Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

care not whether lie ever writes to me or no. He and you may tell this to the duchess, and I hate to fee you so charitable, and such a cully: and yet I love you for it, because I am one myself. You are the silliest lover in Christendom. If you like Mrs. , why do

you not command her to take you? If she does not, (he is not worth pursuing; you do her too much honour; (he hath neither sense or taste, if (he dares to refuse you, though (he hadio.oool. I do not remember to have told you of thanks that you have not given, nor do I understand your meaning, and I am sure I had never the least thoughts of myself. If I am your friend, it is for my own reputation, and from a principle of self-love; and I do sometimes reproach you for not honouring me by letting the world know we are friends.

I fee very well h*ow matters go with the duchess in regard to me. I heard her fay, Mr. Gay, fill your letter to the dean, that there maybe no room forme; the frolic is gone far enough, I have writ thrice, I will do no more; if the man has a mind to come, let him come; what a clutter is here! Positively I will not write a syllable more. _ She is an ungrateful duchess, considering how many adorers I have procured her here, over and above the thousands (he had before.—I cannot allow you rich enough till you are worth 70001. which will bring yon 3001. per annum, and this will maintain you, with the perquisite of spunging while you are young; and when you are old, will afford you a pint of port at night, two servants, and an old maid, a little garden, and pen and ink,— provided you live in the country. Have you no scheme, either in verse or prose? The duchess should keep you at hard meat, and by that means force you to write; and so I have done with you.

A Postscript to the Duchess of QuEENS

ttr.r.Y.

Madam, Since I begin to grow old, I have found all ladies become inconstant, without any reproach from their conscience. If I wait on you, I declare that one of your women (whichever it is that

has designs upon a chaplain) must be my nurse, if I happen to be sick or peevish at your house ; and in that case you must suspend your domineering claim till I recover. Your omitting the usual appendix to Mr. Gay's letters hath done me infinite mischief here; for while you continued them, you would wonder how civil the ladies here were to me, and how much they have altered since. I dare not confess that I have descended so low as to write to your grace, after the abominable neglect you have been guilty of; for if they but suspected it, I should lose them all. One of them, who had an inkling of the matter (your grace will hardly believe it) refused to beg my pardon upon her knees, for once neglecting to make my rice-milk.—Pray consider this, and do your duty, or dread the consequence. I promise you (hall have your six minutes every hour at Amesbury, and seven in London, while I am in health; but if I happen to be sick, I must govern to a second. Yet, properly speaking, there is no man alive with so much truth and respect,

Your grace's
molt obedient servant.

§ 142. From Dr. Swift to Mr. Gat.

I know not what to say to the account of your steward ship, and it is monstrous to me that the South Sea should pay halstheir debts at one clap. But I will fend the money when you put me into the way, for I (hall want it here, my affairs being in a bad condition by the miseries of the kingdom, and my own private fortune being wholly embroiled, and worse than ever; so that I shall soon petition the duchess, as an object of charity, to lend me 3 or 40001. to keep up my dignity. My tool, will buy me fix h gsheads of wine, which will support me a year; provisr srugis in annum copia. Horace desired no more: for I will construe srugis to ber wine. You are young enough to get some lucky hint, which must come by chance, and it (hall be a thing os importance, quod & kunc in annum <vii/*t W in plures, and you shall not finish it in haste, and it shall be diverting, and

usefully usefully satirical, and the duchess shall be your critic; and, betwixt you and me, I do not find lhe will grow weary of you till this time seven years. I had lately an offer to change for an English living, which is just too short by 300). a year; and that must be made upout of the duchess's pin-money before I can consent. I want to be minister of Amesbury, Dawley, Twickenham, KiQcins, and prebendary of Westminster, else I will not stir a step, but content myself with making the duchess miserable three months next summer. But I keep ill company ; I mean the duchess and you, who are both out of favour; and so I find am I, by a few verses, wherein Pope and you have your parts. You hear Dr.

D y has got a wife with 1600 1. a

year; I, who am his governor, cannot take one under zooo; I wilh you would enquire of such a one in your neighbourhood. See what it is to write godly .books! I profess I envy you above all jnen in England ; you want nothing but 30001. more, to keep you in plenty when your friends grow weary of you. To prevent which last, while at Amesbury, you must learn to domineer and be peevisti, to find fault with their victuals and drink, to chide and direct the servants, with some other lessons which I (hall teach you, and always practised myself with success. I believe I formerly desired to know whether the vicar of Amefbury can play at back-gammon? Pray ask him the question, and give him my service.

A Postscript to the Duchiss of QueenS

BERRT.

Madam, I was the most unwary creature in the world, when, against my old maxims, I writ first to you upon your return to Tunbridge. I beg that this condescension of mine may go no farther, and that you will not pretend to make a precedent of it. I never knew any man cured of any inattention, although the pretended causes were removed. When I was with Mr. Gay last in London, talking with him on some poetical subjects, «* Well, I am determined not to ac"cept the employment ofgentleman"ether i" and of the fame disposition

were all my poetical sriendj, and isyod cannot cure him, I utterly despair. ■ » As to yourself, I will say to you (though comparisons be odious) what I said to the ——, that your quality should be never any motive of esteem to me: my compliment was then lost, but it will not be ib to you. For I know you more by any one of your letters, than I could by fix months conversing. Your pen is always more natural, and sincere, and unaffected, than your tongue; in writing, you are too lazy to give yourself the trouble of acting a part, and have indeed acted so indiscreetly, that I have you at mercy: and although you should arrive to such a height of immorality as to deny your hand, yet, whenever I produce it, the world will unite in swearing this must come from you only. 1 will answer your question. Mr. (Jay is not discreet enough to live alone, but he is too discreet to live alone: and yet (unless you mend him) he will live alone even in your grace's company. Your quarrelling with each other upon the subject of bread and butter, is the most usual thing in the world: parliaments, courts, cities, and kingdoms, quarrel for no other cause: front hence, and from hence only, arise all the quarrels between whig and tory; between those who are in the ministry, and those who are out; between all pretenders to employment in thechurch, the laV, and the army: even the common proverb teaches you this, when we fay, "It is none of my bread and but"ter," meaning it is no business of mine. Therefore I despair of any reconcilement between you till the affair of bread ard butter be adjusted, wherein I would gladly be a mediator. If Mahomet should come to the mountain, how happy would an excellent lady be, who lives a few miles from this town! As I was telling of Mr. Gay's way of living at Amefbury, she offered fiftyguineas to have you both at her house for one hour over a bottle of Burgundy, which we were then drinking. To ■your question I answer, that your grace should pull me by the sleeve till you tore it off; and when you said you were weary of me, I would pretend to be deaf, and think (according to another 8 proverb) proverb) that you tore my cloaths to keep me from going. I never will believe one word you lay of my lord duke, unless I fee three or four lines in his own hand at the bottom of yours. I have a concern in the whole family, and Mr. Gay must giye me a particular account of every branch, for I am not ashamed of you, though you be duke and duchess, though I have been of others who are, &c. and do not doubt but even your own servants love you, even down to the postilions; and when I come to Amejbury, before I fee your grace, I will have an hour's conversation with the vicar, who will tell me how familiarly you talk to goody Dobson and all the neighbours, as if you were their equal, and that you were godmother to her son Jacky. I am, and shall be ever, with the greatest respect,

Your grace's most obedient, &c.

$ 143. To the Hon. Mr. Bernard
Granville.

Mar, near Doncaster, Oct. 6,
Sir, 1688.

Your having no prospect of obtaining a commission for me, can no way alter pr cool my desire, at thisimportant juncture, to venture my life, in some manner x>r other, for my king and country.

I cannot bear living under the reproach of lying obscure and idle in a country retirement, when every man, who has the least sense of honour, should be preparing for the field.

You may remember, Sir, wiih what jreluctancel submitted to your commands upon Monmouth's rebellion, when no importunity could prevail with you to permit me to leave the academy; I was too young to be hazarded: but giye me leave to fay, it is glorious at any age to die for one's country, and the sooner, the nobler the sacrifice.

I am now older by three years. My uncle Bathe was not so old when he was Jest among the slain at the battle of Newbury : nor you yourself, Sir, when you made your escape from your tutors to join your brother at the defence of Scilly.

The fame cause is now come round again: the king has been misled ; let

those who have misled him be answerable for it: nobody can deny but he is sacred in his own person, and it is every honest man's duty to defend it,

You are pleased tosay, it is yet doubtful if the Hollanders are rash enough to make such an attempt; but be that as it will, I beg leave to insist upon it, that I may be presented to his majesty as one whose utmost ambition is to devote his life to his service and my country's, after the example of all my ancestors.

The gentry assembled at York tot agree upon the choice of representatives for the county, have prepared an address, to assure his majesty they are ready to sacrifice their lives and fortunes for him upon this and all other occasions; but at the fame time they hum-, bly beseech him to give them such magistrates as may be agreeable to the laws of the land, for at present there is no authority to which they can legally sub» mit.

They have been beating for volunteers at York, and the towns adjacent, to supply the regiments aj Hull^ but nobody will list.

By what I can hear, every body wishes well to the king, but they would be glad his ministers were hang'd.

The winds continue so contrary, that no landing can be so soon as was apprehended; therefore I may hope, with your leave and assistance, to be in readiness before any action can begin. I beseech you, Sir, most humbly and most earnestly, to add this one act of indulgence more, to so many other testimonies which I have constantly received of your goodness; and be pleased to believe me always, with the utmost duty and submission, Sir,

Your most dutiful son,

George Granville,

§ 144. To William Henry, Earl of Bathe, CSV. at the Cams in Flanders.

Sept. 4, 171}. My dear J+ord, Whilst you are pursuing honour in. the field, in the earliest time of your life, after the example of your ancestors, I am commanded by the queen to let you know, she has declared you her lord. lieutenant of the county of Cornwall;

ft r * tte

the earl of Rochester to act for you till you are of age.

You will do welj to write your most humble thanks to her majesty, for so graciously remembering you, unsolicited, in your absence; you mould likewise do the same to my lord Rochester, for accepting the trouble.

This, my dear lord, is a preparative to bring you upon the stage with some lustre at your first appearance in the world. You are placed at the head of a body of gentry, entirely disposed in affection to you and your family: you are born possessed of all those amiable qualities which cannot fail of fixing their hearts: you have no other example to follow, but to tread in the steps of your ancestors: it is all that is hoped or desired from you.

You are upon an uncommon foundation in that part of the world; your ancestors, for at least 500 years, never made any alliance, male or female, out of the western counties: thus there is hardly a gentleman, either in Cornwall or Devon, tut has some of your blood, or you some of theirs. I remember the first time I accompanied your grandfather into the West, upon holding his parliament of tinners, as warden of the Stannaries, when there was the most numerous appearance of gentry of both counties that had ever been remembered together: I observed there was hardly any one but whom he called cousin, and I could not but observe at the same time how well they were pleased with it. Let .this be a lcflbu for you when it comes to your turn to appear amongst them. Nothing is more obliging than to seem to retain the memory of kindred and alliances, though never so remote; and by consequence nothing more disobliging than a forgetfulness of them, which is always imputed to an affected, disdainful superiority and pride.

There is another particular, in my opinion of no small consequence to the support of your interest, which I would recommend to your imitation ; and that is, to make Stowe your principal rest, dence. I have heard your grandfather fay, if ever he lived to be possessed of Is e w-hall, lie would pull it down, that

your father might have no temptatioa to withdraw from the ancient feat of his family. From the conquest to the restoration your ancestors constantly resided amongst their countrymen, except when the public service called upon them to sacrifice their lives for it.

Stowe, in your grandfather's time, till the civil wars broke out, was a kind of academy for all young men of family in the country; he provided himself with the best masters, of all kinds, for education; and the children of his neighbours and friends shared the advantage with his own. Thus he, in a manner, became the father of his country, and not only engaged the affection of the present generation, but laid a foundation of friendship for posterity, which is not worn out at this day.

Upon this foundation, my lord, you inherit friends without the trouble of making them, and have only to preserve them: an easy task for you, to whom nature has been so liberal of every quality necessary to attract affection and gain the heart.

1 must tell you, the generality of Our countrymen have been always royalists { you inherit too much loyal blood to like them the worse; there is an old saying amongst them, "That a Godolphin "was never known to want wit; a "Trelawney courage; or a Granville ** loyalty." Wit and courage are not to be mistaken ; and to give those families their due, they still keep up their character; but it is the misfortune of loyalty not to be so clearly understood, or defined, In a country subject to revolutions, what passes for loyalty to-day, may be treason to-morrow: but I make great difference Between real and nominal treason. In the quarrel of the houses of York and Lancaster, both sides' were proclaimed traitors, as the other prevailed: even underCromwell'susurpation, all who adhered to the kingwere proclaimed traitors, and suffered as such; but this makes no alteration in the thing itself: it may be enacted treason to call black, black; or, white, white; but black will be black, and white will he white, in spite of all the legislators in the world. There can be no doubt about allegiance. ance, unlessprincesbecometyrants, and then they cease to be kings: they will no longer be respected as God's vicegerents, who violate the laws they were sworn to protect. The preacher may tell us osp;isiive obedience; that tyrants are to be patiently suffered as scourges in the hands of a righteous God, to chastise a sinful nation; and to be submitted to, like plagues, famines, and such like judgments from above. Such doctrines, were it true, could only serve to mislead ill-judging prjnces into a false security; men are not to be reason'd out of their senses: human nature and self-preservation will eternally arm against slavery and oppression.

It is therefore not to be supposed, that even the weakest prince would run that hazard, unless seduced by advice wickedly palliated by evil counsellors. Nero himself, under the influence of a good ministry, was the mildest, the most gracious, and best beloved of the emperors; the most sanguinary, the most profligate, and the most abhorred, under a bad one. A prince may be deceived, or mistaken, in the choice os his favourites; but he has this advantage, he is sure to hear of it from the voice of the public: if then he is deaf, he seems to take upon himself the blame and odium of those actions, which were chargeable before but upon his advisers.

Idle murmurs, groundless discontents, and pretended jealousies and fears, the effect of private prejudice and resentments, have been, and will ever be, under the wisest administrations: we are pestered with them even now, when we have a queen who is known to have nothing so much at heart as the contentment of her people: these are transitory vapours, which scatter at the first appearancepf light ; the infection spreads no farther than a particular set of four, splenetic enthusiasts in politics, not worth minding or correcting. Universal discontent can never happen, but from solid provocations.

Many well-meaning persons, however, abounding in zeal, have been often unwarily caught by popular pretences, and not undeceived, till 'twas too late. Have a care, my dear cousin, 9f splitting upon that roejf j there have

been false patriots, as well as false prophets.

"TofcarGod,andhonourtheKing,'' were injunctions so closely tack'd together, that they seem to make but one and the same command. A man may as well pretend to be a good christian without fearing God, as a good subject} without honouring the King.

"Deo, Patriæ, Amicis," was your greatgrandfather, Sir Bevil's, motto t in three words he has added to his example a rule which, in following, you can never err in any duty of life. The brightest courage, and the gentlest disposition, is part of the Lord Clarendon's character of him: so much of him you have begun to (hew us alrea* dy: and the best wish I can make for you, is, to resemble him as much in all ■.—but his untimely fate.

I am, my lord, for ever, 4c,

§ 145. Second Letter lo the fame,

Sept. 23. Every living creature, my dear lord, is entitled to offices of humanity. The distress, even of an enemy, should reconcile us to him: if he thirsts, give him drink; if he hungers, give him food; overcome evil with good. It is with this disposition I would have you enter into the exercise of that authority with which her majesty has honoured, you over your countrymen. Let noT body inspire you with party prejudices and resentments. Let it be your business to reconcile differences and heal divisions; and to restore, if possible, harmony and good neighbourhood amongst them. If then there should be any left to wish you ill, make them aT (named and confounded with yourgoodness and moderation, Not that \ would ever advise you to sacrifice one hair of the head of an old friend to your family to gain fifty new ones; but if youj can increase the number by courtesy and moderation, it may be worth the trial.

Believe me, my dear lord, humanity and generosity make the best foundation, to build a character upon. A man may have birth, and riches, and power, wit, learning, courage} but without gfneT

R r a rpfitjr.

« ZurückWeiter »