« EelmineJätka »
If it was
fuch an occasion we could not refuse it. Our entertainment consisted of flesh and fish, and the lettice of a Greek Island' callid Cos. We have some thoughts of dining there to-morrow, to celebrate the day after the birth-day, and on Friday to celebrate the day after that, where we intend to entertain Dean Swift; because we think your hall the most delightful room in the world, except that where you are. not for you, we would forswear all courts; and really it is the most mortifying thing in nature, that we can neither get into the court to live with you, nor you get into the country to live with us; so we will take up with what we can get that belongs to you, and make ourselves as happy as we can in
house. I hope we shall be brought into no worse company,
when you all come to Richmond : for whatever our friend Gay may wish as to getting into Court, I disclaim it, and desire to see nothing of the court but yourself, being wholly
LETTER XV. .
things generally have; I always know (whenever I reflect) that you
should be in my mind; only I reflect too seldom, However, you ought to allow me the indulgence I allow all my friends (and if I did not, they would take it) in consideration that they have other avocations, which may prevent the proofs of their remembering me, tho' they preserve for me all the friendship and good-will which I deserye from them. In like manner I expect
that my past life of twenty years may be set against the omission of (perhaps ) one month : and if you complain of this to any other, 'tis you are in the spleen, and not I in the wrong
think this letter splenetic, consider I have just receiv'd the news of the death of a friend, whom I esteem'd almost as many years as you ; poor Fenton. He died at East. hamstead, of indolence and inactivity ; let it not be your fate, but use exercise. I hope the Duchess a will take care of you in this respect, and either make you gallop after her, or teize you
enough at home to serve instead of exercise abroad. Mrs. Howard is so concern’d about you, and so angry at me for not writing to you, and at Mrs. Blount for not doing the same, that I am piqu'd with jealousy and envy at you, and hate you as much as if you had a great place at court ; which you will confefs a proper cause of envy and hatred, in any Poet militant, or unpenfion'd. But to set matters even,
I own I love you; and own, I am, as I ever was, and just as I ever shall be,
L E T T E R XVI.
Oct. 6, 1727
mind, and repeated to you, a ninth Beatitude, added to the eighth in the Scripture ; « Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he « shall never be disappointed.” I could find in my heart to congratulate you on this happy dismission from all Court dependance; I dare say I shall find you the better and the honester man for it, many years hence: very probably the healthfuller, and the chearfuller into the bargain. You are happily rid of many cursed ceremonies, as well as of many ill, and vicious
Habits, of which few or no men escape the infection, who are hackney'd and tramelled in the ways of a court. Princes indeed, and Peers (the lackies of Princes) and Ladies (the fools of Peers) will smile on you the less; but men of worth, and real friends, will look on you the better. There is a thing, the only thing which Kings and Queens cannot give you (for they have it not to give) Liberty, and which is worth all they have ; which, as yet, I thank God, Englishmen need not ask from their hands. You will enjoy that, and your own integrity, and the fatisfactory consciousness of having not merited such graces from courts as are bestow'd only on the mean, servile, flattering, interested, and undeserving. The only steps to the favour of the Great are such complacencies, such compliances, such distant decorums, as delude them in their vanities, or engage them in their passions. He is their greatest favourite, who is the falsest: and when a man by fuch vile gradations, arrives at the height of grandeur and power, he is then at best but in a circumstance to be hated, and in a condition to be hanged, for serving their ends : So many a Minister has found it !
I believe you did not want advice in the letter you sent by my Lord Grantham ; I presume you writ it not, without: and you could not have better, if I guess right at the person who
agreed to your doing it, in respect to any Decency you ought to observe: for I take that person to be a perfect judge of decencies and forms. I am not without fears even on that person's ac
count: I think it a bad omen : but what have | I to do with Court-omens ?--Dear Gay, adieu.
I can only add a plain uncourtly speech : While you are no body's servant, you may be friend; and, as such, I embrace you,
in all conditions of life. While I have a shilling, you shall have fix-pence, nay eight-pence, if I can contrive to live upon a groat. I am faithfully
L E T T E R XVII.
From Mr. GAY to Mr. Pope.
Aug. 2, 1728. WAS two or three weeks ago that I
writ you a letter ; I might indeed have done it sooner ; I thought of you every postday upon that account, and every other day upon some account or other. I must beg you to give Mrs. B. my sincere thanks for her kind way of thinking of me, which I have heard of more than once from our friend at court, who seem'd in the letter she writ to be in high health and spirits. Considering the multiplicity of plea