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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Letter: Pope to Swift - 10

MARCH 8, 1726-27.

MR. Stopford will be the bearer of this letter, for whose acquaintance I am, among many other favours, obliged to you: and I think the acquaintance of so valuable, ingenious, and unaffected a man, to be none of the least obligations.

Our miscellany is now quite printed. I am prodigiously pleased with this joint volume, in which methinks we look like friends, side by side, serious and merry by turns, conversing interchangeably, and walking down hand in hand to posterity; not in the stiff forms of learned authors, flattering each other, and setting the rest of mankind at nought: but in a free, unimportant, natural, easy manner; diverting others, just as we diverted ourselves. The third volume consists of verses, but I would choose to print none but such as have some peculiarity, and may be distinguished for ours, from other writers. There's no end of making books, Solomon said, and above all of making miscellanies, which all men can make. For unless there be a character in every piece, like the mark of the elect, I should not care to be one of the twelve thousand signed.

You received, I hope, some commendatory verses from a horse and a Lilliputian, to Gulliver; and an heroick epistle of Mrs. Gulliver. The bookseller would fain have printed them before the second edition of the book, but I would not permit it without your approbation: nor do I much like them. You see how much like a poet I write, and if you were with us, you would be deep in politicks. People are very warm, and very angry, very little to the purpose, but therefore the more warm and the more angry: Non nostrum est, tantas componere lites[1]. I stay at Twitnam, without so much as reading newspapers, votes, or any other paltry pamphlets: Mr. Stopford will carry you a whole parcel of them, which are sent for your diversion, but not imitation. For my own part, methinks, I am at Glubdubdrib, with none but ancients and spirits about me.

I am rather better than I use to be at this season, but my hand (though as you see, it has not lost its cunning) is frequently in very awkward sensations, rather than pain. But to convince you it is pretty well, it has done some mischief already, and just been strong enough to cut the other hand, while it was aiming to prune a fruit tree.

Lady Bolingbroke[2] has writ you a long, lively letter, which will attend this; she has very bad health, he very good. Lord Peterborow has writ twice to you; we fancy some letters have been intercepted, or lost by accident. About ten thousand things I want to tell you: I wish you were as impatient to hear them, for if so, you would, you must come early this spring. Adieu. Let me have a line from you. I am vexed at losing Mr. Stopford as soon as I knew him: but I thank God I have known him no longer. If every man one begins to value must settle in Ireland, pray make me know no more of them, and I forgive you this one.

  1. It is not ours such factions to compose.
  2. Madame Vlllette, relict of the marquis Villette, second wife to lord Bolingbroke, She was niece to the celebrated madame Maintenon.