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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 16

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


TWICKENHAM, AUG. 29, 1727.


I HAVE had your letter of the 19th, and expect, before you read this, to receive another from you with the most fatal news that can ever come to me, unless I should be put to death for some ignominious crime. I continue very ill with my giddiness and deafness, of which I had two days intermission, but since worse, and I shall be perfectly content if God shall please to call me away at this time. Here is a triple cord of friendship broke, which hath lasted thirty years, twenty-four of which in Ireland. I beg, if you have not writ to me before you get this, to tell me no particulars, but the event in general: my weakness, my age, my friendship will bear no more. I have mentioned the case as well as I knew it to a physician, who is my friend; and I find his methods were the same, air and exercise, and at last ass's milk. I will tell you sincerely, that if I were younger, and in health, or in hopes of it, I would endeavour to divert my mind by all methods in order to pass my life in quiet; but I now want only three months of sixty. I am strongly visted with a disease, that will at last cut me off, if I should this time escape; if not, I have but a poor remainder, and that is below any wise man's valuing. I do not intend to return to Ireland so soon as I purposed; I would not be there in the very midst of grief. I desire you will speak to Mr. Worrall to get a new license about the beginning of October, when my old one (as he will see by the date) shall expire; but if that fatal accident were not to happen, I am not able to travel in my present condition. What I intend is, immediately to leave this place, and go with my cousin for a nurse about five miles from London on the other side toward the sea, and if I recover, I will either pass this winter near Salisbury plain, or in France; and therefore I desire Mr. Worrall may make this license run like the former [To Great Britain, or elsewhere, for the recovery of his health].

Neither my health, nor grief will permit me to say more: your directions to Mr. Lancelot at his house in New Bond street, over against the Crown and Cushion, will reach me. Farewell.

This stroke was unexpected, and my fears last year were ten times greater.