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houfe would tumble over his head, made anfwer, "What care I for the houfe, I am only a "lodger!" I fancy it is the best time to die when one is in the beft humour; and fo exceffive weak as I now am, I may fay with confcience, that I am not at all uneafy at the thought that many men, whom I never had any esteem for, are likely to enjoy this world after me. When I reflect what an inconfiderable little atom every fingle man is, with refpect to the whole creation, methinks it is a fhame to be concerned at the removal of fuch a trivial animal as I am. The morning after my exit the fun will rife as bright as ever, the flowers fmell as fweet, the plants fpring as green, the world will proceed in its old courfe, people will laugh as heartily, and marry as faft, as they were ufed to do. "The 66 memory of man," as it is elegantly expreffed in the Book of Wisdom, "paffeth away as the remem "brance of a gueft that tarrieth but one day." There are reafons enough, in the fourth chapter of the fame book, to make any young man contented with the profpect of death. "For "honourable age is not that which standeth in "length of time, or is meafured by number of years. But wifdom is the grey hair to men, "and an unfpotted life is old age. He was "taken away speedily, left wickedness should "alter his underftanding, or deceit beguile his "foul," &c. I am your, &c. A: POPE. LETTER

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LETTER CCCCVI.

To Mr. LINTOTT.

MR. LINTOTT,

Aug. 4, 1712.

MR

R. ADDISON defired me to tell you, that he wholly difapproves the manner of treating Mr. Dennis in a little pamphlet by way of Dr. Norris's account *. When he thinks fit to take notice of Mr. Dennis's objections to his writings, he will do it in a way Mr. Dennis shall have no juft reason to complain of. But when the papers abovementioned were offered to be communicated to him, he said he could not, either in honour or confcience, be privy to fuch a treatment, and was forry to hear of it. I am, Sir, your very humble fervant,

RICHARD STEELE.

LETTER CCCCVII.

From Mr. POPE,

Nov. 7, 1712.

I

WAS the other day in company with five or fix men of fome learning; where chancing to mention the famous verfes which the Em

*Of the frenzy of Mr. John Dennis; a narrative written by Mr. Pope. See his letter to Mr. Addison of July 20, 1713. + Remarks upon Cato.

peror

peror Adrian spoke on his death-bed, they were all agreed that it was a piece of gaiety unworthy of that prince in those circumstances. I could not but differ from this opinion: methinks it was by no means a gay, but a very serious foliloquy to his foul at the point of its des parture; in which fenfe I naturally took the verses at my first reading them, when I was very young, and before I knew what interpretation the world generally put upon them.

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"Alas, my foul! thou pleafing companion of "this body, thou fleeting thing that art now "deferting it! whither art thou flying? to "what unknown scene? all trembling, fearful, "and penfive! what now is become of thy for"mer wit and humour? thou fhalt jeft and be 66 gay no more."

I confefs, I cannot apprehend where lies the trifling in all this: it is the most natural and obvious reflection imaginable to a dying man: and if we confider the Emperor was a heathen, that doubt concerning the future fate of his foul will seem so far from being the effect of want of thought, that it was scarce reasonable he fhould

think otherwife; not to mention that here is a plain confeffion included of his belief in its im mortality. The diminutive epithets of vagula, blandula, and the reft, appear not to nie as expreffions of levity, but rather of endearment and concern; fuch as we find in Catullus, and the authors of Hendeca-fyllabi after him, where they are used to exprefs the utmoft love and tendernefs for their miftreffes. If you think me right in my notion of the laft words of Adrian, be pleased to infert it in the Spectator *; if not, to fupprefs it. I am, &c. A. POPE.

ADRIANI morientis ad ANIMAM. Translated.
Ah, fleeting spirit! wandering fire,

That long haft warm'd my tender breaft,
Must thou no more this frame inspire?

No more a pleafing, chearful gueft?
Whither, ah whither art thou flying!

To what dark, undiscover'd shore?
Thou feem'ft all trembling, fhivering, dying,
And wit and humour are no more!

LETTER CCCCVIII.

To Mr. POPE.

Nov. 12, 1712.

HAVE read over your "Temple of Fame" twice, and cannot find any thing amifs, of weight enough to call a fault, but fee in it a

I

* See Spectator, No DXXXII. Nov. 10, 1712.

Z

thousand

thousand thousand beauties. Mr. Addifon fhallfee it to-morrow: after his perusal of it, I will let you know his thoughts. I defire you would let me know whether you are at leifure or not? I have a defign *, which I fhall open a month or two hence, with the affiftance of the few like yourself. If your thoughts are unengaged, I fhall explain myself further. I am your, &c. RICHARD STEELE.

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Nov. 16, 1712.

YOU

OU oblige me by the indulgence you have fhewn to the poem I fent you, but will oblige me much more by the kind severity

are so trivial

I hope for from you. No errors but they deserve to be mended. But fince you fay you fee nothing that may be called a fault, can you but think it fo, that I have confined the attendance of guardian spirits to Heaven's favourites only? I could point you to several, but it is my business to be informed of thofe faults I do not know; and as for those I do, not to talk of them, but to correct them. You speak of that poem in a style I neither merit, nor ex

This was "The Guardian," in which Pope affifted.

This is not now to be found in the which is the poem here spoken of.

Temple of Fame,"

pect;

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