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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Robert Cope - 1

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DUBLIN, JULY 9, 1717.

I RECEIVED the favour of your letter before I came to town; for I stayed three weeks at Trim after I left you, out of perfect hatred to this place, where at length business dragged me against my will. The archdeacon, who delivers you this, will let you know I am but an ill solicitor for him. The thing is indeed a little difficult and perplexed, yet a willing mind would make it easy; but that is wanted, and I cannot work it up. However, it shall not be my fault, if something be not made of it one time or other; but some people give their best friends reason to complain. I have at a venture put you down among poor Mr. Prior's[2] benefactors; and I wonder what exemption you pretend to as appears by your letter to Mr. Stewart. It seems you took the thousand pounds a year in a literal sense, and even at that rate I hope you would not be excused. I hope your sheep shearing in the county of Louth hath established your health; and that Dr. Tisdell, your brother of the spleen, comes sometimes and makes you laugh at a pun or a blunder. I made a good many advances to your friend Bolton[3] since I came to town, and talked of you; but all signified nothing; for he has taken every opportunity of opposing me, in the most unkind and unnecessary manner; and I have done with him. I could with great satisfaction pass a month or two among you, if things would permit. The archdeacon carries you all the news, and I need say nothing. We grow mighty sanguine, but my temper has not fire enough in it. They assure me that lord Bolingbroke will be included in the act of grace; which, if it be true, is a mystery to me.

You must learn to winter in town, or you will turn a monk, and Mrs. Cope a nun; I am extremely her humble servant.

I have ventured to subscribe a guinea for Mr. Brownlowe, because I would think it a shame not to have his name in the list. Pray tell him so.

I doubt whether Mrs. Cope will be pleased with the taste of snuff I sent her.

Present my humble service to your mother and brother; and believe me to be, with great truth and esteem, sir,

Your most obedient humble servant,

  1. A gentleman of learning, good family, and fortune, and a great admirer of Dr. Swift.
  2. Prior's poems were then printing by subscription.
  3. Dr. Theophilus Bolton.