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grant me; for, these two days past, her most dangerous fymptoms are returned upon her; and, unless there be a sudden change, I must in a few days, if not in a few hours, be depriv'd of her. In the afflicting prospect before me, I know nothing that can so much alleviate it as the view now given me (Heaven grant it may increase !) of your recovery. In the fincerity of my Heart, I ain excessively concernd, not to be able to pay you, dear Gay, any part of the debt, I very gratefully remember, I owe you on a like fad occafion, when you was here comforting me in her last great illness. May your health augment as fast as, I fear, her's must decline: I believe that would be
fast may the Life that is added to you be past in good fortune and tranquillity, rather of your own giving to yourself, than from any expectations or trust in others. May you and I live together, without wishing more felicity or acquisitions than Friendship can give and receive without obligations to Greatness. God keep you, and three or four more of those I have known as long, that I may have something worth the surviving my Mother. Adieu, dear Gay, and believe me (while you live, and while I live)
Your, &c. As I told
it in this: Do not think of writing to me.
The Doctor, Mrs, Howard, and Mrs Blount give me daily accounts of you.
L E T T E R XI.
Sunday Night. I Truly rejoiced to see your hand-writing, though I
fear'd the trouble it might give you. I wish I had not known that you are still so 'excessively weak. Every day for a week pat I had hopes of being able in a day or two more to see you. But my Mother advances not at all, gains no strength, and seems but upon the whole to wait for the next cold day to throw her into a Diarrhoea, that muft, if it return, carry her off. This being daily to be fear’d, makes me not dare to go a day from her, lest that should prove to be her last. God send you a speedy recovery, and such a total one as, at your time of life, may be expected. You need not call the few words I writ to you either kind or good; that was, and is, nothing. But whatever I have in my nature of kindness, I really have for you, and whatever good I could do, I would, among the very first, be glad to do to you. In your circumstance the old Roman farewell is proper, Vive memor nostri.
Your, &c. I send you a very kind letter of Mr Digby, between whom and me two letters have pass’d concerning you.
L E T T E R XII.
I assure you
O words can tell you the great concern I feel for you;
it was not, and is not letsened, by the immediate apprehension I have now every day lain under of losing my Mother. Be affurd, no duty less than that should have kept me one day from attending your condition: I would come and take a room by you at Hampstead, to be with you daily, were she not still in danger of death. I have constantly had particular accounts of you from the Doctor, which have not ceas'd to alarm me yet. God preserve your life, and restore your health. I really beg it for my own fake, for I feel I love you more than I thought in health, tho' I always loved you a great deal. If I am so unfortunate as to bury my poor Mother, and yet have the good fortune to have my prayers heard for you, I hope we may live moft of our remaining days together. If, as I believe, the air of a better clime, as the Southern part of France, may be thought useful for your recovery, thither I would go with you infallibly; and it is very probable we might get the Dean with us, who is in that abandon'd state already in which I shall shortly be, as to other cares and duties. Dear Gay, be as chearful as your sufferings will permit: God is a better friend than a Court; even any honest man is a better. I promise you my entire friendship in all events, heartily praying for your recovery.
L E T T E R XIII.
Am glad to hear of the progress of your recovery,
and , , comes easy to you to give it me. I so well remember the consolation you were to me in my Mother's former illness, that it doubles my concern at this time not to be able to be with you, or you able to be with me. Had I lost her, I would have been no where else but with you during your confinement. I have now past five weeks without once going from home, and without any company but for three or four of the days. Friends rarely stretch their kindness so far as ten miles. My Lord Bolingbroke and Mr Bethel have not for. gotten to visit me: the rest (except Mrs Blount once) were contented to send messages. I never passed so melancholy a time, and now Mr Congreve's death touches me nearly It was twenty years and more that I have known him; Every year carries away something dear with it, till we outlive all tendernes. ses, and become wretched individuals again as we begun. . Adieu! This is my birth-day, and this is my reflection upon it.
With added days if life give nothing new,
And all we gain, fome fat Reflection more!
L E T T E R XIV.
To the Honourable Mrs.
June 20. E cannot omit taking this occasion to congra
tulate you upon the increase of your family, for your Cow is this morning very happily deliver'd of the better fort, I mean a female calf; she is as like her mother as the can stare. All Knights Errants Palfreys were distinguish'd by lofty names: we see no reason why a Pastoral Lady's sheep and calves should want names of the softer sound; we have therefore given her the name of Cæsar's wife, Calfurnia: ima. gining, that as Romulus and Remus were luckled by a wolf, this Roman lady was fückled by a cow, from whence she took that name. In order to celebrate this birth-day, we had a cold dinner at Marble-hill*. Mrs Susan offered us wine upon the occasion, and upon such an occasion we could not refuse it. Our en. tertainment consisted of flesh and fish, and the lettice of a Greek Island called Cos. We have some thoughts of dining there to morrow, to celebrate the day after the birth-day, and on Friday to celebrate the day af. ter that, where we intend to entertain Dean Swift ; because we think your hall the most delightful room in the world except that where you are. If it was not for you, we would forswear all courts; and really it is the most mortifying thing in nature, that we can
* Dirs Howard's houfe.