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Hujus Nympha loci, sacri custodia fontis,
Dormio, dum blanda fentio murmur aqua. Parce meum, quifquis tangis cava marmora,
somnum Rumpere ; fi bibas, five lavere, tace. Nymph of the grot, these sacred springs I keep, And to the murmur of these waters fleep; Ah spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave ! And drink in silence, or in silence lave!
You'll think I have been very poetical in this description, but it is pretty near the truth a. I wish
you were here to bear testimony how little it owes to Art, either - the place itself, or the image I give of it.
Į am, &c.
LET TER XV.
Sept. 13, 1725. Should be asham'd to own the receipt of a alhamed to tell a lye, or to make an excuse, which is worse than a lye (for being built upon some probable circumstance, it makes use of a degree of truth to falsify with, and is a lye guarded.) Your letter has been in my pocket in cônftant wearing, till that, and the pocket, and the fuit, are worn out; by which means I have read it forty times, and I find by so doing that I have not enough considered and reflected upon many others
very kind letter from you, two whole months from the date of this; if I were not more
1 He had greatly inlarged come one of the most elegant and improved this Grotto and romantic retirements any not long before his death : where to be seen. He has and, by incrusting it about | made it the subject of a very with a great number of ores pretty poem of a singular and minerals of the richest cast and composition. and rarest kinds, it was be:
have obliged me with ; for true friendship, as they say of good writing, will bear reviewing a thousand times, and still discover new beauties.
I have had a fever, a short one, but a violent: I am now well; fo it shall take up no more of
I begin now to expect you in town to make the winter to come more tolerable to us both. The summer is a kind of heaven, when we wander in a paradisaical scene among groves and gardens; but at this season, we are, like our poor
first parents, turn'd out of that agreeable though solitary life, and forced to look about for more people to help to bear our labours, to get into warmer houses, and live together in cities.
I hope you are long since perfectly restor’d, and risen from your gout, happy, in the delights of a contented family, smiling at storms, laugh
ing at greatness, merry over a christmas-fire, and exercising all the functions of an old Patriarch in charity and hospitality. I will not tell Mrs. B* what I think she is doing; for I conclude it is her opinion, that he only ought to know it for whom it is done ; and she will allow herself to be far enough advanced above a fine lady, not to desire to shine before men.
Your daughters perhaps may have some other thoughts, which even their mother must excuse them for, because she is a mother. I will not however suppose those thoughts get the better of their devotions, but rather excite them and assist the warmth of them ; while their
prayer may be, that they may raise up and breed as irreproachable a young family as their parents have done. In a word, I fancy you all well, easy, and happy, just as I wish you ; and next to that, I wish you all with me.
Next to God, is a good man: next in dignity, and next in value. Minuifti eum paullo minus ab angelis. If therefore I wish well to the good and the deserving, and desire they only should be my companions and correspondents, I must very soon and
much think of you. I want your company, and your example. Pray make haste to town, so as not again to leave us : discharge the load of earth that lies on you, like one of the mountains under which, the poets say, the giants (the men of the earth) are whelmed: leave earth, to the sons of the earth, your conversation is in heaven. Which that it may be accomplish'd in us all, is the prayer of him who maketh this short Sermon; value (to you) three-pence. Adieu.
TO' AND FROM THE
Hon. ROBERT DIG BY,
From 1717 to 1727:
L E T T E R I..
To the Hon. ROBERT DIGBY.
June 2, 1717. Had pleas'd myself sooner in writing to you,
but that I have been your successor in a fit of sickness, and am not yet so much recovered, but that I have thoughts of using your a phyfi. cians. They are as grave persons as any of the faculty, and (like the ancients) carry their own medicaments about with them. But indeed the moderns are fuch lovers of raillery, that nothing is grave enough to escape them. Let · Afles.