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loss for the cause, and can only resolve it into that appointment, by which it has been fore-ordained that all human delights shall be qualified and mingled with their contraries. For there is nothing formidable in you, to me at least, there is nothing such. No, not even in your menaces, unless when you threaten me to write no more. Nay, I verily believe, did I not know you to be what you are, and had less affection for you than I have, I should have fewer of these emotions, of which I would have none if I could help it. But a fig for them all! Let us resolve to combat with, and to conquer them. They are dreams, they are illusions of the judgment: some enemy that hates the happiness of human kind, and is ever industrious to dash it, works them in us, and their being so perfectly unreasonable as they are is a proof of it. Nothing that is such can be the work of a good agent. This I know too by ex. perience, that, like all other illusions, they exist only i by force of imagination-are indebted for their preva. lence to the absence of their object, and in a few mo. ments after its appearance cease. So, then, this is a settled point, and the case stands thus: You will trem. ble as you draw near to Newport, and so shall I: but we will both recollect that there is no reason why we should, and this recollection will at least have some lit. tle eifect in our favour. We will likewise both take the comfort of what we know to be true, that the tumult will soon cease, and the pleasure long survive the pain, even as long, I trust, as we ourselves shall survive it.
What you say of Maty gives me all the consolation that you intended. We both think it highly probable that you suggest 'the true cause of his displeasure, when you suppose him mortified at not having had a part of the translation laid before him, ere the specimen was, published. The General was very much hurt, and
calls his censure harsh and unreasonable. He likewise sent me a consolatory letter on the occasion, in which he took the kindest pains to heal the wound that he supposed I might have suffered. I am not naturally insensible, and the sensibilities that I had by nature have been wonderfully enhanced by a long series of shocks, given to a frame of nerves that was never very athletic, I feel accordingly, whether painful or pleasant, in the extreme-am easily elevated, and easily cast down. The frown of a critic freezes my poetical powers, and discourages me to a degree that makes me ashamed of my own weakness. Yet I presently recover my confidence again. The half of what you so kindly say in your last, would at any time restore my spirits, and being said by you, is infallible. I am not ashamed to confess, that having commenced an Author, I am most abundantly desirous to succeed as such. I have ( what perhaps you little suspect me of) in my nature, an infinite share of ambition. But with it, I have, at the same time, as you well know, an equal share of diffidence. To this combination of opposite qualities it has been owing, that till lately I stole through life without undertaking any thing, yet always wishing to distinguish myself. At last I ventured, ventured too in the only path that, at so late a period, was yet open to me, and am determined, if God have not determined otherwise, to work my way through the obscurity that has been so long my portion into notice. Every thing, therefore, that seems to threaten this my favourite purpose with disappointment, affects me nearly. I suppose that all ambitious minds are in the same pre. dicament. He who seeks distinction must be sensible of disapprobation exactly in the same proportion as he desires applause. And now, my precious cousin, I have unfolded my heart to you in this particular with
out a speck of dissimulation. Some people, and good people too, would blame me, but you will not, and they I think would blame without just cause. We certainly do not honour God when we bury, or when we neglect to improve as far as we may whatever talent he may have bestowed on us, whether it be little or much. In natural things, as well as in spiritual, it is a never-failing truth, that to him who hath, that is, to him who occupies what he hath diligently, and so as to increase it, more shall be given. Set me down, therefore, my dear, for an industrious rhymer, so long as I shall have the ability; for in this only way is it possible for me, so far as I can see, either to honour God, or to serve man, or even to serve myself.
I rejoice to hear that Mr. Throckmorton wishes to be on a more intimate footing. I am shy, and suspect that he is not very much otherwise ; and the consequence has been, that we have mutually wished an acquaintance without being able to accomplish it. Bles. sings on you for the hint that you dropt on the subject of the house at Weston ; for the burthen of my song is, since we have met once again, let us never be sepa. rated, as we have been, more.
Olney, May 15, 1786,
I have at length, my cousin, found my way into my summer abode. I believe that I described it to you some time since, and will therefore now leave it undescribed. I will only say that I am writing in a band-box, situated, at the least in my account, delightfully, because it has a window in one side
that opens into that orchard through which, as I am sit. ting here, I shall see you often pass, and which, therefore, I already prefer to all the orchards in the world. You do well to prepare me for all possible delays, because in this life all sorts of disappointments are possible, and I shall do well, if any such delay of your journey should happen, to practise that lesson of patience which you inculcate. But it is a lesson which even with you for my teacher, I shall be slow to learn. Being sure, however, that you will not procrastinate without cause, I will make myself as easy as I can about it, and hope the best. To convince you how much I am under discipline and good advice, I will lay aside a favourite measure, influenced in doing so by nothing but the good sense of your contrary opinion. I had set my heart on meeting you at Newport. In my haste to see you once again, I was willing to overlook many aukwardnesses I could not but foresee would attend it. I put then aside so long as I only foresaw them myself, but since I find that you foresee them too, I can no longer deal so slightly with them. It is therefore determined that we meet at Olney. Much I shall feel, but I will not die if I can help it, and I beg that you will take all possible care to outlive it likewise, for I know what it is to be balked in the moment of acquisition, and should be loth to know it again.
Last Monday, in the evening, we walked to Weston, according to our usual custom. It happened, owing to a mistake of time, that we set out half an hour sooner than usual. This mistake we discovered while we were in the wilderness ; So, finding that we had time before us, as they say, Mrs. Unwin proposed that we should go into the village, and take a view of the house that I had just mentioned to you. We did so, and found it such a one as in most respects would suit you
well. But Moses Brown, our vicar, who, as I told you, is in his eighty-sixth year, is not bound to die for that reason. He said himself, when he was here last
summer that he should live ten years longer, and for · aught that appears, so he may. In which case, for the
sake of its near neighbourhood to us, the vicarage has charms for me that no other place can rival. But this, and a thousand things more, shall be talked over when you come.
We have been industriously cultivating our acquaintance with our Weston neighbours since I wrote last, and they, on their part, have been equally diligent in the same cause. I have a notion that we shall all suit well. I see much in them both that I admire. You know, perhaps, that they are Catholics.
It is a delightful bundle of praise, my cousin, that you sent me : all jasmine and lavender. Whoever the lady is, she has an admirable pen, and a cultivated mind. If a person reads, it is no matter in what language ; and if the mind be informed, it is no matter whether that mind belongs to a man or a woman. The taste and the judgment will receive the benefit alike in both.Long before the Task was published, I made an experiment one day, being in a frolicksome mood, up, on my friend: We were walking in the garden, and conversing on a subject similar to these lines :
The few that pray at all, pray oft amiss,
I repeated them, and said to him with an air of non-chalance, “ Do you recollect those lines? I have seen them somewhere; where are they?" He put on a considering face, and after some deliberation replied 46 Oh, I will tell you where they must be in the Night