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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Benjamin Tooke - 1

DUBLIN, JUNE 29, 1710.

I WAS in the country when I received your letter with the Apology enclosed in it[1]; and I had neither health nor humour to finish that business. But the blame rests with you, that if you thought it time, you did not print it when you had it. I have just now your last, with the complete Key. I believe it is so perfect a Grubstreet piece, it will be forgotten in a week. But it is strange that there can be no satisfaction against a bookseller for publishing names in so bold a manner. I wish some lawyer could advise you how I might have satisfaction: for at this rate, there is no book, however vile, which may not be fastened on me. I cannot but think that little parson-cousin[2] of mine is at the bottom of this; for, having lent him a copy of some part of, &c. and he showing it, after I was gone for Ireland, and the thing abroad, he affected to talk suspiciously, as if he had some share in it. If he should happen to be in town, and you light on him, I think you ought to tell him gravely, "That, if he be the author, he should set his name to the," &c. and rally him a little upon it: and tell him, "if he can explain some things, you will, if he pleases, set his name to the next edition." I should be glad to see how far the foolish impudence of a dunce could go. Well; I will send you the thing, now I am in town, as soon as possible. But, I dare say, you have neither printed the rest, nor finished the cuts; only are glad to lay the fault on me. I shall, at the end, take a little contemptible notice of the thing you sent me; and I dare say it will do you more good than hurt. If you are in such haste, how came you to forget the Miscellanies? I would not have you think of Steele for a publisher; he is too busy. I will, one of these days, send you some hints, which I would have in a preface, and you may get some friend to dress them up. I have thoughts of some other work one of these years: and I hope to see you ere it be long; since it is likely to be a new world, and since I have the merit of suffering by not complying with the old. Yours, &c.

  1. The Apology prefixed to the Tale of a Tub.
  2. Mr. Thomas Swift, rector of Puttenham in Surrey, chaplain to sir William Temple, and first cousin to the celebrated dean of St. Patrick's, being the only son of his uncle Thomas.