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a prodigious tract of ground, seen all possible variety of country, many rich and populous towns and some of the finest seats of the kingdom; and what may give you, by the rules of proportion, a great idea of the importance of this district of England, I am confident I have confirmed above thirty thousand people. I could enter, with pleasure, ipto a minute description of every thing that fell within my observation; but I choose to reserve that, to fill up some agreeable hours when you favour me in the winter with your company at Kensington, where I purpose to be, God willing, before November. But I cannot omit the pleasure I took in my last expedition, which was a visit to Castle-Howard * (where I spent two days), where there is every provision for elegant life, which pleasure and magnificence, conducted with the best economy, can afford. I fancy you are acquainted with this noble seat; for Mr. Bewlay, who is your humble servant and friend, told me you spent some time at York a summer or two ago. I have had some little intercourse with Mr. Bewlay, with whose manner I am much taken. I hope he is as honest as agreeable.
I am in great pain for our affairs in Germany. I pray God send us a good account of them, and, as soon as may be, a lasting peace; for we have heard more than enough of the devastations of war, and famine, and plague ; things that shock all philosophy, and can only be solved by a religion founded in a future life.
Without a bit of flattery, I must commend your
* The seat of the earl of Carlisle,
epistle to Iccius *, which is easy and natural, and a just expression of the poet's sense in one of his most useful hours, when he had laid aside the gallant, and put on the air of the philosopher, I shall také it as a testimony of your friendship, which I desire to continue and improve, if you will favour me, now and then, with any pieces of your own, or such as you approve of others. I ani &c.
EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM MR. DUNCOMBE TO
Firth-street, June 10, 1744. MR. Pope, I hear, has left the bulk of his fortune to Mrs. Blount, a lady to whom, it is thought, be either was, or, at least, onght to have been married. The earl of Marchmont, lord Bathurst, Mr. Murrayt, and Mr. Arbuthnott, are his executors. He has bequeathed all his manuscripts to lord Boling. broke.
I am told that he has left many plans and fragments, but few finished pieces. A report is spread about town, that, during his illness, a dispute happened, in his chamber, between his two physicians, Burton (who is since dead himselfg and Thomson; the former charging the latter with hastening his death, by the violent purges he had prescribed,
Translated from Horace, b. i. epist. 12. + Afterwards earl Mansfield. of the court of exchequer, only son of Dr. Arbuthnot, He survived Mr. Pope not above ten days.
and the other retorting the charge. Mr. Pope at length silenced them, by saying, Gentlemen, I only learn, by your discourse, that I am in a very dangerous way; therefore all I have now to ask is, that the following epigram may be added, after my death, to the next edition of the Dunciad, by way of postscript:
" Dances, rejoice, forgive all censures past'; The greatest dance has kill'd your foe at last.” However, I have been since told, that these lines were really written by Burton himself; and the following epigram, by a friend of Thomson, was occasioned by the foregoing one:
“ As physic and verse both to Phæbus belong,
When his recipe fails, gives a puke with bis wit."
I shall leave the doctor and Mr. Pope, with a few lines taken from a poetical epistle, addressed many years ago to the duke of Chandos, by my friend, Dr. Cowper*, which might pass for an encomium on the latter, if he had made a proper application of his wit and fine genius,
Good-natur’d wit a talent is from heaven,
* Son of judge Cowper, then rector of Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, and one of his majesty's chaplains.
In beauteous colours dresses bome-span truth,
Like you instructs them, and like you delights.” It is impossible to write a letter now without tincturing the ink with tar-water. This is the common topic of discourse both among the rich and poor, high and low; and the bishop of Cloyne has made it as fashionable as going to Vauxhall or Ranelagh. Dr. Carlton (a physician, who lives in the duke of Bedford's family) thinks it may be useful in several cases, but dislikes the bishop's manner of preparing it, in which he thinks the infusion of tar much too strong. However, the faculty in general, and the whole posse of apothecaries, are very angry both with the author and the book, which makes many people suspect it is a good thing. All that I know of it is, that it has relieved two of my friends from stubborn coughs ; at least, they themselves think so.
I have undertaken to be editor of the work * mentioned in those proposals, for two reasons :
First, I really think it worthy the view of the public : and the essays, in particular, filled with curious and uncommon thoughts; and
* “ Poems on several occasions, and two critical essays, viz. the first on the harmony, the variety, and power of numbers, whether in prose or verse, and the other on the numbers of Paradise Lost, written at the desire of Mr. Richardson the printer, in one volume quarto, by Mr. Samael Say.” These essays have been much approved by the best judges. Mr. Say was a dissenting uninister iu Westininster. lle died in 1713.
Secondly, I hope the publication may be of some service to a very good woman, in the decline of life, and one of the best of daughters *.
In a letter from a correspondent at York are these words:
« Our worthy diocesan is now at BishopThorpe, and every day rising in the esteem of this extensive county. The clergy and laity seem to vie with one another in their affection towards him."
The former part of this letter was written before Mr. Pope's will was printed. It seems he was under an odd perplexity about extreme unction. If he did not receive it, it would disgust the catholics; if he did, and should recover, his protestant friends would rally him. It is likely he thought of it, as Augustus of Poland did of his bead-roll-C'est une bagatelle. I am, my lord, &c.
ARCHBISHOP HERRING TO WILLIAM DUNCOMBE,
Bishop-Thorpe, July 1, 1744. You were very obliging in sending me the account you did of Mr. Pope; tor we were so far from knowing any of those particulars of his exit, that we were but just sure that he was gone. He
* Married to Mr. Toins, a dissenting minister, at Hadleigh, in Suffolk.