Select letters between the late Duchess of Somerset, Lady Luxborough, ... and others; including a sketch of the manners, laws, &c. of the republic of Venice, ... The whole now first published from original copies, by Mr. Hull. In two volumes: [pt.1]
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LETTER LXXVII. Mr. DODSLEY to W. SHENSTONE, Esq.

Sept. 18, 1761.

Dear Mr. SHENSTONE,

AFTER I parted from you at Broomsgrove, I arrived very safe and speedily at Wor∣cester, as I hope you did at the Leasowes. I found Dr. D— in the same infirm State of Health, in which he has lingered for some Years past; but by keeping up his Spirits and his Appetite, by great Temperance, and by taking an Airing regularly twice a Day in his Chaise, for six or eight Miles at a Time, he has so nicely trimmed his feeble Lamp of Life, that he has prevented it from going out, and may possibly preserve it burning some few Years longer. I employed Mrs. D— to get me a Pot of Lampreys, which I sent, Carriage paid, to be left for you at Mr. HODGETT's: I hope you received them safe, and that they proved good.

Page  315On the Monday following, I went from Wor∣cester, in the Birmingham Stage, to Bristol, and the next Morning in a Post-Chaise to Bath. I found a Letter at LEAKE's, which had lain for me eight or ten Days, and the Morning after my Arrival received another, both ear∣nestly pressing my Return; I set out again, therefore, in two or three Days for London, where, without the least Fatigue, on Tuesday last I arrived. If I can be of any Service to the Widow, I shall be very glad; but I am afraid the Father is inclined to take every Advantage which the Law will allow him.

At Bath, I saw Mr. MELMOTH, who arrived there with his Lady the Day before I set out. He laments very much his Misfortune in mis∣sing you at the Leasowes: but hopes he shall have the Pleasure of seeing you some Time or other at Bath, where for the future (ex∣cept two or three Months in the Winter, which he will dedicate to his Friends in London) he intends to reside. I spent a Day with Mr. W—, who is meditating an Essay on Simplicity, of which he shewed me an imperfect Plan, and Page  316 some few Sketches of the Work; he considers it in Sentiments, Language, Actions, and Works of Art, and I fancy will make a good Performance of it. I spent also a Day with Mr. GRAVES. Mr. ALLEN has built him a good additional Room, and a handsome School. He is very earnest in his Wishes, that you would pursue your Subscription without farther Delay, and desires that I will press you to it without In∣termission; I told him, I had said all I could, and hoped you would proceed. You are in the Meridian of your Fame, he says, and should not let your Sun decline one Moment, before you put your Work in Agitation.

I am, dear Sir, with great Truth, affectionately yours, R. DODSLEY.