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Barrells, March 22d, 1747-8. *HE apprehension that the farmer who car

ried Inigo Jones's designs, and a letter in the book from me to you, may have delivered them to' a wrong perfon at Birmingham, is the occafion of my troubling you with this, to know that I did not fail to send it the very first market day after I received the favour of yours; and he says he delivered it to a man at the post-house, but the post-mistress (who, they tell me, is not the mildest nor most obliging dame) assured Parson Holyoak, she received no fuch thing; and upon his asking her, if the happened to have any letter since, directed for me, she said, No! neither did she know me, or would trouble herself about it. Which I mention, that in case you write, you will be pleased to fend your's to Master Franky Holyoak, at Mr. Bolton's, wholesale Toymaker, upon SnowHill, in Birmingham. This (if you

This (if you did not receive the book) will serve, I hope, to convince you, Sir, that I did my part, being incapable of neglecting to do what my friends desire.

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1 acquainted you in my last that I was tame, but I am now much better, and always Your obliged humble servant,





Barrells, Easter Sunday: 1748. T is rather to oblige the ambulatory old

gentlewoman who delivers you your letters with so much alacrity, than it is to oblige her best master, that I write again fo foon; for I am too sensible my letters will but ill repay the pleasure I receive from bis ; so that I ought to make a longer pause, and not interrupt my friends in better company, better thoughts, and better diversions, as Swift expresses it. If that confideration was just, which made him pause a few weeks betwixt his letters, I ought to pause years, or rather never write at all; that would be more polite ; but it would make me fancy myfelf ungrateful, and confequently make me hate myfelf. It is therefore felf-love which urges me to take this early opportunity of returning thanks for your


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last letter, wrote on Lady-Day. However depressed your spirits might be when you wrote it, it revived mine ; for it is not in the power even of the north-east wind to depress your genius ; and to that we owe thoughts which must please, however negligently they may be dressed: - the stiffen-bodied gown would not add charms, I believe, to a beautiful woman, no more than Voiture's laboured turns of expression add to his stile: and friendship undoubtedly shews itself in the best light, when least adorned by art. Therefore I hope you will never deprive me of the pleasure your letters give me, nor defer it, because your spirits may not just then allow you to send them out in their best apparel; it is fufficient you can do fo; and they'll always be as welcome to me in their common garb, which is yet richer than you seem to imagine. I follow the rule I give, and write what comes uppermost; but it is in me a fault, as I am not privileged to do so by any of the gifts of nature, except artless sincerity be one.

I read your four sonnets with much pleasure ; and am obliged to you for the trouble of transcribing them : they are truly poetical, yet have an ease as well as delicacy in the turn of thought and expression, which must, I believe, be agreeable to all, whether good judges by their Bill and learning, or only judges of good sense and nature. If Dodsley gives a second edition of his well-chosen collection, I hope you will not let your School-mistress be unaccompanied by all her parent's offspring. Now that the boisterous baneful month of March is over, and that the sun resumes his power, I hope, and shall expect to see the productions of your imagination, as much as I shall expect to see those of my parterre, my shrubbery, or grove; and if joined to that satisfaction I have your company here, I shall give double praises to the returning spring. Mr. Whistler, or any friend of yours, will be perfectly welcome; but remember, that though I shall be a great gainer by his conversation, I shall also be a loser by his hearing mine, and his seeing this poor hermitage ; of both which he may perchance have formed an advantageous idea, by your partial account of them; and that idea will instantly be destroyed, unless


have been as silent as Mr. Outing was about the Leafowes, before I had seen it: his caution was well judged, but wrong placed. But to thew you that I do not prefer fame (especially unmerited fame) to pleasure and improvement, I desire you to bring him, though at the expence of his being undeceived. I have read over his Shuttlecock several times, and each time with redoubled pleasure. 'Tis certainly a beautiful poem: I own myself a very

a indifferenç judge, but it pleases me. It is an uncommon performance, and what many older and more famed poets would be proud of, whatever

juvenile faults there may be in it; but, I think, the author's youth may rather be remarked by the great spirit and vivacity of his thoughts, than by any errors in his judgment; but if


such there be, you are his friend, and will have a very easy task in your criticism, if you

should object to a few words, in order to let it appear perfect to the world, if our present world is elegant enough to be worthy of it. Its name, and part of its character, had reached my ears before I faw it, but not from you. I think his fimilies exceeding apt, and his digressions just and lively: if so fight a subject, at so early an age, could be worked up so well, he certainly is capable of raising the intrinsic value of any more weighty, or more lofty subject he undertakes.

Your remark upon Fitzosborne's Letters is most just; for letters that are, or even seem to be, wrote for the press, never please like others : yet they are, I think, wrote in good language, and shew, I believe, polite learning and judgment; and the stile would be unexceptionable, I fancy, in Eliys; but familiar letters require a



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