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tibi sit depromptum, (ut fatear) prorsus nescio: Sanè

ego equidem nihil in capsis reperio quo tibi minimae

partis solutio fiat. Vale, et me ut soles, ama. A.D. 11 Kalend. Februar.

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I ought to answer you in Latin, but I feel I dare not enter the lists with you—cupidum, pater optime, vires deficiunt. Seriously, you write in that language with a grace and an Augustan urbanity that amazes me: your Greek too is perfect in its kind. And here let me wonder that a man, longè Graccorum doctissimus, should be at a loss for the verse and chapter whence my epigram is taken. I am sorry I have not my Aldus with me, that I might satisfy your curiosity; but he, with all my other literary folks, are left at Oxford, and therefore you must still rest in suspense. I thank you again and again for your medical prescription. I know very well that those “risus, festivitates, et facetia” would contribute greatly to my cure, but then you must be my apothecary as well as physician, and make up the dose as well as direct it: send me, therefore, an electuary of these drugs, made up secundam artem, “eteris mihi magnus Apollo,” in both his capacities as a god of poets and god of physicians Wish me joy of leaving my college, and leave yours as fast as you can. I shall be settled at the Temple very SOOIn. Dartmouth-street, Feb. 21, 1737-8.

* This was written in French, but as I doubted whether it would stand the test of polite criticism so well as the preceding would of learned, I chose to translate so much of it as I thought necessary, in order to preserve the chain of correspondence.

XIV. M.R. GRAY TO MR. WEST.

*BARBARAs aedes aditure mecum,
Quas Eris semper fovet inquieta,
Lis ubi laté sonat, et togatum
AEstuat agnmen!
Dulcius quanto, patulis sub ulmi
Hospitae ramis temeréjacentem,
Sic libris horas tenuiq; inertes
Fallere Musa'
Saepe enim curis vagor expedità
Mente; dum, blandam meditans Camoenam,
Wix malo rori, meminive serae
Cedere nocti;
Et, pedes quë me rapiunt, in omni
Colle Parnassum videor videre
Fertilem sylvae, gelidamq; in omni
- Fonte Aganippen.
Risit et Verme, facilesq; Nymphae
Nare captantem, nec ineleganti,
Manè quicquid de violis eundo
Surripit aura:
Me reclinatum teneram per herbam;
Quà leves cursus aqua cunque ducit,
Et moras dulci strepitu lapillo
Nectit in omni.
Haenovo nostrum ferêpectus anno
Simplices curae tenuere, coelum
Quamdia sudum explicuit Favoni
Purior hora:
Otia et campos nec adhuc relinquo,
Nec magis Phoebo Clytie fidelis;
(Ingruant venti licet, et senescat
Mollior aestas.)
Namgue, seu, laetos hominum labores
Prataq; et montes recreante curru,
Purpura tractus oriens Eoos
Vestit, et auro;
Sedulus servo veneratus orbem
Prodigum splendoris: amoeniori
Sive dilectam meditatur igne
Pingere Calpen;
Usque dum, fulgore magis magis jam
Languido circum, variata nubes
Labitur furtim, viridisq; in umbras
Scena recessit. ~

*I choose to call this delicate Sapphic Ode the first original production of Mr. Gray's muse; for verses imposed either by schoolmasters or tutors ought not, I think, to be taken into the consideration. ere is seldom a verse that flows well from the pen of a real poet if it does not flow voluntarily.

O ego felix, vice si (nec unquam Surgerem rursus) simili cadentem Parca me lenis sineret quieto Fallere Letho' Multa flagranti radiisq; cincto Integris ah! quam nihil inviderem, Cum Dei ardentes medius quadrigas Sentit Olympus ! Ohe, amicule noster, et unde, sodes tu uovoordrakroc adeo repente evasisti! jam te rogitaturum credo. Nescio hercle, sic planè habet. Quicquid enim nugarum tri oxoMnc inter ambulandum in palimpsesto scriptitavi, hisce te maxumè impertiri visum est, quippe quem probare, quod meum est, aut certè ignoscere solitum probě novi; bonā tuá veniä sit si fortè videar in fine subtristior; nam risuijamdudum salutem dixi; etiam paulo moestitiae studiosiorem factum scias, promptumque, Kaivoic

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O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros Ducentium ortus ex animo; quater Felix' in imo qui scatentem Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit. Sed de me satis. Cura ut valeas.

Jun. 1738.

XV. M.R. WEST TO MR. GRAY.

I RETURN you a thousand thanks for your elegant ode, and wish you every joy you wish yourself in it. But, take my word for it, you will never spend so agreeable a day here as you describe: alas ! the sun with us only rises to shew us the way to Westminster-hall. Nor must I forget thanking you for your little Alcaic fragment. The optic Naiads are infinitely obliged to you. I was last week at Richmond Lodge, with Mr. Walpole, for two days, and dined with cardinal Fleury:* as

* Sir Robert Walpole.

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The waves the while beneath in secret flow, pec And undermine the hollow bank below ; th

Wide and more wide the waters urge their way, | 6 Bare all the roots and on their fibres prey. par

Too late the plant bewails his foolish pride,
And sinks, untimely, in the whelming tide. -
But why repine, does life deserve my sigh Slol
Few will lament my loss whene'er I die.
#For those the wretches I despise or hate,
I neither envy nor regard their fate. to |
For me, whene'er all-conquering Death shall spread
His wings around my unrepining head,
ŠI care not; though this face be seen no more, an
The world will pass as cheerful as before ;

W

o

* Here he quits Tibullus, the ten following verses have but a remote reference th

to Mr. Pope's letter.

t “Youth, at the very best, is but the betrayer of human life in a gentler and al smoother manner than age; 'tis like the stream that nourishes a plant upon a

bank, and causes it to flourish and blossom to the sight, but at the same time is S!

undermining it at the root in secret.” Pope's Works, vol. 7, page 254, 1st. edit. *

Warburton.—Mr. West, by prolonging his paraphrase of this simile, gives it addi- t

tional beauty from that very circumstance, but he ought to have introduced it by { Mr. Pope's own thought, “Youth is a betrayer;” his couplet preceding the simile

conveys too general a reflection.

# “ I am not at all uneasy at the thought that many men, whom I never had any esteem for, are likely to enjoy this world after me.” Wide ibid.

§ “The morning after my exit the sun will rise as bright as ever, the flowers smell as sweet, the plants spring as green :” so far Mr. West copies his original;

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Bright as before the day-star will appear,
The fields as verdant, and the skies as clear;
Nor storms nor comets will my doom declare,
Nor signs on earth, nor portents in the air;
Unknown and silent will depart my breath,
Nor nature e'er take notice of my death.
Yet some there are (ere spent my vital days)
Within whose breasts my tomb I wish to raise.
Lov’d in my life, lamented in my end,
Their praise would crown me as their precepts mend
To them may these fond lines my name endear,
Not from the Poet, but the Friend sincere.
Christ Church, July 4, 1737.

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AFTER a month's expectation of you, and a fortnight's despair, at Cambridge, I am come to town, and to better hopes of seeing you. If what you sent me last be the product of your melancholy, what may I not expect from your more cheerful hours? For by this time the ill health that you complain of is (I hope) quite departed, though, if I were self-interested, I ought to wish

for the continuance of anything that could be the occa

sion of so much pleasure to me. Low spirits are my true and faithful companions; they get up with me, go to bed with me, make journeys and returns as I do; nay, and pay visits, and will even affect to be jocose, and force a feeble laugh with me; but most commonly we sit alone together, and are the prettiest insipid company in the world. However, when you come, I believe they must undergo the fate of all humble companions, and be discarded. Would I could turn them to the same use that you have done, and make an Apollo of them. If they could write such verses with me, not

but, instead of the following part of the sentence, “People will laugh as heartily and marry as fast as they used to do,” he inserts a more solemn idea,

Nor storms nor comets, &c. justly perceiving that the elegiac turn of his epistle would not admit so ludicrous a thought, as it was in its place in Mr. Pope's familiar letter; so that we see, young as he was, he had obtained the art of judiciously selecting, one of the first provinces of good taste.

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