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and winters are milder here than with
all things for life in general better for a middling fortune : You will have an absolute command of your company, with whatever obsequiousness of freedom you may expect or allow. I have an elderly * house-keeper, who hath been my + Walpole above thirty years, whenever I lived in this kingdom: I have the command of one or two villa's near this town: You have a warm apartment in this house, and two Gardens for amusement. I have said enough, yet not half. Except absence from friends, I confess freely, that I have no discontent at living here ; besides what ariseth from a filly spirit of Liberty, which, as it neither fowereth my drink, nor hurteth my meat, nor spoileth my stomach, farther than imagination, so I resolve to throw it off.
You talk of this Dunciad, but I am impatient to have it || volare per ora—there is now a vacancy for fame: The Beggar's Opera hath done its task, s difcedat, uti conviva fatur.
* Mrs. Brent.
L ETTER XXX.
Dr. SWIFT to Mr. Pope,
June 1, 1728. Look upon my Lord Bolingbroke, and us
two, as a peculiar Triumvirate, who have nothing to expect, or to fear; and so far fittest to converse with one another : Only he and I are a little subject to schemes, and often upon very weak appearances, and this you have no. thing to do with. I do profess, without affectation, that your kind opinion of me as a Pa. triot (since you call it fo) is what I do not deserve ; because what I do is owing to perfect rage and resentment, and the mortifying light of slavery, folly, and baseness about me, among which I am forced to live. And I will take
have more Virtue in an hour than I in seven
you despise the follies, and hate the vices of mankind, without the least ill effect on your temper ; and with regard to particular men, you are inclined always rather to think the better, whereas with me it is always directly contrary. I hope, however, this is not in you from a superior principle of virtue, but from your situation, which hath made all parties and interests indifferent to you, who can be under no concern about high and low church, Whig and Tory, or who is first Minister Your long letter was
my oath, that
the last I received, until this by Dr. Delany, although you mention another since.
The Doctor told me your secret about the Dunciad, which dotii not please me, because it deferreth gratifying my vanity in the most tender point, and perhaps may wholly disappoint it.
As to one of your enquiries, I am easy enough in great matters, but have a thousand paultry vexations in my little station, and the more contemptible, the more vexatious. There might be a Lutrin writ upon the tricks used by my Chapter to teize me. I do not converse with one creature of Station or Title ; but I. have a fett of easy people whom I entertain when I have a mind; I have formerly described them to you ; but when you come you shall have the honours of the country as much as you please, and I shall on that account make a better figure, as long as I live. Pray God
preferve Mrs. Pope for your fake and ease, I love and esteem her too much to wish it for her own: If I were twenty-five, I would wish to be of her age, 'to be as secure as she is of a better life. Mrs. * P. B. hath written to me, and is one of the best Letter-writers I know; very good sense, civility and friendlhip, without
ftiffness or constraint. The Dunciad hath taken wind here ; but if it had not, you are as much known here as in England,
* Mrs. Patty Blount, to whom Mr. Pope left the Bulk of bis Fortune,
and the University lads will crowd to kiss the hem of your garment. I am grieved to hear that my Lord Bolingbroke's ill health forced him to the Bath. Tell me, is not Temperance a necessary virtue for great men, since it is the parent of Ease and Liberty ? so necessary for the use and improvement of the Mind, and which philosophy alloweth to be the greatest felicities of life? I believe, had health been given so liberally to you, it would have been better husbanded without shame to your parts.
L E T T E R XXXI.
Mr. Pope to Dr. SWIFT.
Dawley, June 28, 1728. Now hold the Pen for my Lord Bolingbroke,
who is reading your Letter between two Haycocks, but his attention is sometimes diverted by casting his eyes upon the clouds, not in admiration of what you say, but for fear of a shower. He is pleas'd with your placing him in the Triumvirate between yourself and me; tho' he says, that he doubts he shall fare like Lepidus, while one of us runs away with all the power like Augustus, and another with all the pleasures like Antony. foresight of this, that he has fitted
up and you will agree,
that this scheme of retreat
It is upon a
at least is not founded
appearances. Upon his return from the Bath, all
peccant humours, he finds, are purg'd out of him; and his great Temperance and Oeconomy are so signal, that the first is fit for
my constitution, and the latter would enable you to lay up so much
money, as to buy a Bishoprick in England. As to the return of his health and vigour, were you here, you might enquire of his Haymakers; but as to his temperance, I can answer that (for one whole day) we have had nothing for dinner but mutton-broth, beans and bacon, and a Barn-door fowl.
Now his Lordship is run after his Cart, I have a moment left to myself to tell
that I over-heard him yesterday agree with a Painter for two hundred pounds, to paint his country hall with Trophies of Rakes, spades, prongs, &c. and other ornaments, merely to countenance his calling this place a Farm-now turn over a new leaf
He bids me assure you, he should be sorry not to have more schemes of kindness for his friends, than of ambition for himself: There, tho' his schemes may be weak, the motives at least are strong; and he says further, if you could bear as great a fall, and decrease of
your revenues, as he knows by experience he can, you wou'd not live in Ireland an hour.
The Dunciad is going to be printed in all pomp, with the inscription which makes me proudest. It will be attended with Proeme,