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THE truth is, I have found fome benefit by the waters; but I fhall not be fo fanguine as to pronounce with certainty of their effects, till I fee how they enable me to pass thro the approaching winter. That feafon, you know, is the time of trial with me; and if I get over the next with more ease than the last, I fhall think myself obliged to celebrate the nymph of these springs in grateful fonnet.
BUT let times and feafons operate as they may, there is one part of me over which they will have no power; and in all the changes of this variable constitution, my heart will ever continue fixed and firmly yours. I am, &c.
To ORONTE S.
May 6, 1735.
ET others confider
ple poffeffions you enjoy: fuffer me to fay, that it is your application of them alone which renders either them or you valuable in my eftimation. Your splendid roofs and elegant accommodations I can
view without the leaft emotion of envy: but when I observe you in the full power of exerting the noble purposes of your exalted generosity—it is then, I confess, I am apt to reflect, with some regret, on the humbler fupplies of my own more limited finances. Nihil habet (to speak of you in the fame language that the first of orators addreffed the greatest of emperors) fortuna tua majus, qùam ut poffis, nec natura melius, quàm ut velis, fervare quamplurimos. To be able to foften the calamities of mankind, and inspire gladness into a heart oppreffed with want, is indeed the noblest privilege of an enlarged fortune: but to exercise that privilege in all its generous refinements, is an inftance of the most uncommon elegance both of temper and understanding.
In the ordinary difpenfations of bounty, little address is required: but when it is to be applied to those of a superior rank and more elevated mind, there is as much charity discovered in the manner as in the meafure of one's benevolence. It is fomething extremely mortifying to a well-formed spirit, to see itself confidered as an object of compaffion;
compaffion; as it is the part of improved humanity to humor this honeft pride in our nature, and to relieve the neceffities without offending the delicacy of the diftreffed.
I HAVE feen charity (if charity it might be called) infult with an air of pity, and wound at the fame time that it healed. But I have seen too the highest munificence dispensed with the most refined tenderness, and a bounty conferred with as much addrefs as the most artful would employ in foliciting one. Suffer me, Orontes, upon this fingle occafion, to gratify my own inclinations in violence to yours, by pointing out the particular instance I have in my view; and allow me, at the fame time, to join my acknowledgments with thofe of the unfortunate perfon I recommended to your protection, for the generous affistance you lately afforded him. I am, &c.
Sept. 5, 1737.
HALL I own to you that I cannot repent of an offence which occafioned me fo agreable a reproof? A cenfure conveyed in fuch genteel terms, charms more than it corrects, and tempts rather than reforms. I am fure at leaft, tho I fhould regret the crime, I fhall always admire the rebuke, and long to kiss the hand that chasteneth in fo pleasing a manner. However, I fhall for the future ftrictly pursue your orders, and have sent you in this fecond parcel no other books than what my own library fupplied. Among these you will find a collection of letters. I do not recommend them to you, having never read them; nor indeed am I acquainted with their characters: but they prefented themselves to my hands as I was tumbling over fome others; fo I threw them in with the rest, and gave them. a chance of adding to your amusement. I wish I could meet with any thing that had
even the least probability of contributing to mine. But,
forlorne of thee, Whether shall I betake me, where fubfift? MILT.
Time, that reconciles one to moft things, has not been able to render your absence in any degree less uneafy to me. I may rather be faid to haunt the house in which I live, than to make one of the family. I walk in and out of the rooms like a reftlefs fpirit: for I never speak till I am spoken to, and then generally answer, like Banco's ghoft in Macbeth, with a deep figh and a nod: Thus abftracted from every thing about me, I am yet quite ruined for a hermit, and find no more fatisfaction in retirement than you do in the company of * * *
How often do I with myself in poffeffi on of that famous ring you were mentioning: the other day, which had the property, of rendering those who wore it invifible. I would rather be mafter of this wonderful unique, than of the kingdom which Gyges+ gained by means of it; as I might then attend you like your guardian angel, with-