and having an inclination also to reading, and no delight in the conversation of those he was obliged to work with, he generally spent all the time he had to spare in reading by himself.

Sir Thomas said, "You are now old, and almost past your labour; I will give you the running of my kitchen as long as you live." He answered, "Sir, you have a numerous family; I have been used to live retired; give me leave to build a house of one room for myself, in such a field, and there, with your good leave, I will live and die." Sir Thomas granted his request; he built his house, and there continued to his death.

I suppose (though my lord did not mention it) that he went to eat in the family, and then retired to his hut. My lord said, that there was no park at that time; but, when the park was made, that house was taken into it, and continued standing till his (my lord's) father pulled it down. But," said my lord. "I would as soon have pulled down this house;" meaning Eastwell Place.


I have been computing the age of this Richard Plantagenet when he died, and find it to be about 81. For Richard III. was killed August 23, 1485, which, subtracted from 1550, there remains 65, to which add 16 (for the age of Richard Plantagenet at that time), and it makes 81. But, though he lived to that age, he could scarcely enjoy his retirement in his little house above two or three years, or a little more. For I find, by Philpot, that Sir Thomas Moyle did not purchase the estate of Eastwell till about the year 1543 or 4. We may, therefore, reasonably suppose that, upon his building a new house on his purchase, he could not come to live in it till 1546, but that his workmen were continued to build the walls about his gardens, and other conveniences off from the house. And till he came to live in the house he could not well have an opportunity of observing how Richard Plantagenet retired with his book. So that it was probably towards the latter end of the year 1546 when Richard and Sir Thomas had the fore-mentioned dialogue together. Consequently, Richard, could not build his house, and have it dry enough for him to live in till the year 1547. So that he must be 77 or 78 years of age before he had his writ of ease.

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[THERE was a controversy going on some twenty years ago whether Pope was a poet. He was not a poet in the sense in which we speak of Spenser, or Dante, or Milton; but, unless we narrow the realms of poetry somewhat strangely, the author of the most pointed and dazzling satire, conveyed in the most harmonious verse, must take his rank amongst the great masters. Are the portraits of Titian or Vandyke not works of art, because they have not the high imagination of the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel or the Cartoons? Alexander Pope was born in 1688; died in 1744.]

What and how great, the virtue and the art
To live on little with a cheerful heart;
(A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine)
Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine.
Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride
Turns you from sound philosophy aside;
Not when from plate to plate your eye-balls roll,
And the brain dances to the mantling bowl.

Hear Bethel's sermon, one not versed in schools,
But strong in sense, and wise without the rules.
Go work, hunt, exercise! (he thus began)
Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can.
Your wine lock'd up, your butler stroll'd abroad,
Or fish denied (the river yet unthaw'd),

If then plain bread and milk will do the feat,
The pleasure lies in you, and not the meat.
Preach as I please, I doubt our curious men
Will choose a pheasant still before a hen;
Yet hens of Guinea full as good I hold,
Except you eat the feathers green and gold.
Of carps and mullets why prefer the great,
(Though cut in pieces ere my lord can eat)
Yet for small turbots such esteem profess?
Because God made these large, the other less.


Oldfield, with more than harpy throat endued,
Cries, Send me, gods! a whole hog barbecued!
Oh, blast it, south winds! till a stench exhale
Rank as the ripeness of a rabbit's tail.
By what criterion do you eat, d'ye think,
If this is prized for sweetness, that for stink?
When the tired glutton labours through a treat,
He finds no relish in the sweetest meat,
He calls for something bitter, something sour,
And the rich feast concludes extremely poor:
Cheap eggs, and herbs, and olives, still we see;
Thus much is left of old simplicity!

The robin-red-breast till of late had rest,
And children sacred held a martin's nest,
Till beccaficos sold so dev'lish dear

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To one that was, or would have been, a peer.
Let me extol a cat, on oysters fed,
I'll have a party at the Bedford-head;
Or ev'n to crack live crawfish recommend;
I'd never doubt at court to make a friend.
"Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother
About one vice, and fall into the other:
Between excess and famine lies a mean-
Plain, but not sordid; though not splendid, clean.
Avidien, or his wife (no matter which,
For him you'll call a dog, and her a bitch),
Sell their presented partridges, and fruits,

And humbly live on rabbits, and on roots:
One half pint bottle serves them both to dine,
And is at once their vinegar and wine.

But on some lucky day (as when they found
A lost bank bill, or heard their son was drown'd),
At such a feast, old vinegar to spare,

Is what two souls so generous cannot bear:
Oil, though it stink, they drop by drop impart,
But souse the cabbage with a bounteous heart.

He knows to live, who keeps the middle state, And neither leans on this side, nor on that;

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