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not change like gaming by the invention of new tricks, I am ignorant? But I believe in your time, you would never, as a Minister, have suffered an Act to pass through the House of Commons, only because you were fure of a majority in the House of Lords to throw it out; because it would be unpopular, and consequently a loss of reputation. Yet this we are told hath been the Case in the qualificationbill relating to Pensioners. It should seem to me, that Corruption like avarice hath no bounds. I had opportunities to know the proceedings of your ministry better than any other man of ту rank; and having not much to do, I have often compared it with these last fixteen years of a profound Peace all over Europe, and we running seven millions in debt. I am forced to play at small game, to set the beasts here a madding, merely for want of better game, * Tentanda via est qua me quoque polim, &c.--The D-take those politicks, where a Dunce might govern for a dozen years together. I will go in person to England, if I am provoked, and fend for the Dictator from the plough. I disdain to say t O mibi præteritos- but & cruda deo viridisque Senectus. Pray my Lord how
* New ways I must attempt, my groveling Name To raise aloft, and wing my Flight to Fame. Dryd. +0! could I turn to that fair Prime again. Dryd.
-Yet in his Years are seen, A manly vigour and autumnal Green. Idem. are the gardens ? have you taken down the mount and removed the yew hedges ? Have you not bad weather for the spring-corn? Hath Mr. Pope gone farther in his Ethic Poems ? And is the head-land sown with wheat? And what says Polybius? And how doth
* Lord St, John? Which last question is very material to me, because I love Burgundy, and riding between Twickenham and Dawley.--I built a wall five years ago, and when the masons played the knaves, nothing delighted me so much as to stand by, while my servants threw down what was amifs : I have likewise seen a Monkey overthrow all the dishes and plates in a kitchen, merely for the pleasure of seeing them tumble and hearing the clatter they made in their fall. I wish you would invite me to such another entertainment; but you think as I ought to think, that it is time for me to have done in the world, and so I would, if I could get into a better before I was called into the best and not die here in a rage, like a poisoned rat in a hole. I wonder you are not ashamed to let me pine away in this kingdom while you are out of power.
I come from looking over the p Melange above written, and declare it to be a true copy of my present disposition, which must needs
* Lord St. John of Battersea, Father to Lord Bolingbroke.
of Or Medly.
please you, since nothing was ever more difpleasing to my self. I desire you to present my most humble respects to my Lady.
L E T T E R XXXVI.
Dr. Swift to Lord BOLINGBROKE.
Dublin, April 5, 1729. Do not think it could be possible for me to hear better news than that of
your getting over your scurvy fuit, which always hung as a dead weight on my heart; I hated it in all its circumstances, as it affected your fortune and quiet, and in a situation of life that must make it every way vexatious. And, as I am infinitely obliged to you for the justice you do me in supposing your affairs do at least concern me as much as my own; so I would never have pardoned your omitting it. But before I go on, I cannot forbear mentioning what I read last summer in a news paper, that you were writing the history of your own Times. I suppose such a report might arise from what was not secret among your friends, of your intention to write another kind of history, which you often promised Mr. Pope and me to do : I know he desireth it very much, and I am sure I desire nothing more, for the honour and love I bear
you, and the perfect knowledge I have of your publick virtue. My Lord, I have no
other notion of Oeconomy, than that it is the parent of Liberty and Ease, and I am not the only friend you have who hath chid you in his heart for the neglect of it, although not with his mouth, as I have done. For, there is a silly error in the world, even among friends otherwise
very good, not to intermeddle with mens affairs in such nice matters. And, my Lord, I have made a maxim, that should be written in letters of diamonds, That a wise man ought to have Money in his head, but not in his heart. Pray, my Lord, enquire whether your Prototype, my Lord Digby, after the Restoration when he was at Bristol, did not take some care of his fortune, notwithstanding that quotation I once sent you out of his speech to the House of Commons ? In my conscience, I believe fortune, like other drabbs, valueth a man gradually less for every year he liveth. I have demonstration for it; because, if I play at piquet for fix-pence with a man or woman two years younger than myself, I always lose ; and there is a young girl of twenty who never faileth of winning my money at Back-gammon, although she is a bungler, and the game be Ecclefiaftic. As to the publick, I confess nothing could cure my itch of meddling with it but these frequent returns of deafness, which have hindered me from passing last winter in London ; yet I cannot but consider the perfidiousness of some people, who I thought when I was last there, upon a change that happened, were the most impudent in forgetting their professions that I have ever known. Pray will you please to take your pen and blot me out that political maxim from whatever book it is in ? that * Res nolunt diu male administrari ; the commonness maketh me not know who is the author, but sure he must be some Modern.
I am sorry for Lady Bolingbroke's ill health ; but I protest I never knew a very deserving person of that sex, who had not too much reason to complain of ill health. I never wake without finding life a more insignificant thing than it was the day before ; which is one great advantage I get by living in this country, where there is nothing I shall be sorry to lose ; but my greatest misery is recollecting the scene of twenty years past, and then all on a sudden dropping into the present. I remember when I was a little boy, I felt a great fith at the end of my line, which I drew up almost on the ground, but it dropt in, and the disappointment vexeth me to this very day, and I believe it was the type of all my
future disappointments. I should be ashamed to say this to you, if
you had not a spirit fitter to bear your own milfortunes, than I have to think of them. Is there patience left to reflect by what qualities wealth and greatness are got, and by what qualities they are lost? I have read my friend Congreve's
* The Publick Affairs cannat be long ill managed.