Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/149

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ii s. ix. FEB. 21, 1914.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, and mentions that he had in his possession a copy of the engraved portrait. He adds an extract from Maurice's will, in which the printed books in his house at Dunmore were bequeathed to form a library for the use of the clergy of his diocese. Is this still preserved at Kilkenny or elsewhere ? Of the "Comedy" nothing appears to be known.

Dunmore, near Atthy, MY DEAR FRIEND, Sept. 16. 17

Your letter directed long ago to Bath, after many adventures, found me at Dunmore, but found me disappointed of all my propos'd rest and joy by worse weather than I left in England : so bad that I wish'd myself, back. But that was not all the reason of my wish. For I have, and do reproach myself that I spent so little time with one who often has made my time so light and easy that I was insensible of its motion. That trifle I left with you, since it has the good fortune to give you some entertainment, I would wish you to transcribe that you may retain some impression of one who cannot see you as often as he passionately desires. The performance was with my usual rapidity under a tree in sight of masons, who were, I hope, doing better, making a quay. You flatter me with the facility of the measure. I have found the prose of Comedy commonly too stiff. The measure is what makes Comedy as even as much as the Friction, if it be at all a Poem, which, you know, was formerly doubted. There is a charm in it which takes the ear delightfully, especially when pronounced by a smooth and pliant tongue. I shew'd it to Quin who seem'd not to relish it and objected to the measure. He seem'd to think it strange that I could be so employ'd without having him in my eye. But I thought not of the Stage but amus'd myself with an imitation of one of the most regular pieces (at least) that I ever read. There happens to be no part for Quin in it. There is for Garrick, to whom I would have shewn it had it not been for his abrupt departure from Bath. And, if you know him and can trust him, I should not be displeased with his thoughts of it. And so ask for. the Flat- terer, whom you may send by some safe hand, seal'd up, to Hans Bailie, for my use, on whom I could make some improvement, were it worth while.

Tom Tench I left at Bath, bound, and in his boots, for Cheltenham, and have heard nothing of him since. I had him longer than any man ever had, except his old master. Rob Buller has not given me a scrawl since I came to Ireland. I shall soon see him in Dublin, where I shall appear as a sort of an Elfinstick, but so cool a one as never went to the Castle of Dublin. But "when a man does not as he is bid you may thank yourself, or you would have been, is the language.

I am surpriz'd I have heard nothing of my shadow at Hudson's. He promised to frame and finish it. and have a copper plate made of it and to send all where I directed, to Hans Bailie the Alderman. I have heard nothing of him, though he was writ to by Bailie and directed to call on Knox for all expenses. I do suppose the Print is not done. If it be not, 1 should desire to have the Picture without it. And if he is unwilling to part with it

without having a Print taken of his Master-piece- as he seems to imagine it, I would have it engrav'd, and not in the Messptinto way. I left him a lemma to put under it, instead of a name. It was this

Umbrosse cui circum flumina Noerse Rus fuerat, pauperque domus, nee nota potentum Munera. Virg.

If the print be not done and yet to be done, I' would change it for this

Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes.

Flumina amem silvasque inglorius.

[Georg. II. 485-6.]

But I leave the choice to you. The latter I prefer, as it is Virgil pure and undebauch'd, whereas the former has in it three chang'd words, besides the- ambiguity they may convey of the word Munera.

I am, to give you some account of myself, in good health and tolerable spirits, still wakeful as the nightingale ; that as musical ! For I am in my third copy of Homer, being willing to leave it legible to some friend, for the copy before me is so scor'd and interlined that you, who are a pretty good master of cypher, could make nothing of it. I have just room for my best respects to your good wife and my blessing to your boy. I think often of Moreton, Quin, &c., and am My dear Taylour,

Everlastingly yours, E. M.



(See ante, p. 121.)

WE thus have it made plain that there was a manuscript of ' The Essay on Woman/ and Curry swore that this was in Wilkes's handwriting.

This does not, indeed, prove him to be the author ; he might be merely the copyist. Is there such proof ? There is. Where ? In the original letters, under the hands of Thomas Potter and John Wilkes themselves. The letters of Wilkes have been published over a century and a half. That of Potter about to be noticed has been studiously overlooked by those partial critics who have laboured to prove the authorship of Potter, and to deny even the participation of Wilkes.

It will be remembered that on 12 Dec., 1766, Wilkes wrote thus to the Duke of Grafton (' Letters between the D. of G. and

John Wilkes,' London, 1769; 'The

Poems of J. W.,' quarto, 1871):

"He [Pitt] may remember the compliment he paid me on two certain poems of mine in the year 1754 If I were to take the declarations made by himself and the late Mr. Potter in his letter, they were more charmed with those verses after the ninety-ninth reading than after the first.