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I come from looking over the Melange abovewritten, and declare it to be a true copy of my prefent difpofition, which must needs please you, fince nothing was ever more displeasing to myself. I defire you to prefent my moft humble refpects to my Lady,



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Dublin, April 5, 1729.

Do not think it could be poffible for me to hear

fcurvy fuit, which always hung as a dead weight on my heart; I hated it in all its circumftances, as it affected your fortune and quiet, and in a fituation of life that must make it every way vexatious. And as I am infinitely obliged to you for the juftice you do me in fuppofing your affairs do at least concern me as much as my own; fo I would never have pardoned your omitting it. But before I go on, I cannot forbear mentioning what I read last summer in a newspaper, that you were writing the hiftory of your own times. I fuppofe fuch a report might arife from what was not fecret among your friends, of your intention to write another kind of hiftory; which you often promis'd Mr. Pope and me to do: I know he defires it very much, and I am fure I defire nothing more, for the honour and love I bear you, and the perfect knowledge I have of your public virtue. My Lord, I have no other notion of Oeconomy than that it is the parent of Liberty and Fafe, and I am not the only friend you have who hath chid you in his

heart for the neglect of it, tho' not with his mouth, as I have done. For there is a filly error in the world, even among friends otherwife very good, not to intermeddle with mens affairs in fuch nice matters. And, my Lord, I have made a maxim, that should be writ in letters of diamonds, That a wife man ought to have Money in his head, but not in his heart. Pray, my Lord, enquire whether your Prototype, my Lord Digby, after the Restoration when he was at Bristol, did not take fome care of his fortune, nothwithstanding that quotation I once fet you out of his fpeech to the H. of Commons? In my confcience, I believe fortune, like other drabbs, values a man gradually lefs for every year he lives. I have demonstration for it; because if I play at piquet for fixpence with a man or a woman two years younger than myself, I always lofe; and there is a young girl of twenty, who never fails of winning my mo-ney at Back-gammon, tho' fhe is a bungler, and the game be Ecclefiaftic. As to the public, I confefs nothing could cure my itch of meddling with it but thefe frequent returns of deafness, which have hindred me from paffing laft winter in London; yet I cannot but confider the perfidiousness of some people, who I thought when I was last there, upon a change that happened, were the most impudent in forgetting their profeffions that I have ever known. Pray, will you please to take your pen, and blot me out that political maxim from whatever book it is in, that Res nolunt diu male adminiftrari; the commonness makes me not know who is the Author, but fure he must be fome Modern.

I am forry for Lady Bolingbroke's ill health; but I proteft I never knew a very deferving perfon of that fex, who had not too much reafon to complain of ill health. I never wake without finding life a more

infignificant thing than it was the day before: which is one great advantage I get by living in this country, where there is nothing I fhall be forry to lofe. But my greatest misery is recollecting the scene of twenty years paft, and then all on a fudden dropping into the prefent. I remember, when I was a little boy, I felt a great fish at the end of my line, which I drew up almost on the ground, but it dropt in, and the disappointment vexes me to this very day, and, I believe, it was the type of all my future difappointments. I should be asham'd to say this to you, if you had not a fpirit fitter to bear your own misfortunes, than I have to think of them. Is there patience left to reflect, by what qualities wealth and greatnefs are got, and by what qualities they are loft? I have read my friend Congreve's verses to Lord Cobham, which end with a vile and falfe moral, and I remember is not in Horace to Tibullus, which he imitates, "that all times are equally vir"tuous and vicious," wherein he differs from all Poets, Philofophers, and Chriftians that ever writ. It is more probable that there may be an equal quantity of virtues always in the world, but fometimes there may be a peck of it in Afia, and hardly a thimble-full in Europe. But if there be no virtue, there is abundance of fincerity; for I will venture all I am worth, that there is not one human creature in power, who will not be modeft enough to confefs that he proceeds wholly upon a principle of Corruption. I fay this, because I have a fcheme in fpite of your notions to govern England upon the principles of Virtue, and when the nation is ripe for it, I defire you will fend for me. I have learned this by living like a Hermit, by which I am got backwards about nineteen hundred years in the Era of the world, and begin to wonder at the wickedness of


men. I dine alone upon half a dish of meat, mix water with my wine, walk ten miles a day, and read Baronius. Hic explicit Epiftola ad Dom. Bolingbroke, et incipit ad amicum Pope.

Having finished my Letter to Ariftippus, I now begin to you, I was in great pain about Mrs. Popė, having heard from others that he was in a very dangerous way, which made me think it unfeafon able to trouble you. I am afhamed to tell you, that when I was very young I had more defire to be famous than ever fince; and fame, like all things elfe in this life, grows with me every day more a trifle. But you who are fo much younger, although you want that health you deserve, yet your fpirits are as vigorous as if your body were founder. I hate a crowd, where I have not an eafy place to fee and be feen. A great Library always makes me melancholy, where the best Author is as much squeezed, and as obfcure, as a Porter at a Coronation. In my own little library, I value the compilements of Grævius and Gronovius, which make thirtyone volumes in folio (and were given me by my Lord Bolingbroke) more than all my books befides; because whoever comes into my closet, cafts his eyes immediately upon them, and will not vouchfafe to look upon Plato or Xenophon. I tell you it is almoft incredible how Opinions change by the decline or de cay of spirits, and I will further tell you, that all my endeavours, from a boy, to distinguish myfelf, were only for want of a great Title and Fortune, that I might be used like a Lord by those who have an opinion of my parts; whether right or wrong, it is no great matter; and fo the reputation of wit or great learning does the office of a blue ribband, or of a coach and fix horfes. To be remembred for ever on the account of our friendship, is what would

exceedingly please me; but yet I never lov❜d to make á vifit, or be seen walking with my betters, because they get all the eyes and civilities from me. I no fooner writ this than I corrected myfelf, and remember'd Sir Fulk Grevil's Epitaph, "Here lies, * &c. who was friend to Sir Philip Sidney," And therefore I moft heartily thank you for your defire that I would record our friendship in verfe, which if I can fucceed in, I will never defire to write one more line in poetry while I live, You must present my humble fervice to Mrs. Pope, and let her know I pray for her continuance in the world, for her own reafon, that fhe may live to take care of you,



From Dr. SWIFT.

Aug. 11, 1729.

Am very fenfible that in a former letter I talked very weakly of my own affairs, and of my imperfect wishes and defires, which however I find with fome comfort do now daily decline, very fuitable to my state of health for fome months paft. For my head is never perfectly free from giddinefs, and ef pecially towards night. Yet my diforder is very moderate, and I have been without a fit of deafnefs this half year; fo I am like a horfe, which, though off his mettle, can trot on tolerably; and this com parison puts me in mind to add, that I am returned to be a rider, wherein I wish you would imitate As to this country, there have been three terrible years dearth of corn, and every place strowed


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