The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Henry St. John to Jonathan Swift - 16

FEB. 17, 1726-7.

THIS opportunity of writing to you I cannot neglect, though I shall have less to say to you than I should have by another conveyance. Mr. Stopford being fully informed of all that passes in this boisterous climate of ours, and carrying with him a cargo of our weekly productions. You will find anger on one side, and rage on the other; satire on one side, and defamation on the other. Ah! où est Grillon? You suffer much where you are, as you tell me in an old letter of yours which I have before me; but you suffer with the hopes of passing next summer between Dawley and Twickenham; and these hopes, you flatter us enough to intimate, support your spirits. Remember this solemn renewal of your engagements. Remember, that though you are a dean, you are not great enough to despise the reproach of breaking your word. Your deafness must not be a hackney excuse to you, as it was to Oxford. What matter if you are deaf? what matter if you cannot hear what we say? You are not dumb, and we shall hear you, and that is enough. My wife writes to you herself, and sends you some fans just arrived from Lilliput, which you will dispose of to the present Stella[1], whoever she be. Adieu, dear friend, I cannot in conscience keep you any longer from enjoying Mr. Stopford's conversation. I am hurrying myself here, that I may get a day or two for Dawley, where I hope that you will find me established at your return. There I propose to finish my days in ease, without sloth; and believe I shall seldom visit London, unless it be to divert myself now and then with annoying fools and knaves for a month or two. Once more adieu; no man loves you better than your faithful B——.

  1. Mrs. Johnson died the month preceding the date of this letter. But, considering the tenderness with which the dean was known to regret her loss, this is a strange expression.