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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Jonathan Swift to Esther Vanhomrigh - 9

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


OCTOBER 15, 1720.

I SIT down with the first opportunity I have to write to you, and the Lord knows when I can find conveniency to send this letter; for all the morning I am plagued with impertinent visits, below any man of sense or honour to endure, if it were any way avoidable. Dinners and afternoons and evenings are spent abroad in walking, to keep and avoid spleen as far as I can; so that when I am not so good a correspondent as I could wish, you are not to quarrel and be governor; but to impute it to my situation, and to conclude infallibly, that I have the same respect and kindness for you I ever professed to have, and shall ever preserve; because you will always merit the utmost that can be given you, especially if you go on to read and still farther improve your mind, and the talents that nature has given you. I am in much concern for poor Mobkin; and the more, because I am sure you are so too. You ought to be as cheerful as you can, for both our sakes, and read pleasant things that will make you laugh, and not sit moping with your elbows on your knees on a little stool by the fire. It is most infallible that riding would do Mobkin[1] more good than any other thing, provided fair days and warm clothes be provided: and so it would to you; and if you lose any skin, you know Job says, skin for skin will a man give for his life. It is either Job or Satan says so, for aught you know. I am getting an ill head in this cursed town, for want of exercise. I wish I were to walk with you fifty times about your garden, and then drink your coffee. I was sitting last night with half a score of both sexes for an hour, and grew as weary as a dog. Every body grows silly and disagreeable or I grow monkish and splenetick; which is the same thing. Conversation is full of nothing but South Sea, and the ruin of the kingdom, and scarcity of money.

  1. Miss Mary Vanhomrigh; who is mentioned before under this appellation in vol. XI, in a letter of the year 1717.