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to you. No matter: for, upon recollection, the rules of proportion are not broken; he will fay as much to you in one page, as I have faid in three. Bid him talk to you of the work he is about, I hope in good earnest; it is a fine one; and will be, in his hands, an origi nal *. His fole complaint is, that he finds it too eafy in the execution. This flatters his laziness; it flatters my judgment, who always thought, that (univerfal as his talents are) this is eminently and peculiarly his, above all the writers I know living or dead; I do not except Horace. Adieu.
Nov. 28. 1729.
His letter (like all mine) will be a rhapfody; it is many years ago fince I'wrote as a witt. How many occurrences or informations must one omit, if one determined to fay nothing that one could not fay prettily? I lately received from the widow of one dead correfpondent, and the father of another, feveral of my own letters of about fifteen and twenty years old; and it was not unentertaining to myself to obferve, how and by what degrees I ceased to be a witty writer; as either my experience grew on the one hand, or my affec tion to my correfpondents on the other. Now, as I love you better than most I have ever met with in the world, and esteem you too the more, the longer I have compared you with the rest of the world; fo inevitably I write to you more negligently, that is, more openly, and what all but fuch as love one another will call writing worfe. I fmile to think how Curl would be bit, were our epiftles to fall into his hands, and how glo riously they would fall short of every ingenious reader's expectations?
You can't imagine what a vanity it is to me, to have fomething to rebuke you for in the way of econo⚫ my. I love the man that builds a house fubito ingenio, and makes a wall for a horfe; then cries, "We wife
* Effay on man.
He used to value himself on this particular, Warb.
"men must think of nothing but getting ready money." I am glad you approve my annuity; all we have in this world is no more than an annuity, as to our own enjoyment: but I will increase your regard for my wif dom, and tell you, that this annuity includes also the life of another *, whofe concern ought to be as near me as my own, and with whom my whole prospects ought to finish. I throw my javelin of hope no farther, Cur brevi fortes jaculamur avo - &c.
The fecond (as it is called, but indeed the eighth) edition of the Dunciad, with some additional notes and epigrams, fhall be fent you, if I know any opportunity; if they reprint it with you, let them by all means follow that octavo edition.- -The Drapier's letters are again printed here, very laudably as to paper, print, &c.; for you know I difapprove Irish politics, (as my commentator tells you), being a ftrong and jealous fubject of England. The lady you mention, you ought Dot to complain of for not acknowledging your prefent ; fhe having lately received a much richer prefent from Mr Knight of the South-fea; and you are fenfible she cannot ever return it to one in the condition of an out. law. It is certain, as he can never expect any favour †, his motive must be wholly difinterested. Will not this reflection make you blufh? Your continual deplorings of Ireland make me with you were here long enough to forget those scenes that fo afflict you: I am only in fear if you were, you would grow fuch a patriot here too, as not to be quite at eafe, for your love of old England. It is very poffible, your journey in the time I compute, might exactly tally with my intended one to you; and if you must foon again go back, you would not be unattended. For the poor woman decays perceptibly every week; and the winter may too probably put an end to a very long, and a very irre proachable life. My conftant attendance on her does indeed affect my mind very much, and leffen extremely my defires of long life; fince I see the best that can come of it is a miferable benediction. I look upon my
He was mistaken in this. Mr Knight was pardoned, and came home in the year 1742. Warb.
felf to be many years older in two years fince you faw me: the natural imbecillity of my body, joined now to this acquired old age of the mind, makes me at least as old as you, and we are the fitter to crawl down the hill together I only defire I may be able to keep pace with you. My first friendship at fixteen, was contracted with a man of seventy; and I found him not grave enough or confiftent enough for me, though we lived well to his death. I speak of old Mr Wycherly; fome letters of whom (by the by) and of mine, the bookfellers have got and printed, not without the concurrence of a noble friend of mine and your's *. I don't much approve of it; though there is nothing for me to be ashamed of, because I will not be ashamed of any thing I do not do myfelf, or of any thing that is not immoral, but merely dull, (as for inftance, if they printed this letter I am now writing; which they eafily may, if the underlings at the post-office please to take a copy of it). I admire, on this confideration, your fending your last to me quite open, without a feal, wafer, or any clofure whatever, manifefting the utter openness of the writer. I would do the fame by this, but fear it would look like affec tation to send two letters fo together. I will fully represent to our friend, (and, I doubt not, it will touch his heart), what you fo feelingly fet forth as to the badness of your Burgundy, &c. He is an extreme honeft man; and indeed ought to be fo, confidering how very indifcreet and unreferved he is: but I do not ap prove this part of his character, and will never join with him in any of his idleneffes in the way of wit. You know my maxim, to keep as clear of all offence, as I am clear of all intereft in either party. I was once displeased before at you, for complaining to Mr *** of my not having a penfion, and am fo again at your naming it to a certain Lord. I have given proof in the course of my whole life, (from the time when I was in the friend. fhip of Lord Bolingbroke and Mr Craggs, even to this when I am civilly treated by Sir R. Walpole), that I ne
See the occafion, in the fecond and third paragraphs of the preface to the first volume of Pope's letters, the 7th of Warburton's e dition of his works.
ver thought myself fo warm in any party's caufe as to deserve their money; and therefore would never have accepted it but give me leave to tell you, that of all mankind the two perfons I would leaft have accepted any favour from, are thofe very two to whom you have unluckily spoken of it. I defire you to take off any impreffions which that dialogue may have left on his Lordhip's mind, as if I ever had any thought of being beholden to him, or any other in that way. And yet you know I am no enemy to the prefent conftitution; I believe, as fincere a wellwifher to it, nay, even to the church established, as any minifter in or out of employ. ment whatever; or any bishop of England or Ireland. Yet am I of the religion of Erasmus, a Catholic: fo I live, fo I fhall die; and hope one day to meet you, Bifhop Atterbury, the younger Craggs, Dr Garth, Dean Berkeley, and Mr Hutchinfon, in that place to which God of his infinite mercy bring us, and every body!
Lord B.'s answer to your letter I have just received, and join it to this packet. The work he speaks of with fuch abundant partiality, is a fyftem of ethics in the Horatian way.
April 14. 1730. (as a
His is a letter extraordinary, to do and fay no
and a charitable one) a pious and a good work, and for a good and an honeft man: moreover he is above feventy, and poor, which you might think included in the word boneft. I fhall think it a kindness done myself, if you can propagate Mr Weftley's fubfcription for his commentary on Job, among your divines, (bifhops excepted, of whom there is no hope), and among such as are believers, or readers of fcripture; even the curious may find fomething to please them, if they scorn to be edified. It has been the labour of eight years of this learned man's life; I call him what he is, a learned man, and I engage you will approve his profe more than you formerly could his poetry. Lord Bolingbroke is a favourer
favourer of it, and allows you to do your best to serve an old Tory, and a fufferer for the church of England, though you are a Whig, as I am.
We have here fome verfes in your name, which I am angry at. Sure you would not use me so ill as to flatter me. I therefore think it is fome other weak Irishman.
P. S. I did not take the pen out of Pope's hands, I proteft to you. But fince he will not fill the remainder of the page, I think I may without offence. I seek no epiftolary fame, but am a good deal pleafed to think that it will be known hereafter that you and I lived in the most friendly intimacy together. Pliny writ his letters for the public; fo did Seneca, fo did Balfac, Voiture, &c. Tully did not; and therefore these give us more pleasure than any which have come down to us from antiquity. When we read them, we pry into a fecret which was intended to be kept from us. That is a pleasure. We fee Cato, and Brutus, and Pompey, and others, fuch as they really were, and not such as the gaping multitude of their own age took them to be, or as hiftorians and poets have reprefented them to ours. That is another pleasure. I remember to have seen a proceffion at Aix-la Chapelle, wherein an image of Charle magne is carried on the shoulders of a man, who is hid by the long robe of the imperial faint. Follow him into the veftry; you fee the bearer flip from under the robe, and the gigantic figure dwindles into an image of the ordinary fize, and is fet by among other lumber.
I agree much with Pope, that our climate is rather better than that you are in, and perhaps your public fpirit would be lefs grieved, or oftener comforted, here than there. Come to us therefore on a vifit at leaft. It will not be the fault of feveral perfons here, if you do not come to live with us. But great good-will and little power produce fuch flow and feeble effects as can be acceptable to heaven alone, and heavenly men.
-I know you will be angry with me, if I fay nothing to you of a poor woman *, who is still on the other fide of the water in a moft languishing state of
• Lady Bolingbroke.