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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Bridget Barry - 1

< The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift‎ | Volume 12

MY reason for waiting on you, some time ago, was grounded on the esteem I always had for you; which continued still the same, although I had hardly the least acquaintance with your lord, nor was at all desirous to cultivate it, because I did not at all approve of his conduct. In two or three days after I saw you at sir Compton Domville's[1] house, all my acquaintance told me how full the town was of the visit I had made you; and of the cruel treatment you received from me, with relation to your son[2]. I will not believe your ladyship was so weak as to spread this complaint yourself; but I lay it wholly to those two young women who were then in the same room, I suppose as visitors. But, if you were really discontented, and thought to publish your discontent in aggravating words, I must cut off at least nine tenths of the friendship I had for you, and list you in the herd of Irish ladies, whose titles, or those of their husbands, with me, never have the weight of a feather, or the value of a pebble. I imagined you had so much sense as to understand, that all I said was intended for the service both of you and your son. I have often spoken much more severely to persons of much higher quality than your son, and in a kingdom where to be a lord is of importance; and I have received hearty thanks, as well as found amendment. One thing I shall observe, upon your account, which is. Never to throw away any more advice upon any Irish lord, or his mother; because I thought you would be one of the last to deceive me.

I called four times at the house where you lodge, and you were always denied, by which, I suppose, you would have me think you are angry; whereas I am the person who ought to complain, because all I had said to you proceeded from friendship, and a desire of reforming your son. But that desire is now utterly at an end.