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ease, and when they stop, they are not so properly converted, as outwitted. You see how little glory you would gain by my conversion. And, after all, I verily believe your Lord thip and I are both of the fame religion, if we were thoroughly understood by one another; and that all honest and reasonable Chriftians would be fo, if they did but talk enough together every day; and had nothing to do together, but to serve God, and live in peace with their: neighbour.
As to the temporal side of the question, I can have no dispute with you ; it is certain, all the beneficial circumstances of life, and all the shining ones, lie on the part you would invite me to. But if I could bring myself to fancy, what I think you do but fancy, that I have any talents for active life, I want health for it; and besides it is a real truth, I have less Inclination (if posible) than Ability. Contemplative life is not only my scene, but it is my habit too. I begun my life, where most people end theirs, with a difrelish of all that the world calls ambition : I don't know why 'tis called so, for to me it always seemed to be rather ftooping than climbing. I'll tell you my politic and religious sentiments in a few words. In my politics, I think no further than how to preserve the peace of my life, in any government under which I live ; nor in my religion, than to preserve the peace of my conscience, in any church with which I communicate. I hope all churches and all governments are so far of God, as they are rightly understood, and rightly admini
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stered : and where they are, or may be wrong, I leave it to God alone to mend or reform them ; which whenever he does, it must be by greater instruments than I am. I am not a Papist, for I renounce the temporal invasions of the papal power, and detest their arrogated authority over Princes and States. I am a Catholic in the stricteft sense of the word. If I was born under an absolute prince, I would be a quiet subject : but I thank God I was not. I have a due sense of the excellence of the British conftitution. In a word, the things I have always wished to see, are not a Roman Catholic, or a French Catholic, or a Spanish Catholic, but a true Catholic: and not a King of Whigs, or a King of Tories, but a King of England. Which God of his
mercy grant his present Majesty may be, and all future Majesties: You see, my Lord, I end like a preacher: this is Sermo ad Clerum, not ad populum. Believe me, with infinite obligation and fincere thanks,
Your, &c. IBID. p: 322.
DEFENCE AGAINST A NOBLE LORD's
REFLEXIONS. THERE was another reason why I was filent as to that paper-I took it for a Lady's (on the printer's word in the title-page) and thought it too presuming, as well as indecent, to contend with one of that Sex in altercation : For I never was so mean a creature as to commit my Anger against a Lady to paper, though but in a private Letter. But foon after, her denial of it was brought to me by a Noble person of real Honour and Truth. Your
Lordship indeed said you had it from a Lady, and the Lady said it was your Lord ship's; some thought the beautiful by-blow had Two Fathers, or (if one of them will hardly be allowed a man) Two Mon thers ; indeed I think both Sexés had a share in it, but which was uppermoft, I know not: I pretend not to determine the exact method of this Wittg Fornication : and, if I call it Yours, my Lord, 'tis only because, whoever got it, you brought it forth.
Here, my Lord, allow me to observe the different proceeding of the Ignoble Poet, and his Noble Enea mies. What he has written of Fanny, Adonis; Sappho, or who you will, he owned, he published, he set his name to: What they have published of him, they have denied to have written ; and what they have written of him, they have denied to have published. One of these was the case in the past Libel, and the other in the present ; for, though the parent has owned it to a few choice friends, it is such as he has been obliged to deny, in the most particular terms, to the great Person whose opinion concerned him moft.
Yet, my Lord, this Epistle was a piece not written in hafte, or in a pasion, but many months after all pretended provocation; when you was at full leisure at Hampton-Court, and I the object fingled, like a Deer out of Season, forso ill-timed,, and ill-placed a diversion. It was a deliberate work, directed to a Reverend Person, of the most serious
and facred character, with whom you are known to cultivate a strict correspondence, and to whom it will not be doubted, but you open your fecret: sentiments, and deliver your real judgment of men and things.. This, I say, my Lord, with submission, could not but awaken all my Reflection and Attention. Your Lordship's opinion of me as a Poet, I cannot help; it is yours, my Lord, and that were enough to mortify a poor man; but it is not yours alone; you must be content to share it with the Gentlemen of the Dunciad, and (it may be) with many more innocent and ingenious men. If your Lord thip de. ftroys my poetical character, they will claim their part in the glory; but, give me leave to say, if my moral character be ruined, it must be wholly the work of your Lordship; and will be hard even. for you to do, unless I myself co-operate.
How can you talk (my most worthy Lord) of all Pope's Works as so many Libels, affirm, that he. bas no invention but in Defamation, and charge him with selling another man's labours printed with his own name ? Fye, my Lord, you forget yourself. He printed not his name before a line of the perfon's you mention ; that person himself has told you and all the world, in the book itself, what part he had in it, as may be seen at the conclusion of his notes to the Odyssey. I can only suppose your Lordship (not having at that time forgot your Greek) despised to look upon the Translation; and ever since entertained too mean an opinion of the Translator
to cast an eye upon it. Besides, my Lord, when you said he fold another man's works, you ought in justice to have added that he bought them, which very much alters the Cafe. What he gave him was five hundred pounds : his receipt can be produced to your Lordship. I dare not affirm he was as well paid as some Writers (much his inferiors) have been fince; but your Lordfhip will reflect that I am no man of Quality, either to buy or sell seribling so high : and that I have neither Place, Penfon, nor Power to reward for secret Services. It cannot be, that one your rank can have the least Envy to such an author as I am; but, were that pofa fible, it were much better gratified by employing not your own, but some of those low and ignoble pens to do you this mean office. I dare engage you'll have them for less than I
Mr. Broom, if your friends have not raised the market: Let them drive the bargain for you, my Lord; and you may depend on seeing, every day in the week, as many (and now and then as pretty) Verses, as these of your Lordship.
And would it not be full as well, that my poos person Mould be abused by them, as by one of your rank and quality? Cannot Curl do the same ? nay, has he not done it before your Lord ship, in the fame kind of Language, and almost the same words? I cannot but think, the worthy and discreet Clergyman himself will agree, it is improper, nay unchristian, to expose the personal defects of our brother; that both such perfect forms as yours, and