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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 27


I RECEIVED your letter, which begun with "lings." You have thirteen in all, and I have got but a hundred and sixty; a trifle! find me ten more than mine, and I will give you ten guineas for the eleventh. Mine are all down, and only twelve which are not entered in a letter, which I will send you when health permits and I have nothing else to do, and that may be a twelvemonth hence, if my disorder will let me hold out so long. You were born to be happy, for you take the least piece of good fortune cheerfully. I suppose your arithmetick is, that three boys a week are a hundred and fifty nine in a year; and seven guineas a week are three hundred and sixty-five per annum. Can you reckon that the county, and the next, and Dublin, will provide you with thirty lads in all, and good pay, of which a dozen shall be lodgers? Does the cheapness of things answer your expectation? Have you sent away your late younger-married daughter? and will you send away the other? Let me desire you will be very regular in your accounts; because a very honest friend of yours and mine tells me, that with all your honesty, it is an uneasy thing to have any dealings with you that relate to accounts by your frequent forgetfulness and confusion: for you have no notion of regularity; and I do not wonder at it, considering the scattered, confused manner in which you have lived. Mrs. Whiteway thanks you for the good opinion you have of her, and I know she always loved and defended you. I cannot tell when I shall be able to travel. I have three other engagements on my hands, but the principal is to see the bishop of Ossory. Yet I dread the lying abroad above five miles. I am never well. Some sudden turns are every day threatening me with a giddy fit; and my affairs are terribly embroiled. I have a scheme of living with you, when the College green club is to meet; for in these times I detest the town, and hearing the follies, corruptions, and slavish practices of those misrepresentative brutes; and resolve, if I can stir, to pass that whole time at Bath or Cavan. I say again, keep very regular account, in large books, and a fair hand; not like me, who to save paper confuse every thing. Your mind is honest, but your memory a knave, and therefore the Scotch mean the same thing by "minding" that we do by "remembering." Sirrah, said I to a Scotch footman, why did you not go that errand? Because I did not "mind" it, quoth Sawny. A curse on these twenty soldiers drumming through my liberty twice a day, and going to a barrack the government hath placed just under my nose. I think of a line in Virgil Travesty. "The d—l cut their yelping weasons." We expect lord Orrery and bishop Rundle next week. — This letter was intended for last post, but interruptions and horses hindered it. Poor Mrs. Acheson is relapsed at Grange, and worse than ever; I was there yesterday and met Dr. Helsham, who hopes she was a little better. —— 16. Here has nobody been hanged, married, or dead that I hear of; Dr. Grattan is confined by a boil; if you ask him where, he will sell you a bargain. My chief country companion now is philosopher Webber; for the Grattans and Jacksons are neither to be found at home or abroad, except Robin, who cannot stir a foot.