« EelmineJätka »
L E T T E R IV.
DEAR MR. GAY, Sept. 23, 1714.
friends ! thrice welcome to me! whether returned in glory, bleft with court-interest, the love and familiarity of the great, and fill’d with agreeable hopes; or melancholy with dejection, contemplative of the changes of fortune, and doubtful for the future: Whether return'd a triumphant Whig, or a desponding Tory, equally all hail! equally beloved and welcome to me! If happy, I am to partake in your elevation ; if unhappy, you have still a warm corner in my heart, and a retreat at Binfield in the worst of times at your service. If you are a Tory, or thought so by any man, I know it can proceed from nothing but your gratitude to a few people who endeavour’d to serve you, and whose politics were never your concern. If you are a Whig, as I rather hope, and, as I think, your 'principles and mine (as brother poets) had ever a bias to the side of Liberty, I I know
will be an honest man, and an in
a In the beginning of this they returned to England : year Mr. Gay went over to and it was on this occasion Hanover with the Earl of that Mr. Pope met him with Clarendon, who was sent thi- | this friendly welcome. ther by Q.Anne. On her death
offensive one. Upon the whole, I know, you are incapable of being so much of either party as to be good for nothing. Therefore, once more, whatever you are, or in whatever state
you are, all hail !
One or two of your own friends complain’d they had heard nothing from you since the Queen's death ; I told them no man living lov’d Mr. Gay better than I, yet I had not once writo” ten to him in all his voyage. This I thought a convincing proof, how truly one may be a friend to another without telling him so every month. But they had reasons too themselves to alledge in your excufe; as men who really value one another, will never want such as make their friends and themselves easy. The late Universal concern in public affairs, threw us all into a hurry of spirits : even I, who am more a Philosopher than to expect any thing from any Reign, was born away with the current, and full of the expectation of the Succeffor ; During your journeys
I knew not whither to aiin a letter after you ; that was a sort of shooting flying: add to this the demand Homer had upon me, to write fifty verses a day, besides learned notes, all which are at a conclusicn for this year. Rejoice with me, O my friend, that
labour is over; come and make merry with me in much feasting : We will feed among the lilies (by the lilies I
mean the Ladies). Are not the Rosalinda's of Britain as charming as the Blousalinda's of the Hague? or have the two great Pastoral poets of our nation renounced love at the same time? for Philips, immortal Philips hath deserted, yea, and in a rustic manner kicked, his Rosalind. Dr. Parnelle and I have been inseparable ever since
We are now at the Bath, where (if you are not, as I heartily hope, better engaged) your coming would be the greatest pleasure to us in the world. Talk not of expences : Homer shall support his children. I beg a line from you directed to the post-house in Bath. Poor Parnelle is in an ill state of health.
Pardon me if I add a word of advice in the poetical way. Write something on the King, or Prince, or Princess. On whatsoever foot
you may be with the court, this can do no harmI shall never know where to end, and am confounded in the many things I have to say to you, tho' they all amount but to this, that I am entirely, as ever,
London, Nov. 8, 1717. AM extremely glad to find by a Letter of yours to Mr. Fortescue, that
you ceived one from me; and I beg you to keep as the greatest of curiosities, that letter of mine which you received, and I never writ.
But the truth is, that we were made here to expect you in a short time, that I was upon the ramble most part of the Summer, and have concluded the season in grief, for the death of
my poor father.
I shall not enter into a detail of my concerns and troubles, for two reasons; because I am really afflicted and need no airs of grief, and because they are not the concerns and troubles of any but myself. But I think you (without too great a compliment) enough my friend, to be pleas’d to know he died easily, without a groan, or the sickness of two minutes; in a word, as silently and peacefully as he lived.
Siç mihi contingat vivere, ficque mori ! I am not in the humour to say gay things, nor in the affectation of avoiding them. I can't pretend to entertain either Mr. Pulteney or you, as you have done both my Lord Burlington and me, by your letter to Mr. Lowndes a. I am only sorry you have no greater quarrel to Mr. Lowndes, and wish you paid some hundreds a year
to the land-tax. That gentleman is lately become an inoffensive person to me too ; so that we may join heartily in our addresses to him, and (like true patriots) rejoice in all that good done to the nation and government, to which we contribute nothing ourselves.
I should not forget to acknowledge your letter sent from Aix; you told me then that writing was not good with the waters, and, I find since, you are of my opinion, that 'tis as bad without the waters. But, I fancy, it is not writing but thinking, that is so bad with the waters; and then you might write without any manner of prejudice, if you writ like our brother Poets of these days.
The Duchess, Lord Warwick, Lord Stanhope, Mrs. Bellenden, Mrs. Lepell, and I can't tell who else, had your letters: Dr. Arbuthnot and I expect to be treated like Friends. I would send my services, to Mr. Pulteney, but that he is out of favour. at court; and make some compliment to Mrs. Pulteney, if she were not a Whig. My Lord Burlington tells me she
a A Poem intituled, To my that celebrated treatise in Foingenious and worthy friend lio, calld the LAND-Tax17. Lowndes, Esq; Author of BILL,