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want those subsidia fene&tuti, when a man grows hard to please, and few people care whether he be pleased or no. I have a large house, yet I should hardly prevail to find one visiter, if I were not able to hire him with a bottle of wine : fo that, when I am not abroad on horseback, I generally dine alone, and am thankful, if a friend will pass the evening with me. I am now with the remainder of my pint before me, and so here's your health-and the second and chief is to my Tunbridge acquaintance, my Lady Duchess--and I tell you that I fear my Lord Bolingbroke and Mr. Pope (a couple of Philophers) would starve me, for even of port wine I should require half a pint a day, and as much at night : and you were growing as bad, unless your Duke and Duchess have mended you. Your cholic is owing to intemperance of the philosophical kind; you eat without care, and if you drink lefs than I, you drink too little. But your inattention I cannot pardon, because I imagined the cause was removed, for I thought it lay in your forty millions of schemes by Court-hopes and Court-fears. Yet Mr. Pope has the same defect, and it is of all others the most mortal to conversation ; neither is my Lord Bolingbroke untinged with it: all for want of my rule, Vive la bagatelle ! but the Doctor is the King of Inattention. What a vexatious life should I lead among you? If the Duchess be a reveuse, I will never come to Aimsbury; or, if I do, I will run away from you both, to one of her women, and the steward and chaplain.
Madam, I mentioned something to Mr. Gay of a Tunbridge-acquaintance, whom we forget of course when we return to Town, and yet I am assured that if they meet again next summer, they have a
better better title to resume their commerce. Thus I look on my right of corresponding with your Grace to be better establish'd upon your return to Aimsbury; and I shall at this time descend to forget, or at least fufpend my resentments of your neglect all the time you were in London. I still keep in my heart, that Mr. Gay had no sooner turned his back, than you left the place in his letter void which he had commanded you to fill: though your guilt confounded you so far, that you wanted presence of mind to blot out the last line, where that command stared you in the face. But it is my misfortune to quarrel with all my acquaintance, and always come by the worst; and fortune is ever against me, but never so much as by pursuing me out of mere partiality to your Grace, for which you are to answer. By your connivance, she hath pleased, by one stumble on the stairs, to give me a lameness that fix months have not been able perfectly to cure : and thus I am prevented from revenging myself by continuing a month at Aimsbury, and breeding confusion in your Grace's family. No disappointment through my whole life hath been so vexatious by many degrees ; and God knows whether I shall ever live to see the invisible Lady to whom I was obliged for so many favours, and whom I never beheld since she was a bratt in hanging-sleeves. I am, and shall be ever, with the greatest respect and gratitude, Madam, your Grace's most obedient, and most humble, &c.
Dublin, Aug. 12, 1732. T Know not what to say to the account of your | stewardship, and 'tis monstrous to me that the South-sea should pay half their debts at one clap. But I will send for the money when you put me into L4
the way, for I shall want it here, my affairs being in a bad condition by the miseries of the kingdom, and my own private fortune being wholly embroiled, and worse than ever ; so that I shall soon petition the Duchess, as an object of charity, to lend me three or four thousand pounds to keep up my dignity. My one hundred pound will buy me fix hogsheads of wine, which will support me a year ; provifæ frugis in annum Copia. Horace desired no more; for I will construe frugis to be wine. You are young enough to get some lucky hint which mutt come by chance, and it shall be a thing of im. portance, quod & hunc in annum vivat & in plures, and you shall not finish it in hafte, and it shall be diverting, and usefully satirical, and the Duchess shall be your critic; and betwixt you and me, I do not find she will grow weary of you till this time seven years. I had lately an offer to change for an English living, which is just too short by 300l. a year: and that must be made up out of the Duchess's pin-money before I can consent. I want to be Minister of Aimsbury, Dawley, Twickenham, Rilkins, and Prebendary of Westminster, else I will not ftir a step, but content myself with making the Duchess miserable three months next summer. But I keep ill company: I mean - the Duchess and you, who are both out of favour; and so I find am I, by a few verses wherein Pope and you have your parts. You hear Dr.
D y has got a wife with 1600 l. a year; I, who am his governor, cannot take one under two thousand; I wish you would enquire of such a one in your neighbourhood. See what it is to write godly books! I profess I envy you above all men in England; you want nothing but three thousand pounds more, to keep you in plenty when your friends grow weary of you. To prevent which last evil at Aimsbury, you must learn to domineer and be peeyifh, to find fault with their
ugh the prany man cured of precedent of it.
victuals and drink, to chide and direct the servants, with some other lessons, which I shall teach you, and always practised myself with fuccess. I believe I formerly desired to know whether the Vicar of Aimsbury can play at back-gammon ? pray ask him the question, and give him my service.
To the Duchess. Madam, I was the most unwary creature in the world, when, against my old maxims, I writ first to you upon your return to Tunbridge. I beg that this condescension of mine may go no farther, and that you will not pretend to make a precedent of it. I never knew any man cured of any Inattention, although the pretended causes were removed. When I was with Mr. Gay last in London, talking with him on some poetical subjects, he would answer; « Well, I am determined not to accept the em“ ployment of Gentleman-usher :" and of the same disposition were all my poetical friends, and if you cannot cure him, I utterly despair. - As to yourself, I will say to you, (though comparisons be odious) what I said to the ----, that your quality should be never any motive of esteem to me : My compliment was then loft, but it will not be so to you. For I know you more by any one of your letters than I could by six months conversing. Your pen is always more natural and sincere and unaffected than your tongue; in writing you are too lazy to give yourself the trouble of acting a part, and have indeed acted so indiscreetly that I have you at mercy; and although you should arrive to such a height of immorality as to deny your hand, yet, whenever I produce it, the world will unite in swearing this must come from you only.
I will answer your question. Mr. Gay is not discreet enough to live alone, but he is too discreet to live alone; and yet (unless you mend him) he will live alone even in your Grace's company. Your quarrelling with each other upon the subject of bread and butter, is the most usual thing in the world ; Parliaments, Courts, Cities, and Kingdoms quarrel for no other cause ; from hence, and from hence only arise all the quarrels between Whig and Tory; between those who are in the Ministry, and those who are out; between all pretenders to employment in the Church, the Law, and the Army: even the common proverb teaches you this, when we say, It is none of my bread and butter, meaning it is no business of mine. Therefore I defpair of any reconcilement between you till the affair of bread and butter be adjusted, wherein I would gladly be a mediator. If Mahomet should come to the mountain, how happy would an excellent Lady be, who lives a few miles from this town? As I was telling of Mr. Gay's way of living at Aimsbury, she offer'd fifty guineas to have you both at her house for one hour over a bottle of Burgundy, which we were then drinking. To your question I answer, that your Grace should pull me by the fleeve till you tore it off, and when you said you were weary of me, I would pretend to be deaf, and think (according to another proverb) that you tore my cloaths to keep me from going. I never will believe one word you say of my Lord Duke, unless I see three or four lines in his own hand at the bottom of yours. I have a concern in the whole family, and Mr. Gay must give me a particular account of every branch, for I am not ashamed of you tho' you be Duke and Duchess, tho'l have been of others who are, &c. and I do not doubt but even your own servants love you, even down to your postilions; and when I come to Aimsbury,