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ten to you, would be a very easy task: for every day I talk with you, and of you, in my heart; and I need only fet down what that is thinking of. The nearer I find myfelf verging to that period of life which is to be labour and forrow, the more I prop myself upon those few supports that are left me. People in this ftate are like props indeed; they cannot stand alone, but two or more of them can ftand, leaning and bearing upon one another. I wish you and I might pafs this part of life together. My only neceffary care is at an end. I am now my own inafter too much; my houfe is too large; my gardens furnish too much wood and provifion for my ufe. My fervants are fenfible and tender of me. They have intermarried, and are become rather low friends than fervants; and to all thofe that I fee here with pleafure, they take a pleasure in being useful. I conclude this is your case too in your domestic life; and I fometimes think of your old houfekeeper as my nurfe; though I tremble at the fea, which only divides us. As your fears are not fo great as mine, and, I firmly hope, your ftrength ftill much greater, is it utterly impoffible, it might once more be fome pleasure to you to fee England? My fole motive in propofing France to meet in, was the narrowness of the paffage by fea from hence; the phyficians having told me, the weakness of my breast, &c. is fuch, as a fea-fickness might indanger my life. Though one or two of our friends are gone, fince you faw your native country*, there remain a few more who will laft fo till death, and who, I cannot but hope, have an attractive power, to draw you back to a country which cannot quite be funk or inflaved, while fuch fpirits remain. And let me tell you, there are a few more of the fame fpirit, who would awaken all your old ideas, and revive your hopes of her future recovery and virtue. These look up to you with reverence, and would be animated by the fight of him at whofe foul they have taken fire, in his writings, and derived from thence as much love of their fpecies as is confiftent with a contempt for the knaves of it.
*The Dean was born in Ireland. This I mention, because the fenteuce may be understood in a double fenfe. Dub. edit.
I could never be weary, except at the eyes, of writing to you; but my real reafon (and a strong one it is) for doing it fo feldom, is fear; fear of a very great and experienced evil, that of my letters being kept by the partiality of friends, and paffing into the hands and malice of enemies; who publish them with all their im perfections on their head; fo that I write not on the common terms of honeft men.
Would to God you would come over with Lord Orrery, whofe care of you in the voyage I could fo certainly depend on; and bring with you your old housekeeper, and two or three fervants. I have room for all, a heart for all, and (think what you will) a fortune for all. We could, were we together, contrive to make our last days easy, and leave fome fort of monument, what friends two wits could be, in spite of all the fools in the world. Adieu.
From Dr SwIFT.
Dublin, May 31. 1737
T is true, I owe you fome letters; but it has pleased
in a to you.
When you fhall be at my age, perhaps you may lie under the fame difability to your present or future friends. But my age is not my difability; for I can walk fix or feven miles, and ride a dozen. But I am deaf for two months together. This deafnefs unqualifies me for all company, except a few friends with counter-tenor voi. ces, whom I can call names, if they do not speak loud enough for my ears. It is this evil that hath hindered me from venturing to the Bath, and to Twickenham: for deafnefs being not a frequent diforder, hath no allowance given it; and the fcurvy figure a man affected that way makes in company, is utterly infupportable.
It was I began with the petition to you of Orna me, and now you come, like an unfair merchant, to charge me with being in your debt; which, by your way of reckoning, I muft always be; for your's are always gui
neas, and mine farthings; and yet I have a pretence to quarrel with you, because I am not at the head of any one of your epiftles. I am often wondering, how you come to excel all mortals on the fubject of morality, even in the poetical way; and fhould have wondered more, if nature and education had not made you a profeffor of it from your infancy. "All the letters I can find of your's, I have faftened in a folio cover, " and the rest in bundles indorfed: but, by reading "their dates, I find a chafm of fix years, of which I
can find no copies; and yet I keep them with all "poffible care. But I have been forced, on three or "four occafions, to fend all my papers to fome friends;
yet those papers were all fent fealed in bundles to "fome faithful friends; however, what I have are not "much above fixty." I found nothing in any one of them to be left out. None of them have any thing to do with party, of which you are the clearest of all men by your religion, and the whole tenor of your life; while I am raging every moment against the corruption of both kingdoms, efpecially of this; fuch is my weaknefs.
I have read your epiftle of Horace to Auguftus. It was fent me in the English edition, as foon as it could coine. They are printing it in a fmall octavo. The curious are looking out, fome for flattery, fome for ironies in it. The four folks think they have found out fome: but your admirers here, I mean every man of taste, affect to be certain, that the profeffion of friendship to me in the fame poem will not fuffer you to be thought a flatterer. My happiness is, that you are too far engaged; and in fpite of you, the ages to come will celebrate me, and know you were a friend who loved and esteemed me, although I died, the object of court and party hatred.
Pray, who is that Mr Glover who writ the ethic poem called Leonidas, which is reprinting here, and hath great vogue? We have frequently good poems of late from London. I have juft read one upon converfation, and two or three others. But the croud do not incumber you, who, like the orator or preacher, ftand aloft, and are seen above the reft, more than the whole affembly below.
I am able to write no more; and this is my third endeavour, which is too weak to finish the paper. I am, my dearest friend, your's entirely, as long as I can write, or speak, or think.
From Dr SWIFT.
Dublin, July 23. 1737.
Sent a letter to you fome weeks ago, which my Lord Orrery inclofed in one of his, to which I received as yet no answer; but it will be time enough when his Lordship goes over, which will be, as he hopes, in about ten days; and then he will take with him “all "the letters I preferved of your's, which are not above twenty-five. I find there is a great chaẩm of fome 66 years, but the dates are more early than my two last journeys to England; which makes me imagine, that "in one of thofe journeys I carried over another car66 go." But I cannot trust my memory half an hour; and my diforders of deafness and giddiness increase daily, So that I am declining as fast as it is easily possible for me, if I were a dozen years older.
We have had your voluine of letters, which, I am told, are to be printed here. Some of those who highly efteem you, and a few who know you perfonally, are grieved to find you make no diftinction between the English gentry of this kingdom, and the favage old Irifh, (who are only the vulgar, and fome gentlemen who live in the Irish parts of the kingdom): but the English colonies, who are three parts in four, are much more civilized than many counties in England, and fpeak better English, and are much better bred. And they think it very hard, that an American, who is of the fifth generation from England, fhould be allowed to preferve that title, only because we have been told by fome of them, that their names are entered in some parish in London. I have three or four coufins here, who were born in Portugal, whofe parents took the
fame care, and they are all of them Londoners. Delany, who, as I take it, is of an Irish family, came to visit me three days ago, on purpose to complain of thofe paffages in your letters. He will not allow fuch a difference between the two climates; but will affert that North Wales, Northumberland, Yorkshire, and the other northern fhires, have a more cloudy ungenial air than any part of Ireland. In short, I am afraid your friends and admirers here will force you to make a palinody.
As for the other parts of your volume of letters, my opinion is, that there might be collected from them the beft fyftem that ever was wrote for the conduct of human life, at least to shame all reasonable men out of their follies and vices. It is fome recommendation of this kingdom, and of the tafte of the people, that you are at least as highly celebrated here as you are at home. If you will blame us for flavery, corruption, Atheism, and fuch trifles, do it freely; but include England, only with an addition of every other vice.I wish you would give orders against the corruption of English by thofe fcribblers, who fend us over their trash in profe and verfe, with abominable curtailings and quaint modernifms.- I am now daily expecting an end of life. I have loft all fpirit, and every fcrap of health. I fometimes recover a little of my hearing, but my head is ever out of order. While I have any ability to hold a commerce with you, I will never be filent; and this chancing to be a day that I can hold a pen, I will drag it as long as I am able. Pray let my Lord Orrery fee you often next to yourself, I love no man so well; and tell him what I fay, if he vifits you. I have now done; for it is evening, and my head grows worse. May God always protect you, and preferve you long, for a pattern of piety and virtue.
Farewell, my dearest and almost only conftant friend. I am ever, at least in my efteen, honour, and affection to you, what I hope you expect me to be,