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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 senfe, 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 fo liberally to you, it would have been better husbanded without shame to your parts.
LET TER XXXII.
Dawley, June 28, 1728. I
Now hold the pen for my Lord Bolingbroke,
who is reading your letter between two Hay. cocks; 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 his return from the Bath, all peccant humours, he finds, are purg'd 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 temperance, 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, spades, 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, Teftimo-. nia Scriptorum, Index Authorum, and Notes Vario
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 perfons, places, times; or explanatory; or collecting
* Dr. Swift did fo.
the parallel passages of the Ancients. Adieu. Iam 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.
L E T TER XXXIII.
From Dr. SWIFT.
July 16, 1728. 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 call’d) 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 law so much good fatire, or more good sense, in so many lines. How it paffes 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,
when folks begin to gather in town. Again I insist, you must have your Asterisks fill'd
with some real names of real Dunces.
I am now reading your preceding letter, of June 28, and find that all I have advis'd above is mentioned there. I would be glad to know whether the quarto edition is to come out anonymously, as published by the Commentator, with all his pomp of prefaces, &c. and among many complaints of spurious editions ? I am thinking whether the Editor should not follow the old style of, This excellent author, &c. and refine in many places when you meant no refinement; and into the bargain take all the load of naming the dunces, their qualities, histories, and performances ?
As to your self, I doubt you want a spurrer-on to exercise and to amusements; but to talk of decay at your season of life is a jeft. But
you are not so regular as I.
You are the most temperate man God-ward, and the most intemperate your selfward, of most I have known. I suppose Mr. Gay will return from the Bath with twenty pounds more Melh, and two hundred less in money : Providence never defign'd him to be above two and twenty, by his thoughtlessness and Cullibility. He hath as little foresight of age, fickness, poverty, or loss of admirers, as a girl at fifteen. By the way, I must obferve, that my Lord Bolingbroke (from the effects of his kindness to me) argues most sophistically: The fall from a million to an hundred thousand pounds is not so great, as from eight hundred pounds a year to one : Besides, he is a controller of Fortune, and Poverty dares not look a great Minister in the face, under his lowest declension. I never knew him live so great and
expensively as he hath done since his return from Exile; such mortals have refources that others are not able to comprehend. But God bless You, whose great genius has not so trans
ported you as to leave you to the courtesy of mankind; for wealth is liberty, and liberty is a bleffing fittest for a Philofopher-and Gay is a Slave just by two thousand pounds too little. ---And Horace was of my mind, and let
mind, and let my Lord contradict him, if he dares.
Bath, Nov. 12, 1728. Have past fix weeks in quest of health, and found
it not; but I found the folly of follicitude about it in a hundred instances; the contrariety of opinions and practices, the inability of physicians, the blind obedience of some patients, and as blind rebellion of athers I believe at a certain time of life, men are either fools, or phyficians for themselves, and zealots, or divines for themselves.
It was much in my hopes that you intended us a winter's visit, but last week I repented that wish, having been alarm'd with a report of your lying ill on the road from Ireland ; from which I am just reliev'd by an assurance that you are still at Sir A-'s planting and building; two things that I envy you for, besides a third, which is the society of a valuable lady. I conclude (tho' I know nothing of it) that you quarrel with her, and abuse her every day, if she is fo. I wonder I hear of no Lampoons upon her, either made by yourself, or by others, because you esteem her. I think it a vast pleasure that whenever two people of merit regard one another, so many scoundrels envy and are angry at them; 'tis bearing testimony to a merit they cannot reach ; and if you knew the infinite content I have receiv'd of late, at the finding yours and my name constantly united in any filly scandal, I think you would go