The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Elizabeth Germain to Jonathan Swift - 5
FROM LADY BETTY GERMAIN.
DRAYTON, SEPT. 7, 1731.
TO show how strictly I obey your orders, I came from the duchess of Dorset's country house to my own, where I have rid and walked as often as the weather permitted me. Nor am I very nice in that; for, if you remember, I was not bred up very tenderly, nor a fine lady; for which I acknowledge myself exceedingly obliged to my parents: for had I had that sort of education, I should not have been so easy and happy, as I thank God, I now am. As to the gout, indeed, I believe I do derive it from my ancestors; but I may forgive even that, since it waited upon me no sooner; and especially since I see my elder and two younger brothers so terribly plagued with it; so that I am now the only wine drinker in my family; and upon my word, I am not increased in that since you first knew me.
I am sorry you are involved in lawsuits; it is the thing on earth I most fear. I wish you had met with as complaisant an adversary as I did; for my lord Peterborow plagued sir John all his lifetime; but declared, if ever he gave the estate to me, he would have done with it; and accordingly has kept his word, like an honourable man. I saw Mrs. Barber the day before I came out of town, and should be mighty glad to serve her, but cannot say so much by her husband, whom, for her sake, I recommended to the duke of Dorset to buy his liveries of. The first thing he did was to ask a greater price than any body else: and when we were at Whitchurch, where I attended their graces, he was informed he had not cloth enough in his shop; and he feared they would not be ready against he came over.
I hope in God I shall soon hear of their safe landing; and I do not question the people of Ireland's liking them as well as they deserve. I desire no better for them; for, if you do not spoil him there, which I think he has too good sense to let happen, he is the most worthy, honest, good natured, great souled man that ever was born. As to my duchess, she is so reserved, that perhaps she may not be at first so much admired; but, upon knowledge, I will defy any body upon earth, with sense, judgment, and good nature, not only not to admire her, but must love and esteem her as much as I do, and every one else, that is really acquainted with her. You know him a little; so, for his own sake, you must like him: and till you are better acquainted with them both, I hope you will like them for mine. Your friend Biddy is just the same as she was; laughs sedately, and makes a joke slily. And I am, as I ever was, and hope I ever shall be, your most sincere friend, and faithful humble servant,