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LETTER XXIII.

TO MR. JACOB TONSON.

Wednesday. [f. Dec. 1697.]

MR. TONSON, I have broken off my studies from The ConQUEST OF CHINA, to review Virgil, and bestow'd nine entire days upon him. You may have the printed copy you sent me to-morrow morning, if you will come for it yourself; for the printer is a beast, and understands nothing I can say to him of correcting the press.Dr. Chetwood ? claims my promise of the Ode on St. Cecilia's Day; which I desire you to send to him (according to the parliament phrase) forthwith. My wife says you have broken your promise, about the picture, and desires it speedily: the rest I will tell you when you come.

Yours,

John Dryden.

See vol. iii. p. 547, n.

3 I know not to what picture our author alludes : per· haps a portrait of himself, which Tonson had promised to

present to Lady Elizabeth Dryden.

LETTER XXIV.

TO MR. JACOB TONSON.

[f. Dec. 1697.1 MR. TONSON, You were no sooner gone, but I felt in my pocket, and found my Lady Chudleigh's verses ; which this afternoon I gave Mr. Walsh to read in the Coffee-house. His opinion is the same with mine, that they are better than any which are printed before the book : so thinks also Mr. Wycherly. I have them by me; but do not send them, till I heare from my Lord Clifford, whether my Lady will put her name to them or not: therefore I desire they may be printed last of all the copyes, and of all the book. I have also written this day to Mr. Chetwood, and let him know,

- Mary, the daughter of Richard Leigh, of Winslade, in the county of Devon, Esq. She was the wife of Sir George Chudleigh, of Ashton, in the same county, Bart, and died in the year 1710.

s The copies of commendatory verses prefixed to the translation of Virgil. That work appears to have been at this time sent to the press, for the second edition, which was published in 1698 : on which ground I have affixed the conjectural date above. Lady Chudleigh's verses were, however, not printed before our author's work, but appeared afterwards in a Collection of her Poems, of which the second edition was published in 8vo. in 1709.

that the book is immediately goeing to the press again. My opinion is, that the printer shou'd begin with the first Pastoral, and print on to the end of the Georgiques, or farther, if occasion be, till Dr. Chetwood corrects his preface, which he writes me word is printed very false. You cannot take too great care of the printing this edition exactly after my amendments ; for a fault of that nature will disoblige me eternally.

I am glad to heare from all hands, that my Ode? is esteem'd the best of all my poetry, by all the town: I thought so my self when I writ it; but being old, I mistrusted my own judgment. I hope it has done you service, and will do more. You told me not, but the town says you are printing Ovid de Arte Amandi. I know my translations is very uncorrect ; but at the same time I know, nobody else can do it better, with all their paines. If there be any loose papers left in the Virgil I gave you this morning, look for them, and send them back by my man: I miss not any yet; but 'tis possible some may be left, because I gave you the book in a hurry. I vow to God, if Everingham takes not care of this impression, he shall never print any thing of mine heerafter: for I will write on, since I find I can.

6 The Preface to the Pastorals, which has been erroneously attributed to Walsh.

? The Ode for St. Cecilia's Day.
SOur author only translated the first book.

I desire you to make sure of the three pounds of snuff, the same of which I had one pound from you. When you send it any morning, I will pay for it all together. But this is not the business of this letter. When you were heer, I intended to have sent an answer to poor Charles his letter; but I had not then the letter which my chirurgeon promis'd me, of his advice, to prevent a rupture, which he fears.' Now I have the surgeon's answer, which I have inclos'd in my letter to my sonn. This is a business of the greatest consequence in the world : for you know how I love Charles ; and therefore I write to you with all the earnestness of a father, that you will procure Mr. Francia' to inclose it in his packet this week : for a week lost may be my sonn's ruine; whom I intend to send for next summer, without his brother, as I have written him word : and if it please God that I must dye of over-study, I cannot spend my life better, than in saving his. I vallue not any price for a double letter : let me know it, and it shall be payd; for I dare not trust it by the post: being satisfy'd by experience, that Ferrand will do by this, as he did by two letters which I sent my sonns, about my dedicating to the King :' of which

9 His son Charles had probably been much hurt by a dangerous fall at Rome. In a former Letter, his mother inquires particularly about his head. See also vol. i. part i. pp. 411, 417.

· Probably the Genoese Resident at that time. · See p. 57. n. 9.

they received neither. If you cannot go your self, then send a note to Signior Francia, as earnestly as you can write it, to beg that it may go this day, I meane Friday. I need not tell you, how much herein you will oblige

Your Friend and Servant,

J. D.

LETTER XXV.

TO MRS. STEWARD.'

MADAM,

Saturday, Octob. 1st–98. You have done me the honour to invite so often, that it would look like want of respect to

3 This lady, who was not less distinguished for her talents and accomplishments than her beauty and virtues, having been both a painter and a poetess, was the eldest surviving daughter of John Creed, of Oundle, Esq., (Secretary to Charles II. for the affairs of Tangier,) by Elizabeth Pickering, his wife, who was the only daughter of Sir Gilbert Pickering, Baronet, our author's cousingerinan; of whom, and of his amiable daughter, Mrs. Creed, a full account has already been given. See vol. i. part i. pp. 28—43, 340-342. Her eldest son, Richard Creed, as we have seen, fell in the battle of Blenheim, and was honoured with a monument in Westminster. Abbey. Her eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was born in the year 1672, and in 1692 married Elmes Steward, of Cota terstock, in the county of Northampton, Esq.; where they principally resided. By this gentleman, who is said to have preferred field-sports to any productions of the

VOL. I. PART II.

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