The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 20
FROM MR. GAY.
YOURS without a date I received two days after my return to this place from London, where I stayed only four days. I saw Mr. Pope, who is much better: I dined with him at lord Oxford's, who never fails drinking your health, and is always very inquisitive after every thing that concerns you. Mr. Pulteney had received your letter, and seemed very much pleased with it; and I thought you very much too in the good graces of the lady. Sir William Wyndham, who you will by this time have heard has buried lady Catherine, was at Dawley in great affliction. Dr. Arbuthnot I found in good health and spirits. His neighbour Mr. Lewis was gone to Bath. Mrs. Patty Blount I saw two or three times, who will be very much pleased when she knows you so kindly remember her. I am afraid Mrs. Howard will not be so well satisfied with the compliments you send her. I breakfasted twice with her at Mrs. Blount's; and she told me, that her indisposition had prevented her answering your letter. This she desired me to tell you, that she would write to you soon; and she desires you will accept of her compliments in the mean time by me. You should consider circumstances before you censure. It will be too long for a letter to make her apology; but when I see you, I shall convince you, that you mistake her. This day before I left London, I gave orders for buying two South-sea or India bonds for you, which carry 4l. per cent, and are as easily turned into ready money as bank bills; which, by this time, I suppose is done. I shall go to London again for a few days in about a fortnight or three weeks, and then I will take care of the twelve pound affair with Mrs. Lancelot as you direct; or, if I hear of Mr. Pope's being in town, I will do it sooner, by a letter to him. When I was in town (after a bashful fit, for having writ something like a love letter, and in two years making one visit), I writ to Mrs. Drelincourt, to apologise for my behaviour, and received a civil answer, but had not time to see her; they are naturally very civil, so that I am not so sanguine to interpret this as any encouragement. I find by Mrs. Barber, that she very much interests herself in her affair; and indeed from every body who knows her she answers the character you first gave me.
Whenever you come to England, if you will put that confidence in me to give me notice, I will meet you at your landing place, and conduct you hither. You have experience of me as a traveller; and I promise you, I will not drop you on the road for any visit whatever. You tell me of thanks that I have not given. I do not know what to say to people who will be perpetually laying one under obligations: my behaviour to you, shall convince you that I am very sensible of them, though I never once mention them. I look upon you as my best friend and counsellor. I long for the time when we shall meet and converse together, I will draw you into no great company, beside those I live with. In short, if you insist upon it, I will give up all great company for yours. These are conditions that I can hardly think you will insist upon, after your declarations to the duchess, who is more and more impatient to see you: and all my fear is, that you will give up me for her, which, after my ungallant declaration, would be very ungenerous. But we will settle this matter together, when you come to Amesbury. After all, I find I have been saying nothing; for, speaking of her, I am talking as if I were in my own power. You used to blame me for oversolicitude about myself. I am now grown so rich, that I do not think myself worth thinking on; so that I will promise you never to mention myself, or my own affairs; but you owed it all to the inquisitiveness of your friendship; and ten to one but you will every now and then draw me in to talk of myself again. I sent you a gross state of my fortune already. I have not room to draw it out in particulars. When you come over, the duchess will state it to you. I have left no room for her to write, so that I will say nothing till my letter is gone; but she would not forgive me, if I did not send her compliments.