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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 18/Letter from Jonathan Swift and Thomas Sheridan to Martha Whiteway - 2

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 18

CAVAN, NOV. 15, 1735.

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I writ the above lines in the dark, and cannot read them by a candle: what I meant was, to boast of having written to you first, and given you a full account of my journey. I enclosed it in a cover to Mr. Rochfort, in which I desired he would send it to your house: the doctor had his share in the letter: although we could not give satisfaction to all your questions, I now will to some. My leg is rather worse; but an honest man, an apothecary here, says it begins to ripen, and it is in no manner of danger: but I ventured to walk, which inflamed it a little. I now keep my leg upon a level, and the easier because the weather is so foul that I cannot walk at all. This is the dirtiest town, and, except some few, the dirtiest people I ever saw, particularly the mistress, daughter, and servants of this house. My puppy butler is very happy, by finding himself among a race of fools almost as nasty as himself I must now put you upon travelling. You must inquire where Shele my wine merchant lives, and order him to have the twelve dozen of wine in bottles ready packed up. It must be the wine that was two months in bottles (as he assured me) before I left Dublin: for these a carrier will be ready next week to bring them hither. The deanery woman must be ready, and Kenrick and Laud must assist; and the carrier must take them from Shele's cellar, ready packed up. My service to miss Harrison. Pray send her hither by the first carrier; and give her eighteen pence to bear her charges; of which I will pay three pence, and the doctor intends to pay another penny. By the conduct of this family, I apprehend the day of judgment is approaching; the father against the daughter, the wife againts the husband, &c. I battle as well as I can, but in vain; and you shall change my name to doctor Shift. We abound in wild fowl, by the goodness of a gentleman in this town, who shoots ducks, teal, woodcocks, snipes, hares, &c. for us. Our kitchen is a hundred yards from the house; but the way is soft, and so fond of our shoes, that it covers them with its favours. My first attempt was to repair the summerhouse, and make the way passable to it; whereupon Boreas was so angry, that he blew off the roof. This is the seventh day of my landing here, of which we have had two and a half tolerable. The doctor is at school; when he comes I will inquire who is this romantick chevalier ——. As to Waller's advertisement, if I was in town I would for the ten guineas, let him know the author of the narrative; and I wish you would, by a letter in an unknown hand, inform him of what I say; for I want the money to repair some deficiencies here. My service to miss Harrison and the doctor[1], and my love to the two boys. I shall still enclose to John Rochfort, except he fails in sending you my letters. Service to Mrs. Morgan; I hope her husband's man has prevailed to be of the club. Adieu. Pray take care of the wine, on which my health depends. Beg a duck from the doctor.

"Beg a duck! beg a dozen. You shall not beg, but command. The dean may talk of the dirtiness of this town; but I can assure you, that he had more upon his shoes yesterday than is at the worst in our corporation, wherever he got it. As for my part, I am tired of him, for I can never get him out of the dirt; and that my stairs, and the poor cleanly maids, know very well. You know that he talks ironically."

  1. Young Mr. Harrison.