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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to John Towers - 1

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 13




I CANNOT imagine what business it is that so entirely employs you. I am sure it is not to gain money, but to spend it; perhaps it is to new cast and contrive your house and gardens at 400l. more expense. I am sorry it should cost you two pence to have an account of my health, which is not worth a penny; yet I struggle, and ride, and walk, and am temperate, and drink wine on purpose to delay, or make abortive, those schemes proposed for a successor; and if I were well, I would counterfeit myself sick, as Toby Matthews, archbishop of York, used to do when all the bishops were gaping to succeed him. It is one good sign that giddiness is peculiar to youth, and I find I grow giddier as I grow older, and, therefore, consequently I grow younger. If you will remove six miles nearer, I shall be content to come and spunge upon you as poor as you are, for I cannot venture to be half a day's journey from Dublin, because there is no sufficient medium of flesh between my skin and my bones, particularly in the parts that lie upon the saddle. Therefore, be pleased to send me three dozen ounces of flesh before I attempt such an adventure, or get me a six mile inn between this town and your house. The cathedral organ and backside are painting and mending, by which I have saved a sermon; and, as the rogues of workmen go on, I may save another.

How, a wonder, came young Acheson to be among you? I believe neither his father nor mother know any thing of him; his mother is at Grange with Mrs. Acheson, her mother, and, I hear, is very ill of her asthma and other disorders, got by cards, and laziness, and keeping ill hours. Ten thousand sackfuls of such knights and such sons are, in my mind, neither worth rearing nor preserving, I count upon it that the boy is good for nothing. I am, sir, with great truth, your obedient, humble servant,