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strong enough. Compared with them, therefore, I may justly speak of you as one of a superior species; and you will supply the comparison, if I do not always express it; and not think me capable of offering incense, which I know you are not capable of receiving. In a word, I would be understood, in all such cases, as expressing the pleasure of a friend, and the sense he has of his happiness in the friendship of one, whose understanding and whose heart are both so free from those uncomfortable imperfections, which very many labour under, even of those who pass through the world with some character and reputation.

I left myself no time, when I last wrote, to say any thing but upon one subject: and I think I am now running on, as if it would be so again. But I stop my pen, for once, in that course. I was not a little concerned to see the war from the press at last break out into an excess. But then, on the other side, what can be proposed by the administration from the prosecution of printers and publishers, now again, after so many disappointments, set on foot? I defy them to name any one instance (excepting the case of high-treason) in which a prosecntion of this sort did not end to the prejudice of the administration, even where they succeeded in the sentence for punishment; much less, where they perhaps can never succeed, but must go on still to be disappointed as they have been already. I wish they would consider this experience, instead of consulting their present anger. I am sure, I could presently name them twenty instances of the truth of what I now say, and, what I have often said to them and theirs, heretofore. One advantage plainly comes to the clergy from these late political controversies, that the laity will never again be able to reproach them as the only masters of scandal and ill language in controversy. For certainly the lay gentlemen have at last outdone them by many degrees; I hope, indeed, enough to make the clergy themselves forsake their bitter style, and their bad manners, upon such occasions ; now they see how shocking and indecent these are even in those who do not profess so much regard for religion as they do. There may be a sort of pleasure in reading the keenness and wit of a writer, and yet it cannot make amends either for the littleness to which he descends, or the enormities he rises to in his wrath.




Jun. 1, 1731-2. In the language of the season, I wish you and Mr. Clayton many happy years; and I do it with the sincerest warmth of a friendly heart. To wish years of life without happiness, is a cruel wish. If this (which we now enter) goes on with me, as it has begun, I am afraid I shall think one more too many. That head which felt to its owner so heavy on Thursday evening, was much worse than heavy all that night and yesterday. My cold increased, and settled in one side of my head. I have felt more pain and misery since, than through

many years before. I am easier this morning; but still in pain: and were it not for that, should feel to myself like one, whom Steele used to describe with half his head cut off. One meaning of all this is, that my not attending the duty of this day at court, may not be imputed to want of heart, but to want of head; or rather to having too much head. The very conversing with you by letter has made me feel it less than I did; and, if I should follow my inclination, I could, as bad as I am, go on to write more than it is fit to trouble you with, such a busy day as this. Take all possible care to go home well, and I will take all I can to be well enough to wait upon you the first minute you will permit me to finish the tale I was interrupted in on Thursday night; and to enjoy a conversation every day more and more highly valued by, madam, your most faithful and obliged servant.



Sept. 11, 1731. You see the temper of your friend. If you do not like it, tell him so quickly; and teach him (if you can) to be a friend, in the peculiar sense of that word, without it. Show bim how it is possible to have the pleasure of such a friendship, without the pain. For, in this case, let all the world say what they will, the pain of care, and fear, and (what is worst of all) loss, must be proportionable to the pleasure of the present good. The indifferent, who value all persons equally, know nothing, I acknowledge, of this uneasiness; but then, they know nothing of the happiness neither. I will not deterinine the question, between the two tempers, for any but myself. I am content with what I feel; and could never prevail with myself to exchange joy and sorrow for a state of constant tasteless indifference. I now come back to your letter. The lady of Sundon, may perhaps know, or fancy she knows, her own imperfections; but is not so well acquainted with her own perfections, I believe, as some others may be. I said nothing to her, or of her, from any partiality of friendship; nor was I afraid of any judgment but her own, to condemn any thing I said. My desire was only, that she would not think I intended flattery; which is unworthy of me to give, or of her to receive. My language upon this subject is the same in conver. sation with others, as it is with yourself ; which I think a very good argument to appeal to : and if I should be so unhappy as to outlive one of my greatest happinesses, my sentiments would break forth, and be known to many, more than they can be now. The bishop who lives at Salisbury, thinks it as great an honour that you express your kind opinion of him, and his manner of living, in one short sentence, as if you had done it with a much greater length of words.




April 17, 1732. If this finds you once more escaped well from the fatigue and disorder of a court waiting, it will be a great joy to me, and I have some hope it will, because I had the pleasure to know from your servant (as I came from the chapel yester. day evening) that at least you were not ill. The chain of life (of which we have sometimes spoke) has been very heavy ever since I saw you; and my heart is now a good deal wounded wịth the news of sir William Willys's death. He had very good sense, great modesty, uncommon humanity, and a beneficence which showed itself in a way that but a few know any thing of. (Let me goon, and pour out a little of my sorrow, though my paper almost forbids me, and I did not design it when I sat down to write.) He had learning enough to make him acceptable to those who had hadłopportunities of gaining more. But it was covered by the ease and unaffected behaviour of the gentle.

Indeed, he had more excellencies than most of his rank take pains to show, or to pretend to. But that which touched me most, his heart was good; and he loved me. He loved me, I bave reason to say it, in so particular a manner, that he either could not, or would not, hide it. And he had that sort of tenderness in showing it, which, when I know it to be real, always capti


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