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which we shall give at length, both as it is fomething curious, and as it may serve for an apology for ourselves.
TO HENRY CROMWELL, Esq.
June 27, 1727 FTER so long a silence as the many
and great oppressions I have sighed under have occafioned, one is at a loss how to begin a letter to so kind a friend as yourself.But as it was always my resolution, if I must fink, to do it as decently (that is, as silently) as I could; fo when I found myself plunged into unforeseen, 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 lingring death (for life it cannot be called) ever since you saw me, fequestered from company, deprived of my books, and nothing left to converse with, but. the letters of
dead or absent friends; among. which latter I always placed yours, 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 sight of the rest, which having ob
tained, he conveyed them to the press, I must not say altogether with my consent, nor wholly. without it. I thought them too good to be lost in oblivion, and had no cause to apprehend the disobliging of any: The public, viz. all persons of taste and judgment, would be pleased with so agreeable an amusement; Mr. Cromwell could not be angry, since it was but justice to his merit, to publish the folemn and private professions of love, gratitude, and veneration, made him by so celebrated an author ; and sincerely Mr. Pope qught not to resent the publication, since the early pregnancy of his genius was no dishonour to his character. And yet had either of you been asked, common modesty 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
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
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, VOL. VII.
I shall joyfully acquaint you with it, there being none more truly your obliged servant, than, Sir,
Your faithful, and
most humble Servant,
P.S. A Letter, Sir, directed to Mrs. Thomas, to be left at my house, will be safely transmitted to her, by,
To Mr. Pope.
Epsom, July 6, 1727. HEN these letters were first printed,
I wondered 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 been to see me, and I writ you a short letter from Will's, that I longed to see you. 'Mr. DS, about that time charged me with giving them to a mistress, which I pofitively denied : not in the least, at that time, thinking of it ;, but some time after, finding in the News papers Letters
go to his
from Lady Packington, Lady Chudleigh, and Mr. Norris to the same Sappho or E. T. I began to fear that I was guilty. I have never seen these Letters of Curll's, nor would shop about them; I have not seen this Sappho alias E. T. these seven years.--Her writing, That I
gave ber 'em, to do what I would with 'en, is straining the point too far. I thought not of it, nor do I think she did then ; but fevere necessity which catches hold of a twig, has produced all this; which has lain hid, and forgot, by me so many years. Curll sent me a letter last week, defiring a positive answer about this matter, but finding I would give him none, he went to E. T. and writ a poftscript in her long romantick letter, to direct my answer to his house; but they not expecting an answer, sent a young man to me, whose name, it seems, is Pattison. 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
former indiscretion in putting them into the hands of this Pretieuse, Thould have given you so much disturbance ; for the last thing I should do would be to disoblige you, for whom I have ever preserved the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, Sir,
Your faithful Friend, and
most humble Servant,
To Mr. POPE.
August 1, 1727. HO'I'writ my long narrative from Ep
fom 'till I was tired, yet was I not satisfied; lest any doubt should rest upon your mind. I could not make protestations 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