« ZurückWeiter »
friendly warmth and affection with which you write, it is, that I have a heart full of love and esteem for you: so truly, that I should lose the greatest pleasure of my life if I lost your good opinion. It rejoices me very much to be reckoned by you in the class of honest men: for tho I am not troubled over much about the opinion most may have of me, yet, I own, it would grieve me not to be thought well of, by you and some few others. I will not doubt my own strength, yet I have this further security to maintain my integrity, that I cannot part with that, without forfeiting your esteem with it.
Perpetual disorder and ill health have for some years so disguised me, that I sometimes fear I do not to my best friends enough appear what I really am. Sickness is a great oppreffor; it does great injury to a zealous heart, stilling its warmth, and not suffering it to break out in action. But, I hope, I shall not make this complaint much longer. I have other hopes that please me too, tho' not so well grounded; these are, that you may yet make a journey westward with Lord Bathurst; but of the probability of this I do not venture to reason, because I would not part with the pleasure of that belief. It grieves me to think how far I am removed from you, and from that excellent Lord, whom I love! Indeed I remember him, as one that has made ficka ness easy to me, by bearing with my infirmities in the same manner that you have always done. I often too consider him in other lights that make him valuable to me. With him, I know not by what connection, you never fail to come into my mind, as if you were inseparable. I have, as you guess, many philosophical reveries in the shades of Sir Walter Raleigh, of which you are a great part. Y generally enter there with me, and like a good Genius, applaud and ftrengthen all my sentiments that have honour in them. This good office which you Vol. VIII.
have often done me unknowingly, I must acknowledge now, that my own breast may not reproach me with ingratitude, and disquiet me when I would muse again in that folemn scene. I have not room now left to ask you many questions I intended about the Odyssey. I beg I may know how far you have carried Ulyffes on his journey, and how you have been entertained with him on the way? I defire I may hear of your health, of Mrs. Pope's, and of every thing else that belongs to you.
How thrive your garden plants? how look the trees? how spring the Brocoli and the Fenochio? hard names to spell ! how did the popies bloom? and how is the great room approved ? what parties have you had of pleasure? what in the grotto? what upon the Thames ? I would know how all your hours pass, all you say, and all you do; of which I should question you yet farther, but my paper is full and spares you. My brother Ned is wholly yours, fo my father desires to be, and every foul here whose name is Digby. My sister will be yours in particular. What can I add more?
I am, &c.
LET TER XV.
was upon the point of taking a much greater
covered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns!
A fever carried me on the high gallop towards it for fix or seven days But here you have me now, and that is all I shall say of it: since which time an impertinent lameness kept me at home twice as dong; as if fate lould say (after the other danger
ous illness) “ You shall neither go into the other “ world, nor any where you like in this.” Else who knows but I had been at Hom-lacy?
I conspire in your sentiments, emulate your pleasures, wish for your company. You are all of one heart and one foul, as was said of the primitive Christians: 'tis like the kingdom of the just upon earth; not a wicked wretch to interrupt you, but a set of try'd, experienced friends, and fellow-comforters, who have seen evil men and evil days, and have by a superior rectitude of heart set yourselves above them, and reap your reward. Why will you ever, of your own accord, end such a millennary year
in London ? transmigrate (if I may so call it) into other creatures, in that scene of folly militant, when you may reign for ever at Hom-lacy in sense and reason triumphant? I appeal to a third Lady in your family, whom I take to be the most innocent, and the least warp'd by idle fashion and cuftom of you all ; I appeal to her, if you are not every foul of you better people, better companions, and happier, where you are? I desire her opinion under her hand in your next letter, I mean Miss Scudamore's *. I am confident if she would or durst speak her sense, and employ that reasoning which God has given her, to infuse more thoughtfulness into you all; those arguments could not fail to put you to the blush, and keep you out of town, like people sensible of your own felicities. not without hopes, if she can detain a parliament man and a lady of quality from the world one winter, that I may come upon you with such irresistible arguments another year, as may carry you all with
* Afterwards Dutchess of Beaufort, at this time very young.
me to Bermudas t, the seat of all earthly happiness, and the new Jerusalem of the righteous.
Don't talk of the decay of the year, the season is good where the people are so: 'tis the best time in the
year for a painter ; there is more variety of colours in the leaves, the prospects begin to open, thro’ the thinner woods, over the valleys; and thro' the high canopies of trees to the higher arch of heaven: the dews of the morning impearl every thorn, and scatter diamonds on the verdant mantle of the earth; the frosts are fresh and wholesome : what would you have? the Moon shines too, tho' not for Lovers these cold nights, but for Aftronomers.
Have ye not reflecting Telescopes I, whereby ye may innocently magnify her spots and blemishes ? Content yourselves with them, and do not come to a place where your own eyes become reflecting Telescopes, and where those of all others are equally such upon
their neighbours. Stay you at least (for what I've said before relates only to the ladies : don't imagine I'll write about any Eyes but theirs) stay, I say, from that idle, busy-looking Sanhedrim, where wisdom or no wisdom is the eternal debate, not (as it lately was in Ireland) an accidental one.
If, after all, you will despise good advice, and resolve to come to London, here you will find me, doing just the things I should not, living where I should not, and as worldly, as idle, in a word as much an Anti-Bermudanift as any body, Dear Sir, make the ladies know I am their servant, you know
Yours, &c. + About this time the Rev. Dean Berkley conceived his project of erecting a settlement in Bermudas for the Propagation of the Christian faith, and introduction of Sciences into America.
P. I These instruments were just then brought to perfection,
LET TER XVI.
Aug. 12. Have been above a month strolling about in
Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, from garden to garden, but still returning to Lord Cobham's with fresh satisfaction. I should be sorry to see my Lady Scudamore's, till it has had the full advantage of Lord B* improvements; and then I will expect something like the waters of Riskins, and the woods of Oakley together, which (without fattery) would be at least as good as any thing in our world : For as to the hanging gardens of Babylon, the Paradise of Cyrus, and the Sharawaggi's of China, I have little or no ideas of them, but, I dare say, Lord B* has, because they were certainly both very great, and very wild. I hope Mrs. Mary Digby is quite tired of his Lordship's Extravagante Bergerie : and that she is just now fitting, or rather reclining on a bank, fatigued with over much dancing and singing at his unwearied request and instigation. I know your love of ease so well, that you might be in dan, ger of being too quiet to enjoy quiet, and too philosophical to be a philosopher; were it not for the ferment Lord B. will put you into. One of his Lordship's maxims is, that a total abftinence from intemperance or business, is no more philosophy, than a total confopition of the senses is repose; one must feel enough of its contrary to have a relish of either. But, after all, let your temper work, and be as sedate and contemplative as you will, I'll engage you shall be fit for any of us, when you come to town in the winter. Folly will laugh you into all the customs of the company here ; nothing will be able to prevent your conversion to her, but indifposition, which, I hope, will be far from you. I