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over other mens minds and affections, by that which you will ever have over those of
LET TER XII.
From the Bishop of Rochester.
Feb. 26, 1721-2: Ermit me, dear Sir, to break into
retirement, and to defire of you a complete copy those Verses on Mr. Addison *; send me also your last resolution, which shall punctually be observ'd in relation to my giving out any copy of it; for I am again sollicited by another Lord, to whom I have given the same answer as formerly. No small piece of your writing has been ever fought after so much : it has pleas'd every man without exception, to whom it has been read. Since
you now therefore know where your real strength lies, I hope you will not fuffer that talent to lie unemploy'd. For my part, I should be so glad to see you finish something of that kind, that I could be content to be a little sneer'd at in a line or so, for the sake of the pleasure I should have in reading the rest. I have talk'd my sense of this matter to you once or twice, and now I put it under my hand, that you may see it is my deliberate opinion. What weight that may have with
you I cannot say: but it pleases me to have an opportunity of Thewing you how well I wish you, and how true a friend I am to your fame, which I desire may grow every day, and in every kind of writing, to which you shall please to
* An imperfe&t Copy was got out, very much to the Author's surprize, who never would give any.
turn your pen. Not but that I have some little interest in the proposal, as I shall be known to have been acquainted with a man that was capable of excelling in such different manners, and did such honour to his country and language ; and yet was not displeas'd sometimes to read what was written by his humble servant.
LET TER XIII.
March 14, 1721-2.
Was disappointed (much more than those who
commonly use that phrase on such occasions) in miffing you at the Deanry, where I lay solitary two nights. Indeed I truly partake in any degree of concern that affects you, and I wish every thing may succeed as you desire in your own family, and in that which, I think, you no less account your own, and is no less your family, the whole world : for I take you to be one of the true friends of it, and to your power its protector. Tho' the noise and daily bustle for the public be now over, I dare say, a good man is still tendering its welfare ; as the sun in the winter, when seeming to retire from the world, is preparing benedictions and warmth for a better season. No man wishes your Lordship more quiet, more tranquillity, than Í, who know you should understand the value of it: but I don't wish you a jot less concern’d or less active than you are, in all fincere, and therefore warm, desires of public good.
I beg the kindness (and 'tis for that chiefly I trouble
you with this letter) to favour me with notice as soon as you return to London, that I may come and make you a proper visit of a day or two : for hitherto I have not been your visiter, but your
Lodger, and I accuse myself of it. I have now no earthly thing to oblige my being in town (a point of no small satisfaction to me) but the best reason, the seeing a friend. As long, my Lord, as you will let me call you so (and I dare say you will, till I forfeit what, I think, I never shall, my veracity and integrity) I shall esteem myself fortunate, in spite of the South-sea, Poetry, Popery, and Poverty.
I can't tell you how sorry I am, you should be troubled a-new by any sort of people. I heartily wilh, Quod fupereft, ut tibi viva—that you may teach me how to do the same: who, without any real impediment to acting and living rightly, do act and live as foolishly as if I were a Great man.
I am, &c.
L E T T E R XIV.
From the Bishop of RochesteR.
March 16, 1721-2.
other denomination foever) you are always welcome to me; and will be more fo, I hope, every day that we live : for, to tell you the truth, I like you I like myself, best when we have both of us least business. It has been my fate to be engaged in it much and often, by the stations in which I was placed : but God, that knows my heart, knows I never loved it:' and am still lefs in love with it than ever, as I find less temptation to act with any hope of success. If I am good for any thing, 'tis in angulo cum libello ; and yet a good part of my time has been spent, and perhaps must be spent, far otherwise. For I will never, while I have health, Vol. VIII.
be wanting to my duty in any poft, or in any respect, how little foever I
my employment, and how hopeless foever I may be in the discharge of it.
In the mean time the judicious world is pleas'd to think that I delight in work which I am obliged to undergo, and aim at things which I from my heart despise; let them think as they will, fo I might be at liberty to act as I will, and spend my time in such a manner as is mofc agreeable to me. I cannot say I do fo now, for I am here without any books, and if I had them could not use them to my satisfaction, while
mind is taken up in a more melancholy * manner; and how long, or how little a while it may be so taken up God only knows, and to, bis will I implicitly resign myself in every thing
I am, &c.
March 19, 1721-2. Am extremely sensible of the repeated favour of
absence, even among thoughts of much nearer concern to yourself on the one hand, and of much more importance to the world on the other, which cannot but engage you at this juncture. I am very certain of your good will, and of the warmth which is in you inseparable from it.
Your remembrance of Twitenham is a fresh inftance of that partiality. I hope the advance of the fine season will set you upon your legs, enough to enable you to get into my garden, where I will carry
* In his Lady's last Sickness,
you up a Mount, in a point of view to shew you the glory of my little kingdom. If you approve it, I Thall be in danger to boast, like Nebuchadnezzar, of the things I have made, and to be turn’d to converse, not with the beasts of the field, but with the birds of the grove, which I shall take to be no great punishment. For indeed I heartily despise the ways of the world, and moft of the great ones of it.
Oh keep me innocent, make others great! And you may judge how comfortably I am strengthen'd in this opinion, when such as your Lordship bear testimony to its vanity and emptiness. Tinnit, inane eft, with the picture of one ringing on the globe with his finger, is the best thing I have the luck to remember in that great Poet Quarles (not that I forget the Devil at bowls; which I know to be your Lordship's favourite cut, as well as favourite diversion.)
The situation here is pleafant, and the view rural enough, to humour the most retired, and agree with the most contemplative. Good air, solitary groves, and sparing diet, fufficient to make you fancy yourself (what you are in temperance, tho' elevated into a greater figure by your ftation) one of the Fathers of the Desert. Here you may think (to use an author's words, whom you fo juftly prefer to all his followers that you'll receive them kindly, tho' taken from his worst work *)
That in Eliah's banquet you partake,
I am sincerely free with you, as you desire I fhould, and approve of your not having your coach
The Paradise Regain'd. I suppose this was in compliment to the Bishop. It could hardly be his own opinion.