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Thrug up their shoulders at a man, that pretends to get to Heaven out of their form, dress and diet. I would no more make a judgment of an author's genius from a damning critic, than I would of a man's religion from an unsaving zealot. I could take great delight in affording you
the new glory of making a Barceloniad (if I may venture to coin such a word): I fancy you would find a juster parallel than it seems at first fight; for the Trojans too had a great mixture of folly with their bravery; and I am out of countenance for them when I read the wise result of their council, where, after a warm debate between Antenor and Paris about restoring Helen, Priam sagely determines that they shall go to supper. And as for the Greeks, what can equal their superstition in facrificing an innocent lady.
Tantum Relligio potuit, &c. I have a good opinion of my politics, fince they agree with a man who always thinks so justly as you. I wish it were in our power to persuade all the nation into as calm and steddy a disposition of mind.
We have receiv'd the late melancholy news with the usual ceremony, of condoling in one breath for the loss of a gracious Queen, and in
another rejoicing for an illustrious King. My views carry me no farther, than to wish the peace and, welfare of iny Country; and my morals and politics teach me to leave all that to be adjusted by our representatives above, and to divine Providence. It is much at one to you and me, who sit at the helm, provided they will permit us to fail quietly in the great ship. Ambition is a vice that is timely mortify'd in us poor Papists; we ought in recompence to cultivate as many virtues in ourselves as we can, that we may be truly great. Among my Ambitions, that of being a sincere friend is one of the chief: yet I will confess, that I have a secret pleasure to have some of my descendants know, that their Ancestor was great with Mr. Pope.
I am, &c.
L E T T ÊR III.
From Mr. BLOUNT.
Nov. II, 1715.
T is an agreement of long date between you
you should do with my letters just as you pleased, and answer them at your leisure; and that is as soon as I shall think you
ought. ought. I have so true å taste of the substantial part
of your friendship, that I wave all ceremonialsand am sure to make you as many visits as I can, and leave you to return them whenever you please, assuring you they shall at all times be heartily welcome to me.
The many alarms we have from your parts, have no effect
the genius that reigns in our country, which is happily turn'd to preserve peace and quiet among us. What a dismal scene has there been open'd in the North? what ruin have those unfortunate rash gentlemen drawn upon
themselves and their miserable followers, and perchance upon many others too, who upon no account would be their followers? However, it may look ungenerous to reproach people in distress. I don't remember
and 1 ever used to trouble ourselves about politics, but when any matter happened to fall into our discourse, we us’d to condemn all undertakings that tended towards the disturbing the peace and quiet of our Country, as contrary to the notions we had of morality and religion, which oblige us on no pretence whatsoever to violate the laws of charity. How many lives have there been lost in hot blood, and how many more are there like to be taken off in cold? If the broils of the nation affect you, come down to me, and though we are farmers, you know Eumeus made his
friends welcome. You shall here worship the Echo at your ease; indeed we are forced to do fo, because we can't hear the first report, and therefore are obliged to listen to the second ; which, for security fake, I do not always believe neither.
'Tis a great many years since I fell in love with the character of Pomponius Atticus: I long'd to imitate him a little, and have contriv'd hitherto, to be, like him, engaged in no party, but to be a faithful friend to fome in both : I find myself very well in this way
hitherto, and live in a certain peace of mind by it, which, I am persuaded, brings a man more content than all the perquisites of wild ambition. I with pleasure join with you in wishing, nay I am not ashamed to say, in praying for the welfare temporal and eternal of all mankind. How much more affectionately then shall I do fo for
you, since I am in a most particular manner, and with all sincerity,
L E T T E R IV.
Jan. 21, 1715-16. Know of nothing that will be so interesting
to you at present, as some circumstances of the last act of that eminent comic poet, and
our friend, Wycherly. He had often told me, as I doubt not he did all his acquaintance, that he would marry as soon as his life was despaired of : Accordingly a few days before his death hè underwent the ceremony; and join'd together those two facraments which, wise men say; should be the last we receive ; for, if you observe, Matrimony is placed after Extreme unction in our Catechism, as a kind of hint of the order of time in which they are to be taken. The old man then lay down; satisfy'd in the conscience of having by this one act paid his just debts, obliged a woman; who (he was told) had merit; and Thewn an heroic resentment of the ill usage of his next heir. Some hundred pounds which he had with the Lady; discharged those debts ; a jointure of four hundred a year made her a recompence; and the nephew he left to comfort himself as well as he could, with the miserable remains of a mortgaged estate. I saw out friend twice after this was done, less peevish in his sickness than he used to be in his health ; neither much afraid of dying, nor (which in him had been more likely) much ashamed of marrying. The evening before he expired, he called his young wife to the bedside, and earnestly entreated her not to deny him one request, the last he should make. Upon her assurances of confenting to