1734 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Walter Harte

Alexander Pope to David Mallet, May or June 1734; Works of Pope, ed. Elwin and Courthope (1871-1889) 10:86-87.



[May or June 1734].

DEAR SIR, — I am always obliged and pleased by your letters; though I am too busy, too sick, or too lazy, often, to answer them regularly. Pray let it not discourage you. Indeed, I have of late had a smaller share of health than ever, and in hope of amending it, I shall ramble about the kingdom, as you are to do most part of the summer. I wish it may so happen that we may meet in our progress. If you go to Down Amney I go go to Ciceter, if you go to Portsmouth I shall be at Southampton, if you ramble near Oxford I shall be at Stowe: in any of which places I can entertain you a day or two. If I can I will return from Stowe to Oxford, but this cannot be till July or August.

Pray tell Mr. Harte I have given Gilliver his poem to print, but whether he would chuse to publish it now or next winter, let himself judge. I undertook to correct the poem, but find myself so bad a reviser, by what I see has escaped me in my last thing, that I believe he had best have it sent him to Oxford, and besides that may be but an amusement to his or your eyes, which indeed is a pain to mine, since the frequency of my last headaches. You will order Gilliver accordingly, and upon the whole let Mr. Harte give him directions. I fancy the title of an Essay on Reason is the best, and am half of opinion, if no name be set to it, the public will think it mine: especially since in the Index (annexed to the large paper edition of the Essay on Man) the subject of the next Epistle is mentioned to be "Of Human Reason," &c. But whether this may be an inducement or the contrary to Mr. Harte I know not: I like his poem so well (especially since his last alterations) that it would no way displease me.

What are you doing? or what are you writing? Whatever it be I wish it successful, and am always with truth, affection and esteem, yours.