The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Charles Ford to Jonathan Swift - 13

LONDON, DEC. 23, 1732.

YESTERDAY I received your letter of the 9th, and am infinitely obliged to you for the constant concern you show for me. I am ashamed to trouble you so much, and so often, in my own affairs; and your great kindness makes me almost ashamed to ask pardon for it. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I am very glad to hear the character you give of lord Orrery. He was extremely applauded for a speech he made against the army bill. There is no danger of repealing the test. The court has taken the usual method of gaining the fanatick leaders much against the grain of the body. It is said, the bishop of Salisbury[1] is the chief encourager of them; that the queen spoke to him, and that he answered, He can be besmeared, although they would not suffer him to go the dirty road to Durham. That was the excuse they made him upon the last vacancy of that see. I am extremely proud that lady Acheson does me the honour to remember her humble servant. I heartily wish she could be persuaded to keep good hours, having observed, by many of my acquaintance, that nothing impairs health so much as sitting up late. I often hear from my sister: she writes in quite another strain than she talked, with cheerfulness and good nature. I fancy Arsalla[2] has cured the lady of her spleen.

I heartily wish you many new years, with health and happiness; and am, most entirely, &c.

I am told poor Gay's play is now in rehearsal, and will please. It was that brought him to town a little before he died[3]; though, without his fever, he could not probably have held out long any where.

  1. Dr. Benjamin Hoadly.
  2. The seat of Peter Ludlow, esq., father to the first earl of Ludlow.
  3. Nov. 16, 1732, Mr. Gay tells the dean, "I am at last come to London before the family, to follow my own inventions. — If my present object succeeds, you may expect a better account of my fortune a little while after the holidays. But I promise myself nothing." See the preceding letter. He died Dec. 4, only eighteen days after.