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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 14


TWICKENHAM, JULY 1, 1727.


I HAD yours of June 22. You complain of not hearing from me; I never was so constant a writer. I have writ six times to our friends, and as many to you. Mr. Pope is reading your Persius; he is frequently sick, and so at this time; he has read it, but you must wait till next letter for his judgment. He would know whether it is designed for an elegant translation, or only to show the meaning; I reckon it an explanation of a difficult author, not only for learners, but for those also who are not expert in Latin, because he is a very dark author: I would not have your book printed entire, till I treat with my bookseller here for your advantage. There is a word (concacuus) which you have not explained, nor the reason of it. Where you are ignorant, you should confess you are ignorant. I writ to Stella the day we heard the king was dead, and the circumstances of it. I hold you a guinea, I shall forget something. Worrall writ to me lately. In answer, I desire that when the archbishop comes to a determination, that an appeal be properly lodged, by which I will elude him till my return, which will be at Michaelmas. I have left London, and stay here a week, and then I shall go thither again; just to see the queen, and so come back hither. Here are a thousand schemes wherein they would have me engaged, which I embraced but coldly, because I like none of them. I have been this ten days inclined to my old disease of giddiness, a little tottering; our friend understands it, but I grow cautious, am something better; cider and champaign and fruit have been the cause. But now I am very regular, and I eat enough. I took Dr. Delany's paper to the king when he was prince; he and his secretary[1] are discontented with the provost[2], but they find he has law on his side. The king's death hath broke that measure. I proposed the prince of Wales to be chancellor, and I believe so it will go. Pray copy out the verses I writ to Stella on her collecting my verses, and send them to me, for we want some to make our poetical miscellany large enough, and I am not there to pick what should be added. Direct them, and all other double papers, to lord Bathurst, in St. James's square, London. I was in a fright about your verses on Stella's sickness, but glad when they were a month old.

Desire our friends to let me know what I should buy for them here of any kind. I had just now a long letter from Mrs. Dingley, and another from Mr. Synge. Pray tell the latter, that I return him great thanks, and will leave the visiting affair to his discretion. But all the lawyers in Europe shall never persuade me, that it is in the archbishop's power to take or refuse my proxy, when I have the king's leave of absence. If he be violent, I will appeal, and die two or three hundred pounds poorer to defend the rights of the dean. Pray ask Mr. Synge whether his fenocchio be grown; it is now fit to eat here, and we eat it like celery, either with or without oil, &c. I design to pass my time wholly in the country, having some business to do, and settle, before I leave England for the last time. I will send you Mr. Pope's criticisms, and my own, on your work. Pray forget nothing of what I desire you. Pray God bless you all. If the king had lived but ten days longer, I should be now at Paris. Simpleton! the Drapiers should have been sent unbound, but it is no great matter; two or three would have been enough. I see Mrs. Fad but seldom; I never trouble them but when I am sent for: she expects me soon, and after that perhaps no more while I am here. I desire it may be told that I never go to court, which I mention because of a passage in Mrs. Dingley's letter; she speaks mighty good things of your kindness. I do not want that poem to Stella to print it entire, but some passages out of it, if they deserve it, to lengthen the volume. Read all this letter without hesitation, and I will give you a pot of ale. I intend to be with you at Michaelmas, bar impossibilities.