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mortals have refources that others are not able to comprehend. But God bless you, whose great genius has not fo tranfported you as to leave you to the courtesy of mankind; for wealth is liberty, and liberty is a bleffing fitteft for a philofopher,-and Gay is a flave just by two thousand pounds too little.And Horace was of my mind, and let my Lord contradict him if he dares.
Bath, Nov. 12. 1728.
Have paffed fix weeks in queft of health, and found it not; but I found the folly of folicitude about it in a hundred inftances; the contrariety of opinions and practices, the inability of phyficians, the blind obedience of fome patients, and as blind rebellion of others. believe at a certain time of life, men are either fools or phyficians for themfelves, and zealots or divines for themselves,
It was much in my hopes that you intended us a winter's vifit; but last week I repented that with, having been alarmed with a report of your lying ill on the road from Ireland; from which I am just relieved, by an affurance that you are ftill at Sir A's planting and building two things that I envy you for, befides a third, which is the fociety of a valuable lady. I conclude, (though I know nothing of it), that you quarrel with her, and abuse her every day, if she is fo. I wonder I hear of no lampoons upon her, either made by yourself, or by others, because you esteem her. I think it a vast pleasure, that whenever two people of merit regard one another, fo many fcoundrels envy and are angry at them: it is bearing teftimony to a merit they cannot reach; and if you knew the infinite content I have received of late, at the finding yours and my name conftantly united in any filly fcandal, I think you would go near to fing lo triumphe! and celebrate my happiness in verfe; and, I believe, if you will not, I hall. The infcription to the Dunciad is now printed, and inferted in the poem. Do you care I should fay
any thing farther how much that poem is yours? fince certainly without you it had never been. Would to God we were together for the reft of our lives! The whole weight of fcribblers would just serve to find us amufement, and not more. I hope you are too well employed to mind them. Every stick you plant, and every stone you lay, is to fome purpose; but the bufinefs of fuch lives as theirs is but to die daily, to labour, and railing nothing. I only wish we could comfort each other under our bodily infirmities; and let those who have fo great a mind to have more wit than we, win it and wear it. Give us but ease, health, peace, and fair weather! I think it is the best wish in the world, and you know whose it was. If I lived in Ireland, I-fear the wet climate would endanger more than my life; my humour, and health; I am so atmospherical a crea
I must not omit acquainting you, that what you heard of the words fpoken of you in the drawing-room, was not true. The fayings of princes are generally as ill related, as the fayings of wits. To fuch reports little of our regard should be given, and less of our conduct influenced by them.
From Dr SWIFT.
Dublin, Feb. 13. 1728.
fenfe, and a scholar, has a good voice, and my Lady a better; fhe is perfectly well bred, and defirous to im prove her understanding, which is very good, but cultivated too much like a fine lady. She was my pupil there, and feverely chid when the read wrong. that, and walking, and making twenty little amufing improvements, and writing family-verfes of mirth by way of libels on my lady, my time passed very well, and in very great order; infinitely better than here, where I fee no creature but my fervants, and my old PresbyVOL. VIII.
terian housekeeper, denying myself to every body, till I fhall recover my ears.
The account of another Lord Lieutenant was only in a common news-paper when I was in the country; and if it fhould have happened to be true, I would have defired to have had accefs to him, as the fituation I am in requires. But this renews the grief for the death of our friend Mr Congreve, whom I loved from my youth, and who furely, befides his other talents, was a very agreeable companion. He had the misfortune to fquander away a very good conftitution in his younger days; and I think a man of fenfe and merit like him, is bound in confcience to preferve his health, for the fake of his friends, as well as of himself. Upon his own account I could not much defire the continuance of his life under fo much pain, and fo many infirmities. Years have not yet hardened me; and I have an addition of weight on my fpirits fince we loft him; though I faw him fo feldom; and poffibly if he had lived on, fhould never have feen him more. I do not only wish, as you ask me, that I was unacquainted with any deferving perfon, but almoft that I never had a friend. Here is an ingenious good-humoured physician *, a fine gentleman, an excellent fcholar, eafy in his fortunes, kind to every body, hath abundance of friends, entertains them often and liberally; they pafs the evening with him at cards, with plenty of good meat and wine, eight or a dozen toge. ther; he loves them all, and they him. He has twenty of these at command; if one of them dies, it is no more than poor Tom! he gets another, or takes up with the reft, and is no more moved than at the lofs of his cat; he offends no body, is eafy with every body. Is not this the true happy man? I was defcribing him to my Lady A- who knows him too; but she hates him mortally by my character, and will not drink his health. I would give half my fortune for the fame temper; and yet I cannot fay I love it; for I do not love my Lord who is much of the Doctor's nature. I hear Mr Gay's fecond opera †, which you mention, is forbid; and then he will be once more fit to be advised, and reject your advice. Adieu.
* Dr Heliham.
Dr SWIFT to Lord BOLINGBROKE.
Dublin, Mar. 21. 1729.
OU tell me you have not quitted the design of collecting, writing, &c. This is the answer of every finner who defers his repentance. I with Mr Pope were as great an urger as I, who long for nothing more than to fee truth under your hands, laying all detraction in the duft.- -I find myself disposed every year, or rather every month, to be more angry and revengeful; and my rage is fo ignoble, that it defcends even to refent the folly and baseness of the inflaved people among whom I live. I knew an old Lord in Liecefterfhire, who amufed himself with mending pitchforks and fpades for his tenants gratis. Yet I have higher ideas left, if I were nearer to objects on which I might employ them; and contemning my private fortune, would gladly cross the channel, and stand by, while my betters were driving the boars out of the garden, if there be any probable expectation of fuch an endeavour. When I was of your age, I often thought of death; but now after a dozen years more, it is never out of my mind, and terrifies me lefs. I conclude, that Providence hath ordered our fears to decrease with our fpirits: and yet I love la bagatelle better than ever; for finding it troublesome to read at night, and the company here growing tastelefs, I am always writing bad profe, or worfe verfes, either of rage or raillery, whereof fome few escape to give offence or mirth, and the rest are burnt.
They print fome Irish trafh in London, and charge it on me, which you will clear me of to my friends; for all are fpurious except one paper *, for which Mr Pope very lately chid me. I remember your Lordship used to say, that a few good speakers would in time carry any point that was right; and that the common Intitled, A libel on Dr Delany and a certain great Lord, vol. 6. P.323.
method of a majority, by calling, To the queftion, would never hold long when reafon was on the other fide. Whether politics do not change, like gaming, by the invention of new tricks, I am ignorant; but I be lieve in your time you would never, as a minifter, have fuffered an act to pass through the H. of C―s, only because you were fure of a majority in the H. of L-s to throw it out because it would be unpopular, and con fequently a lofs of reputation. Yet this we are told hath been the cafe in the qualification-bill relating to penfioners. It fhould feem to me, that corruption, like avarice, hath no bounds. I had opportunities to know the proceedings of your miniftry better than any other man of my rank; and having not much to do, I have often compared it with thefe last fixteen years of a profound peace all over Europe, and we running feven millions in debt. I am forced to play at fmall game, to fet the beasts here a-madding, merely for want of better game: Tentanda via eft, qua me quoque poffim, &c.
The d- take thofe politics, where a dunce might govern for a dozen years together. I will come in perfon to England, if I am provoked, and fend for the dictator from the plough. I difdain to say, O mihi præteritos- but cruda deo viridifque fenectus. Pray, my Lord, how are the gardens? have you taken down the mount, and removed the yew-hedges? Have you not bad weather for the fpring-corn? Has Mr Pope gone farther in his ethic poems and is the head-land fown with wheat? and what fays Polybius? and how does my Lord St John? Which laft queftion is very material to me, because I love Burgundy, and riding between Twickenham and Dawley. I built a wall five years ago; and when the mafons played the knaves, no• thing delighted me fo much as to ftand by, while my fervants threw down what was amifs. I have likewife feen a monkey overthrow all the dishes and plates in a kitchen, merely for the pleafure of seeing them tumble, and hearing the clatter they made in their fall. I wish you would invite me to fuch another entertainment: but you think, as I ought to think, that it is time for
Lord St John of Batterfea, father to Lord Bolingbroke.