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FROM SIR WILLIAM FOWNES.a
From my Observatory in the Parliamenthouse, October 18, 1734. SIR,-There are a sort of gentlemen, who, after great labour and cost, have at last found out that two dishes of meat will not cost half so much as five or six, and yet answer the end of filling the bellies of as many as usually fed upon the five or six.
I have considered that a like sort of reduction in other articles may have the like proportion of good effect; as for instance, when any one bespeaks a pair of shoes, a pair of stockings, or a pair of gloves, they should bespeak a pair and a half of each, and make use of these turn about: I am very confident they will answer the end of two pair; by which good management a quarter part of the expense in those articles may be saved. Perhaps it may be objected, that this is a spoiling of trade; to which I answer, that when the makers of those sorts of ware shall reduce their rates a quarter part, (instead of enhancing them as has been done in some late years unreasonably,) and now ought to be reduced according to the rates of wool and leather;
Then it may be reasonable to bespeak two pair instead of a pair and a half.
Another objection may be started as to gloves, with a query, Which of the hands shall be obliged with two gloves? To this I answer, That generally the left hand is used but seldom, and not exposed as the other to many offices; one of which in particular is the handling of ladies. For these reasons two gloves ought to be granted to the right hand.
There are many other frugal improvements, which, as soon as I have discoursed Thomas Turner, the Quaker, who is now upon finding out the longitude, and further improving the latitude, I shall be able to demonstrate what sort of meat, and the joints, will best answer this frugal scheme, as likewise in clothing and other parts of good economy; and they shall be communicated to you by, sir, your most humble servant, PHILO ME.
we since heard that you were aangerously ill there, and that the newsmongers gave you over. But a gentleman of this kingdom, on his return from Bath, assured me he left you well, and so did some others whom I have forgot. I am sorry at my heart that you are pestered with people who come in my name, and I profess to you it is without my knowledge. I am confident I shall hardly ever have occasion again to recommend; for my friends here are very few, and fixed to the freehold, from whence nothing but death will remove them. Surely I never doubted about your "Essay on Man :" and I would lay any odds that I would never fail to discover you in six lines, unless you had a mind to write below or beside yourself on purpose. I confess I did never imagine you were so deep in morals, or that so many new and excellent rules could be produced so advantageously and agreeably in that science from any one head. I confess in some few places I was forced to read twice; I believe I told you before what the duke of Dorset said to me on that occasion, how a
TO MR. POPE.
November 1, 1734.
I HAVE yours with my lord Bolingbroke's postscript of September 15; it was long on its way, and for some weeks after the date I was very ill with my two inveterate disorders, giddiness and deafness. The latter is pretty well off, but the other makes me totter towards evenings, and much dispirits me. But I continue to ride and walk, both of which, although they be no cures, are at least amusements. I did never imagine you to be either inconstant, or to want right notions of friendship, but I apprehend your want of health; and it has been a frequent wonder to me how you have been able to entertain the world so long, so frequently, so happily, under so many bodily disorders. My lord Bolingbroke says you have been three months rambling, which is the best thing you can possibly do in a summer season; and when the winter recalls you, we will for our own interest leave you to your own speculations. God be thanked, I have done with everything and of every kind that requires writing, except now and then a letter; or, like a true old man, scribbling trifles only fit for children, or schoolboys of the lowest class at best, which three or four of us read and laugh at to-day, and burn to-morrow. Yet what is singular, I never am without some great work in view, enough to take up forty years of the most vigorous, healthy man : although I am convinced that I shall never be able to finish three treatises that have lain by me several years, and want nothing but correction. My lord B. said in his postscript that you would go to Bath in three days; a Indorsed, "A humorous project,'
judge here who knows you, told him that, on the first reading those essays, he was much pleased, but found some lines a little dark; on the second, most of them cleared up, and his pleasure increased; on the third, he had no doubt remained, and then he admired the whole. My lord Bolingbroke's attempt of reducing metaphysics to intelligible sense and usefulness will be a glorious undertaking; and as I never knew him fail in anything he attempted, if he had the sole management, so I am confident he will succeed in this. I desire you will allow that I write to you both at present, and so I shall while I live; it saves your money and my time; and he being your genius, no matter to which it is addressed. I am happy that what you write is printed in large letters, otherwise, between the weakness of my eyes and the thickness of my hearing I should lose the greatest pleasure that is left me. Pray command my lord Bolingbroke to follow that example, if I live to read his metaphysics. Pray God bless you both. I had a melancholy account from the doctor of his health. I will answer his letter as soon as I can. I am ever entirely yours, JONATHAN SWIFT.
FROM THE REV. MARMADUKE PHILIPS. Marston, in Somersetshire, November 2, 1734. SIR,-You may be assured that I should not have denied myself so long the pleasure of that great privilege and favour you allowed me at our parting, of corresponding with you while I staid in England, but that I waited to give you some account of the success of your kind and friendly negotiation for me in the letter you were so good to give me to lord Orrery, and that could not do before this week; for though I delivered my credentials to his lordship near a month ago, yet we did not talk over the affair till very lately; for as I thought it my duty to wait his time and leisure, I did not press him for an answer; and as I have all the reason in the world to imagine, from the many friendly offices you have done me, that you would rejoice at any good that may befall me, so I can at length tell you that it was as favourable as I could well wish for, considering every thing and circumstance attending that affair; for it seems the scheme in relation to Mr. Taylor's giving my mother and me so much money for our good-will in the lease can never take place, for many very good reasons his lordship gave me, which are too tedious now to trouble you with; and therefore he only told me in general terms that, as he thought our case a little hard and severe, somewhat or other at the expiration of the lease must be done for me, but in what manner it was not possible for him to say; which surely was as much as any conscionable and reasonable man (and God forbid that I
should ever prove otherwise) could expect; in short, his kind reception of me at Marston, and the handsome manner he has behaved himself toward me in every particular since I came to him, has been like lord Orrery himself; and now to whom must I attribute all this? not to any merit or conduct of my own, for I am conscious of none, but to the worthy dean of St. Patrick's, who takes delight in doing all the good he can to those who have the invaluable happiness and honour of being acquainted with him; and therefore what a monster of ingratitude should I be not to acknowledge the channel through which this intended bounty of his lordship is to flow to me, let it be more or less? Agnosco fontem; for without controversy, you have been the means of bringing all this about; for which I shall say no more (being but bitter bad at making speeches) but the Lord reward you, and to assure you good sir that this your act of friendship manet et manebit alta mente repostum. His lordship told me that he would answer your letter very soon; and as his pen and head infinitely transcend mine, it is likely you will have then a clearer and better account of this matter than I can possibly give you.
I have been under an unspeakable concern at an account I lately saw from Ireland of a return of your old disorders of giddiness and deafness; but I still flatter myself that it is not so bad with you as my fears have represented it, which makes me long impatiently to hear how you really are; but I am in hopes your usual medicina gymnastica will carry it off; if it does not, more the pity say I, and so will all say, I am confident, that know you; but surely ten thousand times more pity is it that you are not like one of Gulliver's Struldbrugs, immortal; but alas! that cannot be, such is the condition of miserable man; which puts me often in mind of the following lines I have somewhere or other met with, which I apply now and then to myself, by way of cordial :—
What's past we know, and what's to come must be,
But hold! I believe I begin to preach; and it is well if you do not think by this time that I imagine myself in Rathenny pulpit instead of writing a letter to the dean, and therefore I forbear.
I know writing in your present circumstances must be so very troublesome and uneasy to you that I am not quite so unreasonable as to expect it from you; but whenever your health permits you, it will be an infinite pleasure and satisfaction to me to hear from you; and the safest way of sending a letter to me will be under cover to lord Orrery, at Marston, near Frome, in Somersetshire. I shall trouble you, sir, with my compliments to my very good friends aud neighbours, lady Acheson and her mother, for whom I have a very real esteem and value, and also to Dr. Helsham and his lady, and with my very affectionate love and service to all my Sunday companions at the deanery.b
I have no novelties to entertain you with from hence; for here we lead a very retired and perfectly rural life; but when I get to London (which I believe will not be till after Christmas, because, as I am within ten or a dozen miles of Bath, I have some thoughts of making a trip thither, and try what good those waters will do me), you may depend upon having an account of what passes in the political and learned world that is possible for me to come at and convey to you, and I hope to be then honoured with
a Mr. Philips's benefice, near Dublin.
b It was customary for the doctor's friends and acquaintances to visit him on Sunday afternoons, and spend the evening with him; so that every one who was at leisure to go there was sure of meeting variety of good company.
all your commissions and commands in that place: for I wish for nothing more than an opportunity of showing with how much gratitude and true esteem for all your favours, I am, sir, your most obedient and much obliged humble servant, MARMADUKE PHILIPS. I have seen your friend Mrs. Cope at Bath, and she desired me to send her compliments to you.
FROM LADY BETTY GERMAIN. London, November 7, 1734. Do not accuse me of forsaking you: indeed it is not the least in my thoughts; but I heard you were ill, and had no letter from you, so doubted being troublesome. I was about two months ago at my own house, and had my duke and duchess with me. The rest of my time was divided between lord president [Spencer] and Knowle. I have now left their graces in the country, where I hope they will not stay long; for she has been very ill, though now recovered.
I am always more frighted when my friends are sick there, because there is neither physic nor physician that is good for anything. Indeed I cannot answer whether your lord-lieutenant will be the same or not. All that I can say is, that if he asks my consent for it he shall not have it. I have no acquaintance with the duke of Chandos, nor I believe has the duke of Dorset much. And to be sure it would be to no purpose to ask him for those records again, because, if he would have parted with them, he would have done it on your asking. And whether it be useful or not, just to him, yet few people would care to part with what must enhance the value of their libraries; but if he succeeds the duke of Dorset, then for certain he will be easily persuaded to make a compliment of them to the kingdom. Your friend Dr. Arbuthnot, I hear, is out of order again. I have not seen him lately, and I fear he is in a very declining way. I fancy it would be prodigiously good for your health to come to England, which would be a great pleasure to your most sincere old friend and humble servant, E. GERMAIN.
FROM MRS. PENDARVES. * Gloucester, November 20, 1734. SIR,-I am truly concerned at your having been so much out of order; I most heartily wish you constant health and happiness, though that is of little use to you, and only serves to do honour to myself, by showing I know how to prize what is valuable.
I should have returned you thanks much sooner for the favour of your last letter, but when I received it I was preparing for my journey hither, and have ever since had so great a disorder in one of my eyes, that till this moment I have not been able to make my acknowledgments to you. I wonder you should be at a loss for a reason for my writing to you: we all love honour and pleasure; were your letters dull, do you imagine my vanity would not be fond of corresponding with the dean of St. Patrick's? But the last reason you give I like best, and will stick by, which is, that
These records were manuscripts relating to the history of Ireland, which had been collected by sir James Ware (who was recorder of Dublin) before, after, and during the troubles of 1641. When lord Clarendon was lord-lieutenant, in 1686, he got these manuscripts from the heir of sir James, and brought them into England. After lord Clarendon's death they were sold to the hon. Mr. Brydges, afterwards duke of Chandos. The catalogue of them was printed in 1697, in the large folio catalogue of all the libraries both in England and Ireland, and the dean having read that account of them, was very desirous to procure them for public use. See a letter written by the dean to the duke of Chandos, dated August 31, 1734, soliciting his grace to present them to the public library at Dublin, in this volume.
I am a more constant nymph than all your goddesses
Now for business: as soon as I received your letter I went to your brother Lansdown, and spoke to him about the duke of Chandos. He desired me to make his compliments to you, and to tell you he was very sorry he could be of no service to you in that affair; but he has had no manner of correspondence or even acquaintance with the duke these fifteen years. have put it, however, into hands that will pursue it diligently, and I hope obtain for you what you desire; if they do not succeed you must not call me negligent; for whatever lies in my power to serve you, is of too much consequence for me to neglect.
I have left my good friend and your humble servant, Mrs. Donellan, behind me in London, where she meets with little entertainment suitable to her understanding; and she is a much fitter companion for the Dublin Thursday Society than for the trifling company she is now engaged in; and I wish you had her with you (since I cannot have her), because I know she would be happier than where she is, and my wish I think no bad one for you. Neither my eyes nor paper will hold out any longer. I beg my compliments to all your friends, and am, sir, your most faithful humble servant, M. PENDARVES.
FROM MR. JARVIS b Hampton, November 24, 1734. DEAR MR. DEAN,-You can hardly imagine how rejoiced I am at finding my old friend the bishop of Worcestere so hale at 83-4! No complaint; he does but begin to stoop, and I am forced myself, every now and then, to awaken myself to walk tolerably unright, famous as I was lately for a wight of uncommon vigour, and consequently spirits to spare. If ever I see Dublin again, and your Teague escapes hanging so long, I will myself truss him up for non-admittance when you were in a conversable condition. I am sure the lady will send you Mr. Conolly's picture with pleasure, when I tell her you expect it. Our friend Pope is off and on, here and there, everywhere and nowhere, à son ordinaire, and therefore as well as we can hope for a carcase so crazy. He assures me he has done his duty in writing frequently to the dean, because he is sure it gives you some amusement, as he is rejoiced at all yours; therefore you (must write away. Upon inquiry, I learn that exercise is the best medicine for your giddiness. Penny made Mrs. Pendarves happy with a print of yours, and I do not fail to distribute them to all your well-wishers. I am, dear dean, yours most affectionately,
I held out bravely the three weeks' fogs, &c., and am very well.
Twickenham, December 19, 1734.
I AM truly sorry for any complaint you have, and it
a That is, dining upon two or three dishes at the deanery; which, in comparison of magnificent tables, the doctor used to call fasting.
b A celebrated painter, contemporary with sir Godfrey Kneller.
FROM MR. POPE."
e Dr. John Hough, bishop of Worcester.
d Speaker of the house of commons, one of the lords-justices, and a commissioner of the revenue in Ireland.
Thus far I had written, and thinking to finish my letter the same evening, was prevented by company, and the next morning found myself in a fever, highly disordered, and so continued in bed for five days, and in my chamber till now; but so well recovered as to hope to go abroad to-morrow, even by the advice of Dr. Arbuthnot. He himself, poor man, is much broke, though not worse than for these two last months he has been. He took extremely kind your letter. I wish to God we could once meet again, before that separation which yet I would be glad to believe (shall reunite us; but he who made us, not for ours, but his purposes, knows only whether it be for the better or the worse that the affections of this life should or should not continue into the other: and doubtless it is as it should be. Yet I am sure that while I am here, and the thing that I am, I shall be imperfect without the communication of such friends as you; you are to me like a limb lost and buried in another country; though we seem quite divided, every acciI dent makes me feel you were once a part of me. always consider you so much as a friend, that I forget you are an author, perhaps too much; but it is as Howmuch as I would desire you would do to me. ever, if I could inspirit you to bestow correction upon those three treatises which you say are so near completed, I should think it a better work than any I can pretend to of my own. I am almost at the end of my morals, as I have been long ago of my wit; my system is a short one, and my circle narrow. Imagination has no limits, and that is a sphere in which you may move on to eternity; but where one is confined to truth (or to speak more like a human creature, to the appearances of truth), we soon find the shortness of our tether. Indeed, by the help of a metaphysical chain of ideas, one may extend the circulation, go round and round for ever, without making any progress beyond the point to which Providence has pinned us; but this does not satisfy me, who would rather say a little to no purpose than a great deal. Lord Bolingbroke is voluminous, but he is voluminous only to destroy volumes. I shall not live, I fear, to see that work printed; he is so taken up still (in spite of the monitory hint given in the first line of my Essay,—
"Awake, my St. John, leave all meaner things To low ambition and the pride of kings),"
with particular men, that he neglects mankind, and is still a creature of this world, not of the universe: this world, which is a name we give to Europe, to England, to Ireland, to London, to Dublin, to the court, to the castle, and so diminishing till it comes to our own affairs, and our own persons. When you write (either to him or to me, for we accept it all as one), rebuke him for it, as a divine if you like it, or as a badineur, if you think that more effectual.
What I write will show you that my head is yet weak. I had written to you by that gentleman from the Bath, but I did not know him, and everybody that comes from Ireland pretends to be a friend of the dean's. I am always glad to see any that are truly and therefore do not mistake anything I said so as to discourage your sending any such to me. Adieu.
FROM DR. SHERIDAN.
December 25, 1734.
DEAR SIR,-Mr. R. Hamilton is glad the venison got safe to you; it was carried by a county Cavan man in the 75th year of his age, who went off on Wednesday morning, was back with us on Saturday night, in all 104 miles. He was much affronted that a young fellow was proposed for the expedition-There's a county Cavan man for you!
As for myself, I am grown thirty years younger, by no other method than eating, drinking and ing freely in this Elysium of the universe. Happy will it be for you (if I misjudge not, and very seldom I do, as you yourself can witness, who have known me above sixteen years, and I believe a little more, if my memory fails me not, as I have no reason to think it does; for I do not find it in the least impaired) to convey yourself into the finest apartment of our Elysium, I mean to Castle Hamilton, where you will find a most hearty welcome, and all the delights this world can give-But you must take me along with
TO THE DUKE OF DORSET. January 14, 1735. MY LORD,-I am assured that your grace will have several representations of an affair relating to the university here from some very considerable persons in this kingdom. However, I could not refuse the application made me by a very worthy person of that society who was commissioned by some principal members of the body to desire my good offices to your grace; because they believed you thought me an honest man, and because I had the honour to be known to you from your early youth. The matter of their request related wholly to a dreadful apprehension they lie under of Dr. [John] Whetcombe's endeavour to procure a dispensation for holding his fellowship along with that church preferment bestowed on him by your grace. The person sent to me on this message gave me a written paper containing the reasons why they breath-hope your grace will not be prevailed upon to grant such a dispensation. I presume to send you an abstract of these reasons; because I may boldly assure your grace that party or faction have not the least concern in the whole affair; and as to myself, it happens that I am an entire stranger to Dr. Whetcombe.
Nothing could give me greater pleasure than to hear that your innocent subjects of the Kevin-Bay la escaped the gallows, in spite of Bettisworth and all his add hay rents--If he were to make them a holiday, it should make one for me and my boys likewise.
Sunday we had a very hard frost-yesterday morning fair-the afternoon, all night, and this morning to ten, was rain-now fair again, but lowering.
We are just now going to dinner at captain Perrott's, where your health is never omitted, both as dean and drapier. I forgot to tell you that there is a drapier's club fixed in Cavan of about thirty good fighting fellows; from whence I remark you have the heart of Ireland. Vid. Grierson's new map.-There is another Cavan Bayl for you.c
I have no more to trouble you with, but my good
If you go out of town before I return, leave the key
TO MRS. DINGLEY.
December 28, 1734.
PRAY God bless you,' and restore your health, and
e Alluding to the inhabitants of the liberty of St. Patrick's having formed themselves into a body-guard for Swift, upon Bettesworth's threatening personal violence against him.
It is alleged "That this preferment given to the doctor consists of a very large parish, worth near 6001. a-year, in a very fine country thirty miles from Dublin; that it abounds very much with papists, and consequently a most important cure, requiring the rector's residence, beside some other assistant; which being so rich, it might well afford.
college books but three or four instances since the revo"That as to such dispensations, they find in their lution, and these in cases very different from the present for those few livings which had dispensatious to be held with a fellowship were sinecures of small value, not sufficient to induce a fellow to leave his
college; and in the body of those dispensations is inserted a reason for granting them. That they were such livings as could be no hinderance in the discharge of a fellow's duty.
"That dispensations are very hurtful to their society; because they put a stop to the succession of
a It was known by an accident, after Dr. Swift's memory failed, that he allowed an annuity of 521. to Mrs. Dingley; but instead of doing this with the pride of a benefactor, or gratifying his pride by making her feel her dependence, he always pretended that he acted as her agent, and that the money be paid her was the produce of a certain sum which she had in the funds; and the better to save appearances, he always took her receipt, and sometimes would pretend with great seeming vexation, that she drew upon him before he had received her money fro London. However, he was punctual in paying it quarterly. He used to write the receipt himself in the following form every quarter-day, and sent it to be sigued by the messenger who carried the money:
July 25th, 1737. "Received from Dr. Swift, dean of St. Patrick's, the sum of 131. sterling, in full for one quarter's rent of payments out of funds in England, by advance of what will be due to me at Michaelmas next, in this year 1737; the said dean always paying me one quarter by advance. I say, received by me, RE. DINGLEY. Mrs. Dingley died before her benefactor in July, 1743. b He had a higher preferment Dec. 23 following, being raised to the united sees of Clonfert and Kilmarduagh. He was translated to the archbishopric of Cashel, Aug. 25, 1752; and died in 1754.
fellowships, and thereby give a check to that emulation, industry, and improvement in learning which the hopes of gaining a fellowship will best incite young students with.
“That, if this dispensation should take place, it may prove a precedent for the like practice in future times; which will be very injurious to the society, by encouraging fellows to apply for dispensations when they have interest enough to get preferments, by which the senior fellows will be settled in the college for life; and thus, for want of a succession any other way than by death or marriage, all encouragement to young diligent students will be wholly lost.
"That a junior fellowship is of very small value, and to arrive at it requires good sense as well as long and close study; to which young students are only encouraged by hopes of succeeding, in a reasonable time, to be one of the seven seniors, which hopes will be quite cut off when those seniors are perpetuated by dispensations.
"That the fellows at their admittance into their fellowships take a solemn oath never to accept of any church preferment above a certain value, and distance from Dublin, as long as they continue fellows; to which oath the accepting of a dispensation by Dr. Whetcombe is directly contrary, in both particulars of value and distance.
"That at this time there is a set of very hopeful young men, in long and close study, to stand for the first vacant fellowship, who will be altogether discouraged and drop their endeavours in the pursuit of learning, by being disappointed in their hopes of Dr. Whetcombe's leaving the college, and opening a way for one of them to succeed in a fellowship." These, my lord, are the sum of the reasous brought me by a very worthy person, a fellow of that college, and recommended by some of the most deserving in that body; and I have shortened them as much as I could.
I shall only trouble your grace with one or two of my own remarks upon this subject.
The university, and in some sense the whole kingdom, are full of acknowledgment for the honour your grace has done them, in trusting the care of one of your sons a to be educated in the college of Dublin, which hopes to be always in your grace's favour and by your influence, while you govern here, as well as the credit you will always deserve at court, will ever desire to be protected in their rights.
spiritual maintenance: although we do not want instances of some 'clergymen well born and of good reputation, who have been, and still are, curates for thirty years; which has been a great discouragement to others who have no other means left to provide for their children.
Your grace will please to know, that a fellowship in this university differs much, in some very important circumstances, from most of those in either of the universities in England.
My lord George will tell your grace, that a fellowship is here obtained with great difficulty by the number of candidates, the strict examination in many branches of learning, and the regularity of life and manners. It is also disposed of with much solemnity: the examiners take an oath at the altar, to give their vote according to their consciences.
FROM MRS. DONNELLAN.
SIR,-My brother tells me you are so good to inquire
The university is patron of some church preferments, which are offered to the several fellows downward to the lowest in holy orders.
I beg your grace to consider, that there being very have any other country till a knavish receiver or their little trade here, there is no encouragement for gentle-breaking tenants put them in mind of it; but I assure men to breed their sons to merchandise: that not you I have so little of the fine lady in me that I prefer many great employments, in church or law, fall to the a sociable evening in Dublin to all the diversions of share of persons born here: that the last resource of London, and the conversation of an ingenious friend, younger sons is to the church: where, if well be- though in a black gown, to all the powdered toupet at friended, they may chance to rise to some reasonable St. James's. What has kept me seven years in London is the duty I owe a very good mother of giving her my company since she desires it, and the conveniency I enjoy with her of a house, coach, and servants at my
b Lord George, his grace's third son. His lordship was under the tuition of Dr. Whetcombe and Mr. Molley, the one a senior, the other a junior fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.
Your grace will not want opportunities, while you continue in this government, and by your most deserved favour with his majesty, to make Dr. Whet combe easier in his preferment, by some addition that no person or society can have the least pretence to complain of. And I humbly beg your grace, out of the high veneration I bear to your person and virtues, that you will please to let Dr. Whetcombe content himself for a while with that rich preferment, (one of the best in the kingdom,) until it shall lie in 'your way further to promote him to his own content. If, upon his admittance to his fellowship, he took an oath never to accept a church living thus circumstantiated, and hold it with his fellowship, it will be thought hardly reconcilable to conscience to receive a dispensation.
I humbly entreat your grace to forgive this long trouble I have given you; wherein I have no sort of interest except that which proceeds from an earnest desire that your grace may continue, as you have begun from your youth, without incurring the least censure from the world, or giving the least cause of discontent to any deserving person. I am, &c. JONATHAN SWIFT.