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cursion to the enchanting Isle of Wight, which I think, and verily believe, has not its equal in our king's dominions : the woods in full foliage running down to the water's edge; but the women! the women! every where angelic, are here archangels; but of this when we meet. I do not write now, I only desire you to put it in my power to write, as writing to you is next to the satisfaction of receiving your letters, one of the greatest I enjoy.
“Adieu, where'er thou art,
66 R. C."
6 Oh, as I shall be in London in a month, pray am I to lodge and board, or board and lodge, or only board, or only lodge, or neither, at your chambers ?”
Lydd, March 23d, 1771. “ If you had any idea of a stupid matrimonial tête-à-tête, you might guess possibly how my wife and I were sitting when your letter arrived this afternoon. She was reading Harris's Collection, and I, Mezeray; the latter flew to the other end of the room in an instant, and in the scuffle for the first perusal of the letter, poor Harris had well nigh got himself in the fire, but I rescued him, at the expence of her having half read the first page. However, nature having endowed the male of every species with strength sufficient at least to overcome the females, and I putting that strength to instant exertion, at length obtained the letter, and for want of something better to do, am immediately scratching
And so you have at last, upon mature consideration, found out that patience is a very convenient as well as necessary virtue. Necessary it certainly is, to excuse the many seeming deficiencies in friendship, which will occur from the many cross turnings in the labyrinth of life. At the time when you expected a letter, your friend
might be in the house of feasting, or perhaps in the house of mourning; he might be on a journey, might be stupid, might be peevish, or might be sick; for, though strange it is to tell, I assure you I have found myself in each of these situations; but you have made it all up with an hyperbolical compliment, so I shall forget it, after having just hinted that no people have less reason to complain, on the whole, of neglect, than those I have the pleasure of corresponding with
“ Pray, Sir, did you ever read Tillotson? I suspect you never did; for I think that, so far from debasing our Redeemer, he has most nobly defended him in some very fine and very long discourses expressly on the subject. As to Clarke's Attributes, the Incarnation did not immediately fall in with his subject, and if he has disobliged you, it must rather be by his silence than his arguments. I assure you, these are subjects on which you and I shall never dispute, as we are entirely of similar sentiments; and I believe when G. and I enter into long discussions, it is more for the sake of finding something to say, when the course of correspondence grows languid, than for
66 Caitiffs avaunt! talk not to me! avaunt!
Shall shugs of demiwolves, and water-rugs,
High in prowess, high in fame,
“ 'Tis Liberty, sweet Liberty alone,
Draws me from my native home!
6 Adieu, ye social joys of Lydd !
I should live a man forbid;
Did I not waken at her call,
Forsake my children, wife, and all,
“ Fancy paints the long-drawn line Where Robert Cobb in pedigrean pomp shall shine;
Children unborn from me shall claim
The honours of their glorious name,
“ Sink not, for shame, in sloth's dull lap;
Arise, put on that glorious cap,
or else, - what then? — let's see,
“ Lydd, May 30, 1777. “ It is an unaccountable th but I have sent all over the town and cannot get a lemon, and if I have no lemon I can make no punch, and if I make no punch I can make no letter: the thing is absolutely impossible. • Have you been to the Dolphin, James?" "Yes, Sir, but they have none; and they say you owe them for two already.' Why, then, I cannot write to Bowdler. O thou gentle goddess of bergamot, (for I suppose thee to be the very essence of lemon) hover, I beseech thee, around my head, and deign to guide my quill. What, though there smokes not on my board the draught nectareous, high flavoured with the rich product of the western world, and wafted on the wings of Zephyr to our frigid clime, long ere rebellion's tooth had taught the anana not to bloom — what, though I have only to offer thee the blushing juice which Lusitanian hills have ripened, — Well, thou knowest I oft have on thine altar poured the rich libation. Come, then, thou Sapphirewing’d, - but you see it won't do, Bowdler, and so good night.
- R. C.” 66 How comes it to pass,
should never have told me of Rowley's Poems ? and how strange is it that I should talk of nothing else for four hours the other day with Miss Carter."
Among Mr. Bowdler's companions at this period, was a person mentioned in one of these letters, possessed of considerable poetical talent, and of great taste and power in theatrical declamation. He was bred a solicitor, but being sometimes perhaps inclined to “pen a stanza when he should engross,” he addressed his friend in language suited to the taste of both. Some extracts from a poetical letter may be pleasing.
“ In prose we fearless laugh, and freely pour
And thence elate, (tho' servilely confined)
“ While you * from fam’d Augusta's walls remove,
* “ While you,” &c. - Vide Addison's Letter to Lord Halifax.