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Who had dar'd dishonour thus
lower end of the room from the upper end of it, I race, and I have a horror both of them and their descried a figure which I immediately knew to be principles. Tacitus is certainly living now, and Milton's. He was very gravely, but very neatly the quotations you sent me can be nothing but exattired in the fashion of his day, and had a coun- tracts from some letter of his to yourself. tenance which filled me with those feelings that
Yours sincerely, W. C. an affectionate child has for a beloved father, such, for instance, as Tom has for you. My first thought was wonder, where he could have been concealed
TO MR. THOMAS HAYLEY. so many years; my second, a transport of joy to find him still alive; my third, another transport to
Weston, March 14, 1793. find myself in his company; and my fourth, a re- MY DEAR LITTLE CRITIC, solution to accost him. I did so, and he received
I THANK you heartily for your observations, on me with a complacence, in which I saw equal which I set an higher value, because they have sweetness and dignity. I spoke of his Paradise instructed me as much, and have entertained me Lost, as every man must, who is worthy to speak more than all the other strictures of our public of it at all, and told him a long story of the man- judges in these matters. Perhaps I am not much ner in which it affected me, when I first discovered more pleased with shameless wolf, &c. than you. it, being at that time a schoolboy. He answered But what is to be done, my little man? Coarse as me by a smile, and a gentle inclination of his head. the expressions are, they are no more than equivaHe then grasped my hand affectionately, and with lent to those of Homer. The invective of the ana smile that charmed me, said, “Well, you for cients was never tempered with good manners, as your part will do well also;" at last recollecting your papa can tell you: and my business, you his great age (for I understood him to be two hun- know, is not to be more polite than my author, but red years old) I feared that I might fatigue him by to represent him as closely as I can. much talking, I took my leave, and he took his, Dishonour'd foul I have wiped away for the with an air of the most perfect good-breeding. reason you give, which is a very just one, and the His person, his features, his manner, were all so present reading is this, perfectly characteristic, that I am persuaded an apparition of him could not represent him more
The life itsell, &c. completely. This may be said to have been one of the dreams of Pindus, may it not?
Your objection to kindler of the fires of Heaven How truly I rejoice that you have recovered I had the good fortune to anticipate, and expunged Guy; that man won my heart the moment I saw the dirty ambiguity some time since, wondering him; give my love to him, and tell him I am truly not a little that I had ever admitted it. glad he is alive again.
The fault you find with the two first verses of There is much sweetness in those lines from Nestor's speech discovers such a degree of just the sonneteer of Avon, and not a little in dear discernment, that but for your papa's assurance to Tom's, an earnest, I trust, of good things to come. the contrary, I must have suspected him as the
With Mary's kind love, I must now conclude author of that remark: much as I should have remyself,
spected it, if it had been so, I value it, I assure My dear brother, ever yours, LIPPUS.
you, my little friend, still more as yours. In the new edition the passage will be found thus al
tered: TO THE REV. WALTER BAGOT.
Alas! great sorrow falls on Grecce to-day,
Oh! how will they exult, and in their hearts
The prime of Greece, in council, and in arms. indisposed, very blind, and very busy. But I have Where the word reel suggests to you the idea not suffered all these evils at one and the same of a drunken mountain, it performs the service to time. While the winter lasted I was miserable which I destined it. It is a bold metaphor; but with a fever on my spirits; when the spring began justified by one of the sublimest passages in scripto approach I was seized with an inflammation in ture, compared with the sublimity of which even my eyes; and ever since I have been able to use that of Homer suffers humiliation. them, have been employed in giving more last It is God himself, who, speaking, I think, by the touches to Homer, who is on the point of going to prophet Isaiah, says, the press again.
“ The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunk. Though you are Tory, I believe, and I am ard.” With equal boldness, in the same scripture, Whig, our sentiments concerning the madcaps of the poetry of which was never equalled, mountains France are much the same. They are a terrible are said to skip, to break out into singing, and the fields to clap their hands. I intend, therefore, that business. Adieu! The clock strikes eight; and my Olympus shall be still tipsy.
now for Homer.
W.C. The accuracy of your last remark, in which you convicted me of a bull, delights me. A fig for all critics but you! The blockheads could not find
TO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ. it. It shall stand thus,
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Weston, March 27, 1793. First spake Polydamas
I must send you a line of congratulation on the Homer was more upon his guard than to commit event of your transaction with Johnson, since you such a blunder, for he says,
I know partake with me in the pleasure I receive nex apogeuer.
from it. Few of my concerns have been so hap
pily concluded. I am now satisfied with my bookAnd now, my dear little censor, once more ac- seller, as I have substantial cause to be, and accept my thanks. I only regret that your strictures count myself in good hands; a circumstance as are so few, being just and sensible as they are.
pleasant to me as any other part of my business; Tell your papa that he shall hear from me soon; for I love dearly to be able to confide with all my accept mine, and my dear invalid's affectionate re- heart in those with whom I am connected, of what membrances.
Ever yours. W. C. kind soever the connexion may be.
The question of printing or not printing the al
terations, seems difficult to decide. If they are not TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ.
printed, I shall perhaps disoblige some purchasers
of the first edition; and if they are, many others MY DEAR HAYLEY,
Weston, March 19, 1793. of them, perhaps a great majority, will never care I am so busy every morning before breakfast about them. As far as I have gone I have made (my only opportunity), strutting and stalking in a fair copy, and when I have finished the whole, Homeric stilts, that you ought to account it an in- will send them to Johnson, together with the instance of marvellous grace and favour, that I con- terleaved volumes. He will see in a few minutes descend to write even to you. Sometimes I am what it will be best to do, and by his judgment I seriously almost crazed with the multiplicity of the shall be determined. The opinion to which I most matters before me, and the little or no time that I incline is, that they ought to be printed separately, have for them; and sometimes I repose myself for they are many of them rather long, here and after the fatigue of that distraction on the pillow there a whole speech, or a whole simile, and the of despair; a pillow which has often served me in verbal and lineal variations are so numerous, that time of need, and is become, by frequent use, if not altogether, I apprehend, they will give a new air very comfortable, at least convenient! So reposed, to the work, and I hope a much improved one. í I laugh at the world, and say, "Yes, you may I forgot to say in the proper place that some gape and expect both Homer and Milton from me, notes, although but very few, I have added already, but I'll be hanged if ever you get them.” and may perhaps see here and there opportunity
In Homer you must know I am advanced as far for a few more. But notes being little wanted, esas the fifteenth book of the Iliad, leaving nothing pecially by people at all conversant with classical behind me that can reasonably offend the most literature, as most readers of Homer are, I am perfastidious: and I design him for public appearance suaded that, were they numerous, they would be in his new dress as soon as possible, for a reason deemed an incumbrance. I shall write to Johnson which any poet may guess, if he will but thrust soon, perhaps to-morrow, and then shall say the his hand into his pocket,
same thing to him. You forbid me to tantalize you with an invita- In point of health we continue much the same. tion to Weston, and yet invite me to Eartham!— Our united love, and many thanks for your prosNo! no! there is no such happiness in store for perous negotiations, attend yourself and whole me at present. Had I rambled at all, I was under family, and especially my little namesake. Adieu. promise to all my dear mother's kindred to go to
W.C Norfolk, and they are dying to see me; but I have told them, that die they must, for I can not go; and ergo, as you will perceive, can go nowhere else.
TO JOHN JOHNSON, ESQ. Thanks for Mazarine's epitaph! it is full of witty parodox, and is written with a force and severity
The Lodge, April 11, 1793. which sufficiently bespeak the author. I account MY DEAREST JOHNNY, it an inestimable curiosity, and shall be happy Tus long muster-roll of my great and small anwhen time shall serve, with your aid, to make a cestors I signed, and dated, and sent up to Mr. good translation of it. But that will be a stubborn Blue-mantle, on Monday, according to your desire. Such a pompous affair, drawn out for my sake, shaviour to me has been so liberal, that I can refuse reminds me of the old fable of the mountain in par-him nothing. Poking into the old Greek comturition, and a mouse the produce. Rest undis- mentators blinds me. But it is no matter. I am turbed, sav I, their lordly, ducal, and royal dust! the more like Homer. Had they left me something handsome, I should Ever yours, my dearest Hayley, W. C. ha respected them more. But perhaps they did not know that such a one as I should have the honour to be numbered among their descendants.
TO THE REV. WALTER BAGOT. Well! I have a little bookseller that makes me some amends for their deficiency. He has made MY DEAR FRIEND, IVeston, May 4, 1793. me a present; an act of liberality which I take WHILE your sorrow for our common loss was every opportunity to blazon, as it well deserves. fresh in your mind, I would not write, lest a letter But you I suppose have learned it already from on so distressing a subject should be too painful Mr. Rose.
both to you and me; and now that I seem to have Fear not, my man. You will acquit yourself reached a proper time for doing it, the multiplicity very well I dare say, both in standing for your de- of my literary business will hardly afford me leisure. gree, and when you have gained it. A little tre- Both you and I have this comfort when deprived mor, and a little shamefacedness in a stripling, like of those we love--at our time of life we have every you, are recommendations rather than otherwise; reason to believe that the vation can not be and so they ought to be, being symptoms of an in- long. Our sun is setting too; and when the hour genuous mind rather unfrequent in this age of of rest arrives we shall rejoin your brother, and Brass.
many whom we have tenderly loved, our forerunWhat you say of your determined purpose, with ners into a better country, God's help, to take up the cross, and despise the I will say no more on a theme which it will be shame, gives us both real pleasure. In our pedi- better perhaps to treat with brevity; and because gree is found one at least who did it before you. the introduction of any other night seem a transiDo you the like; and you will meet him in Hea- tion too violent, I will only add that Mrs. Unwin ven, as sure as the Scripture is the word of God, and I are about as well as we at any time have
The quarrel that the world has with evangelie been within the last year. Truly yours W.C. men and doctrines, they would have with a host of angels in the human form. For it is the quarre' of owls with sunshine; of ignorance with divine
TO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ. illumination Adieu, my dear Johnny! We shall expect you MY DEAR FRIEND,
May 5, 1793. with earnest desire of your coming, and receive My delay to answer your last kind letter, to you with much delight,
W. C. which likewise you desired a speedy reply, must
have seemed rather difficult to explain on any other
supposition than that of illness; but iliness has not TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ.
been the cause, although to say the truth I can
not boast of having been lately very well. Yet Weston, April 23, 1793. has not this been the cause of my silence, but your MY DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER,
own advice, very proper and earnestly given to Better late than never, and better a little than me, to proceed in the revisal of Homer. To this none at all! Had I been at liberty to consult my it is owing that instead of giving an hour or two inclinations, I would have answered your truly before breakfast to my correspondence, I allot that kind and affectionate letter immediately. But I time entirely to my studies. I have nearly given am the busiest man alive; and when this epistle is the last touches to the poetry, and am now busied despatched, you will be the only one of my corres. far more laboriously in writing notes at the request pondents to whom I shall not be indebted. Wbile of my honest bookseller, transmitted to me in the I write this, my poor Mary sits mute; which I can first instance by you, and afterwards repeated by not well bear, and which, together with want of himself
. I am therefore deep in the old Scholia, time to write much, will have a curtailing effect on and have advanced to the latter part of Iliad nine, my epistle.
explaining, as I go, such passages as may be diffiMy only studying time is still given to Homer, cult to unlearned readers, and such only; for notes not to correction and amendment of him (for that of that kind are the notes that Johnson desired. I is all over) but to writing notes. Johnson has ex- find it a more laborious task than the translation pressed a wish for some, that the unlearned may was, and shall be heartily glad when it is over. In be a little illuminated concerning classical story the mean time all the letters I receive remain unand the mythology of the ancients; and his be- answered, or if they receive an answer, it is always a short one. Such this must be. Johnny is here, having flown over London.
TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ. Homer I believe will make a much more respectable appearance than before. Johnson now MY DEAR BROTHER, Weston, May 21, 1793. thinks it will be right to make a separate impres- You must either think me extremely idle, or sion of the amendments.
extremely busy, that I have made your last very W. C. kind letter wait so very long for an answer. The
truth however is, that I am neither; but have had I breakfast every morning on seven or eight time enough to have scribbled to you, had I been pages of the Greek commentators. For so much 1 able to scribble at all. To explain this riddle I am obliged to read, in order to select perhaps three must give you a short account of my proceedings or four short notes for the readers of my transla- I rise at six every morning, and fag till near tion.
eleven, when I breakfast. The consequence is, Homer is indeed a tie upon me that must not that I am so exhausted as not to be able to write on any account be broken, till all his demands are when the opportunity offers. You will say, satisfied; though I have fancied while the revisal breakfast before you work, and then your work of the Odyssey was at a distance, that it would ask will not fatigue you." I answer—" perhaps I less labour in the finishing, it is not unlikely that, might, and your counsel would probably prove when I take it actually in hand, I may find my beneficial; but I can not spare a moment for eatself mistaken. Or this at least I am sure, that sing in the early part of the morning, having no uneven verse abounds, much more in it than it other time for study." This uneasiness of which once did in the Iliad, yet to the latter the crities I complain is a proof that I am somewhat strieken objected on that account, though to the former in years; and there is no other cause by which I never; perhaps because they had not read it. can account for it, since I go early to bed, always Hereafter
they shall not quarrel with me on that between ten and eleven, and seldom fail to sleep sepre. "The Iliad is now all smooth turnpike, and well
. Certain it is, ten years ago I could have I will take equal care that there shall be no jolts done as much, and sixteen ycars ago did actually in the Odyssey
much more, without suffering fatigue, or any inconvenience from my labours. How insensibly old age steals on, and how often is it actually ar
rived before we suspect it! Accident alone; some TO LADY HESKETH. occurrence that suggests a conparison of our
former with our present selves,
affords the discoMY DEAREST coz, Lodge,
on an article of many others. In fact I have not for many months There has been a book labely published, entiwritten punctually to any but yourself, and Hay- tled, Man as he is. I have heard a high characley. „My time, the little I have, is so engrossed ter of it, as admirably written, and am informed by Homer, that I have at this moment a bundle that for that reason, and because it inculcates of unanswered letters by me, and letters likely to Whig principles, it is Hy many inputed to you.
Thou knowest, I dare say, what it is to I contradicted this report, assuring my informant have a head weary with thinking. Mine is so that had it been yours, I must have known it, for fatigued by breakfast time, three days out of four, that you have bound yourself to make me your I am utterly incapable of sitting down to my desk father confessor on all such wicked occasions, and again for any purpose whatever.
not to conceal from me even a murder, should you I am glad I have convinced thec at least, that happen to commit one. thou årt a Tory. Your friend's definition of
I will note trouble"you, wat present; to send me Whig and Tory may bo just for aught I know, any nore books with a view to my notes on as far as the latter are con
oncerned; but respecting Homer. I am not without hopes that Sir John the former, I think húm mistaken. There is no Throckmorton, who is expected here from Venice true Whig who wishes all power in the hands of in a short time, may bring me Villoison's edition his own party. The diyision of it which the of the Odyssey. He certainly will, if he found it lawyers call tripartite, is exactly what he desires; published, and that alone will be instar omnium. and he would have neither kings, lords, nor com- Adieu, my dearest brother! Give my love to mons unequally trusted, or in the smallest degree Tom, and thank him for his book, of which I bepredominant. Such a Whig am I, and such lieve I need not have deprived bim, intending that Whigs are the true friends of the constitution. my readers shall detect the oceult instruction conAdieu! my dear, I am dead with weariness. tained in Homer's stories for themselves. W.C.
you; for I have both in a degree that has not TO LADY HESKETH.
been exceeded in the experience of any friend you
have, or ever had. But I am so made up;-I MY DEAREST COUSIN, Weston, June 1, 1793. will not enter into a metaphysical analysis of my
You will not, (you say) come to us now; and strange composition, in order to detect the true you tell us not when you will. These assigna- cause of this evil; but on a general view of the tions sine die are such shadowy things, that I matter, I suspect that it proceeds from that shycan neither grasp nor get any comfort from them. ness, which has been my effectual and almost fatal Know you not, that hope is the next best thing hindrance on many other important occasions; and *to enjoyment? Give us then a hope, and a de- which I should feel, I well know, on this, to a terminate time for that hope to fix on, and we will degree that would perfectly cripple me. No! I endeavour to be satisfied.
shall neither do, nor attempt any thing of conseJohnny is gone to Cambridge, called thither to quence more, unless my poor Mary get better; take his degree, and is much missed by me. He nor ‘even then, unless it should please God to is such an active little fellow in my service, that give me another nature, in concert with any man he can not be otherwise. In three weeks how- -I could pot even with my own father or broever I shall hope to have him again for a fortnight. ther, were they now alive. Small game must I have had a letter from him containing an inci serve me at present, and till I have done with dent which has given birth to the following. * Homer and Milton, a sonnet or some such matter
These are spick and span. Johnny himself has must content me. The utmost that I aspire to, not yet seen them. By the way, he has filled and Heaven knows with how feeble a hope, is to your book completely; and I will give thee a write at some better opportunity, and when my guinea if thou wilt search thy old book for a cou-hands are free, The Four Ages. Thus I have ple of songs, and two or three other pieces of opened my heart unto thee.
W. C. which I know thou madest copies at the vicarage, and which I have lost. The songs I know are pretty good, and I would fain recover them.
TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ. W. C.
MY DEAREST HAYLEY, Weston, July 7, 1793.
If the excessive heat of this day, which forbids TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ. I
me to do any thing else, will permit me to scribble
to you, I shall rejoice. To do this is a pleasure Weston, June 29, 1793. to me at all times, but to do it now, a double one; What remains for me to say on this subject, because I am in haste to tell you how much I am my dear brother bard, I will say in prose. There delighted with your projected quadruple alliance, are other impediments which I could not comprise and to assure you that if it please God to afford within the bounds of a sonnet.
me health, spirits, ability and leisure, I will not My poor Mary's infirm condition makes it im- fail to devote them all to the production of my possible for me, at present, to engage in a work quota, The Four Ages. such as you propose. My thoughts are not suffi- You are very kind to humour me as you do, ciently free, nor have I, nor can I, by any means, and had need be a little touched yourself with all find opportunity; added to which, comes a diffi- my oddities, that you may know how to administer culty, which, though you are not at all aware of to mine. All whom I love do so, and I believe it it, presents itself to me under a most forbidding to be impossible to love heartily those who do not. appearance: Can you guess it? No, not you: People must not do me good in their way, but in neither perhaps will you be able to imagine that my owon, and then they do, me good indeed. My such a difficulty can possibly subsist. If your hair pride, my ambition, and my friendship, for you, begins to bristle, stroke it down again, for there and the interest I take in my own dear self
, will is no need why it should erect itself. It concerns all be consulted and gratified by an arm-in-arm me, not you. I know myself too well not to appearance with you in public: and I shall work know that I am nobody in verse, unless in a cor- with more zeal and assiduity at Homer, and, ner, and alone, and unconnected in my operations. when Homer is finished, at Milton, with the prosThis is not owing to want of love for you, my spect of such a coalition before me. But what brother, or the most consummate confidence in shall I do with a multitude of small pieces, from
which I intended to select the best, and adding
them to The Four Ages, to have made a volume ? • Verses to a Young Friend, &c. See Poems. + This Letter commenced with the Lines to William Will there be room for them upon your plan? I Hayley, Esq. beginning, “Dear architect of five chatcaux in have retouched them, and will retouch them air." See Poems.
Tagain. Some of them will suggest pretty devices