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And fo attending other serious Matters,
Tim. You Gods reward 'em!
Flav. Would I could not: That Thought its Bounty's Foc; Being free itself, it thinks all others so.
Enter first Servant. Tim. Peace, here comes my Messenger from Lord Lucullus, Well, what Success ?
I Serv. Soon as I saw my Lord Lucullus; Honest Friend, says he, you are very respectfully welcome. Fill me some Wine. And how does that honourable, compleat, freehearted Gentleman of Athens, thy very bountiful good Lord and Master? His Health, said Í, is very well, Sir. I am right glad to hear, quoth he, his Health is well: And what hast thou there under thy Cloak? A Gift, I warrant: Why this hits well, I dreamt of a Silver Bason and Ewer last Night. No, faith, my Lord, says I, here's nothing but an empty Box, which, in my Lord's behalf, I come to entreat your Honour to supply ; who having great and instant Occasion ta use fifty Talents, hath sent to your Lordship to furnith him, nothing doubting your present Alistance therein. Nothing doubting ! says he, with an alter'd Tone and Countenance; alas, good Lord, a noble Gentleman ’tis, if he would not keep so good a House. Many a time and often I have din'd with him, and told him of it, and came again to Supper with him, on purpose to have him fpend less. And yet he would embrace no Counfel, take no Warning by my coming. Every Man hath his Fault, and Honesty is his. I have told him of it, but I could never get him from it. Good Friend, he goes on, I have noted thee always wife ; here's to thee. I have observed thee always for a towardly prompt Spirit, give thee thy Due; and one that knows what belongs to Reason; and canft use the Time well, if the Time use thee well. Good
Parts in thee.-Draw nearer, honest Friend: Thy Lord's a bountiful Gentleman; but thou art wife, and thou knoweft well enough (altho' thou com'st to me) that this is no Time to lend Money, especially upon bare Friendship, without Security. Here's three Solidares for thee; good Boy wink at me, and say thou saw'st me not.— Is't possible, quoth I, the World fhould so much differ? Fly, damned Baseness, to him that worfhips thee! (and threw it back with Scorn.) Tim. I thank thee for thy honest Zeal.
[Enter 2d Servant.) But here Comes he I sent to Lucius. What fay'st thou ?
2d Serv. My Lord, I saw Lord Lucius, and began to deliver your Message to him. May it please your Honour, faid I, my Lord hath sent-Ha! what hath he sent ? says he; I am so much endear'd to that Lord; he's ever sending : how Thall I thank him, think'st thou ? And what has he fent? He has only sent his present Occasion now, my Lord, says I; requesting your Lordship to supply his instant Use with fifty Talents. I know his Lordship is but merry with me, quoth he; he cannot want fifty times five hundred Talents." Were his Occafion, I reply'd, less pressing, I should not urge it half so fervently. Doft thou speak seriously then ? says he. Why what a wicked Beast was I, to disfurnish myself against such a good Time, when I might have shewn myself' honourable? How unluckily it happen'd that I should make a Purchase but a Day before ? I am vastly sorry I am not able to do---I was sending to use Lord Timon myself, these Gentlemen can witness; but I would not for the Wealth of Athens, I had done it now. Commend me bountifully to his good Lordship; and I hope his Honour will conceive the fairest of me, because I have really no Power to be kind. And tell him this from me, I count it one of my greatest Amiations, that I cannot pleasure such an honourable Gentleman.
Tim. And is this all? This the Return for all I've done? But see my Messenger from Sempronius. What says he ?
3d Serv. Sempronius, my Lord, after much Hesitation, and muttering to himself, cry'd in a furly Tone, Must he needs trouble Me in't?-Me above all others ?-He might have try'd Lord Lucius, or Lucullus ; and now Ventidius is wealthy too, whom he redeem'd from Prison: All these owe their Estates unto him. O, my Lord, says I, they've all been touch’d, and all are found basė Metal; for they've all deny'd him. How! denyd him? says he; Ventidius and Lucullus both deny'd him? And does he send to me? Hur !-- It shews but little Love or Judgment in him. Must I be his last Re
fuge ? fuge ? He has much disgrac'd me in it. I'm angry. He might have known my Place; I see no Cause, but his Occasions might have woo'd me first: for in my Conscience I was the first Man that e'er receiv'd a Present from him. And does he think so backwardly of me that I'll requite it last? No: so it may prove an Argument of Laughter to the rest, and I 'mongst' Lords be thought a Fool. I'd rather than the Worth of thrice the Sum, he'd sent to me first, but for my Mind's Sake: I had such a Courage to have done him good. But now return,
And with their faint Reply this Answer join,
Who doubts mine Honour, shall not know my Coin !
Flav. Why, this is the World's Soul;
Tim. And is it thus ? - This then is Timon's last. -
O live loath'd, and long,
[Exit in a Rage. of Serv. Hark you, good Steward, where's our Master gone? Are we undone, cast off, nothing remaining?
Flav. Alack, my Fellows, what should I say to you?
1/t Seru. Such a House broke up!
2d Serv. As we do turn our Backs
3d Serv. Yet do our Hearts wear Timon's Livery,
Flav. Good Fellows all;
On Writing LETTERS.
FTER Reading and Speaking with Grace and Pro
priety, the next thing to be considered, is the Art of Writing Letters; as a great part of the Commerce of human Life is carry'd on by this means.
The Art of epistolary Writing, as the late Translator of Pliny's Letters has obsery'd, was esteemed by the Romans, in the Number of liberal and polite Accomplishments; and we find Cicero mentioning with great Pleasure in some of his Letters to Atticus, the elegant Specimen he had receiv'd from his Son, of his Genius in this Way *. It seems indeed to have formed Part of their Education; and in the Opinion of Mr. Locke, it well deserves to have a Share in ours. " The
Writing of Letters (as that judicious Author observes) enters « fo much into all the Occasions of Life, that no GentleYOL. I.
Ad Att. lxy, 16, 17,
man can avoid showing himself in Compositions of this kind. “ Occurrences will daily force him to make this Use of his “ Pen, which lays open his Breeding, his Sense, and his Abi“ lities, to a severer Examination than any oral Discourse." It is to be wonder'd we have so few Writers in our own Language, who deserve to be pointed out as Models upon such an Occasion. After having nam'd Sir William Temple, it would be difficult perhaps to add a Second. The elegant Writer of Cowley's Life, mentions him as excelling in this uncommon Talent; but as that Author declares himself of Opinion, “ That Letters which pass between familiar Friends, if they
are written as they should be, can scarce ever be fit to see “ the Light," the World is deprived of what, no doubt, would have been well worth its Inspection. A late distinguished Genius treats the very Attempt as ridiculous, and profeffes himself “a mortal Enemy to what they call a fine Letter.” His Averfion however was not so strong, but he knew how to conquer it when he thought proper, and the Letter which closes his Correspor.dence with Bishop Atterbury, is, perhaps, the most genteel and manly Address that ever was pen'd to a Friend in Disgrace. The Truth is, a fine Letter does not consist in saying fine things, but in expressing ordinary ones in an uncommon manner. It is the proprie communia dicere, the Art of giving Grace and Elegance to familiar Occurrences, that constitutes the Merit of this kind of Writing. Mr. Gay's Letter concerning the two Lovers who were struck dead with the fame Flash of Lightning, is a Master-piece of the Sort; and the Specimen he has there given of his Talents for this Species of Composition, makes it much to be regretted, we have not more from the same Hand: We might then have equalled, if not excelled, our Neighbours the French in this, as we have in every other Branch of polite Literature, and have found a Name among our own Countrymen to mention with the easy Voiture. I will here give you, from our
best Authors in this Way, fome Specimens of Letters of different kinds, as also some Translations from the Latin and French, by way of Examples ; and I shall close with an original which I have by me, written to a young Gentleman at School, on the Subject of Writing Letters.