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that men are more afraid of attacking a vicious than a mettlesome horse: but I rather think it owing to that incessant envy wherewith the common rate of mankind pursues all superior natures to their own. And I conceive, if it were left to the choice of an ass, he would rather be kicked by one of his own species than a better. If you will recollect that I am towards six years older than when I saw you last, and twenty years duller, you will not wonder to find me abound in empty speculations: I can now express in a hundred words what would have formerly cost me ten. I can write epigrams of fifty distichs, which might be squeezed into one. I have gone the round of all my stories three or four times with the younger people, and begin them again. I give hints how significant a person I have been, and nobody believes me: I pretend to pity them, but am inwardly angry. I lay traps for people to desire I would show them some things I have written, but cannot succeed, and wreak my spite in condemning the taste of the people and company where I am. But it is with place as it is with time. If I boast of having been valued three hundred miles off, it is of no more use than if I told how handsome I was when I was young. The worst of it is, that lying is of no use; for the people here will not believe one half of what is true. If I can prevail on anyone to personate a hearer and admirer, you would wonder what a favourite he grows. He is sure to have the first glass out of the bottle, and the best bit I can carve. Nothing has convinced me so much that I am of a little subaltern spirit, inopis, atque pusilli animi, as to reflect how I am forced into the most trifling amusements to divert the vexation of former thoughts and present objects. Why cannot you lend me a shred of your mantle, or why did not you leave a shred of it with me when
you were snatched from me? you see I speak in my trade, although it is growing fast a trade to be ashamed of.
I cannot but wish that you would make it possible for me to see a copy of the papers you are about; and I do protest it necessary that such a thing should be in some person's hands beside your own, and I scorn to say how safe they would be in mine. Neither would
you dislike my censures, as far as they might relate to circumstantials. I tax you with two minutes a-day, until you have read this letter, although I am sensible you have not half so much from business more useful and entertaining
My letter which miscarried was, I believe, much as edifying as this, only thanking and congratulating with you for the delightful verses you sent me. And I ought to have expressed my vexation at seeing you so much better a philosopher than myself; a trade you were neither born nor bred to: but I. think it is observed that gentlemen often. dance better than those that live by the art. You may thank fortune that my paper is no longer, &c.
TO MR. POPE.
[Note Swift's declaration of his real motive in writing “Gulliver's Travels.”]
September 29, 1725. I am now returning to the noble scene of Dublin, into the grand monde, for fear of burying my parts, to signalise myself among curates and vicars, and correct all corruptions crept in, relating to the weight of bread and butter, through those dominions where I govern. I have employed my time (beside ditching) in finishing, correcting, amending, and transcribing my travels, in four parts complete, newly augmented, and intended for the press when the world shall deserve them, or rather when a printer shall be found brave enough to venture his ears. I like the scheme of our meeting after distresses and dispersions, but the chief end I propose to myself in all my labours is, to vex the world rather than divert it; and if I could compass that design without hurting my own person or fortune, I would be the most indefatigable
writer you have ever seen without reading. I am exceedingly pleased that you have done with translations: lord-treasurer Oxford often lamented that a rascally world should lay you under a necessity of misemploying your genius for so long a time. But since you will now be so much better employed, when you think of the world, give it one lash the more at my request. I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities, and all my love is towards individuals; for instance, I hate the tribe of lawyers, but I love counsellor such-a-one, and judge sucha-one: it is so with physicians, (I will not speak of my own trade,) soldiers, English, Scotch, French, and the rest. But principally I hate and detest that animal called man; although I heartily love John, Peter, Thomas, and so forth. This is the system upon which I have governed myself many years (but do not tell); and so I shall go on till I have done with them. I have got materials towards a treatise proving the falsity of that definition animal rationale, and to show it should be only rationis capax. Upon this great foundation of misanthropy (though not in Timon's manner) the whole building of my travels is erected; and I never will have peace of mind till all honest men are of my opinion: by consequence you are to embrace it immediately, and procure that all who deserve my esteem may do so too. The matter is so clear that it will admit of no dispute; nay, I will hold a hundred pounds that you and I agree in the point.
I did not know your "Odyssey" was finished, being yet in the country, which I shall leave in three days. I thank you kindly for the present, but shall like it three-fourths the less from the mixture you mention of other hands; however, I am glad you saved yourself so much drudgery.-I have been long told by Mr. Ford of your great achievements in building and planting, and especially of your subterranean passage to your garden, whereby you turned a blunder into a beauty, which is a piece of Ars Poetica.
I have almost done with harridans, and shall soon become old enough to fall in love with girls of fourteen. The lady (Mrs. Howard] whom you describe to live at court, to be deaf, and no party-woman, I take to be Mythology, but know not how to moralise it. She cannot be mercy, for Mercy is neither deaf, nor lives at court: Justice is blind, and perhaps deaf, but neither is she a court lady: Fortune is both blind and deaf, and a court lady, but then she is a most damnable party-woman, and will never make me easy, as you promise. It must be Riches, which answers all your description: I am glad she visits you, but my voice is so weak that I doubt she will never hear me. Mr. Lewis sent me an account of Dr. Ar