The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 28
TO DR. SHERIDAN.
APRIL 9, 1737.
ABOUT a month ago I received your last letter, wherein you complain of my long silence; what will you do when I am so long in answering? I have one excuse which will serve all my friends, I am quite worn out with disorders of mind and body; a long fit of deafness, which still continues, hath unqualified me for conversing, or thinking, or reading, or hearing; to all this is added an apprehension of giddiness, whereof I have frequently some frightful touches. Besides, I can hardly write ten lines without twenty blunders, as you will see by the number of scratchings and blots before this letter is done: into the bargain, I have not one rag of memory left; and my friends have all forsaken me, except Mrs. Whiteway; who preserves some pity for my condition, and a few others who love wine that costs them nothing. As to my taking a journey to Cavan, I am just as capable as of a voyage to China, or of running races at Newmarket. But, to speak in the Latinitas Grattaniana; Tu clamas meretrix primus; for we have all expected you here at Easter, as you were used to do. Your musterroll of meat is good, but of drink in sup port able. Yew wann twine. My stress Albavia has eaten here all your hung beef, and said it was very good. The affair of high importance in their family is, that miss Molly hath issued out orders, with great penalties, to be called Mrs. Harrison: which caused many speck you'll ash owns. —— I am now come to the noli me tan jerry, which begg inns wyth mad dam. — So I will go on by the strength of my own wit upon points of the high est imp or taunts. I have been very curious in considering that fruitful word ling; which explains many fine qualities in ladies, such as grow ling, ray ling, tip ling (seldom) toy ling, mumb ling, grumb ing, curr ling, puss ling, buss ling, strew ing, ramb ling, quarry ling, tat ling, whiff ling, dabb ling, doub ling. These are but as ample o fan hunn dread mower: they have all got cold this winter, big owing tooth in lick lad ink old wet her, an dare ink you rabble. —— Well, I triumph over you, Is corn urine cap a city. Pray, tell me, does the land of Quilca pay any rent? or is any paid by the tenant? or is there not any part of 50l. to be got? But before you make complaints of ill payments from your school, I will declare I was never so ill paid as now, even by my richer debtors. I have finished my will for the last time, wherein I left some little legacy, which you are not to receive till you shall be entirely out of my debt, and paid all you owe to my executors. And I have made very honourable mention of you in the will, as the consideration of my leaving these legacies to you.
Explain this proverb, Salt dry fish, and the wedding gold, is the vice of women both young and old. Yes, you have it i nam o mento time. The old hunks Shepherd has buried his only son, who was a young hunks come to age.
Here is a rhime; it is a satire on an inconstant lover.
You are as faithless as a Carthaginian,
To love at once, Kate, Nell, Doll, Martha, Jenny, Anne.
A specimen of Latinitas Grattaniana.
Ego ludam diabolum super duos baculos cum te.
Voca super me cras.
Profecto ego dabo tibi tuum ventrem plenum legis.
Sine me solum cum illo. Ego capiam tempus.
Quid pestis velles tu esse apud?
Ego faciam te fumare.
Duc uxorem veni super.
Ego dabo tibi pyxidem in aure.
Ego faciam te secare saltum.
Veni, veni, solve tuum scotum, et fac non plura verba.
Id est plus expensi quam veneratio.
Si tu es pro lege, dabo tibi legem, tuum ventrem plenum.
Ut diabolus voluit habere id.
Quid est materia tecum?
Tu habes vetus proverbium super tuum latus: Nihil est nunquam in periculo.
Cape me apud illud, et suspende me.
Ego capio te apud tuum verbum.
Tu venis in farti tempore.
Est formosus corporatus homo in facie.
Esne tu super pro omni die?
Morsus: Esne tu ibi cum tuis ursis?
Ille est ex super suam servationem.
Tu es carcer avis.
Ego amo mendacem in meo corde, et tu aptas me ad crinem.
Ego dicam tibi quid: hic est magnus clamor, et parva lana.
Quid! tu es super tuum altum equum.
Tu nunquam servasti tuum verbum.
Hic est diabolus et omne agere.
Visne tu esse tam bonus, quam tuum verbum?
Ego faciam porcum vel canem de id.
Ego servo hoc pro pluvioso die.
Ego possum facere id cum digito madido.
Profecto ego habui nullum manum in id.
Esne tu in aure nido?
Tu es homo extranei renis.
Precor, ambula super.
Ego feci amorem virgini honoris.
Quomodo venit id circum, quod tu ludis stultum ita?
Vos ibi, fac viam pro meo domino.
Omnes socii apud pedem pilam.
Faeminae et linteum aspiciunt optimè per candelae lucem.