The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Journal to Stella – Letter 1

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Chester, Sept. 2, 1710.

JOE[1] will give you an account of me till I got into the boat, after which the rogues made a new bargain, and forced me to give them two crowns, and talked as if we should not be able to overtake any ship; but in half an hour we got to the yacht; for the ships lay by to wait for my lord lieutenant's steward. We made our voyage in fifteen hours just. Last night I came to this town, and shall leave it, I believe, on Monday: the first man I met in Chester was Dr. Raymond[2]. He and Mrs. Raymond were here about levying a fine, in order to have power to sell their estate. I got a fall off my horse, riding here from Parkgate, but no hurt; the horse understanding falls very well, and lying quietly till I got up. My duty to the bishop of Clogher[3]. I saw him returning from Dunlary[4]; but he saw not me. I take it ill he was not at convocation, and that I have not his name to my powers. I beg you will hold your resolution of going to Trim, and riding there as much as you can. Let the bishop of Clogher remind the bishop of Killala to send me a letter, with one enclosed to the bishop of Litchfield[5]. Let all who write to me, enclose to Richard Steele, esq., at his office at the Cockpit near Whitehall. My lord Mountjoy is now in the humour that we should begin our journey this afternoon, so that I have stolen here again to finish this letter, which must be short or long accordingly. I write this post to Mrs. Wesley[6], and will tell her, that I have taken care she may have her bill of one hundred and fifteen pounds whenever she pleases to send for it; and in that case I desire you will send it her enclosed and sealed. God Almighty bless you; and, for God's sake, be merry and get your health. I am perfectly resolved to return as soon as I have done my commission[7], whether it succeeds or not. I never went to England with so little desire in my life. If Mrs. Curry makes any difficulty about the lodgings, I will quit them. The post is just come from London, and just going out, so I have only time to pray to God to bless you, &c.

  1. Mr. Joseph Beaumont, merchant, of Trim, whose name frequently occurs in these papers. He was a venerable, handsome, grayheaded man, of quick and various natural abilities, but not improved by learning: his forte was mathematicks, which he applied to some useful purposes in the linen trade, but chiefly to the investigation of the longitude; which was supposed to have occasioned a lunacy, with which he was seized in Dublin about the year 1718; whence he was brought home to Trim, and recovered his understanding. But some years after, having relapsed into his former malady, he cut his throat in a fit of distraction.
  2. Vicar of Trim, and formerly one of the fellows of the University of Dublin.
  3. Dr. St. George Ashe, who, in the reign of George I, was made bishop of Derry.
  4. This must have been while Swift was sailing in the bay of Dublin, and the bishop riding upon the North Strand.
  5. Dr. John Hough.
  6. Elizabeth, lady of Garret Wesley, esq., one of the daughters of sir Dudley Colley.
  7. This commission was, to solicit the queen to remit the first-fruits and twentieth parts, payable to the crown by the clergy of Ireland.