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To HENRY CROMWELL, Efq;
June 27. 1727. the many
great oppressions I have sighed under have occasioned, one is at a loss how to begin a letter to so kind friend as yourself. But as it was always my resolution, if I must sink, to do it as decently (that is, as filently) as I could; fo when I found myself plunged into unfore. feen, and unavoidable ruin, I retreated from the world, and in a manner buried myself in a dismal place, where I knew none and none knew me. In this dull unthinking way I have protracted a lingering death (for life it cannot be called) ever since
you saw me, sequestered from company, deprived of my books, and nothing Jeft to converse with, but the letters of my dead or absent friends; among which latter I always placed your's, and Mr Pope's in the first rank. I lent some of them indeed to an ingenious person, who was so delighted with the specimen, that he importuned me for a light of the rest, which having obtained, he conveyed them to the prefs, I must not fay, altogether with my consent, nor wholly without it. I thought them too good to be lost in oblivion, and had no cause to apprelend the disobliging of any. The public, viz. all perfons of taste and judgment, would be pleafed with so agreeable an amusement; Mr Cromwell could not be angry, fioce it was but justice to his merit, to publish the solemo and private profesions of love, gratitude and veneration, made him by fo celebrated an author;, and fincerely Mr Pope ought not to resent the publication, lince the early pregnancy of his genius was no dilho.
nour to his character. And yet had either of
been alked, common modelty would have obliged you to refuse, what you would not be displeased with, if done without your knowledge. And besides, to end all dispute, you had been pleased to make me a free gift of them, to do what I pleased with them ; and every one knows, that the person to whom a letter is addressed, has the same right to dispose of it, as he has of goods purchased with his money. I doubt not but your generosity and honour will do me the right, of owning by a line that I came honestly by them. I flatter myself, in a few months, I shall again be visible to the world; and whenever thro' good providence that turn shall happen, I shall joyfully acquaint you with it, there being none more truly your obliged servant, than Sir,
Your faithful, and
P. S. A Letter, Sir, directed to Mrs Thomas, to be left at my house, will be safely transmitted to her, by
Your, &c. E. CURLL.
To Mr POPE.
Epsom, July 6. 1727. THEN these letters were first printed, I wonder
ed how Curll could come by them, and could not but laugh at the pompous title; since whatever you wrote to me was humour, and familiar raillery.
As soon as I came from Epsom, I heard you had beer to see me, and I writ you a short letter from Will's, that I longed to see you. Mr D's, about that time charged me with giving them to a mistress, which I positively denied : not in the least at that time thinking of it; but some time after, finding in the New3 papers, Letters from Lady Packington, Lady Chudleigh, and Mr Norris; to the fame Sappho or E. T. I began to fear I was guilty. I have never seen thefe Letters of Curll's, nor would go to his shop about them ; I have not seen this Sappho alias E. T. these seven years.. Her writing, That I gave her 'em, to do what she would with 'em, is straining the point too far. I thought not of it, nor do I think she did then ; but fevere necessity which catehes hold of a twig, bas produced all this ; which has lain hid, and forgot, by me so many years. Curll sent me a letter last week, desiring a positive anfwer. about this matter; but finding I would give him none, he went to E. T. and writ a postscript in her long romantic, letter, to direct my answer to his house; but they not expecting an answer, lent a young man to me, whose name, it seems, is Pattifon.. I told him I should not write any thing, but I believed it might be, so as she writ in her letter. I am. extremely concerned that my former indiscretion in putting them into the hands of this Pretieuf, should have given you so much disturbance; for the last thing I Mould do, would be to disoblige you, for whom I have ever pre. served the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, Sir,
Your faithful Friend, and
most humble Servant,
To Mr Pop E.
Aug. 1. 1727. 'HO'I writ my long narrative from Epsom till
any doubt should rest upon your mind. I could not make proteftations of my innocence of a grievous crime; but I was impatient till I came to town, that I might send you those Letters as a clear evidence that I was a perfect stranger to all their proceeding. Should I have protested against it, after the printing, it might have been taken for an attempt to decry his purchase ; and as the little exception you have taken has served him to play his game upon us for these two years, a new incident from me might enable him to play it on for two more. The great value the expresses for all you write, and her passion for having them, I believe was what prevailed upon me to let her keep them. By the interval of twelve years at least, from her poffeffion to the time of printing them, 'tis manifest, that I had not the least ground to apprehend such a design:, but as people in great straits, bring forth their hoards of old gold and most valued jewels; fo Sappho had recourse to her hid treasure of Letters, and played off not only your's to me, but all those to herself (as the lady's last stake) into the press.-As for me, I hope, when you shall coolly consider the many thousand instances of our being deluded by the females, since that great Ori
ginal of Adam by Eve, you will have a more favour-
Your faithful Friend,
Now, should our apology for this publication be as ill received, as the lady's seems to have been by the gentlemen concerned, we shall at least have Her Comfort of being thanked by the rest of the world. Nor has Mr P. himself any great cause to think it much offence to his modesiy, or reflection on his judgment; when we take care to inform the public, that there are few Letters of his in this collection, which were not written under twenty years of age: on the other hand, we doubt not the reader will be much more surprized to find at that early period, so much variety of style, affecting sentiment, and justness of criticism, in pieces which must bave been writ in hafie, very few perhaps ever reviewed, and none intended for the eye of the public.