The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Thomas Sheridan to Jonathan Swift and Martha Whiteway - 14
I SEND you an encomium upon Fowlbrother enclosed, which I hope you will correct; and if the world should charge me with flattery, you will be so good as to explain the obligations I lie under to that great and good bookseller.
How the plague can you expect that I should answer two persons at once, except you should think I had two heads; but this is not the only giddiness you have been guilty of. However I shall not let the dean know it.
I wonder you would trust Mrs. Whiteway to write any thing in your letter. You have been always too generous in your confidence. Never was any gentleman so betrayed and abused. She said more of you than I dare commit to this paper.
I have let the dean know all the kind things you said of him to me, and that he has not such a true friend in the world. I hope you will make him believe the same of me.
I wish you would banish her your house, and take my wife in her stead, who loves you dearly, and would take all proper care, if any sickness should seize you. She would as infallibly take as much care of you as ever she did of me: and you know her to be a good natured, cheerful, agreeable companion, and a very handy woman; whereas Mrs. Whiteway is a morose, disagreeable prater, and the most awkward devil about a sick person, and very ill natured into the bargain.
I believe it will not require any protestations to convince you, that you have not a more sincere friend upon the earth than I am. The dean confesses that he had some little dislikings to you (I fancy he hears some whispers against you) but I believe his share of this letter will set all matters right. I know he has too much honour to read your part of it; and therefore I may venture to speak my mind freely concerning him. Pray, between ourselves, is he not grown very positive of late? He used formerly to listen to his friends' advice, but now we may as well talk to a sea storm. I could say more, only I fear this letter may miscarry.
I beg that impertinent woman, who has unaccountably got your ear, may not interrupt you, while you read the encomium, and while you give it a touch of your brush; for I fear the colours are not strong enough. Cannot you draw another picture of him? I wish you would; for he is a subject fit for the finest hand. What a glorious thing it would be to make him hang himself!
As to business, I have nothing to say about money yet a while; but by the next post you shall have two scholars notes, which will amount to about fourteen or fifteen pounds; and if Mr. ——— can force himself to do me justice, it will put about twenty-five pounds in your pocket. But then you must remark, that you will put twenty of it out again, and send it to Mrs. ———. I have nobody after that to gather for but you; and if money comes in as I expect, you may borrow from, sir, yours. My tenants are as poor as Job, and as wicked as his wife, or the dogs would have given me some money before this. Mr. Jones swears he will not pay you the bond which I gave you, except you come down to receive it; for he thinks it but reasonable that you should honour Belturbet as well as Cavan. Mr. Coote would give three of his eyes to see you at Cootehill. All the country long for you. My green geese, &c. are grown too fat. I have twenty lambs, upon honour, as plump as puffins, and as delicate as ortolans. I eat one of them yesterday. A bull, a bull; hoh, I cry mercy. As I return from the county of Galway next vacation, I intend to make Dublin my way, in order to conduct you hither. Our country is now in high beauty, and every inch of it walkable. I wish you all happiness till I see you; and remain, with all respect, your most obedient and very humble servant,