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

NOV. 15, 1735.

I AM most extremely obliged to you for the honour you have done me, and the account is just what I feared, that you would be excessive weary, your shin bad, and disappointed in the doctor's Canaan. The latter I am sorry is not agreeable to you, but your shin gives me infinite trouble. I hope in God you have taken care of it: if it is any running sore, dress it twice a day with Venice turpentine, and the yolk of an egg beaten together, an equal quantity of each. Spread it thick on a cloth, and bathe it once a day in warm milk: if it is only black and painful, apply warm rum to it often. Pray sir, give orders your meat may be indifferently done; and if the cook fails, then desire it may be ill done: I have known this receipt very successful, and a dinner eaten with pleasure cooked with these directions. You are very rude, doctor Sheridan, to interrupt me when I am speaking to the dean: no wonder I am so bad a listener, when you are always putting in your word. Pox take that straitness in your breast, and difficulty in breathing. Drink warm ptisan, and nothing else, except liquorice tea in the morning, and ride every day. Sir, I know nothing of the Spanish liquorice, unless it came with the rest of the things from the apothecary's, or Mrs. Sican: but so far your servant is right, that what bundles I found on the bed, I put up: I was wrong that I did not examine them; let Dr. Sheridan take it plentifully, it is very good for him. I was at the deanery two days ago; every thing is right there; the floor you lie in is all clean, and I desired Mrs. Ridgeway to get the great chair covered, and Jane to put a fire once a week in your chamber, and in the drawingroom, to air the ladies and gentlemen. One of the enclosed papers Mr. Kenrick desired me to send; you see I keep to my word, and am determined never to trouble you with other people's business. The vengeance take you, doctor, will you never be quiet? I tell you I have never a fat pigeon for you, your goose I will not have; we are overstocked with them; but I send you colonel Waller's case, that came before the house on Thursday. I believe you will wonder, that after the heavy charges laid on Mr. Throp so justly by the colonel that he was not ordered into custody; but to the surprise of every body the chairman was voted out of the chair at one of the clock in the morning, and so the affair ended. It is true, there was a mistake of about a month between colonel Waller's account and Mr. Throp's in the serving of a subpoena; and I think it was a scandalous thing, that a worthy member's word should not be taken before a little parson's oath. I suppose you expect I should answer your logick and compliments; but do you think I have nothing else to employ me but trifling away my time in murdering the language with your ay con O mys? I am no more a liar than yourself; therefore you are obliged to accept of my best wishes and most humble respects: so I have done with you this time for good and all. Mr. dean, I am sure Rochefoucault's maxim never fails: I am this moment an instance of it, taking a secret pleasure in all the little ruffles you meet with in the country, in hopes it will hasten you to town. My he olive branch has a more immediate loss than any of us; his body suffers as well as his mind; for since he cannot enjoy the happiness and benefit of your conversation, he applies himself too close to his studies: in short, I think he is almost in the state of the company he entertains himself with all this morning; and if you saw him in company of the attendants of the governour of Glubdubdrib, you would find the same horrour seize you by looking on his countenance[1]. My fair daughter presents you her most humble and obedient respects; says, she is not at all changed by your absence, for whenever she has the honour to see you, you will still find her the same. I am, sir, your most obedient and obliged humble servant,

Jane just came here with a poem of Mr. Dunkin's, that was sent to the deanery, and this letter that I enclose.

  1. Mr. Harrison was always very thin, and of a weakly constitution.