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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Esther Vanhomrigh - 7

IF you write as you do, I shall come the seldomer, on purpose to be pleased with your letters, which I never look into without wondering how a brat that cannot read, can possibly write so well. You are mistaken: send me a letter without your hand on the outside, and I hold you a crown I shall not read it. But raillery apart, I think it inconvenient, for a hundred reasons, that I should make your house a sort of constant dwellingplace. I will certainly come as often as I conveniently can; but my health, and the perpetual run of ill weather, hinder me from going out in the morning; and my afternoons are taken up I know not how, that I am in rebellion with a dozen of people beside yourself, for not seeing them. For the rest, you need make use of no other black art beside your ink. It is a pity your eyes are not black, or I would have said the same: but you are a white witch, and can do no mischief. If you have employed any of your art on the black scarf, I defy it, for one reason — guess. Adieu.