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Mr. WHISTLER to W. SHENSTONE, Efq.
Whitchurch, Nov. 8.
Received you Pacquet, fraught with every Thing that could delight me. I believe more Wit was never conveyed under the Title of a Peer before; not even excepting your own, which, indeed, you generally export by wholefale in the fame Method. Your Letter led me through an Elyfian Scene, which delighted me fo, that I muft beg Leave to take another Turn with you at prefent therein. There is no Subject I can treat of with fo much Pleasure, and, of Confequence, with fo much Advantage to myself. In the firft Place, Dick J-, in the Point of Light you fet him, diverts me; yet Humanity teaches me to feel a Kind of Pity, as for an Animal that fings and hops about the Cage that has just deprived him of his Liberty. Lady LUXBOROUGH I have seen, but not in her Sanctuary, where
fhe delivers her Oracles, and displays her Eloquence and Elegancies at full. This is what my Soul is a-thirst after; the holy Land of a future Pilgrimage. You have raised a Devotion in me towards her; for we always judge of the Divinity by the Merits of the Prieft. By your Description of Mr. THOMSON, I admire him, and rejoice in your Acquaintance with him. I beg you would cultivate it, for it feems like the Dawning of your Fame, whofe Merit the stupid World only wants to be awakened to fee. If ever you get your due Share of Fame, I infift that you be not a Niggard of it, as many are, but do your utmost Endeavour to communicate it to your Friends-You fee I speak in Time.
As for Mr. L-N's Civility, I have no great Faith in it; I fear he has only fome private End to serve, as an Election or fo: but, however, I would have you nourish it, for it may breed fomething by Chance-It will be a Credit to you at worft-Chance often promotes Lingerers at Court, who have otherwise very little Hope. It may fall out, that by ferving you,
you, he may ferve himself. I fhould like to have feen Signor OUTING, poor Man.
I think the Leafowes a charming Place in itself; but not knowing how in my Imagination at any Time to feparate the Work from the Architect, I believe I give the former infinitely more Adoration than its due, even with all its Improvements. You would often fee me gliding across the Glades, if the Soul was visible. You, indeed, have contrived to make your Soul, as it were, vifible; and a very beautiful Soul it is; particularly in its laft Drefs, which became it exceedingly, I mean Elegy-It was mighty well fancied, and dif fused a tender, languishing Air, its highest Character: I am much indebted to it for this splendid Vifit; spendid I mean in Beauty. The two old Songs likewife were very agreeable to me: but chiefly Giles Collins. As for the Song of the Cat, I am much obliged to you for it: but I think the Author funk quite beneath himself towards the End. The Conclufion was too fudden, and not worked up enough, and befides was exceeding dirty; however, it was improved by your Alterations: upon the whole,
like it, and out of my Devotion for the five firft Stanzas, I have added fix more, which I fubmit to your Judgment, whether I have fupported the true Spirit of the Fragment. Pray excuse that I have prefumed to omit any of your Alterations; because I thought in this new Scheme the Context required it.
I live in Hopes of feeing you at Whitchurch this Winter, and of hearing the happy Tidings when; I beg you will let me know fome Time before you come, that I may get your Bed in order; I have but one; (it was given me, and is none of the largest; indeed, small, which at prefent I lament) otherwife I fhould now give more Invitations; I can entertain but one Friend at a Time: but all my Friends will be fincerely welcome feverally. Again I fay, I lament the Unfociableness of this Scheme, but it is not in my Power to alter it. Mr. G's Affair goes on, I am afraid, unhappily. As for my own Situation, I fhall fay little, but leave you to take a Survey of it, which I hope you will do foon. I think it is calculated for Happiness, if a Perfon of the leaft Delicateffe can be fo. I rejoice in all you have VOL. II.
rejoiced in, and pray for all you pray for, as
Your most affectionate Friend
My Idea of Mifs FLETCHERS is, that they are eafy without Impertinence; a high Idea in my Opinion. Pray give my Compliments to Lord D-, if in the Country.
Mr. WHISTLER to W. SHENSTONE, Efq.
Whitchurch, Nov. 24.
AM very much obliged to you for laft kind Letter, and received your Abfolution with a very contrite Heart, though I affure you my Sin was not wilful; however, it was fuch as