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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 26

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

JULY 10, 1736.

I RECEIVED your two letters. The first is mingled with Latin and English, one following the other: now I scorn that way, and put both languages in one. However, for the sake of order, I will begin with answering your second letter before the first, because it deserves one on account of your presents. From bogs, rivers, mountains, mosses, quagmires, heaths, lakes, kennels, ditches, weeds, &c. &c. &c. &c. —— Mrs. Whiteway was pleased, although very unjustly, to criticise upon every curiosity; she swears the paper of gravel was of your own voiding, as she found by the smell. That your whole artichoke leaf shows its mother to be smaller than a nutmeg, and I confess you were somewhat unwary in exposing it to censure. Your raspberry she compared with the head of a corkingpin, and the latter had the victory. Your currants were invisible, and we could not distinguish the red from the black. Your purslane passed very well with me, but she swore it was houseleek. She denies your Cavan fly to be genuine, but will have it, that for the credit of your town you would have it born there, although Mrs. Donaldson confesses it was sent her in a box of brown sugar, and died as it entered the gates. Mrs. Whiteway proceeds farther in her malice, declaring your nasturtium to be only a p-ss-abed; your beans as brown as herself, and of the same kind with what we fatten hogs in Leicestershire. In one thing she admires your generosity, that for her sake you would spare a drop or two of your canal water, which by the spongy bottom needs it so much. The only defects of them all, were, that they wanted colour, sight, and smell; yet as to the last, we both acknowledge them all to exhale a general fustiness, which however did much resemble that of your Cavan air.