Blind in th’
obscuring Mist of heedless Rage,
I’ve rashly shot my Arrows o’er a House,
And hurt my Brother....
A Second Consideration is, the Occasion you have gather’d to punish my Injustice, with more than double Sharpness, by your Manner of receiving it. The Armour of your Mind is temper’d so divinely, that my mere Human Weapons have not only fail’d to pierce, but broke to pieces in rebounding. You meet Assaults, like some expert Arabian, who, declining any Use of his own Javelin, arrests those which come against him, in the Fierceness of their Motion, and overcomes his Enemies, by detaining their own Weapons. ’Tis a noble Triumph you now exercise, by the Superiority of your Nature; and while I see you looking down upon the Distance of my Frailty, I am forc’d to own a Glory, which I envy you; and am quite asham’d of the poor Figure I am making, in the bottom of the Prospect. I feel, I am sure, Remorse, enough to satisfy you for the Wrong, but to express it, wou’d, I think, exceed even your own Power.
Yours, whose sweet
Songs can rival Orpheu’s Strain,
And force the wondring Woods to dance again,
Make moving Mountains hear your pow’rful Call,
And headlong Streams hang list’ning in their Fall.
No Words can be worthy to come after
these; I will therefore
hasten to tell you, that I am, and will ever be, with the
greatest Truth and Respect,
Your Most Humble,
and Most Obedient Servant,
I have now attempted, as far as I am able, to throw off a Weight, which my Mind has been uneasy under. I cannot say, in the City Phrase, that I have balanc’d the Account, but you must admit of Composition, where full Payment is impossible. I shall be so far from regretting you the old Benefit of Lex talionis, that I forgive you heartily, beforehand, for any thing you may hereafter think fit to say, or do, to my Disadvantage; nay, the Pleasure I enjoy by reflecting on your good Nature, will degenerate to a Pain, if one Accident or other, in the Course of your Life, does not favour me with some Occasion of advancing your Interest.
Having said thus much to you, in your Quality of a Good Man, I will proceed to address you, in your other Quality, of a Great Poet; in which Light I look up to you with extraordinary Comfort, as to a new Constellation breaking out upon our World, with equal Heat, and Brightness, and cross-spangling, as it were, the whole Heaven of Wit with your milky way of Genius.