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ing been dead these two years; and though he had, as you say, a head, I loved him very well; but, however, from my dame Wadgar's * first impression, I have ever had a natural antipathy to spirits.
I have not acquaintance enough with Mr. Pope, which I am sorry for, and expect you should come to England, in order to improve it. If it was the queen, and not the duke of Grafton, that picked out such a laureat t, she deserves bis poetry in her
Your friend Mrs. Barber has been here. I find she has some request, but neither you nor she has yet let it out to me what it is ; for certainly you cannot mean that by subscribing to her book; if So, I shall be mighty unhappy to have you call that a favour. For surely there is nothing so easy as what one can do one's self, nor any thing so heavy as what one must ask other people for; though I do not mean by this that I shall ever be unwilling when you require it; yet shall be much happier when it is in my own power to show how sincerely I am my old friend's most faithful humble servant.
Mrs. Floyd is much yours; but dumber than ever, having a violent cold.
Nov. 4, 1731. I BELIEVE in my conscience, that though you had answered mine before, the second was never• The deaf housekeeper at lord Berkeley's. Colley Cibber. theless welcome. So much for your topscript, not postscript: and in very sincere earnest I heartily thank you for remembering me so often. Since I came out of the country, my riding days are over; for I never was for your Hyde-park courses, although my courage serves me very well at a handgallop in the country for six or seven miles, with one horseman and a ragged lad, a labourer's boy, that is to be clothed when he can run fast enough to keep up with my horse, who has yet only proved his dexterity by escaping from school. But my courage fails me for riding in town, where I should have the happiness to meet with plenty of your very pretty fellows, that manage their own horses to show their art; or that think a postilion's cap, with a white frock, the most becoming dress. These and their grooms I am most bitterly afraid of; because, you must know, if my complaisant friend, your Presbyterian housekeeper*, can remember any thing like such days with me, that is a very good reason for me to remember that time is past; and your toupees would rejoice to see a horse throw an ancient gentlewoman.
I am sorry to hear you are no wiser in Ireland than we English; for our birth-day was as fine as hands could make us ; but I question much whether we all paid ready money. I mightily approve of my duchess being dressed in yonr manufacturet; if your ladies will follow her example in all things, they cannot do amiss. And I dare say you will
• Mrs, Brent.
+ The duchess also appeared at the castle of Dublin, wholly clad in the manufactures of Ireland, on his majesty's birth-day in 1733, when the duke was a second time lord-lieutenant,
soon find that the more you know of them both, the better you will like them; or else Ireland has strangely depraved your taste; and that my own vanity will not let me believe, since you still flatter me.
Why do you tantalize me? Let me see you in England again, if you dare; and choose your residence, summer or winter, St. James's Square, or Drayton. I defy you in all shapes; be it dean of St. Patrick governing England or Ireland, or politician Drapier. But my choice should be the parson in lady Betty's chamber. Make haste then, if you have a mind to oblige your ever sincere and hearty old friend.
LADY BETTY GERMAIN TO DR. SWIFT.
Jan. 11, 1731-2. It is well for Mr. Pope your letter came as it did, or else I had called for my coach, and was going to make a thorough search at his house; for that I was most positively assured that you were there in private, the duke of Dorset can tell you. Non credo is all the Latin I know, and the most useful phrase on all occasions to me. However, like niost other people, I can give it up for what I wish ; so for once I believed, or at least went half way in what I hoped was true, and then, for the only time, your letter was unwelcome. You tell me you have a request, which is purely personal to me: non credo for that: for I am sure you
would not be so disagreeable as not to have made it, when you know it is a pleasure and satisfaction to me to do any thing you desire; by which you may find you are not sans consequence to me.
I met with your friend Mr. Pope the other day. He complains of not being well; and indeed looked ill. I fear that neither his wit nor sense do arm him enough against being hurt by malice; and that he is too sensible of what fools say: the run is much against him on the duke of Chandois's * account; but I believe their rage is not kindness to the duke, but they are glad to give it vent with some tolerable pretence. I wish your presence would have such a miraculous effect as your design on Mrs. Biddy'st speech.' You know, formerly her tongue was not apt to run much by inclination ; but now every winter is kept still per force, for she constantly gets a violent cold, that lasts her all winter : but as to that quarrelsome friend of the dake of Dorset, I will let her loose at you, and see which can get the better. Miss. Kelly was a very pretty girl when she went from hence; and the beaux show their good taste by liking hier. I hear her father is now kind to her; but if she is not mightily altered, she would give up some of her airs and equipage to live in England.
Since you are so good as to inquire after my health, I ought to inform you I never was better in my life than this winter. I have escaped both
* It was said that Mr. Pope intended the character of Timon, in his epistles on the Use of Riches in Works of Taste, addressed to the earl of Burlington, for the duke of Chandois.
+ Mrs. Biddy Floyd.
head-achs and gout; and that yours may not be endangered by reading such a long letter, I will add no more, but bid adieu to my dear dean.
Feb. 23, 1731-2. I LIKE to know my power (if it is so), that I can make you uneasy at my not writing: though I shall not often care to exert it, lest you should grow weary of me and my correspondence; but the slowness of my answers does not come from the emptiness of my heart, but the emptiness of my head; and that you know is nature's fault, not mine. I was not learned enough to know non credo has been so long in fashion; but every day convinces me more of the necessity of it, not but that I often wish against myself; as per example, I would fain believe you are coming to England, because most of your acquaintance tell me so; and yet turn, and wind, and sitt your letters to find any thing like it being true ; but instead of that, there I find a law-suit, which is a worse tie by the leg than your lameness. And pray what is this hurt above my heel ?” Have you had a fellow-feeling with my lord-lieutenant* of the gout, and call it a sprain as he does ? who has lain so long and often to disguise it, that I verily think he has not a new story left. Does he do the same in Ireland? for there I hoped he would have given a better example..
• The duke of Dorset.