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give you a longer life. I have therefore sent my chaplain, Dr. Ashton, to administer those assistances and comforts to you which are proper for his function, and necessary for you ; not knowing whether any of our clergy may be had, or if there may, whether so able or so affectionate.
I hope it is below your spirit, and that you have too much reason and christianity to think you are the nearer death because you prepare yourself for eternal life. You know I have lately given you proofs of my kindness to you, yet I would have you value this care of your well-dying before and beyond it, since, as it may be the last, so it is the greatest demonstration I can give of being,
Your affectionate Father, 1762, Aug.
IX. To Sir Richard Steele, on his Play of the Conscious Lovers
SIR, No one, I believe, has a higher opinion of the Conscious Lovers, in general, than myself, or more admires the character of Indiana, in particular, which is, I think, drawn with exquisite skill. She appears to be amiable in the highest degree, as her story is very judiciously told, and in the most affecting manner; but it grieves me to say, what, however, I apprehend to be too just, that the character of
I Bevil, is strained beyond all reason. You have, I fear, instead of making his character proper to be imitated, rendered it such as no wise man ought to imitate ; since it is possible, on his principles, for two persons of the strictest virtue, perfectly suited for each other, and in the highest degree sensible of it, with a competency in their own hands to answer all consequences, and with which they themselves are contented, to be made as miserable as total separation can be supposed to make them, merely because a person, who happens to be a parent of one of them, takes it into his head, that he has an absolute power of commanding (by virtue of that relation) one, who is as much a man, and as capable of reasoning as bimself, and a thousand times more intimately concerned in the affair about which he pretends to have so unlimited an authority. Now, to make this Becessary, in order o preserve and support the character of a virtuous man, and a good son, is highly injurious to virtue and filial duty, if these do not require it.
It is surprising to hear people insist, as they do, on such absolute obedience to parents, especially Whigs, who, in political affairs, profess to act upon principles so much more reasonable. How can they who say (and I thing rightly) that the good of the governed is the end of government, and therefore wisely protest against non-resistance, and passive obedience, be so inconsistent with themselves, as to introduce those principles into families, which they disavow in the state? Am I any more obliged to obey a tyrant father, than a tyrant king? If not, why is my obedience to the former made absolute, and to the latter conditional ?
No doubt there are ages of life in which children ought to be subject to the absolute commands of their parents, and that for this plain reason, because at such ages those children are not arrived to the proper use of their own understanding; but when they are, they ought to be treated accordingly, and no more commanded and corrected (both which should cease together) but reasoned with; and if that will not do, what then? How should one reasonable creature treat another who does not see the force of his arguments! Ought he to break his bead, or should he (as Mr. Locke proposes in his Treatise on Education) pray for him? “which is all (he says) a parent can or ought to do in such a case.” It will be no objection to the justness of this assertion, that the exact time when each child is fit to be treated in this way, cannot be determined, any more than it is true that black and white are the same, because the edges of each may be so blended, that it will be impossible to say where the one begins and the other ends, though at a greater distance from those edges the difference is suffi. ciently distinguishable; as are virtue and vice in the extremes, how difficult soever it may be to determine the bounds of each precisely.
I should not have given you or myself, Sir, any trouble or this subject, but that I fear this play is capable of doing a great deal of mischief, on the account of which I have objected to it: for it is with great reluctance that I oppose Sir Richard Steele, because, I sincerely believe, that he designs to promote the cause of virtue, not only in this performance, but likewise in all his writings I have ever seen. I believe too, that he has, in many respects, done it effectually, as I doubt not he has in every one aimed at it uprightly: and, I likewise believe, no man could be more concerned to find bis design frustrated herein than himself, and that if he thought an alteration of any part of his performances
would be more subservient to such his laudable design, than the vindication of it, he would readily and chearfully make it, as I, for my part, am not only willing, but desirous to be better informed, if I am mistaken.
Yours, &c. 1762, Sept.
X. Two Letters from Mr. Gilbert Walmesley to the late Professor Colson, of Cambridge, when Master of an Academy at
Rochester, relative to Garrick and Johnson. MY DEAR OLD FRIEND, Lichfield, Feb. 5, 1736. HAVING not been in town since the year thirty-one, you will the less wonder at seeing a letter from me. But I have the pleasure of hearing of you sometimes in the prints, and am glad to see you are daily throwing in your valuable contributions to the republick of letters. But the present occasion of my writing is a favour I have
a to ask of you. My neighbour, Captain Garrick, (who is an honest valuable man,) has a son, who is a very sensible young fellow, and a good scholar, and whom the Captain hopes in some two or three years he shall be able to send to the Temple, and breed to the bar : but at present his pocket will not hold out for sending him to the University, I have proposed your taking him, if you think well of it, and your boarding him, and instructing him in mathematicks, and philosophy, and humane learning : he is now nineteen, of sober and good dispositions; and is as ingenious and promising a young man, as ever I knew in my life. Few instructions on your side will do, and in the intervals of study, he will be an agreeable companion for you. father will be glad to pay you whatever you shall require within his reach; and I shall think myself very much obliged to you into the bargain.
G. WALMESLEY. DEAR SIR,
Lichfield, March 2. I HAD the favour of yours, and am extremely obliged to you; but cannot say
you upon it than I had before, being long since so much endeared to you, as well by an early friendship, as by your many excellent and valuable qualifications. And had I a son of my
a own, it would be my ambition, instead of sending him to the University, to dispose of him as this young gentleman is.
I have a greater
He and another neighbour of mine, one Mr. S. Johnson, set out this morning for London together : Davy Garrick to be with you early the next week, and Mr. Johnson to try his fate with a tragedy, and to see to get himself employed in some translation, either from the Latin or the French. Johnson is a very good scholar and poet, and I have great hopes will turn out a fine tragedy writer. If it should any ways lay in your way, I doubt not but you would be ready to recommend and assist your countryman.
ers from Mr. Everard relative to Count All
demned to the Mines in Idra.
THE pleasure I always take in writing to you wherever I am, and whatever doing, in some measure dispels my present uneasiness; an uneasiness caused at once by the disagreeable aspect of every thing round me, and the more disagreeable circumstances of the Count Alberti, with whom you were once acquainted. You remember him one of the gayest, most agreeable, persons at the court of Vienna; at once the example of the men, and the favourite of the fair sex. I often heard you repeat his name with esteem, as one of the few that did honour to the present age, as possessed of generosity and pity in the highest degree; as one who made no other use of fortune but to alleviate the distresses of mankind. That gentleman, Sir, I wish I could say, is now no more; yet, too unhappily for him, he exists, but in a situation more terrible than the most gloomy imagination can conceive.
After passing through several parts of the Alps, and having visited Germany, I thought I could not well return home without visiting the quicksilver mines at Idra, and seeing those dreadful subterranean caverns, where thouşands are condemned to reside, shut out from all hopes of ever seeing the chearful light of the sun, and obliged' to toil out a miserable life under the whips of imperious taskmasters. Imagine to yourself a bole in the side of a mountain, of about tive yards over; down this you are let, in a kind of a bucket, more than an hundred fathom. At length,
after swinging in terrible suspence for some time, you reach the bottom, and tread on the ground, which, by its hollow sound under your feet, and the reverberations of the echo, seems thundering at every step you take. In this gloomy and frightful solitude, you are enlightened by the feeble gleam of lamps, here and there disposed, so as that the wretched inhabitants of these mansions can go
from one part to another without a guide. And yet, let me assure you, that though they, by custom, could see objects very distinctly by these lights, I could scarcely discern the person who came with me to shew me these scenes of horror.
From this description, I suppose, you have but a disagreeable idea of the place; yet let me assure you, that it is a palace, if we compare the habitation with the inhabitants. Such wretches my eyes never yet beheld. The blackness of their visages only serves to cover a horrid paleness, caused by the noxious qualities of the mineral they are employed in procuring. As they, in general, consist of malefactors condemned for life to this task, they are fed at the public expence; but they seldom consume much provision, as they lose their appetites in a short time; and commonly in about two years expire, from a total contraction of all the joints of the body.
In this horrid mansion I walked after my guide for some time, pondering on the strange tyranny and avarice of mankind, when I was accosted by a voice behind me, calling me by name and inquiring after my health with the most cordial affection. I turned and saw a creature all black and hideous, who approached me, and with a most piteous accent demanding, “ Ah! Mr. Everard, don't you know me?" Good God! what was my surprize, when, through the veil of his wretchedness, I discovered the features of my old and dear friend Alberti. I few to him with affection, and after a tear of condolence, asked how he came there? To this he replied, that having fought a duel with a general of the Austrian infantry, against the emperor's command, and having left him for dead, he was obliged to fly into one of the forests of Istria, where he was first taken, and afterwards sheltered by some banditti, who had long infested that quarter. With these he had lived nine months, till, by a close investiture of the place in which they were concealed, and after a very obstinate resistance, in which the greater part of them were killed, he was taken and carried to Vienna, in order to be broken alive upon the wheel. However, upon arriving at the capital, he was quickly known, and several of the associates of his accusation and