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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 19/From Jonathan Swift to Rebecca Dingley - 2


DECEMBER 28, 1734.

PRAY God bless you, and restore your health, and give you many happy new years. I send you your usual Christmas box. I will see you as soon as I can. I am tolerably well, but have no security to continue so. We must all submit, both by piety and necessity. I am ever entirely yours. I send you two bottles of wine[1].

  1. It was known by an accident, after Dr. Swift's memory failed, that he allowed an annuity of fifty-two pounds to Mrs. Dingley, but instead of doing this with the pride of a benefactor, or gratifying his pride by making her feel her dependance, he always pretended that he acted as her agent, and that the money he paid her, was the produce of a certain sum which she had in the funds; and, the better to save appearances, he always took her receipt, and sometimes would pretend, with great seeming vexation, that she drew upon him before he had received her money from London. However he was punctual in paying it quarterly. He used to write the receipt himself in the following form every quarter day, and sent it to be signed by the messenger who carried the money:

    "July 25th, 1737.

    "Then received from Doctor Swift, dean of St. Patrick's, the sum of thirteen pounds sterling, in full for one quarter's rent of payments out of funds in England, by advance of what will be due to me at Michaelmas next, in this year 1737; the said dean always paying me one quarter by advance. I say received by me,

    Mrs. Dingley died, before her benefactor, in July 1743.