Jonathan Swift.

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ward, and his inward doctrine, and that he was
of no fide at the bottom. When I am there, I
forget I ever was of any party mylclf ; nay, I am
often fo happily abforbed by the abflracted reafon
of things, that I am ready to imagine, there never
was any fuch mdnfter as party. Alas ! I am foon
awakened from that pleaiing dream, by the Greek
and Roman hiftorians, by Guicciardine. by Ma-
chiavel, and Thuanus ; for I have vowed to read
no hiftory of our own country, till that body of
it which you promife to finifli appears *.

I am under no npprehenfion, that a glut of
ftudy and retirement fhould caft me back into Hie
hurry of the world ; on the contrary, the (Ingle
regret which I ever feel, is, that I fell fo late into
this courie of life : My philbfophy grows confirm-
ed

" * cc note, p, 363. above.



CORRESPONDENCE. 321

ed by habit ; and if you and I meet again, I will
extort this approbation from you : Jam non confdio
bonus, fed mot e co perduclus t ut non tatilum r e 51 e fa-
cere p3jfim ) fed nift recle facer e non poj/tm. The little
incivilities 1 n:ive met with from oppofite fets of
people, have been fo far from rendering me vio-
lent or four to any, that I think myfelf obliged to
them all. Some have cured me of my fears, by
fhowing me how impotent the malice of the
world is ; others have cured me of my hopes, by
fhewing how precarious popular friendfhips are ;
all have cured me of furprife. In driving me out
of party, they have driven me out of curfed com-
pany ; and in Gripping me of titles, and rank and
eftate, and fuch trinkets, which every man that
will, may fpare, they have given me that v.'hich no
man can be happy without.

Reflection and habit have rendered the world
fo indifferent to me, that I am neither afflicted
nor rejoiced, angry nor pleafed, at what happens
in it, any farther than perfonal friendfhips inte-
reft me in the affairs of it ; and this principle ex-
tends my cares but a little way. Perfect tranquil-
lity is the general tenor of my life : Good digef-
tions, ferene weather, and fome other mechanic
fprings, wind me above it now and then, but I
never fall below it ; I am fomeiimes gay, but I am
never fad. I have gained new friends, and have
loft fome old ones. My acquifitions of this kind
give me a good deal of pleafure, becaufe they
have not been made lightly. I know no vows fo

folemn,



322 D E A N. S "W I F T's

folemn, as thofe of friend fhip ; and therefore, a
pretty long noviciate of acquaintance fliould, mc-
thiuks, precede them. My loffes of this kind, give
me but little trouble: I contributed nothing to
them ; and a friend who breaks with me unjuftly,
is not worth- preferring. As foon as I leave this
town, (which will be in a few days), 1 (hall fall
back into that courfe of life, which keeps knaves
and fools at a great diftance from me. 1 have an
averfion to them both; but, in the ordinary courfe
of life, I think I can bear the fenflble knave, bet-
ter than the fool. One muft, indeed, with the
former, be in fome or other of the attitudes of
thofe wooden men, whom I have feen before a
fword-cu tier's fhop in Germany : But even in
thefe conftrained poftures, the witty rafcal will
divert me ; and he that diverts me, does me a
great deal of good, and lays me under an obliga -
tion to him, which I am not obliged to pay hint
in another coin. The fool obliges me to be al-
moft as much uppn my guard as the knave, and
he makes me no amends ; he numbs me like the
torpor, or he teazes me like the fly. This is the
picture of an old friend, and more like him, than
that will be which you once alked, and which he
will 4end you, if you continue ftill to defire it.
Adieu, dear Swift : With all thy faults, I love thee
entirely ; make an effort, and love me on with
zlt mine.



LET-



CORRESPONDENCE. 323

'

LETTER CCCX.

DR SWIFT TO THE DUKE OF GRAFTOHT.

MY LORD, DiMin, Jan. 24, 1722-3.

I RECEIVED lately from the Dean of Downe,
a favourable mefTage from your Grace, re-
lating to a clergyman, who married my near re-
lation, and whofe eftate is much incumbered by a
long fuit at law. I return my moft humble ac-
knowledgments, ,for your Grace's favourable an-
. fwer. I can aflure your Grace, that in thofe
times, when 1 was thought to have fome credit
with perfons in power, I nqver ufed it to my own
intereft, and very rarely for that of others, unlefs
where it was for the public advantage ; neither
(hall I ever be a troublefome, or common peti-
tioner, to your Grace. I am forry the Archbiftiop
of Dublin * fhould interpofe in petty matters,
when he has juftly fo much weight in things of
greater moment. How fhall we, the humbleft of
your addrefTers, make our way to the fmalleft
mark of your favour ? I defired your Secretary,
Mr Hopkins, (whom I have long known) to deal
plainly with me, as with a man forgotten, and out
of the world ; and if he thought my requeft un-
reafona'olc, I would drop it. This he failed to
do j and therefore I here complain of him to your

Grace,

* Dr Kins.



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

Grace, and will do fo to himfelf, becaufe I have
long done with Court anfwers.

I heartily wifh your 'Grace full fuccefs, in all
your great and good endeavours, for the fervice
of your country, and particularly of this king-
dom ; and am, with the greateft refpecl, my
Lord, your Grace's mofl obedient, and moft
humble fervant,

JONATH. SWIFT.



LETTER CCCXI.

MR GAY TO DR SWIFT.

London, Feb. 3, 1722-3.

YOU made me happy in anfwering my laft
letter, in fo kind a manner, which, to
common appearance, I did not deferve j but I
believe you gueffcd my thoughts, and knew that
I had not forgot you, and that I always loved
you. When I found that my book was not fent
to you by Tooke, Jervais undertook it, and
gave it lo Mr Maxwell, who married a niece of
Mr Meredith's. T am furprifed you have heard
nothing of it ; but Jervais has promifed me to
to write about it, fo that I hope you will have it
delivered to you foon. Mr Congreve I fee often :
He always mentions you, with the ftrongeft ex-
prcfllons of efteem and friendship. He labours
ftill under the fame afflictions, as to his fight and
i gout;



CORRESPONDENCE. 325

gout ; but, in his intervals of health, he has not
loft any thing of his chearful temper. I pafled all
the laft feafon with him at the Bath, and I have
great reafon to value myfelf upon his friendfhip ;
for I am fure he fincerely wifhes me well. We
pleafed ourfelves with the thoughts of feeing you
there ; but Duke Difney, who knovs mope intel-
ligence than anybody befides, chanced to give us
a wrong information. If you bad been there, the
Duke promifed, upon my giving him notice, to
make you a vifit. He often talks of you, and
wifhes to fee you.

I was two or three days ago at Dr Arbuthnott's,
who told me, he wrote you three letters^ but had
received no anfwer. He charged ITK- to fend you
his advice, which is, to come to England, and fee
your friends. This, he affirms, (abftra&ed from
the defire he has to fee you), to be very good for
your health. He thinks that you're going to
Spa; and drinking the waters there, would be of
great fervice to you, if you have refolution enough
to take the journey. But he would have you try
England firfl. I_ tike the prefcription very much,
but I own I have a felf-intereft in it ; for your
taking this journey, would certainly do me a
great deal of good. Pope has juft now embarked
himfelf in another great undertaking, as an au-
thor ; for, of late, he has talked only as a garde-
ner. He has engaged to tranflate the Odyfiey in
three years, I believe rather out of a profpecl of
gain, than inclination ; for I am perfuaded he
VOL. XV. E e bore



32 6 DEANSWIFT's

bore his part in the lofs of the South-fea. He
lives moftly at Twickenham, and amufes himfelf
in his houfe and garden. I fupped, about a fort-
night ago, with Lord Bathurft and Lewis, at Dr
Arbuthnott's. Whenever your old acquaintance
mtiet, they never fail of expreffing their want of
you. I wilh you would come, and be convinced
that what I tell you is true.

As for the reigning amufement of the town, it
is entirely mufic, real fiddles, bafs viols, and
hautboys ; not poetical harps, lyres, and reeds.
There's no body allowed to fay, IJing, but an
Eunuch, or an Italian woman. Every body is
grown, now, as great a judge of mufic, as they
were, in your time, of poetry ; and folks that
could not diftinguifli one tune from another, now
daily diipute about the different ftiles of Handel,
Bononcini, and Attilio. People have now forgot
Homer and Virgil, and Csefar; or, at leaft, they
have loft their ranks. For in London, and Weft-
minfter, in all polite conver&tions, Senefino is
daily voted to be the greateft man that ever
lived.

I am obliged to you for your advice, as I have
been formerly for your affiftance in introducing
me into buiinefs. I fhall this year be a commif-
fioner of the (late-lottery, which will be worth to
me a hundred and fifty pounds. And I am not
without hopes, that I have friends, that will
think of fome better and more certain provifion
for me. You fee I talk to you of myfelf, as a

thing



CORRESPONDENCE. 327

tiling of confequence to you. I judge by myfelf ;
for to hear of your health and happincfs, will al-
ways be one of my greateft fatisfaftions. Every-
one that I have named in the letter, give their fer-
vice to you. I beg you to give mine, Mr Pope's,
and Mr Kent's *, to Mr Ford. I am, dear Sir,
your mo ft faithful, and mod humble fervant,

J. G A Y.



LETTER CCCXII.

DR SWIFT TO MR WALLIS.

SI R, Dublin, Feb. 12, 1722-3.

I WOULD have been at Laracor and Ath-
boy f before now, if an ugly depending
chapter-bun" nefs ^ had not tied me here. There
is a lay difficulty that, concerns the government,
the archbimop , the chapter, the dean ||, Dr
Howard f , and Robin Grattan -f- ; and I know
E e 2 not

* A celebrated improver, to whom Pope, fpeaking of Eftier,
a feat of the late Mr Pelham's, pays a mod elegant compliment :
" Where Kent and Nature vie for Pelham's love."

f MrWallis's living near Laracor.

J Probably the difpofal of the curacy of St Bridget's, Dublin,
in which the Dean efpoufed the intereft of Mr Robert Grattan.

Dr King, then Archbifhop of Dublin.

|| Dr Swift himfelf.

f Afterwards Bifhop of Elpliin.

+- Afterwards curate of St Bridget's, prebendary of St Au-
deou's, and one of the Dean's ten executors. To this Mr

Grattan,



32S DEANSWIFT's

not whether it will be determined in a month.
All my defign is, to job for Robin Grattan ; but
the reft have their different fchemes and politics,
too deep, and too contemptible for me to trouble
myfelf about them. Mean time you grow ne-
gligent, and the improvements at Laracor are
forgotten. I beg you will ftep thither for a day
or two, and ds * what is neceflary now, be-
fore the feafon is too late ; and I will come when
this affair is over, and bring down wine (which
will not be ready 'till then, for it is but juft bot-
tled) and we will be merry at your houfe and
my cottage.

I Tent your memorial, drawn up myfelf, with
my opinion upon it, and a letter to Dr Kear-
ney )-, to recommend it to the primate ^. I
likewife defired Mr Morgan to fecond it. I have
in vain hitherto fought Dr Kearney, but fliall
find him foon ; and I intend to engage Dr
Worth , and Mr Oofs || : And probably all may
come to nothing Sed quid tentare nocebit ? The
ladies are as ufually Mrs Johnfon eats an ounce
a-week, which frights me from dining with her.

My

Grattan, (who was one of the feven fons of Dr Grattan, a vene-
rable and hofpitable clergyman) Swift whimficaHjr bequeathed
his " bottle-fcrew, his fecond-beft beaver, and his ftrong box,
*' on .condition of his giving the fole ufe of the faid box to his
" brother, Dr James Grattan, (a phyfician) during the life of
*' the faid Doctor, who had more occafian for it."

* The word in the original is illegible.

t Treafurer of Armagh. \ Dr JLindfay.

An eminent phyfician. |[ Reftor of St Mary's, Dublin.



CORRESPONDENCE. 329

My crew * has drunk near three hogfheads fince
I came to town, "and we muft take up with new
when I come down. I fuppofe you are in the
midft of fpleen and juftice. I have often an ill
head, and am fo fortunate as to pick out rainy
days to ride in. What is it to you that old
Pooley the painter is dead ?

I am ever your's,

J. SWIF'T."*



LETTER CCCXIII.

LADY M TO DR SWIFT.

DEAR SIR, (Indorfed, Received zoth Feb. 1723.)

IT is impoffible for you to imagine with what
fatisfacYion I received your kind letter ; and
though I had been fo long without hearing from
you, I could never impute it to want of friend-
fhip, in one whofe goodnefs to me hath always
been abundantly more than I could deferve. I
had writ often to you -, but, having no fafe con-
veyance, chofe rather to enquire after your
health and welfare, of fome people that could
give me an account of it. And I do allure you,
from the bottom of my heart, there is not a
perfon living I have a greater friendihip for, than
yourfelf, and {hall have to the end of my life.
Indeed, now, I can only fliew it in exprefiions,
e 3 but

* Meaning, perhaps, his chapter.



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

but I flatter myfelf you believe them fincere. I
long to fee you at my retired habitation, where
you will meet with a moft hearty welcome, and
faithful friends, and none more fo, than her who
is your moft affectionate humble fervant,

A. M -M.

My Lord, children, bro-
ther and lifter, are your
humble fervants.



LETTER CCCXIV.

DR SWIFT TO DR SHERIDAN.

Chnfert, Aug. 3, 1723.

NO ; I cannot poffibly be with you fo foon ;
there are too many rivers, bogs, and
mountains between : Befides, when I leave this, I
fliall make one or two (hort vifits in my way to
Dublin, and hope to be in town by the end of
thisTnonth ; though it will be a bad time in the

hurry of your loufy p 1. Your dream is

wrong ; for this Bifhop * is not able to lift a cat
upon my moulders. But if you are for a curacy
of twenty-five pounds a-year, and ride five miles
every Sunday, to preach to fix beggars, have at
you. And yet this is no ill country ; and the
Biftiop h:is made, in four months, twelve miles of
ditches, .from his houfc to the Shannon, if you

talk

Dr Theophilus Bolton, afterwards Bifhop of Elphir, and
ArchLifliop of Ca&el.



CORRESPONDENCE. 33 r

talk of improving. How are you this moment ?
Do you love or hate Quilca the mod of all
places ? Are you in or out of humour with the
world, your frjends, your wife, and your fchool?
Are the ladies ia town, or in the country ? If I
knew, 1 would write to them ; and how are they
in health ? Quilca (let me fee) you fee I can (if
I pleafe) make parenthefes (as well as others) is
about a hundred miles from Clonfert ; and I am
half weary with the four hundred I have rode.
With love and fervice, and fo adieu.
Your's, &c.



LETTER CCCXV.

FROM DR SWIFT.

Dublin, Sept. 2O, 1723.

RETURNING from a Summer expedition of
four months on account of my health, I
found a letter from you, with an appendix longer
than your's, from Lord JBolingbroke. I believe
there is not a more miferable malady than an
xmwillingnefs to wri;:c letters to our bcft friends ;
and a man might be philofopher enough, in
finding out reafons for it. One thing is clear,
that it {hews a mighty difference betwixt friend-
ftiip and love, for a lover (as I have heard) is al-
ways fcribbling to his miftrefs. If I could not
permit myfelf to believe what your civility makes

you



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

you fay, that I am ftill remembered by my friends
in England, I am in the right to keep myfelf
here Non fum quails eram. I left you in a pe-
riod of life, when one year does more execution
than three at your's ; to which if you add the
dulnefs of the air, and of the people, it will make
a terrible fum. I have no very ftrong faith in
you pretenders to retirement ; you are not of an
age for it, nor have gone through either good or
bad fortune enough to go into a corner, and
form conclufions de contemptu mundi et fuga fxculi ;
tmlefs a poet grows weary of too much ap-
plaufe, as minifters do of too much weight of
bufinefs.

Your happinefs is greater than your merit, in
chufing your favourites fo indifferently among
either party. This you owe, partly to your educa-
tion, and partly to your genius employing you
in an art in which faction has nothing to do ;
for I fuppofe Virgil and Horace are equally read
by Whigs and Tories. You have no more to do
with the conftitution of church and ftate, than a
Chriftian at Conftantinople ; and you are fo
much the wifer and the happier, becaufe both
parties will approve your poetry, as long as you
are known to be of neither.

Your notions of friend/hip are new to me *.
I believe every man is born with his quantum ,
and he cannot give to one, without robbing an-
other. I very well know to whom I would give

the

.* Yet thev arc the Chriftian notions. Wart.



CORRESPONDENCE. 333

the firft places in my friendfhip, but they are not
in the way : I am condemned to another fcene ;
and therefore I diflribute it in penny-worths to
thofe about me, and who difpleafe me leaft;
and fhould do the fame to rny fellow-prifoners,
if I were condemned to jail. I can likewife tole-
rate knaves much better than fools, becaufe their
knavery does me no hurt in the commerce I have
with them ; which, however, I own is more dan-
gerous, though not fo troublefome as that of
fools. I have often endeavoured to eftabliih a
friendfhip among all men of genius, and would
fain have it done : They are feldom above three
or four contemporaries ; and if they could be
united, would drive the world before them. I
think it was fo among the poets in the time of
Auguftus ; but envy, and party, and pride, have
hindered it amongft us. I do not include the
fubalterns, of which you are feldom without a
large tribe. Under the name of poets and fcrib-
blers, I fuppofe you mean the fools you are con-
tent to fee fometimts, when they happen to be
modeft ; which was not frequent among them,
while I was in the world.

I would defcribe to you my way of living, if
any method could be called fo in this country. I
chufe my companions among thofe of leaft confe-
quence, and moft compliance. I read the moft
trifling books I can find ; and whenever I write,
it is upon the moft trifling fubjecls : But riding,
walking, and fleeping, take up eighteen of the

twenty-



334 DEAN S W I F T's

twenty-four hours. I procraftinate more than I
did twenty years ago ; and have feveral things to
finifh, which I put off to twenty years hence : Hac
eft vitafolutorumy &c. I fend you the compli-
ments of a friend of your's, who hath paffed
four months this Summer with two grave ac-
quaintances at his country-houfe, without ever
once going to Dublin, which is but eight miles
uiftant ; yet when he returns to London, I will
engage you fhall find him as deep in the Court of
Requefts, the park, the opera's, and the coffee-
houfe, as any man there. I am now with him
for a few- days.

You muft remember me with great affection to
Dr Arbuthnott, Mr Congreve, and Gay. I
think there are no more eodem tertio's between
you and me, except Mr Jervais, to whofe houfe
I addrefs this ; for want of knowing where you
live : For it was not clear from your laft, whe-
ther you lodge with Lord Peterborow, or he
with you. I am ever, &c.



LETTER CCCXVI.

DR ARBUTHNOTT TO DR SWIFT.



Indorfed,
DEAR SIR, OV , J723 .

I HAVE as good a right to invade your foli-
tude, as Lord B - , Gay or Pope, and
you fee I make ufe of it. I know you wifh us all

at



CORRESPONDENCE. 335

at the Devil, for robbing a moment from your
vapours and vertigo. It is no matter for that ;
you (hall have a meet of paper every poft, fill you
come to yourfelf. By a paragraph in yotu-'s to
Mr Pope, J find you are in the cafe of the man,
who held the whole night by a broom-bufh, and
found, when day-light appeared, he was within
two inches of the ground. You don't feem to
know how well you ftand with our great folks.
I myfelf have been at a great man's table, ami
have heard, out of the mouths of violent Irifh
Whigs, the whole table-talk turn upon your
commendation. If it had not been upon the ge-
neral topic of your good qualities, and the good
you did, I fliould have grown jealous of you.
My intention in this, is not to expoftulate, but to
do you go^od. I know how unhappy a vertigo
makes any body, that has the misfortune to be
troubled with it. I might have been deep in it
myfelf, if I had a-mind ; and I will-propofe a
cure for you, that I will pawn my reputation up-
on. ' I have of late fent feveral patients in that
cafe to the Spa, to drink there of the Geronfter
water, which will not carry from the fpot. -It
has fucceeded marvelloufly with them all. There
was indeed one who rclapfed a little this laft
Summer, becaufe he would not take my advice,
and return to his courfe, that had been too fhort
the year before. But becaufe the inftances of
eminent men are moft confpicuous, Lord Whit-
worth, our plenipotentiary, had this difeafe,

(which,



336 DEAN SWIFT's

(which, by the way, is a little difqualifying for
that employment) : He was fo bad, that he was
often forced to catch hold of any thing to keep
him from falling. I know he has recovered, by
the ufe of that water, to fo great a degree, that
he can ride, walk, or do any thing as formerly.
I leave this to your conflderation. Your friends
here wifli to fee you, and none more than myfelf j
but I really don't advife you to fuch a journey, to
gratify them, or myfelf ; but I am almoft confi-
dent, it would do you a great deal of good. The
Dragon is juft the old man, when -he is roufed.
He is a little deaf, but has all his other good and

bad qualities juft as of old. Lord B is mnch

improved in knowledge, manner, and every
thing elfe. The {haver * is an honeft friendly
man, as before : He has a good deal to do to
fmother his Welfh fire, which, you know, he
has in a greater degree than fome would imagine.
He pofts himfelf a good part of the year in fome
warm houfe, wins the Ladies' money at ombre,
and convinces them that they are highly obliged

to him. Lord and Lady M f-, Mr Hill, and

Mrs Hill, often remember you with affection.

As for your humble fervant, with a great ftone

in his right kidney, and a family of men and

women to provide for, he is as chearful as ever

in public affairs. He has kept, as Tacitus fays,

I Medium

* Erafmus Lewis, Efq ; who, in Dr Swift's imitation of Ho-
race, Ep. *ii. B, I. is fo^calkd :

" This Lewis is an errant liaver."
f Mafham.



CORRESPONDENCE. 337

Medium iter inter vile fervitium et abniptam contu-
maciam. He never rails at a great man, but to his
face ; which, I can allure you, he has had both
the opportunity and licence to do. He has fomc
few weak friends, and fewer enemies : If any, he"
is low enough to be rather defpifed, than puflied
at by them. I am, faithfully, dear Sir, your af-
fectionate humble fervant,

J. ARBUTHNOTT.



LETTER CCCXVIL

THE DUCHESS OF ORMOND TO DR SWIFT.

S I R, December 9, 1723.

I FIND by your's of the 6th November, which
I did not receive till laft night, that you
have been fo good as to remember your poor re-
lation here. But as your three, laft ruvcr came
to hand, I think it very happy, that you have
kept your liberty thus long ; for I can't account
for my not receiving them any other way, tnan
that they were flopped in the pott-office, and in-
terpreted, as mott innocent things are, to mean
fomcthing very cliftant from the intention of the
writer or adlor.

I am furprifed at the account you give me of
that part of Ireland you have been in ; For the
heft I expect from that grateful country, is to be
forgotten by the inhabitants. For to remember

VOL. XV. F f with



33$ DEAN S W I F T's

with any kindnefs, one under the frowns of the
Court i is not a gift the Irifh are endowed with.
I am very forry to hear you have got the fpleen,
where a man of your fenfe muft every day meet
with things ridiculous enough to make you
laugh, but I am afraid the jefts are too low to
do fo. Change of air is the beft thing in the
world for your dhlemper. And if not to cure
yourfelf, at leaft, have fo much goodnefs for
your friends here, as to come and cure us ; for
it is a diftemper we are over-run with. I am fure
your company would go a great way towards
my recovery ; for I afTure you, nobody has a
greater value for you than I have, and hope I
lhall have the good fortune to fee you before I


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Online LibraryJonathan SwiftThe works of Jonathan Swift .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 19 of 25)