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My dear friend,
From Dr Sw IFT.
Dublin, Aug. 8. 1738.
Have your's of July 25.; and first, I defire you will look upon me as a man worn with years, and funk by public as well as perfonal vexations. I have entirely loft my memory, incapable of converfation by a cruel deafnefs, which has lasted almost a year, and I despair of any cure. I fay not this to increase your compaffion, (of which you have already too great a part), but as an excufe for my not being regular in my letters to you, and fome few other friends. I have an ill name in the poft-office of both kingdoms; which makes the letters addreffed to me not seldom mifcarry, or be opened and read, and then fealed in a bungling manner, before they come to my hands. Our friend Mrs B. is very often in my thoughts, and high in my esteem. I defire you will be the meffenger of my humble thanks and fervice to her. That fuperior univerfal genius you defcribe, whose hand-writing I know towards the end of your letter, hath made me both proud and happy; but by what he writes, I fear he will be too foon gone to his forest a broad. He began in the Queen's time to be my pa tron, and then defcended to be my friend.
It is a great favour of heaven, that your health grows better by the addition of years. I have abfolutely done with poetry for feveral years paft, and even at my best times I could produce nothing but trifles. I therefore reject your compliments on that fcore: and it is no compliment in me; for I take your fecond dialogue that you lately fent me, to equal almoft any thing you ever writ; although I live fo much out of the world, that I am ignorant of the facts and perfons, which, I prefume, are very well known from Temple-bar to St James's; (I mean the court exclufive).
"I can faithfully affure you, that every letter you "have favoured me with, thefe twenty years and more,
are fealed up in bundles, and delivered to Mrs W—, a very worthy, rational, and judicious coufin of mine, "and the only relation whofe vifits I can fuffer. All "these letters fhe is directed to fend fafely to you, upon 66 my decease."
My Lord Orrery is gone with his Lady to a part of her estate in the north. She is a person of very good understanding, as any I know of her fex. Give me leave to write here a fhort answer to my Lord B.'s letter, in the laft page of yours.
My dear Lord,
I am infinitely obliged to your Lordship for the ho nour of your letter, and kind remembrance of me. do here confefs, that I have more obligations to your Lordship, than to all the world befides. You never deceived me, even when you were a great minifter of state: and yet I love you still more, for your condescending to write to me, when you had the honour to be an exile. I can hardly hope to live till you publish your history, and am vain enough to wish that my name could be fqueezed in among the few fubalterns, quorum pars parva fui. If not, I will be revenged, and contrive fome way to be known to futurity, that I had the honour to have your Lordship for my best patron; and I will live and die, with the highest veneration and gratitude, your most obedient, &c.
P.S. I will here, in a poftfcript, corre& (if it be poffible) the blunders I have made in my letter. I fhewed my coufin the above letter; and the affures me that a * your great collection of letters to me, are put up
and fealed, and in fome very safe hand †.
It is written juft thus in the original. The book that is now printed, feems to be part of the collection here spoken of; as it contains not only the letters of Mr Pope, but of Dr Swift, both to him and Mr Gay, which were returned him after Mr Gay's death: though any mention made by Mr Pope of the return or exchange of letters, has been industriously suppressed in the publication, and only appears by fome of the answers. Dub. edit.
+ See Lord Orrery's letter, in the next page.
I am, my most dear and honoured friend, entirely
It is now Aug. 24.
The Earl of ORRERY to Mr P o P E.
S I R,
Am more and more convinced, that your letters are neither loft nor burnt; but who the Dean means by a fafe band in Ireland, is beyond my power of gueffing, though I am particularly acquainted with mott, if not all of his friends. As I knew you had the recovery of thofe letters at heart, I took more than ordinary pains to find out where they were; but my inquiries were to no purpose; and I fear, whoever has them, is too tenacious of them to discover where they lie. "Mrs W did affure me, she had not one of them; and seemed "to be under great uneasiness, that you should imagine they were left "with her. She likewife told me he had stopped the Dean's letter "which gave you that information; but believed he would write fuch "another; and therefore defired me to affure you from her, that she was totally ignorant where they were."
You may make what ufe you please, either to the Dean, or any other perfon, of what I have told you. I am ready to testify it; and I think it ought to be known, "That the Dean fays they are deli"vered into a fafe hand, and Mrs W- * declares the has them not. "The confequence of their being hereafter published, may give un"cafinefs to fome of your friends, and of courfe to you: fo I would "do all in my power to make you entirely easy in that point."
This is the first time I have put pen to paper fince my late misfortune; and I should fay, as an excufe for this letter, that it has coft me fome pain, did it not allow me an opportunity to affure you, that
Marflon, Oct. 4. 1738.
With the trueft esteem,
Your very faithful and obedient fervant,
This lady fince gave Mr Pope the strongest assurances, that she had ufed her utmost endeavours to prevent the publication; nay, went so far as to fecrete the book, till it was commanded from her, and delivered to the Dublin printer. Whereupon her fon-in-law, D. Swift, Efq; infifted upon writing a preface, to justify Mr Pope from having any knowledge of it, and to lay it upon the corrupt practices of the printers in London; but this be would not agree to, as not knowing the truth of the fact. Pope.
Dr SWIFT to his uncle WILLIAM SWIFT †.
S 1 R,
Moore Park, Nov. 29. 1692.
Y fifter told me, you was pleased, (when he was here), to wonder, I did fo feldom write to you, been fo kind, to impute it neither to ill respect. I always
thought that fufficient from one, who has always been but too troublesome to you. Befides, I know your averfion to impertinence, and God knows fo very private a life as mine can furnish a letter with little elfe: for I often am two or three months without feeing any body besides the family; and now my fifter is gone, I am likely to be more folitary than before. I am ftill to thank you for your care in my teftimonium; and it was to very good purpose, for I never was more fatisfied than in the behaviour of the university of Oxford to me. I had all the civilities I could with for, and fo many favours, that I am ashamed to have been more obliged in a few weeks to ftrangers, than ever I was in feven years to Dublin college. I am not to take orders till the King gives me a prebendary and Sir William Temple, though he promises me the certainty of it, yet is lefs forward than I could wish ; becaufe, I fuppofe, he believes I fhall leave
*This and the three following letters are taken from Mr Deane Swift's Effay on the life, writings, &c. of Dr Swift. -This epi
+ This letter is torn and imperfect in feveral places.ftolary fragment is fo far curious, as it gives us a fpecimen of Swift's manner of writing and thinking, at that early period of his life.
You do not fee in this letter the least symptoms of that peculiar turn of phrafe which afterwards appeared in all his writings, even in his moft trifling letters. Neither his learning nor his genius were yet ar rived to any degree of ripeness. Or perhaps the letter was rather the effect of duty than inclination; and in that cafe, the style of it must be illaborate, and void of all freedom and vivacity. Orrery.
‡ It may be observed from this paffage, that he does not speak of going into the church as a point of news to his uncle. Swift.
Here are the grounds of a quarrel which happened between him and Sir William Temple in the year 1694. Swift.
him; and upon fome accounts he thinks me a little neceffary to him t If I were entertainment, or doing you any satisfaction by my letters, I fhould be very glad to perform it that way, as I am bound to do it by all others. I am forry my fortune should fling me fo far from the best of my relations, but hope that I fhall have the happiness to see you fome time or other. Pray my humble fervice to my good aunt, and the rest of my relations, if you pleafe.
Dr SWIFT to his coufin DEANE SWIFT at Lifton ‡.
Liecefter, June 3. 1694Received your kind letter to-day from your fifter; and am very glad to find you will fpare time from bufinefs, fo far as to write a long letter to one you have none at all with but friendship; which, as the world paffes, is perhaps one of the idleft things in it. 'Tis a pleasure to me to fee you fally out of your road, and take notice of curiofities, of which I am very glad to have part; and defire you to fet by fome idle minutes for a commerce which fhall ever be dear to me; and from fo good an observer as you may eafily be, cannot fail of being ufeful. I am forry to fee fo much fuperftition in a country fo given to trade. I half used to think those two to be incompatible. Not that I utterly diflike your proceffions for rain or fair weather; which, as trifling as they are, yet have good effects to quiet common heads, and infuse a gaping devotion among the rabble. But your burning the old woman,
* Which at last was the caufe of a good deal of anger in Sir William Temple. Swift.
Because at that time he was employed in the revifal of Sir William Temple's works. Swift.
If this letter be confidered as an epiftle from a young man a little above fix and twenty years old, to an intimate friend and relation, who was at that time but just turned of twenty, I hope it will not appear in a very mean or contemptible light. Swift.