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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From John Boyle to Jonathan Swift - 4


JULY 23, 1737.

IF I were to tell you who inquire for you, and what they say of you, it would take up more paper than I have in my lodgings, and more time than I stay in town. Yet London is empty: not dusty, for we have had rain: not dull, for Mr. Pope is in it: not noisy, for we have no cars[1]: not troublesome, for a man may walk quietly about the streets: in short, it is just as I would have it till Monday, and then I quit St. Paul's, for my little church at Marston.

Your commands are obeyed long ago. Dr. King has his cargo[2], Mrs. Barber her conversation[3], and Mr. Pope his letters. To morrow I pass with him at Twickenham: the olim meminisse will be our feast. Leave Dublin, and come to us. Methinks there are many stronger reasons for it than heretofore; at least I feel them: and I will say with Macbeth, Would thou could'st!

My health is greatly mended; so, I hope, is yours: write to me when you can, in your best health, and utmost leisure; never break through that rule. Can friendship increase by absence?

Sure it does; at least mine rises some degrees, or seems to rise: try if it will fall by coming nearer: no, certainly it cannot be higher. Yours most affectionately,

  1. Alluding to the Irish cars.
  2. The MS. of "The History of the Four Last Years."
  3. The treatise on "Polite Conversation," which the dean sent to Mrs. Barber as a present, and which she sold for a good sum.