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for they deserve to be so, who (aand even ayatin) seek truth in the spirit of love.
Adieu !-I have no more strength.—My affectionate last adieu to your lady.
DR. HERRING TO WILLIAM DUNCOMBE, ESQ.
Barley *, Aug. 20, 1728. I RECEIVED your letter yesterday at this place, upon my return liome, having been for a fortnight upon a visit to some friends at Norwicht. Your letter unfortunately came bither the day after I left the place. I call it “ unfortunately," because, though it was a circumstance I could not help, I am really concerned that so kind and obliging a remembrance of me should be so long without a suitable acknowledgment. You will excuse me if I take the opportunity from this last favour to profess myself much obliged to you for others which I have received from you, more particularly for that which stands distinguished in my memory as one of the most generous and disinterested offers of friendship which ever I received from
* Near Royston, in Hertfordshire. Dr. Herring had been collated to thie rectory, by Bishop Fleetwood, of Ely, to whom he was chaplain, Dec. 7, 1722. He was at this time also preacher 10 the society of Lincoln's Inn, having been so appointed in 1726.
* Dr. Herring was born in Norfolk, at Walsoken, of which his father was rector, in 1693.
any one, since I have been acquainted with the world*. It is a circumstance in my life, which remember with very particular gratitude to you and pleasure to myself. You are very kind again to follow me into my country retirement, and to withdraw yourself from the conversation or your friends in town to pay me a visit here; for, next to doing it in person, a letter is the most acceptable thing. It is next to the conntenan a friend, and, like that, inspires a certain cheerful. ness and vivacity: a thing which is sometimes wanted in the conntry the country; for, whatever we may
for whatever w think of the pleasures of solitude and contemplas tion, in the noise and
e noise and hurry of company and business, life cannot nade
e, cannot pass off any where agreeably, without the intercourse of friendship and conversation; and this intimation you will please to accept from me as bespeaking a continuance of that correspondence, which you have so obligings begun.
I have not seen the pamphlet you mention, but
This refers to two letters (first printed, without a name, 'n the Whitehall Evening Post, in March and April 1728) in justia fication of the doctrine maintained in a sermon preached by Di. Herring, at Lincoln's Inn Chapel, which had occasioned a great clamour, on account of its alluding to the Beggar's Opera, then exhibiting at the neighbouring theatre, and presuming to condemn it as of pernicious consequence to the practice of mo. rality and Christian virtue. Experience confirmed the trucu of this observation, by the many robberies committed daily" the streets during the representation of that
that piece, beyond the example of former times; and several e wards confessed in Newgate, that they
bleves and robbers after
ey raised their courage at the playbouse, by the songs of their hero Macheath, before they jailed forth on their desperate nocturnal.
am exceedingly pleased with the passages which you have quoted out of it. The clearness of the reasoning and the strength of it, bespeak either Dr. Clarke its author, or some other very able hand.' As to the question itself, my sense of it is, that the reasonableness of virtue is its true foundation; and the Creator has formed our minds to such a quick perception of it, that it is, in almost every occurrence of human life, self-evident; but then I am for taking in every possible help to support and strengthen virtue, beauty, moral sense, affection, and even interest; and it seems to me, as if the Creator had adapted various arguments to secure the practice of it, to the various tempers of men and the different solicitations which they meet with. And virtue, thus secured and guarded, may, perhaps, not unfitly be compared to these buildings of a Gothic taste, which, though they have a good foundation, are furnished nevertheless (against all accidents) with many outward sup.
ports and buttresses, but so contrived and ad. · justed by the architect, that they do not detract
from, but even add to the beauty and grandeur of the building.
I shall expect, with great pleasure, your critical essay, which will be safely conveyed to me, if left for that purpose with Mr. Herring, a draper at the Golden Artichoke in Lombard-street. I am, &c.
DR. HERRING TO WILLIAM DUNCOMBE, ESQ.
Barley, Sept. 16, 1728. I HAVE a letter of yours now before me which I cannot tell how to answer in the manner which I ought; it is so very obliging that I cannot satisfy myself with only returning thanks for it in the nsual style, unless you will promise to give a much stronger signification to “ the usual style,” than it commonly bears; and in that sense, let it be as high as you please, I desire my thanks may be conveyed to you. This is the more due to you, because we correspond upon such unequal terms; and while you send me letters full of entertainment, I make my return in letters full of-nothing.
I was exceedingly pleased with the verses to Euryalus *, and never read any in that strain which are good, without reflecting how well it would go with the world if the Muses were always retained in the service of virtue.
I have read over your criticisms npon Tindal's translationt, and think them exceedingly just and necessary; such hasty mercenary translators really put an affront upon the public, and seem to take for granted that men have neither taste nor judg. ment. The inaccuracies of style and lownesses of
* Mr. Jobn Carleton, on his coming of age.
+ Of Rapin's History, in a pamphlet, entitled “ Remarks on Mr. Tindal's Translation, &c. In a letter to S. T. [Sigismund Tratford, ) Esq.”
expression, and the many omissions in this translation, are prodigiously offensive. The history of Rapin Thoyras is so much debased and mangled by them, that one would think the translator had a design upon his character, and intended to make him appear ridiculous, by putting him into an awkward English dress; for really, if Mr. Tindal does not take a little more pains, Rapin Thoyras will become of the same class with the rest of our English historians. The Guardian*, I remember, has made a few very just observations upon the style of the great lord Verulam, which if Mr. Tindal had considered, he would not have fallen, as he often does, into that very vulgar and abject manner of expression.
The most considerable part of your letter is still behind; for 1 do assure you, notwithstanding it was all acceptable to me in a peculiar manner, there was a little postcript at the bottom of it, which drew my attention more than all the rest. There was something so genteel, and at the time so sincerely kind in it, that I must put it upon you as a friend, to help me out in making my acknowledgments. It seems you call such services trifles. I do not think them so; but if your judgment was true, Mrs. Duncombe has shewed that she has so much of her sex's art, as to set off even trifles to prodigious advantage.
October now draws near, and if you retain your design of coming this way, I shall be glad to see you at Barley; but must insist upon it, that you acquaint me with the time, that I may be sure not to be at Cambridge. I am, &c.
* Vol. I. No. xxv.