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rate us. I continue, and ever shall, to wish you all good and happiness: I wish that some lucky event might set you in a state of ease and independency all at once! and that I might live to see you as happy as this filly world and fortune can make any one. Are we never to live together more as once we did? I find my life ebbing apace, and my affections strengthening as my age increases; not that I am worse but better, in my health than last winter ; but my mind finds no amendment nor improvement, nor support to lean upon, from those about me: and fo I feel myself leaving the world, as fast as it leaves me. Companions I have enough, friends few, and those too warm in the concerns of the world, for me to bear pace with; or else lo divided froin me, that they are but like the dead whole remembrance I hold in honour. Nature, temper, and habit from my youth made me have but one strong deGire; all other ambitions, my person, education, constitution, religion, &c. conspired to remove far from
That desire was, to fix and preserve a few lasting, dependable friendships : and the accidents which have disappointed me in it, have put a period to all my aims. So I am sunk into an idleness, which makes me neicher care nor labour to be noticed by the rest of mankind; I propose no rewards to myself, and why should I take any sort of pains ? here I sit and sleep, and probably here I shall sleep till I feep for ever, like the old inan of Verona. I hear of what passes in the
AND (busy world with so little attention, that I forget it the next day: and as to the learned world, there is nothing passes in it. I have no more to add, but that I am with the same truth as ever
L E T T E R XXII.
Octob. 23. 1730. UR letter is a very kind one, but I can't say
so pleasing to me as many of yours have been, thro’ the account you give of the dejection of your fpirits. I wish the too constant use of water does not * contribute to it; I find Dr Arbuthnot and another very knowing physician of that opinion. I also with you were not so totally immersed in the country ; I - hope your return to Town will be a prevalent remedy against the evil of too much recollection. I wish it partly for my own sake. We have lived little together of late, and we want to bę physicians for one another. It is a remedy that agreed very well with us both for many years, and I fancy our constitutions would mend upon the old medicine of Studiorum fimilitudo, &c. I believe we both of us want whetting; there are several here who will do you that good office, merely for the love of wit, which seems to be bidding the town a long and last adieu. I can tell you of no one thing worth reading, or seeing; the whole age seems resolv'd to justify the Dunciad, and it may stand for a public Epitaph or monumental Inscription like that at Thermopylæ, on a whole people perib'd!
There may indeed be a Wooden image or two of Poetry set up, to preserve the memory that there once were bards in Britain; and (like the Giants at Guildhall) fhow the bulk and bad taste of our ancestors : - At present the poor Laureat * and Stephen Duck serve for this purpose ; a drunken fot of a Parson holds forth the emblem of Inspiration, and an honest industrious Thresh. er not unaptly represents Pains and Labour. I hope this Phænomenon of Wiltshire has appear'd at Amesbury, or the Duchess will be thought insensible to all bright qualities and exalted genius's, in court and country alike. But he is a harmless man, and therefore I. am glad.
This is all the news talk'd of at court; but it will please you better to hear that Mrs Howard talks of you, tho' not in the same breath with the Thresher, as they do of me. By the way,
feen or convers’d with M. Chubb, who is a wonderful Phænomenon of Wiltshire ? I have read thro' his whole volume with admiration of the writer; tho' not always with approbation of the doctrine. I have past just three days in London in four months, two at Windsor, half an'one at Richmond, and have not taken one excur. sion into any other country. Judge now whether I can live in my library. Adieu. Live mindful of one of your first friends, who will be fo to the last. Mrs Blount deferves your remembrance, for she never forgets you, and wants nothing of being a friend to
I beg the Duke's and her Grace's acceptance of my services: the contentment you express in their company pleases me, tho' it be the bar to my own, in divie ding you from us. I am ever very truly
L ET TER XXIII.
Oct. 2. 1732. IR Clem. Cotterel tells me you will shortly come
to town. We begin to want comfort in a few friends about us, while the winds whistle, and the wa.
The fun gives us a parting look, but 'tis but a cold one:
we are ready to change those distant favours of a lofty beauty, for a gross material fire that warms and comforts more. I wish you could be here lill your family come to town: you'll live more inno. cently, and kill fewer harmless creatures, nay none, except by your proper deputy, the butcher. It is fit for conscience fake, that you should come to town, and that the Duchess should stay in the country, where no innocents of another species may suffer by her. I hope she never goes to church: the Duke should lock you both up,
and less harm would be done. I advise you to make man your game, hunt and beat about here for coxcombs, and trufs up Rogues in Satire: I fancy they'll turn to a good account, if you can produce them fresh, or make them keep: and their relations will come, and buy their bodies of you.
With ev'ry pleasing, ev'ry prudent part,
The death of Wilks leaves Cibber without a collegue, absolute and perpetual ditator of the stage, tho' indeed while he lived he was but as Bibulus to Cæfar. However ambition finds something to be gratify'd with in a mere name; or else, God have mercy upon poor ambition! Here is a dead vacation at present, no politics at court, no trade in town, nothing stirring but poetry. Every man, and every boy, is writing verfes on the Royal Hermitage: I hear the Queen is at a loss which to prefer ; but for my own part, I like none fo well as Mr Poyntz's in Latin. You would oblige my Lady Suffolk if you tried your Muse on this occasion. I am sure I would do as inuch for the Duchess of Queensberry, if she desired it. Several of
friends assure me it is expected from you: one should not bear in mind, all one's life, any little indignity one receives from a Court ; and therefore I am in hopes, neither her Grace will hinder you, nor you decline it.
The volume of Miscellanies is just publish'd, which concludes all our fooleries of that kind. All your friends remember you, and, I assure you, no one more than
L ETTER XXIV.
From Mr Gay to Mr Pope.
Oct. 7. 1732 I Am at last return’d from my Somerset fire expediti:
on; but since my return I cannot so much boast of my health as before I went, for I am frequently out of