The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Charles Ford to Jonathan Swift - 4

LONDON, JULY 17, 1714.

A SECOND to morrow is almost past, and nothing has been yet left at St. Dunstan's. B.[1] will lose by his prodigious cunning; but that is nothing to the punishment he deserves. Had it been only his fear, he would have chosen somebody else to consult with; but the rogue found out it was well written, and saw the passages that galled. I am heartily vext at the other person[2] from whom one might have expected a more honourable proceeding. There is something very mean in his desiring to make alterations, when I am sure he has no reason to complain, and is at least as fairly dealt with as his competitor[3]. Besides, a great part of it is as much for his service as if he had given directions himself to have it done. What relates to the pretender is of the utmost use to him; and therefore I am as much surprised at his delay, as at his ungenerous manner of treating an unknown author, to whom he is so much obliged. But perhaps I may wrong him, and he would not desire to turn the whole to his own advantage. If it had come to me yesterday, or to day, I was resolved to have sent it to some other printer without any amendment; but now I shall wait till I have your directions. I wish you had employed somebody else at first; but what signifies wishing now? After what B.[4] writ in his last, I can hardly think he will be such a —— as not to let me have it: and in my answer I have given him all manner of encouragement to do it. He has as much assurance as he can well desire, that the alterations shall be complied with, and a positive promise that it shall be returned to him the same day he leaves it at St. Dunstan's[5].

I cannot imagine why we have no mischief yet. Sure we are not to be disappointed at last, after the bustle that has been made. It is impossible they[6] can ever agree, and I want something to make my letters still entertaining. I doubt you will hardly thank me for them, now the parliament is up; but as soon as any thing happens you shall know it.

The queen has not yet appointed the time for removing to Windsor. My lord chief baron Ward is dead, and we have already named seven successors, among whom is our lord chancellor Phipps. Frank Annesley was to have had his place under my lord Anglesey, so that it is well for him we have provided him with another for life.

  1. Barber.
  2. Lord Bolingbroke.
  3. Lord Oxford.
  4. Barber.
  5. See two other letters from Mr. Ford, on the subject of this pamphlet, July 22 and 24. It is plain, however, by Mr. Barber's letter of July 6, that he knew the real author of the pamphlet. He tells Dr. Swift, "I have shown it only to one person, who is charmed with it, and will make some small alterations and additions to it, with your leave. You will the easier give leave, when I tell you that it is one of the best pens in England."
  6. Lord Oxford and Bolingbroke.