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therefore I made less scruple to give a copy to Lord Orrery, who earnestly desir'd it, but to no body else ; and, he tells me, he gave only two, which he will recall. I have a short Epigram of his upon it, wherein I would correct a line or two at most, and then I will send it you (with his permission.) I have nothing against yours, but the last line, Striking their aching ; the two participles, as they are so near, leem to found too like. I shall write to the Duchess, who hath lately honoured me with a very friendly letter, and I will tell her my opinion freely about our friend's papers. I want health, and my affairs are enlarged: but I will break through the latter, if the other mends. I can use a courfe of medicines, lame and giddy. My chief design, next to seeing you, is to be a levere Critic on you and your neighbour ; but first kill his father, that he may be able to maintain me in my own way of living, and particu larly my horfes. It cost me near 600 l. for a wall to keep mine, and I never ride without two servants for fear of accidents ; hic vivimus àmbitiofa paupertate. You are both too poor for my acquaintance, but he much the poorer. With you I will find grass, and wine, and fervants, but with him not. The Collection you speak of is this. A Printer came to me to defire he might print my works (as he call’d
them) in four volumes, by subscription. I said I would give no leave, and should be sorry to see them printed here. He said they could not be printed in London. I answer'd they could, if the Partners agreed. He said he “ would “ be glad of my permission, but as he could “ print them without it, and was advis'd that « it could do me no harm, and having been « assur'd of numerous subscriptions, he hoped “ I would not be angry at his pursuing his own « interest." &c. Much of this discourse past, and he goes on with the matter, wherein I determine not to intermeddle, though it be much to my discontent; and I wish it could be done in England, rather than here, although I am grown pretty indifferent in every thing of that kind. This is the truth of the story.
My Vanity turns at present on being perfonated in your Quæ Virtus, &c. You will observe in this letter many marks of an ill head and a low spirit; but a heart wholly turned ta love you with the greatest Earnestness and Truth.
May 28, 1733. T Have begun two or three letters to you by I snatches, and been prevented from finishing them by a thousand avocations and diffipations. R2
I must first acknowledge the honour done me by Lord Orrery, whose praises are that precious ointment Solomon speaks of, which can be given only by men of Virtue : all other praise, whether from Poets or Peers, is contemptible alike: and I am old enough and experienced enough to know, that the only praises worth having, are those bestowed by Virtue for Virtue. My Poetry I abandon to the critics, my Morals I commit to the testimony of those who know me; and therefore I was more pleas'd with your Libel, than with any Verses I ever receiv'd. I wish such a collection of your writings could be printed here, as you mention going on in Ireland. I was surpriz'd to receive from the Printer that spurious piece, call’d, The Life and Character of Dr. Swift, with a letter telling me the person, “ who publish'd it, had assur'd “ him the Dedication to me was what I would o not take ill, or else he would not have printed « it.” I can't tell who the man is, who took so far upon him as to answer for my way of thinking; tho', had the thing been genuine, I should have been greatly displeas'd at the publisher's part in doing it without your knowledge.
I am as earnest as you can be, in doing my best to prevent the publishing of any thing unworthy of Mr. Gay; but I fear his friends par
tiality tiality. I wish you would come over. All the mysteries of my philosophical work shall then be clear’d to you, and you will not think that I am not merry enough, nor angry enough : It will not want for Satire, but as for Anger I know it not; or at least only that sort of which the Apostle speaks, “ Be ye angry and fin “ not.”
My neighbour's writings have been metaphysical, and will next be historical. It is certainly from him only that a valuable History of Europe in these latter times can be expected. Come, and quicken him ; for age, indolence, and contempt of the world, grow upon men apace, and may often make the wisest indifferent whether posterity be any wiser than we. To a man in years, Health and Quiet become such rarities, and consequently so valuable, that he is apt to think of nothing more than of enjoying them whenever he can, for the remainder of life, and this, I doubt not, has caus’d so many great men to die without leaving a scrap to posterity.
I am fincerely troubled for the bad account you give me of your own health. I wish every day to hear a better, as much as I do to enjoy my own, I faithfully assure you.
Dublin, July 8, 1733, T Must condole with you for the loss of Mrs.
Pope, of whose death the papers have been full. But I would rather rejoice with you, because, if any circumstances can make the death of a dear Parent and Friend a subject for joy, you have them all. She died in an extreme old age, without pain, under the care of the most dutiful Son that I have ever known or heard of, which is a felicity not happening to one in a million. The worst effect of her death falls upon me, and so much the worse, because I expected aliquis damno ufus in illo, that it would be followed by making me and this kingdom happy with your presence. But I am told, to my great misfortune, that a very convenient offer happening, you waved the invitation pressed on you, alledging the fear you had of being killed here with eating and drinking. By which I find that you have given some credit to a notion, of our great plenty and hospitality. It is true, our meat and wine is cheaper here, as it is always in the poorest countries, because there is no money to pay for them: I believe there are