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scarce have thought it worth my while to please the world. How many verses cou'd I gladly have left unfinish'd, and turn’d into it, for people to say what they would of, had I been permitted to pass all those hours more pleasingly : Whatever some may think, Fame is a thing I am much less covetous of; than your Friendship; for that I hope will last all my life, the other I cannot answer for. What if they should both grow greater after my death ? alas! they wou'd both be of no advantage to me! Therefore think upon it, and love me as well as ever you can, while I live.
* Now I talk of fame, I send you my Temple of Fame, which is just come cut : but my sentiments about it you will see better by this Epigram. What's Fame with Men, by custom of the nation, Is call'd in Women only Reputation : About them both why keep we such a pother? Part you with one, and I'll renounce the other.
LETTER XVIII. A LL the pleasure or use of familiar letters, is
A to give us the assurance of a friend's welfare; at least 'tis all I know, who am a mortal enemy and despiser of what they call fine letters. In this view I promise you, it will always be a satisfaction to me to write letters and to receive 'em from you; because I unfeignedly have your good at my heart, and am that thing, which many people make only a subject to display their fine sentiments upon, a Friend : which is a character that admits of little to be said, till something may be done. Now let me fairly tell you, I don't like your style: 'tis very pretty, there.
* From hence to the End of this Letter, is left out in the Author's Edit.
fore I don't like it; and if you writ as well as Voiture, I wou'd not give a farthing for such letters, unless I were to sell 'em to be printed. Methinks I have lost the Mrs. L* I formerly knew, who writ and talk'd like other people, (and sometimes better.) You must allow me to say, you have not said a senfible word in all your letter, except where you speak of shewing kindness and expecting it in return: but the addition you make about your being but two and twenty, is again in the style of wit and abomination. To Thew you how very unsatisfactorily you write, in all your letter you've never told me how you do? Indeed I see 'twas absolutely necessary for me to write to you, before you continu'd to take more notice of me, for I ought to tell you what you are to expect; that is to say, Kindness, which I never fail'd (I hope) to return; and not Wit, which if I want, I am not much concern'd, because judgment is a better thing; and if I had, I wou'd make use of it rather to play upon those I despis'd, than to trifle with those I loved, You see in short, after what manner you may most agreeably write to me: tell me you are my friend, and you can be no more at a loss about that article. As I have open'd my mind upon this to you, it may also serve for Mr. H-- who will see by it what manner of letters he must expect if he corresponds with me. As I am too seriously yours and his servant to put turns upon you instead of good wishes, so in return I shou'd have nothing but honest plain howd'ye's and pray remember me's ; which not being fit to be shown to any body for wit, may be a proof we correspond only for ourselves, in meer friendlyness; as doth, God is my witness,
Your very, &c.
TT is with infinite satisfaction I am made acquaint1 ed that your brother will at last prove your relation, and has entertain'd such sentiments as become him in your concern. I have been prepar'd for this by degrees, having several times receiv'd from Mrs.* that which is one of the greatest pleasures, the knowledge that others enter'd into my own sentiments concerning you. I ever was of opinion that you wanted no more to be vindicated than to be known. As I have often condold with you in your adversities, so I have a righi which but few can pretend to, of congratulating on the prospect of your better fortunes ; and I hope for the future to have the concern I have felt for you overpaid in your felicities. Tho' you modestly say the world has left you, yet I verily be. lieve it is coming to you again as fast as it can : for to give the world its due, it is always very fond of Merit when 'tis paft its power to oppose it. There fore if you can, take it into favour again upon its repentance, and continue in it. But if you are resolv'd in revenge to rob the world of so much example as you may afford it, I believe your design will be vain ; for even in a monastery your devotions cannot carry you so far toward the next world as to make this lore the light of you ; but you'll be like a ftar, that while it is fix'd to heaven, shines over all the earth.
Wheresoever providence shall dispose of the most valuable thing i know, I Mall ever follow you with my sincerelt wishes, and my beit thoughts will be L2
perpetually waiting upon you, when you never hear of me nor them. Your own guardian angels cannot be more constant, nor more silent. I beg you will never cease to think me your friend, that you may not be guilty of that which you never yet knew to commit, an injustice. As I have hitherto been so in spite of the world, so hereafter, if it be possible you thou'd ever be more opposed, and more deserted, I Ihould only be so much the more
Your faithful, &c.
L e T T E R
T Can fay little to recommend the letters I shall 1 write to you, but that they will be the most impartial representations of a free heart, and the truest copies you ever faw, tho' of a very mean original. Not a feature will be soften'd, or any advantagious light employ'd to make the ugly thing a little less hideous : but you shall find it in all respects, most horribly like. You will do me an injustice if you look upon any thing I shall say from this instant, as a compliment, either to you or to myself: Whatever I write will be the real thought of that hour ; and I know you'll no more expect it of me to persevere till death in every sentiment or notion I now fet down, than you would imagine a man's face should never change when once his picture was drawn.
The freedom I shall use in this manner of thinking kloud, may indeed prove me a fool; but it will prove me one of the best sort of fools, the honest ones. And since what folly we have, will infallibly buoy
up at one time or other in spite of all our art to keep it down; methinks 'tis almost foolish to take any pains to conceal it at all, and almost knavish to do it from those that are our friends. If Momus's project had taken, of having windows in our breasts, I fhou'd be for carrying it further, and making those windows, cafements ; that while a man show'd his heart to all the world, he might do something more for his friends; even give it them, and trust it to their handling. I think I love you as well as King Herod did Herodias (tho' I never had so much as one dance with you) and would as freely give you my heart in a dish, as he did another's head. But since Jupiter will not have it so, I must be content to thew my taste in life, as I do my taste in painting, by loving to have as little drapery as poslible. Not that I think every body naked altogether so fine a sight, as your self and a few more would be ; but because’tis good to use people to what they must be acquainted with ; and there will certainly come some day of judgment or other, to uncover every soul of us. We shall then see that the Prudes of this world ow'd all their fine figure only to their being straiter-lac'd than the rest ; and that they are naturally as arrant squabs as those that went more loose, nay as those that never girded their loins at all. -- But a particular reason that may engage you to write your thoughts the more freely to me, is, that I am confiáent no one knows you better; for I find, when others express their thoughts of you, they fall very short of mine, and I know at the same time theirs are such as you would think sufficiently in your favour.
You may easily imagine how desirous I must be of a correspondence with a person, who had taught me long ago that it was as possible to esteem at firft Tight,