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however I own is more dangerous, tho' not fo troublesome, as that of Fools. I have often endeavoured to establish a Friendship 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 among us. I do not include the Subalterns, of which you are seldom without a large Tribe. Under the name of Poets and Scriblers I suppose you mean the Fools you are content to see fometimes, 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 confequence and most compliance: I read the moft trifling Books I can find, and whenever I write, it is upon the most trifling fubjects: But riding, walking, and fleeping take up eighteen of the twenty-four hours. I procrastinate more than I did twenty years ago, and have several things to finish which I put off to twenty years hence; Hæc eft vita Solutorum, &c. I fend you the compliments of a friend of yours, who hath paffed four months this fummer with two grave VOL. IX, acquaint
acquaintance at his country-houfe without ever once going to Dublin, which is but eight miles distant; yet when he returns to London, I will engage you shall find him as deep in the Court of Requests, the Park, the Opera's, and the Coffee-house, as any man there. I am now with him for a few days.
You must remember me with great affection to Dr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Congreve, and Gay.I think there are no more eodem tertio's between you and me except Mr. Jervas, to whofe house I address this for want of knowing where you live for it was not clear from your laft whether you lodge with Lord Peterborow, or he with you.
I am ever, &c.
Sept. 14, 1725
Need not tell with what real delight I should have done any thing you defired, and in particular any good offices in my power towards the bearer of your Letter, who is this day gone for France, Perhaps 'tis with Poets as with Prophets, they are fo much better lik'd in another country than their own, that your 4 Gentleman,
Gentleman, upon arriving in England, loft his curiofity concerning me. However, had he try'd, he had found me his friend; I mean he had found me yours. I am disappointed at not knowing better a man whom you efteem, and comfort myself only with having got a Letter from you, with which (after all) I fit down a gainer; fince to my great pleasure it confirms my hope of once more feeing you. After fo many dispersions and fo many divifions, two or three of us may yet be gathered together: not to plot, not to contrive filly fchemes of ambition, or to vex our own or others hearts with bufy vanities (such as perhaps at one time of life or other take their Tour in every man) but to divert ourselves, and the world too if it pleases; or at worst, to laugh at others as innocently and as unhurtfully as at ourselves. Your Travels a I hear much of; my own I promife you shall never more be in a strange land, but a diligent, I hope useful, investigation of my own Territories b. I mean no more Translations, but fomething domeftic, fit for my own country, and for my own time. If you come to us, I'll find you elderly Ladies enough that can halloo, and two that can nurse, and they are too old and feeble to make
b The Effay on Man. E 2
too much noise; as you will guefs, when I tell you they are my own mother, and my own nurse. I can also help you to a Lady who is as deaf, tho' not fo old, as yourself; you'll be pleas'd with one-another I'll engage, tho' you don't hear one-another; you'll converse like fpirits by intuition. What you'll most wonder at is, she is confiderable at Court, yet no partywoman, and lives in Court, yet would be easy, and make you easy.
One of thofe you mention (and I dare fay always will remember) Dr. Arbuthnot, is at this time ill of a very dangerous diftemper, an impofthume in the bowels; which is broke, but the event is very uncertain. Whatever that be (he bids me tell you, and I write this by him) he lives or dies your faithful friend; and one reafon he has to defire a little longer life, is the wish to see you once more.
He is gay enough in this circumftance to tell you, he wou'd give you (if he cou'd) fuch advice as might cure your deafness, but he would not advise you, if you were cured, to quit the pretence of it; because you may by that means hear as much as you will, and answer as little as you please. Believe me
From Dr. SWIFT.
Sept. 29, 1725.
Am now returning to the noble scene of Dublin, into the grand Monde, for fear of burying my parts: to signalize myself among Curates and Vicars, and correct all corruptions crept in relating to the weight of bread and butter, through thofe dominions where I govern. I have employ'd my time (befides ditching) in finishing, correcting, amending, and tranfcribing my e Travels, in four parts compleat, newly augmented, and intended for the prefs when the world fhall deferve them, or rather when a Printer fhall be found brave enough to venture his ears. I like the scheme of our meeting after diftreffes and difperfions; but the chief end I propose to myself in all my labours, is to vex the world, rather than divert it; and if I could compafs that defign without hurting my own perfon or fortune, I f would be the most indefatigable writer you have ever seen, without reading. I am exceedingly pleased that you have done with Translations ; Lord Treasurer Oxford often lamented that a
• Gulliver's Travels.