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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to John Carteret - 5


I HAVE been so long afflicted with a deafness, and at present with a giddiness in my head (both old distempers) that I have not been able to attend your excellency and my lady Carteret, as my inclination and duty oblige me; and I am now hasting into the country, to try what exercise and better air will do toward my recovery. Not knowing how long I may be absent, or how soon you may think fit to leave this kingdom, I take this occasion of returning your excellency, and my lady Carteret, my most humble acknowledgments for your great civilities toward me, which I wish it were in my power to deserve.

I have only one humble request to make to your excellency, which I had in my heart ever since you were nominated lord lieutenant; and it is in favour of Mr. Sheridan. I beg you will take your time for bestowing on him some church living, to the value of a hundred and fifty pounds per annum. He is agreed on all hands to have done more publick service, by many degrees, in the education of lads, than any five of his vocation; and has much more learning than usually falls to the share of those who profess teachings being perfectly skilled in the Greek as well as Latin tongue, and acquainted with all the ancient writers, in poetry, philosophy, and history. He is a man of good sense, modesty, and virtue. His greatest fault is a wife and four children; for which there is no excuse, but that a wife is thought necessary to a schoolmaster. His constitution is so weak, that, in a few years, he must give up his business; and probably must starve, without some preferment, for which he is an ill solicitor. My lord bishop of Elphin has promised to recommend this request to your excellency. And I hope you will please to believe that it proceeds wholly from justice and humanity, for he is neither a dependant nor relation of mine.

I humbly take my leave; and remain, with the utmost respect,

My lord, &c.