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love you much, both for her sake, and for your stead, and has a share in my warmest affections.
own. The world could not have furnished you Pray tell her so! Neither do I at all forget my all any bent i
with a present so acceptable to me, as the picture cousin Harriet. She and I have been many a shall nekirke
which you have so kindly sent me. I received it time merry at Catfield, and have made the parIt is a pret ? the night before last, and viewed it with a tre- sonage ring with laughter. Give my love to her. ad and as
pidation of nerves and spirits somewhat akin to Assure yourself, my dearest cousin, that I shall I shai
what I should have felt, had the dear original receive you as if you were my sister; and Mrs.
presented herself to my embraces. I kissed it, Unwin is, for my sake, prepared to do the same. Fil content
and hung it where it is the last object that I see When she has seen you, she will love you for I from
at night, and of course the first on which I open your own.
well, and am an ocular witness of the great fide- all, and with Mrs. Unwin's kind respects, am, my work up
lity of the copy. I remember too a multitude of My dear, dear Rose, ever yours, W. C. wist op
the maternal tendernesses which I received from
Let it not be long
TO JOHN JOHNSON, ESQ.
Weston, Feb. 28, 1790.
He is amiable to a degree (though you are welcome to write to Mrs. Unwin that I have seldom seen, and I often long with im- as often as you please, I wish anyself to be numpatience to see him again.
bered among your correspondents. My dearest cousin, what shall I say in answer I shall find time to answer you, doubt it not! your affectionate invitation? I must say this, Be as busy as we may, we can always find time I can not come now, nor soon, and I wish with all to do what is agreeable to us. By the way, had my heart I could. But I will tell you what may you a letter from Mrs. Unwin? I am witness be done perhaps, and it will answer to us just as that she addressed one to you before you went well: you and Mr. Bodham can come to Weston, into Norfolk; but your mathematico-poetical head can you not? The summer is at hand, there are forgot to acknowledge the receipt of it, roads and wheels to bring you, and you are nei I was never more pleased in my life than to ther of you translating Homer. I am crazed that learn, and to learn from herself, that
my dearest I can not ask you all together for want of house- Rose* is still alive. Had she not engaged me to room; but for Mr. Bodham and yourself, we have love her by the sweetness of her character when a good room, and equally good for any third, in the child, she would have done it effectually now, by shape of a Donne, whether named Hewitt, Bod- making me the most acceptable present in the ham, Balls, or Johnson, or by whatever name dis- world, my own dear mother's picture. I am pertinguished. Mrs. Hewitt has particular claims upon me; she was my playfellow at Berkham
than te richt lored harga:
to him ishte
than w llore nero
• Mrs. Anne Bodham.
haps the only person living who remembers her, but I remember her well, and can attest on my
TO LADY HESKETH. own knowledge, the truth of the resemblance.
The Lodge, March 8, 1790. Amiable and elegant as the countenance is, such MY DEAREST COCSIN, exactly was her own; she was one of the tender I thank thee much and oft for negotiating so est parents, and so just a copy of her is therefore well this poetical concern with Mrs. and to me invaluable.
for sending me her opinion in her own hand. I I wrote yesterday to my Rose, to tell her all should be unreasonable indeed not to be highly this, and to thank her for her kindness in send- gratified by it, and I like it the better for being ing it! Neither do I forget your kindness, who modestly expressed. It is, as you know, and it intimated to her that I should be happy to possess shall be some months longer, my daily business to it.
polish and improve what is done, that when the She invites me into Norfolk, but alas she might whole shall appear she may find her expectations as well invite the house in which I dwell; for all answered. I am glad also that thou didst send other considerations and impediments apart, how her the sixteenth Odyssey, though, as I said be is it possible that a translator of Homer should fore, I know not at all at present whereof it is lumber to such a distance! But though I can not made: but I am sure that thou wouldst not have comply with her kind invitation, I have made my sent it, hadst thou not conceived a good opinion self the best amends in my power by inviting her, of it thyself, and thought that it would do me creand all the family of Donnes, to Weston. Per- dit. It was very kind in thee to sacrifice to this haps we could not accommodate them all at once, Minerva on my account. but in succession we could; and can at any time For my sentiments on the subject of the Test find room for five, three of them being females, Act, I can not do better than refer thee to my and one a married one. You are a mathematician; poem, entitled and called " Expostulation." I tell me then how five persons can be lodged in have there expressed myself not much in its fathree beds (two males and three females), and I your; considering it in a religious view; and in a shall have good hope, that you will proceed a se- political one I like it not a jot the better. I am nior optime? It would make me happy to see our neither Tory nor High Churchman, but an old house so furnished. As to yourself, whom I know Whig, as my father was before me; and an enemy to be a subscalarian, or a man that sleeps under consequently to all tyrannical impositions. the stairs, I should have no objection to all, nei Mrs. Unwin bids me return thee many thanks ther could you possibly have any yourself, to the for thy inquiries so kindly made concerning her garret, as a place in which you might be disposed health. She is a little better than of late, but has of with great felicity of accommodation.
been ill continually ever since last Novernber. I thank you much for your services in the tran- Every thing that could try patience and submisscribing way, and would by no means have you sion she has had, and her submission and patience despair of an opportunity to serve me in the same have answered in the trial, though mine on her way yet again ;-write to me soon, and tell me account have often failed sadly. when I shall sce you.
I have a letter from Johnson, who tells me that I have not said the half that I have to say, but he has sent his transcript to you, begging at the breakfast is at hand, which always terminates my same time more copy. Let him have it by all epistles.
means; he is an industrious youth, and I love him What have you done with your poem? The dearly. I told him that you are disposed to love trimming that it procured you here has not, I hope, him a little. "A new poem is born on the receipt put you out of conceit with it entirely; you are of my mother's picture. Thou shalt have it. more than equal to the alteration that it needs. Only remember, that in writing, perspicuity is always more than half the battle. The want of it is the ruin of more than half the poetry that is
* TO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ. published. A meaning that does not stare you in the face is as bad as no meaning, because nobody
The Lodge, March 11, 1790. will take the pains to poke for it. So now adieu MY DEAR FRIEND, for the present. Beware of killing yourself with
I was glad to hear from you, for a line from problems; for if you do, you will never live to be you gives me always much pleasure, but was not another Sir Isaac,
much gladdened by the contents of your letter, Mrs. Unwin's affectionate remembrances attend the state of your health, which I have learned you; Lady Hesketh is much disposed to love you; more accurately perhaps from my cousin, except perhaps most who know you have some little ten in this last instance, than from yourself
, has rather dency the same way.
alarmed me, and even she has collected her infor,
mation upon that subject more from your looks the other half, or the upper part of it, continuing
TO LADY HESKETH.
The Lodge, March 22, 1790.
W.C. To say the truth, I have no fears now about the
success of my Translation, though in time past I
have had many. I knew there was a style someTO MRS. THROCKMORTON.
where, could I but find it, in which Homer ought
to be rendered, and which alone would suit him. The Lodge, March 27, 1790. Long time I blundered about it, cre. I could attain MY DEAREST MADAM,
to any decided judgment on the matter; at first I I SHALL only observe on the subject of your ab- was betrayed by a desire of accommodating my sence that you have stretched it since you went, language to the simplicity of his, into much of the and have made it a week longer. Weston is sadly quaintness that belonged to dur writers of the fifunked without
and here are two of us, who teenth century. In the course of many revisals I will be heartily glad to see you again. I believe have delivered myself from this evil, I believe, en, you are happier at home than any where, which tirely; but I have done it slowly, and as a man is a comfortable belief to your neighbours, because separates himself from his mistress when he is it affords assurance that since you are neither going to marry. I had so strong a predilection in likely to ramble for pleasure, nor to meet with any favour of this style at first, that I was crazol to find avocations of business, while Weston shall continue that others were not as much enamoured with it to be your home, it will not often want you. as myself. At every passage of that sort which I
The two first books of my Iliad have been sub- obliterated, I groaned bitterly, and said to myself, mitted to the inspection and scrutiny of a great I am spoiling my work to please those who have critic of your sex, at the instance of my cousin, as no taste for the simple graces of antiquity. But you may suppose. The lady is mistress of more in measure as I adopted a more modern phraseotongues than a few (it is to be hoped she is single), logy, I become a convert to their opinion, and in and particularly she is mistress of the Greek. She the last revisal, which I am now making, am not returned them with expressions that if any thing sensible of having spared a single expression of the could make a poct prouder than all poets naturally obsolete kind. I see my work so much improved are, would have made me so. I tell you this, be- by this alteration, that I am filled with wonder at cause I know that you all interest yourselves in my own backwardness to assent to the necessity the success of the said Iliad.
of it, and the more when I consider that Milton, My periwig is arrived, and is the very perfection with whose manner I account myself intimately of all periwigs, having only one fault; which is, acquainted, is never quaint, never twangs through
head will only go into the first half of it, the nose, but is every where grand and elegant,
without resorting to musty antiquity for his beau-| have said composed. Very likely—but I am not ties. On the contrary, he took a long stride for- writing to one of that marling generation. ward, left the language of his own day far behind My boy, I long to see thee again. It has hap him, and anticipated the expressions of a century pened some way or other, that Mrs. Unwin and yet to come.
I have conceived a great affection for thee. That I have now, as I said, no longer any doubt of I should, is the less to be wondered at (because the event, but I will give thee a shilling if thou wilt thou art a shred of my own mother); neither is tell me what I shall say in my preface. It is an the wonder great that she should fall into the same affair* of much delicacy, and I have as many predicament: for she loves every thing that I love. opinions about it as there are whims in a weather. You will observe that your own personal right to cock.
be beloved makes no part of the consideration. Send my MSS. and thine when thou wilt. In There is nothing that I touch with so much tena day or two I shall enter on the last Iliad. When derness as the vanity of a young man; because I I have finished it I'shall give the Odyssey one more know how extremely he is susceptible of impresreading, and shall therefore shortly have occasion sions that might hurt him in that particular part for the copy in thy possession; but you see that of his composition. If you should ever prove a there is no need to hurry.
coxcomb, from which character you stand just I leave the little space for Mrs. Unwin's use, now at a greater distance than any young man I who means, I believe, to occupy it.
know, it shall never be said that I have made you And am evermore thine most fruly, W.C. one; no, you will gain nothing by me but the
honour of being much valued by a poor poet, who Postscript in the hand of Mrs. Unanin.
can do you no good while he lives, and has nothing You can not imagine how much your ladyship to leave you when he dies. If you can be conwould oblige your unworthy servant, if you would tented to be dear to me on these conditions, so you be so good to let me know in what point I differ shall; but other terms more advantageous than from you. All that at present I can say is, that these, or more inviting, none have I to propose. I will readily sacrifice my own opinion, unless Farewell. Puzzle not yourself about a subject I can give you a substantial reason for adhering when you write to either of us ; every thing is subto it.
ject enough from those we love. W. C.
TO JOHN JOHNSON, ESQ.
TO JOHN JOHNSON, ESQ.
Weston, April 17; 1790. Your MS. arrived safe in new Norfolk Street, Your letter that now lies before me is almost and I am much obliged to you for your labours. three weeks old, and therefore of full age to reWere you now at Weston I could furnish you with ceive an answer, which it shall without delay, if employment for some weeks, and shall perhaps be the interval between the present moment and equally able to do it in summer, for I have lost my that of breakfast should prove sufficient for the best amanuensis in this place, Mr. George Throck- purpose. morton, who is gone to Bath.
Yours to Mrs. Unwin was received yesterday, You are a man to be envied, who have never for which she will thank you in due time. I have read the Odyssey, which is one of the most amus- also seen, and have now in my desk your letter to ing story-books in the world. There is also much Lady Hesketh; she sent it thinking it would diof the finest poetry in the world to be found in it, vert me; in which she was not mistaken. I shall notwithstanding all that Longinus has insinuated tell her when I write to her next, that you long to to the contrary. His comparison of the Iliad and receive a line from her. Give yourself no trouble Odyssey to the meridian, and the declining sun, on the subject of the politic device you saw good is pretty, but I am persuaded, not just. The pret- to recur to, when you presented me with the mantiness of it seduced him; he was otherwise too judi- uscript; it was an innocent deception, at least it cious a reader of Homer to have made it. I can could harm nobody save yourself; an effect which find in the latter no symptoms of impaired ability, it did not fail to produce; and since the punishnone of the effects of age; on the contrary, it ment followed it so closely, by me at least it may seems to me a certainty, that. Homer, had he writ- very well be forgiven. You ask; how can I tell ten the Odyssey in his youth, could not have writ- that you are not addicted to practices of the deten it better; and if the Iliad in his old age, that ceptive kind? And certainly, if the little time he would have written it just as well. A critic that I have had to study you were alone to be conwould tell me, that instead of written, I should sidered, the question would not be unreasonable ;
ceived me, had 1 room.
but in general a man who reaches my years findsportunity. I am in high spirits on this subject,
and think that I have at last licked the clumsy cub " That long experience does attain To something like prophetic strain."
into a shape that will secure to it the favourable
notice of the public. Let not
TO LADY HESKETH.
Weston, April 30, 1790. When you have shut up your mathematical To my old friend, Dr. Madan, thou couldst not books, you must give yourself to the study of have spoken better than thou didst. Tell him, I Greek; not merely that you may be able to read beseech you, that I have not forgotten him; tell Homer and the other Greek classics with ease, but him also that to my heart and home he will be
the Greek Testament, and the Greek fathers also. always welcome; nor he only, but all that are his. Pro Thus qualified, and by the aid of your fiddle into His judgment of my translation gave me the high
the bargain, together with some portion of the est satisfaction, because I know him to be a raro
Ever yours. W. C. choly pleasure is better than none, nay verily better
than most. He had a sad task imposed on him,
| but no man could acquit himself of such a one TO LADY HESKETH.
with more discretion, or with more tenderness.
The death of the unfortunate young man remind-
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine !
TO MRS. THROCKMORTON.
The Lodge, May 10, 1790. be singularly pleasant.
MY DEAR MRS. FROG,* I am finishing Homer backward, having begun You have by this time (I presume) heard from at the last book, and designing to persevere in the Doctor, whom I desired to present to you our that crab-like fashion, till I arrive at the first. best attections, and to tell you that we are well. This
may remind you perhaps of a certain poet's He sent an urchin (I do not mean a hedge-hog, prisoner in the Bastile (thank Heaven! in the commonly called an urchin in old times, but a Bastile now no more) counting the nails in the boy, commonly so called at present) expecting door for variety's sake in all directions. I find so that he would find you at Buckland's, whither he little to do in the last revisal, that I shall soon reach supposed you gone on Thursday. He sent him the Odyssey, and soon want those books of it charged with divers articles, and among others with which are in thy possession ; the two first of the Iliad, which are also in thy possession, much sooner; * The sportive title generally bestowed by Cowper on his thou must therefore send them by the first fair op-'amiable friends the Throckmortons.
MY DEAREST COZ,