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Slaves, than a Slave among Freemen. The dignity of my present station damps the pertness of inferior puppies and squires, which without plenty and ease on your side the channel, would break my heart in a month.
Madam, See that it is to live where I do. I am utterly ignorant of that fame Strado del Poe; and yet if that Author be against lending or giving money, I cannot but think him a good Courtier; which I am sure your Grace is not, no not so much as to be a Maid of honour. For I am certainly informed, that you are neither a free-thinker, nor can fell bargains; that you can neither spell, nor talk, nor write, nor think like a Courtier ; that you pretend to be respected for qualities which have been out of fashion ever since you were almost in your cradle ; that your contempt for a fine petticoat is an infallible mark of disaffection; which is further confirmed by your ill taste for Wit, in preferring two old-fashioned poets before Duck or Cibber. Besides
you spell in such a manner as no court dady can read, and write in such an old-fashioned style, as none of them can understand. - You need not be in pain about Mr. Gay's stock of health, I promise you he will spend it all upon laziness, and run deep in debt by a winter's repose in town; therefore I entreat your Grace will order him to move his chops less and his
legs more for the fix cold months, else he will spend all his money in physick and coach-hire. I am in much perplexity about your Grace's declaration of the manner in which you dispose what
you call your love and respect, which you say are not paid to Merit but to your own Humour. Now Madam, my misfortune is, that I have nothing to plead but abundance of Merit, and there goeth an ugly observation, that the humour of ladies is apt to change. Now Madam, if I should go to Aimsbury with a great load of merit, and your Grace happen to be out of humour, and will not purchase my merchandize at the price of your respect, the goods may be damaged, and no body else will take them off my hands. Besides
have declared Mr. Gay to hold the first
. but the second, which is hard treatment, since I shall be the newest acquaintance by some years, and I will appeal to all the rest of your sex, whether such an innovation ought to be allowed? I should be ready to say in the common forms, that I was much obliged to the Lady who wished she could give me the best living, &c. if I did not vehemently suspect it was the very fame Lady who spoke many things to me in the same style, and also with regard to the gentleman at your elbow when you writ, whose Dupe he was, as well as of her waiting-woman: but they were both arrant knaves, as I told him and a third friend, although they will
part, and. I
not believe it to this day. I desire to present my
most humble respects to my Lord Duke, and with the heartiest prayer for the prosperity of the whole family, remain your Grace's, &c.
L E T T E R LX.
* Mr. Pope to Dr. SWIFT.
Dec. 5, 1732.
T is not a time to complain that
not answered me two letters (in the last of which I was impatient under some fears.) It is not now indeed a time to think of one's self, when one of the nearest and longest tyes I have ever had, is broken all on a sudden, by the unexpected death of poor Mr. Gay. An inflammatory fever hurried him out of this life in three days. He died last night at nine a clock, not deprived of his senses entirely at last, and possessing them perfectly till within five hours.
my dear Friend Mr. Gay's Death: Received December 15, but not read until the 20th, by an Impulse foreboding some Misfortune, [This Note is indorsed on the original Letter in Dr. Swift's Hand.]
He asked of you a few hours before, when in acute torment by the inflammation in his bowels and breast. His effects are in the Duke of Queensbury's custody. His sisters, we suppose, will be his heirs, who are two widows; as yet it is not known whether or no he left a will Good God! how often are we to die before we go quite off this stage ? in every friend we lose a part of ourselves and the best part. God keep those we have left ! few are worth praying for, and one's self the least of all. I shall never see you now I believe ; one of
your principal Calls to England is at an end! indeed he was the most amiable by far, his qualities were the gentlest, but I love you as well and as firmly. Would to God the man we have loft had not been so amiable, nor so good! but that's a wish for our own fakes, not for his. Sure if Innocence and Integrity can deserve Happiness, it must be his. Adieu. I can add nothing to what you will feel, and diminish nothing from it. Yet write to me, and soon. Believe no man now living loves you better, I believe no man ever did, than A. Pope.
Dr. Arbuthnot, whose humanity you know, heartily commends himself to you. fible diligence and affection have been shown, and continued attendance on this melancholy occasion. Once more adieu, and write to one who is truly disconsolate. P 3
P. S. By Dr. ARBUTHNOT.
Dear Sir, I am sorry that the renewal of our córrefpondence should be upon such a melancholy occasion ; poor Mr. Gay dy'd of an inflammation, and I believe at last a mortification of the bowels; it was the most precipitate case I ever knew, having cut him off in three days : he was attended by two physicians besides self. I believed the distemper mortal from the beginning. I have not had the pleasure of a line from you these two years. I wrote one about your health and happiness, being with great affection and respect, Sir, Yours, &c.