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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 25

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


DUBLIN, JUNE 5, 1736.


YOU must pay your groat (as if you had been drunk last night) for this letter, because I am neither acquainted with any frank cur, nor the of frank king. I am glad you have got the piles, because it is a mark of health, and a strong constitution. I believe what you say of the legion-club poem; for it plainly appears a work of a legion-club, for I hear there are fifty different copies; but what is that to me? And you are in the right, that they are not treated according to their merit. You never writ so regular in your life, and therefore when you write to me, always take care to have the piles; I mean any piles, except those of lime and stone, and yet piles are not so bad as the stone. I find you intend to be here (by your date) in a dozen days hence. The room shall be ready for you, though I shall never have you in a morning, or at dinner, or in an evening; at all other times I shall be pestered with you. John R—— (for he does not deserve the name of Jack) is gone to his six miles off country seat for the summer. I admire at your bill of 10l. odd; for I thought your first was double: or is it an additional one? When you satisfy me, I will send down to him with a vengeance: although except that damned vice of avarice, he is a very agreeable man. —— As to your venison, vain is one who expects it. I am checking you for your chickens, and could lamb you for your lambs. Addenda quædam.

My wife a rattling,
My children tattling.
My money spent is,
And due my rent is.
My school decreasing,
My income ceasing.
All people tease me,
But no man pays me.
My worship is bit,
By that rogue Nisbit.
To take the right way,
Consult friend Whiteway.
Would you get still more?
Go flatter Kilmore[1].
Your geese are old,
Your wife a scold.

Mrs. Whiteway is ever your friend, but your old ones have forsaken you, as mine have me. My head is very bad; and I have just as much spirits left as a drowned mouse. Pray do not you give yourself airs of pretending to have flies in summer at Cavan; and such a no summer as this: I, who am the best flycatcher in the kingdom, have not thought it worth my time to show my skill in that art. I believe nothing of your garden improvements, for I know you too well. What you say of your leanness is incredible; for when I saw you last you were as broad as long. But if you continue to breathe free (which nothing but exercise can give) you may be safe with as little flesh as I, which is none at all.

I had your letter just before this was sealed; but I cannot answer it now.