The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Esther Vanhomrigh - 2

Upper Letcomb, near Wantage, Berks, June 8, 1714.

I HAVE not much news to tell you from hence, nor have I had one line from any body since I left London, of which I am very glad: but, to say the truth, I believe I shall not stay here so long as I intended; I am at a clergyman's house, whom I love very well; but he is such a melancholy thoughtful man, partly from nature, and partly by a solitary life, that I shall soon catch the spleen from him. Out of ease and complaisance, I desire him not to alter any of his methods for me; so we dine exactly between twelve and one. At eight we have some bread and butter, and a glass of ale; and at ten he goes to bed. Wine is a stranger, except a little I sent him; of which, one evening in two, we have a pint between us. His wife has been this month twenty miles off, at her father's, and will not return these ten days, I never saw her; and perhaps the house will be worse when she comes. I read all day, or walk; and do not speak as many words as I have now writ, in three days: so that, in short, I have a mind to steal to Ireland, unless I find myself take more to this way of living, so different, in every circumstance, from what I left. This is the first syllable I have writ to any body since you saw me. I shall be glad to hear from you, not as you are a Londoner, but as a friend; for I care not threepence for news, nor have heard one syllable since I came here. The pretender, or duke of Cambridge, may both be landed,and I never the wiser: but if this place were ten times worse, nothing shall make me return to town, while things are in the situation I left them. I give a guinea a week for my board, and can eat any thing.