« ZurückWeiter »
the Hope and Wish of our Author, that he might be fix'd in the fame Degree of Esteem with that Lady, as she was with him, though as yet she knew of no particular Regard he had for her; the imagin'd his Civility arose from his Youth, Complaisance to her Sex, and Respect to her Family, all which were us'd as Pleas for more frequent Opportunities of conversing with her ; but this was now put an End to for the present, if she went a little unwillingly from the Town it is no Wonder, for she was a great Admirer of Musick, and the publick Diversions, (as most at the Age she was then at do) and the Place she went to was as retir'd and little visited, or less than a Nunnery, with no Company in the scatter'd Neighbourhood, that could give the least Relief to the Solitude: On the contrary, Mr. Pope, who could with great Delight have enjoy'd that very Solitude, (without enquiring who was his Neighbours) was by reason of transacting fome Affairs, under an Obligation of being in Town : He conceald his real Concern for this Separation, and wrote Miss Blount a Letter, being the second he had wrote to her in Verse, wherein he confesses, (without seeming te do it formally) that she is seldom or ever out of his Thoughts: It has a great deal of Liveliness and Spirit in it, and is very fine Poetry, though he has taken the Liberty (a poetical Liberty perhaps rather too great in a Poem of this Kind) of making Use of double Rhymes in more Places than one ; to be fure it gives a greater Air of Freedom, but then it takes from the Exactnefs, the Neatness he should have appear'd in before that Lady. However, gentle Reader, judge thou.
S some fond Virgin, whom her Mother's Care
Just when she learns to roll a melting Eye,
She went to Plain-work and to purling Brooks,
Some Squire, perhaps, you take Delight to rack ;
In some fair Evening, on your Elbow laid,
Thus vanish Sceptres, Coronets, and Balls,
So when your Slave, at some dear, idle Time,
Her Return to London was very great Matter of Consolation to Mr. Pope, he now began publickly to avow a lasting Love and Friendship for her, and writing to his very dear and valuable *Correspondent, O&tober 21, 1721, he says,
Believe, dear Sir, I truly love and value you ; let Mrs. Blount know that she is in the List of
Meo mento Domine's Famulorum Famularumque's, &c.
And in a Letter to her, wrote by the Way as he went to Oxford, fairly protests, that he loves no Woman but her and prefers her, in a genteel Comparison, to a Dutchess. YOU
OU can't be surpriz'd to find him a dull Cor
refpondent whom you have known so long for a dull Companion. And tho’I am pretty sensible, that if I have any Wit, I may as well write to show
w it, as not ; (because any Lady that has once seen me, will naturally ask, what I can show that is better?), yet I'll content myself with giving you as plain a Hiftory of my Pilgrimage, as Purchas himself, or VOL. II. D
• Mr. Blount,
as John Bunyan could do of his walking through the Wilderness of the World.
First then I went by Water to Hampton-Court, unattended by all but my own Virtues; which were not of fo modest a Nature as to keep themselves, or me, conceal'd: For I met the Prince with all his. Ladies on Horseback, coming from Hunting. Mrs. Bellenden and Mrs. Lepell took me into Protection (contrary to the Laws against harbouring Papists) and gave me a Dinner, with something I likod better, an Opportunity of Conversation with Mrs. Howe. We all agreed, that the Life of a Maid of Honour, was of all Things the most miserable ; and wish'd that every Woman who envy'd it had a Specimen of it. To eat Westphalia-Ham in a Morning, ride over Hedges aud Ditches on borrow'd Hacks, come home in the Heat of the Day with a Fever, and, (what is worse a hundred Times) with a red Mark in the Forehead from an uneasy Hat; all this may qualify them to make excellent Wives for Fox-Hunters, and bear Abundace of ruddy complexion's Children. As soon as they can wipe off the Sweat of the Day, they must simper an Hour and catch cold, in the Princess's Apartment; from thence (as Shakespear has it) T. Dinner, with what Appetite they mayand after that, 'till Midnight, walk, work, or think, which they please? I can easily believe no LoneHouse in Wales, with a Mountain and Rookery, is. more contemplative than this Court; and as a Proof of it I need only tell you Mrs. Lepell walk'd alone with me three or four Hours by Moonlight, and we met no Creature of any Quality but the King, who gave Audience to the Vice Chamberlain, all alone, under the Garden Wall.
In short, I heard of no Ball, Affembly, BassetTable, of any place where two or thrce were ga
gathered together, except Madam Kilmansegg's, to which I had the Honour to be invited, and the Grace to stay away.
I was heartily tired, and posted to Bufbey Park: There we had an excellent Discourse of Quackery ; Dr. Shadwell was mention'd with Honour. Lady A. walkd a whole Hour abroad without dying after it, at least in the Time I stay'd, tho’ she seem'd to be fainting, and had convulsive Motions several Times in her Head.
This Day I receiv'd a Letter with certain Advices where Women were to be met with at Oxford. I defy them and all their Works : I love no Meat but Ortolans, and no Women but you: Tho' indeed that's no proper Comparison, but for fat Dutchefses; for to love you, is as if one should wish to eat Angels, or to drink Cherubim Broth.
I arriv'd in the Forest by Tuesday Noon, and pass’d the rest of the Day in those Woods where I have so often enjoy'd a Book and a Friend. I made a Hymn as I pafs'd thro', which ended with a Sigh that I will not tell you the Meaning of.
Your Doctor is gone the Way of all his Patients, and was hard put to it how to dispose of an Estate miserably unweildy, and splendidly unuseful to him. Sir Samuel Garth says, that for Radcliffe to leave a Library, was as if an Eunuch should found a Seraglio. Dr. Shadwell lately told a Lady he wonder'd how the could be alive after him ; she made Answer she wonder'd at it for two Reasons, because Dr. Radcliffe was dead and because Dr. Shadwell was living.
I am, Dear Madam,
Further, as an Affurance that his Paffion (for now it admits of that Name) was not meerly fix'd on her