chapter  55
A Letter to Mr. Creech at Oxford, Written in the last great Frost.
Pages 3

Daphnis, because I am your debtor, (And other causes which are better) I send you here my debt of Letter. You shou’d have had a scrap of Nonsense, 5 You may remember left at Tonsons. (Tho by the way that’s scurvy Rhime Sir, But yet ’twill serve to Tagg a Line Sir.) A Billet Deux I had design’d then, But you may think I was in Wine then; 10 Because it being cold, you know We warm’d it with a Glass—or so, I grant you that Shie Wine’s the Devil, To make ones memory uncivil; But when ’twixt every sparkling Cup, 15 I so much brisker Wit took up; Wit, able to inspire a thinking; And make one solemn even in Drinking; Wit that would charm and stock a Poet, Even instruct ——— who has no Wit; 20 Wit that was hearty, true, and Loyal, Of Wit, like Bays Sir, that’s my Tryal; I say ’twas most impossible, That after that one should be dull. Therefore because you may not blame me, 25 Take the whole Truth as———shall sa’me, From White-Hall Sir, as I was coming, His Sacred Majesty from Dunning; Who oft in Debt is, truth to tell, For Tory Farce, or Doggerell, 30 When every Street as dangerous was, As ever the Alpian Hills to pass, When melted Snow and Ice confound one, Whether to break ones neck, or drown one, 167And Billet Deux in Pocket lay, 35 To drop as Coach shou’d Jolt that way, Near to that place of Fame call’d Temple, (Which I shall note by sad Example) Where Colledg Dunce is cur’d of Simple, Against that Sign of Whore call’d Scarlet, 40 My Coachman fairly laid Pilgarlick. Tho Scribling Fist was out of joynt, And ev’ry Limb made great complaint; Yet missing the dear Assignation, Gave me most cause of Tribulation. 45 To Honest H—le I shou’d have shown ye, A Wit that woul’d be proud t’have known ye; A Wit uncommon, and Facetious, A great admirer of Lucretius; But transitory hopes do vary, 50 And high Designments oft miscarry, Ambition never climb’d so lofty, But may descend too fair and softly, But would you’d seen how sneakingly I look’d with this Catastrophe. 55 So sawcy Whigg, when Plot broke out, Dejected hung his sniv’ling snout; So Oxford Member look’d, when Rowley Kickt out the Rebel Crew so foully; So Perkin once that God of Wapping, 60 Whom slippery turn of State took napping, From hopes of James the second fell In to the native Scounderell. So Lover look’d of Joy defeated, When too much fire his Vigour cheated, 65 Even so look’d I, when Bliss depriving, Was caus’d by over-hasty driving, Who saw me cou’d not chuse but think, I look’d like Brawn in sowsing drink. Or Lazarello who was show’d 70 For a strange Fish, to’th’ gaping Crowd. Thus you by fate (to me, Sinister), At Shop of Book my Billet mist Sir. And home I went as discontent, As a new routed Parliament, 75 Not seeing Daphnis ere he went. 168And sure his grief beyond expressing, Of Joy propos’d to want the Blessing; Therefore to Pardon pray incline, Since disappointment all was mine; 80 Of Hell we have no other notion, Than all the Joys of Heav’ns privation; So Sir with Recommendments fervent, I rest your very humble Servant. Postscript. On Twelfth night Sir, by that good token, 85 When lamentable Cake was broken, You had a Friend, a Man of Wit, A Man whom I shall ne’re forget; For every word he did impart, ’Twas worth the keeping in a heart: 90 True Tory all! and when he spoke, A God in Wit, tho Man in look. —To this your Friend—Daphnis address The humblest of my Services; Tell him how much—yet do not too, 95 My vast esteem no words can shew; Tell him—that he is worthy—you.