Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The inhabitants of the liberty, as well as those of the neighbourhood, have lived with me in great amity for near twenty years; which I am confident will never diminish during my life. I am chiefly sorry, that by two cruel disorders of deafness and giddiness, which have pursued me for four months, I am not in condition either to hear, or to receive you, much less to return my most sincere acknowledgements, which in justice and gratitude I ought to do,

May God bless you and your

families in this world, and make you for ever happy in the

next.

AN

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I

SIR,

Neale, Feb. 14, 1750. Have at last finished what you have

often heard me wish I might be able to do, a monument for the greatest genius of our age, the late dean of St. Patrick's. The thing in itself is but a trifle; but, it is more than I should ever have attempted, had I not with indignation seen a country (so honoured by the birth of so great a man, and so faithfully served by him all his life) so long and so shamefully negligent in erecting some monument of gratitude to his memory. Countries are not wise in such neglect; for they hurt themselves. Men of genius are encouraged to apply their talents to the service of their country, when they see in it gratitude to the memory of those who have deserved well of them. The ingenious Pere Castle told me at Paris, that he reckoned it the greatest misfortune to him that he was not born an Englishman; and, when he explained himself, it was only for this, that after two hundred years they had erected a monument to ShakeSpear; and, another to a modern, but to the greatest of them, fir Isaac Newton. Great souls are very disinterested in the affairs of life: They look for fame and immortality, scorning the mean paths of interest and lucre: And, surely, in an age fo mercenary as ours, men should not be so sparing to give publick marks of their gratitude to men of such virtue, dead, however they may treat them living; since in so doing, they bespeak, and almost insure to themselves, a succession of

such

such useful persons in society. It was with this view that I have determined to throw in my mite.

In a fine lawn below my house, I have planted an hippodrome. It is a circular plantation, consisting of five walks; the central of which is a horse-course, and three rounds make exactly a mile. All the lines are so laid out, that, from the centre, the fix rows of trees appear but one,

and form a hundred arches round the field; in the centre of which I have erected a mount, and placed a marble column on its proper pedestal, with all the decorations of the order; on the summit of which I have placed a Pegasus, juft seeming to take flight to the heavens ; and, on the dye of the pedestal I have engraved the following inscription, written by an ingenious friend.

In memoriam Jonathan SWIFT, S. T. P.

viri fine pari. Aonidum fontes aperis, divine poeta, Arte nova: æthereas propriis, ut Pegasus, alis Scande demos: æternum addet tua fama columna

Huic memori decus. Hic, tanti quam pof

fumus umbram Nominis in mentem facro revocare quotannis Ludorum ritu juvat. Hic tibi parvus honorum Offertur cumulus. Laudum quo fine tuarum Copia claudatur qui quærit, gentis Iernæ Pectora scrutetur, latumque interroget orbem.

1750. I have also appointed a small fund for annial premiums to be distributed in the celebration of games at the monument yearly. The ceremony is to last three days, beginning the first of May, yearly. On this day, young maids and men in the neighbourhood are to assemble in the hippodromne, with their garlands and chaplets of flowers, and to dance round the monument, singing the praises of this ingenious patriot, and strowing with flowers all the place : After which they are to dance for a prize; the best dancer among the maids is to be presented with a cap and ribbands; and after the dance, the young men are to run for a hat and gloves.

The second day, there is to be a large market upon the ground: And the most regular reel and count, is to have a guinea

premium;

« AnteriorContinuar »