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Gloucester) to Dr. Stukeley, when both were young...1454
Shakesperian Correspondence of Mr. Lewis Theobald,
Original Letters to Dr. Stukeley.
ORIGINAL LETTERS OF Mr. (AFTERWARDS BP.)
WARBURTON TO DR. STUKELEY.
LETTER I. For Dr. STUKELEY, next door to the Duke Powis's
house, in Ormond-street, London *. SIR,
Newarke, August 4, 1722.. My neighbour Mr. Twells of telling me he had promised you some account of the Roman Sepulchral Urns lately dug up here, and my ambition to oblige a gentleman for whose character I have the utmost esteem seconding my friend's entreaties; I bad but one objection to deter me from sending you what I know, or conjecture, of this discovery; and that was, my slender acquaintance with this kind of learning: but, knowing how well able you are to improve upon the most imperfect hints, that remained no longer such. What then I could collect from a transitory view, and very uninforming relation, take as follows. The gentleman, in whose ground they were, discovered them in planting trees next the Foss-road side. There were four in number, lying in a straight line, and at equal distances ;
# This and all the subsequent Letters to Dr. Stukeley are carefully printed from the Originals, communicated by the Rev. J. Fleming St. John, M. A. Prebendary of Worcester. + Who afterwards married Mr. Warburton's sister Elizabeth. Vol. II. B
but, through the knavery of the workmen, who imagined they had found a treasure, and so carelessly and clandestinely dug them up, they were broke into a thousand pieces. I shall only take notice of what was contained in the most remarkable of them. Amidst the burnt bones and ashes, was found a rude mis-shapen lump of brass, about the bigness of a small walnut, half melted down, with a bit of bone, and some of the ashes sticking in the surface of it. At first view I conjectured it to be the Roman Fibula, as presuming the dead were generally burned in their ordinary habit, and am yet of that opinion. The other remarkable was a small brass figure, about an inch and half long, very much the shape of a Legionary Ensign, on which I presume were the Emperor's head, and other usual decorations, but quite defaced by the injury of time. I leave
I leave you to make your inferences from this, of the degree or profession of the owner*.
This adventure may not be inconsiderable, as it tends to a more perfect recovery of that part of the Foss-road that adjoins to us. You know, Sir, the Bishop of Lincoln
t, by Mr. Foxcroft's information, has fixed two stations in Brideford and Collingham fields, on each side us, grounded on the discovery of some coins in those places. But we, methinks, seem to have more than an equal claim to that honour with them, as it is less probable that Urns should be found in any other place, than that Coins should. Besides, the argument will receive no small force from this consideration, that the place where they were dug up is not above half a dozen yards froin what we call the Foss, and on a very superior eminence on the South-west part of this place. If I can be further serviceable to you in any thing, I shall enjoy your commands, who am, Sir,
Your very humble servant, W. WARBURTON. * See Stukeley's “ Itinerarium Curiosum," vol I. p. 104. + Dr. Edmund Gibson, afterwards Bp. of London.
For William STUKELEY, Esq.
28 Jan. 1728-9. SALVUS sis cum tuâ Podagrâ bene dotatâ, nobis Fortunæ nothis vix concessâ. In Diversorio Camberiano jam dego*. Si malum tuum superbum ferias agat, unum et alterum amicorum tuorum hic invenias. Officium epistolæ et tabularii nostri præstarem, sed nunc Acheronta non fert animus movere. Intelligis. Verbum sat est. Uxorem tuam optimam saluto. Tibi strictè devinctus, Gul. WARBURTON.
DEAR SIR, B. Broughton, Mar. 1728-9. I received the favour of yours of the 21st of the last month some few days ago; and am glad to find, by the agreeable society you invite me to on Friday se’nnight, that your gout has left you free to enjoy that philosophic gaiety and serenity of mind that makes you happier than Eastern Monarchs; or (who I believe you think had a greater share of it) than the wisest Sages of Antiquity ; for we can scarce meet with one of them, whose natural temper an attentive view of the follies of the greater world had not strained and violated : one lamented mankind, another laughed at them, a third railed against them, which was an evident proof that their study of human nature, how refined and delicate soever they had brought it to, had been too dearly purchased, even at the expence of their own quiet, and integrity of temper. Alas! all their boasted study of humanity could never teach them to conquer their passions or disguise their superstition. One of them, you know,
* He had been recently presented, by Sir Robert Sutton, to the Rectory of Brand (or Brent) Broughton.