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with your employment in Westminster-Hall, I cannot help telling you, that for as many days as you can spare between this time and the meeting of parliament you will find warm bed, and a hearty welcome at Chilbol

Mrs. Shipley and her daughters desire their compliments, and join in the invitation.

I am, &c.




Dec. 20, 1781. Since I received your obliging letter an interval of six months has elapsed, but in all that interval, I have either been deeply engaged in professional labours, or confined by illness: I have enjoyed no rest. At this moment I am slowly recovering from a severe inflammatory disorder; yet your let


fine sonnets have remained conftantly on my mind, and I now take up my

you most warmly for the pleafure which they have given me. friend Watson has seen the noble wreath of

ter and

pen to thank

I hope my

laurel which your animated muse has woven for him. I entreat you to send me the two others, which I long to see. The few copies which were printed of the Latin ode are so dispersed, that I have not one for myself, and would print a few more, if a learned friend of mine had not engaged to publish it with notes, historical and critical, for want of which, it is in some parts obscure. You may depend on receiving one of the first copies that can see the light, and my feven Arabian

poets will wait upon you as soon as the European dresses are finished. I take the liberty to enclose an ode compofed without preparation, and almost without any premeditation : it is the work of a few hours. In truth, when I attended the wedding, I had no thought of writing, but the young ladies would not hear of an excuse:

an excuse: you must therefore make all due allowance for poetry by coinpulsion.

I am, &c.


January 5, 1782. O la bella cosa il far niente! This was my exclamation, my dear Lord, on the 12th of last month, when I found myself, as I thought, at liberty to be a rambler, or an idler, or any thing I pleased : but my mal di gola took ample revenge


abuse and contempt of it, when I wrote to you, by confining me twelve days with a fever and quinsey: and I am now so cramped by the approaching session at Oxford, that I cannot make any long excursion. I enclose gical song of “ á shepherdess going," with Mazzanti's music, of which my opinion at present is, that the modulation is


artificial, and the harmony good, but that Pergolefi.(whom the modern Italians are such puppies as to undervalue) would have made it more pathetic and heart-rending, if I may compose such a word. I long to hear it sung by Mrs. Poyntz. Pray present the enclosed, in my name, to Lady Althorp. I

my tra

hope that I shall in a short time be able to think of you, when I read these charming lines of Catullus*:

And soon to be completely blest,

Soon may a young Torquatus rise ;
Who, hanging on his mother's breast,

To his known sire shall turn his eyes,
Out-stretch his infant arms awhile,
Half ope his little lips and smile.

(Printed Translation.)


What a beautiful picture! can Dominichino equal it? How weak are all arts in comparison of poetry and rhetoric ! Instead however of Torquatus, I would read Spen

Do you not think that I have difcovered the true use of the fine arts, namely, in relaxing the mind after toil? Man was born for labour; his configuration, his paffions, his restlessness, all prove it; but labour would wear him out, and the purpose of it

* The original is quoted by Mr. Jones :

Torquatus volo parvulus,
Matris è gremio suæ
Porrigens teneras manus,
Dulce rideat ad patrem,
Semi-hiante labello.

be defeated, if he had not intervals of pleafure; and unless that pleasure be innocent, both he and society must suffer. Now what pleasures are more harmless, if they be nothing else, than those afforded by polite arts and polite literature ? Love was given us by the Author of our being as the reward of virtue, and the solace of care; but the base and fordid forms of artificial, (which I oppose to natural,) fociety in which we live, have encircled that heavenly rose with fo many thorns, that the wealthy alone can gather it with prudence. On the other hand, mere pleasure, to which the idle are not justly entitled, foon fatiates, and leaves a vacuity in the mind more unpleasant than actual pain, A just mixture, or interchange of labour and pleasures, appears alone conducive to such happiness as this life affords.

Farewell. I have no room to add my useless name, and still more useless professions of friendship


The sentiments expressed in this letter do

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