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Contemplation of those Satisfactions which probably we may hereafter taste in the Company of separate Spirits, when we shall range the Walks above, and perhaps gaze co this World at as vast a Distance as we now do on those Worlds. The Pleasures we are to enjoy in that Conversation must undoubtedly be of a nobler Kind, and (not unlikely) may proceed from the Discoveries each shall communicate to another, of God and Nature; for the Happiness of Minds can surely be nothing but Knowledge.
The highest Gratification we receive here from Company is Mirth, which at the best is but a futtering unquiet Motion, that beats about the Breast for a few Moments, and after leaves it void and empty. Keeping good Company, even the best, i is but a shameless Art of losing Time. What we here call Science and Study, are little better : The greater Number of Arts to which we apply ourselves are meer groping in the Dark; and even the Search of our most important Concerns in a future Being, is but a needless, anxious, and uncertain Hafte to be knowing, sooner than we can, what without all this Sollicitude we shall know a little later. We are but curious Impertinents in the Case of Futurity. 'Tis not our Business to be guessing what the State of Souls shall be, but to be doing what may make our own State happy ; we cannot be knowing, but we can be virtuous.
As this is my Notion of a great Part of that higli Science, Divinity, I lay no mighty Strefs upon the rest. Even of my darling Poetry I really make no other Use, than Horses of the Bells that gingle about their Ears (tho' now and then they toss their Heads as if they were proud of them) only to jogg on, a little more merrily,
Variety of Disposition, could withdraw all maternal Regard from their Children, and how shocking, if any Thing like Cruelty or Hate appeared in a Breast made to nourish and sustain.
What must Mr. Pope feel at the Examples of Difobedience and Want of due Regard in Children, certainly more Horror and Dislike than ever he express’d, or perhaps more than can be express'd; as to the First, the unnatural Mother, this Age afforded a new Instance of Cruelty to a Son, and in Mr. Pope, Kindness to one us'd with the utmost Barbarity, and deliver'd to Shame, and the Storms of the World, and Abuses arising from bad Examples: For Anne, Countess of Macclesfiecd, when great with Child, openly declared herself an Adulterefs, and that the Child was begotten by the Earl Rivers, so that the Earl of Macclesfield applied to the Parliament, and obtained an Act by which his Marriage was diffolvid, totally made void and null, and the Children of his Wife made illegitimate; on their Separation her Fortune, which was very large, was repaid, and in a fhort Time she married Colonel Bret.
In the Time that the Earl of Macclesfield was profecuting this Affair, his Lady was delivered of a Son, and the Earl Rivers considering him as his own, juftified the Sincerity of the Declaration of the Countess, by giving him his Name, and causing it by his own Direction to be inserted in the Register of St. . Andrew Holbourn.
This Mr. Richard Savage became (why, is impoffible to guess) the Hatred of his mother, who was now only Mrs. Brett: She committed him to the Hands of a poor Woman, with Orders that she should educate him as if he was her own, and never inform him who his true Parents were.
which was very regularly paid. Mr. Wilks too fometimes help'd him with a Benefit, but it signified nothing, the Extravagance of his Temper and Badness of his Morals, always kept him a Beggar ; when he wanted Money he continued to write, and Mr. Aaron Hill, who was a great Friend to him, help'd. to usher his Pieces and Poems into the World, and forwarded his Subscription, which tho' large, did him no Good, because he spent the Subscripti- . on as fast as it came to Hand, were it little or much.
But now Mr. Savage entered into an Affair that had like to have pleas'd his Mother well, who always persecuted and pursued him: He, with two others drunk, rudely rush'd into Robinson's Coffee-House near Charing-Cross, where other Company was, thrusting themselves between the Company and the Fire, and kicking down the Table, à Quarrel begun, and Mr. Savage drew his Sword and killed a young Gentleman, one Mr. James Sinclair, and wounded a Maid that would have held him ; he was. taken making his Escape, and he and his Compani-. ons were tried at the Old-Bailey and condemned ; Mr. Savage and Mr. Gregory, who had Swords, guilty of Murder, and Mr. Merchant, who had no Sword, guilty only of Manslaughter'; but Intereft being made, they were with great Difficulty pardon'd, for it had been insinuated to the Queen, by the Adultress his Mother (tho' wickedly and falsely) that he once rush'd into her House with an Attempt to murder her.
He was once again at Liberty, but in no way to live, and having tried all Ways with his Mother on the tender Side, he now began to threaten to harrass her with Lampoons, and publith a Narrative of her