The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Theophilus Bolton to Jonathan Swift - 2

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DEAR SIR,

CASHELL, MAY 31, 1735.


I HAVE been so unfortunate in all my contests of late, that I am resolved to have no more, especially where I am likely to be overmatched; and as I have some reason to hope what is past will be forgotten. I confess, I did endeavour in my last to put the best colour I could think of upon a very bad cause. My friends judge right of my idleness, but in reality, it has hitherto proceeded from a hurry and confusion, arising from a thousand unlucky unforeseen accidents, rather than mere sloth.

I have but one troublesome affair now upon my hands, which by the help of the prime serjeant I hope soon to get rid of; and then you shall see me a true Irish bishop. Sir James Ware has made a very useful collection of the memorable actions of all my predecessors. He tells us, they were born in such a town of England or Ireland; were consecrated such a year, and if not translated, were buried in their cathedral church, either on the north or south side. Whence I conclude, that a good bishop has nothing more to do than to eat, drink, grow fat, rich, and die; which laudable example, I propose for the remainder of my life to follow: for, to tell you the truth, I have for these four or five years past met with so much treachery, baseness, and ingratitude, among mankind, that I can hardly think it incumbent upon any man to endeavour to do good to so perverse a generation.

I am truly concerned at the account you give me of your health. Without doubt a southern ramble will prove the best remedy you can take to recover your flesh; and I do not know, except in one stage, where you can choose a road so suited to your circumstances, as from Dublin hither. You have to Kilkenny a turnpike and good inns, at every ten or twelve miles end. From Kilkenny hither is twenty long miles, bad road, and no inn at all: but, I have an expedient for you. At the foot of a very high hill, just midway, there lives in a neat thatched cabin, a parson, who is not poor; his wife is allowed to be the best little woman in the world. Her chickens are the fattest, and her ale the best in all the country. Besides, the parson has a little cellar of his own, of which he keeps the key, where he always has a hogshead of the best wine that can be got, in bottles well corked, upon their side; and he cleans, and pulls out the cork better, I think, than Robin. Here I design to meet you with a coach: if you be tired, you shall stay all night; if not, after dinner, we will set out about four, and be at Cashell by nine; and, by going through fields and by-ways, which the parson will show us, we shall escape all the rocky and stony roads that lie between this place and that, which are certainly very bad. I hope you will be so kind as to let me know a post or two before you set out, the very day you will be at Kilkenny, that I may have all things prepared for you. It may be, if you ask him, Cope will come: he will do nothing for me. Therefore, depending upon your positive promise, I shall add no more arguments to persuade you. And am, with the greatest truth, your most faithful and obedient humble servant,