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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 17

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


MARCH 31, 1730.

I EXPECT, in about a fortnight, to set out for Wiltshire, and am as impatient as you seem to be to have me to get on horseback. I thought proper to give you this intelligence, because Mr. Lewis told me last Sunday, that he was in a day or two, to set out for the Bath; so that very soon you are likely to have neither of your cashiers in town. Continue to direct for me at this house: the letters will be sent to me, wherever I am. My ambition, at present, is levelled to the same point that you direct me to; for I am every day building villakins, and have given over that of castles. If I were to undertake it in my present circumstance, I should, in the most thrifty scheme, soon be straitened; and I hate to be in debt; for I cannot bear to pawn five pounds worth of my liberty to a tailor or a butcher. I grant you, this is not having the true spirit of modern nobility; but it is hard to cure the prejudice of education. I have made your compliments to Mr. Pulteney, who is very much your humble servant. I have not seen the doctor, and am not likely to see his Rouen brother very soon; for he is gone to China. Mr. Pope told me, he had acquainted the doctor with the misfortune of the sour hermitage. My lord Oxford told me, he at present could match yours, and from the same person. The doctor was touched with your disappointment, and has promised to represent this affair to his brother, at his return from China. I assure you too, for all your gibes, that I wish you heartily good wine, though I can drink none myself. When lord Bolingbroke is in town, he lodges at Mr. Chetwynd's, in Dover street. I do not know how to direct to him in the country. I have been extremely taken up of late in settling a steward's account. I am endeavouring to do all the justice and service I can for a friend; so I am sure you will think I am well employed. Upon this occasion, I now and then have seen Jo. Taylor, who says he has a demand upon you for rent, you having taken his house in the country, and he being determined not to let it to any body else: and he thinks it but reasonable, that you should either come, and live in it, or pay your rent. I neither ride nor walk; but I design to do both this month and to become a laudable practitioner.

The duchess wishes she had seen you, and thinks you were in the wrong to hide yourself, and peep through the window, that day she came to Mr. Pope's. The duke too is obliged to you for your good opinion, and is your humble servant. If I were to write, I am afraid I should again incur the displeasure of my superiours. I cannot for my life think so well of them as they themselves think they deserve. If you have a very great mind to please the duchess, and at the same time to please me, I wish you would write a letter to her, to send to her brother, lord Cornbury, to advise him in his travels; for, she says, she would take your advice rather than mine; and she remembers, that you told her in the park, that you loved and honoured her family. You always insisted upon a lady's making advances to you; I do not know whether you will think this declaration sufficient. Then too, when you were in England, she writ a letter to you, and I have been often blamed since for not delivering it.

The day the pension bill was thrown out of the house of lords, lord Bathurst spoke with great applause. I have not time to go to Mr. Pope's: in a day or two very probably I shall see him, and acquaint him about the usquebaugh. I will not embezzle your interest money; though, by looking upon accounts, I see how money may be embezzled. As to my being engaged in an affair of this kind, I say nothing for myself, but that I will do all I can: for the rest I leave Jo. Taylor to speak for me. To day I dine with alderman Barber, the present sheriff, who holds his feast in the city. Does not Chartres's misfortunes[1] grieve you? For that great man is likely to save his life, and lose some of his money. A very hard case!

P. S. I am just now come from the alderman's feast, who had a very fine dinner, and a very fine appearance of company.

The post is just going away.

  1. He was condemned at the Old Bailey, Feb. 27, 1729-30, for a rape.