Jonathan Swift.

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think the way to have a public fpirit, is firft to
have a private one : For who -can believe, ({aid
a friend of mine,) that any man can care for a
hundred thoufand people, who never cared for
one ? -No ill-humoured man can ever be a pa-
triot, any more than a friend.

I defigned to have left the following page for
Dr Arbuthnott to fill ; but he is fo touched
with the period in your's to me concerning him, he intends to anfwer it by a whole letter.
He too is bufy about a book, which I guefs he
will tell you of. So adieu. What remains worth
telling you ? Dean Berkeley is well, and happy in
the profecution of his fcheme. Lord Oxford and
Lord Bolingbroke in health ; Duke Difney fo
alfo ; Sir William Wyndham better ; Lord Ba-
thurft well. Thefe, and fonie others, preferve
their ancient honour, and ancient friendfhip.

Thofe who do neither, if they were d d,



what is it to a Proreftant pr'cfr, who has nothing
to do with the dead ? I anfwer, for my own
part, as a Papift, I would not pray them out of

My name is as bad an one as your's, and hated
by all bad poets, from Hopkins and Sternhold to
Gildon and Cibber. The firft prayed againft me
with the Turk, and a modern imitator of their's
(whom I leave to you to find outj has added the
Chriftian to them, with proper definitions of
each, in this manner :

The Pope's the whore of Babylon,

The Turk he is a Jew ;
The Chriftian is an Infidel

That fitteth in a pew.



DEAR SIR, London, Ocl. 17, 1725.

I HAVE the vanity to think, that a few friends
have a real concern for me, and are uncafy
when I am in diftrefs ; in confequence of which,
I ought to communicate with them the joy of my
recovery. I did not want a moft kind paragraph
in your letter to Mr Pope, to convince me, that
you are of the number ; and I know, that I
give you a fenfible pleafure, in telling you, that I
M m 2 think

412 D E A N S W I F T r s

think myfelf at this time almoft perfectly recover-
ed of a mofl unufual and dangerous diftemper,
an impofthume in the bowels ; fuch a one, that
had it been in the hands of a chirurgeon, in an
outward and flefliy part, I fhould not have been
well thefe three months. Duke Difney, our old
friend, is in a fair way to recover of fuch an-
other. There have been feveral of them occa-
fioned, as I reckon, by the cold and wet feafon.
People have told me of new impoftures (as they
call them) every day. Poor Sir William Wynd-
ham is an- impojlure : I hope the Bath, where he
5s going, will do him good. The hopes of fee-
ing once more the Dean of St Patrick's, revives
my fpirits. I cannot help imagining fome of
your old club met together, like mariners after a
ftorm. For God's fake, do not tantalize your
friends any more. I can prove by twenty unan-
fwerable arguments, that it is abfolutely neceffary,
that you fhould come over to England ; that it
\voulcl be committing the greateft abfurdity that
ever was, not to do it the next approaching Win-
ter. I believe, indeed, it is juft poffible to fave
your foul without it, and that is all. As for
your book * (of which I have framed to myfelf
luch an idea, that I am perfuaded, there is no
doing any good upon mankind without itj I will
fet the letters myfelf, rather than it (hould not
be published. But before you put the finifliing
hand to it, it is really neceffary to be acquainted

* Gulliver's Travels.


with fome new improvements of mankind, that
have appeared of late, and are daily appearing.
Mankind has an inexhauflible fource of inven-
tion in the way of folly and madnefs. I have
only one fear, that when you come over, you will
be fo much coveted and taken up by the mini-
ftry , that unlefs your friends meet you at theu
tables, they will have none of your company.
This is really n,o joke ; I am quite in earneft.
Your deafnefs is fo neceiTary a thing, that I al-
moft begin to think it an affectation. I remem-
ber you ufed to reckon dinners. I know of near
half-a-year's dinners, where you are already be-
fpoke. It is worth your while to come to fee
your old friend Lewis, who is wifer than ever he
was, the beft of huibands. I am fure I can fay
from my own experience, that he is the beft of
friends. He was fo to me, when he had little
hope I fhould ever live to thank him.

You muft acquaint me, before you take your
journey, that we may provide a convenient lodg-
ing for you amongft your friends. I am called
away this moment, and have only time to add,
that I love and long to fee you ; and am moft
fi nee rely, dear Sir, your moft faithful humble

M m 3 LET -

4i 4 D E A N S W I F T's



REV. StR, Dover-JJreet, Off. 19, 1725.

I HOPE you will excufe thefe few lines for
once, when I tell you that yefterday morn-
ing, I thank God, my wife was fafely delivered
of a fon, and both mother and child are as well
as can be expected. I fancy this will not be dif-
agreeable news to the Dean of St Patrick's, ex-
eept he be very much altered, which I believe
not. I will not trouble you with any more, but
to tell you,'that~I am, with great refpect, Sir, your
moft obedient humble fervant, OXFORD.



Nov. 26, 1725.

I SHOULD fooner have acknowledged your's,
if a feverifh diforder, and the relics of ir,
had not difabled me for a fortnight. I now be-
gin to make excufes, becaufe I hope I am pretty
near feeing you, and therefore I would cultivate
.an acquaintance : Becaufe if you do not know me*
when we meet, you need only keep one of my
letters, and compare i: with my face, for my face



and letters are counter-parts of my heart. I fear
I have not exprfcfied that right ; but I mean well,
and I hate blots. I look in your letter, and in my
eonfcience you fay the fame thing, but in a better
manner. Pray tell my Lord Bolingbroke, that I
wifh he were banifhed again ; for then I fhould
hear from him, when he was full of philofophy,
and talked de contemptu mundi. My Lord Oxford
was fo extremely kind, as to write to me imme-
diately on account of his fon's birth ; which I
immediately acknowledged ; but before my letter
could reach him, I wifhed it in the fea. I hope
I was more afflicted than his Lordfhip. "I'is
hard that parfons and beggars fhould be over-run
with brats, while fo' great and good a family wants
an heir to continue it. I have received his fa-
ther's picture ; but I lament (fubfigilh confeflloms )
that it is not fo true a refemblance as I could wifh.
\Drown the world ! I am not content with defpif-
ing it ; but T would anger it, if I could with fafe-
ty/ I willi there were an hofpital built for its de-
fpifers, where one might act with fafety ; and it
need not be a large building, only I would have
it well endowed. P** isjort chancellant t whether
he fhall turn parfon or no. But all employments
here are engaged, or in reverfion. Caft wits and
xaft beaux have a proper fanctuary in the church j
yet we think it a fevere judg.nent, that a fine gen-
tleman, and fo much the finer for hating ecclefi-
aftics, ihould be a clomeflic humble retainer to an
Irifh prelate. He is neither fecretary nor gentle-

4 i6 D E A N S W I F T's

man-ufher, yet ferves in both capacities. He hath
publifhed feveral reafons why he never came to
fee me ; but the beft is, that I have not waited
on his Lordfhip. We have had a poem fent from
London, in imitation of that on Mifs Carteret.
It is on Mifs Harvey, of a day old ; and we fay
and think it is your's. 1 wifh it were not, becaufe

I am againft monopolies. You might have

fpared me a few more lines of your fatire, but I
hope in a few months to fee it all. To hear boys
like you talk of millenniums and tranquillity ! I
am older by thirty years, Lord Bolingbroke by-
twenty, and you but by ten, than when we laft
were together ; and we fhould differ more than
ever ; you coquetting a maid of honour, my
Lord looking on to fee how the gamefters play,
and I railing at you both. I defire you and all my
friends will take a fpecial care, that my difaffection
to the world may not be imputed to my age ; fat I
have credible witneffes ready to depofe, that it
hath never varied from the twenty-firft to the
f ty-eighth year of my life, (pray fill that blank
charitably). ( I tell you, after all, that I do not
hate mankind : It is voits autres who hate them,
becaufe you would' have them reafonable ani-
mals, and are angry at being difappointed. I have
always rejected that definition, and made another

of my own. I am no more angry with , than

I was with the kite that laft week flew away with
one of my chickens ; and yet I was pleafed when
one of my fervants (hot him two days after. This



I fay, becaufe you are fo hardy as to tell me of your
intentions to write maxims in oppofition to Roche
foucault, who is my favourite, becaufe I found
my whole character in him * : However, I will
read him again, becaufe it is poffible I may have

fince undergone fome alteration. Take care

the bad poets do not out-wit you, as they have
ferved the good ones in every age, whom they
have provoked to tranfmit their names to pofte-
rity. Maevius is as well known as Virgil ; and
Gildon will be as well known as you, if his name
gets into your verfes : And as to the difference
between good and bad fame, 'tis a perfect trifle.
I afk a thoufand pardons, and fo leave you for
this time, and will write again, without concern-
ing myfelf whether you write or no.

I am, &c.


Dec* 10. 1725,

I FIND myfelf the better acquainted with you
for a long abfence, as men are with them-
felves for a long affliction. Abfence does but
hold off a friend, to make one fee him the more
truly. I am infinitely more pleafed to hear you
are coming near us, than at any thing you feem
to think in my favour ; an opinion which has


* This, methinks, is no great compliment to his own heart.

418 DEAN S W I F T's

perhaps been aggrandifcd by the diftance or dul-
,nefs of Ireland, as objects look larger through a
medium of fogs : - And yet I am infinitely pleafed
with that too. I am much the happier for (find-
ing a better thing than our wits) our judgments
jump in the notion, that all fcribblers fhould be
paffed by in filence. To vindicate one's felf a-
gainft fuch nafly flander, is much as wife as it
was in your countryman, when the people im-
puted a ftink to him, to prove the contrary by
fhewing his back-fide. So let Gildon and Philips
reft in peace ! What had Virgil to do with Mae-
vius, that he fhould wear him upon his
all eternity, I don't know. I have been the long-
er upon this, that I may prepare you for the re-
ception both you 2nd your works may pofiibly
meet in England. We, your true acquaintance,
will look upon you as a good man, and love
you ; others will look upon you as a wit, and
hate you. So you know the worft ; unlefs you
are as vindictive as Virgil, or the aforefaid Hiber-

I wifh as warmly as you for an hofpital, in
which to lodge the defpifers of the world ; only
I fear it would be filled wholly like Chelfea, with
maimed foldiers, and fuch as had been difabled
in its fervice. I would rather have thofe, that,
out of fuch generous principles as you and I, de-
fpife it, fly in its face, then retire from it. Not
that I have much anger againft the great ; my
fpleen is at the little rogues of it. It would vex



one more to be knocked on the head with a
pifs-pot, than by a thunder-bolt. As to great op-
preflbrs, they are like kites or eagles ; one expects
mifchicf from them : But to be fquirted to death
(as poor Wycherly faid to me on his death-bed)
by apothecaries apprentices, by the under-ftrap-
pers of under-fecretaries to iccretaries who were
no fecretaries, this would provoke as dull a dog
as Ph s himfelf.

So much for enemies : Now for friends. Mr

L thinks all this indifcreet : The Doctor

not fo ; he loves mifchief the beft of any good-
natured man in England. Lord B. is above
trifling. When he writes of any thing in this
world, he is more than mortal : If ever he trifles t
it mujl be when he turns a divine. Gay is writing
tales for Prince William. .1 fuppofe Mr Philips
will take this very ill, for two reafons ; one, that
he thinks all childifh things belong to him ; and
the Other, becaufe he'll take it ill to be taught,
that one may write things to a child without be-
ing childifh. What have I more to acid, but
that Lord Oxford deiires earneftly to fee you ;
and that many others, whom you do not think
the worft of, will be gratified by it ? None more,
be afluixd, than

Your's, c.

P. S. Pope and you are very great wits, and,
I think, very indifferent philofophers. If you
defpifc the world as much as you pretend, and


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

perhaps believe, you would not be fo angry with
it. The founder of your feel, that noble origi-
nal whom you think it fo great an honour to
refemble *, was a flave to the worft part of the
world, to the Court ; and all his big words were
the language of a flighted lover, who defired no-
thing fo much as a reconciliation, and feared
nothing fo much as a rupture. I believe the
the world hath ufed me as fcurvily as moft peo-
ple ; and yet I could never find in my heart to be
thoroughly angry with the fimple, falfe, caprici-
ous thing. I fhould blufh alike, to be difcover-
ed fond of the world, or piqued at it. Your
de6nition of animal rationis capax, inftead of the
common one animal rationale, will not bear exa-
mination. Define but reafon, and you will fee
why your diftin&ion is no better than that of the
pontiff Cotta, between mala ratio and bona ratio.
But enough of this. Make us a vifit, and I'll
fubfcribe to any fide of thefe important queftions
which you pleafe. We differ lefs than you ima-
gine perhaps, when you wifhed me banifhed a-
gain : But I am not lefs true to you, and to phi-
lofophy in England, than I was in France.

Your's, &c. B.

i LET-

* Seneca.




[So indorfed.]

MY LORD, Jan. 31, 1725-6.

I DESIRE you will give yourfelf the laft trou-
ble I fliall ever put you to. I do entirely
acquit you of any injury or injufticc done to Mr
Curtis * j and if you had read that paiTage in my
letter a fecond time, you could not poffibly have
ib ill underftood me. The injury and Snjuftice
the young man received, were from thofe, who,
claiming a title to his chambers, took away his
key ; and reviled, and threatened to beat him ;
with a great deal of the like monftrous conduct :
Whereupon, at his requeft, I laid the cafe be-
fore you f, as it appeared to me. And it would
have been very ftrange, if, on account of a trifle,
and of a perfon for whom I have no concern,
further than as he was once employed by me, on.
the character he bears of piety and learning, I
VOL. XV. N n fhould

* A refulcnt mafter in Trinity collar, whom the Dean
made ore of tile four minor canons of h't Patrick's cathedral.
Dub. edit.

t Lord Vifcotint Palmerfton (nephew to Sir William Temple)
had a right to bellow two handfomc chambers in the univerfity
of Dublin, upon fuch (Indents as he and his he'rs fhall think
proper, 0:1 acc/'iint of the benefaflions of this family towards
the college-buildings. Dub. edit.

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

fhould charge you with injury and injuftice to
him, when I know from himfelf, and Mr Read-
ing, that you were not anfwerable for either.

As you Hate the cafe of tenant at will, I fully
agree, that no law can compel you ; but law was
not at all in my thoughts.

Now, my Lord, if what I write of injury and
injustice, were wholly applied, in plain terms, to
one or two of the college here, whofe names
were below my remembrance ; you will confider
how I could deferve an anfwer, in every line, full
of foul infinuations, open reproaches, jefting
flirts, and contumelious terms ; and what title
you claim to give me fuch treatment. I own my
obligation to Sir William Temple *, for recom-
mending me to the late King, althouglrwithout
fuccefs ; and for his choice of me to take care of
his pofthumous writings. But I hope you will
not charge my being in his family, as an obliga-
tion -, for I was educated to little purpofe, if I
had chofen his houfe on any other motives, than
the benefit of his converfation and advice, and


* After Mr Swift left the umverfity of Dublin, Sir William
Temple (whofe father, Sir John Temple, Mafter of the Rolls
in Ireland, had been a friend to the family) invited our young
author to fpend fome time with him at Moor-park in England
for the fake of hit converfation ; where he purfued his fhidies
through all the Greek and Roman hiflorians. Here it was he
was introduced by his friend to Kinj William, when his Ma-
jefty ufed to pay frequent vifits to that great miniffer, after h*
had retired from_ public bufinefs to his feat at Moor-park.
Dub. edit. There is not the leaft rcafon to believe, that .sir
William Temple was rifited by K. William at Moor-park. H.


the opportunity of purfuing my ftudies. For,
being born to no fortune, I was, at his death, as
much to feck it as ever ; and perhaps you will
allow, that I was of fbme uie to him. This I
will venture to fay, that in the time when I had
fome little credit, I did fifty times more for fifty
people, from whom I never received the leaft
fervice or affiftance ; yet I fhould not be pleafed
to hear a relation of mine reproaching them with
ingratitude, although many of them well dcferve
it : For, thanks to party, I have met in both
kingdoms with ingratitude enough.

If I have been ill informed, you have not beea
much better, that I declared no great regard to
your family ; for fo you exprefs yourfclf. I never
had occafion, or opportunity, to make ufe of any
fuch words. The laft time I faw you in London,
was the laft intercourfe that I remember to have
had with your family. ' But having always trufted
to my own innocence, I was never inquifitive to
know my accufers. When I mentioned my lofs
of intereft with you, I did it with concern; and
I had no refentment ; becaufe I fuppofed it to
arife only from different fentimcnts in public

My Lord, if my letter were polite, it was a-
gainft my intention, and I intreat your pardon
for it. If I have wit, I will keep it to fhew
when I am angry ; which at prefent I am not :
Becaufe, although nothing can excufc thofe in-
temperate words your pen hath let fall, yet I
N ii 2 (hall

424 DEAN S W I F T's

fliall give allowance to a hafty perfon, hurried
on by a miftake, beyond all rules of decency. If
a firil minifter of ftate had ufed me as you have
done, he fhould have heard from me in another
flyle ; becaufe, in that cafe, retaliating would be
thought a mark of courage. But as your Lord-
fhip is not in a iltuation to do me good, nor,
I am fure, of a difpofition to do me mifchief ;
fo I ihould lofe the merit of being bold, becaufe
I incurred no danger.

In this point alone we are exactly equal : but
in wit and politenefs, I am as ready to yield to
you, as in titles and eftate.

I have found out one fecret : That although
you call me a great wit, you do not think me
fo ; / othqr.wife you would have been cautious to
have writ me fuch a letter.

You conclude with faying, you are ready to
afk pardon where you have offended. Of this I
acquit you, becaufe I have not taken the of-
fence ; but whether you will acquit yourfelf,
muft be left to your confcience and honour.

I have formerly, upon occafions, been your
humble fervant in Ireland, and fhould not re-
fufe to be fo ftill : But you have fo ufeful and
excellent a friend in Mr Reading, that you need
no other ; and I hope my good opinion of him
will not leiTen your's. I am, my Lord,

Your moft humble fervant,





London , May 4. 1726.

HAD rather live in forty Irelands, than un-
der the frequent difquiets of hearing you arc
out of order. I always apprehended it moft
after a great dinner ; for the Icaft trangreffion of
your's, if it be only two bits and one fup more
than your (lint, is a great debauch ; for which
you certainly pay more, than thofe fots who are
carried dead drunk to bed. My Lord Peterbo-
row fpoiled every body's dinner, but efpecially
mine, with telling us, that you were detained by
fickuefs. Pray let me have three lines under any
hand or pot-hook that will give me a better ac-
count of your health ; which concerns me more
than others, becaufe 1 love and eftecm you, for
reafons that moil others have little to do with ;
and would, be the fame, although you had never
touched a pen, further than with writing to me.
I am gathering up my luggage, and preparing
for my journey. 1 will endeavour to think of
you as little as I can ; and when 1 write to you,
I will ftrive not to think of you. This I intend
in return to your kindnefs ; and further, I know
no body has dealt with me fo cruelly as you ;
the confequences of which ufage I fear will laft
as long as my life ; for fo long {hall I be, in fpitc
of :ny heart, entirely your's.

N n 3 L E T -

426 D E A-N S W I F T's


^ July 15, 1726.

I WISH you would fend me a common bill in
f6rm, upon any banker, for one hundred
pounds, and I will wait for it, and in the mean
time borrow where I can. What you tell me of
Mrs Johnfon, I have long expelled, with great
oppreffion and heavinefs of heart. We have
been perfect friends thefe thirty-five years. Up-
on my advice they both came to Ireland, and have
been ever iince my conftant companions ; and the
remainder of my life will be a very melancholy
fcene, when one of them is gone, whom I moft
efteemed, upon the (core of every good quality,
that can poffibly recommend a human creature.
I have thefe two months feen through Mrs Ding-
ley's difguifes f. And, indeed, ever fince I left


* This gentleman was a foundling, and. Swift ufed to call him
Melchifedeck, becaufe Melchifedeck is faid to have had neither
father nor mother : He was a clergyman, a matter of arts, a
reader, and a vicar of Swift's cathedral, and matter of the fong :
He was ner.rly of the Dean's own (landing in the college, had
good fenfe, and much humour. His wife was a woman of
great fprightlincfs, good nature, and generofity ; remarkably
cleanly and elegant, in her peripn, in her hou/e, and at her
table ; the Dean therefore "was of his guefts, and contracted
great intimacy with him.

{ Probably endeavouring to conceal Mrs Johnfon's danger, in
tendernefs to the Dean.


you, my heart hath been fo funk, that I have not
been the fame man, nor ever {hall be again ; but
drag on a wretched life, till it (hall pleafe God to
call me away. I miift tell you as a, friend, that if
you have reafon to believe Mrs Johnfon* cannot
hold out till my return, I would not think of
coming to Ireland j and, in that cafe, I would
expect of you, in the beginning of September, to
renew my licence for another half-year ; which
time I will fpend in fbme retirement far from
London, till I can be in a difpofidon of appear-
ing, after an accident that muft be fo fatal to my
quiet, I wifh it could be brought about, that fhe
might make her will. Her intentions are to leave
the intereft of all her fortune to her mother and
fifter, during their lives, and afterwards to Dr
Stephen's hofpital, to purchafe lands for fuch
ufes there as fhe defigns. Think how I am d\C-
pofed while I write this, and forgive the incon-
fiftencies. I would not for the univerfe be pre-
fent at fuch a trial of feeing her depart. She
will be among friends, that, upon her own ac-
count, and great worth, will tend her with all
pcffible care, where I fhould be a trouble to her,
and the greateft torment to myfeif. In cafe the
matter fhould be defperate, I would have you
advife, if they come to town, that they fhould
be lodged in fome airy healthy part, and not in
the deanry ; which befides, you know, cannot
but be a very improper tiling for that honfc to
breathe her laft in. This I leave to your difcre-

tion ;

428 D E A N - S W I F T's

tion ; and I conjure you to burn this letter imme-
diately, without telling the contents of it to any
perfon alive. Pray write to me every week, that
I may know what fteps to take ; for I am deter-

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