The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Henry St. John to Jonathan Swift - 19



I HAVE so severe a defluxion of rheum on both my eyes, that I dare hardly stir abroad. You will be ready to say, Physician, cure thyself; and that is what I am about. I took away, by cupping, yesterday, fourteen ounces of blood; and such an operation would, I believe, have done you more good than steel and bitters, waters and drops. I wish John Gay success in his pursuit; but I think he has some qualities which will keep him down in the world. Good God! what is man? polished, civilized, learned man! A liberal education fits him for slavery; and the pains he has taken give him the noble pretension of dangling away life in an antichamber, or of employing real talents to serve those who have none; or, which is worse than all the rest, of making his reason and his knowledge serve all the purposes of other men's follies and vices. You say not a word to me about the publick, of whom I think as seldom as possible. I consider myself as a man with some little satisfaction, and with some use; but I have no pleasure in thinking I am an Englishman; nor is it, I doubt, to much purpose, to act like one. Serpit enim res, quæ proclivis ad perniciem, cum semel cœpit, labitur. Plures enim discunt quemadmodum hæc fiant, quam quemadmodum his resistatur. Adieu.

Let me know how you do. If your landlord[1] is returned, my kindest services to him.

  1. Mr. Pope, the dean being at Twickenham.