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them laugh, but people will still have their opinions: as they think our Doctors affes to them, we'll think them affes to our Doctors.

I am glad you are so much in a better state of health, as to allow me to jest about it. My concern, when I heard of your danger, was so very serious, that I almost take it ill Dr. Evans should tell you of it, or you mention it. I tell you fairly, if you and a few more fuch people were to leave the world, I would not give sixpence to stay in it.

I am not fo much concerned as to the point whether you are to live fat or lean: most men of wit or honefty are usually decreed to live very lean: fo I am inclined to the opinion that 'tis decreed you shall; however be comforted, and reflect, that you'll make the better busto for it.

'Tis fomething particular in you, not to be satisfied with sending me your own books, but to make your acquaintance continue the frolic. Mr. Wharton forced me to take Gorboduc, which has since done me great credit with sever ral people, as it has done Dryden and Oldham some difkindness: in shewing there is as much difference between their Gorboduc and this, as between Queen Anne, and King George. It is truly a scandal, that men should write with contempt of a piece which they never once faw, as

those

those two Poets did, who were ignorant even of the sex, as well as sense, of Gorboduc a.

Adieu ! I am going to forget you : this minute you took

up
all
my

mind; the next I shall think of nothing but the reconciliation with Agamemnon, and the

recovery

of Briseis. I shall be Achilles's humble servant those two months (with the good leave of all my friends.) I have no ambition so strong at present, as that noble one of Sir Salathiel Lovel, recorder of London, to furnish out a decent and plentiful execution, of Greeks and Trojans. It is not to be express’d how heartily I wish the death of all Homer's heroes, one after another. The Lord preserve me in the day of battle, which is just approaching! join in your prayers

for

me, and know me to be always

Your, &c.

L E T T E R II.

T.

London, March 31, 1718. 10 convince you how little pain I give

myself in corresponding with men of good nature and good understanding, You see I omit to answer your letters till a time, when

a There is a correct edi-, of old Plays published by tion of it in the collection Dodsley.

another

another man would be ashamed to own he had received them. If therefore you are ever moved on my account by that spirit, which I take to be as familiar to you as a quotidian ague,

1 mean the spirit of goodness, pray never stint it, in any

fear of obliging me to a civility beyond my natural inclination. I dare trust you, Sir, not only with my folly when I write, but with my negligence when I do not; and expect equally your pardon for either.

If I knew how to entertain you through the rest of this paper, it should be spotted and diverfified with conceits all over ; you should be put out of breath with laughter at each sentence, and pause at each period, to look back over how much wit you have pass’d. But I have found by experience that people now a-days regard writing as little as they do preaching: the most we can hope is to be heard just with decency and patience, once a week, by folks in the country. Here in town we hum over a piece of fine writing, and we whistle at a serinon. The stage is the only place we seem alive at there indeed we stare, and roar, and clap hands for K. George and the government. As for all other virtues but this loyalty, they are an obsolete train, so ill-dress'd, that men, women, and children hiss them out of all good company. Humility knocks so sneakingly at the door that

open her

every footman outraps it, and makes it give way to the free entrance of pride, prodigality, and vain-glory.

My Lady Scudamore, from having rusticated in your company too long, really behaves herself scandalously among us: she pretends to

eyes

for the sake of seeing the fun, and to sleep because it is night; drinks tea at nine in the morning, and is thought to have said her prayers

before: talks, without any manner of shame, of good books, and has not seen Cibber's play of the Nonjuror. I rejoiced the other day to see a libel on her toilette, which gives me some hope that you have, at least, a taste of scandal left you, in defect of all other vices.

Upon the whole matter, I heartily with you well; but as I cannot entirely desire the ruin of all the joys of this city, so all that remains is to wish you would keep your happiness to yourselves, that the happiest here may not die with envy at a bliss which they cannot attain to.

I am, &c.

LE T

LETTER III,

From Mr. DIGBY.

you, and

Coleshill, April 17, 1718. Have read your letter over and over with

delight By your description of the town, I imagine it to lie under fome great enchantment, and am very much concerned for

you and all my friends in it. I am the more afraid, imagining, fince you do not fly those horrible monsters, rapine, dissimulation, and luxury, that a magic circle is drawn about

you cannot escape. We are here in the country in quite another world, surrounded with blessings and pleasures, without any occasion of exerçising our irascible faculties ; indeed we cannot boast of good-breeding and the art of life, but yet we don't live unpleasantly in primitive fimplicity and good-humour. The fashions of the town affect us but just like a raree-show, we have a curiosity to peep at them, and nothing

What

you call pride, prodigality, and vain-glory, we cannot find in pomp and splendor at this distance; it appears to us a fine glittering scene, which if we don't envy you, we think you happier than we are, in your enjoy ing it. Whatever you may think to persuade: us of the humility of virtue, and her appearing: 3

in

more.

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