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could heartily with that you were in his. I have been considering why Poets have such ill success in making their Court, since they are allowed to be the greatest and best of all flatterers : The defect is, that they flatter only in print or in writing, but not by word of mouth: They will give things under their hand which they make a conscience of speak. ing. Besides, they are too libertine to haunt antichambers, too poor to bribe Porters and footmen, and too proud to cringe to second-hand favourites in a great family. Tell me, are you not under Original fin by the dedication of your Eclogues to Lord Bolingbroke? I am an ill Judge at this distance; and besides, am, for my ease, utterly ignorant of the commonest things that pass in the world; but if all Courts have a sameness in 'them (as the Parsons phrase it) things may be as they were in my time, when all employments went to Parliament-mens Friends, who had been useful in Elections, and there was always a huge List of names in arrears at the Treasury, which would at least take up your seven years expedient to discharge even one half. I am of opinion, if you will not be offended, that the fureft course would be to get your Friend who lodgeth in your house to recommend you to the next chief Governor who comes over here for a good civil employment, or to be one of his Secretaries, which your Parliament-men are fond enough of, when there is no room at home. The wine is good and reasonable ; you may dine twice a week at the Deanery-house; there is a sett of company in this town fufficient for one man ; folks will admire you, because they have read you, and read of you; and a good employment will make
you live tolerably in London, or sumptuously here; or if you divide between both places, it will be for your health.
I love you.
I wish I could do more than say
I left you in a good way both for the late Court, and the Successors; and by the force of too much honesty or too little sublunary wisdom, you fell between two stools. Take care of your health and money ; be less modest and more active; or else turn Parson and get a Bishoprick here: Would to God they would send us as good ones: from your fide!
I am ever, &c.
L E T T ER VII.
Mr. Pope to Dr. Swift:
Jan. 12, 1723. Find a rebuke in a late Letter of yours, that
both stings and pleaseth me extremely Your saying that I ought to have writ a Postscript to my friend Gay's, makes me not content to write less than a whole Letter ; and your feeming to take his kindly, gives me hopes you will look upon this as a fincere effect of Friendship. Indeed as I cannot but own the Laziness with which you tax me, and with which I may equally charge you, for, both of us have had (and one of us hath both had and given *) a Surfeit of writing ; so I really thought you would know your self to be so certainly intitled to my Friendship, that it was a poffelfion you could not imagine stood in need of any further Deeds or Writings to assure you of it. Whatever
you seem to think of and separate state at this distance, and in this Abfence, Dean Swift lives still in England, in every
Alluding to his large work on Homer.
i place and company where he would chuse to live,
and I find him in all the conversations I keep, and in all the Hearts in which I desire any share.
We have never met these many years without mention of you.
Besides my old Acquaintance, I have found that all my friends of a later date are such as were yours before : Lord Oxford, Lord Harcourt, and Lord Harley may look upon me as one entailed upon them by you : Lord Bolingbroke is now returned (as I hope) to take Me with all his other Hereditary Rights: and, indeed, he seems grown so much a Philosopher, as to fet his heart upon some of them as little, as upon the Poet you gave him. It is sure my ill fate, that all those I most loved, and with whom I moft lived, must be banished: After both of you left England, my conftant Host was the Bishop of * Rochester. Sure this is a nation that is cursedly afraid of being over-run with too much Politeness, and cannot regain one great Genius, but at the expence of another t. I tremble for my Lord Peterborow (whom I now lodge with) he has too much Wit, as well as Courage, to make a folid General I: and if
* Dr. Atterbury # The Bishop of Rochester thought this to be indeed the case; and that the price agreed on for Lord B.'s return was his banishment: an imagination, which so strongly poffessed him when he went abroad, that all, which his friends could say or do, could not convince him of the folly of it.
1 - This Mr. Walth seriously thought to be the case, where, is a letter to Mr. Pope, he says. When we were " in the North, my Lord Wharton Thew'd me a letter he. " had r:ceived from a certain great General in Spain ;
[Lord Peterb.] I told him, I would by all means have " that General recalled, and set to writing here at home, “ for it was impossible that a' man with so much wit as he " Thewed, could be fit to command an army or do any "Ocher business." Let. V. Sep.9. 1705.
he escapes being banished by others, I fear he will banish himself. This leads me to give you some account of the manner of my life and Conversation, which has been infinitely more various and disipated, than when you knew me and cared for me ; and among all Sexes, Parties, and Professions. A Glut of Study and Retirement in the first part of life cast me into this ; and this, I begin to see, will throw me again into Study and Retirement.
The Civilities I have met with from opposite Setts of people, have hinder'd me from being violent or four to any Party; but at the same time the Observations and Experiences I cannot but have collected, have made me less fond of, and less surprized at, any: I am therefore the more afflicted and the more angry at the Violences and Hardships I see practised by either. The merry Vein you knew me in, is funk into a Turn of Reflection, that has made the world pretty indifferent to me; and yet I have acquired a Quietness of mind which by fits improves into a certain degree of Chearfulness, enough to make me just so good humoured as to wish that world well. My Friendships are encreased by new ones, yet no part of the warmth I felt for the old is diminished. Averfions I have none, but to Knaves (for Fools I have learned to bear with) and such I cannot be commonly civil to; for I think those men are next to Knaves who converse with them. The greatest man in power of this fort shall hardly make me bow to him, unless I had a personal obligation, and that I will take care not to have. The top pleasure of my life is one I learned from you both how to gain and how to use; the Freedom of Friendship with men much my Superiors. To have pleased great men, according to Horace, is a (praise; but not to have hattered them and yet not have displeased them, is a greater. I have carefully avoided all Intercourse with Poets and Scriblers, unless where by great chance I have found a modest one. By these means I have had no quarrels with any personally ; none have been Enemies, but who were also Strangers to me; and as there is no great need of an Eclaircisment with such, whatever they writ or faid I never retaliated, not only never seeming to know, but often really never knowing, any thing of the matter. There are very few things that give me the Anxiety of a wish; the strongest I have would be to pass my days with you, and a few such as you: But Fate has dispersed them all about the world ; and I find to wish it is as vain, as to wish to see the Millennium and the Kingdom of the Just upon earth.
I have finned in my long filence, consider there is one to whom you yourself have been as great a finner. As soon as you see his hand, you will learn to do me justice, and feel in your heart how long a man may be silent to those he truly loves and respects.
L E T T ER VIII.
Lord BOLINGBROK E to Dr. SWIFT.
AM not fo lazy as Pope, and therefore you
must not expect from me the same indulgence to Laziness ; in defending his own cause he pleads yours, and becomes, your Advocate while he apo peals to you as his Judge: You will do the same on your part; and I, and the rest of your common Friends, shall have great justice to expect from two fuch righteous Tribunals: 'You resemble perfecily the two Alehouse keepers in Holland, who were at the same time Burgomasters of the Town, and tax