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fhall fupport his children. I beg a line from you directed to the Poft-house in Bath. Poor Parnelle is in an ill state of health.

Pardon me if I add a word of advice in the poetical way. Write fomething on the King, or Prince, or Princess. On whatsoever foot you may be with the court, this can do no harm----I fhall never know where to end, and am confounded in the many things I have to fay to you, tho' they all amount but to this, that I am entirely, as ever.


Your, &c.

London. Nov. 8, 1717.


AM extremely glad to find by a Letter of yours to Mr Fortescue, that you have received one from me; and I beg you to keep, as the greatest of curiofities, that letter of mine which you received, and I never writ.

But the truth is, that we were made here to expect you in a short time, that I was upon the ramble moft part of the Summer, and have concluded the feafon in grief, for the death of my poor father.

I shall not enter into a detail of my concerns and troubles, for two reafons; because I am really afflicted and need no airs of grief, and because they are not the concerns and troubles of any but myfelf. But I think you (without too great a compliment) enough my friend, to be pleas'd to know he died eafily, without a groan, or the fickness of two

minutes; in a word, as filently and peacefully as he


Sic mihi contingat vivere, ficque mori!

I am not in the humour to fay gay things, nor in the affectation of avoiding them. I can't pretend to entertain either Mr Pulteney or you, as you have done both my Lord Burlington and me, by your letter to Mr Lowndes*. I am only forry you have no greater quarrel to Mr Lowndes, and with you paid fome hundreds a year to the land-tax. That gentleman is lately become an inoffensive perfon to me too ; fo that we may join heartily in our addreffes to him, and (like true patriots) rejoice in all that good done to the nation and government, to which we contribute nothing ourselves.

I should not forget to acknowledge your letter fent from Aix; you told me then that writing was not good with the waters, and, I find fince, you are of my opinion, that 'tis as bad without the waters. But, I fancy, it is not writing but thinking, that is fo bad with the waters; and then you might write without any manner of prejudice, if you writ like our brother Poets of these days.

The Duchefs, Lord Warwick, Lord Stanhope, Mrs Bellenden, Mrs Lepell, and I can't tell who elfe, had your letters: Dr Arbuthnot, and I, expect to be treatVOL. VI.


* A Poem intitled, To my ingenious and worthy friend W. Lowndes, Efq; Author of that celebrated treatije in Folio, called the LAND TAX BILL.

ed like friends. I would fend my services to Mr Pulteney, but that he is out of favour at court; and make fame compliment to Mrs Pulteney, if he were not a Whig. My Lord Burlington tells me fhe has much out-fhin'd all the French ladies, as fhe did the English before: I am forry for it, because it will be detrimental to our holy religion, if heretical women fhould eclipfe thofe Nuns and orthodox Beauties, in whose eyes alone lie all the hopes we can have, of gaining fuch fine gentlemen as you to our church.

Your, &c.

I wish you joy of the birth of the young prince, because he is the only prince we have from whom you have had no expectations and no disappointments.


From Mr GAY to M. F.

Stanton-Harcourt, Aug. 9. 1718.



HE only news that you can expect to have from me here, is news from heaven, for I am quite out of the world, and there is scarce any thing can reach me except the noife of thunder, which undoubtedly you have heard too. We have read in old authors, of high towers levéll'd by it to the ground, while the humble valleys have efcap'd: the only thing that is proof against it is the laurel, which, however, I take to be no great fecurity to the brains of modern authors. But to let you fee that the; contrary to this often happens, I muft acquaint you, that the highest and most


extravagant heap of towers in the univerfe, which is in this neighbourhood, ftand ftill undefaced, while a cock. of barley in our next field has been confumed to ashes. Would to God that this heap of barley had been all that had perished! for unhappily beneath this little fhelter fate two much more conftant Lovers than ever were found in Romance under the fhade of a beechtree. John Hewet was a well-fet man of about five and twenty, Sarah Drew might be rather called comely than beautiful, and was about the fame age. They had pass'd thro' the various labours of the year toge ther, with the greatest satisfaction; if the milk'd, 'twas his morning and evening care, to bring the cows to her hand; it was but laft fair that he bought her a prefent of green filk for her ftraw hat, and the pofie on her filver ring was of his chufing. Their love was the talk of the whole neighbourhood; for fcandal never affirmed, that they had any other views than the lawful poffeffion of each other in marriage. It was that very morning that he had obtain'd the confent of her parents, and it was but till the next week that they were to wait to be happy. Perhaps in the intervals of their work they were now talking of the wedding cloaths, and John was fuiting feveral forts of poppies and field flowers to her complexion, to chufe her a knot for the wedding-day. While they were thus bufied (it was on the laft of July between two and three in the afternoon) the clouds grew black, and fuch a ftorm of lightning and thunder enfued, that all the labourers made the beft of their way to what fhel


ter the trees and hedges afforded. Sarah was frighted,
and fell down in a fwoon, on a heap of barley. John
who never feparated from her, fat down by her fide,
having raked together two or three heaps, the better to
fecure her from the ftorm. Immediately there was
heard fo loud a crack, as if heaven had split asunder;
every one was now folicitous for the safety of his neigh-
bour, and called to one another throughout the field:
No anfwer being returned to those who called to our
Lovers, they stept to the place where they lay; they
perceived the barley all in a fioke, and then spied this
faithful pair: John with one arm about Sarah's neck,
and the other held over her, as to skreen her from the
lightning. They were ftruck dead, and ftiffen'd in
this tender pofture. Sarah's left eye-brow was fing'd,
and there appeared a black spot on her breaft: her
lover was all over black, but not the least signs of life
were found in either. Attended by their melancholy
companions, they were convey'd to the town, and the
next day were inter'd in Stanton-Harcourt Church-
yard. My Lord Harcourt, at Mr Pope's and my re-
quest, has caused a stone to be placed over them, upon
condition that we furnish'd the Epitaph, which is as

When Eaftern lovers feed the fun'ral fire,
On the fame pile the faithful pair expire:
Here pitying Heaven that virtue mutual found,
And blafted both, that it might neither wound.
Hearts fo fincere th' Almighty faw well-pleas'd,
Sent his own lightning, and the victims feiz'd.

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