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tory; as poets babble that it formerly fell to the lot of Imolus the guardian of the Lydian mount. I know not whether i ought to congratulate Henry Nassau more on the capture of the city or the composition of your poems. For I think that this victory produced nothing more entitled to distinction and to fame than your poem. But since you celebrate the successes of our allies in lays so harmonious and energetic, what may we not expect when our own successes call for the congratulations of your muse? Adieu, learned fir, and believe me greatly obliged by the favour of your verses...
London, May 20, 1623.
To the same. In my former letter I did not so much answer yours as deprecate the obligation of then answering it; and therefore at the time I tacitly promised that you should soon receive another, in which I would reply at length to your friendly challenge. But, though I had not promised this, it would most justly be your due, fince one of your letters is full worth two of mine, or rather, on an accurate computation, worth a hundred. When your letter arrived I was strenuously engaged in that work concerning which I had given you fome obscure hints, and the execution of which could not be delayed. One of the fellows of our college, who was to be the respondent in a philosophical disputation for his degree, engaged me to furnish him with some verses, which are annually required on this occasion ; since he himself had long neglected such frivolous pursuits, and was then intent on more serious studies. Of these verses I sent you a printed copy, since I knew both your discriminating taste in poetry, and your candid allowances for poetry like mine. If you will in your turn deign to communicate to ine any of your productions, you will,
I can assure you, find no one to whom they will give more delight, or who will more impartially endeavour to estimate their worth. Foras often as I recollect the topics of your conversation (the loss of which I regret even in this teminary of erudition), I cannot help painfully reflecting on what advantages I am deprived by your absence, since I never left your company without an increase of knowledge, and always had recourse to your mind as to an emporium of literature. Among us, as far as I know, there are only two or three, who, without any acquaintance with criticism or philosophy, do not instantly engage with raw and untutored judgments in the study of theology; and of this they acquire only a slender smattering, not more than sufficient to enable them to patch together a sermon with scraps pilfered, with little difcrimination, from this author and from that. Hence I fear, left our clergy should relapse into the facerdotal ignorance of a former age. Since I find so few associates in study here, I should instantly direct my steps to London, if I had not determind to spend the summer vacation in the depths of literary solitude, and, as it were, hide myself in the chamber of the muses. As you do this every day, it would be injustice in me any longer to divert your attention or engross your time. Adieu.
Cambridge, July 2, 1628.
To Tuomas JURE. On reading your letter, my excellent tutor, I find only one superfluous passage, an apology for not writing to me sooner ; for though nothing gives me more pleasure than to hear from you, how can I or ought I to expect that you should always have leisure enough from more serious and more sacred engagements to write to me; particularly when it is kindness, and not duty, which prompts you to write ? Your many recent ser
vices must prevent me from entertaining any suspicion of your forgetfulness or neglect. Nor do I see how you could possibly forget one on whom you had conferred so many favours. Having an invitation into your part of the country in the spring, I shall readily accept it, that I may enjoy the deliciousnefs of the scason as well as that of your conversation ; and that I may withdraw myself for a short time from the tumult of the city to your rural mansion, as to the renowned portico of Zeno or Tusculan of Tully, where you live on your little farm with a moderate fortune, but a princely mind; and where you practise the contempt, and triumph over the temptations of ambition, pomp, luxury, and all that follows the chariot of fortune, or attracts the gaze and admiration of the thoughtless multitude. I hope that you who deprecated the blame of delay, will pardon me for my precipitance; for, after deferring this letter to the lait, I chose rather to write a few lines, however deficient in elegance, than to say nothing at all.
Adieu, reverend fir.
To Alexander Gill. If you had made me a present of a piece of plate, or any other valuable which excites the admiration of mankind. I should not be ashamed in my turn to remunerate you, as far as my circumstances would permit. But since you, the day before yesterday, presented me with an elegant and beautiful poem in Hendecasyllabic verse, which far exceeds the worth of gold, you have increased my folicitude to discover in what manner I may requite the favour of so acceptable a gift. I had by me at the time no compositions in a like style which I thought at all fit to come in competition with the excellence of your
performance. I send you therefore a composition which is not entirely my own, but the production of a truly inspired bard, from whom I last week rendered this ode into Greek Heroic verse, as I was lying in bed before the day dawned, without any previous deliberation, but with a certain impelling faculty, for which I know not how to account. By his help who does not less surpass you in his subject than you do me in the execution, I have sent something which may serve to restore the equilibrium between us. If you see reason to find fault with any particular passage, I must inform you that, from the time I left your school, this is the first and the last piece I have ever composed in Greek; since, as you know, I have attended more to Latin and to English composition. He who at this time employs his labour and his time in writing Greek is in danger of writing what will never be read. Adieu, and expect to see me, God willing, at London on Monday among the book sellers. In the inean time, if you have interest enough with that Doctor who is the master of the college to promote my business, I beseech you to see him as soon as poffible, and to act as your friendship for me may prompt.
From my villa, Decemb. 4, 1634.
I CLEARLY see that you are determined not to be overcome in silence; if this belo, you shall have the palm of victory for I will write first. Though, if the reasons which make each of us so long in writing to the other should ever be judicially examined, it will appear that I have many more excuses for not writing than you. For it is well known, and you well know, that I ani naturally slow in writing, and averse to write ; while you, either from disposition or from habit, seem
to have little reluctance in engaging in these literary (por Quinosus) allocutions. It is alio in my favour, that your method of study is such as to admit of frequent interruptions, in which you visit your friends, write letters, or go abroad; but it is my way to suffer no impediment, no love of case, no avocation whatever, to chill the ardour, to break the continuity, or divert the completion of my literary pursuits. Froin this and no other reasons it often happens that I do not readily employ my pen in any gratuitous exertions ; but I am not, nevertheless, iny dear Deodati, a very sluggish correspondent; nor has it at any time happened that I ever left any letter of yours unanswered till another came. So I hear that you write to the bookseller and often to your brother, either of whoin, from their nearness would readily have forwarded any communication from you to me. But what I blame you for is, for not keeping your promise of paying me a visit when you left the city; a promise which, if it had once occurred to your thoughts, would certainly have forcibly suggested the necessity of writing. These are my reasons for expoftulation and censure. You will look to your own defence. But what can occasion your silence? Is it ill-health? Are there in those parts any literati with whom you may play and prattle as we used to do? When do you return? How long do you mean to stay among the Hyperboreans? I wish you would give me an answer to cach of these questions; and that you may not suppose that I am quite unconcerned about what relates to you, I must inform you that in the begịnning of the autumn I went out of my way to fee your brother, in order to learn how you did. And lately when I was accidentally informed in London that you were in town, I instantly hastened to your lodgings; but it was only the shadow of a dream, for you were no where to be found. Wherefore, as soon as you can do it without any inconvenience to yourself, I beseech you to take up your quarters where we may at least be able occasionally to visit one another; for I hope that you would not be a different neighbour to us in the country than you are in