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MR. POPE'S OPINION OF BATH.
TO MR. RICHARDSON, QUEEN'S SQUARE.
November 21. Every thing was welcome to me in your kind let ter, except the occasion of it, the confinement you are under. I am glad you count the days when I do not see you : but it was but half an one that I was in town upon business with Dr. Mead, and returned to render an account of it.
I shall in the course of the winter probably be an evening visitant to you, if you sit at home, though I hope it will not be by compulsion or lameness. We may take a cup of sack together, and chatter like two parrots, which are at least more reputable and manlike animals than the grasshoppers, to which Homer likens old men.
I am glad you sleep better. I sleep in company, and wake at night, which is vexatious : if you did so, you, at your age, would make verses. As to my health, it will never mend ; but I will complain less of it, when I find it incorrigible.
But for the news of my quitting Twitnam for Bath, enquire into my years, if they are past the bounds of dotage? Ask my eyes, if they can see, and my nostrils if they can smell? to prefer rocks and dirt to flowery meads and silver Thames, and brimstone and frogs to roses and sun-shine. When I arrive at these sensations, I may settle at Bath, of which I VOL, VII.
never yet dreamt, further than to live out of the sulphurous pit, and at the edge of the frogs at Mr, Allen's, for a month or so. I like the place so little, that health itself should not draw me thither, though friendship has twice or thrice.
Having answered your questions, I desire to hear if you have any commands ; if the first be to come to you, it is probable I shall before you can send them so round about as to Twitnam, for I have lived of late at Battersea. Adieu !
MR. LYTTLETON TO LORD BOLINGBROKE. My LORD,
Argyle-street, April 14, 1746. I AM prevented by unavoidable business from waiting on you this morning, as I intended to do, in order to talk with your Lordship upon the subject about which you sent Mr. Mallet to me, which I have thought much upon since, and with no little uneasiness. Any public mark of your Lordship’s esteem and partiality for me, as it would be the highest honour, so would it be the greatest pleasure to me. But as I now live in the most intimate connections of friendship with many of the best and nearest friends of the late Lord Oxford, and have even received obligations from some of his family, who would be extremely offended at a work which so severely reflects on his memory, being now published
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and addressed to me; it is an honour, which, however flattering and agreeable it would be to me in other respects, I am, on that account, compelled to decline. I must therefore, though with the utmost reluctance, beg of your Lordship, if you resolve to publish it now, that you would leave out the part which relates to me. But I should much rather wish, and, if I might presume to judge for your Lordship, should think it more eligible for yourself, to defer the publication of it to a more proper time. That a very disagreeable use will be made of it, I am sure; and there is a great difference as to the consequences and effects of it in the world, between an imperfect copy of it stolen into print in a magazine, and the avowed and authorized publication, which will draw the attention of mankind.
But in this point your Lordship must think for yourself. I only entreat you to forgive the necessity which I am under of declining, in my situation, what in any other I should most ardently wish; and to believe me in all situations, with the most perfect respect and most grateful sense of your favours to me, my Lord,
Your, etc. P.S. I hope in a day or two to wait on your Lordship
LORD BOLINGBROKE TO MR. LYTTLETON.
Battersea, April 15, 1749. I would not answer your letter that came yesterday to my hands, till I could tell you, as I now can do, that every word will be left out of the papers which have given you so much uneasiness; and out of the introduction to them, that may even seem to have been addressed to you. I have had my uneasiness too, that of being forced to reveal the turpitude of a man with whom I lived long in the intimacy of friendship, and that of being obliged by your commands to suppress any marks of my esteem and affection for you. I have obeyed you, and it was reasonable I should: but I cannot take your advice, nor think it eligible for me to defer the publication of these papers to a more proper time: they should not have been made public at all, if I could have helped it. But since they must be made so, what time can be more proper for me to publish them than the present? I must either suffer them to be sent abroad uncorrected, in such a manner as I would not have published them myself, and with every thing in them which you are so desirous to have left out; or I must do what I am doing, let them appear corrected and less unfit for the public eye. If any use disagreeable to others be made of this forced publication, I shall be sorry for it. As to its consequences and effects relative to myself, I am under no concern: for though
age and infirmities press me hard, and I stand almost alone in the world, yet I find vigour enough remaining to defend myself against any attack, with truth, reason, and the cause of this country on my side. Thus I think for myself, and, I hope, not unreasonably.
As to you, I shall continue to think as I have always thought, with true esteem and a sincere affection, in whatever situation you are; and shall profess myself as long as I live, dear Sir,
LORD BOLINGBROKE TO MR. MALLET.
Battersea, July 25, 1747. SINCE I sent to enquire after your health, and that of Mrs. Mallet, (of both which I hope to have a good account,) I cannot help mentioning to you, what I hear from many different quarters. They say that Warburton talks very indecently of your humble servant, and threatens him with the terrible things he shall throw out in a Life he is writing of our friend Pope. I value neither the good nor the ill-will of the man; but if he has any regard for the man he flattered living, and thinks himself obliged to flatter dead, he ought to let a certain proceeding die away in silence, as I endeavour it should. Whenever you have a day of leisure you will be extremely welcome to