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symptoms, as one I judge Verfy against me.
man to manage the controversy against me. The church of Rome I judge (from many modern symptoms, as well as ancient prophecies) to be in a declining condition ; that of England will in a short time be scarce able to maintain her own family; so churches fink as generally as banks in Europe, and for the fame reason; that religion and trade, which at first were open and free, have been reduced into the management of companies, and the roguery of directors.
I don't know why I tell you all this, but that I always loved to talk to you; but this is not a time for any man to talk to the purpose. Truth is a kind of contraband commodity, which I would not venture to export; and therefore the only thing tending that dangerous way which I shall say, is, that I am, and always will be, with the utinoft fincerity,
L ETTER V.
From Dr. SWIFT to Mr. POPE.
Aug, 30. 1716. I Had the favour of your's by Mr. F. ; of whom, I before any other question relating to your health or fortune, or success as a poet, I inquired your principles, in the common form, “ Is he a Whig, is or a Tory?” I am sorry to find they are not so well tallicd to the present juncture as I could with. I always thought the terms of facto and jure had been introduced by the poets, and that poffefsion of any sort in kings was held an unexceptionable title in the courts of Parnafsus. If you do not grow a perfect good subject in all its prefent latitudes, I shall conclude you are become rich, and able to live without dedications to men in power ; whereby one great inconvenience will follow, that you and the world, and posterity, will be utterly ignorant of their virtues. For either your brethren have miserably deceived us these hundred years past, or power confers virtue, as naturally as five of your popish facraments do grace. You sleep less, and drink more; but your master Horace was vini fomnique benignus : and, as I take it, both are proper for your trade. As to mine, there are a thousand poetical texts to confirın the one; and as to the other, I know it was anciently the custom to fleep in temples, for those who would consult the oracles, “Who dictates to me slumbering *,” &c. .
You are an ill catholic, or a worse geographer; for I can assure you, Ireland is not a paradise ; and I appeal even to any Spanish divine, whether addresses were ever made to a friend in hell or purgatory? And who are all these enemies you hint at? I can only think of Curl, Gildon, 'Squire Burnet, Blackmore, and a few others, whose fame I have forgot. Tools, in my opinion, are as necessary for a good writer, as pen, ink, and paper. And besides, I would fain know, whether every draper doth not shew you three or four damn'd pieces of stuff to set off his good one? However, I will grant, that one thorough book-selling rogue is better qualified to vex an author, than all his cotemporary scribblers in critic or satire, not only by stolen copies of what was incorrect, or unfit for the public, but by downright laying other mens dulness at your door. I had a long design upon the ears of that Curl,when
I was in credit; but the rogue would never allow me a fair stroke at them, although my penknife was ready drawn and sharp. I can hardly believe the relation of his being poisoned, although the historian pretends to have been an eye-witness : but I beg pardon, fack might do it, although ratsbane would not, I never saw the thing you mention as falsely imputed to you ; but. I think the frolics of merry hours, even when we are guilty, should not be left to the mercy of our best friends, until Curl and his resemblers are hanged.
With submission to the better judgement of you and your friends, I take your project of an employment under the Turks to be idle and unneceffary. Have a little patience, and you will find more merit and encouragement at home by the same methods. You are ungrateful to your country; quit but your own religion, and ridicule ours, and that will allow.you a free choice for any other, or for none at all, and pay you well into the bargain. Therefore pray do not run and disgrace us among the Turks, by telling them you were forced to leave your native home, because we would oblige you to be a Christian ; whereas we will make it appear to all the world, that we only compelled you to be a Whig.
There is a young ingenious Quaker in this town, who writes verses to his mistress, not very correct, but in a strain purely what a poetical quaker should do, commending her look and habit, &c. It gave me a hint, that a set of Quaker pastorals might succeed, if our friend Gay * could fancy it, and I think it a fruitful subject. Pray hear what he says. I believe further, the pastoral ridicule is not exhausted; and that a porter, footman, or chairman's
* Gay wrote a pastoral of this kind, which is published in his works. Warb.
pastoral pastoral + might do well. Or what think you of a Newgate paftoral, among the whores and thieves there?
Lastly, to conclude, I love you never the worse for feldo n writing to you. I am in an obscure fcene, where you know neither thing nor person. I can only answer yours, which I promise to do after a fort, whenever you think fit to employ me. But I can assure you, the scene and the times have depreffed me wonderfully; for I will impute no defect to those two paltry years which have flipt by fince I had the happiness to see you. I am, with the truest esteem,
LETTER VI. *
Dublin, Jan. 10. 1721. A Thousand things have vexed me of late years, 14 upon which I am determined to lay open my mind to you, I rather chuse to appeal to you than
+ Swift himself wrote one of this kind, intitled, “ Dermot and « Sheelah."
* This letter Mr. Pope never received, nor did he believe it was ever ient. Pope and Warb.
+ This letter deserves the greater attention, as it seems to furnith more materials of Dr, Swift's life and principles, than any other of his epistolary writings. The letter breathes an air of fincerity and freedom, and is addressed to a particular friend, at a time when the views of ambition were at an end. It may therefore be confidered as a confession of one departing from this world, who only is desirous to vindicate his own character, and is anxious that his ashes may rest in peace.
It was written immediately after the arbitrary conduct of a judçe in Ireland, who endeavoured to destroy the freedom of juries, and consequently the very essence of that liberty and safety which we have a right to possess by the constituticn of our state. Swift very gene.
to my Lord Chief Justice Whitshed, under the fituation I am in. For I take this cause properly to lie before you. You are a much fitter judge of what concerns the credit of a writer, the injuries
roully declares himself averse to all rigorous proceedings against perfons suspected of problematical guilt," By such Arict inquiries,” says he, *“ a gate is left open to the whole tribe of informers; the "' most accurfed, prostitute, and abandoned race, that God ever per. " mitted to plague mankind.” Upon this subject I cannot avoid recollecting some particulars from a book, which has lately given me great delight and instruction, and which I recommend very warmly to your peru!al. I mean l'esprit des loix. The author M. de Mon. tesquieu, observes, “that informers have been chiefly encouraged rs under the most tyrannical governments. In the reign of Tiberius, “ triumphal ornaments were conferred upon them, and fla:ues erect. a ed to their hon ur. In the reign of Nero, upon the discovery and " punishment of a pretended conspiracy, triumphal digniiies were « allotted to Turpilianus, Cocceius Nerva, and Tigillinus.” In an. other part of his book, the Baron de Montesquieu takes notice, “that “ in Turkey, where little regard is sewn to the honour, lives, or “ eftates of the subject, all causes are determined by the presiding Ba« Ihaw : and in Rome, the judges had no more to do than to declare, ~ that the person accused was guilty of a particular crime, and then “ the punishment was found in the laws.” From these and other examples of arbitrary government, this elegant author takes a particular pleasure in diftinguishing and admiring the civil conftitution of England; where, he says, “ the jury determine, whether the fact s brought under their cognisance' be proved or not; if it be proved,
the judge pronounces the punishment inflicted by the law for fuch * a particular fact : and for this,” adds the Baron, “ he need only « open their eyes.” But if M. de Montesquieu had read Swift's Jetter, or indeed had recollected many notorious facts of our history, he must have observed, that the judges have been often so deaf to the repeated voice of the jury, and have not only shut their eyes against our excellent laws, but have assumed « that terrible and menacing * air which Commodus ordered to be given to his statues,"
The method of trials by juries, is generally looked upon as one of the most excellent branches of our constitution. In theory it certainly appears in that light. According to the original establishment, the jurors are to be men of competent fortunes in the neighbour. hood; and are to be so avowedly indifferent between the parties concerned, that no reasonable exception can be made to them on either fide, In treason, the person accused has a right to challenge five and thirty, and in fellony twenty, without fhewing cause of challenge. Nothing can be more equitable. No prisoner can desire a fairer field. But the misfortune is, that our juries are often compofed of men of mean estates, and low understandings. Many difficult points of law are brought before thes, and submitted to their verdict, when per