1744 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

David Mallet to Lord Orrery, 1 June 1744; ; Works of Pope, ed. Elwin and Courthope (1871-1889) 8:522-23.



STRAND, June 1, 1744.
At last, my lord, we have lost that excellent man. His person I loved, his worth I know, and shall ever cherish his memory with all the regard of esteem, and all the tenderness of friendship. In the midst of his extreme weakness he remembered your lordship, and charged me with his last good wishes for your health and happiness, — that you may long live, and be what you now are. The commission he delivered to me with so much earnestness, and warmth of affection, that I am sure it will have the same effect on your lordship it has now on me: it brings the tears afresh to my eyes.
On Monday last I took my everlasting farewell of him. He was enough himself to know me, to enquire after Mrs. Mallet's health, and anxiously to hasten his servant in getting ready my dinner, because I came late. The same kindness, the same friendly concern for those he loved, even in the minutest instances, that had distinguished his heart through life, were uppermost in his thoughts to the last. He died on Wednesday, about the middle of the night, without a pang or a convulsion, unperceived of those that watched him, who imagined he was only in a sounder sleep than ordinary. But I cannot go on. After the loss of such a friend what can I think of but of those very few I have left? As the foremost of that number I am importunate with your lordship to be very careful of what is so valuable to your family and country, — your health and spirits, — the uninterrupted possession of which no man can wish more sincerely than, my lord, your most faithful and obedient servant.
I had the honour of both your lordship's letter. What accounts I receive of our friend's will you may expect to know by the first opportunity.