The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Charles Ford to Jonathan Swift - 18


NOVEMBER 22, 1737.


I CANNOT help putting you in mind of me sometimes, though I am sure of having no return. I often read your name in the newspapers, but hardly have any other account of you, except when I happen to see lord Orrery. He told me the last time, that you had been ill, but were perfectly recovered.

I hear they are going to publish two volumes more of your works. I see no reason why all the pamphlets published at the end of the queen's reign might not be inserted. Your objection of their being momentary things, will not hold. Killing no Murder, and many other old tracts, are still read with pleasure, not to mention Tully's Letters, which have not died with the times. My comfort is, they will some time or other be found among my books with the author's name, and posterity obliged with them. I have been driven out of a great house, where I had lodged between four and five years, by new lodgers, with an insupportable noise, and have taken a little one to myself in a little court, merely for the sake of sleeping in quiet. It is in St. James's Place, and called little Cleveland court. I believe you never observed it; for I never did, though I lodged very near it, till I was carried there to see the house I have taken. Though coaches come in, it consists of but six houses in all. Mine is but two stories high, contrived exactly as I would wish, as I seldom eat at home. The groundfloor is of small use to me; for the fore parlour is flung into the entry, and makes a magnificent London hall. The back one, by their ridiculous custom of tacking a closet almost of the same bigness to it, is so dark, that I can hardly see to read there in the middle of the day. Up one pair of stairs I have a very good diningroom, which on the second floor is divided in two, and makes room for my whole family, a man and a maid, both at board wages. Over my bedchamber is my study, the pleasantest part of the house, from whence you have a full view of Buckingham House, and all that part of the park. My furniture is clean and new, but of the cheapest things I could find out. The most valuable goods I have are two different prints of you. I am still in great hopes I shall one day have the happiness of seeing you in it.

Every body agrees the queen's death was wholly owing to her own fault. She had a rupture, which she would not discover: and the surgeon who opened her navel, declared if he had known it two days sooner, she should have been walking about the next day. By her concealing her distemper, they gave her strong cordials for the gout in her stomach, which did her great mischief. The king is said to have given her the first account of her condition: she bore it with great resolution, and immediately sent for the rest of her children, to take formal leave of them, but absolutely refused to see the prince of Wales; nor could the archbishop of Canterbury, when he gave her the sacrament, prevail on her, though she said, she heartily forgave the prince. It is thought her death will be a loss, at least in point of ease, to some of the ministers.

Since Lewis has lost his old wife, he has had an old maiden niece to live with him, continues the same life, takes the air in his coach, dines moderately at home, and sees nobody.

It was reported, and is still believed by many, that sir Robert Walpole upon the loss of his, made miss Skirret an honest woman; but if it be so, the marriage is not yet owned.

That you may, in health and happiness, see many 30th of Novembers, is the most sincere and hearty wish of yours, &c.


If you will be so kind as to let me hear from you once again, you may either direct to me at the Cocoa Tree, or to Little Cleveland court, in St. James's place.