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

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


JULY 13, 1722.

I AM well pleased with the account of your visit, and the behaviour of the ladies. I see every day as silly things among both sexes, yet endure them for the sake of amusement. The worst thing in you and me is, that we are too hard to please; and whether we have made ourselves so, is the question; at least I believe we have the same reason. One thing that I differ from you in is, that I do not quarrel with my best friends. I believe you have ten angry passages in your letter, and every one of them enough to spoil two days apiece of riding and walking. We differ prodigiously in one point: I fly from the spleen to the world's end; you run out of your way to meet it. I doubt the bad weather has hindered you much from the diversions of your country house, and put you upon thinking in your chamber. The use I have made of it, was to read, I know not how many, diverting books of history and travels. I wish you would get yourself a horse, and have always two servants to attend you, and visit your neighbours; the worse the better: there is a pleasure in being reverenced; and that is always in your power, by your superiority of sense, and an easy fortune. The best maxim I know in this life is, to drink your coffee when you can; and when you cannot, to be easy without it: while you continue to be splenetick, count upon it, I will always preach. Thus much I sympathise with you, that I am not cheerful enough to write; for I believe coffee, once a week, is necessary to that. I can sincerely answer all your questions as I used to do; but then I give all possible way to amusements, because they preserve my temper, as exercise does my health; and without health and good humour I would rather be a dog. I have shifted scenes oftener than ever I did in my life, and I believe have lain in thirty beds since I left town, and always drew up the clothes with my left hand; which is a superstition I have learned these ten years. I long to see you in figure and equipage. Pray do not lose that taste. Farewel.