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May 27, 1713
reply to your letter, is because I am going in a very few days to Ireland : and although I intended to return towards winter, yet it may happen, from the common accidents of life, that I may never see you again.
In your yesterday's letter, you are pleased to take the complaining fide, and think it hard I should write to Mr. Addison as I did, only for an allusion. This allusion was only calling a clergyman of some little distinction an infidel; a clergyman, who was your friend, who always loved you, who had endeavoured at least to serve you; **and who, whenever he did write
any thing, made it facred to himself never to fling out the least hint against you.
One thing you are pleased to fix on me, as what you are sure of; that the Examiner had talked after me, when he said, “Mr. Addison “ had bridled you in point of party.” I do not read one in fix of those papers, nor ever knew he had such a passage; and I am so ignorant of this, that I cannot tell what it means: whether, that Mr. Addison kept you close to a party, or that he hindered
you froin writing about party. I never talked or writ to that author in my life; so that he could not have learned it from me. въ
And, in short, I folemnly affirm, that, with re. lation to every friend I have, I am as innocent as it is poffible for a human creature to be. And, whether you believe me or not, I think, with submission, you ought to act as if lieved me, till you have demonstration to the contrary. I have all the ministry to be my witnesses, that there is hardly a man of wit of the adverle party, whom I have not been so bold as to recommend often and with earneftness to them. for, I think, principles at present are quite out of the case, and that we dispute wholly about persons *. In these last you and I differ ; but in the other, I think, we agree: for I have in print professed myself in politicks to be what we formerly called a Whig.
As to the great man of whose defence you undertake; though I do not think so well of him as you do, yet I have been the cause of
pre'venting five hundred hard things being said against him.
I am fenfible I have talked too much when myself is the subject: therefore I conclude with fincere wishes for your health and prosperity, and am, Sir, your, &c. Jon. Swift.
You cannot but remember, that, in the only thing I ever published with my name, I took
* STEELE says, “ I thought it was the shortest way to impar. “ tiality, to put myself beyond farther hopes or fears, by declaring “ myself at a time when the dispute is not about persons and par"ties, but things and causes.” Tat. No 193.
+ The Duke of Marlborough,
care to celebrate you as much as I could *, and in as handsome a manner as I could, though it was in a letter to the present Lord Treasurer.
To the Right Honourable the [Earl of OXFORD],
LORD HIGH TREASURER of Great-Britain.
My Lord, Bloomsbury-square, June 4, 1713.
PRESUME to give your Lordship this
trouble to acquaint you, that having an ambition to serve in the ensuing parliament, I humbly desire your Lordship will please to accept of my resignation of my office as Commissioner of the Stamp Revenue.
I should have done this sooner, but that I heard the commission was passing without my name in it, and I would not be guilty of the arrogance of resigning what I could not hold. But having heard this fince contradicted, I am
* In his “ Proposal for correcting the English Tongue,' Swift says, “ I would willingly avoid repetition, having about a
year ago communicated to the publick much of what I had to 66 offer upon this subject, by the hands of an ingenious gentle
man, who for a long time did thrice a week divert or instruct “ the kingdom by his papers; and is supposed to pursue the same “ design at present under the title of Spectator. This author, “ who hath tried the force and compass of our language with so “ much success, agrees entirely with me in most of my sentiments " relating to it ; so do the greatest part of the men of wit and " learning, whom I have had the happiness to converse with.” B b 2
obliged to give it up, as with great humility I do by this present writing. Give me leave on this occafion to say something as to my late conduct, with relation to the late men in power, and to assure you whatever I have done, faid, or written, has proceeded from no other motive, but the love of what I think truth. For merely as to my own affairs, I could not with any man in the administration rather than yourself, who favour those that become your dependants with a greater liberality of heart than any man I have ever before observed. When I had the honour of a short conversation with you, you were pleased not only to signify to me, that I should remain in this office, but to add, that if I would naine to you one of more value, which would be more commodious to me, you would favour me in it. I am going out of any particular dependance on your Lordship ; and will tell you with the freedom of an indifferent man, that it is impossible for any man who thinks, and has any public spirit, not to tremble at seeing his coun
in its present circumstances, in the hands of fo daring a genius as yours. If incidents should arise, that should place your own safety, and what ambitious men call greatness, in a baJance against the general good, our all depends upon your choice under such a temptation. You have my hearty and fervent prayers to Heaven, to avert all such dangers from you.
I thank your Lordship for the regard and distinc
tion which you have at sundry times Thewed me; and wish you, with your country's safety, all happiness and prosperity. Share, my Lord, your good fortune with whom you will; while it lasts, you will want no friends; but if any adverse day happens to you, and I live to see it, you will find I think myself obliged to be your friend and advocate. This is talking in a strange dialect from a private man to the first of a nation ; but to desire only a little, exalts a man's condition to a level with those who want a great deal. But I beg your Lordship’s pardon; and am, with great respect, my Lord, your Lordship’s most obedient, and most humble servant,
L E T T E R CCCCXXIV *.
nity of publishing the gratitude I owe you * Prefixed to the seventh volume of “ The Spectator."
† Afterward Sir Paul Methuen, Knight of the Bath. This very ingenious gentleman, whilft Ambassador at the Court of Portugal, concluded the famous commercial treaty which bears his name; and, in the same capacity at the Court of Savoy, exerted himself nobly as a military hero. On his return, he was succes. fively appointed to several important offices in the State ; a Commissioner of the Admiralty, Nov. 8, 1709; of the Treasury, Oct. 13, 1714; Comptroller of the Houshold, June 4, 1720; Treasurer of the Houshold, 1725; and a Commissioner for inspecting the Law, Sept. 15, 1732. He represented the borough of Brackley in the several parliaments which mee in 1713, 1714, 1722, 1727, and 1734 ; and died April 11, 1757, aged 86.
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