The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 14/Letter: Pope to Swift - 11

OCTOBER 2, 1727.

IT is a perfect trouble to me to write to you, and your kind letter left for me at Mr. Gay's affected me so much, that it made me like a girl. I cannot tell what to say to you; I only feel that I wish you well in every circumstance of life; that it is almost as good to be hated as to be loved, considering the pain it is to minds of any tender turn, to find themselves so utterly impotent to do any good, or give any ease, to those who deserve most from us. I would very fain know, as soon as you recover your complaints, or any part of them. Would to God I could ease any of them, or had been able even to have alleviated any! I found I was not, and truly it grieved me. I was sorry to find you could think yourself easier in any house than in mine, though at the same time I can allow for a tenderness in your way of thinking, even when it seemed to want that tenderness. I cannot explain my meaning, perhaps you know it: But the best way of convincing you of my indulgence, will be, if I live, to visit you in Ireland, and act there as much in my own way as you did here in yours. I will not leave your roof, if I am ill. To your bad health I fear there was added some disagreeable news from Ireland, which might occasion your so sudden departure: for, the last time I saw you, you assured me you would not leave us the whole winter, unless your health grew better, and I do not find it did so. I never complied so unwillingly in my life with any friend as with you, in staying so entirely from you: nor could I have had the constancy to do it, if you had not promised that before you went, we should meet, and you would send to us all to come. I have given your remembrances to those you mention in yours: we are quite sorry for you, I mean for ourselves. I hope, as you do, that we shall meet in a more durable and more satisfactory state; but the less sure I am of that, the more I would indulge it in this. We are to believe, we shall have something better than even a friend there, but certainly here we have nothing so good.

Adieu for this time; may you find every friend you go to as pleased and happy, as every friend you went from is sorry and troubled.

Yours, &c.