The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Jonathan Swift to Martha Whiteway - 3

FEB. 25, 1735-6.

IN the midst of your grief and my own for the same misfortune, I cannot forbear complaining of your conduct through the whole course of your affliction, which made you not only neglect yourself, but the greater part of those who are left, and, by the same law of nature, have an equal title to your care. I writ on Monday to miss Harrison, that she would beg you, in my name, to remove some hours to a neighbour, that your ears might not be harassed with the preparations for what was then to be done. She told me you would not yield; and, at the same time, she much feared she must lose you too. Some degree of wisdom is required in the greatest calamity, because God requires it; because he knows what is best for us; because he never intended any thing like perfect happiness in the present life; and, because it is our duty, as well as interest, to submit. I will make you another proposal, and shall take it very unkindly if you do not comply. It is, that you would come hither this day immediately, where you will have a convenient apartment, and leave the scene that will be always putting you in mind of your loss. Your daughter can manage the house, and sometimes step to see you. All care shall be taken of you, and Dr. Robinson will visit you with more ease, if you have occasion for him. Mrs. Ridgeway shall attend you, and I will be your companion. Let miss Harrison return me an answer, and things shall be ready for you. I am ever, with true esteem and affection, dear madam, your most obedient servant and cousin,