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vices muft prevent me from entertaining any fufpicion of your forgetfulness or neglect. Nor do I fee how you could poffibly forget one on whom you had conferred fo many favours. Having an invitation into your part of the country in the fpring, I fhall readily accept it, that I may enjoy the delicioufnefs of the feafon as well as that of your converfation; and that I may withdraw myself for a fhort time from the tumult of the city to your rural manfion, as to the renowned portico of Zeno or Tufculan of Tully, where you live on your little farm with a moderate fortune, but a princely mind; and where you practise the contempt, and triumph over the temptations of ambition, pomp, luxury, and all that follows the chariot of fortune, or attracts the gaze and admiration of the thoughtless multitude. I hope that you who deprecated the blame of delay, will pardon me for my precipitance; for, after deferring this letter to the laft, I chose rather to write a few lines, however deficient in elegance, than to fay nothing at all.
Cambridge, July 21, 1628.
Adieu, reverend fir.
To ALEXANDER GILL.
IF you had made me a prefent of a piece of plate, or any other valuable which excites the admiration of mankind. I should not be ashamed in my turn to remunerate you, as far as my circumftances would permit. But fince you, the day before yesterday, prefented me with an elegant and beautiful poem in Hendecafyllabic verfe, which far exceeds the worth of gold, you have increased my folicitude to discover in what manner I may requite the favour of fo acceptable a gift. I had by me at the time no compofitions in a like ftyle which I thought at all fit to come in competition with the excellence of your
performance. I send you therefore a compofition which is not entirely my own, but the production of a truly inspired bard, from whom I last week rendered this ode into Greek Heroic verfe, as I was lying in bed before the day dawned, without any previous deliberation, but with a certain impelling faculty, for which I know not how to account. By his help who does not lefs surpass you in his fubject than you do me in the execution, I have fent fomething which may ferve to reftore the equilibrium between us. If you fee reason to find fault with any particular paffage, I muft inform you that, from the time I left your school, this is the first and the last piece I have ever compofed in Greek; fince, as you know, I have attended more to Latin and to English compofition. He who at this time employs his labour and his time in writing Greek is in danger of writing what will never be read. Adieu, and expect to fee me, God willing, at London on Monday among the bookfellers. In the mean time, if you have intereft enough with that Doctor who is the master of the college to promote my business, I beseech you to fee him as foon as poffible, and to act as your friendship for me may prompt.
From my villa, Decemb. 4, 1634,
To CAROLO DEODATI.
I CLEARLY fee that you are determined not to be overcome in filence; if this be fo, you fhall have the palm of victory for I will write firft. Though, if the reasons which make each of us fo long in writing to the other fhould ever be judicially examined, it will appear that I have many more excufes for not writing than you. For it is well known, and you well know, that I am naturally flow in writing, and averfe to write; while you, either from difpofition or from habit, feem
to have little reluctance in engaging in thefe literary (poownσes) allocutions. It is alio in my favour, that your method of ftudy is fuch as to admit of frequent interruptions, in which you vifit your friends, write letters, or go abroad; but it is my way to fuffer no impediment, no love of eafe, no avocation whatever, to chill the ardour, to break the continuity, or divert the completion of my literary pursuits. From this and no other reafons it often happens that I do not readily employ my pen in any gratuitous exertions; but I am not, nevertheless, my dear Deodati, a very fluggish correfpondent; nor has it at any time happened that I ever left any letter of yours unanswered till another came. So I hear that you write to the book feller and often to your brother, either of whom, from their nearness would readily have forwarded any communication from you to
But what I blame you for is, for not keeping your promife of paying me a vifit when you left the city; a promife which, if it had once occurred to your thoughts, would certainly have forcibly fuggefted the neceffity of writing. These are my reafons for expoftulation and cenfure. You will look to your own defence. But what can occafion your filence? Is it ill-health? Are there in those parts any literati with whom you may play and prattle as we used to do? When do you return? How long do you mean to stay among the Hyperboreans? I wish you would give me an answer to each of these queftions; and that you may not suppose that I am quite unconcerned about what relates to you, I must inform you that in the beginning of the autumn I went out of my way to fee your brother, in order to learn how you did. And lately when I was accidentally informed in London that you were in town, I inftantly haftened to your lodgings; but it was only the shadow of a dream, for you were no where to be found. Wherefore, as foon as you can do it without any inconvenience to yourself, I befeech you to take up your quarters where we may at least be able occafionally to vifit one another; for I hope that you would not be a different neighbour to us in the country than you are in
town. But this is as it pleases God. I have much to fay to you concerning myself and my ftudies, but I would rather do it when we meet, and as to-morrow I am about to return into the country, and am bufy in making preparations for my journey, I have but just time to fcribble this. Adieu.
London, Sept. 7, 1637.
To the fame.
Most of my other friends think it enough to give me one farewell in their letters, but I fee why you do it fo often; for you give me to understand that your medical authority is now added to the potency, and subfervient to the completion of thofe general expreffions of good-will which are nothing but words and air. You with me my health fix hundred times, in as great a quantity as I can with, as I am able to bear, or even more than this. Truly, you fhould be appointed butler to the house of Health, whofe ftores you fo lavishly bestow; or at least health fhould become your parafite, fince you fo lord it over her, and command her at your pleasure. I fend you therefore my congratulations and my thanks, both on account of your friendship and your fkill. I was long kept waiting in expectation of a letter from you, which you had engaged to write; but when no letter came my old regard for you fuffered not, I can affure you, the smallest diminution, for I had fuppofed that the fame apology for remiffness, which you had employed in the beginning of our correfpondence, you would again employ. This was a fuppofition agreeable to truth and to the intimacy between us. For I do not think that true friendfhip confifts in the frequency of letters, or in profeffions of regard, which may be counterfeited; but it is fo deeply rooted in the heart and affections, as to fupport itself against the rudeft blaft; and when it origi
nates in fincerity and virtue, it may remain through life without fufpicion and without blame, even when there is no longer any reciprocal interchange of kindneffes. For the cherishing aliment of a friendship fuch as this, there is not fo much need of letters as of a lively recollection of each other's virtues. And though you have not written, you have fomething that may fupply the omiffion: your probity writes to me in your ftead; it is a letter ready written on the innermoft membrane of the heart; the fimplicity of your manners, and the rectitude of your principles, ferve as correfpondents in your place; your genius, which is above the common level, writes, and ferves in a still greater degree to endear you to me. But now you have got poffeffion of this defpotic citadel of medicine, do not alarm me with the menace of being obliged to repay thofe fix hundred healths which you have beftowed, if I fhould, which God forbid, ever forfeit your friendship. Remove that formidable battery which feem to have placed upon my breast to keep off all fickness but what comes by your permiffion. But that you may not indulge any excess of menace I must inform you, that I cannot help loving you fuch as you are; for whatever the Deity may have beftowed upon me in other refpects, he has certainly inspired me, if any ever were inspired, with a paffion for the good and fair. Nor did Ceres, according to the fable, ever feek her daughter Proferpine with fuch unceafing folicitude as I have fought this το καλᾶ ἰδέαν, this perfect model of the beautiful in all the forms and appearances of things (πολλαι γαρ μορφή αι των Aapovi, many are the forms of the divinities.) I am wont day and night to continue my fearch; and I follow in the way in which you go before. Hence, I feel an irresistible impulse to cultivate the friendship of him, who, defpifing the prejudiced and falfe conceptions of the vulgar, dares to think, to fpeak, and to be that which the higheft wifdom has in every age taught to be the best. But if my difpofition or my destiny were fuch that I could without any conflict or any toil emerge to the highest pitch of distinction and of praife;