« VorigeDoorgaan »
it is youpolies-- Satire, bu
But all employments here are engaged, or in reverfion. Caft Wits and caft Beaux have a proper sanctuary in the church : yet we think it a severe judgment, that a fine gentleman, and so much the finer for hating Ecclesiastics, should be a domestic humble retainer to an Irish Prelate. He is neither Secretary nor Gentleman-usher, yet serves in both capacities. He hath published several reasons why he never came to see me, but the beft is, that I have not waited on his Lordship. We have had a Poem sent from London in imitation of that on Miss Carteret. It is on Miss Harvey of a day old; and we say and think it is yours. I wish it were not, because I am against monopolies - You might have spared me a few more lines of your Satire, but I hope in a few months to see it all. To hear boys, like you, talk of Millenniums and tranquillity!' I am older by thirty years, Lord Bolingbroke by twenty, and you but by ten, than when we last were together; and we should differ more than ever, you coquetting a maid of honour, my Lord looking on to see how the gamesters play, and I railing at you both. I desire you and all my friends will take a special care that my Disaffection to the world may not be imputed to my Age, for I have creditable witnesses ready to depose, that it hath never varied from the twenty-first to the f-ty-eighth year of my life (pray fill that blank charitably.) I tell you after all, that I do not hate mankind, it is vous autres who hate them, because you would have them reafonable Animals, and are angry at being disappointed : I have always rejected that definitian, and made another of my own. I am no more angry with than I was with the Kite that last weck flew away with one of my chickens; and yet I was pleased when one of my servants shot him two days after. This I say, because you are so hardy as to tell me of your intentions to write Maxims in opposition to Rochefoucault, who is my favourite, because I found my whole character in him *; however I will read him again, because it is possible I may have since undergone fome alterations.-Take care the bad Poets do not out-wit you, as they have served the good ones in every age, whom they have provok'd to transmit their names to pofterity. Movius is as well known as Virgil, and Gildon will be as well known as you, if his name gets into your Verses: and as to the difference between good and bad fame, 'tis a perfect trifle. I ask a thousand pardons, and fo leave you for this time, and will write again without concerning myself whether you write or no.
I am, &c.
Decemb. 10, 1725. T Find myself the better acquainted with you for
a long Absence, as men are with themselves for a long Amiction: Absence does but hold off a Friend, to make one see him the more truly. I am infinitely more pleased to hear you are coming near us, than at any thing you seem to think in my favour; an opinion which has perhaps been aggrandized by the distance or dulness of Ireland, as objects look larger thro' a medium of Fogs: and yet I am infinitely pleas’d with that too. I am much the happier for finding (a better thing than our Wits) our Judgments jump, in the notion that all Scriblers should be past by in silence. To vindicate one's self against such nafty flander, is much as wise as it was in your countryman, when the people im
* This; methinks, is no great compliment to his own heart.
puted puted a stink to him, to prove the contrary by shewing his backside. So let Gildon and Philips rest in peace! what Virgil had to do with Movius, that he should wear him upon his sleeve to all eternity, I don't know. I've been the longer upon this, that I may prepare you for the reception both you and your works may possibly meet in England. We your true acquaintance will look upon you as a good man, and love you; others will look upon you as à Wit, and hate you. So you know the worst; unless you are as vindicative as Virgil, or the aforefaid Hibernian. . .
I wish as warmly as you for an Hospital in which to lodge the Despisers of the world; only I fear it would be filld wholly like Chelsea, with maimed Soldiers, and fuch as had been disabled in its service. I would rather have those, that, out of such generous principles as you and I, despise it, fly in its face, then retire from it. Not that I have much anger against the Great, my spleen is at the little rogues of it; it would vex one more to be knock'd on the head with a Piss-pot, than by a Thunderbolt. As to great Oppressors, they are like Kites or Eagles, one expects mischief from them; but to be squirted to death (as poor Wycherly said to me on his death-bed) by Apothecaries Apprentices, by the understrappers of under-fecretaries to secretaries who were no secretaries—this wou'd provoke as dull a dog as Phs himself.
So much for enemies, now for friends. Mr. Lthinks all this indiscreet: the Dr. not fo; he loves mischief the best of any good-natur'd man in England. Lord B. is above trifling: when he writes of any thing in this world, he is more than mortal; if ever he trifles, it must be when he turns a Divine. Gay is writing Talcs for Prince William : I suppose Mr. Philips will take this very ill, for two reasons; one that he thinks all childish things belong to him, and the other because he'll take it ill to be taught that one may write things to a child without being childish. What have I more to add ? but that Lord Oxford desires earnestly to see you : and that many others whom you do not think the worst of, will be gratified by it: none more, be afsured, than Yours, &c.
P.S. Pope and you are very great Wits, and I think very indifferent Philosophers: If you despised the world as much as you pretend, and perhaps be. lieve, you would not be so angry with it. The founder of your fect, that noble Original whom you think it fo great an honour to resemble *, was a Nave to the worst part of the world, to the Court; and all his big words were the language of a slighted Lover, who desired nothing so much as a reconciliation, and feared nothing so much as a rupture. I believe the world hath used me as scurvily as most people, and yet I could never find in my heart to be thoroughly angry with the simple, falfe, capricious thing. I should blush alike, to be discovered fond of the world, or piqued at it. Your definition of Animal Rationis capax, instead of the common one Animal Rationale, will not bear examination : define but Reason, and you will see why your diftinction is no better than that of the Pontiff Cetta; between mala ratio, and bona ratio. But enough of this: make us a visit, and I'll subscribe to any fide of these important questions which you please. We differ less than you imagine, perhaps, when you wilh'd me banish'd again : but I am not less true to you and to Philosophy in England, than I was in France.
Yours, &c. B.
ut Reason, he will not be of the con
· LETTER XV.
London, May 4, 1726. T Had rather live in forty Irelands than under the I frequent disquiets of hearing you are out of order. I always apprehend it most after a great dinner , for the least Transgression of yours, if it be only two bits and one sup more than your stint, is a great debauch;. for which you certainly pay more than those fots who are carried dead drunk to bed. My Lord Peterborow spoiled every body's dinner, but especially mine, with telling us that you were detained by fickness. Pray let me have three lines under any hand or pot-hook that will give me a better account of your health ; which concerns me more than others, because I love and esteem you for reasons that most others have little to do with, and would be the same although you had never touched a pen, further than with writing to me.
I am gathering up my luggage, and preparing for my journey; I will endeavour to think of you as little as I can, and when I write to you, I will strive not to think of you: This I intend in return to your kindness; and further, I know no body has dealt with me fo cruelly as you, the consequences of which usage I fear will last as long as my life, for so long shall I be (in spite of my heart) entirely Yours.
Aug. 22, 1926. A ny a short sigh you cost me the day I left .. 71 you, and many more you will cost me, till the day you return. I really walk'd about like a - Vol. IX,