Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

· all the world, that we only compelled you to be a Whig.

There is a young ingenious Quaker in this town who writes verses to his mistress, not very correct, but in a strain purely what a poetical Quaker should do, commending her look and habit, &c. It gave me a hint that a fett of Quaker pastorals might succeed, if our friend Gay * could fancy it, and I think it a fruitful subject; pray hear what he fays. I believe further, the pastoral ridicule is not exhausted; and that a porter, footman, or + chairman's pastoral might do well. Or what think you of a Newgate pastoral, among the whores and thieves there.

Lastly, to conclude, I love you never the worse for feldom writing to you. I am in an obscure scene, where you know neither thing nor person. I can only answer yours, which I promise to do after a fort whenever you think fit to employ me. But I can assure you, the scene and the times have depressed me wonderfully, for I will impute no defect to those two paltry years which have flipt by lince I had the happiness to see you. I am, with the truest esteem,

Your's, &c.

• Gay did write a paftoral of this kind, which is pub. lished in his works.

+ Swift wrote one of this kind, intitled Dermot and Sheelab.

L E T.

IL ETTER Y.
From Dr. SWIFT to Mr. POPE.

[ocr errors]

A

Dublin, Jan. 10, 1721. Thousand things have vexed me of late years, upon which I am determined

to lay open my mind to you. I rather chufe to appeal to you than to my Lord Chief Justice Whitshed, under the situation I am in. For, I take this cause properly to lie before you: You are a much fitter Judge of what concerns the credit of a Writer, the injuries that are done him, and the reparations he ought to receive. Besides, I doubt whether the Arguments I could suggest to prove my own innocence would be of much weight from the gentlemen of the Longrobe to those in Furs, upon whose decision about the difference of Style or Sentiments, I should be very unwilling to leave the merits of my Cause.

Give me leave then to put you in mind (although you cannot easily forget it) that about ten weeks before the Queen's death, I left the town, upon occafion of that incurable breach among the great men at Court, and went down to Berkshire, where you may remember that you gave me the favour of a visit. While I was in that retirement, I writ a Discourse which I thought might be useful in fuch a juncture of affairs, and sent it up to London ; but, upon some difference in opinion between me and a certain great Minister now abroad, the publishing of it was deferred so long that the Queen died, and I recalled my copy, which hath been ever since in fafe hands. 'In a few weeks after the loss of that excellent Princess, I came to my station here; where

I This Letter Mr. Pope never received. P. nor did he believe it was ever sent.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I have continued ever since in the greatest privacy, and utter ignorance of those events, which are moft commonly talked of in the world. Iineither know the names nor number of the Royal Family, which now reigns, further than the Prayer-book införms me. I cannot tell who is Chancellor, who are Secretariés, nor with what nations we are in peace or war. And this manner of life was not taken up out of any fort. of Affectation, but merely to avoid giving offence, and for fear of provoking Partyzeal.

I had indeed written fome Memorials of the four last years of the Queen's reign, with some other informations, which I receiv'd, as neceffary "materials to qualify me for doing something in an employment then designed me *: But, as it was at the disposal of a person, who had not the smallest thare of steddiness or fincerity, 1 disdained to accept it. ) • Thefe papers, at my few hours of health and leis fure, I have been digesting + into order by one theet at a time, for I dare not venture any further, left the humour of fearching and feizing papers should • Hiftoriographer.

P. t. These papers fome years after were brought finihod by the Dean into England, with an intention to publitz them. But a friend, on whose judgment he relied (the fame I fuppose whom he mentions above, as being a broad at the time of writing this letter)diffuaded "him from that design. He told the Dean, 'there were feverat facts he knew to be falfe, and that the whole was so much. in the spirit of party writing, that, though it might have made a seasonaồle pamphler in fupport of their Adminiitration it was a difónout; to just historya - The Dean would do nothing againle his Friend's judgment, yet id extremely chagrined him. . , And he told a common friend, that fince ** did not approve his history, he would cast it into the fire, tho it was the best work he had ever written. However it did not undergo this fate, and is said to be yet in being.

revive;

revive; not that I am in pain of any danger to myself (for they contain nothing of present Times or Perfons, upon which I shall never lose a thought while there is a Cat or a Spaniel in the house) but to preferve them from being loft'among Messengers and Clerks.

I have written in this kingdom, a * discourse to perfuade the wretched people to wear their own Ma. nufactures instead of those from England. This Treatife foon fpread very fast, being agreeable to the sentiments of the whole nation, except of those gentlemen who had employments, or were Expec. tants. Upon which a person in great office here immediately took the alarm : he fent in hafte for the Chief Justice, and informed him of a feditious, factious, and virulent Pamphlety lately published with a design of fetting the two Kingdoms at variance; directing at the fame time that the Printer sņould be prosecuted with the utmost rigour of law. The Chief Justice 'had 'fo quick an understanding, that he resolved, if possible, to put-do his orders, The Grand-Juries of the county and city were practised effectually with to represent the said Pamphlet with all aggravating Epithets, for which they had thanks fent them from England, and their Presentments published for several weeks in all the news-papers. The Printer was seized, and forced to give great bail : after his trial the Jury brought him in Not Guilty, although they had been culled, with the utmost industry; the Chief Justice sent them back, nine times, and kept them eleven hours, until being perfectly tired out, they were forced to leave the matter to the mercy of the Judge, by what they call a special Verdict. During the trial, the Chief Justice, among other singularities, laid

* A Proposal for the universal Use of Irish Manufactures,

P.

his hand on his breast, and protested folemnly that the Author's design was to bring in the Pretender ; although there was not a single fyllable of Party in the whole Treatise, and although it was known that the most eminent of those who professed his own principles, publickly disallowed his proceedings. But the cause being so very odious and impopular, the trial of the Verdict was deferred from one Term to another, until upon the Duke of G-ft-n the Lord Lieutenant's arrival, his Grace, after mature advice, and permission from England, was pleased to grant a noli prosequi.

This is the more remarkable, because it is said that the man is no ill decider in common cases of property, where Party is out of the question ; but when that intervenes, with ambition at heels to push it forward, it must needs confound any man of little spirit, and low birth, who hath no other endowment than that sort of Knowledge, which, however possessed in the highest degree, can poffibly give no one good quality to the mind t.

It

+ This is a very ftrange assertion. To suppose that a consummate knowledge of the Laws, by which civilized societies are governed, can give no one good quality to the mind, is making Ethics (of which public laws are so confiderable a part) a very unprofitable study. Plato's di. vision of the sciences into Ethics, Physics, and Logic, as it is one of the oldest, fo is it the best. The feverer Philosophers condemn a total application to the two latter, because they have no tendency to mend the heart; and recommend the first as our principal ftudy, for its efficacy in this important service. And lure, if any human speculations can mend the heart, they must be those which have Man for their object, as a reasonable, a social, and a civil being. And these are all included under Ethics ; whether you call the science Morality or Law. And with regard to the Law of England, we must be much prejudiced against it not to allow that what Tully affirms

con

« VorigeDoorgaan »