The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From John Boyle to Jonathan Swift - 3

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FROM THE EARL OF ORRERY.


DEAR SIR,

CORK, APRIL 3, 1737.


I AM very glad there are twelve thousand pounds worth of halfpence arrived; they are twelve thousand arguments for your quitting Ireland. I look upon you in the same state of the unfortunate Achæmenides amidst tyrants and monsters ——— Do you not remember the description of Polypheme and his den?

—— Domus sanie dapibusque cruentis
Intus opaca, ingens, ipse arduus, altaque pulsat.
Sidera, (Dii talem terris avertite pestem!)
Nec visu facilis, nec dictu affabilis ulli:
Visceribus miserorum et sanguine vescitur atro.

Remember also, that

Centum alii curva hæc habitant ad littora vulgo
Infandi cyclopes, et altis montibus errant.

Translate these lines and come away with me to Marston; there you shall enjoy otium cum dignitate; there you shall see the famous Sacsockishkash, and his two pupils, who shall attend your altars with daily incense; there no archbishops can intrude; there you shall be the sole lord and master; whilst we your subjects shall learn obedience from our happiness. —— If you ever can think seriously, think so now; and let me say with the curate of my parish, Consider what has been said unto you, ponder it well, lay it up in your heart, and God of his infinite mercy direct you! — Mrs. Whiteway shall be truly welcome to Marston's homely shade. Hector shall fawn upon the doctor; and I myself will be under the direction and government of sir R. W.

You tell me, I am to carry a load for you to England; the most acceptable load will be yourself, and that I would carry with as true piety as Æneas bore the ancient Anchises on his shoulders, when he fled from fire, from blood, from Greeks, and from ruined Troy!

Can you expect that lords move regularly ? Is it not below our station to think where or when we are to go? But if my coach and six is in order, perhaps I may have the honour to start a hare in Steven's Green about the first of next month. In the middle of June I will hope to set sail with you to England. Mr. Pope will come out beyond the shore to meet you: you will exchange cyclops for men; and if one must fall, surely the choice is right:

Si pereo, manibus hominum periisse juvabit.

My next shall be longer. I am now forced to bid you farewell; but hereafter expect my whole life and conversation; you shall certainly have the cheeses. If you will come to Somersetshire, I will eat one for joy[1]. The best in England are made in my manor.

I am so well, that I had almost forgot to answer that kind part of your letter. It is only you that can add health and happiness to your very affectionate obliged and faithful servant,


  1. The earl of Orrery hated cheese to such a degree, that he could scarcely bear the sight of it.