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which I can't surmount: want of health, want of time, want of good eyes; and one yet stronger than them all, I write not upon the terms of other men, For however glad I might be, of expresling my respect, opening my mind, or venting my concerns, to my private friends; I hardly dare while there are Curls in the world. If you please to reflect either on the impertinence of weak admirers, the malice of low enemies, the avarice of mercenary Booksellers, or the file ly curiosity of people in general; you'll confels I have small reason to indulge correspondencies: in which too I want materials, as I live altogether out of town, and have abstracted my mind (I hope) to better things than common news. I wish my friends would fendi me back those forfeitures of my discretion, commit to my justice what I trusted only to their indulgence, and return me at the year's end those trifling letters, which can be to them but a day's amusement, but to me may prove a discredit as lasting and extensive, as the aforesaid weak admirers, mean enemies, mercenary scriblers, or curious fimpletons, can make it.
I come now to a particular you complain of, my not answering your question about sone Party-papers, and their authors. This indeed I could not tell you, because I never was, or will be privy to such papers : And if by accident, thro' my acquaintance with any of the writers, I had known a thing they conceal'd; I should certainly never be the Reporter of it.
For my waiting on you at your country-house, I have often wish'd it; it was my compliance to a fuperior duty that hinder'd me, and one which you are too good a Christian to wish I should have broken, having never ventur'd to leave my mother (at her great age) for more than a week, which is too little for . fuch a journey.
Upon the whole, I must acquit myself of any act or thought, in prejudice to the regard I owe you, as fo long and obliging an acquaintance and correspondent. I am sure I have all the good wishes for yourself and your family, that become a friend: There is no accident that can happen to your advantage, and no action that can redound to your credit, which I should not be ready to extol, or to rejoice in. And there. fore I beg you to be assured, I am in disposition and will, tho' not fo much as I would be in testimonies or writing,
L E T T E R XLII.
To Mr RICHARDSON.
Jan. 13. 1732. I
Have at last gót my Mother fo well, as to allow
myself to be absent froin her for three days. As Sunday is one of them, I do not know whether I may propose to you to employ it in the manner you mentioned to me once. Sir Godfrey call'd employing the pencil, the prayer of a painter, and affirmed it to be
his proper way of serving God, by the talent he gave hiin. I am sure, in this instance, it is serving your friend; and, you know, we are allowed to do that (nay even to help a neighbour's ox or als) on the fabbath: which tho' it may seem a general precept, yet in one sense particularly applies to you, who have help'd many a human ox, and many a human afs, to the likeness of man, not to say of God.
Believe, me, dear Sir, with all good wishes for yourself and your family (the happiness of which) ties, I know by experience, and have learn’d to value from the late danger of losing the best of mine),
L E T T E R
To the same.
Twickenham, June 1o. 1733.
another, I hoped that this day our wishes would have met, and brought you hither. And this for the very reason which possibly might hinder your coming, that my poor Mother is dead *. I thank God, her death was as easy, as her life was innocent; and as it cost her not a groan, or even a sigh, there is yet upon her countenance such an expression of Tranquillity, nay, almost of Pleafure, that it is even amiable to behold it. It would afford the finest Image of a Saint expir’d, that ever Painting drew; and it would be the
• Mrs Pope died the fiventh of June, 1733, aged 93,
greatest obligation which even That obliging Art could ever bestow on a friend, if you could come and sketch it for me.
I am sure, if there be no very prevalent obstacle, you will leave any common business to do this: and I hope to see you this evening as late as you will, or to-morrow morning as early, before this winter-flower is faded. I will defer her interment till to-morrow night. I know you love me, or I could not have written this-I could not (at this time) have written at all –Adieu! May you die as happily!
L E T T E R XLIV.
To the same.
T is hardly possible to tell you the joy your pencil
gave me, in giving me another friend, so much the fame! and which (alas for mortality!) will out.laft the other. Pofterity will, thro' your means, see the man whom it will for ages honour *, vindicate, and applaud, when envy is no more, and when (as I have already said in the Effay to which you are fo partial)
The fores Mall bluflo their fathers were kis foes. That Effay has many faults, but the poem you fent me has but one, and that I can easily forgive. Yet I would not have it printed for the world, and yet I would not have it kept unprinted neither--but all is good time. I'ın glad you publish your Milton. -}y will be angry at you, and at me too shortly
for what I could not help, a Satyrical Poem on Verbal Criticism by Mr Mallet, which he has inscribed to me ; but the poem itself is good another cause of anger to any Critic.) As for myself, I resolve to go on in my quiet, calm, moral course, taking no sort of notice of man's anger, or woman's scandal, with Virtue in my eyes, and Truth upon my tongue. Adieu.
To Mr B ET H E L.
Aug. 9. 1733. Ou might well think me negligent or forgetful
of you, if true friendship and sincere esteem were to be measured by common fornis and compliments. The truth is, I could not write then, without saying something of my own condition, and of my loss of so old and so deserving a parent, which really would have troubled you ; or I must have kept a silence upon
that head, which would not have suited that freedom and sincere opening of the heart which is due to you from
I am now pretty well; but my home is uneasy to me ftill, and I am therefore wandering about all this sumıner. I was but four days at Twickenham since the occasion that made it so melancholy. I have been a fortnight in Essex, and am now at Dawley (whose master is your servant) and going to Cirencelter to Lord Bathurst. I shall also see Southampton with Lord Peterborow. The Court and Twit'nam I shall forsake together. I wish I did not leave our friend *, who delerves more quiet, and more health and
• Mrs B: