The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Henry St. John to Jonathan Swift - 15
FROM LORD BOLINGBROKE.
LONDON, SEPT. 22, 1726.
A BOOKSELLER, who says he is in a few days going to Dublin, calls here, and offers to carry a letter to you. I cannot resist the temptation of writing to you, though I have nothing to say more by this conveyance, than I should have by that of the post; though I have lately clubbed with Pope to make up a most elegant epistle to you in prose and verse; and though I wrote the other day the first paragraph of that Chedder letter which is preparing for you. The only excuse then, which I can plead for writing now, is, that the letter will cost you nothing. Have you heard of the accident which befel poor Pope in going lately from me? A bridge was down, the coach forced to go through the water, the bank steep, a hole on one side, a block of timber on the other, the night as dark as pitch. In short, he overturned, the fall was broke by the water; but the glasses were up, and he might have been drowned, if one of my men had not broke a glass, and pulled him out through the window. His right hand was severely cut; but the surgeon thinks him in no danger of losing the use of his fingers: however, he has lately had very great pains in that arm from the shoulder downward, which might create a suspicion that some of the glass remains still in the flesh. St. André says, there is none. If so, these pains are owing to a cold he took in a fit of gallantry, which carried him across the water to see Mrs. Howard, who has been extremely ill, but is much better. Just as I am writing, I hear, that Dr. Arbuthnot says, that Mr. Pope's pains are rheumatick, and have no relation to his wound. He suffers very much; I will endeavour to see him to morrow. Let me hear from you as often as you can afford to write. I would say something to you of myself, if I had any good to say; but I am much in the same way in which you left me, eternally busy about trifles, disagreeable in themselves, but rendered supportable by their end; which is, to enable me to bury myself from the world (who cannot be more tired of me than I am of it) in an agreeable sepulchre. I hope to bring this about by next spring, and shall be glad to see you at my funeral. Adieu.
- George Faulkner.
- A Chedder letter, is a letter written by the contribution of several friends, each furnishing a paragraph. The name is borrowed from that of a large and excellent cheese made at Chedder in Somersetshire, where all the dairies contribute to make the cheese, which is thus made of new milk, or fresh cream; of which, one dairy not furnishing a sufficient quantity, the common practice is to make cheese of milk or cream that has been set by, till a proper quantity is procured, and then part of it at least is stale.
- Dr. Arbuthnot (p. 201) says he was hurt in the left hand. The doctor probably knew best.