1729 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Congreve

Jonathan Swift to Alexander Pope, 13 February 1729; Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift, ed. John Nichols (1801) 14:87-88.



The account of another lord lieutenant was only in a common newspaper, when I was in the country; and if it should have happened to be true, I would have desired to have had access to him as the situation I am in requires. But this renews the grief for the death of our friend Mr. Congreve, whom I loved from my youth, and who surely, beside his other talents, was a very agreeable companion. He had the misfortune to squander away a very good constitution in his younger days; and I think a man of sense and merit like him, is bound in conscience to preserve his health for the sake of his friends, as well as himself. Upon his own account I could not much desire the continuance of his life, under so much pain, and so many infirmities. Years have not yet hardened me; and I have an addition of weight on my spirits since we lost him; though I saw him so seldom, and possibly if he had lived on, should never have seen him more. I do not only wish as you ask me, that I was unacquainted with any deserving person, but almost, that I had never had a friend.