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not in this whole city three Gentlemen out of Employment, who are able to give entertain: ments once a month. Those who are in em. ployments of church or state, are three parts in four from England, and amount to little more than a dozen; Those indeed may once or twice invite their friends, or any person of distinction that makes a voyage hither, All my acquainte ance tell me, they know not above three families where they can occasionally dine in a whole year: Dr. Delany is the only gentleman I know, who keeps one certain day in the week to entertain seven or eight friends at dinner, and to pass the evening, where there is nothing of excess, either in eating or drinking. Our old friend Southern (who hath just left us) was invited to dinner once or twice by a judge, a bishop, or a commissioner of the revenues, but most frequented a few particular friends, and chiefly the Doctor, who is easy in his fortune, and very hospitable. The conveniencies of taking the air, winter or summer, de far exceed those in London. For the two large strands just at the two ends of the town are as firm and dry in winter as in summer. There are at least fix or eight gentlemen of sense, learning, good humour and taste, able and desirous to please you; and orderly females, some of the better fort, to take care of you. These were the mo
tives that I have frequently made use of to entice you hither. And there would be no failure among the best people here, of any honours that could be done you. As to myself, I declare, my health is so uncertain that I dare not venture amongst you at present. I hate the thoughts of London, where I am not rich enough to live otherwise than by shifting, which is now too late. Neither can I have conveniencies in the country for three horses and two servants, and many others, which I have here at hand. I am one of the governors of all the hackney-coaches, carts, and carriages round this town, who dare not insult me, like your rascally waggoners or coachmen, but give me the way; nor is there one Lord or Squire for a hundred of yours, to turn me out of the road, or run over me with their coaches and fix. Thus, I make some advantage of the public poverty, and give you the reasons for what I once writ, why I chule to be a freeman among flaves, rather than a flave among freemen. Then, I walk the streets in peace, without being justled, nor even without a thousand blessings from my friends the vulgar. I am Lord Mayor of 120 houses, I am absolute Lord of the greatest cathedral in the kingdom, am at peace with the neighbouring Princes, the Lord Mayor of the city, and the Arch-bishop of Dublin, only the latter, like the K. of France, fometimes attempts encroachments on my dominions, as old Lewis did upon Lorrain. In the midst of this raillery, I can tell you with seriousness, that these advantages contribute to my ease, and therefore I value them. And in one part of your letter relating to my Lord B- and yourself, you agree with me entirely, about the indifference, the love of quiet, the care of health, &c. that grow upon men in years. And if you discover those inclinations in my Lord and yourself, what can you expect from me, whose health is so precarious ? and yet at your or his time of life, I could have leap'd over the moon.
Sept. I, 1733 I Have every day wish'd to write to you, to I say a thousand things; and yet, I think, I should not have writ to you now, if I was not sick of writing any thing, sick of myself, and (what is worse) sick of my friends too. The world is become too busy for me; every body is so concerned for the public, that all private enjoyments are lost, or dis-relish'd. I write more to show you I am tir'd of this life, than to
tell you any thing relating to it. I live as I did, I think as I did, I love you as I did ; but all these are to no purpose; the world will not live, think, or love as I do. I am troubled for, and vexed at, all my friends by turns. Here are some whom you love, and who love you ; yet they receive no proofs of that affection from you, and they give none of it to you. There is a great gulph between. In earnest I would go a thousand miles by land to see you, bụt the sea I dread. My ailments are such, that I really believe a sea-sickness (considering the oppression of colical pains, and the great weakness of my breast) would kill me: and if I did not die of that, I must of the excessive eating and drinking of your hospitable town, and the excessive flattery of your most poetical country. I hate to be cramın'd, either way. Let your hungry poets, and your rhyming poets digest it, I cannot. I like much better to be abused and half-starved, than to be so over-praised and overfed. Drown Ireland ! for having caught you, and for having kept you: I only reserve a little charity for her, for knowing your value, and esteeming you: You are the only Patriot I know, who is not hated for serving his country. The man who drew your Character and printed it here, was not much in the wrong in many things he said of you: yet he was a very im
pertinent pertinent fellow, for saying them in words quite different from those you had yourself employed before on the same subject: for surely to alter your words is to prejudice them; and I have been told, that a man himself can hardly fay, the fame thing twice over with equal happiness; Nature is so much a better thing than artifice.
I have written nothing this year : It is not affectation to tell you, my Mother's loss has turn'd my frame of thinking. The habit of a whole life is a stronger thing than all the reason in the world. I know I ought to be easy, and to be free; but I am dejected, I am confined: my whole amusement is in reviewing my past life, not in laying plans for my future. I wish you cared as little for popular applause as I; as little for any nation in contradistinction to others, as I: and then I fancy, you that are not afraid of the sea, you that are a stronger man at sixty than ever I was at twenty, would come and see several people who are (at last) like the primitive Christians, of one soul and of one mind. The day is come, which I have often wished, but never thought to see; when every mortal, that I esteem, is of the same sentiment in Politics and in Religion.
Adieu. All you love, are yours ; but all are busy, except (dear Sir) your sincere friend.
L E T.