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June 10. 4. OClock P.M.

As I have already observed my dear friend, I lay no claim to the reputation
of Sagacity, but to to obtain a knowledge of those with whom we happen
to converse, and are ‸ not studious of concealment, little more is necessary
than common sense and a‸ a disposition to observe.

What is the real character of W.W.W. is not of very great importanc
to enquire. I know enough of him to justify me to myself in loving him.
No human being is exempt from frailties, consequently he is far from being
perfect. But what right have I to arraign his faults? To talk of his
foibles with the air of one injured or offended by them? What are his
levities to me? Is it not the faulty excess of gravity in myself that
renders his Gayety irksome?

No. O Amiable friend! O Wilkins! continue what thou art at present
Suffer not the slightest change in thy, deportment. Be always as now the
votary of mirth; enamoured of a Jest; inimical to care; for this is the
sum of human wisdom.

It is not without reluctance that I write in my present disposition
A disposition to complain of heaven; to murmer of ‸ at capricious destiny; to
harbour gloomy and Attrocious thoughts; to mingle rage with sorrow
to cast existance itself from to me as a burthen insupportable; to exclaim
against you my friend; against Wilkins; against all the world.

But I must stiffle my emotions. I am too proud as well as too
miserable for consolation. I have formed a thousand resolutions to conceal
from you; from every one, my sorrows; my vexations, but I hourly infringe
them, and weary the ears of my friend with murmers and complaints,
And why? My mental maladies are insusceptable of remedy, at
least the opiate of sweet oblivion, cannot be administered by a
friend, and yet does not the mere disclosure; the mere participa
=tion tend in some degree, to alleviate calamity? —

But my friend stands himself stands in need of a comforter
He is allyed by nature (sacred and indissoluble tye!) with one
with regard to whom his sleeping imagination is haunted by
phantoms of impending evils. How shall I relieve him from those
terrifying Spectres? How shall I express the sympathy which his


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omenous forebodings have awakened in my bosom? By telling him
that dreams are vain? No. That would be false, because, in my
opinion, "Dreams descend from Jove," and my friend ‸ has found that they
are prophetic, by his own experience. But how vain and frivolous
is all human conso‸lation to him, who is prepared to submit to evil
because it is inflicted by the hand of heaven? Whose pious
acquiescence in the will of overruling providence I cannot but admire
but I fear shall never be able to imitate. Resignation is the
genuine source of comfort. Every other fount is easily exausted;
but this is perenial. Of this fountain you seem to have already drunk
but I am nothing but frailty. For one to inculcate patience and
fortitude, who is himself an utter stranger to both, is indeed
preposterous. I hope a period has elapsed since your dreams
sufficient to explain whether it was omenous or not, and that
your particular friend, who however, if he be the slave of wine,
is unworthy to be so distinguished, whether the tyes which bind
him to you, be thou of choice or nature, is still safe.

You tell me that Wilkins is not desirous of Singularity. Shall
I venture to insinuate—Ah! my friend! I am going to be again
selfish, petulant, unreasonable. I will not finish my sentence.
You ask me if I have never laughed and uttered ludicrous sentiments
without knowing what I said, at times when my heart was
far from being easy, and you add that Wilkins does the same.
This may be true, but the motive for his acting thus is not explained
for is it not impossible to assume the appearances of ease and gayety
when the heart is wrung with sorrow or a prey to melancholy
without an effort! And what motive can there be? I know of none

Some persons are the Slaves of mechanical impulse. Their
Joys and Sorrows are equally the offspring of the seasons. If the
air be lightsome and serence they are happy; If cold cloudy and
tempestuous, they are gloomy and desponding. Their misery and
felicity is inevitably the effect of physical causes, and whatever
be the situation of their mind they scruple not to make it
evident in their intercourse with others. But a reasonable being


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is actuated by sublimer motives. He delights to please and to
instruct, he knows that levity and pensiveness are two extremes that
are equally to be avoided, that it should be always in his power
to be either sprightly or serious, suitably to the company or the occasion
What is he that seeks to amuse only by the wildness of his
contradictions and the novelty of his absurdities? Is it any proof of
ingenuity to substitute laughter for wit or ridicule for argument?

But this is a Subject which my present disposition wholly unfits
me for discussing. I will possibly, resume it, when more inclined to
discover excellences than defects.

Your assurance of your friendship for me, is balm to
my soul &. To be known to many I have not the least Ambition.
Popularity has lost its charms. The affection and a esteem of a very few
is all that I desire, and the only source of happiness to which I can now
gain access, is the friendship and society of yourself and Wilkins.~

We must not intirely forget the laudable Scheme of literary
and rhetorical Improvement which you lately proposed. Your mind is at present
perhaps too uneasy, to think of it. As soon as you recover your tranquility I hope
you will resume your noble purpose. As for me my unhappiness is only‸ an additi=
=onal motive for zealously embracing your proposal, for while absorbed in those
elegant pursuits, I shall be more able to banish distressfull thoughts. I regard your
scheme not as an instrument of ambition, but as a method of eluding sorrow.

I would give you the result of an hours meditation on a passage in,
Diderot's "Systeme figurè" were you in a less melancholy disposition.
It is an attempt at an analysis of Grammar, but I shall reserve it for
another opportunity. Meanwhile forget not your affectionate

C.B.B~