The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 22
TO DR. SHERIDAN.
SEPT. 30, 1735.
YESTERDAY was the going out of the last lord mayor, and to day the coming in of the new, who is alderman Grattan. The duke was at both dinners, but I thought it enough to go to day, and I came away before six, with very little meat or drink. The club meets in a week, and I determine to leave the town as soon as possible, for I am not able to live within the air of such rascals; but whither to go, or how far my health will permit me to travel, I cannot tell; for my mind misgives me, that you are neither in humour nor capacity to receive me as a guest. I had your law letter. Those things require serious consideration: in order to bring them to a due perfection, a wise man will prepare a large fund of idioms; which are highly useful when literally translated by a skilful, eloquent hand, and, except our Latino-Anglicus, is the most necessary as well as ornamental part of human learning. But then we must take special care of infusing the most useful precepts for the direction of human life, particularly for instructing princes, and great ministers, distributing our praises and censures with the utmost impartiality and justice. This is what I have presumed to attempt, although very conscious to myself of my inferiour abilities for such a performance. I begin with "lady;" and because the judicious Mr. Locke says it is necessary to settle terms, before we write upon any subject, I describe a certain female of your acquaintance, whose name shall be "Dorothy;" it is in the following manner: "Dolis astra per, astra mel, a sus, a quoque et; atra pes, an id lar, alas ibo nes, a præ ter, at at lar, avi si ter, age ipsi, astro lar, an empti pate, aræ lar, aram lar, an et, ades e ver, ast rumpet, ad en, agam lar, agrum lar, ac ros pus, afflat error, ape e per, as noti nos, ara ver, adhuc stare, asso fis ter, avi per, ad rive lar, age lar, apud lar, a fis lar, a fis ter, a far ter, as hi ter, anus lar, a mus lar, arat lar, a minximus, a prata pace, a gallo per, a sive." Most learned sir, I entreat you will please to observe (since I must speak in the vulgar language) that in the above forty-three denominations for females, many of them end with the domestick deity Lar, to show that women were chiefly created for family affairs; and yet I cannot hear that any other author hath made the same remark. I have likewise begun a treatise of geography (the Angloanglarians call it erroneously Jog Ralph I) "Mei quo te summo fit ? Astra canis a miti citi; an dy et Ali cantis qui te as bigas it. Barba dos is more populus. An tego is a des arti here." I have a third treatise to direct young ladies in reading. "Ama dis de Gallis a fine his tori, an dy et Belli anis is ab et er. Summ as eurus Valent in an Dorso ne isthmos te legant ovum alto bis ure. I canna me fore do maesti cani males o fallique nat ure; na mel I, ac at, arat, amesti, fanda lædi; I mæ ad amo usto o; a lædi inde edi mite ex cæptas a beasti e verme et aram lingo ut. Præis mi cum pari sono dius orno?"
I believe some evil spirit hath got possession of you and a few others, in conceiving I have any power with the duke of Dorset, or with any one bishop or man of power. I did but glance a single word to the duke about as proper a thing as he could do, and yet he turned it off to some other discourse. You say one word of my mouth will do, &c. I believe the rhime of my word would do just as much. Am I not universally known to be one, who dislikes all present persons and proceedings? Another writes to desire, that I would prevail on the archbishop of Dublin to give him the best prebend of St. Patrick's. Let bishop Clayton allow the resignation, since Donnellan is provided for. I mentioned to the duke that Donnellan should be dean of Cork, on purpose to further the resignation of old Caulfield, but it would not do, though Caulfield seems to have some hopes, and it is bishop Clayton's fault if he does not yield, &c.