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ped the corrector's pay too, upon this got to Oxford, and paid a visit to my lord
proof, that he had made use of Creech Carlton at Middleton. " instead of the original."
The conversations I enjoy here are not Pray tell me next how
deal with to be prejudiced by my pen, and the pleathe critics? “ Sir (said he) nothing more sures from them only to be equalled when
easy. I can silence the most formidable I meet your Lordship. I hope in a few “ of them : the rich ones with a sheet a- days to cast myself from your horse at “ piece of the blotted manuscript, which your feet.
Pope. costs me nothing; they'll go about with “ it to their acquaintance, and say they
$41. Description of a Country Scat. “had it from the author, who submitted To the Duke of Buckingham. “ to their correction: this has given some In answer to a letter in which he inclosed “ of them such an air, that in time they the description of Buckingham-houx,
come to be consulted with, and dedi. written by bim to the D. of Sh. “ cated to, as the top critics of the town. Pliny was one of those few authors who
- As for the poor critics, I'll give you had a warm house over his head, nay, two one instance of my management, by houses; as appears by two of his epistles.
you may guess at the rest. A lcan I believe, if any of his contemporary auman, that looked like a very good scho. thors durst have informed the public “ lar, came to me l’other day; he turned where they lodged, we should have found
over your Homer, shook his head, shrug- the garrets of Rome as well inhabited as “ged up his shoulders, and pished at every those of Fleet-street ; but 'tis dangerous to “ line of it. One would wonder (says he) let ereditors into such a secret ; therefore
at the strange presumption of some men; we may presume that then, as well as nov“ Homer is no such easy task, that every a-days, nobody knew where they lived
stripling, every versifier-He was go- but their booksellers.
ing on, when my wife called to dinner It seems, that when Virgil came to “-Sir, said I, will you please to eat a Rome, he had no lodging at all; he first
piece of beef with me? Mr. Lintot (said introduced himself to Augustus by an he) I am sorry you should be at the ex. epigram beginning Nocte pluit tote-an pence of this great book; I am really observation which probably be had not concerned
on your account-Sir, I am made, unless he had lain all night in the “ much obliged to you: if you can dine street. “ upon a piece of beef, together with a Where Juvenal lived, we cannot af"slice of pudding-Mr. Lintot, I do not firm; but in one of his satires he com
say but Mr. Pope, if he would but con- plains of the excessive price of lodging; “descend to advise with men of learning neither do I believe he would have talked "-Sir, the pudding is upon the table, if so feelingly of Codus's bed, if there had
you please to go in- -My critic com. been room for a bed-fellow in it. plies, he comes to a taste of your poetry;
I believe, with all the ostentation of " and tells me in the same breath, that Pliny, he would have been glad to have
your book is commendable and the changed both his houses for your grace's . pudding excellent.
onc; which is a country-house in the sunNow, Sir, (concluded Mr. Lintot) in mer, and a town-house in the winter, and “ return to the frankness I have shewn, must be owned to be the properest habi
Is it the opinion of your tation for a wise man, who sees all the “ friends at court that my Lord Lansdown world change every season, without ever “ will be brought to the bar or not?” I changing himself. told him, I heard he would not; and I I have been reading the description of hoped it, my lord being one I had parti- Pliny's house, with an eye to your's; but cular obligations to.
“ That may be (re- finding they will bear no comparison, will plied Mr. Lintot); but, by G--d, if he try if it can be matched by the large " is not, I shall lose the printing of a very country-seat I inhabit at present
, and see good trial.”
what figure it may make by the help of These, my Lord, are a few traits by a florid description. which you may discern the genius of Mr. You must expect nothing regular in my Lintot: which I have chosen for the sub- description, any more than in the house ject of a letter. I dropt him as soon as I the whole vast edifice is so disjointed, zad
the several parts of it so detached one from with two or three mildewed pictures of the other, and yet so joining again, one mouldy ancestors, who look as dismally as cannot tell how, that, in one of my pɔeti- if they came fresh from hell, with all their cal fits, I imagined it had been a village brimstone about them: these are carefully in Amphion's time; where the cottages, set at the further corner ; for the windows having taken a country dance together, being every where broken, make it so con. had been all out, and stood stone-still with venient a place to dry poppies and musamazement ever since.
tard seed, that the room is appropriated You must excuse me, if I say nothing of to that use. the front; indeed I don't know which it Next this parlour, as I said before, lies is. A stranger would be grievously dis- the pigeon-house ; by the side of which appointed, who endeavoured to get into runs an entry, which lets you on one hand the house the right way. One would rea- and t’other into a bed-chamber, a buttery, sonably expect, after the entry through and a small hole called the chaplain's stuthe porch, to be let into the hall : alas, no- dy: then follow a brewhouse, a little green thing less ! you find yourself in the house and gilt parlour, and the great stairs, under of office. From the parlour you think to which is the dairy : a little further, on the step into the drawing-room; but, upon right, the servants' hall; and by the side of opening the iron nailed door, you are con- it, up six steps, the old lady's closet for her vinced, by a flight of birds about your ears, private devotions; which has a lattice into and a cloud of dust in your eyes, that it is the hall, intended (as we imagine) that at the pigeon-house. If you come into the the same time as she pray'd she might have chapel, you find its altars, like those of the an eye on the men and maids. There are ancients, continually smoking ; but it is upon the ground-floor, in all, twenty-six with the steams of the adjoining kitchen. apartments; among wlrich I must not for
The great hall within is high and spa get a chamber which has in it a large ancious, flanked on one side with a very long tiquity of timber, that seems to have been table, a true image of ancient hospitality: either a bedstead, or a cyder-press. the walls are all over ornamented with The kitchen is built in form of a rotunmonstrous horns of animals, about twenty da, being one vast vault to the top of the broken pikes, tenor a dozen blunderbusses, house; where one aperture serves to let out and a rusty match-lock-musket or two, the smoke, and let in the light. By the which we were informed had served in the blackness of the walls, the circular fires, civil wars. Here is one vast arched win- vast cauldrons, yawning mouths of ovens dow, beautifully darkened with divers scut- and furnaces, you would think it either the cheons of painted glass ; one shining pane forge of Vulcan, the cave of Polypheme, in particular bears date 1280, which alone or the temple of Moloch. The horror of preserves the memory of a knight, whose this place has made such an impression on iron armour is long since perished with the country people, that they believe the rust, and whose alabaster nose is moulder. witches keep their Sabbath here, and that ed from his monument. The face of dame once a year the devil treats them with inElcanor, in another piece, owes more to fernal venison, a roasted tyger stuffed with that single pane than to all the glasses she ten-penny nails. ever consulted in her life. After this, who Above stairs we have a number of can say that glass is frail, when it is not rooms : you never pass out of one into half so frail as human beauty, or glory! another, but by the ascent or descent of and yet I can't but sigh to think that the two or three stairs. Our best room is very most authentic record of so ancient a fa- long and low, of the exact proportion of mily should lie at the mercy of every in- a band box. In most of these rooms there fant who flings a stone. In former days are hangings of the finest work in the there have dined in this hall gartered world, that is to say, those which Arachne knights, and courtly dames, attended by spins from her own bowels. Were it not ushers, sewers, and seneschals; and yet it for this only furniture, the whole would be was but last night that an owl few hither, a miserable scene of naked walls, flaw'd aod mistook it for a barn.
ceiling, broken windows, and rusty locks. This hall lets you (up and down) over The roof is so decayed, that after a faa very high threshold into the great par-vourable shower we may expect a crop of lour. Its contents are a broken-belly'd mushrooms between the chinks of our virgina), a couple of crippled velvet chairs, floors. All the doors are as little and low
as those to the cabins of packet-boats. memory of that, which itself must soon These rooms have, for many years, had fall into dust, nay, perhaps part of it, be no other inhabitants than certain rats, fore this letter reaches your hands. whose very age renders them worthy of Iideed we owe this old bouse the same this seat, for the very rats of this venerable kind of gratitude that we do to an old house are grey; since these have not yet friend, who harbours us in his declining quitted it, we hope at least that this an- condition, pay even in bis last extremities. cient mansion may not fall during the Ilow fit is this retreat for uninterrupted small remnant these poor animals have to siuly, where no one that passes by can live, who are now too infirm to remove to dream there is an inhabitant, and even another. There is yet a small subsistence those who would dine with us dare not stay left them, in the few remaining books of under our rooi! Any one that sees it, the library.
will own I could not have chosen a more We had never seen half what I had de- likely place to converse with the dead in. scribed, but for a starch'd grey-headed I had been mad indeed if I had left steward, who is as much an antiquity as
any one but llomer. But when any in this place, and looks like an old I return to the living, I shall have the family picture walked out of its frame. sense to endeavour to converse with the He entertained us as we passed from room best of them, and shall therefore, as soon to room with several relations of the fami- as possible, tell you in porson how much ly; but his observations were particularly I am, &c.
Pupe. curious when he came to the cellar; ho informed us where stood the triple rows of ♡ 42. A pology for his religious Tenets. butis of sack, and where were ranged the My Lord, bottles of tent, for toasts in the morning; I am truly obliged by your kind condohe pointed to the stands that supported the lence on my father's death, and the desire iron-hooped hogsheads of strong beer; you express tbat I should improve this inthen stepping to a corner, he lugged out cident to my advantage. I know your the tattered fragments of an unframed lordship’s friendship to me is so extensive
, picture : “ This (says he, with tears) was hat you include in that wish both my spi
poor Sir Thomas! once master of all ritual and my tempoaal advantage; and it “his drink. Ile had two sons, poor young is what I owe to that friendship, to open “ masters! who never arrived to the age of my mind unreservedly to you on this “ his beer; they both fell ill in this very head. It is true I have lost a parent, for
room, and never went out on their own whom no gains I could make would be
legs.” He could not pass by a heap of any equivalent. But that was noi my broken bottles, without taking up a piece, only tie; I thank God another still no to sbew us the arms of the family upon it. mains (and long may it remain) of the He then ked us up the tower by dark wind- same tender nature; Genitrir est miki– ing stone steps, which landed us into seve- and excuse me if I say with Euryalus, ral liile rooms one above another. One of these was nailed up, and our guide
Nequeain lachrymas perferre parentis. whispered to us a secret, the occasion of A rigid divine may call it a carnal tie
, it; it seems the course of this noble blood but sure it is a virtuous one: at least ! was a little interrupted, about two centu- am more certain that it is a duty of nature ries ago by a freak of the lady Frances, to preserve a good parent's life and hapa who was here taken in the fact with a piness, than I am of any speculative paat neighbouring prior ; ever since which the whatever. room has been nailed up, and branded with the name of the Aduitery-Chamber.
Ignarain bujus quodcunque pericli
Hanc ego, nunc, linquam? The ghost of lady Frances is supposed to walk there, and some prying maids of For she, my lord, would think this separa: the family report that they have seen tion more grievous than any other; and I, a lady in a färdingale through the key- for my part, know as little as poor Eurya hole, but this matter is husht up, and the lus did, of the success of such an advaservants are forbid to talk of it.
ture (for an adventure it is, and no sra!! Ti ust needs have tired you with this one, in spite of the most positive divinity. long description; but what engaged mein Whether the change would be to my, sple it was a generous principle to preserve the ritual advantage, God only knows;
knoir, that I mean as well in the religion are, or may be wrong, I leave it to God I now profess, as I can possibly ever do in alone to mend or reform them; which, another. Can a man who thinks so, justify whenever he does, it must be by greater a change, even if he thought both equally instruments than I am, I am not a papist, good ? To such an one, the part of join- for I renounce the temporal invasions of ing with any one body of Christians might the papal power, and detest their arrogated perhaps be easy; but I think it would not authority over princes and states. be so, to renounce the other.
a catholic in the striciest sense of the word. Your lordship has formerly advised me If I was born under an absolute prince, I to read the best controversies between the would be a quiet subject; but I thank churches. Shall I tell you a secret? I did God I was not. I have a due sense of the 50 at fourteen years old, (for I loved read- excellence of the British constitution. In ing, and my father had no other books ;) a word, the things I have always wished there was a collection of all that had been to see, are not a Roman Catholic, or a written on both sides in the reign of king French catholic, or a Spanish catholic, but James the Second ; I warmed my head a true catholic: and not a king of Whigs, with thein, and the consequence was, that or a king of Tories, but a king of Eng. I found myself a papist and a protestant by land. Which God of his mercy grant his turns, according to the last book I read. present majesty may be, and all future I am afraid most seekers are in the same majesties. You see, my lord, I end like a case; and when they stop they are not so preacher : this is sermo ad clerum not ad properly converted as outwiited. You populum. Believe me, with infinite obligasee how little glory you would gain by my tion and sincere thanks, ever your, &c. conversion. And, after all, I verily believe your lordship and I are both of the same religion, as we were thoroughly un- \ 43. Defence against a noble Lord's Rederstood by one another; and that all ho
flections. Dest and reasonable Christians would be There was another reason why I was so, if they did but talk enough together silent, as to that paper-I took it for a every day; and had nothing to do toge- lady's (on the printer's word in the title. ther, but to serve God, and live in peace page) and thought it too presuming, :s with their neighbour.
well as indecent to contend with one of As to the temporal side of tłre question, that sex in altercation : for I never was so I can have no dispute with you ; it is cer
mean a creature as to commit my anger tain, all the beneficial circumstances of life, against a lady to paper, though but in a and all the shining ones, lie on the part private letter. But soon after, her denial you would invite me to. But if I could of it was brought to me by a noble person bring iyself to fancy, what I think you of real honour and truth. Your lordship do but fancy, that ï have any talents for indeed said you had it from a lady, and active life, I want health for it; and be- the lady said it was your lordship’s ; some sides it is a real truth, I have less inclina- thought the beautiful bye-blow hadiwo fation (if possible) than ability. Contem- thers, or (if one of them will hardly be alplative life is not only my scene, but it is lowed a man) two mothers ; indeed I think my habit too.
I begun my life, where both sexes had a share in it, but which was most people end theirs, with a disrelish uppermost, I know not; I pretend not to of all that the world calls ambition : I determine the exact method of this witty don't know why 'tis called so, for to fornication : and, if I call it your's, my me it always seemed to be rather stoop- lord, 'tis only because, whoever got it, ing than climbing. I'll tell you my you brought it forth. politic and religious sentiments in a few Here, my lord, allow me to observe the words. In my politics, I think no fur- ditlerent proceeding of the ignoble poct, ther than how to preserve the peace of and his noble enemies. What he has writmy life, in any government under which ten of Fanny, Adonis, Sappho, or who you I live; nor in my religion, than to pre- will, lie owned, he published, he set his serve the peace of my conscience, in any name to : what they have published of church with which I communicate. I hope him, they have denied to have written ; all churches and all governments are so far and what they have written of him, they
as they are rightly understood, have denied to have published. One of and rightly administered : and where they these was the case in the past libel, and the
other which might
other in the present; for, though the pa. well paid as some writers (much his inserent has owned it to a few choice friends, riors) have been since; but your lordship it is such as he has been obliged to deny, will reflect, that I am no man of quality, in the most particular terms, to the cither to buy or sell scribbling so high: and great person whose opinion concerned him that I have neither place, pension, nor most.
power to reward for secret services. It Yet, my lord, this epistle was a piece cannot be, that one of your rank can have not written in haste, or in a passion, but the least envy to such an author as I am; many months after all pretended provo- but, were that possible, it were much better cation ; when you was at full leisure at gratified by employing not your own, but Hampton-Court, and I the object singled, some of those low and ignoble pens to do like a deer out of season, for so ill-timed you this mean office. I dare engage you'll and ill-placed a diversion. It was a deli- have them for less than I gave Mr. Broom, berate work, directed to a reverend person, if your friends have not raised the market. of the most serious and sacred character, Let them drive the bargain for you, my with whom you are known to cultivate a lord; and you may depend on seeing, every strict correspondence, and to whom, it will day in the week, as many (and now and not be doubted, but you open your secret then as pretty) verses, as these of your sentiments, and deliver your real judgment lordship. of men and things. This, I say, my lord, And would it not be full as well, that with submission, could not but awaken all my poor person should be abused by tkem, my reflection and attention. Your lord
as by one of your rank and quality ? Canship’s opinion of me as a poet, I cannot not Curl do the same? nay, has he not help ; it is yours, my lord, and that were done it before your lordship, in the same enough to mortify a poor man; but it is kind of language, and almost the same not yours alone, you must be content to words? I cannot but think, the worthy and share it with the gentlemen of the Dun- discreet clergyman himself will agree, it is ciad, and it may bc) with many more in- improper, nay, unchristian, to expose the nocent and ingenious gentlemen. If your personal defects of our brother ; that both lordship destroys my poetical character, such perfect forms as yours, and such unthey will claim their part in the glory: fortunate ones as mine, proceed from the but, give me leave to say, if my moral hand of the same Maker, who fashioneth character be ruined, it must be wholly the his vessels as he pleascth ; and that it is work of your lordship; and will be hard not from their shape we can tell whether even for you to do, unless I myself co- they were made for honour or dishonour. operate.
In a word, he would teach you charity to How can you talk (my most worthy lord) your greatest enemies; of which number, of all Pope's works as so many libels; af- my lord, I cannot be reckoned, since, firm, that he has not invention but in defa. though a poet, I was never your fixto mation ; and charge him with selling an- terer. other man's labours printed with his own Next, my lord, as to the obscurity of name? Fye, my lord, you forget yourself. my birth (a reflection, copied also from He printed not his name before a line of Mr. Curl and his brethren), I am sorry the person's you mention ; that person to be obliged to such a presumption as to himself has told you and all the world, in name my family in the same leaf with you the book itself, what part he had in it, as lordship’s: but my father had the honour
be seen at the conclusion of his notes in one instance, to resemble you, for he to the Odyssey. I can only suppose your was a younger brother. He did not inlordship (not having at that time forgot , deed think it a happiness to bury his elder your Greek) despised to look upon the brother, though he had one who wanted translation ; and ever since entertained too some of those good qualities which your mean an opinion of the translator to cast an possest
. How sincerely glad could I be, eyc upon it. Besides, my lord, when you to pay to that yourg nobleman's memory said he sold another man's works, you the debt I owed to his friendship, whose ought in justice to have added that he early death deprived your family of 33 bought them, which very much alters the much wit and honour as he left behind bin case. What he gave him was five hundred in any branch of it! But as to my father, pounds : his receipt can be produced to I could assure you, my lord, that he was your lordship. I dare not affirm he was as no mechanic (neither a hatter, nor,