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his life; because I cannot be a great Lord, I would acquire what is a kind of fubfidium, I would endeavour that my betters should seek me by the merit of something diftinguishable, inftead of my feeking them. The desire of enjoying it in aftertimes is owing to the spirit and folly of youth : but with age we learn to know the house is so full, that there is no room for above one or two at most in an age, through the whole world. My Lord, I hate and love to write to you, it gives me pleafure, and kills me with melancholy. The D- take stupidity, that it will not come to supply the want of philofophy.
From Dr. SwifT.
Oat. 31, 1729. OU were fu careful of fending me the Dun
ciad, that I have received five of them, and have pleased four friends. I am one of every body who approve every part of it, Text and Comment; but am one abftracted from every body, in the happiness of being recorded your friend, while wit, and humour, and politeness fhall have any memorial among us. As for your octavo edition, we know nothing of it, for we have an octavo of our own; which hath fold wonderfully, considering our poverty, and dulness the consequence of it.
I'writ this post to Lord B. and tell him in my letter, that, with a great deal of loss for a frolick, I will fly as soon as build; I have neither years, nor spirits, nor money, nor patience for such amusements The frolick is gone off, and I am only 100 l. the poorer. But this kingdom is grown
fo excessively poor, that we wise men must think of nothing but getting a little ready money. It is thought there are not two hundred thousand pounds of species in the whole island; for we return thrice as much to our Absentees, as we get by trade, and so are all inevitably undone ; which I have been telling them in print these ten years, to as little purpose as if it came from the pulpit. And this is enough for Irish politics, which I only mention, because it fo nearly touches myself. I must repeat what, I believe, I have said before, that I pity you much more than Mrs. Pope. Such a parent and friend hourly declining before your eyes is an object very unfit for your health, and duty, and tender disposition; and I pray God it may not affeet you too much.
as much satisfied that your additional 100 l. per Annum is for your life as if it were for ever. You have enough to leave your friends, I would not have them glad to be rid of you; and I shall take that
my mies will be glad to get rid of me.
You have embroiled me with Lord B-- about the figure of living, and the pleasure of giving. I am under the necessity of fome little paultry figure in the ftation I am: but I make it as little as possible. As to the other part you are base, because I thought myself as great a giver as ever was of my ability; and yet in proportion you exceed, and have kept it till now a secret even from me, when I wondred how
you were able to live with your whole little revenue,
LET T E R XLIII.
Lord BOLINGBROKE to Dr. SwifT.'
Nov. 19, 1729. Find that you have laid aside your project of
building in Ireland, and that we shall see you in this island cum zephyris, et hirundine prima. I know not whether the love of fame increases as we advance in age ; sure I am that the force of friendfhip does. I lov'd you almost twenty years ago, I thought of
you as well as I do now, better was beyond the power of conception, or, to avoid an equivoque, beyond the extent of my ideas. Whether you are more obliged to me for loving you as well when I knew you less, or for loving you as well after loving you so many years, I shall not determine. What I would say is this: whilst my mind grows daily more independant of the world, and feels less need of leaning on external objects, the ideas of friendship return oftner, they busy me, they warm me more : Is it that we grow more tender as the moment of our great separation approaches ? or is it that they who are to live together in another state, (for vera amicitia non nifi inter bonos) begin to feel more strongly that divine sympathy which is to be the great band of their future society? There is no one thought which fooths my mind like this: I encourage my imagination to pursue it, and am heartily afflicted when another faculty * of the intellect comes boisterously in, and
* Viz. Reason. Tully (or, what is much the same, his Disciple) observes something like this on the like occafion, where, speaking of Plato's famous book of the Soul, he says, Nefcio quomodo, dum lego, adfentior : cum
wakes me from so pleasing a dream, if it be a dream. I will dwell no more on Oeconomicks than I have done in my former letter. Thus much only I will say, that otium cum dignitate is to be had with 500l. a year as well as with 5000 : the difference will be found in the value of the man, and not in that of the estate. I do assure you, that I have never quitted the design of collecting, revising, improving, and extending several materials which are still in my power ; and I hope that the time of setting myself about this laft work of my life is not far off. Many papers of much curiofity and importance are lost, and some of them in a manner which would furprize and anger you. However I fhall be able to convey feveral great truths to pofterity, so clearly and so authentically, that the Burnets and the Oldmixons of another age may rail, but not be able to deceive. Adieu, my friend. I have taken up more of this paper than belongs to me, since Pope is to write to you; no matter, for, upon recollection, the rules of proportion are not broken ; he will say as much to you in one page, as I have said in three, Bid him talk to you of the work he is about, I hope in good earnest; it is a fine one; and will be, in his hands, an original *. His sole complaint is, that he finds it too easy in the execution. This flatters his laziness, it Aatters my judgment, who always thought that (universal as his talents are) this is eminently and peculiarly
pofui librum, et mecum ipfe de immortalitate aninorum capi cogitare, adfenfio illa omnis elabitur. Cicero, feems to have had but a confused notion of the cause, which the Letter-writer has here explained, namely, that the imagination is always ready to indulge fo flattering an idea, but severer reason corrects and disclaims it. As to RELIGION, that is out of the question ; for Tully wrote to his few philofophic friends. Elay on Man.
his, above all the writers I know living or dead; I do not except Horace.
LET TER XLIV.
Nov. 28, 1729.
THIS letter (like all mine) will be a Rhapsody; it is many years ago
fince I wrote as a Wit*. How many occurrences or informations must one omit, if one determined to say nothing that one could not say prettily? I lately receiv'd from the widow of one dead correspondent, and the father of another, several of my own letters of about fifteen and twenty years old; and it was not unentertaining to myself to observe, how and by what degrees I ceas'd to be a witty writter ; as either my experience grew on the one hand, or my affection to my correspondents on the other. Now as I love you better than most. I have ever met with in the world, and esteem you too the more, the longer I have compared you with the rest of the world; so inevitably I write to you more negligently, that is, more openly, and what all but such as love one another will call writing worse. I smile to think how Curl would be bit, were our Epistles to fall into his hands, and how gloriously they would fall short of every ingenious reader's expectations?
You can't imagine what a vanity it is to me, to have fomething to rebuke you for in the way of Deconomy. I love the man that builds a house fubito ingenio, and makes a wall for a horse : then cries, “ We wise men must think of nothing but
getting ready money.” I am glad you approve my, annuity; all we have in this world is no more He used to value himself on this particular.