Pray God send you health, det salutem, det opes ; animam æquam tibi ipfe parabis. You see Horace wished for money, as well as health ; and I would hold a crown he kept a coach ; and I shall never be a friend to the Court, till you do fo too.

Yours, &c.

From Dr. Swift.

O&ober 30, 1727
T HE first letter I writ after my landing

I was to Mr. Gay; but it would have been wiser to direct to Tonson or Lintot, to whom I believe his lodgings are better known than to the runners of the Poft-office. In that Letter you will find what a quick change I made in seven days from London to the Deanery, thro' many nations and languages unknown to the civilized world. And I have often reflected in how few hours, with a swift horse or a strong gale, a man may come among a people as unknown to him as the Antipodes. If I did not know you more by your conversation and kind

ness maintained

ness than by your letter, I might be base enough to suspect, that in point of friendship you acted like some Philosophers who writ mach better upon Virtue than they practised it. In answer, I can only swear that you have taught me to dream, which I had not done in twelve years further than by inexpreffible nonsense; but now I can every night distinctly fee Twickenham, and the Grotto, and Dawley, and many other et cetera's, and it is but three nights since I beat Mrs. Pope. I must needs confess, that the pleasure I take in thinking on you is very much lefsened by the pain I am in about your health: You pay dearly for the great talents God hath given you; and for the consequences of them in the esteem and distinction you receive from mankind, unless you can provide a tolerable stock of health ; in which pursuit I cannot much commend your conduct, but rather entreat you would mend it by following the advice of my Lord Bolingbroke and your other Physicians. When you talk'd of Cups and impreflions, it came into my head to imitate you in quoting Scripture, not to your advantage; I mean what was said to David by one of his brothers ; " I knew thy pride and the “ naughtiness of thy heart ;" I remember when it grieved your soul to see me pay a penny more than my club at an inn, when you had maintained me three months at bed and board; for which if I had dealt with you in the Smithfield way it would have cost me a hundred pounds, for I live worse here upon more. Did you ever consider that I am for life almost twice as rich as you, and pay no rent, and drink French wine twice as cheap as you do Port, and have neither Coach, Chair, nor Mother ? As to the world, I think you ought to say to it with St. Paul, If we have fown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? This is more proper still, if you consider the French word spiritual, in which sense the word ought to pay you better than they do. If you made me a present of a thousand pound, I would not allow myself to be in your debt; and if I made you a present of two, I would not allow myself to be out of it. But I have not half your pride; witness what Mr. Gay says in his leiter, that I was censured for begging Presents, tho’I limited them to ten shillings. I see no reason, (at least my friendship and vanity fee none) why you should not give me a visit, when you shall happen to be disengaged: I will send a person to Chester to take care of you, and you shall be used by the best folks we have here, as well as civility and good-nature can contrive; I beLieve local motion will be no ill phyfic, and I

will have your coming inscribed on my Tomb, and recorded in never-dying verse.

I thank Mrs. Pope for her prayers, but I know the mystery. A person of my acquaintance, who used to correspond with the last Great Duke of Tuscany, shewing one of the Duke's letters to a friend, and professing great sense of his Highness's friendship, read this para fage out of these letters, I would give one of my fingers to procure your real good. The person to whom this was read, and who knew the Duke well, said, the meaning of real good was only that the other might turn a good Catholic. Pray ask Mrs. Pope whether this story is applieable to her and me? I pray God bless her, for I am sure she is a good Christian, and (which is almost as rare) a good Woman.


Mr. GAY to Dr. Swift.

OA. 22, 1727. THE Queen's family is at last settled, and

1 in the lift I was appointed Gentlemanusher to the princess Louisa, the youngest Princess; which, upon account that I am so far advanced in life, I have declined accepting ;


[ocr errors]


and have endeavour'd, in the best manner I could, to make my excuses by a Letter to her Majesty. So now all my expectations are vanish'd ; and I have no prospect, but in depending wholly upon myself, and my own conduct. As I am us’d to disappointments, I can bear them; but as I can have no more hopes, I can no more be disappointed, so that I am in a blessed condition. —You remember you were advising me to go into Newgate to finish my scenes the more correctly, I now think I shall, for I have no attendance to hinder me; but my Opera is already finish’d. I leave the rest of this paper to Mr. Pope.

Gay is a Free-man, and I writ him a long Congratulatory Letter upon it. Do you the fame : It will mend him, and make him a better man than a Court could do. Horace might keep his coach in Augustus's time, if he pleas’d; but I won't in the time of our Auguftus. My Poem (which it grieves me that I dare not send you a copy of, for fear of the Curl's and Dennis's of Ireland, and still more for fear of the worst of Traytors, our Friends and Admirers) my Poem, I say, will shew what a distinguishing age we lived in: Your name is in it, with some others under a mark of fuch


« VorigeDoorgaan »