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L ETTER J.
Sir WilLIAM TEMPLE to Mr. SIDNEY,
Hague, Dec. 13. N. S. 1675. HO' I did not like the Date of your last Letter, yet
I did all the rest very well. I thought Lyons a little too far off for one I wish always in my Reach: But when I remembered, it was a Place of so great Trade, and where you told me yours had been very good in former Times, I was contented, to think you spent your Time to your own Advantage and Satisfaction, tho' not to your Friends, by keeping at such a Distance. I was very well pleased t’other Day with a Visit made me by Captain Fresheim, who was much in your Praises; but I did not like that he shou'd make you kinder to him than to me: Yet I think he deserves it of you, if all be true that he tells ; for he pretends to think you, le plus belle Homme, & le plus honnéte Homme, and I know not what more, that never ca ne into my Head, as you know very well. However, I was mighty glad to hear him say, you had the best Health that cou'd be, and that you looked as if you would keep it so, if you did not grow t99 kind to the Place and Company you lived in, or they to you. Yet, after what you tell me of the French Air and Bourbon Waters, I am much apter to wish myself there, than you in these parts of the World; and tho' I hear News every Day from all Sides, yet I have not heard any fo good, since I came upon this Scene, as what you send mé, of the Effects I am like to feel by the Change whenever I come upon that where you are: They will be greater and better than any
I can expect by being the busy Man, tho' Je pourrois bien faire Merveilles, with the Company I am joined to, and nobody knows to what Sir Ellis may raise another Ambailador, that has already raised one from the Dead. They begin to talk now of our going to Nimecuen, as if it were nearer than I thought it a Month ago : When we are there, it will be time enough to tell you what I think of our coming away. Hitherto, I can only say, there are so many Splinters in the broken Bone, that the Patient must be very good, as well as the Surgeon, if it be a sudden Cure. And though I believe both where you and I are, the Dispositions towards it
are very well, yet I doubt of those who are farther off on both sides of us. For aught any body knows, this great Dance may end as others use to do, every Man coming to the Place where they begun, or near it: Only, against all Reason and Custom, 'I doubt the poor Swede, that never led the Dance, is likeliest to pay the Fidlers. I hope you know what passes at Home; at least, 'tis Pity you should not: But if you don't, you shall not for me at this Distance; and fince you talk of returning, the Matter is not great. In the mean time, pray let me know your Motions and your Health, since the Want of your Cypher keeps me from other things you say you have a mind to tell me. I hear nothing of the Letter you say you have sent me by so good a Hand; fo that all I can say to that is, that by whatsoever it comes, any will be welcome that comes from yours; because nobody
better than I, nor can be more than I am,
L E T T E R II.
Sir WILLIAM TEmple to the Bishop of ROCHESTER.
Nimeguen, May 21, N. S. 1677.
little deserved any, that I must judge of them rather by the Report of others, than by any Experience of my own. But if by either, I understand any thing of them, all the Charm or Value they have, arises from the Esteem a Man has of the Person that gives them, or the Belief, in some measure, of his own deserving them. The first of these Circumstances gave so great an Advantage to those I had lately the Honour of receiving from your Lordship in a Letter delivered me by Mr. Dilben, that the Want of the other was but necessary to allay the Vanity they might otherwise have given me. But where a Man can find no Ground to flatter himself upon the Thanks he receives, he begins to consider whether they are Praise or Reproach: And so, I am sure, I have Reason to do in the Acknowledgments your
Lordship is pleased to make me of any Favours to your Son, who has never yet been so kind to me, as to give me the least Occasion of obliging him. I confess, I should have been glad to meet with any, tho' I do not remember fo much as ever to have told him so; but if he has guessed it from my Countenance or Conversation, it is a Testimony of his observing much, and judging well; which are Qualities I have thought him guilty of, among those others that allow me to do him no Favour but Justice only in esteeming him. 'Tis his Fortune to have been beforehand with me, by giving your Lordship an Occasion to take notice of me, and thereby furnishing me with a Pretence of entering into your Service ; which gives him a new Title to any I can do him, and your Lordship a very just one to employ me upon all Occasions.
Notwithstanding your Lordship’s favourable Opinion, I will assure
you, 'tis well for me, that our Work here requires little Skill, and that we have no more but Forms to deal with in this Congress, while the Treaty is truly in the Field, where the Conditions of it are yet to be determined. Fara viam invenient : Which is all I can say of it; nor shall I increase your Lordship's present Trouble, beyond the Professions of my being,
Your LORDSHIP's moft Obedient
Mr. Pope to the Bishop of Rochester.
NCE more I write to you as I promised, and this
onee I fear will be the last! The Curtain will foon be drawn between my Friend and me, and nothing left but to wish you a long good Night. May you enjoy a State of Repose in this Life, not unlike that Sleep of the Soul which some have believed is to succeed it, where we lie utterly forgetful of that World from which we are gone, and ripening for that to which we are to go. If you retain any Memory of the past, let it only image to you what has pleas'd you best; sometimes present a Dream of an absent Friend,' or H 3
bring bring you back an agreeable Conversation. But upon the whole, I hope you will think less of the Time past than of the future; as the former has been less kind to you than the latter infallibly will be. Do not envy the World your Studies; they will tend to the Benefit of Men against whom you can have no Complaint, I mean of all Pofterity: And perhaps at your time of Life, nothing else is worth your Care. What is every Year of a wise Man's Life but a Censure or Critique on the past? Those whose Date is the shortest, live long enough to laugh at one half of it: The Boy despises the Infant, the Man the Boy, the Philosopher both, and the Chriftian all.
You may now begin to think your Manhood was too much a Puerility; and you'll never fuffer your Age to be but a second Infancy. The Toys and Baubles of your Childhood are hardly now more below you, than those Toys of our riper and of our declining Years, the Drums and Rattles of Ambition, and the Dirt and Bubbles of Avarice. At this Time, when you are cut off from a little Society, and made a Citizen of the World at large, you should bend your Talents not to serve a Party, or a few, but all Mankind. Your Genius should mount above that Mist in which its Participation and Neighbourhood with Earth long involved it: To shine abroad and to Heaven, ought to be the Business and the Glory of your present Situation. Remember it was at such a time, that the greatest Lights of Antiquity dazled and blazed the most; in their Retreat, in their Exile, or in their Death: But why do I talk of dazling or blazing ? it was then that they did Good, that they gave Light, and that they became Guides to Mankind.
Those Aims alone are worthy of Spirits truly great, and such I therefore hope will be yours. Resentment indeed may remain, perhaps cannot be quite extinguished, in the nobleft Minds; but Revenge never will harbour there: Higher Principles than those of the first, and better Principles than those of the latter, will infallibly influence Men whose Thoughts and whose Hearts are enlarged, and cause them to prefer the Whole to any Part of Mankind, especially to so small a Part. as one's fingle Self.
Believe me, my Lord, I look upon you as a Spirit enter'd into another Life, as one just upon the Edge of Immortality, where the Passions and Affections must be much more exalted, and where you ought to despise all little Views, and all mean Retrospects. Nothing is worth your looking back; and therefore look forward, and make (as you can) the
World look after you : But take care, that it be not with
I am with the greatest Sincerity, and Passion for your Fame as well as Happiness,
The Bishop of Rochester went into Exile the Month following, and continued in it till his Death, which happen'd at Pasis on the fifteenth Day of Feb. in the Year 1732.
LET TER IV.
From Mr. GAY to Mr. F
Stanton-Harcourt, Aug. 9, 1718.
HE only News you can expect to have from me here,
is News from Heaven, for I am quite out of the World, and there is scarce any thing can reach me except the Noise of Thunder, which undoubtedly you have heard too. We have read in old Authors, of high Towers levell’d by it to the Ground, while the humble Vallies have escap'd: The only thing that is Proot against it is the Laurel, which however I take to be no great Security to the Brains of modern Authors. But to let you see that the contrary to this often happens, I must acquaint you that the highest and most extravagant Heap of Towers in the Universe, which is in this Neighbourhood, stands still undefac'd, while a Cock of Barley in our next Field has been consum'd to Ashes. Would to God that this Heap of Barley had been all that had perished ! For unhappily beneath this little Shelter fate two much more constant Lovers than ever w found in Romance under the Shade of a Beech-Tree. John Hewit was a well-fet Man of about five and twenty , Sarah Drew might be rather called comely than beautiful, and was about the fame Age: They had passed thro' the various Labours of the Year together with the greatest Satisfaction; if the milk'd, 'twas his Morning and Evening Care to bring the Cows to her Hand. It was but last Fair that he bought her a Present of green Silk for her Straw-Hat; and the Poesy on her Silver Ring was of his chusing. Their Love was the Talk of the whole Neighbourhood ; for Scandal never affirm'd that