The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 21

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LONDON, JAN. 18, 1731-2.

IT is now past nine o'clock. I deferred sitting down to write to you, in expectation to have seen Mr. Pope, who left me two or three hours again to try to find lord Burlington, within whose walls I have not been admitted this year and a half; but for what reason I know not. Mr. Pope is just this minute come in, but had not the good luck to find him; so that I cannot give you any satisfaction in the affair you writ last about. He designs to see him to morrow; and if any thing can be done, he says you shall hear from him.

By the beginning of my letter you see how I decline in favour; but I look upon it as my particular distinction, that as soon as the court gains a man, I lose him. It is a mortification I have been used to, so I bear it as a philosopher should.

The letter which you writ to me and the duke I received; and Mr. Pope showed me that directed to him, which gave me more pleasure than all the letters you have writ since I saw you, as it gives me hopes of seeing you soon.

Were I to acquaint the duke and duchess of my writing, I know that they would have something to say to you, and perhaps would prevent my sending the letter this post, so I choose to say nothing about it. You are in great favour and esteem with all those that love me, which is one great reason that I love and esteem them.

Whenever you will order me to turn your fortune into ready money, I will obey you; but I choose to leave it where it is till you want it, as it carries some interest; though it might be now sold to some advantage, and is liable to rises and falls with the other stocks. It may be higher as well as lower; so I will not dispose of it till I hear from you. I am impatient to see you, so are all your friends. You have taken your resolution, and I shall henceforth every week expect an agreeable surprise. The belman rings for the letter, so I can say no more.