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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 18



YOU tell me, that I have put myself out of the way of all my old acquaintance, so that unless I hear from you, I can know nothing of you. Is it not barbarous then to leave me so long without writing one word to me? If you will not write to me for my sake, methinks you might write for your own. How do you know what is become of your money? If you had drawn upon me when I expected it, you might have had your money, for I was then in town; but I am now at Amesbury, at the duke of Queensberry's. The duchess sends you her services. I wish you were here: I fancy you would like her and the place. You might fancy yourself at home; for we have a cathedral near us, where you might find a bishop of the same name[1]. You might ride upon the downs, and write conjectures upon Stonehenge. We are but five and twenty miles from the Bath; and I was told this very evening by general Dormer, (who is here) that he heard somewhere or other, that you had some intentions of coming there the latter season. I wish any thing would bring us together, but your want of health. I have left off wine and writing; for I really think, that man must be a bold writer, who trusts to wit without it. I took your advice; and some time ago took to love, and made some advances to the lady you sent me to in Soho, but I met no return; so I have given up all thoughts of it, and have now no pursuit or amusement. A state of indolence is what I do not like; it is what I would not choose. I am not thinking of a court, or preferment; for I think the lady I live with is my friend, so that I am at the height of my ambition. You have often told me, there is a time of life, that every one wishes for some settlement of his own. I have frequently that feeling about me, but I fancy it will hardly ever be my lot; so that I will endeavour to pass away life as agreeably as I can, in the way I am. I often wish to be with you, or you with me; and I believe you think I say true. I am determined to write to you, though those dirty fellows of the postoffice do read my letters: for, since I saw you, I am grown of that consequence to be obnoxious to the men I despise; so that it is very probable in their hearts they think me an honest man. I have heard from Mr. Pope but once since I left London: I was sorry I saw him so seldom, but I had business, that kept me from him. I often wish we were together again. If you will not write, come. I am, dear sir, yours most sincerely and affectionately.

  1. Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, bishop of Salisbury, whose brother, Dr. John Hoadly, succeeded archbishop King in the see of Dublin, January 19, 1729-30.