The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Alexander Pope to Martha Whiteway - 1
TWICKENHAM, JUNE 18, 1740.
I AM extremely sensible of the favour of your letter, and very well see the kindness as well as honour which moved you to it. I have no merit for the one, but being (like yourself) a sincere friend to the dean, though much a less useful one; for all my friendship can only operate in wishes, yours in good works. He has had the happiness to meet with such in all the stages of his life; and I hope in God and in you, that he will not want one in the last. Never imagine, madam, that I can do otherwise than esteem that sex, which has furnished him with the best friends.
The favour you offer me I accept with the utmost thankfulness; and I think no person more fit to convey it to my hands than Mr. McAulay, of whom I know you have so good an opinion. Indeed any one whom you think worthy your trust, I shall think deserves mine, in a point I am ever so tender of.
I wish the very small opportunity I had of showing Mr. Swift, your son, my regards for him, had been greater; and I wish it now more, since he is become so near to you, for whom my respect runs hand in hand with my affection for the dean; and I cannot wish well for the one without doing so for the other.
I turn my mind all I can from the melancholy subject of your letter. May God Almighty alleviate your concern, and his complaints, as much as possible in this state of infirmities, while he lives; and may your tenderness, madam, prevent any thing after his death which may anywise depreciate his memory. I dare say nothing of ill consequence can happen from the commission given to Dr. King.
You see, madam, I write to you with absolute freedom, as becomes me to the friend of my friend, and to a woman of sense and spirit. I will say no more, that you may find I treat you with the same delicacy that you do me (and for which I thank you) without the least compliment: and it is none when I add, that I am, with esteem, madam your most obliged and most obedient servant,