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fcught, had (he not, with great spirit and courage, ventured all night up the Garonne to see me, which she above all things desired to do before she died. By that means she was brought where I was, between seven and eight in the morning, and lived twenty hours afterwards,which time was not lost on either fide, but passed in such a manner as gave great satisfaction to both, and such as, on her part, every way became her circumstances and character: for she had her senses to the very last gasp, and exerted them to give me, in those few hours, greater marks of duty and love than (he had done in all her life-time, though slie had never been wanting in either. The last words (he said to me were the kindest of all; a reflection on the goodness of God, which had allowed Ms in this manner to meet once more, before we parted for ever. Not many minutes after that, (he laid herself on her pillow in a sleeping posture, Placidaque ibi demum morte quievit.
Jndge you, Sir, what s felt, and still feel on this occasion, and spare me the trouble of describing it. At my age, under my infirmities, among utter strangers, how (hall I find out proper reliefs and supports? I can have none, but those with which reason and religion furnish me, and those I lay hold on, and grasp as fast as I can. I hope that he who laid the burden upon me (for wife and good purposes no doubt) will enable me to bear it, in like manner as I have borne others, with some degree of fortitude and firmness. You fee how ready I am to relapse into an argument which I had quitted once before in this letter; I Anil probably again commit the fame fault, if I continue to write; and therefore I stop short here, and with all sincerity, affection, and esteem, bid you adieu! till we meet either in this world (if God pleases) or else in another. I am, &c.
$ 136. Dr. Swift to the Earl of PeTerborough. My Lord, I never knew or heard os any person so volatile, and so fixed as your lordship. You.while your imagination is carrying you through every corner of the world,
where you have or have not been, can at the fame time remember to do offices of savour and kindness to the meanest of your friends; and in all the scenes you have passed, have not been able to attain that one quality peculiar to a great man, of forgetting every thing but injuries. Of ihis I am a living witness against you ; for being the most insignificant of all your humble servants, you were so cruel as never to give me time to ask a favour, but prevented me in doing whatever you thought I desired, or could be for my credit or advantage.
I have often admired at the capaciousness of Fortune in regard to your lordship. She hath forced courts to act against their oldest and most constant maxims; to make you a general, because you had courage and conduct ; an ambassador, because you had wisdom and knowledge in the interest of Europe; and an admiral, on account of your (kill in maritime affairs: whereas, according to the usual method of court proceedings, I should have been at the head of the army, and you of the church, or rather a curate under the dean of St. Patrick's. The archbishop of Dublin laments that he did not fee your lordship till he was just upon the point of leaving the Bath: I pray God you may have found success in that journey, else I shall continue to think that there is a fatality in all your lordship's undertakings, which only terminate in your own honour, and the good of the public, without the least advantage to your health or fortune. I remember, Lord Oxford's ministry used to tell me, that not knowing where to write to you, they were forced to write at you. It is so with me, for you are in one thing an evangelical man, that you know not where to lav your head, and, I think, you have no house. Pray, my lord, write to me, that I may have the pleasure in this country of going about; and (hewing my depending parson3 a letter from the Earl of Peterborough.
I am, &c.
$ 137. Lord Bolingbroke to Dr. Swift. I am not so lazy as Pope, and therefore you must not expect from me the same Indulgence to laziness; in defending his own cause, he pleads yours, and becomes your advocate,while ht appeals to you as his judge; you will do the fame on your part; and I, and the rest of your common friends, shall have great justice to expert from two such righteous tribunals: You resemble perfectly the two alehouse-keepers in Holland, who were ac the fame time burgomasters of the town, and taxed one another's bills alternately. I declare before-hand I will not stand to the award ; my title to your friendship is good, and wants neither deeds nor writings to confirm it; but annual acknowledgments at least arenecessary to preserve it: and I begin to suspect, by your defrauding me of them, that you hope in time to dispute it, and to urge prescription against me. I would not say one word to you about myself (since it is a subject on which you appear to have no curiosity) was it not to try how far the contrast between Pope's fortune and manner of life and mine, may be carried. I have been then infinitely more uniform and less dissipated, than when you knew me and cared for me. That love which I used to scatter with some profusion among the female kind, has been these many years devoted to one object. A great many misfortunes (for so they are called, though sometimes very improperly) and a retirement from the world, have made that just and nice discrimination between my acquaintance and my friends, which we have seldom sagacity enough to make for ourselves; those insects of various hues which used to hum and buz about me while I stood in the sunshine, have disappeared since I lived in the shade. No man comes to a hermitage but for the fake of the hermit 5 a few philosophical friends come often to mine, and they are such as you would be glad to live with, isa dull climate, and duller company, have not altered you extremely from what you was nine years ago. The hoarse voice of party was never heard in this quiet place; Gazettes and pamphletsare banished from it; and if the lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff be admitted, this distinction is owing to some strokes by which it is judged that this illustrious philosopher had (like the
Indian Fohu, the Grecian Pythagoras, the Persian Zoroaster, and others his precursors among the Zabians, Magians, and the Egyptian seers) both his outward and his inward doctrine, and that he was of no side at the bottom. When I am there, I forget I ever was of any party myself; nay, I am often so happily absorbed by the abstracted reason of things, that I am ready to imagine there never was any such monster as party. Alas, I am soon awakened from that pleasing dream by the Greek and Roman historians, by Guicciardine, by Machiavel,andThuanus: for I have vowed to read no history of our own country, till that body of it, which you promise to finish, appears. I am under no apprehension that a glut of study and retirement should cast me back into the hurry of the world; on the contrary, the single regret which I ever feel is, that I fell so late into this course of life; my philosophy grows confirmed by habit, and if you and I meet again, I will extort this approbation from you: Jam no/i confilio bonus, fed more eo perduSus, ut nan tantum recle facere pojjim, fed nifi reSefacere non pojjim. The little incivilities 1 have met with from opposite sets of people, have been so far from rendering me violent or sour to any, that I think myself obliged to them all; some have cured me of my fears by shewing me how impotent the maliceof the world is; others have cured me of my hopes, by shewing how precarious popular friendships are; all have cured me of surprize: in driving me out of party, they have driven me out of cursed com. pany : and in stripping me of titles, and rank, and estate, and such trinkets, which every man that will may spare, they have given me that which no man can be happy without. Reflection and habit have rendered the world so indifferent to me, that I am neither afflicted nor rejoiced, angry nor pleased, at what happens in it, any farther than personal friendships interest me in the affairs of it, and this principle extends my cares but a little way. Perfect tranquillity is the general tenour of my life; good digestion, serene weather, and some other mechanic springs, wind me^above it now and then, but I never fall below it: I am sometimes gay, but never fad. I have gained new friends, and have lost some old ones; my acquisitions of this kind give me a good deal of pleasure, because they have not been made lightly: I know no vows so solemn as those of friendship, and therefore a pretty long noviciate of acquaintance mould, methinks, precede them. My losses of this kind give me but little trouble, I contribute nothing to them; and a friend who breaks with me unjustly is not worth preserving. As soon as I leave this town (which will be in a few days) I shall fall back into that course of life which keeps knaves and fools ata greatdistance from me: I have an aversion to them both, but in the ordinary course of life I thinkl can bear the sensible knave better than the fool. One must indeed, with the former, be in some or other of the attitudes of those wooden men whom I have seen before a sword-cutler's shop in Germany: but even in these constrained postures the witty rascal will divert me; and he that diverts me does me at great deal of good, and lays me under an obligation to him, which I am not obliged to pay in another coin: the fool obliges me to be almost as much upon , my guard as the knave ; and he makes me no amends; he numbs me like the , torpor, or he teazes me like a fly. This is the picture of an old friend, and more like him than that will be which you once asked, and which he will send you if you continue still to desire it.— Adieu, dear Swift: with all thy faults, 1 love thee intirely; make an effort, and love me on with all mine.
5 138. Dr. Swift to Lord Bolinc
Dublin, April 5, 1729. I do not think it could be possible for me to hear better news than that of your getting over your scurvy suit, which always hung as a dead weight on my heart; I hated it in all its circumstances, as it affected your fortune and quiet, and in a situation of life that must make it every way vexatious. And as I am infinitely obliged to you for the justice you do me in supposing your affairs do at least concern me at much as my own, so I would never have pardoned your
omitting it. But before I goon, I cannot forbear mentioning what I read last summer in a news-paper, that you were writing the history of your own times. I suppose such a report might arise from what was not a secret among your friends, of your intention to write another kind of history, which you often promised Mr. Pope and me to do; I know he desires it very much, and I am sure I desire nothing more, for the honour and love I bear you, and the perfect knowledge I have of your public virtue. My lord, I have no other notion of oeconomy than that it is the parent of liberty and ease, and I am not the only friend you have who hath chid you in his heart for the neglect of it, though not with his mouth, as I have done. For there is a silly error in the world,even among friendsotherwisevery good, not to intermeddle with mens affairs in such nice matters. And, my lord, I have made a maxim, that should be writ in letters of diamonds, That a wife man ought to have money in his head, but not in his heart. Pray, my lord, enquire whether your prototype, my lord Digby, after the Restoration, when he was at Bristol, did not take some care of his fortune notwithstanding that quotation I once sent you out of his speech to the House of Commons? In my conscience, I believe Fortune, like other drabs, values a man gradually less for every year he lives. I have demonstration for it; because if I play at piquet for six-pence with a man or a woman two years younger than myself, ] always lose; and there is a young girl of twenty, who never fails of winning my money at back-gammon, though (he is a bungler, and the game be ecclesiastic. As to the public, I confess nothing could cure my itch of meddling with it but these frequent returns of deafness, which have hindered me from pasting last winter in London; yet I cannot but consider the perfidiousness of some people, who, I thought when'I was last there, upon a change that happened, were the most impudent in forgetting their professions that I have ever known. Pray, will you please to take your pen, and blot me out that political maxim, from whatever book it is in, that
Ji.es nolunt diu male administrari; the commonness makes roe not know who is the author, but sure he must be some modern.
I am sorry for lady Bolingbroke's ill health; but I protest I never knew a very deserving person of that sex, who had not too much reason to complain of ill health. I never wake without finding lisa a more insignificant thing than it was the day before; which is one great advantage I get by living in this country, where there is nothing I (hall be sorry to lose. But my greatest misery is recollecting the scene of twenty years past, and then all on a sudden dropping into the present. I remember, when I was a little boy, I felt a great fish at the end of my line, which I drew up almost on the ground, but it dropt in, and the disappointment vexes me to this very day, and, I believe, it was the type of all my future disappointments. I should be ashamed to fay this to you, if you had not a spirit sitter to bear your own misfortunes, than I have to think of them. Is there patience left to reflect by what qualities wealth and greatness are got, and by what qualities they are lost? I have read my friend Congreve's verses to lord Cobham, which end with a vile and false moral, and I remember is not in Horace to Tibullus, which he imitates, " that all times are equally "virtuous and vicious," wherein he differs from all poets, philosophers, and christians, that ever writ. It is more probable, that there may be an equal quantity of virtue always in the world, but sometimes there may be a peck of it in Asia, and hardly a thimble-full in Europe. But if there be no virtue, there is abundance of sincerity; for I will venture all I am worth, that there is not one human creature in power, who will not be modest enough to confess that he proceeds wholly upon a principle of corruption. I fay this,because I have a scheme, in spite of your notions, to govern England upon the principles Of virtue; and when the nation is ripe for it, I desire you will send for me. I have learned this by living like a hermit, by which I am got backwards about 1900 years in the æra of the world, and begin to wonder al the wickedness of
men. I dine alone upon half a dish, of meat, mix water with my wine, walk ten miles a day, and read Baronius.
§ 139. From Mr. Pope re Dr. Swift.
I now hold the pen for my lord Bolingbroke, who is reading your letter between two hay-cocks ; but his intention is somewhat diverted by casting; his eyes on the clouds, not in admiration of what you fay, but for fear of a shower. He is pleased with your placing him in the triumvirate between yourself and me; though he says that he doubts he shall fare like Lepidus, while one of us runs away with all the power, like Augustus, and another with all the pleasures, like Anthony. It is upon a foresight of this that he has fitted up his farm j and you will agree, that this scheme of retreat at least is not founded upon weak appearances. Upon his return from the Bath, all peccant humours, he finds, are purged out of him; and his great temperance and ccconcmy are so signal, that the first is fit for my constitution, and the latter will enable you to lay up so much money as to buy a bishoprick in England. As to the return of his health and vigour, were you here, you might enquire of his hay-makers; but as to his temperance, lean answer that (for one whole day) we have had nothing for dinner but mutton-broth, beans and bacon, and a barn-door fowl. Now his lordship is run after his cart, I have a moment left to myself to tell you, that I over-heard him yesterday agree with a painter for 200.I. to paint his country-hall with trophies of rakes, spades, prongs, &c. and other ornaments, merely to countenance his calling this place a farm.—Now turn over a new leaf,—he bids me assure you, he should be sorry not to have more schemes of kindness for his friends, than of ambition for himself: there, though his schemes may be weak, the motives at least are strong; and he fays further, if you could bear as great a fall and decrease of your revenues, as he knows by experience he can, you would not live in Ireland an hour.
The Dunciad is going to be printed in all pomp, with the inscription, which
makes makes me proudest. It will be attended with Proeme, Prolegomena, Testimonia Scriptorum, Index Authorum, and Notes Variorum. As to the latter, I desire you to read over the text, and make a few in any way you like best; whether dry raillery, upon the style and way of commenting of trivial critics; or humorous, upon the authors in the poem; or historical, of persons, places, times; or explanatory; or collecting the parallel passages of the ancients. Adieu. I am pretty well, my mother not ill, Dr. Arbuthnot vexed with his fever by intervals ; I am afraid he declines, and we (hall lose a worthy man : I am troubled about him very much.
I am, &c.
§ 140. From Lord Bolingbroke it Dr. Swift.
I did not take the pen out of Pope's hands; but since he will not fill the remainder of the page, I think I may without offence. I seek no epistolary fame, but am a good deal pleased to think that it will be known hereafter, that you and I lived in the most friendly intimacy together.— Pliny writ his letters for the public, so did Seneca, so did Balzac, Voiture, &c. Tully did not, and therefore these give us more pleasure than any which have come down to us from antiquity. When we read them, we pry into a secret which was intended to have been kept from us. That is a pleasure. We see Cato, and Brutus, and Pompey, and others, such as they really were, and not such as the gaping multitude of their own age took them to be, or as historians and poets have represented them to ours. That is another pleasure. I remember to have seen a procession at Aix-la-Chapelle, wherein an image of Charlemagne is carried on the shoulders of a man, who is hid by the long robe of the imperial faint. Follow him into the vestry, you fee the bearer slip from under the robe, and the gigantic figure dwindles into an image of the ordinary size, and is set by among other lumber.—I agree much with Pope, that our climate is rather better than that you are in, and perhaps your public spirit would be less grieved, or ostener comforted, here
than there. Come to us therefore oil a visit at least. It will not be the fault of several persons here, if you do not come to live with us. But great goodwill and little power produce such slow and feeble effects as can be acceptable to Heaven alone, and heavenly men.—* I know you will be angry with me, if I fay nothing to you of a poor woman, who is still on the other side of the water in a most languishing state of health. If lhe regains strength enough to come over, (and she is better within a fewweek?) I (hall nurse her in this farm with all the care and tenderness possible. If she does not, I must pay her the last duty of friendship, wherever she is, though I break through the whole plan of life which I have formed in my mind. Adieu. I am, &c.
§ 141. Dr. Swift to Mr. Gay.
Ever since I received your letter, I have been upon a balance about going to England, and landing at Bristol to pass a month at Amefbury, as the duchess hath given me leave. But many difficulties have interfered; first, I thought I had done with my law-suit, and so did all my lawyers; but my adversary, aster being in appearance a protestant these twenty years, hath declared he was always a papist, and consequently, by the law here, cannot buy, nor (I think) sell; so that 1 am at sea again, for almost all I am worth. But I have still a worse evil; for the giddiness I was subject to, instead of coming seldom and violent, now constantly attends me more or less, though in a more peaceable manner, yet such as will not qualify me to live among the young a^nd healthy; and the duchess, in all her youth, spirit, and grandeur, will make a very ill nurse, and her woman not much better. Valetudinarians must live where they can command and scold ; I must have horses to ride, I most go to bed and rife when I please, and live where all mortals are subservient to me. I must talk nonsense when I please, and all who are present must commend it. I must ride thrice a week, and walk three or four miles besides every day. I always told you Mr. 1 was good for nothing but to be a rank courtier. I