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You'll think 'tis Time some other Theme to chufe, And not with Beaus and Fops fatigue the Muse. Should I let Satire loose on Englis Ground, There, Fools of various Characters abound; But here, my Verse is to one Race confin'd; All Frenchmen are of Petit-maitre Kind.
On his Return from France, the Friendship between Mr. Pope and him, was grown to such an Height, that they began to think of living entirely together, which, however, they did not do, Mr. Gay being callid for a Time to Stanton Harcourt, my Lord being excessively fond of his Company; while he was there, a Storm of Thunder and violent Lightning put all the Inhabitants into a very great Consternation, and two People were kill'd by it, who happened to be out in the Field, and too far off other Shelter, could only reach the Side of a Cock of Barley, of which he writes in a very particular Manner to Mr. Fenton, dating his Letter from that Place, Aug. 3, 1718. THE only News that you can expect to have
I from me here, is News from Heaven, for I am quite out of the World, and there is scarce any Thing can reach me except the Noise of Thunder, which undoubtedly you have heard too. We have read in old Authors of high Towers levell'd by it to the Ground, while the humble Valleys have escap'd : The only Security against it is the Laurel, which however, I take to be no great Security to the Brains of modern Authors. But to let you see that the contrary of this oft happens, I must acquaint you, that the highest and most extravagant Heap of Towers in the Universe, which is in this Neighbourhood, stands atil undefac'd, while a Cock of Barley in our next
Field has been consum’d to Ashes. Would to God that this Heap of Barley had been all that had perilh’d! For unhappily beneath this little Shelter fate two much more constant Lovers than ever were found in Romance under the Shade of a Beech Tree, John Hewet was a well-set Man of about five and twenty, Sarah Drew might be rather call'd comely than beautiful, and was about the same Age. They had pass'd thro' the various Labours of the Year together, with the greatest Satisfaction; if she milk'd, 'twas his Morning and Evening Care, to bring the
Cows to her Hand; it was but laft Fair that he 1 ... Bought her a Present of green Silk for her Straw Hat,
· and the Poly on her silver Ring was of his chusing.
Their Love was the Talk of the whole Neighbourhood; for Scandal never affirm'd, that they had any other Views than the lawful Possession of each other in Marriage. It was that very Morning that he had obtain'd the Consent of her Parents, and it was but till the next Week they were to wait to be happy. Perhaps in the Intervals of their Work they were now talking of the Wedding Cloaths, and John was suiting several Sorts of Poppies and Field Flowers to -her Complexion, to chuse her a Knot for the Wedding-day. While they were thus busied, (it was on the last of July between two and three in the Afternoon) the Clouds grew black, and such a Storm of Lightning and Thunder ensued, that all the Labourers made the best of their Way to what shelter the Trees and Hedges afforded. 'Sarah was frightned and fell down in a Swoon on a Heap of Barley. John who never separated from her, sat down by her, having rak'd together two or three Heaps the better to secure her from the Storm. Immediately there was heard so loud a Crack, *as if Heaven had split afunder; every one was now solicitous for the Safety of his Neighbour, and called to one another throughout the Field : No Answer being return'd to those who call'd to our Lovers, they stept to the Place where they lay; they perceiv'd the Barley all in a Flame, and then spy'd this faithful Pair: John with one Arm about Sarah's Neck, and the other held over her, as to skreen her from the Lightning. They were struck dead, and stiffen'd in this tender Posture. Sarah's left Eye-brow was fing'd, and there appear'd a black Spot on her Breast: Her Lover was all over black, but not the least Signs of Life were found in either. Attended by their melanchoiy Companions, they were convey'd to the Town, and the next Day were interr'd in Stanton-Harcourt Church-yard. My Lord Harcourt, at Mr. Pope's and my Request, has caused a Stone to be plac'd over them, upon Condition that we furnish'd the Epitaph, which is as fola tows;
When Eastern Lovers feed the Funeral Fire,
But my Lord is apprehensive the Country People will not understand this, and Mr. Pope says he'll make one with something of Scripture in it, and with as little of Poetry as Hopkins and Sternhold.
· Whenever Mr. Gay had any Time upon his Hands, or was free from the Great, who us’d to be giving him continual Invitations to their Seats, Mr. Pope was still harping upon the old String of their living together, which only now depended upon the
Death of his Mother; this is evident in a Letter of his to Mr. Gay, just after he was recover'd from a Fit of Illness, and while Mr. Pope's Mother was in fuch declining Health, as well as Age, that he daily expected she would be callid hence. Thus be writes to Mr. Gay :
dear exceffively com In the erant it malt as the viowa
ceive without Obligations to Greatness. God keep you, and three or four more of those I have known as long, that I may have something worth surviving my Mother. Adieu dear Gay, and believe me (while you live and while I live.)
Your, &c. As I told you in my last Letter, I repeat it in this: Do not think of writing to me. The Doctor, Mrs. Howard, and Mrs. Blount, give me daily Accounts of you.
N O Words can tell you the great Concern I feel
for you ; I assure you it was not, and is not lefsen'd, by the immediate Apprehension I have now every Day lain under of losing my Mother. Be asfur'd, no Duty less than that should have kept me one Day from attending your Condition: I would come and take a Room by you at Hampstead, to be with you daily, were the not still in Danger of Death. I have constantly had particular Accounts of you from the Doctor, which have not ceas’d to alarm me yet. God preserve your Life, and restore your Health. I really beg it for my own Sake, for I feel I love you more than I thought in Health, though I always lov'd you a great deal. If I am so unfortunate as to bury my poor Mother, and yet have the good Fortune to have my Prayers heard for you, I hope we may live most of our remaining Days to