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But my Lord is apprehenfive the country people will not understand this, and Mr Pope fays he'll make one with something of Scripture in it, and with as little of poetry as Hopkins and Sternhold *.

Your, &c.

DEAR GAY,

Thank

Sept. 11. 1722.

I

you for remembring me; I would do my beft to forget myself, but that, I find, your idea is fo closely connected to me, that I must forget both together, or neither. I am forry I could not have a glympfe either of you, or of the Sun (your father) before you went for Bath: But now it pleases me to fee him, and hear of you. Pray put Mr Congreve in

LETTER VII.

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mind that he has one on this fide of the world who loves him; and that there are more men and women in the universe than Mr Gay and my Lady Duchess. There are ladies in and about Richinond, that pretend to value him and yourfelf: and one of them at leaft may be thought to do it without affectation, namely, Mrs Howard.

Pray confult with Dr Arbuthnot and Dr Chene, to what exact pitch your belly may be fuffer'd to swell, not to outgrow theirs, who are, yet, your betters. Tell Dr Arbuthnot that even pigeon-pies and hogs puddings are thought dangerous by our governors; for those that have been sent to the Bishop of Rochester are open'd and prophanely pry'd into at the Tower: 'Tis the first time dead. pigeons have been fufpected of carrying intelligence. To be ferious, you and Mr Congreve and the Doctor will be fenfible of my concern and furprize at his commitment, whofe welfare is as much my concern as any friend's I have. I think myself a most unfortunate wretch: I no fooner love, and, upon knowledge, fix my esteem to any man, but he either dies, like Mr Craggs, or is fent to imprifonment, like the Bishop. God fend him as well as I wish him, manifeft him to be as innocent as I believe him, and make all his enemies know him as well as I do, that they may think of him as well!

If you apprehend this period to be of any danger in being addreffed to you, tell Mr Congreve or the Doctor, it is writ to them.

I am

Your, &c.

LETTER VIII.

July 13. 1722.

I

Was very much pleas'd, not to fay obliged, by your kind letter, which fufficiently warm'd my heart to have answer'd it fooner, had I not been deceived (a way one often is deceived) by hearkening to women; who told me that both Lady Burlington and yourself were immediately to return from Tunbridge, and that my Lord was gone to bring you back. The world furnishes us with too many examples of what you complain of in yours, and, I affure you, none of them touch and grieve me fo much as what relates to

you. I think your fentiments upon it are the very

fame I should entertain: I wish those we call great men had the fame notions; but they are really the moft little creatures in the world, and the most interested, in all but one point; which is, that they want judgment to know their greatest interest, to encourage and chuse honest men for their friends.

I have not once feen the perfon you complain of, whom I have of late thought to be, as the Apostle admonisheth, one flesh with his wife.

Pray make my fincere compliments to Lord Burlington, whom I have long known to have a stronger bent of mind to be all that is good and honourable, than almost any one of his rank.

I have not forgot yours to Lord Bolingbroke, tho' I hope to have speedily a fuller opportunity, he returning for Flanders and France next month.

Mrs Howard has writ you fomething or other in a letter, which, fhe says, the repents. She has as much good-nature as if he had never feen any ill-nature, and had been bred among lambs and turtledoves, inftead of Princes and court-ladies.

By the end of this week, Mr Fortescue will pass a few days with me: we shall remember you in our potations, and wish you a fisher with us, on my grass plat. In the mean time, we wish you fuccefs as a fifher of women at the Wells, a rejoicer of the comfortless and widow, and a play-fellow of the maiden. I am Your, &c.

LETTER IX.

Sept. 11. 1722.

I

Think it obliging in you to defire an account of my health. The truth is, I have never been in a worse state in my life, and find whatever I have try'd as a remedy fo ineffectual, that I give myself entirely over. I wish your health may be fet perfectly right by the waters; and, be affured, I not only with that, and every thing else for you, as common friends wish, but with a zeal not usual among those we call fo. I am always glad to hear of, and from you; always glad to fee you, whatever accidents or amufements have interven'd to make me do either lefs than ufual. I not only frequently think of you, but constantly do my best to make others do it, by mentioning you to all your acquaintance. I defire you to do the fame for me to those you are now with: do me what you

think juftice in regard to thofe who are my friends, and if there are any, whom I have unwillingly deferved fo little of as to be my enemies, I don't defire you to forfeit their opinion, or your own judgment in any cafe. Let time convince thofe who know me not, that I am an inoffenfive perfon; tho' (to fay truth) I don't care how little I am indebted to Time, for the world is hardly worth living in, at least to one that is never to have health a week together. I have been made to expect Dr Arbuthnot in town this fortnight, or elfe I had written to him. If he, by never writing to me, feems to forget me, I confider I do the fame feemingly to him, and yet I don't believe he has a more fincere friend in the world than I am: therefore I will think him mine. I am his, Mr Congreve's, and Your, &c.

LETTER X.

I

Faithfully affure you, in the midst of that melancholy with which I have been fo long encompaffed, in an hourly expectation almoft of my Mother's death; there was no circumftance that render'd it more infupportable to me, than that I could not leave her to fee you. Your own prefent escape from fo imminent danger, I pray God may prove lefs precarious than my poor Mother's can be; whofe life at best can be but a fhort Reprieve, or a longer dying. But I fear, even that is more than God will please to VOL. VI.

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