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it paffes in Dublin I know not yet; but I am fure it will be a great difadvantage to the poem, that the perfons and facts will not be understood, till an explanation comes out, and a very full one. I imagine it is not to be published till toward winter, when folks begin to gather in town. Again, I infift, you must have your Afterisks filled up with fome real names of

real Dunces.

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I am now reading your preceding letter, of June 28, and find that all I have advis'd above is mention'd there. I would be glad to know whether the quarto edition is to come out anonymously, as published by the Commentator, with all his pomp of prefaces, &c. and among many complaints of fpurious editions? I am thinking whether the Editor fhould not follow the old style of, This excellent author, &c. and refine in many places when you meant no refinement; and into the bargain take all the load of naming the dunces, their qualities, hiftories, and performances?

As to yourself, I doubt you want a fpurrer-on to exercise and to amusements; but to talk of decay at your feafon of life is a jeft. But you are not so regular as I. You are the most temperate man God-ward, and the most intemperate your-felf ward, of most I have known. I fuppofe Mr Gay will return from the Bath with twenty pounds more flesh, and two hundred lefs in money: Providence never defigned him to be above two and twenty, by his thoughtlessness and Cullibility. He hath as little forefight of age, sickness, poverty, or lofs of admirers, as a girl at fifteen. By

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the way, I must observe, that my Lord Bolingbroke (from the effects of his kindness to me) argues most fophiftically: The fall from a million to an hundred thousand pounds is not fo great, as from eight hundred pounds a-year to one: Besides, he is a controller of Fortune, and Poverty dares not look a great Minister in the face, under his loweft declenfion. I never knew him live fo great and expensively as he hath done fince his return from Exile; fuch mortals have resources that others are not able to comprehend. But God bless You, whofe great genius has not so transported you as to leave you to the courtesy of mankind, for wealth is liberty, and liberty is a blessing fittest for a philofopher-and Gay is a Slave juft by two thousand pounds too little.-And Horace was of my mind, and let my Lord contradict him if he dares..

LETTER XXXVI.

Bath, Nov. 12. 1728.

I

Have paft x weeks in queft of health, und found it not; but I found the folly of folicitude about it in a hundred instances; the contrariety of opinions and practices, the inability of phyficians, the blind obedience of fome patients, and as blind rebellion of others. I believe at a certain time of life, men are either fools, or physicians for themfelves, and zealots, or divines for themselves.

It was much in my hopes that you intended us a
winter's vifit, but laft week I repented that wish, having
VOL. VI.
D d

been alarmed with a report of your lying ill on the road from Ireland; from which I am just relieved by an affurance that you are still at Sir A-'s planting and building; two things that I envy you for, befides a third, which is the fociety of a valuable Lady. I conclude (tho' I know nothing of it) that you quarrel with her, and abuse her every day, if the is fo. I wonder I hear of no Lampoons upon her, either made by yourself or by others, because you esteem her. I think it a vast pleasure that whenever two people of merit regard one another, fo many scoundrels envy and are angry at them: 'tis bearing teftimony to a merit they cannot reach; and if you knew the infinite content I have receiv'd of late, at the finding yours and my name conftantly united in any filly fcandal, I think you would go near to fing Io Triumphe! and celebrate my happiness in verfe; and, I believe, if you won't, I fhall. The infcription to the Dunciad is now printed and inferted in the Poem. Do you care I fhould fay any thing farther how much that poem is yours? fince certainly without you it had never been. Would to God we were together for the reft of our lives! The whole weight of Scriblers would just serve to find us amufement, and not more. I hope you are too well employed to mind them: every ftick you plant, and every stone you lay, is to fome purpose; but the business of fuch lives as theirs is but to die daily, to labour, and raise nothing. I only wish we could comfort each other under our bodily infirmities, and let those who have fo great a mind to have more Wit than we, win it and

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wear it. Give us but ease, health, peace, and fair weather! I think it is the best wish in the world, and you know whose it was. If I liv'd in Ireland, I fear the wet climate wou'd endanger more than my life; my humour, and health; I am fo Atmospherical a creature. I must not omit acquainting you, that what you heard of the words fpoken of you in the Drawing-room, The fayings of Princes are generally as ill related as the fayings of Wits. To fuch reports little of our regard fhould be given, and lefs of our conduct influenced by them.

was not true.

LETTER XXXV.

From Dr SWIFT.

Dublin, Feb. 13. 1728.

Lived very easily in the country: Sir A. is a man of fenfe, and a scholar, has a good voice, and my lady a better; she is perfectly well bred, and defirous to improve her understanding, which is very good, but cultivated too much like a fine Lady. She was my pupil there, and severely chid when she read wrong; with that, and walking, and making twenty little amusing improvements, and writing family verfes of mirth by way of libels on my Lady, my time paft very well and in very great order; infinitely better than here, where I fee no creature but my fervants and my old Presbyte. rian house-keeper, denying myself to every body, till 1 fhall recover my ears.

The account of another Lord Lieutenant was only in a common news-paper, when I was in the country; and if it should have happen'd to be true, I would have defired to have had accefs to him as the fituation I am in requires. But this renews the grief for the death of our friend Mr Congreve, whom I loved from my youth, and who furely, besides his other talents, was a very agreeable companion. He had the misfortune to fquander away a very good constitution in his younger days; and I think a man of fenfe and merit like him, is bound in confcience to preserve his health for the fake of his friends, as well as of himself. Upon his own account, I could not much defire the continuance of his life, under lo much pain, and fo many infirmities. Years have not yet hardened me; and I have an addition of weight on my fpirits fince we loft him; tho' I faw him fo feldom, and poffibly, if he had liv'd on, fhould never have seen him more. I do not only wish, as you ask me, that I was unacquainted with any deferving perfon, but almoft that I never had a friend. Here is an ingenious good-humour'd Phyfician, a fine gentleman, an excellent scholar, easy in his fortunes, kind to every body, hath abundance of friends, entertains them often and liberally, they pafs the evening with him at cards, with plenty of good meat and wine, eight or a dozen together; he loves them all, and they him. He has twenty of these at command; if one of them dies, it is no more than poor Tom! he gets another, or takes up with the reft, and is no more mov'd than at the lofs of his cat; he offends no-body, is easy with every

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