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to Mrs Brent*, bid her open the middle great drawer of Ridgeway's fcrutoire in my closet, and then do you take out from thence, the hiftory † in folio, marble cover; and two thin folio's fairly writ. I forget the titles, but you have read them. One is an account of the pro. ceedings of Lord Oxford's ministry, and the other to the fame purpose. There are foul copies of both in the fame drawer; but do you take out the fair ones, not in my hand. Let them be packed up, and brought hither by the bearer. My Lady is perpetually quarrelling with Sir Arthur and me, and fhews every creature che libels I have writ against her .
Mr Worral fent me the particulars of the havock made in Naboth's vineyard ** The d- burst, &c.
I think Lady Dun's burning would be an admirable fubject, to fhew how hateful an animal a human creature is, that is known to have never done any good: the rabble all rejoicing, &c. which they would not have done at any misfortune to a man known to be charitable.
I wish you could get in with the Primate, on the account of fome difcourfe about you here to-day with Whaley and Walmsley. Whaley goes to Dublin on Monday next, in order for England. I would have you fee him. I fancy you may do fome good with the Primate, as to the first good vacant fchool, if you wheedle him, and talk a little Whiggifhly.
Mr POPE to Dr SHERIDAN.
Thank you kindly for your news of the Dean of St
• The Dean's housekeeper.
+ History of the peace of Utrecht.
The ftate of affairs in 1714. See it in vol. 4. p. 362.
See Hamilton's Bawn; or, The grand question debated, in vol. 6. P 33 I.
** A field not far from the deanery houfe, which Dr Swift inclosed at a great expence, with a fine tone wall lined with brick; against
letter. I will use my warmest endeavours to serve Dr Whaley. Befides his own merit, the demerit of his antagonist goes into the scale, and the Dean tells me he is a coadjutant of that fool Smedley +. You must have seen, but you cannot have read, what he has lately published against our friend and me. The only pleasure a bad writer can give me, he has given, that of being abused with my betters and my friends. I am much pleased with most of the Intelligencers ; but I am a little piqued at the author of them, for not once doing me the honour of a mention upon fo honourable an occafion as being flandered by the dunces, together with my friend the Dean, who is properly the author of the Dunciad. It had never been writ but at his request, and for his deafness ||: for had he been able to converle with me, do you think I had amufed my time fo ill? I will not trouble you with amendments to fo imperfect an edition as is now published: you'll foon fee a better, with a full and true commentary, setting all mistakes right, and branding none but our own cattle. Some very good epigrams on the gentlemen of the Dunciad, have been fent me from Oxford, and others of the London authors. If I had an amanuenfis, (which is a thing neither I nor my common trifles are worth), you should have them with this. If your university or town have produced any on this subject, pray send them me, or keep them at least together, for another day they may all meet.
I have writ to the Dean just now by Mr Elrington, who charges himself with this; and have inferted a hint or two of his libelling the lady of the family; in as innocent a manner as he does it, he will hardly suspect I had any information of it.
which he planted vines, and the best chofen fruit-trees, for the benefit of the Dean of St Patrick's for the time being.
An eminent clergyman of the diocese of Armagh.
+ Dean of Fernes. See An excellent new ballad, &c. in vol. 6. p. 338.. Though this letter is not dated, it appears, by the mention here made of the Intelligencers, to be written in 1728; and by the Dean's libelling the lady, to be while he was at Sir Arthur's, where he wrote Hamilton's Bawn.
See this compliment elegantly returned in a poem addressed to Mr Pope, vol. 6. p. 206.
Though I am a very ill correfpondent, I fhall at all times be glad to have the favour of a line from you. My eye-fight is bad, my head often in pain, my time Arangely taken up. Were I my own master (which, I thank God, I am yet in all points but one, where huma⚫ nity only constrains me), I would infallibly fee Ireland before I die. But whether that, or many other of my little, though warm defigns, will ever take effect,
Caliginofa note premit Deus!
I am (where ever I am) the Dean's, and the Dean's friends, and confequently faithfully,
Your affectionate fervant,
Dr SWIFT to Dr SHERIDAN.
Dublin, March 27. 1733. Received your letter with fome pleasure, and a good deal of concern. The condition you are in requires the greatest hafte hither, although your fchool did not; and when you arrive, I will force Dr Helsham* to fee and direct you. Your scheme of riding and country-air, you find, hath not answered; and therefore you have nothing to trust to, but the affiftance of a friendly, skilful doctor. For whether they can do any good or no, it is all we have for it; and you cannot afford to die at prefent, because the public, and all your family, have occa fion for you. Befides, I do not like the place you are in t, from your account, fince you fay people are dying there fo faft. You cannot afford to lofe daily blood; but I fuppofe you are no more regular than you have been
* A very eminent physician, of great learning.
†The free fchool of Cavan, in the gift of the crown; for which Dr Sheridan exchanged his living at Dunboyne, and in which he hath been fince fucceeded by Mr Moore.
in your whole life. I like the article very much which you propose in your will; and if that takes place forty years hence, and God, for the fins of men, fhould continue that life fo long, I would have it be ftill inferted; unless you could make it a little fharper. I own you have too much reafon to complain of fome friends, who, next to yourself, have done you moft hurt; whom ftill I esteem and frequent, though I confefs I cannot heartily forgive. Yet certainly the cafe was not merely perfonal malice to you, (although it had the fame effect), but a kind of I know not what job, which one of them hath often heartily repented, however it came to be patched up. I am confident your collection of Ben mots, and Contes à rire, will be much the best extant; but you are apt to be terribly fanguine about the profits of publishing: however it fhall have all the pufhing I can give. I have been much out of order with a spice of my giddinefs, which began before you left us. I ain better of late days, but not right yet, though I take daily drops and bitters. I muft do the best I can, but shall never more be a night-walker. You hear they have in England paffed the excife on tobacco; and by their votes it appears they intend it on more articles. And care is taken by some special friends here, to have it the fame way here. We are flaves already and from my youth upwards, the great wife men whom I used to be among, taught me, that a general excife (which they now by degrees intend) is the most direct and infallible way to flavery. Pray G- fend it them in his justice; for they well deferve it. All your friends and the town, are just as you left it. I humdrum it on, either on horseback, or dining and fitting the evening at home; endeavouring to write, but write nothing, merely out of indolence, and want of fpirits. No foul has broke his neck, or is hanged, or married; only Cancerina † is dead, and I let her go to her grave without a coffin, and with
*Perhaps Bons mots de Stella, and Thoughts on various fubjects, are part of this collection. They are both in this volume.
+ One of those poor people to whom the Dean used to give money, when he met them in his walks. Some of them he named thus, partly for diftinction, and partly for humour; Cancerina, Stumpanympha, Pull-a-gown-a, Friterilla, Flora, Stumpantha.
out fees. So I am going to take my evening-walk after five, having not been out of doors yet. I wish you well and fafe at home. Pray call on me on Sunday
I am your's, &c.
So pick as you are
P. S. I believe there are a hundred literal blunders, but I cannot stay to mend them. able.
I am not fo FRANK a writer as you.
Dr SWIFT to Dr SHERIDAN.
Sept. 12. 1735. Ere is a very ingenious obfervation upon the days of the week, and in rhyme, worth your obfervation, and very proper for the information of boys and girls, that they may not forget to reckon them. Sunday's a pun-day, Monday's a dun-day, Tuesday's a news-day, Wednesday's a friend's-day, Thursday's a curs'd-day, Friday's a dry day, Saturday's the latter-day. I intend fomething of equal ufe upon the months; as, January, women vary. I fhall likewife in due time make fome obfervation upon each year as it paffes. So for the present year :
One thousand feven bundred and thirty-five,
When only the d- and b- ps will thrive.
One thousand feven hundred and thirty-seven,
When the Whigs are so blind they mistake hell for heav'n.
I will carry thefe predictions no further than to the year 2001, when the learned think the world will be at end, or the fine-all-cat-a ftrow-fee.