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ing upon the brink of another world, gives me great pain; for it makes me, in tenderness to him, with him with you; and at the fame time I fear he is not in a condition to make the journey. Though (to ease you as far as I can) his phyfician and friend, Dr Arbuthnot, affures me, he will foon be well. At prefent he is very deaf, and more uneafy than I hoped that complaint alone would have made him. I apprehend he has written to you in a melancholy way; which has put you into a greater fright, than (with God's will) we may have any reafon for. He talks of returning to Ireland in three weeks, if he recovers fufficiently; if not, he will stay here this winter. Upon pretence of some very unavoid. able occafions, he went to London four days fince, where I fee him as often as he will let me. I was extremely concerned at his opiniatreté in leaving me; but he fhall not get rid of the friend, though he may of his houfe. I have fuggested to him the remedy you mention; and I will not leave him a day till I see him better. I wish you could fee us in England, without manifest inconvenience to yourself; though I heartily hope and believe, that our friend will do well. I fincerely honour you for your warmth of affection, where it is fo juftly merited; and am, both for his fake and your own, with great efteen, yours, &c.
P. S. I have often defired the Dean to make known to you my fenfe of the good opinion you have expreffed of me in your letters. I am pleased to have an opportunity of thanking you under my hand; and I defire you to continue it, to one who is no way ungrateful.
This letter was probably an answer to one fent by Dr Sheridan to Mr Pope, when he laft wrote to the Dean. The reafon of his going to London appears by the two preceding letters; and about the time mentioned in this, he returned again to Ireland. Mrs Johnfon languifhed till the 28th of January following, and then died. During her fickness, he compofed the prayers which immediately follow this collection of letters. They were originally printed from his own hand-writing. Hawkef.
Dr SWIFT to Mrs Mo ORE.
Deanery boufe, Dec. 7. 1727.
Hough I fee you feldomer than is agreeable to my inclinations, yet you have no friend in the world that is more concerned for any thing that can affect your mind, your health, or your fortune. I have always had the highest efteem for your virtue, the greatest value for your converfation, and the trueft affection for your perfon; and therefore cannot but heartily condole with you for the lofs of fo amiable, and (what is more) fo favourite a child. Thefe are the neceffary confequences of too strong attachments, by which we are grieving ourfelves with the death of those we love; as we muft one day grieve thofe who love us, with the death of ourfelves. For life is a tragedy, wherein we fit as fpectators a while, and then act our own part in it. Selflove, as it is the motive to all our actions, fo it is the fole caufe of our grief. The dear perfon you lament, is by no means an object of pity, either in a moral or religious fenfe. Philofophy always taught men to defpife life, as a moft contemptible thing in itfelf; and religion regards it only as a preparation for a better; which you are taught to be certain that fo innocent a perfon is now in poffeffion of; fo that fhe is an immenfe gainer, and you and her friends the only lofers. Now, under misfortunes of this kind, I know no confolation more effectual to a reasonable person, than to reflect rather upon what is left, than what is loft. She was neither an only child, nor an only daughter. You have three children left; one of them of an age to be useful to his family *, and the two others as promifing as can be expected from their age: fo that, according to the general difpenfations of God almighty, you have fmall reafon to repine upon that article of life. And religion will tell you, that the true way to preferve them is, not
Charles Devenish, Efq;
to fix any of them too deep in your heart which is a weakness that God feldom leaves long unpunished; com. mon obfervation fhewing us, that fuch favourite children are either fpoiled by their parents indulgence, or foon taken out of the world; which laft is, generally fpeaking, the lighter punishment of the two.
God, in his wifdom, hath been pleased to load our de. clining years with many fufferings, with difeafes, and decays of nature, with the death of many friends, and the ingratitude of more; fometimes with the lofs or dimi. nution of our fortunes, when our infirmities moft need them; often with contempt from the world, and always with neglect from it; with the death of our most hopeful or useful children; with a want of relifh for all worldly enjoyments; with a general diflike of perfons and things and though all these are very natural effects of increasing years, yet they were intended by the author of our being, to wean us gradually from our fondnefs of life, the nearer we approach towards the end of it. And this is the ufe you are to make, in prudence as well as in confcience, of all the afflictions you have hi therto undergone, as well as of thofe which, in the course of nature and providence, you have reafon to expect. May God, who bath endued you with fo many virtues, add ftrength of mind, and reliance upon his mercy, in proportion to your prefent fufferings, as well as thofe he may think fit to try you with, through the remainder of your life.
I fear my prefent ill difpofition, both of health and mind *, has made me but a forry comforter: however, it will thew, that no circumstance of life can put you out of my mind; and that I am, with the truest respect, esteem, and friendship,
Dear MADA M,
Your most obedient,
and most humble fervant,
It was written little more than a month before Mrs Johnson's death, an event which was then almost daily expected. Hawkef.
Dr SWIFT to Dr SHERIDAN.
Market-hill*, Aug. 2. 1728. UR friends here, as well as myself, were fadly dif appointed upon hearing the account of your jour
ney. No body in town or country, as we were informed, knew where you were: but I perfuaded our family, that you were certainly in a way of making yourfelf eafy, and had got that living you mentioned; and accordingly we were grieved and rejoiced at the lofs and fettlement of a friend: but it never entered into our heads, that you were beftowing forty days in feveral ftages between conftable and conftable, without any real benefit to yourself, further than of exercife; and we wished, that no body should have had the benefit of your long abfence from your fchool but yourself, by a good living, or we by your good company; much lefs that the pleasure of fpighting T had been your great motive. I heartily with you were fettled at Ha milton's Bawn and I would be apt to advise you, not to quit your thoughts that way, if the matter may be brought to bear; for by a letter I juft received from the Bishop of Cork, which was fhort and dry, with the ftale excufe of pre-engagements, I doubt you can hope nothing from him. As to what you call my exercife, I have long quitted it. It gave me too much conftraint, and the world does not deferve it. We may keep it cold, till the middle of winter.
As to my return, there are many fpeculations. I am well here, and hate removals. My fcheme was, that you fhould come hither, as you fay, and I return with you in your chaife. Sir Arthur, on hearing your letter, preffed me to stay longer. I am a very busy man, fuch as at Quilca, which you will know when you come : yet I would contrive to be preffed more to stay till Christmas, and then you may contrive to be here again,,
*The feat of Sir Arthur Achefon..
and take me back with you time enough for my own vifitation: and my reason of staying is, to be here the planting and pruning time, &c. I hate Dublin, and love the retirement here, and the civility of my hofts. This is my state, and humour upon it, and accordingly you are to manage my scheme. However, I would have you keep your vacation of September here; and let Mrs Brent fend me a dozen guineas (half of them half-guineas) by you, and a periwig, and a new riding gown and caffuck, and whatever else I may want by a longer absence, provided you will resolve and fwear that I fhail stay.
I had all Mrs Brent's packets by Mr Little. My fervice to Mrs Dingley. I cannot fay that I have more to fay, than to fay that I am, &c.
Dr SWIFT to Dr SHERIDAN.
* Sept. 18. 1728.
Y continuance here is owing partly to indolence, and partly to my hatred to Dublin. I am in a middling way, between healthy and fick, hardly ever without a little giddinefs or deafnefs, and fometimes both. So much for that. As to what you call my leffon, I told you I would think no more of it; neither do I conceive the world deferves fo much trouble from you or me. I think the sufferings of the country for want of filver, deferves a paper †, fince the remedy is fo easy, and those in power fo negligent. I had fome other fubjects in my thoughts; but truly I am taken up so much with long lampoons on a perfon who owns you for a back, that I have no time for any thing else; and if I do not produce one every now and then, of about two hundred lines, I am chid for my idleness, and threatened with you. I defire you will step to the deanery, speak
This fhould alfo be dated from Market-hill.
In the Intelligencer, the 19th number of which is on this fubject. See it in vol. 3. p. 352. Hawkef