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seldom provident enough to consider that both wit and beauty will go off with years, and there is no living upon the credit of what is paft.
I am in great concern to hear of my Lady Bo. lingbruke's ill health returned upon her, and, I doubt, my Lord will find Dawley too solitary without her. In that neither he nor you are companions young enough for me, and, I believe, the best part of the reaa son why men are said to grow children when they are old, is because they cannot entertain themselves with thinking; which is the very case of little boys and girls who love to be noisy among their play-fellows. I am told Mrs Pope is without pain, and I have not heard of a more gentle decay, without uneasiness to herself or friends ; yet I cannot but pity you, who are ten times the greater sufferer, by having the person you most love, so long before you, and dying daily; and I
mind or your health.
pray God it
may not affect
L E T T E R LXII.
Mr Pope to . Dr Swift.
Dec. 5. 1732. T'is not a time to complain that you have not an.
(wered me two Letters (in the last of which I was impatient under some fears;) it is not now indeed a · time to think of myself, when one of the nearest and longest ties I have ever had, is broken all on a sudden,
* ".On my dear friend Mr Gay's death: Received December “ isth, but not read till the 20th, by an impulse foreboding some “ Mistortune." (This note is indorsed on the original letter in Dr Swift's hand.)
by the unexpected death of poor Mr Gay. An inflam-matory fever hurried him out of this life in three days.
He died last night at nine o'clock, not depriv'd of his senses entirely at last, and possessing them perfectly till within five hours. He asked of you a few hours before, when in acute torment by the inflamınation in his bowels and breast. His effects are in the Duke of Queensbury's custody. His fisters, we suppose, will be his heirs, who are two widows; as yet it is not
known whether or no he left a will.-Good God! how often are we to die before we go quite off this stage? In
every friend we lose a part of ourselves and the best part. God keep those we have left! few are worth praying for, and one's self the least of, all.
I shall never see you now, I believe; one of your principal calls to England is at an end. Indeed he was the most amiable by far, his qualities were the gentleft; but I love you as well and as firmly. Would to God the man we have lost had not been fo amiable, nor so good! but that's a wish for our own fakes, not for his. . Sure if Innocence and Integrity can deserve Happiness, it must be his. Adieu, I can add nothing to what you will feel, and diminish nothing from it.
Yet write to me, and soon. Believe, no man now living loves you better, I believe no man ever did, than
A. Pore. Dr Arbuthnot, whose humanity you know, heartily commends himself to you. All possible diligence and affection has been (hown, and continued attendance on this inelancholy occasion. Once more adieu, and write to one who is truly disconsolate.
I am sorry that the renewal of our correspondence should be upon such a melancholy occafion. Poor Mr Gay died of an inflammation, and, I believe, at last a mortification of the bowels, it was the most precipi. tate cafe I ever knew, having cut him off in three days. He was attended by two Physicians befides myself. I believed the distemper mortal from the beginning. I have not had the pleasure of a line from you thefe two years; I wrote one about your health, to which I had no answer. I wish you all health and happiness, being with great affection and respect, Sir, Your, &c.
L E T T E R LXIIL.
with a few lines from the Doctor, and the accouut of our luling Mr Gay, upon which event I shall say nothing. I am only concern'd that long-living hath not hardened me: for even in this kingdom and in a few days past, two persons of great merit, whom I loved very well, have died in the prime of their years, but a little above thirty. I would endeavour to comfort myself upon the loss of friends, as I do upon the loss of money ; by turning to my account-book, and seeing whether I have enough left for my support; but in the former case I find I have not, any more than in the other ; and I know not any Man who is in a greater likelihood than anyself to die poor and friendless. You are a much greater loser than me by his death, as being a more intimate friend, and of. ten his companjon; which latter I could never bope
to be, except perlaps once more in my life for a piece of a summer. I hope he hath left you the care of any writings he may have left, and I wish, that, with those already extant, they could be all published in a fair edition under your inspection. Your Pocin on the Ule of Riches hath been juft printed here, and we have no objection but the obscurity of several passages by our ignorance in facts and perfons, which makes us lose abundance of the Satire. Had the printer given me now tice, I would have honestly printed the names at length, where I happened to know them; and writ,explanatory notes, which however would have been but few, for my long absence hath made me ignorant of what passes out of the scene where I am. I never had the least hint from you about this work, any more than of your former,
We are told here, that you are preparing other pieces of the fame bulk to be inscribed to other friends, one (for instance) to my Lord Bolingbroke, another to Lord Oxford, and so on. Doctor Delany presents you his most huinble service: be bebaves himlelf very commendably, converfes only with his former friends, makes no parade, but entertains them constantly at an elegant plentiful table, walks the streets as usual, by day-light, does many acts of charity and generosity, cultivates a country-house two miles diftant, and is one of those very knowledge, on whom a great access of fortune hath made no manner of change. And particularly he is often without money, as the was before. We have got my Lord Orrery among us, being forced to continue here on the ill' condition of his estate by the knavery of an Agent; he is a moft worthy Gen
few within my
tleman, whom, I hope, you will be acquainted with, I am very much obliged by your favour to Mr P-,' which, I desire, may continue no longer than he shall deserve by his Modesty, a virtue I never knew him to 'want, but is hard for young men to keep, without abundance of ballast. If you are acquainted with the Duchess of Queensbury, I desire you will present her my most humble service: I think she is a greater loser by the death of a friend than either of us.
She seems a lady of excellent sense and spirit. I had often poft-. -seripts from her in our friend's letters to me, and her part was sometimes longer than his, and they made up great part of the little happiness I could have here. This was the more generous, because I never saw her since she was a girl of five years old, nor did I envy poor Mr Gay for any thing so much as being a domeftic friend to such a Lady. I desire you will never fail to send me a particular account of your health. Į dare hardly inquire about Mrs Pope, who, I am told, is but just among the living, and consequently a continual -grief to you: she is sensible of your tenderness, which robs her of the only happiness she is capable of enjoying And yet I pity you more than her; you cannot lengthen her days, and I beg she may not shorten yours.