The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Elizabeth Germain to Jonathan Swift - 22

LONDON, NOV. 13, 1735.

I HONESTLY confess I was honoured with yours above a month ago, which ought in all love and reason to have been answered a great while since: but I know your sauciness, as well as you know my niece's; with this difference, that as age is to mend hers, it makes yours grow worse: and the answer to mine had been, — Oh! she can give a quick reply to mine! Now the duke and duchess are here, she wants to know more frequently how and what they do.

I can tell you no story of the ring (which you want to know) but that it came to my hands through proper windings and turnings from an earl of Peterborow; and the connoisseurs say, it is an antique, and a pretty good one. I am very well pleased and happy, if it ever serves to put you in mind that I am your humble servant.

I came last week from my house in Northamptonshire. I cannot say the weather permitted me much exercise abroad; but as that house is large, the necessary steps the mistress must make, is some; and I never lost any time I could get to walk out, and sometimes drove abroad in a chair, with one horse; for, being a bad rider, I approve much more of that than mounting my palfrey. And whether it was this, or the country air, or chance, I know not; but, thank God, I am at present as well as ever I was in my life.

I am wholly ignorant who is or will be bishop of Cork; for his grace is such a silly conceited man, that he never vouchsafes to consult me in the affairs of his kingdom. I only know that I wish heartily for Dr. Whetcombe, because he seems to be a modest good sort of a man; and that besides, by your commands, I was the thoroughfare for a step to his preferment before; and therefore, if I was his grace, since there can be no objection against him in this, he should have it. But as these matters are above my capacity, I do assure you I do not in the least pretend to meddle with them.

I hope, whenever you ask me about the countess and George, I shall be able to answer you, as I can safely do now, that as yet there is no sort of appearance that they like one another the worse for wearing. Mrs. Composition is much your humble servant, and has not yet got her winter cough. God bless you, and adieu.