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longer than till the ensueing week, because Mr. Aston will afterwards be gone, if not sooner.

Be pleased to send me word what day will be most convenient to you; and be ready with the price of paper, and of the books. No matter for any dinner; for that is a charge to you, and I care not for it. Mr. Congreve may be with us, as a common friend; for as you know him for yours, I make not the least doubt, but he is much more mine : send an immediate answer, and you shall find me ready to do all things wch become

Your Servant,




Wednesday, the 13th of 7ber [f. 1695.) MY GOOD FRIEND, This is onely to acquaint you, that I have taken my place in the Oundle coach for Tuesday next;

' This seems to relate only to the additional number of copies, which were to be printed (probably on small paper,) for the second subscribers. The copies on large paper were, I suppose, appropriated to the subscribers of five guineas.

? It was formerly the custom to settle all agreements between authors and bookseliers, as well as various other contracts,) at taverns; and the bargain was never concluded without either a whet or a dinner. In some of and hope to be at London on Wednesday night. I had not confidence enough to hope Mr. Southern and Mr. Congreve woud have given me the favour of their company for the last foure miles; but since they will be so kind to a friend of theirs, who so truely loves both them and you, I will please myself with expecting it, if the weather be not so bad as to hinder them.

I assure you I lay up your last kindnesses to me in my heart; and the less I say of them, I charge them to account so much the more; being very sensible that I have not hitherto deserv'd them. Haveing been obliged to sit up all last night almost, out of civility to strangers, who were benighted, and to resign my bed to them, I am sleepy all this day: and if I had not taken a very lusty pike that day, they must have gone supperless to bed, foure ladyes and two gentlemen ; for Mr. Dudley and I were alone, with but one man, and no'mayd; in the house.—This time I cannot write to my wife; do me the favour to let her know I receiv'd her letter, am well, and hope to be with her on Wednesday next, at night. No more but that

I am very much
Your Friend and Servant,


the city taverns, several dozens of wine were often consumed in a morning in half-pint whets.

3 Our author's love of fishing has already been noticed. See vol. i. part i. P: 520.



October the 29th. [f. 1695.] MR. TONSON, Some kind of intercourse must be carryed on betwixt us, while I am translating Virgil. Therefore I give you notice, that I have done the seaventh Eneid in the country;t and intend some few days hence, to go upon the eight : when that is finish'd, I expect fifty pounds in good silver; not such as I have had formerly. I am not oblig'd to take gold, neither will I; nor stay for it beyond four and twenty houres after it is due. I thank you for the civility of your last letter in the country; but the thirty shillings upon every book. remains with me. You always intended I should get nothing by the second subscriptions, as I found from first to last. And your promise to Mr. Congreve,

had found a way for my benefit,


* At Burleigh, the seat of John, the fifth Earl of Exeter.

s Both the gold and silver coin were at this time much depreciated; and remained in that state till a new coinage took place, under the care of Charles Montague, then Chancellor of the Exchequer. It appears from a subsequent letter, that, before the new coinage, the value of a guinea was fluctuating and uncertain.

which was an encouragement to my paines, came at last, for me to desire Sir Godfrey Kneller and Mr. Closterman to gather for me. I then told Mr. Congreve, that I knew you too well to believe you meant me any kindness: and he promised me to believe accordingly of you,


you did not. But this is past; and you shall have your bargain, if I live and have my health. You may send me word what you have done in my business with the Earl of Derby : and I must have a place for the Duke of Devonshyre. Some of your friends will be glad to take back their three guinneys.? The Countess of Macclesfield gave her money to Will Plowden before Christmas; but he remember'd it not, and payd it not in. Mr. Aston tells me, my Lord Derby expects but one book. I find, my Lord Chesterfield and my Lord Petre are both left out; but my Lady Macclesfield must have a place, if I can possibly : and Will Plowden shall pay you in three guinneys, if I can obtain so much favour from you. I desire

6 Among the subscribers to the plates, one of which the author wished to be decorated with the Duke's arms, and dedicated to him. The engraving prefixed to the Third

Æneid was inscribed to the Earl of Derby; but the name of the Duke of Devonshire does not appear in either the first or second List of Subscribers.

7 On receiving back three guineas, they would be placed in the List of Second Subscribers.

& The engraving prefixed to the Twelfth Æneid is inscribed to Philip, Earl of Chesterfield; but neither Lord Petre, nor Lady Macclesfield, has a place.

neither excuses nor reasons from you: for I am but too well satisfy'd already. The Notes and Prefaces shall be short ; because


the more by saving paper.

John Dryden.



Friday Night. [f. Dec. 1695.] MR. TONSON, Meeting Sir Robert Howard at the play-house this morning, and asking him how he lik'd my seaventh Eneid, he told me you had not brought it. He goes out of town to-morrow, being Satturday, after dinner. I desire you not to fail of carrying my manuscript for him to read in the country; and desire him to bring it up with him,

, when he comes next to town. I doubt you have not yet been with my Lord Chesterfield, and am in pain about it.


John DRYDEN. When

you have leysure, I shou'd be glad to see how Mr. Congreve and you have worded my propositions for Virgil. When my sonne's play' is

9 Perhaps the propositions for the second subscription. See Letter xi.

'The HUSBAND HIS OWN CUCKOLD, written by our author's second son, John, and published in July, 1696.


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