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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Esther Vanhomrigh - 10

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Gallstown, near Kinnegad, July 5, 1721.

IT was not convenient, hardly possible, to write to you before now, though I had a more than ordinary desire to do it, considering the disposition I found you in last; though I hope I left you in a better. I must here beg you to take more care of your health by company and exercise, or else the spleen will get the better of you, than which there is not a more foolish or troublesome disease, and what you have no pretences to in the world, if all the advantages of life can be any defence against it. Cadenus —— assures me, he continues to esteem, and love, and value you above all things, and so will do to the end of his life; but at the same time entreats that you would not make yourself or him unhappy by imaginations. The wisest men of all ages have thought it the best course to seize the minutes as they fly, and to make every innocent action an amusement. If you knew how I struggle for a little health, what uneasiness I am at in riding and walking, and refraining from every thing agreeable to my taste, you would think it but a small thing to take a coach now and then, and to converse with fools or impertinents, to avoid spleen and sickness. Without health you will lose all desire of drinking coffee, and be so low as to have no spirits. Pray write to me cheerfully, without complaints or expostulations, or else Cadenus shall know it, and punish you. What is this world without being as easy in it as prudence and fortune can make us? I find it every day more silly and insignificant, and I conform myself to it for my own ease. I am here as deeply employed in other folks plantations and ditches, as if they were my own concern; and think of my absent friends with delight, and hopes of seeing them happy, and of being happy with them. Shall you, who have so much honour and good sense, act otherwise, to make Cad—— and yourself miserable? Settle your affairs, and quit this scoundrel island, and things will be as you desire. I can say no more, being called away. Mais soyez assurée que jamais personne au monde n'a été aimée, honorée, estimée, adorée par votre ami que vous. I have drunk no coffee since I left you, nor intend it till I see you again: there is none worth drinking but yours, if myself may be the judge. Adieu.