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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 9


QUILCA, SEPT, 25, 1725.

YOUR confusion hindered you from giving any rational account of your distress, till this last letter, and therein you are imperfect enough. However, with much ado we have now a tolerable understanding how things stand. We had a paper sent enclosed, subscribed by Mr. Ford, as we suppose; it is in print, and we all approve it, and this I suppose is the sport I was to expect. I do think it is agreed, that all animals fight with the weapons natural to them (which is a new and wise remark out of my own head) and the devil take that animal, who will not offend his enemy, when he is provoked, with his proper weapon; and though your old dull horse little values the blows I give him with the butt end of my stick, yet I strike on and make him wince in spite of his dullness; and he shall not fail of them while I am here; and I hope you will do so too to the beast who has kicked against you, and try how far his insensibility will protect him, and you shall have help, and he will be vexed, for so I found your horse this day, though he would not move the faster. I will kill that flea or louse, which bites me, though I get no honour by it.

Laudari ab iss, quos omnes laudant, is a maxim; and the contrary is equally true. Thank you for the offer of your mare; and how a pox could we come without her? They pulled off her and your horses shoes for fear of being rid, and then they rode them without shoes, and so I was forced to shoe them again. All the fellows here would be Tighes, if they were but privy counsellors. You will never be at ease for your friend's horses or your own, till you have walled in a park of twenty acres, which I would have done next spring.

You say not a word of the letter I sent you for Mr. Tickell, whether you sent it him or not; and yet it was very material that I should know it. The two devils of inadvertency and forgetfulness have got fast hold on you. I think you need not quit his and Balaguer's company for the reason I mentioned in that letter, because they are above suspicions, as whiggissimi and unsuspectissimi. When the lord lieutenant goes for England, I have a method to set you right with him, I hope, as I will tell you when I come to town, if I do not Sheridan it, I mean forget it.

I did a Sheridanism; I told you I had lost your letter enclosed, which you intended to lord Carteret, and yet I have it safe here.