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feel the pulses of every senator; after which, having maturely considered and consulted upon the nature of the several maladies, and the methods of cure, they should on the fourth day return to the senate-house, attended by their apothecaries stored with proper medicines; and, before the members sat, administer to each of them lenitives, aperitives, abstersives, corrosives, restringents, palliatives, laxatives, cephalalgics, icterics, apophlegmatics, acoustics, as their several cases required; and, according as these medicines should operate, repeat, alter, or omit them at the next meeting.

This project could not be of any great expense to the public, and might, in my poor opinion, be of much use for the despatch of business in those countries where senates have any share in the legislative power; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few mouths which are now closed, and close many more which are now open; curb the petulancy of the young, and correct the positiveness of the old; rouse the stupid, and damp the pert.

Again, because it is a general complaint that the favourites of princes are troubled with short and weak memories, the same doctor proposed, that whoever attended a first minister, after having told his business with the utmost brevity, and in the plainest words, should, at his departure, give the said minister a tweak by the nose, or a kick in the belly, or tread on his corns, or lug him thrice by both ears, or run a pin into his body, or pinch his arms black and blue, to prevent forgetfulness; and at every levee day repeat the same operation, until the business were done or absolutely refused.

He likewise directed that every senator in the great council of a nation, after he had delivered his opinion, and argued in the defence of it, should be obliged to give his vote directly contrary; because if that were done, the result would infallibly terminate in the good of the public.

When parties in a state are violent, he offered a wonderful contrivance to reconcile them. The method is this: You take a hundred leaders of each party; you dispose them into couples of such whose heads are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators saw off the occiput of each couple at the same time, in such manner that the brain may be equally divided. Let the occiputs thus cut off be interchanged, applying each to the head of his opposite party-man. It seems indeed to be a work that requireth some exactness; but the professor assured us, that, if it were dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible. For he argued thus: that the two half brains being left to debate the matter between themselves within the space of one skull, would soon come to a good understanding, and produce that moderation, as well as regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in the heads of those who imagine they came into the world only to watch and govern its motions: and as to the difference of brains in quantity or quality, among those who are directors in faction, the doctor assured us, from his own knowledge, that it was a perfect trifle.

I heard a very warm debate between two professors, about the most commodious and effectual ways and means of raising money without grieving the subject. The first affirmed, the justest method would be to lay a certain tax upon vices and folly, and the sum fixed upon every man to be rated after the fairest manner by a jury of his neighbours. The second was of an opinion directly contrary; to tax those qualities of body and mind for which men chiefly value themselves; the rate to be more or less according to the degrees of excelling, the decision whereof should be left entirely to their own breast. The highest tax was upon men who are the greatest favourites of the other sex, and the assessments according to the number and

natures of the favours they have received, for which they are allowed to be their own vouchers. Wit, valour, and politeness, were likewise proposed to be largely taxed, and collected in the same manner, by every person giving his own word for the quantum of what he possessed. But as to honour, justice, wisdom, and learning, they should not be taxed at all, because they are qualifications of so singular a kind, that no man will either allow them in his neighbour, or value them in himself.

The women were proposed to be taxed according to their beauty and skill in dressing, wherein they had the same privilege with the men, to be determined by their own judgment. But constancy, chastity, good sense, and good nature, were not rated, because they would not bear the charge of collecting.

To keep senators in the interest of the crown, it was proposed that the members should raffle for employments; every man first taking an oath, and giving security that he would vote for the court, whether he won or no; after which the losers had in their turn the liberty of raffling upon the next vacancy. Thus, hope and expectation would be kept alive; none would complain of broken promises, but impute their disappointments wholly to fortune, whose shoulders are broader and stronger than those of a ministry. Another professor showed me a large paper of instructions for discovering plots and conspiracies against the government.

I told him, that in the kingdom of Tribnia, by the natives called Langden, where I had long sojourned, the bulk of the people consisted wholly of discoverers, witnesses, informers, accusers, prosecutors, evidences, swearers, together with their several subservient and subaltern instruments, all under the colours, the conduct, and pay of ministers and their deputies. The plots in that kingdom are usually the workmanship of those persons who desire to raise their own characters of profound politicians; to restore new vigour to a crazy administration; to stifle or divert general discontents; to fill their coffers with forfeitures; and raise or sink the opinion of public credit, as either shall best answer their private advantage. It is first agreed and settled among them what suspected persons shall be accused of a plot; then effectual care is taken to secure all their letters and other papers, and put the owners in chains. These papers are delivered to a set of artists very dexterous in finding out the mysterious meanings of words, syllables, and letters. For instance, they can decipher a close-stool to signify a privy-council; a flock of geese, a senate; a lame dog, an invader; the plague, a standing army; a buzzard, a minister; the gout, a high-priest; a gibbet, a secretary of state; a chamber-pot, a committee of grandees; a sieve, a court lady; a broom, a revolution; a mouse-trap, an employment; a bottomless pit, the treasury; a sink, a court; a cap and bells, a favourite; a broken reed, a court of justice; an empty tun, a general; a running sore, the administration.

When this method fails, they have two others more effectual, which the learned among them call acrostics and anagrams. First, they can decipher all initial letters into political meanings; thus, N shall signify a plot, B a regiment of horse, La fleet at sea. Or, secondly, by transposing the letters of the alphabet, in any suspected paper, they can lay open the deepest designs of a discontented party. So, for example, if I should say in a letter to a friend, Our brother Tom hath just got the piles, a man of skill in this art would discover how the same letters which compose that sentence may be analysed into the following words— Resist-a plot is brought home-the tower. "And this is the anagramatic method.

The professor made me great acknowledgments for communicating these observations, and promised to make honourable mention of me in his treatise.

[Thoughts on Various Subjects.]

We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

When we desire or solicit anything, our minds run wholly on the good side or circumstances of it; when it is obtained, our mind runs only on the bad ones. When a true genius appeareth in the world, you may know him by this infallible sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.

I am apt to think that, in the day of judgment, there will be small allowance given to the wise for their want of morals, or to the ignorant for their want of faith, because both are without excuse. This renders the advantages equal of ignorance and knowledge. But some scruples in the wise, and some vices in the ignorant, will perhaps be forgiven upon the strength of temptation to each.

Every man desireth to live long, but no man would be old.

If books and laws continue to increase as they have done for fifty years past, I am in some concern for future ages, how any man will be learned, or any man a lawyer.

A nice man is a man of nasty ideas. [How true of Swift himself!]

If a man maketh me keep my distance, the comfort is, he keepeth his at the same time.

Very few men, properly speaking, live at present, but are providing to live another time.

Praise is the daughter of present power. Princes in their infancy, childhood, and youth, are said to discover prodigious parts and wit, to speak things that surprise and astonish: strange, so many hopeful princes, so many shameful kings! If they happen to die young, they would have been prodigies of wisdom and virtue: if they live, they are often prodigies indeed, but of another sort.

It is pleasant to observe how free the present age is in laying taxes on the next: 'Future ages shall talk of this; this shall be famous to all posterity:' whereas their time and thoughts will be taken up about pre-name of trifles, fopperies, and only imaginary goods, sent things, as ours are now.

It is in disputes as in armies, where the weaker side setteth up false lights, and maketh a great noise, that the enemy may believe them to be more numerous and strong than they really are.

I have known some men possessed of good qualities, which were very serviceable to others, but useless to themselves; like a sun-dial on the front of a house, to inform the neighbours and passengers, but not the owner within.

If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, &c., beginning from his youth, and so go on to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!

The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.

The reason why so few marriages are happy, is because young ladies spend their time in making nets, not in making cages.

The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable, for the happy impute all their success to prudence and merit.

Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices: so, climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping.

Censure is the tax a man payeth to the public for being eminent.

No wise man ever wished to be younger. An idle reason lessens the weight of the good ones you gave before.

Complaint is the largest tribute heaven receives, and the sincerest part of our devotion.

The common fluency of speech in many men and most women, is owing to a scarcity of matter and scarcity of words: for whoever is a master of language, and hath a mind full of ideas, will be apt, in speaking, to hesitate upon the choice of both; whereas common speakers have only one set of ideas, and one set of words to clothe them in, and these are always ready at the mouth. So people come faster out of a church when it is almost empty, than when a crowd is at the door.

To be vain is rather a mark of humility than pride. Vain men delight in telling what honours have been done them, what great company they have kept, and the like; by which they plainly confess that these honours were more than their due, and such as their friends would not believe if they had not been told: whereas a man truly proud thinks the greatest honours below his merit, and consequently scorns to boast. I therefore deliver it as a maxim, that whoever desires the character of a proud man, ought to conceal his vanity.

The humour of exploding many things under the

is a very false proof either of wisdom or magnanimity, and a great check to virtuous actions. For instance, with regard to fame; there is in most people a reluc tance and unwillingness to be forgotten. We observe, even among the vulgar, how fond they are to have an inscription over their grave. It requireth but little philosophy to discover and observe that there is no intrinsic value in all this; however, if it be founded in our nature, as an incitement to virtue, it ought not to be ridiculed.

[Overstrained Politeness, or Vulgar Hospitality.] [From The Tatler."]

Those inferior duties of life which the French call les petites morales, or the smaller morals, are with us distinguished by the name of good manners or breeding. This I look upon, in the general notion of it, to be a sort of artificial good sense, adapted to the meanest capacities, and introduced to make mankind easy in their commerce with each other. Low and little understandings, without some rules of this kind, would be perpetually wandering into a thousand indecencies and irregularities in behaviour; and in their ordinary conversation, fall into the same boisterous familiarities that one observeth amongst them when a debauch hath quite taken away the use of their reason. In other instances, it is odd to consider, that for want of common discretion, the very end of good breeding is wholly perverted; and civility, intended to make us easy, is employed in laying chains and fetters upon us, in debarring us of our wishes, and in crossing our most reasonable desires and inclinations. This abuse reigneth chiefly in the country, as I found to my vexation, when I was last there, in a visit I made to a neighbour about two miles from my cousin. As soon as I entered the parlour, they put me into the great chair that stood close by a huge fire, and kept me there by force, until I was almost stifled. Then a boy came in great hurry to pull off my boots, which I in vain opposed, urging, that I must return soon after dinner. In the meantime, the good lady whispered her eldest daughter, and slipped a key into her hand. The girl returned instantly with a beer-glass half full of aqua mirabilis and syrup of gilly-flowers. I took as much as I had a mind for; but madam vowed I should drink it off (for she was sure it would do me good, after coming out of the cold air), and I was forced to obey; which absolutely took away my stomach, When dinner came in, I had a mind to sit at a dis tance from the fire; but they told me it was as much as my life was worth, and set me with my back just against it. Although my appetite were quite gone, I resolved to force down as much as I could; and de

sired the leg of a pullet. Indeed, Mr Bickerstaff, says public. Pope's epistolary excellence,' says Johnson, the lady, you must eat a wing to oblige me; and so 'had an open field; he had no English rival, living put a couple upon my plate. I was persecuted at this or dead.' The letters of Lord Bacon, Strafford, and rate during the whole meal. As often as I called for other statesmen, had been published, but they desmall beer, the master tipped the wink, and the servant scended little into the details of familiar life. Sprat brought me a brimmer of October. Some time after suppressed the correspondence of Cowley, under the dinner, I ordered my cousin's man, who came with me, impression, finely expressed by an old writer, that to get ready the horses, but it was resolved I should private letters are commonly of too tender a componot stir that night; and when I seemed pretty much sition to thrive out of the bosom in which they were bent upon going, they ordered the stable door to be first planted; and the correspondence of Pope was locked; and the children hid my cloak and boots. the first attempt to interest the public in the sentiThe next question was, what I would have for supper? ments and opinions of literary men, and the expresI said I never eat anything at night; but was at last, sion of private friendship. As literature was the in my own defence, obliged to name the first thing that business of Pope's life, and composition his first and came into my head. After three hours spent chiefly favourite pursuit, he wrote always with a view to in apologies for my entertainment, insinuating to me, admiration and fame. He knew that if his letters That this was the worst time of the year for provi- to his friends did not come before the public in a sions; that they were at a great distance from any printed shape, they would be privately circulated, market; that they were afraid I should be starved; and might affect his reputation with those he was and that they knew they kept me to my loss,' the ambitious of pleasing. Hence he seems always to lady went and left me to her husband (for they took have written with care. His letters are generally too special care I should never be alone). As soon as her elaborate and artificial to have been the spontaneous back was turned, the little misses ran backwards and effusions of private confidence. Many of them are forwards every moment; and constantly as they came beautiful in thought and imagery, and evince a taste in or went out, made a curtsy directly at me, which for picturesque scenery and description, that it is to in good manners I was forced to return with a bow, be regretted the poet did not oftener indulge. Others, and, your humble servant, pretty Miss. Exactly at as the exquisite one describing a journey to Oxford, eight the mother came up, and discovered by the red-in company with Bernard Lintot, possess a fine vein ness of her face that supper was not far off. It was of comic humour and observation. Swift was infetwice as large as the dinner, and my persecution doubled in proportion. I desired at my usual hour to go to my repose, and was conducted to my chamber by the gentleman, his lady, and the whole train of children. They importuned me to drink something before I went to bed; and upon my refusing, at last left a bottle of stingo, as they called it, for fear I should wake and be thirsty in the night. I was forced in the morning to rise and dress myself in the dark, because they would not suffer my kinsman's servant to disturb me at the hour I desired to be called. I was now re

solved to break through all measures to get away; and after sitting down to a monstrous breakfast of cold beef, mutton, neats'-tongues, venison-pasty, and stale beer, took leave of the family. But the gentleman would needs see me part of my way, and carry me a short cut through his own grounds, which he told me would save half a mile's riding. This last piece of civility had like to have cost me dear, being once or twice in danger of my neck, by leaping over his ditches, and at last forced to alight in the dirt; when my horse, having slipped his bridle, ran away, and took us up more than an hour to recover him again. It is evident, that none of the absurdities I met with in this visit proceeded from an ill intention, but from a wrong judgment of complaisance, and a misapplication in the rules of it.


In 1737 Pope published, by subscription, a volume of letters between himself and his literary friends, including Swift, Bolingbroke, Gay, and Arbuthnot. Part of the collection had been previously obtained by surreptitious means, and printed by Curll, a notorious publisher of that day. Johnson and Warton conceived that Pope had connived at this breach of private confidence; but it has been satisfactorily shown that the poet was ignorant of the publication, and that his indignation on discovering it was expressed with all the warmth of sincerity. The letters excited the curiosity of the public; and Pope complied with the general intreaty to give a genuine edition of his correspondence. Additions were afterwards made to the collection, which went through several editions. The experiment was new to the

rior to Pope as a letter-writer, but he discloses more of his real character. He loved Pope as much as he could any man, and the picture of their friendship, disclosed in their correspondence, is honourable to both. They had both risen to eminence by their illustrious; had exchanged with each other in priown talents; they had mingled with the great and vate their common feelings and sentiments; had partaken of the vicissitudes of public affairs; seen their friends decay and die off; and in their old age, mourned over the evils and afflictions incident to the decline of life. Pope's affection soothed the jealous irritability and misanthropy of Swift, and survived the melancholy calamity which rendered his friend one of the most pitiable and affecting objects among mankind.

[On Sickness and Death.]

TO SIR RICHARD STEELE-July 15, 1712. You formerly observed to me that nothing made a more ridiculous figure in a man's life than the disparity we often find in him sick and well; thus one of an unfortunate constitution is perpetually exhibiting a miserable example of the weakness of his mind, and of his body, in their turns. I have had frequent opportunities of late to consider myself in these different views, and, I hope, have received some advantage by it, if what Waller says be true, that The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed, Lets in new light through chinks that Time has made. Then surely sickness, contributing no less than old age to the shaking down this scaffolding of the body, may discover the inward structure more plainly. Sickness is a sort of early old age; it teaches us a diffidence in our earthly state, and inspires us with the thoughts of a future, better than a thousand volumes of philosophers and divines. It gives so warning a concussion to those props of our vanity, our strength and youth, that we think of fortifying ourselves within, when there is so little dependence upon our out-works. Youth at the very best is but a betrayer of human life in a gentler and smoother manner than age: it is like a stream that nourishes a

meditations, or even inquiring of your retreat; but this I will not positively assert, because I never received any such insulting epistle from you. My Lord Oxford says you have not written to him once since you went; but this perhaps may be only policy in him or you! and I, who am half a Whig, must not entirely credit anything he affirms. At Button's, it is reported you are gone to Hanover, and that Gay goes only on an embassy to you. Others apprehend some dangerous

plant upon a bank, and causes it to flourish and blossom to the sight, but at the same time is undermining it at the root in secret. My youth has dealt more fairly and openly with me; it has afforded several prospects of my danger, and given me an advantage not very common to young men, that the attractions of the world have not dazzled me very much; and I begin, where most people end, with a full conviction of the emptiness of all sorts of ambition, and the unsatisfactory nature of all human plea-state treatise from your retirement; and a wit, who sures. When a smart fit of sickness tells me this affects to imitate Balsac, says, that the ministry now scurvy tenement of my body will fall in a little time, are like those heathens of old, who received their I am even as unconcerned as was that honest Hiber- oracles from the woods. The gentlemen of the Roman nian, who, being in bed in the great storm soine years Catholic persuasion are not unwilling to credit me, ago, and told the house would tumble over his head, when I whisper, that you are gone to meet some made answer, "What care I for the house? I am only Jesuits commissioned from the court of Rome, in a lodger.' I fancy it is the best time to die when one order to settle the most convenient methods to be is in the best humour; and so excessively weak as I taken for the coming of the Pretender. Dr Arbuth now am, I may say with conscience, that I am not at not is singular in his opinion, and imagines your only all uneasy at the thought that many men, whom I design is to attend at full leisure to the life and adnever had any esteem for, are likely to enjoy this ventures of Scriblerus. This, indeed, must be granted world after me. When I reflect what an inconsider- of greater importance than all the rest; and I wish I able little atom every single man is, with respect to could promise so well of you. The top of my own the whole creation, methinks it is a shame to be con- ambition is to contribute to that great work; and I cerned at the removal of such a trivial animal as I shall translate Homer by the by. Mr Gay has a am. The morning after my exit, the sun will rise as quainted you what progress I have made in it. I bright as ever, the flowers smell as sweet, the plants cannot name Mr Gay, without all the acknowledg spring as green, the world will proceed in its oldments which I shall ever owe you on his account. course, people will laugh as heartily, and marry as I writ this in verse, I would tell you you are like the fast, as they were used to do. The memory of man sun, and, while men imagine you to be retired or (as it is elegantly expressed in the Book of Wisdom) absent, are hourly exerting your influence, and bring passeth away as the remembrance of a guest that ing things to maturity for their advantage. Of all tarrieth but one day. There are reasons enough, in the world, you are the man (without flattery) who the fourth chapter of the same book, to make any serve your friends with the least ostentation; it is young man contented with the prospect of death. almost ingratitude to thank you, considering your For honourable age is not that which standeth in temper; and this is the period of all my letter which, length of time, or is measured by number of years. I fear, you will think the most impertinent. I am, But wisdom is the gray hair to man, and an unspotted with the truest affection, yours, &c. life is old age. He was taken away speedily, lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul,' &c.—I am your, &c.

[Pope to Swift-On his Retirement.]

January 18, 1714.

Whatever apologies it might become me to make at any other time for writing to you, I shall use none now, to a man who has owned himself as splenetic as a cat in the country. In that circumstance, I know by experience a letter is a very useful as well as an amusing thing: if you are too busied in state affairs to read it, yet you may find entertainment in folding it into divers figures, either doubling it into a pyramidical, or twisting it into a serpentine form: or if your disposition should not be so mathematical, in taking it with you to that place where men of studious minds are apt to sit longer than ordinary; where, after an abrupt division of the paper, it may not be unpleasant to try to fit and rejoin the broken lines together. All these amusements I am no stranger to in the country, and doubt not (by this time you begin to relish them in your present contemplative


I remember, a man who was thought to have some knowledge in the world used to affirm, that no people in town ever complained they were forgotten by their friends in the country; but my increasing experience convinces me he was mistaken, for I find a great many here grievously complaining of you upon this score. I am told further, that you treat the few you correspond with in a very arrogant style, and tell them you admire at their insolence in disturbing your

It is important to remember that Pope, when he wrote in this manner, was only twenty-four.

[Pope in Oxford.]

TO MRS MARTHA BLOUNT.-1716 Nothing could have more of that melancholy which once used to please me, than my last day's journey; for, after having passed through my favourite woods in the forest, with a thousand reveries of past plea sures, I rid over hanging hills, whose tops were edged with groves, and whose feet watered with winding rivers, listening to the falls of cataracts below, and the murmuring of the winds above; the gloomy ver dure of Stonor succeeded to these, and then the shades of the evening overtook me. The moon rose in the clearest sky I ever saw, by whose solemn light I paced on slowly, without company, or any interruption to the range of my thoughts. About a mile before I reached Oxford, all the bells tolled in different notes; the clocks of every college answered one another, and sounded forth (some in deeper, some a softer tone) that it was eleven at night. All this was no ill preparation to the life I have led since among those old walls, venerable galleries, stone porticos, studious walks, and solitary scenes of the university. I wanted nothing but a black gown and a salary, to be as mere a book-worm as any there. I conformed myself to the college hours, was rolled up in books, lay in one of the most ancient, dusky parts of the university, and was as dead to the world as any hermit of the desert. If anything was alive or awake in me, it was a little vanity, such as even those good men used to entertain, when the monks of their own order extolled their piety and abstraction. For I found myself received with a sort of respect, which this idle part of mankind, the learned, pay to their own species; whe are as considerable here, as the busy, the gay, and the ambitious are in your world.

[Pope to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu on the Con- bosom of your country? I hear you are going to



Madam-I no more think I can have too many of your letters, than that I could have too many writings to entitle me to the greatest estate in the world; which I think so valuable a friendship as yours is equal to. I am angry at every scrap of paper lost, as at something that interrupts the history of my title; and though it is but an odd compliment to compare a fine lady to Sibyl, your leaves, methinks, like hers, are too good to be committed to the winds; though I have no other way of receiving them but by those unfaithful messengers. I have had but three, and I reckon in that short one from Dort, which was rather a dying ejaculation than a letter. But I have so great an opinion of your goodness, that had I received none, I should not have accused you of neglect or insensibility. I am not so wrong-headed as to quarrel with my friends the moment they don't write; I'd as soon quarrel at the sun the minute he did not shine, which he is hindered from by accidental causes, and is in reality all that time performing the same course, and doing the same good offices as ever.

You have contrived to say in your last the two most pleasing things to me in nature; the first is, that whatever be the fate of your letters, you will continue to write in the discharge of your conscience. This is generous to the last degree, and a virtue you ought to enjoy. Be assured, in return, my heart shall be as ready to think you have done every good thing, as yours can be to do it; so that you shall never be able to favour your absent friend, before he has thought himself obliged to you for the very favour you are then conferring.

The other is, the justice you do me in taking what I write to you in the serious manner it was meant; it is the point upon which I can bear no suspicion, and in which, above all, I desire to be thought serious: it would be the most vexatious of all tyranny, if you should pretend to take for raillery what is the mere disguise of a discontented heart, that is unwilling to make you as melancholy as itself; and for wit, what is really only the natural overflowing and warmth of the same heart, as it is improved and awakened by an esteem for you: but since you tell me you believe me, I fancy my expressions have not at least been entirely unfaithful to those thoughts, to which I am sure they can never be equal. May God increase your faith in all truths that are as great as this! and depend upon it, to whatever degree your belief may extend, you can never be a bigot.

If you could see the heart I talk of, you would really think it a foolish good kind of thing, with some qualities as well deserving to be half laughed at, and half esteemed, as any in the world: its grand foible, in regard to you, is the most like reason of any foible in nature. Upon my faith, this heart is not, like a great warehouse, stored only with my own goods, with vast empty spaces to be supplied as fast as interest or ambition can fill them up; but it is every inch of it let out into lodgings for its friends, and shall never want a corner at your service; where I dare affirm, madam, your idea lies as warm and as close as any idea in Christendom.


If this distance (as you are so kind as to say) enlarges your belief of my friendship, I assure you it has so extended my notion of your value, that I begin to be impious on your account, and to wish that even slaughter, ruin, and desolation, might interpose between you and Turkey; I wish you restored to us at the expense of a whole people. I barely hope you will forgive me for saying this, but I fear God will scarce forgive me for desiring it.

Hanover; can there be no favourable planet at this conjuncture, or do you only come back so far to die twice? Is Eurydice once more snatched to the shades? If ever mortal had reason to hate the king, it is I; for it is my misfortune to be almost the only innocent man whom he has made to suffer, both by his government at home and his negotiations abroad.

[Death of Two Lovers by Lightning.]


I have a mind to fill the rest of this paper with an accident that happened just under my eyes, and has made a great impression upon me. I have just passed part of this summer at an old romantic seat of my Lord Harcourt's, which he lent me. It overlooks a common field, where, under the shade of a haycock, sat two lovers, as constant as ever were found in romance, beneath a spreading beech. The name of the one (let it sound as it will) was John Hewet; of the other, Sarah Drew. John was a well-set man, about five-and-twenty; Sarah, a brown woman of eighteen. John had for several months borne the labour of the day in the same field with Sarah; when she milked, it was his morning and evening charge to bring the cows to her pail. Their love was the talk, but not the scandal, of the whole neighbourhood; for all they aimed at was the blameless possession of each other in marriage. It was but this very morning that he had obtained her parents' consent, and it was but till the next week that they were to wait to be happy. Perhaps this very day, in the intervals of their work, they were talking of their weddingclothes; and John was now matching several kinds of poppies and field-flowers to her complexion, to make her a present of knots for the day. While they were thus employed (it was on the last of July), a terrible storm of thunder and lightning arose, that drove the labourers to what shelter the trees or hedges afforded. Sarah, frightened and out of breath, sunk on a haycock, and John (who never separated from her) sat by her side, having raked two or three heaps together to secure her. Immediately there was heard so loud a crack as if heaven had burst asunder. The labourers, all solicitous for each other's safety, called to one another: those that were nearest our lovers hearing no answer, stepped to the place where they lay: they first saw a little smoke, and after, this faithful pair-John with one arm about his Sarah's neck, and the other held over her face, as if to screen her from the lightning. They were struck dead, and already grown stiff and cold in this tender posture. There was no mark or discolouring on their bodies, only that Sarah's eyebrow was a little singed, and a small spot between her breasts. They were buried the next day in one grave, where my Lord Harcourt, at my request, has erected a monument over them. Of the following epitaphs which I made, the critics have chosen the godly one: I like neither, but wish you had been in England to have done this office better: I think it was what you could not have refused me on so moving an occasion.

When Eastern lovers feed the funeral fire,
On the same pile their faithful pair expire;
Here pitying Heaven that virtue mutual found,
And blasted both that it might neither wound.
Hearts so sincere the Almighty saw well pleased,
Sent his own lightning, and the victims seized.
*The house of Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire. Here Pope

translated part of the Odyssey. He particularly describes it in the subsequent letter, in a style which recalls the grave humour

of Addison, and foreshadows the Bracebridge Hall of WashMake me less wicked, then. Is there no other ex-ington Irving. A view of the house and of the church beside pedient to return you and your infant in peace to the which were buried the lightning-struck lovers is on next page.

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