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mains are fallen into such hands as may render 'em reputable to the one, and beneficial to the other. Befides the publick acquaintance I long had with that poor man, I also had a slender knowledge of his parts and capacity by private conversation, and ever thought it pity he was necessitated by the straitness of his fortune, to act (and especially to his latest hours) an imaginary and fictitious part, who was capable of exhibiting a real one, with credit to himself, and advantage to his neighbour.

I hope your health permitted you to execute your design of giving us an imitation of Pollio, I am satisfyd 'twill be doubly divine and I shall long to see it. I ever thought church-musick the most ravishing of all harmonious compositions, and must also believe sacred subjects, well handled, the most inspiring of all poetry.

But where hangs the Lock now? (tho' I know that rather than draw any just reflection upon your self of the least shadow of ill-nature, you would freely have supprest one of the best of poems.) I hear no more of it will it come out in Lintot's Miscellany or not? I wrote to Lord Petre upon the subject of the Lock, fome time since, but have as yet had no answer, nor indeed do I know when he'll be in London. I have since I saw you corresponded with Mrs. W. I hope she is now with her Aunt, and that her journey thither was something facilitated by my writing to that lady as pressingly as poslible, not to let any thing whatsoever obstruct it. I sent her obliging answer to the party it most concern'd ; and when I hear Mrs. W. is certainly there, I will write again to my Lady, to urge as much as possible the effeCting the only thing that in my opinion can make

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her niece easy. I have run out my extent of paper, and am

Your, &c.

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May 28, 1712. TT is not only the disposition I always have of coni versing with you, that makes me so speedily an. {wer your obliging letter, but the apprehension left your charitable intent of writing to my Lady A. on Mrs. W's. affair should be frustrated, by the short ftay fhe makes there. She went thither on the 25th with that mixture of expectation and anxiety, with which people usually go into unknown or half dif- -cover'd countries, utterly ignorant of the dispositions of the inhabitants, and the treatment they are to meet with. The unfortunate of all people are the most unfit to be left alone ; yet we see the world generally takes care they shall be so: whereas if we took a considerate prospect of the world, the busipess and study of the happy and easy shou'd be to divert and humour, as well as comfort and pity, the diftreffed. I cannot therefore excuse some near Allies of mine for their conduct of late towards this Lady, which has given me a great deal of anger as well as forrow : all I shall say to you of 'em at present is, that they have not been my Relations these two months. The consent of opinions in our minds, is certainly a nearer tye than can be contracted by all the blood in

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our bodies; and I am proud of finding I have something congenial with you. Will you permit me to confess to you, that all the favours and kind offices you have shewn towards me, have not so strongly cemented me yours, as the discovery of that generous and manly compassion you manifested in the case of this unhappy Lady? I am afraid to insinuate to you how much I esteem you: Flatterers have taken up the stile which was once peculiar to friends, and an honeft man has now no way left to express himself besides the common one of knaves : so that true friends now-a-days differ in their address from flatterers, much as right mastiffs do from spaniels, and show themselves by a dumb surly sort of fidelity, rather than by a complaisant and open kindness. Will you never leave commending my poetry? In fair truth Sir, I like it but too well my self already: expose me no more I beg you to the great danger of Vanity, (the rock of all men, but most of young men) and be kindly content for the future when you would please me thoroughly, to say only you like what I write. Yours, &c.

LETTER VII.

Decemb. 5, 1712. V OU have at length comply'd with the request I

I have often made you, for you have Mown me, I must confess, several of my faults in the fight of thole letters. Upon a review of them, I find many things that would give me shame, if I were not more desirous

to

to be thought honest than prudent: so many things freely thrown out, such lengths of unreserv'd friendthip, thoughts just warm from the brain, without any polishing or dress, the very dishabille of the understanding. You have prov'd your self more tender of another's embryo's than the fondett mothers are of their own, for you have preserv'd every thing that I miscarry'd of. Since I know this, I shall in one refpect be more afraid of writing to you than ever, at this careless rate, because I fee my evil works may again rise in judgment against me : yet in another respect I shall be less afraid, fince this has given me such a proof of the extreme indulgence you afford to my flightest thoughts. The revisal of these letters has been a kind of examination of conscience to me; fo fairly and faithfully have I set down in 'em from time to time the true and un disguised state of my mind. But I find, that these which were intended as sketches of my friendship, give as imperfect images of it, as the lit:le landscapes we commonly see in black and white do of a beautiful country ; they can represent but a very small part of it, and that depriv'd of the Jife and lustre of nature. I perceive that the more I endeavour'd to render manifest the real affection and value I ever had for you, I did but injure it by representing less and less of it ; as glasses which are design'd to make an object very clear, generally contract it. Yet as when people have a full Idea of a thing first upon their own knowledge, the least traces of it serve to refresh the remembrance, and are not displeasing on that score; so I hope the foreknowledge you had of my efteem for you, is the reason that you do not dislike my letters.

They will not be of any great service (I find) in the design I mentioned to you: I believe I had bet

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fer steal from a richer man, and plunder your letters, (which I have kept as carefully as I would Letters Patents, since they intitle me to what I more value than titles of honour.) You have some cause to apprehend this usage from me, if what some say be true, that I am a great borrower; however I have hitherto had the luck that none of my creditors have challeng'd me for it: and those who say it are such, whose writings no man ever borrow'd from, so have the least season to complain, and whose works are granted on all hands to be but too much their own. Another has been pleas’d to declare, that my verses are corrected by other men : I verily believe theirs were never corrected by any man: but indeed if mine have not, 'twas not my fault, I have endeavour'd my ut. most that they should. But these things are only whisper'd, and I will not encroach upon Bays's province and pen whisper's, fo haften to conclude

Your, &c

* L E T T E R VIII. From my Lord Lansdown.

02. 21, 1713. I Am pleas'd beyond measure with your design of I translating Homer : The tryals which you have already made and published on some parts of that author have shewn that you are equal to so great a task: and you may therefore depend upon the utmost services I can do you in promoting this work, or any thing that may be for your service.

I hope Mr. Stafford for whom you was pleas'd to concern your self, has had the good effects of the

Queen's

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