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rior universal Genius you describe, whose hand writing I know towards the end of your Letter, hath made me both proud and happy ; but by what he writes I fear he will be too soon gone to his Forest abroad. He began in the Queen's time to be my Patron, and then descended to be my Friend.
It is a great favour of Heaven, that your health grows better by the addition of vears. I have absolutely done with Poetry for several years past, and even at my best times I could produce nothing but trifles : I therefore re ect your compliments on that score, and it is no compliment in me; for I take your second Dialogue that you lately sent me, to equal almost any thing you ever writ; although I live so much out of the world, that I am ignorant of the facts and persons, which, I presume, are very well known from Temple-bar to St. James's(I mean the Court exclusive.)
"I can faithfully assure you, that every letter o you have favour'd me with, these twenty years " arid more, are sealed up in bundles, and deliver(6 ed to Mrs.
W e a very worthy, rational, " and judicious Cousin of mine, and the only re" Jation whose visits I can suffer : All these Letters " she is directed to send safely to you upon my 6 decease.”
My Lord Orrery is gone with his Lady to a part of her estate in the North : She is a person of very good understanding as any I know of her fex. Give me leave to write here a fhort answer to my Lord B's letter in the last page of yours.
My dear Lord, · I am infinitely obliged to your Lordship for the honour of your letter, and kind remembrance of me. I do here confess, that I have more obligations to your Lordship than to all the world besides. You never deceived me, even when you were a great Minister of State: and yet I love you still more, for your condescending to write to me, when you had the honour to be an Exil. I can hardly hope to live till you publish your History, and am vain enough to wish that my name could be squeez'd in among the few Subalterns, quorum pars parvi fui : If not, I will be revenged, and contrive fome way to be known to futurity, that · I had the honour to have your Lordship for my best Patron; and I will live and die, with the highest veneration and gratitude, your most obedient, &c.
P.S. I will here in a Postscript correct (if it be possible) the blunders I have made in my letter. I shewed my Cousin the above letter, and the assures me, that a great Collection of * your
are put up and sealed, my and in some very safe hand t. I am, my most dear and honoured Friend, entirely yours,
J. Swift. It is now Aug. 24,
1738. * 'Tis written just thus in the Original. The Book that is now printed seems to be part of the Collection here spoken of, as it contains not only the Letters of Mr. Pope but of Dr. Swift, both to him and Mr. Gay, which were return'd him after Mr. Gay's death : tho' any men. tion made by Mr. P. of the Return or Exchange of Let. ters has been industriously supprest in the Publication, and only appears by some of the Answers.
+ The Earl of ORRERY to Mr. Pope. SI R, I am more and more convinced that your letters are neither loft nor burnt : but who the Dean means by a fafe hand in Ireland, is beyond my power of guelling, tho' I am
particularly acquainted with most, if not all, of his friends. As I knew you had the recovery of those Letters at heart, I took more than ordinary pains, to find out where they were; but my enquiries were to no purpose, and, I fear, whoever has them, is too tenacious of them to discover where they lie. “ Mrs. W— did assure me she had not one of them, and “ seem'd to be under great uneasiness that you foould ima“ gine they were left with her. She likewise told me she “ had stop'd the Dean's letter which gave you that infor. “ mation; but believed he would write such another ; and “ therefore defird me to assure you, from her, that she was " totally ignorant where they were."
You may make what use you please, either to the Dean or any other person, of what I have told you. I am ready to testify it ; and I think it ought to be known, “ That the " Dean says they are deliver'd into a safe hand, and * Mrs. “W- declares the has them not. The Consequence of 6. their being hereofter published may give uneasiness to fome “ of your Friends, and of course to you: so I would do all “ in my pozver to make you entirely easy in that point."
This is the first time I have put pen to paper fince my late misfortune, and I should say (as an excuse for this letter) that it has cost me some pain, did it not allow me an opportunity to assure you, that I am,
With the truest esteem,
Marston, Oct. 4, 1738.
* This Lady fince gave Mr. Pope the strongest Afsurances that she had used her utmost Endeavours to prevent the Publication; nay, went so far as to secrete the Book, till it was commanded from her, and delivered to the Dublin Printer : Whereupon her Son-in-law, D. Swift, Esq; infifted upon writing a Preface, to justify Mr. P. from having any Knowledge of it, and to lay it upon the corrupt Practices of the Printers in London; but this he would not agree to, as not knowing the Truth of the Fact,
RALPH ALLEN, Esq.
Mr. POPE to Mr. ALLEN.
Twitnam, April 30, 1736. I SAW Mr. M. yesterday who has readily ala I lowed Mr. V. to copy the Picture. I have enquired for the best Originals of those two subjects, which, I found, were favorite ones with you, and well deserve to be so, the Discovery of Joseph to his Brethren, and the Resignation of the Captive by Scipio.. Of the latter, my Lord Burlington has a fine one done by Ricci, and I am promised the other in a good Print from one of the chief Italian Painters. That of Scipio is of the exact size one would wish for a Basso Relievo, in which manner, in my opinion, you would best ornament your Hall, done in Chiaro oscuro.
A man not only shews his Taste, but his Virtue in the choice of such ornaments : And whatever example most strikes us, we may reasonably imagine, may have an infuence upon others. So that the History itself, if well chofen, upon a rich man's
walls, is very often a better lesson than any he could téach by his conversation. In this sense, the Stones may be said to speak when Men cannot, or will not. I can't help thinking (and I know you'll join with me, you who have been making an Altar-piece) that the zeal of the first Reformers was ill placed, in removing pictures (that is to say, examples) out of Churches; and yet suffering Epitaphs (that is to say, Aatteries and false history) to be the burthen of Church walls, and the shame, as well as derision, of all honest men.
I have heard little yet of the subscription *. I intend to make a visit for a fortnight from home to Lady Peterborow at Southampton, about the middle of May. After my return I will inquire what has been done; and I really believe, what I told you will prove true, and I shall be honourably acquitted of a talk I am not fond of t. I have run out my leaf, and will only add my sincere wishes for your happiness of all kinds.
I am, &c.
Southampton, June 5, 1736. T NEED not say I thank you for a Letter,
which proves fó' much friendship for me. I have much more to say upon it than I can, till we meet. But in a word, I think your notion of the value of those things I is greatly too high, as to
* For his own Edit. of the' ist Vol. of his letters ; un. dertaken at Mr. Allen's request.
+ The printing his lect-r, by subscription.