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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 19

FROM MR. GAY.


MARCH 10, 1730-31.


I THINK it is above three months since I wrote to you, in partnership with the duchess. About a fortnight since I wrote to you from Twickenham, for Mr. Pope and myself. He was then disabled from writing, by a severe rheumatick pain in his arm; but is pretty well again, and at present in town. Lord Oxford, lord Bathurst, he, and I, dined together yesterday at Barnes, with old Jacob Tonson, where we drank your health. I am again, by the advice of physicians, grown a moderate wine drinker, after an abstinence of above two years; and now look upon myself as qualified for society as before.

I formerly sent you a state of the accounts between us. Lord Bathurst has this day paid me your principal and interest. The interest amounted to twelve pounds, and I want your directions how to dispose of the principal, which must lie dead, till I receive your orders. I had a scheme of buying two lottery tickets for you, and keeping your principal entire. And as all my good fortune is to come, to show you that I consult your advantage, I will buy two more for myself, and you and I will go halves in the ten thousand pounds. That there will be a lottery is certain: the scheme is not yet declared, but I hear it will not be the most advantageous one; for we are to have but three pounds per cent.

I solicit for no court favours, so that I propose to buy the tickets at the market price, when they come out, which will not be these two or three months. If you do not like to have your money thus disposed of; or if you like to trust to your own fortune rather than to share in mine, let me have your orders; and at the same time, tell me what I shall do with the principal sum.

I came to town the 7th of January last, with the duke and duchess, about business, for a fortnight. As it depended upon others, we could not get it done till now. Next week we return to Amesbury, in Wiltshire, for the rest of the year; but the best way is always to direct to me at the duke's, in Burlington gardens, near Piccadilly. I am ordered by the duchess to grow rich in the manner of sir John Cutler. I have nothing, at this present writing, but my frock that was made at Salisbury, and a bob periwig. I persuade myself that it is shilling weather as seldom as possible; and have found out, that there are few court visits that are worth a shilling. In short, I am very happy in my present independency. I envy no man; but have the due contempt of voluntary slaves of birth and fortune. I have such a spite against you, that I wish you may long for my company, as I do for yours. Though you never write to me, you cannot make me forget you; so that if it is out of friendship you write so seldom to me, it does not answer the purpose. Those who you like should remember you, do so whenever I see them. I believe they do it upon their own account; for I know few people who are solicitous to please or flatter me. The duchess sends you her compliments, and so would many more, if they knew of my writing to you.