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diculous as the poet in Petronius, who while all the rest in the ship were either labouring or praying for life, was scratching his head in a little room, to write a fine description of the tempeft.
You tell me, you like the sound of no arms but those of Achilles : for my part I like them as little as any other arms. I lifted my self in the battles of Homer, and I am no sooner in war, but like most other folks, I wish my felf out again.
I heartily join with you in wishing Quiet to our native country : Quiet in the state, which like Charity in religion, is too much the perfection and happiness of either, to be broken or violated on any pretence or prospect whatsoever. Fire and sword, and fire and faggot, are equally my aversion. I can pray for oppolite parties, and for opposite religions, with great fincerity. I think to be a lover of one's country is a glorious elogy, but I do not think it fo great an one as to be a lover of mankind.
I sometimes celebrate you under these denominations, and join your health with that of the whole world; a truly catholick health, which far excels the poor narrow-spirited, ridiculous healths now in fashion, to this church, or that church. Whatever our teachers may fay, they must give us leave at least to wish generously. These, dear Sir, are my general dispositions, but whenever I pray or with for particulars, you are one of the first in the thoughts and affections
Jan. 19, 1715.6. T Should be asham'd of my long idleness, in not acI knowledging your kind advice about Eccho, and your moft ingenious explanation of it relating to popular tumults; which I own to be very useful : and yet give me leave to tell you, that I keep my felf to a shorter receipt of the same Pythagoras, which is Silence; and this I shall observe, if not the whole time of his discipline, yet at least till your return into this country. I am oblig'd further to this method, by the most severe weather I ever felt; when tho' I keep as near by the fire fide as may be, yet gelidus concrevit frigoré sanguis ; and often I apprehend the circulation of the blood begins to be stop'd. I have further great losses (to a poor farmer) of my poor oxen - Intereunt pecudes, stant circumfuja pruinis Corpora magna boum, &c.
Pray comfort me if you can, by telling me that your second volume of Homer is not frozen; for it must be express'd very poetically to say now, that the presses sweat.
I cannot forbear to add a piece of artifice I have been guilty of, on occasion of my being oblig'd to congratulate the birth day of a friend of mine: when finding I had no materials of my own, I very frankly Tent him your imitation of Martial's epigram on
Antonius Antonius Primus *. This has been applauded so much, that I am in danger of commencing Poet, perhaps laureat, (pray desire my good friend Mr. Rowe to enter a caveat) provided you will further increase my stock in this bank. In which proceeding I have laid the foundation of my estate, and as honestly, as many others have begun theirs. But now being a little tender, as young beginners often are, I offer to you (for I have conceald the true author) whether you will give me orders to declare who is the father of this fine child, or not? Whatever you determine, my fingers, pen, and ink are so frozen, that I cannot thank you more at large. You will forgive this and all other faults of, Dear Sir, ii
. Your, &c.
* Jam numerat placido felix Antonius ævo, &c.
At length my Friend (while Time with fill career
TO and FROM SEVERAL PERSONS,
From 1711 to 1714.
70 the Hon. J. C. Esq;
June 15, 1711. T Send you Dennis's remarks on the * Essay, which I equally abound in just criticisms and fine railleries. The few observations in my hand in the margins, are what a mornings leisure permitted me to make purely for your perusal. For I am of opinion that such a critick as you will find him by the latter part of his Book, is but one way to be properly answer'd, and that way I would not take after what he informs me in his preface, that he is at this time perfecuted by fortune. This I knew not before; if I had, his name had been spared in the Essay, for that only reason. I can't conceive what ground he has for fo excessive a
* On Criticism.
resentment; nor imagine how those t three lines can be called a reflection on his person, which only defcribe him subject a little to anger on some occasions. I have heard of combatants fo very furious, as to fall down themselves with that very blow which they design’d to lay heavy on their antagonists. But if Mr Dennis's rage proceeds only from a zeal to dif
courage young and unexperienc'd writers from scribling, he should frighten us with his verse not prose: for I have often known, that when all the precepts in the world would not reclaim a sinner, some very fad example has done the business. Yet to give this man his due, he has objected to one or two lines with reason, and I will alter them in case of another edition ; I will make my enemy do me a kindness where he meant an injury, and so serve instead of a friend. What he observes at the bottom of page 20th of his reflections, was objected to by your self, and had been mended but for the hafte of the press : I confess it what the English call a Bull, in the expression, tho' the sense be manifest enough:. Mr. Dennis's Bulls are feldom in the expresion, they are generally in the sense.
I fall certainly never make the least reply to him; not only because you advise me, but because I have ever been of opinion, that if a book can't answer for itself to the publick, 'tis to no fort of purpose for its author to do it. If I am wrong in any sentiment of that Efsay, I protest fincerely, I don't desire all the world thould be deceived (which would be of
+ Bxt Appius reddens at each word you speak,
And Bares tremendous with a threatning eye, · Like some fierce Tyrant in old Tapestry.