The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From John Gay to Jonathan Swift - 22

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MARCH 13, 1731-2.

I HOPE this unlucky accident of hurting your leg will not prevent your coming to us this spring, though you say nothing about it. All your friends expect it, and particularly my landlord and landlady, who are my friends as much as ever; and I should not think them so, if they were not as much yours. The downs of Amesbury are so smooth, that neither horse nor man can hardly make a wrong step, so that you may take your exercise with us with greater security. If you prevail with the duchess to ride and walk with you, you will do her good; but that is a motive I could never prevail with her to comply with. I wish you would try whether your oratory could get over this difficulty. General Dormer, sir Clement Cotterell, and I, set out to morrow morning for Rousham, in Oxfordshire, to stay ten days or a fortnight. The duchess will undertake to recommend the lords of her acquaintance to attend Mr. Ryves's[1] cause, if it should come on before our return: the duke will do the same. Her grace too has undertaken to answer your letter. I have not disposed of your South Sea bonds; there is a year's interest due at Ladyday. Were I to dispose of them at present, I should lose a great deal of the premium I paid for them: perhaps they may fall lower, but I cannot prevail with myself to sell them. The rogueries that have been discovered in some other companies, I believe, make them all have less credit. I find myself dispirited, for want of having some pursuit. Indolence and idleness are the most tiresome things in the world. I begin to find a dislike to society. I think I ought to try to break myself of it, but I cannot resolve to set about it. I have left off almost all my great acquaintance, which saves me something in chair hire, though in that article the town is still very expensive. Those who were your old acquaintance, are almost the only people I visit; and indeed, upon trying all, I like them best. Lord Cornbury refused the pension that was offered him; he is chosen to represent the university of Oxford, in the room of Mr. Bromley, without opposition. I know him, and I think he deserves it. He is a young nobleman of learning and morals, which is so particular, that I know you will respect and value him; and, to my great comfort, he lives in our family. Mr. Pope is in town, and in good health. I lately passed a week with him, at Twickenham. I must leave the rest to the duchess; for I must pack up my shirts, to set out to morrow, being the 14th of March, being the day after I received your letter. If you would advise the duchess to confine me four hours a day to my own room, while I am in the country, I will write; for, I cannot confine myself as I ought.

  1. William Ryves, esq., was an eminent merchant in Dublin. The cause alluded to by Mr. Gay was an appeal by David Bindon, esq., another merchant, from a decree of the court of exchequer in Ireland in favour of Mr. Ryves. The appeal was dismissed, and the decree affirmed, May 4, 1733.