Jonathan Swift.

The works of Jonathan Swift .. (Volume 15) online

. (page 20 of 25)
Online LibraryJonathan SwiftThe works of Jonathan Swift .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 20 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


I have no fort of correfpondence with the per-
fon you have not feen, and wonder at nothing
they do, or do not do.

I will let your brother * and mine know, that
you remembered him, in my letter. He is as
good a man as lives.

I am afraid you will wifli you had not encou-
raged my fcribbling to you, when you find I am
ftill fuch an infipid correfpondent ; but with that
which Hiope will make fome amends, am, with
great fincerity and refpect, your mort faithful
friend, and humble fen-ant, M. ORMOND.


* In the fociety of fixteen, Charles Lord Butler of We (ton,
and Earl of Arran, brother to the EKike of Orniond, on whofe
attainder he was elected Chancellor the Univerfity of Oxford.



December 25, 1723. *

NEVER letter came more opportunely, than
your lafl. The gout had made me a fe-
cond vifit, and feveral perfons were congramlar-
ing with me on the good effect of the waters,
which had determined my former illnefs, to a
diftemper fo deferable. My toe pained me ; thefe
compliments tired me ; and I would have taken
my fever again, to give the gout to all the com-
pany. At that inftant, your letter was delivered
to me. It cleared my brow, diverted my ill hu-
mour, and at laft made me forget my pain. I
told the perfons, who were fitting round my bed,
and who teftified fome furprife at fo futlden a
change, that this powerful epiftle came from Ire-
land. At which, to fay the truth, I did not ob-
ferve that their furprife diminifhed. But the
dulleft fellow among them, who was a prieft,
(for that happens to be the cafe fometimes in this
country) told the others, that Ireland formerly
had been called Infula fanEtornm : That by the ac-
quaintance he had at the Iriih college, he made
F i' 2 no

* This letter appears to have htcn written from France, tho*
Lord Bolinghroke had come over to England in the latter end
of June this year, in order to plead liis pardon, which liud paf-
fcd the feals on the 28th of May.

340 DEAN S W I F T's

no doubt of Her deferring (till the fame appella-
tion : And that they might be fure, that the three,
pages were filled with mature d 1 edification^ et ma-
tier e de confolation y which he hoped I would be fo
good as to communicate to them. A learned
R.ofycrucian of my acquaintance, who is a fool,
of as much knowledge, and as much wit, as
ever I kne\v in my life, fmiled at the Doctor's fim-
plicity ; obferved, that the effect was too fudden
for a caufe fo heavy in its operations ; faid a great
many extravagant things about natural and theur-
gic magic ; and informed us, that though the fages,
who deal" in occult fciences, have been laughed
out of fome countries, and driven out^of others,
yet there are, to his knowledge, many of them in
Ireland. I flopped thefe gueflers, and others
who were perhaps ready, by afTuring them, that
my correfpondent was neither a faint, nor a con-
jurer. They aflced me, what he was then ? I an-
fvvered, that, they fhould know it from yourfelf ;
and, opening your letter, I read to them, in
French, the character which you draw of your-
,f elf. Particular parts of it were approved or" con-
demned by every one, as every one's own habits
induced them to judge ; but they all agreed, that
my correfpondent flood in need of more ileep,
more victuals, lefs ale, -and better company. I
defended you the beft I could ; and, bad as the
caufc was, I found means to have the laft word,
which, in deputes, you know, is the capital
point. The truth is, however, that I convinced



nobody, not even the weakeft of the company,
that is, myfelf.

I flatter my friendmip for you with the hopes,
that you are really in the cafe, in which you fay,
that our friend Pope feems to be ; and that you
do not know your own character. Or did you
mean to amufe yourfelf, like thatiamous painter,
who, inftead of copying Nature, tried, in one of
his defigns, how far it was poffible to depart
from his original ? Whatever your intention was,
I will not be brought in among thofe friends,
whofe misfortunes have. given them an habitual
fournefs. I declare to you, once for all, that I
am not unhappy ; and that I never (hall be fo,
vinlefs I fink under fome phyfical evil. Retrench
therefore the proportion of peevifhnefs, which
you fet to my account. You might, for feveral
other reafons, retrench the proportions which
you fet to the account of others, and fo leave
yourfelf without peevifhnefs, or without'excufe.
I lament, and have always lamented, your being
placed in Ireland ; but you are worfe than pee-
vi(h, you are unjuft, when you fay, that it was
either not in the power, or will of a miniftry, to
place you in England. Write miniftcr, friend
Jonathan, and fcrape out the words, either, power,
or ; after which the paflage will run as well, and
be conformable to the truth of things. I know
but one man * who had power at that time j and
F f 3 that

* Lord Oxford.

342 D E A N S W I F T ' 3

that wretched man, had neither the will, nor the
Ikill, to make a good ufe of it.

We talk of characters : Match me that, if you
can, among all the odd phoenomena which have
appeared in the moral world. I have not a Ta-
citus by me ; but I believe that I remember
your quotation, and, as a mark that I hit right,
I make no comment upon it. As you defcribe
your public fpirit, it feems to me to be a difeafe,
as well as your peevifhnefs. Your propofals for
reforming the ftate, are admirable ; and your
fchemes concife. With refpedt to your humble
fervant, you judge better than you did in a letter
I received from you about four years ago. You
feemed, at that time, not fo afraid of the nightin-
gale's falling into the ferpent's mouth. This re-
flection made me recollect, that I writ you at that
time, a long epiftle in metre. After rummaging,
among my papers, 1 found it, and fend it with
my letter : It will ferve to entertain you the firft
falt-day. I depend on the fidelity of your friend-
ihip, that it ihall fall under no eye but your
own. Adieu.

I read in Engliih, (for fhe underftands it), to a
certain Lady., the paiTage of your letter, which
relates to her. The Latin I moft generoufly con-
cealed. She defires you to receive the compli-
ments of one, \\ho is Ib far from being equal to
fifty others of her lex, that flic never found her-
ielf equal to any one of them. She fays, that fhe
has neither youth nor beauty ; but that Ihe hopes,


on the long and intimate acquaintance flie has
had with you, when you meet, if that ever hap-
pens, to caft fuch a mift before your eyes, that
you lhall not perceive fhe wants either of them.



MY LORD, April 28, 1724.

MANY of the principal perfons^in this king-
dom, diftinguiihed for their loyalty to
his prefent Majefty, hearing that I had the ho-
nour to be known to your Excellency, have for
fome time prefled me very earneftly, fince you
were declared Lord Lieutenant of this kingdom,
to reprefent to your Excellency, the apprehen-
fions they are under, concerning Mr Wood's
patent for coining half-pence to pafs in Ireland.
Your Excellency knows the unanimous fenti-
ments of the parliament here upon that matter :
And, upon enquiry, you will find, that there
is not one pcrfon of any rank or party in this
whole kingdom, who does not look upon that
patent as the moft ruinous project that ever was
contrived againft any nation. Neither is it
doubted, that, when your Excellency fhall be
thoroughly informed, your juftice and compaf-
fion for an injured people, ->v : ll force yon to em-
ploy your credit for their relief,



I have made bold to fend you, inclofed, two
ftnall tra<fts on this fubjecT: ; one written (as it is
fuppofed) by the Earl of Abercorn j the other
is entitled to a Weaver, and fuited to the vulgar,
but thought to be the work of a better hand.

I hope your Excellency will forgive an old
humble fervant, and one who always loved and
efteemed you, for interfering in matters out of his
province ; which he would never Jhave done, if
many of the greateft perfons here had not, by
their importunity, drawn him out of his retire-
ment, to venture giving you a little trouble, in
hopes to fave their country from utter deftruc-
tion, for which the memory of your government
will be bleiTed by pofterity.

I hope to have the honour of feeing your Ex-
cellency here ; and do promife, neither to be a
frequent vifitor, nor troublefome folicitor, but
ever with the greateft refpeft, &c.



MY LORD, J line 9> 1724.

IT is above a month fince I took the boldnefs
of writing to your Excellency, upon a fub-
jel where the welfare of this kingdom is highly


I writ at the defire of feveral confiderable per-
fons here, who could not be ignorant that 1 had
the honour of being well known to you.

I could have wifhed your Excellency had conde-
fcended fo far, as to let one of your under-clerks
have ijgnified to me that a letter was received/

1 have long been out of the world ; but have
not forgotten what ufed to pafs among thofe I
lived with, while I was in it : And I can fay,
that, during the experience of many years, and
many changes in affairs, your Excellency, and
one more, who is not worthy to be compared to
you, are the only great perfons that ever refufed
to anfwer a letter from me, without regard to
bufinefs, party, or greatncfs ; and if I had not a
peculiar efteem for your perfonal qualities, I
fhould think myieif to be acting a very inferior
part in making this complaint.

I never was fo humble as to be vain upon my
acquaintance with men in power, and always
rather chole to avoid it when I was not called.
Neither were their power or titles fuiucient,
without merit, to make me cultivate them ; of
which I have witnefles enough left, after all the
havock made among them, by accidents of time,
or by changes of peribns, meafures, and opinions.

I know not how your own conceptions of
yourfelf may alter, by every new high ftation ;
but mine muft continue the fame, or alter for
the worfe.

I often told a great minifter, whom you well
know, that I valued him for being the fame man



through all the progrefs of power and place.
I expelled the like in your Lordihip ; and ftill
hope, that I {hall be the only perfon who will
ever find it otherwife.

I pray God to direct your Excellency, in all
your good undertakings, and efpecially in your
government of this kingdom.

I (hall trouble you no more j but remain, with
great refpeft,


Your Excellency's
Mo ft obedient and
Moft humble fervant.



SIR, Arlington-ftreet) June 20, 1724.

TO begin by confeffing myfelf in the wrong,
will, I hope, be fome proof to you, that
none of the ftations, which I have gone through,
have hitherto had the effects upon me, which
you apprehend. If a month's filence has been
turned to my difadvantage in your efteem, it
has at leaft had this good effect, that I am
convinced, by the kindnefs of your reproaches,

* Lord C was then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In

letter CCCXX. to which this is an anfwcr, the Dean com-
plained, that a former letter had been a month unanfsvered.



as well as by the goodnefs of your advice, that
you ftill retnin fome part of your former friend-
fliip for me, of which I am the more confident,
from the agreeable freedom with which you ex-
prefs yourfelf : And I fhall not forfeit my pre-
tentious to the continuance of it, by doing any
thing that Ihall give you occafion to think that
I am infenfible of it.

But to come to the point : Your firft letter is
dated 28th May, your fecond the yth of June.
By the date of this you will fee, that the interval
of faience may be accounted for by a few excur-
iions which I have made into the country :
Therefore, I defire you will put the moft favour-
able fenfe.

The principal affair you mention, is under ex-
amination * ; and, till that is over, I am not in-
formed fufficiently to make any other judgment
of the matter, than that which I am naturally-
led to make, by the general averfion which ap-
pears to it in the whole nation.

I hope the nation will not fuffer, by my being
in this great ftation 5 and if I can contribute to
its profperity, I ihall think it the honour and
happiuefs of my life. I de-fire you to believe
what I fay, and particularly when I profefs my-
felf to be, with great truth, Sir, your moft faith-
ful and affectionate humble fervant, C.


* Pi-obably that of Mr V/ood's patent for coining half-pence
and farthings for Ireland, which was referred to the Lords
oftht: Ptivv Council of England, who, on the 24th of July,
1724, drew up a report, juftifying the patentee.

348 DEAN S W I F T's



My LORD, July 9, 1724.

I HUMBLY claim the privilege of an infe*
rior, to be the laft writer ; yet with great ac-
knowledgments for your condefcenfion in anfwer-
ing my letters, I cannot but complain of you,
for putting me. in the wrong. I am in the cir-
cumftances of a waiting-woman, who told her
lady, that nothing vexed her more, than to be
caught in a lie. But, what is worfe, J have difco-
vered in myfelf fomewhat of the bully ; and that*,
after all my rattling, you have brought me down
to be as humble as the moft diftant attender at
your levee. It is well your Excellency's talents
are in few hands ; for, if it were otherwife, we,
who pretend to be free-fpeakers, in quality of
philosophers, fhoulcl be utterly cured of our for-
wardnefs ; at leaft, I am afraid there will be an
end of mine, with regard to your Excellency.
Yet, my Lord, I am ten years older than I was
when I had the honour to fee you laft, and confe-
quently ten times more tefty. Therefore I foretell,
that you, who could fo eafily conquer fo captious
a perfon, and of fo little confequence, will quick-
ly fubdue this whole kingdom to love and reye-
rence you. I am, with the greateft refpccV,
t LET-



On his Father's Death.

MY LORD, July 1724.

ALTHOUGH I had, for two years paft,
inured myfelf to expect the death of my
Lord your father, from the frequent accounts
of the bad condition of his health ; yet the news
of it ftruck me fo fenfibly, that I had not fpirit
enough to condole with your Lordfhip, as I
ought to have done, for fo great a lofs to the
world and yourfelf. It is true, indeed, you no
longer wanted his care and tendernefs, nor his
example, to incite you to virtue ; but his friend-
fhip and converfation you will ever want, becaufe
they are qualities fo rare in the world, and 3r>
which he fo much excelled all others. It hath
pleafed me, in the midft of my grief, to hear
that he preferved the greatnefs, and calmnefs,
and intrepidity of his mind, to his laft minutes :
For it was fit that fuch a life fhould terminate
with equal luftre to the whole progrefs of it.

I rnuft now beg leave to apply to your Lord-

fhip's juftice. He was often pleafed to promife

me his picture ; but his troubles, and fkknefs,

and want of opportunity, and my abfence, pre-

VOL. XV. G g vented

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

vented him. I do therefore humbly infift, that
your Lordfhip will pleafe to difcharge what I al-
moft look upon as a legacy.

I would entreat another and* much greater fa-
Tour of your Lordfhip, that, at your leifure
hours, you would pleafe to infpect, among your
father's papers, whether there be any memorials
that may be of ufe towards writing his life;
which I have fometimes mentioned to him, and
often thought on, when I little thought to fur-
vive him. 1 have formerly gathered fttveral hints,
but want many memorials, efpecially of his more
early times, which might be eafily fupplied. And
fuch a work moft properly belongs to me, who
loved and refpecl:ed him above all men, and had
the honour to know him better than any other
of my level did.

I humbly beg your Lordfhip's pardon, for fo
long a letter, upon fo mournful an occafion ; and
expect your juftice to believe, that I am, and {hall
ver be, with the greateft refpeft,

Your Lordfhip's moft obedient,
Moft obliged, and

Moft humble fervant.

I defire to prefcnt my moft humble refpecls to
my Lady Oxford.





SIR, Arlington-Street^ Aug. 4, 1724.

YOUR claim to be the laft writer, is what
I can never allow : That is the privilege of
ill writers. And I am refolved to give you com-
plete fotisfaction, by leaving it with you, whether
I fhall be that laft writer or not. Methinks I fee
you throw this letter upon your table, in the
heighth of fpleen, becaufe it may have interrupted
fame of your more agreeable thoughts. But then,
in return, you may have the comfort of not an-
fwering it, and fo convince my Lord Lieutenant,
that you value him lefs now, than you did ten
years ago. I don't know but this might become
a free fpeaker, and a philofopher. Whatever
you may think of it, I fliall not be tefty, but en-
deavour to fhew, that I am- not altogether infen-
{ible of the" force of that genius, which hath out-
fhone moft of this age, and, when you will dif-
play it again, can convince us, that its luftrc
and ftrength are ftill the fame.

Once more, I commit myfelf to your cenftire,
and am, Sir, with great refpecl, your moft affec-
tionate humble fervant, C.

G g 2 LET-

352 D E A N S W I F~T ' s



MY LORD, Sept. 3, 1724,

BEING ten years older, than when I had the
honour to fee your Excellency laft, by con-
fequence, if I am fubjedl: to any ailments, they
are now ten times worfe, and fo it happened. For
I have been, this month paft, fo peftered with the
return of a noife and deafnefs in my ears, that I
had not fpirit to perform the common offices of
life, much lefs to write to your Excellency, and
lead of all, to anfwer fo obliging and condefcend-
ing a letter, as that I received from you. But
thefe ugly ten years have a worfe confequencej
that they utterly deftroy any title to the good
opinion you are pleafed to exprefs of me, as an
amufer of the world and myfelf. To have pre-
ferved that talent, I ought, as I grew older, to
have removed into a better climate, inftead of
being funk for life in a worfe. I imagine France
would be proper for me now, and Italy, ten
years hence. However, I am not fo bad as they
would make me : For, fince I left England, fuch
a parcel of trafh has been there fathered upon
me, that nothing but the good judgment of my
friends, could hinder them from thinking me to
be grown the greateft dunce alive.



There is a gentleman of this kingdom, jud
gone for England ; it is Dr George Berkeley,
Dean of Deny, the beft preferment among us,
being worth about i lool. a-year. He takes the
Bath in his way to London ; and will, of courfe,
attend your Excellency, and be prefented, I fup-
pofe, by his friend my Lord Burlington. And,
becaufe a -believe you will chufe out- fome very
idle minutes to read this letter, perhaps you may
not be ill entertained witfy fome account of the
man, and his errand. He^was a Fellow in the
Univerlity here ; and, going to England very
young, about thirteen years ago, he became the
founder of a feet, there called the Immaterialijlsj
by the force of a very curious bo'ok upon that
fubject. Dr Smallridge, and many other eminent
perfons, were his profclytes. I lent him fecretary
and chaplain, to Sicily, with my Lord Peter-
borow ; and, upon his Lord (hip's return, Dr
Berkeley fpent above feven years in travelling
over moft parts of Europe, but chiefly through
every corner of Italy, Sicily, and other iflands.
When he came back to England, he found ib
many friends, that he was effectually recommend-
ed to the Duke of Grafton, by whom he was
lately made Dean of Deny. Your Excellency
will be frighted, when I tell you all this is but an
introduction : For I am now to mention his er-
rand. He is an abfolute philofopher, with re-
gard to money, titles, and power ; and, for three
years part, hath been ftruck with a notion of
G g 3 founding ;


founding an Univerfity at Bermudas, by a char-
ter from the Crown. He hath feduced feveral
of the hopefulleft young clergymen, and others
here, many of them well provided for, and all
of them in the faireft way of preferment : But,
in England, his conquefts are greater ; and, I
doubt, will fpread very far this Winter. He
Ihewed me a little tract, which he defigns to pu-
blifli ; and there your Excellency will fee his
whole fcheme of a life academico-philofophical,
(I fhall make you remember what you were), of a
college founded for Indian fcholars and miffion-
aries ; where he, moft exorbitantly, propofeth a
whole hundred pounds a-year for himfclf, forty
pounds for a Fellow, and ten for a Student. His
heart will break, if his deanry be not taken from
him, and left to your Excellency's difpofal. I
difcourage him by the coldnefs of Courts and
Minifters, who will interpret all this as impofiible,
and a vifion ; but nothing will do. And, there-
fore, I do humbly entreat your Excellency, ei-
ther to ufe fuch perfuafions as will keep one of
the firft men in this kingdom, for learning and
virtue, quiet at home,. or am" ft him, by your
credit, to compafs his romantic defign ; which,
however, is very noble and generous, and direct-
ly proper for a great perfon of your excellent
education to encourage.

I mufl now, in all humility, entreat one favour
of you, as you are Lord Lieutenant. Mr Proby,
furgeon of the army here, laid out the greateft



part of his fortune, to buy a captainfliip for his
eldeft fon. The young man was lately accufed of
difcovering an inclination to Popery, while he
was quartered in Gal way. The report of the
Court-Martial is tranfmitted to your Excellency.
The univerfal opinion here, is, that the accufation
was falfe and malicious : And the Archbilhop of
Tuam, in whofe diocefe Galway is, upon a ftricT:
enquiry, hath declared it to be fo. But all this
is not to fway with your Excellency, any more,
than that the father is moft univerlally beloved of
any man I ever knew in his ftation. But I entreat,
that you will pleafe to hear the opinion of others,
who may fpeak in his favour ; and, perhaps, will
tell you, that as party is not in the cafe, fo you
cannot do any perfonal thing more acceptable to
the people of Ireland, than in inclining towards
lenity to Mr Proby and his family ; altho' I have
reafon to be confident, that they neither need,
nor defire more than juftice. I beg your Excel-
lency will remember my requeft to be, only, that
you would hear others, and not think me fo very-
weak, as to imagine I could have hopes of giving
the leaft turn to your mind. Therefore, I hope,
what I have faid is pardonable in every refpecl:,
but that of taking up your time.

My Lord, we are here preparing for your re-
ctotion, and for a quiet fefiion under your go-
vernmdnt; but, whether you approve the man-
ner, I can only guefs. It is by univerfal decla-
rations ajjainft Wood's coin. One thing I am


35 6 D E A N S W I F T's

confident of, that your Excellency will find and
leave us under difpoiltions, very different, to-
wards your perfon and high ftation, from what
have appeared towards others.

I have no other excufe for the length of this
letter, but a faithful promife, that I will never be
guilty of the fame fault a fccond time. I am, &c.



Sept. 12, 1724.

IT is neither ficknefs, nor journies, nor ill
humours, nor age, nor vexation, nor ftupi-
dity, which has hindered me from anfwering
fooner your letter of the month of June ; but
a very prudent consideration, and one of the
greateft ftrains of policy I ever exercifed in my
life. Should I anfwer you in a month, you
might think yourfelf obliged to anfwer me in fix ;
and, feared at the fore fatigue of writing twice
a-year to an abfent friend, you might (for ought
either you or I can tell) flop fhort, and not write
at all. Now, this would difappoint all my pro-
jects ; for, to confefs the truth, I have been
drawing you in thefe feveral years, and, by my

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 22 23 24 25

Online LibraryJonathan SwiftThe works of Jonathan Swift .. (Volume 15) → online text (page 20 of 25)