The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Jonathan Swift to Esther Vanhomrigh - 5


If you knew how many little difficulties there are in sending letters to you, it would remove five parts in six of your quarrel. But since you lay hold of my promises, and are so exact to the day, I shall promise you no more, and rather choose to be better than my word than worse. I am confident you came chiding into the world, and will continue so while you are in it. I wonder what Mobkin[1] meant by showing you my letter. I will write to her no more, since she can keep secrets no better. It was the first love letter I have writ these dozen years; and since I have so ill success, I will write no more. Never was a belle passion so defeated. But the governor, I hear, is jealous; and, upon your word, you have a vast deal to say to me about it. Mind your nurse-keeping: do your duty, and leave off your huffing. One would think you were in love, by dating your letter August 29, by which means I received it just a month before it was written. You do not find I answer your questions to your satisfaction: prove to me first that it was even possible to answer any thing to your satisfaction, so as that you would not grumble in half an hour. I am glad my writing puzzles you, for then your time will be employed in finding it out: and I am sure it costs me a great many thoughts to make my letters difficult. Yesterday I was half way toward you where I dined, and returned weary enough. I asked where that road to the left led, and they named the place. I wish your letters were as difficult as mine, for then they would be of no consequence, if they were dropped by careless messengers. A stroke —— signifies every thing that may be said to Cad—— at beginning or conclusion. It is I who ought to be in a huff, that any thing written by Cad—— should be difficult to Skinage.

  1. Miss Mary Vanhomrigh, See, in vol. XII, a letter, dated October 15, 1720.