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prorogue them : for yesterday I heard that both he and the lords have given up the cause, and the house of commons have gained an entire victory; though, under the rose, I am of opinion that much of the confidence is abated on either side, and that whensoever they meet next, it will give that house a further occasion of encroaching on the prerogative and the lords ; for they who bear the purse will rule. The parliament being risen, my cousin Dryden will immediately be with you, and, I believe, return his thanks in person.—All this while I am lame at home, and have not stirred abroad this month at least. Neither my wife nor Charles are well, but have entrusted their service in my hand. I humbly add my own to the unwilling high sheriff, and wish him fairly at an end of his trouble.
The latter end of last week, I had the honour of a visit from my cousin, your mother, and my cousin Dorothy, with which I was much comforted. Within this month there will be played for my profit an old play of Fletcher's, called the Pilgrim, corrected by my good friend Mr. Vanbrugh; to which I have added a new Masque, and am to write a new prologue and epilogue. Southern's tragedy, The Revolt of Capua, will be played at Betterton's house within this fortnight. I am out with that company; and therefore, if I can help it, will not read it before 'tis acted, though the author much desires I should. Do not think I will refuse a present from fair hands, for I am resolved to save my bacon *. I
* See the letter dated Candlemas Day, 1698.
beg your pardon for this slovenly letter *; but I have not health to transcribe it. My service to my cousin, your brother, who I hear is happy in your company; which he is not, who most de. sires it, and who is, madam, your most obliged, obedient servant,
JOHN DRY DEN +.
* The paper was blotted with ink in several places, and otherwise soiled.
+ This great poet died on the first of May, only twenty days after this letter was written.
FROM THE MOST EMINENT
I see you in the well known cleugh, beneath the solenn arch of tall, thick,
embowering trees. p. 215.
WILLIAM CONGREVE TO MR. PORTER.
Calais, Aug. 11th, 0. S. 1700. HERE is admirable Champagne for twelve pence a quart, and as good Burgundy for fifteen pence; and yet I have virtue enough to resolve to leave this place to-morrow, for St. Omers, where the same wine is half as dear again, and may be not quite so good. Dear neighbours, Charles and Jacob, &c. I have never failed drinking your healths since we saw you, nor ever will till we see you again. We had a long passage, but delicate weather. We set sail from Dover on Saturday morning, four o'clock, and did not land here till six the same evening ; nor had we arrived even in that time, if a French open boat with oars had not been straggling towards us, when we were not quite half seas over, and