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month longer. Whenever I go from hence, pne of the few reasons to make me regret my home will be, that I fhall not have the pleasure of saying to you,

Hic tanien banc mecum poteris requiefcere no&tem, which would have rendered this place more agreeable, than ever else it could be to me ; for I proteft, it is with the utmoft fincerity that I assure you; I am entirely,

Dear Sir,

Your, &c.


June 22, 1717
F a regard, both to public and private affairs

may plead a lawful excuse in behalf of a negligent correspondent, I have really a very good title to it. I cannot say, whether ’tis. a. felicity or unhappiness, that I am obliged at this, time to give my whole application to Homer ; when without that employment, my thoughts must turn upon what is less agreeable, the violence, madness, and resentment of modern, War-makers a, which are likely to prove (to some people at least), more fatal, than the 2 This was written in the year of the affair of Prestop. Pa G4


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fame qualities in Achilles did to his unfortunate countrymen.

Tho' the change of my scene of life, from Windfor-forest to the side of the Thames, be one of the grand Æra's of my days, and may be called a notable period in so inconsiderable a history; yet you can scarce imagine any hero passing from one itage of life to another, with so much tranquillity, so easy a transition, and so laudable a behaviour. I am become so truly a citizen of the world (according to Plato's expression) that I look with equal indifference on what I have left, and on what I have gained. The times and amusements past are not more like a dream to me, than those which are present: I lie in a refreshing kind of inaction, and have one comfort at least from obscurity, thatthe darkness helps me to sleep the better. I now and then reflect upon the enjoyment of my friends, whom, I fancy, I remember much as separate fpirits do us, at tender intervals, neither interrupting their own employments, nor altogether careless of ours, but in general constantly wishing us well, and hoping to have us one day in their company:

To grow indifferent to the world is to grow philosophical, or religious (which soever of those turns we chance to take) and indeed the world is such a thing, as one that thinks pretty


much, must either laugh at, or be angry

with: but if we laugh at it, they say we are proud ; and if we are angry with it, they say we are illnatured. So the most politic way is to seem always better pleased than one can be, greater admirers, greater lovers, and in short greater fools, than we really are : fo shall we live comfortably with our families, quietly with our neighbours, favoured by our masters and happy with our mistresses. I have filled my paper, and fo adieu.


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Sept. 8, 1717

your leaving England was like a good man's leaving the world, with the blessed conscience of having acted well in it; and I hope you have received your reward, in being happy where you are. I believe, in the religious country you inhabit, you'll be better pleased to find I consider you in this light, than if I compared you to those Greeks and Romans, whose constancy in suffering pain, and whose resolution in pursuit of a generous end, you would rather imitate than boast of.

But I had a melancholy hint the other day, assif you were yet a martyr to the fatigue your


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virtue made you undergo on this side the water, I beg, if your health be restored to you, not to deny me the joy of knowing it. Your endeam vours of service and good advice to the

poor papists, put me in mind of Noah's preaching forty years to those folks that were to be drowned at last. At the worst I heartily wish your Ark may find an Ararat, and the wife and family (the hopes of the good patriarch) land fafely after the deluge upon the shore of Tots ness.

If I durft mix prophane with sacred history, I would chear you with the old tale of Brutus the wandering Trojan, who found on that very coast the happy end of his peregrinations and adventures,

I have very lately read Jeffery of Monmouth (to whom

your Cornwall is not a little beholden), in the translation of a clergyman

in bourhood. The poor man is highly concerned to vindicate. Jeffery's veracity as an historian; and told me he was perfectly astonished, we of the Roman communion could doubt of the legends of his Giants, while we believe those of our saints. I am forced to make a fair composition with him; and, by crediting some of the wonders of Corinæus and Gogmagog, have brought him so far already, that he speaks çespectfully of St. Christopher's carrying Christ,


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and the resuscitation of St. Nicholas Tolentine's chicken. Thus we proceed apace in converting each other from all manner of infidelity.

Ajax and Hector are no more to be compared to Corinæus and Arthur, than the Guelphs and Ghibellines are to the Mohocks, of ever dreadful

memory This amazing writer has made me lay aside Homer for a week, and when I take him up again, I thall be very well prepared to translate, with belief and reverence, the speech of Achilles's Horse.

You'll excuse all this trifling, or any thing else which prevents a sheet full of compliment: and believe there is nothing more true (even more true than any thing in. Jeffery is false); than that I have a constant affection for you, and am,


P.S, I know you will take part in rejoicing for the victory of prince Eugene over the Turks, in the zeal you bear to the Christian interest, tho' your Cousin of Oxford (with whom I dined yefterday) fays, there is no other difference in the Christians beating the Turks, or the Turks beating the Christians, than whether the Em peror shall first declare war against Spain, or Spain declare it against the Emperor.


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