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LETTER S.

LETTER I.

W. SHENSTONE, Efq. to

The Leafowes,

Nov. 20, 1762:

My dearest Friend,

cruel Thing,

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T is a very furprising and a that you will not fuppofe me to have been out of Order, after fuch a Neglect of writing, as can hardly be excufed on any other Score. I cannot, indeed, lay Claim to what the Doctors call an acute Difeafe: but Dizzinefs of Head, and Depreffion of Spirits re at VOL. II.

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best no trivial Maladies, and great Difcouragements to writing. There is a lethargic State. of Mind that deferves your Pity, not your Anger; though it may require the Hellebore of sharp Reproof. Why then did you not apply this pungent Remedy, before the Disease was gone fo far? But seriously, I pass too much of that Sort of Time, wherein I am neither well nor ill; and being unable to exprefs myself at large, am averfe to do fo by Halves. From the strange Laconicism of your Letter, I am really in Doubt, whether you are not angry at me; and yet had rather this were owing to Anger that may fubfide, than to any persevering Fondness you may have for fuch unusual Brevity. Should the latter become habitual, I fhall fee the Letters of a Genius dwindle to "per first will advise the Needful." God forbid fuch a Transformation !

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Your former Letter, to my great Confusion, was dated Sept. 18. Let me fpeak first to fome few Parts of it-The Lampreys arrived safe, and were as good as I ever tafted; but every Time I tafted them, I wanted you; and you are mif

taken,

taken, if you imagine, I can half relish fuch Cates alone: however, I return you Thanks.

You gave me no Account how far the Bath Waters, &c. were judged expedient for you. A charitable Action called you up to Town; and you, in the Benevolence of your Heart, prefume, that this accounts for the Neglect of every Advantage that concerned yourfelf. Pray let me know whether the Bath was proper for you at the fame Time inform me, whe ther you were able to ferve Mrs. H. I fhall be forry for you, as well as ber, if you fhould miss the Gratification you would derive from the Succefs of fuch an Endeavour.

Were I rich, I would erect a Temple to Simplicity and Grece; or, as the latter Word would be equivocal, to Simplicity and Elegance. I am glad to hear that Mr. W- has undertaken to deify the former; as he will produce better Grounds for fuch a Confecration than was ever done by Pagans, or by Papifts, on any fuch Occafion. By the Way, I take that Goddefs to be a remarkable Friend to Eafe and Indolence. There is another well-deferving PerB 2 fonage,

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fonage, Delicacy, whofe Caufe has been strangely deferted, by either Mr. MELMOTH, or Dr. LANCASTER.

Will it make better for me, or worse, to fay, I've not yet written to Mr. GRAVES? But I will positively write, within this Week, if it coft me a Dose of Salts to clear my Brain. As to what he fays about my printing immediately, he may be right, and I am fure he is friendly: but more of this in a little Time.

Since the Receipt of your laft Letter, Mr. PERCY and his Wife came and fpent a good Part of the Week here; and be, alfo, would needs write a Defcription of the Leafowes. During the latter Part of his Circuit, my Friend JAGO and I accompanied him; and what was produced on that Occafion, you will go near to know in a little Time. Mean while I am more and more convinced, that no Description of this Place can make any Figure in Print, unless some Strictures upon Gardening, and other Embellishments be fuperadded.

Mr.

Mr. JAGO has been with me twice, having written a Poem in blank Verfe, which he leaves here for my Revifal. 'Tis a defcriptive Poem, called Edge-Hill, and admits an Account of the Battle fought there, together with many legendary Tales and Episodes.

About a Week ago, I paid a Vifit of two or three Days, which I had long promised, to Lord FOLEY. His Table, for a Constancy, is the moft magnificent of any I ever faw: eighteen or twenty elegant Dishes ; a continual Succeffion of Company; his Behaviour, perfectly hofpitable, and his Conversation really entertaining. I moft readily own myself to have been under a Mistake, with Regard to his companionable Character. My Reception was as agreeable as it could poffibly be. As to the reft, he has a moft admirable House and Furniture; but without any Room or Utenfil that would ftand the Teft of modern Criticifim. The Views around him, wild and great; and the Park capable of being rendered fine; twice as ftriking as it is at prefent, if he would fell fome Oaks, under the Value of a Crown, and fome Hawthorns, under the

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