« PreviousContinue »
tive to your coming. God knows if ever I fhall fee Ire land; I shall never defire it, if you can be got hither, or kept here. Yet I think I fhall be, too foon, a free. man. Your recommendations I conftantly give to thofe you mention; though fome of them 1 fee but fel dom, and am every day more retired. I am lefs fond of the world, and lefs curious about it; yet no way out of humour, difappointed, or angry; though in my way I receive as many injuries as my betters; but I don't feel them; therefore I ought not to vex other people, nor even to return injuries. I pafs almoft all my time at Dawley and at home. My Lord (of which I partly take the merit to myself) is as much eftranged from politics as I am. Let philofophy be ever so vain, it is less vain now than politics, and not quite fo vain at present as divinity. I know nothing that moves ftrongly but fatire; and those who are ashamed of nothing else, are fo of being ridiculous. I fancy, if we three were toge. ther but for three years, fome good might be done even upon this age.
I know you'll defire fome account of my health. is as ufual, but my fpirits rather worfe. I write little or nothing. You know I never had either a taste or talent for politics, and the world minds nothing else. I have perfonal obligations which I will ever preserve, to men of different fides; and I wish nothing fo much as public quiet, except it be my own quiet.. I think it a merit, if I can take off any man from grating or fatirical fubjects, merely on the score of party: and it is the greateft vanity of my life, that I have contributed to turn my Lord Bolingbroke to fubjects moral, useful, and more worthy his pen. Dr -'s book is what I can't commend fo much as Dean Berkeley's*, though it has many things ingenious in it, and is not deficient in the writing part: but the whole book, though he meant it ad populum, is, I think, purely ad clerum. Adieu.
A fine original work, called, The minute philosopher.
Dr SWIFT to Mr GAY *.
Dublin, March 19. 1729.
Deny it. I do write to you according to the old ftipulation; for when you kept your old company, when I writ to one, I writ to all. But I am ready to enter into a new bargain, fince you are got into a new world, and will answer all your letters. You are first to prefent my moft humble refpects to the Duchefs of Queenfberry; and let her know, that I never dine without thinking of her, although it be with fome difficulty that I can obey her, when I dine with forks that have but two prongs, and when the fauce is not very confift ent. You must likewife tell her Grace, that she is a general toaft among all honeft folks here, and particu larly at the deanery, even in the face of my Whig fubjects.- -I will leave my money in Lord Bathurst's hands, and the management of it (for want of better) in yours and pray keep the intereft-money in a bag wrapt up and fealed by itself, for fear of your own fingers under your careleffness. Mr Pope talks of you as a perfect ftranger; but the different purfuits, and manners, and interefts of life, as Fortune hath pleased to difpofe them, will never fuffer thofe to live together, who by their inclinations ought never to part. I hope when you are rich enough, you will have fome little economy of your own in town or country, and be able to give your friend a pint of Port; for the domeftic feafon of life will come on. I had never much hopes of your vampt play, although Mr Pope feemed to have, and although it were ever fo good: but you should have done like the parfons, and changed your text, I mean the title, and the names of the perfons. After all, it was an effect of idleness; for you are in the prime of life, when invention and judgment go together. I wish you
The following letters from Dr Swift to Mr Gay, from let. 50, to let. 61. inclufive, were found among Mr Gay's papers, and re turned to Dr Swift by the Duke of Queensberry and Mr Pope.
had 100l. a-year more for horfes.I ride and walk whenever good weather invites, and am reputed the beft walker in this town and five miles round. I writ lately to Mr Pope. I wish you had a little villakin in his neighbourhood; but you are yet too volatile, and any lady with a coach and fix horfes would carry you to Japan.
Dublin, Nov. 10. 1730..
Hen my Lord Peterborow, in the Queen's time, went abroad upon his embaffies, the miniftry told me, that he was fuch a vagrant, they were forced to write at him by guess, because they knew not where to write to him. This is my cafe with you; fometimes in Scotland, fometimes at Ham-walks, fometimes God: knows where. You are a man of bufinefs, and not at leifure for infignificant correfpondence. It was I got you the employment of being my Lord Duke's premier miniftre; for his Grace having heard how good a manager you were of my revenue, thought you fit to be intrufted with ten talents. I have had twenty times a ftrong inclination to spend a fummer near Salisburydowns, having rode over them more than once, and, with a young parfon of Salisbury, reckoned twice the ftones of Stonehenge, which are either ninety-two or ninety-three. I defire to prefent my moft humble acknowledgments to my Lady Duchefs in return of her ci vility. I hear an ill thing, that she is matre pulchra filia pulchrior. I never faw her fince fhe was a girl, and would be angry fhe fhould excel her mother, who was long my principal goddefs. I defire you will tell her Grace, that the ill management of forks is not to be helped when they are only bidential, which happens in all poor houses, efpecially thofe of poets; upon which account a knife was abfolutely neceffary at Mr Pope's, where it was morally impoffible with a bidential fork. to convey a morfel of beef, with the incumbrance of mustard and turnips, into your mouth at once. And her Grace hath coft me thirty pounds, to provide tridents
for fear of offending her; which fum I defire fhe will pleafe to return me.-- -I am fick enough to go to the Bath, but have not heard it will be good for my diforder. I have a frong mind to spend my 200 1. next fummer in France. I am glad I have it, for there is hardly twice that fum left in this kingdom. You want no fettlement (I call the family where you live, and the foot you are upon, a fettlement) till you increase your fortune to what will fupport you with eafe and plenty, a good house and a garden. The want of this I much dread for you. For I have often known a fhe-coufin of a good family and fmall fortune, paffing months among all her relations, living in plenty, and taking her circles, till fhe grew an old maid, and every body weary of her. Mr Pope complains of feldom feeing you: but the evil is unavoidable; for different circumstances of life have always feparated thofe whom friendship would join. God hath taken care of this, to prevent any progrefs towards real happiness here, which would make life more defirable, and death too dreadful. I hope you have now one advantage that you always wanted be fore, and the want of which made your friends as uneafy as it did yourfelf; I mean the removal of that folicitude about your own affairs, which perpetually filled your thoughts, and difturbed your converfation. For if it be true, what Mr Pope ferioufly tells me, you will have opportunity of faving every groat of the intereft you receive; and fo by the time he and you grow weary of each other, you will be able to pass the reft of your winelefs life, in eafe and plenty, with the additional triumphal comfort of never having received a penny from thofe tadelefs ungrateful people from whom you deferved fo much, and who deferve no better geniufes than thofe by whom they are celebrated.—If you fee Mr Cæfar, prefent my humble fervice to him ; and let him know, that the fcrub libel printed against me here, and reprinted in London, for which he fhewed a kind concern to a friend of us both, was written by myself, and fent to a Whig printer. It was in the Ayle and genius of fuch fcoundrels, when the humour of libelling ran in this ftrain against a friend of mine whom. you know. But my paper is ended.
Dublin, Nov. 19. 1730.
Writ to you a long letter about a fortnight paft, concluding you were in London, from whence I understood one of your former was dated. Nor did I imagine you were gone back to Aimsbury so late in the year; at which feafon I take the country to be only a scene for those who have been ill ufed by a court, on account of their virtues; which is a state of happiness the more valuable, because it is not accompanied by envy, although nothing deferves it more. I would gladly fell a
dukedom to lofe favour in the manner their Graces have done. I believe my Lord Carteret, fince he is no longer Lieutenant, may not wish me ill; and I have told him often, that I only hated him as Lieutenant. I confefs he had a genteeler manner of binding the chains of this kingdom than most of his predeceffors; and I confefs at the fame time, that he had fix times a regard to my recommendation, by preferring fo many of my friends in the church. The two laft acts of his favour were, to add to the dignities of Dr Delany and Mr Stopford; the last of whom was, by you and Mr Pope, put into Mr Pultney's hands. I told you in my last, that a continuance of giddinefs (though not in a violent degree) prevented my thoughts of England at prefent. For in my cafe, a domeftic life is neceffary; where I can, with the centurion, fay to my fervant, Go, and he goeth; and, Do this, and he doth it. I now hate all people whom I cannot command, and confequently a Duchefs is at this time the hatefulleft lady in the world to me, one only excepted; and I beg her Grace's pardon for that excep tion; for, in the way I mean, her Grace is ten thousand times more hateful. I confess I begin to apprehend you will fquander my money, because I hope you never less wanted it; and if you go on with fuccefs for two years longer, I fear I fhall not have a farthing of it left. The Doctor hath ill informed me, who fays that Mr Pope is at present the chief poetical favourite; yet Mr Pope himfelf talks like a philofopher, and one wholly retired. But the vogue of our few boneft folks here is, that Duck