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Prologomena, Testimonia Scriptorum, Index Authorum, and Notes Variorum. As to the latter, I desire you to read over the Text, and make a few in any way you like best, whether dry raillery upon the style and way of commenting of trivial Criticks; or humours upon the Authors in the poem; or historical, of persons, places, times; or explanatory, or collecting the parallel passages of the Ancients. Adieu. I am pretty well, my Mother not ill, Dr. Arbuthnot vext with his fever by intervals; I am afraid he declines, and we shall lose a worthy man: I am troubled about him very much.
I am, &c.
L E T T E R XXXII.
Dr. Swift to Mr. Pope.
July 16, 1728. Have often run over the Dunciad in an Irish
edition (I suppose full of faults) which a gentleman sent me. The Notes I could wish to be very large, in what relateth to the persons concerned ; for I have long observed, that twenty miles from London no body understandeth hints, initial letters, or town-facts and passages; and in a few years not even those who live in London. I would have the names of those scriblers printed indexically at the beginning or end of the Poem, with an account of their works, for the reader to refer to. I would have all the Parodies (as they are called) referred to the authors they imitate-When Í began this long paper, I thought I should have filled it with setting down the several passages which I had marked in the edition I had, but I find it unnecessary, so many of them falling under the same rule. After twenty times reading the whole, I never in my opinion law so much good satire, or more good sense, in so many lines. How it passeth in Dublin I know not yet; but I am sure it will be a great disadvantage to the poem, that the persons and facts will not be understood, until an explanation cometh out, and a very full one. I imagine it
is not to be published until towards winter, when folks begin to gather in town. Again I insist, you must have your Asterisks filled up with some real names of Dunces.
I am now reading your preceding letter, of June 28, and find that all I have advised above is mentioned there. I would be glad to know whether the quarto edition is to come out anonymously, as published by the Commentator, with all his pomp of preface, &c. and many complaints of spurious editions ? thinking whether the Editor should not follow the old style of, This excellent author, &c. and refine in many places, when you meant no refinement ? and into the bargain take all the load of naming the Dunces, their qualities, histories, and performances ?
As to yourself, I doubt you want a spurreron to exercise and amusements; but to talk of decay at your season of life is a jest. But you are not so regular as I. You are the most temperate man God-ward, and the most intemperate yourself-ward, of most I have known. I suppose Mr. Gay will return from the Bath with twenty pounds more flesh, and two hundred less in money : Providence never designed him to be above two and twenty, by his thoughtlessness and Cullibility. He hath as little fore
age, fickness, poverty, or loss of admirers, as a girl at fifteen. By the way, I must observe, that my Lord Bolingbroke (from the effects of his kindnefs to me) argueth most
phistically: the fall from a million to an hun-
Lord contradict him if he dareth
I ET TÉR XXXIII.
Mr. Pope to Dr. SWIFT.
Bath, Nov. 12, 1928. Have past fix weeks in quest of health, and
found it not; but I found the folly of follicitude about it in an hundred instances; the contrariety of opinions and practices, the inability of Physicians, the blind obedience of fome patients, and as blind rebellion of others. I believe at a certain time of life, men are either fools or physicians, and zealots or divines, for themselves. VOL. VII. I
It was much in my hopes that you
intend. ed us a winter's visit, but last week I repented that wish, having been alarm'd with a report of
your lying ill on the road from Ireland; from which I am just relieved by an assurance that you are still at Sir Arthur Acheson's, planting and building; two things that I envy you for, besides a third, which is the society of a valuable Lady: I conclude (tho’I know nothing of it) that you quarrel with her, and abuse her every day, if she is fo. I wonder I hear of no Lampoons upon her, either made by yourself, or by others because you esteem her. I think it a vast pleasure that whenever two people of merit regard one another, so
envy and are angry at them; 'tis bearing testimony to a merit they cannot reach ; and if you knew the infinite content I have received of late, at the finding yours and my name constantly united in any hilly scandal, I think you would go near to sing * 1o Triumphe! and celebrate my happiness in verse; and I believe if you won't, I shall. The inscription to the Dunciad is now printed and inserted in the Poem. Do you care I should say any thing farther how much that poem is yours ? since certainly without you it had never been. Would to God we were together for the rest of our lives ! The whole weight of Scriblers would
* An Expression of Congratulation among the Ancients after a Victory.