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so many great men to die without leaving a scrap to posterity.
am sincerely troubled for the bad account you give of your own health. I wish every day to hear å better, as much as I do to enjoy my own, I aithfully assure you.
LET TER LXVIII,
From Dr. SWIFT.
Dublin, July 8, 1733.
Pope, of whose death the papers have been full. But I would rather rejoice with you, because, if any circumstances can make the death of a dear Parent and Friend a subject for joy, you have them all. She died in an extreme old age, without pain, under the care of the most dutiful Son that I have ever known or heard of, which is a felicity not happening to one in a million. The worst effect of her death falls upon me, and so much the worse, because I expected aliquis damno ufus in illo, that it would be followed by making me and this kingdom happy with your presence. But I am told, to my great misfortune, that a very convenient offer happening, you waved the invitation pressed on you, alledging the fear you had of being killed here with eating and drinking. By which I find that you have given some credit to a notion, of our great plenty and hospitality. It is true, our meat and wine is cheaper here, as it is always in the poorest countries, because there is no money to pay for them: I believe there are not in this whole city three Gentlemen out of Employment, who are able to give Entertainments Vol. IX.
once a month. Those who are in employments of church or state, are three parts in four from England, and amount to little more than a dozen : Those indeed may once or twice invite their friends, or any person of distinction that makes a voyage hither. All my acquaintance tell me, they know not above three families where they can occasionally dine in a whole year : Dr. Delany is the only gentleman I know, who keeps one certain day in the week to entertain seven or eight friends at dinner, and to pass the evening, where there is nothing of excefs, either in eating or drinking. Our old friend Southern (who hath just left us) was invited to dinner once or twice by a judge, a bishop, or a commissioner of the revenues, but most frequented a few particular friends, and chiefly the Doctor, who is easy in his fortune, and very hospitable. The conveniences of taking the air, winter or summer, do far exceed those in London. For the two large strands just at two ends of the town are as firm and dry in winter as in summer. There are at least fix or eight gentlemen of sense, learning, good-humour and taste, able and desirous to please you; and orderly females, some of the better fort, to take care of you. These were the motives that I have frequently made use of to entice you hither. And there would be no failure among the best people here, of any honours that could be done you. As to myself, I declare, my health is so uncertain that I dare not venture amongst you at present. I hate the thoughts of London, where I am not rich enough to live otherwise than by shifting, which is now too late. Neither can I have conveniences in the country for three horses and two fervants, and many others, which I have here at hand. I am one of the governors of all the hackney-coaches, carts, and carriages round this town, who dare not infult me, like your rascally
waggoners or coachmen, but give me the way; nor is there one Lord or Squire for a hundred of yours, to turn me out of the road, or run over me with their coaches and fix. Thus, I make some advantage of the public poverty, and give you
the reasons for what I once writ, why I chuse to be a freeman among slaves, rather than a slave among freemen. Then, I walk the streets in peace without being justled, nor ever without a thousand blesfings from my friends the vulgar. I am Lord Mayor of 120 houses, I am absolute Lord of the greatest cathedral in the kingdom, am at peace with the neighbouring Princes, the Lord Mayor of the city, and the Arch-bishop of Dublin, only the latter, like the K. of France, sometimes attempts encroachments on my dominions, as old Lewis did upon Lorrain. In the midst of this raillery, I can tell you with seriousness, that these advantages contribute to my ease, and therefore I value them. And in one part of your letter relating to my Lord B-and your self, you agree with me entirely, about the indifference, the love of quiet, the care of health, &c. that grow upon men in years. And if you difcover those inclinations in my Lord and yourself, what can you expect from me, whose health is fo precarious ? and yet at your or his time of life, I could have leap'd over the moon.
L ETTER LXIX.
Sept. 1, 1733. HAVE every day wish'd to write to you,
to say a thousand things; and yet, I think, I should not have writ to you now, if I was not fick of writing any thing, fick of myself, and (what is worfe) fick of my friends too. The N 2
world is become too busy for me; every body is fo concerned for the public, that all private enjoyments are loft, or dif-relish'd. I write more to show
I tir'd of this life, than to tell you any thing relating to it. I live as I did, I think as I did, I love you as I did; but all these are to no purpose: the world will not live, think, or love, as I do. I am troubled for, and vexed at, all my
friends by turns. Here are some whom you love, and who love you ; yet they receive no proofs of that affection from you, and they give none of it to you. There is a great gulph between. In earnest, I would go a thousand miles by land to see you, but the fea I dread. My ailments are such, that I really believe a sea-sickness (considering the oppression of colical pains, and the great weakness of my breaft) would kill me: and if I did not die of that, I must of the exceffive eating and drinking of your hospitable town, and the excessive flattery of your most poetical country. I hate to be cramm'd, either way. Let your hungry poets, and your rhyming poets digest it, I cannot. I like much better to be abufed and half starved, than to be so over-praised and over-fed. Drown Ireland ! for having caught you, and for having kept you:
I only reserve a little charity for her, for knowing your value, and esteeming you: You are the only Patriot I know, who is not hated for serving his country. The man who drew your Character and printed it here, was not much in the wrong in many things he said of you : yet he was a very impertinent fellow, for saying them in words quite different from those you had yourself employed before on the famne subject : for furely to alter your words is to prejudice them; and I have been told, that a man himself can hardly say the same thing twice over with equal happiness; Nature is fo much a better thing than artifice,
I have written nothing this year : It is no affectation to tell you, my Mother's loss has turn'd my frame of thinking. The habit of a whole life is a stronger thing than all the reason in the world. I know I ought to be easy, and to be free; but I am dejected, I am confined: my whole amusement is in reviewing my past life, not in laying plans for my future. I wish you cared as little for popular applause as I; as little for any nation, in contradiftinction to others, as I: and then I fancy, you that are not afraid of the sea, you that are a stronger man at sixty than ever I was at twenty, would come and see several people who are (at last) like the primitive christians, of one foul and of one mind. The day is. come, which I have often wilhed, but never thought to see ; when every mortal, that I esteem, is of the same sentiment in Politics and in Religion.
Adieu. All you love, are yours ; but all are busy, except (dear Sir) your sincere friend.
Jan. 6, 1734:
to you, now, without drawing many of those fhort fighs of which we have formerly talk'd : The reflection both of the friends we have been dee priv'd of by Death, and of those from whom we are separated almost as eternally by Absence, checks me to that degree that it takes away in a manner the pleasure (which yet I feel very sensibly too) of thinking I am now converfing with you. You have been filent to me as to your Works; whether those printed here are, or are not genuine ? but one, I am sure, is yours; and your method of con