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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 8


WHITEHALL, FEB. 18, 1726-7.

I BELIEVE it is now my turn to write to you, though Mr. Pope has taken all I have to say, and put it into a long letter, which is sent too by Mr. Stopford: but however, I could not omit this occasion of thanking you for his acquaintance. I do not know whether I ought to thank you or not, considering I have lost him so soon, though he has given me some hopes of seeing him again in the summer. He will give you an account of our negotiations together; and I may now glory in my success, since I could contribute to his. We dined together to day at the doctor's, who, with me, was in high delight upon an information Mr. Stopford gave us, that we are likely to see you soon. My fables are printed; but I cannot get my plates finished, which hinders the publication. I expect nothing, and am like to get nothing. It is needless to write, for Mr. Stopford can acquaint you of my affairs more fully than I can in a letter. Mrs. Howard desires me to make her compliments: she has been in an ill state as to her health all this winter, but I hope is somewhat better. I have been very much out of order myself for the most part of the winter: upon my being let blood last week, my cough and my headach are much better. Mrs. Blount always asks after you. I refused supping at Burlington house to night, in regard to my health; and this morning I walked two hours in the park. Bowrie told me this morning, that Pope had a cold, and that Mrs. Pope is pretty well. The contempt of the world grows upon me, and I now begin to be richer and richer; for I find I could, every morning I awake, be content with less than I aimed at the day before. I fancy, in time, I shall bring myself into that state which no man ever knew before me. In thinking I have enough, I really am afraid to be content with so little, lest my good friends should censure me for indolence, and the want of laudable ambition, so that it will be absolutely necessary for me to improve my fortune to content them. How solicitous is mankind to please others! Pray give my sincere service to Mr. Ford. Dear sir, yours most affectionately,