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for love.) How comes it that Providence has been so unkind to me (who am a greater object of compassion than any
fat man alive) that I am forced to drink wine, while you riot in water, prepard with oranges by the hand of the Duchess of Queensberry? that I am condemn'd to live by a highway side, like an old Patriarch, receiving all guests, where my portico (as Virgil has it)
Mane falutantum totis vomit ædibus undam, while you are wrapt into the Idalian groves, sprinkled with rose-water, and live in burrage, bałm, and burnet up to the chin, with the Duchess of Queensberry? that I am doom'd to the drudgery of dining at court with the ladies in waiting at Windsor, while you are happily banish'd with the Duchess of Queensberry ? So partial is Fortune in her dispenfations! for I defer. ved ten times more to be banilh'd than you, and I know fome Ladies who merit it better than even her Grace. After this I must not name any, who dare do so much for you as to send you their services. But one there is, who exhorts me often to write to you, I suppose, to prevent or excuse her not doing it herself; the feems (for that is all I'll say for a courtier) to wish you mighty well. Another, who is no courtier, free quently mentions you, and does certainly wish you well. --- I fancy, after all, they both do so.
I writ to Mr Fortescue, and told him the pains you took to see hiin. The Dean is well; I have had ma. ny accounts of him from Irish evidence, but only two letters these four months, in both which you are men
tioned kindly: he is in the north of Ireland, doing I know not what, with I know not whom. Mr Cleland always speaks of you: he is at Tunbridge, wondering at the superior carni-voracity of our friend: he plays now with the old Duchess, nay dines with her, after she has won all his money
Other news I know not, but that Counsellor Bickford has hurt himself, and has the strongest walking staff I ever saw. He intends speedily to make you a visit with it at Amesbury. I am my Lord Duke's, my Lady Duchess's, Mr. Dormer's, General Dormer's, and
L E T TE R. XIX.
Sept. 11. 1730.
think of you daily; oftner indeed than is consittent with the character of a reasonable man, who is rather to make himself easy with the things and men that are about him, than uneasy for those which he wants. And you, whose absence is in a manner perpetual to me, ought rather to be remembred as a good man gone, than breathed after as one living. You are taken from us here, to be laid up in a more blessed state with spirits of a higher kind: fuch I reckon his Grace and her Grace, since their banishment from an earthly court to a heavenly one, in each other and their friends ; for, I conclude, none but true friends will consort or associate with them afterwards. I can't but look upon inyfelf, (so unworthy as a man of Twit.
nam seems, to be rank'd with fuch rectify'd and subli. mated beings as you) as a separated spirit too from Courts and courtly fopperies. But, I own, not altogether so divested of terrene matter, nor altogether so Spiritualized, as to be worthy admission to your depths of retirement and contentment. I am tugg’d back to the world and its regards too often; and no wonder, when my retreat is but ten miles from the capital. I am within ear-shot of reports, within the vortex of lies and censures. I hear sometimes of the lampooners of beauty, the calumniators of virtue, the jokers at reason and religion. I presume these are creatures and things as unknown to you, as we of this dirty orb are to the inhabitants of the planet Jupiter; except a few fervent prayers reach you on the wings of the post, from two or three of your zealous votaries at this distance; as one Mrs H. who lifts up her heart now and then to you, from the midst of the Colluvies and sink of human greatness at W-r; one Mrs B. that fancies you may remember her while you liv'd in your mortal and too transitory state at Petersham; one Lord B. who admir'd the Duchess before she grew a God.
and a few others. To descend now to tell you what are our wants, our complaints, and our miseries here; I must seriously say, the loss of any one good woman is too great to be borne easily: and poor Mrs Rollinfon, tho a private woman, was such. Her Husband is gone into Oxfordshire very melancholy, and thence to the Bath, to live on, for such is our fate, and duty. Adieu.
Write to me as often as you will, and (to encourage you) I will write as seldom as if
Octob. 1. 1730. I
AM something like the fun at this season, withdraw
ing from the world, but meaning it mighty well, and resolving to shine whenever I can again. But I fear the clouds of a long winter will overcome me to such a degree, that any body will take a farthing candle for a better guide, and more serviceable companion. My friends may remember my brighter days, but will think (like the Irishman) that the moon is a better thing when once I am gone. I don't say this with any allusion to my poetical capacity as a son of Apollo, but in my companionable one (if you'll suffer me to use a phrase of the Earl of Clarendon's) for I shall fee or be seen of few of you this winter. I am grown too faint to do any good, or to give any pleasure. J. not only, as Dryden finely says, feel my notes decay as a poet, but feel my spirits flag as a companion, and shall return again to where I first began, my books. I have been putting my library in order, and enlarging the chimney in it, with equal intention to warm my mind and body (if I can) to some life. A friend (a woman-friend, God help me!) with whom I have spent three or four hours a day these fifteen years, advised
me to pass more time in my studies: I reflected, the must have found some reason for this admonition, and concluded she would complete all her kindnesses to me by returning me to the employment I am fittest for ; conversation with the dead, the old, and the wormeaten.
Judge therefore if I might not treat you as a beatify'd spirit, comparing your life with my stupid state. For as to my living at Windsor with the ladies, &c. it is all a dream; I was there but two nights, and all the day out of that company. I shall certainly make as little court to others as they do to me; and that will be none at all. My Fair-weather friends of the summer are going away for London, and I shall see them and the butterflies together, if I live till next year; which I would not desire to do, if it were only for their fakes. But we that are writers, ought to love posterity, that posterity may love us; and I would willingly live to see the children of the present race, merely in hope they may be a little wiser than their Parents.
I am, &c.
L E T T E R . XXI.
no pretence of writing which satisfies me, because I have nothing to say that can give you much pleasure : only merely that I am in being, which in truth is of little consequence to one from whose conversation I am cut off by such accidents or engagements as sepa