The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 11/From Erasmus Lewis to Jonathan Swift - 5


YOU give me such good reasons for your desire of knowing what becomes of our grand affair, that, to oblige you, and perhaps to give myself vent, I will tell you what I think on it. The two ladies[2] seem to have determined the fall of the dragon[3], and to entertain a chimerical notion, that there shall be no monsieur le premier, but that all power shall reside in one, and profit in the other. The man of Mercury[4] soothes them in this notion with great dexterity and reason, for he will be monsieur le premier then of course, by virtue of the little seal. His character is too bad to carry the great ensigns; therefore he takes another method, and I think it very artful, viz. to continue his present station, to which the power may altogether be as properly attached as to the wand. In this brangle I am no otherwise concerned, than that I must lose part of the pleasure I had in the conversation of my friends. And that I am really apprehensive the two ladies may suffer by the undertaking; for the man of Mercury's bottom is too narrow, his faults of the first magnitude; and we cannot find, that there is any scheme in the world how to proceed. Mercurialis[5] complains, that the dragon[6] has used him barbarously; that he is in with the democraticals, and never conferred a single obligation upon him since he had the wand. Le temps nous éclaircira.

I propose to move on the 2d of August to Bath, and to stay there, or go from thence, according as our chaos settles here. I believe I shall not go to Abercothy, otherwise I would attend you. Shall not we meet at Bath? Before I began this paragraph, I should have added something to the former, which is, that the dragon is accused of having betrayed his friends yesterday upon the matter of the three explanatory articles of Spanish treaty of commerce, which he allowed not to be beneficial, and that the queen might better press for their being changed, if it was the sense of the house they ought to be so. The address then passed without a negative.

I thank you for the account you give me of the farm in Buckinghamshire. I could like the thing, and the price too very well; but when it comes to a point, I own my weakness to you. I can't work myself up to a resolution, while I have any hope of the 200l. a year I told you of in my own parish; it lies now at sale: if I miss, I would catch greedily at the other.

When I am at the Bath I will set down the hints you desire.