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not be for nothing. I hope he can tell no ill ftory of
I add only my prayers for you; and am,
Dr SWIFT to the Archbishop of Dublin.
Trim, Dec. 16. 1716. Should be forry to fee my Lord Bolingbroke follow ing the trade of an informer; because he is a perfon for whom I always had, and ftill continue, a very great love and efteem. For I think, as the rest of mankind do, that informers are a deteftable race of people, although they may be fometimes neceflary. Be. fides, I do not fee, whom his Lordship can inform againft, except himfelf. He was three or four days at the court of France, while he was fecretary; and it is barely poffible, he might then have entered into fome deep negotiation with the pretender: although I would not believe him, if he should swear it; because he protested to me, that he never faw him but once; and that was at a great diftance, in public, at an opera. As to any others of the ministry at that time, I am confident he cannot accuse them; and that they will appear as innocent with relation to the pretender, as any who are now at the helm. And as to myself, if I were of any importance, I fhould be very eafy under Juch an accufation; much eafier, than I am to think your Grace imagineth me in any danger, or that Lord Bolingbroke should have any ill ftory to tell of me. He knoweth, and loveth, and thinketh too well of me, to be capable of fuch an action. But I am furprised to think your Grace could talk, or act, or correspond with me for fome years past; while you must needs believe me a most false and vile man; declaring to you on all occafions my abhorrence of
the pretender, and yet privately engaged with a miniftry to bring him in; and therefore warning me to look to myself, and prepare my defence against a falfe BROTHER, coming over to difcover fuch fecrets as would hang me. Had there ever been the least overture or intent of bringing in the pretender, during my acquaintance with the ministry, I think I must have been very stupid not to have picked out fome difcoveries or fufpicions. And although I am not fure I should have turned informer, yet I am certain I should have dropt fome general cautions, and immediately have retired. When people fay, things were not ripe at the Queen's death, they fay, they know not what. Things were rotten: and had the minifters any fuch thoughts, they fhould have begun three years before; and they who fay otherwife, underftand nothing of the state of the kingdom at
But whether I am miftaken or no in other men, I beg your Grace to believe, that I am not mistaken in my. felf. I always profeffed to be against the pretender; and am fo fill. And this is not to make my court, (which I know is vain); for I own myself full of doubts, fears, and diffatisfactions; which I think on as seldom as I can: yet if I were of any value, the public may fafely rely on my loyalty; because I look upon the coming of the pretender as a greater evil, than any we are like to fuffer under the worst Whig ministry that can be found.
I have not spoke or thought fo much of party thefe two years; nor could any thing have tempted me to it but the grief I have in ftanding fo ill in your Grace's opinion. I beg your Grace's bleffing;
And am, &c.
Dr SWIFT to Dr SHERIDAN
Dec. 14. 1719. nine at night.
T is impoffible to know by your letter whether the wine is to be bottled to-morrow, or no.
If it be, or be not, why did not you in plain English tell us fo?
For my part, it was by mere chance I came to fit with the ladies* this night.
And if they had not told me there was a letter from you, and your man Alexander had not gone, and come back from the deanery, and the boy here had not been fent to let Alexander know I was here, I should have miffed the letter outright.
Truly I don't know who's bound to be fending for corks to stop your bottles, with a vengeance.
Make a page of your own age, and fend your man Alexander to buy corks, for Saunders already has gone above ten jaunts.
Mrs Dingley and Mrs Johnfon fay, truly they don't care for your wife's company, though they like your wine; but they had rather have it at their own house to drink in quiet.
However, they own it is very civil in Mr Sheridan to make the offer; and they cannot deny it.
I wish Alexander fafe at St Catherine's to-night, with all my heart and foul, upon my word and honour.
But I think it bafe in you to fend a poor fellow out fo late at this time of year, when one would not turn out a dog that one valued; I appeal to your friend Mr Conna.
I would prefent my humble fervice to my Lady Mountcafhel; but truly I thought she would have made advances to have been acquainted with me, as she pretended.
But now I can write no more, for you fee plainly my paper is ended.
P. S. 1 wish when you prated,
Much plague it created,
* Mrs Dingley and Mrs Johnston, who lived at a little distance from the deanery.
Swift was refident at the deanery when this letter was written, of which every paragraph ends with a rhyme. And,
Sheridan was at his country houfe, called Quilca, in the county of Cayan, about eight miles from Dublin. Hawkes
Ifcolded and rated,
My foul it much grated,
For your man I long waited.
Like a bear to be baited:
Your man is belated,
The cafe I bave flated,
Come back t' us well freighted;
And wish you tranflated,
2 P. S. Mrs Dingley,
Defires me fingly,
Her fervice to present you,
3 P. S. You keep fuch a twattling With you and your bottling,
But I fee the fum total,
We shall ne'er have one bottle;
The long and the short,
I wish you would fign't,
And I must be nimble,
For a grace, if we smell it.
Dr SWIFT to Dr SHERIDAN.
Dublin, Dec. 22. 1722.
'Hat care we, whether you fwim or fink? Is this a time to talk of boats, or a time to fail in them, when I am shuddering? or a time to build boathoufes, or pay for carriage? No; but towards fummer, 1 promife hereby under my hand to fubscribe a (guinea) fhilling for one; or, if you please me, what is blotted out, or fomething thereabouts; and the ladies fhall fubfcribe three thirteens betwixt them, and Mrs Brent a penny, and Robert and Archy halfpence a-piece, and the old man and woman a farthing each : in fhort, I will be your collector, and we will fend it down full of wine, a fortnight before we go at Whit funtide. You will make eight thousand blunders in your planting; and who can help it? for I cannot be with you. My horfes eat hay, and I hold my vifitation on January 7. juft in the midst of Christmas. Mrs Brent is angry, and fwears as much as a fanatic can do, that fhe will fubfcribe fixpence to your boat. Well, I fhall be a country-man when you are not. now at Mr Fad's, with Dan and Sam; and I fteal out while they are at cards, like a lover writing to his miftrefs.- -We have no news in our town. The ladies have left us to-day; and I promised them, that you
* The word guinea is struck through with a pen in the copy.