The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Letter: Pope to Swift - 26

TO answer your question as to Mr. Hughes, what he wanted as to genius he made up as an honest man: but he was of the class you think him.

I am glad you think of Dr. Rundle as I do. He will be an honour to the bishops, and a disgrace to one bishop, two things you will like: but what you will like more particularly, he will be a friend and benefactor even to your unfriended, unbenefitted nation; he will be a friend to the human race, wherever he goes. Pray tell him my best wishes for his health and long life: I wish you and he came over together, or that I were with you. I never saw a man so seldom, whom I liked so much, as Dr. Rundle.

Lord Peterborow I went to take a last leave of, at his setting sail for Lisbon: no body can be more wasted, no soul can be more alive. Immediately after the severest operation of being cut into the bladder for a suppression of urine, he took coach, and got from Bristol to Southampton. This is a man that will neither live nor die like any other mortal.

Poor lord Peterborow! there is another string lost, that would have helped to draw you hither! he ordered on his deathbed his watch to be given me (that which had accompanied him in all his travels) with this reason, "That I might have something to put me every day in mind of him." It was a present to him from the king of Sicily, whose arms and insignia are graved on the inner case; on the outer, I have put this inscription. "Victor Amadeus, rex Siciliæ, dux Sabaudiæ, &c, &c. Carolo Mordaunt, comiti de Peterborow, D. D. Car, Mor. com. de Pet. Alexandro Pope moriens legavit. 1735[1]."

Pray write to me a little oftener: and if there be a thing left in the world that pleases you, tell it one who will partake of it. I hear with approbation and pleasure, that your present care is to relieve the most helpless of this world, those objects[2] which most want our compassion, though generally made the scorn of their fellow creatures, such as are less innocent than they. You always think generously; and of all charities, this is the most disinterested, and least vainglorious, done to such as never will thank you, or can praise you for it.

God bless you with ease, if not with pleasure; with a tolerable state of health, if not with its full enjoyment; with a resigned temper of mind, if not a very cheerful one. It is upon these terms I live myself, though younger than you; and I repine not at my lot, could but the presence of a few that I love be added to these. Adieu.

  1. Victor Amadeus, king of Sicily, duke of Savoy, &c. &c. to Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborow, made a present of this watch. Charles Mordaunt, earl of Peterborow, on his deathbed bequeathed it as a legacy to Alexander Pope.
  2. Ideots.