The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Anthony Henley to Jonathan Swift - 1

GRANGE, SEPT. 16, 1708.

YESTERDAY the weatherglass was at 28 inches, which is lower than ever I saw it; the wind was at east, a very dull quarter; the garden so wet, there was no looking into it; and I myself, by consequence, in the spleen. Before night, the glass rose, the wind changed, the garden dried, I received your letter, and was as well as ever I was in my life, to my thinking, though perhaps you may think otherwise. The reason why your letter was so long a coming to my hands, was, its being directed to me near Winchester; and Alresford is the post town nearest to me. If the officers should come to you, doctor, if you want a security, that your children shan't be troublesome to the parish, pray make use of me. I'll stand 'em all, though you were to have as many as the Holland countess. We have had a tedious expectation of the success of the siege of Lisle: the country people begin to think there is no such thing, and say the newspapers talk of it to make people bear paying taxes a year longer. I don't know how Steele[1] will get off of it; his veracity is at stake in Hantshire. Pray desire him to take the town, though he should leave the citadel for a nestegg. I han't the honour to know colonel Hunter; but I never saw him in so good company as you have put him, lord Halifax, Mr. Addison, Mr. Congreve, and the gazetteer. Since he is there, let him stay there. Pray doctor, let me know whether writing letters be talking to one's self, or talking to other folks: for I think the world has settled it, that talking to one's self, which offends no body, is madness; and talking to other people, which generally is not quite so harmless, is wit, or good breeding, or religion, or — I wont write a word more till you have satisfied me what I have been doing all this while. I am sure one need not have writ two pages to introduce my assuring you, that I am

Your most affectionate humble servant,


  1. 'Who was writer of the gazette.'