of this life in three days. He died last night at nine o'clock, not deprived of his fenfes entirely at laft, and poffeffing them perfectly till within five hours. 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 gentleft; but I love you as well and as firmly. Would to God the man we have lost had not been fo amiable, nor so good! but that's a wish for our own sakes, 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


Dr. Arbuthnot, whose humanity you know, heartily commends himself to you. All possible diligence and affection has been shown, and continued attendance on this melancholy occasion. Once more adieu, and write to one who is truly disconfolate.

Dear Sir, I am sorry that the renewal of our correspondence should be upon luch a melancholy occasion. Poor Mr. Gay died of an inflammation, and, I believe,

at taft à mortification of the bowels; it was the most precipitate cafe I ever knew, having cut him off in three days. He was attended by two Phyficians besides myself. 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, to which I had no answer. I wish you all health and happinessbeing with great affection and respect; Sir,

Your, &c.


Dublin, 1732-3 Received yours with a few lines from the Doctors tion. Your Poem on the Use of Riches hath been just printed here, and we have no objection but the obscurity of several passages by our ignorance in facts and persons, which makes us lose abundance of the Satire. Had the printer given me notice, I would have honestly printed the names at length, where I happened to know them; and writ explanatory notes, which however would have been but few, for my long absence hath made me ignorant of what passes out of the scene where I am. I never had the least hint from you about this work, any more than of your former, upon Taste. We are told here, that you are preparing other pieces of the fame bulk to be inscribed to other friends, one (for instance) to my Lord Bolingbroke, another to Lord Oxford, and so on.-Doctor Delany presents you his most humble service: he behaves himself very commendably, converses only with his former friends, makes no parade, but entertains them constantly at an elegant plentiful table, walks the streets as usual, by day-light, does many acts of charity and generofity, cultivates a country-house two miles distant, and is one of those very few within my knowledge, on whom a great access of fortune hath made no manner of change. And particularly he is often without money, as he was before. We have got my Lord Orrery among us, being forced to continue here on the ill condition of his estate by the knavery of an Agent; he is a most worthy Gentleman, whom, I hope, you will be acquainted with. I am very much obliged by your favour to Mr. Pwhich, I desire, may continue no longer than he shall deserve by his Modesty, a virtue I never knew him to want, but is hard for young men to keep, without abundance of ballast. If you are acquainted with the Duchess of Queensbury, I desire you will present her my most humble service : I think she is a greater loser by the death of a friend than either of us. She seems a Lady of excellent sense and spirit. I had often Postscripts from her in our friend's letters to me, and her part was sometimes longer than his, and they made up a great part of the little happiness I could have here. This was the more generous, because I never saw her fince she was a girl of five years old, nor did I envy poor Mr. Gay for any thing so much as being a domestic friend to such a Lady. I desire you will never fail to send me a particular account of your health. I dare hardly enquire about Mrs. Pope, who, I am told, is but just among the living, and confequently a continual grief to you: she is sensible of your tenderness, which robs her of the only happiness she is capable of enjoying. And yet I pity you more than her ; you cannot lengthen her days, and I beg she may not shorten yours.

and the account of our losing Mr. Gay, upon which event I fall fay nothing. I am only concerned that long living hath not hardened me : for even in this kingdom, and in a few days past, two' persons of great merit, whom I loved very well, have died in the prime of their years, but a little above thirty. I would endeavour to comfort my. self upon the loss of friends, as I do upon the loss of money ; by turning to my account-book, and seeing whether I have enough left for my support; but in the former case I find I have not, any more than in the other; and I know not any man who is in a greater likelyhood than myself to die poor and friendless. You are a much greater loser than me by his death, as being a more intimate friend, and often his companion, which latter d could never hope to be, except perhaps once more in my life for a piece of a summer. I hope he hath left you the care of any writings he may have left, and I wish, that, with those already extant, they could be all published in a fair edition under your inspec-, M 2



Feb. 16, 1732-3.

I .

T is indeed impossible to speak on such a sub

rable one.

But I send you what I intend for the inscription on his tomb, which the Duke of Queensbury will set up at Westminster. As to his writings, he left no Will, nor spoke a word of them, or any thing else, during his short and precipitate illnefs, in which I attended him to his last breath. The Duke has acted more than the part of a brother to him, and it will be strange if the sisters do not leave his papers totally to his disposal, who will do the same that I would with them. He has managed the Comedy (which our poor friend gave to the playhouse the week before his death) to the

utmost what

M 3

utmost advantage for his relations; and proposes to do the same with some Fables he left finished.

There is nothing of late which I think of more than Mortality, and what you mention, of collecting the best monuments we can of our friends, their own images in their writings: (for those are the best, when their minds are such as Mr. Gay's was, and as yours is.) I am preparing also for my own, and have nothing so much at heart, as to fhew the filly world that men of Wit, or even Poets, may be the most moral of mankind. A few loose things sometimes fall from them, by which censorious fools judge as ill of them as poffibly they can, for their own comfort and indeed, when such unguarded and trifling Jeux d'Esprit have once got abroad, all that prudence or repentance can do, since they cannot be deny'd, is to put 'em fairly upon that foot ; and teach the public (as we have done in the preface to the four volumes of Miscellanies) to distinguish betwixt our studies and our idlenesles, our works and our weaknesses. That was the whole end of the last Vol. of Miscellanies, without which our former declaration in that preface, “ That these volumes contained all " that we have ever offended in that way,” would have been discredited. It went indeed to my heart, to omit what you called the Libel on Dr. D--and the best Panegyric on myself, that either my own times or any other could have afforded, or will ever afford to me. The book, as you observe, was printed in great haste; the cause whereof was, that the booksellers here were doing the fame, in collecting your pieces, the corn with the chaff; I don't mean that any thing of yours is chaff, but with other wit of Ireland which was so, and the whole in your name.

I meant principally to oblige them to separate what you writ seriously from

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »