The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Jack Worrall - 13


MARKET HILL, JAN. 18, 1728-9.

I HAVE yours of the 14th instant, but you had not then received my last, in which was enclosed a paper for the Intelligencer, which I hope you have disposed of as desired. My disorder still continues the same for this fortnight past, and am neither better nor worse. However, I resolve to return on the first mending of the weather; these three last days there being as violent a storm as I have known, which still continues. We have been told my lord Mountcashell[1] is dead at Drogheda, but believe it to be a lie. However, he is so tender, and affects so much vigour and fatigue, that we have been in pain about him.

I had a letter two days ago, which cost me six shillings and four pence; it consisted of the probate of a will in Leicestershire, and of two enclosed letters, and was beyond the weight of letters franked. When I went a lad to my mother, after the revolution, she brought me acquainted with a family where there was a daughter with whom I was acquainted. My prudent mother was afraid I should be in love with her; but when I went to London, she married an innkeeper in Loughborow, in that county, by whom she had several children. The old mother died, and left all that she had to her daughter aforesaid, separate from her husband. This woman (my mistress with a pox) left several children, who are all dead but one daughter, Anne by name. This Anne, for it must be she, about seven years ago writ to me from London, to tell me she was daughter of Betty Jones, for that was my mistress's name, till she was married to one Perkins, innkeeper, at the George in Loughborow, as I said before. The subject of the girl's letter was, that a young lady of good fortune was courted by an Irishman, who pretended to be barrack master general of Ireland, and desired me, as an old acquaintance of her mother Betty Jones, alias Perkins, to inquire about this Irishman. I answered, that I knew him not, but supposed he was a cheat; I heard no more. But now comes a letter to me from this Betty Jones, alias Perkins, to let me know, that her daughter Anne Giles, married an Irishman, one Giles, and was now come over to Ireland to pick up some debts due to her husband, which she could not get; that the young widow (for her husband Giles is dead) has a mind to settle in Ireland, and to desire I would lend her daughter Giles three guineas, which her mother will pay me when I draw upon her in England, and Mrs. Giles writes me a letter to that purpose. She intends to take a shop, and will borrow the money from Mrs. Brent, (whose name she has learned) and pay me as others do. I was at first determined to desire you would, from me, make her a present of five pounds, on account of her mother and grandmother, whom my mother used to call cousin. She has sent me an attested copy of her mother's will, which, as I told you, cost me six shillings and four pence. But I am in much doubt; for by her mother's letters, she is her heiress, and the grandmother left Betty Jones, alias Perkins, the mother of this woman in Dublin, all she had, as a separate maintenance from her husband (who proved a rogue) to the value of five hundred pounds. Now, I cannot conceive why she would let her only daughter and heiress come to Ireland, without giving her money to bear her charges here, and put her in some way. The woman's name is Anne Giles, she lodges, at one Mrs. Wilmot's, the first house in Molesworth court, on the right hand, in Fishamble street. I have told you this long story, to desire you will send for the woman, this Anne Giles, and examine her strictly, to find if she be the real daughter of Elizabeth Jones, alias Perkins, or not; and how her mother, who is so well able, came to send her in so miserable a condition to Ireland. The errand is so romantick, that I know not what to say to it. I would be ready to sacrifice five pounds, on old acquaintance, to help the woman; I suspect her mother's letters to be counterfeit, for I remember she spells like a kitchenmaid. And so I end this worthy business.

My bookseller, Mr. Motte, by my recommendation, dealt with Mr. Hyde[2]; there are some accounts between them, and Hyde is in his debt. He has desired me to speak to Mr. Hyde's executors to state the account, that Mr. Motte may be in a way to recover the balance. I wish you would step to Mr. Hyde's house, and inquire how that matter stands, and how Mr. Motte is to be paid. I suppose Mr. Hyde died in good circumstances, and that there will be no danger of his creditors suffering by his death.

I enclose a letter to Mr. Motte, which you will be so kind to send to the postoffice.

I desire, likewise, that you will make Mrs. Brent buy a bottle of usquebaugh, and leave it with the woman who keeps sir Arthur Acheson's house in Capel street, and desire her to deliver it to captain Creichton[3], who lodges at the Pied Horse, in Capel street, and is to bring down other things to my lady Acheson.

My most humble service to Mrs. Worrall, Mrs. Dingley, and love to Mrs. Brent.

I wish you all a happy new year.

  1. Edward Davis, lord viscount Mountcashell, dying a bachelor in July 1736, the title became extinct; but it was revived in 1766 in the person of James More, esq.
  2. Mr. John Hyde, an eminent bookseller of Dublin, of fair good character.
  3. Whose Memoirs are printed in volume x, p. 318.