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have flattered them and yet not have displeased them, is a greater. I have carefully avoided all Intercourse with Poets and Scriblers, unless where by great chance I have found a modest one. By these means I have had no quarrels with any personally; none have been Enemies, but who were also Strangers to me; and as there is no great need of an Eclaircisment with such, whatever they writ or said I never retaliated, not only never seeming to know, but often really never knowing, any thing of the matter

There are very few things that give me the Anxiety of a Wish; the strongest I have would be to pass my days with you, , and a few such as you: But Fate has dispersed them all about the world, and I find to wish it is as vain, as to wish to see the Millennium and the Kingdom of the Just upon earth.

If I have finned in my long filence, consider there is one to whom you yourself have been as great a sinner. As soon as you see his hand, yon will learn to do me justice, and feel in your heart how long a man may be silent to those he truly loves and respects.

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LETTER

L E T T E R VIII.

Lord BOLINGBROKE to Dr. Swift.

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Am not so lazy as Pope, and therefore you

must not expect from me the same indulgence to Laziness ; in defending his own cause he pleads yours, and becomes

your

Advocate while he appeals to you as his Judge: You will do the same on your part; and I, and the rest of your common Friends, shall have great justice to expect from two such righteous Tribunals: You resemble perfectly the two Alehouse-keepers in Holland, who were at the same time Burgomasters of the Town, and taxed one another’s Bills alternately. I declare before-hand I will not stand to the award ; my Title to your Friendship is good, and wants neither Deeds nor Writings to confirm it: but annual Acknowledgements at least are necessary to preserve it : and I begin to suspect by your defrauding me of them, that you hape in time to dispute it, and to urge Prescription against

I would not say one word to you about myself (since it is a subject on which you appear to have no curiosity) was it not to try how far the contrast between Pope's fortune and manner of life, and mine, may be carried, ,

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I have been, then, infinitely more uniform and less diffipated than when you knew me and cared for me. That Love which I used to scatter with some profusion among the female kind, has been these many years devoted to one object. A great many misfortunes (for so they are called, though sometimes very improperly) and a retirement from the world, have made that just and nice discrimination between my Acquaintance and my Friends, which we have seldom sagacity enough to make for ourfelves; those insects of various hues, which used to hum and buz about me, while I stood in the sunshine, have disappeared since I lived in the shade. No man comes to a Hermitage but for the sake of the Hermit; a few philosophical Friends come often to mine, and they are such as you would be glad to live with, if a dull climate and duller company have not altered you extremely from what you was nine years ago.

The hoarse voice of Party was never heard in this quiet place ; Gazettes and Pamphlets are banished from it, and if the Lucubrations of Isaac Bickerstaff be admitted, this distinction is owing to some strokes by which it is judged that this illustrious Philofopher had (like the Indian Fohu, the Grecian Pythagoras, the Perfian Zoroaster, and others his Precursors among

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the Zabians, Magians, and the Egyptian Şeers) both his outward and his inward Doctrine, and that he was of no side at the bottom. · When I am there, I forget I ever was of any party my

I self; nay, I am often so happily absorbed by the abstracted reason of things, that I am ready to imagine there never was any such monster as Party. Alas, I am soon awakened from that pleasing dream by the Greek and Roman Historians, by Guicciardine, by Machiavel, and Thuanus ; for I have vowed to read no History of our own country, till that body of it which you promise to finish, appears 'h.

I am under no apprehension that a glut of Study and Retirement should cast me back into the hurry of the world; on the contrary, the single regret which I ever feel, is that I fell fo late into this course of life; my Philosophy grows confirmed by habit, and if

you

and I meet again, I will extort this approbation from you : Jam non confilio bonus, fed more eo perdu&tus, ut non tantum recte facere poffim, sed nisi reste facere non poffim. The little incivilities I have met with from opposite setts of people, have been so far from rendering me violent or four to any, that I think myself obliged to them all ; some have cured me of my fears, by shewing me how impotent the malice of the See the first note on Lett. V, of this Vol.

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world is; others have cyred me of my hopes, .by shewing how precarious popular friendships are ; all have cured me of surprize : In driving me out of party, they have driven me out of cursed company; and in stripping me of Titles and Rank, and Estate, and such trinklets, which every man that will may spare, they have given me that which no man can be happy without.

Reflection and habit have rendered the world so indifferent to me, that I am neither afflicted nor rejoiced, angry nor pleased at what happens in it, any farther than personal friendships interest me in the affairs of it, and this principle extends my cares but a little

way. Perfect Tranquillity is the general tenour of my

life : good digestions, serene weather, and some other mechanic springs, wind me above it now and then, but I never fall below it; I am fometimes

but I am never sad. I have gained new friends, and have lost some old ones ; my acquisitions of this kind give me a good deal of pleasure, because they have not been made lightly : I know no vows so solemn as those of friendship, and therefore a pretty long noviciate of acquaintance should methinks precede them: My losses of this kind give me but little trouble, I contributed nothing to them, and a friend who breaks with me unjustly, is not worth preserving. As soon as I

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