The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Elizabeth Germain to Jonathan Swift - 20

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MAY 27, 1735.

IT is true enough, my love to business is not great, without my capacity was better; but, however, you should have had a quicker answer to your letter, but that I find Mr. Fitzmaurice has already made application by several other hands, and so have many members of parliament. The answer, given to them all, has been, that it will not yet be disposed of; and my opinion is, that probably, when lord George Sackville comes over, he will humbly desire his father, or whoever is chief governor, that he may, without any political view, have the disposal of it himself, as it is his own private concern. I did not know lady Kerry had the honour of being your mistress and favourite: however, I approve of your taste. For, many years, or rather an age ago, she and I were very well acquainted, and I thought her a mighty sensible agreeable woman; so, upon that account, as well as yours, I should be very glad to be serviceable to her in any thing in my power.

Now I have given you what answer I can on this subject, I must recommend to you an affair, which has given me some small palpitations of the heart, which is, that you should not wrap up old shoes, or neglected sermons, in my letters; but that what of them have been spared from going toward making gin for the ladies, may henceforth be committed instantly to the flames: for, you being stigmatised with the name of a wit, Mr. Curll will rake to the dunghill for your correspondence. And as to my part, I am satisfied with having been honoured in print, by our amorous, satirical, and gallant letters.

The summer has done your old friend Mrs. Floyd a great deal of service. As for my saucy niece, I would advise you both to be better acquainted before you fall foul of one another. The duchess of Dorset is still at Bath, and the waters have done her good. The duke is now confined by a fit of the gout, which I believe is very well for him, because I doubt he had a little of it in his stomach.

Adieu, &c.