« PreviousContinue »
unless she were a Duegna, I shall never be reconciled to; though it is eafily obferved, that nations which have moft gallantry to the young, are ever the feverest upon the old. I have not leifure to defcant further upon your pleafing letter, nor any thing to return you from fo barren a scene as this, which I shall leave in four days towards my journey for Ireland. I had defigned a letter to my coufin Willoughby; and the last favour he has done me requires a great deal of acknowledgment: but the thoughts of my fending so many before, has made me believe it better to truft you with delivering my best thanks to him; and that you will endeavour to perfuade him how extreme fenfible of his goodness and generosity I am. I wish and fhall pray, he may be as happy as he deferves, and he cannot be more. My mother defires her beft love to him and to you, with both our fervices to my cousin his wife.
I forgot to tell you I left Sir William Temple a month ago, just as I foretold it to you; and every thing happened thereupon exactly as I gueffed. He was extreme angry I left him; and yet would not oblige himself any further than upon my good behaviour, nor would promife any thing firmly to me at all: fo that every body judged I did beft to leave him. I defign to be ordained September next, and make what endeavours I can for fomething in the church. I wish it may ever lie in my coufin's way or your's to have intereft to bring me in chaplain of the factory.
If any thing offers from Dublin that may serve either to fatisfy or divert you, I will not fail of contributing, and giving you conftant intelligence from thence, of whatever you fhall defire. I am, &c.
Dr SWIFT to the Earl of OXFORD
July 1. 1714.
Hen i was with you, I have faid more than once, that I would never allow quality or ftation
This letter was written from Berkshire, after the Doctor had
made any real difference between men. Being now abfent and forgotten, I have changed my mind. You have a thousand people who can pretend they love you, with as much appearance of fincerity as I; fo that, according to common justice, I can have but a thousandth part in return of what I give. And this difference is wholly owing to your station. And the misfortune is ftill the greater, because I always loved you just so much the worle for your station. For in your public capacity you have often angered me to the heart, but as a private man never once. So that if I only look towards myself, I could wish you a private man to-morrow. For I have nothing to ask, at least nothing that you will give, which is the fame thing. And then you would fee whether I fhould not with much more willingness attend you in a retirement, whenever you pleased to give me leave, than ever I did at London or Windsor. From these fentiments I will never write to you, if I can help it, otherwife than as to a private perfon, nor allow myself to have been obliged by you in any other capacity.
The memory of one great inftance of your candor and justice I will carry to my grave; that having been in a manner domeftic with you for almost four years, it was never in the power of any public or concealed enemy to make you think ill of me, though malice and envy were often employed to that end. If I live, posterity fhall know that and more; which though you and fome body that fhall be namelefs, feem to value lefs than I could wifh, is all the return I can make you. Will you give me leave to fay how I would defire to ftand in your memory? As one who was truly fenfible of the honour you did him, though he was too proud to be vain upon it: as one who was neither affuming, officious, nor teafing; who never wilfully mifreprefented perfons or facts to you, nor confulted his paffions when he gave a character: and, laftly, as one whofe indifcretions proceeded altogether from a weak
wholly quitted the ministry, upon finding it impoffible to reconcile the misunderstandings between the Lord Treasurer and the Secretary. Swift.
head, and not an ill heart. I will add one thing more, which is the highest compliment I can make, that I never was afraid of offending you, nor am now in any pain for the manner I write to you in. I have faid enough, and like one at your levee, having made my bow, I fhrink back into the croud. I am, my Lord, &c.
Dr SWIFT to the Earl of OXFORD.
Dublin, June 14. 1737. Had the honour of a letter from your Lordship, dated April 7. which I was not prepared to answer until this time. Your Lordship muft needs have known, that the hiftory you mention of the four last years of the Queen's reign, was written at Windfor, juft upon finishing the peace *; at which time your father and my Lord Bolingbroke had a misunderstanding with each other, that was attended with very bad confequences. When I came to Ireland to take this deanery, (after the peace was made), I could not ftay here above a fortnight, being recalled by an hundred letters to haften back, and to ufe my endeavours in reconciling those minifters. I left them the history you mention, which I had finished at Windfor, to the time of the peace. When I returned to England, I found their quarrels and coldness increafed; I laboured to reconcile them as much as I was able; I contrived to bring them to my Lord Malham's at St James's; my Lord and Lady Mafham left us together; I expoftulated with them both, but could not find any good confequences. I was to go to Windfor next day with my Lord Treafurer; I pretended business that prevented me; and fo
* The Doctor means only the first draught of that history: for it is certain, that, after the Queen's death, he spent a good deal of his time in improving and correcting it to his own taste and liking; and particularly we find in a letter of the Dean's to Pope, dated Jan. 10. 1712, [above, p. 23.] that he ftill employed fome part of his leisure in digefting it into order. Swift.
I fent them to Windsor next day, which was Saturday, expecting they would come to fome ********* t. But I followed them to Windfor; where my Lord Bolingbroke told me, that my scheme had come to nothing. Things went on at the fame rate. They grew more eftranged every day. My Lord Treasurer found his credit daily declining. In May, before the Queen died, I had my last meeting with them at my Lord Mafham's. He left us together, and therefore I spoke very freely to them both, and told them I would retire, for I found all was gone. Lord Bolingbroke whispered me, I was in the right. Your father faid, all would do well. I told him, that I would go to Oxford on Monday, fince I found it impoffible to be of any use. I took coach to Oxford on Monday; went to a friend in Berkshire; there ftaid till the Queen's death, and then to my tation here; where I aid twelve years, and never faw my Lord your father afterwards. They could not agree about printing the hiftory of the four laft years; and therefore I have kept it to this time, when I determine to publish it in London, to the confufion of all thofe **** who have accused the Queen and that miniftry of making a bad peace; to which that party entirely owes the Proteftant fucceffion. I was then in the greatest trust and confidence with your father the Lord Treasurer, as well as with my Lord Bolingbroke, and all others who had part in the adminiftration. I had all the letters from the Secretary's office during the treaty of peace. Out of those, and what I learned from the miniftry, I formed that history which I am now going to publish, for the information of pofterity, and to control the most impudent falfehoods which have been published fince. I wanted no kind of materials. I knew your father better than you could at that time; and I do impartially think him the most virtuous minifter, and the moit able, that ever I remem
Here is an hiatus of about half a line. The reader's imagination can easily fill it up, fo as to make the fenfe perfect. Swift.
This was a very common expreffion of my Lord Treasurer, who was the least apt to dispond of any minifter in the world. Swift.
203 ber to have read of. If your Lordship hath any particular circumstances that may fortify what I have faid in the history, fuch as letters or other memorials, I am content they should be printed at the end, by way of appendix. I loved my Lord your father better than any other man in the world, although I had no obligation to him on the score of preferment; having been driven to this wretched kingdom, to which I was almost a ftranger, by his want of power to keep me in what I ought to call my own country; though I happened to be dropped here, and was a year old before I left it, and, to my forrow, did not die before I came back to it again. I am extremely glad of the felicity you have in your alliances, and defire to prefent my moft humble refpects to my Lady Oxford, and your daughter the Duchefs. As to the hiftory, it is only of affairs which I know very well, and had all the advantages poffible to know, when you were in fome fort but a lad. One great defign of it is, to do juftice to the miniftry of that time, and to refute all the objections against them, as if they had a defign of bringing in Popery and the Pretender; and further to demonftrate, that the present fettlement of the crown was chiefly owing to my Lord your father. I can never expect to fee England; I am now too old and fickly, added to almost a perpetual deafness and giddiness. I live a most domestic life; I want nothing that is neceffary; but I am in a curfed, factious, oppreffed, miferable country, not made fo by nature, but by the flavifh, hellish principles of an execrable, prevailing faction in it. Farewell, my Lord; I have tired you and myfelf. I defire again to prefent my most humble refpects to my Lady Oxford, and the Duchefs your daughter. Pray God preserve you long and happy. I fhall diligently inquire into your conduct, from those who will tell me. You have hitherto continued right: let me hear that you perfevere fo. Your task will not be long; for I am not in a condition of health or time to trouble this world, and I am heartily tired of it already; and fo fhould be in England, which I hear is full as corrupt as this poor inflaved country. I am, with the trueft love and respect, my Lord, &c.