The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 13/From Anne Donnellan to Jonathan Swift - 2

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LONDON, JAN. 19, 1734-5.

MY brother tells me you are so good to inquire after me, and to speak in a very kind manner of me, which as it gives me the greatest pleasure, so it raises in me the highest gratitude. I find I have a great advantage in being very inconsiderable; I dare believe people sincere when they profess themselves my friends; I consider I am not a wit, a beauty, nor a fortune; then why should I be flattered? I have but two or three qualities that I value myself upon, and those are so much out of fashion, that I make no parade of them: I am very sincere, I endeavour to be grateful, and I have just sense enough to discern superiour merit, and to be delighted with the least approbation from it. My brother, some time ago, gave me hopes of receiving a letter from you, but he now tells me your ill state of health has made writing uneasy to you. I grieve much at my loss, but more at the occasion of it; and I write now only to return my best thanks for your good opinion and designs, not to solicit new favours, or give you the trouble of answering this. I hope next summer to be in Ireland, where I shall expect to receive your answer in person, when the sun with its usual blessings shall give us this additional one of restoring you to that state of health, that all those who have the happiness of knowing you, either as a friend and companion, or lover of your country, must with the greatest earnestness desire. You will laugh perhaps, sir, at my saying I hope to see Ireland this year; indeed the generality of our country folks who spend a little time here, and get into any tolerable acquaintance, seem to forget they have any other country, till a knavish receiver, or their breaking tenants, put them in mind of it; but I assure you I have so little of the fine lady in me, that I prefer a sociable evening in Dublin, to all the diversions of London, and the conversation of an ingenious friend, though in a black gown, to all the powdered toupet at St. James's. What has kept me seven years in London, is the duty I owe a very good mother, of giving her my company since she desires it, and the conveniency I enjoy with her of a house, coach, and servants, at my command. I suppose, sir, you know that Mrs. Pendarves has been for some time at Gloucester: she has preferred a pious visit to a sick mother, in a dull country town, to London in its gayest dress; she tells me she designs next month to return to us; the only uneasiness I shall have in leaving London is the parting with so valuable and tender a friend; but as she promises me, that if I stay in Ireland she will make it another visit, I think, for the good of my country, I must leave her. But while I am indulging myself in telling you my thoughts and designs, I should consider I am perhaps making you a troublesome or unseasonable visit; if so, use me as all impertinent things should be used; take no notice of me: all I designed in writing to you, was to let you know the high sense I have of all your favours, and that I am, with the greatest gratitude and esteem, sir, your most obliged obedient humble servant,

I beg you will be so good to give my best wishes and services to Dr. Delany and Dr. Helsham.