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The Newtons left us on Friday. We frequently talked about you after your departure, and every thing that was spoken was to your advantage. I know they will be glad to see you in London, and perhaps when your summer and autumn rambles are over, you will afford them that pleasure. The Throckmortons are equally well disposed to you, and them also I recommend to you as a valuable connection, the rather because you can only cultivate it at Weston. i
I have not been idle since you went, having not only laboured as usual. at the Íliad, but composed a spick and span new piece, called “The Dög and the Water Lily,” which you shall see when we meet again. I believe I related to you the incident, which is the subject of it. I have also "read most of Lavater's Aphorisms; they appear to me some of them wise, many of them whimsical, a few of them false, and not a few of them extravagant. Nil illi medium. If he finds in a mạn the feature or quality that he approves, he deifies him; if the contrary, he is a devil. His verdict is in neither case, I suppose, a just one.
TO SAMUEL ROSE, ESQ.
Weston, Sept. 11, 1788. MY DEAR FRIEND,
Since your departure I have twice visited the oak, and with an intention to push my inquiries a mile beyond it, where it seems I should have found another oak, much larger, and much more respectable than the former; but once I was hindered by the rain, and once by the sultriness of the day. This latter oak has been known by the name of Judith many ages, and is said to have been an oak at the time of the Conquest. If I have not an opportunity to reach it before your arrival here, we will attempt that exploit together, and even if I should have been able to visit it ere you come, I shall yet be glad to do so, for the pleasure of extraordinary sights, like all other pleasures, is doubled by the participation of a friend.
You wish for a copy of my little dog's eulogium, which I will therefore transcribe, but by so doing I shall leave myself but scanty room for prose.
I shall be sorry if our neighbours at the Hall should have left it, when we have the pleasure
of seeing you. I want you to see them soon again, that a little consuetudo may wear off restraint; and you may be able to improve the advantage you have already gained in that quarter. I pitied you for the fears which deprived you of your Uncle's company, and the more having suffered so much by those fears myself. Fight against that vicious fear, for such it is, as strenuously as you can. It is the worst enemy, that can attack a man destined to the forumit ruined me. To associate as much as possible with the most respectable company, for good sense, and good breeding, is, I believe, the only, at least I am sure it is the best remedy. The society of men of pleasure will not cure it, but rather leaves us more exposed to its influence in company of better persons.
Now for the Dog and the Water Lily*.
* Note by the Editor.
As the poem inserted in this letter has been printed repeatedly, I shall here introduce in its stead two sprightly little poems, on the same favorite spaniel, written indeed at a later period, but hitherto, I believe, unpublished.
Á Spaniel, Beau, that fares like you,.
Well-fed, and at his ease, Should wiser be than to pursue
Each trifle, that he sees.
But you have kill'd a tiny bird,
Which flew not till to day, Against my orders, whom you heard
Forbidding you the prey.
Nor did you kill, that you might eat,
And ease a doggish pain, For him, though chas'd' with furious heat,
You left where he was slain.
Nor was he of the thievish sort,
Or one whom blood allures, But innocent was all his sport,
Whom you have torn for yours.
My dog! what remedy remains,
Since teach you all I can,
So much resemble man!
SIR! when I flew to seize the bird,
In spite of your command,
And harder to withstand:
You cried “ forbear!” but in my breast
A’mightier cried“ proceed !" 'Twas nature, Sir, whose strong behest · Impelld me to the deed.
And when your linnet on a day,
Passing his prison door, Had Autter'd all his strength away, in And panting press’d the floor,
Well knowing him a sacred thing,
And lick'd his feathers smooth.
Let my obedience then excuse
La From your aggriev'd Bow-Wow!19 VOL. III.