« PreviousContinue »
to add to the new volume. I have reafon to chufe the method you mention of mixing the feveral verses, and I hope thereby, among the bad critics, to be intitled to more merit than is my due.
This moment I am so happy to have a letter from my Lord Peterborow, for which I intreat you will present him with my humble refpects and thanks, though he allto-be-Gullivers me by very ftrong infinuations. Though you defpife riddles, I am ftrongly tempted to fend a parcel to be printed by themselves, and make a ninepenny job for the bookfeller. There are fome of my own, wherein I exceed mankind; mira poemata! the moft folemn that ever were feen; and fome writ by others, admirable indeed, but far inferior to mine; but I will not praise myself. You approve that writer who laughs, and makes others laugh: but why should I who hate the world, or you who do not love it, make it fo happy therefore I refolve from henceforth to handle only ferious fubjects, nifi quid tu, do&te Trebati, diffentis.
R Stopford will be the bearer of this letter, for whole acquaintance I am, among many other favours, obliged to you: and I think the acquaintance of fo valuable, ingenious, and unaffected a man, to be none of the leaft obligations.
Our miscellany is now quite printed. I am prodigioufly pleased with this joint volume; in which methinks we look like friends, fide by fide, ferious and merry by turns, converfing interchangeably, and walking down hand in hand to pofterity; not in the stiff forms of learned authors, flattering each other, and fetting the reft of mankind at nought; but in a free, unimportant, natural, eafy manner, diverting others just as we diverted ourselves. The third volume confifts of verses; but I would chufe to print none but fuch as have some peculiarity,
liarity, and may be diftinguished for ours from other writers. There's no end of making books, Solomon said, and above all, of making miscellanies, which all men can make. For unless there be a character in every piece, like the mark of the elect, I should not care to be one of the twelve thousand signed.
You received, I hope, fome commendatory verfes from a horfe and a Lilliputian, to Gulliver, and an heroic epiftle of Mrs Gulliver. The bookfeller would fain have printed them before the second edition of the book; but I would not permit it without your approbation; nor do I much like them. You fee how much like a poet I write; and yet if you were with us, you'd be deep in politics. People are very warm, and very angry, very little to the purpofe; but therefore the more warm and the more angry. Non noftrum eft tantas componere lites. I ftay at Twitnam, without fo much as reading news-papers, votes, or any other paltry pamphlets. Mr Stopford will carry you a whole parcel of them, which are fent for your diverfion, but not imitation. For my own part, methinks I am at Glubdubdrib, with none but ancients and spirits about me.
I am rather better than I use to be at this season; but my hand (though, as you fee, it has not loft its cunning) is frequently in very awkward fenfations, rather than pain. But to convince you it is pretty well, it has done fome mifchief already, and just been ftrong enough to cut the other hand, while it was aiming to prune a fruit-tree.
Lady Bolingbroke has writ you a long, lively letter, which will attend this. She has very bad health, he very good. Lord Peterborow has writ twice to you. We fancy fome letters have been intercepted, or loft by accident. About ten thousand things I want to tell you: I wish you were as impatient to hear them; for if fo, you would, you must come early this fpring. Adieu. Let me have a line from you. I am vexed at lofing Mr Stopford as foon as I knew him: but I thank God I have known him no longer. If every man one begins to value must fettle in Ireland, pray make me know no more of them, and I forgive you this one.
Od. 2. 1727.
'Tis a perfect trouble to me to write to you; and
fo much, that it made me like a girl. I can't tell what to fay to you; I only feel that I wish you well in every circumstance of life; that it is almost as good to be hated as to be loved, confidering the pain it is to minds of any tender turn, to find themselves fo utterly impotent to do any good, or give any eafe to thofe who deferve most from us. I would very fain know, as foon as you recover your complaints, or any part of them. Would to God I could ease any of them, or had been able even to have alleviated any! I found I was not ; and truly it grieved me. I was forry to find you could think yourself eafier in any house than in mine; though at the fame time I can allow for a tenderness in your way of thinking, even when it seemed to want that tenderness. I can't explain my meaning; perhaps you know it. But the best way of convincing you of my indulgence, will be, if I live, to vifit you in Ireland, and act there as much in my own way, as you did here in your's. I will not leave your roof, if I am ill. To your bad health I fear there was added some disagreeable news from Ireland, which might occafion your fo fudden departure: for the last time I faw you, you asfured me you would not leave us this whole winter, unlefs your health grew better; and I don't find it did fo. I never complied fo unwillingly in my life with any friend as with you, in ftaying fo entirely from you; nor could I have had the conftancy to do it, if you had not promifed, that before you went, we fhould meet, and you would fend to us all to come. I have given your remembrances to thofe you mention in your's. We are quite forry for you, I mean for ourfelves. I hope, as you do, that we fhall meet in a more durable and more fatisfactory ftate; but the lefs fure I am of that, the more I would indulge it in this. We are to believe we fhall have fomething better than even a friend there;
but certainly here we have nothing fo good. Adieu for this time. May you find every friend you go to as pleafed and happy, as every friend you went from is forry and troubled.
Dublin, O. 12. 1727.
Have been long reafoning with myself upon the condition I am in, and in conclufion have thought it best to return to what fortune hath made my home. I have there a large houfe, and fervants and conveniencies about me. I may be worse than I am; and I have no where to retire. I therefore thought it beft to return to Ireland, rather than go to any distant place in England. Here is my maintenance, and here my convenience. If it pleases God to restore me to my health, I hall readily make a third journey; if not, we must part, as all human creatures have parted. You are the best and kindest friend in the world, and I know no body alive or dead to whom I am so much obliged: and if ever you made me angry, it was for your too much care about me. I have often wifhed, that God almighty would be fo easy to the weakness of mankind, as to let old friends be acquainted in another state; and if I were to write an Utopia for heaven, that would be one of my fchemes. This wildness you must allow for, becaufe I am giddy and deaf.
I find it more convenient to be fick here, without the vexation of making my friends unealy; yet my giddinefs alone would not have done, if that unfociable comfortless deafnefs had not quite tired me. And I believe I should have returned from the inn, if I had not feared it was only a fhort intermiffion, and the year was late, and my licence expiring. Surely, befides all other faults, I fhould be a very ill judge, to doubt your friendfhip and kindness. But it hath pleafed God,
that you are not in a state of health, to be mortified with the care and fickness of a friend. Two fick friends never did well together; fuch an office is fitter for fervants and humble companions, to whom it is wholly indifferent, whether we give them trouble or no. The cafe would be quite otherwise if you were with me; you could refufe to fee any body; and here is a large house, where we need not hear each other if we were both fick. I have a race of orderly elderly people of both fexes at command, who are of no confequence, and have gifts proper for attending us; who can bawl when I am deaf, and tread softly when I am only giddy and would fleep.
I had another reafon for my hafte hither; which was changing my agent, the old one having terribly invol ved my little affairs; to which however I am grown so indifferent, that I believe I fhall lofe two or three hundred pounds rather than plague myself with accounts; fo that I am very well qualified to be a Lord, and put into Peter Walter's hands.
Pray God continue and increase Mr Congreve's amend. ment; though he does not deferve it like you, having been too lavifh of that health which Nature gave him.
I hope my Whitehall landlord is nearer to a place than when I left him; as the preacher faid, "the day "of judgment was nearer than ever it had been before."
Pray God fend you health, det falutem, det opes; animam æquam tibi ipfe parabis. You fee Horace wished for money, as well as health; and I would hold a crown he kept a coach; and I fhall never be a friend to the court till you do so too.
08. 30. 1727.
HE first letter I writ after my landing was to Mr Gay; but it would have been wifer to direct it to Tonfon or Lintot, to whom I believe his lodgings are