It left the public so ignorant of its real meaning that Lewis Theobald and Benjamin Griffin published a Complete Key to what d'ye call it to explain it. In he wrote for six-year-old Prince Williamlater the Duke of Cumberland, Fifty-one Fables in Versefor which he naturally hoped to gain some preferment, although he has much to say in them of the servility of courtiers and the vanity of court honours. He certainly did nothing to conciliate the favour of the government by his next work, The Beggar's Operaa ballad opera produced on the 29 January by John Richin which Sir Robert Walpole was caricatured. The epitaph on his tomb is by Pope, and is followed by Gay's own mocking couplet: Gay suffered poor health from asthma and died early.
The shock is said to have made him dangerously ill.
He was offered the situation of gentleman-usher to the Princess Louisa, who was still a child. Norwood Editions, Prentice-Hall,
Inhe moved to the Queensberry estate in Burlington Gardens, where he spent the last years of his life in partial isolation.