Printed; and delivered by Mr. Dodsley in Pall-Mall, Mr.
Clements in Oxford, and Mr. Frederick in Bath. #rule 1750MDCCL.
To Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal and of Orange
the Following Miscellanies Already Distinguished by Her Royal Highness’s Name and Farther Indebted to Her Royal Highness’s Favour for the Addition Of Her Illustrious Family the House of Orange Are With the Profoundest Deference and Gratitude Inscribed by
The following pieces, the produce of pure nature only, and moſt of them wrote at a very early age, ſtand ſo much in need of an apology for their appearance in the world, that the author can aſſure her readers, they would ſcarce have been troubled with them upon any conſiderations of her own. Her friends had often deſired her to collect ſomething of this ſort for the preſs; but the difficulties, or, more properly, the dread of ſuch an undertaking, together with the reſpect ſhe had for them, the world, and herſelf, always kept ſuch a thought at the greateſt diſtance imaginable. Nor had ſhe at length prevailed with herſelf to ſet about ſo diſagreeable a taſk, but for the ſake of a relation, grown old and helpleſs thro’ a ſeries of misfortunes; and whom ſhe had no other methods of effectually aſſiſting. This her numerous and generous ſubſcribers have put it into her power to do; and therefore ſhe cannot but take this public opportunity of giving them their ſhare of the ſatisfaction;tisfaction; vi a2v ( vi ) tisfaction; as well as of acknowledging, in the moſt reſpectful manner, the favour as done to herſelf.
As the ſucceſs of the work is entirely ſubmitted to their candour, to plead the many diſadvantages, the almoſt perpetual interruptions that have attended it, and laſt of all, the death of the deareſt and beſt of mothers, when it was near its publication, would perhaps be unneceſſary; but whatever its fate may be, the vanity of the author will have very little to anſwer for, ſince it will ſcarce be read with greater reluctance than it was printed. The poetry ſhe can ſay nothing to; it being quite accidental, that her thoughts ever rambled into rhyme. And as to the letters, the ladies to whom they are addreſs’d having thought proper to preſerve them, is the beſt apology ſhe can make for them.
Some errors they will meet with of the preſs, but many more, ſhe fears, of the author.
- His Most Serene Highness the Prince of Orange, Hereditary Stadtholder, and Captain General of the United Provinces.
- Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, and of Orange.
- His Serene Highness the Hereditary Prince of Nassau Orange.
- Her Serene Highness the Princess Caroline of Nassau Orange.
- Her Grace the Ducheſs of St. Albans, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs of Ancram, royal paper.
- Sir John Abdy, Bart. Knight of the Shire for the County of Eſſex.
- Sir Richard Atkins, Bart. royal paper.
- Sir John St. Aubyn, Bart.
- The Rev. Dr. Allen, Archdeacon of Middleſex, royal paper.
- The Rev. Dr. Amphlett, Fellow of Worceſter Coll. r.p.
- Mrs. Archer, of Hanover-ſquare, royal paper.
- Miſs Archer, royal paper.
- Mr. Robert Armorer, of his Majeſty’s Houſhold.
- John Allen, Eſq; Apothecary to his Majeſty’s Board of Works.
- Rev. Mr. Aylmer, Rector of Camberwell.
- Thomas Aubrey, Eſq; of Boſthall.
- Miſs Arnold of Oxford.
- Mrs. Tracy Atkins.
- Henry Aſhurſt, Eſq;
- Mr. Nathaniel Atkinſon.
- Nathaniel Alcock, M.D. of Oxford, F. R. S..
- Mrs. Atherton, of Tiverton.
- Mr. Allen, of Oxford.
- John Andrew, M. D. of Exeter.
- John Atkins, Surgeon, of Dartmouth.
- Rev. Mr. Acmouty, of St. Edmund’s Hall.
- Edward Andrews, Eſq; of Hill-Houſe, near Briſtol.
- Mrs. Andrews.
- Mr. De L’Angle, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Rev. Mr. D’Aeth, B.C.L. of Wadham Coll.
- Rev. James Allet, A.M. Chaplain to the Right Hon. the Earl of Uxbridge.
- Mr. Gilbert Allex, of Camberwell.
- Rev. Mr. Airſon, Minor Canon of Canterbury. Abraham ix b2r xiix
- Abraham Atkins, Eſq;
- Miſs Auſtin, of Canterbury.
- Charles Alexander, Eſq; of Doctors-Commons.
- Mr. Audſley.
- Mr. John Aſkew, of Queen’s Coll.
- Miſs Jane Arnold, of Corſham, Wilts.
- Mr. Aſh, of Trinity Coll.
- John Aſhurſt, Eſq; Student of Ch. Ch.
- Mrs. Abraham.
- Mrs. Airey, of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- Mrs. Aſhby, of Ledgers Aſhby, Northamptonſhire.
- Mrs. Apthorp, of Eton.
- Rev. Mr. Aſhton, Fellow of Eton Coll.
- Charles Amſcot, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Andrew, M.A. Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- His Grace the Duke of Beaufort, royal paper.
- Her Grace the Ducheſs of Beaufort, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lord Vere Beauclerk, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lord Henry Beauclerk, 5 books, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Henry Beauclerk, 5 books, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lord George Beauclerk, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Viſcounteſs Bateman, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Elizabeth Bertie.
- The Right Hon. Lady Camilla Bennnet.
- The Right Rev. the Lord Biſhop of Briſtol, royal paper.
- The Hon. Mr. Boyle, Student of Ch. Ch. royal paper.
- Lady Bucke.
- Sir William Bowyer, Bart. royal paper.
- Lady Bowyer, royal paper.
- William Bowyer, Eſq;
- Mrs. Bowyer.
- Mrs. Frances Bowyer, royal paper. b2 Mrs. x b2v xiix
- Mrs. Charlot Bowyer.
- Captain Thomas Bowyer, royal paper.
- Lieutenant Richard Bowyer.
- Mrs. Julia Bowyer.
- The Hon. William Burnaby, Eſq; Capt. of his Majeſty’s Navy.
- Sir John Boſworth, Knt.
- Samuel Boſworth, Eſq; of Newgate-ſtreet.
- Rev. Mr. Boſworth, Fell. of Oriel Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Brown, Maſter of Univerſity Coll. and Vice- Chancellor of the Univerſity of Oxford, royal paper.
- The Rev. Dr. Barton, Canon of Ch. Ch. royal paper.
- Mrs. Barton, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Barton, Fellow of New Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Barton, Fellow of Merton Coll.
- Miſs Barton.
- The Rev. Dr. Bolton, Dean of Carliſle.
- Mrs. Bolton.
- The Rev. Mr. Burchet, Prebendary of Windſor.
- Norris Bertie, Eſq; Knight of the Shire for the County of Oxford, royal paper.
- Mr. Bradſhaw, of Soho-ſquare, 3 books, royal paper, 2 ſmall.
- Mrs. Baron, of Windſor.
- Richard Buckley, Eſq; royal paper.
- Mr. Perry Buckley, royal paper.
- The Rev. Dr. Ballard, 2 books, royal paper.
- Mrs. Dorothy Sarah Beſt, of Boxley, Kent.
- Mrs. Brown, of Golden-ſquare, royal paper.
- Mrs. Eliz. Brown.
- Samuel Baldwin, Gent. of Maiden-lane.
- Mr. Samuel Baldwin, jun. 2 books.
- Mr. William Bull, of the New River Office.
- Rev. Mr. Betſworth, of Univerſity Coll.
- Edward Bangham, Eſq;
- Mr. Barry, of his Majeſty’s Theatre, royal paper.
- Mrs. Bell. Mrs. xi b3r xiiixi
- Mrs. Bethel.
- Edward Bayntun, Eſq;
- Mrs. Boothby.
- William Battie, M.D. of Great Ruſſel-ſtreet.
- Miſs Barkley.
- Luke Benne, Eſq;
- ——Burgh, Eſq;
- Mrs. Booth, of Windſor, royal paper.
- Henry Bainbrigg Buckeridge, Eſq;
- Rev. Thomas Bracken, M.A.
- Mrs. Bradley, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Bowler, of Great Milton, I book, royal paper, 2 ſm.
- Rev. Mr. William Bowdry, of Reading.
- Miſs Beaver, of Oxford.
- Copleſtone War. Bampfylde, Eſq;
- Captain Birch.
- Miſs Bennet.
- Mr. Brouche, of Watlington.
- Stuckley Bayntun, Eſq;
- Mrs. Brownſmith.
- Rev. Mr. John Burton, Fellow of Eton Coll.
- Roger Bourchier, Eſq; royal paper.
- Mrs. Brown, of Oxford.
- Mr Bourne.
- The Rev. Edward Bentham, D.D. Fellow of Oriel Coll.
- Luke Bennet, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Brent, Fellow of Pembroke Coll. and Rector of St. Aldate’s in Oxford.
- George Baker, B.M. Fellow of King’s Coll.Cambridge.
- Miſs Bickley, of Langford.
- Edward Blackit, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Ralph Brideoak, Rector of Abbot-ſtock, Devon.
- James Barnard, Eſq;
- Mr. Maurice Barnard,of Threadneedle-ſtreet.
- Mr. Thomas Le Breton,
- Mr. John Beardwell, of Oxford. Mr. xii b3v xivxii
- Mr. Richard Bradgate, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Bedingfield, Vice-Principal of Hertford Coll.
- Mr. Bruce, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Captain Bembow, of Uxbridge.
- Rev. Mr. Bradſhaw, B.D. royal paper.
- Miſs Margaret Banks.
- Rev. Mr. Bourchier, of Hertford.
- Rev. Mr. Bruce.
- Mr. Joſeph Bullock, Poſtmaſter of Merton Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Thomas Berdmore, Rector of Arſton le Wall, Northamptonſhire.
- The Rev. Dr. Edward Berdmore, Fellow of St. John’s Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Daniel Burton, Chancellor of Oxford, r.p.
- The Rev. Dr. Tho. Burton, Archdeacon of St. David’s, r.p.
- Rev. Mr. Brereton, Fellow of All Souls Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Blake, of Exeter.
- Mr. George Ballard, of Magdalen Coll.
- Miſs Suſanna Bridgman, of Aldgate, High-ſtreet.
- Mrs. Blewit.
- Mr. Bull, of Milk-ſtreet.
- Richard Bateman, Eſq; of Old Windſor, royal paper.
- The Rev. Dr. Briſtowe, Rector of St. Mary Staining.
- Dr. John Betteſworth, of Doctors Commons, royal paper.
- George Bell, Eſq; F.R.S. of Red Lion-ſquare, royal paper.
- James Brockman, Eſq; of Beachborough in Kent.
- Mr. John Butler, Merchant, of London.
- Mr. James Butler.
- Rev. Mr. Duke Butler.
- Mr. Berwick, Commoner of Lincoln Coll.
- Mr. Bates, Commoner of Univerſity Coll.
- John Blandy, Eſq; of Kingſton, Berks.
- John Brune, Eſq;
- Francis Bernard, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Barret, of Aſhford in Kent.
- Mrs. Beresford.
- Dr. Blackſtone, Fellow of All Souls Coll. Rev. xiii b4r xvxiii
- Rev. Mr. Bridle, Fellow of New Coll.
- Hugh Boſvile, Eſq; of Lancellan, Monmouthſhire
- Mrs. Bacheler, of Briſtol.
- Mrs. Bacheler,
- Miſs Bacheler, of Taunton.
- Mrs. Boſwell,
- Iſaac Baugh, Eſq; of Briſtol.
- Mrs. Boycot.
- Miſs Barker.
- Mrs. Bowles, of Pool.
- Mr. James Buckingham, Sojourner of Exeter Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Bryant, of Bryantſton,
- Rev. Mr. Bromfield, Rector of Bloxworth,
- Charles Brune, Eſq; of Plumber,
- Thomas Bower, Eſq; of Ewerne, Dorſetſhire.
- Mr. Bingham, of Bingham’s Melcombe,
- Miſs Barfoot, of Pool, royal paper.
- William Bridges, Eſq; of South Wales, royal paper.
- Miſs Rebecca Bell, of Greenwich.
- Rev. Dr. Brickenden.
- Mrs. Bigg.
- Rev. Mr. Baker.
- Rev. Phillip Brown, M.A. Fellow of Queen’s Coll.
- Miſs Berrow.
- Mr. William Dottin Batten, of Queen’s Coll.2 books.
- Rev. Mr. Buckler, Fellow of All Souls Coll.
- Mr. Burrell, B.A. Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mr. Baxter, of Henrietta-ſtreet.
- Mr. Bean, junior.
- Mr. James Bandinell, of Wincheſter Coll.
- Mr. Bulbeet, Gent. Com. of Corpus Chriſti Coll.
- Miſs Brent, of Briſtol.
- Rev. Mr. Bridges, Rector of Orlingbury,
- Rev. Mr. Baker, Rector of Staverton, Northamptonſh
- Miſs Brooke of Oakley,
- Rev. Mr. Bray, B.D. Fellow of Exeter Coll. Hugh xiv b4v xvixiv
- Hugh Barker Bell, Eſq; of Ayleſbury.
- Henry Langford Brown, Eſq; of Combſatchfield, royal paper.
- Mrs. Bew, of Oxford.
- Miſs Banks, of StantonSt. John’s.
- Mr. John Barrett, of Oxford.
- Mr. Biſſell, Scholar of Brazen-Noſe Coll.
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Cheſterfield, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Cholmondley, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs Cowper, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Counteſs of Conningſby, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Lord Viſcount Cobham, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Elizabeth Cecil, 2 books, I royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Henrietta Conyers.
- The Hon. Mrs. Jane Conway.
- The Hon. Mrs. Ann Conway.
- The Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Courtenay.
- The Hon. Mrs. Cotes.
- The Hon. Mrs. Chetwynd.
- William Chetwynd Eſq;
- John Chetwynd, Eſq; royal paper.
- Mrs. Deborah Chetwynd, of Dover-Street.
- Rev. Mr. Cotes, of Trinity Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Edward Cotes.
- Mrs. Elizabeth Cotes.
- John Conyers, Eſq;
- Admiral Charles Cotterel.
- Mrs. Charlot Clayton, royal paper.
- William Champnies, Eſq;
- Mrs. Frances Clapham. of Boxley, in Kent.
- Mr. John Charlton.
- Charles Carey, Eſq;
- Mrs. Carr, of Twickenham, royal paper. Mrs. xv c1r xviixv
- Mrs. Clarke.
- Mrs. Chambers
- Miſs Conybeare, of Oxford, royal paper.
- Mrs. Cook, of Denham.
- Mrs. Carbonell.
- Mr. Iſaac Collivoe, of Maiden-lane.
- Captain Compton.
- Mrs. Carew.
- Mrs. Clarke, of Bloomſbury-ſquare,
- Miſs Crooke, of Oxford, 2 books.
- Miſs Church.
- Mrs. Cox.
- Mrs. Cheeke, of Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields.
- Mrs. Sarah Cheeke.
- Mrs. Clarkſon, of Marlborough-ſtreet, 4 books.
- Lieutenant Col. Cockayne, of Bond-ſtreet, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Cockayne, M.A.
- The Rev. Dr. Conen, Fellows of St. John’s Coll.
- Rev. Daniel Chadſley, L.L.B.
- Mrs. Church.
- Mrs. Cook. of Oxford.
- Miſs Joanna Coates, of Greenwich.
- Mrs. Claxton.
- Mr. Capper, of Balliol Coll.
- Mrs. Rebecca Chambre, of Llanfoyſt, Monmouthſhire.
- Rev. Dr. Coſſerat, Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Mrs. Culley, of Oxford.
- John Carew, Eſq;
- Richard Cheſter, Eſq;
- Charles Cocks, Eſq; Member of Parliament for Rygate.
- Mr. Caſlon, Letter-Founder, of Chiſwell-ſtreet, 6 books.
- Mrs. Crutchley.
- Rev. Mr. Fran. Champernowne, Rector of Dartington, Dev.
- William Chadder, Eſq; Mayor of Totnes.
- Mr. George Carwithen, Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Miſs Carne, of Oxford. c Miſs xvi c1v xviiixvi
- Miſs Molly Carne, of Oxford.
- John Carne, Eſq; of Marcham, Berks.
- Mr. John Carne, Commoner of Jeſus Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Coxeter, Student of Chriſt Church.
- George Robert Carter, Eſq; of Haſley.
- ——Carter, M.D. of Canterbury.
- Mr. Cooper, Fellow of All Souls Coll.
- The Rev, Dr. Cholmley, Fellow of Magdalen Coll.
- Mr. James Chauvel, of St. Alban’s-ſtreet.
- Mrs. Chauvel, of the Strand, 3 books.
- The Rev. Dr. Coxed, Warden of Wincheſter College, 10 books.
- The Rev. Dr. Cobden, Archdeacon of London.
- Andrew Coltee Du Carel, Eſq; of Doctors-Commons.
- Philip Creſpigney, Eſq;
- Claude Creſpigney, Eſq; of the South-Sea Houſe.
- Mr. John Caſtle, Surgeon, of Eltham in Kent.
- Francis Clarke, Eſq; of North-Weſton.
- Mrs. Coke, of Barham in Kent.
- Mrs. Carter, of Deal.
- Mrs. Cage, of Canterbury.
- Mrs. Carver, Eckington, Derbyshire.
- The Rev. Dr. Cowper, Chaplain in Ordinary to his Majeſty, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Coulſon, Fellow of Univerſity Coll.
- Mr. Cookſy, Fellow of Merton, Coll.
- Richard Combe, Eſq; of Briſtol.
- Rev. Mr. Camplin, of Brompton, Somerſetſhire.
- Mrs. Camplin.
- Rev. Mr. Camplin, Minor Canon of Briſtol.
- Mr. Will. Camplin, B.A. of Corpus Chriſti Coll.
- Mr. Camplin, of Briſtol.
- Miſs Polly Cleves, of Pool.
- Rev. Mr. Culme, M.A. Fellow of Wadham Coll.
- Miſs Colſon, of Frampton,
- Miſs Culme, of Studland, Dorſetſhire. Mrs. xvii c2r xixxvii
- Mrs. Combe, of Henley, Dorſetſhire.
- Mr. Chapman.
- Ralph Congreve, Eſq;
- The Rev. Dr Church, Vicar of Batterſea.
- Mr. John Cheſter, of Queen’s Coll.
- Robert Cann, Eſq;
- Mr. Thomas Collins.
- Miſs Cox.
- Mr. Coham.
- Rev. Mr. Cox.
- Miſs Catherine Caſe.
- Mrs. Colombine.
- Nathaniel Caſtleſton, Eſq; royal paper.
- William Cook, Eſq;
- Mrs. Cox, of Stanford, Berks.
- Richard Cheſlyn, Eſq;
- Thomas Carter, Eſq; of the Inner Temple.
- Rev. Mr. Cawley, Rector of Dudcote, Berks.
- Mr. Clay, Bookſeller in Daventry.
- Rev. Mr. Clendon, Fellow of Emanuel Coll. Cambridge.
- Rev. Mr. Caſtleman, Prebendary of Briſtol.
- Gilbert Caldecot, Eſq; royal paper.
- Pierce Corniſh, Eſq;
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Dalkeith, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs of Dalkeith, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Dartmouth, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs of Dyſart.
- The Hon. and Right Rev. the Lord Biſhop of St. David’s,
- royal paper.
- The Hon. Mrs. Mary Digby.
- Sir James Daſhwood, Bart. Knight of the Shire for the
- County of Oxford, royal paper.
- The Rev. Dr. Derham, Preſident of St. John’s Coll. 4 books,
- royal paper. c2 John xviii c2v xxxviii
- John Delmè, Eſq;
- Mrs. Delmè, of Groſvenor-ſquare, royal paper.
- Mrs. Dolliffe.
- John Drummond, Eſq;
- Mrs. Drummond, royal paper.
- Mrs. Katherine Dahl.
- Mrs. Dry, royal paper.
- Mr. Draper of Covent-garden, royal paper.
- Henry Drax, Eſq; royal paper.
- Miſs Dodemead, of Covent-garden.
- James Douglas, Eſq royal paper.
- Mrs. Duvernet, of Leiceſter-fields.
- John Day, Eſq; Gentleman Commoner, of Queen’s Coll.
- Mrs. Dormer, of Ayſcott, Oxfordſhire, royal paper.
- Mrs. Deviſme.
- Mr. Frederick-William-Guy Dickens, of Ch. Ch.r. p.
- Mrs. Daddo, of Tiverton.
- Rev. Mr. Dickens, Student of Chriſt Church, and one of the
- Proctors of the Univerſity of Oxford, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Dobſon, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Rev. Mr. Dipple, of Egham.
- Rev. Eraſmus Dryden, B.D. Rector of Eaſthamſted, r. p.
- Mr. Durel, Scholar of Pembroke Coll.
- Mrs. Deniſon, of Oxford.
- Mrs. Dixon, of Canterbury
- Mrs. Denew, of St. Stephen’s Court, near Canterbury.
- Mrs. Davis, of Tarllyn, Brecon.
- Mr. John Dick, Merchant, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Dry, Fellow of Merton Coll.
- Mr. James Daltera, of Briſtol.
- Richard Dayrell, Eſq; of Lillingſtone Dayrell, Bucks, r.p.
- John Dalton, Eſq; of Shaſton, Dorſetſhire.
- Mr. William Dallaway, of Bretuſcomb, Glouceſterſhire.
- Miſs Patty Durell, of Pool.
- Rev. Mr. Stanton Degg, 2 books.
- Mrs. Devall, of Flower, Northamptonſhire. William xix c3r xxixix
- William Draper, Eſq; of Adſcomb, Surry, royal paper.
- William-Whorwood A’Deane, Eſq; of Charlgrove, Oxf.
- William Daniel, Eſq;
- Miſs Dove, of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- Miſs Diſney, of Cranbrook in Kent.
- Dr. Dinham, of Harborough, Leiceſterſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Darch, M.A. Fellow of Balliol Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Dockwray.
- Miſs Dewe, of Enſham, Oxfordſhire.
- Mrs. Draper, of Newbury.
- Mr. John Davie, Scholar of Balliol Coll.
- The Right Hon. Lady Charlotte Edwin, royal paper.
- Sir John Elwell, Bart.
- Mrs. Eaſt, royal paper.
- Mrs. Katherine Edwin, royal paper.
- Mrs. Ewer, of North Audley-ſtreet, royal paper.
- Mrs. Ewers, of Bottesford.
- Mrs. Eyres, of Surrey-ſtreet.
- Rev. Mr. Evans, of Covent-garden.
- Rev. Richard Eyres, B.D. royal paper.
- Mr. Eaton, Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Evans, Rector of Langadock, Wales.
- Rev. Mr. Edwards, Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- Rev. Peter Ellice, B.D. Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- Mr. John Eversman, of Oxford.
- Mrs. Henrietta Egerton.
- Rev. Mr. Robert Edwards, of St. John’s, Southwark.
- Rev. Mr. Robert Ewings, Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Edowes, Rector of Broughton.
- The Rev. Dr. Edgcumbe, late Rector of Exeter Coll.
- Mrs. Eſton.
- Rev. John Egerton, L.L.B. The xx c3v xxiixx
- The Rev. Mr. Exton, Prebendary of Wincheſter.
- Rev. Mr. Euſtace, M.A. Vicar of Abergavenny.
- Mrs. Erle, of Blanford, Dorſetſhire.
- The Rev. Dr. Ernly, Fellow of All Souls Coll.
- Mrs. Barbara Elliſon,
- Miſs Jenny Elliſon, of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- Miſs Elliſon, of Park Houſe,
- Miſs Molly Elliſon, Northumberland.
- Miſs Elizabeth Elliſon,
- Miſs Eldridge, of Great Milton, Oxfordſhire.
- Mr. Bickham Eſcott, Sojourner of Exeter Coll.
- Rev. St. John Elliott, of Cornwall, 2 books.
- The Right Hon. Lord Viſcount Fermanagh, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Viſcounteſs Fermanagh, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Charlotte Finch.
- The Right Hon. Lady Juliana Farmor.
- The Right Hon. Lord Foley, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Mr. Vice Chamberlain Finch.
- The Hon. Mrs. Fairfax.
- Thomas Fiſher, Eſq; of Whitehall, royal paper.
- Mr. Thomas Farraine.
- Mr. Finch, of Covent-garden.
- Thomas Fanſhaw, Eſq; of Pallmall.
- Charles Frewen, Eſq;
- Mr. Thomas Fownes, B.A. of Queen’s Coll.
- Miſs Foreſter, of Oxford.
- Mrs. Frewen, of Oxford, royal paper.
- Mr. Forreſter, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mrs. Fox.
- Mrs. Foley, of Hereford.
- Mrs. Frederick, of Leiceſter Fields.
- Mr. Henry Fiſher, M.A. of Jeſus Coll.
- Miſs Fuller. Mrs. xxi c4r xxiiixxi
- Mrs. Foſter, of Hanover-ſquare, royal paper.
- Henry Faure, Eſq; of Egham.
- Mrs. Mary Foreman, of Epſom.
- The Rev. Dr. Fothergill, royal paper,
- Rev. Mr. Thomas Fothergill, M.A. Fell. of Queen’s Coll.
- Mrs. Fazakerly of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Butler Fenton.
- Rev. Mr. Forſter, Fellow of Univerſity Coll.
- The Rev. Thomas Fry, D.D. Fellow of St. John’s Coll.
- Mrs. Eliz. Faucet.
- The Rev. Dr. Forteſcue, Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Gorges Foyll, Eſq;
- Mr. Thomas Farr, of Briſtol.
- Mrs. Foreſt
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- Mr. Godfrey,
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- Mr. John Glubb, B.A. of Exeter Coll.
- Mrs. Goſling.
- Mrs. Gibberd.
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- William Gore, Eſq;
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- The Rev. Dr. Geekie, Prebendary of Canterbury.
- Rev. Mr. Gregory, Vicar of North Elmham.
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- Mr. Glover.
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- Rev. Mr. Giffard, Rector of Cle-haydon, Devon.
- Miſs Giffard.
- Edward Goddard, Eſq;
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- Rev. Mr. Golding, Fellow of New Coll.
- Miſs Gyde, of Glouceſterſhire.
- Miſs Gwatkin.
- James Gilpin, Eſq; of Oxford.
- Charles Gould, Eſq; Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mr. Groves, of Richmond.
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- Mr. James Gunter.
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- Mrs. Greenhalf, of Bourton, Oxfordſhire, royal paper.
- Miſs Gibbs, royal paper.
- Mr. Glaſs, Surgeon, of Oxford, 2 books. d The xxiv d1v xxvixxiv
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs of Harcourt.
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- Mrs. Haywood. Mrs. xxv d2r xxviixxv
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- Mr. Phocion Henley, B.A. of Wadham Coll.
- Mr. Benjamin Holland.
- John Horn, Eſq;
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- Captain Head.
- Mrs. Hargrave.
- Mr. Thomas Hatrell,
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- Rev. Mr. Harding.
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- Rev. Mr. Holloway, Rector of Bladen and Woodſtock.
- Rev. Mr. Holwell, M.A. Student of Chriſt Church, r.p.
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- Rev. Mr. Haly, M.A. of Hertford Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Hind, Student of Chriſt Church.
- The Rev. Dr. Head, Archdeacon of Canterbury.
- Mrs. Hardres,
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- Frances Huchenſon, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Harris, Vicar of Llantriſſent, Glamorganſhire.
- Miſs Harris.
- The Rev. Dr. Hutchins, Fellow of Lincoln Coll.
- Mr. Hibbs, of Briſtol.
- Mrs. Hay, of Hartrow, Somerſetſhire.
- Mrs. Mary Hay.
- John Harrington, Eſq;
- Miſs Holden, of Oxford.
- Mr. Thomas Hyde, of Pool.
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- James Hayes, jun. Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Howard.
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- Mrs. Hindmarſh, of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- Mrs. Frances Hunt,
- Mrs. Dorcas Hunt, of Cheſter. Mrs. xxvii d3r xxixxxvii
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- Mrs. Heneage.
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- The Right Hon. Lady Viſcounteſs Irwin.
- Lady Irby.
- The Rev. Euſebius Iſham, D.D. Rector of Lincoln Coll.
- Mrs. Vere Iſham.
- Mrs. Edmunda Iſham.
- Edward Jones, Eſq;
- Mrs. Jones.
- Mr. Jones, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Miſs Jones, of St. James’s Place.
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- Mr. John Jones, of Red Lion-ſquare.
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- Rev. Mr. Jones, of Fakenham.
- Mr. Edward Jones. Rev. xxviii d3v xxxxxviii
- Rev. Mr. Jenkin.
- Mrs. James.
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- Rev. Mr. Thomas Jones, M.A. Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
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- Benjamin James, Eſq;
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- Mrs. Jarvis.
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- Mrs. Johnſon.
- Eſco Jackſon, Eſq; of Buſh-lane.
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- Mr. Jennings, Fellow of Merton Coll.
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- The Right Hon. Lady Suſan Keck, 2 books, royal paper.
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- The Hon. Mrs. Kingdom.
- Edward Kingdom, Eſq; of Englefield Green, royal paper.
- Rev. Arnold King, L.L.B. Mr. xxix d4r xxxixxix
- Mr. Kelſey, of Compton-ſtreet, royal paper.
- Mr. William Kinleſide.
- Rev. Mr. Kennicott, M.A. Fell. of Exeter Coll. royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Kilner, M.A. Fellow of Merton Coll.
- Rev. Mr. King, M.A. of St. Mary Hall.
- Rev. Mr. Kipling, M.A. of Thame.
- The Rev. Dr. Kemp, Rector of St. Michael’s, Crooked-lane.
- Mrs. Knox, of Norfolk-ſtreet.
- Mrs. Kinnerſley, of Loxley, Staffordſhire.
- Mrs. Kein, of Kenſington.
- Mrs. Keyt.
- Anthony Keck, Eſq; of Twickenham.
- Miſs Knight.
- Mr. Edward King, of Oxford.
- The Rev. William Knowler, L.L.D. Rector of Bodington, Northamptonſhire.
- Francis Knollys, Eſq; of Thame, 2 books, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Joſhua Kyte, M.A. Student of Ch. Ch.
- Her Grace The Ducheſs of Leeds.
- The Right Hon. The Earl of Litchfield, royal paper.
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- The Hon. Mrs. Lee.
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- Sir William Lee, Bart. royal paper.
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- —Lawſon, M.D. of Soho-ſquare.
- Rev. Mr. Letſome.
- Thomas Lupton, jun. Eſq;
- Mr. John Longden.
- Peter Leigh, Eſq; High Bayliff of Weſtminſter. John xxx d4v xxxiixxx
- John Lloyd, Eſq; of Shrewſbury.
- Mrs. Lee, of Norfolk-ſtreet.
- Rev. Mr. John Lloyd, of Shrewſbury.
- Mr. Locke, Student of Chriſt Church.
- The Rev. Dr. Long, Rector of Chievely, Berks.
- Rev. Mr. Long, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Miſs Lea, of Buſſock, Berks.
- Mr. Lewis of Chriſt Church.
- Joſeph Langton, Eſq;
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- Mr. Lads, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Lye, Rector of Yerley Haſtings, Northamptonſhire.
- Mrs. Lewis, of Brooke-ſtreet.
- Rev. Mr. Langford, Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- Mrs. Lampriere, of Hatton-Garden.
- William Lewis, M.D. of Oxford.
- Mrs. Elizabeth Lemon.
- Edward Lovibond, Eſq; of Bath.
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- Mrs. Leigh of Canterbury.
- Richard Lyſter, Eſq; Knight of the Shire for the County of Salop, royal paper.
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- —Lowndes, Esq;
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- Rev. Mr. Lamprey, Minor Canon of Canterbury.
- Miſs Lewis, Of Penlyne, Glamorganſhire,.
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- Rev. Francis Lewis, Rector of Langattock, Monmouthſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Lawghton, of Stafford Grove, Somerſetſhire.
- Mrs. Lawrence.
- Rev. Mr. Leach, of Piddletown, Dorſetſhire.
- Mrs. Loveday.
- Mr. Lyſons, Commoner of Oriel Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Lloyd, Rector of Stowe nine Churches. Mr. xxxi e1r xxxiiixxxi
- Mr. Abraham Langford.
- Eraſmus Lewis, Eſq; of Cork-ſtreet, royal paper.
- John Levett, Eſq; of the Inner Temple.
- Rev. Mr. Lowry, M.A. Fellow of Queen’s Coll.
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- Mrs. Juliana Luſcombe, of Comb, Devon.
- John Lawrance, Eſq; Gent. Commoner of Exeter Coll.
- Mr. Robt. Lloyd, of Trinity Coll.Cambridge.
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- Richard Morgan, Eſq; of Dublin, royal paper.
- Moſes Mendes, Eſq; royal paper.
- William Macham, L.L.B. Fellow of St. John’s Coll.
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- Mrs. Marriott, of Took’s Court.
- Mrs. Mein, of Wandſworth.
- Mr. Metayer,
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- Miſs Peggy Morgan,
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- Thomas Muſgrave, B.M. Fellow of St. John’s Coll.
- Captain Morrice, royal paper. e —Morley xxxii e1v xxxivxxxii
- ——Morley, M.D. of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 2 books.
- George Milborne, Eſq;
- Mrs. Marten, of Windſor, royal paper.
- ——Martin, Eſq;
- Mrs. Martin.
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- John Monro, M.D.
- Rev. Mr. Monro, M.A. Fellow of Corp. Chriſt Coll.
- Rev. Mr. William Moore, B.A. of Wadham Coll.
- John Mallack, Eſq;
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- Paul Methuen, Eſq;
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- Henry Mander, Eſq; of the Inner Temple.
- John Mangey, Eſq; of St. Mary Hall.
- Rev. Morgan Morgan, B.A. of Jeſus Coll. 2 books.
- Rev. Mr. Mudge, M.A. of Pembroke Coll.
- Edward Matthew, of Aberammon, Eſq;
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- James Le Merchant, B.D. Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- Joſhua Le Merchant, Scholar of Pembroke Coll.
- Joſhua Le Merchant, Eſq; his Majeſty’s Sollicitor in Guernſey.
- Mrs. Mabbott, of Caſſington, Oxfordſhire, royal paper.
- Sanderſon Miller, Eſq; of Radway, Warwickſhire.
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- Mrs. Mayow, of Oxford.
- Richard Mead, Eſq. of Windſor, royal paper.
- Lomax Martyn, Eſq; of Lincoln’s Inn.
- Mrs. Michell, of Gerard-ſtreet, royal paper. Rev. xxxiii e2r xxxvxxxiii
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- Rev. Mr. Morton, of Univerſity Coll.
- Rev. Chardin Muſgrave, M.A.
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- Mrs. Maſters, of Pool.
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- Miſs Matthews, of Wallingford.
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- Mrs. Miller, of Ozelworth, Glouceſterſhire.
- Mrs. Mitchell, of Steyning, in Suſſex.
- Miſs Moore.
- Miſs May.
- Mrs. Madane, of Bond-ſtreet, royal paper.
- John Miller, Eſq; of the Inner Temple.
- Rev. Mr. Morris, Fellow of Brazen Noſe Coll.
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- Miſs Martin, of Woodſtock.
- Mr. Thomas Mitchell, Sojourner of Exeter Coll.
- Mr. Morland, of Coggs.
- Edward Mundy, Eſq;
- Thomas Manwaring, Eſq;
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- Miſs Polly Muſgrove, of Oxford.
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- Mrs. Norris.
- Mrs. Nichols.
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- Mrs. Newſham, of Marſton, Warwickſhire.
- Miſs Napleton, of Canterbury.
- Miſs Norman, of Henly upon Thames.
- Miſs Nelmes, of Bradley, Glouceſterſhire.
- Chriſtopher Neville, Eſq; royal paper.
- Mrs. Niblett, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Noel, M.A. Fellow of New Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Naſh, Chancellor of Norwich.
- Rev. Mr. Neal, Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge.
- Mr. Nourſe, Fellow of All Souls, Coll.
- Mrs. Nourſe, of Wood Eaton.
- Mr. Wm. Norton, Attorney at Law, of Oxford, 2 books.
- Rev. Mr. Norton.
- The Rev. Dr. Nicholas.
- Mr. John Notley.
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- Mrs. Ogle, of Camberwell.
- Rev. Humphrey Owen, B.D. Publick Librarian of the Univerſity of Oxford.
- Miſs Owens, of Emmor Green, Berks. William xxxv e3r xxxviixxxv
- William Oliver, M.D. of Bath.
- Miſs Oſborne, of Workley, Glouceſterſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Oſborne, Rector of Godmanſtone, Dorſetſhire.
- The Right Hon. Lady Caroline Peachy, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Plymouth, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs of Pomfret.
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- Sir Wm. Beauchamp Proctor, Knight of the Shire for the County of Middleſex, royal paper.
- Wm. Proctor, Eſq; of Somerſet Houſe, royal paper.
- Robert Paul, Eſq;
- Mr. Pringle.
- Mr. Parſons.
- John Periam, Eſq;
- Miſs Harriot Proctor.
- Mrs. Pullen.
- Mr. Paget, of Oriel Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Pead, M.A. Fellow of Wadham Coll.
- Mrs. Price, of Dorcheſter.
- Miſs Pretty.
- Thomas Perrot, Eſq; of Bath.
- Michael Pope, Eſq;
- Mr. Thomas Phillips.
- Mrs. Panting,
- Mrs. Sarah Panting, of Oxford.
- Miſs Panting,
- George Pitt, Eſq; of Stratfield Sea, royal paper.
- Mrs. Pitt, royal paper.
- Mrs. Mary Perrie, of Furnival’s Inn-court. Mr. xxxvi e3v xxxviiixxxvi
- Mr. Thomas Proctor, of Queen’s Coll.
- Mrs Pottle, of Oxford.
- Miſs Parrot.
- Rev. Mr. Parker, M.A. Fellow of Trinity Coll.
- The Rev. John Potter, D.D. Archdeacon of Oxford, royal paper.
- Thomas Potter, Eſq; Member of Parliament for St. Germans, royal paper.
- Mrs. Pierce, of Tiverton.
- Mrs. Price, of Carmarthenſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Price, B.D. Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Pardo, Principal of Jeſus coll.
- The Rev. Mr. Payn, Dean of the Iſland of Jerſey, r.p.
- Mrs. Payn.
- Mr. Price, Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mrs. Price, of Took’s Court.
- Miſs Palmer.
- Mrs. Prall, of Epſom.
- Rev. Mr. Periam, M.A. Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mr. John Philips, of Jeſus Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Pennicott, M.A. of Exeter College.
- Rev. Mr. Portall, Sojourner of Exeter Coll.
- Mr. Pypon.
- Miſs Pratveil.
- Mrs. Frances Perrice, of Saville Row.
- Mrs. Poultney, of Cleveland Row.
- Mrs. Frances Poultney.
- Jonathan Moreton Pleydell, Eſq; of Lincoln’s Inn.
- Mr. Pratt, Commoner of Univerſity Coll.
- Amos Prowſe, Esq;
- Rev. Mr. Plomer, M.A. Fellow of Lincoln Coll.
- German Pool, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Robert Pye.
- Francis Page, Eſq;
- —Pigott, B.M. Fellow of New Coll.
- The Rev Dr. Purnell, Warden of New Coll. Charles xxxvii e4r xxxixxxxvii
- Charles Price, Eſq; of Blount’s Court.
- Lewis Pryſe, Eſq; of Woodſtock.
- Mr. Thomas Price, Attorney at Law, of Abergavenny.
- Rev. Mr. Phelp, Rector of Heathfield, Somerſetſhire.
- Miſs Peach, of Chaford, Glouceſterſhire.
- Miſs Pyke, of Clanfield, Dorſetſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Parſons, Vicar of Marcham, Berks.
- Rev. Peter Pinnell, M.A. Rector of Bermondſey.
- Rev. Mr. John Prieſt
- Miſs Mary Philips, of Brecon.
- Miſs Pyſing.
- Mrs. Pinney.
- Rev. Mr. Pinkney, M.A. Minor Canon of St. Paul’s.
- Rev. Mr. Parry, M.A. Student of Chriſt Church.
- Thomas Peach, Eſq; of Harborough, Leceſterſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Patten, B.D. Fellow,
- Mr. Patten, Gent. Commoner, of Corp. Chriſt Coll.
- Mrs. Parkhurſt, of Cateſby, Northamptonſhire.
- Mrs. Eliz. Pierce, of Devon.
- Rev. Mr. Pugh, of Ayleſbury.
- Mr. James Payne, of Brackley.
- Rev. Mr. Pyle, Rector of Weſt Alvington, Devon.
- Mr. John Pering, M.A. Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Mrs. Queſtead, of Canterbury.
- John Quick, Eſq;
- Nutcombe Quick, Eſq; of Devonſhire.
- The Right Hon. the Earl of Rochford, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. the Counteſs of Rochford, royal paper. The xxxviii e4v xlxxxviii
- The Right Hon. Lord Ravenſworth. royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Ravenſworth, royal paper.
- The Rev. Sir Peter Rivers. Bart. royal paper.
- Lady Richardſon.
- William Rea, Eſq;
- Matthew Robinſon, Eſq;
- Samuel Renardſon, Eſq; of Great Ormond-ſtreet.
- Richard Riggs, Eſq;
- Captain Ruſſel, of Edinburgh.
- Mr. John Rigg, of Covent Garden.
- Mrs. Rogers.
- Mrs. Rutter, of Windſor.
- —Roberts, M.D. of Abergavenny.
- Richard Roberts, Eſq; of Wootton.
- Mrs. Roberts.
- Mr. John Roberts, Commoner of Jeſus Coll.
- Mr. William Roberts, of Eton School.
- Daniel Rich, Eſq;
- The Rev. Dr. Ratcliff, Maſter of Pembroke Coll.
- John Robertſon, M.D. of Pitcomb.
- Rev. Mr. Read, B.D. Fellow of Jeſus Coll.
- Henry Rowe, Esq; of Bloomſbury Square.
- Nathanael Rowe, Eſq;
- Mr. John Roberts, Scholar of Brazen Noſe Coll.
- Miſs Reading, of Sherborne, Dorſetſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Ruſſel, Rector of Meeth, Devon.
- Miſs Sarah Ruſſell, of Biddiford.
- Mrs. Judith Reynolds.
- Ambroſe Andrew Rhodes, Eſq; of Exeter Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Rennel, of Drewſteignton, Devon.
- Philip Raſhleigh, Eſq; of New Coll.
- Miſs Sally Reeves, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Royſe, Rector of Winſham, Somerſet.
- Mrs. Rice, royal paper. of Wales.
- George Rice, Eſq; royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Rowdon, Fellow of Merton Coll. The xxxix f1r xlixxxix
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- The Rev. Thomas Robinſon, D.D. Prebendary of Peterborough, and Vicar of Port Eland.
- Miſs Robinſon.
- Mr. Rogers, Commoner of Pembroke Coll.
- Miſs Rogers.
- Miſs Rainſtorp.
- William Ruſſell, Eſq; Student of Chriſt Church.
- Rev. Edward Pickering Rich, M.A. of North-Cerney, Glouceſterſhire.
- Mrs. Rutherford, of Chievely, Berks.
- Mrs. Reay, of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- The Rev. Dr. Reynell, Precentor of Conner in Ireland.
- Mrs. Reynell.
- Mrs. Reynell, of Bampton, Oxfordſhire.
- William Beauchamp Rey, Eſq; royal paper.
- Thomas Rowney, Eſq; Member of Parliament for the City of Oxford, royal paper.
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- Mrs. Roberts, of Oxford.
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- The Right Hon. Lord Francis Seymour.
- The Hon. Mr. Sandys.
- The Hon. Matthew Skinner, Chief Juſtice of Cheſter.
- Sir John Stonhouſe, Bart.
- William Stonhouſe, Eſq; royal paper. f Rev. xl f1v xliixl
- Rev. Mr. James Stonhouſe.
- Mrs. Mary Stonhouſe.
- Peter Serle, Eſq;
- Mrs. Serle.
- Mrs. Serle, jun.
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- Humphry Sibthorp, M.D. Botany Profeſſor at Oxford, 6 books, royal paper, 6 ſmall.
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- Rev. Mr. Sanderſon, of Cambridge.
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- Mr. John Swale, of Hatton Garden.
- Rev. Samuel Francis Swinden, M.A.
- Meyer Schamberg, M.D. of Fenchurch-ſtreet.
- Iſaac Schamberg, M.D. of Covent Garden.
- Rev. William Smith, B.D. Fellow of Lincoln Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Stephens, of Queen’s Coll.
- Mr. Sparrow, of Oriel Coll.
- Mrs. Smith, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Stebbing, of Magdalen Coll. Rev. xli f2r xliiixli
- Rev. Mr. Saunders, M.A. Chaplain of Chriſt Church.
- Rev. Mr. Secker, M.A. Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mr. John Sampſon, B.A. Fellow of Merton Coll.
- Mr. Seely, Student of Chriſt Church.
- William Sheldon, Eſq;
- Miſs Southam.
- Mr. Seymour.
- Rev. Mr. Swan, M.A. Fellow of Magd. Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Shepherd, Rector of Norton.
- Rev. Mr. Sharp, M.A.
- Rev. Mr. Smalwell, M.A. Student of Chriſt Ch.
- Mr. Charles Jaſper Sedwin,
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- George Scot, Eſq; of Woolſton Hall, Eſſex, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Sharp, of Univerſity Coll.
- Mr. Stapylton, Gent. Commoner of Univerſity Coll.
- The Rev. Mr. Smart, Prebendary of Litchfield and Student of Chriſt Church.
- The Rev. John Spier, D.D. Fellow of St. John’s Coll.
- Rev. John Saunders, B.D.
- Miſs Scot, of Barham, in Kent.
- Miſs Seidal, of Oxford.
- Rev. Nathanael Sandford, M.A. of New Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Shuter, Rector of Kebworth, Leiceſterſhire. f2 Rev. xlii f2v xlivxlii
- Rev. Mr. Sayer, of Worton, Oxfordſhire.
- Rev. Mr. Stephens, B.D. Fellow of Exeter Coll.
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- Mrs. Alice Speke, of Ilminſter.
- Miſs Sergiſon, of Cookfield, Suſſex.
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- Yerbery Smith, of Oriel Coll.
- Miſs Smith, of Spoxton, Somerſetſhire.
- Mrs. Smith, of College Green, Briſtol.
- Mrs. Ann Smith.
- Miſs Southwell.
- Rev. Mr. Singer, of Barnes, Surrey.
- Mr. Spry, B.A. Student of Chriſt Church.
- Mrs. Short, royal paper.
- Mrs. Eliz. Sherwood, of Hungerford.
- Mr. James Saliſbury.
- Mrs. Starſſey.
- The Rev. Dr. Shipley, Canon of Chriſt Church, royal p.
- Rev. Robert Swinburn, M.A.
- John Swinburn, Eſq;
- William Swinburn, Eſq; of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- Miſs Swinburn, royal paper.
- The Rev. Dr. Shipman, Fellow of All Souls Coll.
- Wm. Swimmerton, Eſq;
- Samuel Salt, Eſq; of the Inner Temple.
- Rev. Mr. Rich. Stock, M.A. of Balliol Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Swinton, M.A. 2 books.
- John Saumarez, Eſq; late of Pembroke Coll. and his Majeſty’s Attorney in Guernſey.
- Mrs. Strete, of Harborough, Leiceſterſhire. Mrs. xliii f3r xlvxliii
- Mrs. Spinckes, of Aldwinkle, Northamptonſhire.
- Mrs. Sanford, of Ninehead, Somerſetſhire.
- Mr. Edward Score, of Exeter.
- Mr. George Stinton, Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Mr. Samuel Slocock, of Newbury.
- Mr. Chriſtopher Smart, M.A. Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.
- The student.
- The Marchioneſs of Tweeddale.
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- The Right Hon. the Earl Tilney, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Viſcounteſs Tracy.
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- Mrs. Talbot.
- Mrs. Tracy, of Coſcombe, Glouceſterſhire.
- Mrs. Tracy, of Stanway, Glouceſterſhire, royal paper.
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- Mrs. Jane Travell.
- Miſs Travell.
- William Travell, Eſq; of Roehampton.
- Mr. Travell, Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Thomas Thornton, Eſq; of Brockhall, Northamptonſhire.
- Mrs. Thornton.
- John Thornton, Eſq; roy al paper.
- Mr. Bonnell Thornton, M.A. Student of Chriſt Ch.6 books, 1 royal paper. Mr. xliv f3v xlvixliv
- Mr. Travers, Organiſt of Covent Garden.
- Rev. Mr. Thomas, of Boxley, in Kent.
- Mrs. Terrick.
- Mrs. Tucker.
- Rev. John Territ, B.D.
- Cornwall Tathwell, M.A. Fellows of St. John’s Coll.
- Miſs Kitty Treadwell, of Oxford.
- Miſs Joanna Thorp.
- Fiennes Trotman, Eſq; of Biceſter.
- Mr. Samuel Trotman.
- Mrs. Tervilè
- Mr. Nathan Thomas, of Jeſus Coll.2 books.
- Mrs. Ann Tanner, of Monmouth.
- The Rev. John Tottie, M.A. Archdeacon of Worceſter, royal paper.
- Mrs. Tottie, royal paper.
- Miſs Jenny Trollope,
- Miſs Tawney, of Oxford.
- Mrs. Townſhend.
- Bartholomew Tipping, Eſq; of Wooley, Berks.
- Mrs. Tipping.
- Thomas Taylor, Esq; of Denbury.
- John Taylor, Eſq; of Yorkſhire.
- Miſs Taylor, of Red Lyon-ſquare.
- Mr. Tanqwry, of Chriſt Church.
- Mr. Trollope, Demi of Magdalen Coll.
- Mr. Francis Taynton, Commoner of Jeſus Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Thomas, M.A. of Covent Garden.
- Rev. Wm. Thompſon, M.A. Fell. of Queen’s Coll.
- The Rev. Dr. Savage Tyndall, Fellow of All Souls Coll.
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- Rev. Mr. Taſwell, M.A. Vicar of Wotton-under-edge, 2 books.
- Miſs Mary Trevor, royal paper.
- Miſs Trimnal.
- Miſs Grace Tyrrell.
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- Mrs. Tryſt,
- Mrs. Turner, of Abergavenny.
- Gilbert Trow, M.D.
- Rev. Mr. Twynihoe, M.A. Fellow of Merton Coll.
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- Mrs. Templer.
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- Mrs. Thornhill, of Pool.
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- Thomas Tregonnewell, Eſq; of Anderſon, royal paper.
- Rev. Mr. Tench, of Cookfield, Suſſex.
- Benjamin Tilden, Eſq; of Eltham.
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- Mrs. Treacher, of Oxford.
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- Mrs. Taylor.
- Rev. Mr. Turner, Vicar of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
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- Rev. Mr. Tucker, of Cullumpton, Devon.
- Rev. Mr. Turner, Fellow of New Coll.
- Mrs. Twiner, of Hunton, in Kent.
- Capt. Edmund Toll, Commander of his Majeſty’s Ship the Oxford.
- Miſs Toll.
- James Thomas, Eſq; of his Majeſty’s Office of the Impreſt, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Grace Vane.
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- Lady Vanbrugh.
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- John Vanhattem, Eſq;
- Mrs. Vanhattem.
- Miſs Vanhattem.
- Miſs Lydia Catherine Vanhattem.
- Mr. Richard Vivian, of Oriel Coll.
- Miſs Vallis, of Oxford.
- Rev. Mr. Vatas, M.A. Student of Chriſt Church.
- James Viney, Eſq; of St. Mary Hall.
- Mrs. Vaughan, of Fritwell.
- Rev. Francis Upton, M.A. Fellow of Exeter Coll.
- Mr. Vivian, M.A. Fellow of Balliol Coll.
- The Right Hon. Lady Viſcounteſs Windſor.
- The Right Hon. Lady Frances Williams, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Eliz. Warren, royal paper.
- The Right Hon. Lady Ann Wallop.
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- Mrs. Weſton, of Somerſet-houſe.
- Francis Wace, Eſq;
- Mr. Wace.
- Rev. Mr. Williams.
- Mr. Whiting.
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- Mr. Wiſhart, of Curſitor-ſtreet, 2 books.
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- Hugh Watſon, Eſq;
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- Mr. Chriſtopher Watkins, A.B. of Chriſt Church.
- Mr. Wolley, of Oxford.
- John Knightly Wightwick, jun. Eſq;
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- Mrs. Whalley, of Oxford.
- Mr John Walſh, of Catherine-ſtreet.
- Mrs. Wright.
- Miſs Wilks.
- Rev. Mr. Waterhouſe, Fellow of Dulwich Coll.
- Henry Worth, Esq; of Worth.
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- Mr. Thomas Williams, of Jeſus Coll. g Hampden xlviii g1v lxlviii
- Hampden Weſton, Eſq; of Norfolk-ſtreet.
- Mrs. Whatley, of Nonſuch Park.
- The Rev. Dr. Walwin, Prebendary of Canterbury.
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- George Wright, Eſq;
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- Mrs. Wyatt.
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- Rev. Mr. Wood, Fellow of Univerſity Coll.
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- Rev. William Wheeler, M.A.
- Mrs. Welby, of Welborn.
- Browne Willis, Eſq;
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- Mrs. Wyndham, of Bruton-ſtreet.
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- Mr. Whitchurch, Gent. Commoner of Queen’s Coll.
- Rev. Mr. Whiting, Fellow
- Mr. Wilie, B.A. of Oriel Coll.
- John Whitlocke, Eſq;
- Miſs Judith Whitlocke.
- Mrs. Whitlock, of Wotton-under-edge.
- Mrs. Wragge.
- Rev. Mr. Thomas Williams, Vicar of Brecon.
- Mrs. Wade, royal paper.
- Mrs. Warry.
- Mrs,. White, of Newcaſtle upon Tyne.
- Mrs. White, of Dorſetſhire. Rev. xlix g2r lixlix
- Rev. Mr. Welſhman, Rector of Dodford, Northamptonſh
- Mr. Walker, Attorney at Law, of Oxford.
- Francis Wheeler, Esq; of the Inner Temple.
- Joſeph Wilcox, Eſq; royal paper,
- Rev. Mr. Waterhouſe, M.A. Students of Chriſt Ch.
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- William Woolaſcot, Eſq; of Newbury.
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- Mr. Edward Withers, Surgeon of Newbury.
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- Miſs Waldo.
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- Mr. Watters, of Daventry.
- Miſs Jane Whitten, of Burford.
- Mr. Thomas Warton, M.A. of Trinity Coll.
- Cornelius Wittnoon, Eſq; of Watford.
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- The Rev. Dr. Young, Rector of Wellwyn, royal paper.
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- Capel Payne, Eſq; of the Inner Temple.
- Miſs Sarah Rhodes of Plympton,
- John Luſcombe, Eſq; of Comb Royal, Devon.
- John Seal, Eſq; of Mount Boon.
- Mr. Bennet of Oriel Coll.
- Miſs Carolina Brathwaite.
- Mr. John Acland, Scholar of Baliol Coll. The li g3r liiili
- The Rev. Dr. Bowles of Brackley, Oxfordſhire.
- John Kelly, M.A. of Ch. Ch.
- Mr. Warren, Student of Ch. Ch.
- Mr. Whitfield, Commoner of Ch. Ch.
- Rev. Mr. Hayter, Rector of Chagford, and Chaplain to the Lord Biſhop of Norwich.
- Miſs Eliz. Tucker of Exeter, royal paper.
- James Leigh, Eſq;
- Mr. Pardoe, Merchant, of London.
- Mr. Tremlet, Merchant, of Exeter.
- Rev. Mr. Monteath, M.A.
- James Urmſton, Eſq;
- Mr. Lomas.
- Mr. Soreſby, Gent. Com. St. Mary Hall.
- Miſs Tichborne of Wolverhampton.
- Phillip Pargiter, Eſq; of Litchfield.
- Rev. Mr. Mence, M.A. Vicar of Pancras.
- Miſs Diſney of Cranbrook,
- Miſs Haſwell of Horſmonden,
- Miſs Beale, in Kent.
- John Cook, Eſq; of Swifts,
- Richard S—Dyke, Eſq;
- Mr. Cruttenden,
- Mrs. Cruttenden,
- Rev. Mr. Hayley, of Burwich in Suſſex.
- Mrs. Huſſey,
- Miſs Huſſey,
- Rev. Mr. Affleck,
- Miſs Eleanor Clerk, of Daventry, Northamptonſhire.
- Miſs Eliz. Clay,
- Mr. Humphrey Payne, Goldſmith, in London.
- Mr. Cooper, Attorney at Law, of Henly.
- Miſs Molly Wyment, of Daventry.
- Mrs. Wittewrong.
- Thomas Corbett, Eſq; James lii g3v livlii
- James Forſter, Eſq;
- Mrs. Parkhurſt of Cateſby, 2 books.
- Mr. William Sawbridge.
- Mrs. Dolben of Finedon,
- Rev. Mr. Walton of Burton,
- Miſs Mary Proctor of Claycoten,
- Mrs. Eliz. Mobbs of Weſton Weedon, Northamptonſhire.
- Mrs. Horton of Guilſbrough,
- Rev. Mr. Tho. Hartly of Winwick,
- Miſs Catherine Burbridge of Staverton
- Miſs Mary Plumer of Billen, Warwickſhire.
- Miſs Grace Rawſon of Halifax, Yorkſhire.
- Mr. William Davis of Brazen Noſe Coll.
- Miſs Eliz. Davis.
- Miſs Mary Davis.
- William Buller, Eſq;
- Miſs Mary Buller.
- Miſs Eliz. Buller.
- Mr. William Richards.
- Mr. Samuel Robinſon.
- Mr. Edward Eltum.
- Meſſ. Samuel and Nathaniel Buck.
- George Phillips, Eſq;
- William Pate, Eſq;
- Mr. Maſh of Biſhopgate-ſtreet.
- Rev. Mr. Congreve of Blockley.
- Mrs. Daſhwood.
- Mrs. Hughes of Cheltenham.
- Mrs. Potter of Chard, Somerſetſhire.
- Dr. Hayes of Oxford.
- Mr. Lyſons, Fellow Commoner of Magdalen College.
- George Kalmer, Eſq;
- Mrs. Knightly of Offchurch,
- Miſs Lucy Knightley of Charwelton, Northamptonſhire.
- The Rev. Dr. Faucett, Fellow of C.C. Coll. Rev. liii g4r lvliii
- Rev. Mr. Powell, Fellow of Trinity Coll. Cambridge, and ſenior Aſſiſtant of Weſtminſter ſchool, royal paper.
- —Low, Esq; of Derbyſhire.
- Miſs Kitty Bathurſt
- Miſs Lawton.
- Mrs. Sheldon of Weſton, Warwickſhire.
- Mrs. Oury of Woodland,
- Mrs. Rhodes of Modbury, Devon.
- Miſs Suſanna Nicoll, of Highwood Hill, royal paper.
- Mrs. Sarah Fenwicke, of Park-ſtreet.
- Miſs Camille Richmond,
- Rev. Mr. Lambe, Newcastle upon Tyne.
- Mrs. Bland of Hurworth,
- Mrs. Gale,
- Rev. Mr. Harriſon,
- Gabeths Norton, Eſq;
- Mrs. Norton,
- Chriſtopher Crowe, Eſq;
- Rev. Mr. Stapylton, Northumberland.
- Rev. Mr. Etherington,
- Rev. Mr. Tennant,
- Rev. Mr. Collins,
- Miſs Eliz. Routh,
- Miſs Charlotte Fielding,
- Rev. Mr. Kay,
Miscellanies in Verse and Prose.
An Epistle to Lady Bowyer.
How much of paper’s ſpoil’d! what floods of ink!
And yet how few, how very few can think!
The knack of writing is an eaſy trade;
But to think well requires—at leaſt a Head.
Once in an age, one Genius may ariſe,
With wit well-cultur’d, and with learning wiſe.
Like ſome tall oak, behold his branches ſhoot!
No tender ſcions ſpringing at the root.B Whilſt 2 B1v 2
Whilſt lofty Pope erects his laurell’d head,
No lays, like mine, can live beneath his ſhade.
Nothing but weeds, and moſs, and ſhrubs are found.
Cut, cut them down, why cumber they the ground?
And yet you’d have me write!—For what? for whom?
To curl a Fav’rite in a dreſſing-room?
To mend a candle when the ſnuff’s too ſhort?
Or ſave rappee for chamber-maids at Court?
Glorious ambition! noble thirſt of fame!—
No, but you’d have me write—to get a name.
Alas! I’d live unknown, unenvy’d too;
’Tis more than Pope, with all his wit can do.
’Tis more than You, with wit and beauty join’d,
A pleaſing form, and a diſcerning mind.
The world and I are no ſuch cordial friends;
I have my purpoſe, they their various ends.
I ſay my pray’rs, and lead a ſober life,
Nor laugh at Cornus, or at Cornus’ wife.
What’s fame to me, who pray, and pay my rent?
If my friends know me honeſt, I’m content.
Well, but the joy to ſee my works in print!
My ſelf too pictur’d in a Mezzo-Tint!
The Preface done, the Dedication fram’d,
With lies enough to make a Lord aſham’d!
Thus I ſtep forth; an Auth’reſs in ſome ſort.
My Patron’s name? O chooſe ſome Lord at Court.
One that has money which he does not uſe,
One you may flatter much, that is, abuſe.
For if you’re nice, and cannot change your note,
Regardleſs of the trimm’d, or untrimm’d coat;
Believe me, friend, you’ll ne’er be worth a groat.
Well then, to cut this mighty matter ſhort,
I’ve neither friend, nor intereſt at Court.
Quite from St. James’s to thy ſtairs, Whitehall,
I hardly know a creature, great or ſmall,
Except one Maid of Honour, Honourable Miſs Lovelace. worth ’em all.
I have no bus’neſs there. Let thoſe attend
The courtly Levee, or the courtly Friend,
Who more than fate allows them, dare to ſpend.
Or thoſe whoſe avarice, with much, craves more,
The penſion’d Beggar, or the titled Poor.B2 Theſe 4 B2v 4
Theſe are the thriving Breed, the tiny Great!
Slaves! wretched Slaves! the Journeymen of State!
Philoſophers! who calmly bear diſgrace,
Patriots! who ſell their country for a place.
Shall I for theſe diſturb my brains with rhyme?
For theſe, like Bavius creep, or Glencus climb?
Shall I go late to reſt, and early riſe,
To be the very creature I deſpiſe?
With face unmov’d, my poem in my hand,
Cringe to the porter, with the footman ſtand?
Perhaps my lady’s maid, if not too proud,
Will ſtoop, you’ll ſay, to wink me from the croud.
Will entertain me, till his lordſhip’s dreſt,
With what my lady eats, and how ſhe reſts:
How much ſhe gave for ſuch a birth-day gown,
And how ſhe trampt to ev’ry ſhop in town.
Sick at the news, impatient for my lord,
I’m forc’d to hear, nay ſmile at ev’ry word.
Tom raps at laſt,—His lordſhip begs to know
Your name? your bus’neſs—Sir, I’m not a foe.I come 5 B3r 5
I come to charm his lordſhip’s liſt’ning ears
With verſes, ſoft as muſic of the ſpheres.
Verſes!—Alas! his lordſhip ſeldom reads:
Pedants indeed with learning ſtuff their heads;
But my good lord, as all the world can tell,
Reads not ev’n tradeſmen’s bills, and ſcorns to ſpell.
But truſt your lays with me. Some things I’ve read,
Was born a poet, tho’ no poet bred:
And if I find they’ll bear my nicer view,
I’ll recommend your poetry—and you.
Shock’d at his civil impudence, I ſtart,
Pocket my poem, and in haſte depart;
Reſolv’d no more to offer up my wit,
Where footmen in the ſeat of critics ſit.
Is there a Lord Right Hon. Nevil Lord Lovelace, who dy’d ſoon after, in the 28th year of his age. whoſe great unſpotted ſoul,
Not places, penſions, ribbons can control;
Unlac’d, unpowder’d, almoſt unobſerv’d,
Eats not on ſilver, while his train are ſtarv’d;Who 6 B3v 6
Who tho’ to nobles, or to kings ally’d,
Dares walk on foot, while ſlaves in coaches ride;
With merit humble, and with greatneſs free,
Has bow’d to Freeman, and has din’d with Me;
Who bred in foreign courts, and early known,
Has yet to learn the cunning of his own;
To titles born, yet heir to no eſtate,
And, harder ſtill, too honeſt to be great;
If ſuch an one there be, well-bred, polite?
To Him I’ll dedicate, for Him I’ll write.
Peace to the reſt I can be no man’s ſlave;
I aſk for nothing, tho’ I nothing have.
By Fortune humbled, yet not ſunk ſo low
To ſhame a friend, or fear to meet a foe.
Meanneſs, in ribbons or in rags, I hate;
And have not learnt to flatter, ev’n the Great.
Few friends I aſk, and thoſe who love me well;
What more remains, theſe artleſs lines ſhall tell.
Of honeſt. parents, not of great, I came;
Not known to fortune, quite unknown to fame.Frugal 6 B4r 7
Frugal and plain, at no man’s coſt they eat,
Nor knew a baker’s, or a butcher’s debt.
O be their precepts ever in my eye!
For one has learnt to live, and one to die.
Long may her widow’d age by heav’n be lent
Among my bleſſings! and I’m well content.
I aſk no more, but in ſome calm retreat,
To ſleep in quiet, and in quiet eat.
No noiſy ſlaves attending round my room;
My viands wholeſome, and my waiters dumb.
No orphans cheated, and no widow’s curſe,
No houſhold lord, for better or for worſe.
No monſtrous ſums to tempt my ſoul to ſin,
But juſt enough to keep me plain, and clean.
And if ſometimes, to ſmooth the rugged way,
Charlot ſhould ſmile, or You approve my lay,
Enough for me. I cannot put my truſt
In lords; ſmile lies, eat toads, or lick the duſt
Fortune her favours much too dear may hold:
An honeſt heart is worth its weight in gold.
An Epistle to The Right Honourable Samuel Lord Masham.
Patience, my Lord, a virtue rare, I grant;
And what, I fear, the wiſeſt of us want:
Eaſy the taſk in Action to excell,
The ſoul’s laſt trial lies in ſuff’ring well.
From fear, or ſhame what ſpecious acts proceed!
And worldly aims oft prompt the ſhining deed.
Look but on half the boaſted things we do,
And praiſe, or profit is the point in view.
From theſe, what crops of virtue bleſs the land!
With theſe, how oft the mower fills his hand!
Prompted by theſe the knave we oft regard,
While ſuff’ring virtue is her own reward;
Silent and meek ſhe paſſes unobſerv’d,
Nor prais’d by whom ſhe’s over-reach’d or ſtarv’d.
But granting nobler motives to the few,
And fame or int’reſt not the point in view;Grant 11 C2r 11
Grant of the wretched’s ſuff’rings we partake,
And praise, or pity ev’n for virtue’s ſake;
Yet that ſoft temper of the gen’rous mind,
That very breaſt, benevolent and kind,
That noble ſenſe, which feels what others feel,
Which you, my Lord, who know it, beſt can tell;
Itſelf oppreſt, can leaſt reſiſtance ſhow,
But pines, or ſinks beneath its proper woe.
What tho’ in Action brave, unaw’d by fear,
Reſolv’d as Clayton, Lieut. General Clayton; who, after a life ſpent in the ſervice of his King and Country, into which he enter’d at 17 years old, was at laſt kill’d by a random ball at the Battle of Dettingen, in his 68th year; after the defeat of the Enemy, and as he was riding thro’ the ranks to encourage the purſuit. He was buried at Hanau, under a triple diſcharge of cannon, with other military honours due to his diſtinguiſh’d merit and character. His perſonal bravery under the reigns of King William, Queen Anne, and the preſent Royal Family, is too well known to need a remark; and his domeſtic character was ſo amiable in all its ſeveral relations, that I can only expreſs my ſenſe of it in the words of Hamlet, He was a man, take him for all in all,I ſhall not look upon his like again. or as Swift ſevere;
In diff’rent views their trials, tempers ſcan,
Ev’n Swift can weep, and Clayton is a man.C2 Superior 12 C2v 12
Superior faculties avail not here,
Wit points the ſhaft, and valour pours the tear.
The ſame nice nerve which vibrates to the brain
Its ſenſe of pleaſure, gives as quick its pain:
And all the diff’rence ’twixt the fool and wiſe,
In their ſenſations, and perceptions lies.
The Man of Wit in many parts is ſore,
Touch but a Genius, and he ſmarts all o’er.
The wiſe his Wiſdom to This word is generally us’d to expreſs Anger, or a Senſe of Injury; but comes from the French Reſſentiment, and originally means no more than a ſenſible Apprehenſion, or true Feeling: as, Il avoit quelque Reſſentiment de Goute. Je ne perdrai jamais le Reſſentiment des Bontez que vous m’avez temoignèées. (See Dict.) In which ſenſe it is here us’d. Reſentment owes,
The Fool feels little, for he little knows.
The downright Aſs is paſſive, mild, and tame,
By blows or kindneſs urg’d, is ſtill the ſame:
His ſtoic breaſt no kindling paſſions prove,
Kick him you may, but you can never move.
O envy’d creature! who nor feels or fears,
Who all things ſuffers, all things bravely bears.Whom 13 C3r 13
Whom neither Hope, or Fear, or Shame can move,
Nor kindling mounts to Rage, or melts to Love.
His pleaſures always equal, flowing, full,
For ever patient and for ever dull!
If then from Wiſdom half our pains ariſe,
Say, Maſham, what avails it to be wiſe?
The greateſt good proud Science can beſtow,
But learn’d the lateſt, is—Our ſelves to know.
Yet after all their search, the wiſe complain,
This very knowledge irritates their pain.
In vain you tell me of the ſtoic train:
Where is the man not ſenſible of pain?
All find, all feel it too in ſome degree;
It makes old Zeno fret as well as me.
Elſe why not chooſe, for contemplation ſake,
The burning plough-ſhare, or the tort’ring rack?
If pain’s no ill, why not prefer the ſtone
To velvet cuſhions, and to beds of down?—
I grant he reaſon’d calmly in the gout,
But try him farther, and you’ll find him out.Touch 14 C3v 14
Touch but his pride, at once you make him ſmart:
A ſtoic only, juſt in ſuch a part;
In all the reſt ſuſceptible of pain,
And feels and reaſons much like other men.
Among th’ intrepid breed I know there are,
Who any hardſhip, any pains can bear.
To whom leſs ſhocking is th’ impending ſword,
Than to the meek of ſoul, a ſlighting word.
What hardy ’ſquires, what ſoldiers daily feel,
A thouſand ſoft Adoniſes wou’d kill.
Yet whence is this?—From reaſon, ſir, no doubt.
But pray, will abſtract reaſon cure the gout?
Did ever axioms ſooth the nervous ill?
Or ſyllogiſms pay the doctor’s bill?
Too much, I fear, of reaſon’s aid we boaſt,
Where moſt ’tis wanted, there it fails us most.
’Tis not the ſoldier’s reaſon makes him bear
Th’ inclement ſeaſon, and the toilſome war;
’Tis not the nice deduction of the ’ſquire,
That keeps him well and warm without a fire:The 15 C4r 15
The mind does little; ’tis the body here,
That is, in ſtrictneſs, the philoſopher.
Thoſe only then are truly ſaid to hear,
Who feel the pain, no matter what, or where.
Suppoſe it of th’ acute, or lingring kind,
Suppoſe it of the body or the mind;
Suppoſe it touch the welfare of a friend,
Suppoſe it only at the finger’s end;
Yet, if you feel the stroke, ’tis pain to you,
And if you bear it well, you’re patient too.
For pain, as such, is neither more or leſs,
But borrows all its ſting from paſſiveneſs.
From thoſe nice touches which from ſenſe ariſe,
Or which when paſt, reflection oft ſupplies.
In this, I grant, are infinite degrees,
But hence reſults our miſery or eaſe:
Not from the ſtroke, ſo much as from the ſmart,
Not from the wound, but from the head or heart.
Hence Timon’s peeviſh, Dromio mild and tame;
But ſhall we flatter one, the other blame,
Becauſe their feelings are not juſt the ſame?16 C4v 16
Yet quite a Wretch who feels and frets we call,
And quite a Saint who nothing feels at all.
This too, perchance, may ſerve to reconcile
The virgin’s panicks, and the ſtoic’s ſmile.
’Tis this makes Charlot at a ſpider ſcream—
This ſpite of reaſon, reſolution, fame,
May make a ſoldier ſhrink, a ſaint blaſpheme.
This to a medium every ſtation brings,
This levels with their ſlaves the proudeſt kings,
And reconciles th’ unequal face of things.
This inward ſenſe, the feeling of the ſoul,
Of pain and pleaſure comprehends the whole.
In vain ſoft Conti warbles in my ear,
If the lax nerve convey no pleaſure there.
In vain the picture, and the ſplendid feaſt,
If this not ſtrike the eye, nor that the taſte.
Leſs pleas’d am I with Farinelli’s note,
Than the rude Cobler in his merry throat:
He, who beneath ſome ſhatter’d bulk reclin’d,
Smiles at the tempeſt, and derides the wind.Who 17 D1r 17
Who hunger, dirt, and all but thirſt can bear,
To ſpleen a ſtranger, and a foe to fear.
His mind no rude ſenſations diſcompoſe,
Nor ſmells offenſive e’er affront his noſe;
Nor high debates, nor falling ſtocks he minds,
His awful temples, lo! a fillet binds;
Patient he eyes the future and the past,
And, as a king, is happy to the last.
To me it ſeems, howe’er our lot may fall,
That pain and pleasure’s dealt alike to all;
That ev’ry ſtation has its proper ill,
In what we fancy, or in what we feel;
That ev’ry worldly pleaſure we may gain,
Is dropt again in ſome attendant pain.
Thus wiſely deals th’ impartial hand of Heav’n,
To check our pride, and keep the ballance ev’n.
Tell me, ye Proud ones! who this world poſſeſs,
Are not the high and low, the great and leſs,
Born with an equal plea to happineſs?D True 18 D1v 18
True, in your wants and wiſhes you ſucceed;
But are you better than the ſlaves you feed?
Have you more virtue who of ven’ſon eat,
Than he who thirſts and hungers at your gate?
Alas! with plenty, peace is ſeldom giv’n,
Nor Beccaficoes always gifts of Heav’n.
Tell me, ye Poor ones! and your ſtate explain,
Whoſe patience Heav’n proportions to your pain,
To whom is wanting ev’ry earthly good,
But quiet ſleeps, and appetites ſubdu’d;
Whoſe hopes to no wild ſummit ever preſt,
No keen ſenſations to diſturb your breaſt:
Say, why were all theſe wondrous bleſſings giv’n,
But to convince you of the care of Heav’n?
To ſhew how equally its gifts are lent,
To ſome in Gold, to others in Content.
Still thoſe are reſtleſs diſcontented theſe,
The poor for riches ſigh, the rich for eaſe.
Thus Curio pines with envy at the great,
While you, my Lord, are ſick of pomp and ſtate.“My 19 D2r 19
My fate is hard, (cries one) o’erlook’d! forgot!
Yet all life’s comforts are my neighbour’s lot.
See, he’s poſſeſs’d of all that Heav’n can grant,
But I, unhappy! ev’ry bleſſing want;
His life, tho’ vile, is one luxurious treat,
Whilſt I have virtue, but not bread to eat.
Well, but you’ve friends, in health too pretty ſound.
That’s not the caſe; I want—ten thouſand pound.
Still you have—What! no reaſon to complain?
Perhaps not much. However, think again.
As yet but half this envy’d man you’ve ſeen,
The outſide’s fair indeed, but look within;
Perhaps there’s ſomething there corrodes his breaſt,
That cruel ſomething, common to the reſt:
Some fav’rite wiſh too wild, or weak to own,
Some ſecret pang, to all beſides unknown.
Or with his bleſſings, count his want of health,
And to the pleaſures, add the plagues of wealth:
On ev’ry ſide the envy’d creature view,
Then tell me which is happieſt, He or You?
Poſſeſſing all things, cou’d we all enjoy,
Wou’d neither appetites, nor objects cloy,
Were ev’ry ſenſe, each pleaſing paſſion keen,
Not pall’d by ſurfeits, nor chaſtis’d with ſpleen;
How bleſt the rich! how curſt indeed the poor!
One to enjoy, the other to endure.
But why repine at what to wealth is giv’n?
Since gouts and cholics ſet the matter ev’n.
Behold the man of luxury and wine!
His ſtation too, it ſeems, is hard as thine.
What, tho’ for him our ſtatelieſt turbots ſwim,
And France her vines luxuriant prunes for him;
Yet he complains, when lab’ring thro’ the feaſt,
Of loſs of appetite, and want of taſte;
Envies the very beggar at his gate,
Who hardly knows the luxury to eat.
But what? your barns are full, your rents increaſe;
Sir Robert too has promis’d you a Place.
Have comfort, man! let not your ſpirits fail!
Perhaps to morrow you may reliſh quail.Think 21 D3r 21
Think rather of the pleaſures which you ſhare,
And learn their inconveniencies to bear.
Rejoice in cray-fiſh ſoup! be glad in trout!
But pray have patience, when you feel the gout;
Sit down reſign’d, when cholics rack your breaſt,
Or riſe, like Bethel, from th’ intemp’rate feaſt
Thus each has ſomething to enjoy, and bear;
And none may envy much his neighbour’s ſhare.
Envy! the ſource of half the wretched feel,
And where it ſtrikes, the hardeſt wound to heal.
Yet why repine at what my neighbours taſte?
Since I in ſomething elſe am juſt as bleſt
To me perhaps kind heav’n indulgent grants
The ſpirits, health, or limbs my neighbour wants;
To me has giv’n a quicker ſenſe of ſhame,
While he feels nothing of contempt or blame:
To me no acres of paternal ground,
To him the ſpleen and fifty thouſand pound.
If doom’d ſeverer trials to ſuſtain,
Some ſecret pow’r may blunt the edge of pain:The 22 D3v 22
The keen ſenſation uſe may reconcile,
And added Hope affliction’s ſting beguile.
Wou’d you enquire, why man’s to ſuff’ring born;
To feel his frailties, and his nature mourn?
Why each has his peculiar ill aſſign’d,
Some pain of body, or ſome plague of mind;
Some lingring malady for years endur’d,
Some hopeleſs paſſion, never to be cur’d:
And why not rather temp’rate, wiſe, ſerene,
Without all healthful, and all peace within?
Know, thankleſs man! that He, who rules the ball,
In goodneſs infinite permits it all.
For nat’ral Evil, rightly underſtood,
Works but the grand deſign, our moral Good;
And he unjustly of his lot complains,
Who finds his ſtrength proportion’d to his pains.
This life, with pain and pleaſure intermixt,
Is but a ſtate of trial for the next;
A ſtage, on which amid’ the vary’d ſcenes,
Promiſcuous Ceſars tread with Harlequins.Where 23 D4r 23
Where none of all the ſelf-admiring train,
May chooſe his part, or ſtrut his hour again:
Our bus’neſs only thro’ the meaſur’d ſpan,
To act it well, and wiſely as we can.
Pain was permitted in the various part,
To check the manners, and chaſtiſe the heart;
To blunt the appetite to moral ill;
To curb, reſtrain, and rectify the will;
To call us back from ev’ry wild purſuit;
To clear the ſoil for virtue’s plants to ſhoot;
To move compaſſion for our neighbour’s ill,
And teach us where to weep, from what we feel:
To fix, to urge the bus’neſs of our ſpan;
To raiſe the hero, and to mend the man.
Strong trials muſt the headſtrong temper break,
As gentler methods oft reclaim the meek.
When lightnings flaſh, the moſt obdurate mind
Some efforts ſure of penitence muſt find:
Ev’n Felix trembles at a gen’ral doom,
And owns the terrors of a world to come.
Theſe are the ends for which afflictions came,
To rouze our reaſon, and our paſſions tame;
To ſet fair Virtue in her proper light,
And fix the wavering attention right.
What tho’ your part amid’ the gen’ral ſcene,
Too high or hard appear, too low or mean;
Beſet with wants, with cares and fears oppreſt,
The ſport of fortune, and of men the jeſt:
Yet wait awhile, whatever chance befal,
Heav’n’s ways are equal, thine unequal all.
Here but as ſtrangers journeying for a ſpace,
To ſeek ſome ſure, ſome diſtant reſting-place;
Some perils by the way we muſt endure,
The cruel robber, and the night obſcure.
Yet, arm’d with Patience, let us boldly dare,
The end is certain, and the proſpect fair.
He, who proportions largely all our gain,
Weighs ev’ry loſs, and counts out ev’ry pain;
Sees all our frailties, meaſures duſt by duſt,
In all he gives and takes, ſupremely juſt:That 25 E1r 25
That pow’r eternal will our ſteps befriend,
And guide us ſafely to our journey’s end;
Where ev’ry pang, where ev’ry fear ſhall ceaſe,
And each immortal gueſt ſubſide to peace.
To him who ſuffer’d well, will much be giv’n,
And Patience wear the brighteſt wreath in Heav’n.
For you, my Lord, in various conflicts ſeen,
Not ſpoil’d with peeviſhneſs, nor ſow’rd with ſpleen,
The beſt of tempers, and the beſt of men:
For you, alas! one trial yet remains;
O ſuffer righteouſly theſe proving ſtrains!
And if unmov’d, unruffled you can hear,
What Patience’ ſelf perchance could hardly bear;
If yet this ſorer trial you ſurvive,
Your Lordſhip is the patient’st man alive.
An Epiſtle to the Hon. Martha, only Sister of Nevil, the Last Lord Lovelace, & Maid of honour to Queen Caroline; afterwards married to Lord Henry Beauclerc, a younger Son of the first Duke of St. Albans. Miſs Lovelace.
Whence theſe impetuous movements of the breast?
Why beat our hearts, unknowing where to reſt?
Muſt we ſtill long untaſted joys to taſte,
Pant for the future, yet regret the paſt?
Can reaſon, can a ſtoic’s pride control
This unremitting ſickneſs of the ſoul?
Reaſon! what’s that, when lawleſs Paſſion rules?
The jeſt of ſenſe, and jargon of the ſchools.
Some few perhaps have by its lore been taught
To think, and wiſh, juſt only what they ought:
Sufficient to themſelves, their wants are ſuch,
They neither aſk amiſs, nor wiſh too much.
Here freedom dwells, and revels unconfin’d,
With plenty, eaſe, and indolence of mind;
True greatneſs, wiſdom, virtue, hence muſt riſe;
And here that home-felt joy, Contentment, lies.
O Thou! for whom my fancy prunes her wing,
For whom I love to tune the trembling ſtring,
What would we more than wiſdom, virtue, eaſe?
Tell, if you can, for you’re content with theſe.
Why reaſon ſome, and ſome why paſſion rules,
Is becauſe ſome are wiſe, and ſome are fools;
Their reaſon and their paſſion ſtill at ſtrife,
Like ſome meek pair in wedlock yok’d for life:
In the ſame int’reſt, tugging diff’rent ways,
What one commands, the other diſobeys.
Bleſt ſtate! where this alone is fixt and ſure,
To diſagree, while ſun and moon endure.
Hence liſtleſs, weary, ſick, chagrin’d at home,
In ſearch of happineſs abroad we roam:
And yet the wiſeſt of us all have own’d,
If ’twas not there, ’twas no where to be found.
There ev’n the poor may taſte felicity,
If with contentment any ſuch there be.
Monſtrous! (cries Fulvia) ’twou’d a ſtoic vex!
For what’s content without a coach and fix?—E2 So 28 E2v 28
So humble, Fulvia! ſo deſerving too!
Pity ſuch worth ſhould unregarded go—
Down on your knees again, and beg of fate,
Inſtead of ſix, to give your chariot eight.
Elvira’s paſſion was a china jar;
The brute, her lord, contemns ſuch brittle ware.
No matter. —See! the glitt’ring columns riſe,
Pile above pile, and emulate the ſkies.
Freſh cargoes come, freſh longings theſe create;
And what is twenty pieces for a plate?
Debates enſue; he brandiſhes his cane,
Down go the pyramids of Porcellane.
She faints, ſhe falls, and in a ſigh profound,
Yeilds her high ſoul, and levels with the ground.
Cruel! farewel!—(were the laſt words ſhe ſpoke)
For what is life, now all my China’s broke!
Few can the ſtings of Diſappointment bear!
One ſends a curſe to Heav’n, and one a pray’r;
The pious motive’s much the ſame in both,
In him that ſwears, and him that fears an oath.The 29 E3r 29
The fervent curſe, and penitential pray’r,
Proceed alike from anguiſh, pride, deſpair.
Hence ſober Catius lifts his hands and eyes,
And mad Corvino curſes God, and dies.
What joy, (cries Cotta in his calm retreat)
Had I but ſuch an office in the ſtate!
That poſt exactly ſuits my active mind,
And ſure my genius was for courts deſign’d.
Thou haſt it, friend,—for ’tis in Fancy’s pow’r;
Learn to be thankful, and teaze Heav’n no more.
See! how kind Fancy gen’rouſly ſupplies
What a whole thankleſs land thy worth denies.
See! how ſhe paints the lovely flatt’ring ſcene,
With all the pleaſure, and without the pain.
Make much of Fancy’s favours, and believe
You’ll hardly match the pleaſures ſhe can give.
Of injur’d merit ſome aloud complain;
My cruel angel!—cries the love-ſick ſwain.
Her marble heart at length to love inclin’d,
His cruel angel grows perverſely kind.What 30 E3v 30
What would he more?—One wiſh remains to make,
That Heav’n, in pity, would his angel take.
Oft on events moſt men miſcalculate,
Then call misfortune, what indeed was fate.
We ſee a little, and preſume the reſt,
And that is always right which pleaſes beſt
Why ſupple Courtine miſs’d of ſuch a poſt,
Was not his want of conduct, or of coſt,
For he brib’d high; five hundred pieces gave;
But ah! hard fate! his patron ſcorns a knave.
O for a huſband, handſome and well-bred!
(Was the laſt pray’r the chaſte Dyctinna made.)
Kind Heav’n at length her ſoft petition heeds,
But one wiſh gain’d, a multitude ſucceeds—
She wants an heir, ſhe wants a houſe in town,
She wants a title, or ſhe wants a gown.
Poor Cornus! make thy will, bequeath, and give;
For if her wants continue, who would live?
Sure to be wiſhing ſtill, is ſtill to grieve;
And proves the man or poor, or much a ſlave.
Will none the wretched crawling thing regard,
Who ſtoops ſo very low, and begs ſo hard?
You call this meanneſs, and the wretch deſpiſe;
Alas! he ſtoops to ſoar, and ſinks to riſe:
Now on the knee, now on the wing is found,
As inſects ſpring with vigour from the ground.
Bleſs me! the Doctor!—what brings him to court?
It is not want; for lo! his comely port.
The lion’s lack, and hunger feel, I grant;
But they who ſerve the Lord can nothing want.
Why ſtands he here then, elbow’d to and fro?
Has he no care of ſouls? No work to do?
Go home, good doctor, preach and pray, and give;
By far more bleſſed this, than to receive.—
Alas! the doctor’s meek, and much reſign’d;
But all his tenants pay their tithes in kind:
So that of debts, repairs, and taxes clear,
He hardly ſaves—two hundred pounds a year.Then 32 E4v 32
Then let him ſoar, ’tis on devotion’s wing;
Who aſks a biſhopric, aſks no bad thing:
A coach does much an holy life adorn;
Then muzzle not the ox who treads the corn.
Enough of theſe. Now tell us, if you can,
Is there that thing on earth, a happy man?
Well then, the wondrous man I happy call,
Has but few wiſhes, and enjoys them all.
Bleſt in his fame, and in his fortune bleſt,
No craving void lies aching in his breaſt
His paſſions cool, his expectations low,
Can he feel want, or diſappiontment know?
Yet if ſucceſs be to his virtues giv’n,
Can reliſh that, and leave the reſt to Heav’n.
What, tho’ for ever with our ſelves at ſtrife,
None wiſhes to lay down his load of life.
The wretch who threeſcore ſuns has ſeen roll o’er,
His lungs with lacerating ulcers ſore,
Sollicits Heav’n to add the other ſcore.To 33 F1r 33
To day, indeed, his portion’s pain and ſorrow;
But joy and eaſe are hoarded for tomorrow.
Soft ſmiling Hope! thou anchor of the mind!
The only reſting-place the wretched find;
How doſt thou all our anxious cares beguile!
And make the orphan, and the friendleſs ſmile.
All fly to thee, thou gentle dawn of peace!
The coward’s fortitude, the brave’s ſucceſs,
The lover’s eaſe, the captive’s liberty,
The only flatt’rer of the poor and me.
With thee, on pleaſure’s wings, thro’ life we’re born,
Without thee, wretched, friendleſs, and forlorn.
Poſſeſt of thee, the weary pilgrim ſtrays
Thro’ barren deſarts, and untrodden ways:
Thirſty and faint, his nerves new vigour ſtrings,
And full of thee he quaffs immortal ſprings.
The martyr’d ſaint, whom anguiſh and the rod
Have prov’d, thro’ thee walks worthy of his God.
In vain are axes, flames, and tort’ring wheels;
He feels no torment, who no terrour feels:F Thro’ 34 F1v 34
Thro’ thee his well-try’d ſpirit upward ſprings,
And ſpurns at titles, ſcepters, thrones, and kings.
O full of thee! in quiet may I live,
The few remaining moments Heav’n ſhall give!
Come then, thou honeſt flatt’rer, to my breaſt!
Friend of my health, and author of my reſt!
Thro’ thee, the future cloudleſs all appears,
A ſhort, but ſmiling train of happy years.
Paſs but this inſtant, ſtorms and tempeſts ceaſe,
And all beyond’s the promis’d land of peace.
No paſſion’s miſts, by no falſe joys miſled,
No ties forgot, no duties left unpaid,
No lays unfiniſh’d, and no aching head.
Born with a temper much inclin’d to eaſe,
Whatever gives me that, is ſure to pleaſe.
I aſk not riches; yet alike would fly
The friendleſs ſtate of want and penury.
This wiſh howe’er be mine: to live unknown,
In ſome ſerene retreat, my time my own,
To all obliging, yet a ſlave to none.Content 35 F2r 35
Content, my riches; ſilence be my fame;
My pleaſures, eaſe; my honours, your eſteem.
And you, bleſt maid! who all you want poſſeſs,
Already to your ſelf your happineſs,
This modeſt wiſh methinks you now let fall,
O give me Wisdom, Heav’n! and I have all.
In Memory of the Rt. Hon. Lord Aubrey Beauclerk, Who was ſlain at Carthagena.
(Written in the year 17431743, at the requeſt of his Lady.)
Shall ſo much worth in ſilence paſs away,
And no recording muſe that worth diſplay?
Shall public ſpirit like the private die,
The coward with the brave promiſcuous lie?
The hero’s toils ſhould be the muſes care,
In peace their guardian, and their ſhield in war:
Alike inſpir’d, they mutual ſuccours lend;
The Muſes His, and He the Muſes friend.
To me the ſolemn lyre you reach in vain,
The ſimple warbler of ſome idle ſtrain.
What tho’ the hero’s fate the lay demands,
What tho’ impell’d and urg’d by your commands;Yet 37 F3r 37
Yet, weak of flight, in vain I prune the wing,
And, diffident of voice, attempt to ſing.
What dreadful ſlaughter on the weſtern coaſt!
How many gallant warriors Britain lost,
A Britiſh muſe would willingly conceal;
But what the muſe would hide, our tears reveal.
Penſive, we oft recal thoſe fatal ſhores,
Where Carthagena lifts her warlike tow’rs.
High o’er the deep th’ embattl’d fortreſs heaves
Its awful front, its baſis in the waves;
Without impregnable by nature’s care,
And arm’d within with all the rage of war.
Deep in oblivion ſink th’ill-omen’d hour,
That call’d our legions to the baneful ſhore!
Where death, in all her horrid pomp array’d,
O’er the pale clime her direful influ’nce ſhed.
Want, famine, war, and peſtilential breath,
All act ſubſervient to the rage of death.
Thoſe whom the wave, or fiercer war would ſpare,
Yeild to the clime, and ſink in ſilence there:No 38 F3v 38
No friend to cloſe their eyes, no pitying gueſt
To drop the ſilent tear, or ſtrike the penſive breaſt
Here Douglas fell, the gallant and the brave!
Here much-lamented Watſon found a grave.
Here, early try’d, and acting but too well,
The lov’d, ennobled, gen’rous Beauclerk fell.
Juſt as the ſpring of life began to bloom,
When ev’ry grave grew ſofter on the tomb;
In all that health and energy of youth,
Which promis’d honours of maturer growth;
When round his head the warriour laurel ſprung,
And temp’rance brac’d the nerve which valour ſtrung;
When his full heart expanded to the goal,
And promis’d victory had fluſh’d his ſoul,
He fell!—His country loſt her earlieſt boaſt;
His family a faithful guardian loſt;
His friend a ſafe companion; and his wife,
Her laſt reſource, her happineſs in life.
O ever honour’d, ever happy ſhade!
How well haſt thou thy debt to virtue paid!Brave, 39 F4r 39
Brave, active, undiſmay’d in all the paſt;
Compos’d, intrepid, ſteady to the laſt
When half thy limbs, and more than half was loſt
Of life, thy valour ſtill maintain’d it’s poſt:
Gave the laſt ſignal After both his legs were ſhot off. See the account of his death in the proſe-inſcription in Weſtminſter-Abbey, written by the author, under his Lady’s directions. The verſe by Dr. Young. for thy country’s good,
And, dying, ſeal’d it with thy pureſt blood.
Say, what is Life? and wherefore was it giv’n?
What the deſign, the purpoſe mark’d by Heav’n?
Was it in lux’ry to diſſolve the ſpan,
To raiſe the animal, and ſink the man?
In the ſoft bands of pleaſure, idly gay,
To frolic the immortal gift away?
To tell the tale, or flow’ry wreath to bind,
Then ſhoot away, and leave no track behind?
Ariſe no duties from the ſocial tie?
No kindred virtues from our native ſky?No 40 F4v 40
No truths from reaſon, and the thought intenſe?
Nothing reſult from ſoul, but all from ſenſe?
O thoughtleſs reptile, Man!—Born! yet aſk why?
Truly, for ſomething ſerious—Born to die.
Knowing this truth, can we be wiſe too ſoon?
And this once known, ſure ſomething’s to be done—
To live’s to ſuffer; act, is to exiſt;
And life, at beſt, a trial, not a feaſt:
Our bus’neſs virtue; and when that is done,
We cannot ſit too late, or riſe too ſoon.
Virtue!—What is it?—Whence does it ariſe!
Aſk of the brave, the ſocial, and the wiſe;
Of thoſe who ſtudy’d for the gen’ral good,
Of thoſe who fought, and purchas’d it with blood;
Of thoſe who build, or plant, or who deſign,
Ev’n thoſe who dig the ſoil, or work the mine.
If yet not clearly ſeen, or underſtood;
Aſk the humane, the pious, and the good.
To no one ſtation, ſtage, or part confin’d,
No ſingle act of body, or of mind;But 41 G1r 41
But whate’er lovely, juſt, or fit we call,
The fair reſult, the congregate of all.
The active mind, aſcending by degrees,
Its various ties, relaions, duties ſees:
Examines parts, thence riſing to the whole,
Sees the connexion, chain, and ſpring of ſoul;
Th’ eternal ſource! from whoſe pervading ray
We caught the flame, and kindled into day.
Hence the collected truths coercive riſe,
Oblige as nat’ral, or as moral ties.
Son, brother, country, friend demand our care;
The common bounty all partake, muſt ſhare.
Hence virtue in its ſource, and in its end,
To God as relative, to Man as friend.
O friend to truth! to virtue! to thy kind!
O early call’d to leave theſe ties behind!
How ſhall the muſe her vary’d tribute pay,
Indulge the tear, and not debaſe the lay!
Come, fair example of heroic truth!
Descend, and animate the Britiſh. youth:G Now 42 G1v 42
Now, when their country’s wrongs demand their care,
And proud Iberia meditates the war:
Now, while the trumpet ſounds her ſhrill alarms,
And calls forth all her gen’rous ſons to arms;
Pour all thy genius, all thy martial fire
O’er the brave youth, and ev’ry breaſt inſpire.
Say, this is virtue, glory, honour, fame,
To riſe from ſloth, and catch the martial flame,
When fair occaſion calls their vigour forth,
To meet the call, and vindicate its worth:
To rouſe, to kindle, animate, combine,
Revenge their country’s wrongs, and think on Thine.
Go, happy ſhade! to where the good, and bleſt
Enjoy eternal ſcenes of bliſs and reſt:
While we below thy ſudden farewel mourn,
Collect thy virtues, weeping o’er the urn;
Recal their ſcatter’d luſtre as they paſt,
And ſee them all united in the laſt
So the bright orb, which gilds the groves and ſtreams,
Mildly diffuſive of his golden beams;Drawn G2r 43
Drawn to a point, his ſtrong concenter’d rays
More fulgent glow, and more intenſely blaze.
And Thou! late partner of his ſofter hour,
Ordain’d but juſt to meet, and meet no more;
Say, with the virtues how each grace combin’d!
How brave, yet ſocial! how reſolv’d, yet kind!
With manners how ſincere! polite with eaſe!
How diffident! and yet how ſure to pleaſe!
Was he of ought but infamy afraid?
Was he not modeſt as the bluſhing maid?
Aſham’d to flatter, eager to commend;
A gen’rous maſter, and a ſteady friend.
Humane to all, but warm’d when virtuous grief,
Or ſilent modeſty, imply’d relief.
Pure in his principles, unſhaken, juſt;
True to his God, and faithful to his truſt
Beauclerk, farewel!—If, with thy virtues warm’d,
And not too fondly, or too raſhly charm’d,G2 I ſtrive 44 G2v 44
I ſtrive the tributary dirge to pay,
And form the pinion to the haſty lay;
The feeble, but well-meaning flight excuſe:
Perhaps hereafter ſome more gen’rous muſe,
Touch’d with thy fate, with genius at command,
May ſnatch the pencil from the female hand;
And give the perfect portrait, bold and free,
In numbers ſuch as Young’s, and worthy Thee.
Song from the Opera of Elpidia.
Pupillette, Il mio core,
Vezzoſette, Nel mirarvi,
Pur dormendo Sente ardore,
Voi ſplendete. Sente pena,
Siete belle, Si, dormite.
Thus translated. This and the following tranſlation were the author’s firſt eſſays in rhime; given her as an exerciſe by her Italian maſter, when ſhe was under ſixteen: as the beſt apology for ſeveral of the following pieces is, that they were written under twenty.
Such radiant eyes who can withſtand,
That ev’n in ſleeping charm?
Or who reſiſt the ſoft command,
Since thro’ their ſhades they warm?
Inſenſible how much they ſhine,
As ah! how much I grieve;
I greedy gaze, you ſleep ſupine,
Nor know the wounds you give.
From the ſame Opera.
Un vento luſinghier Coſi fortuna, e amor,
Tal or porta il nocchier, Fa ſcherno del mio cor;
Preſſo del lido; Mi guidan preſſo il porto,
Poi altro vento inſido, Poi privo di conforto,
Lo balza in altro mar. Mi laſcian naufragar.
When gentle whiſpers of a proſp’rous gale
Direct the ſailor to the much-lov’d ſhore,
To court the breeze he hoiſts the ſwelling ſail,
With hope elate he plies the lab’ring oar.
When ſtrait the treach’rous winds are taught to roar,
The angry waves obey the harſh command;
With ſtupid grief he views the leſs’ning ſhore,
And vainly ſtrives to reach the diſtant land.
Thus cruel fate, inconſtant as the air,
Juſt ſhews me joys, that ah! I ne’er muſt taſte;
And when I ſtretch my arms to graſp the fair,
She ſnatches from me the inviting feaſt
Written at the Requeſt of a young Divine, to be Sent To his mistress, with the Beggar’s Opera.
In matters of important faith,
You rev’rence what the Parſon ſaith;
With equal gravity peruſe
The dictates of the Parſon’s Muſe.
But, ere I tune my artleſs lays,
To ſing your wit, and beauty’s praiſe;
Let me in grateful notes renew
My thanks for obligations due.
And who indebted would not ſtand
For favours from ſo fair a hand?
Whoſe ſprightly wit can always charm,
Whoſe beauty never fails to warm;Virtue 48 G4v 48
Virtue and innocence your guide,
Your ſex’s pattern, and their pride.
Adorn’d with all theſe charms, beware
How you exert your pow’r too far;
Mould into ſmiles each pretty feature,
And act the tyrant with good-nature.
For ſee! this Op’ra will reveal
How great a crime it is to ſteal!
What laws invented to keep under
People inclin’d to theft and plunder.
What pity ’tis we cannot boaſt
Of laws to regulate a Toaſt!
For if a wretch, who ſteals a horſe,
Or civilly demands your purſe,
Deſerves poor Mackheath’s threaten’d fate,
And for example ſwings in ſtate;
What ſhall we do with thoſe, I pray,
Who ſteal poor people’s Hearts away?
Matrimony. The rhymes firſt put down by a gentleman, for the author to fill up as ſhe pleas’d.
Cloe, coquet and debon――air,
Haughty, flatter’d, vain, and――fair;
No longer obſtinately ――coy,
Let looſe her ſoul to dreams of ――joy.
She took the huſband to her ――arms,
Reſign’d her freedom and her ――charms;
Grew tame, and paſſive to his ――will,
And bid her eyes forbear to ――kill.
But mighty happy ſtill at ――heart,
Nor room was there for pain, or ――ſmart.
At length ſhe found the name of ――wife
Was but another word for ――ſtrife.
That cheek, which late out-bluſh’d the ――roſe,
Now with unwonted fury ――glows.H Thoſe 50 H1v 50
Thoſe tender words, my dear, I ――die,
The moving tear, and melting ――ſigh,
Were now exchang’d for ſomething ――new,
And feign’d emotions yeild to ――true.
Reproach, debate, and loſs of ――fame,
Intrigues, diſeaſes, duns, and ――ſhame.
No ſingle fault He ſtrives to ――hide;
Madam has virtue, therefore ――pride.
Thus both reſent, while neither ――ſpares,
And curſe, but cannot break their ――ſnares.
To Mrs. Clayton, With a Hare.
A ’Squire who long had fed on ale,
(Or thick or clear, or mild or ſtale,
Concerns us not,) a hunting goes,
Laſt Thurſday morn’, ere Phebus roſe,
Headlong he rides full many a mile,
O’er many a hedge, and many a ſtile;Dire 51 H2r 51
Dire horror ſpread where’er he came,
And frighten’d all his Lordſhip’s game:
Nay hares and foxes yet unborn
May rue the hunting of that morn’.
A luckleſs Hare at length paſs’d by;
The dogs take ſcent, away they fly;
Tears and intreaties come too late,
Poor puſs, alas! ſubmits to fate.
One boon ſhe begs before ſhe dies,
And pray what’s that? the ’Squire replies.
Only when this my houſe of clay,
Shall to the hounds become a prey,
(As ſoon, ah cruel hounds! it muſt,)
And theſe ſad eyes return to duſt;
May this my laſt requeſt be heard,
And decently my corps interr’d
Within a concave baſket’s womb,
With this inſcription on my tomb;
To Mrs. Clayton, Poland Street—
Bear me, ye porters! while I’m ſweet.
And now farewel what once was mine!
With pleaſure I theſe fields reſign:
Happy, if that good Lady owns
My fleſh was good, and picks my bones.
To Miſs Clayton.
Occaſion’d by her breaking an appointment to viſit the Author.
Now ponder well, Miſs Clayton dear,
And read your Bible book;
Leſt you one day ſhould rue the time
That you your promiſe broke.
’Twas on that bed where you have lain
Full many a reſtleſs night,
That you did ſay, nay ſwear it too—
But you’ve forgot it quite.
Your tender mother eke alſo,
Did ratify the ſame;
And ſtrok’d me o’er the face, and vow’d—
Much more than I will name.
But what are women’s oaths, and vows,
With which we make ſuch pother?
Ah, truſt us not, ye faithful ſwains!
Who cannot truſt each other.
The ſwain may vow eternal love,
And yet that vow revoke;
For lovers vows alas! are made
On purpoſe to be broke.
The courtier breaks his word, ’tis true,
Or keeps it but in part;
But you, whene’er you break your word,
Perhaps may break a heart.
The chemiſt ſays he’ll turn to gold
Each thing he lights upon;
And ſo he will, whene’er he finds
The philoſophic ſtone.
The lawyer ſays he’ll get your cauſe,
Then loſes cauſe, and coſt;
But there’s a maxim in the law,
Says, Fees muſt not be loſt.
Allegiance firm to gracious King
Swear parſons one and all:
Pity! Chriſt’s vicars, or of Bray,
Should ever ſwear at all.
Phyſicians too can promiſe fair,
In figures and in tropes —
Then let your faith and fees be great,
And while there’s life, there’s hopes.
But when all confidence is loſt,
Small comfort hopes afford;
For whom hereafter can I truſt,
Now You have broke your Word?
To the ſame.
On her deſiring the Author to write a satire upon her.
Full of my ſelf, reſolv’d to rail,
I ſummon’d all my pride;
Ill-nature form’d th’ invidious tale,
And rage its aid ſupply’d.
Each fav’rite female vice I paint,
And every folly join:
In ſhort, deſcription is but faint;
A libel was each line.
The picture thus ill-nature fram’d,
By malice was apply’d;
Thoſe real charms for which you’re fam’d,
I took moſt pains to hide.
But how unlike the finiſh’d draught
Of Clayton’s lovely mind!
Ev’n I who drew it, knew it not,
Nor could one likeneſs find.
Thus, dawber like, with low deſign,
I ſpoilt a beauteous frame;
And conſcious of each faulty line,
Was forc’d to write your name.
In Eden thus, its ſhades among,
Ere vice could fix a ſtain,
The ſerpent roll’d his pointleſs tongue,
And hiſs’d and twin’d in vain.
Again fair virtue loves to dwell
In your engaging form;
As pure as Eve before ſhe fell,
As free from inward ſtorm.
Keen ſatire now, with ſoften’d gaze,
Unvends her wrinkled brow;
And looks ſerenely gen’rous praiſe,
Who never prais’d till now.
On a favourite dog, ſuppos’d to be poiſon’d.
To Miſs Molly Clayton.
O All ye ſpotted brutes that guard the Fair,
Lie on their laps, or wait upon their chair;
Ye Cupids, Cloes, Phillis’s or Shocks,
Ye who defend the houſhold, or the flocks:
But chiefly ye in ladies’ chambers nurſt,
Who leap at ſweetmeats, ſnifting at a cruſt,
Come and bemoan poor Sparky’s poiſon’d duſtHither 57 I1r 57
Hither your little whimp’ring offspring lead,
And join the diſmal howl, to wail him dead.
Shame on the wretch, who dealt the deadly draught!
Thou human brute! whoſe very name’s a blot.
O that kind fate would poiſon all thy life
With ſome ſmart vixen, very much a Wife!
And when the end of thy chaſtiſement’s near,
May’ſt thou want ratſbane then—to poiſon Her.
Whilſt the cold drug was ſtruggling hard with life,
And ſenſe awhile maintain’d the doubtful ſtrife;
With much of gratitude and ſorrow mix’d,
On me his ſcarce-perceiving eyes he fixt:
Then to theſe arms with ſtagg’ring ſteps did haſte,
There, where he oft had ſlept, to ſleep his laſt
The tear was vain; nor will I bluſh to own
A heart of ſofter workmanſhip than ſtone:
Yet leſt the wiſe my weakneſs ſhould reprove,
The tear I dropt to gratitude, and love.
Now die, O Tabby! all ye fav’rites fall!
Dogs, parrots, ſquirrels, monkeys, beaus and all!
For thou wert all thoſe tender names in one;
That thou could’st yet ſurvive!—but thou art gone.
Ah! what avails thy honours now to trace!
Thy high deſcent, thy ancient royal race!
Thy length of ears proclaim’d the gen’rous ſeed,
Hereditary heir of Charles’s breed;
And had not William chang’d the face of things,
Mightſt ſtill have bark’d beneath the throne of kings.
No more ſhalt thou, with each revolving day,
Expect the warm repaſt of milk and tea;
Nor when the balmy ſlumber I prolong,
Aſcend the ſtairs, and wake me with thy tongue:
No more ſhall thy diſcerning noſe deſcry
The ſav’ry ſteams, that ſpeak the dinner nigh.
Soon didſt thou wake, and ev’ry cat aſſail,
Then, ſtrutting, ſhake the honours of thy tail.
With look importunate, and begging face,
Scarce could he wait the tediouſneſs of grace:But 59 12r 59
But that perform’d, he barks exulting round;
The cats are ſcar’d, the neighb’ring roofs reſound.
Whether by inſtinct, or by reaſon taught,
His juſt concluſions ſpoke the uſe of thought.
When ſmart toupèée exhal’d the ſoft perfume,
He ſmelt a Beau, and ſullen left the room.
Or when the ruddy ’Squire grew loud and vain,
And practis’d all the noiſes of the plain;
With ſneaking ſtep, at diſtance he’d retire,
Then mount his tail, and ev’n out-bark the wellmouth’d ’Squire.
But moſt the Fool was his invet’rate foe,
That thing all over talk, all over beau:
Well he diſtinguiſh’d ’twixt brocade and ſenſe,
And growl’d contempt beneath the ſev’n-fold fence.
O ever-watchful! ever-faithful guard!
No more ſhall I thy gratitude reward.
That cream, that bread and butter ſoak’d in tea,
Is now lapp’d up as puſs’s lawful fee:12 While 60 12v 60
While ſhe, proud vixen! often ſeems to ſay,
Peace to his ſhade!—each dog muſt have his day.
Yet Thou, his miſtreſs once, and late his friend,
Awhile the ſoftly-falling tear ſuſpend:
And think, whene’er your Lark ſhall be no more,
How vain are tears, ſince Spark was wept before.
Or rather, how uncertain life’s ſhort date,
Since ev’n your fav’rites muſt ſubmit to fate.
But could your ſmile, which ſure gives life to all,
Back from the grave his much-lov’d form recal;
Then ſhould theſe hands the welcome office pay,
To wipe the duſt from his reviving clay:
With pleaſure guard him from a world of ill,
And aid his vengeance at the pois’ner’s heel—
Ah! ſmile then; try, exert your ſaving pow’r!
Be Spark your preſent now, as once before.
Rhymes, to Miſs Charlot Clayton.
As Damon was penſively walking one day,
Three pretty tight laſſes he met in his way:
And who ſhould they be, that were taking the air,
But Nelly, and Molly, and Charlot ſo fair.
The ſwain, who to beauty had never been blind,
Thought this was the ſeaſon to tell ’em his mind:
But firſt he debated, to which lovely laſs
He ſhould offer his tenders, and open his caſe.
That Nelly was pretty he could not deny,
But Molly, he thought, had the ſprightlieſt eye;
So on her his affections they reſted awhile,
’Till Charlot appear’d, with a look and a ſmile:
With a look and a ſmile which ſure miſchief had done,
Had the ſwain been encounter’d by Charlot alone.
Perplext in his thought, and diſturb’d in his breaſt,
And unable to tell which bright laſs he lov’d beſt;
He folded his arms, to the grove he retir’d,
And decently on the green willow expir’d.
To Damon’s ſad fate lend a pitying ear,
For three at a time what poor mortal could bear?
One alone, truſt me Charlot, had made him rejoice,
And the ſwain been quite happy—With what?
—Hopſon’ An admirer of that Lady’s. s choice.
On one of her Eyes.
The orders giv’n, John ſaddles Grey;
The nymph aſcends: the pad ſo gay,
Firſt neighs his joy, then trots away.
To that fam’d town Abingdon. the fair one rides,
Where Nancy, harmleſs nymph! reſides.
That town ſo fam’d in Lent for figs,
For cuſtards, conventicles, eggs;
Renown’d of old for ſcandal picking,
For bottled cyder, and cold chicken.
How often there have Oxford ſmarts,
Regal’d their nymphs on gooſb’ry tarts!
While Mrs. Mary at the Bear,
Call’d all the chamber-maids to ſtare.
Thither ſhe rides, as authors ſay,
To ſip with Nancy harmleſs tea;
And o’er their cups to have a fling
At this, or t’other aukward thing:
But with no other earthly view,
Except to chat an hour or two.
The ſun had run thro’ half his courſe,
Ere Charlot ventur’d to take horſe;
And near th’ horizon ſhot his ray,
Ere ſhe a ſecond time mounts Grey.
But, O dire fate! O ſad miſchance!
The high-fed beaſt begins to prance;
Shakes his curl’d neck, diſdains the ground,
And longs to ſcale yon quickſet mound.
She ſhrieks—in vain—ſhe tumbles o’er!
While heedleſs John jogg’d on before.
Fie on the brute! and may’ſt thou bear
No more the witty, or the fair;
But doom’d the country round to ſtroll,
With pedlar’s pack, or beggar’s trull.
And here my muſe, in mournful wiſe,
Relate how Charlot weeps and ſighs:
Well might ſhe weep, well might ſhe ſigh,
For when ſhe look’d, ſhe miſs’d an eye.
So have I ſeen, in cloudleſs nights,
The ſky bedeck’d with radiant lights,
Thus gleam and glitter from afar,
Till in a jelly drops a ſtar.
Now John was ſet to ſearch the ground,
John ſearch’d indeed, no eye was found.
Explor’d each flow’r the fairies climb on,
Careful as Indian ſlave for di’mond;
But had he Argos’ hundred eyes,
He’d ne’er diſcover where it lies.
Some folks, ’tis true, believe ’twas hurl’d
To multiply the ſtarry world;
And ſay, thoſe babies in her eyes
Inhabit now the azure ſkies.
Whiteſides, A famous Aſtronomer. I’m told, was ſeen to ſtare
Laſt night, with more than uſual care;And 65 K1r 65
And has e’er ſince been plodding on it,
From whence could come that glitt’ring planet;
That ſtar, that made there ſuch a buſtle,
And Venus from her place would juſtle.
Now this is only what folks gueſt;
But truſt the Muſe, for ſhe knows beſt
Venus, the Charlot of the ſkies,
Was always piqu’d at her bright eyes;
And ſaw with pain, at Charlot’s throne,
Such crouds of vot’ries, not her own.
For which good reason, when it dropt,
The goddeſs ſtoop’d, and pick’d it up:
And to repair the nymph’s diſgrace,
Clapt her own orbit in the place.
On Her Birth-Day, --12-11December 11.
The ſhorteſt day, and longeſt night,
Gave birth to all that’s fair and bright.
So from the cloud of blackeſt dye,
The brighteſt lightnings always fly.
On the Reaſonableneſs of Her coming to the Oxford Act.
Beauty, the bounty of indulgent Heav’n,
To favour’d Maids of mortal race was giv’n;
Not to retire with to ſome lonely ſcene,
But to ſhine forth, and to be ſeen of Men.
The ſun thus radiant with diffuſive light,
In his own native day appears moſt bright,
And leaves the moon the empire of the night.
By his example, Charlot, ſhine away;
Be thou the goddeſs, as he’s god of day:
So ſhall Oxonians own thy ſacred pow’r,
And worſhip Thee, as Perſians Him adore.
Whilſt Danae liv’d immur’d within her tow’r,
None but old Jove confeſs’d her gentle pow’r:
But had the hapleſs maid dwelt always there,
Who could have ſaid ſhe was, or was not fair?Her 67 K2r 67
Her charms had been unheard of in the throng;
Nor Horace left us his immortal ſong.
The ſea-born goddeſs, riſing from the main,
Unheeded might have dabbled there again;
Had not Apelles ſnatch’d the faultleſs dame,
And made her charms immortal as his fame.
’Tis therefore common prudence to appear,
That ſome Apelles may record you fair;
Leſt future dawbers ſhould the taſk eſſay,
And, like dull R—ſmear your charms away.
Come then, and leave thoſe unfrequented ſhades,
To dirty ſhepherds, and to homely maids:
To our Athenian Theatres repair,
And let the learn’d and gay admire thee there.
Inſpire, and then reward ſome gen’rous youth,
Nurs’d in the arms of ſcience, and of truth:
For truſt me, Charlot, who no flatt’ry mean—
To be admir’d, you only need be ſeen.
To the ſame.
Written at Fern-Hill, Her father’s ſeat in Windſor Foreſt. while dinner was waiting for her.
In imitation of modern Paſtoral.
Haste, Charlot, haſte; and come away,
For John his cloth ere long muſt lay.
Come, leſt the dinner ſhould be ſpoil’d,
The beef’s already too much boil’d;
The very turkey on the ſpit
Cries out, make haſte and pick a bit.
Cook’s rage and ſoup have each boil’d o’er,
And thrice the wicked creature ſwore.
Then, Charlot, haſte, and come away,
For dinner will no longer ſtay.
Hungry I am, ’tis true, and cold;
Yet ne’ertheleſs ſhould I be told,That 69 K3r 69
That dinner’s on the table ſet,
And thou not come from Denham Seat of Sir William Bowyer. yet;
Tho’ hungry as a horſe I be,
And twice as cold as charity,
Yet hear me, Charlot, when I ſwear,
That very dinner I’d forbear:
And may I feel thy utmoſt ire,
If I’d go near the ſmalleſt fire.
Then, Charlot haſte and come away,
For hunger’s ſharp, and will not ſtay.
Didſt thou but know, how Puſs and I
Together for thy preſence ſigh,
Together for thy abſence mourn,
In murm’ring ſounds for thy return;
Thou ſurely woud’ſt pack up thy awls,
And hear at leaſt, when D’oman The Cat’s name. calls.
Nay more, the Major bid me ſay,
That he impatient at thy ſtay,
Had mounted Crop, and jogg’d away.
Then Charlot, haſte, out ſtrip the wind,
Leſt love grow deaf, as well as blind.
Sarah in vain has ſcrubb’d your room,
Her gentle miſtreſs is not come;
In vain clean linnen ſhe has ſpread,
Upon your ſpotleſs virgin bed.
Thrice has ſhe tumbled up the ſtairs,
And that’s good luck the maid avers.
But yet, I ween, we’re ne’er the near,
If Charlot’s deaf, and will not hear.
Puſs ſlighted and abandon’d may
Sit purring all the live-long day:
Sarah may tumble up or down,
May break a limb, or ſoil her gown:
The Major too, in doleful dump,
May take the faithful lover’s jump:
And I may ſtarve, without relief—
But ſee, ſhe comes!—John, bring the beef.
The ſun had left the weſtern road,
And drove his ſteeds to reſt;
When Charlot on her bed was laid,
With downy ſleep oppreſt
Full o’er her head a Spider dwelt,
Secure from bruſh or broom,
By heedleſs Sarah undeſcry’d,
Whene’er ſhe ſwept the room.
This Spider’s citadel was large,
And cunningly contriv’d,
T’ enſnare the heedleſs wand’ring fly,
Upon whoſe ſpoils he thriv’d.
Now bent on prey, one luckleſs night,
This bloody-minded wretch,
Peep’d from his battlements above,
Nor dream’d—Harm watch, harm catch.
He Charlot ſpy’d full faſt aſleep,
Her milk-white boſom bare,
A freſh’ning bloom o’er-ſpread her cheek,
And looſely fell her hair.
Charm’d with the ſight, his bowels yearn,
From whence he ſpins a thread,
On which he glides as ſwift as thought
Down to the ſleeping maid.
So grandſire Jove, tranſported much
By ſome fair mortal’s charms,
Deſcended on a ſun-beam down,
And ſunk into her arms.
And now he travels o’er her breaſt
With wonder and delight;
And on her tucker, in a fold,
Repos’d his limbs all night.
Snug was the word, and up he rolls
His carcaſe full of ill;
So round and black, ſhe might have took
His Worſhip for a pill.
But now the nymph begins to wake,
And lift her radiant eyes;
Nor can I here in language paint
How great was her ſurprize.
But this I will affirm, had ſhe
An armed Man eſpy’d there,
’Twou’d not have ſcar’d her half ſo much
As this vile lurking Spider.
In ſhort, ſhe ſhriek’d, and Sarah ran
Impatient to her aid;
But when ſhe ſaw the hideous thing,
She likewiſe was diſmay’d.
At length, with equal courage arm’d,
They daſh’d him on the floor;
Lye there, quoth Charlot, miſcreant vile!
And welter in thy gore.
Yet, ere I take thy forfeit life,
This full conviction gain,
That fraud, and guile, and cobweb art,
May flouriſh long in vain.
The ſage advice the Spider heard,
As on the floor he lay;
But juſt as Sarah reach’d the tongs,
He wiſely —march’d away.
Occaſion’d by her aſking the Author what hers conſiſted in, as they were viewing the proſpect from Cooper’s Hill.
Let learn’d Divines, to whom ’tis giv’n
To ſearch the myſteries of Heav’n,
Say, if their ſcience can deviſe
Where this thrice happy region lies:
Say, what the ſacred books declare
Of joys unknown to eye or ear;
Joys, which the buſy mind of man
Strives fully to explore—in vain.
This awful theme ’tis theirs to preach,
(O may we treaſure what they teach!)
My muſe ſhall ſing in Windſor’s ſhade,
The Heaven of a harmleſs maid.Stella 75 L2r 75
Stella deſcribe the pleaſing ſcene,
And ſhew me where your joys begin.
Has Love e’er touch’d your tender heart?
In Damon’s pains have you no part?
Has no unguarded look betray’d
That Stella is a mortal Maid?
Did ne’er that thing call’d female pride
Conceal, what ’twas a pain to hide?
If not, we ſafely may aver,
That Stella’s Heaven is not here.
Some in ambition place their bliſs,
And to be great—is happineſs.
Ambition, luxury and pride,
Could ne’er in Stella’s heart reſide.
And yet ſhe loves a little ſtate;
A coach and ſix ſhe does not hate:
But never falls into a ſwoon,
When aukward Betty pins her gown.
Can dine extremely well at two,
As other ſober people do;L2 But 76 L2v 76
But yet, for reaſons good, can wait
The modiſh hours of ſev’n or eight.
Does not directly hate quadrille;
But likes to play, or to fit ſtill,
Juſt as the Beaus and Ladies will.
At church can paſs an hour or two,
With much good breeding in her pew;
Altho’ the op’ra does not fill,
And ſide boxes are empty ſtill.
Hence ſome have thought, when Stella there
Has lifted up her eyes in pray’r,
(Have thought indeed! at ſix and ſev’n)
That ’mongſt the ſtars lay Stella’s Heav’n;
But folks may think what e’er they will,
None but the Muſe, I’m ſure, can tell.
You know what flatt’ring bards deviſe
About the Heav’n, that’s in your eyes;
And likewiſe how they call your breaſt
The bliſsful ſeat of joy and reſt:
Your looks, ſay they, are all divine,
Immortal pleaſures round you ſhine;And 77 L3r 77
And having o’er your beauties run,
They make their rhyme, and ſo have done.
Now, as concerning this your breaſt—
Theſe truths in metaphor expreſt,
Believe me, Stella, are no jeſt
For, to be ſerious, after all,
Whatever mortals pleaſure call,
Whatever happineſs we know,
To our own hearts alone we owe.
Your eaſy wit, and chearful air
A harmony within declare;
Which to a gen’rous nature join’d,
Brings ſweet content, and peace of mind.
In vain thro’ various ſcenes we roam,
The muſe bids Stella look at home:
And let her wander where ſhe will,
Her Heav’n ſhe’ll bear about her ſtill,
To Windſor’s ſhades, or Cooper’s Hill.
To the ſame.
On her parting with the firſt copy of Heaven, and ſending for another.
Say, Stella, didſt thou never look
Into that great, that holy book,
Which on the parſon’s deſk is ſpread,
And once a week, at leaſt, is read;
There, Stella, didſt thou never ſee,
How Angels loſt their Heav’n, like Thee?
And for a puniſhment beſide,
We’re doom’d for ever to reſide
In hell, the fitteſt place for pride.
Reflect on this—Yet leſt thy heart
Should with a thought ſo horrid ſtart,
Leſt thy ſoft nature ſhould relent,
And Stella for her crime repent;
Know, that the guilt for which they fell,
Juſtly deſerv’d the hotteſt hell.Thou 79 L4r 79
Thou thro’ good nature may’st have err’d,
And therefore shall thy pray’r be heard;
Thy ev’ry wish shall be obtain’d,
And Paradise with ease regain’d.
After the Small Pox.
When skillful traders first set up,
To draw the people to their shop,
They strait hang out some gaudy sign,
Expressive of the goods within.
The Vintner has his boy and grapes,
The Haberdasher thread and tapes,
The Shoemaker exposes boots,
And Monmouth Street old tatter’d suits.
So fares it with the nymph divine;
For what is Beauty but a Sign?
A face hung out, thro’ which is seen
The nature of the goods within.
Thus the coquet her beau ensnares
With study’d smiles, and forward airs:The 80 L4v 80
The graver prude hangs out a froun
To strike th’ audacious gazer down;
But she alone, whose temp’rate wit
Each nicer medium can hit,
Is still adorn’d with ev’ry grace,
And wears a sample in her face.
What tho’ some envious folks have said,
That Stella now must hide her head,
That all the stock of beauty’s gone,
And ev’n the very sign took down:
Yet grieve not at the fatal blow;
For if you break a while, we know,
’Tis bankrupt like, more rich to grow.
A fairer sign you’ll soon hang up,
And with fresh credit open shop:
For nature’s pencil soon shall trace,
And once more finish off your face,
Which all your neighbours shall out-shine,
And of your Mind remain the Sign.
On the Author’s walking to viſit Stella, in a windy morning, at Privy Garden.
O Nymph divine! as op’ning morning fair!
Bright as the ſun! yet lighter than the air!
Harmleſs as bleating lambs, or mountain hinds!
Yet more uncertain than the whiſtling winds!
Where ſhall we find, or fix your reſting place?
Now here, now there, eluding ſtill the chace.
O’ tis in vain, as ancient proverbs ſay,
To ſeek a needle in a load of hay;
As vain it is to fix your certain bound:
Like Happineſs, you’re no where to be found.
And yet I ſought you where ſoft pleaſure dwells,
And mirth and eaſe each low-born care expels.
Pleasure, thou ſoft retreat! but hard to find,
And op’ning only to the patient mind.
Thro’ various alleys, perilous and dark,
My way I ſhape, and ev’ry foot-ſtep mark;M Leſt 82 M1v 82
Leſt thro’ ſome paſſage, elbow’d to and fro,
I feel the pond’rous weight of chairman’s toe.
Meanwhile the bluſt’ring wind the deep deforms,
And Boreas vext your ſlave with all his ſtorms.
Like a ſmall skiff my little bark was hurl’d,
Toſs’d to and fro amidſt a laughing world;
And, what is worſe—my treſſes all uncurl’d.
Yet, ſpite of theſe, I boldly ventur’d forth,
And bid defiance to the ſurly North.
By You, my Polar Star, awhile I ſteer,
But that once loſt, towards St. James’s veer;
There, there I land, no more of winds the ſport,
And found the gallant Lovelace ſafe in port.
The ſailor thus, in ſearch of India’s coaſt,
His reck’ning failing, and his compaſs loſt,
Some hoſpitable ſhore at length in view,
Puſhes to land, with all his jovial crew:
There, pleas’d, the myrtle’s fragrant breath inhales,
Nor envies India, or her ſpicy gales.
The Heel-piece of her Shoe.
Stella requiring more rhymes, and the Author at a loſs for a ſubject
Swains, of high or low degree,
Poets, Peers, whate’er you be;
Ye who pen the lofty lay,
Or who ſigh and nothing ſay;
Ye who talk of flames and darts,
Radiant eyes, and marble hearts;
Say, (for Lovers never lie,)
Are ye half ſo bleſt as I?
All the live-long happy day,
Lo! at Stella’s feet I lay;
And at night when ſhe’s undreſs’d,
Next her bed behold I’m plac’d.
Swains, can you theſe favours ſee,
And not envy happy Me?
If the mazy dance ſhe tread,
I ſuſtain the tripping maid;
Eaſy tho’ to all, and free,
Yet ſhe foots it but with Me.
Or at church, or at the play,
If ſhe ogle, or ſhe pray,
When ſhe trips along the meads,
Or on Perſian carpets treads,
In the ſprightly month of May,
(Fatal month! ſome authors ſay,)
I both morning, noon, and night,
Order all her ſteps aright.
Who durſt ſay, when I was by,
Stella ever trod awry?
Me ſhe’ll ever find a friend,
Her ſupport unto my end.
If a pilgrim ſhe ſhould go
Where the ſtreams of Jordan flow,
I’ll ſuſtain her in the way,
Where the streams of Jordan ſtray.
Weary tho’ and faint ſhe be,
All her cares ſhall reſt. on Me.
Need I ſay that Stella’s fair?—
Venus, in her ſhape and air:
Cruel tho’, nor does ſhe know
Half the pain I undergo.
Tall and comely tho’ ſhe be,
Owes ſhe not an inch to Me?
Me, on whom ſhe treads, and tramples;
O the force of ill examples!
Die, forſaken lovers! die;
Favour’d leſs, tho’ true as I.
As the needle to the ſteel,
So’s the Heel-piece to the heel;
True and conſtant, and will never
From her Shoe, or Slipper ſever,
Till the Sole, as ah! it muſt,
Seeks its reſting place in duſt
Swains, if ſtill you envy Me,
(As from envy who is free!)
Come, pour out your laſt adieus;
Die—and Heel-piece Stella’s Shoes.
On her Birth-day,
Being the --12-1111th of December.
Why this day’s ſhorter than the reſt,
A modern bard full well has gueſt
The ſun who ſhines the year about,
And ev’ry leſſer light puts out,
This day ſubmits, and will not riſe,
But lends his rays to Stella’s eyes.
Since this day comes but once a year,
Let ev’ry joy with it appear.
Come then, and let us laugh and ſport,
And merry be it, tho’ ’tis ſhort.
Nor will I, Stella, now adviſe;
A word’s ſufficient to the wiſe.
Yet Beauty’s reign, the learned ſay,
Is ſhorter than the ſhorteſt day.
Which the Author hopes will live as long as ſhe does.
Here reſts poor Stella’s reſtleſs part:
A riddle! but I lov’d her heart.
Thro’ life ſhe ruſh’d a headlong wave,
And never ſlept, but in her grave.
Some wit, I think, and worth ſhe had:
No ſaint indeed, nor yet quite mad;
But laugh’d, built caſtles, rhym’d and ſung,
Was ev’ry thing, but nothing long.
Some honeſt truths ſhe would let fall;
But much too wiſe to tell you all.
From thought to thought inceſſant hurl’d,
Her ſcheme was—but to rule the world.
At morn ſhe won it with her eyes,
At night , when beauty ſick’ning ſighs,
Like the mad Macedonian cry’d,
What, no more worlds, ye Gods!—and dy’d.
The Lass of the Hill.
Humbly inſcribed to Her Grace the Dutcheſs of Marlborough.
On the brow of a Hill a young Shepherdeſs dwelt,
Who no pangs of ambition or love had e’er felt:
For a few ſober maxims ſtill ran in her head,
That ’twas better to earn, ere ſhe eat her brown bread:
That to riſe with the lark was conducive to health,
And, to folks in a cottage, contentment was wealth.
Now young Roger, who liv’d in the valley below,
Who at Church and at Market was reckon’d a Beau;
Had many times try’d o’er her heart to prevail,
And would reſt on his pitch-fork to tell her his tale:
With his winning behaviour he melted her heart;
But, quite artleſs herſelf, ſhe ſuſpected no art.
He had ſigh’d and proteſted, had kneel’d and implor’d,
And could lye with the grandeur and air of a Lord:
Then her eyes he commended in language well dreſt,
And enlarg’d on the torments that troubled his breaſt;
’Till his ſighs and his tears had ſo wrought on her mind’
That in downright compaſſion to love ſhe inclin’d.
But as ſoon as he’d melted the ice of her breaſt,
All the flames of his Love in a moment decreaſt;
And at noon he goes flaunting all over the vale,
Where he boaſts of his conqueſt to Suſan and Nell:
Tho’ he ſees her but ſeldom, he’s always in haſte,
And if ever he mentions her, makes her his jeſt
All the day ſhe goes ſighing, and hanging her head,
And her thoughts are ſo peſter’d, ſhe ſcarce earns her bread;
The whole village cry ſhame when a milking ſhe goes,
That ſo little affection is ſhew’d to the cows:
But ſhe heeds not their railing, e’en let e’em rail on,
And a fig for the cows, now her ſweet-heart is gone.
Now beware, ye young Virgins of Britain’s gay iſle,
How ye yield up your hearts to a look and a ſmile:
For Cupid is artful, and Virgins are frail,
And you’ll find a falſe Roger in every vale,
Who to court you, and tempt you will try all his skill;
But remember the Laſs on the brow of the Hill.
Conſolatory Rhymes to Mrs. Eaſt,
On the Death of her Canary Bird.
Since Kings, and Queens, and Ducheſſes muſt die,
And crowns and frokins undiſtinguiſh’d lie;
The Monarch juſtled by the ſaucy ſlave,
And next a Queen’s perhaps a Milk-maid’s grave;
Since all their flight to other climes muſt wing,
And even ſignor Boſchi ceaſe to ſing;
Grieve not your Bird: for tho’ no more his throat
Melodious ſwells the ſweetly-tortur’d note;Improperly 91 N2r 91
Improperly we meaſure life by breath,
He ceaſes not to be, who taſtes of death.
When life goes out, the Samian ſages ſay,
We only change our tenement of clay.
The Quack, once fam’d for curing ev’ry ill,
Lurks in a bolus, or informs a pill.
The learned Dunce, whom ſcience ſeem’d to ſhun,
Hums thro’ his next dull ſtage a bagpipe’s drone;
While Wits, more pert, the livelier notes become,
And teaze, and torture ſtill the tuneleſs hum.
The wretch, who fatten’d on his neighbour’s ſpoil,
Now crawls a ſpider, ſwoln with fraud and guile:
A ſofter form the gentle mind puts on,
While harden’d hearts are petrify’d to ſtone.
Perhaps your Captive now, on wings ſublime,
Once more beholds his friends, and native clime;
Sees all his little race about him throng,
And tells his raptures in a ſweeter ſong:
Or elſe his ſoul ſome Farinelli warms,
And crouded theatres confeſs his charms;
His cage, his ſilken wings, and untaught note,
(All but his Miſtreſs’ favours) quite forgot.
So ſome poor Exile, long in bondage kept,
Dead to his friends, and ev’n by ſtrangers wept,
Diſdaining bondage, tho’ in chains of gold,
Breaks thro’ his priſon, by reſentment bold:
Yet if ſome gen’rous friend, of ſoul ſincere,
Soften’d his fate, or ſmooth’d his bed of care,
Deep in his heart the grateful ſenſe remains,
And when he thinks on him, forgets his chains.
Harmonious ſhade! what honours can atone
Thy muſic murder’d, and thy ſpirit gone!
By thy falſe guardian left to foes at large,
O moſt unworthy the important charge!—
What tho’ no ſolemn mutes, of ghaſtly ſhape,
Croud ſilent round thee, and look ſad in crape;
Yet ſhall thy Miſtreſs’ tear adorn thy hearſe,
And all the Muſe can offer, Fame and Verſe:
Freſh flow’rs ſhall deck thee with their earlieſt bloom,
And yearly roſes bloſſom on thy tomb.
There too ſhall mournful Philomel complain,
And on thy ſtone theſe laſting notes remain;“Beneath 93 N3r 93
Beneath in ſilence ſleeps, and ceas’d his ſong,
The Farinelli of the feather’d throng:
Of manners ſimple, uncorrupt of life,
A friend to harmony, a foe to ſtrife.
This turf his Miſtreſs to his mem’ry ow’d,
And for his ſongs the gen’rous tear beſtow’d.
Holt Waters. A Tale.
Extracted from the Natural Hiſtory of Berkſhire.
Two Nymphs of chaſte Diana’s train,
Both fair, and tolerably vain,
One morning early left their beds,
And ſaid their pray’rs, and dreſt their heads.
The coach was order’d, in they ſtep,
Not well awake, nor quite aſleep:
Of well-dreſs’d Beaus a brace they chuſe,
At once for ornament, and uſe.
Their converſation need I tell?
Or who ſpoke moſt, or which ſpoke well?Or 94 N3v 94
Or how it ran of various things,
Of Queens and grottos, wars and Kings,
Of fortune-tellers, or the faſhion,
Of marriage, or predeſtination—?
In ſhort, they ſettled all the nation.
Not many miles the Nymphs were come,
Ere Cloe wiſh’d ſhe’d ſtay’d at home.
Her lively colour comes and goes,
The lilly ſtruggled, and the roſe.
I wiſh!—Wiſh on, thou gentle maid;
Of Wiſhes need one be afraid?
Why then—and whiſper’d ſomething low;
But what, or when, or where, or how,
None but the Muſe ſhall ever know.
Yet truſt me, Prudes, it was no more,
Than you or I have wiſh’d before:
Bright Emily, of royal race,
Might wiſh the ſame in ſuch a caſe.
In ſhort,—the lady—but no matter:
I’ll never tell one earthly creature.For 95 N4r 95
For why ſhould I, in lays forbidden,
Unveil what Cuſtom would have hidden?
But leſt the Beaus, for Beaus might blame,
Should hear, and after hurt her fame,
On each ſhe caſt a languid look,
And thus the Heroes twain beſpoke.
What vaſt variety of woe
Does Jove let fall on folks below!
Poor Kitty, who but yeſterday
Was all ſo giggling, and ſo gay,
Is pouring now the frantic tear,
And bares her breaſt, and beats the air:
All the comfort from her boſom’s fled,
For ah! her Parroquet is dead.
Now ’tis but civil, as I gueſs,
To viſit people in diſtreſs;
If not for love, in ſpite, or joke,
To ſee how horridly they look:
For grief the faireſt cheek will ſtain,
And make folks look extremely plain.
Then wonder not, if I alight,
To fo what’s decent, and what’s right;
To viſit firſt the hapleſs maid,
Then pay the rite to Polly’s ſhade:
Whoſe grave I’ll ſprinkle—with my tears,
And mix my friendly drops with hers.
Excuſe me then—I can no more—
Here, Thomas, ſtop; undo the door.
Tom ſtops, and Cloe ſoon alights,
Looks pleas’d, but full of fears and frights.
O no, Sir Fopling!—You’ll excuſe it;
Time’s precious, and we muſt not loſe it.
Away ſhe flies, as ſwift as wind,
And leaves the lover far behind.
At length a little farm ſhe ſees,
Surrounded by a clump of trees;
No yelping Cur was heard from far,
The door had neither bolt nor bar:So 97 O1r 97
So in ſhe goes, and looks around,
But no expedient’s to be found.
What ſhall ſhe do? Her wants are preſſing,
And ſpeedily require redreſſing.
In haſte ſhe trips it to the dairy,
In hopes to find or Nan or Mary;
But not a living ſoul was there,
Nor cat to ſquall, nor mouſe to ſtir.
In ſhort, the bus’neſs muſt be done;
Time to conſider there was none.
The cream-pot firſt ſhe fill’d with liquor,
Fit for the thorax of the Vicar.
Nay Jove himſelf, the skies protector,
Would call ſuch liquor heav’nly Nectar.
So, in a grot, I’ve ſeen enthron’d
Some river goddeſs, oſier-crown’d,
Pour all her copious urns around.
Hence plenteous crops our harveſts yield,
And Ceres laughs thro’ all the field.
A pan of milk, unskimm’d its cream,
Did next receive the bounteous ſtream;O The 98 O1v 98
The bounteous ſtream in bubbles breaks,
And many a curious eddy makes.
O ſtop, dear nymph; alack! forbear;
Spoil not our cheeſe! our butter ſpare!
What will poor Gooddy Baucis say,
To ſee her milk all turn’d to whey?
The nymph was deaf, the noiſe was loud,
And who hear leſs than thoſe that ſhou’d?
So in an aqueduct I’ve ſtood,
And heard aghaſt the headlong flood:
What tho’ with Stentor’s lungs you call,
I hear you not, I’m deafneſs all.
The rite perform’d, herſelf much eas’d,
And Polly’s gentle ſhade appeas’d,
Back to her company ſhe flies,
Quite unobſerv’d by vulgar eyes.
The muſe indeed behind her ſtood,
And heard the noiſe, and ſaw the flood.
But when poor Baucis from the field
Return’d, and ſaw her veſſels fill’d;How 99 O2r 99
How did ſhe lift her hands, and ſtare!
What Fairy has been here?
I left this milk-pan yet to skim,
And ſaw no bubbles on the brim!
My cream-pot too was hardly full,
But now it over-flows the bowl!
Yet no diſorder I can view,
No ſix-pence left in Kattern’s ſhoe:
My pewter on the ſhelves have ſlept,
The houſe too’s neither bruſht nor ſwept.
Well; guard us all, I ſay, from evil!
For mighty watchful is the Devil.
A large brown jugg ſtood there apart,
The reſervoir of near a quart;
The liquor pure, as amber fine,
But ſtock’d with particles ſaline.
Now Baucis, who came hot from work,
Was very dry, her dinner pork;
One draught, cry’d ſhe, of good ſound beer!
I’m thirſty, and no creature near—
Let’s ſee what Heav’n has ſent us here.O2 She 100 O2v 100
She ſmelt it, and no full-blown roſe
Sent half the fragrance to her noſe.
It looks, thinks ſhe, like cowſlip wine,
And if not ſweet, I’m ſure ’tis fine:
However, ’tis a ſin to waſte it,
I’ll e’en take heart o’ grace, and taſte it—
She drank, and down the liquor went;
A little, and therewith content,
We learn, ſays ſhe, from good St. Paul:
And ſure Content is all in all!
Our beer is dead, but no great matter,
’Tis better ſtill than common water.
We poor folks muſt make ſhift, ’tis true;
Howe’er, to give the dev’l his due,
E’en let him bake, but never brew.
Soliloquy, on an empty Purse.
Alas! my Purſe! how lean and low!
My ſilken Purſe! what art thou now!
Once I beheld—but ſtocks will fall—
When both thy Ends had wherewithal.When 101 O3r 101
When I within thy ſlender fence
My fortune plac’d, and confidence;
A Poet’s fortune!—not immenſe:
Yet, mixt with keys, and coins among,
Chinkt to the melody of ſong.
Canſt thou forget when, high in air,
I ſaw thee flutt’ring at a fair?
And took thee, deſtin’d to be ſold,
My lawful Purse, to have and hold?
Yet us’d ſof oft to diſembogue,
No prudence could thy fate prorogue.
Like wax thy ſilver melted down,
Touch but the braſs, and lo! ’twas gone:
And gold would never with thee ſtay,
For gold had wings, and flew away.
Alas, my Purſe! yet ſtill be proud,
For ſee the Virtues round thee croud!
See, in the room of paltry wealth,
Calm Temp’rance riſe, the nurſe of Health;
And Self-denial, ſlim and ſpare,
And Fortitude, with look ſevere;102 O3v 102
And Abſtinence, to leanneſs prone,
And Patience worn to skin and bone:
Prudence, and Foreſight on thee wait,
And Poverty lies here in ſtate!
Hopeleſs her ſpirits to recruit,
For ev’ry virtue is a mute.
Well then, my Purſe, thy ſabbaths keep;
Now Thou art empty, I ſhall ſleep.
Now ſilver ſounds ſhall thee moleſt,
Nor golden dreams diſturb my breaſt
Safe ſhall I walk the ſtreets along,
Amidſt temptations thick and ſtrong;
Catch’d by the eye, no more ſhall ſtop
At Wildey’s toys, or Pinchbeck’s ſhop;
Nor, cheap’ning Payne’s ungodly books,
Be drawn aſide by paſtry cooks:
But fearleſs now we both may go
Where Ludgate’s Mercers bow ſo low;
Beholding all with equal eye,
Nor mov’d at—Madam, what d’ye buy?
Away, far hence each worldly care!
Nor dun, nor pick-purſe ſhalt Thou fear,
Nor flatt’rer baſe annoy My ear.
Snug ſhalt thou travel thro’ the mob,
For who a Poet’s purſe will rob?
And ſoftly ſweet, in garret high,
Will I thy virtues magnify;
Out-ſoaring flatt’rers ſtinking breath,
And gently rhyming rats to death.
Written in an Ivory Book For the Honourable Miſs Hamilton;
To be ſent to her Mamma.
No ſyſtem this of deep devotion,
A Book indeed, without a notion:
And yet in theſe fair leaves you’ll find
An emblem of my tender Mind;
Both ſpotleſs, ready to receive
Each kind impreſſion you ſhall give.
Extempore. on a Drawing of Frances Thynne, Wife of Algernon, Earl of Hertford. the Counteſs of Hertford’s, now Ducheſs of Somerset.
This piece to lateſt times when ſhown,
Hertford, ſhall dignify your own;
Where as a viſitor you came,
Juſt ſhew’d yourſelf, and left your name.
So, Prior ſays, ſome years ago,
Apelles left his name at Co.
Learn hence, ye Nymphs of Britain’s iſle,
How Hertford writes, and mark her ſtyle.
Answer to a Letter From the Hon. Miſs Lovelace.
As half reſign’d, in Clayton’s green retreats,
Once more I trod the Muſe’s ſacred ſeats,
Pleas’d where the roſe its purple bloom diſplay’d,
And calm’d where poplars ſpread their awful ſhade;Juſt 105 P1r 105
Juſt as my heart had beat itſelf to reſt,
Your lines arriv’d: the lyre I ſnatch’d in haſte,
And emulation fir’d my panting breaſt
Henceforth, I cry’d, let Glory be my aim,
For Hertford ſmiles, whoſe very ſmiles are Fame.
The pow’r of ſong invok’d, my voice I raise,
And all my ſoul was tun’d to Hertford’s praiſe:
Whether in verſe melodiouſly ſhe flows,
Or the bold image paints in nervous proſe;
Whether once more the ſiſter arts ſhe joins,
And gives to Reuben’s colours, Titian’s lines;
Or, ſweetly-ſtudious, bends the thoughtful brow,
Or ſmiles indulgent o’er her yet lov’d Rowe;
Or, in the private ſcene, retir’d from view,
(That ſcene ſo oft with pleaſure mark’d by You)
Still as ſhe came, my voice grew faint with fear,
So graceful She, ſo amiably ſevere.
What could I more?—Adieu ye tuneful throng!
Farewel the ſounding lyre, and raptur’d ſong!P Preſumptuous 106 P1v 106
Preſumptuous notes! whene’er my voice I raiſe,
If nought the Muſe will dictate but her praiſe;
Vain is the ſong, too delicate her ear,
And theſe the very ſounds ſhe will not hear.
To the Prince of Orange, On his Marriage.
Written at the time of the Oxford Verſes.
To foreign notes while others tune the lyre,
Me let a free-born Engliſh Muſe inſpire:
Unskill’d in all the graces of her art,
She boaſts of nothing but an honeſt heart;
To Oxford’s Sons reſigns the verdant bays,
And neither asks, nor yet deſpiſes praiſe.
Patrons of Freedom, and their Country’s peace,
Inur’d to dangers, and deſpiſing eaſe—
Such were th’ illuſtrious Heroes of thy Race!
Such was Nassau! and we with Pleaſure ſee
Our guardian Genius riſe again in Thee.Thee 107 P2r 107
TheeBritain hails, and with a gen’rous Pride
Beholds Thy virtues to Her Throne ally’d.
Auſpicious Match!—may Heav’n indulgent ſhed
Its choiceſt bleſſings round the genial bed!
Hail wedded Love! perpetual ſource of peace;
The Calm, where reſtleſs Paſſion ſinks to Eaſe.
When hearts united thus each other claim,
How ſweet the friendſhip! and how ſoft the flame!
Wealth, Honour, Empire far behind are thrown,
And all the World’s well loſt for Thee alone.
Hence thoſe endearing Intereſts of life,
The Father, Son, the Brother, and the Wife:
Here Love extended runs thro’ diff’rent names,
The fruitful fountain of ten thouſand ſtreams.
Thrice happy Princeſs! bright with ev’ry grace,
Bleſt ſhalt Thou be, and bleſt in all thy Race:
For, like the royal Stock from whence you came,
A choſen Offspring ſhall extend your fame;
And nations, yet unborn, ſhall bleſs your name.
Here then, young Hero! fix thine eyes, and ſee,
Æneas-like, thy glorious Progeny — — — —
See future Nassau’s in bright order riſe,
Fearleſs as William, and as Maurice wiſe.
And as their Forms in gay proceſſion glide,
Thy gen’rous heart ſhall beat with noble pride;
Pleas’d that ſuch proſpects on thy Virtues wait,
Which from this glorious Æra take their date;
Pleas’d that thy Race ſucceeding times ſhall bleſs,
And give to warring nations Laws, and Peace.
Verses to the Memory of Miſs Clayton.
If ought can merit thy regard below,
If when this life, its hopes and fears are o’er,
The ſoul retains its paſſions, or can know
What ſtorms or tempeſts reach our diſtant ſhore;
View this fond tribute with thy wonted love,
And whilſt the Muſe attempts the ſolemn ſtrain,
Leave unenjoy’d awhile the realms above,
And to my Fancy once deſcend again.
Fancy, alas! to Memory ally’d,
Thou cool diſturber of our calmeſt days!
How doſt thou oft our riſing tranſports chide!
And ſteal between us and our wiſh’d-for peace.
Still, but for Thee, regardleſs might I ſtray,
Where gentle Charwell rolls her ſilent tide;
And wear at eaſe my ſpan of life away,
As I was wont, when Thou wert by my ſide.
But now no more the limpid ſtreams delight,
No more at eaſe unheeding do I ſtray;
Pleaſure and Thou are vaniſh’d from my ſight,
And life, a ſpan! too ſlowly haſtes away.
Yet if thy friendſhip lives beyond the duſt,
Where all things elſe in peace and ſilence lie,
I’ll ſeek Thee there, among the Good and Juſt,
’Mong thoſe who living wiſely—learnt to die.
And if ſome friend, when I’m no more, ſhould ſtrive
To future times my mem’ry to extend,
Let this inſcription on my tomb ſurvive,
Here reſt the aſhes of a faithful friend.
A little while, and lo! I lay me down,
To land in ſilence on that peaceful ſhore,
Where never billows beat, or tyrants frown,
Where we ſhall meet again, to part no more.
On Brigadier General Hill.
Of manners gentle, yet a friend to truth,
With age not peeviſh, nor yet vain in youth:
Brave, yet humane, and blameleſs tho’ ſevere;
His ſpeech was open, and his heart ſincere:
In courts unbrib’d, not factious tho’ retir’d;
Moſt lov’d the Soldier, more the Man admir’d.A Queen 111 P4r III
A Queen his Miſtreſs, Queen Anne. and his Friend, Mankind;
His Fortunes!—to yon little ſpot Englefield Green. confin’d.
Such once was Hill—and various tho’ his lot,
The ſame Companion, favour’d, or forgot.
On a Young Nobleman Kill’d in an Engagement at Sea.
Youth, beauty, ſtrength, the trophy, and the buſt,
Not theſe his honours to the Tomb we truſt;
But modeſt manners, innocent of art,
The open nature, and the moral heart.
Such love of truth as ancient Britains bore,
Such fortitude, as never Roman more:
And call’d betimes, his task of glory done,
To mix with nature’s ſocial as his own.
On the Right Honourable Lady Betty Bertie’s Birth-Day. By * * * * * * * * * * *
Inſerted at the Requeſt of Norris Bertie, Eſq;
The day that gave Eliza breath,
May give ten thouſand ſwains their death.
Why then, fond youth! ſo wond’rous gay,
Is this a fit rejoycing day?
As well might Priam’s ſubjects load
The altars of their guardian God:
As well expreſs untimely Joy,
At the great birth-day of the Boy
Whom fate ordain’d to fire their Troy.
Rhymes to the Hon. Miſs Lovelace; Now Lady Henry Beauclerk.Q 114 Q1v 114
On her attending Miſs Charlot Clayton In the Small-pox.
O Thou! to whom the Muſe is justly dear,
In Fancy elegant, in Judgement clear,
In whom the Virtues with the Graces blend
The faultleſs Female, and the faithful Friend;
Awhile ſuſpend the Taſte improv’d by Art,
And take the Lay ſpontaneous from the Heart.
Fantaſtic Females! ye who paint, and prate
Of ſelf, or ſomewhat, or of God knows what!
Who mimic every thing but what ye ſhould,
And even Virtue, to be reckon’d good;
Alas! no varniſh can that want ſupply,
No ſpecious talk conceal the acted lye.
While you on trifles waſte the tedious day,
And dreſs, or dream your uſeleſs hours away;Or 115 Q2r 115
Or worſe, indulge the very crime you blame,
Plot the dark ſcandal, or diſperſe the ſhame:
She on her Friend attends with pious care,
Sooths all her griefs, and ſoftens ev’ry fear;
That higher ſenſe indulging, void of art,
The virtuous feeling of a gen’rous heart;
And finds ſelf-love attain its nobleſt end,
When it transfers from Self to ſerve a Friend.
How few for Friendſhip Nature has deſign’d!
Th’ unmelting temper, and th’ unmeaning mind,
The crafty, ſelfiſh, dark perfidious, ſee!
O ſacred Friendſhip! all unworthy Thee.
Where then ſhall ſhe, whoſe native manners ſtart
Beyond the narrow bounds of low-bred art,
Whoſe ſoul is open, as her purpoſe clear,
Foe to evaſion, as of heart ſincere;
Not too familiar, nor yet too preciſe,
With humour witty, with politeneſs wiſe;
Where find a Friend to bear the equal part?
Say, Charlot, where? if not within thy heart.
Yet Thou, whoſe worth might ſweeter ſounds inſpire,
Indulge theſe efforts of a youthful lyre:
No flatt’ring purpoſe has the Muſe in view,
Tho’ prompt to praiſe, wherever Praiſe is due;
Averſe to flatter, cautious to commend,
Hardly ſhe ſooths the frailities of a Friend.
But ſick of the inſipid ſenſeleſs train,
For Thee ſhe feels the animated ſtrain:
O be ſhe ſacred to the wiſe and good!
Nor proſtitute her praiſes to the croud;
With whom leſs pleas’d than pain’d, her lyre unſtrung,
Upon a neighb’ring willow uſeleſs hung;
Till gentle deeds, and correſponding Love
Impell’d the ſympathetic ſtrings to move
To Nature’s harmony; while artleſs lays,
To her and Lovelace tun’d, grow muſic in their praiſe.
Birth-day To the ſame, on Richmond-Green, Soon after her being Maid of Honour to Queen Caroline.
Bring, bring the lyre, to uſher in the morn;
Delia, the gentleſt Maid, to day was born:
And tho’ ſhe twenty ſummer ſuns has ſeen,
Tho’ now among the nymphs of Britain’s Queen,
Is ſtill the gentleſt Maid upon the green.
Sure guardian Sylphs around her paths attend!
Without a foe, and worthy ev’ry Friend.
In one bright calm may each ſucceeding year
Roll guiltleſs on, unruffled by a care!
Till future Maids of Honour have approv’d
The grove ſhe haunted, and the ſtream ſhe lov’d;
And each bright Siſter, emulous, proclaim,
That Innocence and Pleaſure are the ſame.
Ye Maids of Honour, mind your ways,
Nor wholeſome counſel ſlight;
For oh! ’tis hard, in theſe our days,
To hold one’s Diſh upright.
By fate the ſtrongeſt of us all,
And eke the ſteadieſt too,
Are doom’d, or ſoon or late, to fall,
Nor are examples few.
The firſt of all the falling ſex
Was Eve, our parent frail!—
Ah, Satan! Satan! thy ſly tricks
Her daughters ſtill bewail.
The next in fame, that made a trip
(O hear each Maid and Wife!)
Was Delia—and the only ſlip
She ever made in life.
But fate foreſaw the whole affair,
And plac’d before her eyes
A ball, three footmen, and a chair,
And eke a Beau likewiſe.
In ſuch a caſe, what mortal Maid
In circumſpection deals?
Or when a ball affects the head,
What nymph can mind her heels?
For, eager to be gone, ’tis ſaid,
That morn ſhe miſs’d her pray’rs;
But vengeance ſwift o’ertook the Maid,
Alas! ſhe fell down ſtairs.
Hence, ladies fair, with caution tread,
Be warn’d by Delia’s ſlip;
And keep this maxim in your head—
To look, before you leap.
For ſhe a Mourner is become,
Does penance for her ſin;
And, ’ſtead of dancing, ſtays at home,
To weep a broken Shin.
On her Bed-Chamber’s Chimney Being blown down at St. James’s
Go, Betty, (gentle Delia ſaid)
And warm my ſpotleſs virgin bed:
I’m Froſt, I’m Ice, all cold as ſtone!
But how can One be warm alone?
Well, be it ſo—What can’t be cur’d,
“The Proverb ſays, must be endur’d.
Stay—go, I mean—but on my chair
Beſure lay Farquhar’s Conſtant Pair.
My Pſalms and Hymns, here, take away,
Methinks I’ve no great mind to pray:
Soft Vigils rather let me keep;
Damon, alas! has murderd ſleep.
She ſaid, when lo! a ſtorm aroſe,
Which firſt her Fav’rites diſcompose:
Her China next diſorder’d ſhakes,
And ſee! the Chimney, how it quakes!The 121 R1r 121
The Palace totters to its fall,
And down comes China, Chimney, all!
What ſhall ſhe do? or whither run?
Behold in duſt her Bed of down!
Yet, Delia, let it ne’er be ſaid,
You know not where to lay your head.
What! ſhrinking back, now danger’s near!
A Soldier’s Daughter too, and fear!
Where, where’s that Fortitude you boaſt?
The Poſt of Danger’s Virtue’s Poſt:
And thunder, lighten, rain, or ſhine,
The Bed of Honour ſtill is Thine.
Adown the pretty purling ſtream
The little Loves may loll and dream;
And pleaſe, and prune themſelves with care,
And fancy Virtue lodges there.
The ſoft Affections thus, and ſtrong,
Adown life’s current glide along;
And all-appeas’d and uncontroul’d,
Awhile their equal meaſure hold.R Till 122 R1v 122
Till ſailing fatrther on the deep,
Or mounting Virtue’s lofty ſteep,
The pretty ſyſtem ſinks away,
The little loves, and ſmiles decay.
Unnumber’d waves and ſtorms we find
To raiſe—not to depreſs the mind,
The conſcious mind, which dares endure,
And, fixt on Virtue, ſtands ſecure:
Nor ſhrinks, diſmay’d, when danger’s nigh,
Nor drops her aims beneath the sky.
The Story of Jacob and Rachel attempted.
To the ſame.
Thou! to whom nature variouſly imparts,
The gift of conq’ring, and of keeping hearts,
Smile on the lay—nor deem the Tale too long,
Which, but for Thee, had yet remain’d unſung.
So may ſome choſen Youth hereafter view
All Rachel’s Graces bloom in Thee anew,
And love, like Jacob, tenderly and true.
Far in the Eaſt, as Sacred Writ records,
Dwelt Laban, rich in ſundry flocks and herds;
Near Haran’s famous Well was his abode,
There ſmoak’d his altars to his Houſhold-God.
His dwellings large, and fertile was his land,
And num’rous ſervants waited his command;
The fruitful lawn, the hill, the levell’d down,
Far as the eye could ſtretch, were all his own:
Throughout the Eaſt extended Laban’s fame,
And where he journey’d, there he left a name.
Two only Daughters to his age remain’d,
And Leah one, and one was Rachel named.
Time had from Leah rifled ev’ry grace—
But blooming beauty dwelt on Rachel’s face.
Well-favour’d, graceful, in the bloom of life,
She led the flocks, or tript it to the fife;
When ſummer ſuns burnt fiercely o’er their heads,
She drove the wantons frisking to the ſhades;
Or when the merry pipe rejoic’d the vale,
Led up the dance, or told the jocund tale;R2 Chearful 124 R2v 124
Chearful and blythe ſhe paſs’d the day along,
And ev’ry valley echo’d with her ſong.
She was each ſhepherd’s theme, each ſwain’s delight,
Their talk by day, their viſion in the night;
Whene’er they feaſted on their homely cheer,
No mirth was heard, if Rachel was not there:
’Mongſt all their rural ſports She ſtill was ſeen,
And foremoſt at the feaſt, as on the green.
Her Fame and Charms ſoon reach’d young Jacob’s ear,
Rebekah’s beſt belov’d, and Iſaac’s Heir:
But ere his friends and family he leaves,
His Father’s Bleſſing on his head he craves.
To Padan-aram now his courſe he ſteers,
His hopes ſucceeded by a thouſand fears;
The mingled paſſions take up all his ſoul,
And vaſt events within his boſom roll.
As on he journey’d far into the Eaſt,
Fatigued himſelf, his camels wanting reſt,Not 125 R3r 125
Not far away, with pleaſure he beheld
A ſpacious well, amidſt a fruitful field;
Where with their flocks the ſun-burnt ſhepherds came,
Panting and faint, to quaff the limpid ſtream.
Of theſe he ask’d their country and their name:
From Haran (they reply’d) thy ſervants came.
And know ye Laban? lives he, can ye tell?
He lives, my Lord; thy ſervants know him well:
His num’rous flocks in yonder valley ſtray,
And with them, lo! his daughter comes this way.
When Jacob ſaw the Maid, his beating breaſt
The pow’r of Love and radiant eyes confeſt
Quick thro’ his veins the gen’rous pleaſure flow’d,
His boſom with unuſual fervours glow’d;
Around his heart the ſoft’ning paſſions crept,
He gaz’d, he ſigh’d, he wonder’d, and he wept;
Then ſeiz’d her hand, and kiſs’d her roſy cheek,
And trembling from his lips the accents break.
When Rachel heard his family and name,
Their common ſtock, the tribe from whence ſhe came;
With decent haſte, exulting o’er the plain,
She, with the tidings, to her Father ran.
Meanwhile her harmleſs flock neglected ſtray,
Or round the Well in expectation lay:
Theſe Jacob water’d, could he well do leſs?
He lov’d the ſheep, but more the Shepherdeſs.
When Laban heard the tidings, forth he went
To meet, and welcome Jacob to his tent.
My joy (cry’d Laban) let my actions ſpeak;
A kind embrace, and friendly welcome take,
—This for Rebekah—this for Iſaac’s ſake.
Now mirth and feaſting thro’ the houſe were found,
The damſels tript it to the tabret’s ſound,
And the brisk bowl to Jacob’s health went round.
Each in the gen’ral joy aſſerts his ſhare,
And none ſeem’d penſive, but the Patriarch’s Heir.He 127 R4r 127
He oft on Rachel gazes, oft approves,
And much he muſes, for as much he loves:
All night her pleaſing image ſooth’d his mind;
He found her fair, and hop’d to prove her kind.
Soon as the roſy morn unveil’d the light,
And with her ſplendor chas’d the gloom of night;
Jacob aroſe, and bleſt the new-born day,
Then ſought the flock, where Rachel led the way.
And now he guides ’em to the flow’ry hill,
Or drives ’em skipping to the diſtant rill:
At noon ſecures ’em from ſcorching heat;
With Rachel near him, Jacob’s toil is ſweet.
If on the reed his skilful fingers move,
He pours the ſong to harmony and Love.
Oft on the trees imprints her much-lov’d name,
Or ſighs his paſſion to the murm’ring ſtream;
To deck her hair the flow’ry wreath prepares,
The flow’ry wreath for Jacob’s ſake ſhe wears:
Jacob! whom now ſhe views with partial eye,
Nor paſs’d his ſlighteſt deeds unnotic’d by.
Nor were their thoughts to Love alone confin’d,
To mutual vows inſtructive talk they join’d.
As how the ſtars in beauteous order ſtood,
And each the ſplendid witneſs of a God!—
Their ſigns and ſeaſons they obſerve with care,
And mark their influence on the earth and air:
Which threats their flocks, or which deſtroys their vines,
And which with good, or baleful aſpect ſhines.
Thus paſs’d their time. When Laban now beheld
His flocks increaſe, his vines more cluſters yield;
Pleas’d with his growing wealth, he ſtrait prepares
To offer ſome reward for Jacob’s cares.
Jacob, whoſe heart nor gold nor gems could move,
Look’d with diſdain on all—but Rachel’s Love;
And thus reply’d.
If gracious Laban means
Or to reward my paſt, or future pains;
Bleſs, with a bounteous hand, bleſs all my life,
And give me lovely Rachel for a Wife.“I ask 129 S1r 129
I ask no dow’r my fortunes to improve,
Rich in poſſeſſion of my Rachel’s Love.
Let ſordid ſwains, whom thirſt of gain invites
To woo the Fair-One to the nuptial rites,
Bargain for Love, and ſell their vows for gold;
But let not Rachel, like her ſheep, be ſold.
Rachel! whoſe beauty ſoftens ev’ry breaſt,
Whoſe worth outweighs the treaſures of the Eaſt!
Full ſev’n long years I’ll ſerve thee for the Maid;
The toil looks pleaſing, when ſo well repaid.
Laban conſents, and Jacob joys to find
The Sire as courteous as the Daughter kind,
Nor e’er ſuſpects the depths of Laban’s mind.
His upright heart, as yet, no guile could ſee;
He thought men honeſt, as they ſeem’d to be.
But when the long-expected day appears,
That Rachel ſhould reward her Jacob’s cares,
When with united hearts they join to bleſs
The firſt fair dawnings of their mutual peace;
Laban prepares a banquet, and invites
The neighb’ring ſwains to grace the nuptial rites.S In 130 S1v 130
In num’rous crouds they came from diſtant lands,
To hail the Bride, with preſents in their hands;
Rich ſparkling wines, or firſtlings of the flock,
Or ſwelling cluſters from the pendent rock.
A flowing mantle lovely Rachel wore,
Embosſ’d with gems, with gold embroider’d o’er;
In wanton ringlets wav’d her aubourn hair,
Succinct her robe, her buskin’d legs half bare.
She gave the health, She welcom’d ev’ry gueſt,
And ſeem’d to all the Miſtreſs of the Feaſt
But when the ſun withdrew his kindling beams,
And the laſt ray danc’d faintly on the ſtreams;
The guileful Laban, whoſe long-frozen breaſt
No more the youthful pow’r of Love confeſt,
Obſerv’d how Leah often look’d askance,
And caſt on Rachel many an envious glance,
Himſelf the willing wayward damſel led
To Rachel’s Place, and ſeiz’d the bridal bed.
But when the morn appear’d, and by his ſide
Jacob beheld his unexpected Bride;Enrag’d, 131 S2r 131
Enrag’d, he ſmote his breaſt, his clothes he rent,
And ſorrowing ſought the faithleſs Laban’s tent,
And thus upbraids
What haſt thou done? Why led
The taſteleſs Leah to my nuptial bed?
Did I ſerve thee for Her? ungentle fair!—
And doſt thou thus reward my honeſt care?
Little waſt Thou, thou know’ſt it, ere I came;
How God has bleſt thee ſince, let Me proclaim.
What time I’ve ſerv’d thee, have I done thee wrong?
Have or thy Ews or Goats once caſt their Young?
That which was torn of beaſts I brought thee not,
I bare the loſs, nor haſt thou ſuffer’d aught.
Thus, thus I was; for Thee my ſleep I loſt,
Endur’d the ſummer’s ſun, and winter’s froſt
Unrighteous Man! is this then my return?
I ſerv’d for Rachel—but for Leah mourn.
What tho’, young man, I led
My firſt-born Leah to thy arms, and bed;
Know, ’tis our country’s cuſtom: ’twere a crime
To give the younger firſt—yet both are thine,S2 If 132 S2v 132
If, with thy boaſted fondneſs, thou canſt bear
Sev’n added years of ſervitude and care.
Ill-fated Jacob! who muſt now embrace
Theſe hard conditions of his happineſs,
Or loſe his lovely Maid, his much-lov’d Fair!
Source of his woes, and partnerof his care—
Twice ſev’n long years! ’twas hard for Love to bear.
Yet all his trials well did he ſuſtain,
And Rachel ſhar’d, or ſoften’d ev’ry pain,
Till Heav’n at length confirm’d Her all his own;
When, to their mutual joy, She bare a ſon,
And thence enjoy’d his Love unrival’d, and alone.
Written on ſome Ivory Leaves.
Ye ſpotleſs Leaves! by all confeſt
Fair emblems of your Miſtreſs’ breaſt
Thrice happy He of human race,
Whoſe Name in this fair Book has place!
O happier ſtill, whoe’er thou art,
Whoſe Name’s engraven on her Heart!
The Author’s Silence excus’d.
Whilst You fair Maſham Sister of Th. Wirmington Esq., first Wife of Simon, 2d Lord Maſham. entertain
With ſenſe and ſparkling wit;
A ſtranger to the flowing vein,
I all attention fit.
Let other Maids, of happier lungs,
The painful ſilence break;
I envy not their gift of tongues,
If You, or Maſham ſpeak.
Epistle, from Fern-Hill.
To the ſame.
Charlot, who my controller is chief,
And dearly loves a little miſchief,
Whene’er I talk of packing up,
To all my meaſures puts a ſtop:
And tho’ I plunge from bad to worſe,
Grown duller than her own dull horſe;Yet 134 S3v 134
Yet out of Complaiſance exceeding,
Or pure Perverſeneſs, call’d Good-breeding,
Will never let me have my way
In any thing I do, or ſay.
At table, if I ask for Veal,
In complaiſance, ſhe gives me Quail.
I like your Beer; ’tis brisk, and fine—
O no; John, give Miſs—ſome Wine.
And tho’ from two to four you ſtuff,
She never thinks you’re ſick enough:
In vain your Hunger’s cur’d, and Thirſt;
If you’d oblige her, you muſt burſt
Whether in pity, or in ire,
Sometimes I’m ſeated next the fire;
So very cloſe, I pant for breath,
In pure Good-manners ſcorch’d to death.
Content I feel her kindneſs kill,
I only beg to make my Will;
But ſtill in all I do, or ſay,
This nuſance Breeding’s in the way;O’er 135 S4r 135
O’er which to ſtep I’m much too lazy,
And too obliging to be eaſy.
Oft do I cry, I’m almoſt undone
To ſee our Friends in Brooke-ſtreet, London.
As ſeriouſly the Nymph invites
Her ſlave to ſtay till moon-ſhine nights.
Lo! from her lips what Language breaks!
What ſweet perſwaſion, when ſhe ſpeaks!
Her Words ſof ſoft! her Senſe ſo ſtrong!
I only wiſh—to ſlit her Tongue.
But this, you’ll ſay’s to make a clutter,
Forſooth! about one’s bread and butter.
Why, be it ſo; yet I’ll aver,
That I’m as great a plague to Her;
For well-bred folks are ne’er ſo civil,
As when they wiſh you at the D—l.
So, Charlot, for our mutual eaſe,
Let’s e’en ſhake hands, and part in peace;
To keep me here, is but to teaze ye,
To let me go, would be to eaſe ye.
As when (to ſpeak in phraſe more humble)
The Gen’ral’s guts begin to grumble,
Whate’er the cauſe that inward ſtirs,
Or pork, or peaſe, or wind, or worſe;
He wiſely thinks the more ’tis pent,
The more ’twill ſtruggle for a vent:
So only begs you’ll hold your noſe,
And gently lifting up his clothes,
Away th’impriſon’d vapour flies,
And mounts a zephyr to the skies.
So I (with rev’rence be it ſpoken)
Of ſuch a Gueſt am no bad token;
In Charlot’s chamber ever rumbling,
Her Pamphlets, and her Papers tumbling,
Diſplacing all the things ſhe places,
And, as is uſual in ſuch caſes,
Making her cut moſt ſad wry faces.
Yet, ſpite of all this rebel rout,
She’s too well bred to let me out,For 137 T1r 137
For fear you ſqueamiſh Nymphs at Court
(Virgins of not the beſt report)
Should on the tale malicious dwell,
When me you ſee, or of me tell.
O Charlot! when alone we ſit,
Laughing at all our own (no) wit,
You wiſely with your Cat at play,
I reading Swift, and ſpilling tea;
How would it pleaſe my raviſh’d ear,
To hear you, from your eaſy chair,
With look ſerene, and brow uncurl’d,
Cry out, A— for all the world!
But You, a ſlave to too much breeding,
And I, a fool, with too much reading,
Follow the hive, as bees their drone,
Without one purpoſe of our own:
Till tir’d with blund’ring and miſtaking,
We die ſad fools of others making.
Stand it recorded on yon poſt,
That both are fools then, to our coſt!
The queſtion’s only, which is moſt?T I 138 T1v 138
I, that I never yet have ſhewn
One ſteady purpoſe of my own;
Or You, with both your blue eyes waking,
Run blund’ring on, by Choice miſtaking?—
Alas! we both might ſleep contented,
Our errors purg’d, our faults repented;
Could you, unmov’d, a ſqueamiſh look meet,
Or I forget our Friend in Brooke-Street.
Shall this Day unheeded fly,
And like vulgar days paſs by?
Dull as — tho’ I be,
Shall it paſs unſung by Me?
No, when I this Day forget,
May I ſhare that Poet’s fate!
Singing what is daily ſaid,
Rhyming what is never read.
Now for Bleſſings, ſuch as eaſe,
Health and joy, long life and peace.Pray 139 T2r 139
Pray we next—for Poets may
Sure, as well as Proſe-Folks, pray—
And as this Day rolls around,
May you ſtill be perfect found:
Still, in Virtue’s noble race,
Preſſing for the foremoſt place;
Scorning all that’s low, or lewd,
Daring to be great and good:
Till your race of life is done,
And the glorious meed your own;
Such as Angels now receive,
Such as Heav’n alone can give.
In Memory of the Right Hon. Nevil Lord Lovelace.
In the calm hour, when pleaſure moſt prevails,
And ſmooth proſperity has ſwell’d your ſails,
The ſportive Muſe her humble lyre has ſtrung,
To join the triumph with ſome idle ſong:T2 And 140 T2v 140
And ſhall ſhe now, when nature ſmiles no more,
When tempeſts riſe, and ſurges laſh the ſhore,
Sit doubtful, and the ſerious lay refuſe?
Shall Lovelace ſigh, nor ſympathize the Muſe?
In life’s mixt ſcene, where various parts agree
To form one tedious Tragi-Comedy,
How few, alas! in either part can ſhine?
But both to grace, what forces muſt combine!
In ſome low ſcene is Silia deem’d a wit?
With patience’ meekeſt ear attentive ſit.
In mimic ſtate, and proud fantastic pow’r,
Is Fulvia crown’d the Queen of half an hour?
The Queen of half an iſland if ſhe pleaſe;
The wiſe have no debates with ſuch as theſe.
But when the riſing ſcenes with anguiſh ſwell,
’Tis Yours the higher, harder part to tell,
And dignify diſtreſs by ſuff’ring well.
Whether the Stoic’s, or the Chriſtian’s part,
Found in the head, or working at the heart;
Here all the kind affections, touch’d, comply;
There rous’d again to ſtudy’d apathy.
Come, falſe Philosophy! as proud as vain,
Talk well of virtue, talk it o’er again;
Deep in the heart true Fortitude’s conceal’d,
And needs no eloquence to be reveal’d.
Yet ſpeak! O tell me! whence this calm of mind?
The will obedient, and the wiſh reſigned;
The ſteady temper, and the look ſerene,
And all a Siſter’s woe in ſilence ſeen?
That I may learn, when by misfortune preſt,
To yeild with meekneſs, or with ſtrength reſiſt
Brave Youth! with ev’ry virtue crown’d, farewel!
How truly lov’d, young Walpole’ Hon. Horace Walpole, Eſq; s Muſe can tell.
He to the Tomb has led the weeping Nine,
And hung the wreath of friendſhip o’er the ſhrine.
Not ſweeter notes, whom Pope conſigns to fame,
Attend the ſhade of gentle Buckingham.
Here the pale Loves, and ſick’ning Graces mourn,
And there the Siſter weeping o’er the Urn:
Like ſome fair pillar nodding o’er it’s baſe,
The laſt remaining ruin of her race;Left 142 T3v 142
Left but to make their milder virtues known,
And fill the radiant circle with her own.
Uſeleſs the marble, and the mournful creſt,
No tomb ſo lovely as a ſiſter’s breaſt;
There ſhall thy mem’ry live, by time improv’d,
And ſhe for virtues, once thy own, be lov’d:
Not ſuch as make of Kings and Queens a Friend,
But ſuch as grac’d thy life, and bleſs’d thy end;
Truth unaffected, Manners void of art,
Plain Senſe, and ſtrong Benevolence of heart.
Oft as ſhe eyes yon bright etherial plain,
And burns to follow Thee, and mix again;
Some tender friendſhips, ſome endearing ties,
Cling round her heart, and hold her from the skies.
A little while, and theſe ſhall all decay,
And the free ſoul emerge to endleſs day:
Where, having long ſuſtain’d the faithful part,
The ſtrong attraction ſeizing all her heart,
Her gentler orb ſhall round it’s center move,
Re-kindled into Harmony and Love.
(Occaſion’d by ſome lines upon Death.)
Say, Delia, has not Death a pain
Beyond what mortals fear, or feign?
Beyond th’ oppreſſor’s ſcourge, or ſcorn?
Beyond what ſuff’ring worth may mourn?
Do not the wiſe, the learn’d, the great,
At his approach, appall’d, retreat?
Do not the brave with horror ſtart,
And, ſhock’d, betray th’ unconquer’d heart?
To Death for eaſe we fly in vain,
And pleaſure loſe for certain pain.
Nor is this all. The conſcious mind
Connects an awful ſcene behind:
Where ev’ry crime ſhall be expos’d,
And ev’ry ſecret guilt diſclos’d;
Where hearts unus’d to melt, ſhall bleed,
And ſad remorſe, with pangs ſucceed.
Then ceaſe awhile the doubtful ſtrife,
And, reconcil’d, look back on life.
How full of ſmiles is it begun!
With what delight does youth glide on!
What pleaſures ſparkle in our eyes,
When firſt the infant paſſions riſe!
If Love invades the ſprightly veins,
With all its cares, and pleaſing pains;
Tho’ abſence heighten the diſtreſs,
Or jealous fears diſturb our peace;
Tho’ the ſoft flame, with which we burn,
Be pay’d with pride, neglect, or ſcorn;
Slight he the nymph, or ſhe the ſwain,
Yet there’s a pleaſure in the pain.
In Friendſhip what relief we find!
What eaſe, from int’reſts thus combin’d;
By mutual ties of honour bound,
How kind, how faithful, Friends are found!
How full each word! how fair each deed!
(Save juſt in caſe of real need)Without 145 U1r 145
Without reſerve their joys they ſhare,
And by dividing leſſen care.
What tho’ dull moraliſts of old,
Strange tales of broken faith have told;
What tho’ there were, for private ends,
Thoſe who debas’d the name of friends;
Yet theſe were things done long ago,
The world is ſtrangely mended now!
And in this upright age we ſee,
Friends are—what they appear to be.
Next young Ambition ſmiling brings
Alternate joy to Slaves and Kings.
The Monarch, lo! in tranſports hurl’d,
Surveys in thought a conquer’d world.
The Peaſant o’er his clod eſpies
Preferments, riches, honours riſe;
Till, (what ſometimes is vaſtly odd)
The viſion flies, and leaves the clod:
Yet Expectation gilds his joys;
Fruition only cures, and cloys.U Gay, 146 U1v 146
Gay, blooming Expectation ſtrays
To charming ſcenes, thro’ charming ways;
With wondrous art it can foreſee
What never was, nor e’er can be:
Yet who would wiſh to ſpy the cheat?
Or who’d not hug the dear deceit?
Since life’s prime bliſs, it is believ’d,
Conſiſts in being—well-deceiv’d.
Nor muſt we laugh at, nor may blame
The man who thirſts, or bleeds for Fame.
Renown, tho’ Late, at length ſucceeds,
And tho’ it comes not till his fall,
’Tis better late—than not at all.
Obſerve the Man of dreſs, and lace:
How ſoft his air! how ſweet his face!
The youth has lov’d, and learnt to dance:
And now he travels into France,
Freſh manners to import, and mark
The ſword-knot of the Grand Monarque.Then 147 U2r 147
Then, fine and finiſh’d, homeward roves,
Each taſte corrects, refines, improves;
Admires awhile, and is admir’d;
And tiring others, till he’s tir’d,
Walks off, a little ſick of life,
And takes, by way of cure, a Wife:
Enquires—whoſe houſe is to be let,
(His own being quitted for a debt)
Then, as his finances require,
To frugal Yorkſhire does retire,
And ends a plain, contented ’Squire.
Nor Youth alone has joy in view,
Age has its ſatisfactions too.
Who envies not the miſer’s ſtore?
Who ſeeming rich, and really poor,
Yet that one paſſion, luſt of gain,
Supports him under ev’ry pain:
Amidſt a thouſand ills he’ll thrive,
And think it worth his while to live.
The venerable Sage, who deals
In long, inſipid, ancient tales,U2 Who 148 U2v 148
Who dwells on feats of former times,
And loudly taxes modern crimes;
Whoſe tedious lore at morn’s begun,
And ends but with the ſetting ſun;
At ninety odd, this happy man
Repines, that life is but a ſpan!
That as the ſparks fly upwards all,
So mortal man is doom’d to fall!
That fleſh is graſs; and like the flow’r,
Springs, blooms, and dies within an hour!—
More truths, perhaps, he might unfold;
But ah! he dies; his tale is told.
Nor are theſe all the joys of age:
Love may exert its feebler rage
Thro’ each re-animated vein,
Enliv’ning all the heart again:
Paſt ſcenes reſtoring to its view,
And warmth, as well as youth renew.
Nor this prepoſt’rous call, or ſtrange;
Winter itſelf, grown old, will change,And 149 U3r 149
And put Spring’s youthful liv’ry on,
Pervaded by the gen’rous ſun.
Delia, if this is Life, and theſe
Can paſs it off with ſo much eaſe;
Or all-enamour’d with the ſcene,
Would act it o’er and o’er again:
If theſe can taſte the preſent hour,
What joys has Wiſdom in her pow’r!
Who leads, with laſting pleaſure bleſt,
Fair Virtue, ever-chearful gueſt!
The conſtant inmates of your breaſt
With Delia, Love’s a gentle flame,
Whoſe ſource is honour and eſteem.
Her Friendſhip ſtill is more refin’d,
A gen’rous ſympathy of mind.
Ambitious—only to excell,
And be ſupreme in doing well.
And hence, as a reward, may claim
Our juſt returns of Praiſe, and Fame.
Live then, and condeſcend to taſte,
Tho’ you’re diguſted with the feaſt;
Live for your own, for Virtue’s ſake,
And Pleaſure with the Wiſe partake:
And (if the fates ſo much decree)
A little longer live—for Me.
Written at her: Apartment in Windſor-Caſtle.
Whilst You, dear Maid, to ſoft alarms
Reſign the genial hour,
Forſaking all for Henry’s charms,
Your own, and Ours no more:
I lean my philoſophic head
On table cold as clay,
And read—good Gods, how I do read!
My very ſoul away.
My Lady hears away her rage
In tragedy ſo deep:
Fringes no more her ſoul engage—
Ev’n John has leave to ſleep.
Thus all forgetting, or forgot,
While You are from our view,
To knot and read, and read and knot,
Is all we have to do.
Come, my Muſe, prepare the lay,
Once more hail this happy Day.
Bid it ſhine o’er all the paſt;
Brighteſt, ſince it is the laſt
For her full meridian ray,
Soon muſt ſicken, and decay:
See! ſhe haſtens down the skies,
In another ſphere to riſe;In 152 U4v 152
In a world unknown, untry’d,
Sets a Maid, to riſe a Bride.
So the ſun, with ſplendid ray,
Having ſhone his ſummer’s day,
Gilding all the groves and plains,
Drops at length the golden reins,
And night’s curtain round him ſpread,
Hides his beams in Thetis’ bed.
From New Lodge Right Hon. Lord Henry Beauclerk’s in Windſor Foreſt. to Fern-Hill.
In a very rainy Summer Seaſon.
Thee, gentle Charlot on the Hill,
(A ſcene the Muſe remembers ſtill)
We, humble tenants of the vale,
Greeting, congratulate and hail.
In vain retir’d from city noiſe,
From Mackrel cries, and Watchmen’s voice,To 153 X1r 153
To where Lord Henry plants the grove,
Sacred to ſilence and to Love;
If here reſerv’d, for crimes unknown,
(Dreadful reverſe!) to hang, or drown.
See, how the ruſhing torrents pour!
A deluge now in ev’ry ſhow’r!
The mountain tops apace decay,
The little hillocks melt away:
No more in ponds the goſling talks,
But ſails ſecure on gravel walks.
The very fiſh have left the floods,
And glide, or graze among the woods; Several fiſh were taken gliding among the foreſt walks.
Unknowing where to ſhape their way,
Or which is earth, or which is ſea.
Ev’n little Joe, amphibious creature!
Lives ſolely now beneath the water.
Yet ere the ſprings of life decay,
Ere quite diſſolv’d, or waſh’d away,X If, 154 X1v 154
If, curious of our weal or woe,
You ask, how fares the vale below;
Behold, the Muſe her flight prepares,
And in her mouth the olive bears,
Emblem of peace! Yet if ſhe brings
No friendly token on her wings;
If to the vale ſhe echoes round,
That Charlot’s turkies too are drown’d;
And all her ducks, and all her drakes,
Are hurry’d down the dreadful lakes;
In vain we hail the Hill or Thee,
In vain we put our barks to ſea.
But ſee! the deluge drives apace,
And ſeems to threaten all the race.
Yet happy we of human kind,
Who have one comfort ſtill behind—
Let but my Lady ſafe remain!
She’ll people all the earth again.
Ode To the Right Hon. Lady Henry Beauclerk.
The ſummit reach’d of earthly joys,
Your nurs’ry full of Girls and Boys,
Your Lord in peace return’d;
Your rents improv’d, your lands increas’d,
The good old Right Hon. Lady Wentworth. Baroneſs deceas’d,
And with due honours mourn’d;
What more remains, but ſafe aſhore,
Grateful indulge the preſent hour,
And, while you feel, impart;
Nor let a feebler pulſe control
One gen’rous purpoſe of your ſoul,
One virtue of your heart.
The ruling paſſion, bold and ſtrong,
May ſtruggle in the boſom long,
Yet wants its time to ſhoot;
But when kind Heav’n the ſoil ſupplies
With bolder Suns, and brighter skies,
It yields its gen’rous fruit.
Whether we view your morning ſcene,
A favour’d Maid near Britain’s Queen,
(The reſt let Envy tell)
Or now arriv’d at noon of life,
A frugal Mother, and a Wife,
Thus far, at leaſt, was well.
And thus far too your praiſe I’ve ſung,
And ſtill the burden of my ſong
Was—Ne’er be Fortune’s Creature!
For, tho’ ſhe open all her ſtore,
And tho’ ſhe give you ten times more,
To be yourself is greater.
The ſongs I ſung you kindly took,
And bid me put ’em in a book,
Becauſe I ſcorn’d to flatter;
But now more great, that is, more rich,
God knows what Demons may bewitch,
And ſpoil your honeſt Nature.
Should you grow artful, fooliſh, nice,
Or ſink to ſneaking avarice,
Much good may Riches do ye!
But then, how ſimple I ſhall look?—
Do, tear your Songs, and burn your Book,
And ſay—I never knew ye.
1745-12-02Dec. 2, 1745.
Abstract of an Order of Convocation in Relation to Melissa’s taking off Medals, &c; in Paper.
After returning You Thanks for the curious ſpecimens You’ve been pleas’d to ſend me of your Art, I am order’d to inform you—That yeſterday a Convocation was held at O—d,conſiſting of all the Doctors, both the Proctors, all Heads and Governors of Colleges and Halls, together with a numerous appearance of Maſters; when this venerable and learned Body, in conſideration of your extraordinary Merits, and at the inſtance of their Chancellor, were pleas’d to confer the following ſingular Favour upon You, in the following manner.
The Houſe being regularly ſeated, the Vice- Chancellor (as uſual upon ſuch occaſions) roſe up, and delivered to the ſenior Proctor a Letter from the Chancellor, which the ſaid Proctor read 160 X4v 160 read very audibly; beginning in the uſual Form, with Mr. V. Chancr and Gent. I have been mov’d on the behalf of the amiable and eminent Meliſſa, And ending—To this laudable requeſt I give my conſent; and am, Mr. V. Chancr and Gent. &c;
The heads of which Letter were as follow.
That leave be given to the ſaid Meliſſa, already perfect miſtreſs of the ſeveral branches of Natural Philosophy, and now deep in the ſtudy of Mechanics, particularly that of copying Medals by a new plaſtic art, in Baſſo Relievo, on Paper—to purſue her ſaid ſtudies in the public Library of this Univerſity; and that the reverend and learned the Keeper of the Archives, Medals, &c; be order’d to attend her during her ſtay here, and ſupply her with all the materials ſhe ſhall have occaſion for. And moreover, that the ſaid Meliſſa may have the farther Favour of an honorary degree conferr’d upon her, as a public teſtimony of the regard of this Univerſity to real Merit.
After ſome debates upon the ſubject matter of the Letter, as well as the nature of the requeſt, in regard 161 Y1r 161 regard to the Novelty of it, and the extreme preſumption of ſuffering ſo beautiful a Perſon to pervade the receſſes of the Learned—
That Leave be given to the ſaid Senior Proctor (who, ’tis ſaid, was firſt mov’d to petition the Chancellor) to enlarge upon the Merits of the Caſe, and more fully to explain the Nature and Tendency of ſo extraordinary a Requeſt, together with the Benefits which might accrue to the Society in general; which, after three laudable Hems, in order to remove all obſtructions, he proceeded to do, as follows:That, as it has ſeem’d good to the Chancellor to move us on the behalf of Meliſſa, who is deſcended in a direct Line from a Lady right cunning in the Art of making pretty Faces, and who has given undoubted ſpecimens of her uncommon Genius in that, as well as other liberal Sciences; ’tis hop’d that this Univerſity, ſo remarkable for diſtinguiſhing Merit, will be particularly unanimous in their vote, that Leave be given to the ſaid Meliſſa to purſue her ſtudies, in a regular manner, in this ancient and honourable Univerſity. That among variety of other Medals, belonging to it’s Archives, are thoſe which were ſtruck upon the Duke of Marlborough’s battles; and Y ’tis 162 Y1v 162 ’tis pray’d that this fair Student may have leave to take all his Towns again in Paper; and put his famous Battle of Blenheim, which coſt ſo many Millions, within the compaſs of a Crown Piece. That this is moreover a more ſafe, and expeditious way of taking Towns than the preſent bloody one now in uſe; and might therefore be of infinite ſervice to vaſt numbers of the Gentlemen of the Army and Marine. That by this means the immortal Actions of that great General will be more effectually perpetuated, and compris’d within the Cabinets of the Curious; and ſince the Brave have from time immemorial protected the Fair, ’tis but reaſonable that the Fair ſhould, at leaſt, record the Brave. That ſince the Lady is naturally of a cruel diſpoſition, and ſeems at preſent to have no thoughts of tranſmitting her own Face to Poſterity; ’tis hop’d ſhe may be indulg’d in the liberty of making free with other People’s. And laſtly, That in Conſideration of her high Birth, and ſingular Merit, as well as in regard to the Chancellor’s Letter, ſhe may have confer’d upon her an honorary degree, and the Title of Mistress of Arts; with leave, not only to Vote in Convocation, but alſo to have the Laſt Word. Y As 163 Y2r 163
As nothing material was objected to this Motion, except a ſort of Whiſper which went round among the queer Faces; it paſs’d without a Diviſion. Only the Rev. Dr. Sh—pp—n, who has always the good of the Society at heart, mov’d that a Clauſe might be added, viz.
That in conſideration of her being a Lady of a pleaſing Aſpect, and penetrating Eye, no Student under the Degree of Doctor, be ſuffer’d to approach the place of her Studies; and that for every ſuch Offence, the Offender ſhall be obliged to ſtand upon his Head for the ſpace of two hours, within ſight of the Lady; or pay the ſum of Forty Shillings for Peeping.
As this was ſo unuſual a Favour, and for which they had no precedent to proceed upon, it was afterwards debated in what manner they are to receive you into the Arms of the Univerſity, and pay their Reſpects to you at your Entrance; which ’tis pray’d may be a Public one, and is to be perform’d in the manner following.
You are to be met at the City Gates by the whole Body of the Univerſity, in their proper Habiliments, and with their Arms extended. As ſoon as you alight from your Coach, the Vice- Chancellor is to uncover his head, and approach you in the moſt reſpectful manner, to lead you to his; where you are to be ſeated on his Right Y2 hand 164 Y2v 164 hand, and are requir’d not to diſcompoſe the gravity of his face, by any unſeaſonable Simperings of your own. When you arrive at the Theatre, the Company are order’d to halt, while the Vice-Chancellor leads you out of his Coach, and walks before you, in Proceſſion, towards the Public Library. The two Senior Proctors are to be your Supporters, and your Train is to be born up by any two Gentlemen Commoners, whoſe Faces you have no objection to. When you arrive at the Library, the Keys which unlock the valuable Treaſures of Sir Thomas Bodley and other Benefactors, are to be deliver’d into your hands, with the ancient and laudable Ceremony of a Kiſs from all the venerable Body of Doctors. After this you are to be conducted in the ſame manner to your apartment here in St. Toles, which will be prepar’d for your reception againſt the --03-2525th of March next, being Lady- Day.
N. B. I am to have the honour of ſupporting your Fan during the Ceremony.
A Very incorrect Copy of the following Letter to Dr. Pitt, which by ſome means or other got abroad in Manuſcript, having been lately printed, with the Author’s name to it, tho’ entirely without her Knowledge or Conſent; ſhe thinks proper to give it a place in this Collection, as well in regard to her Self, as at the particular requeſt of ſeveral of her Friends.— Occaſion of it was to quicken the Performance of the Doctor’s Promiſes of repairing with a Wall, a very ſorry and ſhatter’d old Mound of Pales; the inconveniency of which Nuſance had for ſome years been ſubmitted to with the Complaiſance of Neighbours. But little Probability appearing when this ſtupendous Fabric was to be built, upon failure of a number of theſe Promiſes, the Author, being going from home for ſome time, left this Letter for him behind her; in hopes of its having, as the Editor of the printed Copy ſays it had, it’s deſir’d effect But that was a Miſtake. For it growing more and more convenientvenient 166 Y3v 166 venient for the Doctor to let the Times he fix’d lapſe as uſual, he continued his Promiſes for a year or two longer; and then, unluckily for his good Neighbours, his Workmen, ’tis ſaid, thought proper to make a little too free with their Territory; which tho’ abſolutely without his Approbation, and entirely againſt his Conſent, ſome people have imagin’d not much to the Doctor’s Honour. The Author therefore could not help mentioning this Circumſtance, not only in defence of the Doctor’s Character, which ſhe hears has ſuffer’d upon this occaſion from the Malice of his Enemies; but alſo in regard to the Editor of the printed Copy, whom (in return for the compliments he is pleas’d to make her) ſhe was willing to treat with a new Preface to his ſecond Edition, which ſhe heartily wiſhes may ſell as well as the firſt
To Dr. Pitt.
As the uſe of Mounds and Fences has in all ages obtain’d, as well for the ſecurity of Property, as the ſafety, ornament, and defence of the Proprietor; I take the liberty to addreſs You, not as a Mechanic, or Lawyer, but as a Doctor of Phyſic, upon the manifeſt Infirmity of your Palliſades. You muſt undoubtedly have obſerv’d, in your perambulations towards the little Edifice at the bottom of your Garden, that they have for ſome years been in a declining cachectic ſtate; that there is a manifeſt decay of the Fluids, and that the Solids have loſt their Tone and Elaſticity. But while You yourſelf were taken up in the contemplation of the Human Fabric, it could not be expected that this ſhatter’d frame ſhould claim much of Your attention; and therefore Mrs. Pitt, in Your Abſence, has ſometimes aſſay’d the Medical Art, in ſupport of the tottering Edifice. Her Practice was chiefly ſome of the Woods, with great Quantities of Steel, and otherther 168 Y4v 168 ther Aſtringents; which ſhe generally adminiſter’d with her own hands. But as her Remedies were ſometimes pretty violent, and at beſt but topical or palliative, they only ſhatter’d the weaker and more contiguous Fibres; and by plaiſtering and patching up the unſound Parts for a while, precipitated the ruin of the Whole.—As Searcloths, on a weakly Perſon, ſeem to ſtrengthen one part, while they debilitate all the reſt However ſhe did what ſhe could, on ſo frail a Subject; but having at firſt miſtaken the Caſe, and ſeeing your unwillingneſs to be call’d in, ’tis no wonder ſhe miſs’d of the Cure. In the mean time ſeveral eminent Perſons, who have look’d upon the infirm and deplorable ſtate of your Frontier, have conſider’d the Caſe in different Lights.— Some imputing it to the total decay of the radical Moiſture; others to the manifeſt defects of the Stamina; others to the violent ſhocks and concuſſions of neighbouring Bodies; but the more judicious to worms.—In ſhort, whatever the Cauſe be, the Cure is only to be expected from You; which I fear, nothing but the moſt powerful Alternatives can bring about.
I’m ſenſible a Ruin has a very good effect in a Proſpect; and I would by no means have your Garden defective of Ornament. But you have already on the South-ſide a Malt-houſe magnificentlycently 169 Z1r 169 cently ſhatter’d; on the North a Barn, or Hovel in its laſt perfection; beſides Dragon’s Kennel in the Weſtern view. So that you want no Decoration of this ſort; and indeed can have no pretence for not making a general diſcharge of the morbid Matter, and thoroughly purging the whole Syſtem. If you were to have a conſultation, the whole Faculty, I’m perſwaded, would be of this opinion; and I’m ſure F—n, if he was call’d in, would approve of the Practice, as entirely conſiſtent with his doctrine of Evacuation.
Indeed it is not for me to direct ſo able-minded a Phyſician in the minuteſt part of his Art; and I ſhould have been entirely ſilent upon this head, if I was not myſelf a ſufferer in the calamitous ſcene. But having long ſince ſatisfy’d my eyes and ears with ſeeing and hearing in public, I would now gladly paſs the reſt of my time in ſilence and obſcurity; but thoſe lamentable fractures and disjointings in your partition-fence expoſe me to all the world. Many, whom your skill in the laws of Motion (particularly the periſtaltic) has ſent on haſty errands to the bottom of your Garden, have ſtopp’d ſhort to contemplate Me in my hortenſical Operations, to the obſtruction of your phyſical ones. Sometimes I’ve been ſurpriz’d with a paddle, or other inſtrument of huſbandry in my hand; generally in Z ſome 170 Z1v 170 ſome ignoble occupation, and always in diſhabille. ’Tis true, theſe dreadful chaſms, in return, naturally enlarge my views, and diſcover to me objects well worthy the obſervation of a Philoſopher.—So, The Soul’s dark cottage, batter’d and decay’d,Lets in new lights thro’ chinks which time has made. I ſay, thro’ the gaps and breaches of this corruptible Fabric, I’ve ſeen You, Sir, buſied in contemplation of the works of Nature, and Mrs. Pitt in thoſe of Art; but then it muſt be ſufficiently mortifying to be ſeen myſelf in (the laſt light our ſex would chuſe to be ſeen) an Undreſs. However, ſeeing you ſo regardleſs of the weak fence between us, as if you choſe to be under no reſtraint or bounds, but were for having all things in common; I ſay finding there was little hopes from the Phyſician, I one day apply’d myſelf to Mr. G—, whom every body knows to be a Gentleman of a fair character, and well skill’d in Chirurgical Operations. I ſhew’d him the Fractions, Diſlocations, Strains, &c; here a rotten Member, and there a Limb quite dropp’d off; and the whole tending to a Mortification and Putreſcence; but indeed to very little purpoſe. He likewiſe was for repeating the Palliatives;liatives; 171 Z2r 171 liatives; for bracing up, ſtrengthening, and corroberating the weaker parts; and in ſhort, what with plaiſtering, patching, trepanning, and other terms of Art, he put me out of all patience. I left him with ſome indignation (as well knowing the Surgeon is always in Fee with the Phyſician) and reſolved from that moment to apply myſelf to You, from whom only I expect a Cure; and that too by total Exciſion.
And now, in this miſerable ſituation, good Doctor, behold your Frontier! Naturally of a thin ſcurvy Habit, and now in an advanc’d age, attended with a conſtant trepidation, lowneſs, and ſinking; ſubject to violent Paroxyſms, and even Epilepſies in a North-Eaſterly wind; and in ſhort, by length of time, and inclement ſeaſons, reduc’d to the laſt ſtages of an Atrophy. And will you thus ſuffer the Ornament and Defence of your Perſon and Houſe to ſink in ruin, and not ſtretch out your healing Hand to build it up again? You have before often had to do with rotten Subjects, and render’d ’em quite ſound and healthy again. Give us then a caſt of your Art in ſupport of this miſerable ſinking Frame. But if the Caſe is too far gone, and (as I fear) abſolutely out of the reach of Phyſic; nothing remains but that you convince the World of the effects of your Lyre; and, like a true ſon of Apollo, make Z2 the 172 Z2v 172 the ſtones dance up into a Wall, as a ſtanding Monument of your Fame to future Ages.
P.S. There has lately appear’d a little ſwelling, tumor, or protuberance (call’d by the Italians Terraccia) of a livid colour, and quite ſchirrous, upon the extremities at the bottom of your Garden, which is extremely offenſive to Me; in that the ſpectator has from thence a full view of that little Temple of ours, dedicated to Cloacina. But as Mr. G—.has brought it to a ſtate of Maturation, I hope you’ll take proper methods to diſperſe it, as I would by now means have the myſteries of that Goddeſs expos’d.
Treatise of Demoniacs.
In a Letter to a Friend.
Your Letters, dear Madam, beſides the pleaſure they always give me, generally lead me into ſome learned, or uſeful Enquiry; and either ſet my Imagination at work to divert you, or my Spirit of Contradiction to diſpute with you. My laſt, I think, was a Diſſertation upon Eels; in which, I hope, I accounted for certain 173 Z3r 173 certain Phenomena relating to thoſe vermiform Animals, entirely to the ſatisfaction of the Learned. In this, I propoſe to enquire into the Nature, and Exiſtence of Demons, (or blue Devils, as you call ’em) and examine the Powers they have over the Minds or Bodies of Men: Beings, which you ſeem to ſpeak of with ſo little reſpect, as if you had either no notion of their exiſtence, or were not in the leaſt afraid of them. But I, who am not ſure I have not formerly been under the Influence of ſome of ’em, and am ſtill terrify’d with the Stories I’ve heard of ’em, cannot ſo eaſily free myſelf from their apprehenſions; and having found certain Impulſes and Impreſſions upon my mind, which I could not otherwiſe account for, have no longer any cauſe to doubt of their exiſtence. Beſides, I like the Country Fellow’s prudence, who would not hear even the ſmalleſt Imp abuſed, becauſe he did not know whoſe hands he might fall into.
It was the opinion of the ancient Greeks and Romans, that every Man had two Genii, or Demons attending him from his Nativity to his Death. The good ones were called Lares; the bad Larvæ, or Lemures. They were ſuppos’d to have the inſpection of human affairs, to be the diſpenſers of Good and Evil to Men; and to them were particularly attributed any extraordiſ nary Diſeaſes. It is of no conſequence to the point 174 Z3v 174 point in debate whether theſe Demons were the Souls of departed Men, as Heſiod, and others have imagin’d; or whether they were Beings of another Order, and endued with other Powers and Faculties. All that I am concern’d to prove, is, the Exiſtence of ſome ſuch Beings, and the Influence they were ſuppos’d to have over the Minds, and Bodies of Men.
This Notion was ſo generally allow’d of even by Jewiſh and Chriſtian, as well as Heathen Writers, that ’twere endleſs to multiply Authorities in ſupport of it. I ſhall therefore only obſerve to you, that Juſtin Martyr ſays, The Gods of the Heathens are Demons. Joſephus calls ’em, The Souls of wicked Men. And Celſus obſerves, That Gods as well as Demons deſcended from Heaven for the Service, or Puniſhment of Men. Now if there were really no ſuch Beings, whence came the general Belief? If it be anſwer’d from Tradition, the ſame Queſtion will recur, Whence had they this Tradition? And how came they by the Notion at firſt?
The Influence they were ſuppos’d to have over Mankind, is equally certain. Yet I can readily allow the Demonology of the Ancients had a Mixture of Truth and Error in it. Their myſterious kind of Worſhip naturally led them to great degrees of Superſtition; and any extraordinaryordinary 175 Z4r 175 ordinary Event they could not other wiſe account for, was immediately aſcrib’d to ſome inviſible Being, as the Cauſe. It is for this reaſon probably, that Hippocrates ſeems to ridicule the Notion, in his Treatiſe de Morbo Sacro. But tho’ he was undoubtedly enlighten’d with great degrees of Knowledge, yet we muſt not entirely give up the ſenſe of Antiquity, for the ſake of this divine old Man. For we have frequent and inconteſtible accounts of ſeveral ſorts of Poſſeſſions among them; and the Epilepſy and Madneſs were always particularly look’d upon as ſacred Diſeaſes; that is, as having their Origin from ſome or other of their Gods, or Demons. Beſides theſe, we have the concurrent Teſtimony of the Fathers againſt him; and St. Cyprian expreſly obſerves, That theſe are they who inſpire the breaſts of the Prophets; who are the Authors of Oracles; who, creeping into Mens Bodies raiſe ſecret Terrors in their Minds diſtort thier Limbs, deſtroy their Health, and cauſe Diſtempers. And among the Pagan Writers, Homer, deſcribing the Caſe of a Man who languiſh’d under a painful Diſeaſe, waſting him away by degrees, ſays, That a hateful Demon had enter’d into him. If any one doubts their Influence after this, I would fain know to what Purpoſe were their Offerings and Luſtrations? And why were Exorciſmsorciſms 176 Z4v 176 orciſms and Incantations made uſe of to cure the diſtemper’d Perſon, rather than medicinal Applications? To ſay nothing of the Power of Muſic, which, as Xenocrates and others have obſerv’d, has freed thoſe that were troubled with evil Spirits, I ſhall only mention an inſtance of the efficacy of Magical Charms from Joſephus—Solomon, ſays he, left behind him certain Charms by which they could expel Demons, &c; and this method of Cure remains with us to this day. He then relates a Story upon his own Knowledge, of one Eleazer, who, by applying a Ring which had one of the Roots which Solomon had taught the Virtues of, under the Seal of it, drew out the Demon thro’ the Noſe of him that ſmelt to it. But being willing to ſatisfy the Spectators entirely, (who were no leſs than Veſpaſian, his Sons and Officers) he commanded the Demon, as he went out, to overturn a little Veſſel of Water that ſtood at ſome diſtance; which he effectually did, to the entire Conviction, as well as Aſtoniſhment of all the Spectators.
As therefore certain Diſorders were aſcrib’d to certain inviſible Beings, ſo they had particular Appellations to ſignify the Nature and Degree of the Poſſeſſion. Thus, thoſe who only look’d wild, and talk’d ſomewhat incoherently, were 177 Aa1r 177 were call’d Larvati, as being poſſeſs’d with the Larvæ, or Goblins and Spectres. Others, that were more raving and frantic, and were beſides terrified a nights with ſome ſuch diſorder as that we call the Night-Mare, were ſtyl’d Lymphatici, as being under the Poſſeſſion of of the Nymphæ, or Lymphæ. Some ſuch Beings perhaps as thoſe we call Fairies or Hags; who inhabit chiefly moiſt places, where the Nymphæ are ſaid to reſide, and ſometimes entertain the Traveller with ſoft Muſic. And a third ſort there were, who being ſeiz’d with a higher degree of Frenzy, ran into Woods and Deſarts, howling and fancying themſelves Wolves: and theſe were call’d Lycanthropi. But all, according to Juſtin Martyr, who are ſeiz’d by the Souls of deceas’d Beings or Demons, are ſuch as all Men agree in calling Demoniacs.
Having now ſettled the Exiſtence of Demons, and the Influence they were ſuppos’d to have over Mankind by the Ancients; I ſhall proceed to ſhew in what manner they act now, and what particular caſes may reaſonably be attributed to their Operation.
All natural Defects, ſuch as ariſe from invincible Ignorance or Folly, may be attributed either to our original Make and Conſtitution, or to ſome accidental Deficiency of the Organs. But all that kind of Depravity which is of our Aa own 178 Aa1v 178 own ſeeking, or more properly, all that ſpecies of Folly or Madneſs which comes under the Notion of Wrongheadedneſs or Perverſeneſs, may, I think, be reckon’d purely Demoniacal; (the perverſion of our rational Faculties, or the immoderate indulgence of our natural, being the moſt likely Avenues for the Demon to enter) or, in a word, all thoſe effects which have no viſible Cauſes, may, I think, fairly be imputed to inviſible ones. For how can we otherwiſe account for thoſe egregious Blunders againſt common Decency, and common Senſe, we daily meet with in Perſons of no mean Underſtanding in other reſpects, but by ſupposing them under the Influence of ſome Demon for the time? Is it reaſonable to think, that ſome of our gentleſt Men, all ſmooth and jeſſamy with the gentleſt virtues, ſhould want the heart to exert ’em in the only inſtances where they are Virtues? Or ſacrifice the Ties of Honour, or Friendſhip, to ſome prevailing Intereſt or predominant Whim, if some inviſible Agent did not lurk ſomewhere about the Heart? Or that Women of the firſt Rank, and fineſt Notions, ſhould condescend to put all the flowers of Rhetoric out of countenance, only to convince a poor Mercer out of Half a Crown? Or elope from their loving Huſbands, and ſplendid Apartments, to ſome obſcure Corner, and 179 Aa2r 179 and the only Man they ought not to love, if they were not entirely poſſeſs’d by the Larvæ; and ty’d, chain’d down by theſe evil Beings? Therefore, whenever I ſee a gentle Man bedawb his gentle Character, or a gentle Woman skinning flints, and ſaving the droppings of her noſe, under a notion of Frugality; or ſquandering away her Virtue, Reputation, and Health, under the notion of Pleaſure; I’m ſo far from making thoſe uncharitable reflections upon their conduct the World generally makes, or for confining her under Lock and Key, as cruel Parents are wont; that I’m for having certain magic Circles firſt drawn round the Parties affected, and the Curate, if he be a knowing Man and underſtands Greek, ſent for to exorciſe ’em.
You ſometimes tell me (as little credit as you ſeem to give to theſe things) that I am either mad, or poſſeſs’d myſelf; and, as I ſaid before, I am not ſure you have not ſome Foundation for what you ſay. At leaſt, I am myſelf often aſtoniſh’d at a number of things I ſay, and do—I don’t know why or wherefore, unleſs at thoſe times I am under the Power of ſome or other of theſe capricious Agents. I very often will one thing and do another, even againſt the moſt determinate Reſolutions of my own Mind; and have more than once ſaid No, when I meant Aa2 Yes; 180 Aa2v 180 Yes; not with any deſign to falſify, but from a certain Abſence, or rather Poſſeſſion of Mind, which ſometimes ſeizes me unawares, and overrules all my Faculties. And what are thoſe Poetic Fits I am frequently trouble with, but the violent and tumultuous influx of ſome Demon, upon my Blood and Spirits, agitating all within? For I feel my Breaſt of a ſudden prompted and inflamed, my eye ſparkle and look wild, like the Pythoneſs when ſhe had caught Inſpiration; and, in ſhort, for the Time am full of the Larvae.
Perhaps you think it extremely abſurd to ſee a Judge dance, or a Senator ſelling bargains: alas! ’tis not the Judge that jumps over the Stick, or the Senator that ſells you the Pennyworth of Wit, Reputation, or Probity; ’tis the evil Spirit within, that performs the feats of Activity in the one, and diverts himſelf with the trading Genius of the other.
Not long ago Muſic was the reigning Madneſs; and then what crowds of the Lymphatici (deviating from their ancient Manſion of Moorfields) us’d to throng to the Opera-Houſe, to hear the enchanting ſounds of Italy! There you might ſee all the various expreſſions of Frenzy ſtrong in every Face—Some beat their Breaſts, and tore their nicely-compos’d Hair; others howl’d bitterly, and were ſcarcely to be held 181 Aa3r 181 held by their Keepers—Some again ſeem’d penſive and gloomy, their eyes fix’d, and reclining upon a bench; others, ſtarting from their ſeats, would tear up their buttons in a rage, and pour out the moſt horrid exclamations. In ſhort, the whole Atmoſphere, as well as the Breaſts of the Audience, ſeem’d to be inhabited by Demons; and I could wiſh ſome of the ancient Luſtrations were made uſe of to purge the air thereabouts, which, I fear, is not totally cleans’d to this day.
At preſent the muſical Mania ſeems to give place to a kind of religious Frenzy, which has ſpread much of late; and manifeſts itſelf chiefly in Boaſtings of extraordinary Gifts and Communications, confus’d pourings-out of Texts, vehement Preachings and Printings for, and againſt Election and Reprobation; caſting Lots for Inſpiration; asking Counſel of God by bits of Paper; feeling violent inflations and puffings up, and writing ventiloquent Journals of the Spirit. The poor Wretches, who are thus ſeiz’d, call themſelves Methodiſts; and have, at the Head of one Party of ’em, a choſen Bramin or Ventiloquiſt, who, impatient of the Lenity of the civil Magiſtrate, calls out upon Perſecution, that he may have the Glory of ſacrificing himſelf for the few of the Elect—They faſt themſelves to Skeletons, becauſe they have a Text 182 Aa3v 182 Text to prove, that the Way to Heaven is thro’ a ſtrait Gate; and therefore no fat Peocan enter in. Several of theſe Lycanthropi, having diveſted themſelves not only of the Incumbrances of the Fleſh, but even of their Calling and all viſible Means of ſubſiſtence, for the kingdom of Heaven’s ſake, are now ſetting out for the Wilderneſs, Georgia. in order to be fed by Ravens, that they may be able to get in at a Chink.
There are likewiſe ſeveral other kinds of Deliria which are periodical, and return only at certain Seaſons. Of this ſort is the Tulipomania, or Tulip-Frenzy, which generally rages pretty ſtrongly all this month, and diſappears again all the reſt of the year. But as this is not properly a demoniacal Caſe, (tho’ the Ancients had their Cerriti, thoſe who were poſſeſs’d by Ceres, as well as their Larvati, &c;) and as ſeveral of my acquaintance are far gone in this Malady, I ſhall content my ſelf with having juſt hinted it, and return to my Demoniacs.
For inſtance, whenever I ſee Divines, learned or unlearned, labouring more after Quaintneſſes than Truth; teazing a Metaphor from page to page; tormenting a Text to Meanings it never meant; explaining ſome moſt obſcure Point 183 Aa4r 183 Point by hard-to-be-conceiv’d Prettineſſes, and Tricks upon Words, by Similies which have no ſimilitude, by Illuſtrations totally dark, by Proofs which prove nothing, and by arguments, which, if they prove any thing, prove too much; I ſay, when I hear nothing but a jumble of Sounds, a haſh of Words, and a nothingneſs of Senſe, I conceive I have great Charity if I only conſider the Man (for I would not be underſtood of the ſerious and ſenſible Divine) as full of the Larvæ; and like the ancient Vates, or Prophets, miſtaking his own pious Rhapſodies for holy Infuſions of the Spirit.
Again, when I obſerve Phyſicians reaſoning about abſolute Incertainties with the greateſt Certainty, confuting Hypotheſis with Hypotheſis, making the Laws of Nature give place to Algebraical Calculations, boldly oppoſing their Wiſdom to Hers, and either obſtructing or diverting her Courſe, when She would help her ſelf; murdering Health by rules of Art, and trying Practices, or writing Treatiſes on Life, by ſome call’d Meditations on Death; I ſay, when I conſider a Son of Æsculpaius in this view, how can I hold my ſelf from fancying that he is the very Demon or Diſeaſe himſelf, and permitted to enter into Mens Bodies, for their Sins, in the ſhape of a Bolus, or a Pill?Hence 184 Aa4v 184
Hence too we may account for various Diſeaſes, and their ſeveral Phenomena, which paſs under the notion of Acts of the Will, or Underſtanding; but which, from the high Inflammations of ſome (which ſometimes manifeſt themſelves in Party Zeal) and the hot and cold fits of others (which never ſhew themſelves diſtinctly enough to obſerve whether they are of the acute or nervous kind, or whether ’tis the ſenſitive or the rational Faculty that is affected) are ſhrewdly to be ſuſpected, according to Celſus and Hippocrates beforemention’d, to be the work of ſome of theſe inviſible Agents. Of this kind likewiſe are ſeveral other ſorts of Inflammations, or Fevers; The Romans conſider’d Fever as an intelligent Being, or Goddeſs, to whom they built altars, and ſacrific’d. particularly thoſe which happen about the vernal Seaſon of Life, and are generally known by the name of Love- Fits. The Party, thus ſeiz’d, is by turns not only the ſport of all the Paſſions, but is hurried away, as it were involuntarily, to the moſt extravagant Actions; ſometimes capable of encountering the greateſt Difficulties, and at others not able to ſtep over a Straw. But I need not deſcribe the ſymptoms, nor the Genius or Goddeſs to whoſe Impulſe they are owing; She being equally known to the Moderns, as the Ancients. 185 Bb1r 185 Ancients. I ſhall therefore only obſerve, that in Love, the reverſe of War, (which is likewiſe a demoniacal Caſe) the Victors fly, and the Vanquiſh’d purſue; and as all Warriors had their Genius or Demon, ſo, Plato ſays, all Lovers are inſpir’d; that is, ſomething more than mortal.
But the moſt dangerous of this ſort of Fevers, are thoſe autumnal ones which are ſometimes obſerv’d to rage ſo violently about the grand Climacteric. For then the Patient being entirely unguarded and unprepar’d, as apprehending no farther attacks from this Quarter, the Demon makes his full deſcent upon the Blood and Spirits, and occaſions all that preternatural efferveſcence, ſo unlook’d for at this time of life. In this caſe, ſome Authors have been for making an inciſion in the left arm, wide enough for the Demon to eſcape thro’ the orifice; and after having attack’d him from within with a ſufficient quantity of Water-gruel, and other cooling liquors, they order the Patient to be thrice totally immers’d in the Cold-bath. The Church of Rome makes uſe of a luſtral Water, upon theſe occaſions; but I ſhould think, ſome of our petrifying Springs might do as well. However, if this does not effect the Cure, there is but one Remedy more I have met with in the courſe of my Reading; and that is, certain Bb myſterious 186 Bb1v 186 myſterious Sound of certain Words, rightly ſpoken, were effectual to drive out Demons. B. iv. P. 184. ſays, the very Words compos’d in the form of Anagrams, to be repeated either backwards or forwards, as the Paroxiſms require. Of which claſs in the famous Abracadabra of Baſilides; a Word of ſuch ſingular effecacy in demoniacal Caſes, that (if we may credit the ſenſe of Antiquity) when worn about the neck, and wrote in the following manner, never fail’d of a Cure. Abracadabra Abracadabr Abracadab Abracada Abracad Abraca Abrac Abra Abr Ab A
There is another Caſe, which ſeems to me to be purely Demoniacal, and which generally goes under the denomination of the Spleen, or Hypocondriac Affection. Some Phyſicians have conceiv’d this Diſeaſe to be entirely modern, particularlyticularly 187 Bb2r 187 ticularly the accurate Dr. Cheyne, who dates it’s æra from the firſt openings of our preſent reigning Luxury and Voluptuouſneſs. But there are many reaſons to ſuppoſe it of a much earlier date; and if we only compare the Symptoms of the Hypocondriaci, with thoſe of the Larvati, &c; together with the methods of Cure even now in uſe, I fear we ſhall find it to be one and the ſame Diſorder. For the Hypocondriaci ſuffer all thoſe cruel Dejections and Perturbations of Spirit, ſo common to the Demoniac; are ſcar’d with Dreams and Illuſions of the Night, tortur’d with imaginary Fears, trembling with the Apprehenſions of all manner of Evils, peeviſh and prone to Anger when no-body hurts ’em, and not only out of humour with the World, but even bearing Malice and Hatred againſt themſelves; and yet all this while (as their Doctors have told ’em) have been in ſound Health of Body, but I’m ſure very far from their right Mind. Nay ſome of them have actually fancy’d themſelves transform’d too; and I knew a poor Hypocondriac, who being (imperceptibly) chang’d into a glaſs Window, was afraid to ſtir out, for fear the Boys ſhould break her.
Now theſe are all Acts, or rather Depravations of the Imagination, or Mind; but how Bb2 the 188 Bb2v 188 the Mind can be the Seat of the Diſeaſe, is, to me, perfectly unintelligible. It may indeed ſo oddly aſſociate its ideas, by the intervention of ſome of theſe evil Beings, that it may fancy all the Pains and Penalties that ever were inflicted upon the poor Body; but can a Diſeaſe (properly ſo call’d) appear in the ſhape of an Eaſterly wind, and vaniſh again with the leaſt change of the Weather-cock? Can this particular one aſſume what form it pleaſes; be an Aſthma to-day, and a Pleuriſy to-morrow, a Dropſy one Moment, and a deep Conſumption the next? Such changes Proteus himſelf never underwent; but ſuch changes a poor Demoniac may eaſily be ſuppos’d to undergo. For ’tis one of the properties of the Genii to aſſume what ſhape they pleaſe, as well as to imprint the moſt fantaſtic Images upon the Minds of Men. Hence the Party is one moment franticly merry, and, and the next ſullen and dumb. And tho’ the former ſymptoms ſeem rather to be the inſtigations of the Larvæ, yet this effect may perhaps be more properly attributed to the Lares, who were the offspring of a dumb Goddeſs, by the Demon of Mirth, as he was carrying her to the infernal Shades.
But that this is really a demoniacal Caſe, will further appear, when we compare the preſentſent 189 Bb3r 189 ſent methods of Cure, with the ancient manner of appeaſing, or exorciſing theſe Beings. Now any one that will but be at the trouble of reading over that painful Enquirer, Alexander Roſs, Myſt. Poet. may know, that upon theſe occaſions they us’d to offer to the Genii Wine, and the ſmoke of Frankincenſe. And does not our learned and judicious Sydenham order the moſt generous Wines to be given moderatley in this Caſe; and alſo various Fumigations made, not only of the odoriferous kind, but even all manner of fætids?—They (ſays he) thought it an abomination to offer any living Creature to theſe Beings, or to worſhip them with the loſs of any Beaſts’s life. Cheyne obſerves the ſame Method to this day, and will ſuffer none of his Patients to taſte of animal Food. And if the Frenzy be very high, he enjoins a total Milk Diet.— The place where they worſhipp’d theſe Beings (he tells us) was in their Chimneys, &c; Conformable to this Practice, Mandeville orders the Hypocondriaci to indulge themſelves in warm rooms, and by good fires, &c;
In ſhort, from the Moderns retaining thus much of the ancient Practice, ’tis plain they agree as to the Effects of this Diſorder, tho’ they 190 Bb3v 190 they ſeem not to have the leaſt Notion of the Cauſe. And this it is which renders the Cure ſo extremely difficult at preſent, as well as their Practice ſo diametrically oppoſite to each others. For while the Ancients, who from a thorough Knowledge of the Cauſe, obſerv’d a kind of religious Practice, and mixt ſomething of Devotion with their Drugs; the Moderns, who ſeem to have no Faith in any Powers, but thoſe of Medicine, reſt the whole upon Principles of Phyſic. And thus after having amus’d the World, and puzzled themſelves with Crudities, Flatulencies, fizy Juices, lax Solids, and I know not what beſide, they (with a peculiar Mixture of Science and Generoſity) lay it all upon the poor Patient’s Fancy; and call it nothing but Imagination, forſooth! And thus, at length, they hit off the Caſe. But the misfortune is, this lucky Thought never comes into their Heads till they have teaz’d and tormented the poor Patient with Remedies that are worſe than the Diſeaſe; and amus’d him with Hope, till he deſpairs. But not to enter farther into the Myſteries of the Science, this ſufficiently ſhews how little is to be depended upon from the Moderns in this Caſe; which, together with an earneſt deſire of imprinting proper Notions of theſe Beings on your Mind (leſt at ſome time or 191 Bb4r 191 or other they ſhould take Poſſeſſion of you, as a Puniſhment for your Incredulity) were the chief Motives which ſet me upon this Enquiry.
And now I ſhall leave my Labours with the Practitioners in Phyſic, to reform their Practice by; with the young Students in Divinity, to try their Doctrines by; and with the reſt of the World, to make what Uſes they pleaſe of: not doubting but I ſhall receive the Thanks of Poſterity, for recovering ſo much of the learned and uſeful Duſt of Antiquity, tho’ the preſent Age may poſſibly envy me the Glory of it.
Letters to Mrs * * * * * * *193 Cc1r 193
1741-08-11Auguſt 11, 1741.
As I’ve an impatience in my Nature to ſatiſfy all its laudable Impulſes, give me leave, dear Madam, to remind you, with ſome earneſtneſs, of the Promiſe you were ſo obliging as to make me in Town. The pleaſure you gave me in your Converſation, only makes me more eagerly deſire that of your Correſpondence; as an elegant Preface to a Book, raiſes our Curioſity to know more of the Author. But the firſt Letter, like the firſt Viſit, is generally the moſt irkſome part of the Ceremony. One is at ſuch a loſs for Words, ſo diſtreſs’d about Forms, and so embarraſs’d with Civilities, that ’tis impoſſible to ſpeak eaſily, or move gracefully. No one diſengages her ſelf ſo readily of theſe incumbrances as Mrs. — , or ſo eaſily diſpenſes with the Law of Ceremony from others. You take one into your Dreſſing- Room, ſeat one in one of Rableais’ eaſy Chairs, unlock your Treaſures of Science, and (tho’ one has never ſpoke to you before) lead one thro’ all Subjects with ſo much eaſe, and ſo little reſerve, that ’tis not above five Minutes that one can poſſibly fancy one’s ſelf a stranger. You ſee, I can’t yet ſpeak of your Dreſſing-Room without rapture. How often have I, when all Cc my 194 Cc1v 194 my thoughts have been groveling in * * * *, been caught up thither, as it were in a Trance, with St. Tereſa and your ſelf! While you, like ſome good Genius, willing to raiſe my Ideas beyond the Confines of this World, not only ſeem’d to beckon me away, but gave me power to emerge. Attach’d as I was to this or that particular System, this Sun, or thoſe Stars; yet I found there was Something ſtill beyond them, that not only encourag’d my purſuit, but directed my ſteps. I had made many Pilgrimages to my Saint in Burlington-Street, in order to fix my thoughts upon ſome rational Object of Devotion; but ’twas entirely owing to you, that my Notions, in Town, were ſo highly rectify’d, as to reliſh the converſation of the Spirits of Tereſa and Auſtin.
Once more give me Leave to remind you of your promiſe of farther communications, by aſſuring you I’m all Impatience already, and would fain have old Time mow down the intermediate hours faſter than uſual. Nor can you wonder at my eagerneſs to be acknowledg’d for an humble Correſpondent, who am already ſo much, and ſo
1741-09-13September 13, 1741.
’Tis paying you but an ill Compliment, to let one of the moſt entertaining Letters, I’ve met with for ſome years, remain ſo long unacknowledg’d. But when I inform you I’ve had a houſe full of Strangers almoſt ever ſince, who have taken up all my time, I’m ſure you’ll excuſe, if not pity me. Who ſteals my Purſe, ſteals traſh; ’twas mine, ’tis his, and has been ſlave to thouſands: but he, who filches from me my precious Moments, robs me of that, which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed. ’Tis owing to this want, I ſhould not ſay loſs of time, (for the hours have not paſs’d by unimprov’d or unentertaining) that I have not been able to tell you ſooner, how much I envy you that leiſure and retirement of which you make ſuch admirable uſe. There ’tis the mind unbends and enlarges itſelf; drops off the forms and incumbrances of this world, (which, like garments trail’d about for ſtate, as ſome Author has it, only hinder our motions) and ſeizes and enjoys the Liberty it was born to. O when ſhall I ſee my little Farm! that calm receſs, low in the Vale of Obſcurity, which my Imagination ſo often paints to me! You know I’m Cc2 always 196 Cc2v 196 always in raptures about the Country; but your deſcription of Richmond is enough to intoxicate the ſoundeſt head.
You ſay, I muſt not flatter you. But when the Sun ſhines, may I not ſay he ſhines without flattery? By no means, you tell me. For the Sun, tho’ he is ſo eminently bright himſelf, and warms and irradiates numberleſs other Orbs, yet is ſo exceſſively humble, that he is not even conſcious of his own perfections; and if you ſhould mention ’em to him, perhaps he may grow proud, and warm and light us no more.—Indeed if that were to be the caſe, I ſhould be extremely cautious, how I mention’d the word ſhining; but if h ſhould take it into his head to ſay this was flattering him, what muſt he ſay to the poor Perſians who adore him?—In ſhort, you muſt either ſuppoſe me incapable of being warm’d or pleas’d; or ſo obſequiouſly civil as to flatter Sun, Moon, and Stars promiſcuouſly; for neither of which characters I reckon my ſelf much indebted to you.
The truth is, you’ll read St. Auſtin ’till you fancy you have not a ſingle Excellency left in you. A moſt comfortable Reflection ſurely! and muſt adminiſter high ſatisfaction to the human Mind, to ſee itſelf diveſted of all it’s Powers, Faculties, and Endowments; for fear the bare 197 Cc3r 197 bare conſciouſneſs of ’em should elate it too much. But you carry matters ſtill farther; for we muſt ſtrip to pure Spirit, and naked Soul, before we can make any tolerable figure in your ſcale of Perfection.—How the Mind will act when diſembody’d, I can’t ſay; but in it’s preſent ſtate, I find my five Senſes extremely neceſſary to it’s operations, and have no notion of parting with any of my natural powers, ’till I find it can exert it’s faculties without ’em. I never met with any but Tereſa that could ſhoot away from the Body, and leave it uninform’d in ſome melancholy cell, while her better part went and enjoy’d itſelf in Viſion. But ſhe was a Saint. I wiſh You have not ſome ſort of ambition that way. For if I flatter you now, who knows but then I may turn Catholic, and adore you?
1741-10-09October 9, 1741.
I Find you have not heartily forgiven me my ill manners in not acknowledging your firſt Favour ſooner; which, I confeſs, was a high inſtance of diſreſpect, but impoſſible for me not to be guilty of. Only conſider; with five People in the houſe, and the moſt part ſtrangers, who had never ſeen the pomps and vanities of this, 198 Cc3v 198 this, or the neighbouring places; and your Slave Miſtreſs of the Ceremonies — I ſay, how could I poſſibly ſit down to write under this weight of affairs? Or where find a place to be alone in? I repeat my reaſons, becauſe I’d fain have you convinc’d that they are not excuſes; tho’ if this is your manner of expreſſing your reſentments, ’tis ſo agreeable, that I’m afraid hereafter I ſhall have a ſort of pleaſure in offending you. One would think, I had a taſte of it already, becauſe I’m juſt going to find fault with you. ――
As to the Inſtability of the human Mind, the ſupreme Intelligence would have fruſtrated his own deſigns, if he had made it incapable of being touch’d, or mov’d with the appearance of Good. The Preſent and Future is all we are concern’d about. The Preſent will naturally take place, ’till we have taſted and try’d it; and if it is found inſufficient, he has given us the reaſoning Faculty to carry our Reſearches farther, even to Revelation, which will light us thro’ the Miſts of Error and Ignorance. If then we uſe this Faculty right, it will lead us on, ’till we arrive at the higheſt Good;—the improvement of our Natures here, and Glory and Immortality hereafter. This inſtable diſpoſition thereforefore 199 Cc4r 199 fore of the human Mind is it’s proper ſtate; as it leads us, by juſt gradations, on to Perfection, and at the ſame time leaves us free Agents.
The manifeſt inſufficiency of ſenſual enjoyments no one ſurely ever deny’d.—A life of Pleaſure, a total immerſion in Senſuality, can by no means be the proper happineſs of a human Creature: a Creature compos’d of two diſtinct principles of action, Reflection as well as Senſation. From the latter we may infer the temperate gratification of the inferior faculties; and from the former the neceſſity of reſtraining them within proper bounds. For whenever they exceed, either in kind or degree, they encroach upon that faculty, which ought to be the governing principle, and conſequently deſtroy that happineſs they were deſign’d to promote.
There is ſo cloſe a connection between the Body and Soul, that whatever one enjoys or ſuffers, the other partakes of. Now the Body is as much a part of our Nature as the Soul; our appetites and paſſions, as our reaſon: therefore whatever gives the body its proper tone or vigour, that is, whatever is moſt likely to ſmooth and harmonize the Paſſions, and hinder them from preying upon themſelves, or others, muſt at the ſame time bid faireſt for regulating the powers of the Underſtanding, and give them likewiſe their due force and 200 Cc4v 200 and energy. Temperate gratifications therefore, as they are highly conducive to theſe ends, muſt of conſequence promote, rather than diſturb the harmony of Virtue; in that, by contributing to (or rather being) the health of the Body, they corroberate the powers of the Mind, and keep the Paſſions in good humour, which would otherwiſe contract Sourneſs and Moroſity, and create a perpetual War within.—Take away the Paſſions entirely, and, in effect, you take away Virtue and Vice; invert their order or courſe, and you turn every thing topſy turvy; but under proper regulations, and allow’d their due influence, they come in for a conſiderable ſhare of the harmony, and render the balance on Virtue’s ſide, more ſtrong, compleat, and full.
If by Religion, or Virtue, is meant only divine Adoration, or the Worſhip of the Deity, this is ſo far from being the ſole Buſineſs or Happineſs of a moral Agent, that ’tis only one particular branch of it, tho’ undoubtedly the firſt and higheſt Our Neighbours, and our ſelves require a large portion of our care and concern; and theſe again branch’d out into their ſeveral Relations and Duties. But if we ſuffer one particular Duty (even the Worſhip of the Deity) to engroſs us all, or even to entrench upon the reſt, we make but a very imperfect Eſſay towards Religion, or Virtue, and are 201 Dd1r 201 are ſtill at a conſiderable diſtance from the Buſineſs of a moral Agent.
There are many well-meaning people, who, out of a miſtaken Zeal for Religion, have carry’d this Duty to ſuch an exceſs, as to exclude not only Pleaſure, but even Morality from its Society.—Have conceiv’d, they might at any time ſet aſide ſome of the ſlighter matters of the Law, ſuch as Juſtice, Mercy, Fidelity, when the bell rings for Church; and can eaſily diſpenſe with a Commandment or two, if they are but time enough for the Abſolution. For your own part, I not only believe, but know you to be truly religious, in a ſenſe of the highest import; but at the ſame time, I ſay, ’tis poſſible to be highly religious in the other ſenſe; that is, omit no Acts of Devotion either in public or private, and yet be very immoral Agents. And ’tis no wonder Pleaſure ſhould be excluded from this Scheme, where neither the relation we ſtand in to our ſelves, or Society, is at all conſider’d; and nothing but a gloomy dread of the Almighty, whoſe darling Attribute is Love, or an intemperate Zeal for his Service, which Zeal he bids us manifeſt in loving one another, prevails.
By Virtue therefore I mean an univerſal Obedience to the Will of the ſupreme Law-giver; and this, we equally grant, is the ſole Buſineſs Dd and 202 Dd1v 202 and Happineſs of a moral Agent. But Virtue no where forbids thoſe temperate gratifications and relaxations of the Body, which are neceſſary to invigorate the languid powers of the Soul; which ſoften our Toils, alleviate our Cares and Diſappointments, and keep the contending Powers in humour with each other. Virtue then (which ought never to be diſtinguiſh’d from Religion) is no more than Harmony; the ſweet concording Power within us, which compounds, unites, and regulates all the Diſſonances of our Nature, reconciles Reaſon to Senſe, and even to itſelf. Whatever therefore is deſtructive of this Harmony, muſt be ſo far wrong or vicious; whether it be an immoderate uſe of Pleaſure, or an intemperate Zeal for any ſingle Act of Duty. The firſt implies irregularity and diſorder in the Appetite; and the latter a confus’d and erroneous Underſtanding.
1741-12-06December 6, 1741.
Your Letter from Bath had a moſt agreeable effect upon my Spirits, and contributed not a little to the harmony and health of their companion, the Mind. I hope the Waters of that place will have the ſame effect upon 203 Dd2r 203 upon yours; the co-operation of the animal Machine being, you know, part of my Creed.
The Converſation of the more virtuous and wiſer ſort, I hope, I ſhall always be fond of, and aim at. If they think me worthy to partake of their Friendſhips, they heighten my Enjoyments, and improve a Taſte I would not part with for any of the ſenſual Gratifications I know of. For tho’ I can by no means ſtrike theſe entirely out of my Scheme of Harmony, yet as ſtrongly as I’ve ſeem’d to plead for the Paſſions, and five of the Senſes, at leaſt, (I won’t anſwer for it, if there is not a ſixth) and their proper and ſubordinate uſe in the complicated Syſtem, I think I’m far from a Voluptuary my ſelf, tho’ I profeſs my ſelf no great Friend, in general, to thoſe very mortifying Doctrines you ſpeak of. However, thoſe who know me, and my manner of Life, I believe ſee nothing very notorious in me of the ſenſual kind; and where there are no Overt-acts, ’tis but Charity to ſuppoſe the beſt of what is behind the Curtain. Not that I mention this as matter of Merit in me, nor am I indebted for it to any ſignal combats of Fleſh and Spirit; thoſe high efforts of Virtue which ſome generous diſpoſitions have viſibly diſplay’d, when they have had ſtrong Obliquities of nature to conquer. My taſte of mental pleaſures is a good deal conſtitutional, Dd2 and 204 Dd2v 204 and depends ſtrongly upon the original Caſt of my Nature. But finding theſe on all hands allow’d the preference, what was at firſt only my original Complexion, is now become matter of Choice with me; and as I can ſafely indulge in theſe, ’tis an additional pleaſure to ſtrike in with the Prevalence of my Nature, and at the ſame time make a ſort of Virtue of my Diſpoſitions. I ſay, a ſort of Virtue; becauſe mental, any more than ſenſual Gratifications, are neither virtuous nor vicious, otherwiſe than as they are order’d or directed. But if they’ve no Aim or Direction at all, farther than to amuſe the Mind within itſelf; yet if they’re preferable to ſenſual ones, and pursu’d on that account, ſo far at leaſt, they partake of the Nature of Virtue.
The love of Eaſe, with reſpect to the Body, and a ſettled calm and compoſure of Mind (diſpoſitions which would by no means comport with ſenſual Enjoyments) I find ſtrongly impreſs’d upon me; and moſt of my Actions have a tendency that way. This Propenſity naturally inclines me to prefer a contemplative to an active Life; and conſequently the pleasures of the Mind to thoſe of Senſe. So that tho’ ’tis no Virtue to have a Taſte in one’s Nature for pleaſures of a ſuperior kind, yet ’tis certainly a Happineſs when our Diſpoſitions take this friendly turn; and to be ſo form’d as not only to prefer, 205 Dd3r 205 prefer, but to reliſh what is best.—’Tis the ſame with regard to Actions ſtrictly virtuous. This inward Taſte, or, according to Philoſophers, moral Senſe, (which is what I mean by the ſixth) or theſe good Diſpoſitions, according to Divines, render Virtue infinitely eaſier to be practis’d, than where there are obſtinate Propenſities to the contrary. And tho’ more is due to the Merit of thoſe who ſubdue theſe Propenſities, more Virtue in bravely combating, and carefully compoſing the irregularities of our Nature; yet I cannot think, (tho’ I place it very low, in regard to the other) that there is no Virtue at all in following virtuous Propenſities. As I ſaid before, ’tis infinitely eaſier to purſue the Bent of our Nature, than oppoſe it; but Providence ſurely has given us theſe Talents for ſome end; and that end muſt be to improve them. Suppoſe, for inſtance, I’ve a Diſpoſition to that branch of Charity, Alms-giving, and cannot ſee a neceſſitous object without ſtretching out my hand to relieve him; am I, becauſe this is a Tendency in my Nature, to with-hold my Alms? Or is it no Virtue in me, becauſe I’ve a Pleaſure in it, and am careful of all opportunities to improve it? Certainly this is uſing the Talent I was entruſted with; which was given me for that purpoſe, which muſt imply Miſmanage- 206 Dd3v 206 Miſmanagement if ſecreted, and which will be required at my hands, with Uſury, at the final account of things.—I conclude therefore, that tho’ ’tis no Merit on our part to come out of the hands of our Maker with good Diſpoſitions, yet it is ſo to improve the friendly Soil; and ſo to foſter the good Seeds, that we may be able not only to give an Account of ’em, but to reap their Fruits at the general Harveſt— We muſt only be careful to preſerve a proper medium; and not let the particular virtue, that coincides with our Nature, and which we can ſo eaſily ſtrike in with, encroach upon others of equal importance. In a word, we muſt not beſtow indiſcriminately; neither muſt our Charity interfere with our Juſtice. All the Relations we ſtand in to others muſt be taken into the Conſideration; and Pleas of Right preferr’d to thoſe of Neceſſity.
But I’m for carrying this Doctrine of ſtriking in with our Propenſities ſtill farther, even into things indifferent, and which concern only our perſonal Character, or outward Appearance in the World. All kinds of Affectation, and appearing out of Character is (to me) ſilly, and unamiable. Better follow the bent of our Nature, and the Direction impreſt upon it, (tho’ there may be ſomething of Oddity and Peculiarity in it) than go out of it, and be ſignificantcant 207 Dd4r 207 cant for—I know not what. There’s ſomething in the Caſt of a Coxcomb, or an exceſſive fine Lady, which in general, is not unentertaining; but if you lower the Vanity of the one, and ſtrike off the over-acted Delicacy of the other, they would ſettle into abſolute Nothing. They’d have no Character at all. But here, their particular Bent paints ’em. The Image before you is ſomewhat. ’Tis alive, and keeps you awake; beſides the Entertainment they’re of to themſelves. But oppoſe this Bent, ſet the Coxcomb to reading the Fathers, or the fine Lady to darning her Children’s ſtockings, you rob the World of two illuſtrious Characters, and themſelves of the Felicity of Life.
I don’t know what Figure I, for my own part, make in the World; nor am I ſure I am not ſoundly ridiculous, by being true to the honeſt Tendencies of my Nature. But this I am ſure of, that if I had ſet up for the fine Lady, and been to travel thro’ all the forms of Dreſs and Delicacy that are neceſſary to finiſh the Character; not even the Faſhion itſelf could have produc’d any thing ſo incongruous, or diſproportion’d as this my ſecond Birth had been. Great muſt have been my ſtruggles to have furniſh’d out the plaſtic form and fitted it, in ſome meaſure, to the enlivening principle within. A motley appearance at my firſt entrance into the World, 208 Dd4v 208 World, and worſe as I proceeded. For having with much pains and inveteracy ſtruck out the original Lines, the particular Stamp and Impreſs of my Nature; and imprinted there freſh Characters, new Types, and ſtaring Hieroglyphics, from the Ball, the Opera, and the Aſſembly, I ſhould at length have come up to the publick view—What?—Not a Creature of God’s making, but the Faſhion’s.
I’m ſenſible, however, that mine’s a very unfiniſh’d, as well as an inſipid Character; and I labour with it, that is, oppoſe it, as much as is conſiſtent with my love of Eaſe, in compliance to the Faſhions of the World; one of which is—never to be alone. I would by choice oftner be ſo than moſt people; but from a particular affection to the Living, and an incredible ſatisfaction I take in the ſociety of the Dead and the Dumb, am ſeldomer ſo than any body. Again, I honour the Living, no one more; but having no Genius at a Converſation, am generally the moſt unentertaining Perſon in Company. But Cuſtom and Acquaintance have made it neceſſary for me to be much in it; and I acquieſce, oftner than I rejoyce. In ſhort, with an averſion to hear my ſelf ſpeak, and a conſciouſneſs that no one will be a bit the wiſer when I have done, I’ve arriv’d at ſuch a Comfortable diſuſe of Words, ſuch a perfect laſſitude of 209 Ee1r 209 Expreſſion, that I am now abſolutely the worſt Converſation-piece you ever ſaw. But one degree above Still-life. My courteous Correſpondents are my only ſufferers; for the Stream, that’s pent up for the benefit of my Hearers, overwhelms my Readers. I’m ſorry the miſfortune falls upon You, at preſent; but you flatter’d me in your laſt, and ſo have drawn down this Deluge of a Letter upon you. But I’ll exerciſe your exemplary Patience no longer—The truth is; my firſt Edition, which was of a moderate ſize, was a little too much blotted to ſend to you: and when I came to tranſcribe it, it ſo grew upon my hands, that ’twas with difficulty I could circumſcribe it within the bounds you ſee.
1741-01-24January 24, 1741.
I Began to be afraid you were heartily tir’d of me; and ſo long a Letter, as my laſt, muſt indeed be fatiguing. My only hope was, that you were not return’d yet from Bath; and that whenever you did arrive, if it came to your hands, you’d be enough in a hurry to throw it by among the forgotten things, the - - - - - - - and the - - - - - - - - of the Ee Age. 210 Ee1v 210 Age. However I ſhould not have let another Poſt paſs without writing; being deſirous you ſhould know I found a vacancy in my Scheme, ſince your Silence, and that there was a part wanting in my Syſtem of Harmony.
I’m very glad, however, that you interpret my Letter better than I had done my ſelf; and that you believe my concern for your Health, which I rejoyce to hear is ſo much mended, was ſomething more than matter of Form. You were not miſtaken, when you concluded it came from my Heart; as I hope I am not, when I flatter my ſelf that ſome of the obliging things you ſay to me are not very remote from Yours. Not that I’m vain enough to be over credulous in theſe matters; nor weak enough to apply Compliments, and Things of Courſe, ſeriouſly. I will believe you don’t diſlike my way of thinking, becauſe you continue to write to me; and have no objection to my Morals, becauſe you never told me you had any. And ſo, having diſcours’d over both theſe Subjects, we’ll do as many other great Writers do—leave things juſt as we found’em.
I can’t ſay, I have any natural Propenſity towards London, at preſent; and unleſs I find ſome new Direction, ſome foreign Spring inſerted among my Wheels, ſhall hardly gravitatetate 211 Ee2r 211 tate towards your Hemiſphere this Spring. And yet I heartily wiſh this little Citadel in St. Toles, my proper Orb, could now and then roll within the attraction of your Vortex, without incomoding our Neighbours. ’Twould be pleaſant enough, if Houſes were Planetary Syſtems; and the Inhabitants could ſhake hands, and converſe, as they ſail’d by each other. But we muſt not expect ſuch glorious Revolutions, while we inhabit theſe paultry Tenements; nor hope to tread on Stars, while we converſe with ſuch miſerable Mortals.
P.S. I’m ſorry I can’t at this time obey your Call for Poetry; but the Fit comes upon me only by intervals, and is perfectly involuntary, like other natural Excretions, which happen (according to Phyſicians) thro’ Weakneſs, or want of Power to reſtrain ’em. Beſides I take in - - - - - - - - - Any body, who is never ſo far gone, only let ’em peruſe thoſe Monthly Lays; and if it does not cure ’em, nothing in Nature will.
1742-04-02April 2, 1742.
Among all the difficulties and diſcouragements of this mortal Coil (as Shakeſpear calls it) your ſilence touches me very ſenſibly. What have I done, that you wont write to me? Or what are you doing, that I can neither hear of you, or from you? Theſe Queſtions would be impertinent in one of your civil curt’ſeying acquaintance, that does not care a half-penny for you; but where we are in earneſt, we are apt to be eager and peremtory.
If you enquire why I’ve let you reſt ſo long; why, when you were folding your arms and cloſing your eyes, I made no noiſe, but left you quietly to your repoſe; I anſwer, I had no Power to wake you. I’ve been confin’d, ſhut up for this laſt ſix weeks; even my very Thoughts impriſon’d. In ſober ſadneſs, I’ve been ſick, every body in the houſe ſick. But all this while to find you in ſo profound a Lethergy, at length rouſes all my Forces. I have no longer Patience. Lo! here I depoſit the remains of a Fever, and am determin’d to wake you with the reſidue of my Ravings. If this has no effect, I fear I ſhall grow louder and louder. If Proſe wont wake you, Verſe ſhall; and 213 Ee3r 213 and if you wont hear my from my Cloſet, I’ll make a noiſe in the World. Some way or other I am determin’d to diſturb you; for I have not Patience to let You reſt, when I can’t.
1742-04-15April 15, 1742.
I Will not let my acknowledgments for your laſt Favour grow cold, to wait for the coming of fine Speeches; but haſten to inform you, that it prov’d a moſt excellent Succedaneum to the Bark. I’ve no longer any feveriſh Symptoms, my Rage ſubſides, and Poetry is no more. When I wrote laſt my Head was full of misſhapen Forms, flowry Deſarts, ſandy Fields, ſeas of Milk, and Ships of Amber. But thoſe two admirable Specifics, your Letter and the Peruvian Cortex, have reſtor’d Objects to their proper Forms, and ſet Imagination and Judgment right again. I ſee no longer any ghaſtly appearances in your ſilence; have no farther apprehenſions of loſing your Correſpondence; and conſequently am cur’d of my Poetry, as well as the reſt of my Deliriums.
In my laſt, I aſk’d what I had done that you would not write to me? I have a much ſtricter Account to call you to now; and enquire, what it is I have done, that you flatter me? At ſuch 214 Ee3v 214 ſuch a rate too, that I bluſh for my own Perfections!—One reaſon, I think, the Ducheſs of Marlborough gives, why Queen Mary did not like her, was—that her Majeſty was ſoon tir’d of any one that did not talk a great deal. I ſuppoſe moſt Queens love Flattery; and conſequently the more talk her Subjects treated her with, the more her Majeſty had of that precious Commodity. But now whenever I begin talking upon the Subject of your Perfections, you have ſo little of this Queen-like Taſte about you, that you wont ſo much as hear me; and inſtead of recommending my ſelf to your good Graces by this Sovereign Method, I loſe all credit, and eſteem with you.
But pray, my dear Madam, is it reaſonable you ſhould have all the talk to yourſelf? Are you to monopolize fine Words? And be the ſole Diſpenſer of ſoothing Things? I beſeech you, leave me a little of the Poliſh of the Age; and don’t confine me always to the Province of puting forth unwelcome Truths, to the discredit of my Breeding. In ſhort, I muſt have Liberty; I will have Liberty. ’Tis the common Cry now—Liberty! and hang Sir Robert. Do not - - - - - - - - - - and ſhall I be deny’d this Priviledge? Abridge the firſt Motions of my Heart, and—I have 215 Ee4r 215
I have but three words more to ſay to you. I muſt have Liberty. I will have Liberty. Ay, ay, (as the Mob ſays in Julius Ceſar) We’ll all have Liberty.
1742-07-27Denham Court, July 27, 1742.
The firſt Letter from an abſent Friend is ſurely the moſt agreeable thing to muſe over in Nature. Yours from Hatfield reviv’d in me thoſe pleaſing remembrances which not only enliven, but expand the Heart; that very Heart which, but the moment before, felt itſelf mightily ſhrunk and contracted at the thoughts of your Departure. Lady H. Beauclerk partook of the Pleaſure. The moment ſhe ſaw your Hand, ſhe crav’d half!—and read it moſt complacently over my ſhoulder.
’Tis to no purpoſe to tell you, how much you were miſs’d by every body that ſtay’d in town; how often I caſt my eyes up at your Dreſſing-Room windows, or how many people I’ve run over in contemplating your Dining- Room ſhutters. All I have to beg of you is, to write to me very often, to be mindful of your Health; and to order John, when I go to Town again, to tye up the knocker.—I could tell you 216 Ee4v 216 you many ſtories of the ſenſible Things; but of all the inſenſible ones upon this occaſion, your Lamp provok’d me the moſt To ſee that Creature, when I’ve gone by in an Evening, burn ſo pertly, and with ſo much alacrity, has put me out of all patience. To what purpoſe ſhould he light us into your houſe now? Or who’d be oblig’d to him for his paultry rays?—I took a contemplative turn or two in your Dreſſing- Room once or twice; but ’twas ſo like walking over your Grave, that I could not bear to ſtay.— Lady H. departed two days after you; and in ſhort, I liv’d to ſee almoſt every body I lov’d, go before me. So laſt Saturday made my own exit, with equal decency, and dignity; that is, with a thorough reſignation of the World I left, and an earneſt deſire after that I am now enjoying with Lady Bowyer, and Miſs Peggy Stonhouſe. I ſhall begin verging towards my laſt Home, after having juſt touch’d upon the Confines of Lady H.B.’s World, there to ſubſide, and be at Peace; where I ſhall have nothing farther to hope for—but to meet with a Letter from you.
I have implor’d St. Swithin in your behalf; but he either not hears me; or, to pay you a greater Compliment, weeps plentifully for your abſence. I fear you’ve had a terrible Journey, for ſcarce a day has paſs’d that he has not ſhed many Tears.
1742-08-20Oxford, Auguſt 20, 1742.
Yeſterday I arriv’d here, where in the midſt of my Joy I had the Pleaſure to meet with a Letter from You. I aſſure you I ſlept the better for it; and as the conſciouſneſs of your kind remembrance of me was one of the laſt things that paſt thro’ my Head laſt Night, I cannot let the Morning paſs without ſitting down to thank you for it; tho’ I fear you’ll have left Scarborough before this can reach you.
Indeed you flatter me too much. Your Eſteem is among the high things I’m panting after; but while You’re ſoothing a very laudable Paſſion, you adminiſter Food to a very impertinent one. There’s nothing that Vanity is ſo apt to catch and kindle at as Praiſe; and when the Flame is once lighted up, there’s no knowing where ’twill end. It may begin at my Houſe; but if you won’t be alarm’d, when one cries Fire! I won’t anſwer for the Damages it may do to yours. In ſhort, if the goodly Fabric, that high opinion of my ſelf you’ve flatter’d me into, ſhould fall; ’tis no fault of mine, if you’re involv’d in the Ruins.
I had the pleaſure of your former Letter, at Denham-Court; but have been in ſuch a moving Ff way 218 Ff1v 218 way from place to place ever ſince, that I have not had time to ſit ſtill long enough to thank you for it. I entertain’d Lady H.B. highly with your Adventure of the Portmantle, and the hundred Pound; which moſt other people would have had a thouſand Cares about. Pray, if ever you publiſh any Memoirs of your ſelf, let me have the honour to write your Eccleſiaſtical Hiſtory; where the Adventure of the Portmantle may be inſerted by way of Digreſſion, to the great emolument of the Reader.
I ſhould be ſorry to hear you’re ſo ill accommodated as to Lodging, but that I know you’ve learnt with the greateſt Eccleſiaſtic the Church ever produc’d, to be therewith content. Drums and diſagreeable Noiſes you muſt expect to meet with; but may all other Diſquiets ever be far from you! I ſhall live in hopes of hearing from you, when you get to Town; but can give you no manner of encouragement about altering your Style, and Manner of Writing. Leave Pains and Study to Critics and Commentators; but write to me from your heart, as I do from mine, when I aſſure you,
You can’t imagine, how happy I feel my ſelf! all my Friends in health, and every body glad to ſee 219 Ff2r 219 ſee me. I hate no body upon earth but Mrs. - - - - - -; and hate her, only becauſe I envy her. She ſees you every day, but I ſhan’t ſee you again this twelvemonth.
1742-09-16September 16, 1742.
I Rejoyce in your ſafe return from Scarborough, and the ſhort Hiſtory you afford me of your ſelf. A light Heart is no bad thing to travel with; but a Purſe, or a Portmantle in thoſe Circumſtances, is a very melancholy object I’ve been contemplating mine with a philoſophic eye, ever ſince I came home; and find nothing ſo productive of moral Reflections as Poverty. Ever ſince I’ve had no Money, I’ve been enlarging upon the Virtues of Frugality, and Selfdenial; and have had prodigious flights of Eloquence upon the Vanity of all worldly Poſſeſſions. If ever you deſign to make a Convert of me, take me now; for if you ſtay ’till I’m reimburs’d, I’m loſt
Your Obſervations upon human Friendſhips are very juſt and ſpeculative; but, I fear, rather too refin’d for Practice. We cannot diveſt ourſelves of our Affection whenever we would; nor diſengage ourſelves of theſe Ties, which are Ff2 twiſted 220 Ff2v 220 twiſted in with our Natures, upon every disappointment. However thoſe Friends I meant, were chiefly thoſe whom the Ties of Blood had united to me, and of whoſe Affection I have not the ſhadow of a Doubt. Theſe I may certainly depend upon, and rejoyce in. But in regard to thoſe Friendſhips, which are matter of Choice, or voluntary Inclination, I cannot think ſo cheaply of ’em as you ſeem to do; nor yet ſo highly as to place any extraordinary Degrees of Confidence in ’em. Human Nature, in general, gives us very few inſtances of their principal ingredients, Generoſity, Diſintereſtedneſs, and Steadineſs; but very many of narrowneſs of Spirit, Selfiſhneſs, and Levity. So that any one, that knows thus much of it, muſt ſtrangely over-rate it’s Merits, to depend much upon Favours, that one does not pay down the Price for. And in regard to the Affection itſelf, whether it ever flows out into good Offices towards you or not, nothing in Nature, I grant you, is ſo capricious. But in the mean time, what ſhall I do with this Tendency I feel within my ſelf towards ſocial Affection? Shall I withdraw it from the publick Stock, and ſettle it all upon my ſelf? That’s but poor doings. Or ſhall I e’en take people’s good Diſpoſitions as I find ’em, and indulge the mutual ſatisfaction while it laſts? I know the Wind will change; but 221 Ff3r 221 but ’tis ſo common a Caſe, that I’m not diſappointed.
That a great deal of my Happineſs is in the hands of my Friends, I’ve a pleaſure in acknowledging. I ſee nothing abſurd in loving thoſe who love me, without any hopes of Advantage from ’em; and if their Affection contributes to my preſent Satisfactions, why ſhould I diſturb my ſelf with enquiring how long ’twill laſt? I am, however, very ſenſible that ſtrange Miſunderſtandings, and unaccountable Coolneſſes will frequently happen. At this time I feel very ſenſibly the denoûment of a Friendſhip, which had been many Years a forming. But I cannot help it; the Wind chang’d, my Friend put on a new Character; and I thought my ſelf under no Obligation to conform to a Character I had never profeſs’d any thing to. To this Moment I can’t account for the Viciſſitude, and ſhe’s too much my Superior to give me a Reaſon for her Actions: but ſhall I conclude, from a ſingle Inſtance, that there’s neither Truth nor Fidelity left in the World? ’Twould be unreaſonable to diſtruſt the Community, and draw out my Stock, for the ſake of one Diſappointment. I’ll e’en venture it in another Bottom; and if I can’t ſucceed with Vernon, I’ll go round the Globe with Anſon.Every 222 Ff3v 222
Every one, the leaſt converſant in the world, muſt have met with theſe Caprices, as well as myſelf; and conſequently be extremely confident, or extremely credulous, to depend upon people’s Affections, or to be diſappionted if they fail ’em. But your Arguments, drawn from this acknowledg’d inſtability, would prove at the ſame time, that we muſt take Delight in nothing; have no Satisfactions, reaſonable or unreaſonable, becauſe they are not permanent. But, my dear Madam, becauſe ’twill rain to morrow, may we not enjoy the Sun-ſhine to day?—Every thing we’re converſant about here, was made to endure only for a certain Period. A clean Apron will laſt us but for a Day, and the warmeſt Friend may grow cold before Night—I am but a Paſſenger, and neither theſe Groves, or thoſe Fields, or that Fellow-Traveller, I know, were deſign’d for my ultimate Good. However, as we’re both going the ſame Road, let us make the beſt of the Amuſements we meet with by the way. The Roſe unfolds its Buds, and my Fellow-Traveller his Heart—But, you ſay, my Roſe-Buds will fade before Night, and my Friend depart by To-morrow—Why then, let us e’en make the beſt of To-Day.
After all, there is a ſeriouſneſs in Friendſhip, that ought not to be trifled with; and a ſacredneſsneſs 223 Ff4r 223 neſs in its Communications and Confidences, that nothing can excuſe the breach of. ’Tis the higheſt Relation we can ſtand in to each other; and is of the Nature of thoſe Ties which ought never to be diſſolv’d.— But the Subject is too fruitful to truſt my Pen any farther, than juſt to aſſure You how ſincerely,
1742-10-18October 18, 1742.
I Don’t know any one whoſe Letters give me greater Pleaſure, notwithſtanding the different Sentiments we ſeem to be of, in moſt of the important Matters that have fallen under our Conſideration. But as we ſet out in the Spirit of Liberty, and are, I truſt, agreed upon the Act of Toleration in regard to Opinions, we have only this farther Virtue to aim at— that of being mutually patient of Contradiction. If you’re prepar’d, I proceed in my Diſſentions, as uſual.
To begin with your Deſcription of Friendſhip, That it muſt conſiſt in an Agreement of Humours, &c; This has been the Opinion of many great Writers, as well as your ſelf; and 224 Ff4v 224 and if you are as much at Leiſure as I am, if you pleaſe, we’ll examine it.—For my own part, I think nothing more need be meant by it than an obliging Behaviour, and a kind of general complaiſance, or deference to the Opinions of our Friends, which is neither ſo obſtinate as to be always in the Right, nor ſo ſervile as to have no Opinions of our own. As for the reſt, a likeneſs of Humours or Inclinations, is ſo little neceſſary to form a perfect Friendſhip, that I can’t ſee the leaſt occaſion for their Similarity; beſides that it ſuppoſes a mighty narrow way of thinking. To be charmed only with ſweet Self, or its beautiful reſemblance in the Composition of another, ſuppoſes indeed a moſt perfect benevolence for the Party concern’d, but for nothing elſe in Nature; this ſweet reſemblance being only Self at ſecond hand. ’Tis however agreed, that if one loves ones Friend as ones Self, one does pretty well; and conſequently the nearer the reſemblance, the more perfect will be the Union, ſince there’s nothing that has not a moſt ſincere Affection for itſelf.— All this I grant, but then muſt add that this Self-Affection, I fear, will go but a very little way, even in one remove only from the Individual. The infinite Partiality we have for our real Selves, won’t always extend itſelf to our ſecond Selves; and we often commit Follies, 225 Gg1r 225 Follies, and indulge Humours in our own Perſons, which are not half ſo amiable in thoſe of others, nor will admit of half the Excuſes. Neither do I think a Sameneſs of Humours will mix and aſſociate ſo well as their Contraries: like perfect Chords in Muſick, they rather tire than enliven. For inſtance, two people are of a melancholy, or a choleric diſpoſition. How ſhall we enliven the deficiency of Bile in the one, or correct it’s ſuper-abundance in the other? Won’t they both drop aſleep, or fall together by the ears?—Suppoſe they’re equally endu’d with the powers of Eloquence. May’nt they have an equal inclination to ſpeak at the ſame time? And how painful muſt it be to either Orator to hear?—Or ſuppoſe (if you’ll ſuffer me to ſuppoſe once more) they’re a little given to Contradiction, like You and I: won’t they often ſtand in need of a Moderator; and be forc’d to call in a third Perſon to adjuſt their Diſputes? In ſhort, a parity of Humours, or Sentiments, muſt often render Converſation fade and inſipid; and when we meet with nothing new, nothing but what we have at home, ſuch a Friendſhip muſt ſoon grow tedious and languiſhing. ’Tis ſcarce worth going even ſo far out of our ſelves for. Beſides, as our own Humours are ſo uncertain and multifarious, it muſt, as Gg you 226 Gg1v 226 you ſay, be extremely liable to change; be indeed the moſt variable thing in Nature.
Let us ſee then what ſort of Friendſhip different diſpoſitions will produce. And that we may not run away from our Argument, as You and I generally do, let us define our Terms. Friendſhip then, in my Definition of it, is a ſweet Attraction of the Heart towards the merit we eſteem, or the Perfections we admire; and produces a mutual Inclination between two Perſons, to promote each other’s Intereſt or Happineſs.—Now we none of us, I believe, will chooſe to aſſert that we poſſeſs all ſorts of Merit, and every degree of Perfection our ſelves; but moſt of us are ſo humble as to own that we eſteem it in others, and can be pleas’d with Perfections we do not poſſeſs. To a generous Mind, Merit, in whatever ſhape it appears, is not only eſtimable, but attractive. By its Operations on the ſympathetic Powers of our Nature, it calls forth the affections of the Heart to meet it, and even byaſſes the Judgment in favour of the whole Character. Thus when we ſee a Patriot bleed in defence of his Country, we are not ſo anxious about his ſpeaking in the Houſe; we can for once allow, that ’tis not neceſſary for a Patriot to be an Orator. I am my ſelf an extreme Coward, (ſave 227 Gg2r 227 (ſave juſt in Speculation) and have not the leaſt Thirſt for any one’s Blood; but yet I turn away my eyes from the Man who trembles at a Sword, and find my ſelf attracted by the Hero. In ſhort; the Mind, I ſhould think, muſt receive an additional pleaſure in contemplating thoſe perfections in a Friend, which it has not within itſelf; and may, in effect, fancy itſelf the Proprietor or Poſſeſſor of thoſe Advantages which adorn its other half.
But by this difference or diverſity of Humours or Characters, I would not be underſtood to mean their Incompatibility. Friendſhip could not long ſubſiſt under this diſadvantage; the union muſt diſſolve, and averſion ſucceed. But this Incompatibility (I whichwish I could think of a ſhorter word) does not always ariſe from the difference, but the too great uniformity of Humours. Thus two people equally haughty, peremptory, or poſitive, muſt ſoon finiſh their affairs; and yet theſe Diſpoſitions would mix extremely well with their Contraries.
Neither do I think equality of Rank or Fortune neceſſary to form a perfect Friendſhip. For perfect Friendſhip is founded on Virtue, on the Perfections of the Mind, or the Goodneſs of the Heart; and conſults neither Title, nor Fortune. It does not tye itſelf to the Genealogy, or the Rent-Roll, but to the Perſon. Gg2 Our 228 Gg2v 228 Our ſuperiours, as ſuch, have a right only to our Complaiſance, and ’tis a Tribute that Decency allows ’em; but the Eſteem which comes from the Heart, is due only to true Merit. The Great have a thouſand ways of obliging or plaguing us; but they have but one of making themſelves belov’d, and that is, by a ſuperiority of Merit. When they condeſcend to rank this among their Advantages, they are truly amiable; they attract, and are attracted. Their own Hearts are enlarg’d, the Object finds an eaſy admittance; they pleaſe, and are pleaſed they have ſo many ways of obliging. An Inferiour, however, ſets out with many diſadvantages, which are not ſo much his Demerits, as the neceſſary Conſequences of his ſituation; has Requeſts to be gratify’d, or perhaps Humours to be indulg’d as well as his Betters; and theſe may by degrees diſſolve the Charm. But a Superiour may be oblig’d, and perhaps oftner inſiſts upon being pleas’d. If the former can wave his Pretenſions, reſign his Intereſt, or Humour, to his Friendſhip, he is no longer the Inferiour; his generoſity of of Sentiment gives him his Rank, and entitles him to equal Indulgencies. But an Equality is often as fatal. Jealouſies, Emulations, and oppoſitions of Intereſts, are rocks upon which the firmeſt Friendſhips have ſplit. An Inequality, however, ſteers clear of theſe; and if it has 229 Gg3r 229 has any other Wrecks to fear, they are no more than are common to both.
In ſhort, true Friendſhip, found it upon what you will, can never ſubſiſt long, but upon Senſe and Virtue. And whether we are of different, or the ſame Diſpoſitions, Equals, or Inequals, have a narrow way of thinking, or no way at all, (for every thing will unite itſelf to ſomewhat) when once the Mind has paſs’d it’s Judgment upon the Object, and the Heart has found its attraction, it examines no farther, but takes the moſt effectual and ſpeedy methods of uniting itſelf to it.
I believe that laſt thought was none of my own; but, if ’tis not, I don’t know who it belongs to; ſo cannot pay the right Owner my Acknowledgments.
1742-11-25November 25, 1742.
I Began to be afraid you had quite given me up; that I had murder’d you, wrote you to death with a long Letter; and fairly ſeen the End, or (as Authors ſay) Finis, of your Epiſtolary Life. Truly I mourn’d your loſs; not indeed as the Faſhion is, in high Spirits and black Cloaths; but ſeriouſly and in ſober ſadneſs. But 230 Gg3v 230 But ſince you’re reviv’d again, to my great Conſolation, I’ll promiſe to take great Care of your precious Life for the future. You ſhall have no more Volumes to damp your Spirits; only a ſingle Sheet, and that the ſmalleſt I can get. In that too I’ll obſerve the greateſt Continence as to Words, and ſtudy the higheſt Laconiſm of Phraſes; any thing, ſo i can but preſerve your literary Life, ’till I’m weary of mine.
However, as deſirous as I am of having you linger out a few Years with me, I ſhould not have let you have dy’d in peace, if my time had not been too much taken up to write Letters, even to the Living. But am in earneſt, when I aſſure you, I’m ſorry and ſurpriz’d to find you at Bath, literally in an ill ſtate of Health. I wiſh my Letters have not made you ſick. But I hope you won’t think of leaving that place, ’till you find s8ome good effects from it. You did not ſtay above half ſo long as you ought to have done, the laſt time; and I hope nothing will happen to hurry you away now. You can be of no uſe in - - - - - nor, any where elſe upon earth, anſwer the ends of your Creation (of which Self-preſervation is one) at preſent, but at Bath. The care of your Health is as much a moral Duty, as the care of your Family; and will be equally requir’d at your Hands. And if Morality won’t keep 231 Gg4r 231 keep you there, I’ll prove it to be a Chriſtian Duty in my next; and then if you ſtir, Lady C. ſhall hear of it, and good Mrs. B. lift up her hands and eyes. Only conſider, what intellectual Converſation you’ll loſe, if they ſhut you out of the pale of their Society. And as for the heathen World, I’ll take care your Apoſtacy ſhall be no ſecret there.—Think ſeriouſly of theſe things before you leave Bath (which I have not patience to hear you talk of) and when you beſtow a thought on me, be it that I am
The Laſs of the Hill is ornamented with two Voices here, and a blind Fiddler. Sells ſpecial well. The Author, I think, is chiefly indebted to You, for the univerſal reception her Performance has met with.
You know I always honour’d you extremely; and if you’ll only be ſo good as to lock all the Doors, loſe all the Keys, and order the Coach- Wheels to be knock’d off ’till after the 15th Day of January next, you’ll do a real good Office by your Lady, and in a particular manner oblige
1742-01-18January 18, 1742.
The pleaſure you’ve given me by your Letter is ſo great, that I won’t even upbraid you with your Silence, only with the occaſion of it, the want of a Frank. Alas! that I ſhould be ſo exalted in your Opinion, that you ſhould think I doat upon a bit of paultry Metal; and prefer a crooked Six-pence to a Letter of Yours. Is this the Philoſophy you mean? Theſe the Affections I am not proof againſt!—I must own they are tender and moving: the contemplation of a crooked Sixpence is a fine contemplation; and then the beautiful gradation from a Six-pence to a Shilling, and ſo on ’till you arrive at the bleſſedneſs of a Crown! How muſt the Mind rejoyce in it’s Power of Numbers, the Order and Symmetry of the various Pieces, and the Relation they ſeverally ſtand in to the beauteous Syſtem of a Guinea! Are not theſe Contemplations infinitely preferable to the Beauty and Symmetry of Hutchinſon, or the Ideas and Harmony of Plato? Not that you muſt imagine I read theſe Authors, becauſe I quote ’em; I only know their Names and their Faces, like many others of my Acquaintance, whom I never ſpoke to in 233 Hh1r 233 in my life. For I never have time to read; my manner is to ſkip thro’ a Book, or catch a a general View from the Preface, or the Index, (as I do of the Contents of my Acquaintance, from their Faces) which is the utmoſt of my philoſophic Learning. Nevertheleſs, would give all the Sixpences I’m worth, for time to read about half a dozen Books that have ſtood at my elbow theſe ſeven years, and yet at this inſtant am ſo very idle as to be reading M— ; Book the moſt abſurd I ever met with!—Don’t you laugh at my inconſiſtency? Or is it juſt what you do your ſelf? A Pamphlet I can make ſhift to travel thro’; have ſeen two of the Night Thoughts, and like ’em ſo well as to be impatient for a Third. There are ſome noble ſoul-awakening things in ’em, that make my blood run cold when I read ’em. And thus you’ve the Hiſtory of my preſent ſtate of Literature.
Now give me leave to aſſure you, I rejoyce with you in the good effects of the Bath. I love to hear you’re well, I mean as to your Bodily plight; your Mind’s Health I never enquire after, knowingThat nothing here can cloud, or can deſtroy That Part’s calm ſunſhine— Hh My 234 Hh1v 234
My Friend begins to ſit very eaſy upon my Thoughts. I believe I might interpret ſome actions in my favour; but I ſtudy to be uniform, and conſiſtent. Am I a Philoſopher now, think you; or a poor Wretch, unſteady, various, and multiform? Pray, give it on the ſide of my Philoſophy; for I aſſure you, I can’t hold out above a Week longer. However, I reckon my ſelf oblig’d for any thing that looks like an Overture; becauſe ’tis a tacit acknowledgment that I have not offended too much to be forgiven.—But why ſhould I complain of having loſt one Friend? ’Tis the only one I ever loſt; and every body, I comfort myſelf, has met with ſome ſuch Accident in their Lives. While there’s a Mrs.— in the World that ſuffers me to converſe with her ſometimes, or a Lady H.B. that endures my Nonſenſe, I ſhall miſs my other Friend the leſs. And ſo, truſting you’ll let me walk amicably on with you for a a few years, till You get the Stone, I the Cholick, and Lady H. is laid up with the Gout; in ſhort, ’till we’ve run with patience this motley Race of Love, Friendſhip, Ambition, Avarice, Diſguſt, — and at length, Indifference, ’till we’re all out of breath; I ſay, truſting in this,
1742-02-18February 18, 1742.
I Hope you know I honour you extremely, becauſe I’m juſt going to tell you (after having thank’d you moſt cordially for your agreeable Letter) that I’ll never truſt you with any more ſecrets as long as I live. The very moment I had given you the inſide of my Breaſt, to order your Chariot, and drive away with it to the firſt perſon you could meet with—O Times! O Manners! O my Sex! Is there none that can contain a Secret? No, not one.
But what, my good Madam, could move you to communicate to Lady H. or any Lady in the Land, a ſtupid Letter of mine? Even if there are no Secrets, ’tis impoſſible for a ſecond Perſon to underſtand a Letter; and if there are, ’tis Perfidy, downright Perfidy to ſhew one.— How amiable was the Picture I had been forming of You! I had juſt begun to think you an Angel; but the Poſt-man knock’d at the door, and ſpoilt my Viſion.
Your Advice, however, is very ſober and ſignificant; and much the ſame I’d give, but don’t care to take—otherwiſe, I mean, than very kindly. But why humble my ſelf, I beſeechHh2 ſeech 236 Hh2v 236 ſeech you? (for I find I can’t help truſting you again already) and all of a ſudden fall to owning I’ve done wrong, when I’ve only been paſſive in the Affair, and done nothing. My Friend abſconded, and I did not ſo much as upbraid her; I only—acquieſc’d. Nothing in Nature had happen’d; ’twas all calm and quiet as a Summer’s Sea; but in a moment the face of the Sky was obſcur’d, and I’ve been totally in the dark, as to the Reaſon why, ever ſince. Now and then, indeed, a friendly Star or two look’d out upon me from a diſtant Quarter, and in ſome meaſure ſupply’d the abſence of the Sun. You, like an Aurora Borealis, for a while relum’d my ancient Light. Lady Frances Williams was a Meteor. She darted her Rays upon me for a Moment; but being of irregular appearance, and among the ſurpriſing, tho’ pleaſing Phenomena, there’s no accounting for her motions by any of the ſtated Laws of Being. I had only one fix’d Orb to caſt up my eyes to, and guide me thro’ the dark profound. She ſhone, and ſtill ſhines with undiminiſh’d Rays; and you may ſee her every Night at Somerſet- Houſe, calmly moving on her own Axis, and out of the reach of thoſe Haloes, and Hurricanes that diſturb the planetary Syſtem.
In this ſituation, I ſay, my Friend withdrew her Beams. And for this Reaſon you’d have me 237 Hh3r 237 me betake my ſelf to the wholſome Duty of Humiliation, and go and confeſs I’ve been extremely in the wrong. I own, ’tis an humbling conſideration, and I never was more mortify’d in my life; but how to bring my ſelf to Confeſſion, and own I’ve done what I’ve only ſuffer’d, is a Strain of Humility quite out of the Reach of my unaſſiſted Reaſon. ’Tis ſomewhat like thoſe pious Forms of Confeſſion one meets with in ſome over-righteous Books, which ſhock ones Nature to repeat. As they are moſt of them penn’d for general Uſe, in order to take in particular Caſes, the poor Penitent is to declare that he’s the vileſt of Sinners, and the worſt of Men; not only a Liar, an Adulterer, or a Sabathbreaker, but, in ſhort, every Commandmentbreaker of the Ten. And the Confeſſion to be ſure is a very righteous Confeſſion for thoſe it hits; but I never repeat any of this ſort, as having no manner of Relation to my particular Sins. So that in regard to this part of your Advice, I muſt beg leave to diſſent a little; conceiving it both abſurd and inconſiſtent with Truth, to confeſs what never enter’d into my Head to commit.
But to talk ſeriouſly, and like a good Catholic, for I love to confeſs to you —(O that you could but keep a ſecret!) That we are all liable to Miſtakes, that we as often diſguſted with 238 Hh3v 238 with ourſelves as with others, and that Misbehaviour as often ariſes from Infirmity as Deſign, I can readily allow, (for I am very far from thinking that every body, that does a Wrong, means one) I ſay, when we take theſe, and many more Conſiderations into the Queſtion, one may, nay one certainly ought to overlook an Indignity, tho’ there’s nothing hinders that one ſhould not feel one. I queſtion whether ever we thoroughly hate a friend we have been long us’d to converſe with without reſerve. At leaſt one muſt be of a very malevolent Caſt indeed, not to feel ſome returns of Affection, upon the ſlighteſt Overtures of a returning Friendſhip. The Strings which have been ſo long, and ſo equally wound, will naturally vibrate when their correſponding Notes are touch’d. But this can only happen when the Harmony is diſcontinu’d; if ’tis totally diſconcerted, and perſiſted in, nothing remains but Diſſonance and Diſcord. In regard to the former, each Party muſt give up a few Niceties of Ear, for the ſake of the Tune; and if, after that, they can only adjuſt their Crotchets and Quavers, all will be well. But in my particular Caſe, I can’t poſſibly be call’d upon to aſſiſt, becauſe there’s no part left for me to perform. I don’t care to offer at an Air, and am above appearing in Recitative; ſo that ’tis impoſſible we ſhould ever 239 Hh4r 239 ever have another Concert, unleſs my Friend condeſcends to open it her ſelf with a Solo. In this Caſe, whatever Diſſonances my Temper may have acquir’d ſince this Rupture, I aſſure you, not a Note ſhall be loſt for want of the higheſt attention.
Thus have I truſted you once more with the Secret of my Heart, in Metaphor. If you ſhould chooſe to communicate this likewiſe to her Ladyſhip, I’ve no objections. For I had rather ſhe knew every thing I ſay, than not; and ſhould like to be in a corner, and hear you both upon the Caſe. For tho’ I think my ſelf in the right; the reſt of the World, perhaps, may think me in the wrong.
Every part of your Letter is extremely agreeable and entertaining; except where you apologize for what is moſt ſo to me, writing ſo ſoon. I believe none of your Correſpondents ever made that a Complaint againſt you; we only ſuffer when you’re ſilent long.
Will you forgive all this Nonſenſe, in a few Words? Or ſhall I add to your Troubles by a more formal Apology?
1743-07-31July 31, 1743.
Not the Voice of ſinging Men, or ſinging Women, not the Notes of Monticelli, or Miſs Trevor, not even - - - - - - - - - - - could give me half the Pleaſure your Letter did. But you either compliment or rally me with ſo ſerious a face, upon my late Attempts at Wit, that it quite diſconcerts all my Aims. I had hopes, from your former, of being pointed at as I went along, and having it ſaid,— There ſhe goes!—That’s her!—but now you write down my Ambitions in ſuch glaring Characters, and preach down my Vanity to ſuch unmerciful Strains of Humility, that I ſhall never recover it again; never be the Woman I have been, that’s certain. Where I ſhall turn me next, I don’t know. If to Divinity, your darling Divinity; there you have me again. That Poſt you gain’d above a twelve-month ago, and I’ve never been able to retake it ſince. In ſhort, you’ve overturn’d all my ideal Worlds, driven me out of every Subject, reaſon’d away all my Arguments, and out-imagin’d all my Imaginations; and now I’ve nothing left to furniſh out even the appearance of a Letter upon. If ’twas not for the refreſhing things you tell me from Lady 241 Ii1r 241 Lady F.rances W.illiams and that Lady H.B. and your ſelf ſometimes deſcend to make me the Subject of your Tète à Tètes, I ſhould languiſh into a total ceſſation of Ideas.—I wiſh you had ſettled the Affair about publiſhing my Works, to either of your ſatisfactions; becauſe ’tis a thing, I think verily, I ſhall never be able to connect with any of my own. If ſome of you Wits of the Age would make me a Preſent of Yours, I don’t know but I might grow deſperate, when thus protected. But hto’ I’ve no ſuch Deſigns my ſelf, what ſhall I do with Lady A. Beauclerk? She prints ’em, tho’ I won’t; Her Ladyſhip caus’d the Verſes to the Memory of Lord Aubrey Beauclerk to be twice printed, in order to diſperſe among her Acquaintance. and has ſo powerfully exhauſted her firſt Edition, that She’s now preparing to perſecute her Friends with a Second. I told her at firſt ’twould never anſwer; I ſtill remonſtrate, but ’tis to no purpose. She modeſtly aſſur’d me, ſhe would print, with my Conſent, if ſhe could get it; if not, without it. And truly ſo ſhe did. And this, you ſee, one gets by letting one’s Friends enjoy the pleaſing Secrets of one’s writing, as you obſerve.—The Poſt being juſt ready to depart, and the Spirit of Scribbling quite departed,
Do what you will with my Letters. Since your laſt, my Heart is ſo enlarg’d towards you, that I don’t care if you expoſe me to the whole Town. I only declar’d War with you for that particular Letter, which contain’d the Hiſtory of mon ami; a Secret I hold ſacred with every Body, but her Ladyſhip and your Self: and told it to you, only becauſe I love to hear your Sentiments upon every thing.
1743-08-30Windſor-Caſtle, Sept. 30, 1743.
I’ve had great Remorſe ever ſince I wrote laſt, in that I made a thouſand apologies for my ſilence, as if ’twas a thing of vaſt conſequence to you; and never once beg’d the favour of a Reply, tho’ ’twas the only End and Purpoſe I had in view when I ſat down to write. Did you ever ſet out for a Place, and forget where you were going? Or talk upon a Subject your Mind knows nothing of, but is all the while in deep Contemplation of ſomething elſe? If you have, you’ve an idea of your humble Servant in both theſe ſituations; and even in this inſtant of ſcribbling. For while I’m collecting my ſcatter’d Ideas to fix on You, Lady Lovelace requires a Letter to be 243 Ii2r 243 be compos’d, concerning Tea, Drops, and other important Matters to our well-being; while my hard-to-be-gotten Frank requires a third to be enclos’d, of no leſs importance to ſocial Happineſs. In this ſituation permit me to write to You, and not think of You; or rather to have my Thoughts too much interrupted, or terrify’d, to write to you with pleaſure. For at the ſame time the Cloth is laying for Supper, on the very Table that ſupports my Elbows and my Paper, (which Mr. John every moment officiouſly diſplaces) while the brandiſh’d knives and forks put me in bodily fear.—In one word, I’ve been here a Week, and have the utmoſt impatience to hear from you, which is all I mean by this, except that
Am juſt come from New-Lodge, where I ſaw Lady H.B. upon the very pinacle of human Happineſs; a ſight I ſhould have enjoy’d extremely, if it had not been allay’d by ſeeing poor Miſs Clayton in the other extreme of human Miſery, for the loſs of her Father. How various, and how ſuſceptible is the Human Heart in Friendſhip! I participated moſt ſincerely with both; wept with the one, and ſmil’d with the other. But the miſerable Object made the deepeſt impreſſion, and remains with me ſtill.
1743-10-11Windſor-Caſtle, Oct 11, 1743.
Your Letter refreſh’d my Mind, the only part of me that wanted Refreſhment; for my good Lady L. takes thought for the Body, and is never wanting in adminiſtring thoſe material comforts. But theſe vaniſh while we’re enjoying them, or rather are no Enjoyment at all to your true Mind-indulging Epicure; at beſt, but inſipid to the Luxuries you impart, the Feaſts of the Imagination, heighten’d with the flow of Friendſhip. I only object to thoſe high Sauces you ſometimes make, which ſavour a little too much of that intoxicating ingredient, Flattery— unleſs, in return, you’ll lend a patient ear to a certain ſort of Muſic, I never can perſwade you to hearken to—your own Praiſes. While you ſooth mine (mightily inclin’d to liſten) with ſuch inſinuating Sounds, and at the ſame time forbid me to ſtrike the correſponding Chords; ’tis taking me at a diſadvantage, and allowing me no Part in the Harmony. The ſlighteſt thing, you ſay in my Favour, ſtrikes ſenſibly upon my Nature, and makes me long to reverberate the ſound.
Am I ſo happy too, as to hit off any of the nicer Movements (for I cannot drop the Metaphor)phor) 245 Ii3r 245 phor) of Lady F.W.’s compoſition? Happy indeed! tho’ I come in only among the Choruſſes, where two ſuch eminent Hands are the principal Parts.
Except religious Works, (which, bad as the World is, ’tis ſome comfort it abounds with) there are, you ſay, generally but two reaſons for printing; Vanity and Poverty. Mr. Pope’s expreſſion, I think, is, Hunger, and Requeſt of Friends—My Vanity I ſhall ſay but little of: You, who can raiſe it, can at any time ſufficiently humble it; but as to my Poverty, I could write a Volume upon the Subject For alas! I’ve only all the Neceſſaries of Life, and a few of the Conveniencies; while my Betters (with Reverence be it ſpoken) are rolling in Riches. Now ’tis plain, Gold is the only Good, becauſe every body ſeeks after it; and the firſt Queſtion people aſk you, when you come into a room, is, Are you rich?—If you are, ſit down. The Virtues follow immediately. See! they paint themſelves upon your Garment, thick as the deadly Sins upon an Inquiſition Petticoat. Every body bows, and acknowledges ’em.—And will you grudge me the means, the only means I have, of getting a Penny; I, who pant after Virtue? Who would fain be thought wiſe, magnanimous, generous, every thing that’s great and noble? But who that’s 246 Ii3v 246 that’s poor can have the Impudence to pretend to Virtue?—Therefore, ſeek ye firſt Riches, and the Appurtenances thereof, and then all the Virtues ſhall be added unto You.
I am, however, much indebted to you for your Zeal about my turning Author; and when ever I do, ſhall deſire no better Recommendation to the World than Yours. But at preſent am not ſo far gone in the Diſeaſe of Writing as to attempt any thing to the Memory of that brave Man, General Clayton; nor would I have you think my Performance upon Lord Aubrey Beauclerk, by any means, a voluntary thing. For I had ſuffer’d Lady Aubrey to aſk it, above ſeven Months before I attempted a ſingle Line; and had not ſet about it then, if I could have convinc’d her I was only incapable, not unwilling, to oblige her. So I leave her Ladyſhip to anſwer for it’s Faults; thinking my ſelf no otherwiſe accountable for ’em, than I ſhould be for breaking a Leg or an Arm, when any body inſiſted upon my walking over a Precipice.
You dare me to write to you, in proof of my Diſintereſtedneſs with regard to Pence. For the Pleaſure of hearing from you, you ſee there’s nothing I dare not do; therefore ſend you back your Defiance, whatſoever it coſts me. Three-pence to be ſure ’twill be, if you accept 247 Ii4r 247 accept my Challenge; and it may be Six-pence. But I am reſolv’d; ſet your Price, and as ’tis Happineſs, I’ll purchaſe it at any rate. Shall I give you farther Proofs of my contempt of Riches, when they come in competition with my Honours, and my Pleaſures? Or will you not rather believe, that I love, and deſire to hear from you, either with or without the Permiſſion of a Member of Parliament; and that
1743-12-12December, 12, 1743.
Finding my ſelf arriv’d ſafe at my Seat at Oxford, I can’t help caſting my Eye back, my Eye of Affection and Pity, on thoſe I’ve left behind me in Town: particularly thoſe, who are running to and fro after Happineſs; while I am ſo humble, as to ſit down contented with Peace. You, my dear madam, are one of the firſt in my Mind’s Eye, from whom I never return without ſomething better about my Heart. You bring Truths home to it, which however lightly I may ſometimes treat ’em, while I’m with you, I never fail to apply ſeriouſly in my hours of 248 Ii4v 248 of Receſs and Recollection. Particularly your Maxim, Be humble, and be happy; which I now feel the Force of, and am enjoying moſt ſenſibly. A little Raillery, I know you excuſe; the - - - - - - - - I’m ſure you’ve forgiven me; and as to what you’ve given me, I profeſs it ſtartles me every time I look at it. I’ve liv’d a matter of - - - - - - Years in this wicked World, on and off, and (except your ſelf) never had a Preſent from any of thoſe good folks, my Betters, ſave a Ring from Lady A.B. for ſinging Praiſes of her Lord, and a - - - - - - from - - - - - for ſinging Ballads to - - - - -. But what I had done to You, that you ſhould decoy me away into a Mercer’s Shop, diveſt your ſelf of all Paſſion and Affection for Guineas and Three-Pound-Twelves, and clothe me in Purple and Yellow; ſedately too, and in your right Mind, aſtoniſhes me beyond any thing I’ve met with. You charg’d me not to tell it to the World, and indeed I obey’d you; for I was unwilling to give the leaſt Ground of Suſpicion about your Intellects; tho’ I ſaw nothing wrong in your Behaviour my ſelf. You made up your Accounts with Mr. Hoare, with as much Circumſpection as if you really knew the Value of Money; and except your flinging it away again on Mr. B’s Counter, 249 Kk1r 249 Counter, I could perceive nothing in your Conduct that was at all delirious. However, I would not truſt the World with the Secret upon any account; becauſe to give, you know, is ſo diametrically oppoſite to thoſe eſtabliſh’d Maxims of to ſave, and to get, that I was afraid people would lift up their eyes ſtill more at you. A few ſaving Maxims in relation to a Part that is not at all material, they know you’re not to beat out of; but ſhould they be told how laviſh you are of the foremention’d precious Moveable, and how little Value you ſet upon a Groat, ’twould be in vain to inſiſt upon either the Goodneſs of your Heart, or the Soundneſs of your Head.—Not; ſave her Money! Nay then, the Inference is plain.
In hopes I ſhall hear of you ſoon, and that you’re truſted by your ſelf, and ſuffer’d to walk about as uſual,
1743-01-26January 26, 1743.
In good earneſt, my dear Madam, you’ll undo me; you’ll be the ruin of me, to all the intents and purpoſes of that Humility you preach. You reaſon, you convince me ’tis the very Virtue I ought to aim at; and yet pamper that very Virtue, ’till I’ve loſt it. I am humble no more. Hence, ye low-born Thoughts, that debaſe the Soul with Ideas of its Weakneſs and Imperfections, enfeebling and enervating all its purpoſes! Come, lofty Notions, and high-born Reflections! - - - - -
See, the effects of your Praiſes! I but juſt read your Letter over, and caught an Ardor enough to enflame the breaſt of a Poet, for a whole eighteen-penny Pamphlet; or a Hero for another Battle upon the Rhine. And when you’ve thus warm’d, and rais’d me, will you quench the noble Flame with the cold Virtue of Humility? When my Heart beats high with Applauſe, and is capable of any Virtue, any Enterprize, muſt I ſit meekly down, and counter-act and confound it’s Part; let down all it’s Strings, and call for my Sackcloth, and lick the Duſt?— It can never be done.I will 251 Kk2r 251
I will ſay nothing of your own Letters, for indeed I dare not; you uſe me ſo unmercifully, whenever I pour out my ſelf in Encomium or Praiſe. But as for Lady F.W. I think ’tis not fair her Ladyſhip ſhould look into all mine, unleſs ſhe’ll favour me with ſome Standard from her ſelf to write by, or give me Letters of Marque and Repriſal upon You. I’ve often try’d to ſeduce you upon that Head, but could never obtain my Wiſhes; You are ſo very perfect, ſo much above all Temptation. But ſince I can neither prevail with you to unlock your Cabinet, nor with her Ladyſhip to furniſh me with a Standard of writing, nothing ſhall her all-penetrating Genius henceforward have of me, but Praiſe and Panegyrick; ſuch Praiſe, as her Delicacy ſhall ſicken at; and ſuch Panegyrick, as ſhall be like, and yet not be, Flattery.
1743-03-07March 7, 1743.
The Pleaſure, I receive from your Correſpondence, is like that we find from ſome well reflecting Mirrour; which, whilſt it points out any little Excellence of Feature, is as faithful in diſcovering a Pimple, or a Freckle. To ſuch a Glaſs, who, in this progreſſive State Kk2 of 252 Kk2v 252 of Good to Better, would not oft repair? Who, with high Deſires, and Aims not ſhort of fair Perfection, would not here adjuſt the doubtful Sentiment, call out the wrong Idea to the Teſt, and dreſs and decorate the Mind anew?
Your Advice, to allow a place for Selfintereſt and Vanity in the Hearts of thoſe we moſt eſteem, is much too wholeſome to be diſputed; and is another of your ſhort Precepts I ſhall mark down in my Mind. But the reaſon you give for it, viz. That ’tis a nobler Principle to love a Perſon whoſe Weakneſs we’ve diſcover’d, than one we flatter over ſelves has none, is not quite ſo clear to me; and for the following Reaſons.— Excellence, either real or imaginary, is the ſole Foundation of Affection. When this Excellence diſappears, either in the Idea or the Object, the Eſteem or Affection of conſequence ceaſes. For we cannot love Imperfection, as ſuch; nor can any different Modifications of it, any adventitious Circumſtances with which it may be connected, render it in it’s own Nature amiable. If therefore ’tis nobler to love a Perſon whoſe Weakneſs we’ve diſcovere’d, ’tis nobler to love Imperfection than Perfection; Folly or Vice, rather than Wiſdom or Virtue. Conſequently all thoſe fine Ideas 253 Kk3r 253 Ideas of the amiableneſs and excellency of moral Beauty and Symmetry, are only the Dreams of Viſionaries and Enthuſiaſts; and that high intellectual Feeling, call’d the moral Senſe, the moſt ignoble Affection, or Taſte we have.— Thus far however I can readily acknowledge, that people who have diſcover’d ſome Faults or Weakneſſes, may yet have great and unblemiſh’d Virtues remaining, which may in ſome meaſure conciliate the Affections again, and ſo render them the Objects of a mixt Eſteem. A Conſideration likewiſe of our own Failings or Follies, may lead us to overlook, or forgive thoſe in others; but cannot lead us to love, what we muſt hate and condemn in our ſelves. Thus far, therefore, your Aſſertion holds good, that ’tis nobler to overlook, or pardon the Frailties of our Friends, than always to reſent ’em; but the perſon who has none, or (more properly) in whom we ſee none, is certainly the nobler Object of Eſteem and Affection.
But what ſhall I do with you, or what can I ſay to you, when you tell me you’re continually publiſhing (that is expoſing) both my public and private Sentiments; and in a manner too that I ought not to approve of, and yet can’t be angry with you for? Does not this prove that there are, in whom I can ſee ſomething 254 Kk3v 254 ſomething to find fault with, and yet have not the heart to hate ’em for?—Well, ſince you will expoſe me, be it at your peril; for ’tis incumbent on you to defend me. ’Twould be cruel to call me out of my Shades and rural Incloſures, and then leave me to be juſtled and elbow’d about in a Croud, whom I never meant to offend. I am, however, indebted to ’em for the Memory they give me, in aid of my Reveries, and the Brother to correct ’em. The former I have not found, except wanting; and the latter wears much too ſevere a Brow to be truſted with any Lays of mine. If ever I aſk him to look over any thing, which is but mighty ſeldom, it ſo diſcompoſes the Muſcles of his Face all the time he’s reading; while he, on the other hand, ſo diſconcerts all my Rhymes with his Rules of Criticiſm, and Laws of Grammar, (things I never concern my ſelf about) that now I neither puniſh nor conſult him. Seriouſly, if ’twas a thing of any Conſequence, ſo far from correcting, he ſcarce ever ſaw ſix things of my writing in his life.—But my Paper will only permit me to aſſure you how truly
1744-04-22April 22, 1744.
I’d give the World for a fair Pretence to find fault with you; but you ſin againſt all the Ties of Converſation with ſo good a Grace, and confeſs ſo honeſtly when you’ve done, that ’tis impoſſible to find out where to aim a Reproof. Were I not perfectly convinc’d of your Orthodoxy, I ſhould begin to ſuſpect you had not thoroughly abjur’d the Church of Rome and the Pretender, by your manner of ſinning and confeſſing. They of that Communion know beforehand, that ’tis but bringing a valuable Conſideration to the Prieſt, and the good Man grows blind, and abſolves in an inſtant. Now your committing theſe Enormities, of expoſing my Letters, is undoubtedly a heinous Crime againſt the Community and Fellowſhip of Wit and Humour, tho’ there ſhould be neither one or t’other found in ’em; but your manner of confeſſing and exculpating your ſelf, is enough to diſarm the Rage of an Inquiſitor. In ſhort, yours is the worſt kind of Corruption; for you bribe me againſt my ſelf. Every Letter of yours blinds and corrupts the plaineſt Dictates of my own Conſcience. And what’s ſtill worſe, were I proof againſt the 256 Kk4v 256 the Bribe, you’re ſo rich in Grace, that the Pope himſelf would have a ſecret Pleaſure in abſolving you.
The thoughts of appearing in a Court of Judicature, where the Perſon who preſides is univerſally acknowledg’d as ſupreme Judge of Wit, and is no leſs than Lady F.W. her ſelf; to hold up my Hand before that illuſtrious Perſonage, and ſtand indicted perhaps as a Plagiary, or Petty-Larcen; as a Retailer of low Spirit without a Licence, or a Counterfeit of the ſterling Senſe of my Sovereigns in Science; a Conſideration, I ſay, of this kind, is ſurely enough to diſconcert the moſt flow’ry Imagination, and turn Pope himſelf into Proſe. Yet from the Candour of my Judge, and often imploring the Favour of the Court, (as we Culprits uſe) ſome hopes of eſcaping Juſtice might poſſibly remain. But when you terrify my Pleadings with an Author-Wit, and inform me that one of the wiſer Sex is become my Inquiſitor, my Pen drops from my hand; and I expect not, in a Proteſtant Country, even the Benefit of the Clergy.—Before ’tis too late, conſider, my dear Madam, what you’ve brought me to. I told you, did not I tell you, you’d be my Ruin? But hearkening to your enticing Words, and not heeding the Advice of my Friends, I’ve gone on from one degree of Proſe to another, ’till 257 Ll1r 257 ’till at length you call for my Fetters, and order me to make my appearance the next Seſſions in Rhyme.
The influence that ſome ſorts of People have over us would be very ſurpriſing, were it not ſo notorious. I ſhould incontinently have given way to this wicked Suggeſtion of yours, and have ſung, (as one may ſay) the Solitude I love, if I was not, like my friends in Moorfields, deny’d the uſe of Pen, Ink, and Paper. Seriouſly, I’ve had a bad Cold theſe two months; and it has taken a fancy to get into my eyes. You’ll ſcarce believe it, from this long Letter; but I can no more forbear— ――like Lee, or Budgel,In durance, exile, Bedlam, or the Mint, I muſt write on.—However, plain Proſe muſt be my fate at preſent. For that (when the fit’s on) I can write without ſeeing, as I always do without thinking. But Poetry requires grander efforts. The Inſpiration ſtrains and dilates every Muſcle, and during the Operation, Bards, you know, (as Prior ſings) Have Troubles utterly unknown to thoſe,Who let their Fancy looſe in rambling Proſe.Ll I have 258 Ll1v 258
I have, however, met with a fair Copy of one of thoſe Pieces you mention, which I ſhall incloſe; for, you know, upon certain Conditions, your power is abſolute. But if Lady F. is to ſit upon my Poetical Sins too, I humbly intreat I may have Jury of Matrons; for I’ve always met with moſt favour from thoſe venerable Characters. And moreover, before her Ladyſhip pronounces the authoritative Sentence, (which methinks I hear, and tremble at) ’tis humbly conceiv’d neceſſary, that ſhe give her Charge to the Jury; and (with ſubmiſſion) a Word of Advice too at the ſame time to the poor Criminal. This, as ’tis no uncommon Circumſtance in judicial Proceedings, nor at all derogates from the Majeſty of the Bench, would be of ſingular Comfort to the poor Priſoner at the Bar. This good effect it would certainly have, that if I ſhould be ſo lucky as to be acquitted of this firſt Fact, the Advice of ſo upright and candid a Judge, ſo well ſkill’d in every part of Science, and ſo particularly learned in the poetical Laws, would leave ſuch a lively and laſting impreſſion upon my Mind, as nothing would ever efface; and be the only Means of reclaiming me from theſe bad Courſes.
This, with the humbleſt Submiſſion to her Ladyſhip and the Court, never forgetting the Deference 259 Ll2r 259 Deference, which will be always due from me to You,
Your Promiſe of anſwering my Notes, tho’ I draw upon you ſo often, gives me the greateſt Pleaſure. Such a Stock of Good-nature, as you always carry about you, will always have great Demands, and yet need never fear being exhauſted. For Good-nature is only Charity, which, you know, never fails.
1744-08-05Auguſt 5, 1744.
I Am much indebted to you for your excellent moral Lecture; which I read with more attention than, I fear, I ſometimes give to Sundays Sermons; which, tho’ of general Uſe, don’t always come up to particular Caſes. A licenc’d Orator, like a licenc’d Phyſician, has it in his power to preſcribe what Remedies he pleaſes to his Sunday’s Patients; but ’tis melancholy to be forc’d to ſwallow a Vomit, when one wants only a gentle Cathartic. But you are a Voluntier in Divinity, as the Biſhop of Cloyne is in Phyſic. Your Preſcriptions may be taken Ll2 as 260 Ll2v 260 as ſafely as Tar-Water; and, I believe, proceed from the ſame generous Motive too.
And now I’ve ſtepp’d from Divinity to Tar- Water, as his Lordſhip has from Tar-Water to the Trinity, I long to know if you’ve taken it for your bodily Diſorders; for I think you’ve few of the Mind, but what you can cure without the help of a Doctor. For my own part, my Mind’s too ill at eaſe, at preſent, to expect any good effects from the common Methods of Preſcription; and yet I believe all the Virtues of Tar-Water, upon the ſingle Teſtimony of it’s great generous promulger.
Lady H.B. is grown quite a Philoſopher— ſince Prince Charles paſs’d the Rhine. I heartily wiſh ſhe may keep up her Spirits; or, which is equal to ’em, a certain Indolence of Mind, which ſhe loves to indulge, ’till her Lord returns. For my part, my Senſations are ſo alive and awake to Pain, at preſent, that even Shadows diſconcert me. Nay, I’ve waſted I know not how much good Chriſtian Pity upon her Ladyſhip, notwithſtanding I was at that time an Object my ſelf; which is provoking, to think one has been pitying a Philoſopher or beſtowing one’s Charity upon one that does not want.
And now I talk of Ladies Senſations, pray do you know any thing of Lady Egmont? Sister of Sir Philip Parker & Wife of the first Earl of Egmont. I think I’ve 261 Ll3r 261 I’ve heard you mention her Ladyſhip, and want to be acquainted with her Hiſtory much. She was here a week or ten days for Dr. Frewin’s Advice, for a violent Pain in her Head; and not being able to go to Church, my Brother had the Honour to adminiſter her Spiritual things. Going by the Common-Jail one day, ſhe gave a Priſoner, who was begging his Fees at the Gate, half a Crown; and the next, enquiring what they amounted to, pay’d ’em, and releas’d him. Theſe Things, like Tar- Water, awaken one’s Attention; and make one particularly curious in enquiring into the Hiſtory of their Author. Her Ladyſhip, I muſt likewiſe mention, honour’d my Mother and I with a Viſit; who being quite Strangers to her, I’m at a loſs to account for ſuch a marvellous act of Condeſcenſion. For to be ſure, Counteſſes, in their natural State, can have no Ideas of Aſſociation with common Mortals; they muſt be regenerate, before they can ſpeak, or think like humbler Folks. In ſhort, her Ladyſhip appears to me to be one of thoſe ſort of People, whoſe Senſations are too delicate to be quite in Raptures with this World, and too juſt not to feel ſome important Hints in relation to another; and therefore being convinc’d there is ſuch a thing as Pain, feels for her ſelf, and for every thing elſe in miſery. This ſeems to confirm 262 Ll3v 262 confirm a Tenet I’ve long held, tho’ no body believes me, that Happineſs and Miſery are equally diſtributed amongſt us here: that is, take the whole of a Life, with the different Degrees of Senſation, Conſtitution, and other adventitious Circumſtances, a King is no happier than a Beggar, nor a Beggar more miſerable than a King. Extraordinary Acts, or Habits of Virtue, I fear, are no Exceptions in the Caſe; for Virtue ſuffers, rather than is rewarded here; and therefore it’s proper Reward is reſerv’d for another State. As the Havock and Miſery, that extraordinary vicious Diſpoſitions introduce here, with Impunity, will be puniſh’d with proportionate Durations of Pain hereafter. In hopes that you and I ſhall meet in thoſe eternal Fields of Pleaſure, where no Pain approaches, I remain (not quite a Philoſopher in this School of Patience) moſt truly,
You conſole me much in regard to my Memory; and if great Geniuſſes, as you obſerve, would only date their Works, they would not be ſo often accus’d of ſtealing from one another. I remember, in an Epiſtle to Lord Maſham, ſome time ago, I had this Couplet, Envies 263 Ll4r 263 Envies the very Beggar at his gate,Who hardly knows the Luxury to eat.
I thought the Image entirely my own, and was greatly rejoyc’d in the Contemplation of it: but about two Months after, out comes Pope to Murray, with the very Thought, only better clothes on; Call’d Dog! the Beggar at the Door,And envy’d Thirſt and Hunger to the poor.
and ſo Mr. Pope, being the greater Genius, had all the honour of it. But as he’s dead now, I won’t diſpute it with him.—The plain Truth about my Memory, which becauſe it ſteals ſometimes, is reckon’d a good one, is only this: ’tis ſo very bad, that I aſſure you, I don’t know when I ſteal. I’ve ſometimes detected my ſelf in other people’s Works, to my ſurprize.
Lady F. is in the right. There is indeed a great deal that ought to be ſtruck out. Lady Sunderland …Titchborne, last Wife of Charles Earl of Sunderland, and remarried to Sir Robert Sutton. is good-natur’d; and I ſhould honour her for that good Quality, even if ſhe had no other. But I rather think her Complaiſance to You, who introduces me into all this 264 Ll4v 264 this good Company, (not aſham’d of an humble Friend) occaſion’d her not expreſſing any diſlike.
1744-10-28October 28, 1744.
If I had been alone when I receiv’d your your laſt Favour, I believe I ſhould have ſhed a Tear over it. That kind ſympathizing ſentence, I have felt for you ever ſince your laſt, convey’d ſuch a pleaſing Anguiſh to my Heart, as I know not how to deſcribe, otherwiſe than that it was one of the moſt delicate Senſations I ever felt.—Your Obſervations upon the Nature of Advice, in the firſt ſallies of Grief, are too well founded. We know we ought to take it, we love the Friend that gives it, we’ve a farther pleaſure in ſeeing a Friend ſo far intereſted as to give it; and yet when the Shaft lies deep, and the Caſe is ſuch that in Truth and Decency we ought to be afflicted, there muſt be ſomething extremely ſelfiſh, or affected, to want Sorrow upon ſuch occaſions.
Lady H. is a better Philoſopher by half. She either not feels, or not tells. I tell all I know; and when I feel, cannot even affect Inſensibility. However, ſhe begins to ſpeak out 265 Mm1r 265 out now, and own there is ſuch a thing as Pain. But to ſee her Ladyſhip nothing mov’d in ſuch a conjuncture as hers, while I was troubled above meaſure at mine, and catching panicks from Phantoms and Echoes, mortify’d me extremely. But I love her prodigiouſly, now ſhe begins to talk like a human creature; that is, like a Being, that has two Principles of Action, and fluctuates alternately between both. To let in the full force of the Paſſions upon the Mind, is wild work; but to ſtifle the poor Infants quite, becauſe they’re apt to be a little wayward, is unnatural. I love to ſee Nature’s Children, as well as the Face of Nature agitated a little; tho’ I veil my head, when Thunder ſhakes the Pole.—Your Philoſophy digeſts infinitely better with my Conſtitution; for while you fortify the weakneſſes of human Nature, you make allowances for ’em. You don’t tell me, ’tis wrong to burn when I’m in a Fever; but having found the Sympton upon me, apply a Medicine, which, like Tar-Water, cools and comforts at the ſame time. Continue your kind Preſcriptions; I find my ſelf much the eaſier for ’em; and have ſome hopes, as you’ve already ſympathiz’d, you will ſoon rejoice with
1744-02-03February 3, 1744.
I’ve been long abridg’d in one of the moſt elegant Pleaſures I have, my Correſpondence; but have felt no Silence ſo properly as Yours. A ſucceſſion of teazing, as well as painful Affairs, has kept the Spirits of Philoſophy up to ſo exalted a pitch, that I’ve been abſent to moſt other things, but the fear of being forgot by You. Indeed I had told you ſuch diſmal ſtories of my ſelf of late, that I could not but acknowledge you had reaſon to be comforted in my ſilence. But I revere your Patience, I honour your Sentiments, I love your Letters; and tho’ I cannot reduce ’em to practice, I contemplate them as a Rule of Faith; and put more Truſt in You, tho’ a Woman, than ever I did in Man.—Lady H. never tells me a word about you; only in one Letter ſaid, ſhe had ſeen you but once ſince you came from Bath. But not a word did ſhe tell me of your Arm; nor I dare ſay ever dreamt of any Blood, but what was to flow from her Lord’s Wounds. I’m rejoyc’d you’ve recover’d the uſe of it, both for your own ſake and mine. Your Sentiments are ſo delicate, and your Heart (as far as I know of it) ſo 267 Mm2r 267 ſo honeſt, that ’tis pity you ſhould ever want a Hand to expreſs either.
I’ve always ſo much to ſay to you, when I write, that I ought to apoſtrophize your Patience, did I not know that you love to exerciſe your ſelf in all Virtue. But this I deſign to be a ſhort Letter, (O may it prove ſo!) having hopes of ſeeing you next Month. I’m going to Town to have a Conference with no leſs a perſon than Dr. Young, upon an affair that is to endure for ever. But hope you’ll let me have the pleaſure of hearing from you, before I grow Immortal; becauſe I know not what changes and tranſmigrations may happen to me, when I come to tread on Stars, and talk with Poets. I’ll only add, the ſight of your Hand gave me ſo much pleaſure in this mortal State, that I hope you’ll never loſe the uſe of your Arm, ’till I’m rais’d above it.
Lady F.W. does me higher Honours than perhaps ſhe means me; as great Souls diffuſe Pleaſure whether they will or no. Lady H.B. is quite ſilent, and I have not time to interrupt her Repoſe. All the notion I have of her Ladyſhip at preſent, is, that ſhe’s very fat, and ſhort breath’d.
’Tis a moſt ſenſible Mortification, that day after day paſſes by me, and I can’t be ſo happy as to ſee You. My laſt reſolution every Night is to wait upon you to Morrow; but my frailties and diſappointments are too great not to render the path to Virtue and You equally difficult. You are ill, and I am rude and ungrateful; that is, I neither call, or ſend to enquire after You, and ſo am the very Perſon I hate. The reſt of this Day, and I fear to Morrow, are deſtin’d to the duties of Mortification, Tea, Cards, and a Supper. ’Tis Lent with me all the year to be oblig’d to ſit ſo long in a Place. The next, am to go to Hammerſmith, about this buſineſs of Immortality; ſo am deſirous of ſettling my worldly Affairs firſt, for fear I ſhould be above ’em afterwards. Lady H. ſays, I hinder’d her going to You yeſterday; which is a ſcandal upon my good Name—But dinner’s upon table; and I write this only to give You to underſtand how much I love and honour You, and that I hate to be ſo near You, and can’t have the pleaſure of ſeeing You.
1745-07-22Oxford, July 22, 1745.
I’ve been trying to ſequeſter an hour to my dear Friend upon Richmond-Green, ever ſince I came home; but find it difficult to riſe to a ſtate of Contemplation, where ſo many things about me are in Action. ’Tis You only, that can abſtract your ſelf from the ſeveral vortices, and ſhoot away from orb to orb, with as much agility as if You were no part of the Syſtem. One moment immerſt in books of Accounts; and the next with Fontenelle, and all his Worlds: this inſtant on Earth, among drums and routs; the next, ſilent and ſoft, and ſoar’d to Heaven. I’ve often took notice how ſmall a portion of time you allow yourſelf at your Toilet; and how precipitately caps, handkerchiefs, and gloves are hurry’d on. But when you dreſs your Mind, how curious of your Ornaments! and what a croud of goodly Tire-Men for your attendants! Clarke ſets all right about your Head; and the good Biſhop of Cambray holds the glaſs, and ſhews you your Heart. While Mr. Locke aſcertains the faſhion of your Ideas, ſettles your Modes of thinking, and gives to every part of Speech its proper force and figure.
Thus much came, before I look’d over yours, to ſee whereabouts to begin an anſwer. And now 270 Mm3v 270 now I’ve read it, dare not truſt my ſelf. Every ſentence whets my edge, and I could go on for this half hour without thinking; but that I hate to be at eaſe and laughing, when any thing I love is in ſuch Diſtreſs as poor Lady H.B. muſt be, while there are no accounts from my Lord. The Solitude, ſhe treated me with while ſhe went to town, was beyond any thing I’ve felt this twelvemonth. O that you had been but a Mile off, (for I would not have had an Angel in the houſe with me, if I muſt have found Converſation for it) that I might have communicated my contentments once a day, and then retir’d into my ſelf again!—Tears—how could you have ſuch a Thought? What, for the World! The London I left behind me!—Tears were far from me. ’Twas all mild, complacent, and heavenly. The Lodge itſelf a Paradiſe, and then in its higheſt (which is next to immortal) Bloom. Sweet was the breath of morn, and ſweet the dewy eve. I paſs’d the day among jeſſamins and roſes, in grots or arbors, to the melody of Nature’s Songſters; and at night read, or wrote to my Sovereign, from whom I deriv’d theſe bleſſings of Quiet and Liberty. Pray’d little, but often felt the ſilent and ſweet Emotions of Praiſe and Thankſgiving. I’m glad you forgot that ſentence about weeping the Follies of the World, and deploring its Loſs; Senſationstions 271 Mm4r 271 tions ſo far from my breaſt, that if it had not been for about as many choſen Spirits as Noah took into the Ark with him, I ſhould have forgot there was ſuch a World in being. Even my Friend - - - - - - - could not tempt me back again, tho’ it was to a Palace. The only Pain I felt (for every other I left behind me at Hyde Park corner) was, when I caſt my eyes back upon the gentle Pair, once happy tenants of theſe Shades; but now drive from their Paradiſe by ſome evil Angel,— perhaps never to return! This Thought I could not bear. But when I heard my Lord was order’d into the Field (a ſecret reſerv’d from her Ladyſhip) it rous’d all the noble Ardor within me; and asham’d of my inglorious Eaſe, I took the Field too, a Voluntier among his Hay-makers. I was under Arms, and in the Trenches (very properly ſo, for ever Furrow was full of Water) ſeveral Days; and acquitted my ſelf with ſuch Spirit and Reſolution, that the commander in chief, our Field Mareſchal Richard, ſoon honour’d me with the command of a Company.
I begg’d her Ladyſhip would communicate the poetical accounts of the Deluge to you, when ſhe ſaw you, but did not imagine ſhe’d think ’em worth a Tranſcript. Am glad however that you approve of the Author’s Vein, which at that time flow’d pretty ſpontaneouſly; and 272 Mm4v 272 and when any thing elſe comes, you’ll certainly hear of it.—I’ll allow you to rally my Wit as much as you pleaſe, if you’ll only write to me all you know, and think. I like my Epitaph extremely, and will aſk no body’s Opinion about it; for I won’t have a word alter’d. Love your Proſe of all things, but ’tis a ſhame to live at Richmond, and not be Poetical. My Rhymes would not ſucceed with the World, if I was to try ’em. However, am highly ſenſible of the partiality you ſhew to my Plants of both kinds, and the Sun-ſhine you afford ’em.
I Rejoice in Lady H’s earthly bleſſings, but muſt not I give You joy too of more worldly Goods? For I read in the papers t’ other day, that - - - - - - - had given - - - - - - a place in the Pay-Office, worth I know not how many hundred pounds a year. ’Tis vaſtly provoking, to ſee how the goods of this World are diſtributed. As for her Ladyſhip, ſhe had all manner of Comforts and Conveniencies before; and you had ten times as much as you wanted, or ever could want, for any Gratifications of your own. How then could you think of aſking for more? For to be ſure, theſe ſort of things come only by Prayer. 273 Nn1r 273 Prayer. For my part, I had only a little Garden, fit for my Mind, fit for my Muſe: but one of your ſmall Gentry, a high German Practitioner, fell a building a Wall; and happening to have an unnatural Craving upon him, unluckily miſtook the Caſe, and abridg’d me of half on’t. And ſo the things of this World go round! Thoſe that have much, to them ſhall be given; and thoſe that have little, from them ſhall be taken, even that which they have. However, I can’t ſay I murmur at your overflowings, becauſe you not only make a good uſe of ’em, but came honeſtly by ’em; I’m only ſorry, or rather rejoyce, in that they will a little intangle your immaterial Part, and ſo bring you down upon a Level with us Mortals again. While you are here, I’d fain have you partake a little of the Soil, and cling kindly to the Earth about you; but how you great Folks will manage, when you come to drop your Trappings and your Furniture, I can’t tell. We, who came naked into the World, and are likely to go out of it again juſt as we came, have nothing to retard our flight; but mix cordially with the Ether about us, and ſhoot at once into Spirit and pure Being. But Lady H. and you, who are clogg’d, and cloath’d upon again with the Incumbrances of Riches, muſt have many Struggles and ſuffocating Fits, before you can Nn think 274 Nn1v 274 think of reaching the third Region, the pure Ether of all. But I would not abſolutely diſhearten you, as Riches are very good things honeſtly got, and innocently us’d; all my Concern is, leaſt you ſhould be ſtung with the Thorns, or choak’d with the Cares, that ſpring up with ’em. If ever they ſhould lay hold of your Heart, they’d cling like a Polypus; ’tis at preſent much too generous, much too honeſt for ſuch Society. But for fear you ſhould be weary of mine (as people are apt to ſleep over moral Lectures) I haſten to releaſe you,
1745-08-15September 15, 1745.
From the flurries of Races, and that running after ſomething, commonly call’d Happineſs, lo! I reſume my Pencil in order to retouch your Picture, ſince I find you a little diſcontented with ſome of my late ſketches. But how ſhall I paint you? Shall I fancy you a Machine, that Mrs. - - - - - winds up every morning, and ſets a going; or an amiable intelligent Being, that has the Springs of Motion within it ſelf? If you’ll never allow your ſelf 275 Nn2r 275 ſelf any Merit, nor let me fancy any for you, give me a Reaſon why I ſhould love or honour You; for I profeſs I can’t tell. Shall I pay my Adorations to your Rank, your Fortune, or the good Dinners you give me? With all my Heart, for indeed I’m indebted to you upon each of theſe accounts. But if you’d have me love, or eſteem you; truſt me, my dear Madam, it muſt be for ſomething higher than the higheſt of theſe. When you change your Style,—of Life, I mean,—perhaps I may change mine; but as you ſay you have not been at Court yet, I need not ſtudy a new language. I was in hopes ſome Demon or other had tempted you thither, not that I’ve any Grudge to You or It; but becauſe I’d have all your Virtues try’d, and all your Paſſions tempted. Till they are, we neither know our ſelves, nor are known of others; as I readily agree with You. We’ve now the ſatisfaction of ſeeing our honour’d Friend, who was bred there, in (what I reckon) her higheſt ſtate of Probation; and I’ve ſo good an opinion of the ſoundneſs of her Head, and the ſameneſs of her Heart, that I think a few additional Acres won’t ſpoil ’em. But who can ſay? If they ſhould, ſhe has more to anſwer for than moſt people; not only as ſhe has receiv’d more, but as having rais’d our ExpectationsNn2 tations 276 Nn2v 276 tations higher. For my part, I keep my eye ſteadfaſtly upon her, to ſee how Riches operate upon a Mind I think I know, and I’m ſure I love. Whether of an aſtringent quality, and contract the Fibres of the Heart; or whether they paſs eaſily thro’ their proper Channels, and diffuſe Life and Chearfulneſs to every thing within their reach. In weak Habits, and cold Complexions, they’re apt to purge off the good Diſpoſitions a little too precipitately; but upon a ſound Conſtitution, as I take her Ladyſhip’s to be, they muſt operate as a Cordial, and comfort and reſtore the beneficent Paſſions; which, for want of Power to exert themſelves, often grow faint, and at laſt die away. I don’t doubt but they’ll have this effect upon her Ladyſhip; but if they ſhould not, I can only add, that God Almighty gave her good Diſpoſitions, but the Devil ſent her Riches, and ſpoilt ’em all.
After all, as you obſerve, I believe we had as good take this World as we find it, and make the beſt of our way into a better. Nobody will believe me, but I ſtill ſay, all Happineſs is equal here. The difference will be hereafter. Outward Circumſtances ſignify nothing. ’Tis all at Home, in the Head, or the Heart, the keen or the blunted Senſation. The higheſt Characters have their Chagrins, as 277 Nn3r 277 as well as the loweſt; and what you mention, in regard to a royal Garden, can move your honeſt Indignation a little, as well as the Loſs of a Piece of free Land mine. You ſay I can indulge all the Pleaſures of my Imagination in half a Garden, as well as in a whole one. ’Tis very true; I have as lively Ideas, and my Notions of Virtue or Vice are juſt the ſame. But if a frightful-looking Man comes and tells me, I will have a Piece of that Ground you’re walking upon; I’ll diſpute it with him, tho’ it were but an Inch. The Injury with regard to Me is not all; ’tis the Inſult upon Honour and Honeſty, which every one is concern’d to diſcountenance. In ſhort, ’tis the right or the wrong Notions, the good or the bad Actions, that muſt conſtitute that homefelt Happineſs I was ſpeaking of; and when theſe are once ſecur’d, ’tis not a half-penny matter whether you’re worth one Acre, or ten.
I beſeech you don’t be an hundred Years a writing to me, becauſe your Letters, ſingly, refreſh me greatly; and the Bundle together is my Body of Ethics.
1746-11-14November 14, 1746.
I Thank you, my dear Madam, for a moſt excellent Letter, as well as a moſt welcome inſtance of your Regard for me. At leaſt, I will flatter my ſelf I’ve ſome ſhare in your Friendſhip, as ’tis one of the beſt Pleaſures I have, and would indulge (with your permiſſion) as long as I live. Am entirely of your Opinion in regard to ſome of our late Converſations, and think moreover that ’tis the eaſieſt thing imaginable to compaſs what we call Happineſs here. But at the ſame time am equally perſwaded, that the Perſon whoſe views are chain’d down to this Life, and whoſe groveling plan has no connection with Eternity, not only the moſt miſerable, but but the moſt abject of Beings. This preference ſeems to me to be, not ſo much for want of a Taſte for moral Truths, as of Attention to ’em. Every body ſeems to be convinc’d of ’em at firſt view; at leaſt, for my own part, I am ſtruck with their Beauty whenever they appear to me, and feel a warmth for their Intereſts, like the Enthuſiaſm of a Lover. Among ſeveral noble Images of this kind, in the Pleaſures of the Imagination’gination’, 279 Nn4r 279 gination, I never could read the following without being moſt ſenſibly touch’d.――Is ought ſo fair In all the dewy landſcapes of the Spring, In the bright eye of Veſper, or the Morn, In Nature’s faireſt Forms, is ought ſo fair As virtuous Friendſhip; as the candid Bluſh Of him, who ſtrives with Fortune to be juſt; The graceful Tear, that ſtreams for others Woe; Or the mild Majeſty of private Life?—
Theſe ſtrike, and convince at firſt View, at leaſt, they have that effect upon my Compoſition; but ’tis no uncommon Caſe for people to ſeem, nay even to reliſh, approve, admire,— and the very next moment forget. Some predominant Keenneſs intervenes, ſome freſh Taſte ſucceeds; and neither the one, nor the other being ſettled habits in the Mind, but a ſort of deſultory Emotions, ’tis no wonder if we fluctuate alternately between both. What ever there is of Virtue in our Compoſition, muſt be the effect of habit and conſideration, of choice and circumſpection; and much oftner ſtill, of Oppoſition to our natural Taſtes and Tendencies. Even tho’ theſe in themſelves (abſtracted from other Conſiderations) may be right and virtuoustuous 280 Nn4v 280 tuous Senſations. But ’twou’d take up too much time at preſent to purſue this Point.
You’re ſo loſt of late to this ſublunary World, that I’ve been thinking whether ’tis not a fruitleſs attempt to endeavour to find you any where below the Stars. Where to direct this to you, I ſcarce know; and yet to have a Letter of yours ſo long in my Poſſeſſion, and not in my Power to acknowledge it, is vaſtly diſagreeable to one ſo ſenſible of your Favours as I am. ’Tis dated --08-11August the 11th, almoſt ever ſince which time I’ve been from Home, but was not ſo lucky as to meet with any one who knew where to fix you. Even Lady H.B. with whom I had the pleaſure to ſpend a month, knew as little of you as I did. As you ſeem’d much embarraſs’d with teazing Affairs by your laſt, I hope this will find you enjoying that ſweet Senſation, Peace, among a thouſand other good things I wiſh you. In the mean time, don’t be ſo good a Chriſtian as to hate me for my different ſentiments in ſome few religious Matters. If that is a Mark, I am indeed too much an Infidel not to love you, tho’ we differ. I write this in a hurry, becauſe I’d catch you before you go; but wiſh you’d order me to look out for a Houſe for you ſomewhat hereabouts. See, how intereſted my 281 Oo1r 281 my notions of Friendſhip are! But theſe are Doctrines I can ſubſcribe to, clear and conſiſtent in themſelves, and connected with the general Laws of Benevolence, which go on in a regular progreſſion, and link the Social with the Divine.
1750-05-05May 5, 1750.
All Hurry and Confuſion as I am, I’ve an Impatience to reſume our correſpondence; for I always find, that the moment I loſe ſight of You, I long to hear from You. You told me I ſhould, and that’s Pleaſure to come. I love Hope; ’tis one of the prettieſt of all the Paſſions.
The Thought, that you have not got a Houſe for the Summer yet, is another Pleaſure; for I’ve been hoping ever ſince, that you won’t get one above three or four Miles from Oxford. For which reaſon I began enquiring after Houſes almoſt as ſoon as I left Hyde-Park- Corner; and full of this Hope, will aſk every body I meet, ’till I deſpair. Could I hear of any place you’d like, within the diſtance of a Walk, and you know I don’t affect the ſhorteſt,Oo eſt 282 Oo1v 282 eſt, how much ſure and certain Satisfaction would it afford me! There I might often have the Pleaſure of ſeeing You, and You me, if you pleaſe; there, far from the Buſy, the Idle, and the Troubleſome, we might walk and converſe with Nature, and her unaffected Children; and there, abſtracted from the little Syſtems about us, raiſe our Ideas to the larger Orbs of Being, ’till by degrees we ſhoot into the World of Spirits, and loſe our Way in the Contemplation of pure Intellect See what a Jaunt my Imagination has already led you! and what a pleaſing Picture it has form’d for itſelf! What pity ’tis ’twill exiſt no where elſe!
Surely nothing was ever ſo good-natur’d as your lending me my Letters again! I long’d much to ſee ſomething belonging to You in my book, and have lov’d you for indulging me ever ſince. And tho’ in my Precipitancies I forget ’em, I valu’d ’em too much to let any body fetch ’em but my ſelf. Indeed now I do value them, and for two reaſons: firſt, becauſe you’ve thought ’em worth preſerving, which I never dreamt of; and next, becauſe they’ll tell the World I had the honour of converſing with one of the moſt amiable Characters in it. Some people have a trick of obliging you, without pleaſing; but your doing this, in ſuch a goodnatur’d way, is like every thing elſe You do: You 283 Oo2r 283 You always double a Favour by your manner of doing it.
In ſhort, every thing within your reach is the happier for you. My poor Relation, who never ſaw you, or ever will ſee you, ’till you meet in Heaven, bleſſes you every day. Your repeated Bounty, with the little I’ve borrow’d from the Public (which I’ll pay again in Wit— if I can; if not, ſuch as my good Friends find, they’re welcome to) has pour’d Joy and Gladneſs into her Heart at ſeventy-three. I know you don’t love to hear your own praiſes, and will never forgive me for publiſhing this Letter; but to mortify you ſtill more, ſee I join my ſelf in the Panegyric. I’m rather inclin’d to hate my ſelf; and the farther I go, the leſs I feel my ſelf enamour’d. But ſuch little Incidents as theſe reconcile me again to this Compoſt of Clay; and even my ſpirit rekindles, while I ſee thoſe I love engag’d in the ſame Plan. Bear with this Nonſenſe, if you can; if not, burn it,
This will travel towards you in a Pot of Butter, but if it ſhould happen to be greaſy, ’twill burn the better.
Letters to the Hon. Miſs Lovelace.285 Oo3r 285
A Correſpondence with You, after much ſollicitation, had been a Satisfaction equal to my Vanity; but there has been ſomething ſo generous in your manner of complying with my Requeſt, that I’m at a Loſs how to acknowledge it—otherwiſe than by reſolving for the future to truſt every thing to your Generoſity. And this I shall effectually do, every time I oblige my ſelf this way. I have been too well inform’d of the Juſtneſs of your Taſte, not to have had ſome Fears as to the ſucceſs of my former Attempts; but thoſe Fears will all vaniſh when I conſider, that the ſame Good-nature, which firſt admitted me to the honour of a Correſpondent, will alſo incline you to overlook the critical Faults of one, who will promiſe to endeavour to pleaſe. As for the reſt, whatever may tend to it’s Continuance, or promote Chearfulneſs and gold Humour, I ſhall, for my own ſake, endeavour to obſerve; promiſing at the ſame time that nothing rude, or indecent ſhall ever come near you.And 286 Oo3v 286
And now, ’tis time to look about me. I begin to conſider my ſelf as one, who has found out a rich Mine, but has not Materials to carry on the Workmanſhip. This indeed I ought to have conſider’d before; but our eagerneſs, in the purſuit of Pleaſure, generally makes us overlook the Means of enjoying it. I ought to have ſat down ſeriouſly, and calculated the expences of Wit and Pleaſantry I muſt neceſſarily be at, to furniſh out Entertainment for ſo nice a Taſte as yours: or, like a prudent General, have firſt conſider’d my Strength, before I had been ſo improvident as to hazard an Engagement. Your obliging Epiſtle has already given me ſuch a formidable view of your Forces, that I’m begining beforehand to call out for Mercy; or, at leaſt, think it adviſeable to bring you to capitulate. In ſhort, I dare not proceed, unleſs you’ll ſubſcribe to the following Articles; or, to give it a more magnificent Air, if you pleaſe, we’ll call it a Treaty.
Article I. That whereas the original Right of Trafficking in Wit and Humour has, from time immemorial, remain’d in the Hands of a certain Nation, that ſhall be nameleſs: We, who are likely to be great ſufferers thereby, unleſs the ſaid Traffick be reſtrain’d under proper Regulations, do humbly propoſe, that for 287 Oo4r 287 for the future, it may not be employ’d to the diſturbance or moleſtation of Us, or Our Tranquility.
2. And whereas, by the preſent Situation of our Affairs, we are ſomewhat humbled in our own Opinion; we conceive it but juſt and reaſonable, that our Conquerors ſhould treat us with Compaſſion, and not expoſe our Weakneſſes to the neighbouring Nations.
3. That on the contrary, there may be a free and uninterrupted Commerce carry’d on between us; and that We, on our Parts, may modeſtly expect all the Profits of the Trade.
4. That this Commerce may continue during the ſpace of ninety and nine Years, from the Date hereof; and as much longer as our Occaſions ſhall require.
5. That if, on any Emergency, we ſhould happen to beg, borrow, or ſteal from any of our neighbouring Nations, or even from our Conquerors themſelves, and pretend to vend thoſe Commodities for our own Wares; that They ſhall make no Repriſals, but in return, give us double the Value in their own genuine Manufacture.
6. And that if at any time our Occaſions ſhould oblige us to draw upon them faſter than our Credit will bear; that they ſhall never refuſe our Notes on Pretence of want of Specie; 288 Oo4v 288 Specie; and in return for their great Clemency, we will promiſe to anſwer all theirs on the whiteſt gilt Paper we can get.
All that remains now, is, for You to ſet your Signature to this Treaty, which, as ’tis modeſtly calculated with a view only to my own Intereſt, will moſt certainly be punctually obſerv’d by me.—’Tis odd, you’ll ſay, for a State ſo newly form’d, and in ſo weak a Condition, to talk of Terms; but our more powerful Neighbours will, I hope, remember, that we treat with Pen in hand—However, without a Metaphor, I believe you’d be very glad of a Ceſſation for this time, as well as I am of an Opportunity of ſubſcribing my ſelf. &c;
1732-11-09Fern-Hill, November9, 1732.
What ever may have prevented me, I hope you’ll impute my not acknowledging your laſt Favour ſooner, to any thing rather than an Inſenſibility of it. The Pleaſure I’ve already found, and much more that I expect to find, makes me regret every Intervalterval 289 Pp1r 289 terval of this agreeable Correſpondence. Your Letters are like a ſplendid Feaſt, which I ſit down to with a keen Appetite, and in the end make a moſt comfortable Meal of ’em. But I know not how it is, like a true Epicure, even in the firſt hour of Digeſtion, I’m apt to wiſh for a ſecond Courſe; but being depriv’d of that, comfort my ſelf with the Thoughts of ſetting it by cold for the next Day. Theſe things being duly attended to, I hope, as my Appetite increaſes, your Bill of Fare will increaſe too; for I love to ſee a great deal of that which is Good, and ’twill be cruel to let me ſtarve in the midſt of Plenty.
It would now perhaps, in ſtrictneſs, become me to reply to ſome few of thoſe Compliments you’re pleaſed to make me; but I have ſeveral weighty reaſons for not doing it. Firſt, I conceive ’twould be great Ill-manners to contradict you; and to ſay I don’t deſerve ’em, would, in effect, be telling you that you have a very undiſtinguiſhing Taſte. The firſt I won’t do, for my own ſake; and the latter I can by no means admit of, for reaſons every bit as good. So that for my own private Satisfaction, I think it adviſable to acquieſce in every thing of that kind; the Pleaſure of undeceiving our ſelves being no ways equalPp qual 290 Pp1v 290 qual to that of being perpetually well-deceiv’d. And this it is, which conſtitutes the very Quintence of human Happineſs. For now ſuppoſe, after muſtch Study and Application, I ſhould be able to find out (as ten to one but I might) that you had a much better Opinion of me than I deſerv’d; what Satisfaction could ſuch a Reflection afford me? Had not I better ſit down contented with your Approbation, without enquiring exactly whether ’tis juſt or not; or whether it has any, or no Foundation? In ſhort, upon the ſtricteſt enquiry into the Nature of human Happineſs, I’ve generally found, that Credulity is the firſt ſtep towards it; it being not very material, in many Caſes, why we are pleas’d, if we find we really are ſo. For theſe important Reaſons, have judg’d it expedient not to examine too nicely whether I deſerve the things you ſay of me, or not; for ’tis ſuch an agreeable Deception to think you mean ’em, that I would not for the World be undeceiv’d. I only wiſh your Application of what the Czar ſaid to the King of Sweden had been as juſt, as ’tis pretty. If I remember, the Character Voltaire gives of the former is, that He was as remarkable for his Clemency, as that glorious Madman was for his Courage; and choſe rather to be lov’d than fear’d: a Parallel you forgot to take notice of— In 291 Pp2r 291 In ſhort, I’ve been able to make one Obſervation from the whole, vaſtly ſoothing to my ſelf; and that is, That you’re neither too good to be approach’d, nor too proud to be pleas’d. For which Reaſon, as I’ve hitherto been ſo happy as to have your Approbation, it ſhall, for the future, be my conſtant Endeavour to deſerve it, as long as I ſhall have the honour of ſubſcribing my ſelf, &c;
1732-02-10Fern-Hill, Feb. 10, 1732.
The Pleaſure, your laſt Favour gave me, ought not to have been paſs’d over in ſilence ſo long, had not my Benevolencies been prevented by a violent Cold, which I can’t yet get rid of. The common Remedies have had ſo little Effect, that now I’m convinc’d that nothing, but a Preſcription from You, can relieve me. The firſt, I had the honour to receive from you, cur’d me of a violent Fit of the Tooth-ach; which, by reading over only three times, charm’d away the Pain. Another, I remember, in the Month of November, diſcomfited a tedious fit of the Spleen; and inſenſibly diſpers’d five hundred gloomy Ideas, which Pp2 are 292 Pp2v 292 are ſometimes of fatal Conſequence at that Seaſon of the Year. Your laſt but one cur’d me of three ſeveral Diſorders at once; and your laſt of all has given me Spirits ever ſince. So that when you conſider of what vaſt Efficacy a Line from You is, I’m perſuaded you’ll take Pen in Hand, and preſcribe for me immediately. Eſpecially as the Caſe ſeems to be deſperate, and requires ſpeedy application. The Doctors I’ve hitherto conſulted are either not agreed, as to the Nature of my Diſorder, or elſe differ with regard to the Remedies. Some are of Opinion, that a Diſcharge of ſome of the Humours by Phlebotomy, or Perſpiration, would be proper. Others affirm, a dark Room and clean Straw would have a better Effect But they all agree, that the Seat of the Diſorder is in the Brain; and therefore finding me much adicted to rhyming, ſince my Illneſs, have allow’d me free uſe of Pen, Ink, and Paper; and according as I find the Humours flow, have given me full liberty to blot as much as I pleaſe. Yeſterday great quantities of my Diſorder came away in the following Verſes; and I’ve found my Head much eaſier ever ſince. You told me in your laſt, you had the misfortune to fall down ſtairs; and as every Action of Yours is of Importance to me, ſo this has reliev’d my Brain of ſome Rhymes, which might otherwiſe 293 Pp3r 293 otherwiſe have been of dangerous Conſequence to Church or State. The ſubject will not admit of much Variety; but I could not bear the thought of your falling down Stairs in Proſe.
1733-09-08Oxford, September 8, 1733.
I Am not ſure I ought to trepaſs upon your Tranquility ſo ſoon; but I’ve a great Inclination to it, and that’s with Me, a tolerable good Reaſon. I’ve ſpent the afternoon very ſilently in a great deal of Company; and am now retir’d to my Cloſet to talk. Happy, if Miſs L. would likewiſe retire from the Croud to hear me. My Company was a Divine, a Phyſician, one old Woman, and three young Virgins, whoſe Tongues were gifted with the perpetual Motion. In this confuſion of Perſons and Languages, I deliver’d up my Ears with great Reſignation; which indeed have ſuffer’d extremely, during the Perils of the day. For in the very heat of their Eloquence, when Words flew thickeſt, I having no uſe for my Lips, they levell’d ’em all, full at my Ears. In order therefore to abſtract my ſelf as much as poſſible from their Meaning, if they had any, for 294 Pp3v 294 (for I could not help hearing the ſound thereof) I compos’d an Ode to that Edifice which is erected in moſt of the Market Places of this Iſland, to the deſtruction of Ears; which I deſign’d to have ſpoken to my Audience. But having waited a full hour for a ſilent Interval, was forc’d to reſume my ſenſe of Hearing, till they left me and my Ears to their uſual quieſcent State.
I have complain’d to you upon this Head before, and the Conſolation you then gave me, makes me take the ſame Liberty again. For as I’m a quiet peaceable Perſon myſelf, and have a mortal Antipathy to noiſes of any kind, I think it hard that my Ears ſhould be the perpetual receptacle of G ſolreut in alt; a Note ſo harſh and untuneable to me, that I can ſcarce bear it in my Harpſichord. Now would people only conſider the Importance and Dignity of Ears, or the Ignominy that attends the loſs of ’em, they’d be more careful how they touch’d their fellow Creatures in ſo tender a Part. ’Tis from this antipathy to Noiſe, that I’ve contracted a particular liking to all dumb Animals; my chief Companions, and with whom I moſt frequently converſe, being one old Cat, two Kittens, a large Spaniel, and a ſmall, tho’ tuneable Linnet. Tom (for that is his name) is a Dog of great Sagacity. Our Converſation is 295 Pp4r 295 is chiefly by ſigns, and in that Dialect he ſhews himſelf to be a perſon of extraordinary Penetration. He’s likewiſe chearful, honeſt, and good-natur’d; and what, I muſt own, has gain’d moſt upon my Affections, never contradicts me. To ſum up the Character of this my faithful Friend and Companion, we were bred up together; and tho’ difference of Education has ſometimes been the Ruin of the moſt promiſing Friendſhips, as being the occaſion of different Notions and Purſuits; it has made no Alteration in ours. We are ſeldom aſunder, and yet never had a Diſpute in our Lives.
It has indeed been objected to me, during the Courſe of our Friendſhip, that I might find out much properer Companions among my own Species; that even the verieſt Fox-hunter is preferable to the Animal he hunts with; and that therefore my Fondneſs for this dumb Domeſtic is a blameable one, and of Conſequence ought to be corrected. To this I anſwer, that Perſons, of much greater Reputation in the World than ever I can poſſibly arrive at, have had a remarkable Veneration for the Brute Creation; that one of the Roman Emperors, to ſhew his Eſteem for his Horſe, would have made him a Conſul; and that even in our own times, that renowned Hero and Traveller, Lemuel Gulliver, would leave his Wife and Childrendren 296 Pp4v 296 dren whole Days together, for the more ſilent Society of his ſorrel Mare. The behaviour of the latter (for I ſhall paſs over the Hiſtory of Miſs Charlot and her Cat) indeed proceeded from a Diſguſt he had taken to the human Species; but mine only from my Incapacity of being upon a Level with them in the Faculty of Prating. I remember when I was at School, I have had many a rap on the Fingers, about the eight Parts of Speech; and my Maſter, who was a Man of profound Learning, and whoſe Fiſt makes me tremble to this Day, could never drub that part of the French Grammar into my Underſtanding. But at that time, ’twas currently reported in the Neighbourhood, That one Tongue was enough for a Woman; and this Report was ſupported by ſuch irrefragable Arguments, that it gave my Mother ſome Uneaſineſs; inſomuch that ſhe conſulted my Maſter about it. But he gave her ſuch ſatiſfactory Anſwers to all her Scruples, that ſhe readily conſented I ſhould make all the Acquiſitions in Language her Privy-purſe could afford me. So that tho’ I have now a little ſmattering in a Dialect or two beſides my Mother’s Tongue, (which, to my ſhame be it ſpoken, every good Chriſtian ought to know, and learn) yet how have I been put to it ſometimes to make out a Sentence! What heterogeneous Words 297 Qq1r 297 Words have I hook’d in! and what diſagreeing Ideas united!—Speaking is certainly uſeful for many good Purpoſes; for Advice, Inſtruction, Reproof: but alas! I am depriv’d of all theſe Advantages. I cannot give Advice to my fellow Creatures, becauſe I don’t care to make ſo many Words about it; and I cannot receive it from ’em, on account of the great tenderneſs in the Tympanum of my Ears. So that all the Inſtruction I can receive, which is from Writing, or Printing, I muſt take in at my Eyes; which Conſideration I hope, will induce Miſs L. to regale them, and of conſequence my Underſtanding, very often with her Letters; the only thing that can make up to me the Deficiencies of my Tongue and Ears.
As you’ve made my writing, or rather troubling you with two Letters, a neceſſary Article towards obtaining one from You; I’m always impatient till I’ve ſcribbled my Laſt, becauſe till then I’ve no Chance of being ſo happy. For which reaſon I hope you always forgive me the Neceſſity I am under, of beingQq ing 298 Qq1v 298 ing doubly Dull, ſince ’tis in order to ſo ſubſtantial a thing as Happineſs. And indeed Dulneſs itſelf, however deſpicalbe it may appear to ſome people, is, in my opinion, a great Happineſs. To be exceeding indocile and inſenſible, to partake of the ſolidity and impenetrability of the Dumplin, and if one has any Notions at all, to have wrong ones of moſt things, if ’tis not real Happineſs, ’tis certainly ſomething very like it. Of conſequence a Blockhead, which is a thing but juſt awake, will ever be a much happier Animal than a Genius, who is alive at every Nerve; as the ſame Machine in a Barber’s Shop will be ſo, in proportion, as it has, for the moſt part, fewer Senſations than it’s Maſter.
But of all Characters, eſpecially among my own ever honour’d Sex, a Wit, is my greateſt dread. By a Wit, I mean here only thoſe inſupportable Geniuſſes who affect the Character, without the Materials; and with an unweary’d ſet of Phraſes, great volubility of Tongue, and uncommon Power of Face, intrude upon all Companies, engroſs all Converſation, and are remarkable for nothing ſo much as making People ſtare. They are undoubtedly the life of Converſation, only miſtake the end of it, by an unfortunate Satisfaction they have in hearing themſelves talk: And 299 Qq2r 299 And if you are ſo unlucky as to be a little modeſt and unpreſuming, they are the firſt perſons to find out your Foible; and kindly relieve you of it, by putting you out of Countenance. For to be very rude, and very ſurprizing, is, with many People, to be very witty.
Wit mixt with Good-nature, and corrected with good Manners, is certainly an agreeable Qualification, and many times an uſeful one too. But as ’tis generally manag’d, I reckon a Tooth-drawer, or a Corn-cutter by far more uſeful Members of Society. Nay have heard ſome of our Male-Critics poſſitively aſſert, that ſhe who can make a Pudding, or a Pye, has a much better Title to their Approbation, than ſhe who can make a Pun, or a Preamble of an Hour long.
By this time you ſee what reaſon I have to ſupport the cauſe of Dulneſs; but if (as Falſtaff obſerves) I am the Cauſe of Wit in other People, as I hope to experience again ſoon in Miſs L. have I not double reaſon to rejoice in the want of it? And yet methinks I could hardly pardon my ſelf thoſe rheams of Abſurdities, with which I trouble you almoſt weekly, were it not for that Good-nature of yours, which I hope is ſtill in my intereſts, and which has hitherto ſtood me in Qq2 ſtead 300 Qq2v 300 ſtead of a thouſand Excuſes. And thus ends (I wiſh I could add the Dullneſs of)
As I’ve been indebted to you for an incident, which has given me great Pleaſure; am only concern’d I have not been able to acknowledge it in a better Manner. But ’tis a common Caſe for our beſt Endeavours to ſucceed the worſt You intimated ſomething as if I ſhould meet with ſome Entertainment, from the ſame elegant Hand ſoon; and indeed Yeſterday I had a Feaſt for an Empreſs. I ſhould be ungrateful not to return you Thanks for it, as well as your much admir’d nameleſs Friend. You may imagine that I long to know to whom I am ſo much oblig’d; but will ſuſpend my Curioſity, leſt I ſhould be thought impertinent.
1734-01-17January 17, 1734.
The whole Species of Thinkers may be divided into two ſorts, the ſlow ones, and the quick ones. Your ſlow Thinkers are ſeldom very ſudden, but very ſure; the quick ones ſee thro’ and Idea in an inſtant, and have you at 301 Qq3r 301 at every turning. You muſt therefore be very ſure of your Words, if you would not be miſunderſtood, or rally’d. Of this latter Claſs is the Hon. Miſs L. I can’t let fall a Sentence that may be miſapply’d, but, whip! you have me; and when I’ve drawn a Character the moſt unlike you in the World, preſently you cry out, that’s I. But this is not fair: and therefore I take this Opportunity, once for all, to declare, that when I ſpeak in praiſe of No-meaning, I never mean any body about St. James’s; and whenever I pour out my ſelf upon the Subject of Dulneſs, I always exclude her Majeſty’s Maids of Honour.
I am rejoyc’d to hear that the Roads are paſſable between Covent-Garden and St. James’s; or rather, that the Way thither is ſo well pav’d for me. The Pilgrim’s Progreſs, if you have not read, I would exhort you to read. ’Tis a very good Book, and full of uſeful Inſtructions; ſetting forth the Difficulties we Travellers are forc’d to encounter, and the many Lets and Hindrances we daily meet with upon the Road, eſpecially by you better ſort of Chriſtians, who ride in Coaches. And I would the rather exhort you to read this good Book at this Time, becauſe I am my ſelf, or ſhall be ſoon, a Traveller or Pilgrim, wandering about from Houſe to Houſe, in order to partake of the Benevolencieslencies 302 Qq3v 302 lencies of ſuch good People as you are. For I ſhall ſometimes be tempted to knock at your hoſpitable Gate, which, I hear, is always open to Strangers; and therefore truſt it will be ſo to one who is ſo much a Stranger to every thing but your merits, that ſhe ſcarce knows your Perſon, not withſtanding ſhe is ſo remarkably of the number of
I’m ſorry to find my much honour’d inviſible Correſpondent is vaniſh’d ſo ſoon. But why do I say vaniſh’d? For, as Swift obſerves, One may ſee by the Hand, ſhe has no cloven Foot.
Nothing is ſo common as to hear people talking of their great Alliances, and boaſting themſelves upon the Merits of their Anceſtors. This Vanity is generally moſt conſpicuous in thoſe, who have few Merits of their own, and who are oblig’d to their Forefathers for all the Credit and Eſteem they meet with in the World. A few days ago I was invited to attend the Hearſe of a good old Aunt of 303 Qq4r 303 of my Mother’s to South-Newington, the burying place of the Family, about four miles from Banbury. The Pomp of Death, and the humiliating ſcene of a Charnel-houſe, are Objects I’m not very fond of; but the vanity of viewing the Sepulchres of my Fathers, and the good old Hall where my Grandfather and the Vicar ſo often ſettled the Affairs of the Nation, inclin’d me to attend the Solemnity as a Relation, I cannot ſay a Mourner. As we came near the Town we were met by ſome of the moſt venerable Perſonages of the Place; but the Corps was no ſooner put down in the Hall, than the whole Village came in upon us. When we had ſatisfy’d the Curioſity of the whole Pariſh, and fitted the Hands of ſome of ’em, we convey’d the poor old Woman to Church; where the firſt thing that ſtruck my eyes were the Portraits of Time and Death; two Figures dreſs’d out in all the Pomp of red and blue, extremely pictureſque, and the moſt formidable Monſters I ever beheld. They ſeem’d to be fighting a Duel; and indeed we left ’em at Daggers drawing, for we had not time to ſtay to ſee the end of the Combat: Tho’ ’tis generally believ’d in the Pariſh, that Time will get the better of it; for they have it upon very good Authority, that Time conquers all Things.After 304 Qq4v 304
After the old Lady was decently depoſited, and the Crowd pretty well diſpers’d, (finding, to my great ſatisfaction, that the Remains of our Family occupy half the Chancel) I deſir’d the Clerk to ſweep away the rubbiſh a little, that I might look over the Tomb-ſtones, in hopes to find ſome pompous Inſcription, recording the heroic Deeds of my Forefathers. But alas! my Vanity was ſufficiently mortify’d, when I diſcover’d that the Family of the Penns have only been born, and dy’d, for ſome hundred Years paſt However I comforted my ſelf that this Neglect might have been owing to the great Modeſty of my Anceſtors, who (I was willing to preſume) were wiſe enough to content themſelves with a Conſciouſneſs of their own Virtue, without depending upon Hic jacet—and a thouſand Lies, for their Fame.
I won’t pretend to trace out the Hiſtory of our ancient and numerous Family (for I’ve had as many Fore-fathers as Bourbon or Naſſau but if I may gueſs any thing from the Arms we bear, I’ve a notion the Founder of it was by trade a Comb-maker; for, among other devices, I find part of the Field, or Lozenge upon my ſeal, charg’d with two Small-tooth Combs. However, let the Founders of it have been what they will, ’tis no matter, ſince the Family 305 Rr1r 305 Family is ancient; and ’tis ſo long ago ſince the Comb-maker liv’d, that no body can trace us up to our Original. What became of Him, or his Poſterity, we know nothing of, nor indeed do we much care; (only the famous Sir William Penn the Quaker, and his Father the Vice Admiral, we ſtill mention with Honour) but to comfort me under my Diſappointment, I learnt part of the private hiſtory of ſome of his Succeſſors, from an old Woman who ſtood next me, and whoſe Grandmother had occupy’d the place of a Dairy- Maid in the Family, about ſix-ſcore years ago. ’Twas with great ſatisfaction I heard that my great Grand-father was remarkable for nothing (except having his Hen-rooſt robb’d by the Parliament’s Party in Charles the firſt’s time) but for ſmoaking three pipes a day, and minding his own Buſineſs; but was a little diſconcerted again, when I found that his Help-mate had ſome diſcordant Notes in her Compoſition, and was a little given to Paſſion, on account of the Fortune ſhe brought. However, I recover’d my ſelf again, when I found that their Children all took good courſes; but that joy was ſoon allay’d, when I recollected the Miſchance that one of my Uncles had with his Mother’s Maid. But my Grandfather being a Rr prudent 306 Rr1v 306 prudent man, the affair was ſoon huſh’d up; and as the Child was ſuppos’d to have had many Fathers, we don’t look upon this Sprout to be properly a Branch of the Family, or Blot in our Eſcutcheon.—In the next Compartment lay my Grandfather; the firſt of his particular Branch that ever ſet up for a Gentleman. He was quite the reverſe of his Father’s temper; for he minded every body’s Buſineſs but his own, and ſmoak’d no Tobacco. However, he was look’d upon as a very knowing Man in the Pariſh, and they all apply’d to him to adjuſt their Accounts, and their Controverſies. He dy’d much lamented by all that knew him, after having ſettled the Tranquility of his Neighbours, and run out part of his Eſtate, which was but ſmall; for he was too much of a Gentleman to live within Bounds.—In the ſame Repoſitory ſlept my Grandmother; that good old Woman, who made ſuch excellent Cheeſes, and rear’d ſo many Turkies every Year. She was counted the beſt Houſewife in the Village; and no body would ſet a Hen, or wean a Child, without conſulting her. She reſign’d her Spirit in a good old age; and we reckon it among her Funeral Honours, that that laſt Act of her Life was attended with the Tears of the whole PariſhI came 307 Rr2r 307
I came home not perfectly ſatisfy’d with the Hiſtory of my Progenitors; for, according to the deſcription of an ancient Aunt I have (who piques herſelf much upon her Family) they ought to have been all Heroes; or, at leaſt very illuſtrious Perſonages. I can’t ſay they, any of ’em, anſwer’d my Expectations; except my Grandmother, whoſe Memory I honour very much.—This put me upon conſidering the Vanity of thoſe of gentle Race, who boaſt themſelves upon the Merits of their Birth and Family, preſuming that more than ordinary Reſpect is due to them upon that ſcore; without conſidering, that to be worthleſs themſelves, is to be doubly ſo with theſe Advantages. I need not make Miſs L. a Compliment here, who conſiders her ſelf only as an Executrix in Truſt of her Father’s Merits. The World has already been beforehand with me in doing Juſtice to her’s, as ſhe has done to theirs, by reflecting back the Luſtre ſhe has receiv’d. But is it not rididiculous to hear a Coward boaſt of his Deſcent from Alexander the Great, or a common Strumpet trace up her Family as high as Lucretia? Our real Worth muſt depend upon Our ſelves; and if we borrow any Honours from our Anceſtors, we muſt take care to pay ’em back again; leſt, while we are priding our ſelves uponRr2 on 308 Rr2v 308 on them, they ſhould be aſham’d of us. For, after all our bluſt’ring and ſtrutting, Mr.Pope will ſtill be in the right, Nought can ennoble Sots, and Slaves, and Cowards;Alas! not all the Blood of all the Howards.
Reasons humbly offer’d to the Conſideration of the Hon. Miss L. why the Treaty of Fern-Hill, concluded in the Year 17321732, ſhould be totally ſet aſide; or remain to Poſterity with the following Emendations.
Whereas it was provided by that Treaty, that M. J. of the City of Oxford, Spinſter, in regard to the various Avocations, and important Affairs tranſacted by the ſaid Hon. Miſs L. ſhould be obliged to furniſh out two Letters, for every one of that Lady’s:
And whereas the ſaid M. J. has punctually obſerv’d the Contents of this Treaty for the ſpace of two Years, and upwards; but finding it abſolutely deſtructive of her real and natural Intereſts, ſhe humbly conceives, that ſhe can’t 309 Rr3r 309 can’t in Honour and Conſcience obſerve it a moment longer:
That her real and natural Intereſts are cloſely connected with, and abſolutely depend upon the Frequency of the ſaid Lady’s Letters; and that it has always been eſteem’d the higheſt degree of human Prudence, to trample upon Honour and Conſcience, whenever they come in Competition with theſe:
That, during this time, the ſaid M. J. has been at vaſt expence of Brains, in furniſhing out Blunders, abſurdities, quaint Conundrums, and ſtarv’d Conceits, without having receiv’d the leaſt Equivalent in return; but has conſtantly been put off from time to time, with nothing but Wit, Humour, and good Senſe:
That ſhe is utterly unable to bear the Burthen of ſuch an expenſive Treaty any longer, unleſs the aforeſaid contracting Power ſhall graciouſly condeſcend to be witty, as often as her ſaid Correſpondent ſhall find her ſelf under the neceſſity of being dull:
That it has always been a Rule, from time out of mind, for all and every Correſpondent to reply as often as they receive; but that by this Treaty, the ſaid M. J. has not only ſuffer’d in her natural Rights as a Correſpondent, but has alſo been greatly abridg’d in thoſe more inviolable ones, her Pleaſures:That 310 Rr3v 310
That not knowing her good Friend and Ally was in ſuch a flouriſhing Condition, and had ſo much ready Wit always circulating thro’ her Veins, ſhe ſuffer’d her at the Time of this Treaty, out of her great Regard and Tenderneſs, to make what Terms ſhe pleas’d; but finding her ſelf no longer in a Condition to comply with them, ſhe humbly propoſes, That this Treaty may henceforth become null and void; or elſe remain among the Papers of this Houſe, with the following Emendation, viz.
That the ſaid Hon. Miſs L. out of her native Generoſity, and without any regard to the Merits, how great ſoever, of the ſaid M. J. has at length graciouſly reſolv’d, That her Inclination to oblige ſhall, for the future, go hand in hand with her Power of doing ſo; and that both ſhall be mutually employed for the ſole Benefit and Advantage of the ſaid M. J.
1734-01-27January 27, 1734.
Much am I oblig’d to you for the Honour of your laſt, and glad you’ve receiv’d the ſecond Edition of my ſaucy Epiſtle to - - - - - - - - - ſafe. I’m afraid I muſt now 311 Rr4r 311 now bid adieu to the other; for I had a Letter from that Lady the other day, and ſhe’s ſilent upon the Head. Well, ſince the French ſay, Il faut ſouffrir patiemment ce qui eſt inevitable, all I’ve to hope for is, that it may fall into good Hands. I reckon my Faults ſafe with You, who are of the number of the Few, the very Few, whom I truſt with my Poetical Secrets. For indeed I’ve ſuch an awful reſpect for the Many, that I’d as ſoon publiſh a Catalogue of my Sins, as my Poetry; and have hitherto been as careful of concealing the one, as the other. So careful, that my moſt intimate Friends here, hardly know I ever wrote a Verſe; and I’m ſo fond of their good Opinion, that I believe ’twill be the laſt of my Foibles they’ll ever know from me. Ever ſince you put Curl in my Head, I’ve been looking over the Advertiſements; but, to my great Comfort, find no Letter from a certain Honourable Lady juſt ready for the Preſs; nor any Epistle to - - - - - - - - speedily to be publiſh’d. Of all the Characters, that have appear’d in the ancient Families of the Jones’s and the Penn’s, be that of an Operator of Rhymes far from ’em! What would my Grandmother ſay, that good old Woman I had the honour to introduce to you t’other day, were ſhe to riſe from her Grave and ſee me meaſuringſuring 312 Rr4v 312 ſuring of Syllables, and murdering the King’s Engliſh; when I ſhould be manufacturing of Minc’d-Pyes, or writing out Receipts for kib’d Heels? Would not ſhe bluſh for her Offspring? What then will ſhe ſay, when I come out in a Twelve-penny Pamphlet, with an audacious Appeal to that great Tribunal, the Public; where every Buyer, who has but a Shilling to ſpare, and every Borrower, who has not even that, has a right to turn Critic, and pronounce the irrevocable Sentence upon Me, and my Works!—Well, if it be ſo, I ſhall have the honour of being exhibited with a Lady, (the only Conſolation I have) the leaſt of whoſe good Works will atone for all my bad ones. To that Lady I’m alſo oblig’d for her Concern at my preſent Intranquillity; and the very Thought that Miſs L. is at all intereſted in it, has almoſt animated me enough to bid defiance to Curl, Miſcellanies, and the Multitude. However, to be ſerious, I begin to be pretty eaſy about the Matter; for there’s a certain Secret in my Works, that I’ll engage, will preſerve ’em, even in the hands of a Bookſeller.
I cannot but be in high Spirits at your liking my Epiſtle to your ſelf. Your Approbation has entirely satisfy’d my Thirſt of Fame; ſo Mr. Curl may ſpare himſelf the Pains. But yet I muſt acknowledge my ſelf much indebted to 313 Sſr 313 to your Friend in the Corner (I’d give fifteen irregular Odes, and a couple of Satires, that are to be publiſh’d after my deceaſe, only to ſee her Face) whoſe good Opinion I’ve ſo much reaſon to be ambitious of. ’Tis probable I may never be ſo happy; and yet ſhe can’t otherwiſe make me amends for the painful Curioſity ſhe has rais’d in me. I’ve promis’d not to be too inquiſitive; but if you’ll only tell me the firſt Letter of her name, I’ll never aſk another Favour of you as long as I live—except that your Letters may be long, and frequent, and your Correſpondence as laſting as the Eſteem of
1735-08-07Auguſt 7, 1735.
Iv’e’ve at laſt had the inexpreſſible Pleaſure of reading Mr. Pope’s Letters; and am ſo well ſatisfy’d with ’em, that I ſhall read all future Letters (except Miſs L’s) with a great deal leſs Pleaſure for their ſake. In his other Productions I have always admir’d the Author, but now I love the Man. There is, throughout, ſuch a ſpirit of Benevolence, ſuch noble ſtrains of Generoſity (particularly in his Friendſhip to Mr. Gay) that that breaſt muſt Sſ be 314 Ss1v 314 be a ſtranger to all the tenderneſſes, all the dignities of human Nature, that can read him without being warm’d with the ſame Affections.
To tell you which Letter I like beſt, or which particular Thought pleaſes me moſt, would be like pointing out the moſt finiſh’d Piece, or the moſt maſterly ſtrokes in the Beauty-room at Hampton-Court; where every Picture was done by the beſt Hand, and the Originals the greateſt Beauties of the Age they liv’d in. Or if you chuſe a Simile nearer home, ’tis like going into Kenſington Gardens; where the Roſe, the Carnation, and the Jeſſamin are plac’d in ſuch beautiful Order, and again diverſify’d, with a regular wildneſs, amidſt ſuch a variety of Plants, Flowers, or Shrubs of different Colours, and peculiar Fragrancies, that one knows not which to give the Preference to. After all, neither of theſe Similies come up to Mr. Pope’s Beauties, or my Admiration of them. ’Twill be doing him more Juſtice to ſay — he is inimitable, like Nature, in all his Works. Nor am I the only Admirer Mr. Pope has, that he knows nothing of, nor is it very material he ſhould know; but I ſhould be much wanting to my ſelf, if I did not take all Opportunities of aſſuring Miſs L.how 315 Sſ2r 315
how much I am hers, as well as how ſincerely
What more can I ſay to you, in regard to your agreeable Friend? I know, She’s as capable of pleaſing, as of being pleas’d; I believe She’s a moſt agreeable Companion, as well as a generous Friend; and am perſuaded ſhe has all the Accompliſhments you ſpeak of; but if I’m never to hear from her more, to what Purpoſe is it to tantalize me with all theſe fine Deſcriptions? I now begin to wiſh ſhe had ten thouſand Faults, and that I was witneſs to every one of them. O, that every Word of her delightful Epiſtles was ſpelt wrong, and every Sentence Nonſenſe! that ſhe was all over Vanity, Affectation, and Self-ſufficiency! and in ſhort, had every Foible I could name; unleſs ſhe again convinces me under her Hand and Seal, that She’s ſuperiour to every one of them. For how is it poſſible to ſupport the Loſs of her Correſpondence, while ſhe has ſo many Excellencies? In ſhort, ſhe’s every thing you’ve ſaid of her, and ten times more. I wiſh ſhe had ſome Faults. Unleſs ſhe has, I am inconsolable.
1735-09-05September 5, 1735,
The ſuddenneſs of my reply to your laſt Favour, was one effect of the Joy it gave me when I receiv’d it. As your Interval of Silence had been longer than uſual, I began to be in pain, leſt you ſhould take my Management, in relation to Chaucer, ill. But that good Senſe and good Nature I truſted to when I return’d the Specimen, and which I’ve ſo often been indebted to, inclin’d me to hope you’d pardon a Freedom I had not allow’d my ſelf in, but upon thoſe Conſiderations. However, for fear I ſhould at any time preſume too much upon your Indulgence, give me leave to add, as a Truth that may always be referr’d to upon ſuch Occaſions— That as it would be my greateſt Pleaſure, to oblige You; ſo you may always depend upon it, that the contrary will for ever remain among thoſe things I ſhall never be guilty of wilfully, and with my Eyes open.
We’ve had but little Company at our Races. I had ſome faint Hopes of being honour’d with a view of - - - - - - - -; but being diſappointed there, was indifferent enough to look upon the reſt pretty equally. For I think I begin 317 Ss3r 317 begin to have enough of that important Article, To ſee, and be ſeen; and tho’ I ſometimes mix with the Croud, to avoid the Affectation of Singularity, yet I can’t ſay I find out much Pleaſure in it. I’m a prodigious lover of Silence, and Muſing—and ſometimes, you’ll ſay, of being be-mus’d too — to which let me add, another of my Loves, and that is, a running over, not reading, all manner of Books, from Milton’s Paradiſe, down to the Dragon of Wantley. You have too good an Opinion of me, if you imagine theſe Amours to be the Effects of my Judgment, which are really nothing but the Vagaries of my Nature: for I pretend not to more Senſe, or more Gravity than my Neighbours; only hope my ſingularities will be excus’d on account of my want of Taſte. However, thus far I agree with you, that I anticipate few Pleaſures by Expectation; and the Reaſon is, becauſe I’m not very ſanguine in my Wiſhes. Yet I have had my Ambitions, as well as others; and the Aſcent to ’em ſeem’d ſo eaſy, that I’ve ſometimes ſuffer’d my ſelf to be led, a little Way, in thoſe flow’ry Paths. But have found either by Experience, or Philoſophy (for I won’t anſwer for it, if Diſappointment has not been the Parent of the latter) that the ſilent Pleaſures of a low Fortune, ariſing from Temperance,perance 318 Ss3v 318 perance, moderate Deſires, and eaſy Reflectiions, will at any time compenſate for the loſs of all our gilded Dreams. This however, has always been a ſerious ſubject with me; and ’tis not now a flouriſh of the Imagination, but a ſentiment of my Heart. For which reaſon, how ſparingly ſoever Fortune ſhall diſpence her favours to me, whether I dwell in a Cottage or a Palace, eat Mutton or Ortolans, or ſleep upon Feathers or Down; yet if Providence is only ſo gracious to me as to continue the Cottage, the Mutton, and the Feather-bed, (and let me add but one wiſh more, the few Friends I enjoy at preſent, with the ſame Health and Leiſure) I ſhall go off the Stage with a Heart full of Gratitude to my beneficent Creator, and neither repine at my own Fate, nor envy the Succeſſes of others. Moſt people, at ſome time or other of their Lives, have had Opportunities of bettering their Fortunes. If by honeſt means, they’re in the right to purſue ’em; provided they’ve Heads ſtrong enough to bear good Fortune, and Hearts to enjoy it: if by diſhoneſt ones, or low Compliances, they have ſhewn a noble Pride in rejecting it. Such a Reflection will afford a laſting Satisfaction, when Fortune has no more to give; but ſuch a Reflection will be a Canker at the very root of our Enjoyments,ments 319 Ss4r 319 ments, if they’ve been purchas’d at the Expence of our Integrity. Such Retroſpections as theſe have been able to make the worſt, that Fortune has done for me, ſit eaſy upon my Memory: and tho’ (I thank her) ſhe has never ſhown me any ſevere Reverſe; yet I can truly ſay, I never was indebted to her for a ſingle Bleſſing I’ve enjoy’d. Even now ſhe’s playing me a Trick - - - - - - - But Welcome, for thee, fair Virtue! all’s that’s paſt;For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev’n the laſt You ſee, I can quote no-body but Mr. Pope; and indeed there’s no Author I love ſo well. I’m pleas’d to have the honour of thinking with you in that reſpect, and could be glad to do ſo in many others. But ſince ’tis impoſſible for me to imitate you in your Perfections, if you’ll only be ſo good as to let me often admire you in your Letters; you’ll help to make this whimſical Journey of my Life a very pleaſant one, and at the ſame time ſatisfy all the Ambition that remains unconquer’d in the Heart of
1735-01-02January 2, 1735.
Our Poetry Profeſſor Mr. Spence, was to make me a viſit the other day, and ask’d me if I had ſeen the famous Mrs. Barber’s Works? He told me, he had juſt receiv’d a very valuable Preſent from that Lady, no leſs than a beautiful Quarto Edition of her Works; and if I had that Curioſity, which he took it for granted I was not without, they ſhould be with me early the next Morning. I found the Profeſſor had no acquaintance with the Author; but being a Man of Character in the learned, as well as the polite World, had, I ſuppoſe, on that account been honour’d with this mark of Diſtinction from her. I was highly delighted at the ſight of ſo pompous an Edition from a Perſon of my own Sex; and very glad to find ſhe had met with ſuch Encouragement from ſo many perſons of Diſtinction, who have honour’d her Subſcription.—I’ve now had the ſatisfaction of going thro’ the whole Book; and only wiſh the Volume had been leſs, that I might have admir’d the Author more. I am always pleas’d with any Attempts of this nature among my own Sex; and could be glad, if the Exerciſe of our Heads were a little more in Faſhion: ſince it too often happens,pens, 321 Tt1r 321 pens, that that is the only uncultivated Part about us. But Cuſtom, and (what is more diſcouraging) the Lords over us, determine againſt us; and we muſt do as our Neighbours and They would have us, no matter whether right or wrong. I can’t help making an Obſervation here, greatly to the Author’s Honour, that throughout her whole Book, I don’t remember to have met with one immodeſt expreſion; nor, what is more remarkable, a Word of that Paſſion which has made ſo many female Poets; I mean Love. Whenever I meet with a Siſter in print, I always expect to hear that Corydon has prov’d falſe; or that Sylvia’s cruel parents have had prudence enough to keep two mad People from playing the Fool together, for Life. I’ve often wiſh’d, for the honour of our Sex, that theſe Subjects had been exhauſted ſeventeen hundred years ago; but am afraid that ſeventeen hundred years hence, we ſhall have the ſame falſe Corydon’s, and the ſame complaining Sylvia’s. ’Tis pity, that this paſſion alone ſhould ſet us to Rhyming. The ſubject is ſo beaten, that it can’t poſſibly afford us any thing new; and probably that’s one reaſon, why we ſo ſeldom ſucceed in our Poetical Excurſions. There is, however, one Affection I cannot but admire in this Authoreſs; and that is, her exceſs of GratitudeTt titude 322 Tt1v 322 titude to all thoſe by whom ſhe has been any ways oblig’d. In this, tho’ no Authoreſs, I am ambitious of equaling her; and tho’ I dare not publiſh to the World how many Obligations I have to the Honourable Miſs L. yet I’ll whiſper it to the Reeds how ſenſible I am of them, and how ſincerely, &c;
1735-03-05March 5, 1735.
You’ve now ſurpris’d and oblig’d me beyond my Expectation; a thing not very uſual among one’s Betters: who, ’tis ſaid, ſeldom ſurpriſe people that way. Indeed you have this in common with other People of Quality, that you always raiſe our Expectations very high; but then you generally manage it ſo, as if you thought it incumbent upon you to anſwer them. How this whimſical Notion came into your Head, I can’t pretend to account for; but this I know, that the Ideas I had conceiv’d of you before I had the honour to correſpond with you, were of ſuch a Nature, that if you did anſwer them, ’twas more than I expected.
I’ve no other way of acknowledging your laſt Favour, but by ſitting down to thank you for 323 Tt2r 323 for it as ſoon as you anſwer’d my Nonſenſe of February. Why you had not that ſo ſoon as ’twas dated, was owing to my uſual ſtrength of Memory: I ſat down in a violent hurry to write it, ſeal’d it, lock’d it up in my Bureau, and forgot it.
Be it known to your provoking Friend behind the Curtain, that Dangers are not to be trifled with, even tho’ they are at a diſtance: That people whoſe Senſations are as quick as as mine, are not apt to forget. But that ſince ſhe has begun afreſh to diſturb that Calm I was going to poſſeſs, ſhe herſelf muſt anſwer for the Conſequences. And ſhe can avoid ’em no other way, than by granting me the Favour ſhe has ſo often more than half promis’d me by You her Surety. If ſhe ſtill perſiſts, her moſt ſecret Hiſtory ſhall be no longer a Secret; and thoſe very Perfections ſhe’s ſo induſtrious to conceal, I ſhall make no ſcruple of publiſhing to all the World. Bid her hear this, and tremble.
As to the Paſſion of Love, ’tis a pretty amuſement, I grant you, for the Heart; but when once it gets up into the Head, ’tis bitter bad. Not but its effects are different in different Conſtitutions; tho’ perhaps a ſpecies of Madneſs in all. Its Eſſence is made up of Contradictions,Tt2 tradictions, 324 Tt2v 324 tradictions, and there’s nothing ſo great, or ſo mean that it will not attempt. In the breaſt of the Hero, ’tis many times an incitement to Virtue, or ſomething that looks very much like it. In little Souls, it creeps, and fawns, and lies, and betrays. ’Tis well, if among our Sex it goes off in Rhyming; for if once we can ſettle our ſelves to write about it, I reckon the Danger is over. All that I would adviſe in ſuch Circumſtances is, not to publiſh juſt in the Fit; but wait ’till the Paroxyſm is a little abated, and the Patient begins to cool. Not that I am of the Opinion of thoſe, who are for driving this, or any of the tender Paſſions from the human Breaſt They are all of Uſe; and, under proper regulations, have a Right to be heard. They ſmooth and temper the rough and fiercer ones, (which perhaps are by far the more miſchievous of the two) introduce thoſe friendly and benign Senſations, which ſerve to correct our very Virtues; and by relaxing, or ſoftening the Movements we have in common with other Machines, pour all the powers of harmony thro’ the Soul. With ’em, we are ſometimes more than Human; without ’em, Savages. But becauſe I’ve call’d the Paſſion of Love a ſort of Madneſs, I ſhall give you Mr. Dryden’s325Tt3r325 Dryden’s ſentiments; who never fails of the moſt maſterly Images, whenever he touches this Affection.Love is that Madneſs, which all Lovers have; But yet ’tis ſweet and pleaſant ſo to rave. ’Tis an Enchantment, where the Reaſon’s bound; But Paradiſe is in th’ enchanted Ground. A Palace void of Envy, Care and Strife, Where gentle hours delude ſo much of Life. To take theſe Charms away and ſet me free, Is but to lead me into Miſery; And Prudence, of whoſe Cure ſo much you boaſt, Reſtores the Pains which that ſweet Folly loſt Conqueſt of Granada.
I Am certainly one of the happieſt of Creatures; or, which is much the ſame thing, I think my ſelf ſo; for my Correſpondents are all very good to me, my Friends very kind, my Acquaintance civil, and I think I’ve nothing to complain of but a Lover or two, who have forſaken me. But the Lovers are ſuch a whimſical race of People, and their Flights ſo much above the reach of common Underſtandings,ſtandings 326 Tt3v 326 ſtandings, that I think one has no great loſs of them. Their Abſence indeed implies that one has no longer Charms to keep ’em; but what is ſuch a Reflection to one bred up among Philoſophers?
You fancy I love Variety ſo well, that I ſhall one day think of changing this Philoſophic ſtate, for a better. But alas! Madam, our wiſe Anceſtors, I mean the Founders of this ancient Seat of Learning, had ſo little regard for this better State, the Marry’d one; that tho’ they are recorded as Men famous in their Generation themſelves, they have permitted none of their Diſciples to enter into it. In vain then do we Female Philoſophers preach up the Neceſſity and Uſefulneſs of Marriage, when thoſe who ought to have been our Help-mates are under a Vow of Celibacy. So that were we never ſo deſirous of changing this ſolitary State of Life (to which we Virgins of Oxford are more peculiarly call’d) ’tis to no purpoſe to think of it, unleſs the preſent Parliament in their great Wiſdom (as we hear they intend it) ſhall graciouſly take our Caſes into Conſideration, and allow our Fellows of Colleges to marry. Then indeed we might have ſome hopes of becoming joyful Mothers of Children; and then we have but one requeſt more to make to ’em, and that 327 Tt4r 327 that is, that they will only be ſo tender-hearted, when they’ve done, as to provide Hoſpitals for the poor Babes. But theſe great, and promiſing Events we muſt leave to Time, and the Wiſdom of the Nation, now aſſembled. At preſent (as Hudibras complains to his Widow) Love in our Hearts as idly burnsAs Fire in antique Roman Urns,To warm the Dead; and vainly lightThoſe only, who ſee nothing by’t. I’m heartily vext the Poſt has depriv’d me of the Pleaſures you deſign’d me, your Manuſcripts being ſome of the greateſt I have. You ſeem to hint indeed, that you had refus’d to comply with the Terms of the laſt Treaty; which is only a more agreeable way of convincing me, that ſome people can refuſe a Favour with a better Grace, than others can do one. For your very Refuſal is a Compliment; and convinces me either that my Letters are not ſo dull as I apprehend ’em to be; or (which I rather believe) that Miſs L. has Good-nature enough to excuſe the dulleſt of
The humble Petition of M.J. Spinſter, To his Majeſty’s Juſtices of the Peace for the Pariſh of St. James’s. Sheweth,
That whereas there is a certain Lady of the Pariſh aforeſaid, utterly unknown to your Petitioner, but perfectly well known to that tatling Goſſip, Fame; who with Malice prepenſe, and without any Provocation, did on Sunday 1734-12-06December 6, Anno Dom. 1734, with certain Words, folded up in the ſhape and form of a Letter, ſecretly, and maliciouſly conſpire againſt, moleſt, and utterly diſconcert the Peace and Tranquility of your Petitioner, and his Majeſty’s loving Subject:
That your Petitioner conceives theſe Words were a ſort of Charm, or Incantation, ſuch as the Egyptians were wont to make uſe of in their abominable Rites:
That your Petitioner has never been right ſound in her Intellects ſince; but, on the contrary, has been obſerv’d upon reading theſe Charms (for ſhe has receiv’d two more of them) to break out into odd ſtrains of Admiration, and to repeat the Words—Excellent!— Inimitable! 329 Uu1r 329 Inimitable!—with certain extravagant and unbecoming Emotions:
That, walking about the room one day, in one of her Raptures, ſhe had the misfortune to overſet a Tea-Table, with its Equipage, to the great Confuſion and Diſmay of all the sober part of the Family:
That your Petitioner was put into great bodily Fear, during the late Storm; as well knowing who had a Hand in the brewing of it:
That by theſe her wicked and abominable Faſcinations, your Petitioner has been kept awake whole nights together with ſtudying who this inviſible Tormentor ſhould be; to the great detriment of her Health, and pleaſant Dreams:
That ’tis commonly reported, that one Delia is her Familiar and Aſſociate in theſe abominable Practices; and that between ’em, they’re arriv’d at ſuch perfection in the Art of Charming, that unleſs a ſpeedy ſtop be put to their illicit Deſigns, ’tis doubted whether even your Honours may be ſafe.
The Premiſes tenderly conſider’d, your Petitioner humbly hopes that theſe Offenders may be brought to condign Puniſhment; and that your Honours will forthwith order them to do Penance in a White-Sheet, before the Face of your humble Petitioner,
1736-07-06July 6, 1736.
My Letter, as you prophetically imagine, would infallibly have been upon the road the day I had the Honour of yours, had not the Vicar of St. Sepulcher’s been a Man of too much ſpirit to know his own Mind. He was that day to have ſet out for London, and had promis’d to diſperſe throughout the Corners of the Earth about half a ſcore Letters of mine; among which was one to your ſelf. Being willing to wait his Motions, I have deferr’d this ’till now. The chief buſineſs of the other, was indeed, as you rightly concluded, to enquire after my Lord Lovelace’s Health; and to inform you there was a Letter in Town for you, which I heard was detain’d. For I was concern’d to be wanting in my acknowledgments, at a time too when you had ſo particularly oblig’d me; as well as impatient to hear, from your ſelf, ſome accounts of his Lordſhip’s Health. I’m ſure ’tis ſo neceſſary to your Eaſe, that were my Lord’s Merits ſo very moderate as (Mr. Pope ſays) ſome Lords are; yet I hope that would have been a ſufficient reaſon for my Curioſity. I believe I need not aſſure you that I am ſincerely rejoyc’d at 331 Uu2r 331 at his Recovery, and as ſincerely hope all your Fears on his Account may ſoon be at an End.
If my Dreams were worth telling, I would inform you, that you appear to me in my Sleep juſt as eaſy of Acceſs, as obliging to your Inferiours, and as negligent of your own Rank, as you do to other People when they’re awake. That you likewiſe ſuffer me to ſpeak freely upon all manner of Subjects, and never by a certain ſtiffen’d Statelineſs, that drags itſelf thro’ all the Forms of Pride and Affectation, bid me be uneaſy all the time I am in your Company. Nor, as I remember, ever gave the leaſt Hint to the Defamation of any Perſon breathing; on the contrary, have always appear’d quite eaſy to your ſelf, and ſo had no Temptation to be ſevere on others. Theſe are ſome of my Viſions of You; but whether they are only Viſions, I muſt leave to your Conſideration. For my part, I care not to be undeceiv’d; on the contrary, ſhall expect to have all my Dreams made out next Winter; and if I have been in an Error, ’tis an Error that has ſo much the Appearance of Truth, that I doubt not but I ſhall continue in it as long as I live.
Your laſt came kindly to my Relief before it’s Time, tho’ I aſſure you ’twas no Abortive. Uu2 From 332 Uu2v 332 From my Heart I always wiſh you ſuch quick Deliveries. If you knew what Loads of Paper I fold up in the Shape of Letters, how I’m diſtreſs’d for Subjects to ſuit the various Geniuſſes of my ſeveral Correſpondents, and what hard Labours I ſometimes have upon theſe Occaſions; I’m ſure you’d pity me oft’ner, as you oblige me always.
1736-07-23July 23, 1736.
I Hope by this time all your Fears for Lord Lovelace are at an End; and that this will find you in that State of Tranquillity, which the Mind often feels, after it has been ruffled by Affliction.
’Twas a ſaying of one of the wiſer Heathens, That no Man is more miſerable than Him, that hath no Adverſity: And tho’ ’tis an Aſſertion that has ſomething the Air of a Paradox, yet ’tis certainly true, both in a natural and moral Senſe. Adverſity, in a moral Senſe, is the proper Scene for exerciſing our Virtues, particularly thoſe of Fortitude, Patience, and Reſignation; and for checking thoſe Seeds of Vice, which are ever in the moſt forward and flouriſhing Condition, when the Mind is becalm’d by Proſperity. It calls off our Thoughts from 333 Uu3r 333 from the trifling Purſuits of this World; and convinces us, better than a thouſand Volumes, of the Neceſſity of looking out for a better. How perſwaſive is Pain! I knew a young Fellow, who upon a flow of Proſperity, had almoſt forgot he was a Man. He neither eat, drank, nor talk’d like Beings of ſuch an inferiour Order. Women and Dice have, of late, made him recollect himſelf. He was once Maſter of twenty thouſand pounds, but is now a Beggar; and has ever ſince behav’d like a reaſonable Creature.
In a natural Senſe, Afflictions ſerve to checquer Life; and relieve, or rather ſet off the dead calm of Proſperity. The Mind is eaſier for having been a little agitated; as the Sea is more beautiful after a Storm. When we are ſaid to paſs thro’ the Waves of this World, we may conſider them only as ſo many Movements, which ſerve to diverſify the particular ſcene we are acting in, while they are carrying on the Buſineſs, or more important Tranſactions of the whole. Our Minds would grow languid and be oppreſt under a conſtant flow of Proſperity; and they are no more fitted for an uninterrupted ſtate of Happineſs here, than our eyes are for gazing continually at the Sun. Pain and Diſappiontment quicken our reliſh for Pleaſure; and thoſe, who would arrive at the full 334 Uu3v 334 full enjoyment of any thing, muſt firſt ſuffer themſelves to want it. Again, the dark parts of Life ſerve to render the bright ones more luminous; as the deeper the ſhades are in a Picture, the more full and glowing are its Lights. And as darkneſs, throughout Nature, is as neceſſary as light; ſo the Advantages we reap from either would be loſt, were it not for the grateful Viciſſitudes of day and night.
I write this in great Incertainties; but whatever the Event may be, that your Mind may preſerve its equal State, is ſincerely wiſh’d by
1736-10-30October 30, 1736.
As I’m generally a Hearer in company, rather than a Speaker; I was well enough diverted this evening with a young Thing, who, I dare ſay, looks upon her ſelf as a Curioſity. She’s one, who values her ſelf extremely upon what the World calls a Polite Education; has a French-woman to teach her to murder Engliſh, a Muſic-maſter to inſtruct her in the Art of ſpoiling Muſic, and a Dancingmaſter who is to teach her to forget how to Walk. She wears no Stays but what are done by 335 Uu4r 335 by a German hand, drinks no Tea but Mahood’s; and her Mantua-maker, Milliner, nay her very Shoe-maker are all of French extraction. With all theſe Accompliſhments, which ſhe is continually informing you of, there’s no difficulty in perſwading her, that all her acquaintance are a very inſignificant ſet of People; and that herſelf is the only Perſon of Conſequence in all Companies. For which reaſon ſhe always thinks ſhe has a right to the firſt Curt’sey, the firſt Seat, and not only the firſt, but the fulſomeſt Compliments that are paid. I had acquitted my ſelf ſo much to her ſatisfaction in all theſe Particulars, and had gain’d ſo entirely upon her Affections by my extreme Complaiſance; that ſhe not only ſuffer’d me to ſit next her, during the whole Ceremony, but directed the greateſt part of her Diſcourſe to me, as a Mark of her Eſteem. I was exceſſively proud of the Diſtinction, and teſtify’d my ſatisfaction by applauding every thing ſhe ſaid. Among ſeveral other very extraordinary Aſſertions (occaſion’d by the profound Gravity of the reſt of the Company, who were loſt in Admiration) ſhe wonder’d how people could ever be grave, or out of Humour; or ever ſit ſtill long enough to be uneaſy. After ſignifying my Aſtoniſhment at her uncommon Philoſophy, I made her a complimentment 336 Uu4v 336 ment upon the ſuperiority of her Underſtanding; both which were graciouſly receiv’d. And to convince me that my good Opinion of her was no more than her due, ſhe aſſur’d me, with an air of Pre-eminence and Self-ſufficiency, that is not to be deſcrib’d, That for her Part, nothing ſhould ever make her uneaſy, as long as ſhe liv’d. I was ſo well ſatisfy’d with this laſt Speech, that I long’d to return to my Cloſet, and that Oglio of Fools, which Mr. Pope has been ſo good as to let me have always at my Elbow. Among which Who thinks that Fortune cannot change her Mind,Prepares a ſtanding Jeſt for all Mankind. There are Characters in Life, whoſe Diſtreſſes rather deſtroy our Compaſſion, than awaken it; and if ever I find the emotions of Humanity fail me (and I think I am not naturally of an obdurate Nature) ’tis for ſuch Fools as theſe. But I find I’m growing ſatirical; ſo ſhall turn my Thoughts to a much more agreeable Subject—your gentle, but incomprehenſible Friend in the Mask. Hope is undoubtedly a moſt pleaſing Paſſion; and you had flatter’d mine ſo agreeably when you told me, ſhe would have wrote to me, that I ſhould have taken my laſt leave of Deſpair, if you had not been ſo kind as 337 Xx1r 337 as to aſſure me in the very next Sentence, that ſhe was much better engag’d. Was ever poor innocent Creature, that never hurt either of you, ſo teaz’d and tantaliz’d? In ſhort, if you’re reſolv’d to go on in theſe abominable Practices, I’m determin’d to be blind not above a Month longer. Half a word, and I’ll deſcribe every Feature of her Face. What tho’ that ingenious Comedian, Mr. Bullock, has told us—that Woman is a Riddle, and has wrote a dull Comedy to prove it; yet Riddles have been unriddled, and Myſteries clear’d up. Therefore if ſhe deſires to conceal herſelf any longer, her only way will be to make herſelf known: as we give over looking after the Sun, as ſoon as he comes out of an Eclipſe.
1736-11-27Nov. 27, 1736.
Your laſt Favour, which by the date I ought to have had the 1736-10-2828th of laſt Month, ſeem’d by the ſhatter’d condition of its Cover, either to have lain at the Poſt-Office, or to have ſlept at Peace in your Footman’s Pocket, ’till the 1736-11-055th of this; and came to me half open on the 1736-11-066th. I can hardly forgive the Party-colour’d Gentleman Xx (if 338 Xx1v 338 (if ’twas his Fault) the Injury he has done me by his Forgetfulneſs; who, like the Miſer, for I can’t compare him to a worſe Creature, was all that time in poſſeſſion of a Treaſure which he durſt not uſe, and which I, who knew the value of it, was in daily expectation of. I beg pardon for detaining you ſo long with my quarrel to Mr. John, and proceed to my ſelf (a Perſon of much greater Importance to me) who have had variety of Fears ſince you became dumb, and had ſometimes reſolv’d to ſend you a Catalogue of ’em. But have been extremely buſy of late in ſorting of Ribbons, and diſpoſing of bits of Edging to advantage, in order to make a decent Appearance with my Brother’s Wife at Covent-Garden Church. But I find theſe things are ſo much above my Genius, and am afraid my Country Airs will hang ſo aukwardly about me, that the polite Ladies of that Place will ſoon find me out, and ſmoak me (if I may uſe ſo coarſe a Phraſe) as the Wits do a Parſon at the Play-Houſe. ’Tis now three years ſince my Noſe was regal’d with the ſweet ſtinks of London; during which time I’ve been breathing pure unadulterated Country Air, and learning to undreſs my ſelf. How I ſhall do to inhale the various Odours of Covent-Garden Market, and make a diſpoſal of the Ornaments of my Perſonſon 339 Xx2r 339 ſon to advantage, I’m at a loſs to imagine. I have ſuch a violent inclination for Eaſe, that I don’t care to ſtick a Pin extraordinary, where it interferes with that; and had rather have my Apron rumpled, than ſuffer the leaſt diſcompoſure of Mind. So that I’m likely to make a very extraordinary Figure when I come there; and as I’ve neither Fortune or Philoſophy enough to dare to be ſingular, am in daily apprehenſions about my Appearance. I wiſh you’d ſatisfy my ſcruples in theſe particulars; as how far a Perſon of my littleneſs may dare to depart from the common road, when ’tis no longer convenient to be in it. Whether I may not venture to hang on my Cloaths in five minutes, for Conveniency, rather than be two hours in pinning ’em on, for Shew; and uſe my Legs ſometimes, when ’twou’d be more decent to be ſeen in a Coach. In ſhort, whether I may not conſider my ſelf as Perſon I have an unfeign’d Affection for; and of conſequence ſo far aſſert my Liberty, as to do many things I’ve a Mind to do. For tho’ I’ve the greateſt deference for the Manners and Cuſtoms of the World, yet I can’t help leaning ſometimes to Sir William Temple’s Opinion, That one of the greateſt Pleaſures in Life is, to poſſeſs ſuch a degree of Liberty, as to Xx2 “be 340 Xx2v 340 be able to walk ones own Pace, and ones own Way.
Your Advice in theſe important Articles, would be of great Uſe to your well-meaning, but extremely diffident, &c;
1736-12-21December 21, 1736.
Want of Time is, I think, the general Complaint of all Letter-Writers; and Yours in haſte, concludes Wit, Buſineſs, every thing. For my own part, my whole Life is little more than a perpetual Hurry of doing Nothing; and I think I never had more Buſineſs of that ſort upon my Hands than now. But as I can generally find Time to do any thing I’ve a Mind to do; ſo can always contrive to be at Leiſure to pay my reſpects to Miſs L.
Want of Spirits is another heavy Complaint I frequently meet with; and I’ve a Correſpondent who never writes to me without grievous Invectives againſt the Spleen. I will not add how often I have my ſelf borrow’d the ſhape of the Spleen to be dull in; and it would be of ſingular Service to me at this time, if you’d only be ſo good as to believe me far gone in that hopeful Diſtemper.But 341 Xx3r 341
But the moſt univerſal Complaint among Scribblers of my Rank is, want of Senſe. Theſe generally begin with an Apology for their long Silence; and end with that moving Petition, Excuſe this Nonſenſe. This is modeſt, indeed; but tho’ I’m exceſſive good-natur’d, I’m reſolv’d for the future not to pardon it entirely, in any one but my ſelf.
I’ve often thought there never was a Letter wrote well, but what was wrote eaſily; and if I had not ſome private Reaſons for being of a contrary Opinion at this time, ſhould conclude this to be a MaſterPiece of the kind; both as to Eaſineſs of Thought, and Facility of Expreſſion. And in this Eaſineſs of Writing (which Mr. Wycherly ſays, is eaſily wrote) methinks I excel even Mr. Pope himſelf; who is often too elaborate and ornamental, even in ſome of his beſt Letters; tho’ it muſt be confeſs’d he outdoes me in ſome few Trifles of another ſort, ſuch as Spirit, Taſte, and Senſe. But let me tell Mr. Pope, that Letters, like Beauties, may be over-dreſt There is a becoming Negligence in both; and if Mr. Pope could only contrive to write without a Genius, I don’t know any one ſo likely to hit off my Manner as himſelf. But he inſiſts upon it, that a Genius is as neceſſary towards Writing, as Straw towards 342 Xx3v 342 towards making Bricks; whereas, ’tis notorious, that the Iſraelites made Bricks without the Material, as well as with.
The Concluſion of the whole Matter is this; I never had more Inclination to write to you, and never fewer Materials at hand to write with. Therefore have fled for refuge to my old Companion, Dullneſs, who is ever at hand to aſſiſt me; and have made Uſe of all thoſe genuine Expreſſions of her ſelf which are included under the Notion of want of Time, want of Spirits, and in ſhort, want of every thing but the moſt unfeign’d regard for that Lady whoſe moſt devoted
The humble Remonstrance of M.J. Inhabitant of the Pariſh of St. Paul, Covent-Garden, To the honourable Miſs L. Maid of Honour to our moſt gracious Queen Caroline,
That whereas we little Folks, out of the tender Regard we bear to you great Folks, do often infeſt your Levees, ſpill your Tea, and eat up your Bread and Butter; and have moreover ſuch pitiful Looks, and begging Countenances; ’tis therefore humbly pray’d that, 343 Xx4r 343 that, for the future, you would contract your Brows, ſit ſilent, or trifle with your Slipper during ſuch Intervals, as well for your own eaſe, as the ſatisfaction and quiet of his Majeſty’s loving Subjects:
That while you continue to ſmile upon every thing that teazes you, and talk to every thing that talks to you, you make your ſingle Apartment (notwithſtanding the Contiguity of the Drawing-Room) the center of Attraction; and draw crouds of Triflers into your Vortex, who would otherwiſe be moving about in their proper Spheres:
That by the mere force of this Attraction, in general, your Petitioner is often drawn aſide from her right way; and by (what Sir Iſaac Newton calls) the centripetal Force, in particular, is frequently impell’d towards St. James’s, when ſhe had calculated her Motions for the Royal-Exchange:
That for this reaſon your Petitioner is oblig’d to make Uſe of a Vehicle, never ſo much as mention’d in Sir Iſaac’s Principia; and as it’s Impulſes and Tendencies are contrary to all the known Laws of Motion, ſhe conceives it to be not only inconſiſtent with the regular courſes of Nature, but alſo beneath the Dignity of a Philoſopher to be ſeen in ſuch a Vehicle:That 344 Xx4v 344
That this Machine was originally call’d, by the Ancients, a Sedan, by the Moderns, its denomination is a Chair; but as your Petitioner profeſſes her ſelf to be of the Sect of the Peripatetics, or walking Philoſophers, ſhe humbly conceives it to be a Diſgrace to her Order, to purſue her Studies any longer in ſuch an ignoble Vehicle:
That it is nevertheleſs look’d upon as a mark of Reſpect for we ſublunary Bodies to approach you celeſtial ones in ſuch a Machine; but that notwithſtanding your Petitioner (out of her tender regard to your Honour) hath been thrice pent up in this manner, in her Perihelion; yet you have not once taken the leaſt notice of it, or ſo much as enquir’d whether ſhe came upon two Legs or four:
That your Petitioner brought with her ſeveral good golden Guineas to this Place, with his Majeſty’s royal Face thereon; but that in compliance with this unnatural Cuſtom, her Golden Age has been entirely reduc’d to the Silver one; and if this Enormity is ſuffer’d to continue, ſhe makes no doubt but that ſhe ſhall ſoon be driven to the laſt Extremities of an Age of Braſs.
Your Petitioner therefore humbly hopes you will graciouſly condeſcend to take her Circumſtances into Conſideration, and that you will forthwith 345 Yy1r 345 forthwith iſſue out Orders, that a Commiſſion of Foot be granted to your Petitioner; or elſe, that the moment you hear her ſcaling your Walls, or tampering with your Guards, you give immediate Orders, that no Subaltern be admitted within the Garriſon.
1737-07-22Oxford, July 22, 1737.
Company, which I hate in general, as much as, I’ve lately found out, I love yours in particular, has prevented my paying my Devoirs to you ſo early as I deſign’d. What I mean by that violent Expreſſion is, that I’ve hardly been alone ſince I came home; and all the uſe I’ve been able to make of it is, that it has only ſhewn me the difference between Yours, and common Converſations; and by that means put me oftner in Mind of what I’ve loſt Really you’ve quite ſpoil’d my Taſte, and I muſt never hope to be ſo cheaply pleas’d as I have been.
I’d fain unlade my Heart of a little of what it owes you; but ’twou’d take up ſo much Yy of 346 Yy1v 346 of your Time and mine to clear the Veſſel, that I think I’d better bear about me the grateful Senſation, ’till I’ve ſome better Opportunity of diſcharging it. Beſides, ’twou’d look ſo much like that Commodity, which you have in ſuch great plenty at St. James’s, that perhaps ’twou’d be more adviſeable to conſume the precious Incenſe, as the Dutch do their Spices, than glut the Market.
Shall I tell you an Adventure? Laſt Sunday as I ſat receiving Compliments and Congratulations upon my arrival, a good old Lady in one corner of the room, was lifting up her Eyes at ſomething her next neighbour was telling her about Lady - - - - - -. I could only catch now and then a Word, enough to raiſe my Curioſity; and therefore as ſoon as I could creep a little nearer, begg’d to know who this extraordinary Lady was? What ſhe did? And how long ſhe had been in Oxford? I was extremely delighted with the Hiſtory, which the other related with the utmoſt punctuality; but found, after all the two ſorts of things ſhe ſaid of her, the Fine and the Odd, that ſhe thought her Ladyſhip a little mad. This pleas’d me, as it gave me ſome of the nicer sketches of the Picture, as well as ſtrongly impreſt the Idea of my native ſoil. Having heard as much as I had occaſion for, and my Spirits 347 Yy2r 347 Spirits being up; as ſoon as I was alone, I ſat down, and with the moſt compos’d Aſſurance that ever my faculties were ſenſible of, wrote the following Epiſtle.To the Right Honourable - - - - - - - About a year and half ago, I had the honour to receive three Letters from ſome inviſible Being, whoſe Name and Rank in the Creation I was then utterly a ſtranger to, and have ever ſince been in the utmoſt perplexities about. Various have been my cogitations upon this Subject; but hearing juſt now that Lady - - - - - - - - - - was in Oxford, and conſidering and comparing Circumſtances and Similitudes, I had no longer any doubts upon the Matter; but came immediately to honeſt Hamlet’s Reſolution, that, Whether your Intents were wicked, or charitable,You come in ſuch a queſtionable Shape,That I will ſpeak to you. If I am miſtaken, I hope I ſhall have your Ladyſhip’s Pardon; but if not, I fear I’ve ten times more reaſon to ask it. I was really amaz’d and aſham’d when I had ſome Hints given me, who I had been writing to; and my Yy2 Confuſion 348 Yy2v 348 Confuſion increas’d, as the Scene brighten’d up. But, as I wrote at a venture, hope your Ladyſhip will pardon me all the improper and random Expreſſions I then made uſe of. My Curiosity, I muſt confeſs, has ever ſince been as great as the Occaſion of it; and I ſhall haunt all the publick Places in Oxford, in order to get a Glimpſe of your Ladyſhip’s Perſon. If therefore any penſive diſcontented Thing ſhould glide by you, wiſhing to ſpeak, but not daring, till ſpoken to; your Ladyſhip may conclude, that this Phænomenon is an humble and real Admirer of l’agreable Inconu; and, with the greateſt Deference, Lady - - - - - moſt obedt. H. Servant.
To my inexpreſſible Surpriſe and Pleaſure, I receiv’d a moſt elegant and obliging Anſwer from her Ladyſhip, together with a particular Invitation to her Lodgings. I need not give you an account of my Palpitations and Tremors; I believe you can form a pretty ſtrong Idea of them. To tell you the truth, when my Spirits began to drop, I was ſo aſtoniſh’d at my own Impudence, that I had hardly Courage enough left to ſhew my Face. However, I met with a moſt gracious Reception; and her Ladyſhip was ſo good as to diſſipate my Panics, by 349 Yy3r 349 by the moſt obliging Behaviour in the world. (N.B. I’ll take your word another time for all the agreeable Characters you can draw.) The converſation ran much upon You; but I would not ſo much as mention you in the Letter, becauſe I wou’d not draw you in to ſupport any Extravagancies I might be guilty of. But as you told me her Ladyſhip had made ſome Enquiries after me, I thought that a pretty good Foundation to hazard a Letter upon. However, pray give me your real Sentiments upon this extraordinary Adventure. You are the only infallible Guide I can admit of in theſe Proteſtant Realms; and therefore ſhall be in pain, till I know how you decide.
I believe I have tir’d you; but as theſe are the firſt Efforts of my Pen ſince I came home, I could not tell where to ſtop till this momemt—but (till I’ve quite wrote you to death) hope you’ll continue to allow me a Place among your moſt devoted, &c;
I’m juſt going to repeat my Aſſignation— Courage, mes amis!
1737-08-03Auguſt 3, 1737.
The beſt Idea I can give you of the Joy and Precipitation with which I ran to meet your delectable Letter (for I diſtinguiſh’d it from twenty in the Poſtman’s hand, tho’ I was a ſtory above him) is, that in my Flight downwards, I ſprain’d an Ancle. But I, who always weigh my Pleaſures againſt my Pains, and from thence calculate the amount of my Happineſs, found at this time the pleaſurable Scale preponderate ſo much, that tho’ the Ancle was extremely painful, the Letter over-balanc’d it.
I don’t often lay Schemes, becauſe I have not Spirit enough to execute ’em. The only one I attempted in Town was to coax Lady Lovelace only to venture her Neck with me in a Chair to Richmond, while you was there. By the mere dint of Eloquence I had half prevail’d, when my good old Lady Vane, and Mrs:,. Wiſhart ſtepp’d in with their Chariots, and ruin’d all my Hopes. But Lady - - - - -’s Adventure has given me freſh Spirits; and now I have your Approbation, let all the World, even Lady - - - - - - her ſelf ſay ’twas wrong, I ſay ’twas right. Much does her Ladyſhip ſuffer, 351 Yy4r 351 ſuffer, and much ſhe ought, for indeed much ſhe laughs at us. In return, we pity her, ’tis true, becauſe, poor Lady! we reckon her— not quite in her right Mind: and I’ve been ask’d very gravely, if ever I ventur’d to ſit next her; becauſe people in that unhappy way, are apt to have their Flights. But I aſſure them I’ve truſted my ſelf within half a yard of her; and as wild as ſhe looks, ſhe’s quite gentle and inoffenſive, when you come to talk with her: and that I never ſaw her do any thing vaſtly extravagant, except giving Mr. - - - - - - - a box on the Ear one Day, and kicking her Slipper out of Window to a poor Woman that wanted Charity. But all I can ſay, can’t perſwade ’em ſhe has only a little Diſorder of the animal Spirits; they will have it, that’s ſhe’s too far gone to be truſted in a Room with two Windows in it. In ſhort, all the difference I can perceive between her Ladyſhip’s way of thinking and ours, is, that ſhe looks down, and pities Us; and we look up, are aſtoniſh’d, and ſtare!—a Faculty we are much inclin’d to, at any extraordinary Appearance.
After all, ſeriouſly, ſhe’s in a very bad way, for ſhe has two Phyſicians— a dangerous Symptom! I was to wait on her Ladyſhip two or three times, while ſhe ſtay’d, and alwaysways 352 Yy4v 352 ways came away pleas’d. She took her Flight on Saturday. And thus endeth the Hiſtory of Lady - - - - -.
There are about five people in the world that I am as perfectly reſign’d to in the Buſineſs of ſpeaking, as I am ſometimes with you. I am often in their company, love ’em dearly, and am fond of their Approbation; they ſtroak me, they humour me, they do every thing I’d have ’em do, but I cannot grow tame before ’em for my Life. If I’m laughing before they come in, I immediately put on my Solemnities; if quite degagèé, and putting forth all that comes, their very ſight ſtrikes me dumb; and every ſentence after, is forc’d, unnatural, and affected. But if you’ll only all keep at the diſtance you yourſelf are at preſent, and allow me the free uſe of Pen, Ink, and Paper, I aſſure you I mind you no more than I do the Monument. All Strangers I have an unconquerable Averſion to; and among a very extenſive Acquaintance, have not ten intimate ones. In ſhort, I muſt confeſs I’ve a little of the Savage in my Nature, and am prodigiouſly fond of a Deſart. You inquire the reaſons of all this; but as they are moſt of ’em philoſophical, and lie very deep, ’twould take up too much time and paper to inveſtigate ’em. However, 353 Zz1r 353 However, not one of ’em are of the kind you mention.
I love all your Letter, but that part where you ſay I flatter you, and where you ſpeak diſreſpectfully of yourſelf: a Liberty, I aſſure you, no one elſe upon Earth ſhall ever take in my preſence unreprov’d. But wherein have I flatter’d you? If I fancy you have more Merit than you really have; that’s your Fault, not mine. That is, if the Judgment I have form’d of you, from all outward appearance, be wrong; ’tis You that have deceiv’d me, and and not I flatter’d you. But if after all, you are the very Perſon I take you to be (and you have not undeceiv’d me yet) ’tis a Character that will always pleaſe me; that I love, and that I cannot ſpeak of in a cold inſipid Phraſe. And if this is Flattery, then am I a Flatterer; and deſerve not the leaſt returns of Affection or Friendſhip, the ultimate End of all my pious Adulation.
I don’t know how it fares with your Patience, but I’ve fifty things to ſay ſtill, and had as many to do yeſterday; but one Letter from you puts every thing out of my Head, ’till I’ve anſwer’d it. My next ſhall be in Italian, only to ſhew you how far the Spirit of Emulation will carry me; for I deſign to follow you, my bright Example! thro’ all the imitable Zz parts 354 Zz1v 354 parts of your Character, tho’ at an awful diſtance, as uſual. For as I deſire nothing ſo much as your Friendſhip; ſo it will always be my Ambition to be your’s by a kind of ſimilitude of Taſtes and Amuſements, as well as Inclination. In Teſtimony whereof we have caus’d theſe our Letters to be made Patent, and to continue in Force for ninety and nine Years, and no longer.
1737-08-17Auguſt 17, 1737.
I now want every thing to expreſs the Contentments you give me, for I want even Words. Among the Vivacities, there is a certain Pitch we’re allow’d to arrive at, which we can expreſs, and which the moſt Inſenſible may feel; but after that, ’tis all Rapture and Enthuſiaſm; at leaſt, with we Poetic Folks. I am, at preſent, in one of theſe I-don’t-know-howto-expreſs-it-Raptures; all over-power’d with a hurry of grateful Senſations, and yet dare not give the reins to my Imagination; for fear if I ſhould happen to over-flow a little, you ſhould miſtake it for Flattery. I can’t ſtay now to enquire into the meaning of that poor Word, that is ſo often abus’d; but proceed,ceed, 355 Zz2r 355 ceed, with my uſual Rapidity, to the thing that comes next. Hear what Lady - - - - - - ſays, She’s honeſt—ſhe means well. Five Words, that are a Volume in your Praiſe— I’m rejoyc’d to find I ſtand in ſome degree of that Lady’s Approbation; tho’ my Remerciments are rather due to your ſelf, on whom I lean’d for ſupport, under that amazing Trial of my Courage and Conſtancy; and for whoſe ſake alone her Ladyſhip ſtepp’d down from the - - - - - -’s, as you have often done from Queen Caroline, and the Lovelaces, to entertain Me. Happy Girl! Who wanting nothing, all poſſeſs;And knowing, taſte my Happineſs. I don’t know who that Fragment belongs to, but ’tis in your Hand-writing.—I wanted much to ask Lady - - - - - - - to give me the Honour of making her ſome Tea, in theſe our Terreſtrial Abodes; but my Tongue falter’d juſt about the beginning of the Speech, ſo I left that Point to be diſcuſs’d by abler Geniuſſes. I had likewiſe another Wiſh, equally importunate to be communicated; but which however was immediately ſtifled by my Virtues, I mean, my exceſſive Modeſty, and exemplary Self-denial. This was only for a little more Zz2 of 356 Zz2v 356 of her Ladyſhip’s Correſpondence. I know you’ll cry out, I’m never contented. But I can’t help that: who ever was ſo? I’m ſure you never met with any thing in human Shape, that was.
When you write to your Couſin in Holland, I wiſh you’d deſire her to give my kind Love to the Princeſs of Orange, and tell her I honour her beyond all the Princeſſes in the World. I have been told, that you ſhew’d her Royal Highneſs ſome of my Letters; and forgot to be vain to you upon it. I beſeech you tell me, what Subjects they were upon, and all about it. And when your Hand’s in, the next time you win a Pool of your Royal Miſtreſs, I ſhall be oblig’d to you, if you’ll only pour a few of my high merits into her ſacred Ear; and give her Majeſty to underſtand, that I want prodigiouſly to have a little Houſe built in Buſhy Park, in Defiance of Stephen Duck. This, you may aſſure her Majeſty, is a Scheme purely diſintereſted with regard to my ſelf; and with a view only to watch the Motions of her Maids of Honour.
You ſee I’m determin’d to perſecute you, wherever you go; but you bid me write on, and I can’t ſtop my Pen when ’tis once ſet a going. Among all the Virtues, there’s none I ſo frequently and earneſtly recommend to my 357 Zz3r 357 my courteous Correſpondents, as Patience. To this alone ’tis owing, that my immortal Labours are read, when Pope and Young are neglected. O may you never want this Virtue, while I can hold a Pen! In conſequence of which may ſome of the better ſort of Angels guard you in your Journey into Nottinghamſhire; and at Tunbridge, may neither Beau Nash, nor any evil thing come near to hurt you. I hope Lady Lovelace believes ſhe has an affectionate Servant in M.J. My Paper fails me to tell how much I am,
1737-10-09October, 9, 1737.
You begin by asking me about fifty Queſtions in a Breath; and if you are not vaſtly impatient, I will anſwer ’em all as faſt as my ſedateneſs of Temper will let me, for I love not to be put in a hurry.
1ſt Then, I am overjoy’d to find you a again, for I began to be inconſolable for your Loſs.
2dly. I have thought of you upon my Bed, in Company, in my Cloſet; which I aſſure you is more than I do of any body, or any thing, except my Poetry, and my Sins.358 Zz3v 358
3dly, I’ve had various Pains and Fears for your Welfare; and had juſt advertis’d you at Fern-Hill when yours arriv’d.
4thly. I neither can recant, nor do repent of any one thing I ever ſaid of you in my Life.
5thly and laſtly. Whenever I do, you ſhall certainly hear of it.
Having thus reduc’d your Queſtions to Form and Method, ’twill now be neceſſary to inform you wherefore I’ve ſo long kept Silence. As to that part of the time, during your Travels into foreign Parts (of which I hop’d to have had ſome uſeful Memoirs) I profeſs I was not prophetic enough to foreſee that a Letter would come to your Hands, which could poſſibly have no Direction. And ſince your auſpicious Return, I’ve had no time. My Mother is gone to London, and has left the government of her kingdom upon my Shoulders. What time have I then to write, who am the ſole Arbitreſs of the Differences between John and Mary? And how can I recollect my diſſipated Thoughts, while the Silver Spoons lie ſcatter’d about the Kitchen? Alas! the day is half ſpent, before I can determine whether our Mutton ſhall be roaſt or boyl’d.
Another grand revolution has happen’d in my Affairs, and that is, I’ve been pulling down part of my Cloſet, in order to inlarge the Windowdow 359 Zz4r 359 dow thereof, and admit more of Apollo’s rays into my Rhymes. While theſe grand Affairs were in Agitation, could I ſit idly trifling with my Pen? And while my learned Shelves underwent various Mutations, could I truſt my valuable Manuſcripts to the prophane Hands of the vulgar? Theſe, and numberleſs other Avocations have chang’d the current of my Thoughts from You, and taken up all the vacant ſpaces of my Time.
My raptures upon the Princeſs of Orange were occaſion’d by Miſs C’s telling me, that her Royal Highneſs had a languiſhing Deſire to ſee ſome of my Letters, and that you had ſhewn her ſome. Now as I take it for granted that the Princeſs was charm’d with my Writings, ſo of conſequence I was equally charm’d with her Judgment; and this gave occaſion to my Raptures. But if you ſhould inform me, that her Royal Highneſs was not quite ſo much enchanted as I would chuſe to have her be; yet ſtill I muſt admire her Judgment, becauſe, among Friends, ’tis the beſt Proof of it of the two. So that you ſee I am really the Princeſs of Orange’s Admirer, whether She’s mine or no.
I’ve about fifty reaſons for not going to London this Winter, and ſcarce one for going, unleſs ’tis to ſee You. I’ve no Buſineſs there, or 360 Zz4v 360 or Pleaſure, except in the foremention’d Article; and ’tis going ſo much out of my road of Life, which at Oxford is one certain invariable Path, that whenever I do go there, I am not able to recover the Thread of my Affairs again in a twelvemonth. However, I wiſh you Operas and Fiddles in abundance; and if I can contrive to take St. James’s into my Plan of Operations after Chriſtmas, ſhall have a particular ſatisfaction in rendering my Curt’ſies at your Levee, and remain, for the reſt of my Travels,
1737-12-01December 1, 1737.
The Face of things is ſo much alter’d ſince I wrote laſt, that I know not how to begin a Letter to you, or how to expreſs my ſelf upon an Affair ſo intereſting and ſtriking as the Death of the Queen. There’s no one ſo far remov’d from the Throne, but what muſt feel ſuch a Loſs; as, I think Queen Caroline’s is univerſally felt and lamented, even by the meaneſt of her Subjects. But for my own part, I’ve more than a Subject’s ſhare in the common Calamity, tho’ at the ſame time have an affectionate Subjects’ Concern. I 361 Aaa1r 361 I wiſh ’twere of any Uſe to you to know, that you have never been out of my thoughts ſince this important Event; and if I’ve been really more affected than my neighbours, it has been upon your account. We have loſt only a good Queen; but you a Miſtreſs, a Friend, and (I may ſay) a Parent; in ſhort, every thing you could loſe under all theſe relations.
I would not add to your Concern, by troubling you with unneceſſary Reflections; but ſurely, I think, you were born to be the ſport of Fortune. One day ſhe ſeems to ſmile upon you, only to inſult you more effectually the next. But ſhe has taught you an uſeful Leſſon; for I think you had Indifference enough to diſtruſt her Smiles, and muſt therefore be equal to her Frowns.
I know how diſagreeable it muſt be, but cannot conclude without begging the favour of a Line from you, at this time in particular. I can hear from no one ſo well as your ſelf, how you bear your Loſs; and it would be the moſt agreeable news I could hear, to find you bear it with your uſual Temper, and that it will in ſome meaſure be render’d ſupportable to you. Forgive me, if I’m impertinent; for I had rather be thought ſo, than indifferent.
1737-12-21December 21, 1737.
Nothing could be more welcome to me than your obliging Letter. I confeſs, I had ſomething of Curioſity mixt with my concern for you; and have a real Satisfaction in ſeeing you ſupport juſt the ſame character in ever ſcene of Life. May that unaffected Calmneſs and Magnanimity, of which you’ve lately had ſo eminent an Inſtance, never be wanting to you, whenever Heaven ſhall pleaſe to demand them from you. For ſince much, I think, is requir’d of you, much undoubtedly will be given.
I am in love with the Character you give me of your Royal Miſtreſs; and not at all ſurpriz’d to find, that thoſe noble Sentiments, which always warm’d her Breaſt, ſhould exert themſelves with greater vigour, the nearer they were being extinguish’d. But tho’ you muſt neceſſarily miſs her more immediate Influence, yet ſhe has left you ſomething that will be of uſe to you; and that is, her bright Example. After this, I need only wiſh you to take care of your Health; and to beſtow juſt as much conſideration upon your Body, as is neceſſary to keep your Mind in its proper (and that is the full) Enjoyment of its Faculties. For tho’ you’ve had 363 Aaa2r 363 had an illuſtrious Proof of what Mind can do, unaſſiſted, or rather diſcourag’d and depreſs’d by its corporeal partner; yet ſuch Inſtances are rare and uncommon. It more frequently happens, that a good ſtate of the Solids and Fluids has made more Philoſophers than people are aware of; and that Medicines have ſometimes ſerv’d to regulate our conduct, when Maxims were of no uſe.
I’m ſincerely rejoyc’d to hear Lady Lovelace is ſo much better, as to go abroad. Mr. B. tells me, he had her Ladyſhip’s commands to write to me from Tunbridge; but, I aſſure you, I never receiv’d the Letter: otherwiſe, ſhould certainly have acknowledg’d it, as I always ſhall many other obligations I have to her Ladyſhip.
I am writing for you daily, or rather nightly; (for I never begin my Studies, till other people are abed and aſleep) but am afraid you’ll loſe your taſte for ſuch trifles, before I’ve finiſh’d my Lucubrations, and put Finis to this intolerable Book. However, in hopes they may ſometimes relieve a melancholy hour, I proceed with ſome degree of chearfulneſs.
Pray ſend me all the good News you know of your ſelf; for all that paſſes for News in the world beſides, is equally indifferent to me.Aaa2 How 364 Aaa2v 364
How ſhall I contrive to ſhape my ſelf to both your Commands, that of writing to you, as well as for you; and that of ſaving my Eyes? I wiſh you had been ſomewhat more explicit in your advice; becauſe I’ve generally ſo much pleaſure in doing any thing you bid me, that I never ſpare any thing, not even your Patience. But to deal, as I always do with you, very plainly, your Advice is arrived ſomewhat of the lateſt; for my Eyes, which I hope have done their worſt, are, of conſequence, of very little uſe to me farther than as they ſerve to diſtinguiſh a poſt from a pillar, or a friend from a foe; and therefore as to all the peculiar and momentous purpoſes of Eyes, they are hardly worth the ſaving. So that I can only thank you for your advice, and write on.—
Thus much for Eyes. I could now be glad, if my Ears were a little entertain’d; for I’ve a wonderful complacency in hearing you ſpeak. But among all the revolutions and changes of this World, this, I think, is a viciſſitude I can hardly hope for; unleſs Fate, who has certainly a pride in putting your Spirits in motion, ſhould at length whirl you juſt upon this point of the Globe where I’m now writing. I do aſſure you, 365 Aaa3r 365 you, if ever ſuch an event ſhould happen, during my ſtate of reſt and inaction here, I wou’d leave ev’n Pope himſelf to ſpeak to you. This perhaps, you, who are us’d to curt’ſies, and other courtly diſtortions of the body, may think no great Compliment; yet nevertheleſs, ’tis the greateſt I can pay you, and what, I aſſure you, I never offer to any thing below crown’d Heads.
Any good news from my Lady L. is always welcome to me, particularly that which concerns her Health. In what manner Fate intends to diſpoſe of her humble ſervant this Spring, is at preſent, wrapt in obſcurity; only this I know, I ſhall be impatient to produce my ſelf at her Ladyſhip’s Feet, if the winds or the waves of this World ſhould waft me as far as London. But, at preſent, have no Views beyond being ſnug and warm, my own cloſet and the parlour fire; unleſs my Brother, who talks of going there next month, ſhould be ſo civil as to alter his reſolutions.
I’ve yet ſeen nothing, which relates to the Queen; tho’ I’ve curioſity enough, and reckon my ſelf much indebted to you for your obliging offer, &c;—In the mean time, keep good hours, laugh as much as you can, and write long Letters; which I think, includes the whole I have to ſay to you at preſent. I muſt now return to reſearches among the Dead, and 366 Aaa3v 366 and leave you to your circle among the Living. Adieu. And when I’m no more, when all that remains of me (which Heav’n avert!) ſhall be bound together in one miſcellaneous Volume, like many others which are now the lumber of my Shelves; caſt a favourable Eye upon the doubtful page, and treat my Aſhes with reſpect And when you hear the Critics buſy with my Fame, riſe up—and, gently waving thrice your lilly hand, ſay, What once was Molly J**** full well I knew;No Poet, but a good Maid, and a true:Content her Riches, Silence was her Fame,Her Pleaſures Eaſe, her Honours—my Esteem. In hopes that you’ll venture thus much for me,
1737-02-27February 27, 1737.
What ſtrange Reformations a little change of Air makes! and how faſt do People improve in Virtue on this ſide of the Park, to what they do on the other! ’Tis not long ſince, when I never heard you ſo much as mention the word Conſcience; and now, you ſay 367 Aaa4r 367 ſay, it even flies in your Face. When you were a Courtier, your Conſcience was too well bred to give you any Diſturbance; but ſince your reformation to a private Gentlewoman, bleſs me! how it makes you ſtartle! Then, you made no Conſcience of inſiſting upon two Letters for one; but now, you ſee the full Force of the Law of Retaliation, and graciouſly afford me Letter for Letter. Then you had not the leaſt remorſe at being ſilent for a Month or two together; but now in a much leſs time, your Conſcience, you ſay, ſounds Molly J. in your ears every time you take Pen in hand. What a wonderful change is this! And how much do I rejoice to find that I’ve been, in ſome meaſure, the Occaſion of awakening that faithful Monitor in your Breaſt, who never durſt peep into the Boſom of a Maid of Honour.
Another Virtue I’ve alſo obſerv’d in you, which requires ſome touches of my applauding Pen, equally marvellous! equally unknown to the ſix immortal Maids! and that is, Sincerity. This Virtue, ’tis ſaid, was firſt brought over by Wilhelmina-Carolina, Daughter of Frederick, Marquis of Brandenburg-Anſpach: but as it was a Plant perfectly exotic, and could never be brought to flouriſh in this Soil; that illuſtrious Princeſs did not much attempt to culti- 368 Aaa4v 368 cultivate it, except in a few warm Boſoms like her own. Some few Seeds of it ſhe left behind her among her Maids of Honour, to be diſperſt among their Country Friends; (the only thing, we hear, for certain, ſhe did leave ’em) but among many other excellent Maxims, ſhe charg’d ’em never to hazard any of it among their Courtly Acquaintance, if they propos’d making their Fortunes when ſhe was gone.
But what I chiefly admire you for in your retreat is, your thorough Contempt of all the Interludes, Farces, and Entertainments of this World, except that moſt excellent one, The Dragon of Wantley. I’ve a brother now in Town, a ſober Man, and in Holy Orders, to whom I ſhall frequently recommend the ſight of this exemplary Performance. But leſt he ſhould think going to Plays a ſort of Prophanation; for his farther encouragement, I ſhall exhort him, that when he’s tir’d with the notable Exploits of St. George and the Dragon, to caſt his Eyes on a Side-Box on his right Hand, where he may poſſibly ſee a Lady (tho’ no Saint) who is now combating all thoſe wild Beaſts within, the Paſſions; a ſet of Monſters, which the Ladies of the preſent Generation ſeem particularly fond of. Nay, ’tis generally believ’d, that moſt of ’em preſerve one, the ruling 369 Bbb1r 369 ruling Monſter, to run looſe about their Breaſts. But as I have a much higher Idea of You than I have of the generality of my own Sex, or even of St. George himſelf, the Champion of the other, I ſhall expect to hear you get the better of this alſo. For ’tis the ruling Paſſion, what ever it be, that is the very Dragon of Wantley, and which it particularly behoves all ſober Virgins to conquer.
1738-08-11Auguſt 11, 1738.
Your account of the Shades of Windſor, and your Invitation to ’em, is equally pleaſing and poetical. The firſt puts me in mind of the Elyſian Groves, where the great Souls of antiquity repoſe themſelves on beds of Flowers, to the ſound of immortal Lyres; as there perhaps the ghoſts of departed Kings and Queens are ſtill regaling themſelves with ſoft Muſic, and gliding about their ancient Manſion, in Freſco; and the latter, of ſome gentle Spirit, the departed Genius of ſome Maid of Honour (rather too plump for a Ghoſt) who beckons me into ’em. I’m impatient ’till I land at thoſe calm retreats, that Aſylum from curt’ſeying and compliment which I deſpair’d of arriving at in this ſublunary State: Where Bbb if 370 Bbb1v 370 if one can but get into the Groupe, all Diſtinction ceaſes; where, you ſay, I may do any thing I’ve a Mind to do, without Impeachment of my Breeding; and where, diſengag’d from all the Forms and Incumbrances of this nether World, I’m likely to be in perfect good humour with my ſelf, which in moſt other Places, would be reckon’d exceſſively rude.O Liberty! thou Goddeſs heav’nly bright, Profuſe of Bliſs, and pregnant with Delight! .
Little did expect to meet with thee ſo near the ſeat of Polite Education, much leſs in King’s Palaces, and among their honourable Women— Tueſday then I ſet out for this glorious Land, and the Genius that preſides over it, if nothing very amazing intervenes. Many are my Thanks for your offer of a Servant to meet me; but as I chooſe to give you as little Trouble as poſſible, ſhall take an Equipage along with me to kill the Dragons and Monſters in Maidenhead-Thicket. Theſe difficulties being overcome, ſhall lay my ſpoils at your feet, as Lady of the Enchanted Caſtle; and ever after remain
1738-11-28Fern-Hill, Nov. 28, 1738.
I’m ſo very nice in my Pleaſures, at preſent that out of ten Books upon my Table, I can’t pick out one that pleaſes me; and out of as many Correſpondents that I ought to write to, I can’t fix upon one that I choose to write to, except your ſelf. Which I think is the beſt reaſon I can give for troubling you at preſent; except that Miſs Clayton will be no more for this half hour. In the mean time, Je ſuis tout à Vous; as indeed You have been the Subject all our Tête à Têtes hitherto.
Your Letter, before you left Windſor, gave me a wonderful Comlacency, (a Quaintneſs which, I hope, is expreſſive of ſomething we take Delight in) as indeed every new Diſcovery you make of your ſelf has that effect You are like thoſe proſpects which improve upon the Eye, the more we view ’em; and I, like thoſe Travellers, who at firſt ſetting out, only wiſh’d to get to the top of ſuch a Hill, or ſuch a Mountain; but, having reach’d that, ſee ſ o many freſh Pictures, and beautiful Landſcapes before ’em, that, at laſt, nothing but the whole Horizon will ſatiſfy them. I ſet out firſt with a view only to your Correſpondence and Acquaintance; but thoſe Eminencies Bbb2 gain’d, 372 Bbb2v 372 gain’d, my Ambition (the only raving Fit upon me of late) was, at length, to be ſatisfy’d with nothing leſs than your Eſteem and Friendſhip: an altitude, which terminates my Prospects, and finiſhes my Travels.
What a marvellous change do we find in this part of the Globe, ſince You left it! I went with our Friends here to Windſor t’other day, in a broad laugh from Foreſt-Gate; but when we approach’d the Caſtle, and I beheld its Turrets, and your Tower!—there was no longer any Spirit left in me. And I ſaid in mine Heart, (what the Queen of Sheba ſaid to King Solomon) It was a true Report which I heard in mine own Land, of thine Acts, and of thy Wiſdom. Howbeit, I believed not their Words, until I came, and mine Eyes had ſeen it. And behold the one half of the greatneſs of thy Wiſdom was not told unto me.
Theſe were the cogitations of my Heart at that time; but ſince this, I hear you’ve had a conſultation of Tire-women, thoſe foes to fine Ideas, who not only curl, but turn young Ladies Heads aſide from ſound Philoſophy. In ſhort, I hear you’ve been at Court again, and danc’d! at which I ſhiver! When I go to Town, I expect to find you quite a new Creature; all be-dreſt, and all be-power’d, and much 373 Bbb3r 373 much too fine to be good for any thing.— Alas!; truſt a Friend, (or if you curt’ſie above an inch lower, a Foe) that you can put on no courtly Ornaments, either of Body, or Mind, that will become you half ſo well as your open Heart, and your old grey Gown: that token of Reſpect you ſtill wear (I’m ſorry ’tis ſo near worn out) for your Royal Miſtreſs. As well as I love Mrs. Gordon, I hope ſhe’ll inherit all your Virtues, and all your Graces, (tranſplanting ’em one by one into her Mind, and into her Wardrobe) but that grey Gown. ’Tis a little whimſical, but Mr. Locke, I think, accounts for it, in his Chapter of the Aſſociation of Ideas; ’tis a little whimſical I ſay, but one is apt to take a particular liking to ſuch a Walk, or ſuch a Room, where one has been very happy, tho’ never ſo long ago. But Faſhions will alter, and Pink and Silver be the Mode again: it may chance that Ruffs and Farthingals may ſucceed to Hoops and Tippets; but for my part, I ſhall never have any other Idea of You fifty years hence, at leaſt, not a higher, than I have now, in your grey Gown, at Windſor-Caſtle; with Queen Elizabeth’s walk in the Connection, and your elbows upon the Table.
You gave me free liberty of Speech, and thus you have my preſent ſentiments, freely as they flow. 374 Bbb3v 374 flow. Whenever I know any thing worſe of you, you ſhall certainly hear of it—if you pleaſe: If not, I ſhall conclude you’re too proud; and that will ſave you the trouble.— And now I’ve indulg’d my ſelf in the Liberty you defy’d me to, I ſhou’d be glad if you’d uſe a little kind Severity with me; and ſhew me the greateſt ſtranger imaginable, my ſelf. This will ſtill be adding to thoſe Favours, which a large Portion of my future Conduct muſt be accountable to you for. In ſhort, never ſpare me, never forgive me a ſingle Fault, till you’re convinc’d I mean you ill. After that perhaps you’ll find me too proud—I was going to ſay— however, too well ſatisfied with our mutual proceedings, to be any longer ambitious of the honour of being,
I’ll allow you to be a little aſtoniſh’d at my preſent Vivacities; but I never treat any body with this kind of Reſpect, but thoſe I’ve a real Regard for; as mad Folks have a ſpite to none, but their beſt Friends.
From the Antelope at Wickham.
Alas! the Tranſition!—From Yeſterday Henrietta-ſtreet, Mrs. L. and Mrs.—, to a naſty Inn, the officious Mrs. Mary, damp Sheets, and perhaps the Itch before Morning. Yet ſay not I want Reſolution; never Virtue had more. Sick to death from the moment you left me, head-ach beyond deſcription, five men and two Women to compliment my way thro’ in the afternoon; yet boldly ruſh’d thro’ them all, and took my place in the Stage-Coach my ſelf. After all, loſt five Shillings earneſt by a blunder, went in the wrong coach at laſt, and ſuch a morning!—But then I had worſhipful Society! All ſilent and ſick as my ſelf; for which I thank’d my Stars: for if they had ſpoke, I had been murder’d. Mrs.—had almoſt talk’d me into non-exiſtence yeſterday morning; and I had been totally annihilated, if you had not come in and reſtor’d me to my identity. Pray tell her this, in revenge for my head-ach.
All our Friends that we took up in the morning, we dropt gradually one by one, as we do when we ſet out upon the Journey of Life; and now I’ve only a young Student of Oxford, to 376 Bbb4v 376 to finiſh the Evening of my Day with, and prepare for the grand events of to morrow. I’ve juſt been eating a boyl’d chicken with him, and talking about Homer and Madam Roland; and am now retir’d with Mrs. Mary to my bed-chamber, whom I ſhall diſmiſs, with her warming-pan, in a moment. If you don’t permit me to pour out the preſent ſet of ideas upon all this paper, I’m inconſolable; for I’ve no book, and was too abſent till now to think I ſhould want one.—How ſudden, and how capricious are the Tranſitions of this mortal Stage! Pleaſure and pain are parted but by a ſingle moment. Windſor, Fern-hill, Brook-ſtreet, and your grey gown, are no more; nor with all Mr. Locke’s Aſſociations, can I aſſociate a ſingle Idea of the paſt with the preſent. Even Lady —is defunct And yet ſhe might—But ſhe is no more; & de Mortuis nil niſi bonum,While Virtue ſhines, or ſinks beneath - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This effort of Poetry, and that ſcrap of Latin, which I dont underſtand, has ſo exhauſted all my forces, that I find my ſelf gradually ſinkinging 377 Ccc1r 377 ing into the arms of Sleep, and muſt now reſign to the gentle power of Dreams.Farewel!—and when, like me oppreſt with care, You to your own Aquinum ſhall repair, To taſte a mouthful of ſweet country air; Be mindful of your Friend, and ſend me word What joys your fountains, and cool ſtreams afford: Then to aſſiſt your rhapſodies I’ll come, And add new ſpirit, when we ſpeak of Rome. .
I was heartily rejoic’d at the ſight of ſo long and obliging a Letter: the former convinces me, you’re well yourſelf; and the latter, that you wiſh me ſo.—I find you think me half an Infidel in regard to the Virtues of my Betters, you take ſo much pains to convince me. But tho’ I’m not entirely of the Orthodoxy in every point of Court-Divinity; yet I’ve my private Creeds, my particular Articles of Faith, as well as other Heretics. I aſſure you, my dear Madam, I do firmly believe there are a matter of four or five Women of Honour left in the World, who have receiv’d a ſmile from the Queen; and pretty near as many Men, Ccc who 378 CCcv 378 who hope for one from the King—notwithſtanding all Mr. Pope, my moral Guide and Director, has ſaid upon the caſe. But you are as careful to convince me, as if I had no Faith at all. I am ſerious, however, when I aſſure you I am entirely ſatisfy’d with every thing you ſay or do; am convinc’d you mean me well; and, what is ſtill more extraordinary, that you mean all you ſay. So that I think ’tis plain you’ve convinc’d me that there is, at leaſt, one Woman of Honour left in the World; and if, amidſt ſuch a variety, there ſhould happen to be here and there one that has none, I’m ſo charitable as to believe, that ’tis not becauſe they want the moſt ſublime notions of the virtue, but becauſe they don’t underſtand the meaning of the Word.
I am however glad you continue taking Aſſes Milk, and my Advice; two things, which jointly us’d, I’ve obſerv’d to be of great ſervice to all thoſe who have try’d them. The former, I believe, is pretty expenſive in Town; but the latter, I mean Advice, from the great plenty of the Animal that gives it, muſt certainly be the cheapeſt thing you can take. Indeed every body gives it for nothing; and the only difference between your Morning and Evening Draughts is, that you admit the Hees and Shees of the human Herd into your dreſſing room; 379 Ccc2r 379 room; but ſuffer the poor Philoſophers, becauſe they’re a little ragged, to wait at your door. Yet theſe give you their Milk, not as we do our Advice, merely for your Benefit, and without any Views of their own; whereas, as Swift obſerves, —the very beſt of Us adviſe,Half to ſerve You, and half to paſs for wiſe. However, if you’ll only take mine, your welcome to the motive. For I am not, juſt now, for your high flights of Virtue, your abſtract notions of things, which ſoar away one knows not whither, and leave the poor Subject in which they inhere, in the lurch; I am (for the preſent, at leaſt) for your pure intereſted Maxims, and for exhibiting the human Compoſition juſt as it is—a mixture of Earth and Air: a little too exalted for Brutes, and much too abject for Angels. And my reaſons are, I don’t think I laugh’d quite ſo heartily, when you were ill; and have a notion I ſhall miſs ſomething, when you’re got among the Stars. Therefore can’t help hinting theſe Advices, which are juſt arriv’d from my Senſes; for (as the ſame Poet obſerves)Some 380 Ccc2v 380 Some great misfortune to portend, No Enemy can match a Friend.
I’ve added a few lines to the Fragment you deſir’d, in Memory of my Lord Lovelace, which I revere and love; but refer the Reader to a ſweeter Muſe for his Character. ’Tis not for Claxton A Miniature Painter. or I to draw his Picture; yet I’ve often look’d at his imperfect Copy with regret and pleaſure. Adieu, and think of me, as uſual, among
Your Letters will come ſafe directed to me in St. Toles, or only in Oxford. But I inſiſt upon it, that all I ſave you on the outſide, may be added within; for I’ve no notion of loſing a word of your Writing. The weather’s ſo hot, I can write no more myſelf; tho’ I owe every body Letters. But I’ve no Senſe, and have had none theſe ſix Weeks. I’m all Muſic now; diſſolv’d into crotchets and quavers. So that I don’t propoſe writing above ten Letters more as long as I live; and if I ſing, ’twill be literally to the Lyre. I dreamt of Lady Lovelace laſt night, a ſign I’m much her Servant to day.
The Weather being ſomething cooler, and having taken two or three Airings, and two or three Dippings ſince I wrote laſt, I find the heroic Virtues begin to return again; and all thoſe little Benevolences which skip about the Heart when the Sun ſhines, recovering their Places apace. For with all my Philoſophy - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -.
But there’s one particular Species of ſelf Satisfaction, which I can’t yet reduce to rules of Phyſic (tho’ I’ve great Hopes of it, from my indefatigable application to the Sciences, for the good of my fellow Creatures) and without which ’tis impoſſible to arrive at perfect Happineſs; and that is, Vanity. I mean ſuch a Competency of that enlivening Ingredient, as leaves one quite ſatisfy’d with ones own Perfections; and brim-full of a moſt ſprightly Contempt of others. My only Noſtrum in this Caſe is, the cold Bath; a great comforter of weak Nerves, and the only remedy in Nature for thoſe that are modeſt, and apt to bluſh Moſt People indeed ſoar after Happineſs; but I am forc’d to plunge for it. So You roaſt your Tripe; but all the reſt of the World boil it. The only difference is in the Means; the 382 Ccc3v 382 the End, I believe, is pretty much the ſame, whether we roaſt or boil, ſink or ſwim. At leaſt, as far as I can diſcern, Happineſs is only ſomething at a diſtance, which by various Methods, every body is ſoaring or diving after, and ſure they ſhall catch, one time or other. Not to Day perhaps, or to Morrow; but ſome time next Week, or the Week after, at fartheſt Like the letter M,’Tis found in ev’ry Climate, But not in Earth or Sea; ’Tis in all ſorts of Timber, But not in any Tree.
In ſhort, ’tis every where, and no where, unless ’tis where You are at this preſent Writing —And fled from Monarchs, dwells at length with Thee.
Vanity, however, has this advantageous ſtep towards it, that it is never diſcourag’d or diſcountenanc’d, is always its own Admirer, and continually views itſelf with the utmoſt complacency. And I ſhould have had great Hopes from this Paſſion, were not every little blunder, every impotent attempt to excel, even the creaking of a door, ſufficient to put me out of conceit of the Dignity of my Nature. Your laſt indeed a little reconcil’d me to it again; and 383 Ccc4r 383 and I could reap a ſufficient ſtock of Self-admiration from thence, but for ſome few Obſervations, which a long acquaintance with my ſelf had enabled me to make; but which, my dear Madam, you’ll never be able to make as long as you live.—But I’ll teaze you no longer, for the preſent. A moſt agreeable Stupor is creeping over all my Faculties, which I love to indulge. Something about ſix weeks ago bruſh’d away one of my Schemes of Happineſs; but I’ve forgot what it was, and now ’tis too much Trouble to recollect it. If I write any more, you’ll certainly hear of me: If not, you may conclude there are few things that I’d be at the Trouble of mending my Pen for.
To the Right Hon. Lady Henry Beauclerk.
1739-01-08January 8, 1739.
Hitherto, to my ſhame be it ſpoken, the Froſt has got the better of my Inclinations; but they prevail at laſt, and ſet me to writing. Surely we’re in a worſe condition than our Friends in Nova Zembla; for there their Words only are congeal’d; but my very Thoughts are frozen. In ſhort, a warm Heart, 384 Ddd1r 384 Heart, and a few warm Wiſhes, are, I think, the only warm things that are left me. A melancholy Truth, but I muſt own it.
However, ſince your Ladyſhip will permit me neither to be a cold, nor to want Time, or Senſe, or any thing elſe, I am without excuſe for my Silence. Yet I have not had a Letter my ſelf this Month, that did not begin about the Cold; and ’tis mighty unreaſonable to expect, that my Lamp of Life ſhould burn ſtronger and brighter than my Neighbours. Even Mrs.- - - - - - -’s genial Warmth but juſt peeps above the Socket; and to be ſure poor Miſs C. is an Iſicle by this time. Your Ladyſhip, one might perſume, had been froze into a Gem; if it had not been for Lord Harry’s genial Warmth. If it does not thaw ’till that Lady goes to Town, good Heaven increaſe our Coal Heaps! for by that time, I’m afraid I ſhall have nothing but my Poetic Fire left to warm me.
I had great Joy to hear of your Ladyſhip’s ſafe arrival in Town, tho’ I think my Fears for you in your Windſor Journey were rather greater. But how ſhall I ſufficiently make my Praiſes and Acknowledgments known to the Holes in Hatchet-Lane! For if one ought to commend the Bridge one goes over, ſurely thoſe two Holes deſerve a Panegyric. At leaſt, they Ddd ſhall 385 Ddd1v 385 ſhall always be gratefully remember’d by me, your adventrous Chaiſe-oteer! who am not yet reconcil’d to the Terrors of leaving your Ladyſhip in the Mire.
’Tis impoſſible to pen down the gladneſs my Journey to New-Lodge left with me; both as it regarded my own perſonal Satisfaction, as well as gave me an opportunity of being an Eye-witneſs to that agreeable Proſpect which ſeems to be preparing for your Ladyſhip; and which may nothing ever diſturb! I entertain’d Miſs C. with your Picture for three Days, as the sketches occur’d, in all the attitudes of Repoſe, Indolence, and Plenty. But the laſt Morning in my Lord’s dreſſing-room, was beyond Deſcription: and I ſhall never meet with the Portraits of ſome of the plumper ſort of your ancient Right Honourables, but I ſhall think of your Ladyſhip, and the Preſent State of Great Britain, forty years hence. I beg his Lordſhip may know I’m all acknowledgments for the Honour he did me, in whirling me away to this enchanted Scene, his alreadyextended Viſtas, his future Grots and Groves, together with the reſt of his never-to-be-finiſh’d Plans; tho’ ’tis not the only Inſtance of his Good-nature, that I’m concern’d to be grateful for.With 386 Ddd2r 386
With the aſſiſtance of my Friend Mr. B. a blind Horſe to our Vehicle, a Lacquey to precede it, in caſe of Accidents, and our own Legs to help us out of ’em, as we should happen to be expos’d, I got ſafe, thro’ half-frozen Roads, to Beaconsfield a Friday night; and a Saturday arriv’d, a Compoſt of Ice, and all the freezing qualities of the Air, at my own Fire-ſide: two Days that will ſtand remarkable among our Annals of Cold.
And now I’ve nothing more to fatigue your Ladyſhip with but my Wiſhes, which are, that ſome of the good Geniuſes (eſpecially of your Foreſt Oaks) may always be ready to guard you; and among the Goddeſſes (of which you’ll meet with many in the Woods, and near your Fountains) Lucina. This would have run better in Verſe; but as I’ve ſome particular reaſons for not being Poetical at this time, choſe rather to finiſh with a Specimen of that kind of writing, call’d, Proſe run mad.— What more remains muſt be reſerv’d for warmer Climates, and brighter Suns; except that I find my ſelf at this time particularly oblig’d, and always to be commanded by, your Ladyſhip, &c;
1740-04-26April 26, 1740.
Your Ladyſhip’s ſcientific Epiſtle has ſo perfectly ſatisfy’d my Intellectual Cravings, that I think I have not found a Want of any thing ever ſince. Not that I’m overnice in my mental Food; for I taſte of every thing that’s ſet before me, and generally with a pretty good Appetite. But there are, what the French call Friandiſes, tit-bits; which one muſt have a very undiſtinguiſhing Taſte, not to have a peculiar Reliſh for. I often wonder, conſidering how much I read, and eat, that I’m neither the wiſer for the one, nor the fatter for the other. But when one conſiders how ſmall a part of the Food goes towards the nouriſhment of the Animal, in proportion to what is purely uſeleſs, and excrementitious; ’tis not ſo much to be wonder’d at, that I make ſo inconſiderable a Figure in the World as I do. Beſides; all Wits, Mr. Pope ſays, are born to be lean; as all Poets are to be poor.—The Caſe, I believe, is pretty much the ſame, in regard to our mental Food. One reads—for People will publiſh, and therefore one muſt read—one reads, I ſay, every body’s Sentiments, in hopes to be the wiſer for ſome of 388 Ddd2v 388 of ’em; but when we’ve read all we can, and conſider’d, compar’d, and ſhook it all well together, ’tis generally little more than three blue Beans in one blue Bladder. For in Books too, as well as Victuals, we find but a mighty little that is perfectly nutritious, and fit to be digeſted or ſeparated for Uſe; the reſt, like other excrements, go off thro’ the Pores of the Underſtanding, and are never heard of more.
That craving in my firſt Sentence was a lucky Metaphor, which has help’d me to a Page and a half, without the leaſt Study or Application; whereas three Minutes before, I did not know I had a Word to ſay to your Ladyſhip, except to thank you very ſincerely for your Letter, and enquire after the Health and Perfections of little Maſter. ’Tis a great priviledge for us Wits, to be upon ſuch good Terms without courteous Readers, as to be allow’d the Liberty of ſaying every thing, and particularly the firſt thing that comes; and not to wait the labour and midwifry of Invention, for what is not worth bringing forth, when one’s deliver’d. And this puts me in Mind of your Ladyſhip, who certainly has the prettieſt Conceptions, (if I may take Mrs. Gordon’s Word for it) and the eaſieſt Delivery of any Lady upon Earth. In ſhort, I always admire your Ladyſhip’s Quickneſs and Vivacity; but 389 Ddd3r 389 but as I take this laſt Production to be your Chef-d’œuvre, am fill’d with Impatience to peruſe it.
Shall I torment you any longer, or ſhall I go down to my Harpſichord (the only way I have of making a noiſe in the World) and torment other People? The firſt Chord I ſtrike ſends my Brother to bed, and lulls the reſt of the Family. But I love to be alone —except when I’m within ten yards of your Ladyſhip; and yet, as great a regard as I have for your Ladyſhip, ſhall, in five minutes, leave you for a Song.
1741-04Bond-ſtreet, April 1741.
Your Ladyſhip, I moſt cordially acknowledge, has made me ſome amends for your Silence in the length of your Letter; but I have not done grumbling for all that. All, till one comes to your Expedition, I like mighty well, and ’tis prodigious pretty reading. But how cou’d any Lady in the Land be ſo provokingly civil, as to ſpend two whole pages in deſcription of a Spring Morning, to one in Town! of a rural taſte too; and who has no Pleaſures, ſcarce any Senſations, at this time of the Year, but of the rural kind? To one too, who 390 Ddd3v 390 who has left all her Renuncula’s and Tulips juſt ready to bloom; her future Sallads and Coſs- Lettuce in their Mother Earth, and to the care of April Showers; her Morning Walks and Noon-tide Loiterings over beds of Hyacinths and Jonquils; I ſay, what have I done, that your Ladyſhip ſhould revenge your ſelf with ſuch a malicious Deſcription, and pick out all the Beauties of the Spring to mortify me with? Me, who the moment you nodded from your roſe-unfolding Bower, left all theſe enamourating Pleaſures, theſe ſweet Relaxations, to hurry away to Lady Lovelace, in this naſty Town? Had you told me of dreary Deſarts, and uncomfortable Wilds; craggy Mountains, Rocks, and barren Sands; this had help’d me to digeſt the duſt of Bond-ſtreet, and ſwallow the ſmoke of a thouſand Chimnies. I beſeech your Ladyſhip, in your next, communicate ſome melancholy Story of Lover pendant over purling Stream, or Infant Kitten ſtruggling in the Mud; of Swain miſguided by the Glow-worm’s Ray, or grimly Ghoſt detected thro’ the Trees,—that I may have ſomething to ruminate upon in my Afternoon walks round Groſvenor-ſquare, ſufficient to drive all the Honey-ſuckles and Nightingales out of my Head.
But this I only hint by the way. What I would principally inculcate from the foregoing Obſervation 391 Ddd4r 391 Obſervation is, That People who are very happy themſelves, ſhould never communicate their Happineſs to thoſe who are leſs ſo; becauſe that is apt to make ’em envy ’em—and when once they envy ’em, they ſoon begin to hate ’em—and after they have ſufficiently hated ’em, they go on gradually till they bear Malice againſt ’em—and aſſoon as ever they arrive upon the borders of Malice, they never ſtop, till they’ve conceiv’d all manner of Uncharitableneſs againſt them. So that, tho’ your Ladyſhip ſhould arrive at the higheſt Pitch of human Felicity, (as I think you ſeem in a pretty fair Way for it) I muſt beg of you to be very cautious how you mention it, upon any Account whatever. For ’tis ſuch an Inſult upon the many, and the miſerable, of your fellow Creatures; that unleſs you abridge your Deſcriptions, or make over ſome of the overflowings of your Heart in behalf of we poor Sufferers, who are all your Foes; you won’t have an Acquaintance left ſoon, but what will hate you as much as I do, at this preſent writing. Which, I think, is all I have to communicate, except that Lady L. is rather better than ſhe has been, and in general, as well as ever ſhe will be, with her kind of Regimen—the only painful thing to her Friends, ſhe has ſteadineſs enough to perſevere in. 392 Ddd4v 392 in. Her Medicine ſhe has took once, and but once, ſince your Ladyſhip left her; for juſt about the time ſhe ought to take it, ſhe has always ſo many invincible Arguments at hand, that ’tis in vain to oppoſe them. In ſhort, with the beſt Conſtitution in the World, her Ladyſhip will one Day, not die, but have done exiſting, with all the Springs of Life in their full Force and Vigour; and come to an untimely End at Fourſcore.
1741-11-12Oxford, November 12, 1741.
I have been trying, by all the chymical preparations I’m Miſtreſs of, to extract an hour for your Ladyſhip, from the ſeveral portions of time that have paſs’d by me for theſe three weeks; but the more ſubtile parts, the moments, are ſo volatile, and the minutes fly off ſo faſt, that I have not been able to gain the pure unmixt Eſſence before-mention’d, with all my induſtry and indefatigableneſs of Writing. And yet, of late, my pen has ſeldom been out of my hand. But every body, I think, is in a writing way, at preſent. Miſs C. calls upon me for Philology; Miſs—for the Continuation of my Catalogue of Plants and Animals (particularly thoſe 393 Eee1r 393 thoſe of the human Species, of which there are ſeveral Families, or Tribes, of both kinds); Mrs.— for Metaphyſics; and twenty others for as many different Speculations. Even your Ladyſhip has wrote twice, and in vain call’d upon me for the the Hiſtory of braided Shoes. How ſhall I demean my ſelf between you all! Or where find Words to anſwer you? I’ve given Miſs— all the technical ones in Botany I’m worth, and yet ſhe is not ſatisfy’d. She ſtill cries out more Plants! more Animals! or we ſhall never arrive at a perfect knowledge of all the Simples in Nature.
In this Situation our Catalogue ſtands, while I’m now going to make a Digreſſion upon Shoes — (which the Author thinks, now ſhe’s tranſcribing this Letter for the Preſs, ſhe need not trouble the World with.)
The money and books came ſound as a Roach. Safe is ſo common an Expreſſion, that I’m tired of telling People for ever, Things came ſafe. We Geniuſſes are forc’d to vary our expreſſions, and invent new terms; as well to ſhew our ſurprizing compaſs of Thought, as our great command of Language. This ſometimes appears ſtiff and affected, to the common claſs of readers, or hearers, who are apt to be out of their element, upon hearing any new or unuſual Sounds; but our nicer ears cannot always bear Eee the 394 Eee1v 394 the ſame Cadences. There’s ſomething peculiar in the Make and Structure of the auditory Nerve, that requires Diverſification, and Variety; as well as ſome ſkill in the Anatomy of Language, to make an Impreſſion on it, without wounding it. ’Tis for this reaſon, when I aſk a Favour (a thing I ſeldom chooſe to do) I always ſelect the moſt delicate Phraſes I’m Miſtreſs of; but in regard to Forms, which moſt People are ſick of, and yet ſurfeit their Friends with, theſe I vary according as my own humour or inclination preponderates. Of conſequence, when I come towards the end, or peroration of a Letter, I ſometimes communicate my compliments—ſometimes deſire they may be made known—or where there’s a large Family, and of conſequence a number of Civilities to be paid, the Laconic Style of—my Deferences, as uſual, has ſometimes ſucceeded beyond my Expectation. I’m ſick of ſaying for ever, I beg my Compliments to ſuch a one.—But as I propoſe ſoon to give your Ladyſhip a particular Diſſertation upon Styles, and as I’ve many Flowers of Rhetoric yet unexhauſted; I ſhall wind up the Words above-mentioned, into the form of a Letter, and communicate all the Things I have to ſay in the Poſtſcript— which, as was before obſerv’d, is judg’d not neceſſary to be tranſcrib’d, as they would be of no manner of Uſe to the courteous Reader.
1742-06Bond-ſtreet, June 1742.
I Remember, formerly, to have read and heard very credible and affecting Stories concerning Witchcraft; and tho’ I’ve ſometimes been ſo faithleſs as to doubt of the Facts, as well as the Teſtimonies of my Authors, yet having aſſur’d me they’ve been eye and ear Witneſſes (to things which neither eye nor ear ever ſaw or heard) ’twou’d, I think, argue great want of Credulity to heſitate any longer about ’em. ’Tis likewiſe certain, that in all Country Places, there are always one or two Witches, at eaſt, in the Neighbourhood; and your Ladyſhip, ſince you became a Mother, I dare ſay has heard how they ſtick Pins and Needles into young Children, to make ’em cry; and when they’re ricketty, or don’t thrive, how they look upon ’em with an evil Eye. The Phraſe is different in different Countries, tho’ the Belief is the ſame; and a Lady of my acquaintance, who liv’d at the Madeiras, told me —that her Child gradually pin’d away for ſeveral Weeks, and no-body could tell what was the matter with it; ’till her Phyſician aſſur’d her ’twas in vain to evacuate, or phlebotomize any more, for that the Child was certainly Over-look’d.Eee2 I had 396 Eee2v 396
I had been phlebotomiz’d by the advice of a very able Phyſician juſt before I came from Oxford, and had taken a gentle Cathartic or two beſides; but what my Caſe is at preſent, I’m at a loſs to comprehend. For I’ve ſuch an extraordinary flow, and flurry of Spirits, (not Apparitions) ſuch a groupe of Images working, and chaſing each other thro’ my Brain, that unleſs your Ladyſhip will permit me to write ’em off, wither in Verſe or Proſe, (as you know I’m a great Friend to Evacuations whenever they can be ſafely procur’d) I know not what may be the conſequence. Whether any evil Eyes have been upon me, I can’t tell; but there’s an old Lady over the way, I a little ſuſpect, who has very bad ones; and I’m pretty ſure I’ve been overlook’d by her twenty times, for ſhe’s for ever at her Window. ’Tis now paſt four o’ clock, clear Morning! (as the Watchman ſays) and I have not yet had a wink of Sleep; my Imagination hurrying me away from Thought to Thought involuntarily, and, as if it were, mechanically. I’m neither in Malice, Hatred, nor Love (that I know of) have neithe Spleen, Vapours, nor a ſingle Paſſion to torment me. Every body likes to ſee me, that I like to ſee; and thoſe who love me, and I love, write to me. What evil Thing then 397 Eee3r 397 then can have taken Poſſeſſion of me, to diſturb my Ideas ſo that I can’t ſleep? Your Ladyſhip talks of coming to Town; I wiſh you may come ſoon; for I’ve been talking to you this half hour in my Imagination, and have a notion, that if ſome good Being was but to anſwer me, ’twou’d compoſe my Spirits. I’ll tell you how Mrs. W. pleaſes and entertains me; how many Congreſſes I’ve had the honour to be preſent at with Lady F.W. how the Laſs of the Hill is become the Faſhion of the Town; how Lady L.has juſt learnt it, in order to carry it to Paris; how Miſs T. ſings it here like a Nightingale; and how ’tis now cry’d about the Streets, among twenty four other excellent new Ballads, for ſo ſmall a Price as one half-penny. I’ll tell you moreover, how I loſe my dinners in York-ſtreet, and my reſt near Hanover-ſquare; how I ſuffer’d one of your workmen to lock me into your Garden at Somerſet-Houſe, one evening after they were all gone, that I might indulge my love of Society, by a total Separation from all human kind; how I paſs’d one of the moſt charming Hours of my Life there alone, and no one near me; how I had very few apprehenſions about being knock’d o’the Head, and bury’d under the rubbiſh; or ſtrangled, as Sir Edmundbury Godfrey was, pretty near the 398 Eee3v 398 the ſame ſpot; but how a frightful white Poſt, with a round Head upon’t, on the Stair-Caſe (the Window being open) often ſtartled me, when I turn’d that way; and how I recollected my ſelf again, when I found ’twas but a Poſt. In ſhort, how I’ve ſeen how this Specimen looks in writing, I ſhall reſerve the reſt of the wondrous things that have paſs’d thro’ my poor Brain this Night, ’till your Ladyſhip arrives in Burlington-ſtreet; and once more try to ſhut my Eyes, if the Sun, and that old Lady will let me.—Lady Lovelace, who has thought me bewitch’d for theſe three days, bid me be ſure to mention ſomething I’ve forgot, which was the chief reaſon of my writing by this Poſt. But taking it for granted your Ladyſhip knows every thing that paſſes here, by Intuition; I’ve diſcharg’d my Truſt, and remain, (for I can by no means reſt)
Has your Ladyſhip ever ſeen two People thunder-ſtruck? Have you ever ſeen two Niobes petrify’d? Have you ever ſeen the pictures of Amazement and Aſtoniſhment? If you have 399 Eee4r 399 have, you have by this time ſeen Lady Lovelace and your Slave in the Attitudes your ſudden flight to the Lodge left us. Her Ladyſhip let fall her work-baſket, and reſum’d it thrice; then aſk’d, and anſwer’d herſelf, fifty queſtions in a breath; and not arriving at any ſatisfactory accounts of the matter, call’d for Tea—but did not pour it out, becauſe the amazement of her mind had ſwallowed up all her faculties, but thoſe of ſpeech.—I, in whom the paſſions operate differently, and ſometimes not at all, ſtood motionleſs for a while, with my eyes fixt upon the ground; then, as my forces gradually decay’d, ſunk gently down upon the Setteè, and Word ſpake never more.—I’ve juſt recover’d the uſe of Language enought to inform your Ladyſhip, that the Virtues are all exhauſted; and that ’tis impoſſible to have any longer Patience with you, or Charity for you. And for my own part, I ſhould leave this land with Malice in my heart, if it was not for the hopes of ſeeing you again from Denham Court, the land I’m going into a Monday; which I need not deſcribe, becauſe your Ladyſhip knows ’tis a good and pleaſant one; and which Sir William and my Lady are peopling with Sons and Daughters as faſt as they can; tho’ at the ſame time, retain ſo much of the good old Engliſh hoſpi- 400 Eee4v 400 hoſpitality, as not to grudge their Friends a hearty welcome.
Lady L. began moving by nine o’clock this morning, that is, from the bed chamber to the back parlour; and by to morrow night, I reckon, the chairs and pictures will be at the door, to be ready for the Chairmen againſt Monday morning. Alas! my dreſſing glaſs! which is juſt now ſent for, her own being pack’d up. I tremble for my bed! but have promis’d to be up by ſix o’clock a Monday morning, tho’ I am not to ſet out till two in the afternoon. Sure nothing gives her Ladyſhip ſo much ſpirits as a Remove! Moſt People at her time of Life love to ſit ſtill; a plain proof that Lady L. is younger than moſt old People, and not ſo old as many young ones. But I believe the pleaſure of being ſo near your Ladyſhip, has added a little to her Vivacities; as the hopes of a better ſtate, in the intellectual world, animates us enough to go thro’ with the evils of the natural. Of ſo much uſe (perhaps of little more) are the Paſſions: which, I believe, comes pretty near the Truth; however, I don’t inſiſt upon it, becauſe I ſhall find out ſomething more about ’em.
I go every day to learn the Hiſtory of your Doors, a piece of ſtill Life, which affords not many obſervations; except that laſt night they were 401 Fff1r 401 were in the ſituation your Ladyſhip left ’em. Have left the picture in Mrs. W’s dreſſing room, but cou’d not ſtay to depoſit it in a proper Light; for ſince You both departed, I’ve found out that I’ve fifty things to do of my own, which never enter’d into my head before. But juſt ſo (to reſume the metaphor) we hurry thro’ Life. Among the variety of Amuſements, which catch us as we go along, and which we ſeldom fail to make the moſt of, there’s generally a favourite Pleaſure or two, which fixes and engroſſes our Attention ſo entirely, that we even forget where we’re going—’till a Friend or two drops round us, and then we begin to think it high time to make our Will. (’Tis well if we do even that.) And this, which is generally the laſt act of the the important Scene, is, of courſe, hurry’d over much in the ſame manner as this of mine in Town: only with this difference, that I’ve nothing to leave behind me worth ſetting my Friends together by the ears for, when I’m gone; tho’ cou’d not decently go off the Stage, without bidding your Ladyſhip Adieu.
1748-06-25Red Lion Square, June 25, 1748.
My Acknowledgments are ſo emphatically due to your Ladyſhip for the Pleaſures You’ve ſo lately given me among your Shades; that I ſhou’d hate my ſelf, if I cou’d reliſh any other, till I’ve honeſtly thank’d you for theſe. But as Words are prodigiouſly inexpreſſive, when one wants to expreſs a vaſt deal by ’em, I ſhall not trouble your Ladyſhip with their abundance; but leave it to your ſelf to gueſs how many Satisfactions I feel, from the few I’m able to deſcribe.
Nothing occurs here worth your Ladyſhip’s notice, and very few things worth mine. For proud Auguſta (tho’ I think one ſhou’d always call her plain London in Summer) is not what ſhe was; now You, and a few others I could name, are retir’d into the country: and her Squares, the ſtatelieſt things in Europe, are no more to me, who am juſt arriv’d from Groves and Fields, than other four-corner’d things. I’ve been govering round and round Somerſet Houſe (your Castle of Indolence here— Thompſon’s you’ll have to morrow) but have not ventur’d to truſt my footſteps within it, for fear of its Enchantments. For were I once to enter your Dreſſing-room, the eaſy Look, the welcome 403 Fff3r 403 welcome Smile, my Lord lolling here, and your Ladyſhip there (not quite a Mile aſunder) together with your little, I ſhou’d have ſaid, beautiful Groupe of Figures, at their ſeveral Amuſements, ſtrew’d round you—in ſhort, all the Ideas of the place wou’d return ſo ſtrong upon me, that I ſhou’d e’en fold my arms, and cloſe my eyes; and forget the hardy Deeds, the bold Enterprize, I’m going to undertake.
In one word, the thing I was mentioning to your Ladyſhip at the Lodge, and which you’ve often hinted to me among the reſt of my Friends, I’m coming towards a reſolution of putting in execution; tho’ ’tis with difficulty that I’m beginning to bethink my ſelf of that low affair, of getting Money. My ſcatter’d Leaves, if I can poſſibly collect ’em, are, I fear, at length deſtin’d for the Preſs; (a fate, I’m ſure never deſign’d ’em by me) and my s8ole End and Aim—juſt as much Gold as I can get for ’em: a thing I’ve wanted all my Life, but never had ſenſe enough to think it worth the pains ſome People take about it, till very lately. But as I’ve a vaſt quantity of Friends—pretty near as many as David Simple —and as theſe are a Treaſure infinitely beyond Guineas and half Crowns; I aſſure your Ladyſhip, I never had the leaſt deſign upon their Pockets till now. But having been at great Fff3 expence 404 404 expence of Pen, Ink, and Paper for their various Amuſement and Entertainment, which they have all moſt kindly and cordially acknowledg’d in their ſeveral Writings; I make no doubt of their uncommon Zeal in forwarding the Subſcription, and generouſly receiving all the half Crowns that come: tho’, as Gold is my ruling Paſſion at preſent, I ſhould rather prefer the half Guineas.—Indeed your general and moſt approv’d motive for Printing is Fame. But I’ve been thinking about that Article; and I find two things requiſite towards the attainment of ſo ſubſtantial a Good. Firſt, that the Author be able to write, which is a thing I don’t pretend to; and next, that the Book be read, which is the very thing I wou’d not have mine be. Now as ’twou’d be very nonſenſical to expect, what I am not ſo unreaſonable as to deſire, and, I’m confident, can never deſerve; I muſt e’en ſtick by my firſt Mover, Riches: and as to the other, if it comes—why, let it—but ’twill be, like Falſtaff’s honour, unlook’d for. I know there will be many objections even to this Motive; but as ’tis impoſſible to anſwer ’em all, if your Ladyſhip will only be ſo good as to ſignify me to your Acquaintance, as a Perſon who has very proper notions of Money, but declines Fame; I make no doubt of having Riches flow in upon me in great Abundance. And 405 405 And as to thoſe who don’t read—never chooſe it—(an Expreſſion better underſtood than deſcrib’d) all theſe, I reckon, I’m ſure of, upon my own terms; at leaſt, your Ladyſhip will have an Anſwer ready for ’em.
But, I’m ſo full of my Subject, I had almoſt forgot ’tis time to put an end to your Ladyſhip’s troubles for the preſent; and to remain, with my uſual Sincerities, which are the greateſt Deferences I can pay You,