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yet, I assure you, I receive praises from you with less pleasure than I have often paid them to your merit before, and shall (I doubt not) have frequent occasions of doing again, from those useful pieces you are still obliging us with. If you was pleased with my preface, you have paid me for that pleasure, in the same kind, by your entertaining and judicious essays3 on Spencer. The present you make me is of the most agreeable nature imaginable, for Spencer has been ever a favorite poet to me: he is like a mistress, whose faults we see, but love her with them all.
What has deferred my thanks till now, was a ramble I have been taking about the country, from which I returned home and found your kind letter but yesterday. A testimony of that kind, from a man of your turn, is to be valued at a better rate than the ordinary estimate of letters will amount to. I shall rejoice in all opportunities of cultivating a friendship I so truly esteem, and hope very shortly to tell you in town, how much I am, Sir,
Since you desire to hear of my progress in the translation, I must tell you that I have gone through four more books, which (with the remarks) will make the second volume.
3 "An Essay on Allegorical Poetry," " Remarks on the Fairy Queen," "On the Shepherd's Calendar," &c. prefixed to Mr. Hughes's edition of Spenser's Works, 1715.
TO THE SAME. Dear Sir, Twickenham, Jan. 22, 1719-20.
Your letter found me, as I have long been, in a state of health almost as bad as that you complain of; and indeed what makes me utterly incapable of attending to any poetical task, even that of Homer. This minute too I can scarce return you the civility of an answer, being in the full operation of a vomit I have taken. I can only say, with sincerity, I am heartily concerned for your illness, and the more uneasy with my own, in that it hinders me from serving you. I truly wish you health and life, to enjoy that reputation and those advantages which so much ingenuity, joined with so much virtue, deserves. As soon as I am able to be in town I will wait on you with the play, in which, and in every thing else, I wish you all success. I am, dear Sir,
TO THE SAME.
I Return you the play sooner than I am willing to part with what I like so extremely well, because you press it. Upon my word, I think it every way worthy of you, and make not the least doubt but the world will do you the justice you deserve in the acceptation of it: I continue very much out of order, but must be forced to be in town (well or ill) some days this week, upon indispensable affairs; when i will wait upon you and tell you my sincere thoughts, none of which is more sincere than that I am truly,
TO THE SAME. Dear Sir, Twickenham, Feb. IS4, 1719-20.
I Have been much concerned not to have waited upon you as I designed, since you obliged me with your play. I am since much more troubled to hear of the continuance of your illness. Would to God you might live as long, as I am sure, the reputation of your tragedy must! I am a fellow-sufferer with you, in not being able to see it played, having been, and still being, too much indisposed to go to any public place. But I could be extremely glad some particular friends of mine had that pleasure I cannot enjoy: you would highly favour me in. letting three or four ladies have a side-box, who have sent into the country to me, upon information that the boxes are disposed of by you. I am sorry to give you this trouble, when perhaps, for your health's sake, you should not have a moment's disturbance, and I could not send sooner at this distance.
4 Mr. Hughes died the night before this letter was written, aged 42.
Pray think I wish you all the success you deserve, and all the health you want. I am, dear Sir,
MR. POPE TO MR. JABEZ HUGHES4.
Sir, February 26, 1719-20.
I Cannot omit the acknowledgment I really think I owe your great civility, especially at so melancholy and affecting a moment, as that of your worthy brother's death must have been to you. Indeed, even his common acquaintance must have known enough of him to regret his loss; and I most heartily condole with you upon it. I believe I am further obliged to you for his play; which I received yesterday, and read over again with more concern and sorrow than I ever felt at reading any tragedy. The real loss of a good man may be called a distress to the world, and ought to affect us more than any feigned or ancient distress, how finely drawn soever. I am glad of an occasion to give you, under my hand, this testimony, both how excellent I think this work to be, and how excellent I thought the author. I am, with my hearty
5 Younger brother of Mr. John Hughes, and like him, a votary of the Muses, and an excellent scholar. He published, in 1714, a translation of " The Rape of Proserpine," from Claudian; and the Story of Sextus and Erictho, from Lucan's Pharsalia, b. vi. in 8vo. These translations, with notes, were reprinted in 12mo. in 1723. He also published, in 1717, a translation of Suetonius's "Lives of the twelve Csesars," and translated several Novels "from the Spanish of Cervantes," which are inserted in " The select Collection of Novels and Histories," printed for Watts, 1729. He died January 17, 1731, in the 46th year of his age: a volume of his Miscellanies, in prose and verse, was published in 1737. His widow accompanied the Lady of Governor Byng to Madras, and died there.
thanks to you, Sir,
MR. POPE TO MR. BUNCOMBE.
SiK, Twickenham, Oct. 20, 1734.
I Am obliged for the favour of yours. I have looked for the letter Mr. Hughes sent me, but cannot find it. I had a great regard for his merit, modesty, and softness of manners. He writ to me a few days before his death, concerning his play of the "Siege of Damascus," which is the only letter I can meet with.
I thank you for the part you are pleased to take, both in regard to my health (which has, I thank God, been as good as usual) and to my reputation, my poetical welfare, which I resign as much to Providence as the other. But truly I had not the least thought of stealing applause, by suppressing my name to that essay: I wanted only to hear truth, and was more afraid of my partial friends than enemies. Besides, I