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dum foves, officiosarum matrum ritu, interimas. Vide quæso, quam 'atpexūs tecum agimus,
'ηδ' επιθήσω Φάρμαχ’ ά κεν πάυσησι μελαινάων οδυνάων. * si de his pharmacis non satis liquet; sunt festivitates meræ, sunt facetiæ & risus ; quos ego equidem si adhibere nequeo, tamen ad præcipiendum (ut medicorum fere mos est) certè satis sim; id, quod poeticè sub finem epistolæ lusisti, mihi gratissimum quidem accidit; admodum latinè coctum & conditum tetrasticon, græcam tamen illam ápɛlɛíav mirificè sapit: tu quod restat, vide, sodes, hujusce hominis ignorantiam ; cum, unde hoc tibi sit depromptum, (ut fatear) prorsus nescio: sane ego equidem nihil in capsis reperio quo tibi minimæ partis solutio fiat. Vale, & me ut soles, ama.
A. D. 11, Kalend. Februar.
MR. WEST TO MR. GRAY.
I ought to answer you in Latin, but I feel I dare not enter the lists with you-cupidum, pater optime,
* Hom. Il. A. v. 191.
+ This was written in French, but as I doubted whether it would stand the test of polite criticism so well as the preceding would of learned, I chose to translate so much of it as I thought necessary in order to preserve the chain of correspondence.—Mason.
vires deficiunt. Seriously, you write in that language with a grace and an Augustan urbanity that amazes me: Your Greek too is perfect in its kind. And here let me wonder that a man, longè græcorum doctissimus, should be at a loss for the verse and chapter whence my epigram is taken. I am sorry I have not my Aldus with me that I might satisfy your curiosity; but he with all my other literary folks are left at Oxford, and therefore you must still rest in suspence. I thank you again and again for your medical prescription. I know very well that those “risus, festivitates & facetiæ" would contribute greatly to my cure, but then you must be my apothecary as well as physician, and make
the dose as well as direct it; send me, therefore, an electuary of these drugs, made up secundùm artem, et eris mihi magnus Apollo,” in both his capacities as a god of poets and god of physicians. Wish me joy of leaving my college, and leave yours as fast as you can.
I shall be settled at the temple very soon.
Dartmouth-street, Feb. 21, 1737-8.
MR. GRAY TO MR. WEST.
[This Letter began with the Sapphic Ode to Mr. West, and
ended with the Alcaic fragment.]
One! amicule noster, et unde, sodes tu ubootáTAKTOS adeò repente evasisti ? jam rogitaturum credo. Nescio hercle, sic planè habet. Quicquid enim nugarum 'enè oxolñs inter ambulandum in palimpsesto scriptitavi, hisce te maxumè impertiri visum est, quippe quem probare, quod meum est, aut certè ignoscere solitum probè novi: bonâ tuâ veniâ sit si fortè videar in fine subtristior; nam risui jamdudum salutem dixi; etiam paulò mæstitiæ studiosiorem factum scias, promptumque, Καινοΐς παλαιά δακρύοις τένειν κακά. .
Sed de me satis. Cura ut valeas.
MR. WEST TO MR. GRAY.
I RETURN you a thousand thanks for your elegant ode, and wish you every joy you wish yourself in it. But, take my word for it, you will never spend so agreeable a day here as you describe ; alas ! the sun with us only rises to shew us the way to Westminster Hall. Nor must I forget thanking you for your little Alcaic fragment. The optic Naiads are infinitely obliged to you.
I was last week at Richmond Lodge, with Mr. Walpole, for two days, and dined with * Cardinal Fleury; as far as my short sight can go, the character of his great art and penetration is very just, he is indeed
Nulli penetrabilis astro. I go to-morrow to Epsom, where I shall be for about a month. Excuse me, I am in haste t, but believe me always, &c.
August 29, 1738.
MR. GRAY TO MR. WALPOLE.
My dear Sir, I should say | Mr. Inspector General of the Exports and Imports ; but that appel
* Sir Robert Walpole.
+ Mr. West seems to have been, indeed, in haste when he writ this letter ; else, surely, his fine taste would have led him to have been more profuse in his praise of the Alcaic fragment. He might (I think) have said, without paying too extravagant a compliment to Mr. Gray's genius, that no poet of the Augustan age ever produced four more perfect lines, or what would sooner impose upon the best critic, as being a genuine ancient composition.—Mason.
# Mr. Walpole was just named to that post, which he exchanged soon after for that of Usher of the Exchequer. Mason.
lation would make but an odd figure in conjunction with the three familiar monosyllables above written, for
Non benè conveniunt nec in una sede morantur
Which is, being interpreted, Love does not live at the Custom-house; however, by what style, title, or denomination soever you choose to be dignified or distinguished hereafter, these three words will stick by you like a burr, and you can no more get quit of these and
christian name than St. Anthony could of his pig. My motions at present (which you are pleased to ask after) are much like those of a pendulum or (+Dr. Longically speaking) oscillatory. I swing from Chapel or Hall home, and from home to Chapel or Hall. All the strange incidents that happen in my journeys and returns I shall be sure to acquaint you with; the most wonderful is, that it now rains exceedingly, this has refreshed the prospect, as the way for the most part lies between green fields on either hand, terminated with buildings at some distance, castles, I presume, and of great antiquity. The roads are very good, being, as I suspect, the works of Julius Cæsar's army, for
* Ovidii Met. II. v. 6.
+ Dr. Long, the Master of Pembroke Hall, at this time read lectures in experimental philosophy.—Mason.
† All that follows is a humorously-hyperbolic description of the quadrangle of Peter-House.—Mason.