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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Charles Ford to Jonathan Swift - 9


LONDON, AUG. 5, 1714.


I HAVE writ to Dawson[1] for a license of absence for you; but you know you must take the oaths in Ireland within three months. There are a great many here in the same circumstances; and in all probability, some of them will desire an act of parliament to have leave to do it here. In that case, it will be no difficult matter to have you included. Mr. Lewis tells me, he wrote to you to come up to town, and I see no reason why you should not. All matters go on very quiet, and we are not apprehensive of any disturbances. Stocks never rose so much in so few days. This is imputed to the hatred of the old treasurer, and the popularity of the new one. The whigs were not in the council when he was recommended. Lord Bolingbroke proposed it there, as well as to the queen; and I hope they two are upon very good terms, though Mr. Lewis seems positive of the contrary. I never heard of any pique the duke had to him, but that he was to be chief minister: and that being at an end, why may not they be reconciled? The dragon was thought to show more joy upon proclaiming the king, than was consistent with the obligations he had received from ——. He was hissed all the way by the mob, and some of them threw halters into his coach. This was not the effect of party; for the duke of Ormond was huzzaed throughout the whole city, and was followed by a vast crowd to his own house, though he used all possible endeavours to prevent it. There was an attempt to affront the captain in the cavalcade, but it did not succeed; and though a few hissed, the acclamations immediately drowned the noise. Not a single man showed the least respect to the colonel; and last night my lord Bingley was beaten by mistake, coming out of his house. I doubt he has disobliged both sides so much, that neither will ever own him; and his enemies tell stories of him, that I shall not believe till I find you allow them.

The lords justices made a speech to the parliament to day. If it comes out time enough, I will send it you; but I hear it only contains their proceedings upon the queen's death; that they have yet received no directions from the king, and to desire the commons to continue the funds, which are expired. I am told our regents are already divided into four parties. The greatest use they have made yet of their power, is to appoint my lord Berkeley to command the fleet which is to bring over the king, and to make the duke of Bolton lord lieutenant of Hampshire.

I send you a gazette[2], though I am ashamed to have it seen. I had writ a great deal more of the queen's illness, an account of her birth, &c. but I could not find out Mr. Lewis, and had nobody to consult with, and therefore chose rather to say too little, than any thing I doubted might be improper. Yesterday the duke of Marlborough made his publick entry through the city: first, came about two hundred horsemen, three in a row, then a company of trainbands, with drums, &c. his own chariot with himself and his duchess. Then my duchess followed by sixteen coaches with six horses, and between thirty and forty with two horses. There was no great mob when he passed through the Pallmall, but there was in the city: and he was hissed by more than huzzaed. At Templebar, I am assured, the noise of hissing was loudest, though they had prepared their friends to receive him, and the gathering of others was only accidental. You may guess how great a favourite he is, by some old stories of his behaviour at the camp, when —— was there, and afterward at Hanover; and by the share he and his family have in the regency. But to be sure, this discreet action will endear him more than any subject in England. We had bonfires, &c. at night. From the list of the lords justices, and some other things, we imagine to ourselves there will not be many changes; but that the vacancies for some time will be filled up with whigs.

What I blotted out in my last, was something that passed between the captain and Barber, relating to you. After I had writ, they told me all letters would be opened, which made me blot out that passage. Barber says, he gave you some account of it, though not a full one. I really believe lord Bolingbroke was very sincere in the professions he made to you, and he could have done any thing. No minister was ever in that height of favour; and lady Masham was at least in as much credit, as she had been in any time of her life. But these are melancholy reflections. Pray send me your poem[3], Hoc erat, &c. or bring it up yourself. Barber told me, he had been several hours with the captain, upon a thing that should have come out, but was now at an end[4]. He did not tell what it was; and I would not ask many questions, for fear of giving him suspicion.

  1. Joseph Dawson, esq., secretary to the lords justices of Ireland. He built a very fine house in a street called by his own name, which is now the mansion house of the lord mayor of Dublin.
  2. He was gazetteer.
  3. This poem is an imitation of part of the sixth satire of the second book of Horace.
    I often wish'd, that I had clear,
    For life, six hundred pounds a year, &c.
  4. See the note in p. 352.