Jonathan Swift.

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that of reconciling the minifters to each other.
This might have been done, if others, who had
more concern, and more influence, would have
acted their parts ; and if this had fucceeded, the
public intereft, both of church and ftate, would
not have been the worfe, nor the Proteftant fuc-
ceffion endangered.

Bur, whatever opportunities a conftant attend-
ance of four years i might have given me for en-
deavouring to do good offices to particular per-
fons, I deferve at lead to find tolerable quarter
from thofe of the other party ; for many of
which I was conftant advocate with the Earl of
Oxford, and for this I appeal to his Lordfhip.
He knows how often I prefTcd him in favour of
Z 2 Msr

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

Mr Addifon, Mr Congveve, Mr Rowe, and Mr
Steele ; although I freely confefs, that his Lord-
fliip's kindnefs to them \vas altogether owing to
his generous notions, and the el^em he had for
their wit and parts, of which I could only pre-
tend to be a remembrancer. -For I can never
forget the anfwer he gave to the late Lord Hali-
fax, who, upon the firft change of the miniftry,
interceded with him to fpare Mr Congreve. It
was by repeating thefe two lines of Virgil,

Non obtufd adeo gcfiamus peciora Poetri,

Nee tarn averfus eqttos Tyria Soljiwgit al urbt.

Purfiiant to which, he alwrnys treated Mr Coo-
greve with the greateft perfonal civilities; alluring
him of his conftant favour and protection ; and
adding, that he would ftudy to do fomething
better for him.

I remember it was in thofe times an ufual fub-
jedrof raillery towards me among the minifters,
that I never came to them without a Whig in
my fleeve ; which I do not fay with any view
towards my making my court : For the new
principles *, fixed to thofe of that denomination,
I did then, and do now from my heart abhor,
deteft, and abjure, as wholly degenerate from
their predecefibrs. I have converfed, in fome


* He means, particularly, the principle at that time charged
upon them by their enemies, of an intention to proscribe the
Tories, ffarb. *


freedom, with more minifters of flate of all par-
ties, than ufually happens to men of my level ;
and I confefs, in their capacity as minifters, I
look upon them as a race of people whofe ac-
quaintance no man would court, otherwife than
upon the fcore of vanity or ambition. The firft,
quickly wears off, (and is the vice of low minds,
for a man of fpirit is too proud to be vain), and
the other was not my cafe. Betides, having ne-
ver received more than one fmall favour, I was
under no neceffity of being a flave to men hi
power ; but chofe my friends by their perfonal
merit, without examining how far their notions
agreed with the politics then in vogue. I fre-
quently converfed with Mr Addifon, and the
others I named (except Mr Steele) during all my
Lord Oxford's miniftry ; and Mr Addifon 's
friendfhip to me, continued inviolable, with as
much kindntfs as when we ufed to meet at my
Lord Sommers * or Halifax, who were leaders
of the oppofite party.

- 1 would infer from all this, that it is with great
injuftice I have thefe many years been pelted by
your pamphleteers, merely upon account of fome
regard which the Queen's laft minifters were
pleafed to have for me : And yet, in my confci-
ence, I think I am a partaker in every ill defign
they had, againft the Proteftant fucceilion, or the
Z 3 liberties

* Lord Sommers had very warmly recommended Dr Swift
to t'le favour of Lord Wharton, when he vent the Qneen's.

Lieutenant into Ireland, in the year 1709. Warb,

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

liberties and religion of their country -, and can
fay with Cicero, " that I fh~uld be proud to be
" included with them in all their actions, tan-
" qiiam in eouo 'Trojafic." But if I have never dif-
cavered, by my woids, writings, or aciions, any
party-virulence f, or dangerous defigns againft
the pi-efent powers j if my friendihip and conver-
fation were equally {hewn among thofe who liked
or difapproved the proceedings then at Court,
and that I was known to be a common friend of
all deferving perfons of the latter fort, when they
were in diftrefs ; I cannot but think it hard, that
I am not fullered to run quietly among the com-
mon herd of people, whofe opinions unfortu-
nately differ from thofe which kad to favour and
preferment, .

I ought to let you know, that the thing we
Culled a Whig in England, is a creature altoge-
ther di^ercnt from thofe of the fame denomina-
tion here i at Icaft it was fo during the reign of
her late Majefty. Whether thofe on your fide
have changed or no, it hath not been my bulinefs
to enquire;, i remember my excellent friend, Mr
Addifon, when he firft came over hither, fecre-
tary to the Earl of Wharton, then Lord Lieute-
nant, was extremely offended at the conduct and
difcourfe of the chief managers here. He told
me, they were a fort of people who feemed to
think, that the principles of a Whig conilfted in


f The Examiners, I fuppofe, were not then publifhed among!!
the Dean's works. Wark,


nothing tlfe, but damning the church, reviling
the clergy, abetting the difieoteft, and fpeaking
contemptibly of revealed religion.

I was difcourfing foine years ago, with a cer-
tain minifies , about that Yv r higgifh or Fanatical
genius, fo prevalent among the Englifh of this
kingdom. His Lordfhip accounted for it by that
number of Cromwell's foldiers, adventurers efta-
blifhed here, who were all of the fourert leaven,
and the meaneft birth, and vvhofe pofterity are
now in pofleffion of their lands and their princi-
ples. However, it muft be confeft, that of late,
fome people in this, country are grown weary of
quarrelling, becaufe intereft, the great motive of
quarrelling, is at an end ; for it is hardly worth
contending, who fhall be an excifeman, a country
vicar, a crier in the courts, or an under-clerk.

You will perhaps be inclined to think, that a
perfon fo ill treated' as I have been, mud at fome
time or other, have difcovered very dangerous
opinions in government. In anfwer to which, I
will tell you what my political principles were in
the time of her late glorious Majefty, which I
never contradicted by any action, writing, or

Fir;!-, I always declared myfelf againft a Popifh
fucccilor to the Crown, whatever title he might
have by the proximity of blood. Neither did I
ever regard the right line, except upon two ac-
coi:::t:; : i/?, As it was dfobliflied by law ; and,
2<//y, As it hath much weight in the opinions


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

of the people : For neceffity may abolifh any law,
but cannot alter the fentiments of the vulgar ;
right of inheritance being perhaps the moft.
popular of all 'topics. And therefore, in great
changes, when that is broke, there will remain
much heart-burning and difcontent among the
meaner people, which, under a weak Prince, and
corrupt adminiftration, may have the worft con-
fequences upon the peace, of any ftate.

As to what is called a Revolution- principle,
my opinion was this, That whenever thofe evils
which ufually attend and follow a violent change
of government, were not in probability fo perni-
cious as the grievances we fuffercd under a pre-
fent power,, then the public good will juftify fuch
a revolution. And this I took to have been the
cafe in the Prince of Orange's expedition j altho',
in the confequence, it produced fome very bad ef-
fects, which are likely to ftick long enough by us.

I had likewife, in thofe days, a mortal antipathy
againft ftanding armies in times of peace \ be-
caufe I always took ftanding armies to be only
fervants hired by the mafter of a family, for keep-
ing his own children in flavery ; and becaufe I
conceived, that a Prince, who could not think
himfelf fecure without mercenary troops, muft
needs have a feparate intereit from that of his
fubje&s ; altho' I am not ignorant of thofe arti-
ficial neceflities, which a corrupted miniftry can
create, for keeping up forces, to fupport a faction
againft the public intereib



As to Parliaments, I adored the wifdom of
that Gothic inftitution, which made them annual j
and I was confident our liberty could never be
placed upon a firm foundation, until that ancieut
law were reftored among us. For who fees not,
that while fuch afTemblies are permitted to have
a longer duration, there grows up a commerce of
corruption, between the miniftry and the depu-
ties, wherein they both find thtir accounts, to
the n:;'.:i.-/.. it c':i;ic,er of liberty ? which traffic
would neither anfwer the deiign nor expence, if
Parliaments met once a-year.

I ever abominated that fcheme of politics, (now
about thirty years old), of fetting up a moneyed
intereft, in opposition to the landed. For I con-
ceived, there could not be a truer maxim in our
government, than this, That the pofTeffors of the
foil are the beft judges of what is for the advan-
tage of the kingdom. If others had thought the
fame way, funds of credit, and outh-Sea pro-
jects, would neither have been felt nor heard

I could never difcover the necefilty of fufpend-
ing any law, upon which the liberty of the mod
innocent perfons depended ; neither do I think
this practice hath made the tafte of arbitrary
power fo agreeable, as that we fliould defire to
fee it repeated. Every rebellion fubdued, and
plot difcovered, contribute to the firmer eftablifh-
inent of the Prince. In the latter cafe, the knot
of confpirators is entirely broke, and they are to


274 DEAN S W I F T's

begin their work a-new, under a thoufand difad-
vantages : So that thofe diligent inquiries into re-
mote and problematical guilt, with a new power
of enforcing them by chains and dungeons, to
every perfon whofe face a minifter thinks fit to
diflike, are not only oppofite to that maxim,
which declareth it better that ten guilty men
fhould efcape, than one innocent fuffer ; but like-
wife, leave a gate wide open to the whole tribe
of informers, the moft accurfed, and proftitute,
and abandoned race, that God ever permitted to
plague mankind.

It is true the Romans had a cuftom of chuflng
a dictator, during whofe adminiftration the pow-
er of other magiftrates was fufpended. But this
was done upon the greateft emergencies j a war
near their doors, or fome civil diflention ; for
armies muft be governed by arbitrary power.
But when the virtue of that commonwealth gave
place to luxury and ambition, this very office of
dictator became perpetual, in the perfons of the
Caefars and their fucceflbrs, _the moft infamous
tyrants that have any where appeared in ftory.

Thefe are fome of the fentiments I had relat-
ing to public affairs, while I was in the world.
What they are at prefent, is of little importance
either to that or myfelf. Neither can I truly fay
I have any at all ; or, if I had, I dare not ven-
ture to publifh them : For however orthodox
they may be while I am now writing, they may
become criminal enough to bring me into trou-


ble before midfummer. And Indeed I have often
wiflied, for fome time paft, that a political cate-
chifm might be published by authority four times
a-year, in order to inftruct us how we are to
fpeak, write, and aft, during the current quar-
ter. I have by experience felt the want of fuch
an inftrudtor : For, intending to make my court
to fome people on the prevailing fide, by advan-
cing certain old Whiggifh principles, which it
feems had been exploded about a month before,
I have pa{Ted for a difaffecled perfon. I am not
ignorant how idle a thing it is, for a man in ob-
fcurity to attempt defending his reputation as a
writer, while the fpirit of faction hath fo univer-
fally pofleffed the minds of men, that they arc
not at leifure to attend to any thing elfe. They
will juft give themfelves time to lybel and accufe
me, but cannot fpare a minute to hear my de-
fence. So, in a plot-difcovering age, I have often
known an innocent man feized and imprifoned,
and forced to lye feveral months in chains, while
the minifters were not at leifure to hear his peti-
tion, until they had profecuted and hanged the
number propofed.

AW I can reafonably hope for by this letter, is
to convince my friends, and others who are
pleafed to wifh me well, that I have neither been
fo ill a fubjecl, nor fo flupid an author, as I
have been reprefented by the virulence of lybel-
lers ; whofe malice hath taken the fame train in
both, by fathering dangerous principles in go-

27* DEANS W I F T's

vernment upon me which I never maintained,
and infipid productions which I am not capable
of writing. For however I may have been' Toured
by perfonal ill treatment, or by melancholy pro-
fpeclis for the public, I am too much a politician
to expofe-my own fafety by ofFeafive words.
And if my genius and fpirit be funk by increafing
years, I have at leaft difcretion enough left, not
to miftake the meafure of my own abilities, by at-
tempting fubjects where thole talents are neceira-
ry, which perhaps I may have loft with my youth.



SIR, Crmofid- Street, Jan. 14, 1720-21.

HAVING been a little indifpofed, I went at
Chriftmas into the country, which pre-
vented me from fooner acknowledging the fa-
vour of your letter. As to "Water's * cafe, I
I was

* Dr Swift's printer : He was profccuted for printing A Pro-
pofil fir the uiicxirfi! ufe of tie T.-'ifa M<;r?/"r/r7rc..- \ ' if.
trke to have been written jr> 1721. The Dean, in his letter to
Pope, ch'-fd January 10, i;ai, fays, That the j-.iry \ r.lch tried
him, had been culled with the utmoit induftiy ; but that, not-
'.im in Not guilty.. That Whitftied,

the Jiidte, fcr: tl cm out nine times, and kept them eleven
till, Lung tired out, they were forced to leave the mat-
ter to the mercy ci the Judre, by ;. foeciai verdict. The Duke
of Grafton, Lcid TJeutt..nt, foon after, upon nature advice,
*nd permiifion from England, gi anted a Noli Proji-qui.


was informed of it ; and the laft term I fpoke to
Mr Attorney-General * about it ; but Jie told
me, he could not grant a writ of error in a cri-
minal cafe, without direction from the King ;
fo that Waters is not like to have much relief
from hence, and therefore I am glad to have
fome hopes it will drop in Ireland. I think the
Chief Juftice f fhould have that regard to his
own reputation, to let it go off fo ; for I believe
the oldeft man alive, or any law-book, cannot
give any inftance of fuch a proceeding. I was
informed who was ^limed at by the profecution,
which made me very zealous in it ; which I
fhall be in every thing, wherein I can be fcr-
viccable to that gentleman, for whom no body
has a greater efte.v/i, than your moft humble and
moil obedient lervunt, CON. . PHlPPSi



DEAR SIR, Wejlminfler^ Feb. 28, 1720-21.

IF 1 am to chide you for not writing to me,
or beg your pardon that I have not writ to
you, is a qu. .:<>;; f..r our correspondence has
been fo long interrupted, that I fwear I don!t
know which of us \vrotc laft. In all cafes, I
afiure .you of my continual friendfhip, and kind-
VOL. XV. A a cil

* Sir Robert Raymond. f Whitfhcd.

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

eft remembrance of you ; and, with great plea-
fure, expect the fame from you. I have been
ill this Winter. Age, I find, comes on ; and
the cough does not diminish.

Nonfum quails -tram bona

Bub Regno Cynarte. Pafs for that.

I am tired with politics, and loft in the South-
Sea. The roaring of the waves, and the mad-
nefs of the people, were juftly put together. I
can fend you no fort of news, that holds either
connection or fenfe. It is all wilder than St
Anthony's dream ; and the bagatelle is more folid
than any thing, that has been endeavoured here

this year. Our old friend Ox is not well,

and continues in Herefordfhire. John of Bucks *
died 1'aft week, and Conningfby was fent laft
week to the Tower. I frequently drink your
health with Lord Harley, who is always the fame
good man, and grows daily more beloved as
more universally known. I do fo too with our
lioneft good-natured friend Ford, 'whom I love
for many good reafons, and particularly for that
he loves you.

How do you do as to your health ? Are we to
fee you this Summer ? Anfwer me thefe queftions.
Give my fervice to all friends, and believe me to
be ever, with great truth and efteem, dear Sir,
your's, M. PRIOR.


* John Sheffield, Duke of Buckinghamfliire.



DEAR SIR, Weftminjler, April 25, 1721.

I KNOW very well, that you can write a good
letter, if you have a-mind to it ; but that
is not the queftion. A letter from you fome-
times, is what I defire. Referve your tropes
and periods for thofe you love lefs ; and let- me
hear how you do, in whatever humour you are ;
whether lending you money to the butchers,
protecting the weavers, treating the women, or
conftruing propria qnx marllus to the country-
curate. You and I are fo eftablifhed authors,
that we may write what we will, without fear of
cenfure ; and if we have not lived long enough to
prefer the bagatelle to any thing elfe, we de-
ferved to have had our brains knocked out ten
years ago.

I have received the money punctually of Mi-
Dan. Hays, have his receipt, and hereby return
you all the thanks, that your friend (hip in that
affair ought to claim, and your generofity does
contemn. There's one turn for you ; good.

The man you mentioned in your lart, has

been in the country thefe two years, very ill in

his health, and has not for many months been

out of his chamber ; yet what you obferve of

A a 2 him


him is fo true, that his flcknefs is all accounted
for policy, that -he will not come up, till' the
public diffractions force fomebody or other
(whom, God knows) who will oblige fomebody
elfe to fend for him in open triumph, and fet
\i\mmJtatuquQprins. That in the meantime,
he has forefeen all that has happened ; check-
mated all the miniftry ; and, to divert himfelf
at his leifui-e hours, has laid all thofe lime-tv, igs
for his neighbour Conningflby *, that keep that
precious bird in the cage, out of which himfelf
flipt fo cunningly and eafily.

Things, and the way of men's judging them,
vary fo much here, that it is impoffible to give
you any juft account of fome of our friends
act'.ons. Rofxen is more than fufpeclsd to have
given up his party, as Sancho did his fubjecls,
for fo much a head, run portant Fantre His
,caufe, therefore, which is fomething originally
like that of Lutrin, is oppofed or neglected by
his ancient friends, and openly fuftained by the
miniftry. He cannot be lower in the opinion of
moft men, than he is ; and I wifh our friend
liar f were higher than he is.

Our young Harley's vice is no more cove-
toufnefs, than plainnefs of fneech is that of his
coufin Tom. His Lordfhip is really amabilts t
and Lady Harietta adoranda.

* Thomas Earl of "Conningfby, created fo by King George T.
in 1719.

f Lord Harcourt.


I tell you no news, but that the whole is a
complication of miftakes in policy, and of kna-
very in the execution of it : Of the minifters I
fpeak, for the moft part, as well ecclefiaftical as
civil. This is all the truth I can tell you, except
one, which I am fure you will receive very kind-
ly, that I am ever your friend and your fervant,

M. P R I O R.

Friend Shelton, commonly called Dear Dick,
is with me. We drink your health. Adieu.



Deanry~houfe t Sunday morning^ April 30, 1721.

JAcK G;IATTAN faid nothing to me of it till
la ft night ; 'tis none of my fault : How did
I know but you were to dine abroad ? You
ihould haye fent your meffenger fooner ; yes, I
think the dinner you provided for yourfelves may
do well enough here, but pray fend it foon. I
wifh you would give a body more early warning ;
but you muft blame yourfelves. Delany fays he
will come in the evening ; and for aught I know
Sheridan may be here at dinner : Which of you .
was it undertook this frolick ? your letter hardly-
explained your meaning, but at laft I found it.
A a 3 Pray

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

Pray don't ferve me thefe tricks often. You may-
be fure, if there be a good bottle, you fhall have
it. I am fure I never refufed you, and therefore
that reflexion might .have been fpared. Pray be
more pofitive in your anfwer to this.

Margoofe, and not Mergoofe : It is fpelt with
an a, fimpleton.-

No, I am pretty well after my walk. I am
glad the archdeacon * got home fafe, and I
hope you took care 'of him. 'It was his own
fault ; how could 1 kno ,v where he was ? And
he could have eafily overtaken me 5 for I walked
foftly on purpofe, I told Delany I would.



SIR, Dublin, Mtiy 13, 1721.

I HAD your letter^ and the copy of the bi-
fliop's ;]: circular inclofcd, for which I thank
you ; and yet I will not pretend to know any


* Archdeacon Wall.

+ Son of the Dean of Derry, and Vicar of Athboy in the
county of Meath. He died in 1746.

\ Dr Evans, translated from the fee of Parlor to that of
Meath in 1715. la this diocefe, was the vicarage of Laracor,
which Swift held with his deanty. ome diil^otions hiivinj
arifen l-et-,veen BKhop Evans and his clergy, Swift took part
. with the latter. At the firft vifif.ition which he attended, liear-
jnp- !;is dioccfan very ftvere in his animadverfions on a poor
curate, fora matter of little or no importance, the Dean flood



thing of it, and hope you have not told any
body what yqu did. I ihould be glad enough
to be at the viiitation, not out of any love to the
bufinefs, or the perfon, but to do my part in
preventing any miichief. But in truth my health
xvill not fuffer it ; and you, who are to be my
proxy, may fafely give it upon your veracity. I
am confident the bifhop would not be difTatisfied
with wanting my company, and yet he may give
himfelf airs when he finds I am not there. I
now employ myfelf in getting you a companion
to cure your fpleen.

I am your mod faithful humble fcrvant,

J. S W I F T.



MY LORD, June 5, 1721.

I HAVE received an account of your Lord-
fhip's ivfufiiig to admit my proxy ;it your
vifitation, with ieveral circumftances of perfonal
lions o.i myfelf, although my proxy atteft-
ed my v.'.uit of health : To confirm which, and to
l;;y before you the juflice and chriftianity of


tip, and told hi 'hat " Having once l:ren v.-i:

fn \\ impi :r micph'cop/J !; havi ::.-, ! pnld beVer

" ncfs >f it . .hi ; and there : i ordThip' notice, iL:a if

" 1.^ had any r;.u!t to find \\i;', him, I'c ;i t.:l fn;i it ttui,, as

<( he \n'.s tui.r:r.i.u-d not to attend uny c.tlitr


your proceeding, above a hundred perfons of
quality and diftincYion can witnefc, that, fince
Friday the 26th of May, I have been tormented
with an ague, in as violent a manner as poffible,
which ftill continues, and forces me to make ufe
of another hand in writing to you. At the fame
time, I muft be plain to tell you, that if this acci-
dent had not happened, I ihould have ufed all
endeavours to avoid your viiitation, upon the
'public promife I made you three years ago, and
the motives which occafioned it ; becaufe I was
unwilling to bear any more very injurious treat-
ment and appellations given to my brethren or
myfelf ; and, by the grace of God, I am flill
determined to abfent myfelf on the like occafions,
as far as I can poflibly be difpenfed with by any
law, while your Lordfhip is in that diocefe, ami
I a member of it. In which refolution, I could
not conceive but your Lordfhip would be eafy :
Becaufe, altho' my prefence might poffibly con-
tribute to your real (at lead future) intereft, I
was fure it could not to your prefent fatisfaction.
If I had the happinefs to have been acquainted
with any one clergyman in the diocefe, of your
Lordfhip's principles, I mould have defired him
to reprefent me with hopes of better fuccefs : But
I wifh you would fometimes think it convenient
to diftinguifh men as well as principles, and not
look upon every perfon, who happens to owe
you canonical obedience, as if *


* The remainder of this paragraph he has left to the Bifhep's-
\va copj.i5lure -


I have the honour to be Ordinary over a con-

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