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could not hear. But God forbid you should be as deftitute of the focial comforts of life, as I must when I lofe my mother; or that ever you fhou'd lofe your more useful acquaintance fo utterly, as to turn your thoughts to such a broken reed as I am, who could fo ill fupply your wants. I am extremely troubled at the returns of your deafness; you cannot be too particular in the accounts of your health to me; every thing you do or fay in this kind obliges me, nay, delights me, to see the juftice you do in thinking me concern'd in all your concerns; fo that though the pleasantest thing you can tell me be that you are better or easier; next to that it pleases me, that you make me the perfon you would complain to.
As the obtaining the love of valuable men is the happiest end I know of this life, so the next felicity is to get rid of fools and fcoundrels; which I can't but own to you was one part of my design in falling upon these Authors, whose incapacity is not greater than their infincerity, and of whom I have always found (if I may quote myself)
That each bad Author is as bad a Friend,
Cedite, Romani Scriptores, cedite, Graii ;
I mean than my Iliad; and I call it Nefcio quid, which is a degree of modefty; but however if it filence these fellows b, it must be something greater than any Iliad in Christendom.
From Dr. SWIFT.
Dublin, May 10, 1728.
Have with great pleasure fhewn the new England News-paper with the two names Jonathan Gulliver, and I remember Mr. Fortescue sent you an account from the affizes, of one Lemuel Gulliver who had a Cause there, and loft it on his ill reputation of being a liar. These are not the only obfervations I have made upon odd ftrange accidents in trifles, which in things of great importance would have been matter for Hiftorians. Mr. Gay's Opera hath been acted here twenty times, and my Lord Lieutenant tells me, it is very well perform'd ; he hath feen it often, and approves it much.
You give a moft melancholy account of yourfelf, and which I do not approve. I reckon
b It did, in a little time, effectually filence them.
that a man subject like us to bodily infirmities, should only occafionally converse with great people, notwithstanding all their good qualities, easinesses, and kindneffes. There is another race which I prefer before them, as Beef and Mutton for constant diet before Partridges: I mean a middle kind both for understanding and fortune, who are perfectly eafy, never impertinent, complying in every thing, ready to do a hundred little offices that you and I may often want, who dine and fit with me five times for once that I go to them, and whom I can tell without offence, that I am otherwife engaged at prefent. This you cannot expect from any of those that either you or I or both are acquainted with on your fide; who are only fit for our healthy seasons, and have much business of their own. God forbid I fhould condemn you to Ireland (Quanquam O!) and for England I despair; and indeed a change of affairs would come too late at my season of life, and might probably produce nothing on my behalf. You have kept Mrs. Pope longer, and have had her care beyond what from nature you could expect ; not but her lofs will be very fenfible, whenever it shall happen. I fay one thing, that both fummers and winters are milder here than with you; all things for life in general better for a middling fortune: you will have
an abfolute command of your company, with whatever obfequioufnefs or freedom you may expect or allow. I have an elderly housekeeper; who hath been my W-lp-le above thirty years, whenever I liv'd in this kingdom. I have the command of one or two villa's near this town: You have a warm apartment in this house, and two gardens for amusement. I have faid enough, yet not half. Except abfence from friends, I confefs freely that I have no discontent at living here; befides what arises from a filly fpirit of Liberty, which as it neither fours my drink, nor hurts my meat, nor fpoils my ftomach farther than in imagination; fo I refolve to throw it off.
You talk of this Dunciad, but I am impatient to have it volare per ora—there is now a vacancy for fame; the Beggar's Opera hath done its task, difcedat uti conviva fatur.
From Dr. SWIFT.
June 1, 1728.
Look upon my Lord Bolingbroke and us two, as a peculiar Triumvirate, who have nothing to expect, or to fear; and so far fittest
to converse with one another: Only he and I are a little fubject to schemes, and one of us (I won't fay which) upon very weak appearances, and this you have nothing to do with. I do profess without affectation, that your kind opinion of me as a Patriot (fince you call it fo) is what I do not deferve; because what I do is owing to perfect rage and refentment, and the mortifying fight of flavery, folly, and baseness about me, among which I am forced to live. And I will take my oath that you have more Virtue in an hour, than I in feven years; for you defpife the follies, and hate the vices of mankind, without the leaft ill effect on your temper and with regard to particular men, you are inclined always rather to think the better, whereas with me it is always directly contrary. I hope, however, this is not in you from a fuperior principle of virtue, but from your fituation, which hath made all parties and interefts indifferent to you, who can be under no concern about high and low-church, Whig and Tory, or who is firft MinifterYour long letter was the laft I receiv'd, till this by Dr. Delany, although you mention another fince. The Dr. told me your fecret about the Dunciad, which does not please me, because it defers gratifying my vanity in the most tender point, and perhaps may wholly VOL. IX. difappoint