The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Thomas Sheridan - 2

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DUBLIN, DEC. 22, 1722.

WHAT care we, whether you swim or sink? Is this a time to talk of boats, or a time to sail in them, when I am shuddering? or a time to build boat houses, or pay for carriage? No; but toward summer, I promise hereby under my hand to subscribe a (guinea[1]) shilling for one; or, if you please me, what is blotted out, or something thereabouts, and the ladies shall subscribe three thirteens between them, and Mrs. Brent a penny, and Robert and Archy halfpence a piece, and the old man and woman a farthing each; in short, I will be your collector, and we will send it down full of wine, a fortnight before we go at Whitsuntide. You will make eight thousand blunders in your planting; and who can help it? for I cannot be with you. My horses eat hay, and I hold my visitation on January 7, just in the midst of Christmas. Mrs. Brent is angry, and swears as much as a fanatick can do, that she will subscribe sixpence to your boat. —— Well, I shall be a countryman when you are not; we are now at Mr. Fad's[2], with Dan and Sam; and I steal out while they are at cards, like a lover writing to his mistress.—We have no news in our town. The ladies have left us to day, and I promised them that you would carry your club to Arsellagh, when you are weary of one another. You express your happiness with grief in one hand, and sorrow in the other. What fowl have you but the weep? what hairs, but Mrs. Macfaden's gray hairs? what pease but your own? Your mutton and your wether are both very bad, and so is your wedder mutton. Wild fowl is what we like. — How will this letter get to you? A fortnight good from this morning, you will find Quilca not the thing it was last August; nobody to relish the lake; nobody to ride over the downs; no trout to be caught; no dining over a well; no night heroicks, no morning epicks; no stolen hour when the wife is gone; no creature to call you names. Poor miserable master Sheridan! No blind harpers! no journies to Rantavan! — Answer all this, and be my magnus Apollo. We have new plays and new libels, and nothing valuable is old but Stella, whose bones she recommends to you. Dan desires to know whether you saw the advertisement of your being robbed — and so I conclude,

Yours, &c.


  1. The word guinea is struck through with a pen in the copy.
  2. Faden.