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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 15

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 12


TWICKENHAM, AUG. 12, 1727.


I AM cleverly caught, if ever gentleman was cleverly caught; for three days after I came to town with lord Oxford[1] from Cambridgeshire, which was ten days ago, my old deafness seized me, and hath continued ever since with great increase; so that I am now deafer than ever you knew me, and yet a little less I think than I was yesterday; but which is worse, about four days ago my giddiness seized me, and I was so very ill, that yesterday I took a hearty vomit, and though I now totter, yet I think I am a thought better; but what will be the event, I know not; one thing I know, that these deaf fits use to continue five or six weeks, and I am resolved if it continues, or my giddiness, some days longer, I will leave this place, and remove to Greenwich, or somewhere near London, and take my cousin Lancelot to be my nurse. Our friends know her; it is the same with Pat Rolt. If my disorder should keep me longer than my license of absence lasts, I would have you get Mr. Worrall to renew it; it will not expire till the sixth or seventh of October, and I resolved to begin my journey September 15th. Mr. Worrall will see by the date of my license what time the new one should commence; but he has seven weeks yet to consider: I only speak in time. I am very uneasy here, because so many of our acquaintance come to see us, and I cannot be seen; besides, Mr. Pope is too sickly and complaisant; therefore I resolve to go somewhere else. This is a little unlucky, my head will not bear writing long: I want to be at home, where I can turn you out, or let you in, as I think best. The king and queen come in two days to our neighbourhood[2]; and there I shall be expected, and cannot go; which however is none of my grievances, for I would rather be absent, and have now too good an excuse. I believe this giddiness is the disorder, that will at last get the better of me; but I would rather it should not be now; and I hope and believe it will not, for I am now better than yesterday. —— Since my dinner my giddiness is much better, and my deafness a hair's breadth not so bad. It is just as usual, worst in the morning and at evening. I will be very temperate; and in the midst of peaches, figs, nectarines, and mulberries, I touch not a bit. I hope I shall however set out in the midst of September, as I designed. — This is a long letter for an ill head: so adieu. My service to our two friends and all others.