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for his trouble, the fale being fo fmall, and the price one halfpenny; and fo it dropt. In the volume you saw, (to answer your questions), the 1ft, 3d, 5th, 7th, were mine. Of the 8th I writ only the verses, (very uncor rect, but against a fellow we all hated); the 9th mine; the 10th only the verses, and of those not the four last flovenly lines. The 15th is a pamphlet of mine, printed before with Dr Sh- -'s preface, merely for laziness not to disappoint the town; and fo was the 19th, which contains only a parcel of facts relating purely to the miferies of Ireland, and wholly useless and unentertaining *. As to other things of mine fince I left you; there are, in profe, a view of the ftate of Ireland; a project for eating children; and a defence of Lord Carand Lord Carteteret: in verfe, a libel on Dr D
ret; a letter to Dr D on the libels writ against him; the barrack, (a ftolen copy); the lady's "journal; the lady's dreffing-room, (a ftolen copy); the place of the damned †, (a ftolen copy). All these have been printed in London. (I forgot to tell you, that the tale of Sir Ralph was fent from England). Befides thefe, there are five or fix (perhaps more) papers of verfes writ in the north; but perfect family-things, two or three of which may be tolerable; the rest but indifferent, and the humour only local, and fome that would give offence to the times. Such as they are, I will bring them, tolerable or bad, if I recover this lameness, and live long enough to see you either here or there. I forget again to tell you, that the fcheme of paying debts by a tax on vices, is not one fyllable mine, but of a young clergyman whom I countenance. He told me it was built upon a paffage in Gulliver, where a projector hath fomething upon the fame thought. This young man is the most hopeful we have: a book of his poems was printed in London; Dr Done of his patrons: he is married, and has children, and makes up about 100 l. a-year, on which he lives decently. The utmoft ftretch of his ambition is, to gather up as much fuperfluous money as will give him a fight of you, and half an hour of your prefence; after *See vol 3. p. 344. note on the Intelligencer, numb, 1. † See vol. 7. p. 14.
which he will return home in full fatisfaction, and in proper time die in peace.
My poetical fountain is drained; and I profefs I grow gradually fo dry, that a rhyme with me is almost as hard to find as a guinea; and even profe fpeculations tire me almost as much. Yet I have a thing in profe, begun above twenty-eight years ago, and almost finished. It will make a four-fhilling volume; and is fuch a perfection of folly, that you shall never hear of it till it is printed, and then you fhall be left to guess *. Nay I have another of the fame age, which will require a long time to perfect, and is worse than the former, in which I will serve you the fame way. I heard lately from Mr -, who promises to be lefs lazy in order to mend his fortune. But women who live by their beauty, and men by their wit, are seldom provident enough to confider, that both wit and beauty will go off with years, and there is no living upon the credit of what is past.
I am in great concern to hear of my Lady Bolingbroke's ill health returned upon her; and, I doubt, my Lord will find Dawley too folitary without her. In that, neither he nor you are companions young enough for me; and I believe the best part of the reason why men are faid to grow children when they are old, is, because they cannot entertain themselves with thinking; which is the very cafe of little boys and girls, who love to be noify among their play-fellows. I am told Mrs Pope is without pain; and I have not heard of a more gentle decay, without uneafiness to herself or friends: yet I cannot but pity you, who are ten times the greater fufferer, by having the perfon you most love fo long be fore you and dying daily; and I pray God it may not affect your mind or your health.
Polite converfation, vol. 7. p. 344.
Dec. 5. 1732.
T is not a time to complain that you have not anfwered me two letters, (in the last of which I was impatient under fome fears). It is not now indeed a time to think of myself, when one of the nearest and longest ties I have ever had, is broken all on a fudden, by the unexpected death of poor Mr Gay. An inflam matory fever hurried him out of this life in three days. He died last night at nine o'clock, not deprived of his fenfes entirely at laft, and poffeffing them perfectly till within five hours. He asked of you a few hours before, when in acute torment by the inflammation in his bowels and breaft. His effects are in the Duke of Queensberry's custody. His fifters, we fuppofe, will be his heirs, who are two widows; as yet it is not known whether or no he left a will.-Good God! how often are we to die before we go quite off this stage? In every friend we lose a part of ourselves, and the best part. God keep those we have left! few are worth praying for, and one's felf the leaft of all.
I shall never fee you now, I believe; one of your principal calls to England is at an end. Indeed he was the most amiable by far, his qualities were the gentleft; but I love you as well and as firmly. Would to God the man we have loft had not been so amiable, nor so good! but that's a wifh for our own fakes, not for his. Sure, if innocence and integrity can deserve happiness, it must be his. Adieu. I can add nothing to what you will feel, and diminish nothing from it. Yet write to me, and foon. Believe no man now living loves you better, I believe no man ever did, thạn
"On my dear friend Mr Gay's death. Received December 15. but not read til! the 20th, by an impulfe, foreboding fome misfortune." [This note is indorsed on the original letter in Dr Swift's hand]. Pope.
Dr Arbuthnot, whofe humanity you know, heartily commends himself to you. All poffible diligence and affection has been shown, and continued attendance, on this melancholy occafion. Once more adieu, and write to one who is truly difconfolate.
P. S. By Dr ARBUTHNOT.
I am forry that the renewal of our correfpondence fhould be upon fuch a melancholy occafion. Poor Mr Gay died of an inflammation, and, I believe, at last a mortification of the bowels. It was the most precipi. tate case I ever knew, having cut him off in three days. He was attended by two phyficians befides myfelf. I believed the diftemper mortal from the beginning. I have not had the pleasure of a line from you these two years; I wrote one about your health, to which I had no answer. I wish you all health and happiness; being, with great affection and refpect, Sir,
Dublin, 1732-3. the
and the account of our lofing Mr Gay; upon which event I fhall fay nothing. I am only concerned that long living hath not hardened me: for even in this kingdom, and in a few days paft, two perfons of great merit, whom I loved very well, have died in the prime of their years, but a little above thirty. I would endeavour to comfort myself upon the loss of friends, as I do upon the loss of money; by turning to my accountbook, and feeing whether I have enough left for my Support: but in the former cafe I find I have not, any more than in the other; and I know not any man who is in a greater likelihood than myfelf to die poor and friendless. You are a much greater lofer than me by his death, as being a more intimate friend, and often his companion; which latter I could never hope to be,
except perhaps once more in my life for a piece of a fummer. I hope he hath left you the care of any wri tings he may have left; and I wifh, that, with those al ready extant, they could be all published in a fair edi tion under your infpection. Your poem on the use of riches hath been juft printed here; and we have no objection but the obscurity of feveral paffages by our ignorance in facts and perfons, which makes us lofe abundance of the fatire. Had the printer given me notice, I would have honestly printed the names at length, where I happened to know them; and writ explanatory notes; which however would have been but few, for my long absence hath made me ignorant of what paffes out of the fcene where I am. I never had the leaft hint from you about this work, any more than of your former, upon tafte. We are told here, that you are preparing other pieces of the fame bulk to be infcribed to other friends, one (for inftance) to my Lord Bolingbroke, another to Lord Oxford, and fo on.- -Dr Delany prefents you his moft humble fervice. He behaves him. felf very commendably; converfes only with his former friends, makes no parade, but entertains them conftant. ly at an elegant plentiful table; walks the streets, as ufual, by day-light; does many acts of charity and generosity; cultivates a country-house two miles diftant; and is one of thofe very few within my knowledge, on whom a great access of fortune hath made no manner of change. And particularly he is often without money, as he was before. We have got my Lord Orrery among us, being forced to continue here on the ill con dition of his eftate by the knavery of an agent. a moft worthy gentleman, whom, I hope, you will be acquainted with. I am very much obliged by your favour to Mr P; which I defire may continue no longer than he fhall deferve by his modefty; a virtue I never knew him to want, but is hard for young men to keep, without abundance of ballaft. If you are acquainted with the Duchefs of Queensberry, I defire you will present her my most humble fervice. I think the is a greater lofer by the death of a friend than either of She feems a lady of excellent fenfe and fpirit. I had often poftfcripts from her in our friend's letters to