1730 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Mennes

Jonathan Swift to Alexander Pope, 2 May 1730; Works of Pope, ed. Elwin and Courthope (1871-1889) 7:195.



As to virtue, you have more charity than I, who never attempt to seek it, and if I had lost all my money I would disdain to seek relief from power. The loss would have been more to some wanting friends and to the public than to myself. Besides, I find that the longer I live I shall be less expensive. It is growing with me as with Sir John Mennis, who, when he grew old, boasted of his happiness to a friend that a groat would make him as drunk as half-a-crown did formerly; and so with me, half-a-pint of wine will go as far as a pint did some years ago, and probably I shall soon make up an abstemious triumvirate with you and Mr. Gay. Your usquebaugh is set out by long sea a fortnight ago.