The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to M. Adelmar Cæsar - 2



DUBLIN, JULY 30, 1733.

I COULD not let Mrs. Barber leave us for good and all, without honouring her with the carriage of a letter from your old humble and constant lover: she hath been afflicted with so many repetitions of the gout, that her limbs are much weakened, and her spirits sunk; neither can I well blame her, considering her grand affair of subscriptions must needs have slackened in her absence. Neither could she be in much disposition to increase her volumes, for health and good humour are two ingredients absolutely necessary in the poetical trade; but, I hope, your countenance and protection will recover her spirits, and her hopes, and her genius. I imagine she looks on you as her chief patroness; because, although she be abundantly grateful to all her protectors, yet I observe your name most often in her mouth. I wish it were in my power to take the same journey; but neither my health, nor the bad state of my private affairs, will give me power or leave; I cannot make shift, nor bear fatigue as I used to do. To live in England half as tolerably as I do here, would ruin me. I must have two servants, and three horses, and dare drink nothing but wine; and my ragged church rents would never be paid in my absence. My lord Bolingbroke and Mr. Pope press me with many kind invitations, but the former is too much a philosopher; he dines at six in the evening, after studying all the morning until the afternoon; and, when he hath dined, to his studies again. Mr. Pope can neither eat nor drink, loves to be alone, and hath always some poetical scheme in his head. Thus the two best companions and friends I ever had, have utterly disqualified themselves for my conversation, and my way of living. Mr. Pope, who had often promised to pass a summer season with me here, if he outlived his mother, soon after her death waved the fairest opportunity of performing his promise two months ago, of coming over with ease, and in company of dean Cotterel[1] and his sister; he said, we should kill him with eating and drinking. I had a very convenient apartment for him in the deaneryhouse: he would have all the civilities of this town; and Mrs. Barber will tell you that we never want a dozen or more of very valuable persons, and of both sexes, with whom to converse; I chid him soundly in my last letter, for his want of friendship or resolution. You see, madam, I am full of talk; but you are to blame, for I imagine myself in your company, which is indeed no great compliment; and, upon second thoughts, it is not true, for I should be much better pleased to be your hearer. However, I should certainly ask you a thousand questions, concerning yourself, and Mr. Cæsar, and your whole family. I have received so much friendship and so many civilities from you both, that I shall ever own my obligations; which are much increased by Mrs. Barber's feeding my vanity, with telling me that you did not receive her worse for her being recommended by me; yet, I confess, her expressions were in somewhat stronger terms. Pray God bless you and your family. I desire you will present my most humble service to Mr. Cæsar.

I am, with the greatest respect, madam,

Your most obedient, and

most obliged humble servant,

  1. Dr. William Cotterel was advanced to the bishoprick of Leighlin and Ferns, March 24, 1742; and died in 1752.