Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

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-lp-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 amufement. I have faid 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 spoils 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 talk, discedat uti conviva Jatur.

Adieu.

LETTER XXXI.
From Dr. SWIFT.

June 1, 1728. T Look upon my Lord Bolingbroke and us two, I as a peculiar Triumvirate, who have nothing to expect, or to fear; and so far fittest to converse with

one

one another: Only he and I are a little subject to schemes, 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 fight of flavery, folly, and bareness 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 receiv'd 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 pointy and perhaps may wholly disappoint it. As to one of your enquiries, I am easy 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 shall on that account make a better figure as long as I live. Pray God preserve Mrs. Pope for.

Vol. IX,

your

your fake and ease, I love and esteem her too much to wish it for her own : If I were five and twenty, I would wish to be of her age, to be as secure as she is of a better life. Mrs. P. B. has writ to me, and is one of the best Letter-writers I know ; very good sense, civility and friendship, without any ftiffness or constraint. The Dunciad has taken wind here, but if it had not, you are as much known here as in England, and the University-lads will crowd to kiss the hem of your garment. I am griev'd to hear that my Lord Bolingbroke's ill health forc'd him to the Bath. Tell me, is not Temperance a necessary virtue for great men, since it is the parent of Ease and Liberty ? so necessary for the use and improvement of the mind, and which Philofophy allows to be the greatest felicities of life? I believe, had health been given so liberally to you, it would have been better husbanded without shame to your parts.

LETTER XXXII.

Dawley, June 28, 1728. T Now hold the pen for my Lord Bolingbroke, I who is reading your letter between two Haycocks; but his attention is somewhat diverted by casting his eyes on the clouds, not in admiration of what you say, but for fear of a shower. He is pleas'd with your placing him in the Triumvirate between yourself and me; tho' he says that he doubts he shall fare like Lepidus, while one of us runs away with all the power like Auguftus, and another with all the pleasures like Anthony. It is upon a foresight of this, that he has fitted up his farm, and you will agree, that this scheme of retreat at least is not founded upon weak appearances.

Upon

Upon his return from the Bath, all peccant humours, he finds, are purgd out of him; and his great Temperance and Oeconomy are so signal, that the first is fit for my constitution, and the latter would enable you to lay up so much money as to buy a Bishoprick in England. As to the return of his health and vigour, were you here, you might enquire of his Hay-makers; but as to his temper. ance, I can answer. that (for one whole day) we have had nothing for dinner but mutton-broth, beans and bacon, and a Barn-door fowl..

Now his Lordship is run after his Cart, I have a moment left to myself to tell you, that I over-heard him yesterday agree with a Painter for 200 l. to paint his country-hall with Trophies of Rakes; fpades, prongs, &c. and other ornaments merely to countenance his calling this place a Farm-now turn over a new leaf

He bids me assure you, he should be sorry not to have more schemes of kindness for his friends, than of ambition for himself: There, tho' his schemes may be weak, the motives at least are strong; and he says further, if you could bear as great a fall, and decrease of your revenues, as he knows by experience he can, you wou'd not live in Ireland an hour.

The Dunciad is going to be printed in all pomp, with the inscription, which makes me proudest. It will be attended with Proeme, Prolegomena, Testimonia Scriptorum, Index Authorum, and Notes Variorum. As to the latter, I desire you to read over the Text, and make a few in any way you like best *, whether dry raillery, upon the style and way of commenting of trivial Critics; or humourous, upon the authors in the poem ; or historical, of persons, places, times; or explanatory; or collecting

* Dr. Swift did so.

G 2

the

the parallel passages of the Ancients. Adieu. I am pretty well, my Mother not ill, Dr. Arbuthnot vex'd with his fever by intervals ; I am afraid he declines, and we shall lose a worthy man: I am troubled about him very much.

I am, &c.

LET TER XXXIII. : From Dr. Swift.

CEL

July 16, 1728.
T Have often run over the Dunciad in an Irish edi-

tion (I suppose full of faults) which a gentleman fent me. The notes I could wish to be very large, in what relates to the persons concern'd; for I have long observ’d that twenty miles from London nobody understands hints, initial letters, or townfacts and passages; and in a few years not even those who live in London. I would have the names of those fcriblers printed indexically at the beginning or end of the Poem, with an account of their works, for the reader to refer to. I would have all the Parodies (as they are calld) referred to the author they imitate-When I began this long paper, I thought I . should have fill'd it with setting down the several passages I had mark'd in the edition I had ; but I find it unnecessary, fo many of them falling under the same rule. After twenty times reading the whole, I never in my opinion saw so much good fatire, or more good sense, in so many lines. How it passes in Dublin I know not yet ; but I am sure it will be a great disadvantage to the poem, that the persons and facts will not be understood, till an explanation comes out, and a very full one. I imagine it is not to be published till towards winter,

« VorigeDoorgaan »