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To the same. [Directed thus:]


To be delivered to him after my decease.


Oates, August 23, 1704.

By my will, you will see that I had some kindness for ****. And I knew no better way to take care of him, than to put him, and what I designed for him, into your hands and management. The knowledge I have of your virtue, of all kinds, secures the trust which, by your permission, I have placed in you; and the peculiar esteem and love I have observed in the young man for you, will dispose him to be ruled and influenced by you, so that of that I need say nothing.

But there is one thing, which it is necessary for me to recommend to your especial care and memory ******.

May you live long and happy in the enjoyment of health, freedom, content, and all those blessings which providence has bestowed on you, and your virtue entitles you to. I know you loved me living, and will preserve my memory now I am dead. All the use to be made of it is, that this life is a scene of vanity, that soon passes away; and affords no solid satisfaction, but in the consciousness of doing well, and in the hopes of another life. This is what I can say upon experience; and what you will find to be true, when you come to make up the account. Adieu; I leave my best wishes with you.


A Letter to the Reverend Mr. Richard King.


Oates, July 23, 1703.

I CANNOT but think myself beholden to any occasion that procures me the honour of a letter from you.

I return my acknowledgments for those great expressions of civility, and marks of friendship, I received in yours of the 8th instant; and wish I had the opportunity to show the esteem I have of your merit, and the sense of your kindness to me, in any real service.

The desire of your friend, in the enclosed letter you sent me, is what of myself I am inclined to satisfy; and am only sorry, that so copious a subject has lost, in my bad memory, so much of what heretofore I could have said concerning that great and good man, of whom the he inquires*. Time, I daily find, blots out apace little stock of my mind, and has disabled me from furnishing all that I would willingly contribute to the memory of that learned man. But give me leave to assure you, that I have not known a fitter person than he, to be preserved as an example, and proposed to the imitation of men of letters. I therefore wish well to your friend's design, though my mite be all I have been able to contribute to it.

I wish you all happiness, and am, with a very particular respect,


Your most humble servant,

A Letter to



Oates, July 23, 1703.

I HAVE SO great a veneration for the memory of that excellent man, whose life you tell me you are writingt, that when I set myself to recollect what memoirs

* Dr. Pococke. See the following letter.

+ Dr. Edward Pococke, regius professor of Hebrew, in the university of Oxford. He was born at Oxford on the 8th of November 1603, and he died on the 10th of September 1691.

I can (in answer to your desire) furnish you with; I am ashamed I have so little in particular to say, on a subject that afforded so much. For I conclude you so well acquainted with his learning and virtue, that I suppose it would be superfluous to trouble you on those heads. However, give me leave not to be wholly silent upon this occasion. So extraordinary an example, in so degenerate an age, deserves, for the rarity, and, as I was going to say, for the incredibility of it, the attestation of all that knew him, and considered his worth.

The christian world is a witness of his great learning, that the works he published would not suffer to be concealed. Nor could his devotion and piety lie hid, and be unobserved in a college; where his constant and regular assisting at the cathedral service, never interrupted by sharpness of weather, and scarce restrained by downright want of health, showed the temper and disposition of his mind.

But his other virtues and excellent qualities, had so strong and close a covering of modesty and unaffected humility; that, though they shone the brighter to those who had the opportunities to be more intimately acquainted with him, and eyes to discern and distinguish solidity from show, and esteem virtue that sought not reputation; yet they were the less taken notice, and talked of by the generality of those to whom he was not wholly unknown. Not that he was at all close and reserved; but, on the contrary, the readiest to communicate to any one that consulted him.

Indeed he was not forward to talk, nor ever would be the leading man in the discourse, though it were on a subject that he understood better than any of the company; and would often content himself to sit still and hear others debate matters which he himself was more a master of. He had often the silence of a learner, where he had the knowledge of a master; and that not with a design, as is often, that the ignorance any one betrayed might give him the opportunity to display his own knowledge, with the more lustre and advantage, to their shame; or censure them when they were gone. For these arts of triumph and ostentation,

frequently practised by men of skill and ability, were utterly unknown to him. It was very seldom that he contradicted any one; or if it were necessary at any time to inform any one better, who was in a mistake, it was in so soft and gentle a manner, that it had nothing of the air of dispute or correction, and seemed to have little of opposition in it. I never heard him say any thing that put any one that was present the least out of countenance; nor ever censure, or so much as speak diminishingly, of any one that was absent.

He was a man of no irregular appetites. If he indulged any one too much, it was that of study, which his wife would often complain of (and, I think, not without reason), that a due consideration of his age and health could not make him abate.

Though he was a man of the greatest temperance in himself, and the farthest from ostentation and vanity in his way of living; yet he was of a liberal mind, and given to hospitality; which considering the smallness of his preferments, and the numerous family of children he had to provide for, might be thought to have out-done those who made more noise and show.

His name, which was in great esteem beyond sea, and that deservedly, drew on him visits from all foreigners of learning, who came to Oxford to see that university. They never failed to be highly satisfied with his great knowledge and civility, which was not always without expense.

Though at the restoration of king Charles, when preferment rained down upon some men's heads, his merits were so overlooked or forgotten, that he was barely restored to what was his before, without receiving any new preferment then, or at any time after; yet I never heard him take any the least notice of it, or make the least complaint in a case that would have grated sorely on some men's patience, and have filled their mouths with murmuring, and their lives with discontent. But he was always unaffectedly cheerful; no marks of any thing that lay heavy at his heart, for his being neglected, ever broke from him. He was so far from having any displeasure lie concealed there, that when

ever any expressions of dissatisfaction, for what they thought hard usage, broke from others in his presence, he always diverted the discourse; and if it were any body with whom he thought he might take that liberty, he silenced it with visible marks of dislike.

Though he was not, as I said, a forward, much less an assuming talker; yet he was the farthest in the world from being sullen or morose. He would talk very freely, and very well, of all parts of learning, besides that wherein he was known to excel. But this was not all; he could discourse very well of other things. He was not unacquainted with the world, though he made no show of it.

His backwardness to meddle in other people's matters, or to enter into debates, where names and persons were brought upon the stage, and judgments and censure were hardly avoided; concealed his abilities, in matters of business and conduct, from most people. But yet I can truly say, that I knew not any one in that university, whom I would more willingly consult, in any affair that required consideration, nor whose opinion I thought it better worth hearing than his, if he could be drawn to enter into it, and give his advice.

Though in company he never used himself, nor willingly heard from others, any personal reflections on other men, though set off with a sharpness that usually tickles, and by most men is mistaken for the best, if not the only seasoning of pleasant conversation; yet he would often bear his part in innocent mirth, and, by some apposite and diverting story, continue and heighten the good-humour.

I shall give you an instance of it in a story of his, which on this occasion comes to my mind; and I tell it you not as belonging to his life, but that it may give you some part of his character; which, possibly, the very serious temper of this good man may be apt to make men oversee. The story was this: There was at Corpus-Christi college, when he was a young man there, a proper fellow, with a long grey beard, that was porter of the college. A waggish fellow-commoner of the house would be often handling and stroking this

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