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think, must receive an additional pleasure in contemplating those perfections in a friend, which it has not within itself; and may, in effect, fancy itself the proprietor or possessor of those advantages which adorn its other half.
But by this difference or diversity of humours or characters, I would not be understood to mean their incompatibility. Friendship could not long subfist under this visadvantage; the union must dissolve, and aversion fucceed. But this incompatibility (I wish I could think of a shorter word) does not always arise from the difference, but the too great uniformity of humours. Thus two people equally haughty, peremptory, or pofitive; must foon finish theit affairs; and yet these dispositions would mix extremely well with their contraries.
· Neither do I think equality of rank or fortune necefsary to form a perfect friendship. For perfect friendship is founded on virtue, on the perfections of the mind, or the goodness of the heart; and consults neither title, nor fortune. It does not tye itself to the genealogy, or the rentroll, but to the person. Our superiors, as such, have a right only to our complaisance, and 'tis a tribute that decency allows 'em ; but the esteem which comes from the heart, is due only to true merit. The great have a thousand ways of obliging or plaguing us; but they have but one of making themselves beloved, and that is, by a superiority of merit. When they condescend to rank this among their advantages, they are truly amiable ; they attract, and are attracted. Their own hearts are enlarged, the object finds an easy admittance; they please, and are pleased they have so many ways of obliging. An inferior, however, sets out with many disadvantages, which are not so much his demerits, as the necessary consequences of his situation; has requests to be gratified, or perhaps humours to be indulged as well as his betters; and these may by degrees dissolve the charm. But a superior may be obliged, and perhaps oftener infifts upon being pleased. If the former can wave his pretentions, resign his interest, or humour, to his friendship, he is no longer the inferior ; his generosity of sentiment gives him his rank, and entitles him to equal indulgencies. But an equality is often as fatal. Jealousies, emulations ; and oppositions of interests, are rocks upon which the firmest friendships have split. An inequality, however, fteers clear of these ; and if it has any other wrecks to fear, they are no more than are common to both.
- In short, true friendship, found it upon what you will, can never subsist long, but
sense and virtue. And whether we are of different, or the same dispositions: equals, or inequals, have a narrow way of thinking, or no way at all, (for every thing will unite itself to somewhat) when once the mind has pass'd his judgment upon the object, and the heart has found its attraction, it examines no farther, but takes the most effectual and speedy methods of uniting itself to it.
. I believe that last thought was none of my own; but if 'tis not, I don't know who it belongs to; so cannot pay the right owner my acknowledgments.'
The following letter abounds with more wit, vivacity, and good sense, than may barely serve to justify our giving it a place here.
"] (d) hope you know I honour you extremely, because I'm just going to tell you (after having thank'd you most cordially for your agreeable letter) that I'll never trust you with any more secrets as long as I live. The very moment I had given you the infide of my breast, to order your chariot, and drive away with it to the first person you could meet with. O times ! O manners! O
sex! Is there none that can contain a secret ? No, not one.
. But what, my good madam, could move you to communicate to lady H. or any lady in the land, a stupid letter of mine ? Even if there are no secrets, 'tis impossible for a second person to understand a letter; and if there are, 'tis perfidy, downright perfidy, to thew one.—How amiable was the picture I had been forming of you! I had juft begun to think you an angel ; but the post-man knock'd at the door, and spoilt my vision.
"Your advice, however, is very sober and significant; and much the same I'd give, but don't care to takeotherwise, I mean, than very kindly. But why humble myself, I beseech you? (for I find I can't help trusting you again already) and all of a sudden fall to owning I've done wrong, when I've only been passive in the affair, and done nothing. My friend absconded, and I did not so much as upbraid her; I only-- acquiesc’d. Nothing in nature had happen'd; 'twas all calm and quiet as a summer's sea; but in a moment the face of the sky was obscur’d, and I have been totally in the dark, as to the reason why, ever fince. Now and then, indeed, a friendly star or two look'd out upon me from a distant quarter, and in some measure sup
plied (d) P. 235.
plied the absence of the sun. You, like an Aurora Borealis, for a while relum'd my ancient light. Lady Frances Williams was a meteor. She darted her rays upon me for å moment ; but being of irregular appearance, and among the surprising, tho' pleasing phenomena, there's no accounting for her motions by any of the stated laws of being. I had only one fixed orb to cast up my eyes to, and guide me thro' the dark profound. She shone, and still fhines with undiminished rays; and you may see her every night at Somerset-house, calmly moving on her own axis, and out of the reach of those haloes, and hurricanes that disturb the planetary system.
In this situation, I say, my friend withdrew her beams. And for this reason you'd have me betake myself to the wholsome duty of humiliation, and go and confess I have been extremely in the wrong. I own, 'tis an humbling confideration, and I never was more mortified in my life; but how to bring myself to confeffion, and own I've done what I've only suffer'd, is a strain of humility quite out of the reach of my unaslisted reafon. 'Tis somewhat like those pious forms of confession one meets with in fome over-righteous books, which shock one's nature to repeat. As they are most of them penn’d for general use, in order to take in particular cases, the poor penitent is to declare, that he's the vileft of sinners, and the worst of ment; not only a liar, an adulterer, or a fabbath-breaker, but, in short, every commandment-breaker of the ten. And the confession to be sure is a very righteous confeffion for those it hits; but I never repeat any of this fort, as having no manner of relation to my particular sins So that in regard to this part of your advice, I must beg leave to diffent a little; conceiving it both absurd and inconsistent with truth to confess what never entered into my head to commit.
• But to talk seriously, and like a good catholic, for I love to confess to you—(O that you could but keep a secret!) that we are all liable to mistakes, that we are as often disgusted with ourselves as with others, and that mifbehaviour as often arises from infirmity as design, I can readily allow, (for I am very far from thinking that every body, that does a wrong, means one) I say, when we take these, and many more confiderations into the question, one may, nay one certainly ought to overlook an indignity, tho' there's nothing hinders that one should not feel one. I question whether ever we thoroughly hate a friend we
have been used to converse with without reserve. At least one must be of a very malevolent cast indeed, not to feel some returns of affection, upon the slightest overtures of a returning friendship. - The Itrings which have been so long and so equally wound, will naturally vibrate, when their
corresponding notes are touch’d. But this can only happen · when the harmony is discontinued ; if 'tis totally discon
certed, and persisted in, nothing remains but diffonance and discord. In regard to the former, each party must give up a few niceties of the ear, for the fake of the tune; and if, after that, they can only adjust their crotchets and quavers, all will be well. But in my particular cafe, I can't possibly be called upon to aflist, because there's no part left for me to perform. I don't care to offer at an air, and am above appearing in recitative; so that 'tis impossible we should ever have another concert, unless my friend condescends to open it herself with a solo. In this case, whatever diffonances my temper may have acquired since this rupture, I affure you, not a note shall be lost for want of the highest attention.
• Thus have I trusted you once more with the secret of my heart in metaphor. "If you should chuse to communicate this likewise to her ladyfhip, I've no objections. For I had rather she knew every thing I say, than not; and should like to be in a corner, and hear you both upon the case. For though I think myself in the right, the rest of the world, perhaps, may think me in the wrong.
Every part of your letter is extremely agreeable and entertaining; except where you apologize for what is most so to me, writing so soon. I believe none of
your correspondents ever made that a complaint against you; we only suffer when you're filent long.
• Will you forgive all this nonsense, in a few words? Or shall I add to your troubles by a more formal apology ?
The remainder of mrs. Jones's letters, being those in the second and third divisions, are addressed to the hon. miss Lovelace, and to lady Henry Beauclerk; they are a very entertaining series, and fill 120 pages.
MONTHLY CATALOGUE, For June 1752.
Jeffry. A humorous, ironical satire pon dr. Hill, occasioned by his late rencounter at Ranelagh, with a person said to be ridiculed in one of the doctor's Inspectors.
II. Memoirs of the life of Neil Gwin, mistress to king Charles II. 8vo. Is. Stamper.
A kind of panegyricon mrs. Gwin. The author characterises her as a lady of diftinguished talents; in whom wit, beauty and benevolence were united. But he has given us few, if any, particulars concerning her, that were not sufficiently known before.
III. A clear and compendious history of the gods and goddesses, and their cotemporaries, whether patriarchs, emperors, kings, princes, physicians, historians, poets, &c. By David Watson, A. M. 8vo. 35. Printed for the author *, and fold by the booksellers.
This book is designed for schools; and somewhat differs from Tooke's Pantheon, or King's history of the heathen gods. Mr, Watson has given a pretty large account of the oracles, which they have omitted ; and as nothing ought to be introduced into the studies of young people, but what may rather incite to morality and virtue, than be repugnant thereto, he has avoided that enumeration of the loose and criminal exploits of the gods, &c. which the former books of this kind have given.
IV. An essay towards a natural history of the HERRING. By James Solas Dodd, surgeon. 8vo. 35. fewed. Vincent.
This article ranks with mr. Hughes's natural history of Barbadces. See Review, vol. 3.
V. A narrative of the affair between mr. Brown and the Inspector. 8vo. 6 d. Clay. See Art. 1. above.
VI. The doctrine of libels, and the duty of juries fairly stated, 8vo. Is. Cooper.
The design of this tract is chiefly the same with Art. 1. in our catalogue for last month.
VII. Remarks on Mason's ELFRIDA. 8vo. Is. Tonson.
A fond encomium on mr. Mason's poem, not ungenteelly, tho', in some places, rather too inaccurately written :
the * If mr Watson fhould print another impression of this work, he will do well to correct the many inaccuracies and errors of the present edition,