Jonathan Swift.

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tunities for bills of attainder, which is very hap-
py ; for elfe young Hopeful f might have been
in danger. They were fo good'and obedient to
the powers above, that whether there were rea-
fon or not, or, as Prince Butler faid, crime or no
crime, the man was condemned, and a price fet
upon his head.

I want much to hear what you think of Great
Britain ; for all your relations here want much
to fee you, where are ftrange changes every day.
You may remember, and fo do I, when the
South-fea was faid to be my Lord Oxford's brat,
and muft be ftarved at nurfe. Now the King
has adopted it, and calls it his beloved child ;
'though, perhaps, you may fay, if he loves it
no better than his fon, it may not be faying
much". But he loves it as well as he does the

Duchefs of K J, and that is faying a good

deal. I wifh it may thrive, for many of my
frie-ids are deep in it ; I wiih you were fo too.
I believe, by this time, you are very forry I have
met with an opportunity of troubling you with
this fcrawi ; bur the ftrong muft bear with the
infirmities of the weak ; and, therefore, brother,
i I

f The D 13 chefs feems to mean the Prince of Wales, afterwards
King Gd" e ilvj II. then upon ill terms with his father and his
father's rniniflrrs.

cndal, Ereng.ird Melefina Schnylenberg, Baronefs of
SchnyknLrrg in Germany. iShc was created Duchefs of Kirndal
by King George I. on the 3Oth of April i~ 19.

C O R R E S P O N D E N C E. 253

I hope you will pardon the impertinencies of
your poor lifter, whofe brain may be reasonably
thought turned with all flue has met with. But
nothing will hinder her from being, as long as
{he lives, moft fincerely, your very humble ier-
vant, and faithful friend, M. ORMOND.



SIR, Weftminfter t May 4, 1720.

FROM my good friend the Dean 1 have two
letters before me, of what date I wijl not
fay j and I hope you have forgot, that they call
out for vengeance ; or, as other readings have it,
for an anfwer. You told me in one cf them,
you had been purfued with a giddy head ; and
I prefume you judged, by my filence, tl.:u I
laboured under the fame diftemper. I don't
know why you have not buried me, as you did
Partridge ; and given the Wits of the age, the
Steeles and Addiibns, a new occafibn of living
feven years upon one of your thoughts. When
you have finiihed the copy of verfes which you
began in England, our writers may have another
hint, upon which they may dwell (even years

Are you Frenchman enough to know how a
Gafcon fuftnins his family for a week ?

VOL. XV. Y Dimanche,


Dimanche, une Efclanche ;
Lundi, froide et Salade ;
Mardi, j'aime la Grillade ;
Mecredi, liachee ;
Jeudi, bon pour la Capillotade ;
Vendredi, Point de Gras ;
Samedi, Qu'on me cafie les os, et les chiens,
fe creveront des reftes de mon Mouton.

We can provide fuch fort of cookery, if you
will but fend us the fclanche ; but rather bring
it with you, for it will eat much better, when
you are in the company.

Lord Oxford has been a twelvemonth in Here-
fordfhire, as far from us, literally, though not
geographically, as if he had been with you in
Ireland. He has writ no more to us, than if
we were ftill minifters of ftate. But, in the
balance of account, per contra t I have Lord
Harley at London ; and have either lived with
him at Wimple, or upon him here, ever fince
his father left us. I know no reafon, why you
fhould not expert his picture, but that he pro-
mifed it to you fo often. I wrote to him fix
months fince, and, inftead of acknowledging
my letter, he took a more compendious way of
fending a gentleman to Lady Harriot, in Dover-
ftreet ; and bid him call at Wcfrminfter, .to know
if I had any thing to fay to his Lord. He was
here to-day, when he was fure the fcaffcld was
ready, and the axe whetted ; and is in Here-




fordfliire, when the confent of all mankind ei-
ther juftifies his miniftry, or follows the plan
x>f it. The South-fea Company have raifed their
ftock to three hundred and fifty, and he has not
fixpence in it. Thou art a Stranger in Ifrael,
my good friend ; and ieemeft to know no more
of this Lord, than *hou didft of the Conde de

P , when firft I conftrued him to thee at

the coifee-houfe.

I labour under the diftemper you complain of,
deafnefs, efpecially upon the leaft cold. I did
not take care of my ears, till I knew if my head
was my own or not ; hut am now fyringing, and
I hope to profit by it. My coufin is here, and
well, and i fee him fometimes ; but I find he
has had a caution, which depended upon his
expecting more from Court, and is justifiable in
a man, who, like him, has a great family. I
have given your compliments to my two favou-
rites v'-'e n-iver forget y~n- health.

I have fccn Mr Butler, an I ferved him to the
utmoft of my power, with ,ny amid potentiores.
Though he had a good caufe, and a Strong re-
commendation, he trufted wholly to neither of
them, but added the greatefl diligence in his

Auditor Harley thanks you, for remembering

him and his finging man *. As to the affair of

fubfcriptioas, do all at your leifure, and in the

manner you judge moft proper ; and fo I bid

Y 2 you

* Probably a perfun recommended to the Dean's cathedral..


you heartily farewell, alluring you, that I am
moft truly your's, M. P.

Friend Ford falutes you. Adieu.

Richardfon, whom I take to be a better painter
than any named in your letter, has made an
excellent picture of me; from whence Lord Har-
ley (whofe it is) has a ftamp taken by virtue. He
has given me fome of them, for you to give to
our friends at or about Dublin. I will fend
them by Torjbn's canal to Hyde at Dublin, in
fuch a manner, as that, I hope, they may come
fafe to you.



near Newmarket in
Snfolk, 03. 22, 1720.

I RECEIVED the favour of a letter from you
about ten days iince, at which time the
Duke of Grafton * was at London ; but as he
was foon expected in the country, and is now ac-
tually returned, I thought it beft, rather than
write, to wait for an opportunity of fpeaking to
him ; and yefkrday I went over to his houfe, on


f Charles, whofe mbther Ifobella, daughter of Henry Cermet,
Eail of Arlington, was married to her fecond hufband Sir Tho-
mas Hanmer.


purpofe to obey your commands. I found he
was not a Granger to the fubject of my errand ;
for he had all the particulars of the (lory very
perfect, and told me, my Lord Arran had fpoke
to him concerning it f. I added my folicitations,
backed with the reafons with which you had
furniflied me ; and he was fo kind to promife, he
would by this pofl write to the Chief Juftice ;
how explicitely, or how prt'cifely, I cannot fay,
becaufe men in high po(ts are afraid of being po-
fitive in their anfwcrs j but 1 hope it will be in
fuch a manner as will be effectual.

If the thing is done, it will be beft that the'
means fhould be a fecret by which it is brought
about ; and for this reafon, you will excufe me,
if I avoid putting my name to the outfide of my
letter, led it fhould excite the curiofity of the
Poft-OfHce. If this affair ends to your, fatisfac-
tion, I am glad it has proved to me a caufe of
hearing from you, and an occafion of afluring
you, that I am, Sir, your very humble fervant, '


Y 3 LET-

f- The profecution of Waters. See letter 193. from Sir Con-
ftantine Pliipps.

258 D E A N S W I F T's



Dublin, Jan. IO, 1721.

A THOUSAND things have vexed me of
late years, upon which I am determined
to ! 7 open my mind to you. I rather chufe to
app.:,il to you, than to my Lord Chief Juftice
Whitlhed, under the fituation I am in. For I


* This letter Mr Pope never received, nor did lie believe it
was ever fent. Pope and Warb.

j- This letter defer ves the greater attention, as it feems to
furniili more materials of Dr Swift's life and principles, than
any other of his epiitofery writings. The letter breathes an air
of fmcerity and freedom, and is addreflecl to a particular friend,
at a time when the views of ambition were at an end. It may
therefore be conOdered as a confeflion of one departing from this
world, who only is defirous to vindicate his own character, and
is anxious that his afhes may teft in peace.

It was written immediately after the arbitrary conduct of a
Judge in Ireland, who endeavoured to deftroy the freedom of
juries, and conftquently the very effence of that liberty and
fafety which we have a right to poflefs by the conftitution of
our ftate. Swift very generoufly declares himfelf averfe to. all
proceedings againfl perfwns fufpected of problematical
guilt. " By fuch drift inquiries,"'fays he, " a gate is left opetv
" to the whole tribs of informers ; the mgft accurfed, proflitute
" and abandoned race, that God ever permitted to plague man-
" kind." Upon this fubjed I'cajinot avoid Tecollefting fomc
particulars from a book, which has lately given me great delight
and inilrudlion, and which I recommend very warmly to your
perufal. I mean Veffrlt da loix. The author, M. de Montef-



take this caufe properly to lie before you. You
are a much fitter judge of what concerns the cre-
dit of a writer, the injuries that are done him,
and the reparations he ought to receive. Betides,
I doubt whether the arguments I could fuggeft
to prove my own innocence, would be of much
weight from the gentlemen of the long robe to


quicu, obferves, " That informers have been chiefly encouraged
" under the mod tyrannical governments. In the reign of
" Tiberius, triumphal ornaments were conferred upon them, and
" ftatues erected to their honour. IVi the reign of Nero, upon
" the difcovcry and punifbment of a pretended confpiracy, tri-
" umphal dignities were allotted to Turpilianus, Cocctius Ner-
" va, and Tigillinus." In another part of his book, the Baron
de Montefquieu takes notice, " That in Turkey, where little
' regard is (hewn to' the honour, lives, or eftates of the fubjecly
" all cauies are determined by the prefiding Bafhavv : And in
" Rome, the Judges had no more'to do, than to declare, that
" the perion accufcd, was guilty of a particular crime, and then
" the punilhment was found in the laws." From thefc, and
other examples of arbitrary government, this elegant author
takes a particular pleafure, in diftinguithing and admiring the
civil constitution of England : Where, he fays, " the jury dcter-
" mine, whether the faft brought under their cognifance, be
" proved or not ; if it be proved, the Judge pronounces the pu-
" nifhment inflicted by the law, for fuch a" particular fact : And
" for this, adds the Baron, " he needs only open his eyes."
But if M. de Montefquieu had read Swift's letter, or indeed had
recollected many notorious facts of our hiftory, he nuift have
obferved, that the Judges have been often deaf to the repeated
voice of the jury, and have not only (hut their eyes againfl our
excellent laws, but have aflumed " that' terrible and menacing
*' air which Commodus ordered to be given to his ftatutes."

The method of trials by juries, is generally looked upon as
one of the mod excellent branches of our con dilution. In theory,


26o D E A N S W I F T's

thofe in furs, upon whofe decifion, about the
difference of ftyk- or featiments, I fliould be very
unwiilir..; 10 leave th'. ijunts of my caufe.

Give me leave then to put you in mind, (al-
though you cannot eafily forget it), that, about
ten weeks before the Queen's death, I left the
town, upon occafion of that incurable breach,


it certainly nppears in that light. According to the original efta-
blifhivent, the jurors are to be men of competent fortunes in the
neighbourhood ; and are to be fb avowedly between
the parties concerned, that no reasonable exception can be made
to them on either fide, in Treafon, the perlbn accufed, has a
right to challenge five and thirty ; and in Felony, twenty; with-
ont (hewing caxife of challenge. Nothing can be more equitable.
No prifoner can defire a fairer field. But the misfortune is, that
our juries are often compcfed of men of mean eftatcs, ami low
underflancltnga. Many difficult, points of law are brought before
them, and Submitted to their verdift, when perhaps they are
not capable of determining, properly and judicioufly, fuch nice
matters of jufHce, although the Judges of the couit explain the
nature of the cafe, and the law which arifes upon it. But if
they are not defective in knowledge, they are fometimes, 1 fear,
from their fration and indigence, liable to corruption. This in-
deed is an objection more to the privilege lodged with juries,
than to the inftitution itfelf. The point mod liable to objec-
tion, is the power which any one or more of the twelve have to
(larve the reft into a compliance with their opinion ; fo that the
verdift may poflibly be' given by ftrength of conftitution, not by
conviction of conference ; " and wretches hang, that jurymen
*' may dine."

In this letter is molt evidently difplayed, Swift's immutable at-
tachment to Ireland. Such a kind of patriotifm mull have pro-
ceeded from a true love of liberty ; for he hated individuals, and
defpifed moft of the men of property and power in that king-
v dom : He. owed them no obligations; and while by his writing?



among the great men at Court; and went down
to Berkfhire, where you may remember that you
gave me the favour of a vifit. While I was in
that retirement, I writ a difcourfe which I
thought might be ufeful in fuch a juncture of af-
fairs, and fent it up to London ; but, upon fome
difference in opinion between me and a certain
great minifter now abroad, the publishing of it
was deferred fo long, that the Queen died ; and
I recalled my copy, which hath been ever fince
in fafe hands. In a few weeks after the lofs of
that excellent Princefs, I came to my ftation here ;


he laboured to make their pofterity happy, he forced from them-
fclves, an involuntary, but univerfal applaufe. His conduct was
fo uniform and corrftant in the caufe of Ireland, that he not on-
ly gained the praife, but the confidence of that whole nation ;
who are a people feldom, if ever, inclined to ftudy and ]mrfue
their own intereft, and who are always exceedingly apt to fuf-
pect any advice that is contrary, or in defiance to a minifterial

Swift's principles of government feem to have been founded
upon that excellent maxim, Saltts fofuli fttfrema eft Jex. He be-
gins by clearing himfelf ot Jacobitifm. He fpeaks of the Revo-
lution, as a neceflary, but dangerous expedient, which has fince
been attended with unavoidable bad confequences. He declares
his mortal antipathy to (landing armies in time of peace. He
adores the wifdom of that inftitution, which rendered our Par-
liaments annual. He prefers the landed, to the moneyed inte-
reft, and exprtfles a noble abhorrence to the fufpenfion of thofc
laws upon which the liberty of the fubject depends. When thefc
articles of his political tenets are examined, they will leave no
room for any one particular party, to afl'ume the honour of ha-
ving had him in their alliance. He was neither Whig nor Tory,
e:tli>r Jacobite nor Republican. He was Dr Swift.


262 D E A N S'W I F T's

where I have continued ever fince, in the greatefi
privacy, and utter ignorance of thofe events
which are moft commonly talked of in the world.
I neither know the names nor number of the
Royal Family which now reigns, further than the
Prayer-book informs me. I cannot tell who is
Chancellor, who are Secretaries, nor with what
nations we are in peace or war. And this man-
ner of life was not taken up out of any fort of
affectation, but merely to avoid giving offence,
and for fear of provoking party-zeal.

I had indeed written fome memorials of the
four laft years of the Queen's reign, with fome
other informations, which I received, as necef-
fary materials to qualify me for doing fomething
in an employment then defigned me * ; but, as
it was at the difpofal of a perfon who had not the
{mailed (hare of fleadinefs or fincerity, I difdained
to accept it.


His judgment, in relation to the vifible decay of literature
and r .;d fenfe, is perfectly juft. He attributes this national ca-
larrity to the prevailing luxury of the times; which he inflances
in the encouragement of factions, and of feveral public diver-
fions, ail tending to the increafe of folly, ignorance, and vice.
His fc-irimcnts are delivered more with the air of a philofopher,
than a divine : And the conclufi^n of the letter is fb proper,
and f<- excellent a defence of his manner of afting and
thinking, that in regard to his memory, I muft be at the trou-
ble of tranfcribing it. [Here the laft paragraph of the letter is

In flrort, this letter is one of the moft ferious, and beft per-
formances, that he has given us in the epiftolary way. Orrery^
* Hiftoriographer.


Thefe pipers, at my few hours of health and
leifure, I have been digefting into order, by one
flieet at a time * : For I dare not venture any fur-
ther, left the humour of fearching and feizing
papers fliould revive ; not that .1 am in pain of
any danger to myfelf, (for they contain nothing
of prefent times or perfons, upon which I {hall
never lofe a thought while there is a cat or a fpa-
niel in the houfe), but to preferve them from be-
ing loft among meflengers and clerks.

I have written, in this kingdom, a difcourfe to
perfuade the wretched people, to wear their own
manufactures inftead of thofe from England f.
This treatife foon fpread very faft, being agree-
able to the fentiments of the whole nation, except
of thofe gentlemen who had employments, or


* Thefe papers, fome years after, were brought finifhed by the
Dean into England, with an intention to publifh them. But a
friend, en whofe judgment he relied, (the fame, I ftippofe,
whom he mentions above, as being abroad at the time of writ-
ing this letter), di-fluaded him from that defign. He told the
Dean, there "were feveral fafts he knew to bejfalfe; and that the
whole was fo much in the fpirit of party-writing, that though it
might have made a feafonable pamphlet in the time of their
ad-niniftiation, it was a difiionour to jud: hiftory. The Dean
would do nothing againft his friend's judgment ;. yet it extreme-
ly chagrined him : And he told a common friend, that lince
* * * did not approve his hifrory, he would cart it into the fire,
though it was t'ie bed work he had ever written. However, it
did not undergo this fat, and it is faid to be yet in being.

f A propofal for the univerfal ufc of Irifli manufa<ftures. VoL
III. p. 327. Pope.


were expectants. Upon which a perfon in gi eat
office here, immediately took the alarm. He
fent in hafte for the Chief Juftice, and informed
him of a feditious, factious, and virulent pam-
phlet, lately publiflied, with a defign of fetting
the two kingdoms at variance ; directing at the
fame time, that the printer fhould be profecuted
with the utmoft rigour of la\v. The Chief Juftice
had fo quick an underftanding, that he refolved,
if poffible, to outdo his orders. The Grand Juries
of the county and city were practifed effectually
with, to reprefent the faid pamphlet with all ag-
gravating epithets ; for which they had thanks
fent them from England, and their prefentments
publiihed for feveral weeks in all the news-pa-
pers. The printer was feized, and forced to give
great bail. After his trial, the jury brought him
in Nofgui/ty, although they had been culled with
the utmoft induftry : The Chief Juftice fent them
back nine times, and kept them eleven hours,
until, being perfectly tired out, they were forced
to leave the matter to the mercy of the Judge, by
what they call a fpecial verdict. During the trial,
the Chief Juftice, among other fingularities, laid
his hand on his breaft, and protefted folemnly,
that the author's defign was to bring in the Pre-
tender ; altho' there was not a {ingle fyllable of
party in the whole treatife, and although it was
known, that the moft eminent of thofe who pro-
jfefTed his own principles, publicly difallowed his
proceedings. But the caufe being fo very odious
i and


and unpopular, the trial of the verdict \vs de-
ferred from one term to another, until, upon the
Duke of G ft n, the Lord Lieutenant's arri-
val, his Grace, after mature advice, and per-
miflion from England, was pleafed to grant a
Noll Profequi.

This is the more remarkable, becaufe it is faid
that the nun is no ill decider in common cafes
of property, where party is out of the queftion :
But when that intervenes, with ambition at heels
to puih it forward, it muft needs confound any
man of little fpirit, and low birth, who hath no
other endowment than that fort of knowledge,
which, however poflcffed in the hi^heft degree,
can poilibly give no one good quality to the
, mind *.

If is "true, I have been much concerned for

feyeral years paft, upon account of the public, as

well as for myfelf, to fee now ill a tafte for wit

and fcnfe prevails in the world, which politics,

VOL. XV. Z and

* This is a very Orange afllrtion. To fuppofe that a contam-
inate knowledge of the laws, by which civilized focicliss are go-
vev: d, can j,ivC no one good quality to the mind, is making
ethic-:, (of which public laws are fo confiderable a part) a very
unprofitable ftudy. The beft tiivifion of the fciences, is that old
one of Plato, into ethics, phyfio, and logic. The feverer philo-
: isation to the two latter, he -aufe
they have no te;:Ju<cy to mend the ; 6a ^ ; ;,,.! :.
firlt :s our pr : ; ' D this i

vice. And, i'tii-e, if ::ny h : .

heart, ih-.-y mu : . u, as a

reaibnable, a. focial, and a tivii Lcirj. And thcfe ait i;jclt:Jtd



and South-Sea, and party, and operas, and maf-
querades, have introduced. For befides many
infipid papers which the malice of fome hath
entitled me to, there are many perfons appearing
to wifh me well, and pretending to be judges
of my ftyle and manner, who have yet afcribed
fome writings to me, of which any man of com-
mon fenfe and literature would be heartily a-
ihamed. I cannot forbear inftancing a treatife
called A Dedication upon Dedications^ which many
would have to be mine ; although it be as empty,
dry, and fervile a compoiuion, as I remember
at any time to have read. But, above all, there
is one circumftance, which makes it impoffible
for me to have been author of a treatife, where-
in there are feveral pages, containing a panegyric
on King George ; of whofe character and perfon
I am utterly ignorant, nor ever had once curio-
fity to enquire into either, living at fo great a dif-
tance as I do, and having long done with what-
ever can relate to public matters.

Indeed, I have formerly delivered my thoughts
very freely, whether I were afked or no ; but


under ethics, whether you call- the fcience morality or law. And
with regard to the law of England, we mu(t be much prejudiced
a?ain(l it, not to allow, that what Tully affirms concerning the
law of the Twelve Tables, may with more juftice be applied to
our's. Fremant omnes, licet tlicam quod fentie : Blbt'wtbccas mcler-
cule omnium phHofophtrum unum mihl -uidetur Pandeffarum vclunif,:,
et authoritatis pondere, et utiliialis ttbertatf, Juperare. But the be ft
proof of its moVal efficacy, is the manners of its profeflbrs : And
theft, in every age, have been fuch as were the firft improved,
or the la ft corrupted. fl r *rt. .


never affec~led to be a counfellor, to which I had
x no manner of call. I was humbled enough to fee
myfelf fo far outdone by the Earl of Oxford in
my own trade as a fcholar, and too good a cour-
tier not to difcover his contempt of thofe who-
would be men of importance out of their fphere.
Bolides, to fay the truth, although. I have known
many great minifters ready enough to hear opi-
nions, yet I have hardly feen one that would
ever defcend to take advice : And this pedantry
arifeth from a maxim themfelves do not believe ;
at the fame time they practife by it, that there is
fomething profound in politics, which men of
plain honeft fenfe cannot arrive to.

I only wifh my endeavours had fucceeded bet-
ter in the great point I had at heart, which was

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