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But my Lord is apprehensive the country people will not understand this, and Mr Pope says he'll make one with something of Scripture in it, and with as little of poetry as Hopkins and Sternhold *.
Sept. 11. 1722. I Thank you for remembring me; I would do my
best to forget myself, but that, I find, your idea is'. so closely connected to me, that I must forget both together, or neither. I am sorry I could not have a glympse either of you, or of the Sun (your father) before you went for Bath: But now it pleases me to see him, and hear of you. Pray put Mr Congreve in
* The Epitaph was this,
Near this place lie the bodies of
an industrious young Man
(with several others)
the last day of July 1718. Think not by rig'rous Judgment sciz'd,
A Pair fo faithful could expire; Victims so pure Heav'o faw well pleas'd,
And snatch'd them in celestial fire. Live well, and fear no sudden fate;
When God calls Virtue to the grave, Alike 'tis Justice soon or late,
Mercy alike to kill or save. Virtue unmou'd can hear the call,
And face the Aali that melts the ball,
mind that he has one on this side 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 yourself: and one of them at least may be thought to do it without affeétation, namely, Mrs Howard.
Pray consult with Dr Arbuthnot and Dr Chene, to what exact pitch your belly may be suffer'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 opend and prophanely pry'd into at the Tower: 'Tis the first time dead pigeons have been suspected of carrying intelligence. To be serious, you and Mr Congreve and the Doctor will be sensible of my concern and surprize at his commitment, whose welfare is as much my concern as any friend's I have. I think myself a most unfortunate wretch : I no sooner love, and, upon knowledge, fix my elteem to any man, but he either dies, like Mr Craggs, or is sent to imprifonment, like the Bishop. God send him as well as I wish him, manifest him to be as innocent as I believe him, and make all his enemies know him as well as I do, that they inay think of him as well !
If you apprehend this period to be of any danger in being addressed to you, tell Mr Congreve or the Doctor, it is writ to them.
'L E T T E R VIII.
July 13.17 22 Was very much pleas'd, not to say obliged, by your
kind letter, which fufficiently warm'd my heart to have answer'd it sooner, 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
was gone to bring you back. The world furnishes us with too many examples of what you complain of in yours, and, I assure you, none of them touch and grieve me so much as what relates to you. I think your sentiments upon it are the
very fame I should entertain : I wish those we call great men had the same notions ; but they are really the most 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 èncourage and chuse honest men for their friends.
I have not once seen the person you complain of, whom I have of late thought to be, as the Apostle admonisheth, one flesh with his wife.
Pray make my sincere 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 something or other in a letter, which, she says, she repents. She has as much good-nature as if she had never seen any ill-nature, and had been bred among lambs and turtledoves, instead 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 wilh you success as a fisher of women at the Wells, a rejoicer of the comfortless and widow, and a play-fellow of the maiden. I am
L E T T E R IX.
Sept. 11. 1722. Think it obliging in you to desire 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 set perfe&tly right by the waters; and, be assured, I not only with that, and
every thing else for you, as common friends wilh, but with a zeal not usual among those we call fo. I am always glad to hear of, and from you; always glad to see you, whatever accidents or amusements have interven'd to make me do either less than usual. 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 desire you to do the same for me to those you are now with: do me what you
think justice in regard to those who are my friends, and if there are any, whom I have unwillingly deserved so little of as to be my enemies, I don't desire you to forfeit their opinion, or your own judgment in any case. Let time convince those who know me not, that I am an inoffenfive perfon; tho' (to say 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 else I had written to him. If he, by never writing to me, seems to forget me, I consider I do the same 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 an his, Mr Congreve's, and
L E T T E R X.
you, in the midst of that melancholy with which I have been so long encompassed, in an hourly expectation almost of my Mother's death; there was no circumstance that render'a it more infupportable to me, than that I could not leave her to see you. Your own present escape from so imminent danger, I pray God may prove leis precarious than my poor Mother's can be; whole life at best can be but a short Reprieve, or a longer dying. But I fear, even that is niore than God will please to Vol. VI.