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I cannot live upon air-I have a few Cupids you may have cheap, as they belong to a poor journeyman shoemaker, who I drink with now and then. I am, your humble servant,
W, STONE." ANSWER. " STONE,
Friday morn. “ YOU are the best fellow in the world-bring the Cupids to the Theatre to-morrow. If they are under six, and well made, you shall have a guinea a-piece for them. Mr. Lacy will pay you himself for the Bishop-he is very penitent for what he has done. If you can get me two good murderers, I will pay you handsomely, particularly the spouting fellow who keeps the apple-stand on Tower-hill, the cut in his face is just the thing. Pick me up an Alderman or two, for Richard, if you can, and I have no objection to treat with you for a comely Mayor. The Barber will not do for Brutus, although I think he will succeed in Mat. 1780, Dec.
XXVI. Montague Bacon, Esq.* to the Rev. Mr. Williams t. Sir,
Monday morning. As it is your post in the University to honour me with a few words to-morrow, I beg, and most heartily intreat you, that they may be as few as you conveniently can. I am descended, on one side, from the Lord Keeper Bacon, who had so considerable a band in the first establishment of the church of England; and on the other side from the Earl of Sandwich, who, next to Monk, had, I believe, the chief band in the restoration, for King Charles, on bis first landing, gave him an earldom, a garter, and 4000l. a year in land, besides places to the value of about 10,000l. a year more. Now, as the restoration of the royal family was likewise the restoring of the church, I beg you would chiefly insist on the services of my family to the church as our greatest honour; and, if you must say one word more of me, let it be, I intreat you, barely this, that I have always been a lover of learning and learned men.
* A younger son of Nicholas Bacon, Esq. of Shrubland, in Suffolk, admitted a fellow-commoner of Trinity college, Cambridge, in 1704-5. Three of his letters to George Jeffreys, Esq. of the same college, are in the Letters of Eminent Persons, vol. II. by which it appears that he had much critical acumen. He died in 1740, aged 51.
+ Fellow of St. John's college, and public orator; afterwards D.D. and Rector of Barrow, in Suffolk,
I am, Sir, with great esteem,
Your most humble servant, 1781, Jan.
XXVII. Mr. Harris, of Salisbury, to Fielding's Parson
Aug. 10. This letter having accidentally fallen into my hands, I send it to you, with such elucidations as I could procure. The gentleman to whom it is addressed I take to have been the original Parson Adams of Fielding's Joseph Andrews, and to have died in August, 1757. The writer is certainly the late celebrated Mr. Harris, of Salisbury, whose decease you noticed in your Magazine for December last.
ONE OF YOUR CONSTANT READERS,
DEAR SIR, HAVE you a corner left in your mind for the men of peace? or is it wholly occupied by battles and marshals ? Do you still remember there is such a place as England, a passable island, near as big as some of those in your Rhine; or is it totally forgot? and have we nothing to do but shake our heads, and cry,“ poor friend Young, Hunc circumtonuit gaudens Bellona cruentis ?"
Wherever you are, whether mindful of us or forgetful, of this be assured, that we have not forgot you*. We have drank your health, inquired after you, and though we could not exactly learn what share you had in the late victoryt, it was some comfort to us, to hear at least, that you were not expendeds in the purchase of it. This was not, indeed, the first report: fame, with that false nether trumpet of hers, had at first blown abroad that you were slain.--Alas! cries one, what Bentley and Young both departed !--to be sure, cries another, he is gone to Priscian's bosom.- I will warrant says a third, grim Aristarchus smiled to see him.Doubtless, Sir, replied another; but what a merry Greek that day was his old friend Aristophanes! As merry, said I, as we are sad. These, Sir, you will readily grant, were no more than natural reflections, upon a supposition that the cruel sisters had cut your fatal worsted*. But how great, think you, was our joy when we found that you were still alive; that you had not only escaped the dangers of the battle, but had even entered and returned again from the French campt with as much safety as old Priam visited the camp of his cruel adversaries the Grecians ? We soon became convinced that you Viri Mercuriales might go where you would, and Hermes would never forsake you. May he prove as propitious to the young heroes of your army, who it is likely may want his aid as much as you, though upon occasions as different and heterogeneous as possible! But now perhaps you may expect I should tell you some news, and inform you of your friends, Dr. Colliers, Messrs. Fielding $ Uptonll, Sydenhams, and my brother**. I have seen them all lately, and they are all well. Dr. Taylor I have heard of, who is well likewise. He has lately published a piece called “ Marinor Sandvicense,” a dissertation on an antique inscription, brought by Lord Sandwich from Athens. The doctor has excellently explained it, and given many curious remarks on the orthography, method of accompting, as well as marks and numerals of the Greeks, with a variety of other matter respecting the customs of those times. The whole is now rendered plain and easy; but had it not been for the doctor it would certainly have proved (as Mr. Bays says) “a crust for the critics." Another friend of yours tt has printed off his
* Mr. Young went to Germany in 1743, about the time his majesty went abroad that year.
† At Dettingen.
* Alluding to a message from the officer commanding an attack at Cartha, gena to the commander-in-chief,
* This seems to me a designed play on the words cruel and worsted.
+ See Mr. Murphy's Essay, prefixed to the first volume of Fielding's Works. This instance of Mr. Y.'s absence is said to have been communicated to that author by an officer of the regiment Mr. Y. was chaplain to. But Mr. Y. about that time was chaplain general to the hospitals abroad, and not to any regiment till soine years after.
Dr. Arthur Collier of the Commons.
Henry Fielding, Esq. i Canon Upton, editor of Spenser's Faery Queen, &c. [ Floyer Sydenham, Esq. the translator of Plato's Dialogues. ** John Harris, Esq. of Salisbury.
tt If this means Mr. Harris himself, what Dialogues are meant? Is it vol. 1. of Hermes, which was not published till the year 1745?
Dialogues, and is immediately setting about notes, which he intends to subjoin to them. He bids the pastry-cooks defiance for this Christmas, as he purposes not to publish till some time in January. It is to be hoped, by that time you will be returned, and indeed long before*. For let me give you conquerors on the other side of the water one piece of advice; if
do not come home, and wear your laurels while fresh, they will wither by keeping as much as cabbage or ground-ivy t.
However, be your return distant or near, I insist on your writing to me, and that more than once.
Incur not by your neglect that mortal sin Accidia I, whose name I should never have known but by your kind instruction. , I, you see, have escaped its imputation by this tedious epistle. You, I know, can escape it with a far better grace, and this I daily pray you may have grace to do. In the mean time believe me to be, with all truth, dear Mr. Young, your most affectionate humble servant, Surum, Oct. 1, 1743.
JAMES HARRIS, (Directed thus) To Mr. Wm. Young, in Germany. 1781, Aug.
XXVIII. Dr. Stuart, to James Cummyng, Esq. Secretary
of the Antiquarian Society at Edinburgh,
concerning Mary Queen of Scots. I BEG to have the honour of transmitting to you, for the library of the Society of Antiquaries at Edinburgh, a copy of my History of Scotland, from the establishment of the Reformation, till the death of Queen Mary. While I am ambirious of depositing my work in so conspicuous a Repository, I am sensible that I may thus call it to the particular examination of many ingenious and learned men. It becomes me, therefore, to observe that I would have abstained industriously from this measure, if I were not conscious of having
* Mr. Y. did return the same year before Christmas, and was some time with Mr. H.
+ This prediction may be seen verificd iu the parliamentary debates, pam. phlets, &c. of those times.
directed my narration by the purest views of public utility. I am consequently in a disposition to attend with candour to whatever can be objected to my book. The historian who can persist in his mistakes, departs from his duty, and violates the character he has assumed. And, if there is a situation where mistakes ought invariably and scrupulously to be corrected, and where a violation of the historical rules is altogether inexcusable, it is in the case of a queen who has suffered in her honour by misrepresentations, and who, with strong and real claims to integrity, has been held out to reproach and infamy. It will not, i believe, be objected to me, that I have fallen into this situation; but whatever my errors are, I shall give way to a commendable pride, and my eagerness to renounce them shall be in proportion to their importance, and to the danger of their tendency. And I desire it to be remembered, that I make this declaration with the greater propriety and justice, as I differ most essentially in my sentiments from a living historian, * who has treated the subject which has attracted my attention, and who enjoys the distinction of being a member of our Society. If it shall be found that I have lost my way, and wandered in the mazy labyrinth of hostile factions, I will, notwithstanding, be ready to catch the clue that ought to have guided my steps. If it shall be demonstrated that Mary was not so perfect and so innocent as I have represented her, I will yield to the controlling power of evidence and arguinent. Though I shall weep over the misfortunes, ihe frailties, and the crimes of this beautiful princess, I will yet pay my devotions to truth, and submit to the law of the victor. While you communicate to our Society these ex: pressions of my sincerity, you will readily perceive tha they are due from me to a body of men, who, from ther birth, their situation, and their studies, are the most abl: to judge of the intricate and problematical parts of tle subject I have undertaken. It is with extreme satisfactio , at the same time, that I embrace the opportunity which is now offered to me of applauding the public and generas cares that have brought them together.
I have the honour to be, with great respect,
and most humble servant, London, April 10, 1782.
G. STLART. 1782, April.
William Robertson, Doctor of Divinity, and Historiographer fus Scotland