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countenance in a former; and by those too, who had as much true gallantry and good-fense as one ufually meets with in this.-But affections which are founded in truth and nature ftand not in need of any precedent to support them; and I esteem it my honor no less than my happiness, that I am, &c.




D'when I

ID you imagine I was really in earnest when I talked of quitting *** and withdrawing from those gilded prospects which ambition had once fo ftrongly fet in my view? But my vows, you see, are not in the number of those which are made to be broken for the retreat I had long meditated, is now, at laft, happily executed. To fay truth, my friend, the longer I lived in the high fcenes of action, the more I was convinced that nature had not formed me for bearing a part in them and tho' I was once fo unexperienced in the


ways of the world as to believe I had talents, as I was fure I had inclination, to serve my country, yet every day's converfation contributed to wean me by degrees from that flattering delufion.

How indeed could a man hope to render himself acceptable to the various parties which divide our nation, who profeffes it as his principle, that there is no striking wholly into the measures of any, without renouncing either one's fenfe or one's integrity and yet, as the world is at present constituted, it is scarce poffible, I fear, to do any good in one's generation (in public life I mean) without lifting under fome or other of those various banners, which distinguish the several corps in these our political warfares. To thofe, therefore, who may have curiofity enough to enter into my concerns, and ask a reason for my quitting the town, I anfwer, in the words of the hiftorian, Civitatis morum tædet pigetque. But I am wandering from the purpose of my letter, which was not so much to fo justify my retreat, as to incline you to fol low me into it: to follow me, I mean, as a vifitor only; for I love my country too M 2


well to call you off from thofe great fervices you are capable of doing her.

I HAVE pitched my tent upon a spot which I am perfuaded will not displease you. My villa (if you will allow me to call by that fine name, what, in truth, is no better than a neat farm-house) is fituated upon a gentle rife, which commands a short, tho' agreeable view of about three miles in circumference. This is bounded on the north by a ridge of hills, which afford me at once both a fecure fhelter and a beauti. ful profpect; for they are as well cultivated as the most fertile vallies. In the front of my house, which ftands fouth-eaft, I have a view of the river that runs, at the diftance of fomewhat lefs than a quarter of a mile, at the end of my grounds; and after making several windings and returns, seems to lose itself at the foot of those hills I just now mentioned. As for my garden, I am obliged to nature for its chief beauties; having no other (except a small spot which I have allotted for the purpofes of my table) but what the fields and meadows afford. Thefe, however, I have embellished with fome care, having intermixed among the


hedges all the feveral forts of flowering fhrubs.

BUT I must not forget to mention what I look upon to be the principal ornament of the place; as indeed I do not recollect to have seen any thing of the kind in our English plantations. I have covered a small spot with different forts of ever-greens, many of which are of a fpecies not very usual in our country. This little plantation I have branched out into various labyrinthwalks, which are all terminated by a small temple in the centre. I have a double advantage from this artificial wood: for it not only affords me a very fhady retreat in fummer, but, as it is fituated oppofite to my library, fupplies me in winter with a perspective of the most agreeable verdure imaginable.

WHAT heightens the relish of this retirement, is the company of Cleora ;

of my as indeed many of the best improvements I have made in it, are owing to hints which I have received from her exquisite taste and judgment. She will rejoice to receive you as her guest here; and has given it me in charge to remind you, that you have promised to be fo. As the business of parlia

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ment is now drawing to a conclufion, I may urge this to you without any imputation upon my patriotism; tho' at the same time I must add, I make a very confiderable facrifice of private intereft whenever I refign you for the fake of the public, Adieu,




RE you aware, Hortenfius, how far I may mislead you, when you are willing to refign yourself to my guidance, thro' the regions of criticifm? Remember, however, that I take the lead in these paths, not in confidence of my own fuperior knowledge of them, but in compliance with a request, which I never yet knew how to refuse. In short, Hortenfius, I give you my fentiments, because it is my fentiments you require: buț I give them at the fame time rather as doubts than decifions.

AFTER having thus acknowledged my infufficiency for the office you have affigned me, I will venture to confefs that the poet


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