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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Robert Cope - 4


DUBLIN, MAY 11, 1723.

I PUT up your letter so very safe, that I was half an hour looking for it. I did not receive it till a few days before I came to town; for I often changed stages, and my last as well as my first was at Woodpark with Mr. Ford. This is the first minute of leisure I have had to answer you, which I did not intend to do, till I heard you were come and gone from hence like a spright. I will tell you that for some years I have intended a southern journey; and this summer is fixed for it, and I hope to set out in ten days. I never was in those parts, nor am acquainted with one Christian among them, so that I shall be little more than a passenger; from thence I go to the bishop of Clonfert[1], who expects me, and pretends to be prepared for me. You need not take so much pains to invite me to Loughgall. I am grown so peevish, that I can bear no other country place in this kingdom; I quarrel every where else, and sour the people I go to as well as myself. I will put the greatest compllment on you that ever I made; which is, to profess sincerely that I never found any thing wrong in your house, and that you alone of all my Irish acquaintance have found out the secret of loving your lady and children, with some reserve of love for your friends, and, which is more, without being troublesome; and Mrs. Cope, I think, excels even you, at least you have made me think so, and I beg you will deceive me as long as I live. The worst of it is, that if you grow weary of me (and I wonder why you do not) I have no other retreat. The neighbours you mention may be valuable, but I never want them at your house; and I love the very spleen of you and Mrs. Cope, better than the mirth of any others you can help me to; it is indeed one additional good circumstance that T———[2] will be absent. I am sorry to say so of an old acquaintance; I would pity all infirmities that years bring on, except envy and loss of good nature; the loss of the latter I cannot pardon in any one but myself. My most humble service to Mrs. Cope; and pray God bless your fireside! It will spare Dr. Jinny[3] the trouble of a letter, if he knows from you in a few days that I intend in a week from your receiving this to begin my journey; for he promised to be my companion. It is probable I may be at Clonfert by the beginning of July. — It is abominable that you will get me none of Prior's guineas. — If you want news, seek other correspondents. Mr. Ford is heartily weary of us, for want of company. He is a tavern man, and few here go to taverns, except such as will not pass with him; and, what is worse, as much as he has travelled, he cannot ride. He will be undone when I am gone away; yet he does not think it convenient to be in London during these hopeful times. I have been four hours at a commission to hear the passing of accompts, and thought I should not have spirits left to begin a letter; but I find myself refreshed with writing to you. Adieu, and do me the justice to believe that no man loves and esteems you more than yours, &c.

  1. Dr. Theophilus Bolton.
  2. Q. Tisdell.
  3. A clergyman in the neighbourhood.