Imagens das páginas

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 Naffau more on the capture of the city or the compofition of your poems. For I think that this victory produced nothing more entitled to diftinction and to fame than your poem. But fince you celebrate the fucceffes of our allies in lays fo harmonious and energetic, what may we not expect when our own fucceffes call for the congratulations of your mufe? Adieu, learned fir, and believe me greatly obliged by the favour of your verses.

London, May 20, 1625.

To the fame.

In my former letter I did not fo much answer yours as deprecate the obligation of then anfwering it; and therefore at the time I tacitly promifed that you fhould foon receive another, in which I would reply at length, to your friendly challenge. But, though I had not promised this, it would moft juftly 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 ftrenuously engaged in that work concerning which I had given you fome obfcure 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 philofophical difputation for his degree, engaged me to furnish him with fome verses, which are annually required on this occafion; fince he himself had long neglected fuch frivolous purfuits, and was then intent on more ferious ftudies. Of thefe verfes I fent you a printed copy, fince I knew both your difcriminating tafte in poetry, and your candid allowances for poetry like mine. If you will in your turn deign to communicate to me any of your productions, you will,

I can

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I can affure you, find no one to whom they will give more delight, or who will more impartially endeavour to eftimate their worth. For as often as I recollect the topics of your converfation (the lofs of which I regret even in this feminary of erudition), I cannot help painfully reflecting on what advantages I am deprived by your abfence, fince I never left your company without an increase of knowledge, and always had recourfe 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 criticifm or philofophy, do not inftantly engage with raw and untutored judgments in the ftudy of theology; and of this they acquire only a flender fmattering, not more than fufficient to enable them to patch together a fermon with scraps pilfered, with little difcrimination, from this author and from that. Hence I fear, left our clergy fhould relapfe into the facerdotal ignorance of a former age. Since I find fo few affociates in ftudy here, I fhould inftantly direct my fteps to London, if I had not determind to fpend the fummer vacation in the depths of literary folitude, and, as it were, hide myself in the chamber of the mufes. As you do this every day, it would be injuftice in me any longer to divert your attention or engrofs your time. Adieu. Cambridge, July 2, 1628.



ON reading your letter, my excellent tutor, I find only one fuperfluous paffage, an apology for not writing to me fooner; for though nothing gives me more pleafure than to hear from you, how can I or ought I to expect that you should always have leifure enough from more ferious and more facred engagements to write to me; particularly when it is kindness, and not duty, which prompts you to write? Your many recent fer

vices must prevent me from entertaining any fufpicion of your forgetfulness or neglect. Nor do I fee how you could poffibly forget one on whom you had conferred so many favours. favours. Having an invitation into your part of the country in the fpring, I fhall readily accept it, that I may enjoy the delicioufnefs of the fcafon as well as that of your conversation; and that I may withdraw myself for a fhort time from the tumult of the city to your rural manfion, as to the renowned portico of Zeno or Tufculan 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 thoughtlefs multitude. I hope that you who deprecated the blame of delay, will pardon me for my precipitance; for, after deferring this letter to the laft, I chose rather to write a few lines, however deficient in elegance, than to fay nothing at all. Adieu, reverend fir.

Cambridge, July 21, 1628.



IF you had made me a prefent of a piece of plate, or any other valuable which excites the admiration of mankind. I fhould not be ashamed in my turn to remunerate you, as far as my circumftances would permit. But fince you, the day before yesterday, prefented me with an elegant and beautiful poem in Hendecafyllabic verfe, which far exceeds the worth of gold, you have increased my folicitude to discover in what manner I may requite the favour of fo acceptable a gift. I had by me at the time no compofitions in a like ftyle which I thought at all fit to come in competition with the excellence of your performance.

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performance. I fend you therefore a compofition which is not entirely my own, but the production of a truly infpired bard, from whom I last week rendered this ode into Greek Heroic verfe, 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 fubject than you do me in the execution, I have fent fomething which may ferve to reftore the equilibrium between us. If you fee reason to find fault with any particular paffage, I muft inform you that, from the time I left your school, this is the first and the last piece I have ever compofed in Greek; fince, as you know, I have attended more to Latin and to English compofition. 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 fee me, God willing, at London on Monday among the book fellers. In the mean time, if you have intereft enough with that Doctor who is the master of the college to promote my business, I beseech you to fee him as foon as poffible, and to act as your friendship for me may prompt.

From my villa, Decemb. 4, 1634.



I CLEARLY fee that you are determined not to be overcome in filence; if this be fo, you fhall have the palm of victory for I will write firft. Though, if the reafons which make each of us fo long in writing to the other should ever be judicially examined, it will appear that I have many more excufes for not writing than you. For it is well known, and you well know, that I am naturally flow in writing, and averfe to write; while you, either from difpofition or from habit, feem



to have little reluctance in engaging in thefe literary (por Quoεs) allocutions. It is alio in my favour, that your method of ftudy is fuch as to admit of frequent interruptions, in which you vifit your friends, write letters, or go abroad; but it is my way to fuffer no impediment, no love of ease, no avocation whatever, to chill the ardour, to break the continuity, or divert the completion of my literary purfuits. From 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, my dear Deodati, a very fluggish correfpondent; nor has it at any time happened that I ever left any letter of yours unanfwered till another came. So I hear that you write to the book feller and often to your brother, either of whom, from their nearnefs would readily have forwarded any communication from you to But what I blame you for is, for not keeping your promife of paying me a vifit when you left the city; a promife which, if it had once occurred to your thoughts, would certainly have forcibly fuggefted the neceffity of writing. These are my reafons for expoftulation and cenfure. You will look to your own defence. But what can occafion your filence? 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 ftay among the Hyperboreans? I wish you would give me an answer to each of thefe queftions; and that you may not suppose that I am quite unconcerned about what relates to you, I muft inform you that in the beginning 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 haftened to your lodgings; but it was only the fhadow of a dream, for you were no where to be found. Wherefore, as foon as you can do it without any inconvenience to yourself, I befeech you to take up your quarters where we may at leaft be able occafionally to vifit one another; for I hope that you would not be a different neighbour to us in the country than you are in b 4


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