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and he must be content with it, for there is not time to make a fresh copy. We are now printing the fecond book of the Odylley.

Should the Oxonians beftow none of their notice on me on this occafion, it will happen fingularly enough, that as Pope received all his univerfity honours, in the fubfcription way, from Oxford, and none at all from Cambridge, fo I shall have received all mine from Cambridge, and none from Oxford. This is the more likely to be the cafe, because I understand, that on whatsoever occafion either of thofe learned bodies thinks fit to move, the other always makes it a point to fit ftill.Thus proving its fuperiority.

I fhall fend up your letter to Lady Hesketh in a day or two, knowing that the intelligence contained in it will afford her the greatest pleasure. Know, likewise, for your own gratification, that all the Scotch Universities have fubfcribed, none excepted.

We are all as well as ufual; that is to fay, as well as reafonable folks expect to be on the crazy fide of this frail exiftence.

I rejoice that we fhall fo foon have you again at our fire-fide. W. C.



WESTON, March 6, 1791.

AFTER all this ploughing and sowing

on the plains of Troy, once fruitful, fuch at least to my tranflating predeceffor, fome harvest, I hope, will arise for me alfo. My long work has received its last, last touches; and I am now giving my preface its final adjustment. We are in the fourth Odyffey in the course of our printing, and I expect that I and the swallows fhall appear together: they have flept all the winter, but I, on the contrary, have been extremely busy, yet if I can

"Virûm volitare per ora," as fwiftly as they through the air, I fhall account myself well requited.

W. C.



March 10, 1791.

GIVE my affectionate remembrances to your fifters, and tell them I am impatient to entertain them with my old story new dreffed.

I have two French prints hanging in my ftudy, both on Iliad fubjects; and I have an English one in the parlour, on a subject from the fame poem. In one of the former, Agamemnon addresses Achilles exactly in the attitude of a dancing-mafter turning Mifs in a minuet: in the latter, the figures are plain, and the attitudes plain alfo. This is, in fome confiderable measure, I be lieve, the difference between my Tranflation and Pope's ; and will ferve as an exemplification of what I am going to lay before you, and the public. W.C.



WESTON, March 19, 1791.


YOU afk, if it may not be improper to folicit Lady Hefketh's fubfcription to the Poems of the Norwich maiden? To which I reply, it will be by no means improper; on the contrary, I am perfuaded that she will give her name with a very good will, for fhe is much an admirer of poefy, that is worthy to be admired, and fuch I think, judging by the specimen, the poesy of this maiden, Elizabeth Bentley, of Norwich, is likely to prove.

Not that I am myfelf inclined to expect, in general, great matters in the poetical way from perfons whofe illfortune it has been to want the common advantages of education; neither do I account it in general a kindness to fuch to encourage them in the indulgence of a propenfity, more likely to do them harm in the end, than to advance their intereft. Many fuch phenomena have arifen within my remembrance, at which all the world has wondered for a season, and has then forgot them.

The fact is, that though ftrong natural genius is al ways accompanied with ftrong natural tendency to its object, yet it often happens that the tendency is found where the genius is wanting. In the present inftance however (the Poems of a certain Mrs. Leapor excepted, who publifhed fome forty years ago) I difcern, I think, more marks of a true poetical talent than I remember to have obferved in the verfes of any other male or female, fo disadvantageously circumstanced. I wish her therefore good fpeed, and fubfcribe to her with all my heart.

You will rejoice when I tell you, that I have fome hopes, after all, of a harvest from Oxford also: Mr. Throckmorton has written to a perfon of confiderable influence there, which he has defired him to exert in my favour, and his request, I should imagine, will hardly prove a vain one. Adieu. W. C.



WESTON, March 24, 1791.


YOU apologize for your filence in a manner which affords me fo much pleafure, that I cannot but be fatisfied. Let bufinefs be the cause, and I am contented. That is a caufe to which I would even be acceffary myfelf, and would increafe yours by any means,

except by a law-fuit of my own, at the expense of all your opportunities of writing oftener than thrice in a twelve-month.

Your application to Dr. Dunbar, reminds me of two lines to be found fomewhere in Dr. Young :

"And now a Poet's gratitude you fee,

Grant him two favours, and he'll ask for three."

In this particular therefore I perceive that a poet, and a poet's friend, bear a striking refemblance to each other. The Doctor will blefs himself that the number of Scotch Universities is not larger, affured that if they equalled thofe in England in number of colleges, you would give him no reft till he had engaged them all. It is true, as Lady Hesketh told you, that I fhall not fear in the mat. ter of fubfcriptions, a comparison even with Pope himfelf. Confidering, I mean, that we live in days of terrible taxation, and when verfe, not being a neceffary of life, is accounted dear, be it what it may, even at the lowest price. I am no very good arithmetician, yet I calculated the other day in my morning walk, that my Two Volumes, at the price of three guineas, will coft the purchaser lefs than the feventh part of a farthing per line. Yet there are lines among them that have cost me the labour of hours, and none that have not coft me fome labour.

W. C.



April 1, 1791.

My dear Mrs. Frog, a word or two before breakfaft; which is all that I fhall have time to fend you!

You have not, I hope, forgot to tell Mr. Frog, how much I am obliged to him for his kind, though unfuccefsful attempt in my favour at Oxford. It feems not a lit

tle extraordinary, that persons so nobly patronized themselves, on the score of literature, fhould resolve to give no encouragement to it in return. Should I find a fair opportunity to thank them hereafter, I will not neglect it.

Could Homer come himself, distress'd and poor,
And tune his harp at Rhedicina's door,
The rich old Vixen would exclaim (I fear)
"Begone! no tramper gets a farthing here."

I have read your husband's Pamphlet through and through. You may think, perhaps, and fo may he, that a question fo remote from all concern of mine, could not interest me; but if you think so, you are both mistaken. He can write nothing that will not interest me, in the first place for the writer's fake, and in the next place, because he writes better and reasons better than any body, with more candour, and with more fufficiency; and, confequently, with more fatisfaction to all his readers, fave only his opponents. They, I think, by this time wish that they had let him alone.

Tom is delighted past measure with his wooden nag, and gallops at a rate that would kill any horse that had a life to lofe.




WESTON, April 6, 1791.


A THOUSAND thanks for your splendid affemblage of Cambridge luminaries. If you are not contented with your collection, it can only be because you are unreasonable; for I, who may be supposed more covetous on this occafion than any body, am highly fatisfied, and even delighted with it. If indeed you fhould find it practicable to add still to the number, I have not the leaft objection; but this charge I give you,

Αλλο δε τοι ερέω, συ δ' ενι φρεσι βαλλεο σησι.

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