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heard at a distance of fome threats, occafioned by my verfes. I fent fair meffages to acquaint them where I was to be found in town, and to offer to call at their houfes to fatisfy them; and fo it dropped. It is very poor in any one to rail and threaten at a distance, and have nothing to fay to you when they see you. I am glad you perfift and abide by fo good a thing as that poem *, in which I am immortal for my morality. I never took any praise fo kindly; and yet, I think, I deferve that praife better than I do any other. When does your collection come out, and what will it confift of? I have but laft week finifhed another of my epiftles, in the order of the fyftem; and this week (exercitandi gratia) I have tranflated (or rather parodied) another of Horace's, in which I introduce you advising me about my expences, housekeeping, &c. But these things fhall lie by, till you come to carp at them, and alter rhymes, and grammar, and triplets, and cacophonies of all kinds. Our parliament will fit till midfummer; which, I hope, may be a motive to bring you rather in fummer than fo late as autumn. You used to love what I hate, a hurry of politics, &c. Courts I fee not, courtiers I know not, kings I adore not, queens I compliment not; fo I am never like to be in fashion, nor in dependence. I heartily join with you in pitying our poor lady for her unhappiness; and fhould only pity her more, if she had more of what they at court call happiness. Come then, and perhaps we may go all together into France, at the end of the feafon, and compare the liberties of both kingdoms. Adieu. Believe me, dear Sir, (with a thousand warm wishes, mixed with short fighs), ever yours.
To Mr PoPE.
Dublin, May 1. 1733. Anfwer your letter the fooner, because I have a par◄ ticular reafon for doing so. Some weeks ago came over a poeni called, The life and character of Dr S. writ The ironical libel on Dr Delany, vol. 6. p. 323+
ten by himself. It was reprinted here, and is dedicated to you. It is grounded upon a maxim in Rochefoucault; and the dedication, after a formal itory, fays, that my manner of writing is to be found in every line. I believe I have told you, that I writ a year or two ago near five hundred lines upon the same maxim in Rochefoucault, and was a long time about it, as that impoftor fays in his dedication, with many circumftances, all pure invention. I defire you to believe, and to tell my friends, that in this fpurious piece there is not a fingle line, or bit of a line, or thought, any way resembling the genuine copy, any more than it does Virgil's Æneis; for I never gave a copy of mine, nor lent it out of my fight. And although I fhewed it to all common acquaintance indifferently, and fome of them (especially one or two females) had got many lines by heart here and there, and repeated them often; yet it happens, that not one fingle line, or thought, is contained in this imposture, although it appears, that they who counterfeited me had heard of the true one. But even this trick fhall not provoke me to print the true one; which indeed is not proper to be seen, till I can be seen no more. I therefore defire you will undeceive my friends; and I will order an advertisement to be printed here, and tranfmit it to England, that every body may know the delufion, and acquit me; as, I am fure, you must have done yourself, if you have read any part of it; which is mean and trivial, and full of that cant that I most defpife. I would fink to be a vicar in Norfolk, rather than be charged with fuch a performance *. Now I come to your letter.
When I was of your age, I thought every day of death, but now every minute; and a continual giddy disorder, more or less, is a greater addition than that of my years. I cannot affirm, that I pity our friend Gay, but I pity his friends, I pity you, and would at least equally pity myfelf, if I lived amongst you; because I should have feen him oftener than you did, who are a kind of her. mit, how great a noise foever you make by your ill-nature, in not letting the honeft villains of the times en joy themselves in this world, which is their only happi See vol, 6. p. 5.
nefs, and terrifying them with another. I fhould have added in my libel, that, of all men living, you are the moft happy in your enemies and your friends. And I will fwear you have fifty times more charity for mankind than I could ever pretend to. Whether the production you mention came from the Lady or the Lord, I did not imagine that they were at least fo bad verfifiers. There. fore facit indignatio verfus, is only to be applied when the indignation is againft general villany, and never o perates when fome fort of people write to defend themfelves. I love to hear them reproach you for dulness ; only I would be fatisfied, fince you are fo dull, why are they fo angry? Give me a fhilling, and I will infure you, that pofterity fhall never know you had one fingle enemy, excepting those whofe memory you have preserved.
I am forry for the fituation of Mr Gay's papers. You do not exert yourself as much as I could with in this affair. I had rather the two fifters were hanged, than fee his works fwelled by any lofs of credit to his memory. I would be glad to fee the most valuable printed by themselves; thofe which ought not to be seen, burned immediately; and the others that have gone abroad, printed separately like opufcula, or rather be ftifled and forgotten. I thought your epitaph was immediately to be ingraved; and therefore I made lefs fcruple to give a copy to Lord Orrery, who earnestly defired it, but to no body else: and he tells me, he gave only two, which he will recal. I have a fhort epigram of his upon it; wherein I would correct a line or two at moft, and then I will fend it to you (with his permiffion). I have no. thing against yours, but the lait line, Striking their aching; the two participles, as they are fo near, seem to found too like. I fhall write to the Duchefs, who hath lately honoured me with a very friendly letter, and I will tell her my opinion freely about our friend's papers. I want health, and my affairs are enlarged: but I will break through the latter, if the other mends. I can ufe a course of medicines, lame and giddy. My chief defign, next to feeing you, is to be a fevere critic on you and your neighbour; but first kill his father, that he may be able to maintain me in my own way of li ving, and particularly my horfes. It coft me near 6001.
for a wall to keep mine; and I never ride without two fervants, for fear of accidents. Hic vivimus ambitio, a paupertate. You are both too poor for my acquaintance, but he much the poorer. With you I will find grafs, and wine, and fervants; but with him not. The collection you speak of is this. A printer came to me, to defire he might print my works (as he called them) in four volumes, by fubfcription. I faid I would give no leave, and fheuld be forry to fee them printed here. He said they could not be printed in London. I anfwered, they could, if the partners agreed. He said, "he would be glad of my permission; but as he could
print them without it, and was advised that it could "do me no harm, and having been affured of numerous "fubfcriptions, he hoped I would not be angry at his pursuing his own intereft, &c." Much of this dif course passed; and he goes on with the matter, wherein I determine not to intermeddle, though it be much to my discontent; and I wish it could be done in England rather than here, although I am grown pretty indiffer ent in every thing of that kind. This is the truth of the story.
My vanity turns at prefent on being perfonated in your Que virtus, &c. You will obferve in this letter many marks of an ill head and a low fpirit; but a heart wholly turned to love you with the greatest earnestness and truth.
May 28. 1733.
Have begun two or three letters to you by fnatches, and been prevented from finishing them by a thoufand avocations and diffipations. I must first acknow. ledge the honour done me by Lord Orrery, whofes praises are that precious ointment Solomon fpeaks of, which can be given only by men of virtue. All other praise, whether from poets or peers, is contemptible alike: and I am old enough, and experienced enough, to know, that the only praises worth having, are those bestowed by virtue for virtue. My poetry I abandon to the cri VOL. VIIL
tics, my morals I commit to the teftimony of those who know me; and therefore I was more pleafed with your libel, than with any verfes I ever received. I wish fuch a collection of your writings could be printed here, as you mention going on in Ireland. I was surprised to receive from the printer that fpurious piece, called The life and character of Dr Swift, with a letter, telling me, the perfon" who publifhed it, had affured him, the de"dication to me was what I would not take ill, or "elfe he would not have printed it." I can't tell who the man is, who took fo far upon him as to answer for my way of thinking; though, had the thing been genuine, I fhould have been greatly difpleafed at the publisher's part, in doing it without your knowledge.
I am as earnest as you can be, in doing my best to prevent the publishing of any thing unworthy of Mr Gay; but I fear his friends partiality. I with you would come over. All the mysteries of my philofophical work fhall then be cleared to you, and you will not think that I am not merry enough, nor angry enough. It will not want for fatire; but as for anger, I know it not; or at least only that fort of which the Apostle fpeaks, Be ye angry, and fin not.
My neighbour's writings have been metaphyfical, and will next be hiftorical. It is certainly from him only that a valuable history of Europe in these latter times can be expected. Come, and quicken him; for age, indolence, and contempt of the world, grow upon men apace, and may often make the wifeft indifferent whether pofterity be any wifer than we. To a man in
years, health and quiet become fuch rarities, and confequently fo valuable, that he is apt to think of nothing more than of enjoying them whenever he can, for the remainder of life; and this, I doubt not, has caused fo many great men to die without leaving a scrap to pofterity.
I am fincerely troubled for the bad account you give me of your own health. I wifh every day to hear a better, as much as I do to enjoy my own, I faithfully af fure you.
* Lord Bolingbroke.