The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Frances Arabella Kelly to Jonathan Swift - 3



I HEAR my agreeable fellow traveller has been beforehand with me in paying her compliments to you; but I cannot be surprised at that, for she was formed to get the better of me in every thing, but respecting and esteeming you. That, indeed, nobody can do; for both gratitude and taste conspire to make me truly your friend and servant.

I have been, since I came here, very low spirited; the companions I had some part of my journey lessened my illness, or at least I felt not with them the same weight that I did upon their leaving me: and I have often wished myself again in Ireland to enjoy conversation; for I really believe it is one excellent cure for most disorders. This is the dullest place that ever was known; there is not above half a dozen families, and those are cits with great fortunes, or Irish impertinents: the former despise one because their clothes are finer than yours; and the latter have no view in keeping your company, but to report your faults. This makes me avoid all communication with them, and only in the morning I go to the wells: and I thank God I can spend my time far better; for either writing to my friends, reading, walking, and riding, find me full employment, and leave me not a wish for such company as the place affords. Doctor Lane (who, by character, is a second Æsculapius, and can raise people from the dead) is my physician, and gives me great hopes of a speedy amendment: and as I take his medicines regularly, and am up at six in the morning, breakfast at eight, dine at one, and sup at seven, I hope I may in time find some benefit: nor do either the ass's milk or waters disagree with me; and I think my appetite is rather better. I wish to Heaven it was agreeable to your affairs to come here; for I am sure you would like the situation of the house that I lodge in: it has the command of such a prospect, that I should do it injustice to attempt to describe it; but the variety of the scene is such, that one discovers new beauties in it every day. I hope you will continue your former goodness to me, and let me have the honour of hearing from you sometimes; for, in reality, nobody is more sincerely your well-wisher than, sir, your most obliged and most faithful humble servant,

Your expedition to Tallow[1] makes a very fine figure in print; but, since you have made this discovery, I think you ought to fly to us; for, if Dublin be in danger, the deanery house cannot be a safe retreat for you. I wish any thing would send Barber here; for I was at the Bath to see some of my friends, and was forced to swear that only the want of health kept her book from being published. I am sure you will be glad to hear, that a lady of very good understanding, that is a particular friend of mine, comes to me next week to stay while I do: her name is Rooke, admiral Rooke's son’s lady.