The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Erasmus Lewis to Jonathan Swift - 4


WHITEHALL, AUG. 6, 1713.


I HAVE so often, and in so pressing a manner, desired you to come over, that, if what I have already said has no effect. I shall despair of better success by any farther arguments. If I were to recapitulate the several reasons you offer to the contrary, and answer them separately, I should grow peevish; which I have no way to avoid, but by telling you in general, it is all wrong. You and I have already laid it down for a maxim, that we must serve lord treasurer, without receiving orders or particular instructions; and I do not yet see a reason for changing that rule. His mind has been communicated more freely to you than any other; but you will not understand it. The desires of great men are commands; at least the only ones, I hope, they ever will be able to use. You have a mind to stay in Ireland till October, and desire me to give my opinion whether you should come sooner? I answer, yes. Then you bid me consider again; that is, you would have me say I am of opinion you should stay till October. When judges would have a jury change their verdict, they bid them consider again: when a man is determined to marry a woman, and his friend advises him against it, he asks his opinion again; and if his friend is so silly as not to alter his advice, he marries without it. I am as much in the spleen now I am answering your letter, as you were when you writ it. Come over; you will cure yourself and me too. Adieu.

  1. Indorsed, "Mr. Lewis;" pressing me to come over.