1743 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Lyttelton

James Thomson to George Lyttleton, 14 July 1743; European Magazine 20 (November 1791) 382.



London, July 14, 1743.

DEAR SIR,

I had the pleasure of your's some posts ago, and have delayed answering hitherto, that I might be able to determine when I could have the happiness of waiting upon you.

Hagley is the place in England I most desire to see; I imagine it to be greatly delightful in itself, and I know it to be so to the highest degree by the company it is animated with. Some reasons prevent my waiting upon you immediately; but if you will be so good as to the let me know how long you design to stay in the country, nothing shall hinder me from passing three weeks or a month with you before you leave it.

As this will fall in Autumn I shall like it the better; for I think that season of the year most pleasing, and the most poetical; the spirits are not then dissipated with the gaiety of spring, and the glaring light of summer, but composed into a serious and tempered joy.

The year is perfect. In the mean time I will go on with correcting the Seasons, and hope to carry down more than one of them with me.

The Muses, whom you obligingly say I shall bring along with me, I shall find with you; — the Muses of the great simple country, not the little fine-lady of Richmond-Hill. I have lived so long in the noise, or at least the distant din of the town, that I begin to forget what retirement is; with you I shall enjoy it in its highest elegance and purest simplicity.

The mind will not only be soothed into peace, but enlivened into harmony. My compliments attend all at Hagley, and particularly her who gives it charms to you it never had before.

Believe me to be ever, with the greatest respect, most affectionately your's,

JAMES THOMSON.