Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

1

about his two thousand. Shall no one of us live as we would wish each other to live? Shall we have no annuity, you no settlement on this fide, and I no prospect of getting to you on the other? This world is made for Cæfar as Cato faid, for ambitious, false, or flattering people to domineer in : Nay they would not, by their good will, leave us our very books, thoughts, or words, in quiet. I despise the world yet, I assure you, more than either Gay or you, and the Court more than all the rest of the world. As for those Scriblers for whom you apprehend I would fuppress my Dulness (which by the way, for the future, you are to call by a more pompous name, The Dunciad) how much that neft of Hornets are my regard, will easily appear to you, when you read the Treatise of the Bathos, At all adventures, yours

and

my name shall stand. linked as friends to posterity, both in verse and profe, and (as Tully calls it) in confuetudine Studiorum. Would to God our persons could but as well, and as surely, be inseparable! I find my other Tyes dropping from me: fome worn off, fome torn off, others relaxing daily: My greatest, both by duty, gratitude, and humanity, Time is shaking every moment, and it now hangs but by a thread! I am many years the older, for living so much with one so old; much the more helpless, for having been fo long help'd and tended by her; much the more considerate and tender, for a daily commerce with one who requir'd me, justly to be both to her,; and confequently the more melancholy and thoughtful; and, the less fit for others, who want only in a compat., nion or a friend, to be amused or entertained. My constitution too has had its share of decay, as well as my fpirits, and I am as much in the decline at forty as you at sixty. I believe we should be fit to live together, cou'd I get a little more health, which might make me not quite insupportable : your Deaf

ness

2

ness wou'd agree with my Dulness; you would not want me to speak when you could not hear. But God forbid

you

shou'd be as destitute of the social comforts of life, as I must when I lose my mother; or that ever you shou'd lose your more useful acquaintance so utterly, as to turn your thoughts to such a broken reed as I am, who could so ill supply your wants. I am extremely troubled at the returns of your

deafness; you cannot be too particular in the accounts of your health to me; every thing you do or say in this kind obliges me, nay, delights me, to see the justice you do me in thinking me concern'd in all your concerns ; so that though the pleafantest thing you can tell me be that you are better or easier ; next to that it pleases me, that you make me the person you would complain to.

As the obtaining the love of valuable men is the happiest end I know of this life, so the next felicity is to get rid of fools and scoundrels ; which I can't but own to you was one part of my design in falling upon

these Authors, whose incapacity is not greater than their insincerity, and of whom I have always found (if I may quote myself)

That each bad Author is as bad a Friend. This Poem will rid me of those insects, Cedite, Romani Scriptores, cedite, Graii ;

Nescio quid majus nafcitur Iliade. I mean than

my

Iliad; and I call it Nescio quid, which is a degree of modefty; but however if it filence these fellows*, it must be something greater than any Iliad in Christendom.

Adieu.

• It did, in a little time,' effectually silence them.

LET

LET TER XXX.

From Dr. SWIFT.

Dublin, May 10, 1728. Have with great pleasure shewn the New-Eng

land News-paper with the two names Jonathan Gulliver, and I remember Mr. Fortescue sent you an account from the assizes, of one Lemuel Gulliver who had a Cause there, and lost it on his ill reputation of being a liar. These are not the only observations I have made upon odd strange accidents in trifles, which in things of great importance would have been matter for Historians. Mr. Gay’s Opera hath been acted here twenty times, and my Lord Lieutenant tells me, it is very well perform’d; he hath seen it often, and approves it much.

You give a most melancholy account of yourself, and which I do not approve. I reckon that a man subjeet like us to bodily infirmities, should on. ly occasionally converse with great people, notwithstanding all their good qualities, eafinesses, and kindneffes. There is another race which I prefer before them, as Beef and Mutton for constant diet before Partridges : I mean a middle kind both for understanding and fortune, who are perfectly easy, never impertinent, complying in every thing, ready to do a hundred little offices that you and ten want, who dine and fit with me five times for once that I go to them, and whom I can tell without offence, that I am otherwise engaged at present. This you cannot expect from any of those that either you or I or both are acquainted with on your fide; who are only fit for our healthy seasons, and have much business of their own. God forbid I fhould condemn you to Ireland (Quanquam 0!) and for England I despair; and indeed a change of

may of

[ocr errors]

affairs

affairs would come too late at my season of life, and might probably produce nothing on my behalf. You have kept Mrs. Pope longer, and have had her care beyond what from nature you could expect; not but her loss will be very sensible, whenever it shall happen. I say one thing, that both summers and winters are milder here than with you; all things for life in general better for a middling fortune : you will have an absolute command of your company, with whatever obsequiousness or freedom you may expect or allow. I have an elderly house-keeper, who hath been my W-Ip-le above thirty years, whenever I liv'd in this kingdom. I have the command of one or two villa's near this town: You have a warm apartment in this house, and two gardens for amusement. I have said enough, yet not half. Except absence from friends, I confess freely that I have no discontent at living here; besides what arises from a filly spirit of Liberty, which as it neither sours my drink, nor hurts my meat, nor fpoils my stomach farther than in imagination, so I resolve to throw it off.

You talk of this Dunciad, but I am impatient to have it volare per ora—there is now a vacancy for fame; the Beggar's Opera hath done its task, discedat uti conviva fatur.

Adieu.

LET TER XXXI.

From Dr. SWIFT.

June 1, 1728. Look upon my Lord Bolingbroke and us two,

as a peculiar Triumvirate, who have nothing to expect, or to fear; and so far fittest to converse with

I

one another : Only he and I are a little subject to fchemes, and one of us (I won't say which) upon very weak appearances, and this you have nothing to do with, I do profess without affectation, that your kind opinion of me as a Patriot (since you call it fo) is what I do not deserve; because what I do is owing to perfect rage and resentment, and the mortifying sight of flavery, folly, and baleness about me, among which I am forc'd to live. And I will take my oath that you

have more Virtue in an hour, than I in seven years; for you despise the follies, and hate the vices of mankind, without the least ill effect on your temper; and with regard to particular men, you are inclined always rather to think the better, whereas with me it is always directly contrary. I hope however, this is not in you from a superior principle of virtue, but from your situation, which hath made all parties and intereits indifferent to you, who can be under no concern about high and low-church, Whig and Tory, or who is first Minister Your long letter was the last I receivd till this by Dr. Delany, although you mention another since. The Dr. told me your secret about the Dunciad, which does not please me, because it defers gratifying my vanity in the most tender point, and perhaps may wholly disappoint it. As to one of your enquiries, I am casy enough in great matters, and have a thousand paltry vexations in my little station, and the more contemptible, the more vexatious. There might be a Lutrin writ upon

the tricks used by my Chapter to teaze me. I do not converse with one creature of Station or Title, but I have a sett of eafy people whom I entertain when I have a mind; I have formerly described them to you, but, when you come you shall have the honours of the country as much as you please, and I-fhall on that account make a better figure as long as I live. Pray God preserve Mrs. Pope for VOL. IX.

your

« VorigeDoorgaan »