The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Henry St. John to Jonathan Swift - 25

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REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,
APRIL 12, 1734.
 


I HAVE received yours of the 16th of February very lately; but have not yet seen the person who brought it, nor am likely to see him, unless he finds me out in my retreat. Our friend Pope is in town, and to him I send this letter; for he tells me, he can forward it to you by the hands of one of our common friends. If I can do Mr. Faulkner any service, I shall certainly do it, because I shall catch at any opportunity of pleasing you; but my help, in a project of subscription, will, I fear, avail him little. I live much out of the world, and I do not blush to own, that I am out of fashion in it. My wife, who is extremely obliged to you, for your kind remembrance of her, and who desires me to say all the fond things from her to you, which I know she thinks, enjoys a precarious health, easily shaken, and sometimes interrupted by fits of severe pain: but, upon the whole, much better than it has been these five years. I walk down hill easily and leisurely enough, except when a strong disposition to the jaundice (that I have long carried about me) gives me a shove. I guard against it as well as I can; the censors say, not as well as I might. Too sedentary a life hurts me, and yet I do not care to lead any other; for sauntering about my grounds is not exercise. I say, I will be very active this summer, and I will try to keep my word. Riding is your panacea; and Bathurst is younger than his sons by observing the same regimen. If I can keep where I am a few years longer, I shall be satisfied; for I have something, and not much, to do before I die. I know by experience one cannot serve the present age. About posterity one may flatter one's self, and I have a mind to write to the next age. You have seen, I doubt not, the ethick epistles, and though they go a little into metaphysicks, I persuade myself you both understand and approve them; the first book being finished, the others will soon follow; for many of them are writ, or crayoned out. What are you doing? —— Good, I am sure. But of what kind? Pray, Mr. dean, be a little more cautious in your recommendations. I took care, a year ago, to remove some obstacles that might have hindered the success of one of your recommendations, and I have heartily repented of it since. The fellow wants morals, and, as I hear, decency, sometimes. You have had accounts, I presume, which will not leave you at a loss to guess whom I mean. Is there no hope left of seeing you once more in this island. I often wish myself out of it; and I shall wish so much more, if it is impossible de voisiner (I know no English word to say the same thing) with you. Adieu, dear sir; no man living preserves a higher esteem, or a more warm and sincere friendship for you, than I do.