The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Frances Bolingbroke to Jonathan Swift - 1

LONDON, MAY 5, 1716.

YOUR letter came in very good time to me, when I was full of vexation and trouble, which all vanishes, finding that you were so good to remember me under my afflictions, which have been not greater than you can think, but much greater than I can express. I am now in town; business called me hither; and when that is finished I shall retire with more comfort than I came. Do not forsake an old friend, nor believe reports which are scandalous and false. You are pleased to inquire after my health; I can give you no good account of it at present; but that country, whither I shall go next week, will, I hope, set me up. As to my temper, if it is possible, I am more insipid and dull than ever, except in some places, and there I am a little fury, especially if they dare mention my dear lord without respect, which sometimes happens; for good manners and relationship are laid aside in this town; it is not hard for you to guess whom I mean. I have not yet seen her grace[2], but design it in a day or two: we have kept a constant correspondence ever since our misfortunes, and her grace is pleased to call me sister. There is nobody in the world has a truer respect and value for her than myself. I send this to my friend John, and beg you, when you do me the favour of an answer, to send it to him, who will take care to convey it to me in the country; for your letter lay a long while, before it came to my hands. I beg you to look with a friendly eye upon all my faults and blots in this letter, and that you will believe me what I really am, your most faithful humble servant,

  1. Daughter and coheiress of sir Henry Winchescomb of Bucklebary, in the county of Berks, bart. Mr. St. John married this lady in 1700.
  2. The duchess of Ormond.