Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

actly what region or state our Maker appoints, and that whatever Is, is Right. Our poor friend's papers are partly in my hands, and for as much as is so, I will take care to suppress things unworthy of him. As to the Epitaph, I'm sorry you gave a copy, for it will certainly by that means come into print, and I would correct it more, unless you will do it for me (and that I shall like as well :) Upon the whole, I ear. nestly wish your coming over hither, for this reason among many others, that your influence may be join'd with mine to suppress whatever we may judge proper of his papers. To be plunged in my Neighbour's and my papers, will be your inevitable fate as soon as you come. That I am an author whose characters are thought of some weight, appears from the great noise and bustle that the Court and Town make about any I give: and I will not render them less important, or less interesting, by sparing Vice and Folly, or by betraying the cause of Truth and Vir. tue. I will take care they shall be such, as no man can be angry at but the persons I would have angry. You are sensible with what decency and justice I paid homage to the Royal Family, at the same time that I satirized false Courtiers, and Spies, &c. about 'em. I have not the courage however to be such a Satirist as you, but I would be as much, or more a Philosopher. You call your satires, Libels; I would rather call my fatires, Epistles: They will consist more of Morality than of Wit, and grow graver, which you will call duller. I shall leave it to my Antagonists to be wit

ty (if they can) and content myself to be useful, and in the right. Tell me your opinion as to Lady -'s or Lord *'s performance ? they are certainly the Topwits of the Court, and you may judge by that fingle piece what can be done against me; for it was labour'd, corrected, præ-commended and post-disapprov'd, so far as to be dis-own'd by themselves, after each had highly cry'd it up for the other's * I have met with foine complaints, and heard at a distance of some threats, occasion’d by my verses : I sent fair mes. sages to acquaint them where I was to be found in town, and to offer to call at their houses to satisfy them, and so it droppid. It is very poor in any one to rail and threaten at a distance, and have nothing to say to you when they see you. I am glad you persist and abide by so good a thing as that Poemt, in which I am immortal for my Morality: I never took any praise so kindly, and yet, I think, I deserve that praise better than I do any other. When does your collection come out, and what will it consist of ? I have but last week finished another of my Epistles, in the order of the systein ; and this week (exercitandi gratia) I have translated (or rather parody'd) another of Horace's, in which I introduce you advising me about my expences, housekeeping, &c. But these things shall lie by, till you come to carp at 'em, and alter rhymes, and grammar, and triplets, and caco

[ocr errors]

* See the Epistle written on this occaliun at the end of the second Vol. of Letters.

+ The ironical libel on Dr Delany.

phonies of all kinds. Our Parliament will lit till Midsummer, which, I hope, may be a motive to bring you rather in summer than fo late as autumn: you us'd to love what I hate, a hurry of politics, &c. Courts I see not, Courtiers I know not, Kings I am dore not, Queens I compliment not; so I am never like to be in fashion, nor in dependence. I heartly join with you in pitying our poor Lady for her unhappiness, and should only pity her more, if she had more of what they at Court call Happiness. Come then, and perhaps we may go all together into France at the end of the season, and compare the Liberties of both kingdoms. Adieu. Believe me, dear Sir, (with a thousand warm wishes, mix'd with short fighs) ever yours.

LETTER LXVI.

To Mr POPE.

I

Dublin, May 1. 1733. Answer your Letter the sooner because I have a

particular reason for doing so. Some weeks ago came over a Poem calld, The Life and Character of Dr S. written by himself. It was reprinted here, and is dedicated to you. It is grounded upon a Maxim in Rochefoucault, and the dedication, after a formal story, says, that my manner of writing is to be found in

every line. I believe I have told you, that I writ a year or two ago near five hundred lines upon the fame Maxin in Rochefoucault, and was a long time

[ocr errors]

about it, as that Impofter says in his Dedication, with
many Circumstances, all pure invention. I desire you
to believe, and to tell my friends, that in this spuri.
ous piece there is not a single line, or bit of a line,
or thought, any way resembling the genuine Copy,
any more than it does Virgil's Æneis ; for I never
gave a Copy of mine, nor lent it out of my sight.
And although I shew'd it to all common acquaintance
indifferently, and some of them (especially one or two
females) had got many lines by heart, here and there,
and repeated them often; yet it happens that not one
single line or thought is contained in this Imposture,
although it appears that they who counterfeited me,
had heard of the true one, But even this trick shall
not provoke me to print the true one, which indeed
is not proper to be seen, till I can be seen no more:
I therefore delire

you
will undeceive

my friends, and I will order an Advertisement to be printed here, and transmit it to England, that every body may know the delusion, and acquit me, as, I am fure, you must have done yourself, if you have read any part of it, which is mean, and trivial, and full of that Cant that I m despise: I would link to be a Vicar in Norfolk rather than be charged with such a performance. Now I come to your letter.

When I was of your age, I thought every day of death, but now every minute; and a continual giddy disorder more or less is a greater addition than that of my years. I cannot affirm that I pity our

friend Gay, but I pity his friends, I pity you, and would at least equally pity myself, If I liv'd amongst you; because I should have seen him oftner than you did, who are a kind of Hermit, how great a noite soever you make by your Ill-nature in not letting the honest Villains of the times enjoy themselves in this world, which is their only happiness, and terrifying them with another. I should have added in my libel, that of all men living you are the most happy in your Enemies and your Friends: and I will swear you have fifty times more Charity for mankind than I could ever pretend to Whether the production you mention came from the Lady or the Lord, I did not ima. gine that they were at least so bad versifiers. Therefore facit indignatio versus, is only to be apply'd when the indignation is against general Villainy, and never operates when some fort of people write to defend them. selves. I love to hear them reproach you for dulness; only I would be satisfyed, since you are so dull, why are they so angry? Give me a shilling, and I will in. sure you, that posterity shall never know you had one single enemy, excepting those whose memory you have preserv’d.

I am sorry for the situation of Mr Gay's papers. You do not exert yourself as much as I could wish in this affair. I had rather the two sisters were hang'd than see his works swelled by any loss of credit to his memory I would be glad to see the most valuable printed by themselves, those which ought not to be feen burned immediately, and the others that have gone abroad, printed separately like opuscula, or rather be ftified and forgotten. I thought your epitaph was im.

« ZurückWeiter »