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Letter to Martha Blount

Written by

Alexander Pope
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Year

2010
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1714

Most Divine!—

It is some proof of my sincerity towards you, that I write when I am prepared by drinking to speak truth; and sure a letter after twelve at night must abound with that noble ingredient. That heart must have abundance of flames, which is at once warmed by wine and you: wine awakens and refreshes the lurking passions of the mind, as does the colours diat are sunk in a picture, and brings them out in all their natural glowings. My good qualities have been so frozen and locked up in a dull constitution at all my former sober hours, that it is very astonishing to me, now I am drunk, to find so much virtue in me.

In these overflowings of my heart I pay you my thanks for those two obliging letters you favoured me with of the 18th and 24th instant. That which begins with "My charming Mr. Pope !" was a delight to me beyond all expression: you have at last entirely gained the conquest over your fair sister.

It is true you are not handsome, for you are a woman, and think you are not: but this good-humour and tenderness for me has a charm that cannot be resisted. That face must needs be irresistible, which was adorned with smiles even when it could not see the coronation. I do suppose you will not show this epistle out of vanity, as I doubt not your sister does all I write to her. Indeed, to correspond with Mr. Pope, may make any one proud who lives under a dejection of heart in the country.

Every one values Mr. Pope, but every one for a different reason: one for his adherence to the Catholic faith; another for his neglect of Popish superstition; one for his grave behaviour, another for his whimsicalness; Mr. Titcomb, for his pretty atheistical jests; Mr. Caryll, for his moral and Christian sentences; Mrs. Teresa, for his reflections on Mrs. Patty; and Mrs. Patty, for his reflections on Mrs. Teresa.

It was but the other day I heard of Mrs. Fermor's being actually and directly married. I wonder how the couple at _____ look, stare, and simper, since that grand secret came out, which they so well concealed before. They concealed it as well as the barber does his utensils, when he goes to trim upon a Sunday, and his towels hang out all the way. You know your Doctor is gone the way of all his patients, and was hard put to it how to dispose of an estate miserably unwieldy and splendidly unuseful to him. Dr. Shadwell lately told a lady, he wondered she could be alive after him: she made answer, she wondered at it too, both because Dr. Radcliffe was dead, and because Dr. Shadwell was alive. I am Your most faithful admirer, friend, servant, any thing, &c.

I send you Gay's poem on the princess. She is very fat. God help her husband.

Alexander Pope