Epsom, July 6, 1727.
When these letters [of Pope's] were first printed I wondered how Curll could come by them, and could not but laugh at the pompous title, since whatever you wrote to me was humour and familiar raillery. As soon as I came from Epsom I heard you had been to see me, and I writ you a short letter from Will's that I longed to see you. Mr. D[enni]s about that time charged me with giving them to a mistress, which I positively denied, not in the least at that time thinking of it; but some time after, finding in the newspapers letters from Lady Packington, Lady Chudleigh, and Mr. Norris to the same Sappho, or E. T., I began to fear that I was guilty. I have never seen these letters of Curll's, nor would go to his shop about them. I have not seen this Sappho, alias E. T., these seven years. Her writing that I gave her them to do with what she would with them is straining the point too far. I thought not of it, nor do I think she did then: but severe necessity, which catches hold of a twig, had produced all this, which has lain hid and forgot by me so many years. Curll sent me a letter last week desiring a positive answer about this matter, but finding I would give him none, he went to E. T. and writ a postscript in her long romantic letter to direct my answer to his house; but they not expecting an answer sent a young man to me, whose name it seems is Pattison. I told him I should not write anything; but I believed it might be so as she writ in her letter. I am extremely concerned that my former indiscretion in putting them into the hands of this precieuse should have given you so much disturbance; for the last thing I should do would be to disoblige you, for whom I have ever preserved the greatest esteem, and shall ever be, sir, your faithful friend and most humble servant.