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territories, and either Germany or the south of France (according to the turn the war may take,) are all that remain for us, that we have not yet seen; as to Loretto, and that part of Italy, we have given over all thoughts of it.
FROM MR. WEST.
Bond-street, June 5,1740.
I Lived at the Temple till 1 was sick of it: 1 have just left it, and find myself as much a lawyer as I was when I was in it. It is certain, at least, I may study the law here as well as I could there. My being in chambers did not signify to me a pinch of snuff. They tell me my father was a lawyer, and, as you know, eminent in the profession; and such a circumstance must be of advantage to me. My uncle too makes some figure in Westminster-hall ; and there's another advantage : then my grandfather's name would get me many friends. Is it not strange that a young fellow, that might enter the world with so many advantages, will not know his own interest ? &.C. &c. What shall I say in answer to all this? For monejs I neither dote upon it nor despise it; it is a necessary stuff enough. For ambition, I do not want that neither; but it is not to sit upon a bench. In short, is it not a disagreeable thing to force one's inclination, especially when one's young? not to mention that one ought to have the strength of a Hercules to go through our common law; which, I am afraid, I have not. Well! but then, say they, if one profession does not suit you, you may choose another more to your inclination. Now I protest I do not yet know my own inclination, and I believe, if that was to be my direction, I should never fix at all. There is no going by a weather-cock. I could say much more upon this subject; but there is no talking tete-a-tete cross the Alps. Oh, the folly of young men, that never know their own interest! they never grow wise till they are ruined! and then nobody pities them, nor helps them. Dear Gray! consider me in the condition of one that has lived these two years without any person that he can speak freely to. 1 know it is very seldom that people trouble themselves with the sentiments of those they converse with; so they can chat about trifles, they never care . whether your heart aches or no Are you one of these? 1 think not. But what right have I to ask you this question? Have we known one another enough, that I should expect or demand sincerity from you? Yes, Gray, I hope we have ; and I have not quite such a mean opinion of myself, as to think I do not deserve it. But, signor, is it not time for me to ask something about your future intentions abroad? Where do you propose going next? An in Apuliam? nam illo si adveneris, tauquam Ulysses, cognosces tuorum neminem. Vale. So Cicero prophesies in the end of one of his letter* —and there I end.
TO MR. WEST.
Florence, July 16,1740.
You do yourself and me justice, in imagining that you merit, and that I am capable of sincerity. I have not a thought, or even a weakness, I desire to conceal from you; and consequently on my side deserve to be treated with the same openness of heart. My vanity perhaps might make me more reserved towards you, if yo« were one of the heroic race, superior to all human failings; but as mutual wants are the ties of general society, so are mutual weaknesses of private friendships, supposing them mixed with some proportion of good qualities; for where one may not sometimes blame, one does not much care ever to praise. All this has the air of an introduction designed to soften a very harsh reproof that is to follow; but it is no such matter: 1 only meant to ask, Why did you change your lodging? Was the air bad, or the situation melancholy? If so, you are quite in the right. Only, is it not putting yourself a little out of the way of a people, with whom it seems necessary to keep up some sort of intercourse and conversation, though but little for your pleasure or entertainment (yet there are, I believe, such among them as .might give you both,) as least for your information in that study, which, when 1 left you, you thought of applying to? for that there is a certain study necessary to be followed, if we mean to be of any use in the world, 1 take for granted; disagreeable enough (as most necessities are,) but, I am afraid, unavoidable. Into how many branches the studies are divided in England, every body knows; and between that which you and 1 had pitched upon, and the other two, it was impossible to balance long. Examples show one that it is not abs >lutely necessary to be a blockhead to succeed in this profession. The labour is long, and the elements dry and unentertainmg; nor was ever any body (especially those that afterwards made a figure in it) amused, or even not disgusted in the beginning; yet, upon a further acquaintance, there is surely matter for curiosity and reflection. It is strange if, among all that huge mass of words, there be not somewhat intermixed for thought. Laws have been the result of long deliberation, and that not of dull men, but the contrary; and have so close a connexion with history, nay, with philosophy itself, that they must partake a little of what they are related to so nearly. Besides, tell me, have you ever made the attempt? Was not you frighted merely with the distant prospect? Hainthe Gothic character and bulkiuess of those volumes (a tenth part of which perhaps it will be no firther necessary to consult, than as one does a dictionary) no ill effect upon your eye? Are you sure, if Coke had been printed by Elzevir, and bound in