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really was humble and diffident enough to distrust my own performance. All I can say of it is, that I know is to be an honest one. I am, Sir,
TO THE SAME. Sir, Twickenham, May 6, 1735.
Many thanks for your kind present, in which I find several pleasing and very correct pieces of his, (Mr. Hughes's,) which were new to me. I beg you to accept of the new volume of my things just printed, which will be delivered you by Mr. Dodsley, the author of the Toy-shop, who has just set up (as) a bookseller; and I doubt not, as he has more sense, so will have more honesty, than most of his profession. I am, Sir,
TO THE SAME. Sir, Twitenham, Nov. 5, 1734.
I Am extremely willing to bear any testimony of my real regard for Mr. Hughes, and therefore what you mention of my letter to his brother, after his death, will be a greater instance of the sincerity with which it was given: it is perfectly at your service. I thank you for the tenderness with which you deal in this matter toward me, and I esteem you for that which you show to the memory of your kinsman. I doubt not but you will discharge it in a becoming manner, and am, Sir,
TO THE SAME. Sir, Saturday, Nov. 23, 1734.
My absence from home prevented my receiving your two letters this day. I would else have read your tragedy willingly; and I beg you not to take amiss that I return your presents of the tickets, since it is not in my power to be there next week, through indispensable obligations in the country at some distance. I think your prologue6 a good one; and I think of players as I always thought of players, and of the son as I thought of the father. I sincerely wish you success, and am, Sir,
9 This prologue (which was afterward spoken by Mr. Milward with applause) had been just returned to the author, with great contempt, by Mr. Theophilus Cibber.
TRANSLATOR OF VIDA AND VIRGIL.
Twitenham, near Hampton-Court, Sir, July 23, 1726.
I Received a letter from you with satisfaction having long been desirous of any occasion of testifying my regard for you, and particularly of acknowledging the pleasure your Version of Vida's Poetick had afforded me. I had it not indeed from your bookseller, but read it with eagerness, and think it both a correct and a spirited translation. I am pleased to have been (as you tell me) the occasion of your undertaking that work: that is some sort of merit; and, if I have anyin me, it really consists in an earnest desire to promote and produce, as far as I can, that of others. But as to my being the publisher, or any way concerned in reviewing or recommending of Lintot's Miscellany, it is what I never did in my life, though he (like the rest of his tribe) makes a very free use of my name. He has often reprinted my things, and so scurvily, that, finding he was doing so again, I corrected the sheets as far as they went, of my own only. And, being told by him that he had two or three copies of yours, (which you also had formerly sent me (as he said) through his hands), I obliged him to write for your consent, before he made use of them. This was all: your second book he has just now delivered to me, the inscription of which to myself I will take care he shall leave out; and either return the rest of your verses to him or not, as you shall like best.
I am obliged to you, Sir, for expressing a much higher opinion of me than I know I deserve: the freedom with which you write is yet what obliges and pleases me more; and it is with sincerity that I say, I would rather be thought by every ingenious man in the world, his servant, than his rival.
I am, etc.
TO THE REV. MR. PITT,
RECTOR OF FIMPERNE, NEAR BLANDFOHD, DORSETSHIRE.
Twitenham, Aug. 2, 1728.
I Am here, my dear Rector, in as delightful a situation for the world about me, and books, and conversation, as mortal man can wish to be. I can think of nothing at present that could add to it, except the hearing that you are very well, and entirely free from your old enemy the gout. I should not know how to leave this place, had not I the hopes of waiting upon you in a few weeks; but first I can assure you, I have a world of drudgery to go through. I had almost forgot one particular: when I was with our old friend, Mr. Pescod, the other day, he confirmed me in a thought I had, that the verses on an Old Beauty (she, you know, " who blooms in the winter of her days like Glastenbury Thorn") were written by you at New College. If they are yours, as I am very much persuaded they are, I beg you would be so good as to send me a copy of them in your answer; which I beg may be as soon as possible, because, as you may easily imagine, I don't love to be many days without hearing from you. I desire this copy the rather, because I have been asked for it since I have been in town, and have none but a very incorrect copy at present. If you have any commands here, I beg you would favour me with them, as your most affectionate friend and servant,
I take this opportunity of assuring you, you have, at the place from whence this letter is dated, a friend and servant,
N. B. In a letter from Mr. Spence to Mr. Pitt, dated New College, November 12, 1728, are the folowing words, containing Mr. Pope's opinion of Pitt's Virgil.
"Before this I gave you Mr. Pope's real sentiment on your first book; I dare say it was his real sentiment, because, as I told you, I took care to ask him the question before I had mentioned my being acquainted with you; and it was literally what I told you."