost take it ill Dr. Evans should tell you of it, or you mention it. I tell you fair

* Asses.

ly,

you

ly, if

and a few more such people were to leave the world, I would not give six-pence to stay in it.

I am not so much concerned as to the point whether you are to live fat or lean : most men of wit or honefty are usually decreed to live very lean: fo I am inclined to the opinion that 'tis decreed you shall; however be comforted, and reflect, that you'll make the better Busto for it.

'Tis something particular in you, not to be fatisfied with sending me your own books, but to make your acquaintance continue the frolic. Mr. Wharton forced me to take Gorboduc, which has fince done me great credit with several people, as it has done Dryden and Oldham fome difkindness, in fhewing there is as much difference between their Gorboduc and this, as between Queen Anne, and King George. It is truly a scandal, that men should write with contempt of a piece which they never once saw, as those two Poets did, who were ignorant even of the sex, as well as sense, of Gorboduc *.

Adieu! I am going to forget you: this minute you took up all my mind; the next I Ihall think of nothing but the reconciliation with Agamemnon, and the recovery of Briseis. I shall be Achilles's humble servant these two months (with the good leave of all my friends.) I have no ambition so strong at present, as that noble one of Sir Salathiel Lovel, recorder of London, to furnish out a decent and plentiful execution, of Greeks and Trojans. It is not to be express'd how heartily I with the death of all Homer's heroes, one after another. The Lord preserve me in the day of battle,

• There is a correct edition of it in that valuable collection of old Plays published by Dodsley.

which

which is just approaching ! join in your prayers for me, and know me to be always

Your, &c.

LETTER II.

London, March 31, 1718. O convince you how little pain I give my

felf in corresponding with men of good nas ture and good understanding, you see I omit to answer

your

letters till a time, when another man would be ashamed to own he had received them. If therefore you are ever moved on my account by that spirit, which I take to be as familiar to you as a quotidian ague, I mean the spirit of goodness, pray never stint it, in any fear of obliging me to a civility beyond my natural inclination. I dare trust you, Sir, not only with my folly when I write, but with my negligence when I do not; and expect equally your pardon for either.

If I knew how to entertain you thro' the rest of this paper, it should be spotted and diversified with conceits all over ; you should be put out of breath with laughter at each fentence, and pause at each period, to look back over how much wit you have pass’d. But I have found by experience that people now-a-days regard writing as little as they do preaching : the most we can hope is to be heard just with decency and patience, once a week, by folks in the country. Here in town we hum over a piece of fine writing, and we whistle at a sermon. The stage is the only place we seem alive at! there indeed we stare, and roar, and clap hands for K. George, and the government.

As for all other virtues but this loyalty, they are an obsolete train, so ill-dress’d, that men, women,

and

and children hiss them out of all good company. Humility knocks so sneakingly at the door that every footman outraps it, and makes it give way to the free entrance of pride, prodigality, and vainglory.

My Lady Scudamore, from having rusticated in your company too long, really behaves herself fcandalously among us : fhe pretends to open her eyes for the sake of seeing the fun, and to sleep because it is night ; drinks tea at nine in the morning, and is thought to have said her prayers before ; talks, without any manner of shame, of good booksy and has not seen Cibber's play of the Nonjuror. I rejoiced the other day to see a libel on her toilette, which gives me some hope that you have, at least, a taste of fcandal left you, in defect of all other vices.

Upon the whole matter, I heartily with you well; but as I cannot entirely desire the ruin of all the joys of this city, so all that remains is to wish you would keep your happiness to yourselves, that the happiest here may not die with envy at a bliss which they cannot attain to.

I am, &c.

LETTER III,
From Mr. DIGBY.

I

Coleshill, April 17, 1718. Have read your letter over and over with de

light. By your description of the town, I imagine it to lie under some great enchantment, and am very much concerned for you and all my friends in it. I am the more afraid, imagining, since do not fly those horrible monsters, raVOL. VIII. D

pine,

you

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