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My Dear Friend
   In the zeal of my heart, & delicacy (for it is not jealousy) of my friendship, I was going very often to write to you on purpose to chide you for not giving me the comfort of hearing from you while I was under an uneasy situation of mind: I thought to myself that had I known you to be under the like circumstance I should not have forborn it; but again I corrected myself [\when refflected DELETED\] [\when I refflected/] I should not in justice complain if your silence proceeded from even a want of love while if I enjoy'd any Share of it I had a great happiness which I did not nor could not merit: at last your kind letter arrived to cure me of all complaints, but tho it eased my weakness I would not dissemble it to you, for I ought I think to let you know every infirmity of my heart & every caprice of my mind, that you may know my faults and wear me so soild or throw me off if you cannot bear [\WORD DELETED\] [\my/] blemishes: I will answer that you will find me sincere affectionate & constant in my friendship, but know I have a very chagrin impatience of being forgotten, am most mournfull & melancholly when neglected, & if quite deserted by a
Friend should be apt to be extreamly miserable: as Lady Betty Modish says of her Lover I wear like Indian Damask, but you must not think to give me away to your maid nor dye me, for I am true blue & change not. Your care of my health in not giving me an opportunity of writing to you was certainly kind, but I will own to you it is a benefit of that high sort which we hardly understand, you behaved to me like a being of superior wisedom that knew what was best for me better than I did for my self for really writing tho pleasant has not been beneficial to me, but now I am so well I may do any thing. I was much chagrin'd at my Brothers disappointment, but when things are unalterable one must make oneself [\as/] easy as one can, & I hope it happen'd for the best, indeed I have ever look'd upon all accidents (except the loss of a friend) [\with DELETED\] [\as/] unsearchable, it is impossible to determine certainly whether they are good or ill, the [\final/] Event of things is far beyond our ken, & it is a folly to trust too much to our Conjectures about them. You envy our Society but it has its cares too, the Dutchess is still not well, I fear there may be breeding in the case but of this I say nothing; she is hysterical & low: Pen is a great comfort
To her, indeed she is very tender & amiable; her fondness for her Sister is delightfull & there is nothing of affectation in it: I was ever an Enemy to flattery & Hypocrisy & I hate it more every day; Truth & nature are always charming, where they are but homely still they are amiable, but borrow'd characters, forged sentiments, pretended affections & constrain'd behaviour, are strangely disagreable; in a conversation we had together we condemn'd imitating characters, & indeed with great reason it never succeeds; I know a Person that has made themselves very disagreable by a vain endeavour to be like [\TWO WORDS DELETED\] [\another who/] is really agreable; & have twenty insupportable faults by no other thing than intending to be perfect, what is foolish they w=d= not determine against because they have too much humility to trust their own judgment, what is [\WORD INTO wrong?\] they dare not condemn for fear of not being perfectly charitable, what is amiss they w=d= not punish for fear of being illnatured, & so on. but thus it must ever happen to those who do not build on truth, but are troubled with the Vice of Speciousness (if you will accept of a new phrase) this Speciousness is an incurable fault, for it gets so many
Admirers among y=e= foolish that there is no making it detestable in the eyes of the possess'd; I find so much false reasoning & such a narrow view of things with these sort of people that it puts me out of patience, I had rather ride upon a Mill horse than converse with scanty brain'd people; I shall take a [\lamthern DELETED\] [\lanthern/] & go about looking for Truth as the philosopher did when he went in quest of an Honest Man; but Alass Truth fled from the World with justice, & wisely she did to accompany Astrea who alone [\ownd INTO owns\] her as a benefactor & treats her as a friend: Pray burn this letter I beg as soon as you have answerd it; know I like not Imitation, Adulation
[\nor\] Admiration, I think them three bad threads to weave a [\character\]
upon: we agree in our opinions of persons; I find nothing natural in their character, nothing wise in their conversation, nothing agreable in their manner, so far we meet exactly, I believe they are good enough, but such an affectation of transcendent goodness I never met with: then they admire with such extravagance, commend with such flattery & imitate with such absurdity, & pitty with such weakness it is intolerable; their compassion for a Mite in a microscope is as great as it [\would INTO could\] be for a fellow Creature; then they have a desire of knowledge like the craving of hunger, but at the same time a diffidence of themselves that is pretty to y=e= last [\degree\]
I am just reading Wolleston & therefore perhaps the fonder of truth as he builds Morality & happiness upon it (I have got no further in y=e= book) but I think I was before a Lover of Truth as that which alone could bring us to Virtue & happiness, surely there is neither wisdom nor virtue in Error & looking upon things to be otherwise that they are; if Vice is not to be hated folly not condemn'd we must begin again, I am mistaken in my principles & actions drawn from false principles [\may? DELETED\] [\must/] be wrong & uncertain: but alass it is difficult to get at truth, it is clouded by ignorance, perplex'd by Science, perverted by interest, alter'd by prejudice, he alone who is the Light of all things, who can bring light out of Darkness can inform us right; oh may he guide our opinions to truth, our Actions to justice, & fill our hearts with Religion & piety: these are the ways of pleasantness
And the Paths of peace, joy is for the Righteous & gladness for the upright in heart; as for the [\WORD DELETED\] pleasure of a Mad World where Wickedness transact y=e= business & folly prepares the [\FOLD\] [\diversions\] I am now too old to think I can be happy by its manners & in its way, there is [\WORD DELETED\] much vice in it to hate, so much misery in it to pitty it will not admit of that tranquility [\which/] a weariness of action must make us wish for; I do not mean that I w=d= withdraw from the World for always but I would wish to withdraw my mind from its follies Vices & Delusions & establish a Retreat in my own breast, where I w=d= find Virtues honest & amiable; Wisedom & Science I am Content to renounce, [\& DELETED\] but affections good & delicate I w=d= wish to plant there. [\WORD INTO Cheifly\] a great gratitude to my friends & benevolence towards all whom a good heart intitled to good will. I think you my friend are capable of assisting me in this, & I am not idle or Hypocritical in my request, I ask for your advice & direction & most when you see it necessary for your reproof: I am perswaded our friendship is well fix'd, indeed I love you so tenderly it would be a great affliction to me to think otherwise. I am sorry you are not
In perfect health; pray Divert your mind it is the best Recipe for health. I desire my best complim=ts= to M=rs= Percival, I have sent for the Cowslips for her: my good wishes attend the Invalid & are hourly desiring his recovery of Ease. Mr Clark will tell you he finds me much mended. I shall not stay in Town with the Dutchess, I think the having one in London is an obligation one ought to be asham'd to reserve, for there is no want of company & one must therefore be only a trouble, & I am already too deep in the Debt of obligations ever to hope to be able to pay, so I think it is well I am not tempted with this addition which I sh=d= not were it put to my choice be able to refuse, I have not the Virtue, that is shamefull too, I have so seldom an opportunity of being generous [\sure\] I ought not to lose it. pray burn my letter I repeat it with earnestness. D=r= Young came on friday but have had no conversation with him for he has always been writing except at meals. I am
[\ADDRESS\] To / M=rs= Donnellan / at the Hon=ble= M=r= Percivals
/ In Old Bond Street / London