The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 5


LONDON, SEPT. 16, 1726.

SINCE I wrote last, I have been always upon the ramble. I have been in Oxfordshire with the duke and duchess of Queensberry, and at Petersham, and wheresoever they would carry me; but as they will go to Wiltshire without me, on Tuesday next, for two or three months, I, believe I shall then have finished my travels for this year, and shall not go farther from London, than now and then to Twickenham. I saw Mr. Pope on Sunday, who has lately escaped a very great danger; but is very much wounded across his right hand. Coming home in the dark, about a week ago, alone in my lord Bolingbroke's coach from Dawley, he was overturned, where a bridge has been broke down, near Whitton, about a mile from his own house. He was thrown into the river, with the glasses of the coach up, and was up to the knots of his periwig in water. The footman broke the glass to draw him out; by which, he thinks, he received the cut across his hand. He was afraid he should have lost the use of his little finger and the next to it; but the surgeon, whom he sent for last Sunday from London to examine it, told him that his fingers were safe, that there were two nerves cut, but no tendon. He was in very good health, and very good spirits, and the wound in a fair way of being soon healed. The instructions you sent me to communicate to the doctor about the singer, I transcribed from your own letter, and sent to him; for, at that time, he was going every other day to Windsor park to visit Mr. Congreve, who has been extremely ill, but is now recovered, so that I was prevented from seeing of him by going out of town. I dined and supped on Monday last with lord and lady Bolingbroke, at lord Berkeley's, at Cranford, and returned to London, with the duke and duchess of Queensberry, on Tuesday by two o'clock in the morning. You are remembered always with great respect by all your acquaintance, and every one of them wishes for your return. The lottery begins to be drawn on Monday next, but my week of attendance will be the first in October. I am obliged to follow the engravers to make them dispatch my plates for the fables; for without it, I find they proceed but very slowly. I take your advice in this, as I wish to do in all things, and frequently revise my work, in order to finish it as well as I can. Mr. Pulteney takes the letter you sent him in the kindest manner; and I believe he is, except a few excursions, fixed in town for the winter. As for the particular affair, that you want to be informed in, we are as yet wholly in the dark; but Mr. Pope will follow your instructions. Mr. Lancelot sent for the spectacles you left behind you, which were delivered to him. Mr. Jervas's sheets are sent home to him, mended, finely washed, and neatly folded up. I intend to see Mr. Pope to morrow or on Sunday. I have not seen Mrs. Howard a great while, which you know must be a great mortification and self-denial; but in my case, it is particularly unhappy, that a man cannot contrive to be in two places at the same time: if I could, while you are there, one of them should be always Dublin. But, after all, it is a silly thing to be with a friend by halves, so that I will give up all thoughts of bringing this project to perfection, if you will contrive that we shall meet again soon. I am, dear sir, your most obliged and affectionate friend, and servant,