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better known than to the runners of the poft-office. In that letter you will find what a quick change I made in feven days from London to the deanery, through many nations and languages unknown to the civilized world. And I have often reflected, in how few hours, with a fwift horfe, or a strong gale, a man may come among a people as unknown to him as the antipodes. If I did not know you more by your converfation and kindness than by your letter, I might be base enough to fufpect, that, in point of friendship, you acted like fome philofophers who writ much better upon virtue than they practifed it. In anfwer, I can only fwear, that you have taught me to dream, which I had not done in twelve years further than by inexpreffible nonfenfe; but now I can every night diftinctly see Twicken. ham, and the grotto, and Dawley, and many other et cetera's, and it is but three nights fince I beat Mrs Pope. I must needs confefs, that the pleasure I take in thinking on you, is very much leffened by the pain I am in about your health. You pay dearly for the great talents God hath given you; and for the confequences of them, in the esteem and diftinction you receive from mankind, unless you can provide a tolerable ftock of health; in which purfuit I cannot much commend your conduct, but rather intreat you would mend it, by fol lowing the advice of my Lord Bolingbroke, and your other phyficians. When you talked of cups and impreffions, it came into my head to imitate you in quoting fcripture, not to your advantage. I mean what was faid to David by one of his brothers; I knew thy pride, and the naughtiness of thy heart. I remember when it grieved your foul to fee me pay a penny more than my club at an inn, when you had maintained me three months at bed and board; for which, if I had dealt with you in the Smithfield way, it would have coft me a hundred pounds; for I live worfe here upon more. Did you ever confider, that I am for life almost twice as rich as you, and pay no rent, and drink French wine twice as cheap as you do Port, and have neither coach, chair, nor mother? As to the world, I think you ought to fay to it with St Paul, If we have fown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
This is more proper ftill, if you confider the French word fpiritual, in which fenfe the world ought to pay you better than they do. If you made me a present of a thousand pound, I would not allow myself to be in your debt; and if I made you a prefent of two, I would not allow myself to be out of it. But I have not half your pride: witness what Mr Gay fays in his letter, that I was cenfured for begging prefents, though I limited them to ten fhillings. I fee no reason (at least my friendship and vanity fee none) why you should not give me a vifit, when you fhall happen to be difengaged. I will fend a perfon to Chester to take care of you, and you shall be used by the best folks we have here, as well as civility and good-nature can contrive. I believe local motion will be no ill phyfic; and I will have your coming infcribed on my tomb, and recorded in neverdying verfe.
I thank Mrs Pope for her prayers; but I know the mystery. A perfon of my acquaintance, who used to correfpond with the last Great Duke of Tuscany, fhewing one of the Duke's letters to a friend, and profeffing great fenfe of his Highness's friendship, read this paffage out of the letters, I would give one of my fingers to procure your real good. The person to whom this was read, and who knew the Duke well, faid, the meaning of real good was only, that the other might turn a good Catho lic. Pray afk Mrs Pope, whether this ftory is applicable to her and me? I pray God bless her, for I am sure the is a good Chriftian, and (which is almoft as rare) a good woman.
Mr GAY to Dr SWIFT.
Od. 22. 1727.
HE Queen's family is at laft fettled; and in the lift I was appointed Gentleman.ufher to the Princefs Louifa, the youngest Princefs; which, upon account that I am fo far advanced in life, I have declined
accepting; and have endeavoured, in the best manner I could, to make my excuses by a letter to her Majesty. So now all my expectations are vanished; and I have no profpect, but in depending wholly upon myself, and my own conduct. As I am used to disappointments, I can bear them; but as I can have no more hopes, I can no more be disappointed; fo that I am in a bleffed condition. You remember you were advifing me to go into Newgate to finish my fcenes the more correctly.
I now think I fhall, for I have no attendance to hinder me; but my opera is already finished. I leave the rest of this paper to Mr Pope.
Gay is a free man, and I writ him a long congratula. tory letter upon it. Do you the fame. It will mend him, and make him a better man than a court could do. Horace might keep his coach in Auguftus time, if he pleased; but I won't in the time of our Auguftus. My poem, (which it grieves me that I dare not send you a co. py of, for fear of the Curls and Dennis's of Ireland, and ftill more for fear of the worst of traitors, our friends and admirers), my poem, I say, will fhew what a dif tinguishing age we lived in. Your name is in it, with fome others, under a mark of such ignominy as you will not much grieve to wear in that company. Adieu, and God bless you, and give you health and spirits,
Whether thou chufe Cervantes' ferious air,
These two verfes are over and above what I have faid of you in the poem. Adieu.
Dublin, Nov. 23. 1727.
Entirely approve your refufal of that employment, and your writing to the Queen. I am perfectly con
fident you have a keen enemy in the ministry. God forgive him, but not till he puts himself in a state to be forgiven. Upon reafoning with myself, I should hope they are gone too far to discard you quite, and that they will give you fomething; which, although much lefs than they ought, will be (as far as it is worth) better circumftantiated; and fince you already just live, a middling help will make you just tolerable. Your latenefs in life (as you fo foon call it) might be improper to begin the world with, but almost the eldest men may hope to fee changes in a court. A minister is always fe. venty you are thirty years younger; and confider, Cromwel himself did not begin to appear till he was older than you. I beg you will be thrifty, and learn to value a fhilling, which Dr Birch faid was a serious thing. Get a ftronger fence about your 1000 l. and throw the inner fence into the heap, and be advised by your Twickenham landlord and me about an annuity. You are the most refractory, honeft, good-natured man 1 ever have known. I could argue out this paper.- I am very glad your opera is finished, and hope your friends will join the readier to make it succeed, because you are ill used by others.
I have known courts these thirty fix years, and know they differ; but in fome things they are extremely conftant. First, in the trite old maxim of a minister's ne ver forgiving thofe he hath injured. Secondly, in the infincerity of those who would be thought the best friends. Thirdly, in the love of fawning, cringing, and tale-bearing. Fourthly, in facrificing those whom we really with well, to a point of intereft or intrigue. Fifthly, in keeping every thing worth taking, for those who can do fervice or differvice.
Now, why does not Pope publifh his dulnefs? Therogues he marks, will die of themselves in peace, and fo will his friends, and fo there will be neither punishment nor reward.- Pray inquire how my Lord St John does? There's no man's health in England I am more concerned about than his.- I wonder whether you begin to taste the pleasure of independency; or whether you do not fometimes leer upon the court, oculo retorto. * The Dunciad.
Will you not think of an annuity, when you are two years older, and have doubled your purchase-money? Have you dedicated your opera, and got the usual dedication-fee of twenty guineas? How is the Doctor? Does he not chide, that you never called upon him for hints? Is my Lord Bolingbroke, at the moment I am writing, a planter, a philofopher, or a writer? Is Mr Pultney in expectation of a fon, or my Lord Oxford of a new old manuscript ?
I bought your opera to-day for fixpence; a curfed print. I find there is neither dedication nor préface; beth which wants I approve; it is in the grand goût.
We are as full of it, pro-modulo noftro, as London can be; continually acting, and houfes cramm'd, and the Lord Lieutenant feveral times there laughing his heart out. I did not understand, that the scene of Locket and Peachum's quarrel was an imitation of one between Bru. tus and Caffius, till I was told it. I wish Mackheath, when he was going to be hanged, had imitated Alexander the Great when he was dying. I would have had his fellow-rogues defire his commands about a fucceffor, and he to anfwer, Let it be the most worthy, &c. We hear a million of ftories about the opera, of the applause at the fong, That was levell'd at me, when two great minifters were in a box together, and all the world staring at them. I am heartily glad your opera hath mended your purse, though perhaps it may spoil your court.
Will you defire my Lord Bolingbroke, Mr Pultney, and Mr Pope, to command you to buy an annuity with two thousand pounds, that you may laugh at courts,
and bid minifters
Ever preserve fome fpice of the aldermen, and prepare against age, and dulness, and fickness, and coldness, or death of friends. A whore has a refource left, that she can turn bawd; but an old decayed poet is a creature abandoned, and at mercy, when he can find none. Get me likewife Polly's mezzotinto. Lord, how the schoolboys at Westminster, and univerfity-lads adore you at this juncture! Have you made as many men laugh as minifters can make weep?
I will excufe Sir
the trouble of a letter. When ambaffadors