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near to sing 1. Triumphe! and celebrate my happiness in verse; and, I believe, if you won't, I fall. The inscription to the Dunciad is now printed and inserted in the Poem. Do you care I should say any thing farther how much that poem is yours? since certainly without you it had never been. Would to God we were together for the rest of our lives! The whole weight of Scriblers would just serve to find us amusement, and not more. I hope you are too well employed to mind them: every stick you plant, and every stone you lay, is to some purpose; but the business of such lives as theirs is but to die daily, to labour, and raise nothing. I only wish we could comfort each other under our bodily infirmities, and let those who have so great a mind to have more Wit than we, win it and wear it. Give us but ease, health, peace, and fair weather! I think it is the best wish in the world, and you know whose it was. If I liv'd in Ireland, I fear the wet climate wou'd indanger more than my life; my humour, and health ; I am fo Atmospherical a creature.
I must not omit acquainting you, that what you heard of the words spoken of you in the Drawing. room, was not true. The sayings of Princes are generally as ill related as the sayings of Wits. To such reports little of our regard should be given, and less of our conduct influenc'd by them.
From Dr. SwFIT,
Dublin, Feb. 13, 1728.
of sense, and a fcholar, has a good voice, and my Lady a better; she is perfectly well bred, and desirous to improve her understanding, which is very good, but cultivated too much like a fine Lady. She was my pupil there, and severely chid when she read wrong; with that, and walking, and making twenty little amusing improvements, and writing family verses of mirth by way of libels on my Lady, my time paft very well and in very great order; infinitely better than here, where I see no creature but my fervants and my old Presbyterian house-keeper, denying myself to every body, till I shall recover my ears.
The account of another Lord Lieutenant was only in a common news-paper, when I was in the country; and if it should have happened to be true, I would have defired to have had access to him as the situation I am in requires. But this renews the grief for the death of our friend Mr. Congreve, whom I loved from my youth, and who surely, befides his other talents, was a very agreeable companion. He had the misfortune to squander away a very good constitution in his younger days; and I think a man of sense and merit like him, is bound in conscience to preserve his health for the fake of his friends, as well as of himself. Upon his own account I could not much desire the continuance of his life, under fo much pain, and fo many infirmities. Years have not yet hardened me; and I have an addition of weight on my spirits fince we loft him; tho' I saw him so feldom, and possibly, if he
had liv'd on, should never have seen him more. I do not only wish as you ask me, that I was unacquainted with any deserving person, but almost that I never had a friend. Here is an ingenious goodhumour'd Physician, a fine gentleman, an excellent scholar, eafy in his fortunes, kind to every body, hath abundance of friends, entertains them often and liberally, they pass the evening with him at cards, with plenty of good meat and wine, eight or a dozen together; he loves them all, and they him. He has twenty of these at command; if one of them dies, it is no more than poor Tom! he gets another, or takes up with the rest, and is no more mov'd chan at the loss of his cat; he offends no-body, is easy with every body-Is not this the true happy man? I was describing him to my Lady A-, who knows him too, but she hates him mortally by my character and will not drink his health: I would give half my fortune for the same temper, and yet I cannot fay I love it, for I do not love my Lord who is much of the Doctor's nature. I hear Mr. Gay's second Opera, which you mention, is forbid ; and then he will be once more fit to be advised, and reject your advice. Adieu.
Dr. SWIFT to Lord BOLINGBROKE.
Dublin, March 21, 1729, OU tell me you have not quitted the defign
of collecting, writing, &c. This is the answer of every finner who defers his repentance. I wish Mr. Pope were as great an urger as I, who long for nothing more than to see truth under your hands, laying all detraction in the dust-I find my
self disposed every year, or rather every month, to be more angry and revengeful; and my rage is so ignoble, that it descends even to resent the folly and baseness of the enslaved people among whom I live. I knew an old Lord in Leicestershire, who amused himself with mending pitchforks and spades for his Tenants gratis. Yet I have higher ideas left, if I were nearer to objects on which I might employ them; and contemning my private fortune, would gladly cross the channel and stand by, while my betters were driving the Boars out of the garden, if there be any probable expectation of such an endeavour. When I was of your age I often thought of death, but now after a dozen years more, it is never out of my mind, and terrifies me less, I conclude that Providence hath order'd our fears to decrease with our fpirits; and yet I love la bagatelle better than ever : for finding it troublesome to read at night, and the company here growing tasteless, I am always writing bad prose, or worse verses, either of rage or raillery, whereof some few escape to give offence, or mirth, and the rest are burnt.
They print some Irish trash in London, and charge it on me, which you will clear me of to my friends, for all are spurious except one
paper, for which Mr. Pope very lately chid me. I remember your Lordship us’d to say, that a few good speakers would in time carry any point that was right; and that the common method of a majority, by calling, To the question, would never hold long when reason was on the other side. Whether politics do not change like gaming by the invention of new tricks, I am ignorant ? but I believe in your time you would never, as a Minister, have suffer'd an Act to pass thro' the H. of C-s, only because you were sure
* Entituled, A Libel on Dr. Delany, ard a certain
of a majority in the H. of L-s to throw. it out; because it would be unpopular, and consequently a loss of reputation. Yet this we are told hath been the case in the qualification-bill relating to Pension
It should seem to me, that Corruption, like avarice, hath no bounds. I had opportunities to know the proceedings of your ministry better than any other man of my rank; and having not much to do, I have often compar'd it with these last fixteen years of a profound peace all over Europe, and we running seven millions in debt. I am forc'd to play at small game, to set the beasts here a madding, meerly for want of better game, Tentanda via eft qua me quoque polim, &c.—The D-take those
politics, where a Dunce might govern for a dozen years together. I will come in person to England, if I am provok'd, and send for the Dictator from the plough. I disdain to say, O mihi præteritos but cruda deo viridisque senectus. Pray, my Lord, how are the Gardens ? have you taken down the mount, and remov'd the yew hedges ? Have you not bad weather for the spring-corn? Has Mr. Pope gone farther in his Ethic Poems ? and is the headland sown with wheat? and what says Polybius? and how does my Lord St. John? which last question is very material to me, because I love Burgundy, and riding between Twickenham and Dawley.
- I built a wall five years ago, and when the mafons play'd the knaves, nothing delighted me so much as to stand by, while my servants threw down what was amiss : I have likewise seen a Monkey overthrow all the dishes and plates in a kitchen, merely for the pleasure of seeing them tumble and hearing the clatter they made in their fall. I wish you would invite me to such another entertainment; but you think, as I ought to think, that it is time for me to have done with the world, and so I would if I could get into a better before I was called into