Sivut kuvina

ably expect much effect from these waters in so short a time; but in the main they seem to agree with me. Here is not one creature that I know, which next to the few I would chuse, contributes very much to my satisfaction. At the same time that I regret the want of your conversation, I please myself with thinking that you are where you first ought to be, and engaged where you cannot do too much. Pray, give my humble service and best wishes to your good mother. I am sorry you don't tell me how Mr. Gay does in his Health : I should have been glad to have heard he was better. My young Amanuensis, as you call him, I am afraid, will prove but a wooden one: and you know er quovis ligno, etc. You will pardon Mrs. R—'s pedantry, and believe me to be

Your, etc.

P.S. By the inclosed you will see I am like to be impressed, and enrolled in the List of Mr. Curl's Authors; but I thank God! I shall have your company. I believe it high time you should think of administering another Emetics.

• We cannot but wish for more of Mr. Congreve's Letters written with the true and proper ease of an epistolary style, and, therefore, totally different from those of his master, Wycherley, whom he too closely imitated in his Comedies. · Congreve is said to have written nothing in the Tatler, Spectator, or Guardian, but the well-drawn character of Aspasia, in the forty-second number of the Tatler.

[blocks in formation]


Leghorn, May 1, 171.4. As I take ingratitude to be a greater crime than impertinence, I choose rather to run the risk of being thought guilty of the latter, than not to return you my thanks for a very agreeable entertain

• We may with justice apply to this truly great man, Berkeley, what he himself so finely says of his favourite Plato ; “ That he hath joined with an Imagination the most splendid and magnificent, an Intellect not less deep and clear.” A morsel of poetry from such a writer ought to be preserved as a literary curiosity, and a proof of the great variety of his talents; especially as it was written, almost with a prophetic spirit, above seventy years ago, and consequently before the events, in the country alluded to, could possibly have been foreseen. He entitled them,

On the Prospect of planting Arts and Learning in America.
The Muse, disgusted at an age and clime

Barren of every glorious theme,
In distant lands now waits a better time,

Producing subjects worthy fame:

ment you just now gave me. I have accidentally met with your Rape of the Lock here, having never seen it before. Style, painting, judgment, spirit, I had already admired in other of your writings ; but in this I am charmed with the magic of your invention, with all those images, allusions, and inexplicable beauties, which you raise so surprisingly, and at the same time so naturally, out of a trifle. And yet I cannot say that I was more pleased with the reading of it, than I am with the pretext it gives me to renew in your thoughts, the remembrance of one who values no happiness beyond the friendship of men of wit, learning, and good-nature.

I remember to have heard you mention some halfformed design of coming to Italy. What might we


In happy climes, where, from the genial sun

And virgin earth, such scenes ensue,
The force of Art by Nature seems outdone,

And fancied beauties by the true :
In happy climes, the seat of innocence, .

Where Nature guides, and Virtue rules,
Where men shall not impose, for truth and sense,

The pedantry of courts and schools :
There shall be sung another golden age, .

The rise of empire and of arts,
The good and great inspiring epic rage,

The wisest heads and noblest hearts.
Not such as Europe breeds in her decay;

Such as she bred when fresh and young,
When heav'nly flame did animate her clay,

By future poets shall be sung.
Westward the course of empire takes its way;

The four first acts already past,
A fifth shall close the drama with the day;

Time's noblest offspring is the last.

not expect from a Muse that sings so well in the bleak climate of England, if she felt the same warm sun, and breathed the same air with Virgil and Horace?

There are here an incredible number of Poets, that have all the inclination, but want the genius, or perhaps the art, of the Ancients. Some among them who understand English, begin to relish our Authors; and I am informed, that at Florence they have translated Milton into Italian verse. If one who knows so well how to write like the old Latin poets came among them, it would probably be a means to retrieve them from their cold, trivial conceits, to an imitation of their predecessors.

As merchants, antiquaries, men of pleasure, etc. have all different views in travelling ; I know not whether it might not be worth a poet's while, to travel, in order to store his mind with strong images of Nature.

Green fields and groves, flowery meadows and purling streams, are no where in such perfection as in England : but if you would know lightsome days, warm suns, and blue skies, you must come to Italy : and to enable a man to describe rocks and precipices, it is absolutely necessary that he pass the Alps.

You will easily perceive that it is self-interest makes me so fond of giving advice to one who has no need of it. If you came into these parts I should

[ocr errors]

? When Thomson was told that Glover was writing an epic poem, he exclaimed, “ He write an epic poem, a Londoner, who has never seen a mountain !”

fly to see you. I am here (by the favour of my good friend the Dean of St. Patrick’s) in quality of Chaplain to the Earl of Peterborough ; who above three months since left the greatest part of his family in this town. God knows how long we shall stay here.

I am

Your, etc.



June 9, 1716. Though, as you rightly remark, I pay my tax but once in half a year, yet you shall see by this letter upon the neck of my last, that I pay a double tax, as we non-jurors ought to do. Your acquaintance on this side of the sea are under terrible apprehensions from your long stay in Ireland, that you may grow too polite for them ; for we think (since the great • success of such a play as the Non-juror) that politeness is gone over the water : but others are of opinion it has been longer among you, and was introduced much about the same time with Frogs, and with equal Success. Poor Poetry! the little that is left of it here longs to cross the seas, and leave Eusden in full and peaceable possession of the British laurel : and we begin to wish you had the singing of our poets, as well as the croaking of our frogs, to yourselves, in sæcula sæculorum. It would be well in exchange, if Parnelle, and two or three more of

« EdellinenJatka »