The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Deane Swift - 1


I RECEIVED your kind letter to day from your sister; and am very glad to find you will spare time from business so far as to write a long letter to one you have none at all with but friendship, which, as the world passes, is perhaps one of the idlest things in it. It is a pleasure to me to see you sally out of your road, and take notice of curiosities, of which I am very glad to have part, and desire you to set by some idle minutes for a commerce which shall ever be dear to me, and from so good an observer as you may easily be, cannot fail of being useful. I am sorry to see so much superstition in a country so given to trade; I half used to think those two to be incompatible. Not that I utterly dislike your processions for rain or fair weather, which, as trifling as they are, yet have good effects to quiet common heads, and infuse a gaping devotion among the rabble. But your burning the old woman, unless she were a duenna, I shall never be reconciled to; though it is easily observed that nations which have most gallantry to the young, are ever the severest upon the old. I have not leisure to descant farther upon your pleasing letter, nor any thing to return you from so barren a scene as this, which I shall leave in four days toward my journey for Ireland. I had designed a letter to my cousin Willoughby; and the last favour he has done me requires a great deal of acknowledgment; but the thought of my sending so many before, has made me believe it better to trust you with delivering my best thanks to him, and that you will endeavour to persuade him how extremely sensible of his goodness and generosity I am. I wish and shall pray he may be as happy as he deserves, and he cannot be more. My mother desires her best love to him and to you, with both our services to my cousin his wife.

I forgot to tell you I left sir William Temple a month ago, just as I foretold it to you; and every thing happened thereupon exactly as I guessed. He was extremely angry I left him; and yet would not oblige himself any farther than upon my good behaviour, nor would promise any thing firmly to me at all; so that every body judged I did best to leave him. I design to be ordained in September next, and make what endeavours I can for something in the church. I wish it may ever lie in my cousin's way or yours to have interest to bring me in chaplain of the factory.

If any thing offers from Dublin that may serve either to satisfy or divert you, I will not fail of contributing, and giving you constant intelligence from thence of whatever you shall desire.

I am

Your affectionate cousin

and servant,

  1. A cousin of Dr. Swift's, then at Lisbon.