The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Letter: Swift to Pope - 23

MAY 12, 1735.

YOUR letter was sent me yesterday by Mr. Stopford, who landed the same day, but I have not seen him. As to my silence, God knows it is my great misfortune. My little domestick affairs are in great confusion by the villany of agents, and the miseries of this kingdom, where there is no money to be had: nor am I unconcerned to see all things tending toward absolute power, in both nations (it is here in perfection already) although I shall not live to see it established. This condition of things, both publick, and personal to myself, has given me such a kind of despondency, that I am almost unqualified for any company, diversion, or amusement. The death of Mr. Gay and the doctor, have been terrible wounds near my heart. Their living would have been a great comfort to me, although I should never have seen them; like a sum of money in a bank from which I should receive at least annual interest, as I do from you, and have done from my lord Bolingbroke. To show in how much ignorance I live, it is hardly a fortnight since I heard of the death of my lady Masham, my constant friend in all changes of times. God forbid that I should expect you to make a voyage that would in the least affect your health: but in the mean time how unhappy am I, that my best friend should have perhaps the only kind of disorder, for which a sea voyage is not in some degree a remedy. The old duke of Ormond said, he would not change his dead son (Ossory) for the best living son in Europe. Neither would I change you my absent friend, for the best present friend round the globe.

I have lately read a book imputed to lord Bolingbroke, called a Dissertation upon Parties. I think it very masterly written.

Pray God reward you for your kind prayers: I believe your prayers will do me more good than those of all the prelates in both kingdoms, or any prelates in Europe, except the bishop of Marseilles. And God preserve you for contributing more to mend the world, than the whole pack of (modern) parsons in a lump.

I am, ever entirely yours.