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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 13

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 12


LONDON, DEC. 2, 1728.

THINK this is my fourth letter, I am sure it is the third, without any answer. If I had any assurance of your health, I should have been more easy. I should have writ to you upon this subject above a month ago, had it not been for a report that you were upon the road in your way to England: which I fear now was without foundation. Your money, with part of my own, is still in the hands of lord Bathurst, which I believe he will keep no longer, but repay upon his coming to town; when I will endeavour to dispose of it as I do of my own, unless I receive your orders to the contrary. Lord and lady Bolingbroke are in town: she has been lately very ill, but is now somewhat better. I have had a very severe attack of a fever, which, by the care of our friend Dr. Arbuthnot, has, I hope, almost left me. I have been confined about ten days, but never to my bed, so that I hope soon to get abroad about my business; that is, the care of the second part of the Beggar's Opera, which was almost ready for rehearsal; but Rich received the duke of Grafton's commands (upon an information, that he was rehearsing a play improper to be represented) not to rehearse any new play whatever, till his grace has seen it. What will become of it I know not; but I am sure I have written nothing, that can be legally suppressed, unless the setting vices in general in an odious light, and virtue in an amiable one, may give offence. I passed five or six months this year at the Bath with the duchess of Marlborough; and then, in the view of taking care of myself, writ this piece. If it goes on, in case of success, I have taken care to make better bargains for myself: I tell you this, because I know you are so good as to interest yourself so warmly in my affairs, that it is what you would want to know. I saw Mr. Pope on Friday, who, as to his health, is just as you left him. His mother, by his account, is much the same. Mr. Lewis, who is very much your servant (as are all I have mentioned) tells me, farther time is still desired of him about the hundred pounds. Dr. Arbuthnot particularly desires his compliments; and Mrs. Howard often asks after you. Prince Frederick is expected over this week. I hope to go abroad in two or three days. I wish I could meet with you either abroad, or at home.