« PreviousContinue »
ceffary lofs of time we fuffer in tranfcribing our thoughts,
I confess, that, in this polite and learned age of ours, many laudable attempts have been made for fome remedy against this evil; partly by abbreviating words
banished from the caftle. But ftill he remained a punfter, a quibbler, a fidler, and a wit. Not a day paffed without a rebus, an anagram, or a madrigal. His pen and his fiddlestick were in continual motion; and yet to little or no purpose, if we may give credit to the following verfes, which fhall ferve as the conclufion of his poetical character.
With music and poetry equally blefs'd,
A bard thus Apollo most humbly addrefs'd:
To the airs I produce from the pen, or the gut.
Though the Dean and Delany † tranfcendently shine,
See a further account of Dr Sheridan in Dr Swift's life, prefixed to vol. 1.
* Dr Swift.
Now Dean of Downe.- -See Swift's will, at the end of this volume.
A fong or peculiar kind of poetry, which_returns to the beginning of the first verse, and so continues in a perpetual rotation.
with apoftrophes, and partly by lopping the polylyllables, leaving only one or two at moft: as thus, 'Tis 'n't, 't'nt, won't, can't, poz, 'pon, rep' phis, and many more. But alas, these are poor expedients, and do not go to the root of the difeafe.
My scheme is much more useful and extenfive: although I confefs my felf not to be altogether the original inventor. For I obferve, that the ingenious gentlemen who play at White's chocolate-houfe, have fome imperfect idea of it; and I have feen fome inftances of it many years older, but very imperfect. By these examples, I have thefe nine years paft been confidering the force of letters in our alphabet, with relation to each other; as schoolmiftreffes teach young children to pronounce them in their horn-books; which is in this manner: A, Be or Bee, See, Dee, E, Ef, Gee, Each or Ach, I or Eye, Ka or Key, El, Em, En, O, Pee or Pe, Qu or Cue, Are or Err, Eis, Tee or Tea, U or You, Double U or Double You, Ex, Wy, Izzard. Now this, I fay, the very gaming lords at the chocolatehoufes have already fome imperfect notion of, as far as concerns the vowels. The fame thing alfo men of bufinefs are not ignorant of; for thus three vowels fhall ftand, with the fum affixed, for a good promiffory note, JOU 20£.
In short, you need only read the letters as they are pronounced by boys and girls, when they are taught first to read, as A, Bee, Cee; and fix letters fhall go as far as ten. This is only for difpatch in writing; of which take the following fpecimens. But I have mate. rials for a treatise to contract words in fpeaking, which, as this finds encouragement, I fhall publifh afterwards.
A letter to your mistress.
R In ur a but; Iftmu a dit. Ur mpr ndurs. O b ur but ndls. A tr faces ur but. Ur a gm; a gul; a rub. Icabpquri: Ibchutkar o uri, Icquarmed. Uretn; ur yy. Ur aprs.
b for u. I dfir ur pt, ur gnrofet; ur prfpquit; dene, enerit, fablit, ur exlmes apr. Ur a qrioet. Ritr nobls
ur log. Ur a qn ma. Ur but dfis apls a pntr. I cur
A punning EPISTE on MONEY.
Worthy Mr PENNYFEATHER,
Adam Johnfon has been very ill ufed by her fervants; they put fhillings into her broth instead of groats, which made her ftamp. I hear they had them from one Tom Ducket, a tenant to Major Noble, who, I am told, is reduced to nine pence. We are doubting whether we shall dine at the Crown or the Angel. Honeft Mark Cob, who has been much moydored of late, will dine with us; but 'Squire Manypenny, and Captain Sterling, defire to be excused; for they are engaged with Ned Silver to dine in Change alley. They live in great har-mony; they met all together laft week, and fat as lovingly as horfes in a pond. I suppose you have heard of the rino ceros lately arrived here. A captain was cafh-eered on Wednesday. A fcavenger abuled me this morning; but I made him down with his duft, which indeed was a far-thing from my intentions. Mrs Brent had a pi ftole from her; I would a' ginny'e a good deal for fuch another, Mrs Dingley has made a fouse for your collared eel. Alderman Coin prefents his fervice to you. I have nothing but half pens to write with, fo that you muft excuse this fcrawl. One of my feals fell into a chink. I am, without allay,
Your most obedient,
P. S. Mr Cole prefents his fervice to you, of which I am a-tester.
A Letter from a gentleman in the country to his friend in
have been very to honour
me with your friendship, I think myself obliged to throw off all difguife, and difcover to you my real circumstances; which I fhall do with all the openness and freedom imaginable. You will be furprised at the beginning of my story, and think the whole a joke; but you may depend upon its being actually true, and, if need were, I can bring the parson of the parish to teftify the fame.
You must know then, that, at this prefent time, I live in a poor, little, forry house of clay, that stands upon the wafte, as other cottages do; and what is worst of all, am liable to be turned out at a minute's warning. It is a fort of copyhold tenure; and the custom of the manor is this: for the first thirty years I am to pay no rent, but only to do fuit and service, and attend upon the courts, which are kept once a-week, and fometimes oftener for twenty years after this, I am to pay a rose every year; and further than this, during the remainder of my life, I am to pay a tooth, (which you will fay is a whimsical kind of acknowledgment), every two or three years, or oftener, if it be demanded: and when I have nothing more to pay, out must be the word, and it will not be long ere my perfon will be feized. I might have had my tenement (fuch as it is) upon better terms, if it had not been for a fault of my great-grandfather. He and his wife together, with the advice of an ill neighbour, were concerned in robbing an orchard belonging to the lord of the manor, and fo forfeited this great privilege, to my forrow I am fure. But however, I must do as well as I can, and shall endeavour to keep my house in tolerable repair.
My kitchen, where I dress my victuals, is a comical little roundish fort of a room, fomewhat like an oven; it anfwers very well to the purpose it was defigned for, and that is enough. My garrets (or rather my cock. lofts indeed) are very indifferently furnished; but they are rooms which few people regard now, unless to lay Jumber in; however, I make fhift to rub on in my little way; and when rent-day comes, I must see and discharge it as well I can.
Whenever I am turned out, I understand my lodge, or whatever you please to call it, defcends upon a low. fpirited creeping family, remarkable for nothing, but being inftrumental in advancing the reputation of the great Moor in Abchurch-lane *. But be that as it will, I have one fnug apartment that lies on the left fide of my house, which I referve for my chiefeft friends. It is very warm, where you will always be a welcome guest ; and you may depend upon a lodging, as long as the edifice fhall be in the tenure and occupation of,
Your bumble fervant.
A letter from Dr SWIFT to the Rev. Mr KENDALL, vicar of Thornton in Leicestershire +.
Feb. 11. 1691.
F any thing made me wonder at your letter, it was
which indeed grew lefs upon knowing the occafion,* fince it is what I have heard from more than one in and about Leicester. And for the friendship between us, as I fuppofe yours to be real, so I think it would be proper to imagine mine, until you find any caufe to believe it pretended; though I might have fome quarrel at you in three or four lines, which are very ill bestowed in com
An apothecary in London, remarkable for felling worm-powder. This letter is not in Hawkefworth's nor the Dublin edition. It is taken from the 11th volume of Swift's mifcellanies, printed at London in 1753.