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trary, the epithet caos feems to have been added by Homer, in order to reconcile us to the meanness of the action, by reminding us of the high character of the person who is engaged in it; and, as Mr. Addifon ob ferves of Virgil's husbandman, that "he “toffes about his dung with an air of grace"fulness;" one may, with the fame truth; fay of Homer's hero, that he lights his fire with an air of dignity.

I INTENDED to have closed these hafty objections, with laying before you fome of thofe paffages, where Mr. Pope seems to have equalled, or excelled his original. But I perceive I have already extended my letter beyond a reasonable limit: I will referve therefore that more pleafing, as well as much eafier tafk, to fome future occafion. In the mean time, I defire you will look upon these remarks, not as proceeding froni a fpirit of cavil (than which I know not any more truly contemptible) but as an inftance of my having read your favorite poet with that attention, which his own unequalled merit and your judicious recommendation moft defervedly claim. I am, &c.


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HAVE had occafion a thousand times fince I faw you, to wish myself in the land where all things are forgotten; at least, that I did not live in the memory of certain restlefs mortals of your acquaintance, who are vifitors by profeffion. The misfortune is, no retirement is fo remote, nor fanctuary fo facred, as to afford a protection from their impertinence: and tho' one were to fly to the defart, and take refuge in the cells of faints and hermits, one should be alarmed with their unmeaning voice, crying even in the wilderness. They fpread themselves, in truth, over the whole face of the land, and lay wafte the fairest hours of converfation. For my own part (to speak of them in a ftyle fuitable to their taste and talents) I look upon them, not as paying vifits, but vifitations; and am never obliged to give audience to one of this fpecies, that I do not confider myself as under a judgment for thofe numberlefs hours, which I

have spent in vain. If these fons and daughters of idlenefs and follý would be perfuaded to enter into an exclufive society among themselves, the reft of the world might poffefs their moments unmolested: but nothing lefs will fatisfy them than opening a general commerce, and failing into every port where choice or chance may drive them. Were we to live, indeed, to the years of the antediluvians, one might afford to refign fome part of one's own time, in charitable relief of the unfufferable weight of theirs ; but fince the days of man are shrunk into a few hafty revolutions of the fun, whole afternoons are much too confiderable a facrifice to be offered up to tame civility. What heightens the contempt of this character, is, that they who have fo much of the form, have always least of the power of friendship: and tho' they will craze their chariot wheels (as Milton expreffes it) to destroy your repose; they would not drive half the length of a street to affift your diftrefs.

Ir was owing to an interruption from one of these obfequious intruders, that I was prevented keeping my engagement

with you yesterday; and you

muft indulge

me in this discharge of my invective against the ridiculous occafion of fo mortifying a disappointment. Adieu.




O be able to fupprefs my acknowledg-.. ments of the pleasure I received from your approbation, were to fhew that I do not deserve it; for is it poffible to value the praife of the judicious as one ought, and yet be filent under its influence? I can with ftrict truth fay of you, what a Greek poet faid of Plato, who, reading his performance to a circle where that great philofopher was prefent, and finding himself deferted at length by all the reft of the company, cried out, "I will proceed nevertheless; for "Plato is himself an audience."

TRUE fame, indeed, is no more in the gift than in the poffeffion of numbers, as it is only in the disposal of the wife and the


impartial. But if both those qualifications must concur to give validity to a vote of this kind, how little reafon has an author to be either depreffed or elated by general censure or applause?

THE triumphs of genius are not like those of antient heroifm, where the meanest сарtive made a part of the pomp, as well as the nobleft. It is not the multitude, but the dignity of those that compose her followers, that can add any thing to her real glory; and a fingle attendant may often render her more truly illuftrious, than a whole train of common admirers. I am fure at least, I have no ambition of drawing after me vulgar acclamations; and whilft I have the. happiness to enjoy your applaufe, I shall always confider myself in poffeffion of the trueft fame. I am, &c.





OU who never forget any thing, can tell me, I dare fay, whofe obfervation it is, that" of all the actions of our

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