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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to John Sterne - 2

JUNE, 1708.

I WRIT to you some weeks ago, and enclosed (as now) a letter to your neighbour. But I fear it was kidnapped by some privateer, or else you were lazy or forgetful; or which is full as good, perhaps it had no need of an answer, and I would not for a good deal, that the former had miscarried, because the enclosed was wonderfully politick, and would have been read to you, as this, I suppose, will, though it be not half so profound. Now are you gone some summer ramble, and will not receive this in a fortnight; nor send the enclosed in as much more. I have often begged you would let me buy you one fifty pounds worth of books; but now I have been here so long, I believe you will have reason to apprehend I may sink the money. Sir A. Fountain will never be satisfied till he gets into the little room, with the three Ashes, the bishop of Killala, and myself, to be happy at the expense of your wine and conversation. Here is a sight of two girls joined together at the back, which, in the newsmonger's phrase, causes a great many speculations; and raises abundance of questions in divinity, law, and physick. The boys of our town are mighty happy, for we are to have a beheading next week, unless the queen will interpose her mercy. Here is a long lampoon publickly printed, abusing by name at length, all the young people of quality, that walk in the park[1]. These are effects of our liberty of the press.

I long to know what is become of your new house, whether there is yet a union between that and the little one, or whether the work stops for want of money; and you pretend it is only, that the boards may have time to season. We are still in pain for Mr. Dopping's being in one of the packet boats that were taken. He and many more have vowed never to return to England again; which, if they forget, they may properly be called vows written in water.

Pray, sir, let me hear from you some time this hot weather, for it will be very refreshing; and I am confined by business to this ugly town, which, at this season of the year, is almost insufferable.

I am, Sir,

Your most faithful humble servant,


  1. A poem by Oldisworth, under the title of "St. James's Park."