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grant me; for, these two days paft, her most dangerous fymptoms are returned upon her; and, unless there be a fudden change, I must in a few days, if not in a few hours, be depriv'd of her. In the afflicting profpect before me, I know nothing that can so much alleviate it as the view now given me (Heaven grant it may increase!) of your recovery. In the fincerity of my Heart, I am exceffively concern'd, not to be able to pay you, dear Gay, any part of the debt, I very gratefully remember, I owe you on a like fad occafion, when you was here comforting me in her laft great illness. May your health augment as faft as, I fear, her's must decline: I believe that would be very fast-' may the Life that is added to you be past in good fortune and tranquillity, rather of your own giving to yourself, than from any expectations or truft in others. May you and I live together, without wifhing more felicity or acquifitions than Friendship can give and receive without obligations to Greatness. God keep you, and three or four more of thofe I have known as long, that I may have fomething worth the furviving my Mother. Adieu, dear Gay, and believe me (while you live, and while I live)

Your, &c.

As I told you in my last letter, I repeat it in this: Do not think of writing to me. The Doctor, Mrs, Howard, and Mrs Blount give me daily accounts of

you.

LETTER XI.

I

Sunday Night. Truly rejoiced to fee your hand-writing, though I fear'd the trouble it might give you. I wish I had not known that you are ftill fo exceffively weak. Every day for a week past I had hopes of being able in a day or two more to fee you. But my Mother advances not at all, gains no strength, and feems but upon the whole to wait for the next cold day to throw her into a Diarrhoea, that muft, if it return, carry her off. This being daily to be fear'd, makes me not dare to go a day from her, left that should prove to be her laft. God fend you a speedy recovery, and fuch a total one as, at your time of life, may be expected. You need not call the few words I writ to you either kind or good; that was, and is, nothing. But whatever I have in my nature of kindness, I really have for you, and whatever good I could do, I would, among the very first, be glad to do to you. In your circumstance the old Roman farewell is proper, Vive memor noftri. Your, &c.

I send you a very kind letter of Mr Digby, between whom and me two letters have pafs'd concerning you.

LETTER XII.

No

you;

O words can tell you the great concern I feel for I affure you it was not, and is not leffened, by the immediate apprehenfion I have now every day lain under of lofing my Mother. Be affur'd, no

duty less than that should have kept me one day from attending your condition: I would come and take a room by you at Hampstead, to be with you daily, were she not still in danger of death. I have conftantly had particular accounts of you from the Doctor, which have not ceas'd to alarm me yet. God preferve your life, and restore your health. I really beg it for my own fake, for I feel I love you more than I thought in health, tho' I always loved you a great deal. If I am fo unfortunate as to bury my poor Mother, and yet have the good fortune to have my prayers heard for you, I hope we may live moft of our remaining days together. If, as I believe, the air of a better clime, as the Southern part of France, may be thought ufeful for your recovery, thither I would go with you infallibly; and it is very probable we might get the Dean with us, who is in that abandon'd state already in which I shall shortly be, as to other cares and duties. Dear Gay, be as chearful as your fufferings will permit: God is a better friend than a Court; even any honeft man is a better. I promise you my entire friendship in all events, heartily praying for your recovery.

Your, &c.

Do not write, if you are ever fo able: the Doctor tells me all.

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LETTER XIII.

I

Am glad to hear of the progress of your recovery, and the oftner I hear it, the better, when it becomes easy to you to give it me. I fo well remember the confolation you were to me in my Mother's former illness, that it doubles my concern at this time not to be able to be with you, or you able to be with me. Had I lost her, I would have been no where else but with you during your confinement. I have now past five weeks without once going from home, and without any company but for three or four of the days. Friends rarely stretch their kindness so far as ten miles. My Lord Bolingbroke and Mr Bethel have not forgotten to visit me: the reft (except Mrs Blount once) were contented to fend meffages. I never paffed fo melancholy a time, and now Mr Congreve's death touches me nearly. It was twenty years and more that I have known him; Every year carries away fomething dear with it, till we outlive all tendernesfes, and become wretched individuals again as we begun. Adieu! This is my birth-day, and this is my reflection upon it.

With added days if life give nothing new,
But, like a Sieve, let ev'ry Pleafure thro';
Some Foy ftill loft, as each vain Year runs o'er,
And all we gain, fome fad Reflection more!
Is this a Birth-day ?· -Tis, alas! too clear,
'Tis but the Fun'ral of the former Year.

Your, &c.

LETTER XIV.

To the Honourable Mrs..

June 20.

WE cannot omit taking this occafion to congra

tulate you upon the increase of your family, for your Cow is this morning very happily deliver'd of the better fort, I mean a female calf; fhe is as like her mother as the can ftare. All Knights Errants Palfreys were distinguish'd by lofty names: we see no reason why a Paftoral Lady's fheep and calves fhould want names of the fofter found; we have therefore given her the name of Cæfar's wife, Calfurnia: imagining, that as Romulus and Remus were fuckled by a wolf, this Roman lady was suckled by a cow, from whence she took that name. In order to celebrate this birth-day, we had a cold dinner at Marble-hill*. Mrs Sufan offered us wine upon the occafion, and upon fuch an occafion we could not refufe it. Our entertainment confifted of flesh and fish, and the lettice of a Greek Ifland called Cos. We have fome thoughts of dining there to morrow, to celebrate the day after the birth-day, and on Friday to celebrate the day after that, where we intend to entertain Dean Swift; because we think your hall the most delightful room in the world except that where you are. If it was not for you, we would forfwear all courts; and really it is the most mortifying thing in nature, that we can * Mrs Howard's houfe.

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