The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Frances Arabella Kelly to Jonathan Swift - 2



I AM sure if you know what I have suffered for having offended you, your anger would be changed into pity; for indeed, sir, my uneasiness cannot be expressed. Of all the misfortunes I ever met with, this has given me the greatest concern; for your friendship is an honour that the whole world are ambitious of; but I received from it more than ordinary satisfaction. Judge then, sir, how unhappy I now am; and for God's sake, forgive what is past, and be assured my future conduct shall be such, that you never again shall have cause of complaint against me. — I own you have reason to condemn my impertinence; but as I had not the least intention to offend, I hope it will, in some measure, lessen the fault. Indeed, sir, if you will be so good to pardon me, I will make any atonement in my power; and it will much add to the other obligations you have already conferred upon me. My health is so much impaired, that it is but too probable that I shall not live very long; and methinks it would be very hard to have the short time that is allotted for me made more miserable than continual sickness can make it. This must be the case, if you do not, once more, receive me into your favour: nothing I desire half so much; and do assure you, I spent so bad a night, from the thoughts of my misfortune, that could you have had an idea of it, you would have been sorry for me. You might have seen how depressed I was at supper; but not my indisposition, but your cold behaviour was the real occasion of it. — What shall I say, or do, to influence you to pardon me? If true repentance for my crime, and a firm resolution to be upon my guard for the future against any inadvertent expressions, that can give offence, will plead any thing in my favour, you will be so good to pardon me; for I can affirm, that I will never offend you again. Try me then, good sir; and, if it is possible, both forget and forgive the errours I have been guilty of.

If you are not determined to continue my unhappiness, I must beg the favour of you, to send me a line to assure me of my being pardoned; for my uneasiness cannot be removed without it. I hope too, sir, that I shall have the honour of seeing you before I go, that I may in person acknowledge how much I owe you, and with what satisfaction I receive your forgiveness; and for God's sake, sir, look upon me as you were wont to do, for I cannot bear your coldness.

I propose, when I go to Bristol, to follow your advice, and should be much obliged to you, if you would recommend me to those books that you think most proper for me: and if it please God that I recover, you shall find, that by the honour you have done me in advising me to improve my mind, the deficiencies of my education will be made up, and I shall be more worthy of your esteem.

I should beg pardon for the length of this, but that I still could write on to ask your forgiveness; who am, sir, with true respect and regard, your most obliged and most humble servant,