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The Earl of PETERBOROW to Mr POPE.
Am under the greatest impatience to fee Dr Swift at Bevis Mount, and muft fignify my mind to him by another hand; it not being permitted me to hold correfpondence with the faid Dean, for no letter of mine can come to his hands.
And whereas it is apparent, in this Proteftant land, most especially under the care of divine providence, that nothing can fucceed, or come to a happy iffue, but by bribery; therefore let me know what he expects to comply with my defires, and it shall be remitted unto him.
For though I would not corrupt any man for the whole world, yet a benevolence may be given without any offence to confcience. Every one must confefs, that gratification and corruption are two diftinct terms; nay, at worst, many good men hold, that, for a good end, fome very naughty measures may be made ufe of.
But, Sir, I must give you fome good news in relation to myself, because I know you wish me well. I am cured of fome diseases in my old age, which tormented me very much in my youth.
I was poffeffed with violent and uneasy paffions, fuch as a peevish concern for truth †, and a faucy love for my country.
When a Chriftian prieft preached against the spirit of the gofpel, when an English judge determined against Magna Charta, when the minister acted against common fenfe, I used to fret.
Now, Sir, let what will happen, I keep myfelf in temper. As I have no flattering hopes, fo I banish all ufelefs fears. But as to the things of this world, I find myself in a condition beyond expectation; it being evi
* This and the following letter are taken from the 2d volume of Pope's letters.
† As may be seen from his tranfactions with Fenwick in the year 1695-7. Warb.
dent, from a late parliamentary inquiry, that I have as much ready money, as much in the funds, and as great a perfonal eftate, as Sir Robert S-tt-n.
If the tranflator of Homer find fault with this unhe roic difpofition; or, what I more fear, if the draper of Ireland accuse the Englishman of want of fpirit; I filence you both with one line out of your own Horace: Quid te exempta juvat spinis e pluribus una? For I take the whole to be fo corrupted, that a cure in any part would be of little avail.
Dr SWIFT to the Earl of PETERBOROW.
Never knew or heard of any perfon fo volatile, and fo fixed as your Lordship. You, while your imagi nation is carrying you through every corner of the world, where you have or have not been, can at the fame time remember to do offices of favour and kindness to the meanest of your friends; and, in all the scenes you have paffed, have not been able to attain that one quality peculiar to a great man, of forgetting every thing but injuries. Of this I am a living witness against you. For being the most infignificant of all your old humble fervants, you were fo cruel as never to give me time to afk a favour, but prevented me in doing whatever you thought I defired, or could be for my credit or advantage.
I have often admired at the capriciousness of Fortune in regard to your Lordship. She hath forced courts to act against their oldest and most constant maxims; to make you a general, because and conhad you courage duct; an ambaffador, because you had wisdom, and knowledge in the interefts of Europe; and an admiral, on account of your skill in maritime affairs. Whereas, according to the ufual method of court-proceedings, 1 fhould have been at the head of the army, and VOL. VIII.
the church, or rather a curate under the Dean of St Patrick's.
The Archbishop of Dublin laments, that he did not fee, your Lordship till he was juft upon the point of lea ving the Bath. I pray God you may have found fuccels in that journey, elfe I fhall continue to think there is a fatality in all your Lordship's undertakings, which only terminate in your own honour, and the good of the public, without the leaft advantage to your health or fortune.
I remember Lord Oxford's ministry used to tell me, that not knowing where to write to you, they were forced to write at you. It is so with me ; for you are in one thing an evangelical man, that you know not where to lay your head, and, I think, you have no house. Pray, my Lord, write to me, that I may have the pleafure, in this fcoundrel country, of going about, and shewing my depending parfons a letter from the Earl of Peterborow.
I am, &c.
A Monfieur Monfieur HUNTER, gentilhomme Anglois, à
London, Jan. 12. 1708-9.
Know no people fo ill used by your men of business, as their intimate friends. About a fortnight after Mr Addison had received the letter you were pleased to fend me, he first told me of it with an air of recollection, and, after ten further of grace, thought fit to give it me; fo you know where to fix the whole blame, that it was no fooner acknowledged. It is a delicate expedient you prisoners have of diverting yourselves in an
* Hawkesworth marks this letter No. 1. He has inferted all thofe that follow, but none of the preceding.
+ Col. Hunter, Governor of Virginia, who had been taken prifoner by the French.
enemy's country, for which other men would be hanged. I am confidering, whether there be no way of disturb. ing your quiet, by writing fome dark matter, that may give the French court a jealoufy of you. I fuppofe Monfieur Chamillard, or fome of his commiffaries, must have this letter interpreted to them, before it comes to your hands; and therefore I here think good to warn them, that, if they exchange you under fix of their lieutenantgenerals, they will be lofers by the bargain. But that they may not mistake me, I'do not mean as Viceroy de Virginia, mais comme le Colonel Hunter. I would advise you to be very tender of your honour, and not fall in love: because I have a fcruple, whether you can keep your parole, if you become a prifoner to the ladies; at leaft it will be a fcandal for a free Briton to drag two chains at once. I prefume you have the liberty of Pa ris, and fifty miles round, and have a very light pair of fetters, contrived to ride or dance in, and fee Verfailles, and every place elfe, except St Germains.—I · hear the ladies call you already notre prisonnier Hunter, le plus honnéte garçon du monde.- -Will you French yet own us Britons to be a brave people? Will they allow the Duke of Marlborough to be a great general? Or, are they all as partial as their gazetteers? Have you yet met any French colonel, whom you remember to have formerly knocked from his horfe, or fhivered at leaft a launce against his breastplate? Do you know the wounds you have given, when you fee the fears? Do you falute your old enemies, with Stetimus tela afpera contra, contulimufque manus. Vos faves que-Monfieur d'Addifon, notre bon ami, eft fait fecretaire d'état d'Irelande. And unless you make hafte over, and get me my Virginian bishopric, he will perfuade me to go with him; for the Vienna project is off; which is a great dif appointment to the defign I had, of difplaying my politics at the Emperor's court. I do not like the fubject you have affigned me to entertain you with. Crauder is fick, to the comfort of all quiet people, and Fraud is reveur à peindre. Mr Addifon and I often drink your health; and this day I did it with Will Pate, a certain adorer of your's, who is both a bel efprit and a woollendraper. The Whigs carry all before them; and how
far they will purfue their victories, we under-rate Whigs can hardly tell. I have not yet obferved the Tories nofes: their number is not to be learned by tell. ing of nofes; for every Tory has not a nose.- -It is a lofs, you are not here to partake of three weeks froft, and eat ginger-bread in a booth, by a fire upon the Thames. Mrs Floyd * looked out with both her eyes, and we had one day's thaw; but fhe drew in her head, and it now freezes as hard as ever. As for the convocation, the Queen thought fit to prorogue it, though at the expence of Dr Atterbury's difpleafure, who was defigned their prolocutor, and is now raging at the dif appointment. I amuse myself sometimes with writing verfes to Mr Finch, and sometimes with projects for uniting of parties, which I perfect over night, and burn in the morning. Sometimes Mr Addifon and I fteal to a pint of bad wine, and wish for no third perfon but you; who, if you were with us, would never be fatisfied without three more. -You know, I believe, that poor Dr Gregory is dead, and Keil follicits to be his fucceffor. But party reaches even to lines and circles; and he will hardly carry it, being reputed a Tory, which yet he utterly denies.We are here nine times madder after operas than ever; and have got a new Caftrato from Italy, called Nicolini, who exceeds Valentini, I know not how many bars length. Lord Somers and Halifax are as well as bufy ftatefmen can be in parliament-time. Lord Dorfet is no body's favourite but your's, and Mr Prior's, who has lately dedicated his book of poems to him, which is all the prefs has furnished us of any value fince you went. Mr Pringle, a gentleman of Scotland, fucceeds Mr Addifon in the fecretary's office; and Mr Shute, a notable young Prefbyterian gentleman, under thirty years old, is made a commiffioner of the customs. This is all I can think of, either public or private, worth telling you perhaps you have heard part, or all of both, from other hands but you must be content.
The lady whom the author here compliments, by putting her name for that of the fun, was Mrs Biddy Floyd, to whom he addiffel a fhort but elegant copy of verfes about a year before. See vol. 6. p. 107. Hawkef,