Answered the same day when sent, Nov. 23.
I desire you will carry both these to the Doctor together with his own; and let him know we are not persons to be insulted.
I was at Howth to-day, and staid abroad a-visiting till just now.
Tuesday Evening, Nov. 23, 1731.
“Can you match with me,
Who send thirty-three?
You must get fourteen more,
To make up thirty-four:
But, if me you can conquer,
I’ll own you a strong cur."
This morning I’m growing, by smelling
of yew, sick;
My brother’s come over with gold from Peru sick;
Last night I came home in a storm that then blew sick;
This moment my dog at a cat I halloo sick;
I hear from good hands, that my poor cousin Hugh’s sick;
By quaffing a bottle, and pulling a screw sick:
And now there’s no more I can write (you’ll excuse) sick;
You see that I scorn to mention word music.
I’ll do my best,
To send the rest;
Without a jest,
I’ll stand the test.
These lines that I send you, I hope you’ll peruse sick;
I’ll make you with writing a little more news sick; Last night I came home with drinking of booze sick; My carpenter swears that he’ll hack and he’ll hew sick. An officer’s lady, I’m told, is tattoo sick; I’m afraid that the line thirty-four you will view sick.
Lord! I could write a dozen more;
You see I’ve mounted thirty-four.
[Footnote 1: Time.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 2: The lines “thus marked” were written by Dr. Swift, at the bottom of Dr. Helsham’s twenty lines; and the following fourteen were afterwards added on the same paper.—N.]
A TRUE AND FAITHFUL INVENTORY
OF THE GOODS BELONGING TO DR. SWIFT, VICAR OF LARACOR.
UPON LENDING HIS HOUSE TO THE BISHOP OF MEATH,
UNTIL HIS OWN WAS BUILT
An oaken broken elbow-chair;
A caudle cup without an ear;
A batter’d, shatter’d ash bedstead;
A box of deal, without a lid;
A pair of tongs, but out of joint;
A back-sword poker, without point;
A pot that’s crack’d across, around,
With an old knotted garter bound;
An iron lock, without a key;
A wig, with hanging, grown quite grey;
A curtain, worn to half a stripe;
A pair of bellows, without pipe;
A dish, which might good meat afford once;
An Ovid, and an old Concordance;
A bottle-bottom, wooden-platter
One is for meal, and one for water;
There likewise is a copper skillet,
Which runs as fast out as you fill it;
A candlestick, snuff-dish, and save-all,
And thus his household goods you have all.
These, to your lordship, as a friend,
’Till you have built, I freely lend:
They’ll serve your lordship for a shift;
Why not as well as Doctor Swift?
[Footnote 1: This poem was written by Sheridan, who had it presented to the Bishop by a beggar, in the form of a petition, to Swift’s great surprise, who was in the carriage with his Lordship at the time.—Scott.]