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verses to Lord Cobham, which end with a vile and false moral, and I remember is not in Horace to Tibullus, which he imitates ; that all • times are equally virtuous and vicious,' wherein he differeth from all Poets, Philosophers, and Christians that ever writ. It is more probable, that there may be an equal quantity of virtues always in the world, but sometimes there may be a peck of it in Asia, and hardly a thimblefull in Europe. But if there be no virtue, there is abundance of fincerity; for I will venture all I am worth, that there is not one human creature in power who will not be modest enough to confess that he proceedeth wholly upon a principle of Corruption. I say this, because I have a scheme in spite of your notions, to govern England upon the principles of Virtue, and when the nation is ripe for it, I desire you will send for me. I have learned this by living like a Hermit, by which I am got backwards about nineteen hundred years in the Æra of the world, and begin to wonder at the wickednefs of men, I dine alone upon half a dish of meat, mix water with my wine, walk ten miles a day, and read Baronius.
* Hic explicit Epistola ad Dom. Bolingbroke & incipit ad amicum Pope.
Having finished my Letter to Aristippus, I now begin to you. I was in great pain about
* Here endeth the Epistle to my Lord Bolingbroke, and bere beginneth to ту
Mrs. Pope, having heard from others that the was in a very dangerous way, which made me think it unseasonable to trouble you. I am ashamed to tell you, that when I was very young I had more desire to be famous than ever since ; and fame, like all things else in this life, groweth with me every day more a trifle. "But you are so much younger, although you want that health you deserve, yet your fpirits are as vigorous as if your body were founder. I hate à crowd where I have not an easy place to see and be seen. A great Library always maketh me melancholy, where the best Author is as much squeezed, and as obscure, as a Porter at a Coronation.' In my own little library, I value the compilements of Grævius and Gronovius, which make thirty-one volumes in folio (and were given me by my Lord Bolingbroke) more than all my books besides; because whoever cometh into my closet, casteth his eyes immediately upon them, and will not vouchsafe to look upon Plato or Xenophon. I tell you it is. almost incredible how Opinions change by the decline or decay of spirits, and I will further tell you, that all
my endeavours from a boy to distinguish myself, were only for want of a great Title and Fortune, that I might be used like a Lord by those who have an opinion of my parts; whether right or wrong, it is no great matters and so the reputation of wit or great learning does the office of a blue ribband, or of a coach and fix horses. To be remembered for
ever on the account of our friendship, is what would exceedingly please me; but yet I never loved to make a visit, or be seen walking with my betters, because they get all the eyes and civilities from me. I no sooner writ this than I corrected myself, and remembered Sir Faulk Grevil's Epitaph, “Here lies, &c. who was “ friend to Sir Philip Sidney.” And therefore I most heartily thank you
for I would record our friendship in verse, which if I can succeed in, I will never desire to write one more line in poetry while I live. You must present my humble service to Mrs. Pope, and let her know I pray for her continuance in the world, for her own reason, that she may
live to take care of
your desire, that
Dr. Swift to Mr. POPE.
Aug. 11, 1729. AM very
sensible that in a former letter I talked very weakly of my own affairs, and of my imperfect wishes and desires, which however I find with some comfort do now daily decline, very suitable to my state of health for some months past. For my head is never perfectly free from giddiness, and especially towards night. Yet my disorder is very mode- .
rate, and I have been without a fit of deafness this half year; so I am like a horse which although off his mettle, can trot on tolerably; and this comparison puts me in mind to add, that I am returned to be a rider, wherein I wish you would imitate me.
As to this country, there have been three terrible years dearth of corn, and every place ftrowed with beggars ; but dearths are common in better climates, and our evils here lie much deeper. Imagine a nation the two-thirds of whofe revenues are spent out of it, and who are not permitted to trade with the other third, and where the pride of the women will not suffer them to wear their own manufactures, even where they excel what come from abroad : This is the true state of Ireland in a very few words. These evils operate more every day, and the kingdom is absolutely undone, as I have been telling it often in print these ten years past.
What I have said requireth forgiveness; but I had a mind for once to let you know the state of our affairs, and my reason for being more moved than perhaps becometh a Clergyman, and a piece of a philosopher ; and perhaps the increase of years and disorders may hope for some allowance to complaints, especially when I may call myself a stranger in a strange land. As to poor Mrs. Pope (if the be still alive) I heartily pity you and pity her: her
. great piety and virtue will infallibly make her happy in a better life, and her great age hath
shall be at your
made her fully ripe for heaven and the grave, and her best friends will most wish her eased of her labours, when she hath so many good works to follow them. The loss you will feel by the want of her care and kindness, I know very well, but she hath amply done her part, as you have yours. One reason why I would have you in Ireland, when
you own disposal, is, that you may be master of two or three years revenues * provisa frugis in annos copia, so as not to be pinched in the least when years increase, and perhaps your health impaired : And when this kingdom is utterly at an end, you may support me for the few years I shall happen to live; and who knoweth, but
you may pay me exorbitant interest for the spoonful of wine, and scraps of a chicken, it will cost me to feed you? I am confident you have too much reason to complain of ingratitude ; for I never yet knew any person, one tenth
part so heartily disposed as you are, to do good offices to others without the least private
Was it a Gasconade to please me that you faid your
fortune was encreased one hundred pounds a year since I left you? You Should have told me how. Those + subsidia senectuti
* A Stock of Wine laid up for many Years, + Supports to old Age.