December 5, 1713.
I designed long ago to have acknowledged the favour of your kind letter, and, at the same time, to have acquainted you that I had laid aside all thoughts of the design mentioned to you in my last. I had indeed been prompted to it by our very worthy friend Sir Richard Blackmore, who is apt to think, as you do, much too partially of my poor abilities. But when I perceived you were tired with an entertainment you had so long given the town, with much better success than I could ever propose, I could not persuade myself to engage as a principal in an undertaking, in which I was only willing to have been an assistant. Sir Richard was, however, of opinion, that such a design ought not to be dropped, and therefore determined to make the experiment, which he believed might turn to the public good: and, by his commission, I send you the papers which have been hitherto published, to which he adds his sincere respects to your sister.
You may believe, when this design was once set on foot, I could not be wholly unconcerned: I must therefore desire your indulgence to the third, sixth, and ninth papers; and the rest, I am sure, will entertain you very well. I do not own my part, but to yourself, having so much business to attend at present, besides my ordinary affairs, that I am never sure of a day's time. I should have been very glad if I could have been accepted of your kind invitation, and have waited on you in the country. No one has more entire esteem for your friendship, nor more longs for your return to the town, than, &c.