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dams you have allowed me, with your polite Description of my Farm.
Am I wrong in detaining that Paper ? For positively, these last few Days I have found myself a good deal feverish, and my Head has been so much confused, that I was almost tempted to omit this Message. In this Cafe, I think your Good-nature would have acquitted me of Disrespect : but I could not suffer you to leave the Country with so bad an Opinion of my punctuality
It remains, that I present my best Respects to Dr. TURTON and his Lady, and that I wish you an agreeable Journey to Oxford. I purpose, in a few weeks, that you shall be enabled to fay something more particular, in Regard to M-'s Poetry, in the mean Time, I desire that he would accept my Compliments, and iny Thanks for the Pleasure his Verses have afforded me. Above all Things, assure Mr. ARNOLD of my most unfeigned Esteem; and if he discovers any Partiality for my
Place or me, encourage it, that it may induce him, on a proper Occasion, to favour me once more
with his Company. You see, I am availing myself of your Interest, to make all
L E T T ER VI.
Mr. WHISTLER to W. SHENSTONE, Esq.
fine Things your (I fear prejudiced) Goodnature made you say; at first distrusted them : but when I reflected on the Person who said them, I found a strong Inclination rise in me to believe them ; but how to be convinced I was till at a Lofs; for I know it is in your Power, either to make Flattery pass for Sincerity, or Sincerity (so juftly dreaded from
the Unskilful) pleasing. But be it as it will, I shall be a Gainer by-it ; for if ’ris Flattery, it will give me a fair Reputation, though undeserved, with all who hear it; but if ’ris true, it will assure me, I deserve one from all who can like you bestow one.
You enquired after Mr. D—, He, and his Lady, and Miss B-s, have drank Tea with ne twice within this Fortnight. We went to Christ-Church Prayers together, from thence, arrayed in Gold and Silver, we rushed into St. John's-Chapel, where we stood, knelt and sate, (I won't say prayed) the whole ServiceTime; for you know it is usual there for Strangers to fit in the Choir, which we did, to the great Advantage both of the Fan and the Snuff-Box, which were neither of thein long unemployed, during Divine Service. You know they are great Helps to Devotion : Snuff certainly composes, and a Fan may waft a Soul to Heaven before it is aware.
Mrs. L- still perseveres. She gave it out before she had seen her, that Miss B- Was like a Cat, which when she found Miss B
had heard, she wrote a Letter to excuse herfelf, and concluded most emphatically with these Words, “ No, Madain, I am not quite “ so unbred; it was not I, but Common“ Fame, said you were like a Cat.” I really think here, that Mrs. L- topt Mrs. L-'s Part. Mr. G- is still a Prude; I see him sometimes, but should be glad to see him oftener. I know no one Circumstance, but Breach of Sincerity, that can ever be a Reason with me to Night my Friends. If a Friend of mine had broke all Laws, both human and divine, yet had conspicuously preserved his Integrity to me, I should only think myself the more obliged to him, and though I pitied him, would never forsake, him first; I should think he had a higher Notion of Friendship, and that that was the only Tie which he dared not violate, for which Reason I would not dare to be a greater Villain than he. I don't know how this Thought came into my Head, but you see I was willing to spin it to its full Length; if I have gone too far, you must impute it to that Rapture of Friendship with which I am yours eternally, Oxford.
A. WHISTLER. Do write!
LET TER VII.
Mr. WHISTLER to W. SHENSTONE, Esq.
Lawyer, called, I suppose, in Hebrew, Belzebub; at least, I am confident, Lawyer is buç a fynonimous Term for the Devil. I have stayed, and must stay, to sign fome Parchments, which cannot be done without me; and his Delay has caused mine, in not answering your kind Letter before. I must likewise go to Winchester on the fame Business, so that, to put you out of a disagreeable Expectation, I pluck up Resolution to tell you, I am afraid I cannot wait upon you this Summer ; once to resist your Kindness, and my own Inclination, in my Opinion, is a great Act of Resolution, at least would be so, if I had any Degree of Choice left me: but as it is, I think the enduring my Disappointment a great Trial of my Patience. Mr. GRAVES will witness the