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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Letter: Pope to Swift - 7

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 14


AUG. 22, 1726.


MANY a short sigh you cost me the day I left you, and many more you will cost me, till the day you return. I really walked about like a man banished, and when I came home, found it no home. It is a sensation like that of a limb lopped off, one is trying every minute unawares to use it, and finds it is not. I may say you have used me more cruelly than you have done any other man: you have made it more impossible for me to live at ease without you: habitude itself would have done that, if I had less friendship in my nature than I have. Beside my natural memory of you, you have made a local one, which presents you to me in every place I frequent: I shall never more think of lord Cobham's, the woods of Ciceter, or the pleasing prospect of Byberry, but your idea must be joined with them; nor see one seat in my own garden, or one room in my own house, without a phantome of you, sitting or walking before me. I travelled with you to Chester, I felt the extreme heat of the weather, the inns, the roads, the confinement and closeness of the uneasy coach, and wished a hundred times I had either a deanery or horse in my gift. In real truth, I have felt my soul peevish ever since with all about me, from a warm uneasy desire after you. I am gone out of myself to no purpose, and cannot catch you, Inhiat in pedes was not more properly applied to a poor dog after a hare, than to me with regard to your departure. I wish I could think no more of it, but lie down and sleep till we meet again, and let that day (how far soever off it be) be the morrow. Since I cannot, may it be my amends that every thing you wish may attend you where you are, and that you may find every friend you have there, in the state you wish him, or her; so that your visits to us may have no other effect, than the progress of a rich man to a remote estate, which he finds greater than he expected; which knowledge only serves to make him live happier where he is, with no disagreeable prospect if ever he should choose to remove. May this be your state till it become what I wish. But indeed I cannot express the warmth, with which I wish you all things, and myself you. Indeed you are engraved elsewhere than on the cups you sent me, (with so kind an inscription) and I might throw them into the Thames without injury to the giver. I am not pleased with them, but take them very kindly too: and had I suspected any such usage from you, I should have enjoyed your company less than I really did, for at this rate I may say

Nec tecum possum vivere, nee sinc te.

I will bring you over just such another present, when I go to the deanery of St. Patrick's; which I promise you to do, if ever I am enabled to return your kindness. Donarum pateras, &c. Till then I'll drink (or Gay shall drink) daily healths to you, and I will add to your inscription the old Roman vow for years to come, VOTIS X. VOTIS XX. My mother's age gives me authority to hope it for yours. Adieu.