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LET TER CXVIII.
O&. 7. | Heartily thank you for yours, from which I | learn'd your safe arrival. And that you found all yours in health, was a kind addition to the account; as I truly am interested in whatever is, and deserves to be dear to you, and to make a part of your happiness. I have many reasons and experiences to convince me, how much you with health to me, as well as long life to my writings. Could you make as much a better man of me as you can make a better author, I were secure of İmmortality both here and hereafter by your means. The Dunciad I have ordered to be advertised in quarto. Pray order as many of them as you will ; and know that whatever is mine is yours.
Jan. 12, 1743. A N unwillingness to write nothing to you,
A whom I respect ; and worse than nothing (which would afflict you) to one who wilhes me so well, has hitherto kept me filent. Of the Public I can tell you nothing worthy the reflection of a reasonable man; and of myself only an account that would give you pain ; for my asthma has increased every week since you last heard from me, to the degree of confining me totally to the fire-fide ; so that I have hardly seen any of my friends but two, who happen to be divided from the world as much as myself, and are constantly retired at Bat
tersea. There I have paft most of my time, and often wish'd you of the company, as the best I know to make me not regret the loss of all others, and to prepare me for a nobler scene than any mortal greatness can open to us. I fear by the account you gave me of the time you design to come this way, one of them (whom I much with you had a glympse of) will be gone again, unless you pass some weeks in London before Mr. Allen arrives there in March. My present indisposition takes up almost all my hours, to render a very few of them supportable: yet I go on softly to prepare the great edition of my Things with your Notes, and as fast as I receive any from you, I add others in order.
I am told the Laureat is going to publish a very abusive pamphlet. That is all I can desire ; it is enough, if it be abusive and if it be his. He threatens you; but, I think, you will not fear or love him so much as to answer him, though you have answered one or two as dull. He will be more to me than a dose of hartshorn: and as a stink re. vives one who has been oppressed with perfumes, his railing will cure me of a course of flatteries.
I am much more concerned to hear that some of your Clergy are offended at a verse or two of mine *, because I have a respect for your Clergy, (though the verses are harder upon ours.) But if they do not blame you for defending those verses, I will wrap myself up in the layman's cloak, and seep under your shield.
I am sorry to find by a letter two posts since from Mr. Allen, that he is not quite recovered yet of all remains of his indisposition, nor Mrs. Allen quite. well. Don't be discouraged from telling me how you are: for no man is more yours than, &c. * Ver. 355 to 358. second book of the Dunciad.
LET TER CXX.
IF I was not ashamed to be so behind hand with
you, that I can never pretend to fetch it up (any more than I could in my present sta c, to overtake you in a race) I would particularize which of your letters I should have answered first. It must suffice to say I have received them all; and whatever very little refpites I have had, from the daily care of my malady, have been employed in -revi-. sing the papers on the use of Riches, which I would have ready for your last revise, against you come to town, that they may be begun with while you are here.-I own, the late encroachments upon my constitution make me willing to see the end of all further care about me or my works. I would reft for the one, in a full resignation of my Being to be disposed of by the Father of all mercy; and for the other (though, indeed, a trifle, yet a trifle may be some example) I would commit them to the candour of a sensible and reflecting judge, rather than to the malice of every short-lighted and malevo. lent critic, or inadvertent and censorious reader. And no hand can set them in so good a light, or so well turn their best side to the day as your own. This obliges me to confefs I have for some months thought myself going, and that not slowly, down the hill. The rather as every attempt of the physicians, and still, the last medicines more forceable in their nature, have utterly faild to serve me. I was at last, about seven days ago, taken with so violent a fit at Battersea, that my friends Lord M. and Lord B. sent for present help to the surgeon ; whose bleeding me, I am persuaded, saved my life, by the instantaneous effect it had; and which has continued so much to amend me, that I have pass’d five days without oppression, and recovered, what I have three months wanted, some degree of expectoration, and some hours together of sleep. I am now got to Twitenham, to try if the air will not take some part in reviving me, if I can avoid colds; and between that place and Battersea with my Lord B. I will pass what I have of life, while, he stays, (which I can tell you, to my great satisfaction, will be this fortnight or three weeks yet.) What if you came before Mr. Allen, and staid till then, instead of postponing your journey longer ? Pray, if you write, just tell him how ill I have been, or I had wrote again to him : But that I will do, the first day I find myself alone with pen, ink, and paper, which I can hardly be even here, or in any fpirits yet to hold a pen. You see I say nothing, and yet this writing is labour to me.
April 1744. T AM forry to meet you with so bad an account I of myself, who should otherwise with joy have flown to the interview. I am too ill to be in town; and within this week so much worse, as to make my journey thither, at present, impracticable, even if there was no Proclamation in my way. I left the Town in a decent compliance to that, but this additional prohibition from the highest of all powers I must bow to without murmuring. I wish to see you here. Mr. Allen comes not till the 6th, and you will probably chuse to be in town chiefly while he is there. I received yours just now, and I writ to hinder--from printing the Comment on
the Use of Riches too hastily, since what you write me, intending to have forwarded it otherwise, that you might revise it during your stay. Indeed my present weakness will make me less and less capable of any thing. I hope at least, now at first, to see you for a day or two here at Twitenham, and concert measures how to enjoy for the future what I can of your friendship *.
I am, &c.
* He died May 30. following.
[N. B. The Originals, with which these letters have been collated by the Bookseller, are now in his bands.]