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I remember a man who was thought to have some knowledge in the world, used to affirm, that no people in town ever complained they were forgotten by their friends in the country. But my increas. ing experience convinces me he was mistaken ; for I find a great many here grievously complaining of you upon this score. I am told further, that you treat the few you correspond with, in a very arrogant style ; and tell them, you admire at their infolence in disturbing your meditations, or even inquiring of your retreat * : but this I will not pofi: tively affert, because I never rereived any such insulting epiftle from you. My Lord Oxford says, you have not written to him once since you went. But this perhaps may be only policy in him or you; and I, who am half a Whig, must not entirely credit any thing he affirms. At Button's it is reported you are gone to Hanover, and that Gay goes on. ly on an embassy to you. Others apprehend some dangerous state-treatise from your retirement; and a wit who affects to imitate Balsac, says that the ministry now are like those Heathens of old, who received their oracles from the woods. The gentlemen of the Roman Catholic persuafion are not unwilling to credit me, when I whisper, that you are gone to meet some Jefuits commissioned from the court of Rome, in order to settle the most convenient methods to be taken for the coming of the pretender. Dr. Arbuthnot is fingular in his opinion, and imagines your only design is to attend at full leisure to the life and adventures of Scriblerus *
This This indeed must be granted of greater importance than all the rest ; and I wish I could promise so well of you. The top of my own ambition is to contribute to that great work, and I shall translate Homer. by the by. Mr. Gay has acquainted you what pro, gress I have made in it. I can't name Mr. Gay, without all the acknowledgements which I shall ever owe you on his account. If I writ this in verse, I would tell you, you are like the sun; and while men imagine you to be retired or absent, are hourly exerting your influence, and bringing things to maturity for their advantage. Of all the world, you are the man (without flattery) who serve your friends with the least ostentation ; it is almost ingratitude to thank you, considering your temper;and this is the period of all my letter which I fear you will think the most impertinent. I am, with the truest affection,
* Some time before the death of Queen Anne, when her ministers were quarrelling, and the Dean could not reconcile them, he retired to a friend's house in Berkshire, and never saw them after. Dub, edir.
* This project (in which the principal persons engaged were. Dr. Arbuthnot, Dr. Swift, and Mr. Pope) was to write a complete satire in prose upon the abuses in every branch of science, comprised in the hifiory of the life and writings of Scriblerus. Of which only fume deiached parts and fragments were done ; fuck as, "The Memoirs
From Dr. SWIFT to Mr. POPE..
Dublin, June 28. 1715. MY Lord Bishop of Clogher * gave me your 12 kind letter, full of reproaches for not writing. I am naturally no very exact correspondent ; and when I leave a country without probability of
of Scriblerus, The Travels of Gulliver, The Treatise of the Pro" found, The literal criticism on Virgil,” &c. Wab,
* Dr. St. George Alh, formerly a fellow of Trinity college, Dubo lin, (to whom the Dean was pupil), afterwards Bishop of Clogher, and translated to the fee of Derry in 1716-17. Dub, edtt. Aa 2
returning, I think as seldom as I can of what I lo. ved or esteemed in it, to avoid the defiderium which of all things makes life most uneasy. But you must give me leave to add one thing ; that you talk at your case, being wholly unconcerned in public events: for if your friends the Whigs continue, you may hope for some favour: if the Tories return, you are at least fure of quiet. Yeu know how rell I loved both Lord Oxford and Bolinbroke, and how dear the Duke of Ormond is to me. Do you imagine I can be easy while their enemies are endeavouring to take off their heads ? I nunc, et versus tecum meditare canoros. Do you imagine I can .be easy, when I think of the probable consequences of these proceedings, perhaps upon the very peace of the nation, but certainly of the minds of so many hundred thousand good subjects ? Upon the whole, you may truly attribute my filence to the eclipfe, but it was that eclipse which happened on the ist of August.
I borrowed your Homer from the Bishop, (mine is not yet landed), and read it out in two evenings. If it pleaseth others as well as me, you have got your end in profit and reputation. Yet I am angry at some bad rhines and triplets : and pray in your next do not let me have so many unjustifiable rhymes to war and gods. I tell you all the faults I know : only in one or two places you are a little obscure; but I expected you to be so in one or two and twenty. I have heard no foul talk of it here, for indeed it is not come over; nor do we very much abound in judges, at least I have not the honour to be acquainted with them. Your notes are perfectly good, and so are your preface and effay. You were pretty bold in mentioning Lord Bolingbroke in that preface. I saw the Key to the Lock but yesterday : I think you have changed it a good deal, to adapt it to the present times to
"it these two last ob ervations together, and it will appear, tha?
God be thanked, I have yet no parliamentary bufiness; and if they have none with me, I shall never seek their acquaintance. I have not been very fond of them for some years past, not when I thought them tolerably, good ; and therefore, if I can get leave to be abfent, I shall be much inclined to be on that fide, when there is a parliament on this. But truly I must be a little eafy in my mind before I can think of Scriblerus.
You are to understand, that I live in the corner of a vast unfurnished house. My family consists of a steward, a groom, a helper in the stable, a footman, and an old maid, who are al}, at board. wages; and when I do not dine abroad, or make an entertainment, (which last is very rare), I eat a mutton-pye, and drink half a pint of wine. My amusements are, defending my small dominion against the Archbishop, and endeavouring to reduce my rebellious choir. Perditur hæc inter misero lux. I delire you will present my humble fer. vice to Mr. Addison, Mr. Congreve, and Mr. Rowe, and Gay. I am, and will be always, extremely
Mr. Pope to Dr. SWIFT.
June 20.o 1716. I Cannot suffer a friend to cross the Irish 'seas,' 1 without bearing a testimony from me of the
Mr. Pope was neither wanting to his friends for fear of party, nor would insult a ministry to bumour his friends. He said of himself, and I believe he said truly, that.“ he never wrote a line to gratify " the animosity of any one party at the ex, ense of another." Waib.
• A a 3
often you' is better be liged and
even d'in Irel Popish cow
constant esteem and affection I am both obliged and inclined to have for you. It is better he should tell you than I, how often you are in our thoughts, and in our cups, and how I learn to sleep less *, and drink more, whenever you are named among us. I look upon a friend in Ireland, as upon a friend in the other world, whom (Popishly speak, ing) I believe constantly well disposed towards me, and ready to do me all the good he can, in that state of separation, though I hear nothing from him, and make addresses to him but very rarely. A Protestant divine cannot take it amiss, that I treat him in the same manner with my patron saint.
I can tell you no news, but what you will not fufficiently wonder at, that I suffer many things as an author militant; whereof, in your days of probation, you have been a sharer, or you had not arrived at that triumphant state you now deservedly enjoy in the church. As for me, I have not the least hopes of the cardinalet, though I suffer for my religion in almost every weekly paper. I have begun to take a pique at the psalms of David, if the wicked may be credited, who have printed a fcandalous one in my pame *. This report I dare not discourage too much, in a prospect I have at present of a poft under the Marquis de Langal. Ierie t; wherein, if I can but do some signal fervice against the Pope, I may be considerably advanced by the Turks, the only religious people I dare confide in. If it should happen hereafter, that I should write for the holy law of Mahomet, I hope it may make no breach between you and me. Every one must live, and I beg you will not be the
* Alluding to his constant custom of Neeping after dinner. Warb.
In Curl's collection, + One who made a noise then, as Count Bonneval has done fince,