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J. BOWDLEH, ESQ. 35

self in a passion about it, and not write half what you had a mind to say.

'Give me the man That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him In my heart's core, ay in my heart of heart.'

"But you, indeed, expect every body to be as clever as yourself, or else truly you will be in a passion with them. Go to, go to, endeavour to learn the virtues of patience, forbearance, meekness, temperance. And to that end avoid N.; 'tis his company, his villainous company, hath been the ruin of thee. But mark me, do not shake him off till he has received my box, for it contains for thee a bottle of Frontignac (a present from ma femme), which well I know, unless thou lookest sharp, for his own purposes he will purloin. My melons come on well. By heaven, I said true when I told you I planted them for you — for, Dost thou hear?

• Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
And could of men distinguish, her election
Hath seal'd thee for herself.'

"Cequeje dis est la veritememe, tous les tresors de Vunivers n'ont de valeur que pour Pobjet qu'on aime.' To be sure my French quotation would be rather properer to one's mistress than one's friend; but, however, it is true for all that."

"Lydd, 27th Jan. "Well! and suppose your's "was dated the 14th, that is but thirteen days ago, and you have received a letter from me since you wrote, so you need not look so grave and grim. Besides, I think when folks are running about from London to Bath and from Bath to London, if a body writes at all it should be like Queen Anne's ministry to Lord Peterborough, *

that is, at him, and not, to him. You had a right to write to me again in answer to my last, but my inclination tends to mercy and not to justice, (unlike the people of Lydd, who wanted me very much the other day to hang a man upon suspicion of felony, which, by the bye, would have been at most only what the justice in Joseph Andrews calls a felonious larcenous kind of thing, if he had been really guilty: but this is all digression and nothing at all to the purpose, do you think it is ?) and, therefore, as my wife is very hard at work with her handmaids, and I am above in my room, by way of preventing myself from falling asleep, I thought I might as well scratch over a little paper, and make you pay for it, though it is like to be a strange letter, for my daughter is with me looking over a book of pictures, which want so much explanation, and I am so often called off to admire their astonishing beauty, that I can only write about nothing; and a very good subject too, for, to the best of my recollection, it is a maiden one, unsullied by the mercenary hands of authors, and I have the vanity to think that, were it publicly known that it had been so ably handled by me, no one in future would presume to attempt it. A shrewd suspicion has just shot itself across my brain, namely, that you have been all this while reading without understanding my letter. Now, confess honestly, did you not think at the bottom of the last page, that this on which I am now writing was to be covered with an essay on the thing called nothing? Alas! alas ! couldst thou not see that the treatise was concluded when you thought it was only going to begin? It is impossible to write to anything so impenetrable, so send me word who is the author of a newish book called 'Principles of Penal Law,' for, whoever he is, you may tell him he has had the honor of giving great pleasure to

"R. Cobb." "Lydd, March 16, 1770.

"With flesh of swine (unhallowed, Christian food!) And wine imported from the Gallic shore, Each sense was sated. In my elbow chair Half sitting, half recumbent, with one leg Resting on earth, the other on the stove, I mus'd on Robertson's historic page; While captive kings, and ev'n th' anointed head With triple crown adorn'd, by adverse fate Ordain'd to crouch beneath a conqueror's frown, Gave birth to ev'ry tender sentiment, and show'd That misery so intricately wove Within the web of human life, by human art Cannot be thence extracted, till the whole, The gleam of bliss, the perdurable woe, The warp, the woof, shall all together sink, And find a refuge only in the grave.

"Thus musing, not asleep, nor well awake,
The postman found me; sold me thine epistle,
And with thy well-known scratches bless'd my sight.
Nay, start not that my ignominious pen
Thus terms them scratches—know—it fill'd my verse.
Poetic licence still I claim, although
The characters are traced by thy pen
As clear as are within thy friendly heart The characters of goodness. .

■ Thou say'st I must write verses—be it so— Since verses are not always poetry;
But surely thou might'st deign to give the theme.
No spark of Phoebus' fire e'er warm'd my breast,
Irregular lines and Hudibrastic rhymes
My utmost boast. Oh, I am no Mainstone!
(Melodious Mainstone! minion of the muse!)

Was I but bless'd with half his powers of song,

Thou might'st then boast thy friend; then might loud fame

On her broad pinions bear my endless name

To ages yet unborn.—Stop, fancied bliss,

To me not given, though reserved for him!

"Say, shall I tell—yet how can I express
The soft sensations of a happy heart,
When it revisits scenes of peace and love,
Domestic peace, domestic happiness!

"A vaunt, ye sons of riot! ye whose hearts Ne'er knew a father's feelings, hence! nor dare Intrude on scenes ye cannot understand!

"How shall I paint the unaw'd flash of joy
Light'ning each servant face, who never knew
The rigid sourness of a master's frown,
And gave that welome, free but yet sincere,
Which attitudes and looks, not words express?

■ — How shall I,

The weakest of the followers of the nine,
Explain those feelings which those only know,
Whose hearts, like yours, attuned to tenderness,
Feel bliss redoubled in their partner's joy?
You know (and you of all the unmarried tribe
There stand alone) the husband's happiness,
The soul-felt joy, (divinest bliss on earth)
Of giving happiness to those we love.

"How can I paint maternal tenderness,
Maternal love ?—No verse can show the tear,
The silent tear, which sparkling in each eye,
Express'd the mother's feelings at the sight
Of those dear pledges of heav'n-hallow'd love,
Which absence had still more endear'd. Nor less
The father, though by heav'n indued with strength,
With fortitude of mind, by heav'n forbid
To wear the weakness of a woman's heart,
Not less he feels the agonizing joy
At th' interesting tender moment, when
His children cling about his feet, while one,
Of age maturer, climbs his trembling knee,
The envied kiss to snatch; while all
In silent language, still most eloquent,
Language inspired, the immediate gift of heav'n,
Explain the blessing of their sire's return.

"But stop, advent'rous bard—release thy friend,
And drop descriptions where thou'rt sure to fail;
Descriptions which deserve the painter's toil,
Which Dance or Zoffany could best express,
And teach the glowing canvass to explain
To thy friend's eyes his heart. O may that heart
Long glow with vital warmth! late be the day
When, yielding back its mortal part to earth,
It soars to join the beatific choir,
And taste those joys reserv'd for souls like thine!

"Nor think this wish unkind! The world requires,
Thy friends demand examples such as thine.
Virtue abash'd, in this degen'rate age
Needs that support which thou so well canst give.
Happy in nature's and in fortune's smiles, 'Tis thine to make the guilty blush, to show
Virtue in her own form how lovely, thine
To set religion in her fairest light,
And vindicate the ways of God to man."

"Lydd, March 23, 1770.

"What the d , am I to write like an angel in verse

and prose, and not receive an answer? Then, Pistol, lay

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