1742 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Savage

Alexander Pope to Richard Savage, 15 September 1742; Works of Pope, ed. Elwin and Courthope (1871-1889) 10:100-01.



15th Sept. [1742].

I am sorry to say there are in your letter so many misunderstandings, that I am weary of repeating what you seem determined not to take rightly.

I once more tell you, that neither I, nor any one who contributed at first to assist you in your retirements, ever desired you should stay out of London, for any other reason than that your debts prevented your staying in it.

No man desired to confine you to the country, but that the little they contributed might support you better there than in a town.

It was yourself who chose Swansea for your place; you no sooner objected to it afterwards (when Mr. Mendez stopped his allowance, upon complaint that you had used him ill), but I endeavoured to add to it, and agreed to send remittances to any other country place you pleased. Indeed I apprehended Bristol was too great a city to suit a frugal expense; however, I sent thither all I could, and now with as good a will, I add this little more at your desire, which I hope will answer your end you propose of making easy your journey to London.

I heartily wish you may find every advantage, both in profit and reputation, which you expect from your return and success; not only on the stage, but in everything you shall commit to the press. The little I could contribute to assist you should be at your service there, could I be satisfied it would be effectually so (though intended only while you were obliged to retire). But the contrary opinion prevails so much with the persons I applied to, that it is more than I can obtain of them to continue it. What mortal would take your play, or your business with Lord T., out of your hands, if you could come and attend it yourself. It was only in defect of that, these offices of the two gentlemen you are so angry at, were offered. What interest but trouble could they have had in it? And what was done more in relation to the Lord, but trying a method we thought more likely to serve you, than threats and injurious language? You seemed to agree with us at your parting, to send some letters, which after all were left in your own hands, to do as you pleased. Since then neither they nor I ever saw or spoke to him, on yours or any other subject. Indeed I was shocked at your strong declarations of vengeance and violent measures against him, and am very glad you now protest you meant nothing like what those words imported.