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From the Year 1714 to 1737.


Mr. POPE to Dr. SWIFT.

June 18, 1714.

HATEVER Apologies it might become me to make at any other time for writing to you, 1 fhall use none now, to a man who has own'd himfelf as fplenetic as a Cat in the Country. In that cir cumstance, I know by experience a letter is a very ufeful, as well as amufing thing: If you are too bufied in State affairs to read it, yet you may find entertainment in folding it into divers figures, either doub→ ling it into a pyramidical, or twisting it into a ferpentine form: or, if your difpofition should not be fo mathematical, in taking it with you to that place where men of studious minds are apt to fit longer than ordinary; where, after an abrupt divifion of the paper, it may not be unpleasant to try to fit and rejoin the broken lines together. All thefe amufements I

am no stranger to in the Country, and doubt not but (by this time) you begin to relish them, in your prefent contemplative fituation.

I remember a man, who was thought to have fome knowledge in the world, used to affirm, that no people in town ever complained they were forgotten by their Friends in the country: but my encreafing experience convinces me he was mistaken, for I find à great many here grievously complaining of you upon this fcore. I am told further, that you treat the few you correspond with in a very arrogant style, and tell them you admire at their infolence in disturbing your meditations, or even enquiring of your 1) retreat: but this I will not pofitively affert, because I never received any fuch infulting Epistle from you. My Lord Oxford fays you have not written to him once fince you went: but this perhaps may be only policy, in him or you; and I, who am half a Whig, must not entirely credit any thing he affirms. At Button's it is reported you are gone to Hanover, and that Gay goes only on an Embassy to you. Others apprehend fome dangerous State treatise from your retirement; and a Wit, who affects to imitate Balfaç, fays, that the Ministry now are like thofe Heathens of old, who received their Oracles from the Woods. The Gentlemen of the Roman Catholic perfuafion are not uns willing to credit me, when I whisper, that you are gone to meet fome Jefuits commiffioned from the Court of Rome, in order to fettle the most convenient methods to be taken for the coming of the Pretender. Dr. Arbuthnot is fingular in his opinion, and imagines your only defign is to attend at full leifure

1) Some time before the Death of Queen Anne, when her minifters were quarrelling, and the Dean could not reconcile them, he retired to a Friend's Houfe in Berkshire, and never faw them after, S.

to the life and adventures of Scriblerus 2). This indeed must be granted of greater importance than all the reft; and I wish I could promife fo well of you. The top of my own ambition is to contribute to that great work, and I fhall tranflate Homer by the by. Mr. Gay has acquainted you what progress I have made in it. I can't name Mr. Gay, without all the acknowledgements which I fhall ever owe you, on his account. If I writ this in verfe, I would tell you, you are like the fun, and while men imagine you to be retir'd or absent, are hourly exerting your indulgence, and bringing things to maturity for their advantage. Of all the world, you are the man (without flattery) who serve your friends with the least oftentation; it is almoft ingratitude to thank you, confidering your temper; and this is the period of all my letter which I fear you will think the most impertinent. I am with the truest affection,

Your's, &c.

2) This project (in which the principal perfons engaged were Dr. Arbuthnot, Dr. Swift, and Mr. Pope) was a very noble one. It was to write a complete fatire in profe upon the abuses in every branch of fcience, comprifed in the hiftory of the life and writings of Scriblerus; of which only fome detached parts and fragments were done, fuch as the Me moirs of Scriblerus, the Travels of Gulliver, the Treatife of the Profound, the literal Criticisms on Virgil, &c,


From Dr. SWIFT to Mr. POPE.

Dublin, June 28, 1715.

MY 3) Lord Bishop of Clogher gave me your

kind letter full of reproaches for my not writing. I am naturally no very exact correspondent, and when I leave a country without probability of returning, I think as feldom as I can of what I loved or esteemed in it, to avoid the Defiderium which of all things makes life most uneasy. But you must give me leave to add one thing, that you talk at your ease, being wholly unconcerned in public events: For, if your friends the Whigs continue, you may hope for fome favour; if the Tories return, you are at least fure of quiet. You know how well I loved both Lord Oxford and Bolingbroke, and how dear the Duke of Ormond is to me: Do you imagine I can be easy while their enemies are endeavouring to take off their heads? I nunc, & verfus tecum meditare. canoros Do you imagine I can be eafy, when I think of the probable confequences of these proceedings, perhaps upon the very peace of the nation, but certainly of the minds of fo many hundred thoufand good fubjects? Upon the whole, you may truly attribute my filence to the Eclipfe, but it was that Eclipfe which happened on the first of Auguft.

I borrowed your Homer from the Bishop (mine is not yet landed) and read it out in two evenings. If

3) Dr. St. George Afh, formerly a fellow of Trinity College Dublin, (to whom the Dean was a Pupil) afterwards Bishop of Clogher, and tranflated to the See of Derry in 1716-17.


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