Jonathan Swift.

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zed the worft profpects to my fight ; and that,,
by ftaring want, Iblitude, neglect, and the reft
ot" that train in the face, I have difarmcd them of
their terrors. I have heard of fomebody, who,
whilft he was in the Tower, vifed every morning
to lye down on the block, and fo aft over his laft

Nothing difturbs me, but the uncertainty of
my fituation, which the zeal of a few friends, and
the inveteracy of a great many enemies, enter-
tain. The more prepared I am to pafs the re-
mainder of my life in exile, the more fenfibly
fhall I feel the pleafure of returning to you, if
his Maje fly's unconditional favour, (the offers of
U 3 which.


which prevented even my proves at laft
effectual. I cannot apply to myfelf, as you bid

me do ; Non tibi parvum ingenium^ non incul-

tum eft, and what follows ; and if ever we live in
the fame country together, you fhall not apply to

me, Qttod 'Ji frigida cur arum foment a rflinqitere

po/es. .

I have writ you, before I was aware of it, a
long letter. The pleafure of breaking fo long a
filence, tranfports me ; and your fentiment is a
fufficient excufe. It is not fo eafy to find one for
talking fo much about myfelf; but I (hall want
none with you upon this fcore. Adieu.

This letter will get fafe to London ; and from
thence, I hope the friend to whom I recom-
mend it, will find means of conveying it to you.

For God's fake, no more apologies for your

quotations, unlefs you mean, by accufing your-
felf, to correct me.

There never was a better application than
your's, of the ftory of Pierfchole. The ftorks
will never come, and they mutt be porters all
their lives. They are fomething worfe; for I
had rather be a porter than a tool : I would foon-
er lend out my back to hire, than my name.
They are at this time the inftruments of a fancy
gardener, who has got a gold crofs on his flo-
macb, and a red cap on his head.

A poor gentleman, who puts me often in mind
of one of Scandal's pictures in Congreve's play of
Love fr,- Love, where a foldier is reprefented with



his heart where his head fhould be, and no head
at all, is the conductor of this doughty enter-
prize ; which will end in making their caufe a lit-
tle more defperate than it is. Again, adieu.

Let me hear from you by the fame conveyance,
that brings you this. I am in pain about your
health. From the 6th of January to the i6th of
February, is a long courfe of illnefs.



MY LORD, May .1719.

I FORGET whether I formerly mentioned to
you, what I have obferved in Cicero ; that,
in fome of his letters, while he was in exile, there
is a fort of melancholy pleafure, which is wonder-
fully affecting. I believe the reafon muft be,
that, in thofe circumfcances of life, there is more
leifure for friendiliip to operate, without any
mixture of envy, intcreft, or ambition. But I
am afraid, this was chiefly when Cicero writ to
his brethren in exile, or they to him ; becaufe
common diftrefs is a great promoter, bosh of
friendship and fpeculation. For, I doubt, pro-
fperity and adveriity are too much at variance,
ever to fuffer a near alliance between their owners.
Friend (hip, we fay, is created by a refcmblance
of humours. You allow that advcrfity both.

236 D E A N S W I F T's

taught you to think and reafon much otherwife
than you did ; whereas, I can allure you, that
thofe who contrived to ftay at home, and -keep
what they had, are not changed at all ; and, if
they fometimes drink an abfent friend's health,
they have fully difcharged their duty. I have
been, for fome time, nurfing up an obfervation,
which perhaps may be a juft one : That no men
are ufed fo ill, 'upon a change of times, as thofe
who acted upon a public view, without regard
to themfelves. I do not mean from the circum-
ftance of faving more or lefs money, but becaufe
I take it, that the fame grain of caution, which
difpofeth a man to fill his coffers, will teach him
how to preferve them upon all events. And I
dare hold a wager, that the Duke of Marlbo-
rough, in all his campaigns, was never known
to lofe his baggage. I- am heartily glad to hear
of that unconditional offer you mention ; be-
caufe I have been taught to believe, there is little
good-nature to be had from that quarter : And
if the offer were fincere, I know not why it has
not fucceeded, fince every thing is granted that
can be afked for, unlefs there can be an exception
only for generous and good-natured actions.
When I think of you with relation to Sir Pvoger,
I imagint a youth of flxteen marrying a woman
of thirty for love : She decays every year, while
he grows up to his prime ; and when it is too
late, he wonders how he could think of fo un-
equal a match, or what Is become of the beauty,



he was fo fond of. I am told he outdoes

himfclf in every quality for which we us'd to
quarrel with him. I do not think, that leifure
of life, and tranquillity of mind, which fortune
and your own wifdom hath given you, could be
better employed, than in drawing up very exacl:
memoirs of thofe affairs, wherein, to my know-
ledge, you had the moft difficult and weighty
part : And I have often thought, in comparing
periods of time, there never was a more impor-
tant one in England, than that which made up
the four laft years of the late Queen. Neither
do I think any thing could be more'entertainiug
or ufeful, than the ftory of it fully and exactly
told, with fuch oJ3fervations, in fuch a fpirit,
fryle, and method, as you alone are capable of
performing it. One reafon why we have fo few
memoirs written by principal asSlors, is becaufe
much familiarity with great affairs makes men
value them too little ; yet fuch perfons will read
Tacitus and Comines with wonderful delight.
Therefore I mult beg two things ; firft, that you
will not omit any palTage, becaufe you think it
of little moment : and, iecondly, that you will
write to an ignorant world, and not luppofe
your reader to be only of the prefent age, or
to live within ten miles of London. There is
nothing more vexes me in old Hiftorians, than
when they leave me in the dark, in fome pafiages
which they fuppofe every one to know. It is
this lazinefs, pride, or incapacity of great men,


2 3 3 D E A N S W I F T's

that hath given way to the impertinents of the
nation, where you are to peiter us with memoirs
full of trifling and romance/. Let a Frenchman
talk twice with a minifter of ftate, he defires no
more to furnifh out a volume ; and I, who am
no Frenchman, defpairing ever to fee any thing
of what you tell me, have been fome time pro-
viding materials for fuch a work, only upon the
ftrength of having been always amongft you,
and ufed with more kiridnefs and confidence,
than it often happens to men of my trade and
level. But I am heartily glad of fo good a rea-
fon to think no further that way, although I
could fay many things which you will never al-
low yourfelf to write. I have already drawn
your character at length in one tra6t, and a
Iketch of it in another. But I am fenfible, that
when Csefar defcribes one of his own battles, we
conceive a greater idea of him from thence, than
from all the praifes any other writer can give

I read your paraphrafe with great pleafure,
and the goodnefs of the poetry convinces me of
the truth of your philofophy. I agree, that a
great part of our wants is imaginary ; yet there
is a different proportion, even in real want, be-
tween one man and another. A King, deprived
of his kingdom, would be allowed to live in real
want, although he had ten thoufand a-year;
and the cafe is parallel in every degree of life.
When I reafon thus on the cafe of fome abfent



friends, it frequently takes away all the quiet of
my mind. I think it indecent to be merry, or
take fatisfaftion in any thing, while thofe who
preilded in councils or armies, and by whom
I had the honour to b'e beloved, are either in
humble folitude, or attending, like Hannibal,
in foreign courts, donee Bithyno libeat njigilare
tyranno. My health (a tiling of no moment is
fomewhat mended ; but, at beft, I have an ill
head, and an aching heart. Pray God fend you
foon back to your country in peace and honour,
that I may once more fee him, cum quo tnorantem
fepe dicmfregiy &c.



DEAR SIR, Weftminfter, May 5, [1719.]

SINCE I love you with all the ties of incli-
nation and friendship, and wiih you all the
happinefs of life, health efpecially, the chiefeft,
you will pardon me being a little peevifh, when
I received your's of the 28th paft, which told me
I muft not expccl to fee you here, and that you
were rK:t perfectly we'll at Dublin. I hope there
is a little fpieen mixed with your diftemper ; in
which cafe your horfc may be your phylkian,
and your phyfician may have the happiuefs of
being your companion ; an honour, which many


240 D E A N S W I F T's

here would envy him. As to the fang frcid o
fifty, who has it not, thnt is worth converf-
ing with, except Harley and .Bathurft; at leaft,
make no more that fort of complaint to me.
Ifthac commemorati eft qnaji exprobatio ; for fifty
(as Mr Locke obferves) is equal to fifty ; and
a cough is worfe than the fpletn. My bookfel-
ler is a blockhead ; fo have they all been, or
worfe, from Chaucer's fcrivener down to John
and Jacob, Mr Hyde only excepted, to whom
my books in quires are configned, and the great-
eft care taken, that they are rightly put up.
Several of the fubfcribers to you, requiring their
books here, have had them. I need not repeat
my thanks to you, for the trouble this matter
has given you ; or intreat your favour for Alma
and Solomon. I ftiall perform your commands
to the Earl of Oxford, feniper idem ; and drink
your health with our friends ; which is all I can
do for you at this diftance, till your particular
order enjoins me any thing, by which I may
fhew you, that I am, and defire always to con-
tinue, with the greateft truth and regard, Sir>
your moft obedient and mofl humble fervant,

M. P Ft I O R. ,




SIR, Wejlminfter, Dec. 8, 1719.

HAVING fpent part of my Summer very
agreeably in Cambridge-fhire, with dear
Lord Harley, I am returned without him to my
own palace in Duke-ftreet^ whence I endeavour
to exclude all the tumult and noife of the neigh-
bouring Court of Requefts, and to live, out nibil
agenda, out al'iud agenda^ till he comes to town.
But there is worfc than this yet. I have treated
Lady Harriot * at Cambridge. Good God ! a
Fellow of a College treat ! and f'poke verfes to
her f in a gown and cap ! What ! the plenipo-
tentiary fo far concerned in the damn'd peace at
Utrecht ! the man, that makes up half the vo-
lume of terfe prole, that makes up the report of
the committee, fpeaking verfes ! Sic /?, homo
fum ; and am not afliamed to fend thofe very
verfes to one who can make much better. And
now let me afk you, How you do ? and what
you do ? How your Iriih country air agrees with
VOL. XV. X you,

* Lady Harriot Harley, only chu 3 htcr of Edward Lord Har-
ley, and now Diichefs Dowajrer of Portland.

f TKy are printed in what is called by the editor Samuel
Humphreys, Efq ; the third volume of Prior's Works ; and are
intitled, Verfes fpoken to Lady Henrietta Cavcndifh Holies Har-
ley, in the Library of St John's Cclle S e, Cambridge, Nov. 9,


you, and when you intend to take any Englifli
country air ? In the Spring, I will meet you where
you will, and go with you where you will ; but
I believe the beft rendezvous will be Duke-ftreet,
and the faireft field for aftion Wimple * ; the
Lords of both thofe feats agreeing, that no man
will be more welcome to either than yourfelf.

It is many months fince the complaints of my
fubfqribers are redrefTed, and that they have
ceafed to call the bookfelter a blockhead, by tranf-
f erring that title to the author. We have not
heard from Mr Hyde ; but expec~V, that at his
leifure, he will fignify to Tonfon, what may re-
late to that whole matter, as to the fecond fub-
icriptions. In the mean time, I hope the books
have been delivered without any miftake ; and
fliall only repeat to you, that I am fenflble of the
trouble my poetry has given you, and return
you my thanks in plain profe. Earl of Oxford,
pro more fuo t went late into the country, and
continues there ftill. Our friends are all well ;
and fo am I, tiifi cum pitttita molejia ejl ; which is
at this prefent writing, and will continue fo all
the Winter. So, with weak lungs, and a very
good heart, I remain always, Sir, your moft obe-
dient humble fervant, M. PRIOR.

P. S. Service to Matthew Pennyfeather,
and all friends. Adieu.

The feat of Lord Harley.

C OR R E S P O N D E N C E. * 4 j


S I R, Dec. 14, 1719, Nine at Nig At.

IT is impoffible to know by your letter, whether
the wine is to be bottled to-morrow, or no.

If it be, or be not, why did not you in plain,
Engliih tell Tas fo ?

For my part, it was by mere chance I came to
fit with the Ladies- f this night.

And if they had not told me there was a letter
from you, and your man Alexander had not
gone, and come back from the dcanry, and the
boy nere had not been fent to let Alexander know
I was here, I fhould have miffed the letter out-

Truely I don't know who's bound to be fending
for corks to Oop your bottles, with a vengeance.

Make a page of your own age, and fend your
man Alexander to buy corks, for Saunders al-
ready has gone above ten jaunts.

Mrs r-ingiey and Mrs Johnfon fay, truly they

don't care for your wife's company, though they

X 2 like

f Mrs Dingley and Mrs Johnfon, who lived at a little dif-
ftance from the deanry.

Swift was refidcnt at the deanry when this letter was written,
of which every paragraph ends with a rhyme. And,

Sheridan was at his country-houfe, called Quilca, in the
county of Cavan, about forty miles from Dublin. Haiukcf.


like your wine ; but they had rather have it at
theii- own houfe, to drink in quiet.

However, they own it is very civil in Mr She-
ridan to make the offer j and they cannot deny

I wifli Alexander fafe at St Catharine's to-
night, with all my heart and foul, upon my
word and honour.

But I think it bafe in you, to fend a poor fellow-
out fo late, at this time of the year, when one
would not turn out a dog that one valued ; I ap-
peal to your friend Mr Conna.

I would prefent my humble fervice to my Lady
Mountcamel ; but truly I thought fhe would-
have made advances to have been acquainted"
with me, as (he pretended.

But now I can write no more, for you fee
plainly my paper is ended.

P. S. I wifh when you prated,
Your letter you dated,
Much plague it created,
I fcoided and rated, "
My foul it much grated,
For your man I long waked,
I think you are fated,
Like a bear to be baited ;
Your man is bleated,
The cafe I have dated,
And me you have cheated.
My ftables unfleated,



Come back t' us well Freighted ;
I remember my late head,
And wifh you tranflated,

For teazing me.

2. P. 'S. Mrs Dingley,

Defires me fingly
Her fervice to prefent you,
Hopes that will content you ;
But Johnfon Madam
' Is grown a fad dame
For want of your converft",
And cannot fend one verfe.

3. P. S. You keep fuch a twattling (Vida,

With you and your bottling, (Rule 34.

But I fee the fume total,

\Ve fhall ne'er have one bottle ;

The long and the fhort,

We (hall not have a quart.

I wifli you would fign't,

That we may have a pint.

For all your colloguing,

I'd be glad of a knogging :

But I doubt 'tis a fham,

You won't give us a dram.

'Tis of fhine, a mouth moonful,.

You won't part with a fpoonful.

And I muft be nimble,

If I can fill my thimble.

You fee I wdn't flop,

Till I come to a drop j

X 3 But


But I doubt the oraculum
Is a poor fupernaculum ;
Though perhaps you may tell it
For a grace if you fmell it.




MY LORD, Dec. 19, 1719.

IFIPtST congratulate with you upon growing
rich -, for I hope our friends information is
true. Omne folurn dit'i pntria. ,Euripides makes
the Queen Jocafta, a(k her exiled fon, how he got
his vi<5hia!s ? But, who ever expected to fee you a
trader, or dealer in ftocks ? I thought to have
feen you where you are, or perhaps nearer : But,
Dits elite r vfam. It may be with 'one's country as
with a Lady ; If ihe be cruel and ill-natured, and
will not receive us, we ought to con fid er that we
are better without her. But, in this cafe, we
may add, (he has neither virtue, honour, nor
juftice. I hive gotten a mezzotinto (for want
of a better) of Ariftinpus, in my drawing-room.
The motto at the top is, Omnis Ariftippum t &c.
and at the bottom, Tantu fee Jus cam gcnte ferire y
ia-iftii. But fince what I heard of
Miffifippi, I am grown fonder of the former



motto. You have heard that Plato followed mer-
chandife three years, to (hew he knew how to
grow rich, as well as to be a philofopher : And, I
guefs, Plato was then about forty, the period
which the Italians prefcribe for being wife, in or-
der to be rich at fifty. Senes ut in otia tua recedant.
I have known fomething of courts and minifters
longer than you, who knew them fo many thou-
fand times better ; but I do not remember to have
ever heard of, or feen one great genius, who had
long fuccefs in the miniftry : And, recolleftlng a
great many, in my memory and acquaintance,
thofe who had the fmootheft time, were, at beft,
men of middling degree in unclerftanding. But
if I were to frame a romance of a great minifter's
life, he fhould begin it as Ariftippus has done ;
then be fent into exile, and employ his leifure in
writing the memoirs of his own adminiftration ;
then be recalled, invited to refume his {hare of
power, aft as far as was decent ; at la ft, retire to
the country, and be a pattern of hofpitality, po-
litenefs, wifdom, and virtue. Hive you not ob-
ferved, thnt there is a Icnvcr kind of uifcretion
arid regularity, which feldom fails of raifing men
to the higheft ftations in the Court, the Church,
and the Law ? It muft be fo : For Providence,
which dellgned the world ihould be governed by
many heads, made it a bufinefs within the reach
of common underftandings ; while one great ge-
nius is hardly found among ten millions. Did
you never obferve one of your clerks cutting his


348 D E A N S W I F T's

paper with a blunt ivory knife ? Did you ever
know the knife u> fail going the true way ?.
Whereas, if he had ufed a. razor, or a pen-knife,
he had odds againft him of f polling a whole
fheet. I have twenty times compared the motion
of that ivory implement, to thofe talents that
thrive beft at Court. Think upon Lord Bacon,
Williams, Strafford, Laud, Clarendon, Shaftef-
bury, the laft Duke of Buckingham * y and, of
my own acquaintance, the Earl of Oxford, and
yourfelf : All great geniufes in their feveral ways ;
and, if they had not been, fo great, would have
been lefs unfortunate. I remember but one ex-
ception, and that was Lord Sommers, whofe
timorous nature, joined with the trade of a com-
mon lawyer, and the confcioufnefs of a mean
extraction, had taught him the regularity of an
alderman, or a gentleman -u (her. But, of late,
years, I have even refined upon .this thought :.
For I plainly fee, that fellows of low intellectuals,,
when they are gotten at the head of affairs, can
fally into the higheft exorbitances, with much
more fafety, than a man of great talents can-
make the leaft ftep out of the way. Perhaps it is
for the fame reafon, that men are more afraid
of attacking a vicious than a mettlefome horfe :.
But I rather think it owing to that inceflant en-
vy, wherewith the common rate of mankind pur-
fues all fuperior natures to their own. And I
conceive, if it were left to tne choice of an als,


* Viller$ Duke. of Buckingham.


he would rather be kicked by one of his own
fpecies than a better. If you will recollect, that
I am toward fix years older than when I faw you
lail, and twenty years duller, you will not won-
der to find me abound in empty fpeculations :
I can now exprefs, in an hundred words, what
wouid formerly have cdft me ten. I can write
epigrams of fifty diftichs, which might be fqueez-
ed into one. I have gone the round of all my
florics three or four times with the younger peo-
ple, and begin them again. I give Hints how s

jant a perfon I have been, and nobody be-
lieves me :_ I pretend to pity them., but am in-
wardly angry. I by traps-for people to defire I
would fhev^them fome things I have written, but
cannot fucceed ; and wreak my fpite, in con-
demning the tafte of the people and company
where I am. But it is with place, as it is with
time. If I boaft of having been valued three
hundred miles off, it is of no more ufe, than if
I told how handfome I was when I was young.
The worft of it is, that lying is of no ufe ; for
the people here will not believe one-half of what.,-
is true. If I can prevail on any one to perfonate
a hearer and admirer, you would wonder what
a favourite he grows. He is fure to have the
firft glafs out of the bottle, and the beft bit I can
carve.-^- Nothing has convinced me fo much,
that I am of a little fubaltern fpirit, inopis atque
pujilii anhni, as to reflect how I am forced into
the mod trifling amufenients, to divert die vexa-

2 5 o DEAN S W IF T's

tlon of former thoughts, and prefent o

Why cannot you lend me a flired of your mantle ?

or why did you not leave a (hred of it with me

when you were fnatched from me ? -You fee

I fpeak in my trade, although it is growing faft a
trade to be afhamed of.

I cannot but wifh that you would make it
poflible for me to fee a copy of the papers you
are about ; and I do proteft it neceflary, that
fuch a thing fhould be in fome perfons hands
befides your own, and I fcorn to fay how fafe
they would be in mine. Neither would you
diflike my cenfures, as far as they might relate
to circumftantials. I tax you with two minutes
a day until you have read this letter, although I
am fenfible you have not half fo much from
bufinefs more ufeful and entertaining.

My letter which mifcarried *, was, I believe,
much as edifying as this, only thanking and
congratulating with you for the delightful verfes
you fent me. And I ought to have expreiTed
my vexation, at feeing you fo much better a
philofopher than myfelf ; a trade you were nei-
ther born nor bred to: But I think it is obferved,
that gentlemen often dance better than thofe
who live by the art. You may thank fortune
that my paper is no longer, &c.

L E T-

* He means letter 287, which he hath endorfcd as having



SIR, April 1 8, 1720.

YOU'D have great reafon to be angry with
me, if my long filence had been occafioned
by any thing but my care of you ; for having no
fafe hand to fend by till now, I would not write,
for fear it might be conftrued a fort of treafon
(mifprifon at leaft) for you to receive a letter
from one half of a profcribed man. I enquire
of every body I fee, that I imagine has either
feen you or heard from you, how you have your
health; for, wealth and happinefs I don't fuppofe
you abound in ; for it is hard to meet with
either in the country you are in, and be honeft
as you are. I thank God our parliament has
taken them to talk, and, finding how ill a ufe
they made of their judicature when they had it,
have thought it not fit to truft them with it any
longer *. I hope the next thing will be to tax


* The Houfc of Peers in Ireland having tranfmitted to King
George I. a long reprefentation, fetting forth their right to the
final judicature of caufes in that kingdom, the Houfe of Lords
in England refolded, on the 8th of January 1719-^0, on the
contrary, that the Barons of the Exchequer in Ireland had aft-
ed, in the affair of Anneflcy and Sherlock, with courage, accord-
ding to law, in fupport of his Majf fly's prerogative, and with
fidelity to 'the crown of Great Britain ; and a bill was foon after
brought in, for the better fecurinjj the dependency of the king-
dom of Ireland upon the crown of Great Britain.

252 D E A N S W I F T's

Ireland from hence, and then no more oppor-

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