[Page] Familiar and Courtly LETTERS, Written by Monsieur Voiture To Persons of the greatest Honour, Wit, and Quality of both Sexes in the Court of FRANCE.

Made English by

  • Mr. Dryden,
  • Tho. Cheek, Esq
  • Mr. Dennis,
  • Henry Cromwel, Esq
  • Jos. Raphson, Esq
  • Dr.—, &c.

WITH Twelve Select EPISTLES out of Aristanetus: Translated from the Greek. Some Select LETTERS of Pliny, Jun. and Mon­sieur Fontanelle. Translated by Mr. Tho. Brown. And a Collection of Original LETTERS lately written on several Subjects. By Mr. T. Brown.

Never before Publish'd.

To which is added, A Collection of LETTERS of Friendship, and other Occasional LETTERS, written by

  • Mr. Dryden,
  • Mr. Wycherly,
  • Mr.—
  • Mr. Congreve,
  • Mr. Dennis, and other Hands.

London: Printed for Sam. Briscoe, in Russel-street, Covent-garden, and sold by J. Nutt, near Stationers-hall, 1700.

To the Honourable Sir Cha. Duncomb, Kt. SHERIFF of London and Middlesex.

THo' I am wholly a Stranger to your Person, I am not to your Character; for who can live in London and not see living Instan­ces of your Charity and Munificence? You have been the Sanctuary of the Distressed, and even those unhappy Wretches, who found no Benefit in the Public Deliverance of the Kingdom, have ow'd theirs to you. At your own proper Expence, and by a Generosity peculiar to your self, you have done that which has been reckon'd Piety in the greatest Monarchs and Republics, and what Princes have sent Royal Fleets into the Streights to perform. You have rescued Numbers of Christian Captives out [Page] of the cruel Hands of Tyrants, professing the same Religion, and breathing the same Air with themselves. You have redeem'd Slaves in a Country which abominates Ser­vitude, but by a strange Fascination suffers its Natives to enslave one another: You have deliver'd them out of an unwholesome nasty Confinement, where they dragg'd a Life wretched to themselves, unserviceable to the Common-wealth, lamentable to their Relations, only to gratifie the Revenge or stupid Malice of their haughty Oppres­sors.

In the best constituted and most gene­rous Government that ever appear'd in the World, to save the Life of a Citizen, was thought an Action that deserv'd nothing less than a Public Reward. You have resto­red the Lives of a hundred Citizens, by re­storing them to their Health, their Liberty and Tranquility of Mind; for what is Life without those Blessings to make it support­able?

Charity, by what Stupidity it so hap­pens I cannot imagine, has not that Incense paid it, nor makes that Figure in the World that Heroism does. To lay a whole Coun­try in Ashes, to destroy Millions of poor Wretches, has for several Ages pass'd for a Royal Vertue, Mankind has been so sot­tish, [Page] as to deifie those that have perform'd these noble Exploits, and advanced them­selves by the Slavery or Destruction of their Fellow-creatures.

But tho' the present Age pays a servile Adoration to Heroes, yet Posterity judges of them otherwise; and accordingly we find, that Caesar and Alexander, who were treated as Gods when alive, are now, when all Occasions of Flattery to their Persons cease, treated as Robbers and Usurpers.

It is otherwise with Charity: What­ever Acknowledgements the Time it lives in pays it, Posterity is sure to reward and honour it; Age only serves to extend it the more, like a well-grown Tree that enlarges its Branches every Spring. 'Tis true, it does not delight in Noise and Ostentation; it flies from that Applause which Heroism courts; it values it self upon no mute In­scriptions and breathless Statues. It erects to it self living Images, and will be com­memorated with Gratitude, while there is such a Thing as Memory or Gratitude in the World. The Heroe may extort Flat­tery even from the Slaves he crushes, or purchase mercenary Praise: but a chari­table Man is sure to have the voluntary Prayers and Blessings of those whom he relieves, and even Calumny it self dares [Page] not attack him. Thus we see you have the general Acclamations and Applauses of the People, for having done those Actions which the greatest Athenians or Spartans wou'd have been proud of, in a City which in no respect is inferiour to Sparta or Athens.

Pardon therefore an unhappy Man, who has laboured under Affictions, which he might have prevented if he wou'd have gone upon dishonest Methods, by which others have not only repaired, but im­proved their Fortunes, and whose little All, if it had not fallen into dilatory, I will not say malicious Hands, might have afforded him a Retreat, if not a comfort­able Support: Pardon him, I say, if ha­ving experienced hard Usage in the World, he cou'd not forbear to pay his Public Ac­knowledgment to the Patriot that has re­deem'd so many Sufferers, if he endeavours to celebrate that Vertue which wou'd have kept him from sinking, and extolls that Charity that may restore him when he is sunk.

For this Reason I have presumed to de­dicate the following Volume of Letters to your self, which were given me by some of my Friends, who, in commiseration of my hard Circumstances, were willing to contribute something towards my Assist­ance. [Page] It does not bccome me, who pre­tend to be no Judge, to say any thing of the Performance. The Gentlemen who are concern'd in the Collection are too well known to want my Praises. I hope that they may serve to entertain you at your vacant Hours, when you can unbend your self from the Hurry of Public Business. At least I beg you to accept them as a Testi­mony of my Respect, which shall be ever paid you by

Your most obedient and most humble Servant,



Mons. Voiture's LETTERS.

Made English by several eminent Hands.

  • TO my Lord Cardinal de la Valette. By Mr. Dryden, Pag. 1
  • To Mademoiselle Paulet. By Mr. Dennis, 10
  • To Mons. de Caudebonne. By the same Hand, 13
  • To Mons. de Godeau, 15
  • A Billet from Madam de Saintot, to Mons. de Voiture, 19
  • The Answer of Mons. de Voiture, 20
  • To his unknown Mistress. By Mr. Dennis, ibid.
  • To Mademoiselle Paulet. By Mr. Dennis, 22
  • To the Marchioness of Rambouillet, in answer to a Letter of Thanks of hers, 24
  • An Imitation of Mons. de Voiture's Letter to Ma­demoiselle de Rambouillet, 27
  • To the Duke of Enguien, upon the taking of Dun­kirk, 31
  • To the Duke of Enguien, upon his gaining the Battel of Rocroy, 34
  • [Page] To Mons. de Balzac, 37
  • To the Marquess of Pisani, who had lost all his Mo­ny and Baggage at the Siege of Thionville, 43
  • To Mademoiselle de Bourbon, a Relation of the Author's being toss'd in a Blanket. By Tho. Cheek, Esq 46
  • To Madam de Rambouillet. By Jos. Raphson, 50
  • To the Cardinal de la Valette. By the same, 57
  • To a young Lady, Maid of Honour to her Royal Highness's Daughter. By Henry Cromwel, Esq 61
  • To the Marchioness de Rambouillet, on Absence. By the same, 63
  • To Mons. Costart. By Dr.—, 66
  • To Madam—. By the same, 67
  • To the same Lady, 69
  • To Diana. By the same Hand, 71
  • To the President of the Houshold. By * * *, 72
  • To Mons. d' Emer, Comptroler - General of the King's Revenues. By the same Hand, 73
  • An Abridgment of a Letter to Mons. d' Avaux. By the same Hand, 74
  • To Madam—. By Henry Cromwel, Esq 77
  • To Mons. de Chaudebonne. By Tho. Cheek, Esq 80
  • To my Lady-Abbess, to thank her for a Cat, which she sent him. By Mr. Oldys, 85
  • A Comical Letter out of the famous Mons. de Col­letier, to Mademoiselle de Choux. By Sir D. Clark, Kt. 87

Aristaenetus's EPISTLES.

  • TWo Ladies that were conquer'd by a Gentle­man's singing, 89
  • A Lawyer's Wife to her Friend, complaining that her Husband did not manage her Law-Case so well as he ought, 92
  • A Fisherman to his Friend; being a Description of a lovely Damosel that wash'd her self in the Sea whilst he was fishing, 95
  • An Adventure with a Harlot, 97
  • A Cure for Love, 100
  • From a Filt to her serenading Gallant, acquainting him that his Mony wou'd charm her more than his Musick, 103
  • A Relation of a Maid that fell in love with her Mi­stress's Gallant, 104
  • A Letter of Gallantry from a young Gentleman to his perjured Mistress, 108
  • A Love-Letter to his Mistress, 110
  • An Account of the ill Success of his Friend Damon in his Amour, 112
  • A Lady to Gentlewoman to acquaint her, that she was in love with her Husband, and she with her Page, 115
  • A Relation of a Lady that satisfied her Longing with with her Gallant before her Husband's Face, 117

Some Select EPISTLES out of Pliny, Jun.

  • To his dear Friend Romanus, Lib. 3. 120
  • To his dear Friend Geminius, Lib. 8. 121
  • To his Wife Calphurnia, Lib. 8. 124
  • To the same, Lib. 7. 125
  • To his dear Friend Ferox, Lib. 7. 126
  • To Cornelius Tacitus, Lib. 8. 127
  • To Cornelius Tacitus, Lib. 6. 129
  • To Sura, Lib. 7. 135

LETTERS out of Mons. le Chevalier d' Her. ***

  • To Mademoiselle de J—, upon sending her a Boar in a Pasty, who had liked to have wound­ed him at the Chace, 140
  • To Mons. C—on the Cartesian Philosophy, 142
  • To Madam D—V—upon sending her a Black and a Monky, 145
  • To the same on the Death of the Monky, 147
  • To Mademoiselle de C—upon sending her an Ex­tract of the Church-register, 149


  • To Dr. Baynard at the Bath, 153
  • Melanissa to Alexis, being a Defence of Love against Drinking, 158
  • To a Litigious Country-Attorney, 167
  • To Mr. Moult, 171
  • To the same a News Letter, 175
  • To the same, from the Gun Musick-booth in Bar­tholomew-fair, 184
  • A Consolatory Letter to my Lady—on the Death of her Husband, 190
  • To Mr. Moult, upon the breaking up of Bartholo­mew-fair, 194
  • To W. K. Esq being a Relation of a Journy to London, 200
  • A Love-Letter from an Officer in the Army to a Widow whom he was desperately in Love with before he saw her, 208
  • An Exhortatory Letter to an old Lady that Smok'd Tobacco, 211
  • To Sir W. S. on the two incomparable Pieces, The Satyr against Wit, and Poeticae Britannici, by another Hand, 212
  • To a Physician in the Country, being a true State of the Poetical-War between Cheapside and Covent­garden, by another Hand, 212


By Gentlemen and Ladies.

  • LOve-Letters, written by Mr.—to Ma­dam—225 to 230
  • Four Love-Letters to a young Lady by another Hand, 230 to 233
  • A Letter from a Lady to her Lover in the French Army, with a Tuft of Hair inclosed in it; 233
  • To Madam C—ll's 234
  • Madam C—ll's Answer, 236
  • His Answer to the foregoing Letter, 237
  • Madam C—ll's Answer, 239
  • To Mrs.—, by another Hand, 241
  • To my Lady—, by the same Hand, 242
  • Four Love-Letters to an old Lady, 243
  • To a Lady that had got an Inflamation in her Eyes, 247
  • Madam—to Mr. B—, being an Account of a Journey to Exon, &c. 251
  • The Answer, 255
  • To Dr. Garth, 260
  • To his Poetical Friend, advising him to study the Mathematicks. Out of Quevedo. By Mr. Sa­vage, 161
  • To W. Joy, the strong Kentish-man, from the Lady C—, dropt out of her Foot-man's Pocket, and taken up by a Chair-man in the Pall-mall, 265

LETTERS of Friendship.

By several eminent Hands.

  • MR. Dennis, to Walter Moyle, Esq 1
  • Mr. Wycherley, at Cleave, near Shrewf­bury. By the same Hand, 6
  • Mr. Wycherley's Answer to Mr. Dennis, 12
  • To Mr. Wycherley. By—15
  • To Mr. Wycherley. By—19
  • Mr. Wycherley, to Mr. Dennis, 21
  • To Mr. Wycherley. By Mr.—24
  • Mr. Wycherley, to Mr.—on the Loss of his Mistress, 27
  • Mr.—'s Answer to the foregoing Letter, 29
  • Mr. Wycherley to Mr.—31
  • Mr. Dennis to Mr. Wycherley, 34
  • To Mr. Wycherley, that a Blockhead is better qua­lified for Business than a Man of Wit, 36
  • To Mr. Dryden, 40
  • To the same, 43
  • Mr. Dryden to Mr. Dennis, 46
  • My Lady C—to her Cousin W. of the Temple, after the had receiv'd a Copy of Verses on her Beauty, 52
  • Mr.—at Will's Coffee-house, 56
  • To Walter Moyle, Esq 61
  • To Mr. Congreve, 64
  • To Mr. Congreve, 66
  • Mr. Congreve to Mr. Dennis, concerning He­mour in Comedy, 69
  • [Page] To Mr. Congreve at Tunbridge, 86
  • Mr. Congreve's Answer 87
  • Six Love-Letters to his Charming but Cruel Mistress, by Mr.—92 to. 102
  • To Walter Moyle, Esq at the Back in Cornwal, 102
  • Mr.—to Mr. Congreve, 105
  • Mr. Congreve to Mr.—107
  • To Mr. Congreve at Tunbridge, 109
  • Mr.—to Mr. Dennis, 112
  • To Mr. Dennis, 213
  • To the same. 214
Familiar and Courtly …

Familiar and Courtly LETTERS, WRITTEN By Mons. VOITURE, TO Persons of the greatest Wit, Ho­nour and Quality of both Sex, in the Court of France.

Made English by several Eminent Hands.

To my Lord Cardinal de la Velette.

My Lord,

I Am satisfy'd, that you old Cardinals take more Authority upon you, than those of the last Promotion; because having written many Letters to you, without receiving one from you, yet you complain of my Neglect. In the mean [Page 2] time, seeing so many well-bred Men, who assure me that you do me too much Honour to think of me at all; and that I am bound to write to you, and to give my Acknow­ledgments, I am resolved to take their Counsel, and to pass over all sorts of Diffi­culties and Considerations of my own In­terest. This then will give you to under­stand, that six Days after the Eclipse, and a Fortnight after my Decease, Madam the Princess, Mademoiselle de Bourbon, Ma­dam du Vigean, Madam Aubry, Mademoi­selle de Rambouillet, Mademoiselle Paulet, Monsieur de Chaudebonne, and my self, left Paris about six in the Evening, and went to La Barre, where Madam du Vigean was to give a Collation to the Princess. In our way thither we found nothing worth our Observation; but only that at Ormesson, an English Mastiff came up to the Boot of the Coach, to make his Compliment to me. Be pleased to take this along with you, my Lord, that as often as I express my self in the Plural Number, as for Example, We went, we found, or we beheld, 'tis always to be understood, that I speak in the Qua­lity of a Cardinal. From thence we hap­pily arriv'd at La Barre, and enter'd a Hall, were we trod upon nothing but Roses and Orange-flowers. Madam the Princess, af­ter [Page 3] she had sufficiently admir'd this Magni­ficence, had a mind to see the Walks be­fore Supper: the Sun was then just sitting in a Cloud of Gold and Azure, and gave us no larger a share of his Beams, than to supply a soft and pleasing Light: The Air was not disturb'd either with Wind or Heat; and it seem'd that Heav'n and Earth were conspiring with Madam du Vigean, in her Treating the fairest Princess upon Earth. After she had passed through a great Parterre, and Gardens full of Orange­trees, she arrived at the Entrance of an enchanted Wood, so thick and shady, that Authors conclude the Sun, since the Day of his Birth, never enter'd it, till now that he waited on her Highness thither. At the end of an Alley, which carried the fight out of distance, we sound a Fountain, which alone cast up a greater Quantity of Water, than all those of Tivoli together; about it were plac'd four and twenty Violins, which had much ado to make themselves be heard, for the rumbling of the Streams in falling: When we were got near e­nough, we discover'd, in a cetain Nich, within a Pallisade, a Diana, of about ele­ven or twelve Years of Age, and fairer than the Forests of Greece and Thessaly had ever seen: she bore her Bow and Arrows [Page 4] in her Eyes, and was encompas'd with all the Glories of her Brother. In another Nich, not far distant, was another Nymph, fair and gentle enough to pass for one of her Train: those who are not given to be­lieve Fables, took them for Mademoiselles de Bourbon and la Priande; and to confess the Truth, they resembled them exactly. All the Company was in a profound Silence, admiring so many different Objects, which at once astonish'd their Eyes and Ears, when on a sudden the Goddess leapt down from her Nich, and with a Grace, impos­sible to be describ'd, began a Ball, which lasted for some time about the Fountain. `Twas somewhat strange, my Lord, that in the midst of so many Pleasures, which were sufficient to engage the whole atten­tion of their Spirits, who enjoy'd them, yet we could not forbear to think of you; and it was generally concluded, that some­thing was wanting to our Happiness, since neither you, nor Madam de Rambouillet were present. Then I took up a Harp and fung this Spanish Stanza,

Pues quiso mi suerte dura,
Que faltando mi sennor
Tambien faltasse mi Dama.

And continued the rest of the Song so very melodiously, and with such an Air of Sadness, [Page 5] that there was not one of the Com­pany, but the Tears came into their Eyes, and they wept abundantly: Their Sorrow had endur'd much longer, had not the Vi­olins struck up a Sarabrand, with great speed and presence of Mind; upon which the Company got upon their Feet, with as much Gayety, as if nothing in the World had happen'd, and fell into the Dance; thus leaping, capring, turning round, and hopping, we returned to the House, where we found a Table already spread, and serv'd as if it had been serv'd by Fairies. This, my Lord, is one Passage of the Adventure, which is so stupendous that no words are capable of expressing it: For there are neither Colours of Speech, nor Figures in the Art of Rhetoric, which can describe six several sorts of Potages, which were at once presented to the Sight. And what was particularly remarkable, that there being none but Goddesses, and two Demi-Gods at the Table (viz.) Monsieur Chaudebonne and I, yet every one eat as heartily, and with as good Appetites, as if we had been neither more nor less, than plain Mortals. And to confess the truth, a better Treat could not have been pro­vided. Amongst other things, there were twelve Dishes, besides other Eateables in [Page 6] disguise, which were never seen before on any Human Table; and whose very Names have never been so much as mention'd in any History. This Circumstance, my Lord, by some disastrous Accident, has been re­lated to Madam la Mareschalle—, and though immediatly upon it, she took twelve Drams of Opium, beyond her ordi­nany Dose, yet she has never been able to close her Eyes, from that fatal Moment. During the first Course, there was not so much as one single Cup went round to your Health; the Company was so intent upon the present Affair; and at the Desert, we quite forgot it. I beg your Permission, my Lord, to relate all things as they pass'd, like a faithful Historian as I am, and with­out Flattery; for I would not for the World, that Posterity should mistake one thing for another; and that at the end of two thousand Years hence, or thereabouts, Posterity should imagine your Health was drunk, when really there was no such thing in nature. Yet I must give this Testimony to Truth, that it was not for want of Me­mory: For, during all Supper-time, you were often mention'd; all the Ladies wish'd you there, and some of them ve­ry heartily, or I am much mistaken. As we rose from Table, the sound of the Vio­lins [Page 7] summon'd us up Stairs, where we found a Chamber so gloriously lighted up, that it look'd as if the Day, which was now be­low the Earth, had retired hither, and was assembled in one body of Light. Here the Ball began again, in better Order and with more Grace, than it had been danc'd about the Fountain: And the most Magnificent Part of it, my Lord, was, that I footed it there in Person. Mademoiselle de Bourbon, I must confess, was of opinion, that I danc'd aukwardly; but she concluded, to my advantage, that I must be allowed to Fence well; because, that at the end of every Cadence, I put my self upon my Guard: The Ball continued with much Pleasure till all of a sudden a great Noise, which was heard without Doors, caused the Company to look out at the Windows; where, from a great Wood, which was about three hun­dred Paces from the House, we beheld so vast a Number of Fire-works issuing out, that we verily believ'd all the Branches and Trunks of the Trees had been metamor­phos'd into Guns; that all the Stars were falling from the Firmament, and that the Element of Fire was descending into the middle Region of the Air. Here, my Lord, are three Hyperboles tack'd together, which being valued at a moderate Price, are worth [Page 8] three dozen of Fusees at the least. After we were recover'd out of this great Fit of Ex­tasie, into which so many Miracles had plung'd us, we resolved on our Departure, and took the way to Paris by the Light of twenty Flambeaux: We pass'd through all the Ormessonnois, and the wide Plains of Espinay, without Resistance, and went through the middle of St. Dennis. Being plac'd in the Coach by the side of Ma­dam—I said a whole Miserere to her, on your behalf; to which she replied, with much Gallantry, and no less Civility. We sung in our Journey a World of Songs, Roundeaux, Roundelays, Lampoons, and Ballads; and were now half a League be­yond St. Dennis, it being two a Clock in the Morning precisely; the Fatigue of the Journey, Watching, Walking, and the painful Exercise of the Ball, having made me somewhat heavy, when there happen'd an Accident, which I verily believ'd wou'd have been my total Ruine: There is a cer­tain little Village, situate, say the Geogra­phers, betwixt Paris and St. Dennis, and vulgarly call'd, La Valette: At our going out of this Place, we overtook three Coach­es, in which were those Numerical Violins which had been playing to us. Hereupon, Sathan entring into the Spirit of Mademoi­selle, [Page 9] she commanded them to follow us, and to give Serenades all Night long to the poor innocent People of Paris, who were asleep and dreamt not of her Malice: This Diabolical Proposition made my Hair rise an end upon my Head; yet all the Compa­ny pass'd a Vote in Favour of it; and the word was just ready to be given, but by a signal Providence, they had left their Vio­lins behind them at la Barre; for which the Lord reward them. From hence, my Lord, you may reasonably conclude, that Made­moiselle is a dangerous Person in the Night, if ever there was any in the World: and that I had great reason at Madam—'s House to say, that the Violins ought to be turn'd out of Doors, when that pestilent Lady was in Company. Well, we conti­nued our way happily enough, but only that as we enter'd the Fauxbourgh, we met six lusty Fellows, as naked as ever they were born, who passed directly by the Coach, to the terror of the Ladies. In fine, We arrived at Paris; and what I am now going to relate, is indeed prodigious: Cou'd you imagine it, my Lord? the Obscurity was so great, that it cover'd all that vast City; and instead of what we left it, not full seven Hours before, fill'd with Noise, and with a Crowd of Men, Women, Hor­ses, [Page 10] and Coaches; we now found nothing but a deep Silence, a dismal Desart, a frightful Solitude, dispeopled Streets, not meeting with any Mortal Man, but only certain Animals, who fled from the Lustre of our Torches. But the remaining part of the Adventure, you shall have, my Lord, another time. As Boyando tells you,

Qui e il sin del Canto; e torno ad Orlando,
Adio Signor, a voi me raccomando.

To Mademoiselle Paulet.


SO great a Misfortune as mine, wanted no less Consolation than that which I lately received from you; and I look'd on your Letter, as a Pardon which Heav'n granted me after my Sentence: I can call by no other name, the News which o­blig'd me to return to this Place, and I can assure you that Sentence of Death is often­times less rigorous. But since, in the midst of all my Misfortunes, I have the Honour [Page 11] to be remember'd by you, to complain would be ill-becoming of me: for methinks he may dispence with the Favours of For­tune, who is happy enough to obtain yours. This is the Reason that I shall make use of to comfort my self, for the Necessity of re­maining here, and not that which you urg'd in yours, That it is better to be an Exile in a Foreign Land, than to be a Prisoner in one's own Country: For, alas! you know but one half of my Misery, if you are not convinc'd that I am both together; and if you judge of the Matter rightly, you will find that a thing, which seems very incon­sistent, is to be found in me, which is to be banish'd from the same Person by whom I am kept a Prisoner. You will find it diffi­cult to interpret this Riddle, unless you call to mind, that I have always been us'd to mingle a Dram of Love in my Letters: For, if as you say, I am allow'd some Li­berty here, of which I should be depriv'd in France; I beseech you let it be that of assuring you, that there is a great deal of Passion mix'd with the Affection which I express for your Service. I should indeed be Ungrateful, if I should discover but an ordinary Friendship for a Person who does such extraordinary Things for me; and I am obliged to fall in love at least with your [Page 12] Generosity. I have been acquainted what Care a Gentleman and a Lady has taken to enquire of my Welfare, which is an ad­ditional Obligation to one whom they had extremely oblig'd before. For all the rest, they have seem'd buried in so profound a Silence, that for six Months together I have heard not the least mention of them. Whe­ther this comes from their Forgetfulness or from their Prudence, I am unable to deter­mine: Yet Forgetfulness may be allow'd an Excuse for Silence, but a dumb Remem­brance is without Defence. I leave you to conclude, Madam, how much Lustre this reflects upon what you have done for me, and how much I am oblig'd to you for a long Letter at a time, when others have been afraid to send me their Service. There­fore let me assure you, that tho' I am un­able to make suitable Returns to such Good­ness, I esteem it at least, and extol it as it deserves, and that I am as much as a Man can possibly be,

yours, &c.

To Monsieur de Chaudebonne.

I Writ to you ten or twelve Days ago, and return'd you Thanks for the two Letters, which I have at length received from you. If you were but sensible of the Satisfaction they brought with them, you would be sorry for not having writ to me oftner, and for not frequently repeating the Consolation, of which I had so much need. Madrid, which is the agreeablest Place in the World, for those who at once are Lusty and Libertines, is the most disconsolate, for those who are Regular, or those who are Indisposed. And in Lent, which is the Players Vacation, I do not know so much as one Pleasure that a Man can enjoy with Conscience. My Melancholy here, and my want of Company have produc'd a good Effect in me; for they have reconcil'd me to Books, which I had for a time forsaken; and being able to meet with no other Plea­sures, I have been forc'd to taste and to re­lish that of Reading: Prepare then to see me a Philosopher as great as your self; and consider how fast a Man must come on, who for seven whole Months has studied, or has been sick: For if one of the chief Things that Philosophy aims at, is a Con­tempt [Page 14] of Life; the Stone-colick is certainly the best of Masters, and Plato and Socrates persuades us less efficaciously. It has lately read me a Lecture, that lasted seventeen Days, and which I shall not quickly forget; and which has often made me consider how very feeble we are, since three Grains of Sand, are sufficient to cast us down. But if it deter­mines me to any Sect, it shall not at least be that which maintains that Pain is not an Evil; and that he who is Wise is at all times Happy. But whatever befals me, I can neither be Happy nor Wise, without being near to you, and nothing can make me one or the other, so much as your Presence or your Example. Yet am I very uncertain when I shall be able to leave this Place, and expecting both Money and Men, which are coming by Sea, and which are two things that do not always keep touch with us; I apprehend my remaining here longer than I could wish; therefore I make it my humble Request to you, That you would not forget me so long as you have done, and that you would testifie, by doing me the Honour of Writing to me, that you are convinc'd of the real Affection with which

I am yours, &c.

To Monsieur de Godeau.


You ought to give me time to recover our Tongue, before you oblige me to write to you: For it appears to me to be something absurd, that I, who have been now so long a Foreigner, and but just come from breathing the Air of Barbary, should presume to expose my Letters, to one of the most eloquent Men in France. This Consideration has kept me silent till now. But tho' I forbear to answer your Challen­ges, I cannot refuse to return your Civili­ties: By these you have found a way to vanquish me, in spight of all my Evasions: In my present Condition it is more reputa­ble to you, to Conquer me this way, than to overcome me by Force: You would have acquir'd but small Glory by vigorously at­tacking a Man, who is already driven to Extreamity, and to whom Fortune has given so many Blows, that the least may fatisfie to over-whelm him. Amidst the Darkness in which she hath plac'd us, we can have no Defence; but here all our Art and our Skill in Parring are useless. The Case perhaps might be otherwise, if you had set before my Eyes the Sun of which [Page 16] you make mention; and as dejected as you see me now, I should grow daring enough to enter the Lists against you, if the Light of that were divided between us equally. 'Tis more to have that alone on your side, than all the rest of Heav'n. The Beauties which sparkle in all that you do, are only deriv'd from hers, and it is the Influence of her Rays on you, which produces so many Flowers. Nothing can ever appear more lively, than those which you scatter on every thing that comes from you. I have seen them upon the Ocean's extreamest Shores, and in Places where Nature cannot produce, no, not one Blade of Grass. I have receiv'd Nosegays of them, which made me meet in Desarts, with the choi­cest Delicacies of Greece and of fruitful Italy: And tho' they had been carried four hun­dred Leagues, neither the length of way, nor of time had in the least diminished their Lustre. They are indeed Immortal and cannot decay, and so vastly different from all Terrestrial Productions, that it is with a great deal of Justice, that you have offer'd them up to Heaven; for Altars alone are worthy of them. Believe me, Sir, in what I am saying, I speak but my real Senti­ments; when my Curiosity, as you say, had oblig'd me to pass the Bounds of the [Page 17] ancient World, to find out rare and surpri­sing Objects, your Works were the wonder­fullest things that I saw, and Africa could show me nothing more new, and no more extraordinary Sight. Reading them under the Shade of its Palms, I wish'd you crown'd with them all; and at the very time that I saw, that I had gone beyond Hercules, I found I came short of you. All this, which was capable of producing Envy in any Man's Soul but mine, fill'd mine with so much Esteem and Affection, that you then took the place there, which you are now desiring, and perfectly finish'd what you think you are still to begin. Af­ter the Knowledge which I have bad of you, how can I form such an Image of you, as you are willing to give me? How can I Fancy you to be that little Creature you say you are? How could I comprehend that Heaven could place such mighty things in so small a space? When I give my Ima­gination a Loose, it gives you four Yards at least, and represents you of the Stature of Men engendered by Angels. Yet I shall be very glad to find that it is as you would have me believe. Amongst the rest of the Advantages, which I expect to derive from you, I am in hopes that you will bring our Stature into some Credit, and that it is ours [Page 18] which henceforward will be accounted the noblest; and that by you, we shall be ex­alted above those who believe themselves higher than we. As we pour the most ex­quisite Essences into the smallest Bottles, Nature infuseth the divinest Souls into the smallest Bodies, and mixes more or less of matter with them, as they have more or less in them of their Almighty Original. She seems to place the most shining Souls, as Jewelers set the most sparkling Stones, who make use of as little Gold as they can with them, and no more than just suffices to bind them. By you the World will be undeceiv'd of that sottish Errour of valuing Men by their Weight, and my Littleness with which I have been so often upbraided by Madamoiselle de Rambouillet, for the fu­ture may recommend me to her. For what remains, the Affection is very Just, which you tell me, she has for you, and with her, six more of the loveliest Creatures that il­lustrate the Light. But I wonder that you should think to get mine by such a Discove­ry; and to gain it by the very Means, which were sufficient to make you lose it. You had need to have a high Opinion of my Goodness, to believe that I can love a Man who enjoys my Right, and who has ob­tain'd the Consiscation of my most valued [Page 19] Possessions: But yet I am so just, that even this shall be no Impediment, and I believe you to have so much Justice on your side, that I do not despair but that we may ac­commodate ev'n this matter between us. They may very well have given you my Place without your putting me out of it, and my room in their Hearts was but very small, if it cannot contain us both. As for my part, I shall do my utmost, that I may not incommode you there; and shall take care to take up my Station so that we may not clash, since so powerful an Interest can­not make me cease to be yours, you may be­lieve, that in spight of the worst of Acci­dents, I shall be eternally

Yours, &c.

BILLET from Madam de Saintot, to Mon­sieur de Voiture.

I Have promis'd to bestow you, for a Gallant, upon two fine Women, my Friends. I am confident that you will not find the Exploit too many for you, and do not doubt but that you will confirm my Promise, as soon as you have but seen them.

The Answer of Monsieur de Voiture.

LEt me see what I love as soon as you can: For I die with Impatience till that happy Moment. And since, at your Command, I have fallen in Love, it behoves you to take some care that I am belov'd too. I have thought all Night upon the two Ladies that—In short, upon you know whom. I write this Billet to one of them; deliver it, I beseech you, to her, whom you believe that I love the more passionately of the two. In Acknowledgment of the good Offices which I receive from you, I assure you, that you shall always dispose of my Affections; and that I will never love any one so much as your self, till I am con­vinc'd that you have in good earnest a Mind that I should.

To his Unknown Mistress.

WAs there ever so extraordinary a Passion, as that which I have for you? For my part, I do not know any thing of you; and, to my knowledge I ne­ver so much as heard of you: And yet, I Gad, I am desperately in Love with you; [Page 21] and it is now a whole Day, since I have sigh'd, and look'd silly, and languish'd, and dy'd, and all that for you. Without ha­ving even seen your Face, I am taken with its Beauty; and am charm'd with your Wit, tho' I never have heard one Syllable of it. I am ravish'd with your every Action, and I fancy in you a kind of I know not what, that makes me passionately in Love with I know not whom. Sometimes I fancy you Fair, and at other times Black; Now you appear Tall to me, by and by Short; Now with a Nose of the Roman Shape, and a­non with a Nose turn'd up: But in what­ever Form I describe you, you appear the Loveliest of Creatures to me; and though I am ignorant what sort of Beauty yours is, I am ready to pawn my Soul, that it is the most Bewitching of all of them. If it be your Luck to know me as little, and to love me as much, then thanks be to Love, and the Stars. But lest you should a little impose upon your self, in fancying me a tall fair Fellow, and so be surpriz'd at the Sight of me, I care not for once, if I venture to send you my Picture: My Stature is three Inches below the middle one; my Head ap­pears tolerable enough, and is decently set off with a large grey Head of Hair; then with Eyes that languish a little, yet are [Page 22] something Hagard; I have a sort of a cud­den cast of a Face: But in Requital, one of your Friends will tell you, that I am the honestest Fellow in the World; and that for Loving faithfully in five or six Places at a time, there is no Man alive comes near me. If you think that all this will accomo­date you, it shall be at your Service as soon as I see you: Till that long long'd for time, I shall think of you; that is, of I know not whom. But if any one should chance to ask me for whom I sigh, don't be afraid, I warrant to keep the Secret; I would fain see any one catch me at naming you to him.

To Mademoiselle Paulet.


There was only one thing wanting to your Adventures, and that was to be a Prisoner of State; I have given you here the happy Occasion of being such: For­tune, who has omitted no Opportunity of bringing you into Play, will, in all proba­bility, make her Advantage of this. I know very well that I bring you into Danger by writing to you; yet cannot even that Re­flection restrain me. From whence you [Page 23] may conclude, that there is no Risk which I would refuse to run, to refresh your Re­membrance of me, since I can resolve to endanger even you, you who are dear and valuable above all the rest of the World to me. I tell you this, Madam, at a time, when I would not lye, no, not in a Com­pliment: For I would have you to know, that I am much the better for the Distemper which I have lately had: It has caused me to assume such good Resolutions, that if I had them not, I could be contented to pur­chase them with all my Health. I plainly foresee, that this will but divert you, you who are conscious to so much of my Weak­ness; and who will never believe that I can keep single Resolutions, I who have broken so many Vows; yet nothing is more certain than that I have hitherto beheld the Spanish Beauties with as much Indifference, as I did the Flemish at Brussels; and I hope to grow a Convert in the very Place of the World in which the Tempter is strongest, and where the Devil resumes as glorious Shapes as what he put off when he fell. The Reformation is so great in me, that I have but one Scruple remaining, which is, That I think too often of you; and that I desire to see you again with a little too much Impatience. I, who have moderated [Page 24] the rest of my Passions, have been unable to reduce that which I have for you, to the Measure with which we are permitted to love our Neighbours; that is to say, as much as we do ourselves; and I fear you have a larger Share in my Soul, than I ought to allow a Creature. Look out, I beseech you, for a Remedy for this, or rather for an Ex­cuse for it; for as for a Remedy, I believe there is none, and that I must be always, with utmost Passion,


To the Marchioness of Rambouillet; in An­swer to a Letter of Thanks of hers.


THo' my Liberality should, as you tell me, surpass the Bounty of Alexander, it would nevertheless be richly recompens'd, by the Thanks which you have return'd me for it. He himself, as boundless as his Am­bition was, would have confin'd it to so rare a Favour. He would have set more value upon this Honour, than he did on the Persian Diadem; and he would never have envied Achilles the Praise which he received from Homer, if he could but him­self [Page 25] have obtain'd Yours. Thus, Madam, on this Pinacle of Glory on which I stand, if I bear any Envy to his, 'tis not so much to that which he acquir'd himself, as to that which you have bestow'd upon him, and he has received no Honours, which I do not hold Inferior to mine, unless it be that which you did him, when you declar'd him your Gallant. Neither his Vanity, nor the rest of his Flatterers, could ever persuade him to believe any thing that was so advantage­ous to him, and the Quality of Son of Jupitur Hammon, was by much less glorious to him than this. But if any thing comforts me for the Jealousie which it has rais'd in me, 'tis this, Madam, that knowing you as well as I know you, I am very well assur'd, that if you have done him this Honour, 'tis not so much upon the account of his having been the Greatest of Mankind, as of his having been now these two thousand Years no more. However, we here find cause to admire the Greatness of his For­tune, which not being able yet to forsake him so many Years after his Death, has ad­ded to his Conquests a Person that gives them more Lustre than the Daughters and Wife of Darius; and which has gain'd him a Mind more great than the World he Conquer'd. I ought here to be afraid, af­ter [Page 26] your Example of Writing, in too lof­ty a Style: But how can the Writer be too sublime who writes of you, and of Alexan­der? I humbly beseech you, Madam, to believe that I have equal Passion for you, with that which you shew for him; and that the Admiration of your Virtues will oblige me to be always,

yours, &c.

An Imitation of Monsieur de Voiture's Let­ter to Mademoiselle de Rambouillet: Be­ing an Answer to that by which she had in­form'd him, who was then with Monsieur in Exile, that the Academy designed to abo­lish the Particle Car, [For.]

That the Reader may be diverted with this Letter, he is desir'd to suppose, that there is a Club of Wits erected in London, for the Regulation of the Tongue, who have a De­sign to abolish it.


FOR, being of so great Importace in our Tongue as it is, I extreamly ap­prove of the Resentment you shew for the Wrong they design to do it; and I must needs declare, that I expect no good from this Club of Wits, which you mention, since they are resolved to establish them­selves by so great an Oppression: Even at a time like this, when Fortune is acting her Tragedies throughout all Europe. I can behold nothing so deserving of Pity, as when I see they are ready to arraign and to banish a Word, which has so faithfully serv'd this Monarchy; and which, amidst [Page 28] all our English Confusions, has always been of the side of those who were truly English. For my part, I cannot for my Heart com­prehend, what Reason they can alledge a­gainst a Word, whose only Business is to go before Reason, and which has no other Employment than to usher it in. I cannot imagine what Interest can oblige them, to take away that which belongs to for, to give it to Because that; nor why they have a mind, to say with three Syllables, that which they say with three Letters. That which I am afraid of, Madam, is this, That after they have been guilty of this one In­justice, they will not scruple at more; per­haps they may have the Impudence to at­tack But, and who knows if If may be any longer secure. So that, after they have depriv'd us of all those Words, whose bu­siness it is to bring others together, the Wits will reduce us to the Language of Angels; or, if they cannot do that, they will at least oblige us to speak only by Signs: And here I must confess, that your Obser­vation is true, viz. That no Example can more clearly shew us the Instability of Humane Affairs. He who had told me some Years ago, that I should have out­liv'd For, I had thought had promis'd me a longer Life than the Patriarchs. And [Page 29] yet we see that after he has mentain'd him­self for some hundreds of Years, in full Force and Authority, after he has been em­ploy'd in the most important Treaties, and has assisted in the Councils of our Kings with Honour, he is all of a sudden fallen into Disgrace, and threatned with a vio­lent End. I now expect nothing less, than to be terrify'd with lamentable Cries in the Air, declaring to the World, that the Great For is dead: for the Death of the Great Cam, or of the Great Pan, was, in my mind, less important. I know if we con­sult one of the finest Wits of the Age, and one whom I esteem with Passion, he will tell us, that 'tis our Duty to condemn an In­novation like this, that we ought to use the For of our Fathers, as well as their Sun and their Soil, and that we should by no means banish a Word, which was in the Mouths of our Edwards and of our Henries. But you, Madam, are the Person, who are principally oblig'd to undertake his Pro­tection: for since the Supreme Grace, and the Sovereign Beauty of the English Tongue lies in yours, you ought to com­mand here with an absolute Sway, and with a Smile or a Frown, give Life or give Death to Syllables, as uncontroul'd as you do to Men. For this, I believe you [Page 30] have already secur'd it, from the imminent Danger which threatned it, and by vouch­safing it a Place in your Letter, have fix'd it in a Sanctuary and a Mansion of Glory, to which neither Envy nor Time can reach. But here, Madam, I beg leave to assure you, that I could not but be surpriz'd to see how fantastick your Favours are, I could not but think it strange, that you, who without Compassion could see a thou­sand Lovers expire, should not have the Heart to see a Syllable die. If you had but had half the Care of me, which you have shewn of For, I should then have been hap­py in spight of ill Fortune: Then Poverty, Exile, and Grief would scarce have had force to come near me. If you had not deli­ver'd me from these Evils themselves, you had freed me at least from the Sence of them. But at a time that I expected to receive Con­solation from yours, I found that your Kind­ness was only design'd to For, and that his Banishment troubled you more than ours. I must confess, Madam, it is but just, you should undertake his Defence; but you ought to have taken some care of me too, that People might not object to you, That you forsake your Friends for a Word. You make no Answer at all to that which I writ about; you take not the least Notice of [Page 31] that which so much concerns me: In three or four Pages you scarce remember me once; and the Reason of this is For: Be pleased to consider me a little more for the future, and when you undertake the De­fence of the Afflicted, remember that I am of the Number. I shall always make use of him himself to oblige you to grant me this Favour, and to convince you that it is but my Due; For

I am, &c.

To the Duke of Enguien, upon his Taking of Dunkirk.

I Am so far from wondring that you have taken Dunkirk, that I believe you cou'd take the Moon by the Teeth, if you did but once attempt it. Nothing can be im­possible to you: I am only uneasie about what I shall say to your Highness on this Occasion, and am thinking by what extra­ordinary Terms I may bring you to reach my Conceptions of you. Indeed, my Lord, in that Height of Glory, to which you have now attain'd, the Honour of your Eavour is a singular Happiness; but it is a trouble­some thing to us Writers, who are obliged [Page 32] to Congratulate you upon every good Suc­cess, to be perpetually upon the Hunt for Words whose Force may answer your Acti­ons, and to be ev'ry Day inventing of new Panegyricks. If you would but have the Goodness to suffer your self to be beat some­time, or to rise from before some Town, the variety of the Matter might help to support us, and we should find out some fine thing or other to say to you, upon the Inconstancy of Fortune, and the Glory that is gotten by bearing her Malice bravely. But having, from the very first of your Actions, rank'd you equal with Alexander, and finding you rising upon us continually; upon my word, my Lord, we are at a loss what to do, either with you or our selves. Nothing that we can say, can come up to that which you do, and the very Flights of our Fancy flag below you. Eloquence, which Magnifies smallest things, cannot reach the Height of those which you do; no, not by its boldest Figures. And that which is call'd Hyperbole on other occasi­ons, is but a cold way of speaking when it comes to be applyed to you. Indeed it is different to comprehend, how your Highness each Summer has [...] found out means to augment that Glory, which eve­ry Winter seem'd at its full Perfection; [Page 33] and that having begun so greatly, and gone on more greatly, still your last Actions should crown the rest, and be found the most Amazing. For my own part, my Lord, I congratulate your Success, as I am in Duty oblig'd; but I plainly foresee, the very thing that augments your Reputation with us, may prejudice that which you ex­pect from after Ages; and that so many great and important Actions, done in so short a space, may render your Life incre­dible to future Times, and make your Hi­story be thought a Romance by Posterity. Be pleas'd then, my Lord, to set some Bounds to your Victories, if it be only to accommodate your self to the Capacity of Human Reason, and not to go further than Common Belief can follow you. Be con­tented to be quiet and secure, at least for a time, and suffer France, which is eternal­ly alarm'd for your Safety, to enjoy serene­ly, for a few Months, the Glory which you have acquir'd for her. In the mean time, I beseech you to believe, that among so many Millions of Men who admire you, and who continually pray for you, there is not one who does it, with so much Joy, with so much Zeal and Veneration, as I, who am,

My Lord, your Highness's, &c.

To the Duke of Euguien (afterwards the Great Prince of Conde) upon his gaining the Bat­tle of Rocroy.

My Lord,

AT a time that I am so far remov'd from your Highness, that you can­not possibly lay your Commands upon me, I am fully resolv'd to speak freely my Mind to you, which I have so long been oblig'd to disguise, left it should bring me into the same Inconvenience, with those, who be­fore me, have taken the like Liberties with you. But let me tell you, my Lord, you have done too much, to let it pass with­out taking Notice of it; and you are unrea­sonable if you think to behave your self as you do, without being loudly told of it. If you did but know how strangely all Pa­ris talks of you, I am very confident that you would be asham'd of it; and you could not without Confusion hear, with how little Respect, and how little Fear of Displeasing you, all the World presumes to discourse of what you have done. I must confess, my Lord, I wonder what you could mean: You have shewn your self Bold with a Vengeance, and Violent to the last Degree, in putting such an Affront up­on [Page 35] two or three old Captains, whom you ought to have respected, if it had been only for their Antiquity: In Killing the poor Count de la Fountaine, who was the very best Man in the Low-Countries; in Ta­king sixteen Pieces of Cannon, the proper Goods of the King's Unkle, and the Queen's own Brother; and in Confounding the Spanish Troops, after they had shewn so much Goodness in letting you Pass. I heard indeed, you are obstinate as a Devil, and that it was not to much purpose to dispute a­bout any thing with you: But yet I never thought, that your Heat wou'd have tran­sported you so far. If you go on at the rate you have begun, you will shortly grow Intollerable, I assure you, to all Eu­rope, and neither the Emperor nor the King of Spain will either of them be able to en­dure you. But now, my Lord, laying the Man of Conscience aside, and resuming the Man of State: I felicitate your High­ness for the Victory I hear you have gain'd, the most compleat, and the most important, which has happen'd in our Age. France, which you have shelter'd from all the Storms that it dreaded, is amaz'd to see that you have begun your Life with an Acti­on, with which Caesar would gladly have crown'd his own, and which alone, re­flects [Page 36] more Lustre upon the Kings your Progenitors, than all theirs have transfer­red to you. Well, my Lord, you have verified what has been formerly said, That Virtue comes to the Caesars preventing Time: For you, who are a true Caesar, both in Wit and in Knowledge; Caesar in Dili­gence and in Vigilance; in Courage Caesar, and per omnes Casus Casar; you have out­run the Hopes, and surpass'd the Expecta­tion of Men; you have clearly shewn that Experience is necessary to none but ordi­nary Souls; that the Virtue of Heroes comes by a more compendious way, and that the Works of Heaven are finish'd when but begun. After this I leave you to judge, how you are like to be receiv'd and car­ress'd by the Lords of the Court, and with what Pleasure the Ladies heard, that he whom they had seen Triumphant in Balls, had been Victorious in Armies; and that the finest Head of all France, was likewise the best and the strongest. There is not a Man ev'n to Mounsieur Beaumont, who does not declaim in your Praise. They who had revolted against you, are now re­duced; and they who complain'd that you were always Laughing, have been forced to confess, that you have shown your self now in good Earnest; and ev'ry one's a­fraid [Page 37] of being of the Number of your E­nemies, since you have defeated such Mul­titudes of them. Pardon, O Caesar, the Li­berty which I have taken; receive the Praise that is due to you; and permit us to render to Caesar, that which is due to Cae­sar.

To Monsieur de Balzac.


IF it be true that I have always kept the Rank, which you tell me I have held in your Memory: Methinks you have shewn but an indifferent Concern for my Satisfaction, in delaying so long to impart the pleasing News to me, and in suffering me so long to be the happiest of Men, without dreaming I was so. But perhaps you were of opinion, that this very good Fortune, was so infinitely above any thing that I could in reason hope for, that it was necessary you should take time to invent Arguments, which might render it credi­ble, and that you had an occasion to em­ploy all the Power of Rhetorick to perswade me, that you had not forgot me. And thus far at least I must needs confess, that [Page 38] you have been very Just, that resolving to let me have nothing but Words for all the Affection you owe me, the Choice which you have made of them, has been so rich, and so beautiful, that, let me die, if I be­lieve the thing they assure me of would be of greater Value: This, at least, I'm sure of, that they would suffice to Counterballance any Friendship but mine. I am only discon­tented at one thing, and that is, that so much Artifice and so much Eloquence, should not be able to Disguise the Truth from me; and that in this, I should resem­ble your own Shepherdesses, who are too silly to be beguiled by a Man of Wit. But indeed, you must excuse me if I am some­thing inclin'd to suspect an Art, which could invent Commendations for a Quar­tan Ague, and an Art which you have at more command than ever Man had before you. All those Graces, and that Air of the Court, which I so much admire in yours, convince me rather of the Excellence of your Wit, than of the Goodness of your Will. And from all the fine things which you have said in my Favour, all that I can conclude, ev'n when I am inclin'd to flatter my self, is, That Fortune has been pleas'd to give me a place in your Dreams: Nay, I know not if the very Extravagancies of a Soul so [Page 39] exalted as yours, are not too serious, and too reasonable, to descend so low as to me. And I shall esteem my self too obligingly us'd by you, if you have but so much as dreamt that you Love me. For to ima­gine, that you have reserv'd a Place for me amidst those sublime Thoughts, which are, at present, employed, in Recompensing the Virtues of all the World, and Distributing Shares of Glory to Mankind; to imagine this, would be extream Presumption in me. I have too great an Opinion of your Under­standing, to believe that you could be guil­ty of any thing that is so much below you; and I should be unwilling, that your Ene­mies should have that to object to you. I am perfectly satisfied, that the only Af­fection which you can have justly for any one, is that which you owe to your self; and that Precept of Studying One's self, which is a Lesson of Humility to all besides you, ought to have a contrary Effect in relation to you, and oblige you to contemn, whatever you find without you. And there­fore here let me swear to you, That with­out pretending to any Share in your Affecti­on, I should have been very well satisfi­ed, if you had preserv'd, with never so lit­tle Care, the Friendship which I have vow­ed eternally to have for you, and to have [Page 40] placed it, if not amongst the things which you value, at least amongst those which you are not forward to lose. But in leaving me here with that lovely Rival, of whom you made mention of in yours, you have shewn, let me tell you, too little Jealousie, and you have suffer'd her to gain so much Ad­vantage of you, that I have reason to su­spect that you have conspir'd with her, to do me a Mischief. And therefore I have more reason than you to complain, that she has enrich'd your self by your Losses, and that you have suffer'd her to get into her Power, that which I thought to have secur'd from her Tyranny, by entrusting it in your Hands. If you had been wil­ling to have made never so little Defence, the better part of my self, had yet been our own; but you, by your Negligence, have suffer'd her to surprize it; and to ad­vance her Conquest at such a rate over me, that tho' I shou'd surrender to you, all that remains of me, you wou'd not have so much as one half of that which you have lost. Nevertheless, let me assure you, That you have gain'd, in my Esteem, as much as you have lost in my Affection; and that at the very time that I was beginning to Love you less, I was forced to Honour you more. I have seen nothing of yours since your [Page 41] Departure, which does not go beyond all that you had done before: And by your last Works, you have the Honour of Excel­ling him who surpass'd all others. It can­not therefore but appear strange, that when you have so much reason to be contented, you should yet be complaining, and that you your self should be the only great Man who remains dissatisfied with you. At present all France is listening to you, and you are indifferent to no Man, who has but learnt to Read. All who are concern'd for the Honour of their Country, are not more inquisitive after what the Mareschal de Crequi is doing, than they are after what is doing by you. And you are the Person who can make more Noise in your Solitude, than the most Happy and most Renown'd of our Generals, at the Head of forty Thousand Men. Can you wonder then, that with so much Glory, you should be obnoxious to Envy; and that the very same Judges with whom Scipio was Criminal, and who condemn'd Aristides and Socrates, should not unanimously do Justice to your Desert? The People can plead Prescription for hating the very Qualities which they admire in any one. Every thing which transcends 'em, they think affronts 'em; and they can better bear with a common [Page 42] Vice, than an extraordinary Virtue. So that if that Law was in force amongst us, of Banishing the most Powerful for Autho­rity or Reputation, I make no doubt, but that you would stand the Mark of the Pub­lick Envy: and I believe ev'n Cardinal Richlieu would not run greater Hazard. But, for God sake, have a care of calling that your Misfortune, which is but that of the Age: And complain no more of the Injustice of Men, since all, who have Worth, are of your side; and that amongst them, you have found a Friend, whom yet, per­haps, you may lose once more: At least, I shall do my utmost to put you into a con­dition of doing so. For every Man's Dar­ling Vanity, at present, is to be accounted yours. For my own part, I have always in so publick a manner profess'd my self so, that if thro' ill Fortune I should not be able to Love you so much as I have done, yet here let me swear to you, That you shall be the only Man to whom I will dare to de­clare it; and that I will always own my self to the rest of the World, to be as much as ever,

Yours, &c.

To the Marquess of Pisani, who had lost all his Money and his Baggage, at the Siege of Thionville.

The Character of the Marquess of Pisani, was a Man of Honour, Generosity, and Cou­rage; but an Extravagant, Ignorant, Ob­stinate, Disputing Gamester.


THe Man would be to blame, or I have been very much misinform'd, who should upbraid you with having had the Mules to keep, at your Camp of Thionville: The Devil a Mule have you kept there, Sir. They tell me, that upon the weighty Consideration, that several Ar­mies have been formerly lost by their Bag­gage; you have made all possible haste to be disencumber'd of yours. And that ha­ving often read in the Roman Histories, (this it is to be such a Man of Reading, look you) that the greatest Exploits that were done by their Cavalry, were done on Foot, after having voluntarily dismounted in the Extreamity of the most doubtful Bat­tles, you took a Resolution to dispatch away all your Horses, and have manag'd Matters so swingingly, that you have not so much [Page 44] as one left. And now, the important Per­son stands on his own Legs.

Perhaps, you may receive some small In­convenience from this: But let me die, if it be not much for your Honour, that you, as well as Bias, honest old Bias, I war­rent you know him so wonderous well, should be able to say, that you carry all that is yours about you. No great quantity I must confess of Foppish Accoutrements, nor a long Train of Led-horses, nor abun­dance of that which they call the Ready; but Probity, Generosity, Magnanimity, Constancy in Dangers, Obstinacy in Di­sputes; a Contempt of all Foreign Langua­ges, Ignorance of False Dice, and a sur­prising Tranquillity upon the Loss of Tran­sitory Things: Qualities, Sir, which are properly and essentially yours; and of which neither Time nor Fortune can ever deprive you. Now as Euripides, who was, as you know, or as you know not, one of the gravest Authors of Greece, writes in one of his Tragedies, that Money was one of the Evils, and one of the most pernicious ones, that slew from Pandora's Box; I ad­mire, as a Divine Quality in you, the In­compatibility which you shew for it, and look upon it to be a distinguishing Mark of a Great and Extraordinary Soul, that [Page 45] you are Uneasie till you are rid of this Cor­rupter of Reason, this Pois'ner of Souls, this Author of so much Disorder, of so much Injustice, and of so many Violences. Yet, I could heartily wish, that your Vir­tue were not arriv'd at such an extraordina­ry Pitch, and that you could be brought to some Accommodation with this Enemy of Human Kind, and that you might be per­suaded to make Peace with it, as we do with the Great Turk, for Politick Reasons, and the Advantage of Commerce. Now upon Consideration, that it is a difficult matter to be much at one's Ease without it, and fancying that as I play'd for you at Nar­bonne, you threw for me at Thionville; and that it is perhaps in my Name, that you have pack'd off your Baggage, I here send you a hundred Pistols at present in part of Payment; and, that these may not meet with the same Fate which befel their Pre­decessors, I desire you not to defile your Hands with them, but to deliver them to the French Gentlemen who are with you, for whose sake I chiefly remit them.

I am, &c.
The End of Mr. Dennis's Translation.

To Mademoiselle de Burbon, A Relation of the Author's being toss'd in a Blanket.


LAst Friday in the Afternoon I was toss'd in a Blanket; because I had not made you Laugh in the time that was given me: Madam de Rambouillet pronounc'd the Sen­tence, at the Request of her Daughter, and Mademoiselle Paulet. They had deferr'd the Execution to the return of the Princess, and your self; but they bethought them­selves afterwards, not to delay it any longer; and that it was very improper to put off Punishment to a time, which ought to be wholly devoted to Pleasure. 'Twas in vain to cry out, and make Resistance, the Blanket was brought, and four of the lustiest Fellows they cou'd get, were pick'd out for this Ser­vice. I may venture to affirm to you, Ma­dam, that no Man was ever yet in so ex­alted a Condition as I was, and I did not believe that Fortune wou'd ever have rai­sed me so high; at every Toss they threw [Page 47] me out of sight, and sent me higher than a soaring Eagle. I saw the Mountains crouch­ing far below me, the Winds and Clouds travel beneath my Feet, discover'd Coun­tries that I n'ver had seen, and Seas I n'ver had thought of. There can be nothing more diverting, than to see so many things all at once, and to discover half the Globe at one View. But I assure you, Madam, all this cannot be seen without some Distur­bance; when one is in the Air, and certain of falling down again, that which fright­ned me the most was, That, when I was very high, looking downwards, the Blanket ap­pear'd so small that I thought it impossible to fall into it; and that I confess was some trouble to me: But, among so many diffe­rent Objects, which at the same time struck my Sight, there was one which for some Moments took away my Fear, and touch'd me with real Pleasure: It is this, Madam, Being desirous to look towards Piedmont to see what pass'd there, I saw you at Lyons, as you cross'd the Saone; at least, I saw a great Light upon the Water, and abundance of Rays about the most charming Face in the World: I cou'd not well discern who was with you, because at that time my Head was lower-most; and I believe you did not see me, for you look'd another way; I [Page 48] made Signs to you as well as I could: but as you began to look up, I fell down again, and one of the Tops of the Mountain Tarara hindred you from seeing me: As soon as I came down, I told 'em that I had seen you, and, as I was going to tell 'em how you did, they all fell a Laughing as if 'twere a thing impossible, and immediately began to make me leap higher than before. There happen'd to me a very strange Acci­dent, which will seem incredible to those who have not seen it: One time when they had toss'd me to a very great height, in com­ing down, I found my self in a Cloud, which being very thick, and I extremely light, I was a great while intangled in it, before I could fall down again; so that they stayed a long time below, spreading the Blanket and looking up without being able to ima­gine what was become of me. By good Luck there was no Wind stirring, for if there had, the Cloud in marching would have carried me of one side or t'other, and so I must have inevitably fallen to the Ground, which could not have happen'd without hurting me very much. But a more dangerous Accident succeeded this, the last time they threw me into the Air, I found my self amongst a Flock of Cranes, who at first were mightily surprized to see [Page 49] me so high; but when they came near me, they took me for a Pigmy, with whom, you know Madam, they have perpetual War, and thought I came to 'em as a Spy into the middle Region; immediately they fell upon me with great STrokes of their Beaks, and with such Violence, that I imagin'd my self struck with a hundred Daggers. And one of them, that had taken me by the Leg, pursu'd me so furiously, that she did not leave me till I was in the Blanket. This made my Tormentors afraid to send me back to the Mercy of my Enemies; who were now got together in great numbers, and hover'd in the Air expecting me again. At last they carried me home again in the same Blanket, but so dispirited as never Man was: To tell you the truth, this Exer­cise is a little too violent for one of my tender Constitution. I leave it to you, Madam, to judge how cruelly I have been dealt with, and for how many Reasons you are obliged to condemn this Action; and to deal plainly with you, you that are born with so many commanding Qualities, should think it of the highest Consequence to begin betimes to hate Injustice, and to take those that are oppress'd into your Protection: I beseech you then, Madam, in the first place, to declare this an Outrage you by no [Page 50] means approve; and for Reparation of my Honour, and my Strength, to order a great Canopy of Gause, to be set up for me in the blew Chamber of the House of Rambou­illet, where I shall be waited on, and mag­nificently entertain'd for a whole Week, by the two Ladies who were the cause of this Misfortune; that at one Corner of the Room they shall be continually making Sweet-meats; one of 'em shall blow the Fire, and t'other shall do nothing else but put Syrrup upon Plates to cool, and bring it me as often as I have occasion. Thus, Madam, you will do a deed of Justice, worthy of so great and beautiful a Princess, and I shall be obliged to be with the utmost Sincerity and Respect,

To Madam de Rambouillet.


How threatning soever your Letter be, I could not chuse but admire its Beau­ty, and wonder how you could joyn the obli­ging and the terrible Stile with so much Arti­fice together. You make me think of the [Page 51] Gold and Azure we find on the Skins of our Snakes, you do as it were enamel the sharpest Reflections, with the liveliest Colours of Eloquence; and, in reading them, I cannot forbear to be pleased with those very things which most affright me. You soon began to be as good as your Word, when you told me that you would no longer smile, then For­tune frown'd on me: In the same Minute she seems to have granted me a little Repose, you begin to disquiet me, and shew me, that tho' I have escaped the Dangers of the Seas and Pyrates, I am not yet in Safety, and that you are more dreadful than they. I could not have thought, Madam, that for having refused a Quarrel with your Dwarf, I should have contracted one with yourself, nor that I should be obliged to answer a Challenge, because I did a Complement: If you think I fail'd in that, you ought rather to call it Respect and Fear, than Contempt; and believe that the same Creature who dif­arm'd Monsieur de M—of his Sword, made my Pen fall from my Hand. Altho' he might have some Reason to complain, yet you had none to take his part against me; and if you wish me Ill for his sake, I may justly say you quarrel with me on the least Occasion in the World.

If you are resolved to persecute me, all [Page 52] the Excuses I can alledge will signifie no­thing; and I can only wonder you take so much Pains to find a Pretence for it. It will be no Advantage to me, to have come so far thro' so many Dangers; I shall find Algiers, where-ever you are; and tho' I am in Brussels, yet I was never so near Cap­tivity, or being Shipwrack'd. However, don't perswade your self, Madam, that the Flames of those Animals wherewith you threaten me, can make me afraid. I have long since learnt to defend my self from those sorts of Mischiefs; and whatever you can say, I am more apprehensive of Death from you Eyes, than your Hands. Among all the Passages of your Letter, which seems to me admirable in all its parts, I take par­ticular notice of what you say, how great a pleasure it wou'd have been to you, if I had been taken by the Pyrates; I can't but attri­bute it to your extraordinary Goodness, that you cou'd wish I had been two or three Years chain'd to an Oar in the Turkish Gallies, that somy Voyage might have been more diversi­fied. 'Twas an ingenious Curiosity, to desire to know how I could look after and dress the Camels of Barbary, and with what un­shaken Constancy I could bear Bastinado's! After the rate you talk, I suppose you would have been glad, if I had been empal'd [Page 53] for half an Hour, to have satisfied you how it felt, and what I thought of it: But that which is yet more considerable, these kind Wishes, you say, you bestow'd upon me, after you had reassum'd the mild Form of Woman, and were somewhat appeas'd, and become more Humane; neither can I any more reconcile to Justice the Quarrel you would pick with me about Alcidalis: Judge, Madam, if being embark'd in the same Seas with him, and in the same Dangers, I could forget those Perils which I suffered, to recount those he had gone through; and while I lay under my own Misfortunes, if I could amuse my self to write a History of his? Notwithstanding I did not omit it in the midst of my Troubles, I writ above a hundred Sheets of his History, and took a particular Care of his Life, at a time when I can swear to you, I had none of my own. But don't thence, Madam, make an Estimate of the Care I take to please my Friends. After I have render'd you all the imaginable Services I can, those Shadows can only shew you the least part of the Passion I have for your Concerns. If you would know that, consider it rather in the Cause than in the Effects. But your Imagi­nation, how lively and wonderful soever it is, falls short of that; and if there is any [Page 54] thing in the whole World greater then your Soul, and which is beyond its Compre­hension, it is the Respect, Affection, and Esteem it has bred in mine. Being no less sensible to acknowledge the Obliga­tions I owe to other excellent Persons, you'll think that the Letter I receiv'd at the same time with yours, brought me an infi­nite Satisfaction, as well as an extreme Ho­nour. You knew better than any other, the Inclination and Respect I have always had for the Merits of the Person who writ it, and you may remember in the time of the Civil Wars between you two, I have sometimes left your part to take his. But this last Goodness of his has gained some­thing afresh in my Heart; and since I have receiv'd it, pardon me, if you please, that I have esteem'd him for some Moments above any other Person in the World: But that you may not think, Madam, that it is you who have procured me all the Favours I receive from him, I assure you that on another Oc­casion very lately he has done me a piece of Service, without your being privy to it: Altho' it is none of those I take the most Pleasure in receiving, and it has given me a new Subject of reflecting on my ill For­tune, yet I esteem it a great Honour to owe Obligations to him, which I should be a­shamed [Page 55] to do to any other, and I am glad to receive any Marks of his Gene­rosity. He'll swear, when you speak to him of it, he knows not what you mean; and methinks I now see him telling you so: but you know his Humour and Tem­per, never to forget to do a good Action, and never to remember it when it is done. Since the Honour of your Esteem for me, has been the first Motive to establish me in his Favour, I humbly beg, Madam, your Assistance to return him those Thanks I owe him, and that way to pay him at least as far as I can at present. I a thousand times kiss the Feet of that incomparable Per­son who was pleased to write with her own Hand the Superscription of the Letter you sent me, and with four or five Words, render that Present inestimable, which was ex­traordinary precious before. You have a great deal of Reason to call her the most charming and agreeable Person in the World, who can relieve the Distressed at such a Distance. I with that she, who so well knows how to manage it, may once have all the Happiness due to so much Good­ness, Beauty and Vertue together, tho' I know this Wish is very Extensive. I hear that the Lady, which I used to call the Morning-Star, is become Greater and more Admirable [Page 56] than ever, and that it at the same time enlightens and burns all France; although its beams scarce reach the dark Shades where we live, yet its Reputation does, and as far as I can understand, the Sun is not so bright as it. I am glad the Intelligence that animates it, has lost nothing of its Force and Light, and that there is nothing but the Soul of Madamoiselle de Bourbon, that can make us doubt, whether her Beauty is not the most perfect thing in the World. The manner, as I have seen in one of your Letters, she condoles me in, appears admira­bly fine: indeed so many Crosses I have met with, ought to stir up Pity in her; in her, I say, who is so well acquainted with my Weakness, and who knows that from my Cradle, I have not had one Day of Repose. It has been disturbed at the Postscript of your Letter addressed to King Chiquito. In the Hell of Anastarax I found mine; and there I wandered three Nights and Days, without seeing a jot of any thing. I am very sorry for it, for I desired above any thing in the World to have the Comb of King Georgia; I have had a mind to it above these two Years. But since you pretend to so much Guessing, Imagine if you please, Madam, all I would farther say, if I durst make my Letter longer. Guess how much more I ho­nour [Page 57] and esteem, you than I did two Years ago; and think with how much Passion I am,

Yours, &c.

To the Cardinal de la Valette.

My Lord,

I Am apt to believe, when you writ me the Letter, you were pleased to Hon­our me with, that you thought the E­steem I have always had for you, has acqui­red you some Reputation in the World: That on all Occasions, I had given you infi­nite Testimonies of the Honor of my Friend­ship, and had for that reason lent you two thousand Crowns on an extraordinary Oc­casion; and that at such a Time when all your Credit fail'd you else-where; at such a Juncture too, that otherwise your Reputation must have for ever sunk. At least, after the rate you return your Thanks, and speak of your self, and me, I have reason to believe, that in a Dream, you have mistook the one for the other, and put your self in my Place. Otherwise, my Lord, you would not write [Page 58] after that manner you do, unless, perhaps you are of Opinion, that there is no grea­ter Good in the World than to do so to o­thers, and think those oblige you, who give you an Opportunity of obliging them, and imagine you receive the Pleasures you give: Certainly if it be so, there is no Man in the World, to whom you are more ob­liged than to me; and I deserve all the Thanks you give me, since I have given you more Occasions than any one else of ex­ercising your Generosity, and doing Acti­ons of Goodness, which without doubt, are worth more than all the Good you have done me, or all that you have remaining. Among the great Number of those I have received from you, and among so many Fa­vours you have been pleased to bestow up­on me, I assure you, my Lord, there are none I Esteem so much as the Letter, you have done me the Honour to Write to me; and if among so many Things which af­fected me with Joy, there is any one Thing that did so above the rest, I must needs beg your leave to tell you, it is that, where you mention the two Persons, who deserve all the Respect we can pay them, and to whom, if we compare them not one to the other, there is nothing under the whole Heaven, they can be compared to. When [Page 59] I think that I am in their Memory, for that Moment my Pains cease; and when­soever, I represent to my self the Image of either the one or the other, the very Face of my Fortune seems to be changed, and that Imagination chaces from my Spi­rit, the Darkness which oppresses it, and fills it with Light: But that which is still a greater Happiness, is, tho' I am so far from ever having deserved the Honour of their Favour, yet I flatter my self that I have some share in it; and I am so happy as to believe what you tell me concerning it. I know one, my Lord, who would not be so easie to be perswaded, if he were in my place, and who after two Years Separa­tion could not live in so much Tranquillity, nor with so great Assurance. In the Sa­tisfaction which that Belief gives me, be pleased to judge if I am much to be la­mented, and if there are not many whom the World calls Happy, that are not so much as I: Without this I could not defend my self from the general Sorrow which is here on all sides, nor resist the Melancholy of Monsieur de C—, whom I am forced every Day to contend with, and who is in Truth much above what is commonly imagined of him. Besides his Fancy he has taken to let his Beard grow, which [Page 60] already reaches down to his Middle, he affects a Tone more severe than ever, and which comes very near the sound of Astol­phus's Horn: Unless he were to treat of the Immortality of the Soul, or of the Su­preme Good, and the most Important Questions of Moral Philosophy, he could not Bawl lowder. If Democritus should come again, though he was never so great a Philosopher, he would not bear with him, because he was addicted to Laughing; he has undertaken to reform the Doctrine of Zeno, as too soft; and is going about to make the Stoicks turn Capuchins. So that, my Lord, you don't desire any Advantage to that People, whose Governour—you wish him to be.

To a young Lady, Maid of Honour to his Royal Highness's Daughter.


HAving been ever sensible of the Pow­er of your Eloquence, assist me, I beseech you, in returning my Acknow­ledgements to the fairest, and most gene­rous Princess of the World: For, I swear, I have been Opprest with her Bounties, and must declare, that there is not any thing under Heaven, so Lovely, and so Charm­ing, as the Mistress whom you serve; I had almost said whom we serve: And, in­deed what would I not give, that I might thus express it? From the first Moment that I heard her, I presently concluded that there was not in the World so great a Genius as hers; but the Care she has been pleas'd to take of me, above all things ama­zes me, and I can not sufficiently admire, how, among such elevated Thoughts, she can have room for any so trivial; and how a Mind, in all things else so high, can de­scend so low. The Pastils which were presented me this Morning, have had a [Page 62] wonderous Effect upon me, and I can not imagine from whence this Miracle pro­ceeds, unless from a Touch of her Royal Highness's Hand; for I find my self infi­nitely better, by having kist the Paper on­ly that inclosed 'em: This, as long as I live, shall be my Antidote against all sorts of Ills, and there is but one, for which so pleasing a Remedy as this can have no Cure: But lest you should too curiously inquire, what this is I mean, 'tis much bet­ter that I should explain my self, and tell you, that 'tis the Trouble, to have so sel­dom the Sight of her, and to be destin'd to live far from the only Person who de­serves to be Adored; if you reflect upon this, it will appear the greatest of Mis­fortunes; and 'tis very hard to be a Man of Honour, and survive it.

To the Marchioness de Rambouillet, on Absence.


My Lady, your Mother, must excuse me; but never any thing was so tiresom to me as Rome: Not a Day passes, but I see something that's wonderful; Ma­ster-pieces of the greatest Artists that ever were; Gardens where there is an everlast­ing Spring; Buildings that are not to be e­qual'd in the World, and Ruins yet more Beautiful than they: But all this that I tell you hath no power to divert me, and at the same time that I see 'em, I wish my self far from 'em: The most excellent Paintings, Sculptures, and Portraictures of Apelles, Praxiteles de Papardelle have no Charms for me. I shou'd be amazed at this, were I not sensible of the Cause, and did not well know that a Person who has been accustom'd to the sight of you, cou'd never be easie when he did not enjoy it: for to tell you the Truth, Madam, I have the same Sence of you, as of Health; I never so well know your Value, as when I have lost you: and [Page 64] although, when I am near you, I manage not always so well as to maintain my self with you, yet from the Moment that I be­hold you no more, I seek you with a thousand Wishes. I call to mind that you are the most precious of worldly Things, and I find by Experience, that all the Delights of the Earth are harsh and disagreeable without you: I had more Pleasure some time ago in two or three turns of the Ruel with you, than I have had since, in seeing all the Vine-yards of Rome, or that I shou'd have to see the Capitol, though in all its ancient Splendor, with even Jupiter Capitolinus there in Per­son; but that you may know that this is no Raillery, and that I am really as Ill as I express it, 'tis but eight Days since, that walking in the Morning with the Chevalier de Jars, I had fall'n all along if he had not re­ceived me in his Arms; and the next Even­ing I swoon'd once more in the Apartment of the Mareshal de Estree's. The Physicians say that those are melancholy Vapours, and that these Accidents are not to be neglected; as for me, since this has taken me two Days successively, and that I was threatn'd with something worse, I have neither been stupid nor insensible; but have taken some Anti­mony which Monsieur Nerli gave me; [Page 65] this has done me some good, and I'll bring four Doses with me, which I will perswade the Dutchess d'Ainguillon to take; for there is no Volatile Salt which can have so good Effect: and this we must be contented with, till he that hath given me it, shall find the Receipt of the Aurum Potabile, which Se­cret, as he says, he shall attain to in a Year at least. I hope to leave this place in a Week; you will be amaz'd that I can con­tinue so long in a Place which I tell you I have been so tyr'd with; but I have been kept here till now, by some things which I will acquaint you with, and which I have not yet been able to dispatch; but I assure you once more, that I never in my Life was so uneasie and so impatient to see you; I humbly beseech you to do me the Ho­nour to believe me, and to be assur'd that I am much more than I can here express,



To Monsieur Costart.


You will be surprized that I solicite your Assistance in an Affair on t'other side the Mountains; that I beg your Suc­cour against the Romans: It is not the first time as you know, that they have disturbed the Quiet of those that troubled themselves not with them. But I think they were never so unjust to any body as to me; they never gave Hannibal more Vexation than they will me, if you do not help me: Quorsum haec, I'll tell you; They have a­mong them an Academy of Men, that call themselves Humourists, which is as it were fantastical; and indeed, they must be so to take a fancy to admit me into their Number, and to advise me of it by a Letter from one of their Society. I must write him an An­swer of Thanks in Latin; and this 'tis puts me in such pain. But I have been eas'd from the Moment that I thought of you, for this methinks is your true Tallent, and a Man that lives in Poitou, and writes Latin Letters out of Wantonness, can't refuse me one. Their Device is a Sun raising Vapours [Page 67] from the Sea, which falls back again in Rain, with this Motto out of Lucretius, Fluit agmine dulci: Pray try what you can say upon this, and upon the Honour which they have done me, and my want of Merit. Monsieur Pauquet will be sure not to fail us, and he knows more then either you or I: I leave this Matter wholly to you two; for I am no way capable of it, when you can do it if you please.

Me dulcis domine Musa Lycimnie,
Cantus, me voluit dicere lucidum
Fulgentes oculos, & bene mutuis,
Fidum Pectus amoribus.

She has been gone this nine Days: Poor Ly­cimnia! Without Lying, I love her better than my self, but not better than you,

I am, Monsieur, &c.

To Madam—

To acquaint me with your Sufferings, is the way to redouble mine; and I, that have supported my own with so much Patience, doubt whether I shall be able to [Page 68] bear up under yours. But whatever hap­pens, I can't indure too much, since it is for Love of you, and the two Words which you have put in your Billet, out of Rank from the rest; are enough to render any thing sup­portable, and make me cheerfully embrace Martyrdom. I suppose you have no doubt of it, and that you are assur'd of my Reso­lution, since after having warned me of the Mischief you intend me, you expect that I should come and meet you: and that after Dinner, I should voluntarily ap­pear in a place where my Pains are to be encreas'd. These Menaces wou'd terrifie any other but my self, and make a wiser Man than I, provide for his Security: But whatsoever Danger I foresee, it's impossible for me to disobey you: Or having the Ho­nour of knowing you so well as I do, to for­bear being,


To the same.

I Have forgot all that I shou'd say to—to whom you wou'd reconcile me, and I assure you'tis not because I have slept since; I am sorry to have so little Concern for a Per­son so well recommended to me, and that not being able to afford her any room in my Affection, she had no more in my Memory. It's the part of my Soul in which I may with most Justice allow her a place, being that which is most opposite to the Judg­ment, and wherein things past are laid up. But if I say any thing obliging to her after Dinner, she shall not be able to complain that I talk to her by heart; for I find that I'm so much a Stranger to all that I have to say to her, that if you do not quickly relieve me, you shall see that I know no more than you, either the Words or Time: I wish you knew no better that of your departure. For without lying, I have not Courage to endure the bare thought of it, which stifles in me all others. When I think that to Morrow you will be no longer here, I am surpris'd that I am to Day in the World, and I am ready to confess to you that there is some Faction in this Love, which I testifie, when I consider that I yet breathe, [Page 70] and that my Displeasure has not yet finish­ed my Days. Others have lost their Speech and confin'd themselves to inaccessible Solitudes for less Misfortunes than mine. I own that I could not go so far from you, to vent my Grief, but I am methinks to be excused for not seeking a Cell in the Desarts of Aegypt, since I hope for a place in that which you are making. It is this Hope only, which keeps me in the World, and my Life hangs only on this Expectation. I know not whether all that I here say be within the bounds of a passio­nate Friendship, but you cannot accuse me of speaking too intelligibly, since all my words will bear a double Construction; nor complain that I do not write to you in such Terms as you desire, since I never met with the Person that shou'd inform me what those are: So long as some Allowance is made for my Failings, and that I may tell you some part of my thoughts, I swear to you by the same Affection that I did Yesterday, that the only Folly I shall ever be guilty of, shall be always to love the most aimiable Person that ever was, and that I will be content to be hated by you, when ever I offer you my Friendship.

To Diana.


IF you be as sensible of the Uneasiness of not seeing what you love, as I am; if you suffer, during this Absence, any thing like what I endure; What Considerations, charming Diana, could prevail upon you, to be two Days without seeing me? Why do not we rather hazard the other Extremity, than this which our Misfortune reduces us to? Is it reasonable, to hinder four or five People from prating and observingour Satis­faction we should sacrifice it, and to pre­vent a little Noise, endure so much Misery? No, no, my dear Diana, the greatest Mis­fortune that can befal us, is to be separated from one another; I know nothing that we ought so much to fear: Do not think that our Love is a whit the more private, for the pains we take to conceal it; the De­jection which is visible in my Countenance, speaks plainer than any body can do. Let us then lay aside a Discretion which cost us so dear, and give me, after Dinner, an Op­pertunity of seeing you, if you would have me live.

To the President of the Houshold.


MAdam de Marsilly believes that I have some Int'rest in you; and I, who am vain enough to be thought to have it, have not inform'd her to the contrary. She is a Lady esteem'd at Court, and that may in­fluence the Parliament; and if she succeeds in a Cause to be heard before you, believing that I have contributed to her Success, you cannot imagine the Credit it will do me amongst the better part of the World: I can propose nothing to byass you farther than by putting you in mind of my Interest, be­cause you know your own can never engage you. To serve a Friend, and to do Justice, which is all we demand, are things the severest Judges may be solicited for; and I shall be sensible you do 'em both to me, if you continue loving me as much as you have done hitherto, and if you believe that I am


To Monsieur d'Emer, Comptroler General of the King's Revenues.


SInce you won't permit me to mention some of your Letters, pray give me leave to take notice of that you writ to Mon­sieur d' Arses upon my Account, and to tell you, there are very few in France, that can write in such a Manner, particularly where you say that to accommodate my Affair you'll advance a Sum of Money; you must pardon me, if I am of Opinion that to offer twenty thousand Livers to do a Friend a Service, is so gallant a way of Writing, that there are few capable of expressing themselves in such a Stile: Even we of the Academy of the Beaux Esprits, are not able to boast of any Turn of Thought equal to this.

The Abridgment of a Letter to Mon­sieur d'Avaux.

VIs ergo inter nos, quid possit uter (que) vi­tissim, Experiamur: No, I beg your Pardon Sir, Apollo tells me I am overmatch'd, and I am resolv'd to take his Advice; nor am I concern'd that you have so far exceeded me in your last Letter, because there you have even exceeded your self: I must tell you, I am jealous of the very Praises you give me; they are so artful and ingenious, that I shou'd be prouder of being capable of giving, then receiving them; and the very Words wherein you tell me how much I am above others, shew me how much more you de­serve that Compliment; every Line of your Letter is extraordinary, especially the Pi­cture you draw of Madam de Longueville, which is so ravishing, that the sight of the Original cou'd not have transported me more. You say 'tis wonderful, that at a Treaty for Peace, you cannot be safe in Munster, notwithstanding the Pass-ports from the Emperour and the King of Spain; that is, Sir, you cannot be secure in Munster because Madam de Longueville is there. [Page 75] When you upbraid me, that you have had but one Letter from me in a whole Year, and that I cannot hold out to Write twice successively with the same Force, I cannot but acknowledge that even your reprimands are not less obliging than your Praise, ex­cept where you tell me I am fifty Years old, and where you upbraid me with my Spectacles and grey Hairs. Before I make an end of this Letter, I must send you the Compliment of Madam de Sable, and Ma­dam Monthausier: I have shown them both these Passages of your Letter, where you speak of Madam de Longueville; for the rest, fear not that any shall see it, especially that part where you speak of fifty Year old. You must know, that here I am but forty seven, therefore pray let me be no more at Munster. I had alomst forgot to tell you, those Ladies commanded me to say, that if you speak but as well as you write, Madam de Longueville cannot be tedious in any place where you are. They swear there is no Person upon Earth has Wit enough but your self, and I tell them that I have thought the same thing this five and twenty Years; but I must detain you no longer,

Ne me Crispini Scrinia lippi,
Compilasse putes. Verbum non amplius addam.

To Madam—.


THe Letter which you desired to see, is not worth the least Line of that in which you command it; but you, who were Yesterday so devout, do you make no scru­ple to write such Things in the Holy-week, and do you not apprehend the Consequence of 'em, and what Effect they may have? I had set my Conscience at rest, and for that reason had resolved never to see you more. But your Letter has given me a new Disorder; and as well as another, I have suffer'd my self to be overcome by your Pearls, and your four thousand Livers. I could not have thought, that you wou'd ever have made use of such Means, to re­gain a Lover, or that these sort of Things cou'd have had any Power over me: And I assure you, 'tis the first time that I have let my self be dazled with Riches. So to tell you the Truth, the Pearls were never so well set as they are in your Letter; and your four thousand Franks as you have manag'd 'em, are worth more than three hundred thou­sand: [Page 77] You are an incomprehensible Person, and I can not sufficiently Admire, how, without reading Herodotus, and making use of the Saturnalia, you can write such delicate Letters: As for me, Madam, I be­gin to imagine that you have deceiv'd us, I believe you are acquainted with the source of Nilus, and that Spring from whence you draw all these fine Things, which you say, is much more secret and unknown: in fine, whatsoever your Steward says, 'tis not the Marchioness d' Sable, who is the finest Person in the World: you have more Charms in a corner of an Eye, than there is in all the rest of the Earth: Nor have all the Charms of Magick a Power com­parable to those you write.

To Madam—.

YOu may be assur'd that neither Grief nor Love will ever be the Death of any Person, since neither the one nor the other have yet kill'd me; and that having been too Days without the Honour of see­ing you, I have some appearance of Life [Page 78] remaining: If any thing cou'd have made me resolve upon a Distance from you, 'twas the Belief I had that Death wou'd have been the only Consequence, and that so great a Pain as that wou'd not suffer me long to have languished: Notwithstand­ing, I find, beyond all my Hopes, that I last much longer than I imagine; and whatsoever Mortal Wounds I have, I be­lieve, my Soul can not detach its self from my Heart, because it sees your Image there: This is the only Pretence that I find not to tax it with Cowardise, and the only Rea­son that shou'd detain it so long in a Place, where its Sufferings are so great. From that Hour when you saw me, dragg'd by four Horses, and tore in pieces at my Separa­tion from you: I swear to you, that I have not yet dryed my Eyes, and although they can no longer distinguish Colours, or dis­cern the Light, yet will they serve more faithfully than ever, in assisting me to Weep for your Absence: Tormented and Languishing as I am, methinks I am left all alone upon the Earth, or that I have been transported into that corner of the World, where the Sun is not much oftner seen, than Comets here with us, and where the short­est Night is three Months long: But this Misfortune wou'd not be the worst that [Page 79] might befal me, if this present Night of mine lasted no longer; but I doubt if after so long time I shall see the Light again: Judge, I beseech you, to what Extremity I am re­duc'd, that being only at the Entrance of so long and melancholy a Night, I already begin to count the Hours, and every linger­ing Moment with Impatience. Oh! that amidst the Darkness that overwhelms me, there were at least some Intervals of Repose, and that I cou'd sometimes have pleasing Dreams, but whatever my waking Dreams are, they are never so Extravagant as to propose to me any thing agreeable; and my Thoughts are only reasonable in this, that they never promise me any good in this Condition: I believe that I may swear to you, that the most unfortunate Man this Day in the World, is he who Honours you the most; and it were impossible that I cou'd have lived so long, had I not hoped that it would have soon dispatched me: I plainly see that I have but fifteen Days more to de­plore your Absence; and that my Life and my Misfortunes can endure no longer: This Hope alone has made me suffer both, with less Impatience; and I believe you are not displeas'd at it, since all that I ought to hope, you are willing to indulge me; at least I cannot explain the last Words you [Page 80] said to me, more advantageously to my self; and whatsoever way I take it, I cannot see, what better I have ever to expect: nevertheless, you, who are more discerning, and see much farther than I can, I beseech you tell me, if my Passion ought not to have an Event more fortunate than this, and what might have become of me if I had longer surviv'd it.

To Mons. de Chaudebonne.


I Write to you in sight of the Coast of Barbary: There is but a Channel be­tween us of about three Leagues over; tho' it is the Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea together: You would be surprized to see a Man so far off, who takes so little Pleasure in Rambling, and who was in such haste to re­turn to you. But the Advice I receiv'd, that this Season was very improper for Na­vigation, by reason of the great Calms, and that I should find it very difficult to Em­bark before September, has given me at once an Inclination, and Leisure to pursue this [Page 81] Voyage, for I chose rather to suffer the Fa­tigue of Travelling, than the Laziness of Madrid. So that after having seen at Gre­nada all that remains of the Magnificence of the Moorish King's El Alhambra, the Zaccatin, and that famous Place the Vi­varambla, where I had formerly imagin'd so many Tilts and Tournaments, I am just come to the Point of Gibraltar: From whence, as soon as they shall have equipp'd me a Frigot, I hope to pass the Streights, and visit Ceuta, and coming back from thence, to take the Road of Cales, St. Lucar, and Sevil, and so to Lisbon. Hitherto, Sir, I have not repented of this Enterprize, which at this time of the Year has seemed rash to all the World: Andalousia has reconciled me to all the rest of Spain, and having pass'd it in so many other Parts, I should be sor­ry not to have seen it in the only Place where it appears Beautiful. You'll think it strange, that I praise a Country, where it is never Cold, and where the Sugar-canes grow: But in Recompence, I can assure you, they have such Melons, that 'twere worth coming four hundred Leagues to tast them; and that Country, for which a whole Peo­ple wander'd so long in the Wilderness, could not be, in my Opinion, much more delicious than this is. I am attended here by Slaves, who are hansome enough to be [Page 82] my Mistresses, and it is permitted me every­where to gather Palmes without Conquest. This Tree, for which all ancient Greece has fought, which is not to be found in France, but in our Poets, is here no scarcer than the Olive-trees; and there is not an Inhabitant on this side who has not more of them, than all the Caesars. You may behold at one View the Mountains charg'd with Snow, and Vallies cover'd with Fruit. They have Ice in August, and Grapes in January: Summer and Winter here are always mixt together, and when the Year grown old in other Coun­tries, and whitens all the Earth, here it is ever green with Lawrels, Orange-trees and Mir­tles. I confess, Sir, I endeavour to make it seem as beautiful to you as I can; and having complained to you formerly of the Ill I have met with in Spain, if I do not retract what I have said, I think I am oblig'd, at least, to re­present to the best Advantage, whatever I find that's Good in it: In the mean time you'll wonder, that a Man so much a Liber­tine as I am, should be in haste to quit all this, to go and find his Master. But I'll swear ours is such a One, that there can be no Pleasure, that ought to be preferred to the Honour and Satisfaction of Serving him. Liberty, which is esteemed the most charm­ing Thing in Nature, is not so desirable as his Highness: You know how little I am [Page 83] inclined to Flattery; and one of the most remarkable Qualities which distinguishes my Lord, is that he cannot suffer it. But it must be acknowledged, that besides the eminent Virtues which are owing to the Greatness of his Birth; his Affability, his good Nature, the Beauty and Vivacity of his Ingenuity, the Pleasure he takes in hearing witty Things, and the Grace with which he speaks them himself, are Qualities which can hardly be found any where to that degree, as they appear in him; and if it were only to see something extraor­dinary, that I ramble about the World, what need I give myself the trouble to go so far, when I should do much better to keep near his Person. I examine every thing I see with more Curiosity than I naturally have, that when the time serves I may give a sa­tisfactory Account to his Highness: And I am well assur'd, that when I shall have once had the Honour to discourse with him about these Matters, he will know'em ever af­ter better than I do. The prodigious Me­mory of this Prince, has been a mighty Com­fort to me during my Absence; for having had the Honour to be in it some time ago, I don't question but I have a place there still, because I can hardly imagine, that I am so unfortunate as to be the only thing he ever [Page 84] forgot. His Highness, who never forgot a Tribune nor an Aedile, nor even a Le­gionary Soldier, who has once been na­med in History, will not, I believe, for­get one of his humble Servants; and the whole Globe being in his Imagination bet­ter represented than in any Map of the World, let me go never so far, I need not fear for that to go out of the Honour of his Remembrance. Nevertheless, I hum­bly intreat you, Sir, (you who with so much Goodness, procure me all sorts of Honours and Advantages) to find an opportunity to tell my Lord, how much I desire to have the Honour to kiss his Hand; and the Prayers I make continually for a Life of so great Consequence to all Mankind. If af­ter this I desire any thing more of you, 'tis only that you would be pleased to take care that time shall diminish no part of what you have so liberally given me in your Af­fection: But see, how far the Excess of mine has carried me, that it makes me doubt the most generous Man a live. You who know, Sir, that in all those that love much, there are always some Motions that are not conformable to Reason, pardon, [...] beseech you, this Fear, and consider that [...] am excuseable, being with so much Passion.

Yours, &c.

To my Lady Abbess, to thank her for the Cat which she sent him.


I Was so perfectly yours before, that I imagin'd you ought to have believ'd there was no need of Presents to secure me to you, nor that you shou'd have contriv'd to catch me like a Rat, with a Cat. How­ever, I must needs own, that your Libe­rality has created in me some new Affe­ction for you; and if there had been yet any thing in my Soul that was stragling from your Service, the Cat you sent me has caught it, and now it is intirely your own. 'Tis certainly the most beautiful and jolliest Cat that e're was seen: The greatest Beau-cat of Spain, is but a dirty Puss com­par'd to him; and Rominagrobis himself, who you know, Madam, is Prince of the Cats, has no better a Mein, nor can better smell out his Interest. I can only say, that 'tis very hard to keep him in, and that of a Cat brought up in Religion, he is the most uneasie to be confin'd to a Cloyster. He can never see a Window open, but immediately [Page 86] he is for jumping out of it; he had e're this leap'd twenty times over the Walls, had he not been prevented; and there is no Secular Cat in Christendom that is more a Libertine, or more head-strong than he. I am in hopes, however, that I shall perswade him to stay by the kind Entertainment I give him; for I treat him with nothing but good Cheese and Naples-Biskets; and perhaps (Madam) he was not so well treated by you: For I fancy the Ladies of—don't suffer their Cats to go into their Cupboards, and that the Austerity of the Convent won't afford 'em such good Chear. He begins to grow tame already; Yesterday I thought verily he had torn off one of my Hands in his wanton Addresses. 'Tis doubtless, one of the most playful Creatures in the World; there's neither Man, Woman nor Child, in my Lodging, that wears not some Mark of his Favour. But however lovely he is in his own Person, it shall always be for your sake that I esteem him; and I shall love him so well, for the Love I have for you, that I hope to give occasion to alter the Proverb, and that hereafter it shall be said, Who Loves me, Loves my Cat. If be­sides this Present you will give me the Ra­ven that you promis'd me; and if you will [Page 87] send me an Elephant in a Hand-basket one of these Days, you may as proudly say that you have given me all the sorts of Beasts that I love, and ev'ry way oblig'd me to be, all the Days of my Life,

Yours, &c.

A Comical Letter, out of the famous Monsieur de Colletier, to Mada­moiselle de Choux.


DId you ever see an Almanack in your Life? You'll say this is an odd Que­stion. I'll give you the Reason then, why I ask'd it: There's an odd sort of a Fellow usually pictur'd in it, Madam, with the Devil knows how many Darts in his Body. And what of him? cry you. Why Madam, he's only a Type of your humble Servant, for that Son of a Whore Cupid has so pink'd me all over with his confounded Arrows, that, by my Troth, I look like—let me think, like what;—like your Ladiship's [Page 88] Pin-cushion. But this is not all: Your Eyes had like to have proved more fatal to me than Cupid and all his Roguery: for, Madam, while I was Star-gazing t'other Night at your Window, full of Fire and Flame (as we Lovers use to be) I dropt plumb into your Fish-pond, by the same Token, that I hiss'd like a red-hot Horse­shooe flung into a Smith's Trough. 'Twas a hundred Pound to a Penny, but I had been drown'd, for those that came to my Assist­ance, left me to shift for my self, while they sorambled for boil'd Fish, that were as plentiful as Herrings at Roterdam. Some of my Fellow-sufferers I caught, of which I intend to make an Offering to your Ladi­ship, as well as of, Madam,

Your most devoted Slave, COLLETIER.
The End of the first Part of Voiture's Letters.

Twelve Select EPISTLES, OUT OF ARIST AENETVS, Epist. 2. Lib. 1.

Translated from the GREEK.

I Was a singing to my self one of the newest Songs last Evening in the Pi­azza, when a very merry Adventure befel me: Two pretty young Ladies in the bloom of their Youth, and inferiour to the Graces in nothing but their Num­ber, came up to me, and the Elder of them, with a Look that had nothing of the Air of a Coquette in it, was pleas'd to greet me af­ter the following manner:

[Page 90] Whatever you may think of the matter, Sir, you have made two Conquests to Night by your Voice: Love has found a way to our Souls thro' our Ears; we are both subdu'd by your Harmony, and have had a long Debate with our selves, for which of us you intended this Entertain­ment. My own Vanity made me be­lieve it was meant for me; my Companion here is as positive that the Compliment was designed for her. Thus not being able to decide the Controversie among ourselves, which had like to have engaged us in a Civil War, we both agreed to have it de­termined by yourself.

Why faith, Ladies, reply'd I, to them, you are both of you very Handsome; but the Duce take me if I am in love with ei­ther of you: therefore I wou'd advise you, as a Friend and a Plain-dealer, not to qua­rel about such an insignificant Fellow as I am, but to let all Acts of Hostility cease, and live like good Neighbours together: Not but that I believe I cou'd be heartily in Love with both, or either of you at any other time, but at present my Heart is engaged else-where; and I am confident you have more Generosity and Justice than to usurp the Property of another, or to take up with the Leavings of Love.

[Page 91] Oh! cry'd they, this is a downright Sham. There is not one handsome Woman in this Quarter of the Town, yet you pretend to be in Love; 'tis plain we have caught you in a Story, therefore you shall swear that you love neither of us.

I cou'd not but laugh at the Proposal: Why, Ladies, said I, every thing I have is at your Service; but I have a tender Con­science, and wou'd not willingly be perjur'd.

That is as we would have it, said one of 'em; we knew the Truth wou'd come out one way or other, therefore resolve to come along with us, for we won't lose so fair an Opportunity. With that both the Damosels fell a tugging and hawling me forward; they pluckt one way, and I pluckt another; but you know the Proverb, Two to one is odds at Foot-ball; so I was forc'd to submit to my Destiny, and go along with 'em whither they were pleas'd to lead me. So far the Story may be read or heard by all the World, but what follows is a Secret: In short, not to set your Mouth a Watering with a Description of every Particular, I was carried to a Room, where we made an extemporary Bed with Chairs and Stools; so ingenious is Love when it is put to its Shifts. The two good natur'd Nymphs were not disappointed; and your [Page 92] humble Servant went off well satisfied with his good Fortune.

Glycera to Philinna.

Out of the same, Epist. 3. Lib. 2.

SOme ill Demon certainly ow'd me a Spite, (by the same Token he more than got out of my Debt) when I was prevailed upon to marry this dull Flegma­tick Lawyer of mine; for I'll tell you after what a horrid rate he uses me: Every Night, when other Husbands, as in Duty bound, solace their poor Wives a Bed, my Man of Law sits up, pretending he has a Con­veyance to draw for my Lord—and then, says he, I'm to make a Speech in the Court to Morrow for my Client Sir John—and if I have it not by heart, there will be the Devil and all to do; with that he walks about the Room in a meditating Posture, to make me believe he is in earnest, mum­bling I know not what unintelligible Stuff to himself. Since he has not Assets enough, as far as I can perceive, to discharge the Debt of Matrimony, why should he marry, I wonder, to inslame his Reckoning? Why [Page 93] shou'd a Man that doth not want a Wife to humble his Constitution, pretend to Monopolize a young Virgin to himself, especially when he wants either Will or Ability to do her Justice? Did he chuse to make me his Spouse only to deafen me with impertinent Stories of Executions, Answers, Ejectments, and impertinent De­crees? Cou'd he think I cou'd ever prove such a supple Slave, as to sit up all Night to pore over a dull Statute-book? Since I find he puts my Bed-chamber to no other use, then to profane it with nasty Petty­fogging, I am resolv'd for the future to have a separate Bed by my self: If this won't reform him, but he still continues an in­corrigible Sot, drudging in other Peoples Business, and neglecting mine, I am resolv'd to shew him a Rowland for his Oliver, and to speak to some more able Council to ma­nage my Law-case. This I hope is enough to make you comprehend my Meaning; you are a sensible Woman, experienc'd in these Affairs, and therefore a Hint is suffici­ent. Consider then, my dear Friend, and tell me how I must play this Game. You are a Woman, and understand the Ne­cessities of our Sex, and tho' I have not nam'd my Disease to you in down-right Terms, (for my Modesty wou'd not [Page 94] give me leave to do that) yet since you know the Nature of it, I hope you'll be my Doctress, and prescribe me a Remedy. 'Tis but reasonable, I think, that you, who are my near Relation, and besides have a good Tallent at Composing of Differences, shou'd stand my Friend at this Juncture: Besides, as you had a great hand in making this wicked Match, you are obliged in Honour, to make it supportable to me. But above all, it will be requisite to be very secret, for shou'd my litigious Blade come to hear that I apply my self to other Council, he may reject me for good and all, and so what I get in the Hundred, I may lose in the County.

Cyrtion to Dictys.

Out of the same, Epist. 7. Lib. 1.

DIstracted between Joy and Greif, I write the following Lines to you: Yesterday I was at my old Recreation of Fishing by the Sea-side, and as I was draw­ing a thundring Fish out of the Water, so very large that it made my Rod crack a­gain, behold there comes up to me a pretty [Page 95] Damosel, with a lovely mixture of Roses and Lillies in her Cheeks, tall and strait as a Cedar that likes the Ground it grows in. Thought I to myself, I'm a lucky Dog to Day, Fortune favours me in both Elements, and now I am like to get a better Prize at Land than I drew just now out of the Water: Honest Friend, cries she, I conjure you by Neptune, to look after my Cloaths a little, while I wash my self in the Sea. This Re­quest, you may imagine, was not unwelcome to me, because it wou'd give me an Oppor­tunity to see something. She had no sooner thrown off her Rigging; but, good Heavens! there was a sight enough to have spoiled the most virtuous Resolutions of the severest Phi­losopher: From between her Hair, which was of a lovely Black, and flow'd down in great Quantity, I discover'd a pair of Rosie Cheeks, and an Ivory Neck, that wholly possest me with Admiration and Surprise: both these Colours were in the highest per­fection, but they deriv'd no little agreement from the neighbourhood of the Black. To return to our Nymph, she had no sooner undress'd, but she plung'd foremost into the Waves. The Sea was as smooth as a Bow­ling-green, and when she appeared above the Water, had I not seen her before, I durst have sworn she was one of the [Page 96] Nereids, of whom the Poets tell us so many Stories. When she had washed as long as she thought fit, out she came; and from such a sight as this, our Painters, I suppose, were instructed how to draw Venus rising out of the Sea. I immediately ran to my lovely Damosel to deliver her her Cloaths, and when she was so near me, cou'd not forbear to touch her Bubbies, and so forth. But to see what ill Fate attends me! The young Gipsie blush'd and frown'd at me: But even her very Anger became her; it gave a fresh Lustre to her Beauty, and her Eyes darted Lightning at me. Then in her Indignation she broke my Rod flung my Fish into the Sea, and ran away from me, as fast as her Legs would carry her. Imagine in what a Confusion she left me. I lamented the loss of what I had taken with so much Pains; but the loss of her, whom I had as it were in my Hands, afflicted me infinitely more. This Disap­pointment, in short, so mortifies me, that I dare no longer trust my self with the cruel Idea of it.

Philochorus to Polyaenus.

Out of the same, Epist. 4. Lib. 1.

LAst Week Hippias and I were taking a turn in the Park, when on a sudden he thus alarm'd me: Friend, says he, prithee mind that Lady yonder that leans upon her Maid's Arm. How tall! how strait! how well-featur'd she is! By Heavens, 'tis a Miracle of a Woman: Let us e'en cross the Walk and accost her. Why, reply­ed I to him, you're mad I think: Unless I am mistaken in her Outside, she's a Woman of Vertue, and consequently no Game for such as you and I: But if you resolve to proceed, let us view her a little more distinctly before we board her, for I love to look about me before I leap. My Companion fell a Laughing, as if he had been distracted, and striking me gently on the Shoulder, Thou'rt a Novice, said he, I find in these Affairs. Take it from me, all the Women in the World are made of sinful Materials. One may have more Hypocrisie than another, but if you put it home to her, I'll engage you'll find her made of true Flesh and Blood. But alas, [Page 98] you are a perfect Stranger to the Town­intrigues, otherwise cou'd you imagine that any Woman of Honour wou'd be walk­ing here at this time of the Day, and dart her Glances so artfully on all she meets? Prithee observe how she plays with her Necklace, how slily she steals her pretty Hand out of her Glove; and as if she went to reform some Disorder in her Dress, how dexterously she discovers her Breasts? From these and a thousand other Indications I conclude that this Lady won't let a Man sigh at her Feet in vain: but what is more convincing, I now tipt the Wink at her, and she as kindly return'd it; therefore let us go and board the Vessel, for I dare ingage she'll make no Resistance. He had no soon­er spoke these Words, but he makes direct­ly to the Prize above mentioned, and find­ing a fit Opportunity, he thus made his Ad­dresses to her: I swear by your Beauty, the most sacred Oath to me that can be, you have made your self in a Moment the absolute Soveraign of my Heart; and if you please to order that Eves-dropping Maid of yours, to retire to some distance, I have some­thing to communicate to you, which per­haps you will not be displeas'd to hear. She accordingly commanded her Attendant to file off, when the other in this manner per­sued [Page 99] his Discourse, As I know that Love is no Camelion to live upon Air, I am not so unreasonable as to demand any Favours of you gratis: And, on the other hand, Madam, I am sure you are too conscientious to put too high a Price on 'em. Gold, you know, may be too dearly bought; but I hope you'll com­ply with the running Market-price; I have Madam, two things to plead for me, Vi­gour and Wealth, but I wou'd by my good Will husband both of 'em so, as to make 'em hold out: Come give me your Answer. The Lady's Eyes sufficiently declar'd the Consent of her Heart; she stood still and blush'd, and such a beautiful Red streak'd her Cheeks, as we find in the Heavens when the Sun is just a setting. When my Friend found the Bargain was now as good as struck, he turn'd about to me; And what do you think now of my Skill in these Affairs? you would have diswaded me forsooth, from this Expedition, but now you see how I have succeeded; for, at the expence of a few Words and a little Time I have brought the Nymph to surrender. You alas, are such a Heretick, as to believe there are Women in the World above Flattery, Corruption and Bribery; but you are in a damn'd Mistake; follow me, and I'll show you some Sport: but in the mean time take [Page 100] this for granted, That there is no Garrison so strong, and no Woman so obstinately vertuous, but by one Practice or other, both may be brought to take a new Ma­ster.

Lamprias to Philippides.

Out of the same, Epist. 16. Lib. 1.

YOu remember me troubl'd with all the Symptoms of Love, and desire to know how I got cur'd of it; I us'd to entertain my Passion in the Fields and soli­tary Groves, which instead of abating, grew every Day fiercer, and raged more violently in my Breast. As I walk'd by the purling Streams, May Cupid, said I, and his Mo­ther, (for they, and only they, know what Torments I languish under,) give me Cou­rage enough to make a Declaration of my Passion, which hitherto I have stifl'd with­in me. As Love has transfixt with his Darts this tender Breast of mine, so I hope he will in the same manner, treat the fair Insensible, who has given me so many cruel Inquietudes. One Day it happened [Page 101] that after I had amused my self with these Contemplations in the Woods, I found I had Resolution enough to venture an Inter­view with my Mistress. I went according­ly to her House, and had a long Conversa­tion with her, wherein I found the Beau­ties of her Mind, to be not at all inferiour to those of her Face: Her Looks wore all the bewitching Marks of the most agree­able Innocence; I admir'd her Hand, the whitest and softest in the World: I viewed with sacred Horror, those charming Eyes, that penetrate quicker and deeper than Lightning. To compleat my Ruin, she show'd me a delicious pair of Breasts as it were by accident, on which the God of Love himself, wou'd be proud to recline his Head. All this while my Tongue was tied with a religious Awe, and I had not As­surance enough to acquaint her with my Pain. However, I was very intent on my mental Devotion, and pray'd to Cupid, that since he knew my Imbecillity so well (which I wholly imputed to himself) he would so effectually touch my Mistress's Heart that she of her own accord, should own her Affection for me. I had no sooner conclu­ded these pious Ejaculations, but I found the God had heard my Prayers; for my Mistress, who look'd so Coy and Demure [Page 102] at my first coming into the Room, on the sudden, smiled very graciously upon me, and gently squeez'd me by the Hand; and then no longer able to conceal the Vehe­mence of her Desires, she imprest so warm a Kiss on my Lips, that I was in good hopes, the Seal wou'd never have par­ed from the Wax: All the Sweets of Arabia the Happy, all the fragrant Odours of the Eastern World, all the blooming Beauties of the Spring, and the Wealth of Summer: in short, all the Incense that is offer'd on the Altars of our Gods, comes infinitely short of the natural Sweetness of her Breath. But here I will stop my Nar­ration, for what need I trouble my self to send every Particular to you, who are old enough to imagine 'em of your self. Only this I will add, That we strove all Night long, which of us should express their Love in the most Emphatical Manner; and that, that sawcy Intruder, sleep found us too well employ'd to offer to interrupt us.

Philomatia to Eumusus.

Out of the same, Epist. 14. Lib. 1.

THis comes to let you know that we are not so bewitched to Musick as you imagine, and that the best Lute and Guitar in the World will make but little Progress, unless it comes attended with the more powerful Harmony of Mony. Why then do you give your self and me the unnecessary trouble of so many Serenades? Why must you employ your Hands to shew the Passion of your Heart? Why do you persecute me with your Sonnets, and sing under my Windows?

Since Beauty's Charms do hourly fade,
And a Scandal it is to be reckon'd a Maid;
Let not Love's Pleasures be delay'd.

You are old enough, one wou'd think, to know that Mony atones for all Defects with us Women, and that Beauty and Vigour have no Merit with us, if they have no Gold to recommend 'em: But you think me an easy, foolish, good-natur'd Creature, who am to be imposed on by any wheedling Sto­ries. You fancy'd, I suppose, that I never had [Page 104] been initiated the Misteries of our Profession and that I wou'd immediately surrender to you, upon the first stroak of your Violin, and the first touch of the Lute; but to undeceive you, know that I was bred up under the most experienc'd Mistress of her time; who form­ed my tender Mind with wholsom Precepts; telling me, that nothing under the Sun was sincere or desirable but Mony; and teaching me to despise every thing but that. Un­der her Instructions, and by her virtuous Example, I have profited so much, that I now measure Love, not by vain empty Compliments, that signify nothing, but by the Presents that are made me, and by the Almighty Rhetorick of Gold, which will stand my Friend, when a thousand such fluttering Weather-cocks as you have left me in the Lurch.

Terpsion to Polycles.

Out of the same, Epist. 7. Lib. 2.

TO convince you how insensibly Love gets Admission into the most inno­cent Hearts, be pleased to read over the [Page 105] following Story: A young Country Girl, fell desperately in Love with her Mistress's Gallant, and took Fire herself, while she contributed to ease that of others. Being obliged to keep Watch upon the Stairs, lest the Lovers shou'd be surpriz'd, she cou'd not but often hear their Murmuring and Sighing: She saw 'em too folded in one a­nothers Embraces, performing the Ceremo­ny of Love; and thus through the Eyes and Ears of this tender Girl, the God of Love, with his Torch and Arrows plung'd himself over Head and Ears in her panting Breast. She bewailed the Unhappiness of her Condition, and accus'd her Destiny for giving her a Mind susceptible of the most tender Impressions, yet, denying her the Means to satisfy them: Why shou'd not I, said she, participate Pleasure with my Mi­stress, since I have a Soul as sensible as hers? Why shou'd Love, that tramples over all Di­stinctions of Rank and Quality, shew himself a Dastard only in respect to me? But she did not long afflict herself with these un­profitable Complaints. Venus wou'd not suffer her to lose the Time in lazy Wishes, for being sent one Afternoon to invite the Gallant to her Mistress's Lodgings, with­out any farther Preamble or Preface, she ac­costed him in this manner: Sir, said she, I be­lieve [Page 106] you to be a Gentleman, and willing to ease the Longing of a young Virgin: If my Face will go down with you, that, and the rest of my Body are at your Service. You know well enough what it is to Love, and therefore will have Compassion, I hope, on one that lan­guishes under that Distemper. The Gentle­man without farther ado, took her at her word, and was so courteous as to play the Priest, since she was so willing to be the Sacrifice. He soon eased her of that Burden she complain'd of, and own'd that he ne'er received more Pleasure in his Life. The Kisses of married Women are generally in­sipid; the Kisses of mercenary Harlots are fallacious and deceitful; but those of an in­nocent, uninstructed Virgin are true, and consequently delicious. Our Lovers had like to have fainted away under the Vio­lence of their Agitation; their Souls hover'd about their Mouths, but their uninterrup­ted Kisses denied them a Passage: While the golden Minutes pass'd away in these Transports, the Mistress, who was seized with a Fit of Jealousie to see them stay so long, stole softly into the Room, and sur­prized them in very criminal Circumstances. The unhappy Maid found the first Effects of her Indignation, whom she thump'd and beat, and dragg'd by the Hair, but the [Page 107] poor Wench intreated her to consider, that tho' her ill Stars had sent her a Slave into the World, which was none of her Fault, she had as strong Inclinations as the best of her Sex: that Love was an Im­perious Deity; and when he had once got Entrance into a Heart, wou'd not throw up his Possession, as she her self cou'd not but know by Experience. Wherefore, Ma­dam, says she, in consideration of Love, who is our common Master, and whose Yoak both of us carry, be pleased to forgive this Indiscretion in me: which, after the worst Gloss you can put upon it, was on­ly the Effect of a foolish Curiosity, from which the best of Women are not exempt. These Complaints so innocently deliver'd, soon appeas'd her Mistress's Fury, who, taking her Gallant by the Hand, thus rallied him; I find, crys she, you are of the Hu­mour of some People, who had rather gather sour Grapes, than stay till they are Ripe. What cou'd make you so foolishly trifle your time with a silly raw Baggage, that is so far from knowing how to perform her part in the Cho­rus of Love, that she does not yet understand how to level her Kisses aright; which are but a Prologue to the busier Drama that follows. A Virgin is dull and heavy, and unacquainted with the true Management of a Passion; where­as, [Page 108] such a Woman, as I am, that has tried many a Fall with many a Man in her time, needs not the Instructions of any one, but gives the utmost Satisfaction: In short, a Woman gives, but a Virgin only receives Kisses, which makes a sensible Difference between them; And this, continued she to her Spark, you know well enough; but, if you want to have your Memory refresh'd, come to me to Night, and I will make you own I am in the right.

What happen'd upon this, I can't tell, neither am I curious to know, because all Men affect to Govern themselves by their own peculiar Palates, but especially in the Business of Love.

A Letter of Gallantry, from a young Gentleman, to his Perjured Mi­stress.

Out of the same, Epist. 9. Lib. 2.

IF you consider, Madam, what ill Treat­ment I have had from your Hands, you are in the right on't to believe that I hate you most mortally; but then if you reflect what an absolute Empire your Beauty has [Page 109] gain'd over my Soul, you can't but be sensible that it is impossible for me to har­bour the least injurious Thought of you. To convince you how far I interest my self in every thing that concerns you, I swear to you by that adorable Face, which hath made so perfect a Conquest of me, That next to the Grief of losing you, I am in the next place concern'd to think what Punishments Heaven has in store for you, for affronting it by so open, so bare-fac'd a Perjury. Love has so effectually stifl'd all Resentments within me, that I dare not entertain the least disadvantagious Wishes against you. But tho' I am ready to forgive you, I am afraid least the Powers above shou'd call you to an account for violating their Majesty by a Crime so provoking. If the thing wholly depended on me, you might fafely stare Heaven in the Face, after you have so often called down its Vengeance on your Head; but my Fear is, (and my Concern for you, obliges me to tell you so much) that the Gods will not be so ready to pardon you, as I have been; and any Misfortune of yours wou'd asflict me more, than to find my self neglected and forgotten by you. I impute my Mise­ries to Destiny, not to you, (you see Madam, I would rather judge injuriously of Heaven [Page 110] than of your self) and I will never cease to pray, that Justice it self may be blind, that so you may escape the Punishments you deserve, and rather than those bright Eyes should suffer any thing, tho' they have caus'd my Ruin. Nay, if it should be your chance to trespass once more, and offend Heaven again, I hope it will have a due Regard to the Weakness of your Youth. I am content to sacrifice my Pretensions to you; I, who wou'd sooner part with the Indies than your self, provided that you be no Sufferer. Farewel charming Creature, farewel; and may Fate be as indulgent to you, as I have been: Show me now if you can, a Lover like me, who after such cruel Usage ever writt so humble a Letter.

Abrocomas to his dear Delphis.

Out of the same, Epist. 21. Lib. 2.

YOu'll be angry perhaps at the frank Confession, I am going to make to you. I examine with curious Eyes all the Women I see, I go to all the places of pub­lick Resort, and no Female escapes me; [Page 111] pray, Madam, don't think I do this to carry on any Intrigue with 'em (for I wou'd not have you put so unjust a Construction upon my Expressions) 'tis only to see how much your Beauty surpasses theirs, and to be able to do the more Justice to your Merits. Yes, Madam, by Cupid I swear it, who never had a devouter Votary then my self, you surpass the rest of your Sex in Dress, Beau­ty, and the Agreeableness of your Deport­ment: Your Charms are so conspicuous and shining, that they need no Artifice to set 'em off: a natural Red adorns your Cheeks; neither do you lye under any necessity to load your Head with that cumbersome At­tire, other Women take a Pride in. You have the loveliest Hair in the Universe; Who can behold so black a pair of Eye-brows, in so fair and white a Forehead, and not own him­self your Slave? I dare not trust my Inven­tion, as fertle as it is, with venturing upon more Particulars. In short, Madam, all the Perfections of your Sex center in you; and your Empire is never so safe, as when you ap­pear amongst our most celebrated Beauties. Your sight alone, as it creates our Astonish­ment, so it commands our Love; and to make a new Triumph, you need only ap­pear to a new Beholder. Since my Life is intirely wrapt up in yours, I wish you may [Page 112] live long and happy. All my Inclinations, all my Hopes and Thoughts terminate in you; and I earnestly beg of Heaven, that I may always continue in this Opinion. En­joy that Conquest therefore which Nature has given you, and I will everlastingly carry Love's Golden Dart in my Breast. Neither do you endeavour to pluck it out from thence, for besides that, you are not able to do it, I don't desire to have it done, for I take pleasure in nothing so much as in my Passion. May it always be the Scope of my whole Life to love Delphis, and may it be my Fate to be beloved by her, to be subdued by her Beauty, and charm'd by her Conversation.

Oceanius to Aristobulus.

Out of the same, Epist. 20. Lib. 2.

YOu desire to know what Progress our Friend Damon has made in the Af­fections of his Mistress, whom he hath so long besieg'd, and I am sorry I cannot send you so good News as I cou'd wish: He threw himself down at her Feet, and in the [Page 113] common strain of Lovers; will you not, says he, take compassion on my Youth? Will you not pity one that dies every Moment for you? Show at least some Tenderness to the Man, who never was conquer'd by any Beauty but yours? But she return'd him a Compliment, as cold as if it had come out of the midst of Tartary: Leave persecuting me, says she, with idle Stories of your Passion, with your pretended Darts, and your Romantick Flames, for you do but lose your Time and Labour. The Youth was reduc'd to the last Despair, when he found himself thus slighted, and as Anger on these Occasions generally suc­ceeds to Love, he said the most reproach­ful bitter things against her, that his In­dignation cou'd inspire him with. When his Fury had spent it self, looking upon him with a scornful Air, I know, says she, how to punish the Insolences of your Tongue: All your Sex are perfidious and false; You devour us, nay, you devour one another. The most savage Beasts in the Woods, unless compell'd by Hunger, seldom attack the Travellers, but when they are taken by you, and have been debauch'd with a Domestic Education, they prove erranter Brutes than any in the Forest; to be short with you, your Perjury and Inconstance [Page 114] teach us to lay aside all pity, and treat you as you deserve: for in the first Ardors of your Love, you can lie all Night at our Thre­sholds on the bare Ground; you can say the most submissive things in the World; you can whine and cry, and make Goddesses of us; you have Oaths perpetually at com­mand, and with those Counters you deceive us; but no sooner have we granted the last Favours to you, but you grow insolent and haughty; you make us the Subject of your ill-manner'd Mirth, and you disdainfully reject her, whom the Hour before you adored like a Divinity. You are all Atheists as to Love, and pretend that Jupiter has other Business on his Hands, then to trou­ble himself with the Oaths of Lovers.

Thus the Lady discarded the unfortunate Lyco; and, as partial as I am to my Friend, I cannot but own there is a great deal of Truth in her Invective.

Chrysis to Myrina.

Out of the same, Epist. 15. Lib. 11.

YOu and I, my dearest Myrina, have long languish'd under the Tyranny of Cupid, who is the most Fantastical of all the Deities. You are in Love with my Hus­band, and 'tis my unhappy Destiny, (But who can resist the God who commands all the rest?) to doat on your Page. What Expedient will Love, who uses to be no Block-head when he is put to his shifts, what Expedient, I say, will Love find out, to put an end to our present Sufferings? You know I am a constant Woman at Prayers, and if a Woman ever prays for any thing in good earnest, you likewise know, 'tis when she prays for a kind Gallant. Now to be plain with you, I put up a fervent Petition to Heaven this Morning, that it wou'd furnish a Remedy for both our Pas­sions; when immediately the following ing Thought came into my Head: I won't be positive, as our Priests generally are, that this Whimsie of mine is of Heaven's inspi­ring; but it seems so easie, so pretty, and so feasible, that I am resolv'd with your help to see it put in Execution.

[Page 116] The Stratagem in short is this: Do you pretend to be very angry with your Page, upon what Occasion you think most proper, whether for tearing your Fan, beating your Squirrel, or so forth, but be sure to turn him out of your House. The better to colour this Business, I will give you leave to strike him a Blow or two, but I article before-hand with you, that you shan't hurt him. Upon this I know he will immediately run to me, as being your greatest Acquaintance, and I will take care to dispatch my Hus­band on an Errand to you, under pretence of interceding for the Boy, that you wou'd be so kind as to take him into your Service a­gain. By this Means both of us will have a fair Opportunity to satisfie our Longings, which, for my part, I will see punctually per­form'd, unless your Page is a very ignorant Devil indeed; and I suppose you will not be wanting to your self. But, my dear Myrina, remember to keep my Husband with you as long as you can, for that you know will be for our mutual Interest. I can tell you be­fore-hand, that you will not be disappoint­ed in my Spark; I that have so often experi­enc'd how well he performes upon Duty, am satisfi'd he'll out-do a Heroe, when Wickedness spurs him on. Farewel.

Stesichorus to Eratosthenes.

Out of the same, Epist. 9. Lib. 1.

TO see now what cunning Gipsies these Women are! T'other Day a certain Woman of my Acquaintance, walking in the Market-place with her Husband by her side, and a Train of Servants at her heels, saw a Gallant of hers at some distance off, with whom she used to be familiar. She had a mighty longing to whisper something in his Ear, and if possible to steal a Kiss from him before her Husband's Face; so to bring the matter about, she pretends to fall upon her Knee, and her Gallant, who as it seem'd, understood her Design, charita­bly lent her his Hand to help her up: Then down she tumbles again, and our Gentle­man was forced the second time to give her his Assistance. Oh! my poor Wife, cries the Cuckold, in a strange Consternation, I hope thou hast not hurt thy self. Trou­bled with such cruel Fits, cry'd she; and then she made the third Stumble. The Gallant on one side, and the Husband on the other did what in 'em lay to set her on her Legs again, but as her Fits still in­creast, the Husband, with the help of the [Page 118] kind Gentleman, was obliged to carry her to the next Tavern: The Gallant chafed her Hand, and rubb'd her Face; and all the while the Fellow thank'd him for the great Pains he took with his Wife: but finding her Indisposition still increase, he ran down Stairs like Lightning to fetch a Physician of his Acquaintance to her, not daring to trust his Servants with so important a Mes­sage. In the mean time our Lovers, were not wanting to administer mutual Conso­lation to each other: So by that time the Husband came back with his Doctor, his Wife was exceedingly refreshed. The Gal­lant was complimented a thousand times for his Civilities on this Occasion: Sir, says the Man, I heartily beg your Pardon for the Trouble my Wife has given you. Lord Sir, answer'd he, if it was to do ten times again, it would be no trouble. But indeed 'twas too much, Sir. I'faith, cries the other, I don't think I can ever do too much for her. I swear but you have, says the Husband, I find she hath put you into a Sweat with help­ing her. In short, they drank a loving Glass together; the Wife pretended she was twen­ty per Cent. better than when she set out in the Morning; the Gallant was highly satis­fy'd with what he had done, and the Hus­band was the merriest Man alive, to see his Wife so miraculously recover'd.

The End of Aristaenetus's Epistles.

Some Select LETTERS, OUT OF PLINY, Junior.

I Am to inform the Reader, that in the fol­lowing Letters, I have not confined my self to a literal Version. Where I found any place so perplexed that no certain Sence cou'd be made of it, or where it cou'd not be understood without a Comment, (which wou'd have looked ridiculous in such a Collection as this.) I have fairly omitted it, and some­times I have made bold to alter a Word or two to make my Author more palatable to the English Reader. As for the Choice I have [Page 120] made of the Letters, if they are not the best, I hope they will not displease.

To his dear Friend Romanus.

Lib. 3.

AT your Request, I have sent you the Panegyric I lately deliver'd before our most incomparable Trajan Prince, altho' I had sent it to you whether you had desired it or no. Now you have it before you, I must beg you to reflect upon the Difficulty, as well as the Nobleness of the Subject. Upon other Occasions, the Newness of the Argument generally draws our Attention, but here it was impossible for me to say any thing which all the World did not know before: for which Reason, the Rea­der having nothing else to employ him, will only mind the Elocution, in which 'tis a hard matter for a Man to succeed well, when that, and only that, is esteem'd. I cou'd wish that the Order, Transitions, and Figures cou'd be consider'd at the same time: for in the barbarous Nations, you shall find several that are able to invent hand­somely, and to express themselves magnifi­cently [Page 121] enough; whereas to dispose of things in their proper Order, and to vary the Fi­gures with Art and Judgment, is only the Talent of the Learned. I am of Opinion indeed, that the sublime and pompous Stile is not alway to be used; for as in a Picture, nothing sets off the Light so well as an art­ful Disposition of the Shades, so an Oration is no less recommended by the Simplicity than the Majesty of the Diction. But why should I trouble you with these things, who know them so much better than my self? In the mean time I beg the favour of you, to mark what places you shall think want Correction; for I shall be the easier inclin'd to believe that the rest of the Oration pleases you, when I find you dislike some Passages in it. Farewel.

To his dear Geminius.

Lib. 8.

'TWas the noblest thing you ever at­tempted in your Life, to relate the Dacian War in Verse: For, besides the new­ness of it, what Subject is more Copious and Fertile, what more Poetical, and, tho' [Page 122] we all know it to be true, what more seem­ingly Fabulous? You will have a noble Oc­casion to employ all the Stores of your In­vention: when you talk of Rivers com­manded to take a new Course, or bridled by new Bridges, that before were hardly to be pass'd in Boats, when you talk of Armies en­camp'd on the tops of Precipices, and migh­ty Kings who had grasped the whole Uni­verse in his Imagination, not only despoil'd of his Kingdom but his Life: In short, when you come to describe two magnificent Tri­umphs, both of which were celebrated for the Reduction of a Nation held Invincible before: The only and greatest Difficulty will be, to express all this in a Strain equal to the Dignity of the Subject; which even you, my Friend, will find to be no easie Task, altho' you have a towring, elevated Genius, capable of the highest undertakings. Some little Trouble too you'll find it, to soften the Names of these barbarous People, and particularly of their Towns, so as they shall not shock our Ears, when they come into Verse; but there is nothing so harsh and dissonant but what may be made har­monious, or at least tolerable with a little Care and Alteration. Besides, if it was lawful for Homer to contract, to extend, and turn Words, even of Grecian Extra­ction, [Page 123] for the better Cadence of his Verse, why shou'd not the same Privilege be al­low'd you, especially since it is not affected but necessary? Therefore, when after the Custom of the Poets, you have invoked the Help of the Muses, and especially of your Heroe, their greatest Patron, whose noble Atchievements and Actions you are going to Sing, weigh Anchor, put up all your Sails, and if ever you did it upon any Occasion, so now more particularly hoist your Flag, display your Colours, and bear down with all the Force of Wit. These Metaphors perhaps may seem too daring for Prose; but why may I not be indulg'd to speak in the Poetical Language to a Poet? But this I bargain with you before-hand, that you shall send me your Poem in pieces just as you finish it: Nay, even before you have finish'd it, by which means it will come the more fresh, like Fruit newly gather'd from the Tree. You will tell me 'tis impos­sible that small Pieces shou'd please so well as an entire Work, or that a Sketch should be so well liked as a finish'd Picture: I confess it, and therefore I will consider it as such, and you shall bestow the last hand upon it at your leisure in my Library. To your other Fa­vours give me, I beseech you, this farther Mark of your Friendship, as to communi­cate [Page 124] to me what you wou'd let no body else see: For tho' I may the more commend and value your Writings as I see them come out more slowly and more correct, yet I shall both Love and Honour your self infi­nitely the more, as you send me these things with most dispatch, in their Undress.

To his Wife Calphurnia.

Lib. 8.

YOu send me word, that my Absence does not a little afflict you, and that you have no other Antidote against your Melancholy but my Letters: 'Tis no small Satisfaction to me, that I am always in your Thoughts, and that such Trifles can contribute to your Diversion. For my part, to let you see my Case is parallel with yours, I am perpetually reading yours, and the oftner I read them, the more new they seem to me, and I still discover some fresh Beauties in 'em, which I did not observe before. Tho' this in some measure allevi­ates my Pain, yet it sets me a longing the more for your Company; for if your Letters are so sweet and entertaining, what Plea­sures [Page 125] may I not expect from your Conver­sation? Therefore let me conjure you to lose no Opportunities of Writing to me, tho', as I hinted before, at the same time this Commerce delights me, it gives me some Uneasiness.

To the Same.

Lib. 7.

'TIs impossible for me to tell you how much I regret the want of your good Company, and I have several good Reasons for it: In the first place, there is Love in the case. Then 'tis to be consider'd that you and I never lived asunder, which is the reason why I pass the greatest part of the Night in thinking on you. From the same Cause it proceeds, that even in the Day-time, at those Hours when I used to visit you in your Chamber, my Feet of their own accord carry me to you, and then when I miss you there, I come back no less melancholy and sorrowful, than if you had turn'd me out of your Room. The only time that I am free from these Inquietudes, is when I am pleading in the [Page 126] Hall, and drudging for my Friends. Judge then, what a mortified Life I lead, when I am forced to find Relaxation in Labour, and Comfort in Care and Misery.

To his dear Friend Ferox.

Lib. 7.

YOur last Letter is a convincing Argu­ment that you Study, and that you don't. You'll tell me I talk Riddles to you, and so I do, till I explain to you more di­stinctly what my Meaning is. In short, the Letter you sent me, shows you did not study for it, so easie and negligent it appears to be; and yet at the same time 'tis so po­lite, that 'tis impossible that any one should write it, who did not weigh every word; or else you are certainly the happiest Man in the World, if you can write Let­ters so Entertaining, without Care and Premeditation.

To Cornelius Tacitus.

Lib. 8.

I Return you your Book which I read over very carefully, having marked all along in the Margin what places I thought fit to be alter'd, and what struck out; For I am no less inclin'd to tell the Truth, than you are to hear it. 'Tis a plain Case I believe, that no Man suffers himself to be so patiently found fault with, as he that deserves the highest Commendation. And now I expect my own Book from you with your Corrections and Amendments. These reciprocal Offices of Friendship that pass between us give me no little Satis­faction; for if our Posterity will have any Concern for us, I am pleased to think that they will tell, with what Amity, Concord, and Integrity, you and I have lived together. It will be a remarkable, and perhaps the only Instance in History, that two Men al­most of the same Age and Quality, and of some Reputation for Learning, (I am oblig'd to speak the more sparingly of you, because at the same time I speak of my self) should promote one another's Studies so unani­mously. [Page 128] When I was but young, and you had justly acquir'd a high Character in the World, even then it was my greatest Ambi­tion to imitate and follow you, tho' at never so great a Distance. We had then at Rome several Persons of Wit and Learning, that were deservedly admired; yet so great a Similitude was there between our Tempers and Dispositions, that even then I endea­voured to Copy after you. For this Reason 'tis no small Satisfaction to me, that when­ever there is any Discourse about Learning and Learned Men, you and I are still quoted together; that when your Name is men­tion'd, the Company immediately mentions mine; and that when they prefer a third Man to one of us, they mean it of both. But 'tis no matter to me, whether you or I are mention'd first, for if I am first, it is only because I am the next to you. I don't question too, but you have observ'd, that in the last Wills of the Deceas'd, unless there was some particular Difference in the Case, you and I have Legacies of the same Value generally bequeathed us. The Conclusion I draw from all this is, That we have the greatest Obligations that can be, to entertain the strictest Amity; since even our Studies, our Manners, our Reputations; in short, the united Te­stimony [Page 129] of the World are so many Argu­ments why the mutual Friendship between us shou'd still increase. Farewel.

To Cornelius Tacitus.

Lib. 6.

YOu desire me to send you an Account of my Uncle's Death, that you may be the better able to relate it in your Histo­ry. I am obliged to you for this Favour, for I foresee my Uncle's Name will be im­mortal, if it has the Honour to be preserv'd by your Pen: Tho' it was his Fate to die, like great Cities memorable for their Ca­lamities, in the Universal Desolation of the finest Part of Italy; Nay, tho' he himself has written several learned Volumes, which will propagate his Memory to future Ages, yet that Eternity which seems to be intailed on every thing you write, will not a little contribute to perpetuate his Name: For my part I reckon those Men happy, who by a particular Indulgence of Heaven are capable of doing things fit to be transmitted to Posterity, or of writing Works, that de­serve [Page 130] to be read; but I reckon those the hap­piest of all, who posses both these Advanta­ges: Amongst the Number of these Latter I reckon my Uncle, by means of yours, as well as his own Writings, upon which ac­count I am proud to comply with your De­sires. My Uncle was then at Misenus, with the Fleet under his Command in the Har­bour, on the 24th Day of August, about one of the Clock in the Afternoon; when my Mother came to tell him, that she beheld afar off a Cloud of an unusual Magnitude and Form. He was then hard at Study, but calling for his Slippers, he got up to the highest part of the House, from whence he might most advantagiously behold this Prodigy. At so great a Distance we cou'd not positively tell from whence this Cloud arose, tho' afterwards we knew it came from Mount Vesuvius: Nothing resembl'd the Shape on't more than a Pine-tree does, for from a long taper Trunk, it spead itself to a very large Head, the Reason of which I suppose might be, that when the Wind that carried it up, began to fail, its own weight made it run out into a great breadth. Sometimes it look'd of a whitish, and some­times of a black gloomy Colour, according as it carried up with it Earth, or Ashes. My Uncle thinking it impossible to make [Page 131] a just Observation of this Phaenomenon without coming nearer, commanded a Gally to be got ready, and made an offer to take me along with him, if I thought convenient. I excused myself to him, and answer'd, that I wou'd pass that Afternoon at my Study; and as it happen'd he had given me something to transcribe. As he was going out of the House with his Pocket­book in his Hand, the Seamen affrighted at the present Danger (for the Village lay under the Mountain, and there was no means of escaping but by Sea) begged of him not to expose himself to so eminent a Danger. This did not diswade him from his Resolution; and what he be­gan out of a Spirit of Curiosity he per­form'd with the greatest Intrepidity. So he ordered the Gally to put out to Sea, and went himself aboard it, with a Design to assist not only those of Retina, but the Neighbouring Towns, for the Country thereabouts is mighty populous: he steer'd his Course towards those places, from whence the affrighted Inhabitants ran a­way in great Multitudes; nay, he sail'd into the very Mouth of 'em, and was so free from Fear, that he took particular notice of every Circumstance almost, relating to this Eruption. By this time the Ashes fell on [Page 132] the Deck, falling the hotter, and in grea­ter Quantities, as they approach'd nearer to the Shore, with a shower of Pumice­stones. Then he consider'd a little with him­self whether he had best tack about, and Sail homewards (which the Pilate advised him to do) or make for Pomponianum. In this place, tho' the danger seem'd to be at some Distance from them, yet soon after came upon 'em, he order'd all his Luggage to be carried on Ship-board, being resolv'd to make his Escape, tho' the Wind sat in a contrary Corner. But as it then blew di­rectly for 'em, my Uncle perswaded them to be of good Courage. After this he Ba­thed and was very cheerful at Supper, or (what in these Dangers is full as great) he seemed at least to be so. All this while the Flames bro ke out in several places of the Mountain Vesuvius, which appear'd so much brighter in so dark a Night: In this strange Consternation the Country People left their Habitations, which in their Absence were devour'd by the Flames, and this my Uncle urged as an Argument, why it was not adviseable to quit the place where they were. After this he composed himself to rest: and slept very soundly, as those which were in the next Room said. But the Court­yard, thro' which there was a Passage to the [Page 133] Dining-room, was by this time so cover'd with Ashes and Pumice-stones, that there was no getting out of it for him, if he staid never so little longer; so being awaked out of his sleep, he, together with the rest that sate up, made the best of their way to Pomponianum: It was debated among 'em, whether they shou'd stay within doors, or venture abroad in the open Air, for the Earth­quake was so violent, and the Houses reel'd and stagger'd so, that one wou'd have thought they had been torn up from their very Foundations. Now they were in the Fields, they had reason to fear the falling of Pumice-stones, tho' they were light and po­rous, which however of two Dangers were the least: with my Uncle, Reason overcame Reason, with the rest, one Fear overcame another, and they carried Pillows on their Heads to break the fall of any thing that might fall on 'em. In other places it was Day, but here it was as dark as possible Nightitself cou'd be, tho' it was somewhat lessened by the Flambeaux and other Lights. Then it was resolved to go the Sea-shore, and see how the Sea stood affected, which still continued very Tempestuous. Here my Uncle, lying along upon a parcel of Cloaths, called once or twice for cold Water, and drank it off. After this the Flames, and a smell of [Page 134] Brimstone, which used to precede the Flames made the place too hot for 'em, so they waked my Uncle, who being supported by two Servants, got up; but in an Instant fell down again, being I suppose suffocated by the sulphureous Vapours: Three Days after this, his Body was found whole and intire, without the least hurt or mark upon it, and in the same Cloaths he last put on; in a Posture too, that made him rather look like one that was asleep then dead. While this happen'd, my Mother and I were at Misenus; but this is nothing to the Hi­story, and you desired to be inform'd no farther, then relates to the Death of my Uncle. I will therefore conclude, but be­fore I do that, give me leave to add, That I have given you a true and faithful Ac­count of all the Particulars relating to this Accident, that have come to my Knowledge. I leave it to you to pick out what you think most proper for your Purpose; for it is one thing to write a Letter, and another to write a History; one thing to write to a Friend, and another to address himself to all the World. Farewel.

To Sura.

Lib. 7.

YOu and I are both at Leisure, you to teach, and I to be inform'd; I have for a long while earnestly desired to know, whether there are any such Things in Re­ality, as Spectres, or whether they are only the Results of a fearful Imagination: For my part, I am inclined to believe the for­mer, by what happened, as I have been told the Story, to Curtius Rufus: He was walking up and down a Portico towards the Evening, when the Shape of a Woman appear'd to him, but much more bigger than the Life, and much more beautiful: This unexpected Sight strangely surprized him, when the Phantome told him she was Afric, and came to tell him his Fortune; ad­ding that he was going to Rome, where he should arrive to the greatest Honours; that he should return back to this Province in Quality of Governour, and there die. Every thing exactly happened as the Spectre fore­told. The Story goes, that as he was sail­ing for Carthage, and coming out of the Ship, the very same Figure met him upon [Page 136] the Shore, upon which he fell Sick, and remembring what it had formerly told him, gave over all hopes of Recovery, be­fore the Phisicians thought his Case dan­gerous. But what I am now going to tell you, as it is by much stranger, so it is more terrible than the other. There was a large and stately House at Athens, but untenant­ed for the ill Name it lay under; for in the depth of Night you might hear a Noise like that of the dragling of Chains, which at first seemed to be further off, but by de­grees came nearer and nearer to you: At last the Ghost appear'd, in the Shape of an old Man, Lean and Meager, with a long Beard, and the Hair of his Head matted; It had Fetters about its Legs and Manacles on its Hands, which it shaked and rattled. These strange Noises disturbed the Neigh­bourhood so, that few or none could sleep for them; some fell sick with watching so long, and their Fears increasing, died soon after; for tho' the Spectre was not visible in the Day, yet their Memory still repre­sented it to their Eyes, and one Fear begot another: For this Reason no one would dwell in the House, but it stood empty, and was left wholly to the Ghost, to play his Midnight-frolicks in; however, there was a Bill put over the Door, to signifie [Page 137] that the House was to be Let or Sold, if by chance they cou'd meet with a Chapman, who knew nothing that it was haunted. It happened that one Athenodorus, a Philo­sopher, coming to Athens, read the Bill, en­quired after the Price, and suspecting there was something extraordinary in the Matter, because it was to be had so cheap, he in­forms himself of the Neighbours, who fair­ly acquainted him with the whole Business: He was so far from being discouraged by it, that it made him the more eager to strike a Bargain. When it began to grow dark, he order'd a Bed to be made for him in a Room that faced the Street; he call'd for Paper, Ink, and Candle, and ordered all his Servants to withdraw; he employ'd his Mind, his Eyes, his Hands in Writing, least his Imagination, having nothing to take it up, might be at leisure to create Visions and Spectres: All the former part of the Night the Scene continued quiet e­nough, at last he heard the rattling of Iron, and shaking of Chains. Our Philosopher did not so much as lift up his Eyes to see what was the Matter, nor left off Wri­ting, but endeavoured all he could to neg­lect it; the Noise still increasing, and mo­ving nearer, so that sometimes it seem'd to be within, and sometimes without the [Page 138] Room, at last Athenodorus look'd behind him and saw it, just as the Neighbours had deseri­ed it to him. It stood still, and beckon'd with its Finger, like a Man that calls to a­nother. He on the other side makes a sign with his Hand, that it should tarry a little for him, and falls to his Writing again. All this while the Spectre rattled his Chains over his Head as he writ, and he looking behind him, found that it beckoned to him as before, so he took up his Candle in his Hand, and followed it: The Ghost walked leasurely along as if its Chains did hinder it, after that it turn'd into the Court-yard, and immediately vanish'd under Ground. Our Philosopher took some Leaves and Herbs that he might know the Place again, the next Day he goes to the Magistrates of the Town and advised 'em to dig in the place where this happen'd: which they accordingly did, and found a parcel of Bones wrapt about with Iron-Chains formerly belonging to a Body, which Time, and the Earth together had putrified. These reliques were publickly Buried, after which the House was haunted no more. I am inclin'd to believe this Story, having had it so confidently affirm'd to me.—I earnestly intreat you to bestow a little Consideration to inform me better upon this Point. 'Tis a Subject [Page 139] worthy of your deepest Enquiry, tho' I con­fess I am not worthy to have you to com­municate your Learn'd Thoughts to me. Although you can plead on both sides, and manage an Argument either pro or con, as the Custom of the Gentlemen at the Bar is, yet I beg you not to employ that Talent here, but fairly to determine the Point, be­cause I wou'd not be dismiss'd uncertain or left in suspence, since this is the Reason of my giving you this Trouble. Farewel.

The End of Pliny's Select Epistles.

LETTERS OUT OF Mons. le Chevalier d' Her. ***

Made English by the same Hand.

To Mademoiselle de J— Vpon sending to her a Boar in a Pasty, who had like to have wounded him at the Chase.


I Have ran the greatest Risk in the World, but at last my Enemy is de­feated, and now I send him to you bound to his good Behaviour in Pye-crust. I have ordered him to be well Spiced and season'd with Salt, to preserve the Memory of my Triumph. If I were acquainted with the Secret of the antient Aegyptians, I wou'd have embalm'd him, and made a Mummy of his Body: By that means he [Page 141] would have lasted numberless Ages, but it unluckily falls out with us Moderns, that we have no other Secret but this of Paste. Ima­gine that this Animal you see before you, had no great mind that I should kill him: As soon as he saw me, away he scamper'd as if the Devil had been behind him, but on a sud­den turn'd back upon me with a felonious In­tent to Murder me. Upon which I delibe­rated with my self what I had best to do. I cou'd not tell but you might have set him against me, for whenever I see any thing that is dismal or terrible, I immediately conclude that it comes from you. But after I had well examin'd the Boar's Countenance, I cou'd not find that he had so jolly an Air, as even your Rigours and Cruelties use to be attended with. There was another Diffi­culty still behind, and that was to know, whether I had not best die to put an end to those cruel Torments you make me suffer; but there was too much Self-interest I thought to take that course, and I humbly conceiv'd it was for your Ladiship's Ho­nour, that a Lover so faithful as I, shou'd live, altho' he did not find his Account in it. Thus the Zeal that I had for your Glory cost the poor Boar his Life, who little imagin'd he had to deal with an Ad­versary that was animated by so powerful a [Page 142] Motive. In short, I shot my Gentleman dead upon the Spot; and his Brother Boars I pre­sume will have more Guts in their Brains for the future, then to pick a Quarrel with such as preserve their Lives on purpose for you. I shou'd be the happiest Man in the Universe, Madam, if you wou'd feed heartily upon him out of Revenge, for having been so impudent to put me in peril of my Life; and if that Consideration make him go down the better with you, I am,

Your most Obedient, &c.

To Monsieur C—

Vpon the Cartesian Philosophy.

ANd is it true Sir, that you have lost your Understanding? I hear you are turn'd Philosopher of late, and what is more, that you belong to that Sect of Philosophy, which is the oddest in the World. It seems you don't think there are such things as Colours: You maintain that Beasts are Ma­chines, and move by Clock-work: In fine, you turn things topsie turvy after so strange a rate, that a Man can't tell what to trust [Page 143] to. I spoke of it the other day to Madam B—who is very much your Friend, and is heartily afflicted, at the loss of your Reason: I dare swear she wou'd strangle Des Cartes in one of her Garters if she had him in the Room; for in short, his Philo­sophy is not to be endured in a Christian Country; it robs the Ladies of their Beauty, and makes 'em all as ugly as Witches. If there is no such thing as Colours, there's consequently no such thing as a fine Com­plexion; and what will become then of the Lillies and Roses in the Cheeks of our great Beauties? You'll come off but scurvily, let me tell you, if you think to appease 'em, by saying that Colours are in the Eyes of those that look upon 'em, and not in the Objects themselves. The Ladies won't depend upon the Eyes of other Men for their Complexions, but are resolv'd to hold it of themselves and not at the Courtesie of every Spectator. If there are no Colours in the Night, our Friend Mr. N—is finely brought to bed, who fell in Love with Madam L—merely upon the score of her fine Face, and married her. It wou'd be a great Mortification to him, after having be­lieved that he has the finest red and white in the Universe between his Armes, to find there is no such thing as red and white in [Page 144] Nature. But if the Complexion is a cheat upon our Sences, what will you say to those Ladies that practise the Mystery of Painting, and lay on the Carnation and the White as thick as Plaister? 'Tis certain nothing can be more real, and so these Ladies will enjoy a Priviledge above the rest of their Sex, I mean that of having a true Complexion; however, all the World are of another Opinion, and will positively tell you that theirs is not true.

I desire you to answer this Argument at your leisure; but this is not all, for Ma­dam De B—and my self have found out another Objection against your Philoso­phy, which you'll find it no easie matter to answer. You pretend that Beasts are no less Machines than Watches; now I dare in­gage, that if you put a certain Machine call'd a Dog, and another Machine call'd a Bitch together in the same Room, there will re­sult a third little Machine from their cor­responding together; whereas you may put two Watches together as long as you live, nay, till Dooms-day if you please, and they will never produce a third Watch between 'em. Now Madam B—and I find by our Philosophy, that all those things, that be­ing two, have yet the vertue to make three, are of a Class much superiour to that of [Page 145] Machines. We give you time to consider of an Answer to these Objections, for we know very well that you must consult your Books, before you'll be able to do it. Ma­dam B—sends you word by me, that she will not receive a Visit from you, before you have made some Reparation to her Complexion: As for me, I assure you, I am a Piece of Clock-work newly wound up, to go in your Service, am

Your most Obedient Servant.

To Madam D—V— Vpon sending her a Black and a Monkey.


AFric has exhausted herself for you, she sends you too of the oddest Crea­tures she produces, and nothing wou'd be wanting to make my Present compleat, if I cou'd send you a Crocodile to keep 'em Company. Both of 'em are in Perfection, the Black is the saddest Dog of all Blacks, and the Monkey is the most malicious De­vil of all Monkies. I can assure you, that one of these Beasts, has a mighty Respect [Page 146] for the other, and is a profest Admirer of his Ingenuity and great Parts. You'll soon discover that this Admirer is the Black. Besides it is an Article of Faith among those of his Nation, that the Monkies have as much Reason as themselves, but that they conceal it as much as they can, by not talk­ing, for fear Men shou'd clap Pack-saddles upon their Backs, and make them Work for their Living. This Black, Madam, has a par­ticular Esteem for the Monkey, as having lived under the same Roof many Years with him, and has not a jot of Understanding more than he has learnt in his long acquain­tance with him. But I have one Advice to give you, Madam, and that is to look him frequently in the Face: Our Blacks in France turn tawny, and become of an Olive Complexion, which is enough to scare Lueifer out of his Senses. The Phy­sical Reason of this is, because the Sun is not strong enough in our Clymate to keep up that charming Black which it gives 'em in Afric; but, Madam, your Eyes, that are so lively and piercing, will supply the Defect of the Sun; and will not let him lose an Ace of his primitive Complexion. I am extremely glad that you will always have a Slave in your presence to represent me; he is not more yours than I am; if [Page 147] he gives you any Occasion to have him well Cudgel'd sometimes, to put him in mind of his Duty, he something resembles me, for the Devil of Rebellion often tempts me to revolt against you. As for the Monkey pray don't be surprised, Madam, if you hear Sighs come from him, that are strong enough to turn about a Wind-mill, if you see him pass whole Nights without sleeping a Wink, if you find him as Melancholy as a Horse in a Pound, when he is not in your Company; in fine, if he eats little and can't divert himself in any thing, for I must tell you, Madam, that like a trusty Servant he has learnt all this of his old Master, who is,

Your most Obedient, &c.

To the same.

On the Death of her Monkey.

I Am told your Monkey is gone the way of all Flesh, at which I am exceedingly griev'd, for I am like to be a great Loser by his Decease, since I have no body now to put you in mind of me but the Black. The [Page 148] unhappy Creature I suppose broke his Heart because he was not able to imitate me be­fore you, as well as he desir'd: indeed there was nothing which he cou'd not handsomly counterfeit with infinitely more ease than my Passion; but may his Destiny light upon all the Rivals you make me who shall have the Insolence to be the Apes of my Affection; perhaps too the poor thing drew your Di­spleasure upon himself, for endeavouring to imitate my Passion, and so unluckily dy'd of Despair. If it is so, I have nothing left me to do, but to imitate him in my turn, and to die after him. I am inform'd you have shed some Tears for him; it is some­thing of the latest to repent for the ill Usage you have given him, but regulate your Con­duct I beseech you by him, and don't o­blige me to die, if you must needs regret me after Death. It is very probable that if you so heartily lament the Party that imitated me, you'll grieve ten times more for your humble Servant. I am an Original of Tenderness, and if you lose me, you are not like to find my Fellow in haste, but must ev'n content your self with very scurvy Copies. But, Madam, let me conjure you, not to use the Black the worse because he is my Representative; it wou'd be very hard upon him indeed, if for that Reason he must [Page 149] meet with the Destiny of the Monkey. Can you suffer nothing to be near you, that has the Misfortune to bear some Re­semblance of my Fidelity and Devotion for you, but you must kill it by your Cruel­ty? The Tears I shed for the Death of the Monkey are better founded than yours, since his Adventure teaches me what I am to expect. Farewel, Madam, but remem­ber if you please, that you cannot restore the late Defunct to Life again, but that you have still the Power to preserve

Your humble Servant, &c.

To Mademoiselle de C— Vpon sending her an Extract of the Church-Register.


I Can without Vanity boast, that I make you to Day a very considerable Present: In short, I give you two whole Years; you thought you were twenty two Years old, and I bring it you attested in a Paper under Hand and Seal, that you are [Page 150] but twenty; now I reckon that I give you these Years which I take away from you, and indeed in those matters we never reckon otherwise. The two Years you thought had past over your Head, are still to come, and I do my self the Honour to make you a Present of 'em. I am ready to die for fear, Madam, that you will not value them as they deserve; But good Heavens! the Man that were able to make such a Present, to certain Ladies that shall be nameless, what Favours might he not ex­pect from their Hand? Where is the White and the Red, and where are the fine Dresses and Compliments that can be put into the Ballance with two compleat Years? It is but reasonable, Madam, I think, that you shou'd employ 'em wholly upon me, since you are indebted to me for 'em. When they are gone and past; you may do what you please, I shall then pretend to have no manner of Right over you, but with Sub­mission, Madam, from the present Moment till you are compleatly twenty two, you wholly belong to me. After that, I leave you just as I found you, at Liberty to break off, or continue the Commerce, according as you see convenient; but if I find you not at all inclined to do me Justice, know, Madam, that I will suffer no one to Love [Page 151] you, upon the Foot of twenty Years Where-ever I go I will tell the Company, that in truth you had not been so old by two Years if you had not been so minded, but that you refused to accept 'em from me, and that since you don't Love me, 'tis but requisite you reckon your self to be twenty two Years old. You little imagine perhaps to what strange Hazards you expose your self, by making me Master of the Secret of your Age: for 'tis a Secret, Madam, which those of your Sex keep inviolably to them­selves, and perhaps the only one a Woman can keep. Several Ladies have trusted me with the Affairs of their Families; nay, even with their Love; but I cou'd never yet meet with one so open-hearted to trust me with her Age. There are a thousand Wo­men that will run up to the Mouth of a Cannon, that will hang or drown with as much cheerfulness as if they went to a Gossi­ping, that will make you nothing to jump down four Stories: but, I never found a Woman, that had Courage and Resolution enough to tell her Age. The truth on't is, the older they are, the more sensible they become of what Importance it is, that they had not lived so many Years. As for you, Madam, who have not plaid your Cards so cautiously as you should have done, you [Page 152] don't know how you will tremble one Day left I should tell any Tales of you. Your Destiny will depend upon me, and there is nothing which I cannot force you to com­ply with, if instead of a Ponyard I send you the Extract of the Church-register. I dare ingage that you laugh at my Menaces at present, and that you think the time is so far off, that you don't believe I shall ever live to see it. I am afraid indeed you'll prove a Prophetess, for unless you are less rigorous, you'll soon dispatch

Your most Obedient, &c.
The End of Monsieur Fontanelle's Let­ters, under the borrowed Name of the Chevalier d' Her.

Original Letters.

To his honoured Friend, Dr. Baynard at the Bath.

Dear Doctor,

WHile here in Town we are almost Roasted by the hot Weather, and the Sun plays so warmly on us, that some People who were of no Reli­gion before, talk of turning Adamites in their own Defence; I cannot but laugh to think what a blessed Pickle you are in at the Bath, where such Crowds of you Stew in so little a Pipkin; where you broil upon the Earth, parboil in the Water, and you breathe the Composition of Gunpowder; or, were there nothing extraordinary in your Soyl, your Climate, or the Season of [...]ne-Year, where you have pretty Ladies en [...]sons to set you all on Fire, though you were [...]ples [Page 154] or three Degrees more to the North than Lapland, and I were Writing to you now in the midst of January.

This is the first Summer since the Revo­lution, that the Sun has been pleased to dispence any Favours to us, for hitherto we have had as little Reason to complain of his Benignity to us, as the Politiques of our States-men. Our Fruits have ripen'd with­out the Influence of the one, as our Affairs have made a shift to rub on without any great Conjuring on the part of the other. The Sun that ripens the Grape, will like­wise ripen Feavors, and other such generous Distempers, to the great Joy of the Poets and Physicians; and Phoebus, their common Father, will incourage his own Tribe, by raising up a new Stock of Wines and Dis­eases. Indeed, where you are, it is almost impossible for the Gentlemen of the Facul­ty to want Business, for if our last Advices from the Bath, don't deceive us, you have almost as many Doctors upon the Spot as you have Patients, that watch the coming in of every Coach, as nicely as a young Boy at the University do the Return of the Car­rier, and ply at all Corners of the Streets, [...]egularly as the Watermen do at the [...]ple Stairs: But it has long ago been [...]ed of you, as of the Lawyers, that [Page 155] they will find or make Work where-ever they come; and accordingly I knew a little Town in Essex, where the Inhabitants, time out of mind, had lived in as uninterrup­ted Tranquility, as the happy Indians did in America, before the Spaniards came to beat up their Quarters; but upon an Attor­ney's coming to reside amongst'em, the Face of Affairs was immediately alter'd, Tenants conspir'd against their Landlords, Hostlers revolted from their Masters, and the Ap­prentices took up Arms against their lawful Tyrants: Not a Tithe-egg could be had without an Action, nor a Pig under a Suit in Chancery, a Spirit of Division had crept into every Family, Maids betray'd their Mistres­ses, Girls rebell'd against their Grandmothers, and Sweethearts deserted their confiding Damsels; in short, every Man stood as much upon his own Guard, as if he had been in an Enemy's Country; these were the blessed Effects of the Lawyer's living amongst 'em.

Now Doctor, it were a very hard Case, if having so much Credit at the Bath, you cou'd not do as much for your self, as the above mention'd Attorney did to promote his own Business; if you cou'd not Philosophically Reason People into Distempers they were ne­ver troubled with, like the Fanatick Parsons that Fly-blow their Hearers with Scruples [Page 156] they knew nothing of before. If you cou'd not cure'em of Ails they never felt, and leave behind you Maladies, you never found up­on 'em. But I am inform'd that the Tub-Preachers are very much dissatisfied that you invade their Territories, and encroach upon their Prerogative of Hell. Your hot and cold Baths (they say) put their Brim­stone and Ice out of Countenance; and 'tis reported, that by the skilful Management of your Torments, by scalding your Pati­ents at the Bath in July, and freezing them at Islington in December, you've broke half the Retailors of the Terrours of Pluto's Kingdom.

But to come now to the News of the Town, we have had an Apparition lately here, stranger than any in Glanvill or Aubry; for it has appeared in the Streets at noon Day, and thousands of People are ready to depose that they have seen it. By this strange Ap­parition, I mean the White Parson, so call'd for his wearing a White Hat-band, Scarf, and Sursingle, by which he distinguishes himself from the rest of his Brethren. I cou'd wish you had been here in Holbourn t'other Morning, to have seen his Caval­cade: He rode up the Hill as great as a Prince, and like other Princes signalized his Entry with printed Declarations, with a [Page 157] great Rabble of loud-mouth'd Hawkers, Male and Female, bellowing it on every side of him; and 'tis supposed by the Learn­ed in Astrology, that he will keep this De­claration as Religiously as some other Prin­ces beyond Sea have kept theirs: In short, he pretends to preach the Gospel Gratis, and indeed as he manages it, it is pity he shou'd have a Farthing for it: He calls the rest of his Cloth Hirelings, tho' unless the Fellow is bely'd, he wou'd accept of a Pot of Ale from a Chimney-sweeper, and has preach'd a hundred times upon a Joint-stool for a pickl'd Herring and a Poringer of burnt Brandy. The Rozinante, on which this Don Quixote rode, had a Laurel-garland a­bout his Head, and I dare swear, deserv'd the Bays as well as his Master; for the Wretch, as I am inform'd, is troubled with a Whore to his Wife, and his Muse is an arrant Jilt, the latter is the more common Prostitute of the two.

But, dear Doctor, News are as scarce in Town, as Fees at the Bath and it falls out unluckily for you and me, that we must change Places, to find what we want; for I hear you have a Mint at the Bath for Scan­dal, as we have here for Money; so that 'tis but shifting the Scene, and we may draw Bills upon one another, to answer our several Occasions, till when, I am.

Melanissa to Alexis.

GIve me leave, my dearest Alexis! give me leave, who love you better than my Life; and if I make bold to reproach you with your Failings, you will easily for­give this freedom, unless I am mightily mi­staken in the Humour of my Alexis, when you find it wholly regard your own Interest and Welfare.

It is not without a sensible Concern that I see you abandon your self so to the Bottle of late: A young Fellow, but especially one like Alexis, ought to devote himself to ano­ther Divinity; old Age indeed may be allow'd to supply its defect of Warmth with Wine, but Youth as it needs it not, so Nature ad­vises it to pursue a more agreeable Game. But can any thing in the World be so absurd as to surfeit our selves with Cordials when we have not the least Indisposition?

To convince you then that my Com­plaint is neither junust nor unreasonable, I, who know so little of the World, and have nothing but Nature to guide me; I who am a Stranger to Language, and Style, and con­sequently must maim my Thoughts, for want of knowing how properly to express [Page 159] 'em, will endeavour to describe to you, a Night as it passes away in the Embraces of an agreeable Mistress, accompany'd with all the Transports and Tendernesses of Love, and the Night as it is commonly spent by what the Town call Men of Wit and Plea­santry, at the Rose or Blew-posts:

The Play is now over, and the Sparks who while it was Acting, rallied the Vi­zard-Masques, laugh'd aloud at their own No-jests, censur'd the Dress and Beauty of all the Ladies in the Boxes; and, in short, minded every thing, but the Representation that brought them thither, begin now to File off, and gravely debate how and where the Evening is to spent; At last the Tavern is pitch'd upon, the Room taken, and our learned Criticks in Pleasures seat themselves round the Table.

The Master of the House is the first Per­son they send to Advise with; who, after a few Cringes and Scrapes, tells 'em, He has the best Champagne and Burgundy in Town, and is sure to ask an exorbitant Price for't, tho' 'tis a vile nasty Mixture of his own Brewing. After a long and foolish Dispute, the Rate is adjusted, Napkins are called for, the Muff, Sword and Periwigg nicely laid up, and now something-like Bu­siness comes forward.

[Page 160] When these grand Preliminaries are set­tl'd, the next important Debate is, what they must eat; so the Cook is sent for, who recommends to 'em something Nice and Dear; this Difficulty with much a-do got over, the Glasses plentifully walk round, to blunt and weaken that Appetite which they pretend to excite by it.

And now their Hearts begin to open, and their Tongues to communicate their most secret Thoughts. The topping Beau­ties of the Town are the first Subjects of their Conversation, and this is so ample a Field, that they soon lose their way in it; one boasts of Favours receiv'd from a Lady, whom perhaps he never saw any where but at the Play-house; another tosts a Coun­tess, whom he pretends to admire in a par­ticular manner, and gives broad Items of an Intrigue between her and a certain Gen­tleman that shall be nameless; in short, 'tis resolv'd by the Board, Nemine contre dicente, that there is not one honest Woman in the three Kingdoms, who has Beauty enough to gain her a Lover.

When this Argument is pretty well ex­hausted, the next thing they talk of, is the Authors of the Town, and what Books and Plays have lately appear'd: Upon this Head, every Man in the Company affects to dis­cover [Page 161] a peculiar Tast and Judgment, and thinks he shews his Witt by finding Faults, where there are none; the Play, whatever it is, is taken to pieces, the Plot upon Ex­amination, is found either to be stolen, or not to be well unravel'd, the Scenes are lan­guishing, the Characters thread-bare, or not worth a Farthing; infine, the Poet is sent to the Devil for want of Wit, as the pert Critick thinks he shews his, by con­demning what he doth not understand.

All this while the ungodly Brimmer walks incessantly round the Table, the Company soon dwindles into private Cabals, every Man talks busily to his Neighbour, Affairs of State are determin'd, this Minister is dis­plac'd, and t'other Man put into his room; The Proceedings in Parliament laid down before-hand, and 'tis concluded what Regi­ments shall stand, and what be broken; after this Punctilio's of Honour come to be dis­cuss'd, the freshest Duels behind Mountague­house, and Chelsey-fields are learnedly run over; such a Man is a Coward for suffer­ing Captain—to tread upon his Toes in the Pit, and not calling him to Account for it; Damn you, cries another, Jack—is as Gallant a Fellow as ever drew Sword, and whoever says any thing to the contrary, is a Son of a Whore and a Villain, and I'll [Page 162] cut his Throat; with that a Bottle is thrown at his Head, the Glasses goes to rack, the Table is overturn'd, nothing but Disorder and Confusion is in the Room, and all this Mirth and Jollity concludes in Murder.

Or if the Scene doth not end altogether so Tragically, but they part Friends as they came in, ten to one but a merry Frolick is proposed: The Quarters of some ill-natu-red Coquet are to be beaten up, and her poor Windows must feel the sad Effects of their Heroick Valour; but while they are carrying on this Attaque with unparalelled Vigour and Gallantry; behold the Super­intendant of the Night, with his trusty Guard of Mirmidons falls upon their main Body; some of our Heroes lie sprawling in the Kennel, with their trusty and well-be­loved Periwigs lying by 'em; the embroi­der'd Coat is all over cover'd with Dirt and Blood, the well-adjusted Cravat torn to Raggs, the Sword either broke or carried off in the Tumult; and thus, after a well-fa­vour'd Drubbing, our Sparks make a shift to crawl home to their Lodgings, if the No­cturnal Magistrate and his Canibals, don't hurry 'em to New-prison or the Round-house, the usual Sanctuary for such Adventurers.

But suppose nothing of this happens, and our merry Gentlemen get home safe from [Page 163] the Tavern, without any Disaster or Cala­mity by the way; yet the next Morning calls 'em to a severe Account, for the Mis­demenors and Intemperance of the proceed­ing Night: Their Head akes, their whole Frame is in disorder, they are incapable of relishing either Books or Conversation; e­ven Musick it self, with all its boasted Ef­ficacy, is not able to allay their Pains, the most exquisite Dishes are nauseous to 'em, they starve amidst the greatest profusion of Luxury, and curse that Extravagance over Night that Starves them the next Day in the midst of Plenty. 'Tis certain, that I have been favourable in this Descripti­on, 'tis certain that I have not set down half the Disorders that accompany a De­bauch while 'Tis a making, nor half the ill Effects that happen after it. Let us now turn the Tables, to find whether Love can be reproach'd with any of these Inconve­niencies that use to attend Drunkenness: Let us see how the Moments wear away in the Embraces of a delicious Mistress; and then we shall soon discover on which side the Advantages lie, and be able to decide this Controversie.

I know very well that I want Eloquence and Language, to describe the Raptures and Transports of Love as they deserve; how­ever, [Page 164] I am so well assur'd of the Goodness of my Cause, that altho' I am an unfit Ad­vocate to defend it, yet I don't much de­spair of carrying my Point.

The long expected Night at last arrives, when Damon is to be made happy in the Arms of his beloved Armida, with his Head full of a thousand delightful Idea's; (for Love is so good-natur'd, as to pay his Votaries part of their Pleasure before-hand) he comes to the happy Mansion, where the chief Treasure of his Soul resides, he knocks gently at the Door; the trusty Maid con­ducts him by the Hand in the dark, and leads him to his Mistress's Apartment.

At the first Interview, he is all wrapt up in Silence and Astonishment, his Thoughts so croud upon him, that they hinder one a­nother in the Passage; after he is a little re­cover'd, he endeavours to speak; but, alas! his Eyes talk infinitely more than his Tongue. On her part, the Confusion is no less, and her Joys equally tumultuous; thus finding themselves unable to Discourse, they tell their Passion in Sighs and Glances; they confirm it by repeated Kisses, and at every Kiss their fluttering Souls meet at their Mouths.

Damon squeezes that Hand, which al­most dissolves in the touch; he presses those [Page 165] glowing Breasts that wou'd warm the cold­est Hermit; but all this is nothing but the Prologue to the succeeding Drama. Love calls upon 'em for a more substantial Repast, though they are undrest in a Minute, yet this very Minute seems an Age; and now they are a going to tast all that Felicity, which Love can bestow, or Humane Na­ture can bear.

The Candle is put out to hide the Blush­es of Armida; she finds her eager Lover by her side, who cost her so many Tears and Sighs in private. The happy Lover is lost in a Labyrinth of Pleasure; sometimes he abandons her Breast for her Mouth, and sometimes her Mouth for her Breast, and is only uneasie he cannot Kiss 'em both toge­ther. He Faints, he grows Giddy with the Excess of Joy: nothing but half-formed Words and Murmurs can come from him; at last he approaches Love's Altar, at last he—But here my Pen fails me, I am forced to draw a Vail over those Rap­tures, which 'tis not in the Power of mor­tal Eloquence to represent.

Thus our happy Lovers, after they have repeated Oblations to Love, lay intranced in one anothers Arms, and act over in their busie Dreams, the delicious Scenes that so Transports 'em waking.

[Page 166] The Morning approaches, the blushing Morning awakens the transported Pair. A­mintas is beholding to its Light, for show­ing him the Nymph, in whose Embraces he so agreeably past the Night. She charm­ed him in the Dark, she ravishes him in the Light; and the only Uneasiness that at­tends their Happiness, is Impatience to re­peat the Bliss.

Both the Lovers rise equally satisfied, with having done their Parts, with Gayety in their Looks, and Satisfaction in their Souls: Parting gives them some Pain, but that is sufficiently recompensed at their next Meeting.

Thus I have endeavour'd, my Alexit, to show what a vast Difference there is be­tween a Night murder'd in the Excess of Wine, and a Night consecrated to Love.

Though no Truth is more evident than this; yet our Youth, possess'd by what fa­tal Stupidity, I cannot tell; generally De­vote themselves to the wrong Divinity. In­stead of following the Dictates of Nature, whom they ought to obey, they treat her like an Enemy, and profane those Altars, they ought to pay their Devotions at.

I know well enough, that you Gentle­men, don't much care to be Advised by those frail Things call'd Women, and per­haps [Page 167] too you will tell me, that Interest has made me say all this. However, let me conjure you to consider a little upon what I have offer'd to you, and believe that no one loves you so dearly and tenderly as


To a litigious Country-Attorney. A Letter of Gallantry.

Worthy Sir,

THat I am no Stranger to your Chara­cter (tho', I bless my Stars for it, I am to your Person) you'll soon find, if you'll give your self the trouble to read the fol­lowing Lines: There is no great pleasure indeed in drawing Monsters; however, since it may be of publick Advantage to have 'em described in their true proper Co­lours, that others may avoid, and detest 'em, I have ventur'd at the Task, that your self, as well as the World, may see by Reflection what you cannot help to be. To accommodate my self to the Dialect of your Profession, I will begin my Letter like a Bond, with a Noverint Vniversi: And [Page 168] may all Men accordingly know by these Presents, That Mr. M. C. is the veriest pettifogging Rascal that ever scandaliz'd a Green Bag, or came within the Walls of Westminster-hall.

I have often wonder'd, that Providence shou'd be at the Trouble and Expence of Disordering the whole Fabrick of Nature, when it has decreed to punish us with Dearths and Famines, since it may go a more compendious Way to work, and ef­fect all these Calamities by the Ministry of Lawyers. Give a true Lawyer but Pen, Ink, and Parchment, and I dare engage he will starve the Country ten Miles round him. The most odious Animals, and the most contemptible Insects, have some use or other, living or dead, or at least serve to diversifie the Universe: Toads, they say, suck up the Venome of the Earth; Snakes are useful in Medicine; but it wou'd puzle the wisest Naturalist to find out any thing good in a Lawyer, (I mean such a Fellow as you are) who abhor Honesty, and Plain­dealing, as much as a Miser does Charity, and build your own Welfare upon the De­struction of those poor Wretches who fly to you for Justice. We see puny Rascals, of a lower Class, truss'd up every Sessions, for petty Roguries to thine; for easing the [Page 169] Hedges of some lousie Linnen, for nim­ming of Cloaks, stealing of supernumera­ry Spoons, &c. when such a Villain, as you reduce whole Families to Poverty, and set a County together by the Ears, and are so far from being call'd to an Account for it, that you get an Estate out of the Publick by Rapine and Extortion, Nose the Parson of the Parish, and Insult over all the Neigh­bours; and, tho' you have Tricks and Eva­sions enough to escape Justice here, yet you pay Cent. per Cent. Interest for your Ro­gury in another World; the Devil never keeps a Holiday in good earnest, but when an Attorney of your Stamp makes a perpen­dicular Leap into his Dominions; and he will no more part with him, when he has got him into his Clutches, than one of his own Lawyers will refund a Fee; Possession being eleven Points of the Law in Hell as well as in Westminster-hall.

Thus, Sir, you see I have made a little familiar with you and your Function, and perhaps am bolder than welcome: But, Sir, I have a Favour to request at your Hands, and I tell you before-hand, that you must not deny me. What I have to propose to you is not unreasonable or difficult; for I don't desire you to make Restitution of what you have unjustly plunder'd from so many [Page 170] Families, nor to build Hospitals, (unless it be one for your Father, who Grazes upon the Common:) No, Sir, you shall find me the fairest, the easiest Man you ever dealt with: I am informed your House stands by the side of a famous River, which looks as if Providence design'd you for the End I advise you to: So, Sir, if you please, one of these fine Mornings to take a Leap into it from your Garret, it will be the best-na­tur'd thing you ever did to the World in your Life; you need not cram your Poc­kets with Stones or Lead, to make you sink, for your own Sins are pondrous e­nough to do your business without 'em, if the Proverb don't secure you. But, Sir, if this will not do, as perhaps it mayn't, (for, as I told you before, you shall find me the most reasonable Man in the Universe) why then, Sir, I wou'd advise you to hang your self in your Closet, in your Wife's Gar­ters, or rip up your Guts with a Case-knife, or cut your Jugulars with a Razor, or take a good large Dose of Opium; or lastly, knock your Brains out against a Brick-wall: but then, Sir, take my Word for't, you must knock hard; for, your Neighbours tells me, you have a confounded thick Scull. In short, Sir, I shan't insist nicely upon the How, the Where, the When, provided the thing [Page 171] be done in a reasonable Time: and I pro­mise you under my Hand, that the Bells shall ring merrily, as soon as it is accom­plish'd; and to encourage you to proceed in this Affair, I can assure you you'll Oblige no less than a whole County by it, and par­ticularly your unknown Servant.

To Mr. Moult.

Dear Sir,

ACcording to Promise I had written to you last Saturday, but that I was ob­liged to Accompany some Gentlemen that Morning to Richmond, in Expectation of hearing fine Musick, which never in the Play-house had pass'd the Censure of a Pit-Fop; and drinking true Languedoc, never yet debauch'd in a Vintner's Celler. But it happen'd quite otherwise with us: For the Wine was such sophisticated Stuff, that I told the Company, it set Drunkenness on the same Level with Swearing; I mean by disarming it of all Excuses: And as for the Musick, it was so abominable, that half a dozen Welsh-harpers met upon St. David's Day, to make merry over a Mess of Leek­porridge, could not have tormented the [Page 172] Ears of a Purcel with more discording Thrumthrum. I dare almost ingage, had the same Fellows play'd upon the same In­struments before the Town of Jerico, the Walls would have paid the same Compli­ment to their Harmony, as they did to that of the Levites, for nothing could have pa­tience to stand still and listen to their Per­formances. So, after this double Disappoint­ment, we were forc'd, very late in the Even­ing, or very early in the Morning, (I wont be positive which) to go back to our Boat, and return for London, reflecting all the way as severely on our mispent-time, as a Town-lady, who has oblig'd a Poet with her Favours all Night, and gets nothing in the Morning for her Pains, but the Co­py of a new Song for Breakfast.

When I had the Happiness of seeing you last in Town, I told you that you should not fail of having a Letter from me every other Post; I am afraid I shall be better than my Word, and Persecute you more con­stantly then a City-vintner does a Country Parliament-man that chalk'd it plentifully last Winter Sessions. Since I have no other way of conversing with you but by Letters, you may depend upon seeing me twice a Week at least, tho' were you in Town I believe I should scarce vissit you so often. [Page 173] But, dear Friend of mine, this is purely the Effect of Absence. I knew a certain Gentle­man, who, when he was at home with his Wife, scarce vouchsaft to exchange a Word with her once a Week; but being obliged to take a Journey as far as York, he never fail'd of writing to her every Post, and lon­ger Letters too, than a Clergiman does when he recommends himself to his Patron for a fat Living. The reason of it is plain, because all Blessings (and such I say is Mr. M—'s Conversation to me and every one that knows him) are never throughly understood when we have 'em in our Pos­session, and are never so much valued as when they are at some distance from us.

Thus, my dear Friend, for want of some­thing else to entertain you, I have fallen the Lord knows how, into making Moral Reflections, which was never my Talent; but if a Man is to govern himself by the Examples he sees in this wicked Town, I don't know why I should not be allow'd to Talk out of my Element, as well as a Thousand more which I cou'd name to you, were I disposed to be ill-natur'd: I cou'd tell you of a certain famous Painter, who understands his Trade and Business, as well as most Men living, and yet is perpetually new modeling the Government, and har­ping [Page 174] upon Politiques, which he under­stands just as much as the Lord-Mayor and Aldermen do Arabick. I know a City Physician, who can dispatch his Patients as fast as any of the Colledge, yet in spite of Nature and his own Genius, will be always murd'ring of Rhimes, and feeling the Pulse of the Muses: and another of the Faculty near Charing-cross, who instead of Galen and Hippocrates is perpetually puzling himself with Daniel, and the Revelations. I know a Lawyer perfectly well versed in all Myste­ries of Conveyancing, who, by his good Will, Talks of nothing in all Companies but the Merits of Cows Piss, and the modern Dispute betwixt Alcali's and Acids. There is also a famous Parson I cou'd mention to you near St. Dunstan's, who Preaches his Parish fast asleep every Sunday with the O­pium he puts in his Sermon, yet over his Coffee must be setling the Affairs of Europe, the Succession of Spain, and the Union of the two East-India Companies, of all which he Talks more wretchedly than a Poet or a Beau does of Religion; though, by the by, this must be said in his Justification, that he Talks much better of every Thing, than what he was educated to.

I can't tell how you'll relish such an insi­pid Letter as this, but 'tis my Misfortune at [Page 175] present, that I can't furnish you a better Treat: For my part, I had rather Rob the Spittle, or quote Second-hand Sayings, from a Second-hand Wit at Will's Coffee-house, than be beholding to those dull Rogues that Writes the Weekly News-papers: Howe­ver, I hope to make you Amends the next Post; and in the mean time beg leave to Subscribe my self.

To Mr. George Moult. A Letter of News.

Dear Sir,

HAving nothing of our own Growth to Entertain you with, I stole into a French Coffee-house near Soho this After­noon; where a Parcel of persecuted poor Hugonots, who had just shifted off their Rags, and crept into good Cloaths, by the help of our English Charity; were railing against the Tyranny of their quondam K—g, like so many Alms-folks against the Church­wardons of their Parish, and express'd as great an Aversion to their own Native Coun­try, as a Jew to Bacon, or the Scotch Kirk to Lawn-sleeves: Amongst the rest was a Par­son, [Page 176] who calling for a Dish of Tea, the Coffee-man, through good Husbandry, had converted one of his wooden Shooes (which I suppose he came over in) to the use of a Sugar-box, which the Preacher took up as a Text, and gave us a very good Afternoon's Lecture, upon the Miseries of his Country Men, in which the ungainly Slipper was oftentimes made use of, as a very servicea­able Tipe.

This being over, I began to examine the Foreign Papers, to see what News. But Europe, as large as it is, being from the far­thest Extremity of Spain, to the remotest Parts of Muscovy, at least two thousand Miles in length (more than I shall ever be Master off;) Europe, I say, that contains two Empires, fourteen Kingdoms, and the Devil knows how many Principalities, Duke­doms, Marquisates and Earldoms, with a Pope at the Head of it too, that loves Mis­chief as dearly, as a Fryer does Nuns Flesh, is not able at present to furnish out a Letter for you; but to satisfie you, that I have not been wanting, on my part, to hunt for Foreign Occurrences; I have here sent you an A­bridgment of the most material Passages in the Outlandish Gazets.

Our last Letters from Warsaw advise, that three Poles were run through the Guts by [Page 177] three German Soldiers, and that some of the small Diets are broke up in a Heat; But, alas, what are Murders and Mutinies in Poland? No more than Simony in a Welsh Bishop. They talk too, that the Cardinal Primate, grumbles in his Gizard, and is not so hearty to the King as he should be; but when did you know a Church-man in Au­thority, and not endeavour to blow up the Coals of Sedition to the hightest Aggravati­on, if it lay in his Power? I wish some one or other wou'd send him over Bishop Over­hall's Convocation-book. For certainly what help'd to open the Eyes of the D—of P—'s can never fail of working Miracles, in so enlighten'd a Country as Poland.

Madrid, July 20. The King of Spain's Health is much alter'd for the better of late, he Eats and Walks to a Miracle; for Ye­sterday at Dinner, he ravenously devour'd a whole Lark, and without any one to sup­port him, made a shift to walk threescore Foot out-right. This Re-establishment of his Health, the Priests, ten to one, will Fa­ther upon some She or He-Saint, that knows nothing of the Matter; but I heard a mer­ry Gentleman a Day or two ago Account for it otherwise. As Monica said of her be­loved Son St. Austin's Conversion, That it was impossible for a Son of so many Tears [Page 178] ever to miscarry; so 'tis impossible, crys this Gentleman, that a Monarch, whose Health is drank in all the Taverns in Christendom, which are not Frenchify'd; shou'd do other­wise then find in himself a sensible Altera­tion for the better; and I pray to God con­tinually, that a certain Person, who waits so impatiently for a certain dead Man's Spa­nish Slippers, may go bear Foot, and not have so much as a Pair of French Wooden­shooes to keep him out of the Dirt.

Paris, July 23. The King's Statue was lately set up here in the Place de Vandome; 'tis a perfect Colossus, and Mons. Geriardin has made it appear, That our Monarch has been drawn three times bigger than the Life, not only by his Parsons, his Poets, and his Historiographers, but by his Statua­ries too. The Ceremony of the Erection was very magnificent, several of the Nobi­lity, the Counsellors of the Parliament, and the Principals of the Citizens, assisted at it in all their Formalities; and if it had been the Custom of the Place, the City Recorder had made a handsome Speech to the Figure. Our Letters from all Parts of the Kingdom in­forms us, that the poor Hugonots are Persecu­ted ten times more severely, if possible, than the Witches in Scotland, and 'tis thought de­serve it as little.

[Page 179] Rome, July 10. Our last Letters from hence advise, that mighty Preparations are making for the ensuing Jubile; most of the Charnel-houses and Tooth-drawers Shops have been disfurnished of late, on purpose to provide Relicts for the great number of Votaries we expect here. A Carmelite Fry­er has brought a most valuable Rarity with him from the Holy-land, which he present­ed last Week to his Holiness: 'Tis the Comb which belong'd to the Cock that set St. Pe­ter a Weeping; and the Pope, they say, de­signs to make a Present of it to a peculiar Favourite; we are like to be over-run with Strumpets from all Parts of Christendom, who flock hither partly to wipe off their old Scores, and partly to begin a fresh Tick with Heaven. 'Tis found by a modest Computation at present, that they are at least ten Harlots to one Church-man already. How will they be over-power'd then, when the whole Posse is got to Rome? Howe­ver it is hoped that we shall have a speedy Reinforcement of Brawney well-chin'd Re­gulars, and Seculars from the North, to keep the Balance more even between the Gown and the Petticoat. This is the first time that a Plurality of Concubines was ever thought a Grievance at Rome.

[Page 180] Amsterdam, July 30. The Magistrates of this Place, lately took into their pious Con­siderations, the reforming the Abuses of the Long Cellar, and one of them proposed to have it lock'd up; for which he had lik'd to have been Dewitted by the Mob, for a Parsel of Saylors hearing of it, gather'd in great Numbers about his House, demolish'd his Windows, and had proceeded farther in their Out-rage, had not some of the top­ping Burgomasters pacified 'em, by telling 'em the old Immunities, and Priviledges of the Long Cellar shou'd be continued to them and their Heirs for ever. It was like­wise proposed in our Councel, to have laid some new Penalty upon Drankenness but it being represented to 'em, that it wou'd incense the People, and bring down the Ex­cise, for that Reason they went no farther in it. Last Week four Men and as many Women came from the Dutchy of Juliers to this Place, with a Spick and Span new Religion (as 'tis reported) the whole Con­tents of which, may be carried in the com­pass of a Snuff-box: They give out that it is the easiest and cheapest Religion that ever was known, and have offer'd it to the States for the value of four thousand Gilders; if it be rejected, they design to Embark for Eng­land, and see what Market they can make [Page 181] of their new Religion at London. Two learn­ed Criticks of the University of Leyden have had a long Contest about the right Spelling and Writing the Word Idcirco; and, at last, have agreed to referr the Matter to Dr. B—y, who being a Person of singu­lar Humanity, 'tis not doubted but he will do it to Satisfaction.

Edenburgh, July 29. We have not had for these ten Years last past so favourable a Summer as now; so that we don't doubt, but that our Sloes will ripen; and the Kirk has appointed a general Thanksgiving for it: fifty two Witches are in Custody in several Prisons in this Kingdom, and many terrible Things are alledg'd against 'em, and some of them have been such silly Jades to own themselves guilty, chusing to be burnt out­right, rather than live any longer like Witch­es. The chief Discoverer of them is Mr. Sawney Cockburn, who knows all the Witch­es Forms in the Kingdom; and with his Kirk Terriers will Unearth you ten of 'em in a Morning: We build great Expectations upon our new Coloney at Darien, and talk of covering all the Churches in Edenburgh with Silver in a very short time; but others, who are not altogether so Sanguine, are of Opinion, that all these mighty Pretences will fall to the Ground: And now I am up­on [Page 182] this Article, give me leave to tell you, that I heard a Polititian talk in the Rainbow Coffee-house Yesterday upon this Matter; I am confident, says he, that the Hand of Heaven will appear very Visible in the Cha­stisement of the Scots in this new Project of theirs upon America. They have impu­dently bid Defiance to Fate, and opposed the Decrees of Providence, for as God Al­mighty from Eternity decreed the Germans to be Drunkards, the French to carry Pack­sadles, the Jews to be Rascals; so he pre­destinated the Scots to be Pedlars; accord­ingly we find, the Germans to this Day get Drunk before Noon, the French carry Pack­sadles to this Day, and so will do in Secula Seculorum, the Jews Cheat on still, and the English Rebel; only the Scots must kick a­gainst the Decrees of Fate, and instead of Pedlars, a Title their Ancestours Aquiest in for two thousand Year and upward, set up for Merchants, Forsooth; but if ever they make any thing on't, says he, (and if they are not at last reduc'd to their old an­cient Pedlarism) I'll forfeit my Reputation of a Prophet to you, although they have cheated King William out of an Act of Par­liament, I believe they will find it a hard matter, withal their Craft and Cunning, to cheat Heaven.

[Page 183] Thus, Sir, I have sent you the most im­portant Occurrences I cou'd find in the Fo­reign Papers. But as to London, which u­sed to be an inexhaustible Magazine of News and Scandal, it affords neither at pre­sent. Our Beaux are all gone down to Tun­bridge and the Bath, in hopes to make Con­quests in both those Places; where I pre­sume they will succeed as well as our dear Brethren beyond the Twede in their new Ca­ledonian Plantation; but a Month or two hence they will return to Town with their Pockets as empty as their Heads. The Lawyers are gon down to their respective Habitations to sow Dissention amongst his Majesty's liege People in the Country, and will reap, no doubt on't, a most plentiful Harvest the next Michaelmas-Term. Our old red-nosed Claret-drinkers have now left us to recruit, by a Vacation-sobriety, their decayed Carcases, and enable 'em to sit up whole Nights with the Parliament-men the next Winter. In short, the Stock-jobbers have left the Change, and the Citizens are half of 'em gon to Epsom, in order to Cuckold one another, which is the best News at present from your assured Friend, &c.

From the Gun Musick - booth in Smithfield, in the time of Bar­tholomew-Fair.

Dear George,
All Things are hush'd, as Law it self were dead,
Poor pensive Fleetstreet, droops its mournful Head;
Smooth Alcalies in Peace with Acids sleep;
The Church and Stage no longer Difference keep;
The Pulpit-drums don't beat.

ANd now the Spirit of Versification leaving me in the lurch, I come to tell you in honest Prose, I mean no more by all this rumbling Stuff, than to let you know this is the long Vacation, which Law­yers, poor Whores, and Taylors, as well as many other Trades, curse as heartily toge­ther as Ingrossers of Corn do a plentiful Harvest, or Cole-merchants a warm Winter. Yet tho' many are glad this penitential Sea­son is near expired, as for my part, I cou'd heartily wish, as a Soldier does by the Wars, or a Woman by Enjoyment, it would last much longer.

You'll tell me, that this is a Paradox; For why the Plague shou'd a Man desire to be in Town, when it is a Desert in a man­ner, [Page 185] when all the best Company is gone to Tunbridge, Epsom or the Bath? All this may be true; but before you and I part, per­haps I may bring you to be of another Opi­nion, and reconcile you to the long Vaca­tion.

In the first place: You must know, that I hate to be in a Crowd; for which reason I wonder, why so many wise Gentlemen shou'd be so fond to go to the Jubile at Rome, where they are like to be throng'd and crowded as much as a Spectator at a Country Bull-baiting, and with almost as bad a Mob (pardon the Insolence of my Expression) for considering what a vast Multitude of Priests, Fops and Bigots are gathered together at Rome, from all Corners of the Universe, I wonder how an honest Man can think himself safe in so dangerous a Crowd, or a wise Man please himself with the Sacred Farces of a Church Rabble. In short, I love the long Vacation upon the same account that some honest Claret - drinkers love walking Home at Midnight, because the Streets are clearer and not so incommodious as at other times. Besides, London is at no time of the Year so thinly peopl'd (God be thanked) but a Man, with a little Industry, may find Com­pany enough of both Sexes, to the ruine of [Page 186] his Health and Consumption of his Estate. But this is not all, a universal Spirit of Ci­vility reigns over all the Town, the Trades­men are more confiding and the Harlots better natur'd.

A Vintner, who, in the hurry of Michael­mas-Term, is as difficult of access as a Pri­vy-counsellor, will now give you his Com­pany for asking, and perhaps club his Bot­tle into the Bargain; and the very indivi­dual Damsel, with whom a Month or two hence, nothing below a Senator will go down, or at least a Man that will bribe as deep, is now so humbled by the Emptiness of the Town, that for the Credit of being carried in a Coach to her Lodgings, and the Expence of a Bottle of Wine, to treat her Landlady, will put on a clean Smock to oblige you, without so much as exacting Mony to pay the Landress.

I cou'd say a thousand things more in behalf of the Vacation, but I shall content my self at present, that it produces Bartho­lomew-Fair; and when I have said that, I think it needs no farther Panegyrick. If Antiquity carries any weight with it, the Fair has enough to say for it self on that Head. Fourfcore Years ago, and better, it afforded Matter enough for one of our best Comedians to Compose a Play upon it: [Page 187] But Smithfield is another sort of a Place now to what it was in the Times of Honest Ben; who, were he to rise out of his Grave, wou'd hardly believe it to be the Place where Justice Over-do made so busie a Fi­gure, where the Crop-ear'd Parson demo­lish'd a Ginger-bread Stall, where Nigh­tingales sung Balads and fat Vrsula sold Pig and botled Ale.

As I have observ'd to you, this noble Fair is quite another thing then what it was in the last Age, it produces Opera's of its own growth, and is become a formi­dable Rival to both the Theaters; It no longer deals in humble Stories, of Crispin and Crispianus, of Whittington's Cat, with the merry Conceits of King Edward the Fourth and the Tanner of Tamworth: It beholds Gods descending from Machines, who express themselves in a Language suit­able to their Character: It trafficks in He­roes, it raises Ghosts and Apparitions; it has represented the Trojan Horse, the Work­manship of the divine Epeus; it has seen St. George encounter the Dragon, and over­come him. In short, for Thunder and Lightning, for Songs and Dances, for su­blime Fustian and magnificent Nonsence, it comes not short of Drary-lane or Lincolns­inn-fields. But, to leave off this Bombast, [Page 188] with which the Booths have infected me, and deliver my self in a more familiar Stile, you are to know, that, at this present Wri­ting, your humble Servant is in a Musick-booth; yet, tho' he is distracted with a thousand Noises and Objects, as a Maid whirling round with a dozen Rapiers at her Neck, a Dance of Chimny-sweepers, and a Fellow standing on his Head on the top of a Quart-pot, he has both Leisure and Pa­tience enough to Write to you.

Smithfield had always the Reputation of being a Place of Persecution, with this dif­ference, that the Women do that in this Age which the Priests did in the last, and make as many poor Sinners suffer as by Fire.

Cheap - side Cits come to see horned Beasts brought hither from all Parts of the World, when they might behold the very same Monsters at home, if they wou'd but be at the pains of consulting their own Looking-glasses: The pious Reformers of the City have been long endeavouring to put down this Nursery of Wickedness and Irreligion, as they call it; but the beloved Wives of their own Bosoms, and their ver­tuous Daughters, better understand their own Interest, than to lose any Opportunity of getting abroad and planting Cuckoldom [Page 189] and Fornication, as their Mothers did be­fore 'em.

Certainly no Place sets Mankind more upon a level than Smithfield does; Lords and Bellows-menders, Beaux and Fleaers of dead Horses, Colonels and Foot-soldiers, Bauds and Women of Vertue, walk Cheek by Jole in the Cloisters, and jostle one another by Candle-light, as familiarly as Nat. Lee's Gods in Oedipus jostle one another in the dark. The poor Vizard-masks suffer most unmercifully; no sooner can one of this Character shew her Head within this pri­viledg'd Place, but she is hurried into a Corner, and a hundred several Hands are examining at once whether she carries any Contraband-goods about her.

The Woman's Children in the Maccabees, that chose rather to suffer than pollute them­selves with Swines-flesh, wou'd have died ten thousand Deaths rather than so much as tasted a Pig's Ear in Smithfield, with a thou­sand of Prince Molach's Subjects floating in the Sauce about him. But I suppose our vertuous People swallow Pig and Pork so earnestly to shew their Aversion to Ju­daism.

So much may suffice at present, for I am just now going to a Puppet-show to see the Creation of the World and Noah's Flood, [Page 190] which will give me more Satisfaction, I don't question, than Dr. Woodward's Hypo­thesis, Mr. Whiston's Theory, or any new System of our modern Vertuoso's.

I am your most humble Servant.

A Consolatory Letter to my Lady—on the Death of her Husband.


I Was very much surprized to hear that your Ladyship took so much to Heart, the Loss of your Husband, that your Rela­tions should not be able to Conquer so ob­stinate a Grief, or that a Person of your good Sence and Resolution should be so un­fashionable and so weak, as to pay that Re­spect to the Ashes of the Dead, which well­bred Women now-a-days can scarce afford to the Living; I will not pretend to attack your Grief in the common Formes, I will not represent to you, that all Flesh is Grass, that nothing is exempt from the Laws of Fate, and that 'tis in vain to regret a Loss which it was not in our Power to prevent; these thread-bare Topicks I shall leave to [Page 191] Divines and Philosophers, and shall con­tent my self, to oppose your Lamentations, with Arguments better suited to your pre­sent Condition. 'Tis true, Madam, you have lost a Husband, but what of that? have not Thousands done so before you? but then consider, that his Death makes room for a new Election. A Widow ought no more to afflict her self for the Death of her Husband, than a Country Corporation ought to go into Mourning for the Death of the Member that represented 'em in Parlia­ment; for without staying for a Writ from the Clark of the Crown, she may proceed to a new Choice as soon as she sees conveni­ent. Your Husband, God be thank'd, has neither carried your Youth with him into the other World, nor your Joynture; cou'd he have robb'd you of either of those Bles­sings, you might have just Reason to com­plain; but I think a Woman's Condition is not very desperate, when her two surest Friends, her Beauty and her Wealth stick close to her. As you have Charmes, and Money enough to procure you store of Lo­vers, so in my Opinion, it must needs be an agreeable Diversion in your present Sor­row, (for I will allow you, Madam, to keep up the Appearance of it) to observe the different Stile and Language of your [Page 192] Admirers, one will tell you, that he adores the Perfections of your Soul, exclusive of all Worldly Considerations; but, Madam, have a care of these Platonicks, for a Man that makes vigorous Court to the Body, is worth a Thousand Coxcombs, that pretend to be in Love with your Soul; another will tell you, that he is ready to hang or drown for your Sake, and desires you to chuse what sort of Death for him you think fit, if you deny him that Blessing wherein his Life can be only happy. Be govern'd by me, Madam, and take such a Lover at his Word, if he decently dispatch himself; you may take it from me, that he lov'd in earnest, but if he fails to give you this Te­stimony of his Affection, you may con­clude him to be a Hippocrite; a third per­haps will boast of his Acres, and tell you what a large Settlement he will make you, whatever you do, pray take care of these Smithfield Gentlemen, for not one in a Thousand is honest at bottom. It will be a pleasant Amusement to you, to manage these Humble Servants of yours so artifici­ally, as to make all of 'em hope; yet, at the same time jealous of one another, to steal a kind Glance sometimes at one, and bestow a gracious Nod sometimes upon a­nother, and after you have thoroughly ex­amined [Page 193] their several Merits and Qualifi­cations, to proceed in your Choice, as the Cardinals do at the Election of a Pope, and pitch upon one, which, in all probability, is likely to make a sede vacante. Thus, Madam, instead of dwelling upon the Il­lustrious Qualities of the Defunct, to the usual Method of common Comforters, I have made bold to lay down before you, the Measures you are to take with the Li­ving. I confess I have venter'd upon a Task for which I am no ways fitting: Solomon has told us, That the Hearts of Kings are unsearchable; which, I suppose, he knew to be so by his own Case; he might have add­ed, when his Hand was in, That the Hearts of Widows are past finding out: Thus, Ma­dam, you are not to wonder, if the Dire­ctions I have given you, are none of the surest; however, such as you see 'em, they are at your Service, as is likewise,

Your most Obedient and Faithful, &c.

To Mr. Moult, upon the breaking up of Bartholomew-fair.

Dear Sir,

THe Glory is departed from Smithfield, and Intriguing has left the Cloisters; in short, Bartholomew-fair is over, Et voila mon Ami les miserables Effets d' une si grand [...] Revolution.

Those very individual Persons, who, two Days ago, glitter'd in Imperial Tinsel, govern'd Kingdoms in Imagination, com­manded Legions, and talk'd sublime He­roic in Tragic Buskins; those very Persons, I say, who put the Sun out of Countenance in his double Capacity, both as the God of Poetry, and the Governor of the Day, who, out-shone him at Noon with their brighter Bristol Stones, and out metaphor'd all Par­nassus in the Booth, who commanded Re­spect from the inferiour Mobb, and drew the Eyes of the whole City, more than a Lord-Mayor at a Publick Cavalcade:

—Quis talia fando,
Myrmidonum, Dolopumve, aut duri miles Vlyssis,
Temperet à lachrymis?

[Page 195] Are now, by a most wonderful Revolu­tion of Fate, divested of all their Splendour and Magnificence, their Troops, their Ar­mies, nay, their very Guards have desert­ed 'em; they are now reduced to the com­mon Obscurity of Mankind; instead of the most exquisite Wine, that used to Crown their Glasses, we find 'em now burying the Regret of their lost Sovereignty in hum­ble Flip, or more humble Anniseed; and are glad to be trusted for a Dinner at a Boiling-cook's, and snore contentedly in a Garret.

And those charming Dulcibella's, who, by the unparalell'd Lustre of their Eyes, forced Monarchs to lay their Scepters at their Feet, who had the Disposal of King­doms and Dominions, who stole away the Hearts of all Beholders, and, when ever they pleas'd, drew either Admiration or Pity from the Spectators, are now, by their lik [...] Inconstancy of Fortune, oblig'd to re­turn to the Privacies of a less pompous Life. They, whom Yesterday's Sun beheld so ma­jestically secure, that they refused a graci­ous Smile to prostrate Princes;

Nunc in quadriviis, & angiportis,
Glubunt magnanimos Bruti nepotes.

[Page 196] Are now glad to dispence their utmost Favours, for no higher a Bribe than a Sil­ver-thimble, and a double-guilt Brass-ring at most. They pollute themselves with the sorrowful Embraces of their Fellow-sufferers: In the Day-time, foot Stock­ings, wash Foot-mens Socks, and charita­bly make up Breaches in old. Muslin and Lace; regale themselves with a Pint of Milk at Noon, and Gray-pease at Night, trudge it on Foot from Charing-cross to the Change; and, with their officious El­bows, remind all the Passers-by of their de­solate Condition: In fine, They, who so lately commanded the whole Vniverse, are under perpetual Alarms from Watch-men and Constables; and, though they so often Fee the savage Justice's Clark, are often forc'd to submit to the barbarous Discipline of Bridewell and New-prison.

But tho' Bartholomew-fair be dead, and buried for a Twelvemonth, yet, it is some Consolation to us, that it revives in both the Play-houses. Poetry is so little regard­ed here, and the Audience is so taken up with Show and Sight, that an Author need not much trouble himself with what he Writes, so he is but in fee with the Dan­cing-masters, and has but Songs enough to lard his dry Composition. One wou'd al­most [Page 197] swear, that Smithfield had removed into Drury-lane, and Lincolns-Inn-fields, since they set so small a Value on Wit and Sence, and so such Trifles that have no Relation to the Play. To convince you, that I have Reason for what I say, I will Transcribe one of their own Bills, that you may see what sorry Entertainment they are now accostomed to. By the by, I am to tell you, that some of their late Bills are so very monstrous, that neither we, nor our Fore-fathers, ever knew any thing like them, they are as long as the Title Pa­ges to some of Mr. Prin's Works, nay, you may read the Gazette, even when it is most crouded with Advertisements, sooner than run over one of them. In the first Place, here are to be seen, the Mimick Entertain­ments of Mr. Clinch of Barnet, who makes a most incomparable Consort with a Pair of Tongs, and a Key. In the next Place, there is to be a Dance of Bohemian Women; then the worthy Gentleman that danced the Che­shire-rounds, has been pleas'd, at the In­stance of several Persons of Quality, to shew his Parts upon the Stage. It were to be wished the War had continued, for then we had not been over-run with a Parcel of fine light-heel'd Messieurs, who are a greater Nusance to our Theatre, than the [Page 198] Privateers were to our Merchant-men in the Chanel: We had Mons. L'Abadie, Mons. Ba­lon, the Famous Burlesque Dancers from Pa­ris, and the Famous Madam—Las—that had the Honour to Dance before the Duke of Orleance, the Daulphin, and the Lord knows how many Persons of Honour: Besides, I had lik'd to have forgot to tell you, that one of their Bills promised us wonderful Things, from a Gentleman that sung like a Turkey-cock. Shortly, I sup­pose, we shall have all sorts of Sights and Shows here, as, Jumping through a Hoop; for why may we not have that as well as Mr. Symson's Vaulting upon the Wooden­horse, Dancing upon the high Ropes, Leap­ing over eight Mens Heads, Wrestling, Box­ing, Cudgeling, Fighting at Back-sword, and Quarterstaff, Bear-baiting, and all the other noble Exercises, that divert his Majesty's People at Hockley i'th' Hole? not forgetting the witty Pranks of Punchinello, and the merry Conceits of the little Pickle-herring.

What a wretched Pass is this wicked Age come to, when Ben. Johnson, and Shakespear wont go down with 'em, with­out these Baubles to recommend 'em, and nothing but Farce and Grimaces will go down? For my part, I wonder they have not incorporated Parson Bu—ess in their So­ciety, [Page 199] for after the Auditors are stupified with a dull Scene, or so, he wou'd make a shift to relieve 'em: In short, Mr. Collier may save himself the trouble of writing a­gainst the Theatres, for, if these lew'd Practices are not laid aside, and Sence and Wit come in play again, a Man may easi­ly foretel, without pretending to the Gift of Prophesie, that the Stage will be short­liv'd, and that the strong Kentish Man will take Possession of the two Play-houses, as he has done of that in Dorset-garden. I am

Your Humble Servant.

P. S. The only News we have at pre­sent, is, that the strong Kentish Man (of whom you have heard so many Stories) has taken Possession of the Theatre in Dor­set-garden; and how they'll get him out a­gain the Lord knows, for he threatens to thrash all the Poets, if they pretend to di­sturb him in his new Quarters. Mr. Joseph Hains, was his Master of the Ceremony, and introduced him in a Prologue upon the Stage; and indeed, who was so fit to do it, as this Person, whose Breath is as strong, as the Kentish Man's Back. I don't doubt, but that several of the Ladies, who saw this Prodegy of a Man, long'd to try a Fall [Page 200] with him in Private, like the Woman in O­vid, that was desirous to lie with Hercules, upon the score of his Strength. Her Words, unless my Memory fails me, were these,

—Subiit me magna cupido,
Ferre virum, tulerat qui prius ipse polum.

She had heard that Hercules had bore Hea­ven upon his Back, which set her Concu­piscence upon Tiptoes, to bear so Heaven­ly-minded a Champion; like Citizens, that long to Intrigue with the Minister, in Hopes to partake in his Godliness.

To W. K. Esq Being a Relation of a Journy to London.


YOu are earnest to know how I got to Town, and what Adventures I met upon the Road. Since you can condescend to entertain your self with Trifles of this Nature, be pleased to take them as they fol­low:

[Page 201] As soon as I came to Reading, I sent the Man of the House, where I lay that Night, to enquire what Places were taken in the Coach; who brought me word, that only one Place was taken, and that for a Wo­man. I presently represented to my self some Maid, Wife or Widow of Nineteen, with black roguy Eyes, cherry Cheeks, nar­row Mouth, swelling Breasts, and a Breath as sweet as Violets. I thanked my kind Stars for this favourable Opportunity, and with these pleasant Imaginations passed away the Night very agreeably. Next Morning, full of these charming Idea's, I made hast to the Inn where the Coach lay: But, good Heavens! no sooner did I peep within the booted Caravan, but I found my self the most lamentably disappointed that ever poor Sinner was. Instead of the Beauty I had represented to my self, behold an old Gentlewoman with formidable Whis­kers, her Nose and Chin as ready to meet as the two Ends of a Half-moon, and a dis­mal Forehead-cloth into the Bargain, cooled my Courage. A Man of more Piety than my self wou'd have thanked Heaven for being so favourable to him, and securing him from a Temptation; but, I'faith, I cou'd not find in my Heart to do it. Into the Coach I stept, but with as much Regret [Page 202] on my side, as a Transport enters a Virginia Ship, and, without so much as bidding her Ladiship Good-morrow, I compos'd my self to sleep as well as I cou'd; and, being pretty well prepared for it, by what I had been doing the Night before, slept ten Miles perpendicular, without the least in­terruption, till we came to Maidenhead.

Here we took up a Captain, and two Gen­tlemen besides. The Captain was one of the most agreeable entertaining Gentlemen that ever could have atton'd for my former Dis­appointment: He had been in the Service ever since the Campaigning at Hounslow, since which he had seen most of the Action in Scotland, Ireland, and Flanders. Our Conversation at first ran upon Politicks: Religion succeeded to that Discourse; and, when we were weary with that Subject, by one unanimous Consent, we fell upon Women. The Captain, who, as I told you before, was a Man of Wit and Pleasantry, diverted us extreamly upon this Argument: He told us, that as other Gentlemen devo­ted their Time to Geometry or Musick, or any thing else which they fancied, he had made it his Business to study Women, and had ar­rived to so great a Perfection in this noble Science, that, after the first Interview, he cou'd as certainly tell how many Days a [Page 203] Woman wou'd hold out, and when she wou'd deliver, as Monsieur Vauban cou'd tell when any Town wou'd surrender.

I compare, says he, a Woman to a Forti­fication; In the first place, because it is in my own Way. And, secondly, because there's the greatest Resemblance in the World between them. There's no Forti­fication so strong, nor no Woman so ver­tuous, but, by open Force or Stratagem, may be made to yield. The World is at liberty to talk what it pleases; but I posi­tively maintain, that every Woman is to be taken: They are either to be undermin'd by Flattery, or won by Bribery, which we Military Men call Capitulation, or else (but it does not happen once in a hundred Years) to be managed by downright Strength. Now all the Art lies to know how to em­ploy these Expedients. Some Ladies will be flatter'd into Love, whom all the Bribes that stir about Weminster-hall in a Session can never move: And others, by far the greatest part of the Sex, are to be managed by Mony, who have too much Discretion to be imposed upon by Flattery. And there are others too great for Bribery, and insen­sible to all the Flattery in the World, that must be vanquished by Force. Tho' their Inclinations, Gentlemen, are as rampant as [Page 204] yours, nay perhaps fiercer, yet they wou'd seem to be forced; they think 'tis an Excuse for their Infirmity, and quarrel with you after you have obliged them.

It was my Fortune, Gentlemen, about some eight Years ago, to be quarter'd upon an Elder, when some of our Troops were in Scotland: His Wife, as to her Beauty, was but indifferent, but she was young, and she belonged to the Kirk, which were two extraordinary Temptations, especially the latter. I offer'd her half a Piece, which was a mighty Sum in that Country, but cou'd not prevail. Then I laid out all my Stock of Rhetorick upon her, and made a Goddess of this Coquette, but to as little ef­fect as before. At last it came into my Head to take the following course; I spoke well of the Covenant, and railed at the Bi­shops, after I found her communicative e­nough of her Person. The next Summer we were sent for over into Ireland, and, af­ter the decisive Battel of the Boyn, pursued the broken Remains of K. James's Army.

In short, Gentlemen, I have tried all the Tricks in the World with them, and find, by long Experience, that Flattery does more than sincere Dealing with them, and Drink more than Flattery, Mony more than that, and Religion, I mean the Pretence of it, [Page 205] more than Flattery, Drink and Mony put together. This you may take for granted, for Spinosa and Vanninus never made a quarter so many Atheists, as Love.

Since I am upon this Argument, Gentle­men, and we have nothing else to talk of, give me leave to tell you a short Story re­lating to this Affair: The Scene lies in Wales, or the Borders of it, I wont be po­sitive, but I dare swear it will divert you for want of a better:

In the Country above-mentioned lives a Family, very remarkable for their Godli­ness, by the same token that there were al­ways three or four Presbyterian Divines, with as many young Cubs of the Schism, to keep the House in due Order. From Morn­ing to Night there was nothing but Exhor­tation, and Vse, and Application was to be heard within the Walls. The Cook exhort­ed the Butler, the Groom gave Spiritual Ad­vice to the Gardiner: Yet, amidst all this Whining and Praying, and Singing of Psalms, the Devil, who owed the Family a Grudge, for making this Mock-War a­gainst him, seduced my Lady's Praying-Gentlewoman to commit Acts of Wicked­ness with one of the Knight's Praying-Foot­men: This zealous Pair managed the Mat­ter with so little Discretion, that their A­mour [Page 206] was discovered by some of their Fel­low-servants; but godly People, you know, think themselves above Scandal. At last, word was brought to the old Lady, that they were actually in Bed. At first she dis­believed the News, but finding it confirm­ed by other Witnesses, she went to this Scene of Lewdness, taking with her a Smith to break open the Door, in case of Opposi­tion, and a Nonconformist Parson to awake their Consciences for them, in case they found them Impenitent. Upon the first Alarm that my Lady gave them, the Lo­vers wou'd not answer; but when they found the Smith began to break open the Door in good earnest, the Footman got up and open'd it. The old Lady cou'd hardly forbear striking them, so much was her holy Spleen provoked at the Profanation of her House: But she thunder'd out Judg­ments plentifully against them, and the Di­vine that was with her did the same. In short, the Footman had his Livery stript over his Ears, and the poor Wench was sent Home to her Relations, by the same token that she attempted to drown her self by the way.

This godly Family was in a strange Dis­order to be defiled thus with Fornication; and the Master of it, being then in London, [Page 207] this unhappy News was sent to him, withal desiring his Advice to know what must be done upon this Occasion. He order'd the Bed, upon which this sinful Action had been committed, to be carried out of the Gates of the House, and there to be burnt. On the Day when this was put in execution, the discarded Footman chanced to come by, as Fire was set to the offending Mate­rials, and being told the reason of it, My Master, says he, might have let this Bone­fire alone; for, to my knowledge, if he's resolved to punish in this manner every Bed that has been accessory to Fornication, there's not one in the House can 'scape him.

The Captain had just made an end of his Story as the Coach was got upon the Stones. I took my leave of the Company in the Hay-market, being obliged, as you know, to visit Mr. C—; by whom I find, that there's no stirring for me out of Town this Month or two. Had not the end of our Journy caus'd a Separation of our Compa­ny, I question not but the witty Conversa­tion of my Fellow-traveller would have furnished me with something farther to have entertain'd you; but since our diffe­rent Affairs robb'd me of the Opportuni­ty, I beg you to accept, at second-hand, [Page 208] what I have borrow'd from another to ob­lige you, and you will more than recom­pence the good Intentions of

Your humble Servant.

A Love-Letter from an Officer in the Army, to a Widow whom he was desperately in Love with before he saw her.

THo' I never had the Happiness to see you, no, not so much as in a Picture, and consequently can no more tell, what Complexion you are of, than he that lives in the remotest part of China; yet, Madam, I am fallen passionately in Love with you, and this Affection has taken so deep root in me, that in my Conscience I cou'd die a Mar­tyr for you, with as much Alacrity, as thou­sands have done for their Religion; though they were as ignorant of the Truth, for which they dy'd, as I am of your Ladiship.

This may surprize you, Madam, but you'll cease to wonder, when I shall acquaint you what it was, that not only give Birth to my Passion, but has so effectually con­firm'd [Page 109] it. Last Week, riding into the Coun­try about my lawful Affairs, it was my For­tune to see a most magnificent Seat up­on the Road; this excited my Curiosity to enquire after the Owner of so beautiful a Pile; and being told, that it belong'd to your Ladiship, I began that very Moment to have a strange Inclination for you; but when I was farther informed, that some two thousand Acres of the best Ground in England, belong'd to this noble Fabrick, together with a fine Park, variety of Fish­ponds, and such like Conveniencies; I then fell up to the Ears in Love, and concluded to list my self in the Number of your hum­ble Servants:

Thought I to my self, the Owner of so many agreeable Things, must needs be the most charming Lady in the Universe: What tho' she be old, her Trees are green? What tho' she has lost all the Rofes in her Cheeks, she has enough in her Gardens? What sig­nifies it tho' she be barren, since her Acres are fruitful? With these Thoughts, I lighted from my Horse, and on the sudden fell so inamour'd with your Ladiship, that I told my Passion to every Tree in your Park, which, by the by, are the tallest, straitest, loveliest, finest shaped Trees I ever saw; and have since wore out above two dozen [Page 210] Penknives, in Engravening your Name up­on their Barks.

I will now appeal to your Ladiship, whe­ther any Lover, ever went upon more solid Motives than my self. Those who are who­ly influenced by Beauty, will infallibly find their Passion decay with that; those who pretend to admire a Woman for the Qua­lities of her Mind, ought to consider her Soul abstractedly from her Body; and he that loves not a Woman for her Flesh, as well as her Spirit, is only fit, in my Opinion, to make his Court to a Spectre; whereas you need not question the Sincerity of my Passion which is built upon the same Foundation with your House, grows with your Trees, and will daily increase with your Estate: For all I know to the contrary, your Ladi­ship may be the handsomest Woman in the World; but believing you are so, but whether you are or no, signifies not a Far­thing, while you have Mony enough to set you off, tho' you were ten times Uglier than the present red-nosed Countess of—, and older than the famous Countess of Des­mond. I am a Soldier by my Profession, and as I fought for Pay, so, with Heaven's Blessing, I design to love for Pay; all your other Suitors wou'd speak the same Language to you, were they as honest as my self; this I will tell you [Page 211] for your Comfort, Madam, that if you pitch upon me, you'll be the first Widow upon Record, from the Creation of the World, to this present Hour, that ever chose a Man for telling her the Truth.

An Exhortatory Letter, to an old La­dy that smoaked Tobacco.


THough the ill-natured World censures you for Smoaking, yet I would all vise you, Madam, not to part with so in­nocent a Diversion; In the first place it is Healthful, and as Galen in de usu Partium rightly observes, is a sovereign Remedy for the Tooth-ach, the usual Persecutor of old Ladies. Secondly, Tobacco, though it be a Heathenish Weed, is a great help to Christian Meditations; for which is the Reason I suppose that Recommends it to our Parsons; the Generality of whom, can no more write a Sermon without a Pipe in their Mouths, than a Concordance in their Hands: besides, every Pipe you brake, may serve to put you in mind of Mortality, and let you see upon what slender Accidents, [Page 212] Man's Life depends. I knew a Country Minister, who on Fast-days used to mortifie upon a Rump of Beef, because it put him, as he said, in mind, that all Flesh was Grass; but I am sure much more may be learnt from To­bacco. It may instruct you that Riches, Beauty, and all the Glories of this World vanish like a Vapor. Thirdly, It is a prety Play-thing: A Pipe is the same to an old Woman, that a Gallant is to a young one, by the same Token they make both Water at Mouth. Fourthly and Lastly, It is fashi­onable, at least 'tis in a fair way of becom­ing so; cold Tea, you know, has been this long while in Reputation at Court, and the Gill as naturally ushers in the Pipe, as the Sword-bearer walks before the Lord-Mayor.

I am your Ladiship's humble Servant.

To Sir W. S—.

I Have, according to your Order, sent you down by the Canterbury Coach, the Sa­tyr against Wit, and the Poetae Britannici, two incompar able Peices in their Kind, and which will certainly give you a great [Page 213] deal of Diversion, if you are to be diverted by Dullness and Defamation, or what is as bad as Defamation, by vile, lowsie Panegyric. The former of these two Poems came like Melchisedeck into the World, without Fa­ther or Mother; I mean the Author, for se­veral Reasons best known to him self, has not thought fit to set his Name before it: however, he is not so conceal'd as he fancies himself; for if there is any certainty in Phy­siognomy, or the Child to be known by re­sembling the Features of the Father, as they say the Austrian Family are by the Lip; it was undoubtedly written by the City Bard, the same worthy Gentleman, who about three Years ago lampoon'd K. William in an Heroic Poem, by the same Token, that he was Knighted for it. I have been told he has disown'd the Bastard in several Compa­nies, but that won't serve his turn: The Grand Jury at Will's have found the Bill a­gainst him; so now he must e'en take the Brat home, and bring it up its Father's Religion, Hypocrisie and Backbiting. A Friend of mine t'other Day, sai'd a very pleasant thing, methought upon this Occa­sion, A Satyr against Wit; that is, says he, a Satyr against every individual Subject King William has in his Dominions, for there's never a Man between St. Michael's Mount, [Page 214] in Cornwal, and Barwick upon Tweed, but thinks himself a Wit, whatever the World may think of him; nay, I dare engage that the Author himself, for all his Aversion to Wit, does not believe this Satyr is with­out it. 'Tis the most fantastical Mixture of Hypocrisie and Scandal you ever saw: The Writer of it, (which he shews by his Scur­rility and Want of good Manners) sets up for an Advocate of Religion, and pretends that a Confederacy is carrying on in Covent­garden, to Banish that and Learning out of the World. By the terrible Description he makes of some People, one wou'd be apt to think that the Goths and Vandals, who have been buried under Ground for so ma­ny hundred Ages, were newly sprung up in Russel-street, and going with Fire and Fag­got to set all our Libraries in Ashes; and when that was done, to knock all the Par­sons in the Head, and ravish all the Women between Temple-bar and White-chappel. But Dr. Otes's forty thousand Pilgrims, with their black Bills, and so forth, don't smell so much of Romance. All the Reason I know of he has to make this hideous Out-cry, is, because the Dispensary has made bold to ex­pose the rumbling Fustian of his two Arthurs, and some honest Gentlemen, that now and then use to drink a Dish of Tea at Will's, have [Page 215] been guilty of the horrid Sin of speaking the Truth, and condemning his Rhymes. A strange thing this? that a Man must be an Atheist, only for calling Dullness by its proper Name, and a Rake, because he has too much Honesty to Flatter one of the most stupid execrable Poems, that has plagu'd the World since the Days of Quarles and O­gilby. As I told you before, the Author of this incomparable Satyr has been pleased to disown it; but he has acknowledged e­nough to do his Business. He has own'd to a Person of the indelible Character, who com­plimented him upon the Writing of it, and told him, that an indelible Mark was stam­ped upon all his Works, that indeed he Cor­rected and Revised it (if another had been to Correct it, he would have done it with Martial's Vna litura;) but indeed did not Write it: However, this is enough in all Conscience, for next to the Scandal of Wri­ting such a confounded Satyr, that of Cor­recting and Revising it, deserves the next place. But in Satyr and Murder, there's no such thing as Accessories, but every Man is a Principal. It wou'd look like too Solemn a Confutation of such Ribaldry, to say that the Gentlemen, whom he has abused, have improved and cultivated our Tongue, have obliged the World with several Works that [Page 116] will be read with Admiration, and remem­bred with Gratitude, when his are forgot­ten, that they think it no Disgrace to their Learning, to accompany it with good Man­ners, that they know when to unbend themselves to Pleasure, and when to apply to Business, that they don't affect a Gravi­ty which after all becomes none but my­sterious Block-heads, nor show their Mo­rals, by censuring those of their Neigh­bours; I say, it would look too solemn, to say any thing like this in their Justification, since not only their own Works speak for them, but they are sufficiently commended, by being made the Heroes of his Libel. A­mong other merry Doctrines he advances, he tells the World, that 'tis impossible for a Man to be a Wit, and not a Rake; this I suppose he calculated for the Meridian of Cheapside, and for the Consolation of his City-Friends, whom all the World will clear from the Imputation of being Wits; and yet, with all due Respect to my Lord-Mayor and Aldermen be it spoken, I believe there are as many of that Character within the City­walls, as there are in Covent-garden, and stupid senseless Coxcombs too, that discre­dit Pleasure, and Murder that which was design'd to enliven Conversation. He prin­cipally levels his Indignation at Mr. Dry­den, [Page 217] and among other Sins, taxes him with Flattery. If Flattery is to be Pardon'd in any sort of Men, it certainly ought to be in the Poets; but for my part, I don't think them more guilty of it, than the rest of Mankind, who all agree to make their Courtship to Wealth and Greatness; and if it is a Sin to flatter Greatness, they do nei­ther better nor worse than all the World, who, perhaps, have not the same Excuse. If Man were minded to be ill-natur'd, he might easily turn the Tables upon the Church, and show that the Parsons have flatter'd as much as the Poets. If the Lat­ter in their Epistles Dedicatory bestow Wit and Learning upon Block-heads, the Former have bestowed Grace, and the Lord knows how many Christian Virtues upon those that never possess'd them. What makes it look worse in the Parsons than the Poets? Is it, that the Latter are priviledged by Functi­on, whereas the former are Men of Grimace, and are supposed to deal in nothing but Truth: But 'tis a Jest, that the City Bard should fall foul upon any one for Flattery; he that has been guilty of the grossest, vilest Flattery imaginable, and prostituted the Dignity of an Epic Poem, more than any one before him. An Epic Poem is a noble magnificent Composition; the chief End of [Page 218] it is to excite Men to Virtue, by celebrating illustrious Examples, and proposing them to Imitation. 'Tis a Public sort of a Build­ing, like that of a Temple, or a Town-hall; now as a Man that designs to build any such Structure, if he intends to adorn it with Statues, ought to set up those of cele­brated Men, of Kings, or Princes, or Bishops, and not his Barber's because he Trims him well, or his Shooe-maker's, because he has got the Length of his Foot: So in Epic Po­em, an Author should only introduce Men of Figure into his Work, and not throw a­way his Incense upon mean or obscure Per­sons, merely because they are his Friends, and now and then drink a Glass a Wine with him at the Three Tuns. Yet the Au­thor of the two Arthurs, has not only done this, but has (to his immortal Credit be it spoken) introduced Satyr into an Epic Poem, which no one did before him, and I dare swear no one will ever attempt the like after him, except such a sordid Imitator, as he that has Burlesqued our Saviour in He­roic. But to return to our Satyrist:

You and I, and every Body has been charm'd with the honourable Mr. Boyl's An­swer to a stiff haughty Grammarian that shall be nameless, but is known well enough. Never did Wit and Learning Triumph so [Page 219] gloriously over Dullness and Pedantry, as in that noble Book; and never was any Ar­gument managed with that Variety of Learning, and those agreeable Turns of Wit. Accordingly it had not only a kind Recep­tion in England, but elsewhere. The For­reign Journals, gave it the Commendation it deserves, and all the Polite Judges in Europe were pleased to see an arrogant Pedant, that had been crouding his Head twenty Years together with the Spoils of Lexicons and Dictionaries, worsted and foiled by a young Gentleman, upon his own Dunghil, and by his own Criticisms. Thus one would have thought that Mr. Boyl's Merit and Qua­lity would have secured him from any scur­rilous Treatment; and that his Enemies, if he could have any such, wou'd be content to Envy him in Private, and never have the Impudence to Attack him in Public. And yet the noble Author of the Satyr against Wit, has villainously insinuated, that the Gentleman I have been talking of, did not Write the Book, to which he prefixed his own Name. I will appeal to you, whether 'tis possible for any Suggestion to be more malicious and base than This; and whether the Publisher of it can be used too scurvily, ought to be treated with any good Manners, which he has so notoriously violated. They [Page 220] talk of Squibbing him with Epigrams; for my part, I think 'tis doing him too much Honour, and making him more considerable than he deserves; however, if they go on with it, I shall not be wanting to contribute my Quota to so Pious a Design.

'Tis now high time to come to the Au­thor of the Poetae Britannici: I do the Scoun­drel too much Honour to name him; but since two or three Advertisements have set him out in all his Trappings, for once I shall condescend to mention him: His Name is Cobb, the same numerical Blew-coat­boy, that some Years ago Writ a merry Pin­darick upon the Queen's Death, which was presented for Blasphemy at the Old-baily. I can't imagine how it cou'd come into the Head of so obscure a Wretch, to think he cou'd do any Honour to the Persons he pre­tends to commend, or that his Censure should be taken in Prejudice of the meanest Scrib­ler in Town.

Thus I have given you a short Account of these two Lampoons; I should have made a Scruple to obey your Commands, (the on­ly time I was ever like to Disobey you) in sending them down to you, but that I con­sider'd with my self, that your Worship in all probability has been a great Transgressor these Christmas-holidays, and Trespast most [Page 212] enormously with your Tenants in Roast­beef and March-beer; for which Reason it may not be amiss for you to do Penance, as I reckon you will most plentifully, if you can have Patience to Read over the City Bard's and the Blew-coat Scriber's Poem. I am, with all Respect,

Your most humble Servant.

To a Physician in the Country.


WE are almost barren of News; the War betwixt the Northern Crowns, and the Poetical Physicians is the only Subject at present; Holstein and Riga, Cheapside and Covent-garden the Scene of all our Coffee-house Debates. What passes in our two first, the publick Prints will inform you; the latter I shall endeavour to give you some Account of: You are not Igno­rant of the Civil War that is broke out a­mongst the Subjects of Apollo, and the Dis­orders in Parnassus. Two brawny Heroes, the Sons of Paeon, head the opposite Facti­ons; both have signalized themselves ex­traordinarily [Page 222] one in four Poems, which he has Printed, and to'ther in a Poem printed four times. The City Bard takes Arms, to drive out Wit, as an Evil Counsellor from all the Rellins of Apollo. The Covent-gar­den Heroe rises in its Defence, and maintains its Services. This Quarrel is so far spread, that it's not like to be decided Proprio Marte; each Chief has his Faction, the Knight of the Round-table has gather'd a Body of Mer­cenaries, to whom, on the other side, are op­posed a Squadron of Auxiliary Volunteers; and thus, as in Forty One, Blew-aprons, and Laced-coats are drawn up against one ano­ther, and the Rable and Gentlemen set to­gether by the Ears; each Side confident of Success, that trusting to their Multitudes, this to their Courage and Conduct. The Pestle and Mortar-men are drawn up against the Esculapian Band; the first, who like Taylors and Women measure the Goodness of every Thing by the length, assert the good old Cause of long Bills, and long Poems, a­gainst the Jus Divinum of Efficacy and Sense; and think it infinitely more Merito­rious to write three or four Folio's without Wit, than to fill a small Octavo with it, and prefer the Art of Swelling a Bill, before the Skill to Cure a Disease. The Cheapside Heroe, they say, devotes himself wholly to their [Page 233] Service, and Rhimes as well as Prescribes to the use of their Shops: However, this doubty Chief, in the midst of his Cheapside Triumphs, has been brought under Martial Discipline, and forc'd to run the Gantlet in Covent-garden, and switch'd through the whole Posse of Parnassus, for fighting a­gainst the Law of Arms with false Colours. Those that favour his Cause complain of the Injustice and Indignity of his Punish­ment, alledging, he suffers for what he ne­ver did. They on the other Hand defend their Proceedings, and affirm they know him through his Disguise, and that coming upon 'em in Masquerade, he ought to suf­fer as a Spy, or an Assassin, and deserves no more Quarter, than he gives to his Patients. Notwithstanding this, his Party have ralli­ed once more, and the Mercenaries are brought to the Attack, who hope to affect that by Stratagem, that they despair of by plain Force; and, like the Scots at the Bass, since they can't reduce 'em by Arms, at­tempt to Poison them with Stink-pots. At the Head of those, is a Mendicant Rhymer, one that begs with a Poem, like a Pass in his Hand, and with a sham Brief, as a Suf­ferer by Poetick Fire; has Collected the Charity of well-disposed Persons through all Parnassus for above twice twelve Months; [Page 224] and like a true Beggar, when he has tired 'em out, falls a Railing: For a Bribe from his Ba­lad-Printer's not large enough to Rob him of the Benefit of the Act of Parliament, for the Relief of Poor Prisoners; and the Promise of a Dinner now and then from Sir Arthur, he has consented to Libel his Benefactors, and return to his old Quarters, and subsist for the Remain­der of his Life upon the Basket. Thus counte­nanced and encouraged, he lays about him most desperately, and like one not much con­cern'd for the Success, draws his Incense, and his Ammunition from the same House of Office. Friends and Foes are treated alike in Compli­ment, he paints one with the same Sir-reve­rence, that he aims to bedaub the other; and when his Hand is in, like the Conqueror in Hu­dibrass's Ovation, bestows his Ordure very liberally amongst the Spectators. Thus, Sir, I have given you a true Account of the State of the Poetical War, headed on both Sides by Gentlemen of your Faculty; among whom, though here has been no Bloodshed, there has been as much Noise of Slaughter and Execu­tion, as in Holstein, or Livonia. You may ex­pect more on the same Subject, for the Quar­rel is not like to drop, while H—ns can tell his Fingers, or P—subsist on Mumping in Metre.

I am, &c.


I Had a Mind to know, Madam, whe­ther you had quarrel'd with me t'other Night, at the—or not; and there­fore, writing to you Yesterday, I find now that you are angry at something; but may I be discarded, if I know the Reason: If you have made a Quarrel on my appro­ving—, I beg your Pardon, and shall henceforth do Violence to my own Reason, and contradict Mankind to agree with you: 'Tis hard to find any Simpathy in Hearts, where there's such Contrariety in Opinions. I shall therefore, Madam, henceforth square my Sentiments to yours in every thing; and if you will quarrel without a Cause, I will oblige you, and do so too. Your Uneasi­ness, Madam, wrongs either your own Charms or my Sincerity; either of which [Page 226] is a sensible Abuse to me. 'Tis a hard Fate, that you can't love and be easie, and I can't desist and live: but I can die to make you happy; an ill-natur'd Line or two does the Business; for I cannot bear the Spleen, the Rheumatism, and your Displeasure at once. So, Madam, strike now, and for ever quit your self of an unfortunate Man, who has but one Hand, which he thinks suffici­ent, since he can thereby ever own him­self


To the same.



NExt to my Prayers, I must address my Devotions to you; to you whom I have offended, and to whom I must offer a penitential Sacrifice, if an Oblation of a bleeding Heart can make any Attonement for my Sin, I offer it freely. Heaven is merciful, and so shou'd you be; I dare not approach, without your Permission: If you will Sign my Pardon in a Line from your dear Hand, expect me with all the Joy of a [Page 227] repriev'd Malefactor. I am, Madam, happy or miserable, as you please to make me.

To the same.

WHat shall I say to the dearest Woman upon Earth! Were my Thoughts common, how easily might they be ex­press'd! But the Expression, like the En­joyment in Love, is lost by a too ardent Desire; my Soul plumes it self in the secret Pride of being belov'd by you; and upon so just a Foundation of valuing my self, who can accuse me of Vanity? I can no more compliment what I love, than I can flatter what I hate; and therefore when I tell you, that your Charmes are more and more en­gaging, and my Love improving, believe it for a Truth; hear my Wish, and then con­clude me happy:

Oh! cou'd I find (grant Heaven that once I may)
A Nimph fair, kind, poetical and gay;
Whose Love shou'd blaze unsullied and divine,
Lighted at first by the bright Lamp of mine:
Free from all sordid Ends, from Interest free,
For my own sake Affecting only me.
What a blest Vnion shou'd our Souls combine!
I her's alone, as she was only mine;
[Page 228] Blest in her Arms, I should immortal grow,
Whilst in return, I made my Celia so.
Sweet generous Favours shou'd our Loves express,
I'd Write for Love, and she shou'd Love for Verse:
Not Sacharissa's self, great Waller's Fair,
Shou'd for an endless Name with mine compare.
She shou'd transcend all that e're went before,
Her Praises, like her Beauty shou'd be more:
My Verse shou'd run so high, the World shou'd see,
I sung of her, and she inspired me:
The World shou'd see that from my Love I drew,
At once my Theam, and Inspiration too:
Blest in my Wish, my Fair, I'm blest with you.

I went abroad Yesterday morning about seven, and return'd about one this morning, slept till past eight, then arose to tell you, that I dreamt of you all the time, and that I am your own.

To the same.

BY Heavens and Earth (my Dearest) I am ty'd Neck and Heels with Wine, and Company! All the Spells of Love can't undo the Charm; besides, my Dear, I am al­most fudled; I shall stay here at the Rose till towards eleven; it will be a tedious Walk to go home to Night, considering [Page 229] that you lie upon the same Floor with the Door: It is not impossible, methinks, for a Man of so much Love to slip in Incognito. Your—is with me, there will be a double Pleasure in deceiving him, and being happy in my dear One's Arms; I shall call at the Door, and see whether the Coast be clear: however, this, if it succeeds, will make me the happiest upon Earth—; how­ever, my Dear, run no Hazard that may ex­pose you; but consider, my Dear, the eager Wishes of the faithfullest, and most loving of Mankind.

To the same.

IF I did not Love, I wou'd not beg, and if ever you loved, you'll grant my Par­don; your Letter, Madam, has tormented me more than all the Favors of your whole Sex besides can please me; if I have lost you, I have lost my self, and shall be lost to all Womankind: My Letter last Night was written in heat of Wine; so Men guilty of Murder in their Drink, repent it all their Lives; mine is a greater Crime, for I have stab'd my self, pierc'd my own Heart, [Page 230] and now it bleeds with Anguish and De­spair.

Stab'd my own Heart, and pierc'd your Image, there the Remembrance of the Hap­piness I have enjoy'd, will now prove the greatest Curse; the melting Sighs, the mo­ving Tears, the Joys, the Raptures that mounted me to Heaven, now cast me down to Hell: I shall now turn Poet in good ear­nest;

And like poor Ovid, banish'd from his Rome,
Curse that destructive Art, that caus'd his Doom.

In short, Madam, I am Mad, and if I think farther, I shall let the World see it. Re­voke that word, eternal Silence, or you make me eternally Miserable, for I am now the most Disconsolate of Mankind.

To a young Lady.

My Dearest Madam,

FOr so I must ever think you, I hope you got safe to London, and that your Indisposition is abated, which will be the [Page 231] Means to make mine the more tolerable, since I can more easily bear mine own than yours; You expect I should tell you, how I am; and excepting a little Melancholy, the Reason of which you know, I find my self tolerable, my Feavour, I think, did not think fit to visit me last Night; I ram­ble out of one Room into another, now and then I let fall a Tear. I design to come to London, on Sunday next, that my Heart and I, may be in the same Place; till then, believe me most entirely


To the same.

I Cannot help telling my Dearest, how much I am hers, what Pleasure I have in her Company, what Pain in her Ab­sence; to love her, is but to see her; and to value her, is only to know her: But pray, my Dear Mrs.—,forget not to drink some Chocolate with me to Morrow, that I may once say, I spent a Sunday well; I am sure I shall have some good Thoughts in the Morning, because I shall think of you; and when I do so, I shall think of [Page 232] one that I passionately Love, and that I hope is not unmindful of


To the same.

TO convince you, I am not given to Change, regard but this Piece of Pa­per, 'tis torn like my Heart at taking leave, and is such a Scribble as I usually write; I am harsh in my Stile, negligent of my Ink, and not too exact in fashioning up my Let­ter; and cannot have the least Esteem for my self, but when I reflect that I have the Honour to be lokt upon as,

your most Humble.

To the same.

Dear Madam,

TIs to you, I must always address to tell me how I do; 'tis no matter, tho' I shou'd find my self in Health, if your Frowns shou'd tell me otherwise; know [Page 233] then, Madam, I languish, or revive, as you smile or look out of Humour; and though, at present, one wou'd guess by my Hand-writing, that I am just at the point of Death; yet, I doubt not, but I shall live tell to Morrow Evening, if you wou'd but promise, at that time, to come to


A Letter from a Lady to her Lover, in the French Army; with a Tuft of Hair inclosed in it. Out of the French.


I Have sent you a Pattern of what you formerly us'd to like so much, and cou'd wish the whole Piece with you: I long to see you, and am sorry, that your Honour is dearer to you, than your Mistress, and that you prefer a Lodging in a Trench to her Arms. I begin to complain of the length of the Campagne; but if it be true, that one of these inclosed in this Letter, can draw more than six Horses, I may have [Page 234] some Hopes they'll pull you hither to me; at least all that's left of you, for I suppose you are too much a Heroe, to bring back all your Limbs with you, or to have any thing entire, but your Heart, at your return to


To Madam C—ll.


IT is not without some Pains, Madam, that I have gathered the following Ac­count, which if it proves not advantagious to me; it is at least very satisfactory, to know why I am refus'd: Because you don't like me. A very substantial Reason, I must confess; and the only one I believe, on which the Vertue of your Sex is grounded: For, Madam, I am satisfied, your Fortress is not Impregnable, and though you won't Capitulate with me, though I offer your own Terms, I know the Man, to whom you would gladly Surrender upon his. A Song, or an amorous Copy of Love-Verses, wou'd gain the Point: 'Tis strange, Ma­dam, that you should be in Love with the Sons of the Muses; those poor Rogues, that [Page 335] can only pay with empty Breath, what I, with substantial Gold, wou'd purchase; and that used to be the most prevailing Argu­ment with your Sex. Adsheart, Madam, half a Crown damns a Poet at any time, and for a Shilling, you may buy what he has puzl'd his Brains about half a Year to Col­lect; then, pray where lies the Curiosity? Now, I should think, a little Money, or a little Wit, clean Linnen, and a sweet Breath, might be every jot as acceptable. I may reasonably suppose, your Husband, a ve­ry Husband; for Women are generally in Extreams, and your Sickness of the Fool is encreas'd to a Madness for a Wit. Now, Madam, I would advise you, to apply a Medium for your Cure, which you may find in your humble Servant: I am nei­ther Ideot enough, to be call'd a Driveller; nor Wit enough, to set up for a Poet: yet, I'll venture a Wager, if you'll try, I can leave you as substantial as either. Consi­der, Madam, on this Advice, and Heaven give you Grace to put it in Practice: I shall expect your Answer, or you may expect the second Part of the same Tune. For in short, Madam, I Love you, and must, and will Possess: I am resolv'd not to be uneasie thus, when 'tis in your Power to give me Ease. I am, Madam, or will be wholly [Page 236] yours, and I hope to find one Day the same Conclusion, in a Letter from your dear self.

Madam C—ll's Answer to—

COu'd I value a Man upon his Fortune, I shou'd condescend to Converse with a Fool, though by your Assurance and Vani­ty, one wou'd take you for a Wit: my Conversation with the Sons of the Muses, is purely for my Diversion; if I thought you had Sence enough to make me Sport, I wou'd list you in the Number. I'm afraid the Product of your whole Life, wont a­mount to the Value of what you reckon a Poet's half Year's Pains, unless it were to ex­pose your self, which they can do better for you: You tell me, you have a sweet Breath, but how can that be a sweet Breath, which Stinks so Rankly of Nonsence? You pro­pose a little Mony, and a little Wit; but I scorn to be beholding to any Man for the former, and the latter I have it already, without the Arrogance of Riches, and the ill Manners of Vanity. My Husband knows me so well by my Company, and you so well by your Letter, that he has given me leave [Page 237] to Answer it; nay, commanded me, else I had left you a Prey to your Conceit and Va­nity; which in a little time, will make you fit for the Stage, and so make you good Com­pany for Women of Sence.

Sir, I advise you to make your Valet tran­scribe your Letters for you, for your own hand Spells worse than a Whore.

His Answer to Mrs. C—ll.

AN Answer, and by the Husband's Com­mand too; better still, I hope you have Wit enough to make Advantage of the Liberty he gives you: Your Letter, Ma­dam, shews you a Woman of Sence; and the Scarceness of that Commodity in your Sex, renders you the more agreeable: And it ought to be taken into consideration by the Parliament, to prevent the Increase of Fools, that no one Man shou'd engross a Person of Wit to himself: You are very severe, Madam; but no matter, I had rather be the Subject of your Thought this way, than not at all; for I may hope at last to convince you of the Sincerity of my Passion, and Pity is essen­tial to your Sex. But, what am I doing! [Page 238] this is labouring to be a Fool indeed, and lo­sing your Opinion of my Vanity; if you'll let me enter your List, Madam, under what Colours you please, I don't question coming off with Credit. And if you don't confess I have made you as good Sport as any of the Parnassian Family, I'll give you leave to cashire me the next Moment. I'm glad to find such a Reformation in your Sex; but, I doubt, Madam, you'll hardly perswade many of 'em to be of your Mind. For I tell you, Madam, Gold is the Womens God; and there's scarce a Dutchess in this King­dom, that can't find an use for a superfluous Sum. I deny your having Wit without Va­nity; if you mean in your self, good Man­ners obliges me not to contradict you, tho' I have much ado to help reminding you of the following Line, in the Letter, 'tis out, Faith, before I was aware, your Pardon for that: If you mean the Lover, I must tell you, Madam, that no Poet is without the Vanity of ten thousand a Year, and I'll war­rant, to assert his own Wit, wou'd venture to Libel a Parliament-man, for hissing his damn'd dull Plays, though he had pick'd his Pocket of half a Crown. Look ye, Madam, I have no occasion to expose the Product of my Brain; the Product of my Estate is sufficient to afford me Necessaries; and that's [Page 239] more than your Poetical Friends can war­rant from their spare Diet and hard Study. And to answer the Postscript, good Spelling is beneath a Gentleman; so much by way of Answer. Now, Madam, I wish I knew of what Metal, this good Man of yours is made; for I would fain be acquainted with him, 'tis the best way of Intriguing in the World: If he is a Courtier, Flattery makes him my Friend; if he's a Citizen, Custom in his way of Trade; if he serves the King, a Bribe may do the Business; if a Man below these, a hard Word, and a big Look makes you mine; and if I once had Possession, you shou'd find I had Courage enough to defend my own, though with all the Submission to you imaginable. For believe me, Madam, to be the sincerest of all your humble Ser­vants.

An Answer.

I'M very glad to hear, Sir, that you are a Member of Parliament, for by that means you may prefer a Bill in favour of my Sex, that may provide against the trouble­some Suit of those we don't care for. Pray [Page 240] Sir, be kind to the D—of N—; I don't think but an Act of Resumption, in ease of a Wife may pass. If an Act of Par­liament make a Cuckold, it may be of dan­gerous Consequence to all the Husbands in the Nation; for the Subjects will be for fol­lowing the Example of the higher Powers. I imagine you to be of the Court Party, you understand a Bribe so well; but I can assure you my Husband falls not in your Road; he's no Courtier, consequently no Knave; no Soldier; so not in your Power to use ill; no trusting Cit to oblige your Squireship's Ac­quaintance; nor Fool enough to be frighted with the Bray of an Ass: thus much by way of Answer to your Wish. And now, Sir, I tell you, I want much of your Vanity to re­lish your Flattery; I have Wit enough to distinguish the Arrogance of a Coach and Six from the Complaisance of a Man of Sence; I despise your Price, and nauseate your Person; and if you don't desist, I shall expose your Name in Print; and your Years will shew you Bankrupt in Love, as your Letters does of Sence and good Manners; and that you are deficient in 'em all, I be­lieve the World will agree with,

Your humble Servant.

To Mrs.—


I Must acquaint you in short, that you must either pull out your Eyes, or I must pull out mine; either you must not be Hand­some, or I must be Blind. Yet though my Passion is as violent perhaps as any Man's, you must not expect I shou'd either Hang or Drown. I shou'd betray great Want of Sense, and little Knowledge of your Merit, to be willing to leave the World while you are in it. To deal sincerely with you, Ma­dam, I choose infinitely the Happiness of Li­ving with you, before the Glory of Dying for you. Besides, I have that good Opinion of your Sense, to believe you prefer the living Lover to the dead; the Lips that are warm, to those that are cold; the Limbs which have Motion, to those which have none. If I must die, Madam, kill me with your Kindness, but not with your Cruelty: Let me expire rather upon your Bosom, than at your Feet. If you shall be tenderly in­clined to give me a Death of this kind, I am prepared to receive it on any Ground in the [Page 242] three Kingdoms: Appoint but your place, and I shall not fail to meet my fair Mur­derer.

To my Lady—.


I Am now at my Lady—, where we have had a very warm Debate: Among many general Things we happen'd to fall into a Discourse of Queen Elizabeth, and a Question arising what Complexion she was of; one Lady said, she was Fair, another maintain'd she was Black, a third conten­ded she was Brown. The Dispute was ma­naged with very great Heat, and little Cer­tainty on all sides. Speed, Baker, Camden, were consulted; but we found the Hi­storians either silent, or as much divided as the Company; at last, after a long Debate, it was the unanimous Resolution of both La­dies and Gentlemen, to refer it to your La­diship's Determination, as a Person of grea­ter Antiquity, and consequently of better Authority than our Chronicles. If you shall do us the favour to give us some Satisfaction in this Matter, 'twill be a general Obligati­on [Page 243] to the whole Company, and a particular Honour done to,

Your Ladiship's obedient Servant.

To the same. A Love-Letter to an old Lady.


PAying a Visit Yesterday to Mrs.—, I was informed of your Ladiship's Dis­pleasure: What shou'd occasion your Indig­nation, I cannot well apprehend: I do as­sure you, no Man living has a greater Ve­neration for your Ladiship, or has been rea­dier upon all occasions to testifie it to the World. To convince you of the Truth of what I say, I will relate to you what hap­pened last Saturday; by which it will ap­pear, that I have been so far from ridiculing your Ladiship, which is the Accusation you fa­sten upon me, that no one could have given greater Demonstration of his Respect: For be­ing in Company, where mention was made of your Ladiship, not so honourable indeed as I [Page 244] could have wished, or your Quality and Cha­racter might have required; I took occasion to do Justice to your Merit: Gentlemen, said I, you do my Lady wrong; for my own part I must profess, I think her a very agreeable Wo­man. You cannot be serious sure, replies a cer­tain Gentleman, who had more Malice than Wit; in my whole Life, I never saw so hideous a Complexion. Sir, said I, 'tis unjustly done, to find fault with a Complexion, which is none of her own; if her Face displeases you, blame her Woman who made it. But I hope, returned he, you will not deny, but that she is Red-hair'd: With submission, Sir, I do, to my certain knowledge she has not one hair on her Head. But then her Teeth, all the World must allow are execra­ble. I deny it, Sir, for she has but one that is bad. But you must grant me her Chin is too long by three Inches. But do you ap­prehend the Reason? 'Tis because her Neck is too short by two. I see, Sir, said he, with some little heat, you are obstinately bent to oppose the Power of Truth; but I hope you are not so far prejudiced, as to maintain her Breath to be sweet? That In­firmity, Sir, replied I, is the Effect of the Foulness of her Lungs, and not of her Mouth; and, if her Lungs are rotten, is it her Ladi­ship's Fault, or Nature's. And then her [Page 245] Ga [...]e, says he, is the most disagreeble in the World. You have betrayed at once, Sir, said I, both your Malice, and your Ig­norance; if you had the least Acquain­tance with her Ladiship, you must have known better; Alas! poor Lady! she has not walkt without Crutches these ten Years. But then her Conduct, I hope you will not undertake to justifie that; how does it be­come old Eve, think you, to Patch, and Paint, Intrigue, read Romances, and Love­verses, talk Smuttily, look Amorously, dress Youthfully; insomuch, that if it were not for her Looks, you could not distinguish her from her Daughter. Under favour, Sir, you mistake, 'tis her Grand-daughter you mean. And then to keep a young Fellow of five and twenty to satisfie her brutal Lust. 'Tis false, I have heard Mr.—affirm a thousand times she was Insatiable.

He would have proceeded in his Defa­mations, but I desired him to omit all far­ther Discourse on that Subject, for that I could not, with Patience, support, that a Woman of your Ladiship's Merit, and Vir­tue, and a Woman for whom I had so par­ticular an Honour, should be so impudently Vilified and Blasphemed to my Face.

I hope by this time you are made sensi­ble, Madam, that I am quite another Per-son, [Page 246] than you apprehended me to be, and that I am so far from having any disre­spectful Thoughts of your Ladiship, that no one of your Grand-children, the nearest Relation you have remaining, could have gone farther in your Vindication. But I would not have you attribute my Defence of your Ladiship, altogether to Respect; give it a tenderer, and truer Name, and call it Love. I say Love; for let me die, Madam, if I have not a violent Passion for your Ladiship. I know you may very well suspect the Truth of what I say; for Love in me, you will tell me, ought to imply Beauty in you. But Love, you know very well, creates Beauty no less frequently, than Beauty does Love. And if by the help of Imagination, I can find out Charms in you, which no Body else can discover; I think I have reasonable Foundation enough for my Passion: there is something, I know not where to fix it, 'tis not in your Face or Shape, or Mien, or Air, or any part of your Bo­dy; much less in your Mind: but something there is so very agreeable, something I know not what, nor where, so bewitching that 'tis not in my power to defend my Heart against you. Perhaps the malicious World will say you are Old; but we know old Wine intox­icates more than new; and an aged Oak, is [Page 247] stronger than a young one. 'Tis with your Ladiship's Beauty, as with old Buildings when they fall, it destroys with its Ruins. As I profess my self an Admirer of Antiqui­ty, by consequence I should have no small Passion for your Ladiship: For I must tell you, Madam, there are finer Fragments of Antiquity in your Face, than any Greece or Italy can boast of; and more Beauty lies bu­ried in one Wrinkle of yours, than in the Ruins of the most stately Arches, or most magnificent Temples. You cannot therefore question the Sincerity of my Profession, when I tell you I am, Madam, with all Re­ality,

Your Ladiship's most passionate Adorer, and most obedient, humble Servant.

To a Lady that had got an Inflamati­on in her Eyes.


YOu will hardly believe, perhaps, how much People talk of your Indispositi­on. The late Eclipse, when the Sun it self was in Labour, occasion'd not half the Dis­course, [Page 248] as the present Distress your Eyes are in, throughout the whole Empire of your Beauty, that is throughout the whole King­dom. Nothing is more generally talk'd of, or more universally lamented. Those beau­tiful Eyes, which were wont to spread Joy in all Hearts, now diffuse Sorrow in every Breast: at the same time they raise diffe­rent Passions; the Women pity what they envy, and the Men lament what they adore. 'Tis true, there are some discontented Per­sons, that perhaps have formerly felt your Rigour, who let drop bold Expressions; they say, your Eyes are deservedly punish'd, for the many Violences and Barbarities they have committed; that 'tis but just they should be afflicted, who have made so ma­ny poor Men suffer; and that it seems a ma­nifest Judgment of Heaven, that the Distem­per shou'd attacque you in the very Place where you assault Mankind. These are the Murmurs of some few Men, Madam, whom we except from the Multitudes who bewail the Calamities of your Eyes.

Sir Thomas—, who you know speaks fine things, did me the honour of a Visit Yesterday, and commands me to tell you, That had he as many Eyes as Argus, to give yours one Moment's ease, he wou'd pluck them all out, and throw them, as he [Page 249] wou'd himself, and his Fetters, at your Feet. For my own part, Madam, who have but two Eyes, one of 'em is at your Ladiship's Service, the other I am unwilling to lose, because I am unwilling to lose the sight of you.

Your grave Vnkle likewise gives his Ser­vice to you; 'twas my Fortune to meet him at my Lady—'s Lodgings, where your Ladiship, and your present Indisposition, being the Subject of our Discourse, the old Gentleman, who moralises on every thing under the Sun, lifting up his Eyes to Hea­ven, and laying his Hand upon his sage Breast, Alas! says he, see the Vanity of all Things here below! See, Ladies, see Gentle­men, see how frail is Beauty! how uncer­tain its Possession! the finest Eyes in the Universe are in danger of losing their beau­tiful Lustre! How imperfect are the most perfect Things! Alas, alas, Vanity of Vani­ty, all is Vanity, says the Preacher.

When the Oracle had ceased, Sir, said I, (with an affected grave Look) I remem­ber well, you were wont frequently to tax your Niece with Pride; don't you think Providence design'd this present Affliction as a Lesson of Humility to her? Does it not seem the very Intention of Heaven, by this Indisposition, that those very Eyes which [Page 250] may justly make her proud, shou'd teach her to be humble: that where she is strong­est, she shou'd find her self weak: that where she is most divine, she shou'd confess her self mortal.

Very religiously and solidly reflected, says old Solomon; I profess I am surpri­zed to find so much Maturity in so much Youth: Go on in the Ways of Wisdom and prosper.

Thus, Madam, like a faithful Historian, as I am, I have related to you, what is the Discourse of the World upon this Infirmi­ty; but I am sensible, I have made your Ladiship's Patience suffer, by the unfashion­able Length of my Letter, which I fear will give your Eyes, in the Weakness they are in at present, too much pain in the read­ing. I shall conclude, with my Advice and my Wish: My Advice, That you wou'd take care of the finest Eyes in the World. My Wish, That the Flame were remov'd from your Eyes to your Heart. I am,

Your Ladiship's most obedient Servant.

To Mr. B—in Covent-garden. An Account of a Journey to Exon, &c.

AS we have one good Quality in our Sex beyond what yours can boast of, that is, seldom to make a Promise but with a Design to keep it; I have therefore been careful to let you see I cannot easily forget any thing which so great an Obligation as my Word hath engag'd me to remember: And as there was nothing needful but a bare Remembrance of my Promise to induce me to preserve it, so I hope, on your part, there will be nothing more requir'd to render what I have sent you acceptable than a Willingness to receive it: I confess I have given you but a rude Account of my Jour­ney, every part just scribled o'er with as much freedom as 'twas acted, wanting lei­sure to put it in any other than a loose Morn­ing-dress, not questioning but it may please you as well without the Formalities of Stile as a pretty Woman without Stays may some of your Acquaintance.

In the first place I shall give you a rough Draught of those discording Mor­tals our Company was compos'd of in the [Page 252] Stage-coach, (viz.) A Barrister at Law, an Attorny's Clark, a Cornish Justice, a Tailor, and a Valet to a Parliament-man that would be, but some dispute arising in the Election prevents me fixing his Title, that had I been travelling in a Dutch Scout or a Graves­end Tilt-boat, I could not have been treated with less Manners, or teas'd with more Im-pertinence

The Justice, notwithstanding the Go­vernment's Care for the Reformation of Vice, was as drunk as a Dutch Captain before he engages, and, for the first Day, talk'd of nothing but Fox-hounds, March-beer, War­rants, Whipping-posts and Vagabonds, Hal­lowing as laudably in every interval of his Nonsence, as if he had been riding three­quarter-speed at the very Heels of his Bea­gles, larding his other Qualifications now and then with a Scrap of an old Hunting Song, with a Hey down, ho down, &c. which gave me good reason to suspect he had been much more conversant with Robin Hood's Balads than with Keeble's Statutes, under­standing the latter I believe as much as a German Jugler does Necromancy, or a Lord-Mayor State-Policy.

The Limbs of the Law were much di­sturb'd at his Bawling, for I conceive they love no Bodies Noise but their own. They [Page 253] desir'd him to sleep; but he cry'd, Zounds, Sir, I win't sleep; I din't care a F—t for your Anger, I'm a Justice of Peace, and worth thir­ty Thousand Pound, and am the head Man where I live; and By G—d, if you come to Lancton, I'll give you a Glass of the best March-Beer you ever drank in your Life: but I will make a Noise if I please. I was in hopes of seeing Law and Justice fall toge­ther by the Ears, but at last Justice slept and the Law got the better by surviving it.

The Tailor, had you seen him, you wou'd have sworn he had been broke by the Ju­bilee Beaus, for he had Lines of Faith in his Face, and his Clothes bore the Marks of Poverty; he complain'd very much of Trusting: I find 'tis a common Calamity, and ruins more Families than the Royal Oak-Lottery.

The Valet personated his Master to a Tittle, and was as arrogant and noisie as e'er a Country 'Squire in England.

Now, if I were to be hang'd, I can't tell who had most Manners of all these: The Lawyer slept Dogs-sleep most part of the Way, I suppose the better to ruminate on the Causes he had in hand. The Clark was as impertinent as a Midwife at a Gossipping, and I as dull as an old Woman at a Funeral. They fail'd not to Eat and Drink heartily [Page 254] upon the Road, nor to make me club to the Reckoning; Justice and Law were both of a side in that particular; and, the Court of Equity being very chargeable, I chose to submit upon any Terms, rather than seek for Remedy.

After the Fatigue of four Days, which might serve for a reasonable Penance for all the Sins I ever committed in my Life, I arriv'd at Exon, where we met the Judges entering the Town in as much Triumph as ever Caesar did Rome after a Victory; the High-Sheriff rode in as much State as a Co­lonel of the City Train-bands, and much in the same order, only the Sheriff march'd in the Rear of his Army, and the other in the Front. The next Day being Sunday, call'd by the Natives of this Country Maze-Sunday, (and indeed not without some rea­son, for the People look'd as if they were gallied) I was wak'd by the tremendous Sound of a Horse-trumpet, I imagin'd some Monster was to be seen, and, looking out of my Window, I saw several sorts, the first were Mrs. Sheriff and her Husband, (for Women rule in this Climate, and therefore I give her the Preheminence) in a trium­phant Chariot (erected on purpose for that Occasion) with Dick and Doll crouding to see their Worships, as if it had been his [Page 255] Czarish Majesty; the Custom it seems is to conduct them in this manner to the most magnificent Church of the place, where we will leave them to their several Ejacu­lations.

I am your oblig'd Servant, You know who.

The Answer.


I Received your Letter, and am glad to find by it, that you have got that by ma­king a small Journey to Exeter, for which other People are forced to cross the Alps, and beat the Hoof to Rome, I mean the Re­mission of your Sins, which you think you have made a reasonable Attonement for, by suffering so much from the Impertinence of the Cornish Justice and the two Limbs of the Law.

But, Madam, don't flatter your self, or think that your Chalk will be so easily wi­ped out. You have been a great Sinner in your time, and four Days Penance in a Stage-Coach will hardly attone for the Sins you have committed: And, because we are too [Page 256] apt to be over-favourable to our selves, give me leave, Madam, to awaken your Con­science out of this dangerous State of Securi­ty, by laying before you some of the many Sins you are accountable for:

Imprimis, Here are People in Town that charge you with Murders numberless; and, unless you heartily repent of them, and pro­mise to commit no more, I find but little hopes of you. Yes, Madam, you are char­ged with Murder, with this horrid Aggra­vation too on your side, That whereas o­ther Assassines only murder their Enemies, or such as they suspect to be so, you make no scruple to kill your Lovers that throw them­selves at your Feet, and wou'd purchase a sin­gle Smile from you at a seven Years Service.

In the next place, You are accused of Theft. Set your Hand to your Heart, Ma­dam, and do but consider how many of those valuable Commodities you have stolen in your time, yet never had the Conscience to restore them to the right Owners. What makes the Crime worse in you, you have added Sacrilege to Theft, and stole away Peoples Hearts at Church, in the time of Divine Service, and in the sight of Moses and Aaron.

You'll tell me, perhaps, that this is no Theft, and that if Men will put their Hearts [Page 257] upon you, how can you help it. But Ma­dam, some People gave them you, who had no right to dispose of them, as I cou'd in­stance in a thousand married Men that sigh­ed for you, and, according to the ancient Proverb, the Receiver is as bad as the Thief, for they stole 'em from their Wives to be­stow 'em upon you.

Thirdly and lastly, Madam, you have not only your own Sins but those of other Peo­ple to answer for. How many Women have you made guilty of the horrid Sin of Detra­ction, and tell a thousand malicious Stories of you, only because you were handsomer than they, and consulted with that wicked Privy-counsellor, your Looking-glass, to ap­pear so? How many Men have you made guilty of Perjury, and made them forsake their former Vows, to sacrifice 'em to you?

Thus, Madam, I have made bold to lay some of your Sins before you. Should I undertake to send you a full Catalogue of them, I should have as fine time on't, as the Commissioners, that are to inspect pub­lick Accounts. Therefore never think that your Exeter Journy has compounded for them. I wou'd advise you this holy Year of Jubilee, to turn your Face towards Rome; but, alas, you'd spoil the Devotion of all the Pilgrims there, that according to our last Advices, [Page 258] are above a hundred thousand strong. In short, Madam, I don't know what course to advise to; only don't stay long in the Country, for that wou'd be to Trespass against a positive Text, and to put your Candle un­der a Bushel. Come to Town as soon as you can, and begin to make Restitution in the Place where you have done the most Mis­chief.

You desire, in my Answer, I shou'd transmit you some News: I assure you, Ma­dam, there is not enough stirring about Town to make an Alderman's Jaws wag, that the City News-hounds sit as hush over their Coffee, as so many English-men in a Tavern when the Drawer has brought the Reckoning: But however, for once, I will strain a Point to oblige you.

Notwithstanding the late War in Flan­ders, and the present Year of Jubilee, have rid the Nation of abundance of Fools, yet Knaves are every Term as thick in West­minster-hall, and Cuckolds every Day as nu­merous upon Change, as if they had still, without loss, preserv'd their ancient Num­ber.

Marriages this Easter, by the Computa­tion of the Clarks of Maribone, Pancras, Minories, Dukes-place, and Knights-bridge, are decreas'd from the last Year's Account [Page 259] by several Hundreds, to the great disap̄ ­pointment of the Clergy; yet the Number of Maids, 'tis generally believ'd, are as few as ever, to the Discredit of the Protestant Religion, the Dishonour of the Nation, and the great Scandal of the Reforming-Society.

Poetasters are grown as numerous in this Town as Quack-Doctors at London, and eve­ry one so applies himself to the Stage, that the White-fryars Printers are quite beggar'd for want of Balads: Yet Wit, I observe, is as scarce as 'twas in the time of Jeffry Chau­cer, when a Distich of Verses were worth a Page of Prose, and a Song, with a Fa-la-la Chorus, was much more listen'd to than a Sermon.

Discretion in married Women, is here grown as scarce as Modesty in Maids; they so forward their Daughters, by their own foolish Talk and Example, that the pretty Miss at Seven, instead of a Rattle, talks of nothing but a Husband, and the young Lady at Eleven is as ripe in her Thoughts and as pert in her Behaviour as if her Edu­cation had been in a Brothel instead of a Dancing-school.

I know, Madam, some of this News must seem strange to a Woman of your Vertues, but the more surprising generally the more acceptable, especially if it be true; for [Page 260] which reason I sent it you to supply the scarcity of such as might have been more welcome, and therefore beg your accep­tance of it in room of better, from, Ma­dam,

Your humble Servant

To Dr. Garth.

WHether your Letter or your Prescri­ption has made me well, I protest I cannot tell; but thus much I can say, that as the one was the most nauseous thing I ever knew, so the other was the most en­tertaining. I would gladly ascribe my Cure to the last; and, if so, your Practice will become so universal you must keep a Secre­tary as well as an Apothecary.

The Observations I have made are these, that your Prescription staid not long with me, but your Letter has, especially that part of it where you told me I was not al­together out of your Memory: You'll find me much alter'd in every thing when you see me, but in my esteem for your self: I, that was as lank as a Crane, when I left you at London, am now as plump as an Orto­lan. [Page 261] I have left off my false Calves, and had yesterday a great Belly laid to me. A facetious Widow, who is my Confident in this Affair, says you ought to Father the Child; for He that lends a Man a Sword is in some part accessary to the Mischief is done with it; however, I'll forgive you the inconvenience you've put me to. I believe you were not aware you were giving Life to two People. Pray let me have a Con­solatory Letter from you upon this new Ca­lamity; for nothing can be so welcome, ex­cepting Rain in this Sandy Country where we live. The Widow saith, she resolves to be sick, on purpose to be acquainted with you: But I tell her she'll relish your Pre­scriptions better in full Health: And if at this distance you can do her no Service, pray prescribe her

Your humble Servant, T. M.

To his Poetical Friend, advising him to Study the Mathematicks.

Out of Quevedo.

AT length, my Friend, I begin to a­wake out of those Dreams and Visi­ons, which the reading of Verses and Poems [Page 262] has so long plung'd me in. My middle Years put all those Delusions to a stand; I have now some moderate Esteem for other Thoughts besides Images and Descriptions. I am not in my former Extasies at every Metaphor, and can almost bear the Rapture of a fine Turn. Poetry, believe me, leads the Reader, as well as the Knight, into an enchanted World: The Objects are all there drest in false Colours, and nothing ap­pears in its due proportion. But if it deceives us in all things abroad, what Disorders and Confusion does it raise at home? By feed­ing the Mind with Delicacies, it makes it mad after Pleasure, and lets all the Passions loose upon us. Our Joys it blows up too high, and makes our Griefs sit heavier; and, what is yet worse, it kindles in us that fool­ish Passion Love, the ruine of our Ease and Dotage even in Youth.

Whereas Mathematics improves all our Faculties, makes the Judgment stronger and the Memory take in more. The Dull it teaches to Perceive, and the Giddy to At­tend. It distinguishes between True and False, and enures us to Difficulties: Besides, it gives us a thousand Advantages in Life. By this the Miser counts his Bags, and the Country-man knows his Times and Seasons. This gives our Cannon aim in War, and in [Page 263] Peace furnishes every Workman with his Tools. How many noble Engines has it invented? In one the Wind labours for us, and another turns Bogs and Pools into firm Land. This builds us Houses, defends our Towns and makes the Sea useful. Nor are its Effects less wonderful than advanta­gious. The Mathematician can do more things than any Poet e'er yet conceiv'd. He in a Map can contract Asia to a Span, and in a Glass shew a City from a single House, and an Army from a Man. He can set the Heavens a thousand Years for­ward, and call all the Stars by their Names. There is scarce any thing without his reach; He can gauge the Channel of the Sea, and weigh Saturn. He sees farthest into the Art and Skill of the Creator, and can write the best Comment on the six Days Work.

Be advis'd therefore to employ your self rather in the improving of your Under­standing, than debauching of your Passions, and to prefer Realities before Appearances. In my mind, to make a Dial is harder than to find a Motto to it, and a Prospect drawn in Lines pleasanter than one in Words. In­stead of Descriptions of cool Groves and flowry Gardens, you may inform your self of the Situation and Extent of Empires, and while others are wandring in Elysian-fields [Page 264] and fancy'd Shades below, you may raise your Thoughts to the Infinity of Space a­bove, and visit all those Worlds that shine upon us here: Think most of Mercury when he is farthest off the Sun, and mind little in Venus but her Periodic Motion.

To let you see I have got the start of you, I now follow the old Rule of, Nulla dies sine Lineâ, and am so far advanc'd in Geo­metry that I defie any Man to make a roun­der Circle, or cut a Line in two more nice­ly than my self. I am well vers'd in Squares, am no stranger to the Doctrine of Propor­tion, and have transpos'd A, B, C, D, in all the Mathematical Anagrams they are ca­pable of. My Chamber I have survey'd five times over, and have at length found out a convenient Place for a South-dial. I am at present about a Bargain of Pins, which you shall soon see dispos'd into Ba­stions and Counterscarps. I felt at first, I must confess a great Confusion in my Head between Rhimes and Angles, Fiction and Demonstration. But at length Virgil has resign'd to Euclid, and Poetical Feet and Numbers to their Namesakes in Geometry and Arithmetic. In short, I write altoge­ther upon Slate, where I make Paralels in­stead of Couplets and Describe nothing but a Circle.

[Page 265] Let me for the future therefore catch no Poet in your Hands, unless it be Aratus or Dyonisius, and follow my Council, unless you can make one of these Studies subser­vient to the other, your Poetry wise and learn'd, and your Mathematics pleasant and Ingenious. I am, Sir,

Yours, &c.

To William Joy, the strong Kentish­man, from the Lady C—. Dropt out of her Foot-man's Pocket, and ta­ken up by a Chair-man in the Pall-mall.


I Saw you Yesterday, with satisfaction, exerting your Parts in Dorset-garden; on that very Theatre where I have frequent­ly beheld the Alexanders, the Caesars, the Hercules, the Almanzors, the greatest He­roes of Greece or Italy, of ancient or mo­dern Times, taking Towns, sacking Cities, overturning Empires, singly routing whole Armies, but yet performing less Wonders than You. Yet, I must tell you, it grieves me to see so Noble a Talent mis-employed, [Page 266] and that Strength thrown away upon un­deserving Horses, that cannot reward your Labour, which might much better divert the requiting Woman. Meet me there­fore, thou puissant Man, in another Gar­den, on a better Theatre, where you may employ your Abilities with more Profit to Yourself and Satisfaction to the expecting

The End of the First Part.
LETTERS OF Friendshi …

LETTERS OF Friendship, AND Several other OCCASIONS: The Second Part.

Written by

  • Mr. Dryden,
  • Mr. Wycherly,
  • Mr.—
  • Mr. Congreve,
  • and Mr. Dennis.

WITH LETTERS written between Mr. Den­nis and Mr. Congreve, Concerning Humour in Ancient and Modern Comedy.

London: Printed for Sam. Briscoe, in Russel-street in Covent-garden, MDCC.

To the Right Honourable Charles Montague, Esq. One of the Lords of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer; and one of His Majesty's most Honourable Privy-Council.


AS soon as I had resolv'd to make this Address to you, that the Present might not be altogether unworthy of you, I took care to obtain the Consent of my Friends to publish some Let­ters, which they had writ as Answers to mine.

When I look upon my self, I find I have reason to beg Pardon for my Presumption: But when I consider those Gentlemen, I am encourag'd to hope that you will not be of­fended [Page] to find your self at the Head of no Vulgar Company; a Company, whose Names and Desert are universally known, a Company rais'd far above the Level of Mankind by their own extraordinary Merit, and yet proud to do Homage to yours. They are Gentlemen, 'tis true, who are di­vided in their Interests, and who differ in their Politick Principles, but they agree in their Judgments of Things, which all the World admires, and they always consent when they speak of you.

In presenting this little Book to you, I only design'd to shew my Zeal and my Gra­titude; but they assure me unanimously, that I have likewise shewn my Judgment. Tho' indeed, Sir, the number of the Great, who cast a favourable Eye upon Human Learning, is not so considerable, but that a Man who would Address any thing of this nature to one of them, may soon determine his Choice. Proficients in other Arts are encouraged by Profit, which is their main Design, but he who bestows all his time up­on Human Studies is incited by Glory alone, and the World takes care that he should have no more than he seeks for. The En­thusiast, the Quack, the Pettifogger, are rewarded for torturing, and for deluding [Page] Men; but Humanity has met with very barbarous Usage, only for Pleasing, and for Instructing them. The very Court, which draws most of its Ornament from it, has but too often neglected it; there Learning in general has been disregarded: For none but great Souls are capable of great Designs, and few Courtiers have had Greatness of Mind enough to procure the Promotion of Science, which is the Exaltation of Human Nature, and the Enlargement of the Em­pire of Reason. Our Ministers of State have formerly behaved themselves with so much Indifference, as if it would have lessen'd them to have taken any care of Letters: They have shewn themselves as perfectly uncon­cern'd, as if not one had discover'd, that at a time when our Neighbours are grown so knowing, the Publick Safety depends on the Progress of Learning, and that to Patro­nize Science, is to take care of the State. Be­sides, too many of our States-men have been engag'd in unjust Designs. Most of our Po­liticians have done their Endeavour to en­croach on the Crown, or to attempt on the People. Few have had Capacity and Inte­grity enough to keep the Balance so steady, as to maintain Prerogative at once, and as­sert Privilege; to serve the King Zealously, and their Country Faithfully; to possess at [Page] the same time the Favour of the one, and the Hearts of the other, to such a degree as to be courted by the People to serve as their Representative, at the very time that they are employ'd by the King in Mat [...]rs of the highest Importance. Instead of that, most of them have had reason to be afraid of the King or the Commons; and Men who have been sollicitous for their own Safety, have seldom appear'd concern'd for the good of others. Few then have been and are in a Condition to be Protectors of Learning, and therefore those happy Few, deserve all the Honours which we are able to pay them. Of those, Sir, you appear in the foremost Rank, and are to the Commonwealth of Learning what you are to the State, a great Defence and a shining Ornament. You have warmly encouraged all sorts of Studies, but have been justly and nobly partial to those, for which the State has made no Provision: Which is enough to gain you the Esteem of all who have any Regard for Learning; and to win the very Souls of all, who, like me, are charm'd with the softer Studies of Hu­manity. For which your Zeal has been so diffusive, that it has extended it self even to me, tho' a bare Inclination to cultivate Elo­quence and Poetry, was the only thing which could recommend me to you: Yet even this [Page] has been encourag'd by the Promise of your Protection, and by the Humanity of your Receiving me: The Access which I have had to you, has been the greatest Obligati­on that you could lay upon a Man who has still valu'd Merit above all the World, and who has sought his Improvement more than he has his Advancement. When I have at any time approach'd you, I have found in you none of those Forbidding Qualities, of which they accuse the Great: Instead of those, I have found an Attractive and a Hu­mane Greatness, the generous Sincerity of the Man of Honour, joyn'd with the Grace and Complaisance of the Courtier, and a Deportment Noble without Pride, and Mo­dest without Descending. Nature has made me something averse from making my Court to Fortune: But I am proud to attend upon real Greatness; and to wait upon you, since first you encouraged me, has been at once my Duty and my Ambition.

The Permission which you gave me to ap­proach you, was so great an Incitement to me, that I believe it might have brought me to write well, if I had not a very just reason to resolve to attempt it no more. You had given me one great Encouragement before I had the honour to see you, and that was, [Page] by leaving off Writing your self. For Va­nity is a greater Incitement to Poets than Pensions, and even Want depresses the Spi­rits less than the thought of being surpassed. Therefore while Mr. Montague sung, he sung alone. We admir'd indeed our Conquering Monarch, but we admir'd in Silence. We rever'd the Greatness of your Genius, and neglected our Talents. Indeed the Strength and Sweetness of your Voice was fit to charm us alone, and we, who followed, were only fit for the Chorus. But you have left a Pro­vince, which you have made your own, to the Administration of those who are under you, and are gone on in your victorious Pro­gress to the Acquisition of new Glory. From which I am sensible that I detract by detain­ing you: For your Actions are your best Encomiums, and the loud Consent of the Nation your best Panegyrick. It was a glo­rious one that was spoken to you by the Peo­ple of Westminster, in the Request that they made to you to serve as their Member in the present Parliament, at a time when they were Caballing all over the Kingdom, and Gentlemen were depriving Peasants of their little Reason, in order to obtain their Voi­ces; Mr. Montague's Merit, while he was silent, sollicited for him so importunately, that it prevail'd upon a number of conside­rable [Page] Inhabitants of the Politer Parts of the Town, to come and make it their humble Request to you, to Honour them by Repre­senting them, which puts me in mind of a Saying of De la Bruiere, That the People are then at their height of Happiness, when their King makes Choice for his Confidents, and for his Ministers, of the very same Persons that the People would have chosen, if the Choice had been in their Power. This, at present, is our own Case; for doubtless the same People, who, without any Brigue or the least Cor­ruption, came voluntarily to entreat you to suffer them to place you in the Great Coun­cil of the Kingdom, would, if the Choice had been in their power, have plac'd you in the Privy-Council; and they who frankly offer'd to trust you with the Disposal of the Mony which is in their Houses, would have trusted you, had it been in their power, with the Intendency of that in the Treasury. So that the Peoples Proffer to Chuse you, seems to me to be a loud Approbation of the Choice, which the King had made before of you, and of your Ministration upon that Choice. But I injure the Publick while I detain you: Yet give me leave to end with my zealous Wishes for you, that the Happiness may be multiplied on you, which you so nobly seek to communicate, that you may encrease [Page] in Riches and Honours faster than you ad­vance in Years, till you arrive at that Height of Prosperity which may be answerable to your high Desert, and till Fortune may be said to pour down her Gifts upon you, in Emulation of Art and Nature: Yet Envy after all shall be forced to declare, that Mr. Montague sprung from an Illustrious Stock, and loaded with Plenty and Honours, is yet Nobler by Desert, than he is by Descent, and Greater by Virtue than he is by For­tune;

I am, Sir,
Your most humble and most obedient Servant, JOHN DENNIS.


I Once resolved to have along Preface before this little Book; but the Impression has been so long retard­ed by the Fault of those who had the Care of it, that I have now neither Time nor Humour to execute what I intended. I shall therefore only give a Compendious Account of what I proposed to have treated of more at large: I designed, in the first place, to have said something of the Nature and of the End of a Letter, and thought to have prov'd that the Invention of it was to supply Conversation, and not to imitate it, for that nothing but the Dialogue was capable of doing that; from whence I had drawn this Conlclusion, That the Style of a Letter was neither to come quite up to that of Conversation, nor yet to keep at too great a di­stance from it. After that, I determined to shew, That all Conversation is not familiar; that it may be Ce­remonius, that it may be Grave, nay, that it may be Sublime, or that Tragedy mnst be allow'd to be out of Nature: That if the Sublime were easy and uncon­strain'd, it might be as consistent with the Epistolary Style, as it was with the Ditactique; that Voiture had admirably joyn'd it with one of them, and Longi­nus with both. After this, I resolv'd to have said something of those who had most succeeded in Letters amongst the Ancients and Moderns, and to have treat­ed of their Excellencies and their Defects: To have spoken more particularly of Cicero and Pliny amongst the Ancients, and amongst the Moderns of Balzac and Voiture; to have shewn that Cicero is too simple, and no dry, and that Pliny is too affected, and too refi­ned; [Page] that one of them has too much of Art in him, and that both of them have too little of Nature. That the Elevation of Balzac was frequently forced, and his Sublime affected; that his Thoughts were often a­bove his Subject, and his Expression almost always a­bove his Thoughts; and that whatsoever his Subjects were, his Style was seldom alter'd: That Voiture was eafie and unconstrain'd, and natural when he was most exalted; that he seldom endeavoured to be witty at the Expence of right Reason: but that, as his Thoughts were for the most part true and just, his Expression was often defective, and that his Style was too little di­versifyed. That for my own part, as I came infinite­ly short of the extraordinary Qualities of these great Men, I thought my self obliged to endeavour the ra­ther to avoid their Faults; and that consequently I had taken all the care that I could, not to think out of Na­ture and good Sence, and neither to force nor neglect my Expressions; and that I had always taken care to suit my Style to my Subject, whether it was Familiar or Sublime, or Didactique; and that I had more or less varied it in every Letter. All this and more I de­signed to have said at large, which I have only hinted now in a Hurry. I have nothing to add, but to de­sire the Reader to excuse my bad Performance, upon the account of my good Endeavour, and for striving to do well in a manner of Writing, which is at all times useful, and at this time necessary; a manner in which the English would surpass both the Ancients and Mo­derns, if they would but cultivate it, for the very same Reason that they have surpassed them in Comedy. But methinks, I have a Title to the Reader's Favour, for I have more than made Amends for the Defects of my own Letters, by entertaining him with those of my Friends.

A Collection of Letters.

To Walter Moyle, Esq

Dear Sir,

YOU know a grave Fellow assures us, that upon the Cessation of Oracles, lamentable Cries were heard in the Air, proclaiming along the Coasts the Death of the Great Pan: And have not you upon this Dearth of good Sence, and this Cessation of Wit! tell me truly; have not you heard

These Sounds upon the Cornish Shore,
The Sage, Will. Ur.—is no more?

Gone is the Universal Lord of WIT! He to whom all the Wits paid Homage; For whom his Subjects set a Tax upon Words, and laid exorbitant Customs on Thoughts: He's dead; alas, he's dead!

Dead, I mean, Sir, in a legal Capacity; that is, Outlaw'd and gone into the Fryars; [Page 2] to go into which, is once more to Outlaw him­self: He has done it, Sir, and ill Fortune has brought him to be a Felo de se that way. For since the Law thought it but just to put Will out of its Protection, Will thought it but prudent to put himself out of its Pow­er. And since the Law could use him with so much Contempt, as to declare to all the World that it does not care for Will. Vr—;Will, who is extreamly stout in Adversity, has declar'd, by his Actions, That he does not care for the Law. Virgil tells us in his Sixth Book, that the Souls in Hell were bu­sied about the same things in which they were employed upon Earth; even so does Sage Will use the same Nutmeg-grater, and the same Tea-pot in the Fryars, that he handled before in Bowstreet. Thus has he left the Wits, without any Sorrow, tho' he loves them, and without taking any Leave of them. For Will thinks they can­not be long from him; and he says, he ex­pects that in a very little time his Old Com­pany should be constant at his New House. And dost not thou think that they too have reason to expect the very same thing? For as the Death of any Man ought to put all his Friends in mind, that he went before but to lead them the way; so Will's De­parture from this miserable Life, this lewd [Page 3] Covent-garden Life, and his Ferrying from Somerset-stairs to the infernal Shore of Alsa­tia, should be a Memento to the rest of the Wits, that he is but gone whither they all must follow.

To leave off Poetical Similies, this Body Politick is in a cursed Condition; and can­not keep long together without a Head. The Members are at present in a grave Debate how to get one. To Morrow the Whole House will resolve it self into a grand Committee, to consult about Ways and Means of making Provission for the Common Necessities. Some talk of an Ex­cise upon May-dew, and Rasberry-brandy: That there will be a Poll, is strongly assert­ed, in which every Man is to pay accord­ing to his respective Condition. To Mor­row it will be known to how much each Man's Quota amounts. As for Example: How much a Poet is to pay, how much a Wit, how much a Politician, and how much a Critick. A Critick, did I say? I beg your Pardon: They have voted Ne­mine Contradicente, that they will Cess no Critick till Mr. Moyle returns.

I have given them my Sentiments upon the forementioned Poll, which were, That it was something hard to make a Man pay for being call'd, Wit, Poet, or Critick; [Page 4] That they saw by Experience lately in the State, that poor Dogs grumbled to pay for their Titles. How then could they think that People would be contented to be tax'd for their Nick-names? That in setling this Tax they were to take a quite contrary Method, to that which was taken upon setling a Tax in the State. That in the State, sometimes a Man paid for what he really had; As for Example, when a Coun­try 'Sqnire paid for his Land or his Money; and sometimes for what he really had not, as when a Cit that is twice dub'd, Knight by the King, and Cuckold by his Wife, pays for his Honour, and for his Children. The First of which is but as it were his, for it is really the King's; and the Second of which are but as it were his, for they are really the Courtier's who help'd him to his Title. In the State too a Man is made to pay for something which he does, or for something which he does not. As a Jacobite pays so much for Swearing when he's Drunk, and so much more for not Swearing when he's Sober. But that in our Case, if we would be exactly Just, we should make People pay neither for what they have, nor for what they have not; nor for what they do, nor for what they do not; But should oblige them to pay [Page 5] only for pretending to have what they re­ally have not, or for offering to do, what they are utterly incapable of doing. That thus the Tax would certainly fall upon the most solvent Part of the Body. For how ridiculous would it be to Tax a Man for having Poetry and Wit, when they are al­most always signs, that he has not a Far­thing to pay? On the other side, how ab­surd would it be to tax him for a bare Want of those Qualities? since when a Man is Dull without Pretending, 'tis ten to one but he is Poor, for Riches make Men vain, and Vanity makes them affected. But he who is not much at his ease, is hardly at leisure for Affection; and I have often seen, that when Vanity has thrown a Fop out of Nature, Necessity has brought him back again: But a rich Rogue will be sure to be always Pretending. Fortune takes pleasure in making those Vain, whom Na­ture before made Impotent, and both of them often conspire to finish a Coxcomb. Thus I would have none pay, but they who put Gravity upon us for Wisdom, Visions for Politicks, and Quibbles for Wit; and I would have no Man at any Expence for being call'd a Poet, a Wit, or a Critick, unless it be by himself. It would be equally hard to lay a Tax upon any one, for his Ill [Page 6] Fortune, or for his Ill Nature, since they are things of which no Man is Master. But what? A Sot cannot help his Vanity. Agreed: But then it makes him so much happier than he deserves to be, that he may well be contented to pay for it.

I am your most humble Servant, JOHN DENNIS.

To Mr. Wycherley, at Cleve, near Shrews­bury.


WHile I venture to write these Lines to you, I take it to be my Interest not to consider you, as I hitherto always have done, and as for the future I always shall, viz. As Mr. Wycherley, as the great­est Comick-wit that ever England bred, as a Man sent purposely into the World, to Charm the Ears of the wittiest Men, and to ravish the Hearts of the most beautiful Women: No, Sir, that in writing to you I may assume some Spirit, I shall at pre­sent only consider you as the humble Her­mit at Cleve; Humble even in the full Possession of all those extraordinary Quali­ties, [Page 7] the knowledge of which has made me Proud. I must confess, that I have no great Opinion of that which Men generally call Humility. Humility in most Men is want of Heat; 'tis Phlegm, 'tis Impotence, 'tis a wretched Necessity, of which they who lie under it, vainly endeavour to make a Virtue. But in a Man of Mr. Wycherley's Make, 'tis Choice, 'tis Force of Mind, 'tis a good, 'tis a generous Condescension. And what Force of Mind is there not re­quisite to bend back a Soul by perpetual Reflection, which would be always ri­sing, and eternally aspiring by virtue of its in-born Fire? Yet yours, notwithstanding all its Power, cannot wholly depress its self, nor descend in every part of it. At the time that your Will vouchsafes to stoop, your Understanding soars; your Writings are as bold as your Conversation is modest, (though those are bold, as this is modest with Judgment) and he who would do you Justice, must needs confess, that you are a very ambitious Writer, though a very humble Man. Yet your very Ambition has oblig'd Mankind: It has exalted Hu­mane Nature, in raising your own by its most noble Efforts; and that without boast­ing Preheminence. And surely it must be for this very reason that we feel a secret [Page 8] Pride, when we but read the Discoveries which you have made. Thus I cannot say what you are without Vanity, for never was Man exempt from it; but I can say, that you have made use even of Vanity to humble you by way of Reflection, and that you have avoided that dangerous Effect of it, Vain-glory, the Rock upon which several great Wits before you have been seen to split. For you have always wise­ly considered, that Vain-glory in the Vul­gar may be supportable, nay may be di­verting; but that in great Men it must be intollerable. That whereas in the First 'tis want of Discernment, 'tis Folly, 'tis the Extravagance and Blindness of Self-love; in the Last, 'tis Crime, 'tis Malice, 'tis a secret and proud Design to Mortifie and Insult over the rest of Men, over whom they have so much advantage; That it is for this very reason, that we so deeply resent and so severely revenge the mortal Affronts we receive from it. Great Wits were by Heaven predestin'd to Rule, to rule the Minds of others, the noblest Em­pire; but when they grow outwardly Vain they grow Tyrants, and then their discontented Subjects rebel, and then they despose those Kings as Usurpers, whom before they obey'd as their lawful Mo­narchs. [Page 9] But a moderate, a good, and a gracious Prince, like you, commands their Hearts as well as their Understandings, and under one whom they love so well, they grow as proud, as they are pleas'd to obey. Our violent Inclinations make us belong to you, and therefore 'tis the Inte­rest even of our Pride, that you should long continue in the Place which your ex­traordinary Desert has attain'd. Did we nothing but esteem you as much as we do, we should certainly envy you; if we did not hate you; for bare Esteem is always forc'd upon us, whereas Inclination is much more voluntary: Besides, as a judicious French Man observes, Esteem is foreign, and comes from abroad, and is therefore received with Grumbling; but Inclination is our own, and born in our Breasts, and is therefore Caress'd and Cherish'd. I might add, That upon this account, it is hard to wish well to those whom we very much esteem, if they have not likewise the Skill to make themselves be belov'd; because barely to esteem depresses the Spi­rits, as much as to love very much exalts them; it brings the Soul [...] languid Tem­per, and gives it at once [...] horrid Views of another's Excellencies, and of its own Infirmities; but Affection gives it Agitation [Page 10] and Warmth; and in the View of a Friend's Desert, it takes too much Pleasure, and too much Pride to consider its own Defects. 'Tis true, that you are esteemed at this high Rate, you owe to your Wit and your Penetration; but that you are esteem'd without Envy, that you are with Joy and Gladness esteem'd, you owe to this, that while the force of your Fancy and Judg­ment makes all the World admire you, you remain yourself unmov'd by it; that while your Excellence fills all Mouths but yours, you alone appear to be unacquainted with it. Thus while by the Merit of your ex­traordinary Qualities, you are known to surpass all others, it plainly appears that you have beyond all this a Greatness of Soul, from whence you look down on your own Merit. An infallible Sign that the Talants which we admire in you are no Illusions, but real things, things that were born with you, and have been improv'd by you, and which you have not acquir'd: For Men are found to be Vainer, upon the account of those Qualities which they fond­ly believe they have, than of those which they really have; and Hereditary Great­ness gives Men [...] to be humble, where­as Preferment occasions Pride. None but such real Greatness as yours can capacitate [Page 11] a Man to be truly humble; for the Soul, which by Nature is not seated high, can hardly be said to descend. If I have in­sisted too long on this shining Subject, a Subject which is so conspicuous in you; if you look upon this tedious Letter, as one of those various Persecutions which every eminent Virtue provokes; I desire you to consider, that I have so many Obligations to this very Humility, that I look'd upon my self as oblig'd by Gratitude to say as much as I have done. For to what I owe the Happiness which I have frequently re­ceived in your Conversation; to that I owe the present Satisfaction which your Permission to write to you gives me; and to that I am indebted for the Hopes of your Answers; when I have received them I shall then believe what you were pleas'd to tell me when I saw you last, that you are much more Humble in the clear Air on your Mountain at Cleve, than when you are in Fog and sulphurous Smoke in Bow-street. But at the same time, the Satisfaction of thinking that Distance does not make you forget me, will render him very Proud, who is at present,

your very humble Servant, JOHN DENNIS.

Mr. Wycherley's Answer to Mr. Dennis.

Dear Sir,

YOu have found a way to make me satisfyed with my Absence from Lon­don; nay, what is more, with the Distance which is now betwixt you and me. That indeed uses to lessen Friendship, but gives me the greater Mark of yours by your kind Letter which I had miss'd if I had been nearer to you: So that I, who receive no Rents here, yet must own if I did, I cou'd not receive greater Satisfaction than I had from yours, worth even a Letter of Ex­change, or Letters Pattents; For I value your Friendship more than Money, and am prouder of your Approbation than I should be of Titles: For the having the good Opinion of one who knows Mankind so well, argues some Merit in me, upon which every Man ought to consider himself more, than upon the Goods of Fortune. I had rather be thought your Friend in proof of my Judgment and good Sense, than a Friend to the Muses; and had rather have you than them thought mine. If I am as you say, at once Proud and Humble, 'tis since I have known I have had the Ho­nour to please you; tho' your Praise rather [Page 13] humbles than makes me (tho' a damn'd Poet) more Vain. for it is so great, that it rather seems the Railery of a witty Man, than the Sincerity of a Friend; and rather proves the Copiousness of your own In­vention, than justifies the Fertility of mine. But I fear I am forfeiting the Character of the Plain-dealer with you; and seem like vain Women or vainer Men, to refuse Praise, but to get more; and so by return­ing your Compliments, shew my self grate­ful out of Interest, as Knaves are punctual in some Payments, but to augment their Credit. And for your Praise of my Hu­mility, (the only Mark of my Knowledge, since it is a Mark of my knowing my self,) you have prais'd that to its Destruction, and have given me so much, you have left me none. like those Admirers who praise a young Maid's Modesty till they deprive her of it. But let me tell you, 'tis not to my Humility that you owe my Friendship, but to my Ambition, since I can have no greater than to be esteem'd by you, and the World, your Friend, and to be known to all Mankind for,

Dear Sir,
your humble Servant, W. WYCHERLEY.
My Dear Friend,

I Have no way to shew my Love to you in my Absence, but by my Jealousie: I would not have my Rivals in your Friend­ship the C—s, the D—s, the W—s, and the rest of your Tavern-friends enjoy your Conversation while I cannot: Tho', I confess, 'tis to their Interest to make you dumb with Wine, that they may be heard in your Company; tho' it were more the Demonstration of their Wit to hear you, than to be heard by you. For my own part, I am ambitious of your Company alone in some Solitude, where you and I might be all one. For I am sure if I can pretend to any Sence, I can have no In­struction or Satisfaction of Life, better than your Example and your Society.

My Service pray, to all my Friends; that is, to all yours whom I know: and be charitable (as often as you can) to the Ab­sent; which you good Wits seldom are; I mean be charitable with your Letters to

Your humble Servant.

PRay let me have more of your Letters, tho' they would rally me with Compli­ments undeserv'd as your last has done; for like a Country Esquire, I am in love with a Town Wit's Conversation, tho' it be but at a Distance that I am forced to have it, and tho' it abuses me while I enjoy it.

To Mr. Wycherley.

Dear Sir,

NOT long after I writ my last to you, I was hurried up to Town by a kind of a Cholick, which was ended in a De­struction upon one of my Feet. You know, Sir, a Defluction is a general name which some pleasant French Men have given an Infant Gout, too young to be yet baptiz'd. But tho' the Distemper rag'd in each Hand, I would in spight of it, answer your admi­rable Letter, a Letter which I had certain­ly known to be yours, tho' it had been sent me without a Name, nay and tran­scrib'd by a Chancery-Clerk in his own hideous manner of Copying. But I must [Page 16] confess I was surpriz'd to hear you say in it, that you took the Sincerity of a Man who so much esteems you for Railery, yet tho' you declare it, you can never believe it. I am willing to believe you exceeding hum­ble; but you can never be humble to that degree, unless your Mind, which resembles your Eye, in its Clearness, its Liveliness, and in its piercing Views, should be also like it in this, that plainly discerning all things else, it wants a sight of it self; but in this it does not resemble it: For it beholds it self by Reflections, and like a lovely Maid at her Glass, is charm'd with the sight of its own Beauty. This is a sight in which you take Pride as well as Pleasure; but yours I must confess is a guiltless Pride, it being nothing but first Motion, which it is im­possible for Man to avoid. You have both the Force to subdue it immediately, and the Art and Goodness to conceal it from us. That it plainly appears from what I have said, that you do not believe I had any design to rally you. I am confident that through all my Letter there appears an Air of Sincerity. But that is a Virtue which has been so long and so peculiarly yours, that you may perhaps be jealous of it in your Friends, and disclaim some Virtues which they commend in you only to Mo­nopolize [Page 17] that. You had given me, at least an occasion to think so, if the Railery in yours had not been so very apparent, that even I had Eyes to discern that you have been to blame in it, tho' I am doubly blinded with Love of you and my self. Yet if you writ it with a design to Mortifie me, assure your self that I shall fortifie my Vani­ty with that very Artillery with which you have begun to attack it. If Mr. Wycherley rallies me, it is certain that I have my De­fects; but it is full as certain, that he would never condescend to abuse me at such a di­stance if he wholly despis'd me. Thus, Sir, you see I am as reasonable with my Friend, as a Russian Spouse is with her Husband, and take his very Railery for a Mark of E­steem, as she does a Beating for a Proof of Affection. The very worst of your Quali­ties gain our Affections: Even your Jealou­sie is very obliging, which it could never be unless it were very groundless. But since your very Suspicion is obliging, what influence must your Kindness have on our Souls? The Wish that I were with you in some Retirement, is engaging to that de­gree, that I almost repent that I so eagerly desir'd your Conversation before. For if it were possible I would augment that De­sire as a grateful Return to yours. To be [Page 18] with you in Solitude would make me per­fectly happy. Tho' it were in the Orcades, I would not wish my self remov'd to any happier Climate; no, not even to that which contain'd my absent Mistress; all that I could do for her on that occasion, would be to wish her with me. In that Retirement what should I not enjoy? Where I should be admirably instructed without Trouble, and infinitely delighted without Vice, where I should be glorious at once with Envy and Quiet. For what could be more glorious, than to be the Companion of your Retreat! My very Ambition instructs me to love such Solitude. Tho', properly speaking, there can be no Solitude where you reside: Immortal Company still attends you, and the Virtues, the Graces, and the Charm­ing Nine, who love the Groves, and are fond of you, follow you to remotest Retire­ments. The Comick Muse is more particu­larly yours; and it is your peculiar Praise to allure the most Ravishing of all the Sisters after you into Retirement: To make that Goddess forsake the Crowd with you, who loves it most of the Nine: You have been constantly her Darling, her best Belov'd. Thus in Retirement with her and you, I should have the Conversation of Mankind; I should enjoy it with all its Advantages, [Page 19] without its least Inconveniencies. In the Philosophy of your Actions and Words, I should see the Wise, the Good, and the truly Great; in your Observations, and in your Railery, the Men of Sence, and the Men of Wit; and in your Satyr, severely pleasant, the Fools and Rascals expos'd by it. In the Postscript to my last, I made an Apology for usurping a Style so foreign from this way of Writing. I have once more run into the same Fault in this, but the very Thought of Mr. Wycherley spreads a generous Warmth thro' me, and raises my Soul to Rapture. And when a Man writes, his Soul and his Style of necessity rise together. In my next I have some­thing with which I must trouble you, that will require another manner of Writing.

I am, &c.

To Mr. Wycherley.

Dear Sir,

I Have been very ill ever since I took my Leave of you, so that I parted in one Night from all that I value most, that is, from my Health and you. However, Na­ture was kind in not failing to supply me [Page 20] with Vigour, till Fortune had depriv'd me of your Conversation, and I was got a­mongst People with whom I small occasion for Vigour. Yet even here in spight of Sickness and Absence I have made a shift to Converse with you: For I thought that your Works were the only things that could make me full Amends for the Loss of your Company: By them you have been able to give me Joy even in the midst of my Pain. For, the Country Wife, and the Plain Dealer are Stores of Delight, which you have laid up by a noble Charity, to supply the Poor in Spirit thro' all Posterity. So that I believe that to be one of the Reasons of Fortune's Pique to you, that you have put it out of her Power for the time to come, to prosecute her Quarrel to Men of Sence effectually: for by having recourse to you in your Works, they are sure to become more happy than. Fools, even at the time when they are less successful. But I can hold up my Head no longer at present, as soon as I am better you may expect a longer Letter from me.

I am yours, &c.

Mr. Wycherley to Mr. Dennis.

Dear Sir,

I Have received yours of the 20th of No­vember, and am glad to find by it, that however your Friends are Losers by your Absence from the Town, you are a Gainer by it; of your Health, which every one you have left behind you, (but Ch—) may be thought a Friend to: and the more each Man is your Friend, the more he is satisfy'd with pour Absence, which tho' it makes us ill for want of you, makes you well for want of us: your taking no Leave of me (which you would excuse) I take to be one of the greatest Kindnesses you ever shew'd me; for I could no more see a Departing Friend from the Town, than a Departing Friend from this Life; and sure 'tis as much Kind­ness and good Breeding to steal from our Friends Society unknown to 'em, (when we must leave 'em to their Trouble) as it is to steal out of a Room, after a ceremonious Visit, to prevent Trouble to him, whom we would Oblige and Respect; so that your last Fault (as you call it) is like the rest of your Faults, rather an Obligation than an Offence; tho' the greatest Injury indeed you can do your Friends, is to leave 'em against [Page 22] their Will, which you must needs do. You tell me you converse with me in my Wri­tings, I must confess then you suffer a great deal for me in my Absence, which (tho' I would have you love me) I would not have you do; but for your truer Diversion, pray change my Country Wife for a better of your own in the Country, and exercise your own Plain Dealing there, then you will make your Country 'Squire better Company, and your Parson more sincere in your Company than his Pulpit, or in his Cups: But when you talk of Store of Delights you find in my Plain Dealer, you cease to be one; and when you commend my Country Wife, you never were more a Courtier; and I doubt not but you will like your next Neighbour's Coun­try Wife better than you do mine, that you may pass your time, better than you can do with my Country Wife; and like her Innocence more than her Wit, since Inno­cence is the better Bawd to Love; but en­joy my Wife and welcome in my Absence, I shall take it as civilly as a City Cuckold: I was sorry to find by you that your Head ak'd whilst you writ me your Letter; since I fear 'twas from Reading my Works (as you call them) not from your own Wri­ting, which never gave you Pain, tho' it would to others to Imitate it. I've given [Page 23] your Service to your Friends at the Rose, who, since your Absence, own they ought not to go for the Witty Club; nor is Will's the Wits Coffee-house any more, since you left it, whose Society, for want of yours, is grown as Melancholy, that is, as dull as when you left them a Nights, to their own Mother-wit, their Puns, Couplets, or Quib­bles; therefore expect not a Witty Letter from any of them, no more than from me, since they, nor I have conversed with you these three Weeks. I have no News worth sending you, but my next shall bring you what we have. In the mean time let me tell you (what I hope is no News to you) that your Absence is more tedious to me, than a Quibbler's Company to you; so that I being sick Yesterday, as I thought with­out any Cause, reflected you were forty or fifty Miles off, and then found the Reason of my Indisposition, for I cannot be well so far from you, who am,

My Dear Mr. Dennis,
Your obliged humble Servant, W. WYCHERLEY.

PRay pardon me that I have not sooner answer'd your Letter, for I have been [Page 24] very busie this last Week about Law-affairs, that is, very Dull and Idle, tho' very Active. Your Friends of the Coffee-house and the Rose, whether Drunk or Sober, Good Fel­lows, or Good Wits, show at least their Sence, by valuing you and yours, and send you all their Service; and never are more Wits and less Poets, that is, less Lyars, than when they profess themselves your Servants.

For News, W—lives soberly, Ch—goes to bed early; D'Vrfy sings now like a Poet, that is, without being ask'd: And all the Poets, or Wits-at-wills, since your depar­ture speak well of the Absent. Bal—says his ill Looks proceed rather for want of your Company, than for having had that of his Mistress; even the Quibblers and Politicians, have no double Meaning when they speak well of you.

To Mr. Wycherley.

Dear Sir,

THE sight of your Letter reviv'd me: It appear'd like the Rays of the new Sun, to one who has winter'd under the Pole, and brought with it Light, Warmth, [Page 25] and Spirit. The Raillery in it was very o­bliging; for the Lust of Praise is as power­ful with Men, as the Itch of Enjoyment is with Women; and it is as hard for us to think that our Friends ridicule us when they commend our Wit, as it is for them to believe that their Gallants abuse them when they extol their Beauty. Yet gene­rally in both Cases, whatever is said, is said for the Satisfaction of him that speaks it. But then, as he delights in Deceiving, the Person to whom he speaks is deceiv'd with Pleasure, and both Parties are satisfied. But Mr. Wycherley is to be excepted from this general Rule, who commends his Friend for his Friend's sake. You never are witty to please your self, to whom Wit has so long been habitual, that you are often hardly mov'd your self when you say those admirable things with which we are transported. Not that I am so far betray'd by Vanity, as to take your Com­pliments at the Foot of the Letter, or to suppose that you believ'd all that you said; but I am willing, for your sake, to believe that you meant something of it; and that not being without Kindness for me, (which is only owing to the Sweetness of your Na­ture, that is, to your Merit, and not to mine;) your Reason, as the Duke de la [Page 26] Rochefoucaut says, has been bubbled by your Affection. And here, Sir, I have much the Advantage of you; for when I declare that I have the greatest Opinion in the World of you, none will mistrust my Sincerity, and all will applaud my Discernment; but you cannot express your Zeal at so high a rate for any Friend, but it must considerably lessen the World's O­pinion of your Judgment. But if it is Mr. Wycherley's peculiar Praise, never to have shewn Want of Judgment in any thing, unless in that only thing in which Errour is honourable: How few are they who are capable of Erring at your Rate!

Vellem in amicia sic erraremus, & isti
Errori virtus nomen posuisset honestum.

And how happy is the Man who has a Friend so accomplish'd, that Errour in him is Virtue? I am that happy Man, and am so far exalted by my Happiness, that I am never less humble, than when I subscribe my self,

Dear Sir,
Your most humble and faithful Servant.

Mr. Wycherley's to Mr.—on the Loss of his Mistress.

Dear Sir,

I Have had yours of the 31st of March, to which I should sooner have returned an Answer, had I not been forced to take a little turn out of Town; but your Let­ter to me, brought me not more Satisfaction than your last to Mr. Moyle gave me Dis­quiet for you: Since by that I find how uneasie you are. Yet know, my Friend, from one sufficiently experienced in Love-disasters, that Love is often a kind of losing Loadam, in which the Loser is most often the Gainer. If you have been deprived of a Mistress, consider you have lost a Wife, and tho' you are disappointed of a short Sa­tisfaction, you have likewise escaped a te­dious Vexation, which Matrimony infalli­bly comes to be, one way or another; so that your Misfortune is an Accident which your true Friends should rather felicitate than commiserate. You told me in your last, that you were no more Master of your self: Then how should I help Rejoycing at the Restoration of your Liberty? A Man might as reasonably be sorry for his Friend's Re­covery [Page 28] from Madness, as for his Recovery from Love, (tho' for the time a pleasant Frenzy;) so that, your Mistress's Father, has rather been your Doctor than your Ene­my: And you should not be angry with him, if he cures you of your Love-distem­per, tho' by a Means a little too violent; for next to his Daughter's Cure of Love, his may prove the best. Well, pray be not angry, that I can be pleas'd with any thing that can so much displease you: I own my Friendship for you, has a little Selfish­ness in it, for now you cannot be so happy as you wou'd in the Country, I hope you will make us as happy as we can be in Town, which we shall be as soon as we have your company: For know, my Friend, change of Air after a Love-distemper, may be as good as 'tis after a Fever; and there­fore make haste to Town, where a great many Doctors have engaged to compleat your Cure. Your Friends will do any thing to root out the Remains of your Passion. The Witty Club will grow Grave to instruct you; and the Grave Club will grow Gay to delight you; Wh—will turn a Philosopher; and I will grow a Good-Fellow, and venture my own Health, for the Recovery of your good Humour; for I [Page 29] had rather be sick in your Company, than for want of it; who am,

Dear Sir, Your most unalterable Friend, and humble Servant, W. WYCHERLEY.

PRay pardon me for not writing to you before, or rather for writing to you so dully now, which I hope will be my best Excuse for my not writing sooner. All your Friends of the Coffee-house are well; and what is no News to you, are, in spight of your Absence, your constant humble Servants.

The Answer to Mr. Wycherley.

Dear Sir,

I Have a colourable Excuse for my Silence, for when you went out of Town, you gave me the hopes of receiving a Letter from you, as soon as you arriv'd at Cleve. Besides, since that, I have been a Month in Northamptonshire. But the Inclination which I have to converse with Mr. Wycher­ley, is too violent to receive any Check from Punctillo's. But, alas, I was restrain'd by [Page 30] too just an Impediment: For ever since I saw you, I have been so rackt by a cruel Passion, that I have had no Power to do any thing but to to Complain. And your Portion of Melancholy is not so small, that you have need to be troubled with another Man's Spleen. I would be sure to com­municate my Happiness to my Friend, nay, I could be but half happy if I did not com­municate it. As in Love I never could be pleas'd to a Height with my own Pleasure, if I did not find that it added to that of my Mistress. But I should impart my ill Hu­mour to my Friend, if I found that it were not in his Power to ease me, and that it were much in his Inclination, with as much Regret, as I should acquaint him with his own ill Fortune, if I were clearly convinc'd that it were not in my Power to assist him. You would not advise me to stifle this Passion. You are too well acquainted with Love, and me, to do that: You know that that would be to perswade me to a thing which you are already sensible that I am very willing and very unable to do. I blush while I show this Weakness, but sure there is some Force of Mind requir'd to shew some sorts of Weakness. You remember the Maxim of the wise Duke: La meme fermete qui sert a Resister al'amour, Sertauffi queque fois [Page 31] a le rendre violent & durable. If that be true, I beseech you to believe that this ob­stinate Lover is a constant Friend too, and unalterably,

Dear Sir, Your most humble Servant.

Mr. Wycherley's Letter to Mr.—

Dear Sir,

I Lately received from you so kind, and so witty a Reproach for my not writing to you, that I can hardly repent me of my Fault, since it has been the Occasion of my receiving so much Satisfaction: But you have had a reasonable Excuse for your Si­lence, since you say I promis'd to write to you first, which is very true; and I had kept my Promise, but for my Conjecture that you could not stay so long out of Nor­thamptonshire; nor was I, it seems mistaken in that. But be assur'd, dear Sir, I think there can be no better End, or Design of my Writing, than in its procuring me the Satisfaction of receiving something of yours; especially, since I have no other way left me now of Conversing with you. But it seems, you forbear to relieve me out of [Page 32] Charity, since you say your Trouble was so great, that you were unwilling to com­municate it to me to mine. I see your Wit can do any thing, make an Omission of a Kindness a greater Obligation; and if you complain but to your Mistress, as wittily as you do to your Friend, I wonder not at her Cruelty, nor that she should take Plea­sure to hear you Complain so long. But, my Friend, have a care of Complaining to her, with so much true Sence, lest it should disparage your true Love; and indeed, that I fear is the only Cause you are suffer'd to Complain so long, without the Success which is due to your Merit, Love, and Wit, from one who, you say, has her self so much; which, with your Pardon, I shall hardly be­lieve, tho' you are her Voucher, if she does not do what you wou'd have her; that is, do you and herself Reason as fast as she can; since she must needs believe you a warm and sincere Lover, as much as I believe you a zealous and a true Friend. And I am so well acquainted with Love and you, that I believe no body is able to alter your Love, or advise your Reason; the one being as Unalterable as the other Infallible; and you (for ought I know) are the only Man who at once can Love and be Wise. And to the Wise, you know, a Word is enough; [Page 33] especially since you gave me a Caution a­gainst opposing your Passion; because it would be in vain. If Love be in you as in other Men, a violent Passion, it is there­fore a short Frenzy, and should be cur'd like other Distempers of that kind, by your Friends humouring it, rather than opposing it. Yet pardon me, if I prescribe the com­mon Remedy of curing one Love with a­nother. But whether you will let me be your Doctor or no, I must at least wish you well, who am,

Dear Sir,
your most obliged affectionate Friend, and humble Servant, W. WYCHERLEY.

PRay thank my Friend Mr. W.—for putting his Surtout of a Letter over yours of a finer Stuff, as the Lining of a Garment is often finer than the Outside. Pray give all the honest Gentlemen of the Coffee-house, of my Acquaintance and yours, my humble Service; whom, with you I hope to see again, within this three Weeks, at London.

Mr. Dennis to Mr. Wycherley.

Dear Sir,

A Man who has the Vanity of preten­ding to Write, must certainly love you extremely well, if he does not hate you after he has received from you such a Letter as yours: And he must undoubtedly shew a great deal of Friendship, when he assures you he does not envy you the very Lines by which you commend him. A Man had need be very well acquainted with the Goodness of your Nature, to be satisfied that you do not praise with a wick­ed Design to mortifie. There are few Writers so humble, whom Mr. Wycherley's Commendation would not render vain; but then there are few Writers so proud, whom the Wit that Mr. Wycherley shews in commending them, would not humble. So that a Man, who did not know you, wou'd be apt to believe that whenever you write to Phraise, you do but like a Wrestler who lifts People up on purpose to throw them down, and the higher he raises them, makes their Fall the greater. Your Com­mendation is to a modest Man, what the second Bottle is to a sober Man; it raises his Vigour while he is swallowing it; but [Page 35] the Wit is as sure to make the one Melan­choly upon mature Reflection, as the Wine is certain to leave the other Spiritless after the third Concoction: But our Infirmity cannot be your Fault; to whom we are o­blig'd for your generous Intentions, which give you such a peculiar Distinction from ordinary Men of Wit. Indeed, by a just and a noble Confidence, which you may repose in your self, you may always very safely commend; because you may be al­ways sure to surpass. 'Tis prudent and no­ble at once in a Conqueror to extol the Con­quered: To praise the Excellence which he o'ercomes, is but to commend himself: Besides, it wins the very Heart and Soul of him that is overcome, if he has but Vir­tue enough to be so subdued; and makes him willing to leave his last Retrenchment. It would long since have had that Effect upon me, if the rest of your good Qualities had not prevented it; which have so closely and so entirely tied me to you, that when­ever I receive a Letter from you, my Vanity is sure to gain on the one side, what it is certain to lose on the other: For if I am mortified as to my own Wit, I do not fail to value my self upon yours.

I am, &c.

To Mr. Wycherley, That a Block-head is better qualified for Business than a Man of Wit.

Dear Sir,

THE last time I was at Will's, I had the Mortification to hear, that our Friend Mr.—had met with a Disappointment in—; at which, some, who were pre­sent, were glad, affirming, That Success would have thrown him out of his Element; for that a Man of Wit is not qualified for Business so well as a Block-head: I have since had some Thoughts concerning that matter which I here send you, and of which I desire your Opinion.

Upon Reflection I have found out the fol­lowing Reasons, why Block-heads are thought to be fittest for Business, and why they really succeed in it.

First, As their Brains are a great deal colder, than those are of Men of Wit, they must have but very strait Imaginations, and very barren Inventions; from whence it follows that they have but few Thoughts, and that a few Objects fill their Capaci­ties.

Secondly, It is reasonable enough to be­lieve, that since they are uncapable of many [Page 37] Thoughts, those few which they have, are determin'd by their Necessities, their Appe­tites, and their Desires, to what they call their Fortunes and their Establishments.

Thirdly, It is not very hard to conceive, that since a Block-head has but a few Thoughts, and perhaps but one all his Life-time, which is his Interest, he should have it more perfect, and better digested, then Men of Wit have the same Thought, who perhaps have a thousand every Hour.

Fourthly, It is easie to comprehend, that since such a one has but a few Thoughts, or perhaps but one, which by often revolving in his Mind, he has digested, and brought to perfection, he should readily pass from Thought to Action. For he must grow weary of Thinking so often of one and the same thing; and since the Nature of the Soul requires Agitation, as soon as his little Speculation ceases, he must of necessity act to divert himself.

Fifthly, It will be certainly found, that as a little Thought often makes a Man active in Business, so a little Judgment often makes him diligent; for he may well be eager in the Pursuit of those things, on which, se­duced by Passion and Vulgar Opinion, he sets an exorbitant Value; and concerning whose Natures and Incertainty he is not [Page 38] very capable of making solid Reflections. For tho' Prudence may oblige a Man to se­cure a Competency, yet never was any one by right Reason induced to seek Superflui­ties.

Sixthly, Penury of Thoughts supposes Littleness of Soul, which is often requisite for the succeeding in Business: For a Block­head is sordid enough to descend to Trick and Artifice, which in Business are often necessary to procure Success; unless they are more than supplied, by a Prudence de­riv'd from a consummate Experience, or from a great Capacity.

Thus have I endeavour'd to give the Reason, why a Fool succeeds better in Bu­siness than a Man of Wit; who has a mul­titude of Thoughts, and which fly at the noblest Objects; and who finds that there is something so pleasing, and so noble, in Thinking rightly, and more especially in the sublime Speculations of exalted Reason, that he finds it intollerably irksome to descend to Action, and abhors the very Thought of being diligent in things, for which he has an extream Contempt.

Thus you [...] that in some measure, a Fool may be said to be better fitted out for Business, than a Man of Wit. But it is high time to distinguish: For, first, when [Page 39] I say that a Block-head is fitted for Business, I mean only for little Business: For to af­firm, that he is qualified for Affairs that re­quire Extent of Capacity, would be a Con­tradiction in Terms. Secondly, When I affirm, that a Man of Wit is less capaci­tated for Business, I mean that he is less so, as long as he keeps in his natural Temper, and remains in a State of Tranquility: But if once he comes to be thrown out of that by the Force of a violent Passion, and fir'd with Zeal for his Country's Service, or en­flam'd by Ambition, and Business can be made subservient to the gratifying of those Passions, then I dare boldly affirm, that one Man of Wit will go further than a thousand of those who want it. Of which it would be easie to give more than one In­stance amongst our present Ministers. But I will be contented with putting you in mind, that none of the Romans had more Wit than Caesar, and none of the French than Richelieu.

Before I conclude, I must give you a Cau­tion; which is, That by the Word Block­head, I do not mean one that is stupid, but that I apply that word according to the Language of you Men of Wit, to one who thinks but a little: And that on the other side, by a Man of Wit, I do not mean eve­ry [Page 40] Coxcomb whose Imagination has got the Ascendant of his little Reason; but a Man like you, Sir, or our most ingenious Friend, in whom Fancy and Judgment are like a well-match'd Pair; the first like an extraor­dinary Wife, that appears always Beauti­ful, and always Charming, yet is at all times Decent, and at all times Chast; the second like a prudent and well-bred Hus­band, whose very Sway shews his Com­plaisance, and whose very Indulgence shews his Authority,

I am, dear Sir,
your most humble Servant, JOHN DENNIS.

To Mr. Dryden.


THo' no Man writes to his Friend with greater Ease, or with more Chear­fulness, than my self; and tho' I have late­ly had the Presumption to place you at the Head of that small Party, nevertheless I have experienc'd, with Grief, that in wri­ting to you I have not found my old Faci­lity.

Since I came to this place I have taken up my Pen several times in order to write [Page 41] to you, but have constantly at the very be­ginning found my self damp'd and disabled; upon which I have been apt to believe that extraordinary Esteem may sometimes make the Mind as Impotent as a violent Love does the Body, and that the vehement De­sire we have to exert it, extremely decays our Ability. I have heard of more than one lusty Gallant, who, tho' he could at any time, with Readiness and Vigour, possess the Woman whom he lov'd but moderate­ly, yet when he has been about to give his Darling Mistress, whom he has vehement­ly and long desir'd, the first last Proof of his Passion, has found on a sudden that his Body has jaded and grown resty under his Soul, and gone backward the faster, the more he has spurr'd it forward. Esteem has wrought a like Effect upon my Mind; my extraordinary Inclination to shew that I honour you at an extraordinary rate, and to shew it in words that might not be alto­gether unworthy Mr. Dryden's Perusal, in­capacitates me to perform the very Action to which it incites me, and Nature sinks in me under the fierce Effort. But I hope you will have the Goodness to pardon a Weak­ness that proceeds from a Cause like this, and to consider that I had pleas'd you more if I had honoured you less. Who knows [Page 42] but that yet I may please you, if you encou­rage me to mend my Fault? To which, if you know but the Place I am in, Charity would engage you, tho' Justice could not oblige you: For I am here in a Desart, de­priv'd of Company, and depriv'd of News; in a Place where I can hear nothing at all of the Publick; and what proves it ten times more a Desart, nothing at all of you: For all who are at present concern'd for their Country's Honour, hearken more after your Preparatives, than those for the next Cam­paign. These last may possibly turn to our Confusion, so uncertain are the Events of War; but we know that whatever you un­dertake must prove Glorious to England; and tho' the French may meet with Success in the Field, by you we are sure to Conquer them. In War there are a thousand un­look'd-for Accidents which happens every Day, and Fortune appears no where more like her self; but in a Combat of Wit, the more Humane Contention, and the more Glorious Quarrel, Merit will be always sure to prevail: And therefore, tho' I can but hope that the Confederate Forces will give Chase to De Lorge and Luxemburgh, I am very confident that Boileau and Racine will be forced to submit to you. Judge therefore, if I, who very much love my [Page 43] Country, and who so much esteem you, must not with a great deal of Impatience expect to hear from you.

I am, Sir,
your most humble Servant.

To Mr. Dryden.

Dear Sir,

YOu may see already by this presump­tuous Greeting, that Encouragement gives us as much Assurance to Friendship, as it imparts to Love: You may see too, that a Friend may sometimes proceed to ac­knowledge Affection, by the very same Degrees by which a Lover declares his Pas­sion. This last, at first, confesses Esteem, yet owns no Passion but Admiration: But as soon as he is animated by one kind Ex­pression, his Look, his Style, and his very Soul are altered; but as Sovereign Beauties know very well, that he who confesses he Esteems and Admires them, implies that he Loves them, or is enclin'd to Love them; a Person of Mr. Dryden's exalted Genius, can discern very well, that when we E­steem him highly, 'tis Respect restrains us if we say no more. For where great E­steem is without Affection, 'tis often at­tended [Page 44] with Envy, if not with Hate; which Passions detract, even when they commend, and Silence is their highest Pa­negyric. 'Tis indeed impossible, that I should refuse to Love a Man, who has so often given me all the Pleasure that the most insatiable Mind can desire; when at any time I have been dejected by Disap­pointments, or tormented by cruel Passions, the Recourse to your Verses has calm'd my Soul, or rais'd it to Transports which made it contemn Tranquility. But tho' you have so often given me all the Pleasure I was a­ble to bear, I have reason to complain of you on this account, that you have confin'd my Delight to a narrower Compass: Suck­ling, Cowley, and Denham, who formerly ravish'd me in ev'ry part of them, now ap­pear Tastless to me in most; and Waller himself, with all his Gallantry, and all that admirable Art of his Turns, appears three quarters Prose to me. Thus 'tis plain that your Muse has done me an Injury; but she has made me Amends for it: For she is like those extraordinary Women, who, besides the Regularity of their charming Features, besides their engaging Wit, have secret, unaccountable, enchanting Graces, which tho' they have been long and often enjoy'd, make them always New and always De­sirable. [Page 45] I return you my hearty Thanks for your most obliging Letter. I had been very unreasonable if I had repin'd that the Favour arriv'd no sooner: 'Tis allowable to grumble at the Delaying a Payment, but to murmur at the Deferring a Benefit, is to be impudently Ungrateful beforehand. The Commendations which you give me, ex­ceedingly sooth my Vanity: For you with a Breath can bestow or confirm Reputation; a whole numberless People proclaims the Praise which you give, and the Judgments of three mighty Kingdoms appear to de­pend upon yours. The People gave me some little Applause before; but to whom, when they are in Humour, will they not give it? and to whom, when they are Fro­ward will they not refuse it? Reputation with them depends upon Chance, unless they are guided by those above them: They are but the Keepers as it were of the Lot­tery which Fortune sets up for Renown; upon which Fame is bound to attend with her Trumpet, and Sound when Men draw the Prizes. Thus I had rather have your Approbation than the Applause of Fame Her Commendation argues Good Luck, but Mr. Dryden's implies Desert. What­ever low Opinion I have hitherto had of my self, I have so great a Value for your Judg­ment, [Page 46] that, for the sake of that, I shall be willing henceforward to believe that I am not wholly Desertless; but that you may find me still more Supportable, I shall en­deavour to compensate whatever I want in those glittering Qualities, by which the World is dazled, with Truth, with Faith, and with Zeal to serve you; Qualities which, for their Rarity, might be Objects of Wonder, but that Men dare not appear to admire them, because their Admiration would manifestly declare their Want of 'em. Thus, Sir, let me assure you, that tho' you are acquainted with several Gentlemen, whose Eloquence and Wit may capacitate them to offer their Service with more Ad­dress to you, yet no one can declare himself, with greater Chearfulness, or with greater Fidelity, or with more profound Respect than my self,

your most, &c.

Mr. Dryden to Mr. Dennis.

My dear Mr. Dennis,

WHen I read a Letter so full of my Commendations, as your last, I cannot but consider you as the Master of a [Page 47] vast Treasure, who, having more than e­nough for your self, are forc'd to Ebb out upon your Friends. You have indeed the best Right to give them, since you have them in Propriety; but they are no more mine when I receive them, than the Light of the Moon can be allowed to be her own, who shines but by the Reflection of her Brother. Your own Poetry is a more power­ful Example, to prove that the Modern Writers may enter into Comparison with the Ancients, than any which Perrault could produce in France; yet neither he, nor you, who are a better Critick, can persuade me that there is any room left for a solid Com­mendation at this time of Day, at least for me. If I undertake the Translation of Vir­gil, the little which I can perform will shew at least, that no Man is fit to write after him, in a barbarous modern Tongue: Nei­ther will his Machines be of any service to a Christian Poet. We see how ineffectually they have been try'd by Tasso, and by Ariosto. 'Tis using them too dully if we only make Devils of his Gods: As if, for Example, I would raise a Storm, and make use of Eolus, with this only Difference of calling him Prince of the Air. What In­vention of mine would there be in this? or who would not see Virgil thorough me, [Page 48] only the same Trick play'd over again by a bungling Juggler? Boileau has well obser­ved, that it is an easie matter, in a Christian Poem, for God to bring the Devil to Rea­son. I think I have given a better Hint for new Machines in my Preface to Juvenal, where I have particularly recommended two Subjects, one of king Arthur's Con­quest of the Saxons, and the other of the Black Prince in his Conquest of Spain. But the Guardian Angels of Monarchies and Kingdoms, are not to be touch'd by every Hand. A Man must be deeply conversant in the Platonick Philosophy to deal with them: And therefore I may reasonably expect that no Poet of our Age will pre-sume to handle those Machines, for fear of discovering his own Ignorance; or if he should, he might perhaps be Ingrateful e­nough not to own me for his Benefactor. After I have confess'd thus much of our Modern Heroick Poetry, I cannot but con­clude with Mr. Rym—, that our English Comedy is far beyond any thing of the Ancients. And notwithstanding our Irre­gularities, so is our Tragedy. Shakespear had a Genius for it; and we know, in spite of Mr. R—that Genius alone is a grea­ter Virtue (if I may so call it) than all other Qualifications put together. You see what [Page 49] Success this learned Critick has found in the World, after his Blaspheming Shake­spear. Almost all the Faults which he has discover'd are truly there; Yet who will read Mr. Rym—, or not read Shakespear? For my own part, I reverence Mr. Rym—'s Learning, but I detest his Ill Nature and his Arrogance. I indeed, and such as I, have reason to be afraid of him, but Shake­spear has not. There is another Part of Po­etry in which the English stand almost up­on an equal Foot with the Antients; and 'tis that which we call Pindarique; intro­duced, but not perfected by our Famous Mr. Cowley: and of this, Sir, you are cer­tainly one of the greatest Masters: You have the Sublimity of Sence as well as Sound, and know how far the Boldness of a Poet may lawfully extend. I could wish you would cultivate this kind of Ode; and reduce it either to the same Measure which Pinder us'd, or give new Measures of your own. For, as it is, it looks like a vast Tract of Land newly discover'd. The Soil is wonderfully fruitful, but unmanur'd, o­verstock'd with Inhabitants; but almost all Salvages, without Laws, Arts, Arms, or Policy. I remember poor Nat. Lee, who was then upon the Verge of Madness, yet made a sober, and a witty Answer to a [Page 50] bad Poet, who told him, It was an easie thing to write like a Madman. No, said he, 'tis very difficult to write like a Madman; but 'tis a very easie matter to write like a Fool. Otway and He are safe by Death from all Attacks, but we poor Poets Militant (to use Mr. Cowley's Expression) are at the Mercy of wretched Scribblers: and when they cannot fasten upon our Verses, they fall upon our Morals, our Principles of State and Religion. For my Principles of Religion, I will not justifie them to you: I know yours are far different. For the same reason I shall say nothing of my Prin­ciples of State: I believe you in yours fol­low the Dictates of your Reason, as I in mine do those of my Conscience. If I thought my self in an Error I would retract it; I am sure that I suffer for them; and Milton makes even the Devil say, That no Creature is in love with Pain. For my Morals, betwixt Man and Man, I am not to be my own Judge; I appeal to the World if I have Deceiv'd or Defrauded any Man: And for my private Conversation, they who see me every Day can be the best Witnesses, whether or no it be Blameless and Inoffensive. Hitherto I have no rea­son to complain that Men of either Party shun my Company. I have never been an [Page 51] impudent Beggar at the Doors of Noble Men: My Visits have indeed been too rare to be unacceptable; and but just enough to testifie my Gratitude for their Bounty; which I have frequently received, but al­ways unask'd, as themselves will witness. I have written more than I needed to you on this Subject: for I dare say, you justifie me to your self. As for that which I first intended for the principal Subject of this Letter, which is my Friend's Passion, and his Design of Marriage, on better considera­tion I have chang'd my Mind: For having had the Honour to see my dear Friend Wy­cherley's Letter to him on that Occasion, I find nothing to be added or amended. But as well as I love Mr. Wycherley, I confess I love my self so well, that I will not shew how much I am inferiour to him in Wit and Judg­ment, by undertaking any thing after him. There is Moses and the Prophets in his Coun­sel: Jupiter and Juno, as the Poets tell us, made Tiresias their Umpire, in a certain merry Despute, which fell out in Heav'n betwixt them: Tiresias you know had been of both Sexes, and therefore was a proper Judge; our Friend, Mr. Wycherley, is full as competent an Arbitrator: He has been a Batchelor, and Marry'd Man, and is now a Widower. Virgil says of Ceneus,

[Page 52]
Nunc vir nunc Faemina Ceneus,
Rursus & in veterem fato revoluta figuram.

Yet, I suppose, he will not give any large Commendations to his middle State; nor as the Sailer said, will be fond, after a Ship­wrack, to put to Sea again. If my Friend will adventure after this, I can but wish him a good Wind, as being his; and,

My dear Mr. Dennis,
your most Affecti­onate and most Faithful Servant, JOHN DRYDEN.

Written for my Lady C—, to her Cousin W—of the Temple. By Mr. Dennis. After she had received from him a Copy of Verses on her Beauty.


I Received yours with the Verses inclos'd, and here return you my hearty Thanks for the Face, the Shape, the Meen, which you have so generously bestow'd upon me. From looking upon your Verses I went to my Glass: But, Jesu! the Difference! Tho' I bought it to Flatter me, yet compar'd [Page 53] to you, I found it a Plain Dealer: It show'd me immediately that I have been a great deal more beholding to you, than I have been to Nature; for she only form'd me not Frightful; but you have made me Di­vine. But as you have been a great deal kinder than Nature has been to me, I think my self obliged, in Requital, to be a good deal more Liberal than Heav'n has been to you, and to allow you as large a Stock of Wit as you have giv'n me of Beauty: Since so Honest a Gentleman as your self, has stretcht his Conscience to commend my Person, I am bound in Gratitude to do Vi­olence to my Reason, to extol your Verses. When I left the Town, I desir'd you to fur­nish me with the News of the Place, and the first thing I have receiv'd from you, is a Copy of Verses on my Beauty; by which you dexterously infer, that the most extra­ordinary Piece of News you can send me, is to tell me, that I am Handsom. By which ingenious Inference, you had infalli­bly brought the Scandal of a Wit upon you, if your Verses had not stood up in you Justi­fication. But tell me truly, Cousin, could you think that I should prove so easie a Cre­ature as to believe all that you have said of me? How could you find in your Heart to make such a Fool of me, and such a Cheat [Page 54] of your self; to intoxicate me with Flat­tery, and draw me in to Truck my little Stock of Wit and Judgment, for a meer Imagination of Beauty; when the real thing too, falls so infinitely short of what you would make me exchange for the very Fancy of it? For, Cousin, there is this con­siderable Difference between the Merit of Wit and Beauty: That Men are never vio­lently influenc'd by Beauty, unless it has weaken'd their Reason; and never seel half the Force of Wit, unless their Judgments are sound. The principal time in which those of your Sex admire Beauty in ours, is between Seventeen and Thirty; that is, after they are past their Innocence, and be­fore they are come to their Judgment. And now, Cousin, have not you been commend-ing a pretty Quality in me, to admire which, as I have just shewn you, supposes not only a corrupted Will, but a raw Un­derstanding: Besides, how frail, how tran­sitory is it! Nature deprives us of it at thir­ty, if Diseases spare it till then: By which constant Proceeding, she seems to imply, that she gives it us as a Gugaw to please us in the Childhood of our Reasons; and takes it from us, as a thing below us, when we come to Years of Discretion. Thus, Cousin, have you been commending a [Page 55] Quality in me, which has nothing of true Merit in it, and of which I have no greater a Share, than to keep me from being scan­dalous. So that all I could have got by your Kindness, if I had parted with my Judgment, in order to reap the Benefit of it, had been nothing but wretched Conceit, and rediculous Affectation. If I thought you had enough of the gallant Man in you, to take what I say in good part, I would advise you to engage no further in Poetry: Be rul'd by a Woman for once, and mind your Cook upon Littleton. Rather Pettifog than Flatter: for if you are resolved to be a Cheat, you will show at least some Conscience, in resolving rather to chouse People of their Money, than to bubble them of their Understandings. Besides, Cousin, you have not a Genius which will make a Great Poet, and be pleased to consider, that a Small Poet is a scandalous Wight; that indifferent Verses are very bad ones; and that an insipid Panegytic upon another is a severe Libal upon your self. Besides, there will start up a Satyr one Day, and then Woe be to cold Rimers. Old England is not yet so barren, but there will arise some generous Spirit, who, besides a Stock of Wit and good Sence, which are no very common Qualities, will not [Page 56] only be furnished with a sound Judgment, which is an extraordinary Talent; but with a true Tast for Eloquence and Wit, which is scarce any-where to be found; and which comprehends not only a just Discernment, but a fine Penetration, and a dilicate Criticism. Such a Satyrist as this, Cousin, must arise, and therefore you had best take care, by a judicious Silence, that whenever he appears, he may be sure to Divert you, and not Afflict you.

I am, &c.

To Mr—, at Will's Coffee-house, in Co­vent-garden.

I Received your Panegyrick upon Pun's, which I so approve of, that I am re­solved to get it printed, and bouud up with Erasmus his Praise of Folly. Yet to con­fess a Truth, I was something dissatisfied to see Quibbling commended with so much Wit: For nothing can be writ with more Wit, than your Letter to the Reserve of the Quibbles; which I suppose you inserted a­mongst so many things which are so finely said, lest these should have render'd you too vain, or too much have mortify'd me: [Page 57] But pray, after this Panegyrick upon Quib­bles, give me leave to ask you the same Question that the Lacedemonians ask'd the Sophister, who harangu'd in the Praise of Hercules: By the way, did you ever expect to hear a Quibble compar'd to Hercules? There's a Simile for you. I think, as Novel says, that's New. You, who are cry'd up for so great a Wit, tell me, without Envy, could you ever have thought upon that? But to return to my Question: Here you have spent a great deal of time in the De­fence of Quibbles. Who said a Word a­gainst them? The Devil a Syllable did I mention of them in mine. It is true, I cited honest Mr. Sw—, but it is a hard Case, if the Quoting an Author must be construed the Condemning his Works: I have a great Respect and Kindness for Mr. Sw—, as I have for all who have any Excellence. And truly, I think that for the Management of Quibbles and Dice, there is no Man alive comes near him. And let me tell you, Sir, for all your new Emulation, he is a better Quibbler than you. But it is high time to give over Raillery: For if you were my Father a thousand times, let me die if I would not rigorously examine that part of your Letter which pretends to defend Quib­bling. You say that I am too Nice, and [Page 58] that my Aversion has something in it, that is very like Affectation: But here you must give me leave to turn you own Simile up­on you: Can a Man be justly accus'd of Niceness or Affectation, because he appears offended at a Stink? When I tell you that Quibbling is extreamly foolish; You know it is foolish enough, you reply; but it is a foolish thing that diverts. And do you think this Knowledge of it will excuse the Folly? Give me leave to resume the afore­mention'd Simile: Suppose a Fellow who beaks Wind, should say to the Company, while they are cajoling their offended Noses with Snuff, Look you Gentlemen, I know I am a brutal Dog for this, this is very nasty, but Begad it is very Diverting: Would the Excuse, think you, be current? A Quibble diverts: Right; and so does a Hobby-horse, which in my Mind, for those who can be diverted without Reason, is the better Bawble of the two. A Quibble di­verts: Jesu! That this should be spoken at Will's? Can there be a more damnable Satyr upon Wit, than that so many Gen­tlemen who have so very much of it, should be fore'd to play the Fool to divert one ano­ther? But, for God's sake, what do you mean when you say a Quibble diverts you? It makes you laugh, I warrant: Why the [Page 59] greatest Coxcomb about the Town shall out-do you in Laughing at any time. Na­ture, who has dealt impartially with her Children, and who has given them but two Distinctions from Beasts, Reason and Laughter, has, where she has bestow'd the more of the One, conferr'd the less of the Other: And therefore a Coxcomb will laugh at nothing. Ay, that indeed, say you, is a Sign of a Fool. Well, my dear Friend, I have so much Kindness for thee, that out of thy own Mouth, thou shalt not be Judged: For if a Quibble is not Wit, it is nothing. But it is at as great a Distance from Wit, as an Idol is from the Deity; and I will no more believe nauseous Equi­vocals to be Wit, because some Sots have admir'd them, than I will believe Garlick to be God, because the Aegyptians ador'd it: Nay, it is a more damnable Sign of Stupidity in an English Man, to make Wit of a Quibble, than it was in the Aegypti­ans, to make a God of their Garlick. But to return from whence I digressed; I have never appear'd so much a Stoick, but that I have been as much for Diversion as any of you: But then am I for the Diversion of reasonable Men, and of Gentlemen. If there be any Diversion in Quibbling, it is a Diversion of which a Fool and a Porter [Page 60] is as capable as is the best of you. And therefore Ben. Johnson, who writ every thing with Judgment, and who knew the Scum of the People, whenever he brings in a Porter or Tankard-bearer, is sure to introduce him Quibbling. But if Punning be a Diversion, it is a very strange one: There is as much Difference between the silly Satisfaction which we have from a Quibble, and the ravishing Pleasure which we receive from a beautiful Thought, as there is betwixt a faint Salute and Fruition. But what would you have us do? you cry. Men of the greatest Parts are no more to be found with Wit always about them, than rich Rogues with always the Ready. Why, look you, Sir, as the first Step to Wis­dom is to be freed from Folly; so the first Approach to Wit is a Contempt of Quibbling. If it happens at any time that you have not your Wit about you, we will either have patience till such time as you have, or take good Sence in the lieu of it: If you are not in a Condition to delight us, we will be contented to be Instructed; we will make your Instruction nourish our Vanity, so turn even that to Delight. Nay, there is something noble in right Reason, and consequently something delightful. Truth is so divinely beautiful, that it must please e­ternally; [Page 61] but Falshood is base, and must shock all generous Minds, and every Equi­vocal is but ambiguous Falshood, that is the pittiful'st, the basest of Falshood.

To Walter Moyle, Esq

Dear Sir,

THo' you are already indebted a Letter to me, yet I think fit to give you Credit for another; tho' perhaps you may little desire to run into Debt this way: But it is for two Reasons that I give you the trouble of this: For, in the first place, I am taking a turn for a little time into the Country, and I design that the Prevention of this should make some Amends for the Delay of my next. In the Second place, I have made some Provision of Scandal, which I am willing to make use of, before it grow stale upon my Hands. Just after I writ my last, I threw my self into a de­tach'd Party, which march'd from Will's to Namure; with the same Design that the Volunteers went to Brest, to keep out of the Fray, and be Spectators of the Action. However, before they were come to Blows, I went amongst the Tents, and had some [Page 62] Discourse with Major-General R—, whom I found to be Father to Mr. Bays his Parthe­nope. For the Major-General is a very honest Fellow, who sells Ale by the Town-Wall: We had the Satisfaction to see that the Town was taken, and the whole Siege was carried on as Sieges generally are, with a great deal more Noise than Mischief. On Monday last, which was the Second of September, I travell'd into the City, where I had the Satisfaction to see two very ri­diculous Sights. The first was a Bawd carted for an Action which had some Re­lation to that memorable Day: For she was convicted of being an Accomplice in setting Fire to an Ancient and Venerable Pile of the City; that is, she was found Guilty of being instrumental in the Clap­ping an Alderman. I stood in a Book­seller's Shop to see her pass, which Book­seller was packing up some Scoundrel Au­thors to send them away to the Plantations. These Authors are Criminals, which being sentenc'd to be Burut here, have at last found Grace, and got off with Transporta­tion. You remember the terrible News that we heard at P—, which, as it sprung from a ridiculous Occasion, that is, my Lady Mayoress's Gossipping, has had a comical Consequence. For the Common [Page 63] Council have made an Order, by which my Lady Mayoress is dispens'd during the Wars, from seeing those Children born in the City, which are got in the Suburbs; that is, from being present at one of their Wive's Labours. But 'tis time to return to the Fair. Last Night I took a turn in the Cloisters, where I was entertain'd with a great many Dialogues between Vizour and Vallancy Wig, upon which I leave you to be Judge, whether my Eyes or my Ears were the better entertain'd of the two. For I heard a great deal of Unintelligible Lan­guage, address'd to a great many Invisible Faces. As if, because the Women had resolv'd not to be seen, the Men had deter­min'd not to be Understood; and had in revenge eclips'd the Light of their Under­standing by Fustian, as the others had ob­scur'd the Lustre of their Eyes by Velvet. Formerly the Ladies made use of White and Red to atract, but within these thirty Years black has succeeded, and the Devil is found more Tempting in his proper Co­lour. I have neither time nor place for any more: you shall have the rest by the first Opportunity.

Yours, &c.

To Mr. Congreve.

Dear Sir,

I Have now read over the Fox, in which, tho' I admire the Strength of Ben. John­son's Judgment, yet I did not find it so ac­curate as I expected: For first the very thing upon which the whole Plot turns, and that is, the Discovery which Mosca makes to Bonario; seems to me, to be very unreasonable. For I can see no Reason why he should make that Discovery which introduces Bonorio into his Master's House. For the Reason which the Poet makes Mosca give in the ninth Scene of the third Act, appears to be a very absurd one. Secondly, Corbaccio, the Father of Bonario, is expos'd for his Deafness, a personal De­fect; which is contrary to the end of Come­dy-Instruction: For personal Defects can­not be amended; and the exposing such, can never divert any but half-witted Men. It cannot fail to bring a thinking Man to reflect upon the Misery of Human Nature; and into what he may fall himself without any Fault of his own. Thirdly, The Play has two Characters, which have nothing to do with the Design of it, which are to be look'd upon as Excrescencies. Lastly, [Page 65] the Character of Volpone is inconsistent with it self: Volpone is like Catiline, Alieni appe­tens, sui profusus; but that is only a Double in his Nature, and not an Inconsistence. The Inconsistence of the Character appears in this, that Volpone in the fifth Act be­haves himself like a giddy Coxcomb, in the Conduct of that very Affair which he manag'd so Craftily in the first four. In which the Poet offends, first, against that fam'd Rule which Horace gives for the Characters,

Servetur ad imum, Qualis ab incepto processerit, & sibi constet.

And, Secondly, Against Nature, upon which all the Rules are grounded: For so strange an Alteration, in so little a time, is not in Nature, unless it happens by the Accident of some violent Passion; which is not the Case here. Volpone on the sud­den behaves himself without common Dis­cretion, in the Conduct of that very Affair which he had manag'd with so much Dex­terity, for the space of three Years together. For why does he disguise himself? Or, why does he repose the last Confidence in Mosca? Why does he cause it to be given out that he's dead? Why, only to plague [Page 66] his Bubbles. To plague them, for what? Why only for having been his Bubbles. So that here is the greatest Alteration in the World, in the space of twenty four Hours, without any apparent Cause. The De­sign of Volpone is to Cheat, he has carried on a Cheat for three Years together, with Cunning and with Success: and yet he, on a sudden, in cold Blood, does a thing which he cannot but know must endanger the ruining all.

I am, dear Sir,
your most hum­ble Servant.

To Mr. Congreve.

Dear Sir,

I Will not augment the Trouble which I give you by making an Apology for not giving it you sooner. Tho' I am hear­tily sorry that I kept such a Trifle as the In­clos'd, and a Trifle writ extempore, long enough to make you expect a labour'd Let­ter. But because in the Inclos'd, I have spoken particularly of Ben. Johnson's Fox, I desire to say three or four words of some of his Plays more generally: The Plots of [Page 67] the Fox, the Silent Woman, the Alchimist, are all of them very Artful. But the In­trigues of the Fox, and the Alchimist, seem to me to be more dexterously Perplex'd, than to be happily Disentangled. But the Gor­dian Knot in the Silent Woman is untyed with so much Felicity, that that alone may suffice to shew Ben. Johnson no ordinary Heroe. But then, perhaps, the Silent Wo­man may want the very Foundation of a good Comedy, which the other two cannot be said to want: For it seems to me, to be without a Moral. Upon which Absurdity, Ben. Johnson was driven by the Singularity of Morose's Character, which is too extravagant for Instruction, and fit, in my Opinion, only for Farce. For this seems to me, to constit ute the most essential Difference, betwixt Farce and Comedy, that the Follies which are ex­pos'd in Farce are singular; and those are particular, which are expos'd in Comedy. These last are those, with which some part of an Audiance may be suppos'd infected, and to which all may be suppos'd obnoxious. But the first are so very odd, that by reason of their monstrous Extravagance, they can­not be thought to concern an Audience; and cannot be supposed to instruct them. For the rest of the Characters in these [Page 68] Plays, they are for the most part true, and most of the Humorous Characters Master­pieces. For Ben. Johnson's Fools, seem to shew his Wit a great deal more than his Men of Sence: I admire his Fops, and but barely esteem his Gentlemen. Ben. seems to draw Deformity more to the Life than Beauty: He is often so eager to pursue Folly, that he forgets to take Wit along with him. For the Dialogue, it seems to want very often that Spirit, that Grace, and that noble Railery, which are to be found in more modern Plays, and which are Virtues that ought to be inseparable from a finish'd Comedy. But there seems to be one thing more wanting than all the rest, and that is Passion, I mean that fine and that delicate Passion, by which the Soul shews its Politeness, ev'n in the midst of its Trouble. Now to touch a Passion is the surest way to Delight; for nothing agi­tates like it: Agitation is the Health and Joy of the Soul, of which it is so entirely fond, that even then, when we imagine we seek Repose, we only seek Agitation. You know what a famous modern Critick has said of Comedy:

Il faut que ses Acteurs badinent noblement,
Que son Noeud bien forme se denoue aisement;
[Page 69] Que l'action Marchant ou la Raison la Guide,
Ne se perde Jamma dans une Scens vuide,
Que son Stile humble & doux se releue a pro­pos,
Que ses discours par tout fertiles enbons mots,
Soient pleius de Passions finement maniees,
Et les Scenes toujours l'une al'autre liee.

I leave you to make the Application to Johnson—Whatever I have said my self of his Comedies, I submit to your better Judgment. For you, who, after Mr. Wy­cherley, are incomparably the best Writer of it living, ought to be allowed to be the best Judge too.

I am yours, &c.

Mr. Congreve, to Mr. Dennis. Concerning Humour in COMEDY.

Dear Sir,

YOu write to me, that you have en­tertained your self two or three days, with reading several Comedies, of several Authors; and your Observation is, That there is more of Humour in our English Writers, than in any of the other Comick Poets, Ancient or Modern. You desire to [Page 70] know my Opinion, and at the same time my Thought, of that which is generally call'd Humour in Comedy.

I agree with you, in an impartial Pre­ference of our English Writers, in that par­ticular. But if I tell you my Thoughts of Humour, I must at the same time confess, that what I take for true Humour, has not been so often written even by them, as is generally believed: And some who have valued themselves, and have been esteem'd by others, for that kind of Writing, have seldom touch'd upon it. To make this ap­pear to the World, would require a long and labour'd Discourse, and such as I nei­ther am able nor willing to undertake. But such little Remarks, as may be contain'd within the Compass of a Letter, and such unpremeditated Thoughts, as may be com­municated between Friend and Friend, without incurring the Censure of the World, or setting up for a Dictator, you shall have from me, since you have enjoyn'd it.

To define Humour, perhaps, where as difficult, as to define Wit; for like that, it is of infinite Variety. To enumerate the several Humours of Men, were a Work as endless, as to sum up their several Opinions. And in my mind, the Quot homines tot Sen­tentia, might have been more properly in­terpreted [Page 71] of Humour; since there are many Men, of the same Opinion in many things, who are yet quite different in Humours. But tho' we cannot certainly tell what Wit is, or what Humour is, yet we may go near to shew something, which is not Wit or not Humour; and yet often mistaken for both. And since I have mentioned Wit and Humour together, let me make the first Distinction between them, and observe to you, that Wit is often mistaken for Humour.

I have observed, that when a few things have been wittily and pleasantly spoken by any Character in a Comedy, it has been very usual for those, who make their Remarks on a Play, while it is acting, to say, Such a thing is very humorously spoken; There is a great deal of Humour in that Part. Thus the Character of the Person speaking, may be, surprisingly and pleasantly, is mi­staken for a Character of Humour; which indeed is a Character of Wit: But there is a great Difference between a Comedy, wherein there are many things humorously, as they call it, which is pleasantly spoken; and one, where there are several Characters of Humour, distinguish'd by the particular and different Humours, appropriated to the several Persons represented, and which na­turally arise from the different Constitu­tions, [Page 72] Complexions, and Dispositions of Men. The saying of Humorous Things, does not distinguish Characters; for every Person in a Comedy may be allow'd to speak them. From a witty Man they are expected; and even a Fool may be permit­ted to stumble on 'em by chance. Tho' I make a Difference betwixt Wit and Hu­mour; yet I do not think that Humorous Characters exclude Wit: No, but the man­ner of Wit should be adapted to the Hu­mour. As for Instance, A Character of a Splenetick and Peevish Humour, should have a Satyrical Wit; a Jolly and Sanguine Humour, should have a Facetious Wit: The former should speak positively; the latter, carelesly: For the former observes, and shews things as they are; the latter rather over­looks Nature, and speaks things as he would have them; and his Wit and Humour have both of them a less Alloy of Judgment than the others.

As Wit, so, its opposite, Folly, is some­times mistaken for Humour.

When a Poet brings a Character on the Stage, committing a thousand Absurdities, and talking Impertinencies, Roaring aloud, and Laughing immoderately, on every, or rather upon no occasion; this is a Chara­cter of Humour.

[Page 73] Is any thing more common, than to have a pretended Comedy, stuff'd with such Gro­tesque Figures, and Farce-Fools? Things, that either are not in Nature, or if they are, are Monsters, and Births of Mischance; and consequently as such, should be stifled, and huddled out of the way, like Sooterkins, that Mankind may not be shock'd with an appearing Possibility of the Degeneration of a God-like Species. For my part, I am as willing to Laugh, as any body, and as easily diverted with an Object truly ridicu­lous: but at the same time, I can never care for seeing things, that force me to entertain low Thoughts of my Nature. I don't know how it is with others, but I confess freely to you, I could never look long upon a Monkey, without very morti­fying Reflections; tho' I never heard any thing to the contrary, why that Crea­ture is not Originally of a distinct Species. As I don't think Humour exclusive of Wit, neither do I think it inconsistent with Folly; but I think the Follies should be only such, as Mens Humours may incline 'em to; and not Follies intirely abstracted from both Humour and Nature.

Sometimes personal Defects are misrepre­sented for Humours.

I mean, sometimes Characters are bar­barously [Page 74] exposed on the Stage, ridiculing natural Deformities, casual Defects in the Senses, and Infirmities of Age. Sure the Poet must both be very Ill-natur'd himself, and think his Audience so, when he proposes by shewing a Man deform'd, or deaf, or blind, to give them an agreeable Enter­tainment; and hopes to raise their Mirth, by what is truly an agreeable of Compassion. But much need not to be laid upon this Head to any body, especially to you, who in one of your Letters to me concerning Mr. John­son's Fox, have justly excepted against this Immoral Part of Ridicule in Corbaccio's Character; and there I must agree with you to blame him, whom otherwise I can­not enough admire, for his great Mastery of true Humour in Comedy.

External Habit of Body is often mistaken for Humour.

By External Habit, I do not mean the ri­diculous Dress or Cloathing of a Character, tho' that goes a good way in some received Characters; (but undoubtedly a Man's Humour may incline him to dress different­ly from other People) but I mean a Sin­gularity of Manners, Speech, and Behavi­our, peculiar to all, or most of the same Country, Trade, Profession or Education. I cannot think that a Humour, which is [Page 75] only a Habit, or Disposition contracted by Use or Custom; for by a Disuse, or Com­pliance with other Customs, it may be worn off, or diversifi'd.

Affectation is generally mistaken for Humour.

These are indeed so much alike, that, at a distance, they may be mistaken one for the other: For what is Humour in one, may be Affectation in another; and no­thing is more common, than for some to affect particular ways of saying, and doing things, peculiar to others, whom they ad­mire and would imitate. Humour is the Life, Affectation the Picture. He that draws a Character of Affectation, shews Humour at the Second-hand; he at best but publishes a Translation, and his Pi­ctures are but Copies.

But as these two last Distinctions are the nicest, so it may be most proper to explain them, by particular Instances from some Author of Reputation. Humour I take ei­ther to be born with us, and so of a natu­ral Growth; or else to be grafted into us by some accidental Change in the Constitu­tion, or Revolution of the internal Habit of Body; by which it becomes, if I may so call it, naturaliz'd.

Humour is from Nature, Habit from Cu­stom; and Affectation from Industry.

[Page 76] Humour shews us as we are.

Habit shews us, as we appear, under a forcible Impression.

Affectation shews what we would be, under a voluntary Disguise.

Tho' here I would observe by the way, that a continued Affectation, may in time become a Habit.

The Character of Morose in the Silent Woman, I take to be a Character of Hu­mour. And I choose to Instance this Cha­racter to you, from many others of the same Author, because I know it has been con­demn'd by many as Unnatural and Farce: And you have your self hinted some Dis­like of it, for the same reason, in a Letter to me, concerning some of Johnson's Plays.

Let us suppose Morose to be a Man natu­rally Splenetick and Melancholy; is there any thing more offensive to one of such a Disposition, than Noise and Clamour? Let any Man that has the Spleen (and there are enough in England) be Judge. We see common Examples of this Humour in Lit­tle every Day. 'Tis ten to one, but three parts in four of the Company that you dine with, are discompos'd and startled at the Cutting of a Cork, or Scratching a Plate with a Knife: It is a Proportion of the same Humour, that makes such or any [Page 77] other Noise offensive to the Person that hears it; for there are others who will not be disturb'd at all by it. Well; but Morose, you will say, is so extravagant, he cannot bear any Discourse or Conversation, above a Whisper. Why, it is his Excess of this Humour, that makes him become redicu­lous, and qualifies his Character for Come­dy. If the Poet had given him but a mo­derate proportion of that Humour, 'tis odds but half the Audience, would have sided with the Character, and have condemn'd the Author, for exposing a Humour which was neither remarkable nor rediculous. Be­sides, the Distance of the Stage requires the Figure represented, to be something larger than the Life; and sure a Picture may have Features larger in Proportion, and yet be very like the Original. If this Exactness of Quantity, were to be observed in Wit, as some would have it in Humour; what would become of those Characters that are design'd for Men of Wit? I believe if a Poet should steal a Dialogue of any length, from the extempore Discourse of the two wittiest Men upon Earth, he would find the Scene but coldly receiv'd by the Town. But to the purpose:

The Character of Sir John Daw in the same Play, is a Character of Affectation: [Page 78] He every-where discovers an Affectation of Learning; when he is not only conscious to himself, but the Audience also plainly perceives that he is Ignorant. Of this kind are the Characters of Thraso in the Eunuch of Terence, and Pyrgopolinices in the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus: They affect to be thought Valiant, when both themselves and the Audience know they are not. Now such a Boasting of Valour in Men who were really Valiant, would undoubtedly be a Humour; for a fiery Disposition might naturally throw a Man into the same Ex­travagance, which is only affected in the Characters I have mentioned.

The Character of Cob in Every Man in his Humour, and most of the under Chara­cters in Bartholomew-fair, discover'd only a Singularity of Manners, appropriated to the several Educations and Professions of the Persons represented. They are not Hu­mours but Habits contracted by Custom. Under this Head may be ranged all Coun­try Clowns, Sailers, Tradesmen, Jockeys, Gamesters and such like, who make use of Cants or peculiar Dialects in their several Arts and Vocations. One may almost give a Receipt for the Composition of such a Character: For the Poet has nothing to do, but to collect a few proper Phrases and [Page 79] Terms of Art, and to make the Person ap­ply them by rediculous Metaphors in his Conversation, with Characters of different Natures. Some late Characters of this kind have been very successful; but in my mind they may be painted without much Art or Labour; since they require little more, than a good Memory and superficial Observati­on. But true Humour cannot be shown without a Dissection of Nature, and a nar­row Search to discover the first Seeds from whence it has its Root and Growth.

If I were to write to the World, I should be obliged to dwell longer upon each of these Distinctions and Examples; for I know that they would not be plain enough to all Readers: But a bare Hint is sufficient to inform you of the Notions which I have on this Subject: and I hope by this time you are of my Opinion, that Humour is nei­ther Wit, nor Folly, nor personal Defect, nor Affectation, nor Habit; and yet, that each, and all of these, have been both written and received for Humour.

I should be unwilling to venture even on a bare Description of Humour, much more to make a Definition of it; but now my hand is in, I'll tell you what serves me instead of either: I take it to be, A singular and unavoidable manner of doing, or saying [Page 80] any thing, peculiar and natural to one Man only; by which his Speech and Actions are de­stinguish'd from those of other Men.

Our Humour has relation to us, and to what proceeds from us, as the Accidents have to a Substance; it is a Colour, Taste, and Smell, diffused thro' all; tho' our Acti­ons are never so many, and different in Form, they are all Splinters of the same Wood, and have naturally one Complexi­on; which tho' it may be disguised by Art, yet cannot be wholly changed: We may paint it with other Colours, but we cannot change the Grain. So the natural Sound of an Instument will be distinguish'd, tho' the Notes expressed by it, are never so va­rious, and the Diversions never so many. Dissimulation, may by degrees, become more easie to our Practice; but it can never absolutely transubstantiate us into what we would seem: it will always be in some pro­portion a Violence upon Nature.

A Man may change his Opinion, but I believe he will find it a Difficulty to part with his Humour; and there is nothing more provoking, than the being made sen­sible of that Difficulty. Sometimes, one shall meet with those, who perhaps, innocently enough, but at the same time impertiently, will ask the Question, Why are you not mer­ry? [Page 81] Why are you not gay, pleasant, and cheer­ful? Then instead of answering, could I ask such one, Why are you not handsome? Why have you not black Eyes, and a better Complexion? Nature abhors to be forc'd.

The two famous Philosophers of Ephesus and Abdera, have their different Sects at this Day: Some weep, and others laugh at one and the same thing.

I don't doubt, but you have observed se­veral Men laugh when they are angry; others who are silent; some that are loud: Yet I cannot suppose that it is the Passion of Anger which is in it self different, or more or less in one than t'other; but that it is the Humour of the Man that is predo­minant, and urges him to express it in that manner. Demonstrations of Pleasure are as various; one Man has a Humour of re­tiring from all Company, when any thing has happen'd to please him beyond Expe­ctation; he hugs himself alone, and thinks it an addition to the Pleasure to keep it se­cret. Another is upon Thorns till he has made Proclamation of it; and must make other People sensible of his Happiness, be­fore he can be so himself. So it is in Grief, and other Passions. Demonstrations of Love, and the Effects of that Passion upon several Humours, are infinitely different: But here [Page 82] the Ladies, who abound in Servants, are the best Judges. Talking of the Ladies, me­thinks something should be observed of the Humour of the Fair Sex; since they are sometimes so kind as to furnish out a Cha­racter for Comedy. But I must confess I have never made any Observation of what I apprehend to be true Humour in Women. Parhaps Passions are too powerful in that Sex, to let Humour have its Course; or may be by reason of their natural Coldness, Humour cannot exert itself to that extrava­gant Degree, which it often does in the Male-sex: For if ever any thing does ap­pear comical or ridiculous in a Woman, I think it is little more than an acquir'd Folly, or an Affectation. We may call them the weaker Sex, but I think the true reason is, because our Follies are stronger, and our Faults are more prevailing.

One might think that the Diversity of Humour, which must be allowed to be dif­fused throughout Mankind, might afford endless Matter, for the support of Come­dies. But when we come closely to consi­der that Point, and nicely to distinguish the Difference of Humours, I believe we shall find the contrary. For tho' we allow eve­ry Man something of his own, and a pecu­liar Humour; yet every Man has it not in [Page 83] quantity, to become remarkable by it: or, if many do become remarkable by their Humours; yet all those Humours may not be diverting. Nor is it only requisite to distinguish what Humour will be diverting, but also how much of it, what part of it to shew in Light, and what to cast in Shades; how to set it off by preparatory Scenes, and by opposing other Humours to it in the same Scene. Thro' a wrong Judg­ment, sometimes, Mens Humours may be opposed when there is really no specific Difference between them; only a greater proportion of the same, in one than t'other; occasion'd by having more Flegm, or Choller, or whatever the Constitution is, from whence their Humours derive their Source.

There is infinitely more to be said on this Subject; tho' perhaps I have already said too much; but I have said it to a Friend, who I am sure will not expose it, if he does not approve of it. I believe the Subject is intirely new, and was never touch'd upon before; and if I would have any one to see this private Essay, it should be some one, who might be provoked by my Errors in it, to publish a more judicious Treatise on the Subject. Indeed I wish it were done, that the World being a little acquainted with the [Page 84] Scarcity of true Humour, and the Difficul­ty of finding and shewing it, might look a little more favourably on the Labours of them, who endeavour to search into Nature for it, and lay it open to the Publick View.

I don't say but that very entertaining and useful Characters, and proper for Co­medy, may be drawn from Affectations, and those other Qualities, which I have en­deavoured to distinguish from Humour: but I would not have such imposed on the World for Humour, nor esteem'd of equal Value with it. It were, perhaps, the Work of a long Life to make one Comedy true in all its Parts, and to give every Cha­racter in it a true and distinct Humour. Therefore, every Poet must be beholding to other Helps, to make out his Number of ridiculous Characters. But I think such a One deserves to be broke, who makes all false Musters; who does not shew one true Humour in a Comedy, but entertains his Audience to the end of the Play with eve­ry thing out of Nature.

I will make but one Observation to you more, and have done; and that is grounded upon an Observation of your own, and which I mention'd at the beginning of my Letter, viz. That there is more of Humour in our English Comick Writers than in any [Page 85] others. I do not at all wonder at it, for I look upon Humour to be almost of English Growth; at least, it does not seem to have found such Encrease on any other Soil: And what appears to me to be the reason of it, is the great Freedom, Priviledge, and Li­berty which the common People of England enjoy. Any Man that has a Humour, is under no Restraint, or fear of giving it Vent; they have a Proverb among them, which, may be, will shew the Bent and Ge­nius of the People, as well as a longer Discourse: He that will have a May-pole, shall have a May-pole. This is a Maxim with them, and their Practice is agreeable to it. I believe something considerable too may be ascribed to their feeding so much on Flesh, and the Grossness of their Diet in general. But I have done, let the Phy­sicians agree that. Thus you have my Thoughts of Humour, to my Power of Expressing them in so little Time and Compass. You will be kind to shew me wherein I have err'd; and as you are very capable of giving me Instruction, so I think I have a very just Title to demand it from you; being, without Reserve,

Your real Friend, and humble Servant, W. CONGREVE.

To Mr. Congreve, at Tunbridge.

Dear Sir,

MR. Moyle and I have impatiently ex­pected to hear from you. But if the Well which you drink of had sprung up from Lethe, you could not have been more forgetful of us. Indeed, as the Tunbridge­water is good for the Spleen, it may be said in some manner to cause Oblivion. But I will yet a while hope that Mr. Moyle and I are not of the Number of Things that plague you: However, I am so sensible of your being mindful of me in Town, that I should be ungrateful, if I should com­plain that you do not remember me where you are. Mr. Moyle tells me that you have made a favourable Mention of me, to a certain Lady of your Acquaintance, whom he calls—But then to mortifie the Old Man in me, or indeed rather the Young, he assur'd me, that you had given a much better Character of him. However, for that which you gave of me, I cannot but own my self obliged to you, and I look upon your Kindness as so much the greater, because I am sensible that I do not deserve it. And I could almost wish that your good Qualities, were not quite so numerous, that [Page 87] I might be able to make you some Return in Specie: For Commending you now, I do you but Justice, which a Man of Ho­nour will do to his Enemy; whereas you, by partial Praise, have treated me like a Friend. I make no doubt, but that you do me the Justice to believe that I am per­fectly yours; and that your Merit has en­gag'd me, and your Favours oblig'd me to be all my Life-time,

Dear Sir,
your most humble Servant, J. DENNIS.

Mr. Congreve to Mr. Dennis.

Dear Sir,

IT is not more to keep my Word, than to gratifie my Inclination, that I write to you; and tho' I have thus long deferr'd it, I was never forgetful of you, nor of my Promise. Indeed I waited in Expectation of something that might enable me to re­turn the Entertainment I received from your Letters: but you represent the Town so agreeable to me, that you quite put me out of Conceit with the Country; and my Designs of making Observations from it.

[Page 88] Before I came to Tunbridge, I proposed to my self the Satisfaction of Communicating the Pleasures of the Place to you: But if I keep my Resolution, I must transcribe, and return you your own Letters; since I must own I have met with nothing else so truly Delightful. When you suppose the Coun­try agreeable to me, you suppose such Rea­sons why it should be so, that while I read your Letter, I am of your Mind; but when I look off, I find I am only charm'd with the Landskip which you have drawn. So that if I would see a fine Prospect of the Country, I must desire you to send it me from the Town; as if I would eat good Fruit here, perhaps the best way were, to beg a Basket from my Friends in Covent­garden. After all this, I must tell you there is a great deal of Company at Tunbridge; and some very agreeable: but the greater part, is of that sort, who at home converse only with their own Relations; and conse­quently when they come abroad, have few Acquaintance, but such as they bring with them. But were the Company better, or worse, I would have you expect no Cha­racters from me; for I profess my self an Enemy to Detraction; And who is there, that can justly merit Commendation? I have a mind to write to you, without the Pre­tence [Page 89] of any manner of News, as I might drink to you without naming a Health; for I intend only my Service to you. I wish for you very often, that I might recommend you to some new Acquaintance that I have made here, and think very well worth the keeping; I mean Idleness and a good Sto­mach. You would not think how People eat here; every Body has the Appetite of an Oastrich, and as they drink Steel in the Morning, so I believe at Noon they could digest Iron. But sure you will laugh at me for calling Idleness a new Acquaintance; when, to your Knowledge, the greatest part of my Business, is little better. Ay, but here's the Comfort of the Change; I am Idle now, without taking Pains to be so, or to make other People so; for Poetry is neither in my Head, nor in my Heart. I know not whether these Waters may have any Communication with Lethe, but sure I am, they have none with the Streams of Helicon. I have often wonder'd how those wicked Writers of Lampoons, could crowd together such quantities of execrable Verses, tag'd with bad Rhimes, as I have formerly seen sent from this place. But I am half of Opinion now, that this Well is an Anti-Hypocrene: What if we should get a quan­tity of the Water privately convey'd into [Page 90] the Cistern at Will's Coffee-house, for an Experiment? But I am extravagant—Tho' I remember Ben. Johnson in his Co­medy of Cynthia's Revels, makes a Well, which he there calls the Fountain of Self­love, to be the Source of many entertaining and ridiculous Humours. I am of Opinion that something very Comical and New, might be brought upon the Stage, from a Fiction of the like Nature. But now I talk of the Stage, pray if any thing new should appear there, let me have an Account of it; for tho' Plays are a kind of Winter-fruit, yet I know there are now and then some Wind-falls at this time of Year, which must be presently served up, lest they should not keep till the proper Season of Entertain­ment. 'Tis now the time, when the Sun breeds Insects; and you must expect to have the Hum and Buz about your Ears, of Summer-flies and small Poets. Cuckows have this time allow'd 'em to Sing, tho' they are damn'd to Silence all the rest of the Year. Besides, the approaching Feast of St. Bartholomew both creates an Expect­ation and bespeaks an Allowance of un­natural Productions and monstrous Births: Methinks the Days of Bartholomew-fair are like so many Sabbaths, or Days of Privi­lege, wherein Criminals and Malefactors [Page 91] in Poetry, are permitted to creep abroad. They put me in mind (tho' at a different time of Year) of the Roman Saturnalia, when all the Scum, and Rabble, and Slaves of Rome, by a kind of Annual and limited Manumission, were suffer'd to make a­bominable Mirth, and Profane the Days of Jubilee, with vile Buffoonry, by Au­thority. But I forget that I am writing a Post-letter, and run into length like a Poet in a Dedication, when he forgets his Patron to talk of himself. But I will take care to make no Apology for it, lest my Excuse (as Excuses generally do) should add to the Fault. Besides, I would have no appear­ance of Formality, when I am to tell you, that

I am, your real Friend, and Humble Servant, W. CONGREVE.

Letters of LOVE.

Dear Madam,

NOT believe that I love you: You cannot pretend to be so incredu­lous. If you do not believe my Tongue, consult my Eyes, consult your own. You will find by yours, that they have Charms; by mine, that I have a Heart which feels them. Recal to mind what hap­pen'd last Night: That at least was a Lo­ver's Kiss. Its Eagerness, its Fierceness, its Warmth, express'd the God its Parent. But oh! its Sweetness, and its melting Soft­ness express'd him more. With Trembling in my Limbs, and Fevers in my Soul I ravish'd it: Convulsions, Pantings, Mur­murings shew'd the mighty Disorder with­in me: The mighty Disorder encreased by it. For those dear Lips shot thro' my Heart, and thro' my bleeding Vitals, delicious Poi­son, and an avoidless, but yet a charming [Page 93] Ruine. What cannot a Day produce? The Night before, I thought my self a Happy Man. In want of nothing, and in fairest Expectation of Fortune; Approv'd of by Men of Wit, and applauded by others; Pleased, nay charm'd with my Friends, my then dearest Friends; Sensible of ev'ry de­licate Pleasure, and in their turns possessing all. But Love, Almighty Love! seems in a Moment to have remov'd me to a prodigi­ous Distance from every Object but you alone: In the midst of Crowds I remain in Solitude. Nothing but you can lay hold of my Mind, and that can lay hold of nothing but you. I appear transported to some Fo­reign Desart with you, (Oh that I were real­ly thus transported!) where, abundantly supplied with ev'ry thing in thee, I might live out an Age of uninterrupted Extacy. The Scene of the World's great Stage, seems suddenly and sadly chang'd. Un­lovely Objects are all around me, excepting thee: The Charms of all the World ap­pear to be translated to thee. Thus in this sad, but oh, too pleasing State! my Soul can fix upon nothing but thee: Thee it Con­templates, Admires, Adores, nay, Depends on; Trusts in you alone. If you and Hope forsake it, Despair and endless Misery at­tend it.

Dear Madam,

THis I send by the Permission of a se­vere Father, I will not say a cruel one, since he is yours. What is it that he has taken so mortally ill of me? That I die for his Daughter is my only Offence. And yet he has refused to let me take ev'n my Farewel of you. Thrice happy be the O­men! May I never take my Farewel of thee, till my Soul takes leave of my Body. At least, he cannot restrain me from Loving: No, I will love thee in spight of all Oppo­sition. Tho' your Friends and mine prove equally averse, yet I will love thee with a Constancy that shall appear to all the World, to have something so noble in it, that all the World shall confess, that it de­serv'd not to be Unfortunate. I will for sake even my Friends for thee: My hon­est, my witty, my brave Friends; who had always been till I had seen thee, the dearest part of Mankind to me. Thou shalt sup­ply the place of them all with me. Thou shalt be my bosom, my best-lov'd Friend; and at the same time, my only Mistress, and my dearest Wife. Have the Good­ness to pardon this Familiarity. 'Tis the tenderest Leave of the faithfulest Lover; and here to shew an Over-respectfulness [Page 95] would be to wrong my Passion. That I love thee more than Life, nay, even than Glory, which I courted once with a burn­ing Desire, bear Witness all my unquiet Days, and every restless Night, and that terrible Agitation of Mind and Body, which proceeded from my fear of losing thee. To lose thee is to lose all Happiness; Tormenting Reflection to a sensible Soul! How often has my Reason been going up­on it? But the loss of Reason would be but too happy upon the loss of thee: Since all the Advantage that I could draw from its Presence, would be to know my self Misera­ble. But the time calls upon me: I am oblig'd to take an odious Journey, and leave thee behind with my Enemies. But thine shall never do thee harm with me. Adieu, thou dearest, thou loveliest of Creatures! No Change of Time or Place, or the Re­monstrances of the best of Friends, shall ever be able to alter my Passion for thee. Be but one quarter so kind, so just to me, and the Sun will not shine on a happier Man than my self.

Dear Madam,

MAy I presume to beg Pardon for the Fault I committed? So foolish a Fault, that it was below not only a Man of Sence, but a Man; and of which nothing could ever have made me Guilty, but the Fury of a Passion with which none but your lovely self could inspire me. May I presume to beg pardon for a Fault which I can never forgive my self? To purchase that Pardon, what would I not endure? You shall see me prostrate before you, and use me like a Slave, while I kiss the dear Feet that trample upon me. But if my Crime be too great for Forgiveness, as in­deed it is very great, deny me not one dear parting Look; Let me see you once before I must never see you more. Christ! I want Patience to support that accursed Thought. I have nothing in the World that is dear to me, but you. You have made every thing else indifferent: And can I resolve never to see you more? In spight of my self I must always see you. Your Form is fix'd by Fate in my Mind, and is never to be remov'd. I see those lovely piercing Eyes continually, I see each Moment those ravishing Lips, which I have gaz'd on still with Desire, and still have touch'd with Transport; and at [Page 97] which I have so often flown with all the Fury of the most violent Love. Jesus! From whence, and whither am I fallen? From the Hopes of blissful Extasies to black Despair! From the Expectation of immor­tal Transports, which none but your dear Self can give me, and which none but he who loves like me, could ever so much as think of, to a Complication of cruel Passi­ons, and the most dreadful Condition of Human Life. My Fault, indeed, has been ve­ry great, and cries aloud for the severest Ven­geance. See it inflicted on me: See me de­spair and die for that Fault. But let me not die Unpardon'd, Madam; I die for you, but die in the most cruel and dreadful manner. The Wretch that lies broken on the Wheel alive, feels not a quarter of what I endure. Yet boundless Love has been all my Crime; unjust, ungrateful, barbarous. Return of it! Suffer me to take my eternal Leave of you; when I have done that, how easie will it be to bid all the rest of the World Adieu.

Dear Madam,

THIS is the third Letter that I have sent you since I came hither: Those which went before it were all the Over­flowings [Page 98] of a Heart more full of Passion than ever was Man's before. It is impossible for me to be distant from you, but I must send to you by every occasion. And yet you can resolve to take no Notice of all my Ten­derness: Yes, my dearest, inhumane Crea­ture, you can. You have been sick, nay dangerously sick, and have never sent to me. Have I left all the World for you, and could you resolve to leave the World with­out me; Nay, without so much as giving me the least Notice of it? Christ! Could you resolve to leave me to Despair and to endless Misery, without expressing the least Concern for me! And can I persist in loving one so ingrateful! Is there such another in­grateful Creature alive! No, there lives not so ingrateful a Creature, but there lives not one so Charming.

Dear Madam,

CAN you be angry still with your poor Penitent? You cannot have the ill Nature, sure? Yes, but you can, you say since he could have the Presumption to be angry with you. But, my Dearest, there is this Difference betwixt your Anger and mine; Mine was cau'd by the Cruelty of [Page 99] your suppos'd Infidelity; and yours by the Kindness of your Lover's Resentment: for if I had not been fond of thee to the last de­gree, I had not been so incens'd against you. Yet even when I was most so, I could sooner have pluck'd out an Eye, than have resolved to have parted with thee: Nay, I could sooner have torn out both Eyes, if the loss of both would not have for ever de­priv'd me of the dear, the ravishing sight of thee. But if you still think that my An­ger had Guilt in it, and that I ought to suffer for it, the means to punish me with utmost Severity, and to make me my own Tormenter, is to tell me, you love me: Then I shall curse my self and my Rage, and feel all the Plague of Remorse for ha­ving offended thee: I shall look upon my self as the basest, the most ungrateful of Men for abusing thy Goodness, and thy charming Tenderness. I shall believe that I can never humble my self enough, and ne­ver suffer enough to deserve Forgiveness. Thus, Madam, you have your Revenge in your Power. It is a false Modesty which restrains you from taking it: In order to it, you have nothing to do, but to prove your self tender, and to shew your self grateful. If you must be asham'd, blush at your Cruelty; blush at your Inhumanity: [Page 100] But Gratitude is Reason, and Love is Na­ture; never be asham'd of those. Do but consider, there was a time, when I was hap­py in your Esteem; yes, there has been a time, in which I was thought not altogether void of Reason by you: How then can you blush at the owning a Passiion, which you command with an absolute Sway, at the very time that it Tyrannizes over me?

Dear Madam,

MY Friend's Stratagem gave me an opportunity of seeing you, by find­ing Fault with you. It must proceed from Design or Madness if I find fault with thee: Thy lovely Face is the very same that set all my Blood in a flame; and I am sure my Heart can never be alter'd. How it trembled in my Breast when I saw you last, and by its trouble confess'd its Conqueror! How it has burnt ever since with redoubled Fury! When I shall be free from this Flame, Heav'n only knows, for the Hour of my Death Heaven only knows: 'Tis a Flame that has incorporated with that of my Life, and both will go out together. In vain I in­voke my Reason to resist my Senses: My Reason finds you more lovely than my Eyes [Page 101] did before; shews me all the Graces of thy beauteous Mind, and grows pleas'd and prides itself in its own Captivity. You ac­cuse me, they say, of some extraordinary Crime: A Crime against whom? Against you whom I love! Against you, for whom I could die! Strange Accusation! Yet at the same time you refuse to see me, you refuse to receive my Letters: And must I be con­demn'd Unheard? Robbers are allow'd to speak before they are sentenc'd; Murderers have the Privilege to plead for their Lives: And shall the tenderest Love be denied the Privilege which is granted to the black­est Malice? I have been guilty of nothing but too much Love, if too much Love be a Fault. Why have you given Credit to my Enemies, before you have heard me? I may indeed be convinc'd of an Error, but I can never be convicted of a Crime against you. The Man must be mad, nay, desperately mad, who can design to injure himself; and thou art, by much, the better, the dearer Part of me. Give me leave to see you once more before I depart: Let me see once more that Face which has undone me, yet charms me even in Ruine:

O Face industriously contriv'd by Heaven,
To fix my Eyes and captivate my Soul!

[Page 102] Nay, I will see you, if it be but to upbraid you with your barbarous Wish: If at the time that you made it, you had struck a Dagger in my Heart, you had given it a gentler Wound.

The only Wish that I have to make, is to be happy in thee; if that succeeds not, I have another, and that is, to lie at rest in my Grave.

The End of the Love-Letters.

To Walter Moyle, Esq at Bake, in Corn­wall.

Dear Sir,

YOUR long Silence made me conje­cture, that you are so intent upon be­ing Burgess of Bodmyn, that you had forgot the Citizens of Covent-garden: At last I re­ceived an agreeable Letter from you. You had best have a care of talking in Cornwal, at the rate that you write to your Friends. If you do, the Cornish Men may not think you rightly Qualified to Represent them. When you left the Town, you talk'd of a Critical Correspondence between us: But Idleness on your side, and ill Humour on [Page 103] mine, have baulked a very hopeful Design. But an Accident has lately happened, which obliges me to provoke you: For there has just been a Play acted, called, The Mock­marriage, the Author of which, whose Name I have forgot, asserts, dogmatically, in his Preface, That he who writes by Rule shall only have his Labour for his Pains. I know not what this Author can mean by this: For, whom does he pretend to perswade by this fine Assertion? Not Mr. Moyle, and me at least. We know indeed very well, that a Man may write regularly, and yet fail of Pleasing; and that a Poet may please in a Play that is not regular. But this is eternally true, That he who writes regular­ly ceteris Paribus, must always please more, than he who transgresses the Rules. No­thing can please in a Play but Nature; no, not in a Play which is written against the Rules: and the more there is of Nature in any Play, the more that Play must Delight. Now the Rules are nothing but an Obser­vation of Nature: For Nature is Rule and Order itself. There is not one of the Rules, but what might be us'd to evince this. But I shall be contented with shewing some Instances of it, even in the Mechanical Rules of the Unities: And first for that of place; It is certain that it is in Nature im­possible, [Page 104] for a Man who is in the Square in Covent-garden, to see the things, that at the same time, are transacted at Westminster. And then for that of Time, a reasonable Man may delude himself so far, as to fan­cy that he sits for the space of twelve Hours, without removing, eating or sleep­ing; but he must be a Devil that can fancy he does it for a Week. What I have said may evince a Necessity of observing the Unities of Time and of Place, if a Poet would throughly write up to Nature. And then the Unity of Action follows on course: For, that two Actions that are entire, and independent, should happen in the same short space of time, in the same little com­pass of place, begin together, go on toge­ther, and end together, without obstruct­ing or confounding one another; this in­deed may be done upon the Stage, but in Nature it is highly improbable. Well then, since the Rules are nothing but Nature it self, and nothing but Nature can please, and since the more that any Play has of Nature, the more that Play must Delight, it follows that a Play which is regularly written, ceteris Paribus, must please more than a Play which is written against the Rules, which is a Demonstration. Rule may be said to be a Play; what Symmetry [Page 105] of Parts is known to be to a Face? The Features may be regular, and yet a great or a delicate Air may be wanting: And there may be a commanding or engaging Air, in a Face whose Features are not re­gular. But this all the World must allow of, that there can never be seen any Sove­raign Beauty, where Air and Regularity of Features are not united. Thus is Rea-son against this Author; but the mischief is, that Experience is against him too: For all your Dramatick Poets must confess, that the Plays which they have writ with most Regularity, have been they which have pleased most. I must trouble you with a­nother Dramatical Criticism, but not till the next Opportunity.

I am yours, &c.

Mr.—to Mr. Congreve.

Dear Sir,

I Came home from the Land's End Yester­day, where I found three Letters from Mr. Dennis, and one from you, with a hu­merous Description of John Abassus, A Country Poet. since the dubbing of Don Quixote, and the Coronation of Petrarch in the Capi­tol, [Page 106] there has not been so great a Solemnity as the Consecration of John Abassus. In all the Pagan Ritual, I never met with the Form of Poetical Orders; but I believe the Cere­mony of Consecrating a Man to Apollo, is the same with Devoting a Man to the Dii Manes, for both are Martyrs to Fame. I believe not a Man of the Grave Club durst assist at this ridiculous Scene, for fear of laughing out-right. W. was in his King­dom, and for my part I would have rather sat there than in the House of Commons. Would to God I could laugh with you for one Hour or two at all the ridiculous things that have happen'd at Will's Coffee-house since I left it, 'tis the merriest Place in the World: Like Africa, every Day it produces a Monster; and they are got there just as Pli­ny says they are in Africa, Beasts of different kinds come to drink, mingle with one ano­ther and beget Monsters. Present my hum­ble Duty to my new Lord, and tell him, that I am preparing an Address to Congratulate his Accession to the Throne of the Rabble. Tell the Lady, who was the Author of the Hue and Cry after me, she might have sent out a hundred Hues and Cries before she would have found a Poet. I took an effe­ctual Course not to be apprehended for a Poet, for I went down clad like a Soldier, [Page 107] with a new Suit of Cloaths on, and, I think there could not have been a better Disguise for a Poet, unless I had stol'n Dr. B—'s Coat. Mr. Dennis sent me down P—M—'s Parodie. I can say very little of the Poem; but as for the Dialogue, I think 'twas the first time that M—suffered any body to talk with him, though indeed here he interrupts Mr. Boileau in the midst of the first word. My humble Service to Mr. Wycherley. I desire you would write me some News of the Stage, and what Pro­gress you have made in your Tragedy.

I am your affectionate Friend and Servant.

Mr. Congreve to Mr.—

Dear Sir,

I Can't but think that a Letter from me in London, to you in C—,is like some ancient Correspondence between an Inhabitant of Rome and a Cimmerian: May be my way of Writing may not be so mo­destly compared with Roman Epistles; but the Resemblance of the Place will justifie the other part of the Parallel: The subter­raneous [Page 108] Habitations of the Miners, and the Proximity of the Bajae help a little; and while you are at B—let B—be Cumae, and do you supply the Place of Sybilla. You may look on this as Railery, but I can assure you, nothing less than Oracles are ex­pected from you, in the next Parliament, if you succeed in your Election, as we are pretty well assured you will. You wish your self with us at Will's Coffee-house; all here wish for you, from the President of the Grave Club, to the most puny Mem­ber of the Rabble; they who can think, think of you, and the rest talk of you. There is no such Monster in this Africa, that is not sensible of your Absence; even the worst natured People, and those of least Wit lament it; I mean, half Criticks and Quiblers. To tell you all that want you, I should name all the Creatures of Covent­garden, which like those of Eden-garden would want some Adam to be a Godfather and give them Names. I can't tell whe­ther I may justly compare our Covent­garden, to that of Eden, or no; for tho' I believe we may have Variety of strange Animals equal to Paradise, yet I fear we have not amongst us the Tree of Know­ledge. It had been much to the Disadvan­tage of Pliny, had the Coffee-house been in [Page 109] his Days; for sure he would have described some who frequent it; which would have given him the Reputation of a more fabu­lous Writer then he has now. But being in our Age it does him a Service, for we who know it, can give Faith to all his Monsters. You who took care to go down into the Country unlike a Poet, I hope will take care not to come up again like a Poli­tician; for then, you will add a new Mon­ster to the Coffee-house, that was never seen there before. So you may come back again, in your Soldier's Coat, for in that you will no more be suspected for a Poli­tician, than a Poet. Pray come upon any Terms, for you are wished for by every body, but most wanted by your

Affectionate Friend and Servant, W. CONGREVE.

To Mr. Congreve, at Tunbridge.

Dear Sir,

MY Business and my Thanks for your Kindness, you will find in the In­clos'd, which I had sent by the last Post, had not an accident hinder'd it. All the [Page 110] Return that I can make you at present is, to acquaint you with such News as we have. Our Friend Mr.—went last Friday to the Bath: He promis'd to write to me from that place, but it would be un­reasonable indeed to expect it. For W—takes up his Afternoons, and his Mornings I suppose, are spent in Contemplation at the Cross Bath. Most of your Friends of the Coffee-house are disper'd: Some are re­treated into the Country in hopes of some Favours, which they expect from the Mu­ses; two or three of them are retir'd in Town to ruminate on some Favours, which they have receiv'd from their Mistresses.

So that the Coffee-house is like to grow into Reputation again. For if any one gives it the scandalous Denomination of the Wits Coffee-house, he must call it so by Antiphrasis, because there comes no Wit there. Here are two or three indeed, who set up for Wits at home, and endeavour to pass for Wise at the Coffee-house: for they hold their Tongues there. Indeed the Coffee-house is generally the Exchange for Wit, where the Merchants meet with­out bringing the Commodity with them, which they leave at home in their Ware­houses, alias, their Closets, while they go abroad to take a prudent care for the vend­ing [Page 111] it. But you are of the Number of those happy Few, who so abound in Heriditary Possessions, and in rich Returns from Greece and from Italy, that you always carry some of it about you to be liberal to your Friends of that which you sell to Strangers. Mr.—bables eternally according to his old rate, and as extravagantly as if he talk'd to him­self; which he certainly does, if no body minds him any more than I do: He has been just now enquiring, what sort of Di­stemper the Spleen is; an infallible sign that he is the only Man in Covent-garden, who does not know he is an Ass. To make him sensible what the Spleen is, I could find in my Heart to shew him himself, and give it him. If any thing restrains me from being reveng'd of his Impertinence this way, 'tis the Consideration that it will make him wiser: This Coxcomb naturally puts me in mind of the Stage, where they have lately acted some new Plays; but had there been more of them, I would not scruple to affirm, that the Stage is at pre­sent a Desart and a barren Place, as some part of Africa is said to be, though it a­bounds in Monsters. And yet those pro­digious Things have met with Success: for a Fool is naturally fond of a Monster, because he is incapable of knowing a Man. [Page 112] While you drink Steel for your Spleen at Tunbridge, I partake of the Benefit of the Course; for the Gayety of your Letters re­lieves me considerably: Then what must your Conversation do? Come up and make the Experiment; and impart that Vigour to me which Tunbridge has restor'd to you.

I am your most humble Servant, JOHN DENNIS.

Mr.—to Mr. Dennis.

NAmur taken, and a Letter from Mr. Dennis, were two of the most agree­able Surprizes I ever met with. And no­thing but the Reflection, how dear the Conquest will cost us, I mean, the innume­rable ill Poems it will produce, could allay the Pleasure. A—has watch'd for a Vi­ctory a long time, and will not miss this Opportunity to mortifie the Day of Thanks­giving, and scribble away the Publick Joy. The Devil take Will's Coffee-house: I could be the easiest Man in the World un­der my Calamity, if it were not for some of the Company there; who are now the greatest Enemies I have in the World, [Page 113] worse than the Company from which I am just now stol'n to write this Letter. Among the rest is a Country Gentleman who dictates Politicks abundantly, for with us, as well as at old Rome, we take Dictators from the Plow, but ours are such as ought never to remove their Hands from it.

I am yours, &c.

Mr.—to Mr. Dennis.

WHile you are happy in the Politicks of the Grave Club, and the Two Covent­garden Clubs. Puns of the Rabble, you have no regard to the forlorn State of your poor Friend. Before I left London, I fained an hundred agreeable melancholy Pleasures, with which I might fool away a Retire­ment; but now I detest being alone, and question whether Mankind or Solitude be the fitter Subject for a Satyr. Of this, I am sure, that God Almighty, rather than be a­lone, created the—; and Man, rather than be alone, chose a Wife. Whatever ad­vantage I have lost by my Country Life, I believe, I have gain'd the Gift of Prophesie in the Wilderness, for I foretold the Poem with which A—has visited us.

I am yours, &c.

Mr.—to Mr. Dennis.

TO your Business hereafter, but first, lets have a Dance, as Mr. Bays says. When I came home from the West, where I had passed a Fortnight, I found your three Letters full of Wit and Humour. I was charm'd with the Scandal you writ in the first, and enclosed in the last, viz. A.'s Po­em. I found the Preamble before the Poem to be like a Suterkin before a Dutch Child. I read it over in great haste, in hopes to be pleased at last with the End of it, but this is the first time I ever dislik'd his Conclusion. For he threatens strange things. I hope, 'tis only in terrorem, if not, I hope God in his Goodness will send us a Peace, and pre­vent his Songs of Triumph. Certainly, since the Devil was Dumb there never was such a Poet.


ERRATA in Pliny's Letters.

PAge 13. instéad of eminent, r. imminent. p. 132. l. 7. instead of make for Pomponianum, &c. r. go to his Friend Pomponianus, who was at Stabiae, on the other side of the Bay. p. 132. 1. 10. instead of he, r. Pomponianus had. Ibid, instead of tho' the Wind, l. 12. r. had not the. Ibid, l. 13. instead of But as it then blew directly for 'em, my Unkle &c. r. But the same Wind brought my Unkle into the Har­bour, who, p. 133. l. 6. instead of made the best of their way to Pomponianuns, r. joyn'd Pomponianus and his Company. These are the grossest Faults, the rest, which are in no small Number, by reason of the Books being Printed in the Gentleman's Absence, who was principally concern'd, the Reader is desir'd to Correct with his Pen.


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