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feel the pulses of every senator; after which, having natures of the favours they have received, for which maturely considered and consulted upon the nature of they are allowed to be their own vouchers. Wit, the several maladies, and the inethods of cure, they valour, and politeness, were likewise proposed to be should on the fourth day return to the senate-house, largely taxed, and collected in the same manner, by attended by their apothecaries stored with proper every person giving his own word for the quantum of medicines ; and, before the members sat, administer what he possessed. But as to honour, justice, wisdom, to each of them lenitives, aperitives, abstersives, corro- and learning, they should not be taxed at all, besives, restringents, palliatives, laxatives, cephalalgics, cause they are qualifications of so singular a kind, icterics, apophlegmatics, acoustics, as their several that no man will either allow them in his neighbour, cases required; and, according as these medicines or value them in himself. should operate, repeat, alter, or omit them at the next The women were proposed to be taxed according to meeting.
their beauty and skill in dressing, wherein they had This project could not be of any great expense to the same privilege with the men, to be determined by the public, and might, in my poor opinion, be of their own judgment. But constancy, chastity, good much use for the despatch of business in those coun- sense, and good nature, were not rate tries where senates have any share in the legislative would not bear the charge of collecting. power; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few To keep senators in the interest of the crown, it mouths which are now closed, and close many more was proposed that the members should raffle for emwhich are now open ; curb the petulancy of the young, ployments ; every man first taking an oath, and giving and correct the positiveness of the old; rouse the security that he would vote for the court, whether he stupid, and damp the pert.
won or no; after which the losers had in their turn Again, because it is a general complaint that the the liberty of rafling upon the next racancy. Thus, favourites of princes are troubled with short and weak hope and expectation would be kept alive; none memories, the same doctor proposed, that whoever would complain of broken promises, but impute their attended a first minister, after having told his busi- disappointments wholly to fortune, whose shoulders ness with the utmost brevity, and in the plainest are broader and stronger than those of a ministry. words, should, at his departure, give the said minister Another professor showed me a large paper of ina tweak by the nose, or a kick in the belly, or tread structions for discovering plots and conspiracies against on his corns, or lug him thrice by both ears, or run a the government. pin into his body, or pinch his arms black and blue, I told him, that in the kingdom of Tribnia, by the to prevent forgetfulness; and at every levee day re-natives called Langden, where I had long sojoured, peat the same operation, until the business were done the bulk of the people consisted wholly of discoverers, or absolutely refused.
witnesses, informers, accusers, prosecutors, evidences, He likewise directed that every senator in the swearers, together with their several subservient and great council of a nation, after he had delivered his subaltern instruments, all under the colours, the conopinion, and argued in the defence of it, should be duct, and pay of ministers and their deputies. The obliged to give his vote directly contrary; because if plots in that kingdom are usually the workmanship that were done, the result would infallibly terminate of those persons who desire to raise their own characin the good of the public.
ters of profound politicians; to restore new vigour to When parties in a state are violent, he offered a a crazy administration; to stifle or divert general diswonderful contrivance to reconcile them. The method contents; to fill their coffers with forfeitures; and is this: You take a hundred leaders of each party ; raise or sink the opinion of public credit, as either you dispose them into couples of such whose heads shall best answer their private advantage. It is first are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators saw agreed and settled among them what suspected peroff the occiput of each couple at the same time, in sons shall be accused of a plot ; then effectual care is such manner that the brain may be equally divided. taken to secure all their letters and other papers, and Let the occiputs thus cut off be interchanged, apply- put the owners in chains. These papers are delivered ing each to the head of his opposite party-man. It to a set of artists very dexterous in finding out the seeins indeed to be a work that requireth some exact- mysterious meanings of words, syllables, and letters. ness; but the professor assured us, that, if it were For instance, they can decipher a close-stool to signify dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible. a privy-council; a flock of geese, a senate; a lame For he argued thus: that the two half brains being dog, an invader; the plague, a standing army'; a buzleft to debate the matter between themselves within zard, a minister; the gout, a high-priest; a gibbet, a the space of one skull, would soon come to a good secretary of state; a charober-pot, a committee of understanding, and produce that moderation, as well | grandees ; a sieve, a court lady; a broom, a revoluas regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in tion; a mouse-trap, an employment; a bottomless the heads of those who imagine they came into the pit, the treasury; a sink, a court; a cap and bells, a world only to watch and govern its motions: and as | favourite ; a broken reed, a court of justice; an empty to the difference of brains in quantity or quality, tun, a general ; a running sore, the adıninistration. among those who are directors in faction, the doctor When this method fails, they have two others more assured us, from his own knowledge, that it was a effectual, which the learned among them call acrosperfect trifle.
tics and anagrams. First, they can decipher all ini. I heard a very warm debate between two professors, tial letters into political meanings ; thus, N shall sigabout the most commodious and effectual ways and nify a plot, B a regiment of horse, L a fleet at sea. Or, mcans of raising money without grieving the subject. secondly, by transposing the letters of the alphabet, The first affirmed, the justest method would be to lay in any suspected paper, they can lay open the deepest a certain tax upon vices and folly, and the sum fixed designs of a discontented party. So, for example, if upon every man to be rated after the fairest manner I should say in a letter to a friend, Our brother Tom by a jury of his neighbours. The second was of an hath just got the piles, a man of skill in this art would opinion directly contrary ; to tax those qualities of discover how the same letters which compose that body and mind for which men chiefly value them- sentence may be analysed into the following words selves; the rate to be more or less according to the Resist--a plot is brought home-the tower. And this degrees of excelling, the decision whereof should be left is the anagramatic method. entirely to their own breast. The highest tax was upon The professor made me great acknowledgments for meu who are the greatest favourites of the other sex, communicating these observations, and promised to and the assessments according to the number and I make honourable mention of me in his treatise.
(Thoughts on Various Subjects.]
Every man desireth to live long, but no mau would
be old, We have just religion enough to make us hate, but If books and laws continue to increase as they hare not enough to make us love one another.
done for fifty years past, I am in some concern for When we desire or solicit anything, our minds run future ages, how any man will be learned, or any man wholly on the good side or circumstances of it; when
es of it: when a lawyer. it is obtained, our mind runs only on the bad ones. A nice man is a man of nasty ideas. (How true of
When a true genius appeareth in the world, you Swift himself!] may know him by this infallible sign, that the dunces If a man maketh me keep my distance, the comfort are all in confederacy against him.
is, he keepeth his at the same time. I am apt to think that, in the day of judgment, Very few men, properly speaking, live at present, there will be small allowance given to the wise for but are providing to live another time. their want of morals, or to the ignorant for their want Praise is the daughter of present power. of faith, because both are without excuse. This Princes in their infancy, childhood, and youth, are renders the advantages equal of ignorance and know- said to discover prodigious parts and wit, to speak ledge. But some scruples in the wise, and some vices things that surprise and astonish : strange, so many in the ignorant, will perhaps be forgiven upon the hopeful princes, so many shameful kings! If they strength of temptation to each.
happen to die young, they would have been prodigies It is pleasant to observe how free the present age is of wisdom and virtue: if they live, they are often proin laying taxes on the next: “Future ages shall talk digies indeed, but of another sort. of this ; this shall be famous to all posterity :' whereas The humour of exploding many things under the their time and thoughts will be taken up about pre- name of trifles, fopperies, and only imaginary goods, sent things, as ours are now.
is a very false proof either of wisdom or magnanimity, It is in disputes as in armies, where the weaker side and a great check to virtuous actions. For instance, setteth up false lights, and maketh a great noise, that with regard to fame; there is in most people a relucthe enemy may believe them to be more numerous tance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe, and strong than they really are.
even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an I have known some men possessed of good qualities, inscription over their grave. It requireth but little which were very serviceable to others, but useless to philosophy to discover and observe that there is no themselves; like a sun-dial on the front of a house, to intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded inform the neighbours and passengers, but not the in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not owner within.
to be ridiculed. If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, &c., beginning from his [Overstrained Politeness, or Vulgar Hospitality.] youth, and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last !
(From "The Tatler.'] The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lop Those inferior duties of life which the French call ping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when les petites morales, or the smaller morals, are with us we want shoes.
distinguished by the name of good manners or breed. The reason why so few marriages are happy, is being. This I look upon, in the general notion of it, to cause young ladies spend their time in making nets, be a sort of artificial good sense, adapted to the meannot in making cages.
est capacities, and introduced to make mankind easy The power of fortune is confessed only by the miser in their cominerce with each other. Low and little able, for the happy impute all their success to pru | understandings, without some rules of this kind, would dence and merit.
be perpetually wandering into a thousand indecencies Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest and irregularities in behaviour; and in their ordinary offices : so, climbing is performed in the same posture conversation, fall into the same boisterous familiarities with creeping.
that one observeth amongst them when a debauch Censure is the tax a man payeth to the public for hath quite taken away the use of their reason. In being eminent.
other instances, it is odd to consider, that for want of No wise man ever wished to be younger.
common discretion, the very end of good breeding is An idle reason lessens the weight of the good ones wholly perverted; and civility, intended to make us you gave before.
easy, is employed in laying chains and fetters upon Complaint is the largest tribute heaven receives, us, in debarring us of our wishes, and in crossing our and the sincerest part of our devotion.
most reasonable desires and inclinations. This abuse The common fluency of speech in many men and reigneth chiefly in the country, as I found to my vexamost women, is owing to a scarcity of matter and tion, when I was last there, in a visit I made to a scarcity of words: for whoever is a master of language, neighbour about two miles from my cousin. As soon and hath a mind full of ideas, will be apt, in speak- as I entered the parlour, they put me into the great ing, to hesitate upon the choice of both ; whereas chair that stood close by a huge fire, and kept me common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one there by force, until I was almost stifled. Then a boy set of words to clothe them in, and these are always came in great hurry to pull off my boots, which I in ready at the mouth. So people come faster out of a | vain opposed, urging, that I must return soon after church when it is almost empty, than when a crowd dinner. In the meantime, the good lady whispered is at the door.
her eldest daughter, and slipped a key into her hand. To be vain is rather a mark of humility than pride. The girl returned instantly with a beer-glass half full Vain men delight in telling what honours have been of aqua mirabilis and syrup of gilly-flowers. I took done them, what great coinpany they have kept, and as much as I had a mind for; but madam vowed I the like; by which they plainly confess that these should drink it off (for she was sure it would do me honours were more than their due, and such as their good, after coming out of the cold air), and I was forced friends would not believe if they had not been told: to obey; which absolutely took away my stomach. whereas a man truly proud thinks the greatest honours | When dinner came in, I had a mind to sit at a disbelow his merit, and consequently scorns to boast. Itance from the fire; but they told me it was as much therefore deliver it as a maxim, that whoever desires as my life was worth, and set me with my back just the character of a proud man, ought to conceal his against it. Although my appetite were quite gone, I vanity.
resolved to force down as much as I could ; and de
sired the leg of a pullet. Indeed, Mr Bickerstaff, says public. Pope's epistolary excellence,' says Johnson, the lady, you must eat a wing to oblige me; and so had an open field; he had no English rival, living put a couple upon my plate. I was persecuted at this or dead.' The letters of Lord Bacon, Strafford, and rate during the whole meal. As often as I called for other statesmen, had been published, but they desmall beer, the master tipped the wink, and the servant scended little into the details of familiar life. Sprat brought me a brimmer of October. Some time after suppressed the correspondence of Cowley, under the dinner, I ordered my cousin's man, who came with me, impression, finely expressed by an old writer, that to get ready the horses, but it was resolved I should private letters are commonly of too tender a componot stir that night; and when I seemned pretty much sition to thrive out of the bosom in which they were bent upon going, they ordered the stable door to be first planted; and the correspondence of Pope was locked; and the children hid my cloak and boots. the first attempt to interest the public in the sentiThe next question was, what I would have for supper ? | ments and opinions of literary men, and the expreg. I said I never eat anything at night; but was at last, sion of private friendship. As literature was the in my own defence, obliged to name the first thing that business of Pope's life, and composition his first and came into my head. After three hours spent chiefly favourite pursuit, he wrote always with a view to in apologies for my entertainment, insinuating to me, I admiration and fame. He knew that if his letters "That this was the worst time of the year for provi-l to his friends did not come before the public in a sions ; that they were at a great distance from any
printed shape, they would be privately circulated, market; that they were afraid I should be starved;
and might affect his reputation with those he was and that they knew they kept me to my loss,' the
ambitious of pleasing. Hence he seems always to lady went and left me to her husband (for they took
have written with care. His letters are generally too special care I should never be alone). As soon as her elaborate and artificial to have been the spontaneous back was turned, the little misses ran backwards and
effusions of private confidence. Many of them are forwards every moment; and constantly as they came
beautiful in thought and imagery, and evince a taste in or went out, made a curtsy directly at me, which
ch for picturesque scenery and description, that it is to in good manners I was forced to return with a bow,
be regretted the poet did not oftener indulge. Others, and, your humble servant, pretty Miss. Exactly at
as the exquisite one describing a journey to Oxford, eight the mother came up, and discovered by the red
in company with Bernard Lintot, possess a fine vein ness of her face that supper was not far off. It was
of comic humour and observation. Swift was infetwice as large as the dinner, and my persecution
rior to Pope as a letter-writer, but he discloses more doubled in proportion. I desired at my usual hour
of his real character. He loved Pope as much as lie to go to my repose, and was conducted to my chamber
could any man, and the picture of their friendship, by the gentleman, his lady, and the whole train of
disclosed in their correspondence, is honourable to children. They importuned me to drink something
both. They had both risen to eminence by their before I went to bed ; and upon my refusing, at last
own talents ; they had mingled with the great and left a bottle of stingo, as they called it, for fear I should
illustrious; had exchanged with each other in pri. wake and be thirsty in the night. I was forced in the
vate their common feelings and sentiments ; had parmorning to rise and dress myself in the dark, because
taken of the vicissitudes of public affairs ; seen their they would not suffer my kinsman's servant to disturb me at the hour I desired to be called. I was now re
friends decay and die off; and in their old age, solved to break through all measures to get away ;
mourned over the evils and afflictions incident to the and after sitting down to a monstrous breakfast of
decline of life.“ Pope's affection soothed the jealous cold beef. mutton, neats'-tongues, venison-pasty, and
irritability and misanthropy of Swift, and survived stale beer, took leave of the family. But the gentle
the melancholy calamity which rendered his friend man would needs see me part of my way, and carry
one of the most pitiable and affecting objects among me a short cut through his own grounds, which he
mankind. told me would save half a mile's riding. This last piece of civility had like to have cost me dear, being
[On Sickness and Death.] once or twice in danger of my neck, by leaping over his ditches, and at last forced to alight in the dirt;
To SIR RICHARD STEELE.—July 15, 1712. when my horse, having slipped his bridle, ran away, You formerly observed to me that nothing made and took us up more than an hour to recover him
a more ridiculous figure in a man's life than the disagain. It is evident, that none of the absurdities I
parity we often find in him sick and well; thus one met with in this visit proceeded from an ill intention,
of an unfortunate constitution is perpetually exhibitbut from a wrong judgment of complaisance, and a ing a miserable example of the weakness of his mind, inisapplication in the rules of it.
and of his body, in their turns. I have had frequent opportunities of late to consider myself in these diffe
rent views, and, I hope, have received some advanALEXANDER POPE.
tage by it, if what Waller says be true, that In 1737 Pope published, by subscription, a volume
The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed, of letters between himself and his literary friends,
Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made. including Swift, Bolingbroke, Gay, and Arbuthnot. Part of the collection had been previously obtained Then surely sickness, contributing no less than old by surreptitious means, and printed by Curll, a no age to the shaking down this scaffolding of the body, torious publisher of that day. Johnson and Warton may discover the inward structure more plainly. conceived that Pope had connived at this breach of sickness is & sort of early old age; it teaches us a private confidence; but it has been satisfactorily diffidence in our earthly state, and inspires us with shown that the poet was ignorant of the publication, the thoughts of a future, better than a thousand and that his indignation on discovering it was ex- volumes of philosophers and divines. It gives so pressed with all the warmth of sincerity. The letters warning a concussion to those props of our vanity, our excited the curiosity of the public; and Pope com strength and youth, that we think of fortifying ourplied with the general intreaty to give a genuine selves within, when there is so little dependence upon edition of his correspondence. Additions were after our out-works. Youth at the very best is but a bewards made to the collection, which went through trayer of human life in a gentler and smoother manbeveral editions. The experiment was new to the ner than age: it is like a stream that nourishes & plant upon a bank, and causes it to flourish and meditations, or even inquiring of your retreat ; but blossom to the sight, but at the same time is under this I will not positively assert, because I never remining it at the root in secret. My youth has dealt ceired any such insulting epistle from you. My Lord more fairly and openly with me; it has afforded Oxford says you hare not written to him once since you several prospects of my danger, and given me an went; but this perhaps may be only policy in him or advantage not very common to young men, that the you! and I, who am half a Whig, must not entirely attractions of the world have not dazzled me very credit anything he affirms. At Button's, it is reported much ; and I begin, where most people end, with a you are gone to Hanover, and that Gay goes only on an fuil conviction of the emptiness of all sorts of ambi-embassy to you. Others apprehend some dangerous tion, and the unsatisfactory nature of all human plea- state treatise from your retirement; and a wit, who sures. When a smart fit of sickness tells me this affects to imitate Balsac, says, that the ministry now scurvy tenement of my body will fall in a little time, are like those heathens of old, who received their I an even as unconcerned as was that honest Hiber-oracles from the woods. The gentlemen of the Roman nian, who, being in bed in the great storm some years Catholic persuasion are not unwilling to credit me, ago, and told the house would tumble over his head, when I whisper, that you are gone to meet some made answer, “What care I for the house! I am only Jesuits commissioned from the court of Rome, in a loager.' I fancy it is the best time to die when one order to settle the most convenient methods to be is in the best humour; and so excessively weak as I taken for the coming of the Pretender. Dr Arbuthnow am, I may say with conscience, that I am not at not is singular in his opinion, and imagines your only all uneasy at the thought that many men, whom I design is to attend at full leisure to the life and ad. never had any esteem for, are likely to enjoy this ventures of Scriblerus. This, indeed, must be granted world after me. When I reflect what an inconsider- of greater importance than all the rest ; and I wish I able little atom every single man is, with respect to could promise so well of you. The top of my own the whole creation, methinks it is a shame to be con- ambition is to contribute to that great work; and I cerned at the removal of such a trivial animal as I shall translate Homer by the by. Mr Gay has acam. The morning after my exit, the sun will rise as quainted you what progress I have made in it. I bright as ever, the flowers smell as sweet, the plants cannot name Mr Gay, without all the acknowledge spring as green, the world will proceed in its old ments which I shall ever owe you on his account. If course, people will laugh as heartily, and marry as I writ this in verse, I would tell you you are like the fast, as they were used to do.* The memory of man sun, and, while men imagine you to be retired or (as it is elegantly expressed in the Book of Wisdom) absent, are hourly exerting your influence, and bring. passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that ing things to maturity for their advantage. Of all tarrieth but one day. There are reasons enough, in the world, you are the man (without flattery) who the fourth chapter of the same book, to make any serve your friends with the least ostentation; it is young man contented with the prospect of death. almost ingratitude to thank you, considering your * For honourable age is not that which standeth in temper; and this is the period of all my letter which, length of time, or is measured by number of years. I fear, you will think the most impertinent. I am, But wisdom is the gray hair to man, and an unspotted with the truest affection, yours, &c. life is old age. He was taken away speedily, lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul,' &c.—I am your, &c.
[Pope in Oxford.]
To MRS MARTHA Blount.–1716. [Pope to Swift-On his Retirement.]
Nothing could have more of that melancholy which January 18, 1714.
once used to please me, than my last day's journey ;
| for, after having passed through my favourite woods Whatever apologies it might become me to make in the forest, with a thousand reveries of past pleaat any other time for writing to you, I shall use none sures, I rid over hanging hills, whose tops were edged now, to a man who has owned himself as splenetic as with groves, and whose feet watered with winding a cat in the country. In that circumstance, I know rivers, listening to the falls of cataracts below, and by experience a letter is a very useful as well as an the murmuring of the winds above; the gloomy veramusing thing: if you are too busied in state affairs dure of Stonor succeeded to these, and then the shades to read it, yet you may find entertainment in folding of the evening overtook me. The moon rose in the it into divers figures, either doubling it into a pyra- clearest sky I ever saw, by whose solemn light I paced midical, or twisting it into a serpentine form : or if on slowly, without company, or any interruption to your disposition should not be so mathematical, in the range of my thoughts. About a mile before I taking it with you to that place where men of studious reached Oxford, all the bells tolled in different notes ; minds are apt to sit longer than ordinary; where, the clocks of every college answered one another, and after an abrupt division of the paper, it may not be sounded forth (some in deeper, some a softer tone) unpleasant to try to fit and rejoin the broken lines that it was eleven at night. All this was no ill pretogether. All these amusements I am no stranger to | paration to the life I have led since among those old in the country, and doubt not (by this time) you walls, venerable galleries, stone porticos, studious begin to relish them in your present contemplative walks, and solitary scenes of the university. I wanted situation.
nothing but a black gown and a salary, to be as I remember, a man who was thought to have some mere a book-worm as any there. I conformed myself knowledge in the world used to affirm, that no people to the college hours, was rolled up in books, lay in in town ever complained they were forgotten by their one of the most ancient, dusky parts of the university, friends in the country ; but my increasing experience and was as dead to the world as any hermit of the convinces me he was mistaken, for I find a great many desert. If anything was alive or awake in me, it was here grievously complaining of you upon this score. a little ranity, such as even those good men used to I am told further, that you treat the few you corre-entertain, when the monks of their own order extolled spond with in a very arrogant style, and tell them their piety and abstraction. For I found myself reyou admire at their insolence in disturbing your ceived with a sort of respect, which this idle part of
mankind, the learned, pay to their owu species ; who # It is important to remember that Pope, when he wrote in are as considerable here, as the busy, the gay, and this manner, was only twenty-four.
the ambitious are in your world.
(Pope to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu on the Con- bosom of your country? I hear you are going to tinent.]
Hanover; can there be no favourable planet at this 1717.
conjuncture, or do you only come back so far to die Madam-I no more think I can have too many of twice? Is Eurydice once more snatched to the shades ? your letters, than that I could have too many writings | If ever mortal had reason to hate the king, it is I ; to entitle me to the greatest estate in the world; for it is my misfortune to be almost the only innowhich I think so valuable a friendship as yours is cent man whom he has made to suffer, both by his equal to. I am angry at every scrap of paper lost, as government at home and his negotiations abroad. at something that interrupts the history of my title; and though it is but an odd compliment to compare
[ Death of Two Lorers by Lightning.) a fine lady to Sibyl, your leaves, methinks, like hers, are too good to be committed to the winds; though I
To LADY MARY WORTLEY MONTAGU.—1718. have no other way of receiving them but by those un . * I have a mind to fill the rest of this paper faithful messengers. I have had but threc, and I with an accident that happened just under my eyes, reckon in that short one from Dort, which was rather and has made a great impression upon me. I have a dying ejaculation than a letter. But I have so just passed part of this summer at an old romantic great an opinion of your goodness, that had I re seat of my Lord Harcourt's, which he lent me.* It ceived none, I should not have accused you of neglect overlooks a common field, where, under the shade of a or insensibility. I am not so wrong-headed as to haycock, sat two lovers, as constant as ever were found
rel with my friends the moment they don't write ; | in romance, beneath a spreading beech. The name I'd as soon quarrel at the sun the minute he did not of the one (let it sound as it will) was John Hewet; shine, which he is hindered from by accidental causes, of the other, Sarah Drew. John was a well-set man, and is in reality all that time performing the same about five-and-twenty; Sarah, a brown woman of course, and doing the same good offices as ever. eighteen. John had for several months bome the
You have contrived to say in your last the two labour of the day in the same field with Sarah ; when moet pleasing things to me in nature; the first is, she milked, it was his morning and evening charge that whatever be the fate of your letters, you will to bring the cows to her pail. Their love was the continue to write in the discharge of your conscience. talk, but not the scandal, of the whole neighbourThis is generous to the last degree, and a virtue you hood; for all they aimed at was the blameless posought to enjoy. Be assured, in return, my heart shall session of each other in marriage. It was but this very be as ready to think you have done every good thing, morning that he had obtained her parents' consent, as yours can be to do it; so that you shall never be and it was but till the next week that they were to wait able to favour your absent friend, before he has to be happy. Perhaps this very day, in the intervals thought himself obliged to you for the very favour of their work, they were talking of their weddingyou are then conferring.
clothes ; and John was now matching several kinds The other is, the justice you do me in taking what of poppies and field-flowers to her complexion, to I write to you in the serious manner it was meant; it make her a present of knots for the day. While they is the point upon which I can bear no suspicion, and were thus employed (it was on the last of July), a in which, above all, I desire to be thought serious: it terrible storm of thunder and lightning arose, that would be the most vexatious of all tyranny, if you drove the labourers to what shelter the trees or should pretend to take for raillery what is the hedges afforded. Sarah, frightened and out of breath, mere disguise of a discontented heart, that is un- sunk on a haycock, and John (who never separated willing to make you as melancholy as itself; and for from her) sat by her side, having raked two or three wit, what is really only the natural overflowing and heaps together to secure her. Immediately there was warmth of the same heart, as it is improved and heard so loud a crack as if heaven had burst asunder. awakened by an esteem for you : but since you tell The labourers, all solicitous for each other's safety, me you believe me, I fancy my expressions have not called to one another: those that were nearest our at least been entirely unfaithful to those thoughts, lovers hearing no answer, stepped to the place where to which I am sure they can never be equal. May they lay : they first saw a little smoke, and after, God increase your faith in all truths that are as great this faithful pair John with one arm about his as this! and depend upon it, to whatever degree your Sarah's neck, and the other held over her face, as if belief may extend, you can never be a bigot.
to screen her from the lightning. They were struck If you could see the heart I talk of, you would dead, and already grown stiff and cold in this tender really think it a foolish good kind of thing, with posture. There was no mark or discolouring on their some qualities as well deserving to be half laughed bodies, only that Sarah's eyebrow was a little singed, at, and half esteemed, as any in the world : its grand and a small spot between her breasts. They were foible, in regard to you, is the most like reason of any buried the next day in one grave, where my Lord foible in nature. Upon my faith, this heart is not, Harcourt, at my request, has erected a monument like a great warehouse, stored only with my own over them. Of the following epitaphs which I made, goods, with vast empty spaces to be supplied as fast the critics have chosen the godly one: I like neither, as interest or ambition can fill them up; but it is but wish you had been in England to have done this every inch of it let out into lodgings for its friends, office better : I think it was what you could not have and shall never want a corner at your service; where refused me on so moving an occasion. I dare affirm, madam, your idea lies as warm and as
When Eastern lovers feed the funeral fire, close as any idea in Christendom. If this distance (as you are so kind as to say) en
On the same pile their faithful pair expire; larges your belief of my friendship, I assure you it has
Here pitying Heaven that virtue mutual found, 80 extended my notion of your value, that I begin to
And blasted both that it might neither wound. be impious on your account, and to wish that even
Hearts so sincere the Almighty saw well pleased, slaughter, ruin, and desolation, might interpose be
Sent his own lightning, and the victims seized. tween you and Turkey; I wish you restored to us at
* The house of Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire, Hero Pope the expense of a whole people. I barely hope you translated part of the Odyssey. He particularly describes it in will forgive me for saying this, but I fear God will
the subsequent letter, in a style which recalls the grave humour scarce forgive me for desiring it.
of Addison, and foreshadows the Bracebridge Hall of WashMake me less wicked, then. Is there no other ex- | ington Irving. A view of the house and of
ington Irving. A view of the house and of the church beside pedient to return you and your infant in peace to the which were buriod the lightning-struck lovers is on next page.