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permit me to scribble to you, I shall rejoice. To do this is a pleasure to me at all times, but to do it now, a double one; because I am in haste to iell you how much I am delighted with your projected quadruple alliance, and to assure you, that if it please God to afford me health, spirits, ability, and leisure, I will not fail to devote them all to the production of my quota of The four Ages.
You are very kind to humour me as you do, and had need be a little touched yourself with all my. oddities, that you may know how to adıninister to mine. All whom I love do so, and I believe it to be impossible to love heartily those who do not. People must not do me good in their way, but in my own, and then they do me good indeed. My pride, my ambition, and my friendship for you, and the interest I take in my own dear self, will all be consulted and gratified by an arm-in-arm appearance with you in public; and I shall work with more zeal and assiduity at Homer, and when Homer is finished at Milton, with the prospect of such a coalition before me. But what shall I do with a multitude of small pieces, from which I intended to select the best, and adding them to The four Ages, to have made a volume? Will there be room for them upon your plan? I have re-touched
them, and will re-touch them again. Some of them will suggest pretty devices to a designer, and in short, I have a desire not to lose them.
I am at this moment, with all the imprudence natural to poets, expending nobody knows what, in embellishing my premises, or rather the premises of my neighbour Courtenay,which is more poetical still. I have built one summer-house already, with the boards of my old study, and am building another spick and span as they say. I have also a stone-cutter now at work, setting a bust of my dear old Grecian on a pedestal; and beside all this, I meditate still more that is to be done in the autumn, Your project therefore is most opportune, as any project must needs be that has so direct a tendency to put money into the pocket of one so likely to want it.
Ah brother poet ! send me of your shade,
My poor Mary is as well as the heat will allow her to be, and whether it be cold or sultry, is always affectionately mindful of you, and yours.
W. C. LETTER XXXVIII.
To the Revd. Mr. GREATHEED.
July 27, 1793.
I was not without some expectation of a line from you my dear Sir, though you did not promise me one at your departure ; and am happy not to have been disappointed; still happier to learn that you and Mrs. Greatheed are well, and so delightfully situated. Your kind offer to us of sharing with you the house which you at present inhabit, added to the short, but lively, description of the scenery that surrounds it, wants nothing to win our acceptance, should it please God to give Mrs. Unwin a little more strength, and should I ever be master of my time so as to be able to gratify myself with what would please me most. But many have claims upon us, and some who cannot absolutely be said to have any, would yet complain, and think themselves slighted, should we prefer rocks and caves to them. In short we are called so many ways, that these numerous demands are likely to operate as a remora, and to keep us fixt at home. Here we can occasionally
have the pleasure of yours, and Mrs. Greatheed's company, and to have it here must I believe content us. Hayley in his last letter gives me reason to expect the pleasure of seeing him and his dear boy Tom, in the autumn. He will use all his eloquence to draw us to Eartham again. My Cousin Johnny of Norfolk holds me under promise to make my first trip thither, and the rery same promise l' have hastily made to visit Sir John and Lady Throckmorton, at Bucklands. How to reconcile such clashing promises. and give satisfaction to all, would puzzle me, had I nothing else to do; and therefore, as I say, the result will probably be, that we shall find ourselves obliged to go no where, since we cannot every where.
Wishing you both safe at home again, and to see you as soon as may be, here.
To WILLIAM HAYLEY, Esqr.
Weston, July 24, 1793.
I have been vexed with myself, my dearest brother, and with every thing about me, not excepting even Homer himself, that I have been obliged so long to delay an answer to your last kind letter. If I listen any longer to calls another way, I shall hardly be able to tell you, how happy we are in the hope of seeing you in the autumn, before the autumn will have arrived. Thrice welcome will you, and your dear boy, be to us, and the longer you will afford us your company, the more welcome. I have set up the head of Homer on a famous fine pedestal, and a very majestic appearance he makes. I am now puzzled about a motto, and wish you to decide for me between two, one of which I have composed myself, a Greek one as follows:
Εικονα τις ταυτην, κλυτον ανερος ενομ' ολωλεν.
Ουνομα δ' έτος ανηρ αφθιτον αιεν εχει.