who, attracted by the effluvia of my genius, found that good advice shall reach you: but be it hot, or me out in my retirement last January twelvemonth. be it cold, to a man that travels as you travel, take I have not permitted him to be idle, but have made care of yourself, can never be an unseasonable him transcribe for me the twelfth book of the Iliad. caution. I I am sometimes distressed on this acHe brings me the compliments of several of the count; for though you are young, and well made literati, with whom he is acquainted in town, and for such exploits, those very circumstances are tells me, that from Dr. Maclain, whom he saw more likely than any thing to betray you into danlately, he learns that my book is in the hands of ger. sixty different persons at the Hague, who are all Consule quid valeant plantæ, quid ferre recusent. enchanted with it, not forgetting the said Dr. Maclain himself, who tells him that he reads it every The Newtons left us on Friday. We frequentday, and is always the better for it. O rare we! ly talked about you after your departure, and every I have been employed this morning in compos- thing that was spoken was to your advantage. I ing a Latin motto for the king's clock; the embel- know they will be glad to see you in London, and lishments of which are by Mr. Bacon. That perhaps when your summer and autumn rambles gentleman breakfasted with us on Wednesday, are over, you will afford them that pleasure. The having come thirty-seven miles out of his way Throckmortons are equally well disposed to you, on purpose to see your cousin. At his request I and them also I recommend to you as a valuable have done it, and have made two; he will choose connexion, the rather because you can only cultithat which liketh him best. Mr. Bacon is a most vate it at Weston. excellent man, and a most agreeable companion: I would that he lived not so remote, or that he had more opportunity of traveling.

There is not, so far as I know, a syllable of the rhyming correspondence between me and my poor brother left, save and except the six lines of it quoted in yours. I had the whole of it, but it perished in the wreck of a thousand other things, when I left the Temple. Breakfast calls. Adieu!



W. C.

I have not been idle since you went, having not only laboured as usual at the Iliad, but composed a spick and span new piece, called "The Dog and the Water-Lily," which you shall see when we meet again. I believe I related to you the incident which is the subject of it. I have also read most of Lavater's Aphorisms; they appear to me some of them wise, many of them whimsical, a few of them false, and not a few of them extravagant. Nil illi medium. If he finds in a man the feature or quality that he approves, he deifies him; if the contrary, he is a devil. His verdict is in neither case, I suppose, a just one. W.C.



Weston, Aug. 18, 1788. I LEFT you with a sensible regret, alleviated only by the consideration that I shall see you again in October. I was under some concern also, lest, Weston, Sept. 11, 1788. not being able to give you any certain directions SINCE your departure I have twice visited the nor knowing where you might find a guide, you oak, and with my intention to push my inquiries should wander and fatigue yourself, good walker a mile beyond it, where it seems I should have as you are, before you could reach Northampton. found another oak, much larger, and much more Perhaps you heard me whistle just after our sepa- respectable than the former, but once I was hinration; it was to call back Beau, who was run-dered by the rain, and once by the sultriness of ning after you with all speed, to intreat you to re- the day. This latter oak has been known by the turn with me. For my part, I took my own time name of Judith many ages, and is said to have to return, and did not reach home till after one; been an oak at the time of the conquest. If I and then so weary, that I was glad of my great chair, to the comforts of which I added a crust and a glass of rum and water, not without great occasion. Such a foot-traveller am I.

have not an opportunity to reach it before your arrival here, we will attempt that exploit together; and even if I should have been able to visit it ere you come, I shall yet be glad to do so; for the I am writing on Monday, but whether I shall pleasure of extraordinary sights, like all other finish my letter this morning depends on Mrs. pleasures, is doubled by the participation of a Unwin's coming sooner or later down to breakfast. friend.

Something tells me that you set off to-day for Bir- You wish for a copy of my little dog's eulomingham; and though it be a sort of Iricism to gium, which I will therefore transcribe: but by say here, I beseech you take care of yourself, for so doing, I shall leave myself but scanty room for the day threatens great heat, I can not help it; the prose.

weather may be cold enough at the time when I shall be sorry if our neighbours at the hall

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should have left it, when we have the pleasure of seeing you. I want you to see them soon again, that a little consuetudo may wear off restraint; and you may be able to improve the advantage you have already gained in that quarter. I pitied you for the fears which deprived you of your uncle's company, and the more having suffered so much by those fears myself. Fight against that vicious fear, for such it is, as strenuously as you can. It is the worst enemy that can attack a man destined to the forum-it ruined me. To associate as much as possible with the most respectable company, for good sense and good breeding, is, I believe, the only, at least I am sure it is the best remedy. The society of men of pleasure will not cure it, but rather leaves us more exposed to its influence in company of better persons.

Now for the Dog and the Water-Lily.*

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Say what is the thing by my Riddle design'd
Which you carried to London, and yet left behind.

I EXPECT your answer and without a fee.-The half hour next before breakfast I devote to you. The moment Mrs. Unwin arrives in the study, be what I have written much or little, I shall make my bow, and take leave. If you live to be a judge, as if I augur right you will, I shall expect to hear of a walking circuit.

Weston has not been without its tragedies since you left us; Mrs. Throckmorton's piping bull-finch has been eaten by a rat, and the villain left nothing but poor Bully's beak behind him. It will be a wonder if this event does not, at some convenient time, employ my versifying passion. Did ever fair lady, from the Lesbia of Catullus to the present day, lose her bird and find no poet to commemorate the loss? W. C.



Weston, Nov. 30, 1788. YOUR letter, accompanying the books with which you have favoured me, and for which I return you a thousand thanks, did not arrive till yesterday. I shall have great pleasure in taking now and then a peep at my old friend Vincent Bourne; the neatest of all men in his versification, though when I was under his ushership, at Westminster, the most slovenly in his person. He was so inattentive to his boys, and so indifferent whether they brought him good or bad exercises, or none at all, that he seemed determined, as he was the best, so to be the last Latin poet of the Westminster line; a plot which, I believe, he executed very successfully; for I have not heard of any who has at all deserved to be compared with him.

We have had hardly any rain or snow since you left us; the roads are accordingly as dry as in the middle of summer, and the opportunity of walking much more favourable. We have no season in my mind so pleasant as such a winter: I was shocked at what you tell me of and I account it particularly fortunate that such Superior talents, it seems, give no security for pro- it proves, my cousin being with us. She is in priety of conduct; on the contrary, having a nat- good health, and cheerful, so are we all; and this ural tendency to nourish pride, they often betray I say, knowing you will be glad to hear it, for you the possessor into such mistakes, as men more have seen the time when this could not be said of moderately gifted never commit. Ability there- all your friends at Weston. We shall rejoice to fore is not wisdom, and an ounce of grace is a bet-see you here at Christmas; but I recollected when ter guard against gross absurdity than the bright- I hinted such an excursion by word of mouth, you est talents in the world. gave me no great encouragement to expect you,

I rejoice that you are prepared for transcript Minds alter, and yours may be of the number of work: here will be plenty for you. The day on those that do so; and if it should, you will be enwhich you shall receive this, I beg you will re-tirely welcome to us all. Were there no other member to drink one glass at least to the success reason for your coming than merely the pleasure of the Iliad, which I finished the day before yes- it will afford to us, that reason alone would be terday, and yesterday began the Odyssey. It will sufficient; but after so many toils, and with so be some time before I shall perceive myself travel- many more in prospect, it seems essential to your ing in another road; the objects around me are well-being that you should allow yourself a respite, at present so much the same; Olympus, and a which perhaps you can take as comfortably (I am council of gods, meet me at my first entrance. To sure as quietly) here as any where. tell you the truth, I am weary of heroes and dei-| ties, and, with reverence be it spoken, shall be glad for variety's sake, to exchange their company for that of a Cyclops.

*Cowper's Poems.

The ladies beg to be remembered to you with all possible esteem and regard; they are just come down to breakfast, and being at this moment extremely talkative, oblige me to put an end to my letter. Adicu. W. C.


Weston-Underwood, Dec. 2, 1788.


I TOLD you lately that I had an ambition to introduce to your acquaintance my valuable friend, Mr. Rose. He is now before you. You will find him a person of genteel manners and agreeable conversation. As to his other virtues and good qualities, which are many, and not often found in men of his years, I consign them over to your own discernment, perfectly sure that none will escape you. I give you joy of each other, and remain, my dear old friend, most truly yours, W. C.


Weston-Underwood, Dec. 20, 1788.



The Lodge, Jan. 19, 1789.
I HAVE taken, since you went away, many of
the walks which we have taken together; and
none of them, I believe, without thoughts of you.
I have, though not a good memory, in general,
yet a good local memory, and can recollect, by
the help of a tree or a stile, what you said on that
particular spot. For this reason I purpose, when
the summer is come, to walk with a book in my
pocket; what I read at my fireside I forget, but
what I read under a hedge, or at the side of a
pond, that pond and that hedge will always bring
to my remembrance; and this is a sort of memoria
technica, which I would recommend to you if I
did not know that you have no occasion for it.

I am reading Sir John Hawkins, and still hold the same opinion of his book, as when you were here. There are in it, undoubtedly, some awkwardnesses of phrase, and, which is worse, here MRS. UNWIN is in tolerable health, and adds and there some unequivocal indications of a vanity her warmest thanks to mine for your favour, and not easily pardonable in a man of his years; but for your obliging inquiries. My own health is on the whole I find it amusing, and to me at least, better than it has beeg for many years. Long to whom every thing that has passed in the litetime I had a stomach that would digest nothing,rary world within these five-and-twenty years is and now nothing disagrees with it; an amend new, sufficiently replete with information. Mr. Throckmorton told me about three days since, ment for which I am, under God, indebted to the daily use of soluble tartar, which I have never that it was lately recommended to him by a senomitted these two years. I am still, as you may sible man, as a book that would give him great suppose, occupied in my long labour. The Iliad insight into the history of modern literature, and has nearly received its last polish. And I have modern men of letters, a commendation which I advanced in a rough copy as far as to the ninth really think it merits. Fifty years hence, perbook of the Odyssey. My friends are some of haps, the world will feel itself obliged to him. them in haste to see the work printed, and my answer to them is--"I do nothing else, and this I do day and night-it must in time be finished.", My thoughts, however, are not engaged to Homer only. I can not be so much a poet as not to feel greatly for the King, the Queen, and the country. My speculations on these subjects are indeed melancholy, for no such tragedy has befallen in my day. We are forbidden to trust in man; I will not therefore say I trust in Mr. Pitt: —but in his counsels, under the blessing of Providence, the remedy is, I believe, to be found, if a remedy there be. His integrity, firmness, and sagacity, are the only human means that seem adequate to the great emergence.

You say nothing of your own health, of which I should have been happy to have heard favourably. May you long enjoy the best. Neither Mrs. Unwin nor myself have a sincerer, or a warmer wish, than for your felicity.

I am, my dear sir,

Your most obliged and affectionate

W. C.


w. d.

MY DEAR SIR, The Lodge, Jan. 24, 1789. WE have heard from my cousin in Norfolkstreet; she reached home safely, and in good time. An observation suggests itself, which, though I have but little time for observation making, I must allow myself time to mention. Accidents, as we call them, generally occur when there seems least reason to expect them; if a friend of ours travels far in different roads, and at an unfavourable season, we are reasonably alarmed for the safety of one in whom we take so much interest; yet how seldom do we hear a tragical account of such a journey! It is, on the contrary, at home, in our yard or garden, perhaps in our parlour, that disaster finds us; in any place, in short, where we seem perfectly out of the reach of danger. The lesson inculcated by such a procedure on the part of Providence towards us seems to be that of perpetual dependence.

Having preached this sermon, I must hasten to know not: but imagine that any time after the a close; you know that I am not idle, nor can I month of June you will be sure to find her with afford to be so. I would gladly spend more time us, which I mention, knowing that to meet you with you, but by some means or other this day will add a relish to all the pleasures she can find has hitherto proved a day of hindrance and con- at Weston. fusion. W. C.



When I wrote those lines on the Queen's visit, I thought I had performed well; but it belongs to me, as I have told you before, to dislike whatever I write when it has been written a month. The performance was therefore sinking in my esteem, Weston, Jan. 29, 1789. when your approbation of it, arriving in good time, I SHALL be a better, at least a more frequent buoyed it up again. It will now keep possession correspondent, when I have done with Homer. I of the place it holds in my good opinion, because am not forgetful of any letters that I owe, and it has been favoured with yours; and a copy will least of all forgetful of my debts in that way to certainly be at your service whenever you choose you; on the contrary, I live in a continual state of self-reproach for not writing more punctually; but the old Grecian, whom I charge myself never to neglect, lest I should never finish him, has at present a voice that seems to drown all other de

to have one.

Nothing is more certain than that when I wrote the line,

God made the country, and man made the town,

mands, and many to which I could listen with I had not the least recollection of that very simore pleasure than even to his Os rotundum. Imilar one, which you quote from Hawkins Brown. am now in the eleventh book of the Odyssey, con- It convinces me that critics (and none more than versing with the dead. Invoke the Muse in my Warton, in his notes on Milton's minor poems), behalf, that I may roll the stone of Sisyphus with have often charged authors with borrowing what some success. To do it as Homer has done it is, they drew from their own fund. Brown was an I suppose, in our yerse and language, impossible; entertaining companion when he had drunk his but I will hope not to labour altogether to as little bottle, but not before; this proved a snare to him, purpose as Sisyphus himself did. and he would sometimes drink too much; but I Though I meddle little with politics, and can know not that he was chargeable with any other find but little leisure to do so, the present state of irregularities. He had those among his intimates things unavoidably engages a share of my atten- who would not have been such had he been othertion. But as they say, Archimedes, when Syra-wise viciously inclined; the Duncombes, in particuse was taken, was found busied in the solution cular, father and son, who were of unblemished of a problem, so come what may, I shall be found morals. W. C. translating Homer.

Sincerely yours, W. C.



MY DEAR FRIEND, The Lodge, June 5, 1789. I AM going to give you a deal of trouble, but London folks must be content to be troubled by MY DEAR SIR, The Lodge, May 20, 1789. country folks; for in London only can our strange FINDING myself, between twelve and one, at the necessities be supplied. You must buy for me, end of the seventeenth book of the Odyssey, I give if you please, a cuckoo clock; and now I will tell the interval between the present moment and the you where they are sold, which, Londoner as you time of walking, to you. If I write letters before are, it is possible you may not know. They are I sit down to Homer, I feel my spirits too flat for sold, I am informed, at more houses than one, in poetry; and too flat for letter writing if I address that narrow part of Holborn which leads into myself to Homer first; but the last I choose as the Broad St. Giles. It seems they are well going least evil, because my friends will pardon my dul-clocks, and cheap, which are the two best recomness, but the public will not. mendations of any clock. They are made in Ger

I had been some days uneasy on your account, many, and such numbers of them are annually when yours arrived. We should have rejoiced to imported, that they are become even a considerable have seen you, would your engagements have per- article of commerce. mitted: but in the autumn I hope, if not before, we I return you many thanks for Boswell's Tour. shall have the pleasure to receive you. At what I read it to Mrs. Unwin after supper, and we find time we may expect Lady Hesketh, at present I it amusing. There is much trash in it, as there



The Lodge, June 20, 1789.

must always be in every narrative that relates indiscriminately all that passed. But now and then the Doctor speaks like an oracle, and that makes amends for all. Sir John was a coxcomb, and I AM truly sorry that it must be so long before Boswell is not less a coxcomb, though of another we can have an opportunity to meet. My cousin, kind. I fancy Johnson made coxcombs of all his in her last letter but one, inspired me with other friends, and they in return made him a coxcomb; expectations, expressing a purpose, if the matter for with reverence be it spoken, such he certainly could be so contrived, of bringing you with her: was, and, flattered as he was, he was sure to be I was willing to believe that you had consulted together on the subject, and found it feasible. A month was formerly a trifle in my account, but at my present age I give it all its importance, and grudge that so many months should yet pass, in which I have not even a glimpse of those I love, and of whom, the course of nature considered, I must ere long take leave forever-but I shall live till August.


Thanks for your invitation to London, but unless London can come to me, I fear we shall never meet. I was sure that you would love my friend, when you should once be well acquainted with him; and equally sure that he would take kindly to you.

Now for Homer.

W. C.



Many thanks for the cuckoo, which arrived perfectly safe, and goes well, to the amusement and amazement of all who hear it. Hannah lies awake to hear it, and I am not sure that we have not others in the house that admire his music as much as she.

Weston, June 16, 1789. You will naturally suppose that the letter in which you announced your marriage occasioned me some concern, though in my answer I had the wisdom to conceal it. The account you gave me of the object of your choice was such as left me at liberty to form conjectures not very comfortable to myself, if my friendship for you were indeed sincere. I have since however been sufficiently consoled. Your brother Chester has informed me, that you have married not only one of the most agreeable, but one of the most accomplished women in the kingdom. It is an old maxim, that it is better to exceed expectation than to disappoint it, and with this maxim in your view it was, no doubt, that you dwelt only on circumstances of disJuly 18, 1789. advantage, and would not treat me with a recital MANY thanks, my dear madam, for your extract of others which abundantly overweigh them. I now from George's letter. I retain but little Italian, congratulate not you only, but myself, and truly yet that little was so forcibly mustered by the conrejoice that my friend has chosen for his fellow-sciousness that I was myself the subject, that I traveller through the remaining stages of his jour-presently became master of it. I have always said ney, a companion who will do honour to his dis- that George is a poet, and I am never in his comcernment, and make his way, so far as it can de-pany but I discover proofs of it; and the delicate pend on a wife to do so, pleasant to the last,

Having read both Hawkins and Boswell, I now think myself almost as much a master of Johnson's character as if I had known him personally, and can not but regret that our bards of other times found no such biographers as these. They have both been ridiculed, and the wits have had their laugh; but such an history of Milton or Shakspeare, as they have given of Johnson-O, how desirable!

My verses on the Queen's visit to London either have been printed, or soon will be, in the World. The finishing to which you objected I have altered, and have substituted two new stanzas instead of it. Two others also I have struck out, another critic having objected to them. I think I am a very tractable sort of a poet. Most of my fraternity would as soon shorten the noses of their children because they were said to be too long, as thus dock their compositions in compliance with the opinion of others. I beg that when my life shall be written hereafter, my authorship's ductability of temper may not be forgotten!

I am, my dear friend, ever yours, W. C.



address by which he has managed his complimentary mention of me, convinces me of it still more than ever. Here are a thousand poets of us, who have impudence enough to write for the public; but amongst the modest men who are by diffidence restrained from such an enterprise are those who would eclipse us all. I wish that George would make the experiment; I would bind on his laurels with my own hand.

Your gardener has gone after his wife, but having neglected to take his lyre, alias fiddle, with him, has not yet brought home his Eurydice. Your clock in the hall has stopped, and (strange to tell!) it stopped at the sight of the watch-maker. For he only looked at it, and it has been motionless

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