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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.
LETTER XIII *.
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, 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 suspense. I thank you again and again for your medical prescription. I know
* 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.
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 up the dose as well as direct it; send me, therefore, an electuary of these drugs, made up 66 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.
* BARBARAS ædes aditure mecum
Quas Eris semper fovet inquieta,
Dulcius quanto, patulis sub ulmi
Sæpe enim curis vagor expeditâ
* I choose to call this delicate Sapphic Ode the first original production of Mr. Gray's Muse; for verses imposed either by schoolmasters or tutors ought not, I think, to be taken into the consideration. There is seldom a verse that flows well from the pen
of a real Poet if it does not flow voluntarily.
Et, pedes quò me rapiunt, in omni
Risit & Ver me, facilesq; Nymphæ
Me reclinatum teneram per herbam;
Nectit in omni.
Hæ novo nostrum ferè pectus anno
Otia et campos nec adhuc relinquo,
Namque, seu, lætos hominum labores Prataq; & montes recreante curru, Purpurâ tractus oriens Eoos
Vestit, et auro;
Sedulus servo veneratus orbem
Usque dum, fulgore magis magis jam Languido circum, variata nubes Labitur furtim, viridisq; in umbras
O ego felix, vice si (nec unquam
Multà flagranti radiisq; cincto