Dialogue Between Swift And His Landlord

The three towns of Navan, Kells, and Trim, which lay in Swift's route on

his first journey to Laracor, seem to have deeply arrested his

attention, for he has been frequently heard to speak of the beautiful

situation of the first, the antiquity of the second, and the time-shaken

towers of the third. There were three inns in Navan, each of which

claims to this day the honor of having entertained Dr. Swift. It is

that he dined at one of them, for it is certain that he slept

at Kells, in the house of Jonathan Belcher, a Leicestershire man, who

had built the inn in that town on the English model, which still exists,

and, in point of capaciousness and convenience, would not disgrace the

first road in England. The host, whether struck by the commanding

sternness of Swift's appearance, or from natural civility, showed him

into the best room, and waited himself at table. The attention of

Belcher seems to have won so far upon Swift as to have produced some

conversation. You're an Englishman, Sir? said Swift. Yes, Sir. What

is your name? Jonathan Belcher, Sir. An Englishman and Jonathan too,

in the town of Kells--who would have thought it! What brought you to

this country? I came with Sir Thomas Taylor, Sir; and I believe I

could reckon fifty Jonathans in my family, Sir. Then you are a man of

family? Yes, Sir; I have four sons and three daughters by one mother,

a good woman of true Irish mould. Have you been long out of your

native country? Thirty years, Sir. Do you ever expect to visit it

again? Never. Can you say that without a sigh? I can, Sir; my

family is my country! Why, Sir, you are a better philosopher than

those who have written volumes on the subject. Then you are reconciled

to your fate? I ought to be so; I am very happy; I like the people,

and, though I was not born in Ireland, I'll die in it and that's the

same thing. Swift paused in deep thought for near a minute, and then

with much energy repeated the first line of the preamble of the noted

Irish statute--Ipsis Hibernis Hiberniores!--(The English) are more

Irish than the Irish themselves.