The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Charles Mordaunt to Jonathan Swift - 2
YOU were returning me to ages past for some expressions in my letter. I find matter in to send you as far back as the golden age. How came you to frame a system (in the times we live in) to govern the world by love?
I was much more surprised at such a notion in your first, than to find your opinion altered in your last letter. My hopes were founded more reasonably upon the contrary principle. I wish we could keep ourselves steady by any; but I confess it was the hatred and contempt so justly conceived against our late governors, that gave me some little expectations we might unite, at least in order to prevent a relapse.
The consequences of places not given were apparent; the whole party were then dissatisfied; and when given, those are only pleased who have them. This is what the honest management of past administrations has brought us to: but I should not yet despair, if your loving principle could but have its force among three or four of your acquaintance. Never persons had more reason to agree; nor was it ever in the power of a few men to bring greater events to bear, or prevent greater inconveniencies; for such are inevitable, without the nicest management: and I believe no person was ever better prepared to make this out than myself.
I wish, before I left England, that I had met, either in your letters or discourse, any thing like what you hint in your last; I should have found great ease, and you, some satisfaction; for, had you passed these six months with me abroad, I could have made you sensible, that it were easy to have brought the character and influence of an English peer, equal to that of a senator in old Rome. Methinks I could have brought it to that pass, to have seen a levee of suppliant kings and princes, expecting their destinies from us, and submitting to our decrees: but, if we come in politicks to your necessity of leaving the town for want of money to live in it, Lord, how the case will alter!
You threaten me with law, and tell me I might be compelled to make my words good. Remember your own insinuations: what if I should leave England in a week's time, and summon you in quality of chaplain and secretary, to be a witness to transactions perhaps of the greatest importance; so great, that I should think you might deserve the bishoprick of Winchester at your return. Let me know, in a letter directed to Parson's green, the moment you receive this, whether you are ready and willing; but you must learn to live a month, now and then, without sleep. As to all other things, we should meet with no mortifications abroad, if we could escape them from home.
But, without raillery, if ever I can propose to myself to be of any great use, I foresee this will be the case. This is so much my opinion, that I conclude, if it falls out otherwise, I shall never concern myself in any publick business in England; that I shall either leave it for a better climate, or marry in a rage, and become the hero of the October club. Yours,